Major and Minor Sins in Islam
Allah says in the Qur’an: “If you avoid great sins which you are forbidden, We will expiate from you your (small) sins and cause you to enter an honorable (place of) entering. (Surah 4, Verse 31).
In case of avoiding the major sins, Allah (SWT) promises us that our minor sins will be pardoned and we will be admitted to Paradise. He says:
“If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).” (An-Nisa 4:31).
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) warned his Ummah from all these sins whether major or minor. Moreover, he (PBUH) informed us of these sins with particular attributes.
Among the major sins are the following seven major and destructive sins, which are mentioned collectively in following narration of the Prophet (PBUH):
“Avoid the seven destroyers.” They said: “O Allah’s Messenger! And what are they?” He replied: “Committing Shirk with Allah, magic, to kill someone that Allah has prohibited – except for just cause – consuming Riba (Usury), consuming the wealth or property of an orphan, to flee on the day of the march (to battle), and to slander the chaste, unaware, believing women.” (Al-Bukhari 6857).
The greatest of these sins is shirk (associating others with Allah), which leads to doom with no hope of redemption, and if a person dies in this state he will abide in Hell for all eternity.
“And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers”
The practitioner of witchcraft does things to harm people by means of the jinn and worshipping them instead of Allah, by means of words, deeds and blowing on knots, as Allah, may He be exalted, says: “And from the evil of the witches when they blow in the knots” [al-Falaq 113:4].
Killing someone that Allah has prohibited except for just cause:
Killing a soul whom Allah has forbidden us to kill. This is a serious crime of which Allah says:
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him”
Consuming Riba (Usury or Interest):
Dealing with riba which Allah has prohibited. Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says concerning it:
“Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba” [al-Baqarah 2:275]
Consuming the wealth or property of orphans:
The orphan is the one whose father has died when he is small and has not yet reached puberty. We are commanded to treat them kindly, protect their wealth and handle it with good care.
Fleeing on the day of the march (to battle):
The one who flees and deserts his brothers is subject to this stern warning: “unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)” [al-Anfaal 8:16]
Accusing chaste, unaware, believing women of adultery:
Slandering chaste, innocent believing women. Allah, may He be exalted, says: “And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes” [an-Noor 24:4].
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