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Saturday, June 06, 2009

GROUPS OF SINS

It is written in the first paragraph of the third chapter of Riyad-un-nasikhin, “Sins other than disbelief and bid’at [1] are classified in two groups. The first group are sins that are between Allahu ta’ala and man. Having alcoholic drinks, not performing namaz (daily prayer, salat) and the like. Of these sins, we should very much avoid the small ones as well as the grave ones. Resulullah declared: “Avoiding a mote of [very small] sin is better than the worships of all genies and men.”



All sins are grave because sin means not doing Allah’s command. However, some of them seem small when compared to others. For example, looking lustfully at a na-mahram [2] woman is less sinful than committing fornication. [What is less sinful than both is to satisfy one’s desire with one’s hand.] Not doing a small sin is more valuable than the supererogatory worships of the whole world. For, it is not fard to do supererogatory worships, whereas it is fard (obligatory) for everybody to avoid sins. It is permissible to commit a small sin in order to avoid a graver sin, when there is no other way.



The second group of sins are among the human beings; making tawba (repentance) for them requires pleasing the human being also. It is written in the book Kimya-i sa’adat that a hadith declares: “Make the tawba for a sin secretly which has been done secretly! Make the tawba for a sin publicly which has been done publicly! Make sure that those who know of your sin hear your repentance!”


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GLOSSARY

[1] bid’at: heresy; false, disliked belief or practice that did not exist in the four sources of Islam but which has been introduced later as an Islamic belief or ‘ibada in expectation of thawab (blessings)

[2] na-mahram: a relative of the opposite sex) not within forbidden (haram) degrees of relationship for marriage.

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