Committing sins and îmân

Question: Do committing sins and persisting in committing them cause people to lose their îmân (faith)?
Committing grave sins and persisting in committing them may lead a person to kufr (disbelief) and result in dying without îmân.

Question: What are the grave (major) sins?
Some of them are as follows:
1. To commit a bid’ah, [Any change or reform made in the religion is termed a bid’ah. It is a grave sin to commit a bid’ah pertaining to tenets of belief and acts of worship.]

2. To keep committing sins,

3. Not to give thanks for being a Muslim,

4. Not to be fearful of dying without faith,

5. To commit cruelty,

6. To be disobedient to your parents,

7. To take oaths very often, even if they are true,

8. Not to attach importance to learning the salat and teaching it to the members of your family,

9. To drink alcoholic beverages,

10. To give an impression that you are a wali, though you are not,

11. To belittle your sin,

12. To have self-love,

13. To consider yourself superior to others on account of your knowledge and acts of worship,

14. To be jealous,

15. To say that a certain person is good before testing him/her,

16. To continue telling lies and backbiting,

17. To stay away from the books of Ahl as-Sunnah scholars,

18. To maltreat your neighbors, which is a sin even if they are disbelievers,

19. To get angry very often for worldly matters,

20. To practice sorcery,

21. To give up visiting your mahram relatives who obey Islam,

22. Not to love those whom Allahu ta’âlâ loves and to love those whom He does not love,

23. To have a grudge against your Muslim brother for more than three days,

24. To commit fornication, adultery, or sodomy,

25. To wear indecently,

26. To commit a murder,

27. To commit a theft,

28. To take drugs,

29. To commit usurpation,

30. Not to fast and to eat publicly in the month of Ramadân,

31. To pay fâidh (interest) without extreme necessity to do so,

32. To devour the wealth of an orphan unjustly,

33. To cheat in measuring or weighing,

34. To perform salats before or after their due times,

35. To hurt one’s feelings,

36. To accept a bribe,

37. Not to give the zakât and ‘ushr of one’s property,

To burn a live animal,

39. To forget how to read the Qur’ân al-karîm after learning it,

40. To despair of Allah’s Mercy,

41. To commit perfidy,

42. To have a dislike towards any of the As-hâb-i kirâm,

43. To call chaste women unchaste,

44. To spread gossip (to carry words) among Muslims,

45. To expose your awrat parts or to look at a person’s awrat parts,

46. To be unfaithful with respect to anything that has been placed in trust with you,

47. To be stingy,

48. To have a fondness for the world,

49. Not to fear the torment of Allahu ta’âlâ,

50. Not to accept a harâm [a thing that is prohibited] as harâm and a halâl [a thing that is permitted] as halâl.

51. To believe what soothsayers say,

52. To look at women and girls, that is, to look at harâm,

53. For women, to wear like men and vice-versa,

54. To remind people of your having done them favors,

55. To take an oath with any name other than Allah, for example, to say, “May I kiss my child’s dead body!”

56. To be a perpetual committer of a venial sin,

57. To remain ritually impure (junub) as long as to miss a prayer time,

58. To play or listen to musical instruments,

59. To commit suicide,

60. Not to learn your religion.

Slighting the sins
Question: What does “slighting the sins” mean? How are they slighted?
The meaning of “slighting the sins” is not known by many people, and as a result, committers of sins are declared to be disbelievers. For example, it is wrong to say, “If people who continue drinking alcohol valued its being harâm, they would not drink it. In the same way, a woman who goes out by not covering herself as Islam has commanded valued that this act of hers is harâm, she would cover herself. Therefore, such people are kâfirs [disbelievers] as they do not get upset about their sins, that is, as they belittle the harâm.”

Yes, it is true that those who do not get upset about and who do not value them become disbelievers, but what does “not to get upset about and not to value” mean in this context? For instance, if a woman who practises namâzes is in the knowledge that it is a sin to go out by not covering herself and says, “Covering ourselves is a commandment of Allahu ta’âlâ, and it would be better if we could, but we cannot conform to it in today’s time,” she cannot be attributed disbelief. Likewise, if a man who drinks alcohol says, “It is harâm to drink alcoholic beverages, but I am addicted to them, I cannot give up,” he cannot be called a disbeliever. On the contrary, if a man who does not drink alcohol at all says, “It is not a sin to drink a glass of wine,” then he falls into disbelief. Or it is also kufr [disbelief] to belittle the harâm by saying, “All people go out by not covering themselves, and so do we. What happens? All people drink alcohol, and we do, too. Is there any harm as long as we are not drunk?”

Allahu ta’âlâ’s Wrath is hidden in sins. He may avenge for any sin which has not been repented for. He may refuse eternally a liked slave of His who has been worshipping for a hundred thousand years. For example, the Devil [Shaytân], who had been obeying Him for a hundred thousand years, will be eternally in Hell because he was too arrogant to prostrate. A son of Hadrat Âdam’s (‘alaihissalâm) will be in eternal Hell as he killed a man. Bal’âm-i Bâûrâ, whose every prayer would be accepted, died without îmân due to his inclination towards a sin. Qârûn, as he did not pay the zakât of his property, was made to go under the earth together with his entire property. Then each Believer must be very much afraid of committing sins. It is stated in a hadîth-i sharîf, “Avoiding a mote of [very small] sin is better than the worships of all genies and men.”

Upon committing a sin, you must not lose hope; you must repent and beg for forgiveness immediately. A Believer must have fear of Allahu ta’âlâ’s punishment as well as hope of His Mercy. It is reported in a hadîth-i sharîf, “If a Mu’min takes a middle path between khawf[fear] and rajâ’ [hope], Allahu ta’âlâ gives him the hoped-for and makes him feel secure of the feared-for.” That is, if Believers fear torment of Allahu ta’âla but not despair of His Mercy, avoid the harâm and try hard to perform acts of worship, they will enter Paradise.

No matter how grave a sin people commit, they must not lose hope of Allah’s Mercy. Moreover, even an ingrained disbeliever’s sins are forgiven and (s)he becomes an absolutely pure person after repenting and saying “Lâ ilâha ill-Allah Muhammadun Rasûl-Allah.” In other words, in this world, there is not a sin that Allahu ta’âlâ does not forgive. When one repents, He even forgives the shirk, that is, disbelief. However, after death, there will be no mercy on disbelievers. It is purported in the Qur’ân al-karîm, “Do not despair of Allah’s Mercy! Allah forgives all the sins.”
[Sûrat-uz-Zumar 53]

We cannot know in which deed or word Allahu ta’âlâ’s Consent and Wrath is hiding. Therefore, we must not slight any of the good and evil deeds. He has concealed His Consent in good deeds and His Wrath in evils. Any sin which is supposed to be small may cause His Vengeance, His Wrath. So we have to be wary of our words. Our ancestors would say, “A single word may be an end to a problem and also may be an end to you.”

Hadrat Munkadir was crying on his deathbed. When asked the reason, he answered, “I have not committed a grave sin deliberately. I am crying because a venial sin, which I thought it to be unimportant, might incur the wrath of Allahu ta’âlâ.” As is seen, these kinds of worries cause a Muslim to attain salvation. For it is declared in a hadîth-i sharîf, “Allahu ta’âlâ imparts on the Day of Judgement: ‘Take those out of Hell who remembered and make mention of Me for a day, who feared me just once when they were in worldly life.”’

A very important admonition:
It is indispensable for all Muslims, male or female, to obey the rules, that is, commandments and prohibitions of Allahu ta’âlâ, in their every word and deed. The îmân of a person who does not attach importance to doing a fard [a commandment] or avoiding a harâm [a prohibited act] goes away. People without îmân will be subjected to torment in the grave and go to eternal Hell-fire in the Hereafter. There is no possibility or likelihood for them to be pardoned and go out of Hell. It is very easy to fall into kufr [disbelief]. One may fall into disbelief in any word or deed. But it is equally easy to extricate oneself from disbelief. If one, even if one does not know the exact reason that caused one to fall into disbelief, makes repentance and implores Allahu ta’âlâ by saying the following prayer once every day, “Oh my Allah! If I, knowingly or unknowingly, have uttered a word or done a deed that has caused disbelief, I repent of it. Forgive me,” one will certainly be forgiven, thus escaping Hell. In order not to burn in eternal Hell-fire, one has to make tawba [repentance] every day without fail. There is not a duty of top priority than this tawba. When making tawba for the sins that involve violations of others’ rights, one has to compensate for the harm given. As for the tawba for omitted qadâ namâzes, it is necessary to make qadâ of them. (Endless Bliss)