بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Nafsiya Reflections: Minor Sins
AssalamuAlaykum and Welcome to today’s episode – Minor Sins.
Two people approached Abdullah ibn Abbas RA. The first of them asked him, if I have killed a man, will Allah SWT ever forgive me? Ab.Ibn Ab replied yes, he will forgive you. The second man then asked the same question, whilst he was sitting in the same chair, but the former replied no. When the man left, the people around Ibn Abbas RA asked him why did you give two different answers. So, he replied: Because the first guy that came actually killed someone and felt bad about it and there was a true sense of repentance. The second guy wanted to kill somebody and was therefore coming for the license to do so. Now why do we share this example with you, dear listeners?
You see, Allah SWT gave us the very clear understanding that sins are to be completely avoided, there’s no excuse for them, yet man still commits them and can be forgiven, Alhamdulillah. As was the case was the first man. However, if committing a sin with the intent to do so, knowing full well that it is wrong, this clearly - will not be forgiven. We may also ask ourselves; why would anyone expect to be forgiven for the sin of murder when they do it with intent? A valid question, since the person has purposefully disobeyed Allah. However, let’s pose this question to ourselves instead: How many times have we committed a sin, maybe not murder, but a sin, knowing it’s not a good action, yet still engaged in it. Knowing that it’s displeasing to Allah SWT yet still give in to our inner self, hoping that we would be forgiven or we justify it by saying it’s perhaps not as bad as the other sins.
So lets revisit the former question: why would anyone expect to be forgiven for a sin, big or small, when they do it with intent? Today we live in an era when things like lying, backbiting, slandering, mocking others or belittling them, not speaking to a fellow Muslim for more than 3 days, showing off and boasting; all these are SO normal that they have become quite minor for us and quite the norm. Maybe so minor, that we don’t even think of them as a sin.
One may comment on another person’s weight behind their back
One may share their opinion about another person’s clothing
One can even narrate a personal/private incident of someone else in their absence
One may talk about how he prays each salah in jamah, or recites x amount of Quran everyday
All of this and much more can be done by man and it could be considered ‘minor’ and excuses could be made for oneself, such as:
I’m not harming anyone, I’m only joking, I don’t mean it in a bad way.
But the fact of the matter is that ALL of these actions are reprehensible in Islam, and some are grave sins! Allah SWT and his Messenger SAW have stated very clearly that ALL of these constitute disobedience!
So why is this sort of behaviour considered ‘normal’ or ‘minor?’
To answer this Question, Let’s first take a cursory glance at our daily routines! We wake up, have breakfast, go to work/Uni/or School/ or attend to our children, we are busy with all these for most of the day, and we make place for an afternoon meal in the midst of our chaos. And for the Muslim in the Western world - the chasing of his Zohr, Asr and Maghrib salahs in the winter - adds some more to the usual chasing of the time.
But that’s not all - Come evening, we have domestic duties and responsibilities and then before we know it, the day ends. This routine goes on for days, weeks, months and even years. Our lives are SO busy, in all of this, where do we have the time to contemplate deeply about Allah, our accountability towards Him, our Akhirah? This folks, is the effect of the western capitalist system. Which reduces an intellectual human, to little more than a hamster. The distraction of the dunya and its affairs (unless they are consciously geared towards the akhirah), are enough to make one forget about their true purpose in life!
With the Ummah living under the capitalist system for almost an entire century - is it really surprising that certain sins, have become normal in Muslim communities?
We need to remind ourselves of the hadith of Rasulallah SAW narrated by Sahl b. Sa'd (ra), where the Messenger of Allah said:
إياكم ومحقرات الذنوب، فإنما مثل محقرات الذنوب، كمثل قوم نزلوا بطن واد، فجاء ذا بعود، وجاء ذا بعود، حتى حملوا ما أنضجوا به خبزهم، وإن محقرات الذنوب متى يؤخذ بها صاحبها تهلكه
“Beware of the minor sins which are often thought of as insignificant, for they are like a group of people who camped in the bottom of a valley. One of them brought a stick, and another brought a stick, until they had gathered enough to cook their food. These minor sins, if a person is called to account for them, will destroy him.” Reported by Ahmad.
Dear listeners, There are certain actions, which although we could consider the norm, and may have become neglectful of their sheer magnitude, but they chip away at the Islamic personality, until it is unrecognizable.
Anas (ra) said:
إنكم لتعملون أعمالا هي أدق في أعينكم من الشعر، إن كنا لنعدها على عهد النبي من الموبقات
“You do things which in your eyes are less significant than a hair, but at the time of the Messenger of Allah, we used to count them as things that could destroy a man.”
As Muslims, we have been blessed with the guidance and blessings of Allah SWT. He gave us the noble position of being witnesses over mankind. How unfortunate would it be for someone to be refused Jannah for their commentary and backbiting, or mockery and neglect of others. No! None of these pastimes are worth the consequences in the akhirah.
Allah says in the Quran, Bismillah ar Rahman ar Raheem:
(إِنَّ ٱلْأَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُورًا عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ ٱللَّهِ يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيرًا وَيُطْعِمُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا)
Verily, the Abrar (THE pious, who fear Allah and avoid evil), shall drink a cup mixed with water from a spring in Paradise called Kafur. A spring wherefrom the slaves of Allah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly. They (are those who) Fulfil (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide spreading. Al-Insaan:5-7
May Allah SWT make us those who think deeply about each and every action, and are mindful of our words in order to earn His pleasure.
We must be robust in accounting ourselves, and advise those around us in the best manner as well.
JZK for joining us!