Monthly Archives: September 2011

Major Sins by Imam Dhahabi – Sorcery

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3) Sorcery

Sorcery is a major sin because the sorcerer must necessarily disbelieve and the accursed Devil has no other motive for teaching a person witchcraft than that he might thereby ascribe associates to Allah.

Allah, the Almighty, says,

{Solomon did not disbelieve but Satan disbelieved, teaching men magic, and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying, ‘We are only for trial,’ so do not blaspheme.’ They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not harm anyone except by Allah’s permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter.} (AI- Baqarah: 102)

Thus, you might find some people who are astray delving in learning sorcery and thinking that it is just unlawful. Actually, they do not consider what they do as disbelief, but it is! They embark on learning all kinds of sorcery: Pure sorcery, increasing or decreasing the love between a man and a woman, making a man important and the like. All of these practices are done by means of some unknown words, most of which lead to unbelief.

The penalty for a sorcerer is to be killed. This is because he is an unbeliever. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Avoid the seven heinous sins.” (Reported before)

And he mentioned sorcery.

“The penalty for a sorcerer is the sword.” (Reported by Tirmidhi)

Bijalah Ibn Abah related, ‘Umar رضى اللّهُ عنه came to us one year before his death and said,

“Kill every sorcerer (male or female).” (Reported by Abu Dawud)

Wahb Ibn Munabbih said, “I read in a book: ‘Allah the Almighty says, ‘There is no god but Me. He is not of Me who practices sorcery, or asks someone to practice with him. The one who foretells or the foretold, the one who seeks an omen or for whom an omen is sought.” (4 Reported by Al- Haythami in “Majma’ Az-Zawa’id to Al-Bazzar)

`Ali Ibn Abi Talib رضى اللّهُ عنه said, “A fortuneteller is a sorcerer, a sorcerer is a disbeliever.”

Abu Musa Al-Ashari رضى اللّهُ عنه related that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“The drunkard, the one who severs the ties of kinship, and whoever believes in sorcery will not enter Paradise.” (Reported by Ahmad)

Ibn Mas’ud رضى اللّهُ عنه related that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Incantations, amulets and spells are Shirk (polytheism).” (Reported by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and Ahmad)

These are treated as Shirk because the ignorant believes that these things can affect what has been predetermined by Allah. However, Al-Khattabi said, “Incantations or healing words are permitted if they consist of the Qur’an or the Most Beautiful Names of Allah.”

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم used to recite (incantate) Al-Hasan and Al-Husain رضي اللّهُ عنهما by saying,

“I seek refuge for you in Allah’s Perfect Words from every Devil, beast or envious.” (Reported by Bukhari)

 

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Major Sins by Imam Dhahabi – Killing a Human Being

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Allah, the Almighty, says,

{If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (forever); and the wrath and curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful chastisement is prepared for him.}(An-Nisa:93)

{Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication,’ and any that does this (not only) meets punishment.} (Al-Furqan:68)

{Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind…} (Al- Ma’ida:32)

{When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned -for what crime she was killed.} (Al Takwir:8-9)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Avoid the seven heinous sins.”

And he mentioned taking one’s life which Allah has made sacred except in the course of justice.

It was related that someone asked the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم,

“What is the most heinous sin in the sight of Allah?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم replied, “To hold that Allah has an equal whereas He has created you.”. The man asked, “What else?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “To kill your  child lest he feeds with you.” The man asked, “What else?” He said, “To commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife.” (Reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and An- Nasa’i)

Therefore, Allah, the Almighty, revealed,

{Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication,. and any that does this (not only) meets punishment. (Al-Furqan:68)

It was related that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“When two Muslims meet with drawn sword, both the slayer and the slain are in the Hell.” It was said, “0 Messenger of Allah, that is for the slayer. But why the slain?” He replied, “Because his intention was to kill the other.” (Reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban)

Abu Suliman Al-Khitabi commented, “Such punishment does not apply to a legal and justifiable combat. They entail this abode if they fight one another out of enmity, fanaticism, to acquire some worldly benefit or a position of leadership. Thus, out of this pole is the one who fights against an aggressive Muslim if he follows the rules of fighting and the one who defends himself without intending to kill the opponent.

Whoever fights against an aggressive Muslim or a highway robber, should not seek to kill them. Rather he should try to deter him as much as he can. When they refrain we should refrain.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“You should not turn an unbeliever when I am no more (among you) and start killing and shedding blood among yourselves.” (Reported before)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“The first thing among human beings to be adjudicated on the Day of Judgment, will be the blood claim.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

“Taking a believer’s life is more grievous in Allah’s sight than the perishing of this world.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

“The major sins are worshipping others with Allah, showing disrespect to parents, killing a human being, and breaking one’s oath.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

It is termed engulfing because it overwhelms its swearer in the Fire.

“For all the murders committed in this world without any justification, prophet Adam’s son, Qabil will get a share of punishment, because it was he who inaugurated the method  of killing by murdering his brother Habil.”  (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

If this is the abode of he who kills a covenant man then what about killing a Muslim?

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Whoever killed anyone of the people of the covenant will never get the aroma of paradise which can be smelt from forty years away.” (Reported by Bukhari)

“Whoever helps in killing a Muslim even by just a part of a word, he will meet Allah with the written phrase on his forehead “Despondent of Allah’s Mercy.”(Reported by Ibn Majah. It is a weak Hadith)

“Every sin might be forgiven by Allah except for a man dying an unbeliever or a man killing a believer deliberately.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)

 

Major Sins by Imam Dhahabi – Shirk

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The worst major sin is Shirk. It is of two kinds:
a) To hold that Allah has an equal, whereas He has created you, and to worship another with Him, whether it be a stone, tree, sun, moon, prophet, sheikh, star, angel or other. This is the greatest shirk mentioned by Allah, the Most High, the Almighty, says (what means),
{116. Verily! Allâh forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, has indeed strayed far away. }(An-Nisa:116)
{False worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing.} (Luqman:13)
{Whoever joins other gods with Allah; Allah will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode.}
(Al-Ma’idah:72)
The Qur’anic verses concerning this are very numerous. It is being absolutely certain that whoever ascribes associates to Allah and dies in such a state is one of Hell’s inhabitants, just as whoever believes in Allah and dies as a believer is one of the inhabitants of Paradise, even if be should be punished first.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,
“Shall I tell you of the worst major sins? Worshipping others with Allah, showing disrespect to parents, giving a false statement, and testifying to the truth of a falsehood. ” And he kept repeating it until we were telling ourselves (out of sympathy for him because of the strain of repeating it), “If only he would be silent.” ( Reported by Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi.)
“Avoid the seven heinous sins.” (Reported before)
and he mentioned ascribing associates to Allah.
“Kill whoever converted his religion (Islam).” (Reported by Bukhari, Ahmed, Ibn Hibban, An-Nasa’i and Abu Ya’la.)
b) Ostentation
Allah, the Most High, says (what means),
{Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteous, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.} (AL-Kahf:11O)
i.e., does not show off in good works
“Beware of the lesser shirk.” They asked, “What is the lesser shirk?” He said, “Showing off in good works. Allah, the Almighty will say when recompensing the mankind for  their deeds: Go to those whom you showed off to in the world to see how they could recompense you. .” (Reported by Ahmad.)
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,
“If anybody associates something with Me, I am not affected.  If anyone associates somebody with Me, in any way, I reject him and his act of associating.” (Reported by Muslim. It’s a Qudsi Hadith.)
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,
“A person who does some good work in order to boast will have his faults exposed by Allah Most High and a person whose motive in doing some good deed is to show it, Allah the Most High will treat him as a hypocrite.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari.)
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,
“There may be a faster who does not gain from his fasting but hunger and thirst.”
A wise man said, “Just as the one who shows off in good works is the one who fills his purse with pebbles and leaves for the market to buy food. If he opened it before the seller he will be stoned with it in his face. He gains nothing but the people’s inquiry about what fills his purse, nothing more. Thus, the one who shows off in good works will have no value but the people’s saying that he did good and he will not be rewarded in the Hereafter.”
Allah, the Almighty, says (what means),
{And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in this life), and We shall make such deed as floating dust scattered about.} (Al-Furqan:23)
It was related that a man asked the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم
“How can I be redeemed?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “If you do not deceive Allah” The man asked, “How is Allah deceived?” He replied, “When you do something which Allah and His Messenger commanded you to do but you intended other than pleasing Allah. Beware of ostentation, it is the lesser shirk (polytheism); On the Day of Judgment, the ostentatious will be called at the presence of all creatures by four names: O Ostentatious, O traitors, O corrupt, O loser; what you did is wasted and your reward is nullified. We will not reward you, go and get your reward from whomever you acted to deceive?” (Reported by AI-Zubaidi in lthaf)
A wise man was asked, “Who is the sincere one?” He replied, “It is he who hides his good deeds as he does with his bad deeds.” Someone asked, “What is the good of sincerity?” He said, “When you dislike to be praised by people.”
Al-Fudail Ibn Eiad, may Allah be pleased with him said, “To refrain from an action for the sake of people is ostentation. To do something for their sake is shirk (polytheism). But sincerity is to be aware of them.”

					

Major Sins by Imam Dhahabi

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Definition:

Major sins are defined as what is forbidden by Allah عَزّ وَ جلّ and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم in the Qur’an and the Sunnah in addition to what is narrated on the authority of early Muslims. Allah, the Most high, promises whoever avoids the major sins to expiate his minor sins. Allah, the Almighty says (what means),

{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-Nisaa :31)

In this text, Allah, the Most High, also promises whoever avoids the major sins to admit him to Paradise.

Allah, the Almighty says (what means),

{Those who avoid the greater sins and indecencies, and when they are angry even they forgive;}
(Ash-Shura:37)

The Qur’an also states,

{Those who avoid great sins and indecent deeds, save lesser offences, verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness.}                                              (An-Najm:32)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,


“The five prescribed Prayers, and from one Friday Prayer to another and from Ramadan to another
entail forgiveness for what is between them as long as you do not commit the major sins.”
 (Reported by Muslim, Tirmithi, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ahmed)

We are obliged to learn about what the major sins are, so that Muslims may avoid them. Scholars of Sacred knowledge are of different opinions about the number of the major sins. It is argued that they are only seven owing to the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و سلم saying,

“Avoid the seven heinous sins: Worshipping others with Allah, sorcery, taking a life which Allah has made sacred except in the course of justice, devouring usury, appropriating the property of the orphan, fleeing from the battlefield, and charging believing women, unmindful though innocent, with adultery.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn Abbas holds that they are likely counted as seventy not seven. That is a good point of view because enumeration is not intended in the Hadith.

As a matter of fact, any sin entailing either a threat of punishment in the Hereafter explicitly mentioned by the Qur’an or Hadith, a prescribed legal penalty (Hadd), or being accursed by Allah or His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم is called a major sin. We have to bear in mind that some major sins are more heinous than others. This is because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has enlisted Shirk (worshipping others with Allah) though a polytheist will suffer eternal torture in Fire and will never be forgiven.

Allah, the Almighty says (what means),

{116. Verily! Allâh forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, has indeed strayed far away.}
(An-Nisa:116)