Major Sins in Islam

Sins in Islam

Major Sins In Islam

Sins in Islam

Islam is a religion that provides the best way of living for humankind. All its rules, commands, and prohibitions are exactly the pure nature of human beings. Infarct, you will never find any Islamic command that contradicts the welfare, health, body, soul, or disposition of the human being, or any prohibition that is beneficial for him. For example, drinking wine and alcoholic beverages, however, makes the human body feel delighted, but it also brings numerous disasters and grief to society. It is almost impossible to count and point out all those disasters here caused by using alcoholic beverages, but one that is so important can be mentioned here. Drinking alcohol can severely harm the human heart and liver, and it is almost one of the highest reasons of cancer diseases. According to ti a survey, more than 140,000 people lose their lives due to much use of alcohol each year in the united states of America[1].

Upon the discussion above, we can now make the decision that every single order or prohibition of Islamic tradition is for the welfare of our society. However, some of these rules may appear us little strict, but they give overall perfect results for our community.

Many prohibitions in Islamic traditions are considered sins or crimes. Then they may have differences according to their seriousness. It means some sins may be pretended less serious or small ones, while others may be too serious and major sins. Some may result in punishment in this world by an Islamic state as well as in the next world (Akhirah), and some others may result in the punishment of the next world alone. However, it should be kept in mind that a true Muslim would never count for the heaviness and lightness of sin, indeed, he will escape from any kind of sin because he knows it is something forbidden by his lord and his messenger.

Then it is also significant to know which sins or which types of sins can be pretended as major sins. Therefore, Islamic scholars have founded some scales or basics according to which one can point out and distinguish major sins from small ones. Some say that any action approved in the Holy Quran as a sin is called a major sin. Or, any prohibited activity in the Holy Quran is pretended a major sin. Some others say that any sin for which there is a specific punishment in Dunya or Akhirah is called a major sin. Then whether its punishment is deduced from Quran, or the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). Furthermore, some scholars think that any sin whose doer is cursed according to the Quran or the hadith of the Prophet (SAW), then it is thought as a major sin.

As a result, according to the definitions above about the major sins, numerous major sins can be found in the holy book of almighty Allah while some others are available in the hadiths of the prophet of Allah (SAW). We will start from the sins available in the Quran and then will delve into the ones found in the prophetic traditions, too.

⊗ Associating partners with Allah (SWT) or committing Shirk

Associating partners with Allah (SWT) or doing Shirk is the most dangerous and the biggest sin. Indeed, one who commits Shirk will never enter Jannah as per Quranic verses and prophetic traditions. Allah (SWT) says in his book: “verily, Allah doesn’t forgive committing Shirk with him, and he forgives beyond it for those he wills.” (Quran, chapter 4, verse 48)

In another place of the Quran, Allah (SWT) says: “Surely, Shirk is the biggest injustice.” (Quran, chapter 31, verse 13). Also, in one other place of the holy Quran, Allah (SWT) says: “and don’t associate partners with Allah” (Quran, chapter 4, verse 36). Furthermore, Allah (SWT) says to his messenger in his book: “Say (to them O prophet) come so that I will recite to you what your lord has made Haram on you, (and that is) don’t associate partners with him, and to be nice to your parents.” (Quran, chapter 6, verse 151).

Indeed, there are other plenty of verses in the Quran mentioning that worthy of worship and that the lord of the universe is Allah (SWT) alone. Therefore, no one else should be worshipped rather than him. Allah (SWT) repeats from place to place that people who worship something else except Allah (SWT) such as status, angels, Jins, fire, and other things have no authentic proof for doing it. Indeed, they merely follow the action their fathers were doing, and provide very cheap reasoning for worshiping the mere stones. Allah (SWR) mentions the same event in the story of the prophet Ibrahim (AS) when he prohibited his people from worshiping idles. They said: “They said: we have found our fathers worshiping them.” (Quran, chapter 21, verse 53).

So, according to all Islamic contexts and all of the Muslims __ whether they are scholars or common people __, one who dies without repenting from Shirk will enter hellfire forever. And of course, it should be the punishment of someone who worships someone or something else leaving his real and true creator. And as a result, challenging the divine power of the true lord of the universe.

Saddening or Offending Parents

Islam follows the rule of respecting better after better for considering others’ rights. After that, we knew that the biggest sin and offense referring to Allah’s rights is association partners with him, and the second most harmful sin is saddening or disobeying parents. Because Allah (SWT) is the one who makes the decision and plans for the creation of humans while parents are the cause to bring us to the physical world. Or in other words, Allah is the real creator and parents are the means to give us birth. Therefore, Allah (SWT) has made it compulsory for a human being to obey his/her parents, and not to sadden them

This is why Allah (SWT) mentions the rights of parents immediately after ordering human beings to worship him alone. Allah (SWT) says in his glorious book: “Worship Allah and don’t take anything as partners with him, and be fair to the parents.” (Quran, chapter 4, verse 35). In another verse of the holy Quran, we can find that Allah (SWT) says: “Say (to the heathens)! Come and I will recite what your lord has forbidden for you (and that is) don’t associate partners with him, and be fair with the parents.” (Quran, chapter 5, verse 151). Also, in another verse of the Quran, Allah (SWT) says: “And your lord has decided (for the humans) not to worship anything except him, and to be good to the parents.” (Quran, chapter 17, verse 23).

Besides the verses of the Quran, there are many Sahih and authentic hadiths of the Prophet (SAW) insisting on being fair and courteous to parents and not disobeying them in any case. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reports that the prophet of Allah (SAW) said: “Be humbled in the dust, then be humbled in the dust, and then be humbled in the dust.” People asked who O prophet was. The prophet of Allah said: “One who finds his/her parents in older age, and then it (their service) doesn’t enter him/her to Jannah.” (Sahih Muslim, #6500). Also, in another hadith of the prophet of Allah (SAW) narrated by Imam Bukhari, a companion of the prophet of Allah (SAW) asked him: which deed is the most beloved one to Allah? The prophet of Allah (SAW) replied: offering Salah on its time. He then asked: then which one? He replied: to be good to the parents. (Sahih Bukhari, #527).

Interestingly, you can notice in all the Quranic verses and hadiths of the Prophet (SAW) that in every place where the order of worshipping Allah (SWT) or prohibiting the Shirk is mentioned, the rights of the parents are mentioned immediately. However, it should be kept in mind that in contrast to the father, the mother is the more deserving and meritorious insight of rights and love. Since, in another hadith of the Prophet (SAW), it is mentioned that a companion of the prophet of Allah (SAW) asked him: whom should I be fair to? The prophet of Allah said: to your mother. He then asked: to whom then? The prophet of Allah (SAW) said: to your mother. He again asked: to whom then? The prophet (SAW) said: to your mother. He again asked: to whom then? The prophet (SAW) said: then to your father. (Sunan Tirmidhi, #1897).

It is important to note that a Muslim is not ordered to follow his/her parents in case they command by something which is against the commands of Allah (SWT) and his messenger. Indeed, if anyone does so, he/she will be considered guilty. Since, Allah (SWT) says: “And if they (your parents) want you to associate partners with me of which you don’t know, so don’t obey them.” (Quran, chapter 31, verse 15).

Killing an Innocent Human being

Many Islamic scholars think that killing an innocent person is the second biggest and cruelest sin after Shirk. However, this idea is despite those who think disobeying parents is the second biggest sin after Shirk. Allah (SWT) says in his holy book: “And don’t kill a soul that Allah has prohibited for you” (Quran, chapter 12, verse 10). In another place of the Quran, the Almighty says: “And one who kills a believer intentionally, so, his punishment would be entering the hellfire, and Allah will angry on him and will curse him, and we have prepared tough torment for him.” (Quran, chapter 4, verse 93).

It is significant to note that not only murder of a Muslim or believer is a big sin in Islam, but also killing an innocent non-Muslim is a serious crime. As you can see in the first verse above that Allah (SWT) didn’t mention a Muslim or believer solely. Instead, you can see that the mentioned word in this verse is ‘innocent soul’ and that encompasses both Muslims and non-Muslims.

It is again important that killing one’s self or suicide is also known as a major sin. Since, Allah (SWT) says: “and don’t put yourselves in destruction.” (Quran, chapter 2, verse 195). It is now getting a common issue in many countries (even in Islamic countries) that people kill themselves because of problems, lack of luxuries or too luxurious a life, intoxication and most importantly failing in love. But it is one of the major sins, and as reported in one hadith of the prophet of Allah (SAW) that after death, this person will be killing him/herself (and then he/she will be given life) till the day of judgment. And this suicide would exactly be the same as they had implied in this world.

Furthermore, killing children is also a kind of assassination or murder. By assassination of children, we mean taking abortion. Then whether this action is taken because of restricting many children, fear of feeding them or poverty, or any other reasons. However, according to the Islamic context, if giving birth to a child is too dangerous for the mother, or can be the cause of her death, then it is ok to have an abortion. Since, Allah (SWT) says in his book: “Don’t kill your children due to poverty fear. We provide provision to them and you.” (Quran, chapter 17, verse 31)

Adultery or Fornication

Fornication is the base of every evildoing in a society. This is the sin whose prohibition is revealed in the Quran and many prophetic traditions. In addition to it, Allah (SWT) has elected a specific punishment for the adulterer in this world and the next world. About this filthy and evil action, Allah (SWT) says: “And don’t go near to fornication, indeed, it is evildoing and a bad way.” (Quran, chapter 17, verse 32). Note that Allah simply didn’t say: ‘and don’t fornicate’, instead, he says ‘Don’t go near to fornication’. Indeed, one can note that Allah (SWT) intended extra emphasis on the prohibition of fornication. Therefore, he elected such type of phrase to prevent people from fornication. Also, the scholars say that from this verse, it is obvious that not only the act of fornication is prohibited, but also its inviting deeds such as wearing tight clothes, going to places where chances of fornication are more than any other places, coquetry talk of women to get men’s attention and all other means that leads to practical fornication.

So, this is the reason why Islamic scholars say that the hands of a person adulterate, the tongue of a person adulterate, the hands of a person adulterate, and the eyes of someone adulterate. Because the adultery of the tongue is talking with a strange man or woman, the adultery of hands is touching a strange man or woman, and the adultery of eyes is looking at a strange man or woman. In addition, all these reasons or persuaders play so important roles in reaching practical adultery.

To condemn this filthy action, the prophet of Allah (SAW) has threatened his Ummah in many of his speeches. The prophet of Allah (SAW) says that when an adulterer adulterates, he/she no longer remains a believer. (Sunan Tirmidhi, #2625). Also, in another hadith of the Prophet (SAW), fornication is counted as one of the seven major sins. And in another hadith of the Prophet (SAW), a person asked the prophet (SAW) about the major sins. The prophet (SAW) said: the major sin is that you make partners with Allah (SWT). Did he say: then which one? The prophet (SAW) said: if you kill your child because of the fear that he/she will eat with you. Did he say: then which one? The prophet (SAW) said: and that is doing adultery with the wife of your neighbor. (Sunan Tirmidhi, #3183).

Of course, Zina or fornication is considered one of the biggest sins in Islam because it makes spiritual and inner turbulence in society and leads to uncertainty. It leads to the disarrangement of family life, many inner and physical diseases, and a lack of love and mercy between males and females. But according to the Quran, the bilateral love and mercy between wife and husband are one of Allah’s gifts and bounty gave to mankind. As the almighty Allah says: He (Allah) is the one who created you from one soul and then from this soul, created his wife so that he gets comfortable with her. (Quran, chapter 7, verse 189).


Robbery or stealing is also one of the major sins in Islam. In contrast to the Zina or fornication that spreads spiritual and inner calamity in society, robbery causes uncertainty about one’s wealth and leads to an unsecured condition. Therefore, Allah (SWT) has promised a painful punishment in Akhirah and has elected a tough one in this world, too for those who rob.

Allah (SWT) says in the glorious Quran: “And the thief man and thief woman so cut off their hands for the punishment of what they have done.” (Quran, chapter 5, verse 38). So, according to this verse of the Quran, the Islamic state has to cut off one hand of anyone who commits robbery. Because a hand that involves in committing such a filthy and evil act remains no more of human value and should no more be respected as a part of the human body.

Looking at such a harsh punishment for the robbers in this world, we can imagine how painful and tough a time he/she will have in the next world. May Allah (SWT) protect us from such an evil and bad deed. But one should not consider this punishment for the thieves as a cruel or brutal one, as this is a common idea in all non-Islamic and Western countries. Indeed, as mentioned above, a hand remains no more of value to humankind once it is stained with an anti-humanity act. And of course, this is the best way to resist robbery in a society.

This was the punishment for one who commits robbery in this world. And about the torment of Akhirah, so as narrated above, the prophet of Allah (SWT) says that a person no longer remains a believer while committing stealing. In another hadith reported from Hazrat Omer ibn Khattab, he says that on the day of the battle of Khaiber, people were talking about fighters of the battle that so and so are martyrs today, until they named a person and said that he was also martyred today. But the prophet of Allah (SAW) said: no never, indeed, I saw him in the hellfire because of a garment or cloak that he stole from the booty.” (Sahih Muslim, #309). Also, in another hadith, the Prophet (SAW) says: “curse be up on the thief. He/she steals an egg (abominable thing), so his/her hand is cut off.” (Sahih Muslim, #4402).

Having Alcoholic Beverages or Food

Having alcoholic beverages is also one of the evil deeds that lead to several other sins and crimes in society. Since, it is something that covers the intellects of a human, and after which, he/she can’t distinguish bad from good and fair from evil. As a result, the person falls into a chain of crimes, thus, violating the social order of the community.

Allah (SWT) says in his book: “O you who believe! Verily, the wine, gambling, idle and divining arrows are filthy deeds by the devil. So refrain (from them) so that you may succeed.” (Quran, chapter 5, verse 90). As a result, according to this verse, all types of alcoholic ingredients are prohibited for Muslims. Then no matter if they are solved in any food, beverages, or gases (smokes). Having any type of materials that include a higher or lesser portion of alcohol would be considered haram and a serious sin in Islam.

However, according to the scholar, if the alcoholic ingredients have gone through a chemical process or reaction, and which as a result, no more contain the characteristics of intoxicating, then it won’t come under the category of wine.


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