Sin and its Consequences

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In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Brothers and sisters, let us consider sin. Sin is something which about as old as mankind. Every human being with an undistorted natural disposition and clear heart should intuitively perceive certain things as absolutely reprehensible and wrong. In this connection, Abu Mas`ud `Uqbah ibn `Amr al- Ansari has reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said,
"Among those things that people realized from the speech of the first prophethood is, 'When you feel no shame, do as you please.'"{Bukhari.}
Malik ibn Dinar said,
"In the past, a young man committed a sin, and then came to a river to perform ghusl. Then, he remembered his sin and stopped, ashamed, and turned back, The river called out, 'O disobedient one! Had you come near, I would have drowned you!."

There are other things which are commanded or prohibited by Allah and His Messenger, but in which the wisdom or exact significance of the commands or prohibitions is not always obvious. However, even in these cases, the rational person, who has recognized the truth of Allah's religion, will see it as imperative to put these into practice, for he knows his Lord is the All-Wise Who knows what is best for mankind.

"There has succeeded them [i.e. the prophets and those who abided by their teachings] a generation which has forfeited its salah and followed lusts, and so they shall meet destruction - except those who repent, and believe and do goof deeds, for such shall enter Heaven, and they will not be wronged at all. The Gardens of Heaven, which the most gracious has promised those who worship Him unseen. Indeed, His promise shall come to pass. They hear therein no idleness, only peace. And they shall have their sustenance therein in, day and night. That is the Garden which We shall make the inheritance of those among our servants who were pious."{Qur'an [19:59-63].}

Allah is telling us that there generations of prophets and their pious followers have now been succeeded by new generations. These people indulge in worldl lusts and pleasures; they are satisfied and contented merely with the life of this world, and so they shall meet destruction on the Day of Judgement.

Another characteristic of these people is that they have forfeited their salah, and commentators have given various interpretatiosn of this. Imam Tabari has preferred the view that it means that they have abandoned salah totally, and in the same vein, some scholars, such as Imam Ahmad, have considered that one who abandons salah becomes kafir, for the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has also said,
"The covenant which [differentiates] between us and them [the disbelievers/hypocrites] is salah, so whoever abandons it has committed kufr."
Imam Awza`i preferred the view of Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him), saying that this verse refers only to those who miss the correct time, for if they abandoned salah totally, that would be kufr (rather than just any other sin). Masruq (may Allah be pleased with him) said,
"None shall take care of the five prayers and then be recorded amon gthe neglectful,a nd in their neglect lies destruction, and neglecting them is delaying them from their time."

Mujahid (may Allah be pleased with him) said that these new generations are amongst this ummah; they will fornicate on the streets like cattle and donkeys, neither fearing Allah from the Heavens, norfeeling ashamed from people on the earth.
Ka`b al-Ahbar said,
"By Allah! I surely see the chacratceristics of the hypocrites in the Book of Allah : Drinking coffee, abandoning prayers, playing dice, sleeping without offering the night prayers, neglecting the morning prayers, abandoning the congregations." Then he recited the verse [19:59].

Abul-Ashhab said,
"Allah inspired David (peace be upon him) [saying],
'O David! Caution and warn your companions from engaging in lusts, for the minds of those [whose] hearts are attached to the lusts of the world are veiled. And, the mildest [thing] that I do to one of My servants, when he prefers one of his lusts is that I deprive him of obedience to Me.'"

Nu`man ibn Bashir has reported : the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said,
"Verily, every king has his {\it hima} (area which is off- bounds), and Allah's {\it hima} is that which he has prohibited."{Bukhair and Muslim.}

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also told us that, "Indeed, Allah has made [certain] duties obligatory, so do not give them up; He has set down [cerain] limits, so do not transgress them; He has forbidden [certain] things, so do not indulge in them, and He has remained silent about [certain] things, out of mercy and not out of forgetfulness, so do not seek after them."

Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), "Which hijrah (avoidance) is best?" He replied, "Avoiding that which Allah has prohibited to you."

The consequences of sin appear in this world as well as in the Hereafter. Sins are to our own detriment, so if we feel pleasure in some sin, let us consider : how can we prosper if we love soemthing which harms us? Also, remember : the pleasure of sin is feleeting and temporary, while its punishmnet and evil consequences persist.
In the hadith, "Indeed, the good deed has a light in the heart, a beauty on the face, and a vigor in action. And, indeed, the evil deed has a blackness in the heart, a feebleness in action, and a blemish on the face."

`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) wrote in a letter to Mu`awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him),
"When a servant does a deed of disobedience of Allah, those people who used to praise him will censure him."

Wahb (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Allah said to the Children of Israel, "Indeed, when I am obeyed, I am pleased; when I am pleased, I bless, and My blessing has no limit. And, when I am disobeyed, I am angry; when I am angry, I curse, and My curse reaches to the seventh generation."

`Abdullah ibn al-Sindi said,
"Never does a servant disobey Allah except that Allah, the Posessor of Blessings, the Exalted, disgraces him."

Muharib ibn Daththar said,
"A man commits a sin, and then finds feebleness in his heart on account of it."

`Umar ibn `Abdil-`Aziz used to say in his khutbah,
"Indeed, the most excellent worship is fulfillment of the obligations (fara'id) and shunning the prohibited things."

We are all aware of the seriousness of disobeying Allah, but sometimes we will deceive ourselves, thinking, 'this is only a small sin.' Beware! Look at whom you are disboeying, rather than the size of the sin. Al-Fadl said,
"The smaller a sin is in your eyes, the more serious it is before Allah, and the more serious it is in your eyes, the less it is before Allah."

If you think that you will repent later, then take heed of the advice of Hasan Basri, who said,
"O Son of Adam! Abandoning a sin is easier than seeking forgiveness."

Some may think that the good deeds which they do will obliterate their sins, and therefore they continue sinning indiscriminately. This attitude is unwise. Someone said to Sa`id ibn al- Musayyib,
I have not seen anyone beter in `ibadah than the youths in this mosque. They come out in the midday heat, and reamin standing in prayer until `Asr."
Ibn al-Musayyib responded,
"We used not to consider this to be `ibadah."
The man asked,
"O Abu Muhammad! What is `ibadah then?"
he said,
"Reflecting over Allah's decree, and abstaining from that which Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic has prohibited."
Sahl said,
"The righteous as well as the wicked do [good] deeds, but only the sincere one avoids sins."

Besides, even if you do obtain forgiveness for your sin later, you will not be able to get the rewards for the good deeds which you missed out on doing. Also, you rvery sin may deprive you of the oppportunity to do good deeds. Bishr said,
"A servant commits a sin, and is deprive [thereby] of performing tahajjud."
Also, as time proceeds, you may feel less and less guilt for your sin, especially if Allah holds back on punishin gyou - you may delude yourself into thinking that Allah has forgiven you already, since he is giving you prosperity and well-being. Beware, brothers and sisters! The evil consequences of your sins will catch up with you if you do not repent! If some misfortune befalls you, try to think of a sin which you have committed which might have brought this upon you. If no misfortune comes, still, do not delay repenting, for it may come in the future. It has been reported that a pious man once lost his memorization of the Qur'an on account of a sin he had committed forty years previously.

Moreover, realize that if you continue to sin and distance yourself from obedience to Allah, you run the risk of being deprived of Allah's guidance.
"Relate to them the story of he to whom We gave Our signs, but he extricated himself from them, so that Satan caused him to follow him, and he thus became one of he deluded. And, had We willed, We would have elevated him thereby, but he clung to the earth and followed his desires. His likeness is therefore the likeness of the dog - if you provoke it, it lolls out its tongue, and if you avoid it, it [still] lolls out its tongue. That is the likeness of the people who deny Our signs, so relate the account in order that they might reflect. Evil is the likeness of those who deny Our signs and wrong their own selves."
"I shall turn away from My signs those who are haughty on the earth without right, [who], [even] if they see every sign, they will not believe in it, and if they see the way of guidance, will not take it as a way, while if they see the way of destruction, they take it as a way. That is because they denied our signs and were unmindful of them."

So, what is the fate in the Hereafter of these people, who are subordinate to their lusts, and who miss their prayers? They shall meet ghayy. Ibn `Abbas said it means they shall meet destruction, Qatadah said 'evil'. Ibn Mas`ud said that Ghayy is in fact a deep, foul-tasting valley in Hell. Abu `Iyad said it is a valley of blood and pus in Hell. Therefore, save yourselves, brothers and sisters. Repent from purusing your lusts and missing obligatory prayers, for Allah accepts sincere repentance, and improves the condition of the repenter, cleanses him of his sin and makes him one of the heirs of Heaven. "They shall enter Heaven, and they will not be wronged at all." Of course, Allah does not wrong anybody.
"Allah does not wrong mankind at all, but people wrong their own selves."
By disobeying Allah, you are wronging yourself, and making yourself deserving of punishment. Therefore, you must repent, for it is reported in the hadith that,
"He who repents from sin is like he who has no sin [at all]."{Ibn Majah and Hakim Tirmidhi.}

Abu Hurayrah narrated : the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "You Lord, the Mighty, the Majestic, said,
'If only My servants obeyed me, I would provide them with rain by night, and cause the sun to shine upon them by day, and I would not make them hear the sound of thunder."

So, brothers and sisters, I urge you, as well as myself, to repent withotu delay, and to sumbit to your Lord in total submission.
"And hasten toward forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden whose expanse is [like] the heavens and the earth, and which has been prepared for the pious."

Article taken (with Thanks) from Suheil Laher



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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .