“Righteousness is good morality and sin is that which causes discomfort (or pinches) within your soul and which you dislike people to become informed of.” [Sahih Muslim]
Sin is that aspect in a Muslim’s life in which he or she makes effort to abstain from at all costs. Allah warns all of mankind that everything mankind does in this world will be put before us on Yawmul-Qiyaama (The Day of Resurrection) in Surah al-Zilzal:
“And he who does an atom’s weight of good will see it. And he who does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” [Holy Qur’an, 99:7-8]
Allah also warns mankind that the one whose bad deeds (sins) are heavy will be in Hell, as can be found in Surah al-Qari’ah. A Muslim’s strife is to live the life of a believer and separate from the likeness of the sinner, as Allah differentiates the Mu’min (believer) from the fasiq (sinner) in Surah As-Sajdah:
“Is he who is a believer like unto him who is a sinner? They are not alike! For those who believe and do righteous works, for them are Gardens of Retreat, a welcome (in reward) for what works they did. And as for those who do evil, their abode is the Fire. Whenever they wish to leave, they will be forced back into it, and it will be said to them: Taste the torment of the Fire which you used to reject.” [Holy Qur’an, 32:18-20]
It is clear that one must steer away from sin and do righteous acts. However uncertainty arises in the mind when referring to the subject of sin such as;
1.) The difference between a sin and a mistake, 2.) Shaytaan’s (Satan) role in the commission of a sin, 3.) If one becomes removed from Islam due to committing a sin, and 4.) The major sins.
The purpose of this essay is to provide concise answers to such inquiries, inSha’Allah.
Question: What is the difference between sin and mistakes? What role does Shaytaan, the accursed one, play in sin?
Fault means any action that takes place unintentionally and sin is with intention.
For example, Shaytaan put such ideas into the heart of Hazrat Adam (a.s.) to approach the tree. Adam did it and as a result, Allah sent him to the earth. Similarly, Hazrat Yunus (Jonah) committed a fault and he adopted that way prohibited to him according to the instruction of Allah. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that it was Shaytaan who put the idea into Hazrat Adam and Hazrat Yunus (a.s.), so there is no doubt that Shaytaan can put these ideas into the hearts of the Nabiyeen to divert their attention from the right way. But the mistakes they commit are only according to the Hikmat of Allah. These mistakes are below the standards of the Nabiyeen, so we can not point it out that they took place according to the Order of Allah. We must say Shaytaan is responsible. All the good things take place from the Kindness of Allah while all of the bad things are due to Shaytaan. The awliya are not free from this was-wâs (evil whispers), but if this was-wâs happens to any wali, as soon as he realizes it, he busies himself in tawba (repentance). But on the other hand, the common people, when they commit a sin, they do not realize it and they do not feel guilty about it.
Sins are of three types:
In Hadith, Hazrat Anas (r.a.) narrated that Rasulullah (s.a.s.) said Shaytaan travels through the body like blood.
Explanation by Imam Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim: Allah gave full power to Shaytaan to put evil ideas into the hearts of men. If a man does not act upon these ideas, he has passed the worldly examination and will get a high place in Jinnah (Heaven). When we say that the Shaytaan travels through the body like blood, it means not physically but according to his evil ideas or thinking there are things that travel like the human blood.
In Hadith Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) related that the Nabi (s.a.s.) said:
“The was-wâs that enters the hearts of my ummah Allah has forgiven, as long as they don’t act upon or voice it.” [Imam Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim agree on it]
Tafsir (Commentary): Was-wâs is the bad intentions that enters one’s heart. And those good intentions that enter one’s heart is called ilham. The ilham won’t be accepted unless it is accordance with the Holy Qur’an and Hadith. Bad thoughts by a person that is not related to aqeeda (belief), and doesn’t act on them, for him is Maafoo (forgiveness). If vice versa is related to kufr (disbelief), then it will be kufr. And if related to dhal (straying away), then it will be dhalleen. For both of these situations, tawba is fardh (obligatory). If this intention is related to any actions and not aqa’id (belief), and he keeps this intention in his heart, then he is a sinner.
Question: Does the commission of sin remove one from Islam?
Hazrat Anas bin Malik relates Rasulullah said that three things form the foundation of Al-Islam.
Whosoever says Laa ilaaha illAllah, Muhammadur-Rasulullah (There is none worthy of worship, but Allah, Muhammad is His Messenger),
do not take him out of Al-Islam because he committed a sin. >From the time I was sent as Nabi, Jihad will continue until the last person of this ummah wages war against the dajjal, and
the rule of a tyrant and the justice of a just ruler can not abrogate this. To accept the taqdir of Allah.
Tafsir: Ahlus-Sunnah (The People of the Sunnah, or traditions & practice of the Holy Nabi Muhammad, may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him.) does not remove someone from Al-Islam because he committed a sin, but the Khariji say the person becomes a kafir (disbeliever). The Mu’tazila say the person will be out of Islam, but still be Muslim. If a person commits such an act which is a sign of kafir (wearing crosses, sajda to idols, etc.) then he will be out of Islam, but if someone says something that has one hundred meanings and ninety-nine are kafir and one is Islam, then we must take the one meaning unless he’s referring to any of the ninety-nine.
Question:What other kinds of sin are there, and how are they forgiven? Kabirat is that which Shari’ah has strictly forbidden. And the punishment for that in this dunya is haad or ta’zirat or the punishment will come in Akheel. Kabirat pertains to that which is not forgiven, until a person makes tawba (repentance). Gumara sajira, or it’s called tharaba sajira, is forgiven through practicing of good deeds. If one commits tharaba sajira continuously, it becomes tharaba kabira.
There are four kinds of tharuba (sins). That which will not be forgiven without tawba. Commission of this sin is like a kafir.
That sin which has a possibility of being forgiven by tawba or by good deeds. These are tharaba sagina.
Those sins for which tawba is necessary, but, if Allah wills, he can forgive without tawba. This is tharaba kabira, but it is tharab that transgress the rights of Allah.
4.)The tharab kabira that are connected to the rights of the society, other people. For forgiveness, it is necessary to make tawba and then restore the rights to that person and ask his forgiveness, and on conditions that he forgives you. This does not pertain exclusively to wealth. If one does not ask for forgiveness and is not forgiven, then on Yawmul-Qiyaama, the one whose rights have been transgressed will be given the good deeds of the transgressor as much as he pleases in accordance with justice. Or else the sins of the oppressed will be given to the transgressor according to justice. Allah may, of His own will, make the oppressed happy and show Mercy to the dhalameen (oppressor).
Hadith: Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrates that a person asked Rasulullah (s.a.s.),
“Ya Rasulullah, according to Allah, which is the greatest sin?”
Rasulullah (s.a.s.) answered, “To associate partners with Allah (known as shirk), while He has created you.”
Then he was asked, “Which is the biggest sin after that?”
And he (s.a.s.) said, “To kill your offspring because he will eat with you.”
Then he was asked “Which is the greatest after that,”
and he said, “To make zinna (fornication) with your neighbor’s wife.” As can be seen from the evidence provided, sin is a very major issue in the life of a Muslim. A Muslim strives to gain the pleasure of Allah and abstains from that which incurs the wrath of Allah. A Muslim begs Allah for His Guidance each and every time he or she performs Salaat (the ritual form of prayer a Muslim is commanded to perform five times a day), by reciting the last three ayats of Surah al-Fatiha (the opening Surah of the Holy Qur’an):
“(We beg of you to) Guide us in the Straight Path. The path of those whom You have favored. Not of those who have earned Your anger, and nor of those who have gone astray.”
Allah shows the Muslim the prayer for seeking His Guidance and avoiding His Wrath. The Mu’min is one who fully adheres to the Shari’ah and earns the Pleasure of Allah, thus steering away from sin at all costs. Al-Gawth Al-A’zam Shaykh Muhyyuddin ‘Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (r.a.) has given many discourses on securing this path, and in Futuh Al-Ghaib (The Revelations of the Unseen), he states in the very first discourse:
Three things are indispensable for a believer in all conditions of life:
should keep the Commandments of Allah;
should abstain from the haraam (forbidden); and
should be pleased with the decree of Providence.
Thus the least that is expected of a believer is that he should be without these three things. So it is meant that he should make up his mind for this and talk to himself about this and keep his organs engaged in this.
In conclusion, one sees that there exists a distinct difference between sin and mistakes. One should distinguish between the two and be aware of what his or her niyyat (intention) is before proceeding with an action. The Holy Last Messenger (s.a.s.);
“Actions are but by intentions and every man will have but that which he intended.” It is best that one proceeds with the intention of pleasing Allah, and doing an action for Allah’s sake. Major sins are those sins in which a Muslim would never imagine of doing under any circumstances, but if committed, tawba would be performed immediately. One’s sins do not remove him or her from Islam unless he or she commits an act of kafir, unless their belief removes one from Islam.
Allah says: “If I were to punish everyone for their sins, then NOTHING would remain in existence.” The worst sin anyone could ever commit is to ascribe partners with Allah, and this is known as shirk.
The evil which man does is either by his nafs (the unruly self which causes man to act irreligiously and cause his own harm) or Shaytaan. Allah is not happy with evil or bad deeds, and good deeds make Allah happy. And good is done by the help of Allah, but Allah only helps who desires good and puts forth effort. May Allah guide us all and forgive the sins of the past and the present and protect us from future sins. Aameen!
Halaal & Haraam:
how conscious are we? Carelessness in the consumption of Doubtful or Haraam edibles is a sure sign of ‘diseased’ Imaan. If this state of heedlessness about what is consumed continues, the day dawns in a person's life when halaal/haraam is eventually regarded as a trivial matter, causing Imaan to ‘choke out’ and die. Judging from the increasing number of Muslims eating out at franchised and other food outlets, it seems this trend is growing fast among Muslims these days.
PEOPLE IN THE PAST EDUCATED THEIR CHILDREN
In the past, people may not have been very learned or ‘enlightened’ as they appear to be now, but they were very conscious of the issue of Halaal/Haraam. Extreme care was exercised in this matter. Even young children were drilled into observing this Islamic teaching, which had a lasting impression on their minds and hearts.
HEARTS HAVE BECOME DESENSITIZED; WHY?
Haraam is becoming so common and rife, people are hardly shocked or perturbed when something is discovered or shown up as being Haraam, even though they may have been consuming such an item for a long time. Hardly an eyelid is bat. No remorse or even a pang of guilt crosses the heart. This is a clear sign of a desensitized heart. Why is it that people have become so careless regarding Haraam?
HARAAM IS VERY MUCH LIKE POISON
Part of the answer may be found in a widespread attitude, a terrible misconception, that prevails. It is felt that so long as a person is unaware of a thing being Haraam, his consumption of that item will not cause harm to him. This is totally incorrect. The effects of Haraam are felt, whether consumed knowingly or unknowingly. It is much like eating poison. Only a fool will believe that absence of knowledge of a poisonous substance will negate the effect of the poison. Poison is poison and will remain so, irrespective of knowledge or ignorance regarding its effects. Poison will do its work. It will kill or cause serious harm. Haraam edibles are the same. They kill the consumer spiritually or cause serious spiritual damage.
It is in view of this fact that Islam has always emphasised great precaution with regard to whatever is consumed. Nothing is to be consumed without carefully studying its source and ingredients. Although manufacturers are compelled by law in most countries to reveal the ingredients of processed foods, they are yet able to cleverly camouflage the actual thing under the guise tongue-twisting scientific jargon and terminology. The unsuspecting Muslim consumer, blissfully unaware of this, consumes the item, which may contain a Haraam ingredient such as lard or certain emulsifiers with great relish and abandon, little realising the harm that he is doing to himself.
HARAAM IS HARMFUL
Haraam is extremely harmful for mankind, both spiritually and physically. Allah Ta'ala, out of His infinite Kindness and Mercy for His believing servants, prohibited the intake of Haraam because of its terrible effects on the body and soul of man. Haraam is polluted and contaminated. It breeds in dirt and filth. Its composition is mainly of filth. This causes serious harm and damage to the organs, tissues and other parts of the body. The health of a person is eventually eroded and debilitating illnesses set in. The body is then subjected to much torment, pain, suffering and agony. The resultant mental trauma is an added source of anguish.
The loss of health and the setting in of disease is a calamity in today’s world in yet another sense; it is very expensive to fall ill in today's world. Medical costs are exorbitant and prohibitive. This is a harrowing issue in its own right. If a person is not killed by the disease itself, the shock of the medical bill is likely to complete the job!
ABSTENTION IS THE WAY OF A SENSIBLE PERSON
In view of all of this, it is much wiser to exercise a little restraint and abstain from Haraam and doubtful edibles and save oneself from many physical and spiritual disasters in the process. On the other hand, a careless attitude in this matter, eating merrily without a care, will manifest its consequences, sooner or later. It will finally cost a person, dearly. An intelligent and sensible person will opt for an attitude of precaution and abstention when necessary. Curbing the desires of the heart and the inordinate cravings of the stomach is the hallmark of an intelligent person and the way of pious Muslims.
Among the long list of doubtful and Haraam foods prevalent these days, meat products top the list. Meat stuff, in a variety of forms, are being prepared and sold at franchised outlets all over, under the guise of "Halaal". Dubious halaal certificates are waved in the faces of unwary, gullible or downright indifferent Muslim patrons. The Muslim patrons are more than happy at this dubious assurance and buy and eat unhesitatingly. Worse still, even their wives and innocent children are exposed to this. Such a practice augers ill for the future of the Muslim Ummah.
THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE UMMAH
It is high time that Muslims make an about turn in their attitude towards Haraam/Halaal. They need to become more vigilant; make a thorough investigation first before buying (or selling). If in doubt, the golden rule is ABSTAIN! Muslims must also attempt to produce their own sources of Halaal in the food processing industry. In this way, we could be assured of the validity of our edibles. It is time that conscientious and reliable Muslim entrepreneurs (not profit-greedy opportunists) looked at the prospect of establishing abattoirs, food processing and other related industries. May Allah Ta'ala cause this to happen in all Muslim communities throughout the world.
THE QURAN AND HADITH ABOUT HALAL & HARAM IN FOOD TRANSLATED VERSES OF THE QURAN
“O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom ye worship” (2:172).
“He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (2:173).
“O ye who believe! Fulfill your undertakings.The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced unto you (herein), game being unlawful when ye are on pilgrimage. Lo! Allah ordaineth that which pleaseth Him” (5:1)
“Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swine-flesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which hath been immolated unto idols.
And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you and have chosen for you as religion Al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (5:3)
“They ask thee (O Muhammad) what is made lawful for them. Say: (all) good things are made lawful for you. And those beasts and birds of prey which ye have trained as hounds are trained, ye teach them that which Allah taught you; so eat of that which they catch for you and mention Allah’s name upon it, and observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is swift to take account” (5:4)
“This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and liven with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter” (5:5).
“And eat not of that whereon Allah’s name hath not been mentioned, for lo! it is abomination. Lo! the devils do inspire their minions to dispute with you. But if ye obey them, ye will be in truth idolaters” (6:121).
FROM THE HADITH
-On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Allah the Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good. Allah has commanded the Faithful to do that which He commanded the Messengers, and the Almighty has said: “O ye Messengers! Eat of the good things, and do right..” (Quran 23:51). And Allah the Almighty has said: “O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you..” (2:172). Then he mentioned [the case of] a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty and who spreads out his hands to the sky [saying]:O Lord! O Lord!-while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully, so how can he be answered!” (Muslim).
-On the authority of Abu Ya’la Shahddad ibn Aus, the Messenger of Allah said: “Verily Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters” (Muslim).
-In an incident narrated by Rafi’ bin Khadij, the Prophet told Muslims who wanted to slaughter some animals using reeds, “Use whatever causes blood to flow, and eat the animals if the Name of Allah has been mentioned on slaughtering them...” (Bukhari).
-Narrated Abu Thalaba: Allah’s Messenger forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs (Bukhari).
-Narrated Ibn Umar: The Prophet cursed the one who did Muthla to an animal (i.e. cut its limbs or some other part of its body while it is still alive (Bukhari).
In the name of ALLAH,
the Beneficent, the Merciful IT MAY BE ZABIHA, BUT IS IT HALAL? DEAR BROTHER AND SISTERS IN ISLAM Before you sink your teeth into the next Zabiha slaughtered meat product, ask yourself:
Is it Halal?
This is a question most Muslims don’t think to ask. The issue of Halal meat has been a bone of contention amongst the Muslim communities in UK. Some Muslims argue that the meat of the Jews and Christians is Halal for Muslims. Others say the meat must be slaughtered according to Islamic rites for it to be fit for Muslim consumption.
As a Muslim, we must try our utmost to practice Islam in its entirety. Islam has given injunctions to eat Halal/Zabiha according to Islamic dietary laws- meaning eating the meat slaughtered by a Muslim according to the Islamic mode of slaughtering. Meat available in supermarkets and fast food restaurants is not slaughtered according to the Islamic method of slaughtering (Zabiha). Those who eat the regular meat at in those restaurants argue that it is permissible because it is the food of the people of the book (namely Jews and Christians). As a matter of fact there is so much of a controversy about the regular meat of the supermarket as to whether it can be considered as the food of the people of
The book or not.
Allah, with His immense mercy, did provide a provision to eat the food of the people of the book. But it is an exception to the rule. Halal/Zabiha meat slaughtered by a Muslim is the meat we as a practicing Muslim eat all the time. In case of absolute emergency and necessity (meaning non-availability of the Halal/Zabiha meat for this emergency and necessity), one may partake the food of the people of the book. When the Halal/Zabiha meat is available so abundantly, why should one indulge in something, which is controversial? Does a Muslim have to whet his/her appetite with something controversial/ doubtful when there is Halal/Zabiha available? Is eating in the fast food restaurant that important? Halal/Zabiha is the Muslim identity. Is it worth loosing this identity by succumbing to our appetite for eating regular meat? While we cannot say that the regular meat is Haram, yet it certainly cannot be said that it is the best choice for a practicing Muslim. Be proud of our identity and maintain it by eating only Halal/ Zabiha slaughtered by Muslims according to the Islamic method of slaughtering. It is closer to piety But what’s often ignored is that regardless of whether you choose to eat Zabiha or not, the meat of the animal itself may not be Halal. Mechanical slaughter is of three types:
Chickens are transported to the place of slaughter through a conveyer belt and are manually slaughtered. If there is certainty that the chicken is alive and the Muslim slaughterer recites the name of Allah upon slaughtering, then the chicken is Halaal. In this case, only the transportation is mechanical but the slaughtering is manual. This procedure is unanimously permissible and recommended.
Chickens are transported by means of the conveyer belt to the mechanical slaughter blade. Once the mechanical plant comes into operation, the blade also comes into operation and cuts the chicken. This procedure is not permissible. It does not matter if the plant and the blades are controlled together or separately.
The chickens are transported by means of the conveyer belt to many slaughter blades and a Muslim who recites the name of Allah upon affecting the mechanical slaughter controls every blade separately. This procedure conforms to the principles of Sharée Zabh set out by the Fuqahaa. According to our knowledge, such a procedure does not yet exist.
THE USE OF ELECTRIC SHOCK ON ANIMALS
With regards to meat that is not slaughtered according to Islamic rites, it is not Halal because of the effect electric shock (stunning) on blood drainage. In regular meat slaughterhouses, animals are brought into an alley and given an electric shock (stunned) before Dhabh (slaughtering) to the head to make them unconscious. The animal’s legs are then tied up and it is hung upside down. A knife is put to its neck, and then it is slaughtered. The animal is then temporarily left alone to allow the blood to drain from its body. From there, the meat is processed. But using electric shock (stunning), means that all of the animal’s blood does not leave its body, because electric shock (stunning) affects the central nervous system and as many of the animal are die from effect of stunning. On the contrary, if an animal is slaughtered in accordance with Islamic guidelines, the central nervous system works properly, and the entire animal’s blood comes out. Remaining blood in the animal is a source of fermentation and destruction of meat quality. This means bacteria can grow easily on the meat. From an Islamic perspective, it is Haram to eat meat-containing blood, and dead animal as it is clearly stated in the Qur’an that Muslims cannot consume blood.