The Most Major Sin In Islam


    Major sins are defined as what is forbidden by Allah and His Messenger 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,
    {If ye (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, we shall remit your evil deeds, and admit you to a gate of great honour.} (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, {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 (pbuh) 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.”1 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 (pbuh) saying, “Avoid the seven heinous sins: Worshipping others with Allah, sorcery, taking a life which Allah has made 1 Reported by Muslim, TirmijJhi, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ahmed. 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.” 1
    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 (pbuh) is called a major sin. We have to bear in mind that some major sins are most heinous than another.

    This is because the Prophet (pbuh) 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, {Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him, but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins
    than .} (An-Nisa:116)

    1 Reported by Bukhari and Muslim.

    1) Ascribing Associates To Allah, the Most High (Shirk)
    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, {Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this; one who joins other gods with Allah hath strayed far, far away (from the right).} (An-Nisa:l16)

    {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 (pbuh) 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.”1

    “Avoid the seven heinous sins.”2 and he mentioned ascribing associates to Allah. “Kill whoever converted his religion (Islam).” 3

    b) Ostentation
    Allah, the Most High, says, {Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteous, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one
    as partner.} (AL-Kahf:llO) i.e., does not show off in good works

    1 Reponed by Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi.
    2 Reponed before.
    3 Reponed by Bukhari, Ahmed, Ibn Hibban, An-Nasa’i and Abu Ya’la.
    “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. .” 1

    The Prophet (pbuh) 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.”2 The Prophet (pbuh) 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.”3

    The Prophet (pbuh) 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,

    {And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in this life), and We shall make such deed as floating dust scattered about.} (AI-Furqan:23)
    The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “On the Day of Judgment some groups of people will be brought near Paradise. Having smelt its fragrance, and seen palaces and blessings therein, they will hear a call saying “Take them away, it is not for them.” Accordingly, they return so sorrowful that no one could have such feeling.

    They will call upon Allah, “0 Lord were we entered into the Hell-Fire before seeing what You have prepared for Your Friends, it would have been better.” Then Allah will say, ” That is what I want. When you were alone you defied Me with grievous sins, but when you meet people you showed off in good works, You only respected people not Me, You only refrain (from things) for their sake. Hence, today, I will severely torment you in addition to depriving you from My bountiful reward.” 4

    It was related that a man asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) “How can I be redeemed?” The Prophet 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
    1 Reported by Ahmad.
    2 Reported by Muslim. It’s a Qudsi Hadith.
    3 Reported by A1-Bukhari.
    4 Mentioned by A1-Siuti in “AI Laiali AI-Masnu’ah” who related that Ibn Hibban said that it is false and has no reference. 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?” 1

    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. O Allah! Let us be away from them and forgive us.

    1 Reported by AI-Zubaidi in lthaf