Now we find out that we’ve committed many major and minor sins. So much so, in fact, that we can’t even recall all of them..!
What can we do about it now?
The Kaba’ir (major sins) are expiated through lots of taubah – seeking forgiveness – and that too in the correct manner:
1) Realising your mistake
2) Repenting by words
3) Not repeating the deed
4) Going in the complete opposite direction of your wrong actions
“Oh Allah, I take refuge in You lest I should commit shirk with You knowingly and I seek Your forgiveness for what I do unknowingly” [Fortress of the Muslim]
“And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, and who can forgive sins except Allah?” (3:135)
Depending on the sin itself, there might be fidya that needs to be paid for it, or kafarah to expiate it, but a lot of good deeds wipe out the bad. Which is something most of us get stuck in. We get so worried thinking about all the sins we have committed because we don’t know what to do with them, that we forget that it’s all about the now and how can I change it.
Which brings me to a very interesting piece by Ibn Qayyim rahimuhullah:
10 things we waste:
1) Knowledge – by not acting upon it
2) Deeds – by not doing it with sincerity
3) Wealth – by spending it on things that don’t bring reward. We forget that we’ll be questioned for it all
4) Our hearts – because they are empty of the Love if Allah (swt)
5) Our bodies – because we don’t use it in enough ‘ibadah
6) Our love – because it is not directed to The Creator but the creation
7) Time – because it hasn’t been used wisely to compensate for what has passed by – all the Kaba’ir and Sagha’ir (minor sins)
8) Intelligence – because we use it so extensively on things that are not beneficial
9) Services – because we give so much importance to serving the creation rather than the Creator, and it does not bring us closer to Allah (swt)
10) Dhikr – because it runs on our tongues but does not affect our hearts
This puts things in a very different perspective. We see the things that have become a part of our daily life, Alhamdulillah, but so much so that not much thought goes into the process anymore.
We see the importance of intention and ikhlas – sincerity.
Continuing with the theme, also by Ibn Qayyim was:
The effects of sin on a person:
1) Allah (swt) deprives you of ‘ilm – ‘Ilm is a light from Allah. If we continuously sin, we could be physically present at a class or lecture but He (swt) takes away the tawfeeq from our heart so that nothing will penetrate through and we get nothing from it. If you have ever felt like this, try to identify the sin and seek forgiveness for it.
2) Deprivation of rizq – Rizq is not just money and a job. It could be any kind of provision that comes your way, be it a proposal that seems just perfect but cannot go through because something seems to be blocking it. Seek istighfar.
3) A person is alienated from his Lord – Truly the worst punishment is the fact that sins cut the connection between a servant and his Rabb. Not being able to connect to Allah is a major loss in itself.
4) Forgetfulness – One of the biggest problems with the generations now is the lack of memory power that our grand- and great-grand mothers, etc seemed to have. The increase in sinning is what brings this about. The biggest tip for memorising Qur’an or gaining knowledge is to stay away from sins, as advised by Imam Shafi. ‘Ilm of the deen and the wrong pleasures of the dunya cannot go hand in hand. We cannot have both of it. Giving up what our nafs so badly wants will obviously be hard, but the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The heart of a believer lies between two fingers of the Merciful”[Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]..
Ask Allah and He will make it easy, InshaAllah.
5) Don’t feel like doing ‘ibadah – This is again the result of sinning.
6) Sins breed sins – This is a rule that I’m sure everyone knows. Doing something wrong in the first place, then lying to deny the fact that you did it, and accusing someone else to cover it up.. It is a chain that keeps going.
7) It weakens the person’s willpower – The lesser the sins, the stronger the eman and the stronger the resistance to temptations. The more the sins, the weaker the eman and the harder it is to resist sinning – a continuous cycle.
8) It desensitises a person- Even though a sin might initially seem like a big deal, continuous exposure to it makes one so numb to the fact that it is a sin that it becomes the norm and isn’t even considered as wrong anymore. This is so so dangerous because this can only lead to more sins, unless one is saved from it by the Grace of Allah.
9) Every sin leaves a black mark on the heart – All these individual black dots keep adding up until it consumes the whole heart, and the heart spiritually dies – it doesn’t feel anything deen related and has no connection to Allah (swt).
While all this is indeed a hard hit and a bit much to take in and makes you think and look deeper, fear not, all is not doom and gloom! Here are ways, or deeds, that get you multiple rewards!
It is important to remember that Allah (swt) is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. He loves that we turn to Him in repentance.
“All of the children of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who repent” [Sahih ul-Jami]
The realisation of where we stand in these terms should move us towards doing more good, to balancing ourselves with the Fear of Allah and the Hope of His Reward and Mercy. After all, He (swt) did write above His Throne, “Indeed My Mercy overcomes My Wrath” [Bukhari]
“And you all ask Allah from His Bounty. Surely Allah is All-Aware of everything.” (4:32)