Minor sins Vs Major Sins.
As it stands, the major sins are major because to transgress them are an affront to civil liberties, logic and divine law. With it carrying severe punishments both in this world and the next. The minor sins are on the other hand, extend to the trivial (in the eyes if many) slip-ups we make on a daily basis. It is my belief that, in many respects, minor sins play a greater role in the destruction of a person than the major sins. All Muslims are aware of the severities of transgressing the boundaries of the majors’. Hence in foresight generally the masses avoid at all cost to intentionally fall into its trappings. Those who find themselves in difficult situations with major sins. Usually repent from their misguided ways and hardly then descend down the slippery slopes of rebellion. Whereas with minor sins, we for the most part do not consider its consequences and the growing pattern of rebelliousness in the sight of Allah and the angels.
Minor sins are almost always undetectable. A person may in fact lead his entire life in complete oblivion and not know of his repeated acts of crime. A disease which lays dormant until the last-minute only to surface and cause significant discomfort, harm and difficulties to the person.
Minor sins eat away at our iman without us knowing it for the most part of our lives. Almost as like a flesh-eating infection which causes a person no harm save at the very last-minute. When we realise our limbs have become immobile and causes us immense pain and delirium. It was a torture technique used by the Japanese, or as the American populace would call them ‘the japs’ during the war. In which they would tie down a prisoner of war under a water tap. Which, at the hour, a single drop of water would hit the forehead of the prisoner. This form of torture, at first seemed harmless. But when the prisoners were subjected to it for long periods of time. Sometimes days if not hours. They would go insane and lose the sense of reality. Often times turning in and out of a delusional state. A simple and seemingly harmless form of interrogation caused so much harm. Which more ‘apparently’ severe torture techniques would not achieve. Many of the American soldiers captured by the Japanese during the Great War, would break under the pressure and confess to any crime. Simply to avoid such horrors. Yet, the water interrogation as some would call it, involved no beatings, striping or clear ‘torture’ as we knew it. Something simple, yet so powerful.
Similarly, minor sins are of this type. It causes us great pain when we least expect it to. Many of us, lead our lives hardly giving it a second thought. But, when times calls it in, we receive a big shock, to put it mildly. Human beings have always taken the notion of sins lightly. Always seen it as a natural cause of events. That, in due course of life, we are bound to break a few rules here and there. To consider the re-precautions of committing a minor sin, is almost none existent! For the most part, minor sins easily become habitual sins. Over time then this becomes a habit more than a sin in our eyes. We lose the sense of shame and regret we had originally and become somewhat remote to the religious sentiments of our habitual acts. For example, a person who looks at the naked images of a women or a man will, for the first few occasions feel regret and remorse. Eventually as a result repent on every occasion he or she transgresses the laws of God. However, when this act then becomes an habitual act. Continually viewing porn or anything similar. The sense of shame and remorse no longer exists in his mind. It can be said Allah leaves him to himself. Only to continue to build his bridge to hell!
The mashaykh have taught us, the destruction of a Muslim begins with a single thought. Which he takes up over time and waters it to grow into an indestructible force in his life. This thought is when he thinks, ‘I am okay. As a practicing Muslim. There are no immediate threats to me. Either from my ego or the devil. Threats which will cause me to rebel towards Allah, or to even become an habitual sinner’. The mashaykh say, when a person thinks this and he entertains this idea. He should get ready for his destruction. When this begins to fester in his mind and grow, he then begins to see condescendingly towards other less ‘pious’ Muslims (in his eyes). Being sympathetic towards them for their evil state. Being content with ones piety is the cause for many spiritual diseases like arrogance and pride to grow. In fact it gives birth to many new diseases, like conceit, and self-likeness. Although Syyiduna Umar (R) was a guaranteed person of paradise, he lived his life as if he were an habitual sinner. In every turn to his life he would turn to Allah in forgiveness. The MBC series on his life clearly and very eloquently demonstrates this. We should try to lead our lives like him. Our biggest threat is not the major sins, but the minor sins we commit almost daily. As if enjoying a regular evening of sports! Some of us knowing it to be a sin, do it regardless.
It was the prophet (saw) who said,
‘A person would do an insignificant act giving it no importance or significance. But, this becomes his means to enter hell. Yet, another may do an insignificant act of piety which becomes his means to enter Jannah’. (Paraphrased)
This goes to show how Allah (swt) does not think like us. Many of us think ‘as long as we avoid the major sins, in the long run we will be okay. Allah will over look our habitual sins’. Yes, Allah can overlook. But this is only for unintentional sins and not purposeful intentional sins! Allah is not like his creation as this Hadith indicates. Something which we may consider insignificant may be the cause for our downfall. Like the devil himself, he thought, not bowing to Adam (as) will not be much of a harm to anyone let alone himself. But, this was the cause for him to become ‘The Satan’!
It is a lesson for us to be alert at all times. In certain occasions, a person may think doing sins and then repenting closes a chapter in his life. So as to open and close it as he sees fit. Dangerously, many people assume this. That, they are in control of their lives. A certain minor sin will not become habitual. It begins likes this, only after several times of repeated offense it dawns on them what has happened. Remember, to leave habitual sins is harder than to stop at the first stages. Don’t assume you are in control and can stop when you want to. Ask the pedophiles, the rapists, the drug addicts and the alcoholics. They did not plan on becoming such people, but it started with this thought.
‘A minor sin cannot lead me off track. Let me enjoy this one time and after this I will repent and stop completely’.