Complacency in Committing Sins and Persisting Upon Them – Its Dangers and Addressing Some Common Excuses Related to Sinning


الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد


Allaah, The Most High, said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْ

((O you who believe; obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.)) (Muhammad: 33)

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

كُلُّ أُمَّتي يَدْخُلُونَ الجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن أَبَى، قالوا: يا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، وَمَن يَأْبَى؟ قالَ: مَن أَطَاعَنِي دَخَلَ الجَنَّةَ، وَمَن عَصَانِي فقَدْ أَبَى

((All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except for whoever refuses)) It was said: ‘And who will refuse O Messenger of Allaah?’ he said: ((Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me; then he has refused.))[1]

The Muslims have been instructed to obey Allaah and His Messenger, this being in all things; the commands and the prohibitions, and from such prohibitions which have been cautioned against is to engage in sinfulness and acts of wrongdoing.

Allaah, The Most High, said:

وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

((And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, then he has indeed strayed in manifest error.)) (Al-Ahzaab: 36)

The times in which we live, and the societies in which many of us reside, we see the prevalence of sins and misdeeds and that which opposes the teachings of the Book and the Sunnah. Even worse is that there are those who become complacent and easy-going in committing sins and wrongdoings, and therefore underestimate their seriousness and consequence.

Such acts of sin and disobedience are detestable to those who follow right guidance, since it is in opposition to that which they have been commanded with, He, The Mighty and Majestic, said:

وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الرَّاشِدُونَ

((But Allaah has endeared the faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made hateful to you disbelief and wickedness and disobedience. They are the rightly guided.)) (Al-Hujuraat: 7)[2]

This was the way of the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and those who followed their guidance after them. Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever reflects upon the circumstances of the companions (may Allaah be pleased with them); he will find that they were upon the utmost degree of action, together with the utmost degree of fear, and yet we have combined between inadequacy – rather negligence and security!”[3]

The gravity of falling into sinfulness and the seriousness of disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger are clear in the statements of the early Salaf (predecessors).

Anas bin Maalik (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) said:[4] “Indeed you carry out actions that are finer in your eyes than a hair, yet in the era of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) we used to consider them to be from the deadly sins.”[5]

‘Abdullaah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) said: “Indeed the believer sees his sins as if he was sat under a mountain, fearing that it should fall upon him, and indeed the wicked one sees his sins as if they were  a fly that comes upon his nose.”[6]

The Taabi’ee Bilaal bin Sa’ad (rahimahullaah) said: “Do not look at the smallness of the wrongdoing; however look to The One that you disobeyed.”[7]

The fear that the Salaf had of falling into sin and in particular of the consequences of the one who continued upon them signifies the great danger that sins pose upon the one who engages in them, Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

“Eemaan is a reason for bringing about every good, and every good in the life of this world and the Hereafter – its factor is Eemaan. Likewise every evil in the life of this world and the Hereafter – its reason is an absence of Eemaan. So how does it come to be of little importance to the servant to engage in something that exits him from the sphere of Eemaan, and so causes digression between him and it, despite not exiting from the sphere of the commonality of the Muslims. If therefore he were to continue upon sins, and persists upon them, then it is feared for him that it should cause a stain to envelop over his heart, and therefore oust him from Islaam in totality,[8] and it is for this reason that the fear of the Salaf (predecessors) heightened in intensity, as some of them stated: ‘you fear sins, and I fear infidelity.’”[9]

Sins therefore bring about harm upon individuals and societies, and persisting upon them consolidates their bad outcome, He, The Most High, said:

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ

((Corruption has appeared on the land and the sea due to what the hands of people have earned.)) (Ar-Rūm: 41)

Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever thinks that sins do no harm to the one who persists upon them, then he is astray; in opposition to the Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of the Salaf and the great Imaams. Rather whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.”[10]


Despite the Varying Influences Prohibiting Sinfulness; the Servant Acts in Disobedience to His Lord – Yet He is in His Grasp


Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Some of the Salaf said: ‘no one disobeyed Allaah until his intellect became absent.’

This is obvious; since if his intellect had been present; it would have restrained him from sin – whilst he is in the grasp of The Lord, Most High, and under His subjugation, and He is aware of him, and is in His abode and upon His extended ground, and His Angels are witnesses over him – watching him. Likewise the admonisher of the Qur’aan prohibits him and the admonisher of Eemaan (faith) prohibits him and the admonisher of death prohibits him and the admonisher of the Fire prohibits him, and that which slips away from him due to the sin from the good of the life of this world and the Hereafter is many times as much as that which was procured for him by way of happiness and enjoyment from it. So does anyone proceed upon making light of all of that and of underestimation of it – whilst being a possessor of sound intellect?”[11]

He mentioned likewise when discussing the affair of the sinner and his conduct with the creation and his Creator: “The one with whom His (Allaah’s) affair is deemed light – and so he disobeys Him; then has not made just estimate of Allaah such as is due to Him, and that of His prohibitions – and so he undertakes them, as well as that of His rights – and so He squanders them, and His remembrance – and so he is inattentive to it, and his heart is neglectful of Him, and his desire is given preference with him over seeking His pleasure. Likewise; obedience to the creation is more important than obedience to Him.

So for Allaah there is a mere remnant from his heart and his statement and his action, his desire is given priority in that because it is what is considered important with him. He makes light of the look of Allaah towards him and of His awareness of Him – whilst he is in His grasp and his forelock is in His Hand.  Yet he holds in esteem the look of the creation towards himself and their awareness of him with all his heart and his limbs, feeling ashamed from the people and not feeling shame from Allaah. Fearing the people and not fearing Allaah.

He will deal with the creation with the very best that he is able, and if he has dealing with Allaah; he deals with Him with the most contemptible of what is with him – and his most despicable. If he arises in the service of one whom he loves from mankind; he arises with diligence and endeavour and to give a word of advice – whilst he vacates for him his heart and his limbs, and gives it precedence above many of his own affairs. Till when he arises in the right of his Lord – if destiny lends support – then he arises with a performance the like of which would not be agreeable to a created being from creation, and he offers to Him of his wealth that which he would be ashamed to accost with the like of to a created being! So has he made just estimate of Allaah such as is due to Him, on the part of the one whom this is his attribute?”[12]


Some Reasons Why an Individual May be Easy-going With Regard to Sin


Some of the reasons as to why an individual may be easy-going with regard to sin were discussed by Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) who said:

“The reasons for that are; the following of desires, and the fact that the individual does not have with him a religious deterrent that induces him upon the fear of Allaah, The Mighty ad Majestic, in staying away from that which he sees to be prohibited.

The individual; if he were to hold himself to account, and he sees that he will return back to his Lord – no matter how prolonged a time that he is afforded, then he will indeed overcome his desire and will gain decisive influence over himself.

Likewise from the reasons for that is that Satan trivializes the like of these sins in the heart of the servant, and the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) cautioned against that, so he said:

إياكم ومحقرات الذنوب، فإنما مثل ذلك كمثل قوم نزلوا أرضا فأتى هذا بعود، وهذا بعود، وهذا بعود، ثم جمعوا حطبا كثيرا وأضرموا نارًا كثيرا

((Beware of the sins that are seemingly insignificant, for indeed the example of that is like a people who descend in a region, then this one [from amongst them] brought a stick, and this one with a stick, then they gathered many sticks and kindled a great deal of fire.))[13]

Such are the insignificant sins which the person sees as paltry, and so they do not cease to continue with him until they become major sins. It is due to this that the people of knowledge said: ‘Persisting upon the minor sins turns them into major sins, and indeed seeking forgiveness from the major sins expiates them, so due to this we say to these individuals: upon you is to reckon yourselves.

Likewise from the reasons for that is: a scarcity of enjoining the good and forbidding evil, and if each and every one of us – when he comes to see anyone upon sin; that he were to guide him aright and make clear to him that it is in opposition to the guidance of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), then indeed the prudent one will take warning – and will change.”[14]


Feeling Secure From the Plan of Allaah and Thus Engaging in Sin – and the Reasons for This


Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said regarding the saying of Allaah, The Most High:

أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ ۚ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

((Did they then feel secure from the plan of Allaah? None feels secure from the plan of Allaah except the people who are losers.)) (Al-A’raaf: 99)

“What is meant by this is a warning to the servants from feeling secure from His plan by remaining upon sinfulness to Him and being indifferent with regard to His rights. What is meant by the plan of Allaah with them is on account of His granting them respite and His granting them an increase in blessings and goodness whilst they remain persistent upon sinfulness to Him and in opposition to His command. So they are deserving in that they should be seized due to their negligence and that they are punished due to their heedlessness because of their remaining persistent upon sinfulness to Him and of their feeling secure from His punishment and His anger.”[15]

The Shaikh said likewise:

“So feeling secure from the plan of Allaah is from the major sins, and it leads to being easy-going in the things which Allaah has prohibited, because whoever feels secure from the plan of Allaah; then his actions and his mannerism and his modes of conduct will be bad, and he will not fear Allaah. Also; hopelessness is to despair of the mercy of Allaah, then likewise such an individual has entertained bad thought with regard to Allaah and has brokenness in spirit and is exasperated.

That which is essential is that the Muslims should be between two affairs; so one has hope with regard to Allaah and fears sinning and performing misdeeds towards Him, so that he does not become immersed in sin and feels secure from the plan of Allaah. Likewise he should not despair of the mercy of Allaah, rather he should be like a bird between two wings, and some of the scholars have given preference to the aspect of fear in a state of well-being – because one is more capable of committing sin, and the aspect of hope in a state of sickness, because he has become weakened from carrying out the deeds and acts of obedience, and the origin is that he should be between them both.”[16]

Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah) said: “Feeling secure from the plan of Allaah likewise has two destructive reasons:

The first of them: is the servants’ turning away from the religion, and his neglectfulness in attaining knowledge and understanding of his Lord and that which He has by way of rights, and his indifference towards that. So he does not cease to be one who turns away; one who is inattentive, neglectful of the obligatory acts, one who is engrossed in the forbidden acts – such that the fear of Allaah vanishes from his heart, and there remains nothing in his heart from Eemaan, because Eemaan prompts the fear of Allaah and fear of His punishment – this being both worldly and in relation to the Hereafter.

The second reason: is that the servant is a worshipper, ignorant, amazed with himself, deluded by his actions, so his ignorance does not cease to remain with him until it is concluded by his action and so removes the fear from him. So he sees that he has an elevated station with Allaah, therefore he becomes one who feels secure from the plan of Allaah, reliant upon his weak insignificant self, and it is for this reason that he is forsaken and so it comes to stand between him and being granted ability; since it was he who incurred harm upon himself.”[17]


The Excuse of the Sinner in Utilizing the Pre-decree as a Pretense for Committing Sin


Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “It is not for anyone to use the pre-decree as an excuse for sin – by agreement of the Muslims and all of the people of the religious communities and all of the rational ones. Indeed were this to be acceptable; it would be possible for everyone to do whatever occurs to him from killing souls and taking wealth and the rest of the types of corrupt acts and then use the pre-decree as an excuse.

Likewise the very same one who utilizes the pre-decree as an excuse, were he to be infringed upon with aggression, and the one who infringed against him with aggression were to use the pre-decree as an excuse then he would not accept that from him. Rather it is contradictory, and a statement of contradiction proves its corruption. Therefore utilization of the pre-decree as an excuse is known for its corruptness in the first instance of the intellects.”[18]

He mentioned also: “Allaah has indeed mentioned from Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) that when he did what he did; he said:

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

((“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be of the losers.”)) (Al-A’raaf: 23)

Likewise from Iblees (Satan) that he said:

قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

((He [Satan] said: “Because You have sent me astray, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path.”)) (Al-A’raaf: 16)

Therefore whoever repents, then he resembles his father Aadam, and whoever persists and uses the excuse of the pre-decree upon committing sins, then he resembles Iblees.”[19]

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Such a policy; were it to be correct; then it would surely invalidate the religions altogether, and hence the pre-decree would become a proof for every polytheist and disbeliever and oppressor, and there would remain no purpose for the prescribed punishments, and a felon would not be rebuked over his felony or an oppressor over his oppression and an evil would never be renounced.”[20]

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed using the excuse of the pre-decree upon sins or the abandonment of the obligatory acts is an invalid false pretext, Allaah has rendered it false in His Book, as is deemed likewise by the intellect and the reality.”[21]


The Excuse of the Sinner that Eemaan (Faith) is in the Heart and so has no Relevance or Effect With Certain Outward Sins he Engages in as it is One’s Heart that Allaah Looks at


Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “This is a statement that is uttered a great deal by many of the ignorant ones or those who are mistaken. Since the one who says this needs a justification for that which he is upon from sins, because he claims that the Eemaan that is present in the heart suffices against carrying out acts of obedience and abandoning the forbidden things, and this misleading notion is laid bare, since Eemaan is not only in the heart, rather Eemaan – as was defined by Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah is: the statement of the tongue and belief of the heart and action of the limbs.

So carrying out sins and abandoning the acts of obedience is a proof that there is no Eemaan in the heart, or that there is Eemaan that is deficient in it. Therefore outward action without the Eemaan with the heart does not suffice, because this is the characteristic of the hypocrites who will be in the lowest depths of the Fire. Nor does the Eemaan of the heart suffice without the utterance of the tongue and the action of the limbs, because this is the ideology of the Murji-ah from the Jahmiyyah and other than them, and it is a false ideology. Rather it is essential to have Eemaan with the heart and the statement with the tongue and the action with the limbs, and engaging in sins is a proof of a weakness of the Eemaan that is in the heart and of its deficiency, because Eemaan increases with obedience and decreases with sin.”[22]


The Excuse of the Sinner When Committing Sin that Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful


Ibn al-Jawzee (rahimahullaah) said: “From the devil’s deception of the common people is that they commit sins, so if it is disapproved of over them they say: ‘The Lord is Bountiful, and the pardon (of Allaah) is extensive.’”[23]

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed the servant knows that sin and negligence are from the harmful factors to him in his worldly life as well as for his Hereafter – and necessarily so. However; his soul erroneously induces him with reliance upon the pardon of Allaah and His Forgiveness at times, and by way of deferment of repentance at times, and sometimes with seeking forgiveness with the tongue, and by way of carrying out commendable acts at times, and by way of knowledge at times, and by offering excuse of the pre-decree at times, and by way of offering a pretense of similarities and equalities and following the example of the elders at times.

How does there come together in the heart of the servant his certainty that he is to meet Allaah and that Allaah Hears his speech and Sees his position and Knows concerning his innermost secrecy as well as his outward openness and that not a secret from his affair is hidden from Him, and that he is to stand before Him and is to be asked concerning all that he did and yet he is persistent upon the object of His anger, prodigal of His commands, inactive towards His rights, and yet he – in spite of this entertains good opinion of Him? And is this not except from deceit of the souls and delusive aspirations?”[24]

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said when asked concerning the sinner who when he is prohibited from sinning he says: “Allaah is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Merciful”

“If he uses this as a pretext then we raise objection against him with His saying, The Most High:

نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ * وَأَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الْأَلِيمُ

((Inform My servants that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Merciful. And that My punishment – it is the painful punishment.)) (Al-Hijr 49-50)

And with His saying, The Most High:

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

((Know that Allaah is severe in punishment and that Allaah is Oft­-Forgiving, Merciful.)) (Al-Maa-idah: 98)

So if he comes with the verses of hope, they are to be met with the verses of threat (of punishment).

This is not an answer from one except the answer of someone who is neglectful. So we say to him: fear Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, and stand with that which He has obligated upon you and ask Him for forgiveness, since not everyone who stands with that which Allaah obligated upon him arises with it in its complete and perfect way.”[25]

Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan was asked concerning the one who says that Allaah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful out of making light of sins, is this from the forms of Irjaa? (the ideology of the Murji’ah) The Shaikh (hafidhahullaah) replied:

“Yes, the one who relies upon hope only and so does whatever he wishes and then says Allaah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful, then this one is more evil than the Murji’ah because he is easy-going with regard to misdeeds and sins and so gives himself a verdict. Allaah, The Majestic and Most High, says:

وَإِنِّي لَغَفَّارٌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا ثُمَّ اهْتَدَىٰ

((And verily; I am indeed Forgiving to him who repents and believes and works righteousness and then continues in guidance.)) (Ta-ha: 82)

These are the conditions. Furthermore; this individual who says that is Allaah Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful, to persist in sins – why does he not mention His saying:

شَدِيدِ الْعِقَابِ

((The Severe in punishment.)) (Ghaafir: 3)

Since Allaah has combined between them in verses, from them is His saying:

غَافِرِ الذَّنبِ وَقَابِلِ التَّوْبِ شَدِيدِ الْعِقَابِ

((The Forgiver of sin, The Acceptor of repentance, The Severe in punishment.)) (Ghaafir: 3)

Why does he take some of the verse and leave some of it? Or takes some of the verses and leaves some others – in accordance to his desires? This will not do.”[26]


Good Opinion of Allaah Must Necessarily be Accompanied With Good Action – and Repentance is to be Accompanied with the Same


Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Many of the ignorant ones rely upon the mercy of Allaah and His Pardon as well as His Bounty and Generosity, so they neglect His commands and His prohibitions, and they forget that He is Severe in punishment and that His punishment cannot be warded off from the people who are evildoers, and so whoever relies upon pardon despite the continuation upon sin, then he is like the one who is obstinate.

Ma’roof said: ‘Your hope for mercy from The One Who you do not obey is from feebleness and foolishness.’”[27]

He said also: “So the underlying element of the issue is: that hope and good thought is only alongside undertaking the factors which necessarily comprise the wisdom of Allaah in His legislation and His decree and His reward and His munificence. So the servant is to come with them, then he makes good his opinion with regard to his Lord and has hope in Him that He does not leave him reliant on it, and that He makes it a means to that which benefits him and that He averts that which opposes it and renders futile its effect.”[28]

He stated likewise: “What is the supposition of the perpetrators of major sins and transgressions towards Allaah when they meet Him, whilst the injustices against the servants are with them. So if their saying of: ‘We made good our opinions of You’ were to benefit them, then an oppressor nor a wicked sinner would not be punished. So let the servant do as he wishes, and let him embark upon everything that Allaah prohibited him from, and let him make good his opinion of Allaah, for indeed the Fire will not touch him! Glorified be Allaah; to what extent has delusion overcome the servant!

Yet Ibraheem indeed said to his people:

أَئِفْكًا آلِهَةً دُونَ اللَّهِ تُرِيدُونَ * فَمَا ظَنُّكُم بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

((Is it falsehood – gods beside Allaah – that you desire? Then what is your thought about the Lord of creation?)) (As-Saafaat 86-87)

Meaning: Then what is your supposition with Him in what He will do with you when you meet Him; whilst you had indeed worshipped other than Him?

Whoever contemplates over this situation in true contemplation; he will know that good opinion of Allaah – it is good action itself. For indeed the servant is but induced upon carrying out good action by his good opinion with regard to his Lord in that He will reward him due his actions and will recompense him for them and will accept them from him. So that which induced him upon action is good opinion, and every time he makes good his opinion; his action too will be good. Otherwise; good opinion together with following desires is impotence.”[29]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) stated similarly when speaking about the necessity of righteous action along with repentance, and this being the way of those who are repentant, he said: “Allaah has indeed mentioned the characteristic of the one who repents at the end of Soorah Baraa’ah (Tawbah), thus He said:

التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ

((The repentant, the worshippers)) (At-Tawbah: 112)

Therefore it is necessary for the repentant one that he engages in worship and preoccupation with action for the Hereafter. Otherwise, the soul is energetic, active, if you do not preoccupy it with the truth, it will preoccupy you with falsehood.”[30]


Delay in Repenting from Sin in itself Requires Repentance – One Should Constantly be in a State of Repentance


Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Hastening in repentance from sin is an obligation right away, it is impermissible to delay it. So whenever one delays it, then he has disobeyed on account of the delay, thus if he repents from the sin; there remains due upon him yet a further repentance, and it is his repentance from the delay in repentance, and seldom does this cross the mind of the one who repents. Rather what is plausible with him is that if he repents from the sin, there remains nothing further upon him, whilst there remains upon him the repentance for delaying the repentance, and nothing brings to safety from this except a general repentance – from that which one is aware of from his sins and that which he is unaware of.”[31]

Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “Luqmaan said to his son: ‘O my son; do not delay repentance, for indeed death comes suddenly.’ Some of the wise ones said: ‘Do not be from those who hope for the Hereafter without action, and delay the repentance due to protracted expectation’

Some of the Salaf said: ‘Arise in the morning as repentant ones and enter in the evening as repentant ones.’ An indication of the fact that the believer should not enter into the morning and evening except upon repentance, for indeed he does not know when death may unexpectedly come to him – morning or evening. So whoever enters the morning or evening upon other than repentance, then he is at risk, since it is feared that he will meet Allaah as someone other than a repentant one, thus he will be gathered (in the resurrection) in the company of the wrongdoers. Allaah, The Most High, said:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

((And whosoever does not repent, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.)) (Al-Hujuraat: 11)”[32]

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “The obligation of hastening with repentance, this being due to His saying:

ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ

((Then they repent soon after.)) (An-Nisaa: 17)

Hastening with repentance is obligatory, because the person does not know what may befall him, and because the individual; if he is persistent upon sin, then it will harden his heart, and this minor misdeed from the minor sins will become major.”[33]

Therefore the abandonment of sinning is an obligation as well as to discontinue engaging in sin and one should turn to Allaah soon after in repentance and make sincere his repentance, Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer said in his explanation of the saying of Allaah, The Most High:

وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

((And do not persist in what [wrong] they have done, while they know.)) (Aal-‘Imraan: 135)

“Meaning that they repent from their sins and return to Allaah soon after and do not continue upon the sin – persisting upon  it without abstaining from it, and if the sin is repeated from them then they repent from it.”[34]


The Destructive Outcome of Persistent  Sinning and its Potential Outcome at the Point of Death for the One Who Continues upon it Without Repenting


Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Know that a bad ending – may Allaah, The Most High, grant us refuge from it – does not occur with the one whose outward state is one of uprightness and his inward state is one of soundness, this is unheard of and it is not known of – and praise is for Allaah. It only occurs with the one who has a corruption in belief or a capacity for persisting upon the major sins and an undauntedness to engage in great crimes. So perhaps that becomes predominant upon him until death comes upon him before any repentance, and so it seizes him before any rectitude of the inner self and is uprooted before turning repentantly, therefore Satan gets the better of him at the point of that difficulty and seizes him at that consternation, and refuge is sought with Allaah.”[35]

He said likewise: “So how can one be granted enablement in reaching a good ending whose heart Allaah, The Glorified, has made heedless of His remembrance and he follows his own desire and whose affair has been lost?

Therefore distant from a heart that is distant from Allaah, The Most High, and is negligent of Him, a worshipper of its desires, a captive of its lusts, and a tongue that is parched of His remembrance and limbs that are inactive of obedience to Him, preoccupied with sinfulness to Him – to be enabled to reach a good end (at death).”[36]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said: “That which is meant; is that misdeeds, sins and desires betray and thus forsake their adherent at the point of death, together with the betrayal of Satan against him. Hence betrayal rallies against him – coupled with a weakness in faith; and accordingly he falls into a bad ending.[37] Allaah, The Most High, said:

وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولً

((And Satan is ever a deserter to man.)) (Al-Furqaan: 29)

A bad ending; may Allaah grant us refuge from it; none falls into it for the one who makes his outward nature as well as his inward nature upright with Allaah and proves  true in his statements and actions – indeed this is unheard of, as was mentioned by ‘Abdul-Haqq Al-Ishbeeli. A bad ending in particular befalls the one whose inward state is corrupted – in consolidation; together with his outward state – in action; and for the one who has an audacity to engage in major sins and is undaunted in undertaking offences. So that may get the better of him until death comes to him before any repentance.”[38]


The Sins are Marked Down – Even if We Forget Them


To conclude; the door of repentance and seeking forgiveness remains open before the advent of death, for all sins whether major or minor, as well as those sins which one recollects and those which one inadvertently fell into, or those that the recollection of which had become lost in the passage of time. Nonetheless; all are known to Allaah.

Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “From the sins are those that the servant forgets about and does not recollect at the time of seeking forgiveness. So the servant is in need of seeking a general forgiveness for all of his sins – that which he knows of and that which he does not know of, and yet for sure; all are known to Allaah – and are kept account of.”[39]

Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (rahimahullaah) said:[40] “Indeed; if the person were to throw – with each sin that he commits – a stone into his home, his home would surely become filled in a short duration of time.

However; he becomes easy-going in recollection of sins – and yet they have been marked down.

أَحْصَاهُ اللَّهُ وَنَسُوهُ

((Allaah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it.)) (Al-Mujaadilah: 6)”



وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين




[1] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.7280)

[2] Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said: “He has made disbelief and wickedness hateful to you, and they are the major sins, and disobedience – and it is all of the sins.” (Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Al-‘Adheem vol 13 p.148)

[3] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.91

[4] Al-Bukhaaree (no.6492)

[5] Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said in his explanation of the statement of Anas: “The meaning is: be vigilant of Allaah and look into your actions, many of the people are easy going with sins which in their eyes are minor and yet they are major, the like of backbiting, the like of tale-carrying, the like of disobedience to parents, the like of engaging in usury, the like of cheating in dealings and transactions, lies in making claims. Many of the people do not regard them to be anything – and do not care, so he lies and cheats and engages in usury and does not care, he backbites the people and does not care, due to the weakness of his religion and lack of his concern.” (Sharh Riyaadh us-Saaliheen [under hadeeth number 64])

[6] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.6308)

[7] Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa vol 5 p.91

[8] Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “Persisting upon sins without repentance, it is feared from it that its adherent will be inflicted with a punishment of being dispossessed of Eemaan in totality, and arrival at pure hypocrisy and to a bad ending, we seek refuge with Allaah from that.” (Fathul Baaree vol 1 p.181)

[9] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.177

[10] Majmu’ Fataawa vo l 11 p.256

[11] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.147-148

[12] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.326

[13] Reported by Ahmad (no.22808) and At-Tabaraanee in Mu’jam al-Kabeer (no.5872) as well as in Al-Awsat (no.7319) from the hadeeth of Sahl bin Sa’ad. The wording of the hadeeth in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad is:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ فَإِنَّمَا مَثَلُ مُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ كَقَوْمٍ نَزَلُوا فِي بَطْنِ وَادٍ، فَجَاءَ ذَا بِعُودٍ، وَجَاءَ ذَا بِعُودٍ حَتَّى أَنْضَجُوا خُبْزَتَهُمْ، وَإِنَّ مُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ مَتَى يُؤْخَذْ بِهَا صَاحِبُهَا تُهْلِكْهُ

((Beware of the sins that are seemingly insignificant, for indeed the example of the sins that are seemingly insignificant is like a people who descend in the bottom of a valley, so one [from amongst them] comes with a stick, and another comes with a stick, until they cook their bread well, and indeed the sins that are seemingly insignificant; when their companion is called to account for them, they will destroy him.))

Shaikh Al-Albaanee stated that its chain of narration is Saheeh (authentic) in Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (no.389) it was likewise declared Saheeh by our Shaikh Muqbil Al-Waadi’ee in Tahreem Al-Kidaab bis-Sawaad (p.4).

Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said when explaining this hadeeth: “The sins that are seemingly insignificant are those that a person sees to be small, and so an example was given of a people who descend in a place in order to cook their food. So this one comes with a stick and that one comes with a stick and this one with dry animal dung (for fuel) and so they kindle a fire and cook the food from these things that are insignificant, and so the seemingly insignificant sins are those which a person sees as small, he deems them insignificant – meaning he sees them as minor sins. Some people may see backbiting to be from the minor sins, one may believe things to be insignificant and small and yet it is not the case, it may be a major sin and he does not know, and they may accumulate upon him, they are small yet they accumulate until they destroy him due to their abundance and due to his leniency of them.” (Abridged from Fataawa Noor ‘alaa ad-Darb no.509)

[14] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 26 p.451-452

[15] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 4 p.365

[16] Sharh Kitaab at-Tawheed p.179

[17] Al-Qawl as-Sadeed Sharh Kitaab at-Tawheed p.93-95

[18] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 8 p.179

[19] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 8 p.107-108

[20] Shifaa ul-‘Aleel p.26

[21] Ad-Diyaa al-Laami’ p.349

[22] Al-Muntaqaa Min Fataawa vol 2 p.11-13 – with abridgement.

[23] Tilbees Iblees p.889

[24] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.36-47 – with abridgement.

[25] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 2 p.112

[26] Sharh Fathul Majeed (audio recording)

[27] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.51

[28] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa P.87

[29] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.47-48

[30] Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol 9 p.164

[31] Madaarij as-Saalikeen vol 1 p.717

[32] Lataa-if al-Ma’aarif p.457-458

[33] Tafseer Soorah an-Nisaa vol 1 p.140

[34] Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Al-‘Adheem vol 3 p.197

[35] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.391

[36] Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.219

[37] This is what the Salaf of this Ummah would fear, and signifies their insight as to the consequence of sin as well as their understanding and farsightedness, an example of this is that which Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned when relating an incident: “Indeed Sufyaan ath-Thawree wept one night until the morning, so when he entered upon the morning it was said to him: ‘all of this being due to fear of sins?’ so he took hold of some straw from the ground and said: ‘sins are lesser than this. I only weep for fear of a bad ending.’” Ibn al-Qayyim said: “This is from the greatest of understanding; that a man should fear that his sins should betray him at the time of death and so come between him and a good ending.” (Ad-Daa wad-Dawaa p.390)

[38] Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol 9 p.163

[39] Majmu’ Al-Rasaa-il vol 1 p.392

[40] Mukhtasar Minhaaj al-Qasideen p.374

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