The human being’s inclination or the ability to carry out a sinful act is something that God made part of our creation by His wisdom.  Allah (SW) said: {And by the soul and Him who fashioned it and informed it with consciousness of its wickedness and its righteousness.} 91:7/8.  Sins, as many people have heard, are of two main categories; major[1] and minor, but have you heard of the beautified sin?

The beautified sin is one that grows and evolves into three phases. First, the belittling phase, which means that one chooses to ignore the fact that his action is a hated act by God and focuses only on His mercy. Second is the normalizing phase, which means through continuous exposure one becomes used to the sin as a normal action, losing the sense of Haram in it. Third, the most dangerous of all, the redefining phase, which means one views sins not even merely as normal actions but rather as good or excellent things!

Allah (SW) spoke about such a concept in the following two verses in the Quran:

{Is, then, one to whom the evil of his own deeds is made fair-seeming so that he does sees them as good- [like one whom God has guided]?} 35:8.

{Say [to them]: shall We tell you about the greatest losers with respect to deeds? It is those whose striving has strayed [from God’s way] in the life of this world, while they yet think that they are doing most excellent work.} 18:103/104.

As you can see from the sequence of these two verses, it starts by a visual perception most likely painted by Satan as something beautiful and picked up by the self as something nice. But then it moves into a worse level, to be regarded as an act of excellence which defines the person as the greatest loser, according to the Holy Quran.

When idolaters were asked about Shirk or worshiping Idols, they legitimized it by saying: {We do not worship them for any other reason than that through their intercession they draw us nearer to God in [spiritual] station.} 39:3. In other words, in the name of worshiping multiple entities they claimed closeness to the One true God who is to be worshiped alone!

Subhan Allah, how many times have you met cheap or stingy people, yet they try to convince you that they are all about saving money! Gossipy people degrading others and spreading scandals, yet they free themselves from any blame or accountability of harming others.  A person told me once that he needs to drink alcohol in social gatherings so he can keep networking in his business arena, as though his justification of his participation in sinful actions would somehow make it okay.

The Quran tells us about the encrusted layer (al-Raan) over people’s hearts. {Rather, encrusted over their hearts is all [the evil] that they have earned.} 83:14. The prophet (SAAW) explained this layer in the hadith saying: “When the believer engages in a sin, a dark spot is (enabled) in his heart. If he felt remorse, repented, and asked forgiveness he shall be cleared of it. But if he increased (in more sins) it increases until (sins) cover his heart, and that is (Al-Raan) that was mentioned in the Quran.”[2] In another narration, the prophet (SAAW) said: “The darkened heart shall become unable to define good or forbid evil except that based on his own whims.”[3]

We need to keep our hearts safe and clean, not just from falling into sin, but in identifying sins as they are, and regarding sins exactly as the Quran and Sunnah described. Changing names of sins into accepted terms, promoting sins as normal actions, and trying to redefine or beautify sin by removing the concept of haram is sometimes worse than committing the sins because you are redefining the essence of sins.

May Allah protect us and our families and kids from all types of haram, and may Allah protect our ability to recognize and abstain from sin, and may Allah protect our humility to repent from sin. Ameen.

By Sh Kifah Mustapha

[1] Major is defined as promised punishment in a clear verse in the Quran or clear and authentic Hadith of the prophet.

[2] Narrated by Tirmizi

[3] Narrated by Muslim