Orland Park Prayer Center

The Prayer Center of Orland Park

Muslims believe that all humans are born pure (free of sin). The prophet (ﷺ) said regarding people performing pilgrimage: “Whoever performs Hajj for [the sake of] Allah and did not [engage in] sexual [actions] nor ungodliness [actions] [will] return like the day his mother gave birth to him [free from sins.]”[1]

This Hadeeth tells us that people are born pure and free from sin.  Al-Fitra, the natural disposition includes the understanding of being created pure and free from sin next to the concept of recognizing the truth (oneness of God) that originated in all humankind.  Allah (ﷻ) said: {Set your face [devoutly toward God and] to the [true] religion, [O Prophet, and so too all who would follow you] – being [ever] upright [in heart]! This is the natural disposition [given you] by God, upon which He originated [all] humankind. There shall be no altering of God’s creation. That is the upright [way of] religion, but most people do not know.} 30:30.   The prophet (ﷺ) also reminded us about this fact; he said: “Every child is born on (Fitra), the natural disposition [given by God].”[2]

According to some Christians[3], people are born sinful and they inherit sin (original sin). We read in the Bible: (surely, I was sinful at birth from the time my mother conceived me) Psalm 51:5.   

In Islam sins are acquired not inherited and they are considered only by intention and choice. The prophet (ﷺ) said: “Uplifted upon my nation [are]: error, forgetting and [things] forced upon [to be done]”[4]. Allah (ﷻ) said: {But there is no sin [reckoned] against you wherein you err as to this, [their proper attribution].  Rather, [you are accountable] only for what your hearts premeditate. And ever is God all-forgiving, mercy-giving} 33:5. Islam also teaches us that anyone with mental challenges is not held responsible for their actions even if they were sinful. The prophet (ﷺ) said: “The pen is lifted [from documentation] on three [types of people]; the sleeping [person] until he wakes up, the child until [reaching] puberty and the insane until he wakes [becoming sane].”[5]

Muslims believe that Adam’s sin, although representative of human nature, did not pass onto his descendants.  He made a mistake and asked God for forgiveness and God granted him His forgiveness. Allah (ﷻ) said: {For Adam had disobeyed His Lord. Thus he erred. Then his Lord chose him [as a prophet], and absolved him [of his sin], and guided him} 20:122.

Islam teaches that also no one shall carry the sins of another! Allah (ﷻ) said: {Or is it that he has not been told of what was [decreed] in the Scriptures of Moses and [of] Abraham- [he] who proved ever true [to his Lord’s word]: That no laden soul shall carry the load of another; and that there is nothing [that shall abide] for a person except that for which he strives} 53:36/36.

The sin in Islam could be either disobeying an order of obligation from Allah (ﷻ) and His prophet (ﷺ), or by engaging in something that Allah (ﷻ) and His prophet (ﷺ) prohibited and declared Haram.

We learn in the Quran that the first sin committed was disobeying an order from Allah (ﷻ) when Satan refused to answer an order from Allah (ﷻ).  Allah (ﷻ) said: {Then behold! We said to the angels: Bow [your faces] down to [receive] Adam [into life and to honor him]! So they [all] bowed down, except Iblis. He refused and grew [greatly] arrogant. And thus did he become of the [rebellious] disbelievers} 2:36.

We learn in the Quran that the second sin committed was engaging in something prohibited, when Adam (ﷺ) ate from the prohibited tree. Allah (ﷻ) said: {Yet Satan whispered to him. He said: O Adam! Shall I direct you to the Tree of Immortality, and a kingdom that shall never fade away? So both [Adam and Eve] ate of it. Thus their secret parts became exposed to them. So, [instantly,] they both took to heaping together upon themselves leaves of the garden. For Adam had disobeyed his Lord. Thus, he erred} 20:120/121.

The sin in Islam could relate to the heart or could relate to limbs (actions.) An example as to the first kind; sins of the heart:  the prophet (ﷺ) said: “Beware of being stingy for people before you perished [because] of being stingy.”[6] An example as to the second kind, sins of the limbs: Allah (ﷻ) said: {Nor do they kill a soul- which God has prohibited- except by right. Nor do they commit illicit sexual intercourse, for whoever does this shall meet the penalty of sin} 25:68. Just remember that actions of the limbs are all originated in the heart through intentions, the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Indeed (all) deeds are (but) by intentions.”[7]

The sin in Islam could be limited or extended. The limited kind is like when someone does an act of sin in secret to himself, but the extended one is when someone does it in public. The prophet (ﷺ) said: “My entire nation is healthy [in treatment at the Day of Judgment] but [excluded] the exposures [of their sin].”[8]  Although both kinds are sins, but the extended one is more evil in the eyes of God for it adds exposure to the sin itself which could invite others to follow, and it shows disrespect, lack of shame, and arrogance.

The sin in Islam could be major or minor. The major sins are anything that Islam set a ruling of punishment in this life, promised punishment at the Day of Judgment, stated prevention from Heaven or deserving the anger or curse from Allah (ﷺ).  Some of these major sins are: Shirk, magic, murder, usury, unlawfully taking the money of orphans, running away during battles, speaking evil about chaste women, being unrighteous to parents, false witnessing in courts, adultery and many more. These major sins need repentance before death and asking forgiveness from Allah (ﷺ) to be erased. If someone dies engaging in these major sins and did not repent, he/she could be vulnerable to punishment at the Day of Judgment. The minor sins are all sins that do not meet the criteria of the major sins. If someone keeps up with the orders of Allah, he is promised forgiveness as the prophet (ﷺ) said: “The daily five prayers and (praying) Friday (noon prayer) to (praying next) Friday (noon prayer) and (fasting) Ramadan to (the second) Ramadan are erasers (of sins) to what was in between (of small) sins as long as major sins are avoided.”[9]

Committing sins is mainly originating from three sources:

  1. The inner self (An-Nafs): Allah (ﷺ) created us with the ability to make choices for ourselves that could be evil thus considered sins. Allah (ﷻ) said: {And [by] the soul and Him who fashioned it- and informed it with [consciousness of] its wickedness and its righteousness! Truly, whoever purifies it has succeeded. And truly, whoever defiles it has failed} 91:7/10. Allah (ﷻ) also said describing the inner self: {Yet I do not absolve myself. Indeed, the self often bids to evil} 12:53.
  2. Whispers of Satan: The main business of Satan and his followers is to keep whispering evil to people. Allah (ﷻ) said: {[Satan] makes promises to them and fills them with fancies. Yet Satan promises [those of] them [who follow him] nothing but a mere delusion} 4:120. Allah said: {But rather, their hearts hardened, and Satan made what they were doing fair-seeming to them} 6:44.
  3. Whims and desires: although this could be mentioned under the inner self section it is separate in a sense that one’s own whims could grow to be uncontrollable compulsions and people could be enslaved to it, while the inner self thoughts are still in a stage where it is somehow manageable to deal with. Allah (ﷻ) spoke about this devastating source reaching levels of Kufr: {Have you, then, seen such [a one] as [rejects God’ guidance and] makes his own desire his god?} 45:23.

To be continued in next issue.

By Imam Kifah Mustapha


[1] Hadith narrated by Bukhari.

[2] Hadith narrated by Bukhari.

[3] The Calvinistic doctrine states that Adam’s sin has resulted not only in having a sin nature, but also in incurring guilt before God for which we deserve punishment. http://www.gotquestions.org/original-sin.html.

[4] Hadith narrated by Ibn Hazm.

[5] Hadith narrated by Abu Daoud.

[6] Hadith narrated by Abu Daoud.

[7] Hadith narrated by Bukhari.

[8] Hadith narrated by Haithami.

[9] Hadith narrated by Muslim


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