last posts

The Major and Minor Sins in Islam

 The Major and Minor Sins in Islam

The Major and Minor Sins in Islam

Sins in Islam have been divided into two categories; major and minor. The Major sins are to be avoided at all costs and the punishment for them is ordained and severe. One is not forgiven for the major sins unless he sincerely repents for them. On the other hand, minor sins are unavoidable and the punishment for them is mostly unknown. While one must repent immediately after committing a minor sin, the punishment for them is significantly less severe and can be forgiven without repentance by performing good deeds.

A major sin is any sin which Allah mentioned after it Hellfire, wrath, curse, or punishment. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi).

الَّذينَ يَجتَنِبونَ كَبائِرَ الإِثمِ وَالفَواحِشَ إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ واسِعُ المَغفِرَةِ هُوَ أَعلَمُ بِكُم إِذ أَنشَأَكُم مِنَ الأَرضِ وَإِذ أَنتُم أَجِنَّةٌ في بُطونِ أُمَّهاتِكُم فَلا تُزَكّوا أَنفُسَكُم هُوَ أَعلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقىٰ

As for those who avoid grave sins and foul acts, though they may commit small sins, your Lord is ample in forgiveness. He has been aware of you from the time He produced you from the earth and from your hiding places in your mothers’ wombs, so do not assert your own goodness: He knows best who is mindful of Him. [53:32]

In the verse above, grave sin refers to the major sins and Muslims are ordered to strictly stay away from them. It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Avoid the seven sins that doom one to Hell…Associating others with Allah (Shirk), magic, killing a soul whom Allah has forbidden killing, consuming Interest (Riba), consuming the property of orphans, fleeing on the day of the march (to the battlefield), and slandering chaste women… ” (An-Nasai)

1. Associating a partner in worship with Allah – this is biggest sin in Islam and has the most severe punishment. Allah says in the Quran regarding Shirk:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَغفِرُ أَن يُشرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغفِرُ ما دونَ ذٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشاءُ وَمَن يُشرِك بِاللَّهِ فَقَد ضَلَّ ضَلالًا بَعيدًا

God does not forgive the worship of others beside Him– though He does forgive whoever He will for lesser sins– for whoever does this has gone far, far astray. (4:116)

2. Performing magic

وَاتَّبَعوا ما تَتلُو الشَّياطينُ عَلىٰ مُلكِ سُلَيمانَ وَما كَفَرَ سُلَيمانُ وَلٰكِنَّ الشَّياطينَ كَفَروا يُعَلِّمونَ النّاسَ السِّحرَ وَما أُنزِلَ عَلَى المَلَكَينِ بِبابِلَ هاروتَ وَماروتَ وَما يُعَلِّمانِ مِن أَحَدٍ حَتّىٰ يَقولا إِنَّما نَحنُ فِتنَةٌ فَلا تَكفُر فَيَتَعَلَّمونَ مِنهُما ما يُفَرِّقونَ بِهِ بَينَ المَرءِ وَزَوجِهِ وَما هُم بِضارّينَ بِهِ مِن أَحَدٍ إِلّا بِإِذنِ اللَّهِ وَيَتَعَلَّمونَ ما يَضُرُّهُم وَلا يَنفَعُهُم وَلَقَد عَلِموا لَمَنِ اشتَراهُ ما لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِن خَلاقٍ وَلَبِئسَ ما شَرَوا بِهِ أَنفُسَهُم لَو كانوا يَعلَمونَ

…They taught people witchcraft and what was revealed in Babylon to the two angels Harut and Marut. Yet these two never taught anyone without first warning him, ‘We are sent only to tempt– do not disbelieve.’ From these two, they learned what can cause discord between man and wife, although they harm no one with it except by God’s leave. They learned what harmed them, not what benefited them, knowing full well that whoever gained [this knowledge] would lose any share in the Hereafter. Evil indeed is the [price] for which they sold their souls, if only they knew. [2:102]

3. Killing a person unjustly

مَن قَتَلَ نَفسًا بِغَيرِ نَفسٍ أَو فَسادٍ فِي الأَرضِ فَكَأَنَّما قَتَلَ النّاسَ جَميعًا وَمَن أَحياها فَكَأَنَّما أَحيَا النّاسَ جَميعًا

 … if anyone kills a person– unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land– it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind… [5:32]

4. Consuming Interest/Riba

الَّذينَ يَأكُلونَ الرِّبا لا يَقومونَ إِلّا كَما يَقومُ الَّذي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيطانُ مِنَ المَسِّ ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُم قالوا إِنَّمَا البَيعُ مِثلُ الرِّبا وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ البَيعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبا فَمَن جاءَهُ مَوعِظَةٌ مِن رَبِّهِ فَانتَهىٰ فَلَهُ ما سَلَفَ وَأَمرُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَن عادَ فَأُولٰئِكَ أَصحابُ النّارِ هُم فيها خالِدونَ

But those who take usury will rise up on the Day of Resurrection like someone tormented by Satan’s touch. That is because they say, ‘Trade and usury are the same, but God has allowed trade and forbidden usury. Whoever, on receiving God’s warning, stops taking usury may keep his past gains– God will be his judge– but whoever goes back to usury will be an inhabitant of the Fire, there to remain. [2:275]

5. Withholding the rights of orphans

إِنَّ الَّذينَ يَأكُلونَ أَموالَ اليَتامىٰ ظُلمًا إِنَّما يَأكُلونَ في بُطونِهِم نارًا وَسَيَصلَونَ سَعيرًا

Those who consume the property of orphans unjustly are actually swallowing fire into their own bellies: they will burn in the blazing Flame. [4:10]

6. Fleeing the battlefield

إِنَّ الَّذينَ يَأكُلونَ أَموالَ اليَتامىٰ ظُلمًا إِنَّما يَأكُلونَ في بُطونِهِم نارًا وَسَيَصلَونَ سَعيرًا

وَمَن يُوَلِّهِم يَومَئِذٍ دُبُرَهُ إِلّا مُتَحَرِّفًا لِقِتالٍ أَو مُتَحَيِّزًا إِلىٰ فِئَةٍ فَقَد باءَ بِغَضَبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَمَأواهُ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئسَ المَصيرُ

Believers, when you meet the disbelievers in battle, never turn your backs on them: if anyone does so on such a day– unless maneuvering to fight or to join a fighting group– he incurs the wrath of God, and Hell will be his home, a wretched destination! [8:15-16]

7. Accusing a pious woman of adultery

وَالَّذينَ يَرمونَ المُحصَناتِ ثُمَّ لَم يَأتوا بِأَربَعَةِ شُهَداءَ فَاجلِدوهُم ثَمانينَ جَلدَةً وَلا تَقبَلوا لَهُم شَهادَةً أَبَدًا وَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الفاسِقونَ

إِلَّا الَّذينَ تابوا مِن بَعدِ ذٰلِكَ وَأَصلَحوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفورٌ رَحيمٌ

As for those who accuse chaste women of fornication, and then fail to provide four witnesses, strike them eighty times, and reject their testimony ever afterwards: they are the lawbreakers, except for those who repent later and make amends––God is most forgiving and merciful.


It is also noteworthy that disobeying one's parents is also a major sin and must be avoided at all costs. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ mentioned the greatest sins or he was asked about the greatest sins. He (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, "To join partners in worship with Allah; to kill a soul which Allah has forbidden to kill; and to be undutiful or unkind to one's parents." (Bukhari)

The minor sins are many and can range from backbiting or lying to laughing excessively or breaking the trust of someone. However if one is not mindful of the minor sins and keeps on repeating them intentionally, they can become a major sin.

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger ﷺ of the Almighty saying as:

“Beware of the minor sins which are often thought of as insignificant, for they are like a group of people who stopped in the bottom of a valley. One of them brought a stick, and another brought a stick, until they had gathered enough to cook their food. These minor sins, if a person is called to account for them, will destroy him.” (Ahmad)

It is also mentioned in the Quran that no sin should ever be taken lightly for we do not know the gravity of it in the sight of Allah.

إِذ تَلَقَّونَهُ بِأَلسِنَتِكُم وَتَقولونَ بِأَفواهِكُم ما لَيسَ لَكُم بِهِ عِلمٌ وَتَحسَبونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَهُوَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظيمٌ

“When you took it up with your tongues, and spoke with your mouths things you did not know [to be true], you thought it was trivial but to God it was very serious.” [24: 15]

Duaa for repent 

ربنا لا تؤاخذنا إن نسينا أو أخطأنا، ربنا ولا تحمل علينا أصرًا كما حملته على الذين من قبلنا، ربنا ولا تحملنا ما لا طاقة لنا به، وأعف عنا وأغفر لنا وأرحمنا، أنت مولانا فانصرنا على القوم الكافرين

If you are interested in Arabic class or Tajweed and Quran classes

send direct message to WhatsApp :

The sessions are PAID

You can send $100 to book 8 hours and use them at any time you want during one month or 2 months maximum

Additional material and videos:


    Font Size
    lines height
    Flying Kites