Question: I have a religious brother, but he is too fanatic in his religiousness. With his behaviors, he does more wrong to religion than good. I am a victim of his extreme behaviors. I have committed a major sin, but instead of getting good advice from him, he chided, threatened, and insulted me. Therefore, pride carried me off to sin until I committed more sins, though I knew that I was mistaken. Now, where there is no relation between him and me, I feel regretful before Allah the Almighty, but I cannot give up the sins that I have become accustomed to. I want you to guide me to a way that I can save myself before my death comes. I have had enough of all this stubbornness and pride. I also want you to advise those like my brother, who are fanatic under the name of religion, in order to not be a cause for the youth to deviate and turn away from religion. By Allah, our religion is the best of religions if we follow it as it is.
The answer: Dear young man, O you with pure nature, allow me, first, to say a word to your brother that has been said by the guardian of religion, the master of the pious, the example of the faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.). It has the answer: you want and the proper guidance for your brother and his like.
“Those who do not commit sins and have been gifted with safety (from sins) should have pity on sinners and other disobedient people. Gratefulness should be mostly their indulgence and it should prevent them from finding faults with others. So what about the backbiter who blames his brother and finds fault with him? Does he not remember that Allah has concealed the sins which he committed while they were bigger than his brother's sins pointed out by him? How can he vilify him about his sins when he himself has committed one like it? Even if he has not committed a similar sin he must have committed bigger ones. By Allah, even if he did not commit big sins but he committed only small sins, his exposing the sins of people is itself a big sin. O slave of Allah, do not be quick in exposing anyone's sin for he may be forgiven for it, and do not feel yourself safe even for a small sin because you may be punished for it. Therefore, every one of you who comes to know the faults of others should not expose them in view of what he knows about his own faults, and he should remain busy in thanks that he has been saved from what others have been afflicted with”.
As for you dear brother, your despair of being able to get out of the circle of sins is itself a great sin. First, I want you to cast your despair away and pay attention to the rest of your life, which may be a year, a month, a week, a day, some minutes, or more or less. Allah, the Aware of what there is in the hearts, knows! In private, be sincere to yourself and think attentively that if you die while disobedient, will Allah accept your excuse for staying sinful?
You had better come back to your abilities that you have ignored because of your obstinacy to your brother and because of his mistake towards you. Activate these abilities and be active with them! Offer to those who consider themselves religious whereas religion is free from them a true example of religion and a beautiful picture of a religious man!
In this book and other books of ours and in those of other good scholars, you can find what lights your way. Get up! Paradise, with its eternal life and pleasures, is waiting for the pure repentant. If you turn to Allah sincerely with your repentance, you will find Him the best Helper Who will help you get out of the sins, which you think difficult to do.
Dear brother, know well that it is the Satan, who casts in your heart weakness and despair to make you follow him and remain in his camp that marches towards Hell. Do you want to accompany him to the Fire and the severe torment?
I pray to Allah to protect you and me from the Satan and the Fire. As for your situation with your brother, I ask you to delete the picture in your mind about him. Go and make up with him! This high morale gets you closer to Allah and suppresses your self to not take you towards evil. Be certain that with this behavior, great blessings from the Heaven will refresh your life, and this is my hope for you.
 Sharh Nahj ul-Balagha by Muhammad Abda, vol.2 p.23.