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['Aalim Network QR] Categories of Sins


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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
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Salamun `Alaykum

The following question was kindly answered by Mulla Bashir.


Fee Amaanillah,

Akil Karim
Moderator - 'Aalim Network

---------- Forwarded message ----------

QUESTION:

The following is a question that I would like to submit to the Alim
Network.

Subject: Sins that bring calamities.

What are the MAJOR sins that bring upon calamities?


ANSWER:

Salaamun 'alaikum and may Allah in His infinite mercy shower His blessings
upon all of us in this month of magfirah and rahmah.

Although the question is confined to one category of sins, namely those
which bring down calamities, I have taken the opportunity to refer to all
the sins categorised by Hadhrat Ali (A.S.) in Du'aa-e-Kumail. For all the
statements in this posting I have relied upon the Translation and
Commentary of Du'aa-e-Kumail prepared by my late uncle Marhum Mulla
Hussain Rahim (may Allah reward his soul with magfirah and rahmah). The
booklet was published by the late El-Hajj Ahmed Sheriff under the banner
of the Bilal Muslim Mission in the late sixties. I have one of the few
copies existing to-day.

In the introduction the learned author states that he relied upon two
books of reference.  Firstly the Anisul-lail fi Sharhi Dua'il Kumayl, an
Arabic Tafseer of the Du'aa and secondly on the Farsi book entitled Darman
Ruho-Rawan which contains scholarly interpretations of all the words and
phrases and was compiled by the learned Aqa Muhammad Baqir Malbuli. All
the ahadeeth cited are from these two authoritative works. 

In each of the verses 9 to 14 of Du'aa-e-Kumayl the reciter seeks and
implores for forgiveness for a different category of sins. Let us examine
each of these verses:


VERSE 9: 

"Oh Allah ! Forgive me my those sins which break down my defences !"

While an ordinary human being is not endowed with 'ismah, he has been
given inner strengths and faculties (like reason and nafs-e-lawwamah) to
recognise a sin and to resist it so that he may begin his journey to the
state of being nafs-e-mutmainnah. If he commits certain sins these
defences will weaken and gradually crumble down. Our sixth Holy Imam
(a.s.) has enumerated the sins which weaken our defences as follows:

  (i) partaking of intoxicants
 (ii) gambling
(iii) indulging in discourses designed to cause mockery or derision
 (iv) indulging in gossip about other's vices or misconduct and
  (v) associating with those who are sceptics or agnostics.


VERSE 10.

"O Allah! Forgive me my those sins which bring down calamities (upon me)!"

These sins, according to our sixth Holy Imam, are:

  (i) breach of a covenant
 (ii) publication of a falsehood
(iii) indulgence in a shameful conduct
 (iv) giving judgement contrary to the laws of Allah
  (v) refusing to pay, or preventing another from paying, zakah and
 (vi) giving short measure for value received. 

See also the comments on verse 13 below.

VERSE 11:

"O Allah ! Forgive me my those sins which alter (the course of Your)
blessings (that is change divine favours into disfavour) !"

There is a sublime beauty in this supplication. One is so often confident
that a divine blessing is within grasp and suddenly all that one
experiences is a brutal reversal of that expectation.

The sins which, or any of which can be the causative factor of such
reversal are, according to our 6th Holy Imam:

  (i) inequity against another
 (ii) opposing or silencing an 'Aalim
(iii) being ingratitude, by word or deed, to Allah's Grace
 (iv) assigning an associate to Allah
  (v) display of one's poverty (as means of attracting sympathy or 
      charity)
 (vi) despising (by rejection or ridicule) Allah's favour, and
(vii) uttering a complaint against Allah. 

VERSE 12:

"O Allah! Forgive me my those sins which hold back my supplication to
you!" 

This refers to the sins which act as a barrier to our du'aas being
accepted. The sixth Holy Imam (a.s.) has enumerated such sins as follows:

  (i) a word or deed in bad faith
 (ii) ceasing to believe in a du'aa being accepted
(iii) hypocrisy towards brethren
 (iv) delaying salah and 
  (v) violation of one's duties to either parent. 

VERSE 13:

"O Allah forgive me my those sins which bring down misfortunes
(afflictions)!" 

The word used here is 'balaa' while that used in verse 10 is 'niqam' which
means calamity or unforeseen adversity. 'Naqam' is the root word from
which comes 'intiqam' = vengeance. It is possible that in verse 10 the
word 'niqam' that is a calamityis used to imply Allah's wrath. 'Balaa'
used in this verse has the dictionary meaning of a trial, a test as well
as affliction. (See Suratul Fajr, Ayahs 15 and 16 where the the word has
been used to mean trial. In Ayah 15 Allah says: "As for man, when his Lord
tries him by honouring him, he says: My Lord has honoured me (because I
deserve it)." In Ayah 16 Allah continues on the same theme: "But when He
tries him by straitening his means of life, he says: My Lord despises
me.") 

Imam Zain-ul-'Abideen A.S. has stated that the following sins bring down
'balaa':

  (i) Not helping those suffering affliction (the point made in Suratul
      Fajr)
 (ii) not aiding the oppressed when they call out for help and
(iii) to ignore or render nugatory the obligation to do Amr bil Ma'ruf and
      Nahya 'anil Munkar. 


VERSE 14:

"O Allah ! Forgive me my those sins which cut off my hope (in ever
receiving Your Forgiveness, Mercy or Grace)." 

In the edition of Shaykh Abbas Qummi this verse is not included but in
other authoritative books it is. 

This refers to a man's feeling of having been cut off from his only Hope,
Allah. It is like a foetus having its umbilical chord severed. Our sixth
Holy Imam has said that this state is brought about by the following sins:

  (i) despairing in Allah's Mercy (see Holy Qur'an XXXIX:53)
 (ii) losing hope in Allah's Clemency and
(iii) reliance upon someone other than Allah for help. 


I am sorry this posting has been so long. If you have any query please
refer to the Alim's network.. 

 
With salaams and du'aas from a humble servant of Ahlul Bayt and their
followers, and with a request to be remembered by you in your prayers,

Bashir Rahim



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