Question: How many greater sins are there?
Answer: There are different methods to recognize the greater sin and we indicate towards two of these methods.
1. Every action the doers of which have been promised by Allah punishment and chastisement in the Holy Qur’an. (Whether, it is clearly stated or indicated or it may be emphatic prohibited again and again). It is a greater sin.
2. Through the correct and authentic traditions that have reached us from the great leaders of Islam and in which the greater sins are clearly enumerated. For example the letter Imam Ali Ibn Musa ar-Rida (a.s.) had written to Mamoon the Abbaside Caliph. In the letter he has mentioned the number of greater sins. And in the same way is the tradition narrated by Amash from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.). There is mention of many greater sins in this tradition. And the same is the condition of other traditions.
Now we shall describe a greater part of the greater sins which mentioned in ayats or traditions and pray to the Almighty Allah that He may give us the Tawfiq to shun all these sins.
4. Leaving Prayer
5. Usurping the property of orphans
6. Fleeing the battlefield
7. Interest taking
11. Helping the oppressors
12. Supporting the oppressor
13. Denying the rights of people
14. Fighting the saints of Allah
16. Betrayal of trust.
17. Hurting the Parents
18. Accusing pure people falsely
20. Careless of the Anger and Punishment of Allah
21. Carelessness about performing the Hajj
22. Squandering and over spending
25. Eating dead meat
26. Eat the flesh of animal which is slaughtered without reciting the name of Allah
27. Despair from mercy of Allah
28. Weighing less.
29. Repeating smaller sins
30. Breaking off relations
31. Non payment of Zakat
32. Breaking of covenant
33. Concealing Testimony
34. False swearing.
The above-mentioned sins are a major portion of greater sins though according to the view of many scholars they are not limited to these.