Saturday, September 20, 2014

Q&A: Major and Minor Sins | Sheikh 'Ata Abu Al-Rashtah

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakaatuhu
Our honourable Sheikh, I have a question regarding a phrase that was mentioned in the Book Islamic Personality (Shakhsiya), Volume One page 46 (Arabic version): "Allah سبحانه وتعالى will enter those He wills from the Muslims into hellfire whose majors and sins outweigh their minors and rewards". What is meant by their minors? Why was it mentioned next to the rewards if it means minor sins? For the knowledge I am not a member of the Hizb due to the absence of party work in our area.
From Abu Abdullah Khalaf

Wa Alaikumu Salaam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakaatuhu
The minors are the sins that have a lighter punishment, and the majors are sins that have severe punishments...for example: lying is prohibited... but if you tell your son: come, I will give something in my hand, when he comes and finds nothing in your hand to give, you would have lied, and it is a sin but with lighter implications; it is from the minors: it was extracted by Ahmad from Abu Huraira, from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he said:
«مَنْ قَالَ لِصَبِيٍّ: تَعَالَ هَاكَ، ثُمَّ لَمْ يُعْطِهِ فَهِيَ كَذْبَةٌ»
"Whoever says to a boy: Come, Here (take this), and then does not give him anything, it is a lie".
But if you were sent by the leader of the army to survey the enemies behind a mountain, and you report back that there is no enemy behind the mountain, but they were actually behind the mountain; you would have lied and it is a disobedience with greater implications and grave sin and severe punishment, it is considered from the majors.... and so on.
As to why the minor sins were put next to the rewards, being next to each other does not mean that they are on the same scale; it is a style in the Arabic language called Al–Muqabila, where two words (categories) are mentioned and another two follow, where the third word is related to the first, and the fourth word is related to the second, for example Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَى هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
"And indeed, we or you are either upon guidance or in clear error"
(Saba: 24)
And so: وَإِنَّا (we) faces لَعَلَى هُدًى (upon guidance) and إِيَّاكُمْ (you) faces ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ (clear error), it does not mean that (we and you) are similar or are in one scale nor (guidance and clear error) are similar or on the same scale. Rather as we mentioned, the first is related to the third and the second is related to the fourth...therefore the meaning of the sentence " whose majors and sins outweigh their minors and rewards" in Al-Muqabila style means: their majors outweigh their minors, and their sins outweigh their rewards, and not that their minors and rewards are on the same scale or similar. And to confirm this there is a repetition of the conjunction "على" "Ala" (on) before (minors) and before (rewards) to show that they are different categories, it was not enough to use the conjunction (wa) and say: "on their minors and (wa) their rewards", but to remove any confusion, said: " On their minors and (wa) on their rewards".
As for what you concluded your question with: "For the knowledge I am not a member of the Hizb due to the absence of party work in our area", If you would like to be a carrier of this good that we call for, we can assist you if you like...
In the end, I extend to you my greetings and wish you well.
Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
7 Dhul Qiddah 1435 AH
02/09/2014 CE
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