MANY PEOPLE TEND to get in the habit of belittling all kind of sins, some of which could very well be monstrous. It is crucial for our success in this life as well as in the Hereafter that we all appreciate the importance of not demeaning any wrong act at all.
Instead of looking at our sin and thinking, “Well, it is a small thing,” we ought to ponder and see Whom we wronged and Whom we disobeyed. Allah, the Almighty says,
And [you] thought it was insignificant while it is, in the sight of Allah, tremendous. [Surat Al-Nur, 24:15]
We ought to really consider the fact that we are going against Allah’s command instead of just regarding the offense as being minor and of no consequence. We should bear in mind that we have indeed broken the rules of the Glorified and the Almighty Allah, our Creator and Lord Who can, if He chooses, overlook a great sin and hold us responsible for a little one.
The Messenger said,
Beware of lesser sins, for indeed the minor and lesser sins are like the parable of some people who camped on the side of a valley. Each one of them fetched a piece of wood until they gathered that which they cooked their bread with. (Ahmad)
A wise person once said,
Beware of your sins, for they are like a huge rock thrown at a house, and demolished it; the wind then would go inside and blow out the lit candles.
Most important of all, we should always remember that for each sin there is a tawba (repentance). However, keeping away from sins is far better than making tawba. Sufyan Al-Thawri said,
I once asked my teacher: who is the decent and virtuous man? He answered, “He who would not allow the companion (the Angel on one’s left shoulder recording his/her sins) on the left to write down bad deeds. I (the author) say, “The decent and virtuous man is the one who is constantly conscious of Allah’s watchfulness and does not give rest to his heart and tongue from remembering his Lord.
Accordingly, be utterly aware of all types of transgressions and sins without talking yourself into believing that some are only but insignificant and assume that Allah will forgive them. Even if they are, we should beware that this may very well turn into a habit and we may eventually slide into the darkness associated with grave and deadly sins.
Beware of following in the footsteps of those who become slaves to their whims and start to cater to all their cravings while totally ignoring what Allah and His Messenger command and forbid. Do not be fooled by the luxury in which they are living now, but be certain that ahead of them lies a day on which their feet will shake, their bodies will shiver and their color will fade. It is the day when their standing up will be very long, their reckoning will be tough and their hearts will be at their throats. They will see all their deeds written in their books on a day the length of which equals fifty thousand years. They will suffer the unbearable heat and the unendurable thirst. They will sob and cry from agony and regret. Think about that day.
That day is the Day of Resurrection, the day of Al-Rajifah (the first blowing of the Trumpet, which will cause the earth and heavens to shake and life to end), the Day of Al-Radifah (the second Blowing, which will cause everybody to come out of his grave). It is the Day of Remorse, the day when all excuses will be of no avail and Allah will pronounce,
O you who disbelieve! Make no excuses today. [Surat Al-Tahrim, 66:7]
On that day, no father will avail his son, nor will a son avail his father at all. It really is,
The Day you see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, but severe will be the torment of Allah. [Surat Al-Hajj, 22:2]
On that day, all deeds are cut off, all wealth and riches vanish, all voices are silenced and all earthly kings stand with humility and fear. All tongues are sealed and all limbs are given the order to speak out. Such will be the affairs of those who spent their lives in blind subservience to their vain desires.
But if you want to join the saved ones, make sure to be like them—hold yourself responsible for everything you do. Try to walk in their shoes, and never fool yourself by merely being around them, for Allah will not gather in Paradise except Al-Salihin and those who follow in their footsteps. Beware Allah’s declaration,
As for him who feared standing before his Lord [by holding himself accountable] and restrained himself from impure evil desires and lusts, Paradise will be his abode. [Al-Nazi‘at, 79:40-41]