We’ve all heard of the seven deadly sins, but in reality their number is not limited to seven. Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said: “Seventy is closer to their number than seven”. A major sin is one for which the Quran/Sunnah prescribes a punishment in this life and in the next, or that sin for which the sinner has incurred a curse by Allah or the Messenger (sal-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam).
Fornication and Adultery will be discussed here and is one of the major sins mentioned on this frightening list of seventy sins on: http//www.themodernreligion.com/misc/hh/major_sins.htm
Each of the sins listed has attached to it seemingly smaller sins which accumulate and lead to the bigger sin. Hence it makes complete sense to understand that to indulge in the acts that lead to the major sin are sin as well. So we should do our utmost to protect ourselves from the paths that lead to the major sins.
I felt it was necessary to discuss this subject here as so many people have fallen into zina and are now despairing and even contemplating suicide. I have briefly touched upon: warning people about how easily one can be lured towards zina, how to prevent oneself from falling into zina, the dire consequences if one does fall and the concept of Tawbah.
a) Seasons of sin – How a glance becomes despair
Summer Days – Flowers and Stars
The road to zina (fornication and adultery) starts with a look, a glance, a sweet word, a tea, a coffee, a pizza, a shopping spree, studying together all cosied up in the uni library…’Chill out, its just innocent fun’ (I hear you say). The shame and shyness left time ago, so the rest starts to become a lot easier. Now the flirting, touching, hugging, the ‘I love you’s and ‘xxx’s sent through email and text messages, gradually turning from virtual to reality. Before you know what’s happening, your emotions have taken over and all logic and common sense have flown out the window along with the shame.
Allah? What, oh yeah, Allah and Islam, I’ll think about that later, I’m not doing anything wrong – I’m just chilling out with Yasin. Its a cold drizzly day, and where you’d normally have to struggle out of your warm bed for college or work, today you jump up, cos all you’re seeing are flowers and stars, all rosiness and glitter. Sound familiar? Allah(swt)’s warning in the Quran Surah Al Isra, Verse 32, bears little significance in our lives now: “And come not NEAR to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way.”
Autumn – The Fall
This dizzy feeling of excitement or lust masquerading as love is oh but a very short lived satisfaction. Girlfriend/boyfriend relationships are major sins in Islam! Things do not “just happen.” One bad deed if not nipped in the bud, leads to another. You planted a bad seed and instead of repelling it at the first stage, you allowed it to become firmly planted and it began to flower. It was not innocent fun, it was the beginning of a long line of sins leading to zina and each of those seemingly ‘minor’ things were in fact not small, they were ‘major’. They were major, because each one stained your heart with a small black dot, until eventually your whole heart became covered with darkness.
Remember, Allah(swt) did not just say, ‘Don’t have unlawful sexual intercourse, He(swt) warned us against even ‘coming near’ it! Because you continued ignoring this, you were no longer able to see or hear the light or truth, you became confused. Some of you hated doing those bad things, but your goal had become only to please your girlfriend/boyfriend. Some of you enjoyed sinning and became slave to your lower desires. Either way, you became a slave to other than Allah, thereby committing indirect shirk.
Some of you have now become compulsive liars too, as you sneak out the door, telling your folks that you’ll be studying in the library till late; when in fact you’re meeting your lover, and forgetting your meeting with your Creator – Allah. When reminded about the punishments for your sins, you put your fingers in your ears and continue persevering in your wrong doing. You allowed your emotions to rule your soul.
Winter – The Gloom
Time passed, he left you for another girl, betrayed you, said hurtful things to you, used you physically, or your folks wouldn’t let you marry and then, only then did you realise the enormity of your sins – finally. All that time you had forgotten that Allah was watching you, the angels had been watching and recording every single thing you did, every foul word you uttered, every lustful move you made, every footstep you took towards your sinful destination.
You no longer feel that flutter in your heart. The stars have vanished and the flowers have faded leaving behind thick thorny stems. The glitter has dulled and now you really feel the cold, even though the sun is beaming outside. The darkness covering your heart is turning to a muddled grey and the guilt has kicked in. The pain of separation, the pain of betrayal, the feeling of being used; and/or you feel depression from the emptiness where once your lover lay besides you. You hear the words ‘I love you’ ringing in your ears, but now wish you could erase each bitter memory, along with the stab in the back, the pangs of the heart, heaviness in the mind, the anger of frustration. You shudder, you fear and you feel grief at the realisation of your sins. You feel sick in the gut, you wish you had listened to your conscience and you wish you had had the confidence to just say ‘No, Stop!’. You wish you could turn back the clock so you can be pure again. Why didn’t you just take heed before?!
Whats happened to you, to her, to him? She’s suffering a dark cold depression, its such a lonely place to be. She’s been physical with a guy and feels dirty, used, impure. The other sister has lost her virginity, he’s lost his. She’s missed her period, is she pregnant? He wants her to abort it. He can’t face his parents, they’ll kill him. She’s caught a sexually transmitted disease. He’d been sleeping around. She used to be a model student. He’s missed out, he failed high school, college, uni. ‘Please stop, I can’t listen to anymore,’ I hear you say. But there is more brother, sister, there is more! You are disobeying Allah(swt) so much, you are disobeying your Creator. What if He(swt) takes your soul before you get a chance to stop and repent?! So face it now before you end up like this.
Is this talking to you? How will you let this end? Will you stop yourself now before it gets this bad? Or has it already become this bad? Wherever you are now my brother, my sister, STOP and turn back to Allah this very second. Stop and revert, otherwise just as the flowers die in the cold, your soul will die too.
Insha’Allah, my words are not falling on deaf ears. Insha’Allah they have pierced your soul and begun to awaken your sleeping heart. Please take heed and let their be a Spring, let the flowers start to grow again. Turn back to Allah now, while you are still breathing, there is still time. Please don’t let it go.
Spring – New start
So you struggle to survive and when no-one else is around, Allah can Hear your cry, your guilt, your despair and your desperation from the inner depths of your heart and your soul. Despite, you having broken Allah’s Laws, He(swt) wants you to pick yourself up again. Turn back to Allah now and do sincere tawbah (repentance). He(swt) is waiting for you to ask of Him (swt). Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Az-Zumar, Verse 53, “Do not despair of God’s mercy; He will forgive you of all your sins”.
Throw out the bad seeds and remove all traces of the thorny stem that spread so deep within your soul. Plant a single seed of goodness and the new flowers will begin to blossom again. Listen to your conscience, ‘that’ is the good thought that will help you smile once more – just accept the call of Allah and turn back to him through sincere Tawbah.
So my brother, my sister – check yourselves every night before you sleep. Ask yourself this: ‘What did I do today that was wrong? And what can I do now to put things right?’
Nip it in the bud, don’t let that ‘glance’ turn to ‘despair’.