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Do Not Belittle Sin

Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi

Man should not think that a minor sin to be a trivial thing not to worry about! However small a sin, its consequences might be very grave! When one commits minor sins, Satan emboldens and makes the person perpetuate sinful acts in the future. A time comes when the person thinks that the major sins too are trivial. Therefore not repenting minor sins is in itself a major sin. Some times sins assume the shape of infidelity and hypocrisy! Therefore one should treat a sin as a sin, however small or minor it might be. Therefore Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) has said, “A thing, howsoever small, that can benefit a person on the Day of Reckoning, is not small. Similarly a small thing that can bring retribution to the person on the Day of Judgement cannot be termed small.”
Imam Ar-Ridha’ (as) has said, “The minor sins are the way to commitment of the major sins! The person who commits minor sins, might indulge in major sins also! Even if Allah had not created the Heaven and the Hell, as incentive and disincentive respectively, for acts fair and foul, he would even then have made it mandatory for men to pray. His disobedience would even then be punishable because He has endowed man with lot of Blessings to thank about!”
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said, “Don’t consider sin minor, however insignificant that might be. Don’t also rate your virtues high, however significant they might be! The major sins can be condoned with Asthghfar (Craving mercy from Allah) but repetition of minor sins might render them major!”
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) says, “One of the sins that may not be condoned is one saying, ‘I wish there is no retribution for my sins other than this!’”
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) has said, “Forty sins of a person will remain hidden under forty curtains. Once he completes the forty sins, the curtains get torn and the angels responsible for recording the sins of men submit to Allah,’ All the curtains hiding the sins of the person have gone up!’ Allah asks them to hide the sins with their wings. The person continues to commit more sin and keeps bragging with his compatriots. The angels tell to Allah, ‘O Allah! This person doesn’t abstain from any type of sin! We feel ashamed of watching him commit sins!’ Then Allah asks them to remove the cover of their wings. Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) added, “Now the person starts showing antagonism to us, the Ahl-ul-Bayt, and Allah makes him the subject of ridicule on the earth and in the Heavens. The angels then tell to Allah, ‘This creature of Your’s was protected for long and is facing much more ridicule now! Then Allah will say, ‘If I had noticed any virtue in him, I wouldn’t have asked you to lift the cover of your wings from his sins!’”
It is narrated that the Prophet of Allah (S) has said, “It is easier to avoid sinning than being penitent after committing them. A moment’s emotion can become the cause of shame for long. Death does not leave any time for the person to make amends for his wrong acts.”
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) says, “When Allah wishes a person well, He involves him in severe hardship after he commits a sin. This hardship makes the person repent and do penance. If Allah finds no ray of virtue in the man, then He removes the desire for penitence and regret from the sinner’s mind to remain in his own world of sin and abuse. Allah says in His Holy Book, ‘We test them in a way that they don’t feel that they are being tested. They indulge, more and more, in sins and We keep sending bounties to them (that they don’t think of penitence for their sins.).’”

Penitence and Asking Forgiveness
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) has said “Allah keeps friends with such persons who are penitent after committing sins and pray for His pardon. Allah doesn’t like a person who commits minor sins and remains oblivious of his faults.” Then the Imam (as) added, “Fear very much the minor sins that you might commit. Beware, these minor sins may not be condoned!” Someone asked the Imam (as), “What are those sins?” The Imam replied, “When a person says after committing a sin,’ how I wish I had not committed any other sin than this!”
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) says that when a person asks for a boon from Allah and just before his prayer is answered he commits a sin; Allah orders the Angels to defer the grant of his wish. Then the Imam (as) added, “In certain years some places receive little rainfall. Wherever Allah wishes He sends the rain. When the people of a nation are involved more in sin, the share of rainfall for them is reduced and it is shifted to the high seas and the mountains. While the people of the area are punished for their sins, even the animals and plants suffer for no fault of theirs.” Then the Imam (as) added, “O people with wisdom! Take warning from this!”
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) says, “Sometimes because of the ill effect of sins a person veers away from the mandatory prayers.” The Imam (as) added, “A person thinks of a sin and commits it thinking that there are many others that do the same. Allah says in this regard,’ By My Majesty and Honour! I shall never pardon him!”
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said, “On the Day of Judgement some people will be incarcerated for a hundred years only for committing one sin! Looking at the comforts enjoyed by the inmates of the Heaven these sinners will feel repentant.”
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) says, “Allah has decided that He will not take away the bounties from a man till he has not committed any sin.”
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) has said, “There is no pain more severe for a man than that of sin and there is no fear for him more than the fear of death. For a reminder taking lesson from the experience of the forbears is sufficient.”
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) says, “The sin that causes reduction in the bounties is pride and disobedience of Allah. The sin that brings repentance to a man is the murder of a human being. The sin that brings retribution of Allah is cruelty to others. An example of a sin that is hidden is consumption of intoxicants. The sin that affects the means of livelihood is adultery. The sin that reduces the longevity of a person is depriving the rights of others. The sin that obstructs acceptance of prayers is ill treatment and disobedience of the parents.”
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said, “Allah will torture the tongue more than any part of human body on the Day of Judgement. The tongue will submit, ‘O Allah! Why are you giving more punishment than to the other part of the body?’ Allah will say, ‘O tongue! One word came from you and traveled all through the east and the west. Innumerable disputes and fights raised their heads because of this and caused unfathomable damage to men and material!’

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