“The Minor Sins Committed Between Ramadan To Ramadan Are Expiated . . .” – 24th May 2015
Abu Hurayra (Radi Allahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “The obligatory prayer to the obligatory prayer, and the Friday prayer to the Friday prayer, and the Ramadan until the next Ramadan expiate the sins committed between them if the person avoids the major sins.”
Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimahullah) said that this Hadith can mean two things, observing the fast in Ramadan until you observe the next fast in Ramadan while avoiding the major sins will expiate your minor sins.
Observing the fast in Ramadan will expiate the minor sins between two Ramadans, and this the more correct meaning
The major sins require repentance.
What is a major sin?
1) Every sin or action where the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has cursed its doer
2) Every action in which there is a penalty for it in this world.
3) Every action where there is a threat of punishment from Allah or the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in the next world. (Eg. The sin of Riba)
4) Every action where the Prophet(Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) negated belief from its doer.
The Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said :
“None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”
Related by Bukhari & Muslim
5) Any action in which the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) disassociated himself from the sinner.
The Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) “He is not one of us who deceives us.” (Narrated by Muslim)
This Hadith makes one eager to reach Ramadan. It is a blessing that Allah granted us opportunities for the expiation of our sins. You may look lightly at the fact that it is an expiation of minor sins, however there are many risks involved when a person commits minor sins.
Minor sins include listening to music, not replying to the Salaam, playing which diverts the heart from the remembrance of Allah, bad behavior, ill treatment of the people, not returning something you have borrowed, obscene talk, free mixing with the opposite sex without necessity, etc.
Ibn Abbas counted smiling and laughing at unlawful things a minor sin.
We may be committing minor sins profusely during the day. Taking them lightly is very dangerous, it indicates weak faith and that you are not magnifying Allah and giving him His due estimate.
The Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallm) said: “Beware of the sins that are belittled. For verily, they are gathered in a man until they destroy him. And indeed the Messenger of Allah made an example of them (sins that are taken lightly) by saying that they are like a people who settle in barren land. Then their leader comes and orders the men to go out one at a time and each bring back a stick until they have gathered a large number of sticks. Then they kindled a fire and burned everything that they threw into it.” [Narrated by Sahel bin Sa’ad As-Sa’adi, Authenticated by Albani, Source: Sahih al Jamie, No: 2686 , Sahih Hadith]
Many people are aware of the major sins but belittle the minor sins because they are under the notion that they are minor and forgivable. They don’t consider it a big deal.
Six risks of taking minor sins lightly:
1) According to scholars, when minor sins are committed with belittlement and without remorse and fear of Allah, they will be considered major sins. The sin will not be considered minor with persistence.
The Hadith encourages us to:
- Be heedful of our minor sins
- Not take sins lightly
- Take account of ourselves
2) Many people belittle the minor sins because they are under the impression that they can be forgiven easily.
They are under the impression that as long as they are praying and fasting, their minor sins are being forgiven. But how do you even know that your prayer and fasting is accepted by Allah?
Even if it is accepted by Allah, is it enough to expiate your minor sins? Nobody knows.
Imam Ahmad recorded from `Awf bin Al-Harith bin At-Tufayl that `A’ishah told him that the Prophet used to say, O `A’ishah! Beware of the sins that are belittled, for indeed they will be taken account of by Allah.
This Hadith was recorded by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.
Allah will ask us about these minor sins, which the people deem easily forgivable. If the Prophet, whose past and future sins have been forgiven asked Allah for forgiveness 70 or 100 times a day, what about us?
We may commit sins and not see a hastened punishment, be wary of thinking that Allah has forgiven that sin. Allah may not punish the person immediately because He is Al-Haleem, The Forebearing.
3) Minor sins occupy the person from repentance and cause laziness which prevent the person from doing good which expiate the sins.
When explaining Verse 81 of Surat Al-Baqarah
بَلَىٰ مَن كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيئَتُهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
Yes, whoever earns evil and his sin has encompassed him – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.
Rabee’ Ibn Kuthaym said, “This is the person who will die without repenting from his sins”
His sins, even if they are minor, will encircle him on the Day of Judgement.
4) Belittling the minor sins will gradually lead a person to belittle the major sins
Gradually, the Shaytan will lead him to commit major sins and he will find no remorse in his heart when committing them.
Committing sins boldly opens the door to committing it habitually.
Surat Al-Baqarah Verse 168
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
Abu Ubaydah said, “The steps of the Shaytan are the minor sins”
5) They bring a burden of sins for a person in ways the person never even thought of.
The person may commit a sin and take it lightly. Others will see this person taking it lightly and will imitate him. He will bear the sin of all those who followed him.
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance and because of that Allah will raise him or reward him to a degree beyond one’s imagination. A slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases him without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell fire.”
Ibn AlHajr said, “Carelessly means he did not think of its consequence”
6) This is the most serious. When minor sins are accumulated in the heart of a person they cause hardness of the heart.
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘anhu) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saod: “When a slave (a person) commits a sin (an evil deed) a black dot is dotted on his heart. Then if that person gives up that evil deed (sin), begs Allah to forgive him, and repents, then his heart is cleared (from that heart covering dot); but if he repeats the evil deed (sin), then that covering is increased till his heart is completely covered with it. And this is Ar-Ran that Allah mentioned (in the Quran),
“Nay! but on their hearts is the Ar-Ran (covering of evil deeds and sins) which they used to earn” (Surat Al-Mutaffifin Verse 15)”
At-Tirmidhi, Vol 5 , Hadith No: 3334
Ibn AlJawzi said, “The greatest punishment is that a person is punished by Allah and he doesn’t feel of it.”
A person with a hardened heart doesn’t feel that his heart is hardened or blackened because of the sins he commits day and night. He is happy and rejoices in committing the sin and deceiving the people.
Don’t be heedless, every minor and major thing is recorded.
Surat Al-Qamar Verse 53
وَكُلُّ صَغِيرٍ وَكَبِيرٍ مُّسْتَطَرٌ
And every small and great [thing] is inscribed.
Surat Al-Kahf Verse 49
وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا
And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.
We will be shown our deeds openly, we are responsible for them.
Sufyan Ath-Thawri, “We will be even asked why we smiled on such and such day”
So when we say that minor sins committed between Ramadan to Ramadan are expiated, it is a great thing. If you don’t know what a minor sin is, you may be committing them in Ramadan unknowingly. We have to train and control ourselves prior to Ramadan.