A Believer Takes His Sins Very Seriously April 14, 2018 – Posted in: Blog, Islamic Practice, Love in Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

‘Abdullah b. Mas’ûd – Allah be pleased with him – said:

The believer sees his sins as if he is sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on him, while the sinner (fâjir) sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose, he just waves it away.

[Al-Bukhârî, Al-Sahîh, The Book of Supplications, Chapter on Tawbah]

Ibn Hajr quotes in his commentary, Fath Al-Bârî:

Ibn Abî Jumrah said, “The reason for this [fear] is that the heart of a believer is illuminated; so when he sees from himself something that goes against what he illuminates his heart with, it is very distressing to him. The wisdom behind giving the example of a mountain is that a person might find some way to escape from other dangers, but if a mountain falls on a person he does not survive. In short, the believer is dominated by fear (of Allah) due to the strength of îmân he has; he does not therefore feel falsely secure about being punished because of his sins. This is the way of the Muslim: he always fears and checks on himself, his good deeds are little to him and he fears even the small bad deeds he has done.”

Inheritors of The Prophets (Front Cover)

“I seek refuge in Allah from knowledge that does not benefit and from a heart that has no fear” – Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)

Righteous Fear vs. Sinful Delusion

It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basrî – Allâh have mercy on him – said:

The believer does the best deeds yet is most fearful [that his deeds will not be accepted]. If he were to spend a mountain of wealth [in charity], he would not feel sure [of the reward] until he sees it. The more righteous and pious he becomes, the more he fears. But the hypocrite (munâfiq) says, ‘There are so many people, I will be forgiven, no problem.’ So he does wrong and evil deeds, yet holds foolish wishes about Allâh.

[Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ` 4:586]

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: ‘By My might, I will not let My slave suffer from fear in two realms or feel safe in two realms. If he feels safe from Me in this world, I will make him feel fear on the Day of Resurrection, but if he fears Me in this world, I will make him feel safe on the Day of Resurrection.’”

Narrated by Ibn al-Mubaarak ibn az-Zuhd (157); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah (742).

How does a believer fear Allah?

Fear (of Allah) stems from three things:

  1. Being aware of one’s offence and how abhorrent it is
  2. Believing the warning, and that Allah has prescribed the punishment for the sin.
  3. Remembering that one does not know: perhaps one will be prevented from repenting, and something may bar one from doing so if one commits the sin.

By means of these three things, fear of Allah will be instilled, and depending on how strong or weak they are, one’s fear of Allah will be stronger or weaker. What pushes a person to commit sin is either his lack of knowledge of its abhorrent nature, or his lack of knowledge of its evil consequences, or both factors are present, but what pushes him to do it is the fact that he is relying on the idea of repenting (at some future time). This is usually the case with regard to sins committed by believers. But if a person is aware of the abhorrent nature of the sin and of its evil consequences, and he is afraid that the gate of repentance may not be opened to him – rather he may be prevented from repenting – then his fear will be greater.

This applies before committing the sin. If he does commit it, then his fear will be even greater. To sum up, if a believer constantly remembers the hereafter and its requital, and he remembers sin and the warning of punishment for it, and that there is no guarantee that he will be able to repent sincerely, then this will instil fear in his heart that he will have no control over, and this fear will remain in his heart until he is safe.

End quote from Tareeq al-Hijratayn (p. 283)

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