HOW CAN YOU RANK gunahs of Biddah, Shirk and Gibaht. CAN YOU DEFINE CLEARLY WHAT KIND OF ACT WILL COUNT AS SUCH SINS? AND Whether such sins will be forgiven by the Allah Taa`ala?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

HOW CAN YOU RANK gunahs of Biddah, Shirk and Gibaht. CAN YOU DEFINE CLEARLY WHAT KIND OF ACT WILL COUNT AS SUCH SINS? AND Whether such sins will be forgiven by the Allah Taa`ala?  

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Sins of bida, gheebat and shirk

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 120:

Eschew all sin,  open or secret: those who earn sin will get due recompense for their "earnings."

 

The believers who sincerely fear Allah and the Last Day,  must strive to abstain from all kinds of sins, whether they are major or minor!    The barometer to determine the rank of the sin and which sins fall into the ‘major’ category, and which fall into the ‘minor’ category is the terminology and the prescribed punishment of Allah Subhanah and His Messenger (saws).   The bigger the punishment prescribed for a particular act, the bigger the enormity of the sin in the Sight of Shariah Law and of Allah Subhanah.

 

If one were to rank the sins of Bida, Shirk, and ‘geebah’ (back-biting) from low to high, then in light of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah amongst the three listed sins ‘gheebah’ would be the lowest, followed by ‘bida’ (innovation), and without an iota of a doubt, the greatest and most heinous amongst all sins would be the abomination of ‘shirk’ (associating other gods with Allah Subhanah).

 

Ref: definition of the sin of ‘gheebah’ or back-biting

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chatper 49 Surah Hujuraat verse 12:

12      O ye who believe!  Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs.  Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay ye would abhor it...but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful.

 

Sahih Muslim HadithHadith 6265      Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: ‘Do you know what is backbiting?’  They (the Companions) said: ‘Allah and His Messenger (saws) know best.  Thereupon he (the Prophet (saws)) said: ‘Backbiting implies your talking about your brother (behind his back) in a manner which he does not like.’  It was said to him: ‘What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of?’  He (saws) said: ‘If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbited him, and if that is not in him it is a slander!.’

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4862  Narrated by AbuBarzah al-Aslami

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house!’

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4860  Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘When I was taken up to heaven I passed by people who had nails of copper and were scratching their faces and their breasts.’  I asked: ‘Who are these people, O Jibrael?’  He replied: ‘They are those who were given to back biting and who aspersed people's honour.’

 

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 4.107b

The Prophet (saws) said, "The atonement for backbiting is to pray for forgiveness of the person who was slandered and to say, 'O Allah, forgive us and him'."

 

Ref: the definition of the sin of ‘bida’ or innovation

A bida or innovation is something which is invented, innovated, and added to the deen of Islam after the deen was completed on Prophet Mohamed (saws). It especially concerns the rites and rituals of worship,  or any deed which was not performed or endorsed by the Messenger of Allah (saws),  but was added as a part of the deen after his (saws’s) death.   It also concerns any innovated deed which one does and believes that by doing this innovated deed, he is eligible to earn more reward from Allah Subhanah.   

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32:

O Prophet, tell the people, “If you sincerely love Allah, follow me.   Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful.”  Also say to them, “Obey Allah and His Messenger.”  And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.

 

Dear and Beloved brother in Islam, it is the solemn belief of every true believer who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day, that there was, is, or never will be anyone in the annuls of creation who worshipped Allah Subhanah more or better than the Noble Last and Final Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws)!  

 

Thus if anyone dares to comes up with any act of worship like celebration, commemoration, or prescribes importance to any prayer, or fast, or night or day, or invents, innovates, or adds anything in the deen of Islam which is not endorsed by the Noble Prophet (saws), then it implies one of three things:

  1. that the person who claims that worship is due on this specific night in this specific way loves and worships Allah more than the Noble Prophet (saws)!!!
  2. or, that the person knows more than the Noble Prophet (saws)!!!
  3. or, that the person has received revelations from Allah Subhanah after the death of the Prophet Mohamed (saws)!!!

 

Allah is our witness brother, if anyone in the annuls of creation ever claims to have any of the above three qualities is nothing more than a confirmed and manifest liar!; for Allah is our witness, no man in the annuls of creation loved or worshipped their Lord more than Prophet Mohamed (saws), no man in the annuls of creation had more knowledge of the Truth than the Noble Prophet Mohamed (saws), and Allah is our witness, the Last and Final Revelations of The Lord Most Majestic were revealed on Prophet Mohamed (saws), and there is none who will or can receive revelations after him (saws)!

 

If one brings, invents, adds or innovates any act or deed in religion which has not been specifically endorsed by Allah and His Messenger (saws), then it has to be a ‘bida’ (innovation in the religion after the deen was completed on Prophet Mohamed (saws)), and Allah is our witness, every innovation in the deen of Islam is an error in the Sight of Allah Subhanah! 

 

Sahih Muslim Hadith 1885     Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah

That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon:  “The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran;  and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws).   The most evil affairs are the innovations (bida), and every innovation (bida) is an error.”

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4515  Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib

That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: “If anyone introduces an innovation (bida in religion),  he will be responsible for it.   If anyone introduces an innovation (bida) or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (bida), he is cursed by Allah,  by His Angels,  and by all the people!”

 

Ref: the definition of the abomination and heinous crime of ‘shirk’

In light of the absolutely clear guidance of the Glorious Qruan, ‘Shirk’ or associating another in God-head with Allah, has three main parts:

1.      Shirk in Allah’s Self

2.      Shirk in Allah’s Attributes

3.      Shirk in Allah’s Rights

 

Shirk in Allah’s Self: 

This would be if one were to claim that Allah has a son,  or has a mother, father, brothers, sisters, family, children;  or to claim that someone or something originated Allah!   This is committing ‘shirk’ in Allah’s Self.

 

Shirk in Allah’s Attributes:

Allah has declared 99 of His attributes in the Glorious Quran,  and Allah Alone knows how many more there are.   For example,  Allah is the ‘Al Aleem’ (The All Knowing).   He Alone is the All Knowing,  of the seen and the unseen!   If we believe anybody else of His creation knows everything,  or even has the power to know everything,  then we have wrongfully elevated someone to the position of Allah’s Attributes,  and this is a clear form of shirk.

 

Similarly,  Allah is the ‘As Samee’ (The All Hearing).   He Alone is the All Hearing… We humans can only hear upto certain decibels;  below that limit we cannot hear,  and above that limit is unbearable!   Allah Alone hears everything… If we believe anybody else of His creation hears everything,  or even has the power to hear everything,  then we have wrongfully elevated someone to the position of Allah’s Attributes,  and this is again shirk.

 

Similarly,  Allah is the ‘Al Qader’ (The One who is Able to do all things).   He Alone has the Power to do anything and everything!   If we believe that anybody of His creation can do whatever they want,  even when Allah does not permit him,  this is shirk!   Everything that happens in this world,  needs Allah’s permission… only when He permits,  can a thing happen.   To believe that somebody can hurt us,  or harm us,  without the permission of Allah,  is a clear form of Shirk.

 

Shirk in Allah’s Rights:

The biggest Right of Allah is that being our Creator and our Sustainer,  He Alone deserves our invocation and our worship.   This is absolutely the biggest Right of Allah.   No one deserves that we bow down to him and pray to him or call on him to answer our prayers … This is the Sole Right of Allah Alone.   If anyone goes to anybody,  any person,  any idol,  any grave,  any shrine,  anything… and asks them to fulfill our prayers,  or even to tell them to take our Message to Allah,  this is an absolute form of Shirk!   Allah Alone deserves that we pray to Him,  call on Him,  serve Him,  sacrifice for Him,  fear Him,  obey His laws,  follow His appointed Messengers,  and obey and follow the commandments of His Revealed Book!   If we do any of the above for anybody else other than Allah,  then it is Shirk.

 

Bowing in prostration to the grave of the Prophet (saws),  is to share a right that is due to Allah Subhanah Alone with someone else,  no matter who that person or thing is!    The Jews shared Allah’s Rights with Moses and Uzair,  and were cursed by Allah;  the Christians shared Allah’s Rights with Jesus,  and were cursed by Allah!   May Allah have mercy on the people who call themselves believers,  but want to share the Right of Allah with their Prophet (saws)!  

 

‘Shirk’  is the absolute single biggest sin in Islam,  which Allah has Himself promised in the Holy Quran never to forgive!   This sin is so heinous and so monstrous,  that Allah has promised to forgive any of the sins of man,  except this one sin!

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72:

Whoever commits ‘shirk’ (invoking anything with Allah),  Allah shall forbid for him Paradise,  and Hell shall be his abode.  And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.

 

Allah says in the Quran: Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa Verse 48:
Shirk (associating other deities with Allah) is the only sin that Allah does not forgive, and He forgives, whomsoever He pleases, sins other than this.  For whosoever associates any other partner with Allah, does indeed forge a big lie and commits the most heinous sin

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 65-66:

If you commit ‘shirk’ all your works will be rendered vain and you will be among the losers.  Therefore,  you should worship Allah Alone,  and be among His grateful servants.

 

All the Prophets of Allah who were ever sent warned the believers to beware of this heinous sin of ‘shirk’,  which renders all the deeds of man worthless in the sight of Allah Subhanah.

 

Thus it becomes our duty to recognize and be aware of ‘shirk’ and all the manifestations of this horrendous and grave sin.   Allow us to just give you some examples of what constitutes ‘shirk’ in the Sight of Allah Subhanah:

 

1.      Bowing down to anybody or anything other than Allah is shirk!

2.      Bowing down to the graves of any in creation, including the Prophets of Allah is shirk!

3.      Believing that the dead people in their graves can hear and respond to supplications is shirk!

4.      Believing that anybody other than Allah can do one any harm in the unseen is shirk!

5.      Believing that anybody other than Allah can bring one any good in the unseen is shirk!

6.      Believing that anybody other than Allah knows everything is shirk!

7.      Believing that anybody other than Allah sees everything is shirk!

8.      Believing that anybody other than Allah listens to our supplications in the unseen is shirk!

9.      Believing that anybody other than Allah can help us in the unseen is shirk!

10.  Believing that anybody other than Allah can guide us in the unseen is shirk!

11.  Believing that anybody can influence Allah to give us health is shirk!

12.  Believing that anybody can influence Allah to give us wealth is shirk!

13.  Believing that anybody can influence Allah to give us children is shirk!

14.  Believing that anybody can influence Allah to help us is shirk!

15.  Believing that anybody has any power with Allah is shirk!

16.  Believing that anybody has any power with Allah to take us out of the fire of Hell is shirk!

17.  Believing that anybody has any power with Allah on the Day of Judgement is shirk!

18.  Believing that anybody has any power to change the decision of Allah is shirk!

19.  To worship anybody with Allah is shirk!

20.  To invoke anybody with Allah is shirk!

21.  To raise anybody to the rank of Allah is shirk!

22.  To give or share any of Allah’s Exclusive Attributes with anybody else is shirk!

23.  To believe that anybody has the power to bring about any miracles on his own is shirk!

24.  To go to somebody to take our message or supplication to Allah is shirk!

 

Your Question: AND Whether such sins will be forgiven by the Allah Taa`ala? 

Whatever deeds one might have done, if one turns to Allah Subhanah in sincere Taubah and seeks forgiveness,  Allah Subhanah has promised in the Holy Quran that He will forgive all the sins of such a believer, even if one has committed the gravest sin of all: ‘Shirk’!    Not only that, our Lord is so Merciful and Generous, that He not only will forgive the sins of those who turn back to Him in repentance, He will change their evil deeds done into good deeds!  

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2357        Narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "He who repents of a sin is like him who has committed no sin!"

 

The conditions or ways to seek sincere Taubah or Repentance from the Merciful Lord are:

  • One is aware that he has sinned,  and feels sorry and ashamed at his sin.
  • Makes a solemn covenant and promise with Allah that he will not repeat his sin again.
  • Turns to Allah and seeks forgiveness,  before he has met with his appointment of death.
  • Is a believer and does righteous good deeds thereafter. 

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumur verses 53-54:

(O Prophet) say: “O My servants who have wronged their own souls….Do not despair of Allah’s Mercy!  Surely,  Allah forgives all sins.   He indeed is the All Forgiving,  All Merciful.   Return to your Lord and submit to Him before the scourge overtakes you;  for then you may get no help from anywhere.”

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 135-136:

Allah likes such good people very much, who,  if ever they commit a base deed or wrong their own soul by the commission of a sin,  remember Allah instantly,  and ask for forgiveness from Him for their shortcomings.  For who,  but Allah,  can forgive sins?   (And Allah loves those) who do not knowingly persist in the wrongs they did.   These will be rewarded with forgiveness from Allah,  and with Gardens beneath which canals flow,  and they will reside therein forever!   How excellent is the reward of those who do good deeds!

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verses 63-71:

The (true) servants of the Merciful are those who walk humbly on the earth.   When the ignorant people behave insolently towards them,  they say, “Peace to you”;  (And those) who pass their nights in prostrating themselves and standing before their Lord and pray, “O our Lord,  save us from the torment of Hell,  for its torment is killing!  It is an evil abode,  and an evil resting place”.  (And those) who,  when they spend are neither extravagant,  nor miserly,  but keep the golden mean between the two extremes.  (And those) who do not invoke any god but Allah Alone,  nor kill a soul unjustly,  which Allah has forbidden,  nor commit adultery… He who does this shall be punished for his sin,  and his torment shall be doubled on the Day of Resurrection,  and he shall abide in a state of ignominy;  EXCEPT THE ONE WHO MAY HAVE REPENTED (AFTER THOSE SINS),  AND HAVE BELIEVED AND DONE RIGHTEOUS DEEDS.   For then,  Allah will change his evil deeds into good deeds,  and He is very Forgiving and Merciful.   In fact,  one who repents and does righteous deeds,  returns to Allah as one rightly should!

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 54:

When those come to you who believe in Our Signs,  say: "Peace be on you!  Your Lord had inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy.  Verily if any of you did evil in ignorance,  and thereafter repented and amended (his conduct),  Lo! He is Oft-Forgiving,  Most Merciful."

 

But if one who commits sin and were to meet his appointment of death without turning back to his Lord Creator seeking sincere repentance for those sins, then the Decision of whether to forgive or punish is in the Hands of none except the Lord Most Majestic, Most High.  The one sin that the Lord Most High has singled out as being absolutely unforgivable in the Hereafter is the abomination and heinous crime of ‘shirk’!  If one were to commit the abomination of ‘shirk’ and were to meet his appointment of death without seeking sincere repentance for this most heinous of crimes, The Lord Most High Has Decreed and made it incumbent upon Himself NOT to forgive this humongous abomination and most heinous of sins in the Hereafter!  If the Lord Most Merciful Wills and Pleases, He may forgive any sin in the Hereafter of the one who died without seeking repentance….but the one sin which He Himself has singled out as absolutely unforgivable in the Hereafter is the abomination of ‘shirk’!

 

Hadith Qudsi 34

The Prophet (saws) said that Allah Subhanah, High and Exalted He is, says: ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.  O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you.  O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it.’

 

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws),   one can be assured of never ever being misled;   but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.  

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

 

Burhan

 

 

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