Islamic Education- Madarij Assalikin- Lesson(026-100): Repentance



 Dear brother, we continue with the lesson 26th of the series "Paths of seekers" tackling the different indications of "You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)." In fact, the indication of our lesson today is "Repentance."

 Repentance is a very wide topic that can’t be tackled in one lesson or two. Our lesson today is an introduction through which I would like to talk about how man should know all about sins and felonies. Man will not be able to avoid committing sins as long as he is ignorant about it. Will he?

 The majority of you have heard in one way or another about the dangerous effects of plastic if it is used with hot food or fats, as it will dissolve in food. No matter how little this dissolving quantity is, it will pile up in the body, and most likely it will cause cancerous tumors. This fact has become well-known in the country. The fact about the bad effects of heating bread by exposing it to fire directly and other facts have become wide spread as well. People cannot avoid whatever causes them deadly diseases unless they recognize the dangerous effects. Similarly, you will not be able to repent unless you recognize the sins you have committed.

The conditions of accepted repentance:

 Imam Al Ghazali, may Allah be pleased with him, mentioned that the stages of repentance are: knowledge, remorse and behavior.
 Every repentance starts with knowing about your sin, regretting about committing it and changing your behavior. Such behavior is divided into: behavior related to the past, restoration related to the present, abstain from committing sins related to the future. The last one has to do with the strong will; the repentant should reform his past, stop committing sins at once and be determined to not go back to those sins. Again what precedes behavior is first realizing the sin, then remorse for it deeply.

How did scholars interpret the following Hadith?

((Ibn Ma'qal said, 'I came with my father to 'Abdullah and heard him say, 'I heard Allah's Messenger (PBUH) say, 'Remorse is repentance.' 'My father asked him, 'Did you actually hear the Prophet (PBUH) say, 'Remorse is repentance?' He replied, 'Yes! I did.'))

 Scholars interpreted this concise Hadith as follows, "Remorse is the result of realizing the sin committed. This feeling necessitates certain behavior." The sayings of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, are concise,

Ibn Shihab reported that Saeed Ibn Al Musayeb reported that Abu Hurairah said, 'I have heard the prophet PBUH saying, ((I have been given the keys of eloquent speech and given victory with awe (cast into the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping last night, the keys of the treasures of the earth were brought to me till they were put in my hand.))

[Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi and Nasa’ee]

 He said,
 ((Remorse is repentance.))

 When does man repent? After he realizes that he has committed a sin. What does he do after regretting deeply about committing the sin? He stops committing the sin, adjusts his behavior and determines to not return to it in the future.

What does the word critical mean?

 Dear brother, these matters are of dangerous (critical) nature. "Dangerous" in language has two meanings: you say, for example, wheat is a critical substance in our lives, because if it no more exists famines will be widely spread. Consequently, if famines spread, we will be in a big trouble. On the other hand, if flowers (the ones that are used in marriage decorations) no more exist or let us say that the flower import is banned, our nation will not be affected. This ban of flower import or perfum import has no harmful effects on the nation. Thus, when we say that wheat is a dangerous substance, it does not mean it is an exploding substance. Dangerous here means that it is an essential substance in our lives. Similarly is repentance, i.e. it is the most essential issue in the believer’s life. The believer is a repentant sinner who could be weak, who could realize and know the sins he committed and who could regret about committing sins.

When does a slave repent?

 Repentance is a very crucial issue that needs more attention. Also it is a very wide topic that requires about four lessons to finish with it. I just wanted to start with the first stage of repentance, which is realizing that someone has committed a sin. You will not be able to repent unless you realize that you have sinned. You will not be able to stop committing sins unless you realize that they are sins. If you do not realize your sins, you will come to a standstill situation. Once you try to move, your movement may be headless, pointless or dangerous. The movement of the car is similar to this one if it does not have a steering well. The function of the steering well is similar to that of knowledge, and the movement of the sinful is similar to the movement of the car without a steering well. Moving without knowledge causes fall down and destruction because knowledge enables us to move towards the right direction.

One should know the meanings of certain terms:

 We sometimes come across certain words in Qur’an such as, "Fisq" ( rebellion), "Shirk" (polytheism), "Kufr" (Atheism), "Ilhad" ( atheism), "Ithm" (wrongdoing or sins), "Udwan" (transgression) and "M’asiah" (sinning). It is highly important for us to know the meanings of these words, because they are destructive.

 The destructive effects of these words are similar to the ones of a bomb if one has no idea about it. If someone wants to avoid these effects he should have information about how this bomb can be exploded. He has to know how to stop it from explosion. In brief, man has lusts and desires, so he has to know the meanings of the above mentioned words to avoid their destructive effects.

The chain of impermissible matters in Shar'e:

 I would like to start with the greatest sin in the religion, the root of every sin, and the source of all types of Shirk. Let me elaborate, what leads to Shirk, Udwan, Fisq, Fujoor and Kufr It is not adultery, drinking or killing; it is a great sin that may seem worthless in the eye of people. Yet, Allah shows how grave it is in the Noble Qur’an. He says,

((Say (O Muhammad): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge."))

[Al-A’raf, 33]

 These are forbidden deeds. Listen how Allah mentions them in a chain,

((Say (O Muhammad): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority))

 Then, Allah Almighty moves from great evils sins to what is greater,

(( and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge))

 Notice the rings of the chain. They are ordered form the great to the greatest. Allah mentions the great evils sins that include adultery, homosexuality and drinking. After that, He moves on to what is greater,

((Say (O Muhammad): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly))

 The following ayah shows us what is greater than the aforementioned sins,

((joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority ))

 Then, Allah mentions the sin that is greater than Shirk (joining partners in Allah) whether it is a major Shirk or a minor one;

(( sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression))

 These are sins committed by wrongdoing people. Next, Allah mentions what is greater,

(( and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.))

 This sin is the greatest because if you say things about Allah of which you have no knowledge, you will forbid what is permissible and permit what is prohibited. Consequently, you will be describing Allah with what is improper to Him, and you will be denying His Attributes by claiming other improper ones,

((and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.))

What are the greatest sins according to interpreters?

 Scholars have mentioned that the greatest sin is to talk falsely about Allah, to describe Him of what is improper to His Entity, to change His Religion, to disclaim what He has claimed, to claim what He has disclaimed, to validate what he has invalidated, to invalidate what he has validated, to antagonize Allah’s Awliyah (those who are pious), to be loyal to His enemies, to love what He has made hateful, to hate what He has made likable and to describe Him of what is improper to His Entity, Actions and Sayings.
 The most dangerous point which has been mentioned in the Noble Quran is to say things about Allah of which one has no knowledge. One should be careful before claiming that something is Halal while according to the Shar'e it is not, and one should not dare to claim that only high interest usury is prohibited. If you are indulged in a sin, do you have the right to make it lawful to sh3er? If you are afflicted with sins, should you permit them? If a woman doesn’t wear Hijab, does she have the right to make her situation lawful and say about Allah what she has no knowledge about?
 There is a big difference between disobeying Allah and making this disobedience lawful amongst people, between sinning and feel ashamed of one’s sins, and permitting these sins and making them lawful and default-free. If you permit committing these sins, you will be responsible for the sins committed by those who follow you, and you will be punished for them.

When does someone shy away from repentance?

 Glory be to you my Lord, how You have mentioned those sins and ordered them in a chain starting with the great sin and ending up with the greatest. Allah the Almighty says,

((and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge. ))

 If someone disobeys his Lord, but afterwards he knows that he has sinned, he will find the path to repentance paved, the door to it is wide open and Allah’s Mercy is limitless. However, if this man is convinced that he has not sinned, he will keep committing it for hundred years and will never repent. He will stand before Allah heedless, transgressor and sinful.
 Those who manipulate Allah’s religion by permitting what Allah has prohibited, prohibiting what Allah has permitted and allowing some violations, they harm the delicate and easily affected ownself, make it break away from its nature and keep a screen between it and Allah. Thus, those manipulators will be punished severely in the worldly life and the hereafter.

The honest scholar:

 Dear brother, a delegation from the western Islamic world (Andalusia) came to Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in the eastern Islamic world. The member of that delegation kept traveling for about four months to get where Imam Ahmad (the best scholar and Faqeeh) was and ask him thirty questions. The Imam answered only seventeen questions, and when he was asked about the answers of the rest, he said, "I don’t know the answers." They said, "Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal doesn’t know!! We have come from a very far land seeking your knowledge," he answered, "Tell people in the western Islamic world that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal doesn’t know." If he had said that he knew, he would have committed a great sin.

A piece of advice for every one of you:

 This is my advice to my brother to each one of you; if you are used to attend sermons and religious lectures, never ever give a fatwa when you are asked by your family, your neighbor, your colleagues, at work, at home and in picnics. Reconsider the question, go back to Quran, check the prophetic Sunnah, comprehend Sunnah as it should be, ask around, check very well, make sure that you are giving the right opinion before you give your fatwa at once and say that this is Haram and this is Halal.

What are the consequences of understanding one’s Aqidah wrongly?:

 I have never thought that saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge is greater than adultery, drinking, killing, joining partners with Allah and committing Kufr. It is the greatest sin, for it is the source of polytheism.
 What did idolaters say to those who asked them to worship Allah? They said, "We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah."”
 That is what they were taught; they thought that there was nothing wrong with worshipping idols.

 Let me ask you this question; which is more dangerous, worshipping idols, or thinking that worshipping them is permitted and accepted? Of course to have wrong concepts in your Aqidah is more dangerous. If you believe in wrong concepts in your Aqidah, you will never repent, whereas if you have a wrong behavior, you will repent sooner or later. When you realize that you have committed a sin, a transgression and a wrongdoing, you will be able to repent. Unlike you, those who believe in wrong concepts in their Aqidah will never be able to repent.

What is the most crucial thing in religion?

 The most crucial thing in religion is to seek its roots, its sources, its essence and its straight path. Listen to what the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said about this point,

((O Ibn Umar, take care of your religion! It is only your flesh and blood. Take from those who are upright, and do not take from those who have swerved.))

 Here is another Hadith,
 It was reported by Fudail, through Hisham, said, 'Mukhled Ibn Husain reported, by Muhammad Ibn Serin who said that the Prophet PBUH said,

((This knowledge (i.e. Hadith) is the Religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion' ))

A serious turning point:

 I would like to make a comparison between two sinners. One of them has opened a night club where all kinds of sins are committed, and the other one has written a book that has raised all suspicions about Islam and has made the contemporary deviated behavior legislation such as allowing the woman to put on a bikini before her husband brother and son. If we want to know which one is more sinful, you will find that the author of the book.
 How grave is the sin committed by the author. He has made what is Haram lawful and has prohibited what is Halal, has raised suspicions (about Islam), has claimed what Allah has disclaimed, has disclaimed what Allah has claimed, has altered the prophetic Sunnah and has brought forth forge As7adeth in order to misguide people. How many sins have been committed because of the book of this handsome author, who sits there in his luxurious house with his wife and children?

 If we want to find out who has committed more sins whether the person who has opened the night club or the author of the book, we will realize that the person who has misguided people, corrupted their Aqidah, prohibited Halal, permitted Haram, justified all deviations by using verses from Quran, said things about Allah of which he has no knowledge, told lies about the prophet PBUH and has misinterpreted prophetic texts to fit people’s lusts, will be exponentially sinning, million times more than the one who has opened a night club where all sins are committed.

What is the meaning of Al-Fitnah is worse than killing?

 How can you prove that Al-Fitnah is worse than killing? Allah says,

((And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.))

[Al-Baqarah, 191]

 If someone kills a girl, he will be convicted of manslaughter and will be executed. If he repents before being executed, the execution will be atonement for him.
 However, the sin is greater if someone rapes a girl, guides her to the wrong path, and makes her a prostitute. This girl will spend her entire life in prostitution and corruption. When she becomes a mother, her daughters will follow her footsteps. She will die one day leaving behind millions of whores. It is better for this guy to kill the girl than to seduce her and make her a whore. By killing her he may have the chance to repent and enter Paradise. This is the meaning of Allah’s ayah:

((And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.))

A serious matter:

 Dear brother, pre-Islamic Arabs used to bury their female infants alive. This is really an atrocious crime, Almighty Allah says,

((And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed))

[At-Takwir, 8-9]

 I would like to address the fathers who raise their daughters according to the so-called liberated upbringing. Those fathers corrupt their daughters when they let them go wherever they want and whenever they wish, and when they allow them to have boyfriends and get back home late at night. Let me be honest with those fathers, a Burying your enfant daughters alive is less evil than corrupting them. They will be granted Paradise if they are buried alive, whereas a whole generation will be corrupted if they are corrupted.

 The prophet PBUH said while describing the scenes of the Day of Resurrection, if the father is the one who is responsible for the daughter’s corruption, she will say, "O Lord, let my father fall down in hellfire before me.
 Paternity means responsibility; you should be the role model of your children.

Don’t manipulate Islamic laws:

 I am not exaggerating when I say that saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge is a grave sin. This is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an.
 Some people say, "Since woman’s face is not Awrah, why is it prohibited to gaze at it?" This is a wrong deduction. What do people understand from this deduction? The face is the source of beauty, and it is the most tempting part. When you say this is permitted and this is admissible, when you allow yourself to watch sexy scenes on T.V and listen to songs on the radio claiming that they are just reflections and have nothing to do with reality, nothing will be left in religion.

What is the greatest sin in religion?

 A man who lived in an Islamic country and fell behind in applying Islamic laws, said, "Salah is the only act of worship that is performed in this country." He meant that even the act of worship was not performed properly.
 I repeat again, saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge is the greatest sin in Islam, and that is because you are misguiding people, corrupting Aqidah, and changing the behavior for the worse, Allah says,

(( Those who avoid great sins (see the Qur'an, Verses: 6:152,153) and Al-Fawahish (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) except the small faults, verily, your Lord is of vast forgiveness. He knows you well when He created you from the earth (Adam), and when you were fetuses in your msh3er' wombs. So ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allah and keep his duty to Him [i.e. those who are Al-Muttaqun (pious))

[An-Najm, 32]

Is this acceptable?

 A brother told me that he asked a man whom he assumed to be knowledgeable, "What is Lamam (the small faults)? The man replied to him, "Every sin that has no Hadd (penalties of the Islamic law for particular crimes described in the Qur'an.)"However, the Prophet PBUH said in the Hadith reported by Hamma Ibn Al-Hareth, ((A man passed by Huthaifah Ibn Al-Yaman, so the latter was told, "This man is telling on people to the rulers." Huthaifah said, "I’ve heard the Prophet PBUH saying, "A Kattat (denunciator) will never enter Paradise." Sufyan said, "The Kattat is the "Nammam" (the one who tells on people.) )).
 According to that man’s opinion, there is nothing wrong with feasting your eyes on women's beauty, with lying to people and cheating on them. Hadd is limited to killing and whipping only. Listen to the ayah,

((Those who avoid great sins (see the Qur'an, Verses: 6:152,153) and Al-Fawahish (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) except the small faults))

 Thus, if we understood that Lamam is every sin that has no Hadd, there would be nothing left in this religion, and it would vanish.

Muslims’ real problem:

 If you wanted to how many killers and adulterers there are among one million Muslims, you will find that they are small in number. However, there are other many sins committed. The following Hadith proves that,
 Ibn Juraij reported that Abu Az-Zubair heard Jaber Ibn Abdullah saying, ((Verily, the Satan has lost all hopes that the worshippers would worship him, but he is hopeful that he would sow the seed of dissension amongst them.))
 After the prophet was sent to us, and after Quran was descended, can you see idols are worshipped instead of Allah? Worshipping idols no more exists, and will never exist till the Day of Resurrection. However, ((The Satan has lost all hopes that the worshippers would worship him, but he is hopeful that he would sow the seed of dissension amongst them.)) )) He makes them commit minor sins. Committing minor sins is the problem of Muslims nowadays. One may say to you, I don’t commit adultery, I don’t drink and I don’t steal. Everyone knows that these are deadly sin.. However, there are other kinds of sins like gazing at women,, gaining ill-gotten money, shaking hands with women (whom you are not supposed to shake hands with), deceiving other people, cheating on sh3er, lying to people, monopolizing, having double standards, being hypocrite, being a doubled face person, and million other sins that keep you detached from Allah the Almighty by a screen.. The person who doesn’t steal, commit adultery or lie, yet, he commits the above mentioned minor sins, is not he a sinner? These sins should not be committed by Muslims.

Check the following quote of some ancestors:

 Allah the Almighty says,

((And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: "This is lawful and this is forbidden," so as to invent lies against Allah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper.))

[An-Nahl, 116]

 Someone may say, "I’ll take the responsibility of the misdeeds; just put it on my scale of deeds." Who are you??? Who are you to say: put it on my scale of deeds? It has been said:

They said, "This is unacceptable for us."
Well, who are you to say for us?
* * *

 Who are you? What is your position in the sight of Allah?
 The Prophet PBUH didn’t have the right to say something out of his own opinion,

(( If Allah had so willed, I should not have reauthord it to you))

[Yunus, 16]

 He also said,

((Bring us a Qur'an other than this, or change it."Say (O Muhammad): "It is not for me to change it on my own accord; I only follow that which is revealed unto me.))

[Yunus, 15]

 The Prophet PBUH the messenger of Allah who sent to inform people about this religion, so who are you? Hence, Muslim should look for proofs in Allah’s book (Quran).
 Some ancestors said, "Beware of saying that Allah has made this Halal and has made this Haram (without any knowledge), because Allah will say, "You are lying, I have not make this Halal, nor have I made this Haram." To permit things and forbid sh3er according to your own opinion and without any proof from the Qur’an or Sunnah, is a grave sin. It is even greater than Shirk or Kufr, because it is the root of Shirk and Kufr.

"Whoever tells a lie against me, let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire." Why?

((It was narrated by Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, "I said to my father, 'I do not hear from you any narration (Hadith) of Allah's Apostle as I hear (his narrations) from so and so?" Az-Zubair replied, "l was always with him (the Prophet) and I heard him saying, "Whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then (surely) let him occupy, his seat in Hell-fire."))

 Why will he occupy a seat in hellfire? Because everything that is ascribed to the messenger (the Prophet PBUH), automatically will be ascribed to the sender (Allah). Let me elaborate; when the Foreign Minister delivers a speech at a conference, whatever he says is not his. He is assigned to say so and so. It means that the person who asks the Minister to deliver this speech agrees on every single word written in it. Thus, if you ascribe to the messenger PBUH things he didn’t say, you will be ascribing these things to Allah the Almighty. What does Allah say?

((And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.)? Verily, the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) shall never be successful. ))

[Al-An’am, 21]

 Who does more wrong? It is superlative adjective, which means that among all mankind there isn’t a person who does more wrong than the one who invents a lie against Allah.
It is said,, "How can someone repent if he doesn’t know that this is an invention?"
 Inventing lies against Allah closes the door of repentance. If you want to ask about religious matters, ask someone with authentic knowledge. If you want to give an opinion, just say what you know, otherwise, it will be a grave sin. Be careful, it is Allah’s religion, and religion is the most crucial thing in everyone’s life.

Varieties of impermissible matters mentioned in the Noble Quran:

 Sin and transgression are prohibited, and all of you know that they are mentioned in many ayat in Qur’an. Allah says,

(( O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Month, nor of the animals brought for sacrifice, nor the garlanded people or animals, etc. [Marked by the garlands on their necks made from the outer part of the tree-stems (of Makkah) for their security], nor the people coming to the Sacred House (Makkah), seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when you finish the Ihram (of Hajj or 'Umrah), you may hunt, and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. ))

[Al-Ma’idah’, 2]

 It has been said, "'Birr' is the righteousness in the worldly life." It is manifested when you help young people by building houses for them, when you work on decreasing dowers and when you find job opportunities to jobless people. "Help you one another in Al-Birr," means righteousness in the worldly life. Listen what is said in the famous supplication, "O, Allah make us do well in the religion which is our dignity and make our lives good for it is our living."

((Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety) )

 "Birr" is the goodness in worldly life, and "Taqwa" is the well-being in the hereafter. Allah says,

(( but do not help one another in sin and transgression. ))

An important issue:

 All of you know that words in Quran come jointly, and scholars said, "When words come jointly, it means that every word has its own precise meaning, whereas when they come separately, then the one word might indicate the meaning of the two words that are usually connected to each other in other ayat." The following ayah gives us the proof,

(( As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara' (poor), and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and for to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun - those fighting in the holy wars), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.))

[At-Taubah, 60]

 Some scholars said, "When two words are connected to each other in one ayah, each one of them has its own precise meaning, but when they are mentioned separately, then the meaning includes both words." For instance, if you say "Fuqara" only, this indicates Fuqara and Masakin, and if you say,

((and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masakin (the poor))

[Al-Baqarah, 177]

 "Al-Masakin" denotes both Fuqara and Masakin (because it was mentioned alone.) If they are mentioned jointly, "Masakin" will have a precise meaning of its own as well as "Fuqara"”. The Miskeen (singular of Masakin) is the person who is unable to work, whereas the Faqeer (singular or Fuqara) is the one whose income is not enough to satisfy his needs, hence each word has a different meaning from the other.

 Now in respect of Ithm (sin) and Udwan (transgression), if you mention Ithm only, it will bear both meanings (Ithm and Udwan), and if you mention Udwan only, it will bear both meanings. Basically Udwan means to transgress Allah’s orders, i.e. when you disobey Allah’s orders. To stop doing what Allah orders you to do and keep doing what is prohibited to do are types of Udwn. Transgressing the Islamic law, challenging it, trespassing its limits, and neglecting orders and bans, are kinds of transgression of Allah’s orders. Whoever transgresses Allah’s orders is a sinner. Thus, sinning is transgressing and transgressing is sinning.

The Meaning of Ithm (sinning) and Odwan (oppression):

 Ithm means that a sin is prohibited in its nature, whereas Udwan means to exceed the permitted limits. For example, If you bought a land and you took one meter from your neighbor’s land when you fenced it in, that would be transgression, given owning the land is permitted in the first place. Adultery, on the other hand is prohibited in its nature and it is a sin, likewise all kinds of adultery, drinking and homosexuality are prohibited.
 Taking things that are not yours is transgression (Udwan), likewise selling something at a high price, deceiving the customers and hiding defaults in goods. Selling and buying are Halal, whereas taking what is not yours is Udwan. I repeat again, Ithm is all matters that are prohibited in their own natures,, like lying, adultery, drinking …etc, while Udwan is to exceed the permitted limits.

Types of transgression (Udwan):

 Transgression (udwan) is of two types: transgression of Allah’s orders, and transgression of His slaves’ rights. Hence, whoever makes adultery lawful, transgresses the Shar'e of Allah. Listen to the following ayah,

((And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame;))

[Al-Muminun, 5-6]

 Having intercourse with your wife is permitted except during her period. Therefore, whoever has intercourse with his wife during her period, violates the Shar'e of Allah. Similarly, if the doctor looks at parts of women’s bodies that do not need to be examined, he exceeds the permitted limits.
 As I have mentioned above, Ithm is all matters that are prohibited in their own natures, whereas Udwan is exceeding the limits of what is lawful.

Meaning of Fahshaa’ and Munkar:

 In respect of Fahshaa’ (Evil deeds) and Munkar (all that is prohibited by Islamic law), it has been said that Fahshaa’ is an adjective of an omitted characterized thing. Hence Fahshaa’ is everything that is condemned by the sound reasoning and the pure nature whether it was behavior, an attribute or an action.
 Al Munkar is an adjective of an omitted characterized thing as well, and it is everything that is rejected by reasoning and human nature. Fahshaa’ is a condemned ugly action that is not a subject of questioning, whereas Munkar, is everything that is condemned by the sound reasoning and pure nature. In brief, Fahshaa’ and Munkar are like Ithm and Udwan, if they are mentioned jointly, every word will have its own precise meaning, and if one of them is mentioned, it will denote the meaning of both words. Actually, the definitions of these terms are very essential whenever we refer to the prohibited matters. Let us move to another two terms; the difference between Ma’siyah (disobedience) and Fujoor (wickedness ) is as follows: Ma’siyah is disobeying Allah’s orders, such us breaking someone’s fast in Ramadan. In this case he is disobedient, but when he breaks his fast in Ramadan in public, that will be Fujoor (showing off his sins in public).

Be careful from whom you take your religion:

 We will be tackling these precise terms (Fahshaa’, Munkar, Ithm, Udwan…etc) in the coming lessons insha’ Allah, and we will study carefully how Allah explains the definitions and indications of these terms.
 Let me remind you of the Hadith I mentioned previously in our lesson,

((This knowledge (i.e. Hadith) is the Religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion ))

 Man tends to take Rukhas (plural for Rukhsah; license or false fatwa to do something that is unacceptable in Shar'e, so that this fatwa will make things easier for him. However, when death comes, everyone will be asked about their deeds on the Day of Judgment. Only then we will find out that those who issued fatawa to facilitate matters for us and made some sins lawful,, were mistaken. Unfortunately on that Day it will be too late to fix things. Allah says,

((when there was no longer time for escape))

[Saad, 3]

 It is too late to escape the punishment on the Day of Judgment. Man in this worldly life may be able to avoid doing evil deeds and to avoid the punishments of those deeds in one way or another. However, the person who had been sinning because he believed wrong fatawa, will never be able to escape the punishment when he meets Allah the Almighty. This man accepted to build his ambitions on a fragile base, because he listens to the fatwa of bias people. He accepted what is said about Halal and Haram matters Don’t give opinion without knowledge, don’t ask but knowledgeable scholars, don’t trust but scholars with authentic knowledge, don’t ask anyone to issue fatwa but those whom you know how pious they are., don’t take for granted any opinion without evidence and don’t refuse anything without giving the proof,

((This knowledge (i.e. Hadith) is the Religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion ))

Reflect upon these words:

 Dear brother, I will tell you sincere words; unless you follow Allah’s orders, unless you forsake Munkar totally and unless you abandon all kinds of sins, your path to Allah will be blocked. In Islam it is acceptable to be invited to Mawaled (ceremonies that celebrate the birthday of the Prophet PBUH) and be delighted when you listen to the best Inshaad bands, to read a book and be affected by its enriching ideas, to be eloquent and people admire your speech, to write a book, to work according to the Islamic traditions, to have a Mawled where best inshad bands are invited, the best food is presented, cream of crops in society and well known scholars are invited to deliver speeches. However, it can never be acceptable to sin and insist on sinning claiming that it is permitted according to false fatwa. Once you refuse to admit your sins, and you insist on committing them, you will come to a deadlock with Allah. No matter how religious lessons you attend, how well known scholars you meet, how many books you write and how many religious activities you have, you will be detached from Allah as long as you keep on sinning.
I used to mention an example which seems a flight of fancy; an illiterate man who never insists on committing sins, while you do, is more knowledgeable than you regardless how many recognized books you have written.
 The proof is mentioned in the following Hadith of the Prophet PBUH,

((Reported by Masrook, he said: fearing Allah is the best knowledge one can have, and being satisfied of knowledge indicates one’s ignorance.))


Knowing the law and knowing the law-giver:

 Let me tell you something, you may know Allah’s orders very well and may know many other things that are related to Islamic teachings such as; Halal, Haram, your duties, the permissible matters, the recommended deeds, the undesirable deeds, the detested deeds and the absolute Haram. Nevertheless, you should know that knowing the laws is one thing, and knowing Allah is another thing. Knowing the laws is pointless if it is not associated with s knowing the law-giver.
 If you ask a person who has a well knowledge about Allah’s laws one hundred questions, and he answered them all correctly, then can say that he really knows Allah's laws., however, if you see him disobeying Allah in one thing, then you should know that his knowledge about Allah is very little and should be increased.

 I would like you to make the best out of your coming to the Masjid, to feel that it is fruitful and to save the precious time you spend in here. Everyone of you leaves his family, wife, kids, house, his place in the living room in order to sit on the floor and listen to a religious lesson. If you like the lesson a lot, but you are unable to apply what has been mentioned in it, to be totally committed to the Islamic teachings, to call your ownself to account, and to move to a better level, then let me tell you that you have increased your religious knowledge, but not your knowledge about Allah. Your knowledge about Allah is based on obedience, so unless you strive against your desires, you will never know Allah.

 I ask Allah the Almighty for all of you to be like those who know Allah, to help one another in Birr and Taqwah, and to help one another in order to fulfill your target in knowing Allah, knowing his method, applying it and calling yourselves to account in everything.

Beware of the following:

 Wrong interpretations of religious texts encourage sinning. For instance, someone may commit a lot of sins, but was told that he will be forgiven if he says what is mentioned in one of the As7adeth. Well, this Hadith has a precise interpretation, and it should be understood in connection with other similar As7adeth. This is exactly what scholars do; they study such kinds of As7adeth on the light of its similarity to another As7adeth. It is so dangerous to stick to one Hadith and neglect the As7adeth that have the same topic. One might be clinging to a very thin thread.
 Listen to the following Hadith,

((Whoever said: There is no God but Allah, with whatever it takes he enters heaven. They asked: and what does it take? He answered: avoiding what Allah prohibited him/her from committing.))

 Some scholars tend to make things easy by telling sh3er, "If you say there is no God but Allah, you will be granted Paradise." Well, imagine that whoever studies at the university and repeats " Damascus University" three times, will he get his PH.D degree in medicine? To get a PH.D in medicine needs striving, not saying something loudly three times. Allah says,

((So know (O Muhammad) that La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes). ))

[Muhammad, 19]

 Some refer to the following Hadith Qudsi in their interpretations, "There is no God but Allah, the One is My stronghold in which the reauthorr of this holy verse can enter and then he will dwell there safely, and will not suffer My wrath" They also refer to this one, "There is no God but Allah, no good deed is before it." It is interpreted like that, "Before saying it, there is no good deed," but such interpretation is Shirk, because one might say these words and commit all kinds of sins. Hence, don’t single out any Hadith, take all these As7adeth as one group instead.


 Dear brother, what I am afraid of is that you hold on to a Hadith that you have heard, and make it the basic reference you get back to in all your actions and deeds. Gradually, you are no more keen on your religious duties and your path to Allah will be blocked.
 When your Salah, Sawm, and Hajj are formally offered, then this religion will be merely an Islamic culture. An anecdote in that respect goes as follows: A Turkish man owned a cat and had one kilogram of meat, but his cat stole the meat and ate it. After it finished eating it, it started laudation (pay attention to the cat that has laudation), so fiercely the man looked at the cat and said, "Lots of laudation and lack of faithfulness."
 The emotions, Mawaled, Islamic outfit, Miswak, and hanged gelded Quran will not do you any good if you are not upright, and unless you are upright on Allah’s path, you will keep detached from Allah. An orange skin that is put together again to give an orange shape will be still empty from inside. Islam will be just like this orange skin if it is void of its essence. All kinds of sins are committed, ill-gotten money is gained, feasting eyes on women’s beauty is taking place and listening to music and watching what does not please Allah is ongoing. Islam should not be voided of its gist, should not turn into tradition, should not be just an Islamic bookcase, should not be only Anasheed, meetings and Mawaled and should not be formal Be honest with Allah the Almighty even for one hour, and you will sublime to the highest positions in Allah’s sight. Keep straight,
 ((O Ibn Umar, take care of your religion! It is only your flesh and blood. Take from those who are upright, and do not take from those who have swerved.))Don’t misunderstand me concerning the case of Mawaled; I love Mawaled, and I attended tens of them and was touched. You should care about the essence of Islamic teachings besides attending Mawaled. It is nice for the upright person to have Mawaled, to invite his brother, relatives, friends,Inshaad bands, to listen to the attributes of the Prophet PBUH and to serve sweets. Nevertheless, celebrating is not enough, books are not enough and listening to lectures is not enough. You should not be soft concerning the Halal and Haram nature of matters.
 The majority of male Muslims in Damascus attend their wedding ceremonies (women’s ceremonies) and they sit in front of women who are dressed in exposing outfits, then they are described as moral grooms, well how so? The groom at that moment will be just like an exploding material when he sees all those women, who are just like the fire that explodes this material. We need true committed Muslims no matter how small they are in number. One committed Muslim equals one thousand uncommitted Muslims. We are in need of this upright and committed minority.