There are so many sins those we as human do admit; but hardly able to classify them into either minor or major sins. So, what is the criteria for classifying different sins into minor and major category from Islamic point of view? How do we know that this is a minor or a major sin? Do the minor sin becomes a major one by doing it continuously?
Broadly speaking, we can say that there are two kinds of sins: “Kabirah” and “Saghirah”, and hereby follows their details in the words of Brother Moiz Amjad.
“Kabaair” are generally interpreted to be those sins, regarding which the Qur’an has mentioned the punishment of Hell fire.
The Qur’an has, indeed, mentioned that if a person lives a life which is clear of ‘Kabaair’, then God, with His encompassing mercy, shall wash away his minor sins and ‘slips’ (saghaair) in the life of this world.
Some of the sins, which are clearly among the ‘Kabaair’ are: Shirk (ascribing partners to God), rejection of the truth even after it has completely manifested itself, murder, fornication, falsely accusing a chaste person of sexual infidelity, knowingly depriving someone of his rights, bearing a false witness, knowingly committing injustice (while put in a position to decide), after accepting Islam, to ignore the obligations imposed upon by the Shari`ah or to knowingly sanction any of the express prohibitions of the Shari`ah etc.
Minor sins also become major ones if one is guilty of perpetuation in them. Furthermore, efforts to justify even a small sin also add to its gravity. Actually it is the rebellious attitude and stubbornness of the sinner, which can transform these sins into major ones.
March 2, 2003