SIN. Arabic zamb ذمب khati’ah خطىةism اثم
Heb. asham, khet. Muslim doctors divide sin into two classes. Kabirah, “great,” and saghirah, “little” sins. Kabirah sins are those great sins of which, if a Musalman do not repent, he will be sent to the purgatorial hell reserved for sinful Muslims, whilst saghirah are those venial sins which are inherent in our fallen nature.
Muslim writers are not agreed as to the exact number of kabirah sins, but they are generally held to be the following seventeen :—
1. Kufr, or infidelity.
2. Constantly committing little sins.
3. Despairing of God’s mercy.
4. Considering oneself safe from the wrath of God.
5. False witness.
6. Qazf, or falsely charging a Muslim with adultery.
7. Taking a false oath.
9. Drinking wine.
10. Appropriation of the property of orphans.
13. Unnatural crime.
16. Fleeing in battle before the face of an infidel enemy.
17. Disobedience to parents.
The following are sayings of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, on the subject of sin (Mishkat , book 1. ch ii) :—
“He is not a believer who commits adultery, or steals, or drinks liquor, or plunders, or embezzles, when entrusted with the plunder of the infidel. Beware! beware!”
“The greatest sin is to associate another with God, or to vex your father and mother, or to murder your own species, or to commit suicide, or to swear, or to lie.”
“The greatest of sins before God is that you call any other like unto the God who created you, or that you murder your child from an idea that it will ear your victuals, or that you commit adultery with your neighbour’s wife.”
“Abstain ye from seven ruinous destructive things, namely, (1) associating anything with God; (2) magic; (3) killing anyone without reason; (4) taking interest on money; (5) taking the property of the orphan; (6) running away on the day’ of battle; (7) and taxing an innocent woman with adultery.”
“Do not associate anything with God, although they kill or turn you. Do not affront your parents, although they should order you to leave your wives, your children, and your property. Do not abandon the divine prayers, for he who does so will not remain in the asylum of God. Never drink wine; for it is the root of all evil. Abstain from vice, for from it descends the anger of God. Refrain from running away in battle, although ye, be killed. When a pestilence shall visit mankind, and you are in the midst of it, remain there.” Cherish your children, and chastise them, in order to teach them good behaviour, and instruct them in the fear of God.”
It is related that a Jew once said to his friend, “Take me to the Prophet.” He said, “Do not call him a prophet, for if he hears it he will be pleased.” And they came to the Prophet and asked him about the nine (sic) wonders (i.e. Ten Commandments), which appeared (from the hands of Moses). He said, “Do not associate anything with God, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor murder, nor take an inoffensive person before the king to be killed, nor practise magic, nor take interest, nor accuse an innocent woman of adultery, nor turn, your backs on the field of battle; and it is proper, particularly for the Jews, not to work on Saturday.” The Jews kissed the hands and feet of the Prophet, and said,” We bear witness that you are a Prophet.” He said, “What: prevented you from being my disciples?” They replied, ,” David called on God to perpetuate the gift of prophecy in his family, and we fear the Jews will kill us if we become your followers.”
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam