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IslamQA: Major and minor sins in Islam

El Salamou alaykoum Can you please explain what are el kabaîr and saghaîr? And how to make taouba ?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There are different opinions on what constitutes major sins. According to Ibn Taymiyyah they are sins that are mentioned in the Quran or hadith as deserving the anger or curse of God or as deserving punishment in this world or the afterlife. Among such sins are shirk (associating partners with God), murder, adultery, bearing false witness, disowning one’s parents, falsely accusing chaste women of adultery, and consuming the profits of usury (i.e. consuming interest income). Everything that is not a major sin is a minor sin.

As for repentance, it depends on the type of sin. If it involves the rights of others, then those rights have to be restored (for example a person who gave false testimony should confess it and try to undo all damage caused by it). Apart from that, asking God for forgiveness is all that is needed. My view is that if God inspires someone to ask for forgiveness, it is because He wants to forgive them.

And God knows best.
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