(I have written this whole article in second person. However, the ‘you’ used in this article first and foremost addresses me, the author.)
1. When you commit a sin, you show the audacity to go against Allah, who is Al-Qahhar, the Irresistible. Bilal bin Saad (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Do not think about how small the sin is, but think about who you have just disobeyed.”
2. By sinning, you do dhulm (oppression) against your own soul. If you self-destruct yourself, who can help you? Didn’t Allah say,
وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. [The Noble Quran 3:192]
3. When you sin, you use the blessings of Allah to go against Him. Allah has created you. He provides for you. He clothes you. He makes your affair easy for you. He cures you when you are sick. Your existence depends on His blessings and His Mercy. Yet when you sin, you turn your back from all of His favors, and use them to transgress His limits. Can there be any greater ungratefulness than this?
4. Every time you sin, you risk dying in a state of rebellion against Allah. Allah has warned the believers in the following verse:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. [The Noble Quran 3:102]
When you are sinning, you are not submitting to Allah. And thus by sinning, whether you perceive it or not, you dare to meet your Lord in a state of transgression.
5. Whenever you sin, you gather witness against you. These witnesses include the angels, the surrounding where you commit sin, people who witness you sinning, your own limbs, the Quran, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and Allah Himself. How do you think you will defend yourself when Allah shall bring all these witnesses on the Day of Judgment and they will testify against you? Allah said:
الْيَوْمَ نَخْتِمُ عَلَىٰ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَتُكَلِّمُنَا أَيْدِيهِمْ وَتَشْهَدُ أَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
That Day, We will seal over their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet will testify about what they used to earn. [The Noble Quran 36:65]
When the following verse was recited to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), his eyes were full of tears:
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَىٰ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شَهِيدًا
So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness? [The Noble Quran 4:41]
Wouldn’t it be a sad moment if the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), having striven so hard to save yourself from the Fire of Hell, has to testify against you on the Day of Judgment because of your sins?
6. This life is a gift from Allah. Allah has given you this gift so that you can use it and build a memorable legacy with Him and earn His pleasure through your actions. When you commit sins, you build a legacy that you will not want to be presented with on the Day of Judgment. Allah said in the Quran:
وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا
And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one. [The Noble Quran 18:49]
7. Sin will harden your heart. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) described this process of hardening of heart in this saying: “Verily, when the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears upon his heart. If he repents and abandons the sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished; but if he increases in sin, the blackness increases. That is the covering which Allah has mentioned in his Book:
كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ ۜ رَانَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning. [The Noble Quran 83:14] [Sunan Ibn Majah]
The softness of the heart is achieved through remembering Allah and learning beneficial knowledge, namely the Quran and the Sunnah. Allah described them as the life giver of heart:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ
O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. [The Noble Quran 8:24]
When you commit sins, the black spots accumulated over the heart blocks the way to its life givers, and the heart loses its softness. The more you sin, the more black spots you will have on your heart, and the more black spots you have over your heart, the bigger will be your audacity to go against Allah.
8. Sin weakens your power to repent. This is the outcome of hardening of heart. A boy once kissed a girl and he came to his shaykh crying. The shaykh advised him and he repented to Allah. Unfortunately, he continued in his sin, and later he came to the shaykh to know if he had to make ghusl because he had committed zina. This time he was not crying. Such was the hardening of his heart, and such fragile his power to repent and feel remorseful had become.
Also, the ability to repent comes from Allah. If Allah wills, He may snatch your ability to repent. Therefore, every time you commit a sin, you put yourself in the risk of dying of without repenting.
9. Sin distorts your firah (innate natural disposition). An example of it is the widespread proliferation of homosexuality. Allah put in the fitrah of human beings that opposite sexes will attract each other. However, the sin of homosexuality has been practiced so overzealously that people have lost their natural disposition, and now actually believes that homosexuality is natural.
10. Sin, if not repented from, is followed by regret, often in this world and definitely in the next world.
11. Sin prevents you from doing further acts of obedience. A man came to Hasan Al-Basri (May Allah have mercy on him) and said, “I heard you say that if you commit sins, then Allah prevents you from things. I do all the sins that you can think of and don’t do many good deeds. I have a beautiful wife and beautiful kids and a lot of money and land and am successful. Allah did not prevent me from anything. How is it that you say that because of sins Allah prevents you?” Al-Basri asked, “Do you pray qiyam al-layl? Do you enjoy your dua? Do you enjoy your salah? That is enough prevention that He prevented you from communicating with Him.”
12. Sin may deprive you of or reduce your beneficial Islamic knowledge. Imam Ash-Shafi’i said that once he complained to Wakee’ that he was not able to memorize and retain as much as he wished to. Wakee’ said to him, “Abandon disobedience of Allah. Knowledge is light and the light of Allah is not given to those who are disobedient. Allah said in the Quran:
وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ
And fear Allah. And Allah teaches you. [The Noble Quran 2:282]
If you sin, it means you are lacking in taqwa, and if you are lacking in taqwa, Allah will not bless you with knowledge either.
13. Sin decreases or deprives you of your provision. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad it is narrated that Thawbaan (رضى الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “A man may be deprived of provision because of a sin that he commits.” [The hadeeth has been classed as hasan by Shaykh Albani (May Allah have mercy upon him)]
14. Sin will decrease the radiance of you face. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas (رضى الله عنه) said, “Good deeds produce radiance on the face and light in the heart, increase provision, physical strength, and the love of others. Bad deeds produce ‘blackness’ in the face, darkness in the heart, physical weakness, inadequate provision and the hatred of others.”
15. When you sin, you obey Shaitaan, the cursed creature who wishes nothing but to drag you to the fire of Hell, and you disobey Allah, the Most Merciful who wishes for you maghfirah and paradise. Yet, the promise of Allah is true and the promise Shaitaan is false, and Shaitaan will desert you on the Day of Judgment:
وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي ۖ فَلَا تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنفُسَكُم ۖ مَّا أَنَا بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِيَّ ۖ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, “Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.” [The Noble Quran 14:22]
16. Sin is a cause of rejection of your dua.
17. Sinning means you are careless and you are not sincere regarding your covenant with Allah. A sincere believer never wavers regarding his covenant with Allah. Allah said about them:
مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُوا مَا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ عَلَيْهِ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّن قَضَىٰ نَحْبَهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَنتَظِرُ ۖ وَمَا بَدَّلُوا تَبْدِيلًا
Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah, of them some have fulfilled their obligations, and some of them are still waiting, but they have never changed [i.e.they never proved treacherous to their covenant which they concluded with Allah] in the least. [The Noble Quran 33:23]
18. Committing sin means you have not fully submitted. How can you have submitted to the will of Allah when you are giving preference to you own desire over the will of Allah?
19. Sinning means you have lack of patience. Compared to eternity, this worldly life of 60-70 years is nothing. Allah wants to see your patience for this negligible amount of time. The moment you sin, you record a failure in this test of patience.
20. When you commit sins, you lose the sweetness of faith. When your imaan is high, you feel a sense of peace and satisfaction when you do good deeds. However, as soon as you commit a sin, your imaan suffers and you feel alienated from Allah. Consequently, you do not feel the sweetness from your worship anymore.
21. Sin makes you obsessed with worldly life and it makes you forget the hereafter.
22. If you commit sin, you will inevitably lose the khushoo of your salah.
23. By sinning, you will lose the taste of halal. For example, the men who do not lower their gaze from haram things will not find tranquility with their wives.
24. By sinning, you may gain a temporary worldly pleasure but you will lose your inner happiness and tranquility.
25. Sin is a waste of time and resources.
26. Sin may cause the barkah (blessing) to be lifted from your resources. For example, money earned though illegal means do not have any barakah.
27. Allah makes the affairs of the sinners difficult, whereas for those who fear Him, He makes a way out for them. He said:
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا
And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). [The Noble Quran 65:2]
28. Sin weakens your will power to stay away from sin. Committing the sin first time is difficult. Because when you approach towards the sin, you receive a great resistance from your imaan. Once you commit the sin, the power of your resistance decreases. If you do not repent, it will continue to weaken your will power, and finally it may reach a point where you may not feel any repugnance towards sin. At that stage, committing sins become habitual. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (رضى الله عنه) said, “The believer sees his sins as if he is sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on him, while the sinner sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose, he just waves it away.
29. In Islam, good character begins with Allah. He is the most deserving of your good conduct. You show good character with Allah by fulfilling His obligations, staying away from His prohibitions, and remaining pleased with His decree. When you commit a sin, you violate the rights of Allah, and in the process, you show bad character with Him.
30. When you commit a sin, you either consciously or non-consciously forget the fact that Allah is ever watchful of you and your actions. If you willfully choose to forget that Allah is watching over you, and this mostly happens when sins are committed secretly, your heart will become filled with hypocrisy. Isn’t it hypocritical that your fear and shame of people are more than that of Allah? Isn’t it hypocritical that you save your best face for people but you reserve the worst for Allah?
31. Sin will lower your self-esteem and confidence. Being Muslims, we believe that our sense of self-worth comes from obeying Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ). Everything that Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) commanded or prohibited is in complete harmony with our fitrah and the laws that Allah has subjugated this universe to. When you disobey Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ), you go against your fitrah and the universal laws of Allah, and the natural consequence of it is loss of self-worth and confidence.
32. When you sin, you step into the geerah of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There is none having a greater sense of gheera than Allah. And for that He has forbidden the doing of evil actions.” (Bukhari) Allah loves the believers and He is protective of them. To protect them from Hell Fire and His Wrath, he made forbidden upon them transgressing His limits. When you transgress the limits of Allah, you step into the gheerah of Allah and expose yourself to His Wrath and His Punishment.
33. Sin is a cause of being afflicted with trials and tribulations. Allah said in the Quran:
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ
And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much. [The Noble Quran 42:30]
34. Sin decreases your imaan.
35. Continuous sinning may lead you to rationalization of sin, which may ultimately lead you to kufr. Naturally a Muslim who has faith left in his heart will feel remorse after committing a sin. However, if he gets addicted to the sin, and if his imaan becomes weak to the extent that he cannot defeat his nafs any longer, Shaitaan may whisper him to question why the act he is committing is sin. If he falls in this trap and rationalizes his sin, and believes and regards the acts that Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) have declared sinful as otherwise, he will expel himself from the fold of Islam.