“If Allah were to punish Men for their wrongdoing, He would not leave, on the (earth), A single living creature: But He gives them respite For a stated Term: When their Term expires, They would not be able To delay (the punishment) For a single hour, just as They would not be able To anticipate it (for a single hour).
(The Noble Quran, 16:61)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Righteousness is good morality and sin is that which causes discomfort (or pinches) within your soul and which you dislike people to become informed of.” [Sahih Muslim]
What is the difference between sin and mistake ?
Sin and mistake are not the same, Sin is what a person continues to do even though, he knows it’s wrong and mistake is what we regret doing and ask forgiveness.
An example of this is, the mistake of Adam (as) and the sin of shaitan (the curse one). When shaitan disobeyed Allah Subhanahu wa-ta’ala, it was from pure hatred, from his own self without anyone forcing him and he never repented or ask forgiveness from Allah Subhanahu wa-ta’ala, instead shaitan became rebellious. As for prophet Adam (as) he was tempted by shaitan who whispered into his heart over and over again, untill Prophet Adam and Hawa (Alayhis-salam) were convinced.
“He told them that the forbidden tree would make them immortal and that they would live forever like the angels if they ate from it.
Prophet Adam (pbuh) and Sayyida Hawwa (pbuh) had never heard anyone lie before in their lives and because Shaitan swore by Allah, they believed him. As soon as they tasted the fruit, they realised their mistake and turned to Allah for forgiveness saying: “Our Rabb! We have been unjust to ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers.”
Allah forgave them but asked them to leave Janna and live on the earth where as long as they obeyed Allah Shaytan would not be able to trick them.”
Disobedience of Prophet Yunus
Another example is Prophet Yunus (Jonah), who was commanded by Allah(swt) to go to the inhabitants of the town of Nineveh, whose people were idolaters. The people of Nineveh were arrogant and conceited, they led sinful lives. They did not listen to the Prophet Yunus advise and warning. Yunus was so angry he left without Allah’s permission. He invoke the curse of Allah (swt) and run away on a ship but the ship was so full and heavy, Yunus was thrown overboard. He was swallowed by an enormous fish and he lived in its belly for three days. Then the fish spewed him out on a shore.
And [remember] him of the great fish – when he went off in wrath, thinking that We had no power over him! But then he cried out in the deep darkness [of his distress]: “There is no deith save Thee! Limitless art Thou in thy glory! Verily, I have done wrong!”
“And so We responded unto him and delivered him from [his] distress: for thus do We deliver all who have faith.”
He was very ill but Allah was protecting him. A plant grew and its leaves protected Yunus from the sun and kept the flies away. A wild goat provided him with milk.
When he became better he went back to Ninevah and gave the people Allah’s message once more. This time the people listened and Allah forgave them.
“So also was Jonah among those sent (by Us).
When he ran away (like a slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden,
He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned:
Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame.
Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified Allah,
He would certainly have remained inside the Fish till the Day of Resurrection.”
—Qur’an, chapter 37 139-144
Allah (swt) says in the Quran 16:61 “If Allah were to punish Men for their wrongdoing, He would not leave, on the (earth), A single living creature” which mean that none of us is without mistakes or without faults, and it is because of these faults and mistakes that we know no one is perfect except Allah (swt) and that we have to ask for forgiveness and be a better person, this is why Allah says:
“And seek forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate.”(Qur’an 73:20)
“And those who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning.”
There are Major sins that Allah(swt) will not forgive and according to the Hadith : Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrates that a person asked Rasulullah (s.a.s.);
“Ya Rasulullah, according to Allah, which is the greatest sin?”
Rasulullah (s.a.s.) answered, “To associate partners with Allah (known as shirk), while He has created you.”
Then he was asked, “Which is the biggest sin after that?”
And he (s.a.s.) said, “To kill your offspring because he will eat with you.”
Then he was asked
“Which is the greatest after that,”
and he said, “To make zinna (fornication) with your neighbor’s wife.”
Hiding the sins and faults of a Muslim
Abu Hurairah :anhu: narrates that the Prophet :saw: said: “One who helped someone in a trouble in this world, Allah will help him in his trouble in the Hereafter and one who keeps the faults of a Muslim secret in this world, Allah will keep his faults in the Hereafter and Allah remains in the help of the (Muslim) man until he is in the help of his brother.” (Musnad Ahmad: 274/2)
On the authority of Abu Hurairah, who said : The messenger of Allah said :
“Part of someone’s being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.”
fine hadith narrated by Termithi and others
On the authority of Abu Dhar Jundub bin Junadah, and Muadh bin Jabal that the messenger of Allah said :
“Fear Allah wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good one and it will wipe it out, and behave well towards people.”
Each and everyone of us is responsible for our own actions in this life and we will have to answer to Allah(swt) for everything, and know that Allah(swt) is the most Merciful.
“Say: ‘O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Soorah az-Zumar (39): 53]
“O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance.”
[Soorah Tahrim (66): 8]