Abstaining from Sin is our duty:
-By Shaikh Ashraf Ali Thanwi R.A. [from Hayath ul Muslimeen]
It is of vital importance for the Mu’min to abstain from all sins. This is essential for developing his Imaan. Sin darkens the heart and creates weakness in Imaan. Even if one were to assume that there will not be any punishment for sins, then too, it is necessary for the Mu’min to abstain from sin, for sin is disobedience which is the cause of Allah’s displeasure. No man wishes to displease even a worldly benefactor. The favors of Allah on man are innumerable. Allah Ta’ala is man’s greatest and true Benefactor. How can the Mu’min then displease Him?
Besides this consideration, there is also the danger of punishment for the commission of sin; such punishment may be both in this world as well as in the Hereafter. One form of worldly punishment is that a man given to sin engrosses himself fully, body and heart, in the world to such a degree that he becomes fearful of the Aakhirah and thus detests it. He loses firmness of heart and Imaan. The Mu’min should therefore, not venture near to sin, no matter what type of sin it may be, whether the sin pertains to Huqooqullah (Rights of Allah) or Huqooqul Ibaad (Rights of creation).
Various types of punishment for sins have been mentioned in the ahadith:
1.Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When the Mu’min sins, a black spot forms on his heart. If he makes istighfaar and taubah, the black mark is removed and his heart is purified. If he increases his sin, the black mark increases. This is the corrosion of the heart spoken of by Allah Ta’ala (in the Qur’an). (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
2.Hadhrat Muaaz (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Guard yourselves against sin because the Wrath of Allah descends in the wake of sin.” (Ahmad)
3.Hadhrat Anas Bin Malik (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Should I not show you your sickness and its remedy? Your sickness is sinning and your remedy is to seek forgiveness (istighfaar).” (Baihaqi)
4.Hadhrat Anas (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:“The hearts too become corroded (by means of sin). Its polish is istighfaar.” (Baihaqi)
5.Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, man is deprived of rizq because of the sins which he perpetrates.” (Ahmad)
6.Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that once ten of them were in the company of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when he said: “I seek the protection of Allah from five things which may over take you. When immorality [Zina] becomes rampant in a people, they will be over taken by epidemics and such diseases which never existed before. When a people are involved in giving short-weight and measure, they will be overtaken by famine, hardship and oppression of the authorities. When a people stop paying Zakaat, rain is withheld from them. If it were not for the animals in their midst, never would there have fallen rain for them. When people violate pledges and promises, Allah will overwhelm them with their enemies from other nations. Thus the enemy will take by force their wealth.” (Ibn Majah)
7. Hadhrat Ibn Abbass (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When khiyaanat (abuse of trust) becomes rampant in a people, Allah Ta’ala overwhelms their hearts with fear. A nation perpetrating injustice will be overpowered by its enemies.” (Malik)
8. Hadhrat Thaubaan (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There will soon come a time when all the nations (of the kuffaar) will unite against you (muslims)…” Someone asked: ‘Will we be less in numbers at that time?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘In fact, you will be numerous, but useless…. Allah Ta’ala will remove your respect and fear from the hearts of your enemies (who will then despise you) and Allah will instill weakness in your hearts.” Someone asked: ‘What is the cause of the weakness?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Love of the world and detestation for Maut (death).” (Abu Dawood, Baihaqi)
9. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When Allah Ta’ala desires to punish people (for their sins) he causes their children to die in abundance and makes their women barren.” (Jazaaul A’maal)
10. Hadhrat Abu Darda (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah Ta’ala says: ‘I am the King of kings, Their hearts are in my Control. When servants (i.e. Muslims) are obedient to Me, I make the rulers merciful to them. When the servants are disobedient to Me, I cause the rulers to oppress them and be cruel to them….” (Abu Nuaim)
11. Hadhrat Wahab (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Allah Ta’ala said to Bani Israeel: “When I am obeyed, I become pleased; when I become pleased I bestow limitless barakah (blessings). When I am disobeyed, I become Wrathful and I curse (the disobedient ones). The effect of My La’nat (Curse) extends to seven generations.” (Jazaaul A’maal, Ahmad)
This does not mean that the Curse which descended on the wrongdoers, settles on the future generations as well. However, the future generations are deprived of the goodness and barakah which would have come their way if their forbearers were pious. The beneficial effects of the piety of parents are transmitted to offspring. But, if the parents are evil, there will be no goodness and benefits which could be transmitted to their offspring.
12. Hadhrat Wakee’ (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Hadhrat Aishah (radiallahu anha) said: “When a man becomes disobedient to Allah Ta’ala then those who (formerly) praised him (the man), begin to find fault with him.” (Ahmad)
These narrations speak of sin and disobedience to Allah Ta’ala in general. The evils and harms which flow in the wake of sinning are stated in these ahadith.