6 Islamic articles on: Sins in Islam

IslamQA: Are we responsible if we influence others to sin?

Salam, I was wondering;we are told that we are not responsible for the sins of others but I also heard that if you influence someone else to sin then you get a portion of the sin? what about for example a parent that influences the kid to take out an interest based loan or refuses to let them marry so they commit zina. Or parenting where a kid doesn’t know what’s haram & so does it. Or in general if you publicize your sins & someone partakes in it due to that. do you get a portion of their sin?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The Quran does say that people who misguide others will have a share of the sins that the others commit. So if a person sins but the sin is because of the influence of another person (as in a parent pressuring a child to get an interest-bearing loan), then both will have some responsibility for the sin. Since parents are considered to have a responsibility to teach good morality to their children, if a child sins because their parents did not teach them it is wrong, then the parents can be held responsible for that. The Prophet PBUH says “All of you are shepherds and all of you are responsible for your flocks.” This means that we are responsible for the problems that occur under our circle of influence.

We do not know exactly how these portions are calculated. But we know that they exist. But we also know that God is just and forgiving, and that He does not burden a soul beyond the powers and knowledge that He has already given it. So a person who misguides another due to a lack of knowledge or other weakness will be more likely to be forgiven than a person who knowingly misguides others or causes them to fall into sin one way or another. If a parent refuses to let a son or daughter marry and this causes them to sin then clearly they bear some responsibility for that sin.

IslamQA: Does God forgive sins if you keep repeating them?

Saalam Aleyckum, does Allah forgive everytime i make sins ? Even if i repeat thousand times the same ? And do you know how can we know that Allah loves us ? I feel like i don't deserve Allah mercy.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There is no limit to God’s forgiveness. If you are able to to sincerely ask for forgiveness, then that in itself means that God is willing to forgive you. When God decides that a person no longer deserves forgiveness then they become the type of person who never ask for forgiveness. This is what the Quran means by “sealing” the hearts of those who sin so much and do so many evil deeds that God decides to seal their fate and prevent them from seeking His forgiveness (as in the case of the Pharaoh in the story of Prophet Moses PBUH).

If you feel inspired to ask for forgiveness, if you are not happy with yourself and wish to be better, then that means God loves you and is there to help you. When God does not love someone He lets them become happy in their own state so that they never feel inspired to seek guidance or forgiveness and in this way their life goes to waste while thinking they are doing really well.

IslamQA: Seeking repentance from sins you have forgotten

Salamalaikum. How do you repent from major sins you don't remember? Because when I do taubah I focus on the sin in question and there is guilt associated with my contemplation. I can't get that same feeling from all the unknown sins I have forgotten when I ask forgiveness for all my sins. I keep getting signs from Allah to repent and ask forgiveness but I am at a loss as to what to do next.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

According to a fatwa on IslamWeb (operated by the Qatari Islamic Affairs Ministry), it is sufficient to perform a general repentance from all sins. This would apply to the sins you remember and the sins you have forgotten. There is no need to go over them one by one.

It is, of course, best to make it a habit to ask for God’s forgiveness many times every day, both for recent sins and past sins. From Sahih al-Bukhari:

I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying: "By Allah, I seek Allah's forgiveness and repent to Him more than seventy times a day." (Sahih al-Bukhari 6307)

Hardships are not always punishments. They could be tests meant to help form your character into something even better by teaching you lessons and showing you your own flaws and errors.

Best wishes.


IslamQA: What if a person’s sins are due to mental illness?

if one were to have a mental illness that causes them to be very impulsive such as they engage in zina/drugs/etc... are they charged by Allah the same as one who commits these acts but does not have a mental illness that sometimes impairs their judgement or that makes abstaining from these acts difficult? i read somewhere that one accrues a bigger sin if it is easy for them to abstain but choose not to than one who it is difficult for them to abstain.

The Quran says:

God does not burden any soul beyond its capacity (The Quran, verse 2:286.)

We do not burden any soul beyond its capacity (The Quran, verse 6:152.)

We never burden any soul beyond its capacity (The Quran, verse 7:42.)

God never burdens a soul beyond what He has given it. (The Quran, verse 65:7.)

Each person is judged according to their own abilities and weaknesses. A sin that is easy to avoid for one person may be very difficult to avoid for another. The same applies to good deeds. A very rich person who gives away $1000 in charity is very different from someone who only has a little money saved and gives away $1000. The second person is making a much greater sacrifice and will be rewarded differently.

Most sins and good deeds are partly because of human nature, partly because of free will. If a person is almost overwhelmed by human nature to commit a sin so that there is little room left for free will (such as a person who takes drugs for Parkinsons’ disease, which can cause compulsive behaviors like gambling), then their responsibility will be much less than another person who chooses to sin when they can easily avoid it.

IslamQA: What is the best way to avoid habitual sins?

Assalamu’alaykum, I wanna ask how to find myself and get back on the right path back? Im lost. Like so lost. Ive been feeling so tired with life and everything but i still keep on sinning. Like why is it so hard for me to understand that this life is temporary. Im sorry im emotional. I just needed to let this thing out. Can you please make dua for me. I just want to be a good servant of Allah ((you dont have to reply)) thank you. May Allah bless you.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

You cannot stop sinning just by wishing for it or by trying to use your willpower. That never works. You must instead try to become the type of person who needs no effort to avoid sins. And this can only be achieved by setting aside an hour or so every day for extra worship (Quran-reading and praying).

Being unable to stop sinning is a sign that you are distant from God. The sinning is just a sign of a bigger problem. And the solution is to come closer to God. Once you achieve this, you will automatically avoid sinful things without having to think about it. Stop worrying about sins (God forgives all sins) and start worrying about your relationship with God.

For more details please see my essay God has not abandoned you

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Why is it so difficult to stop repeating sins?

I have questions about repeating sins. I clearly know that being in a haram relationship is wrong and awful and I keep asking forgiveness from Allah swt and I pray for Him to protect me from the whispers of shaytaan. But why do I keep repeating the same sins over & over again. I am always sad whenever I do it but I feel like I fell deep down and He won’t forgive me. Please help me.

The reason is that avoiding sin requires feeling deep sense of loyalty toward God. It is not sufficient to merely acknowledge in your mind that God exists and that sins are wrong. You need to make His presence feel real to you, and that requires daily work.

Trying to avoid repeating sins is similar to trying to lose weight by eating less when your house is filled with delicious things like cake and ice cream. Today you might watch a very inspiring lecture or short film that motivates you to lose weight so that you avoid eating the foods you like. But tomorrow, your motivation will have evaporated, and unless you do the necessary work to feel motivated again, you will likely start eating those foods again.

It is in human nature to be attracted toward certain sinful things. Unless we work every day to keep our motivation for avoiding sins, our human nature reasserts itself so that we end up engaging in those sins. What I recommend is to perform at least an hour of tahajjud and Quran reading before bed (see here for the details). If you maintain that just for a week, you will likely be able to effortlessly avoid all sins because you will feel close to God and loyal to Him throughout your day so that it feels out of character to sin.

However, if you start doing that and it helps you avoid repeating sins, if stop doing it then you will again start sinning. If you are truly intent on avoiding sins, you have to make the decision to spend a certain amount of time every single day in extra worship for the rest of your life. There are no short-cuts, no permanent solutions. It is a daily challenge and we have to meet it every single day if we want to remain spiritual and pure of sin.