Sins affect our happiness in this world. They ruin our souls, but they also ruin our families and society because sinful behavior is a contagion and is transferred to others either directly or indirectly.
Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.
Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel!
In this lesson we will look at how every act according to Islam has an effect our souls and the world. We will also look at how everything we do has a consequence in the realm of the divine as well.
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The Prophet Muhammad (s) once said:
“Beware of sins which are treated as being minor, just like a people who encamp in the center of a valley, so someone brings a stick of firewood and someone else brings a stick until they are, therefore, able to bake their bread. Likewise, sins which are treated as being minor, and for which the person is taken to account, will destroy him.”
The Messenger of Allah (s) also said:
Should I not inform you of that which I fear for you even more than the dangers of the Anti-Christ? It is the hidden idolatry: Showing-off (riyā); a person stands to pray and he beautifies his prayer because he sees the people looking at him".
Every single action in this world has an effect. When we walk, our feet press on the ground and disturbs any small creature it touches. When we sit on our chairs and breath, the act of breathing alters the make up the air in our room as we breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide.
Our good or evil acts also work the same way. They not only affect our souls, but they also affect our families, societies and even the environment.
Let’s start with the soul. According to a hadith from the Prophet Muhammad (s), every time a person sins, a black spot appears on his or her soul. A sin isn’t always or necessarily a pure evil act. One of the words for sin in the Qur’an is khattā, which in old Arabic was an arching term meaning to “miss the mark.”
With the context of sin and guidance, sinning is to miss the purpose of life, which is friendship or wilāya with God. When one sins, one chooses a pleasure over friendship with Allah. In this sense, one deviates more and more from God. This distance creates a disturbance in the soul whereby a spiritual black stain appears. Enough of these stains ruins a person’s salvation and substitutes heaven for hell.
The personal effects of sin are many. Distance from God’s light makes us vulnerable to Shaytān for he comes to fill in the void. As Shaytān or the devil comes closer, the more susceptible we become to his suggestions. Perhaps the worst of his suggestions or “whispers” or waswasa are those of despair, worry and anxiety which usually come in the form of panic attacks.
Remember that sins are not just sins of ritual, or the obvious sins of theft and murder, they also include the sins of prejudice, judging people, gossiping and slandering, or being dishonest, pretentious and holding negative opinions and grudges against people (this usually comes in the form of being bashful of people).
When one looks at sin like this, is it really worth it? The worst enemy a person can have is himself or herself. It is the nurturing of the inner tyrant that ruins our lives with torturous thoughts. One can live in a mansion and have everything in the world but still be a prisoner inside the mind. This is what distance from God does to a person.
So to sum this argument up: anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity, an insecurity that is created through distance from God. This distance is exacerbated by sin as one chooses base pleasure over friendship with Allah.
Sins also have an affect on our families and society (especially the Muslim community). Remember that behavior is inherited. Our children often do not do the things we say, they do what we do. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “monkey see, monkey do,” that’s how it works with our kids.
Our kids pick up on our behavior and turn it into a lifestyle without even knowing it. If we embark on sinful behavior, like lying, gossiping, being bashful, our kids will most certainly inherit them, either in part or in whole.
Our families are not the only ones who pick up on our behavior. Other people also copy us directly or indirectly.
First, like family members, they pick up on our auras. Sin creates bad auras, and auras are transferred to others. How many children and adults today are directly or indirectly under the influence of movie stars and singers? As famous sinners have effects on people through TV or other forms of media, we affect the people whom we interact with on a regular basis. They pick up on our behavior and mimic it without even noticing it.
Have you ever met a person who was depressed and sad, and you came out of your meeting with that person a bit sadder, a bit more bitter? It is very difficult to avoid. Sinfulness leaves a ripple in the fabric of society, and people pick up on it and repeat it. It is, in short, a chain reaction.
The other way around is also true. When we choose good, when we chose the moral life, the life of obedience and surrender to God, we chose the friendship of God over base pleasures and grow closer to Him. By growing closer to him, Shaytān is further distanced from us, we weaken the inner tyrant and become less susceptible to spiritual vices such as extreme forms of anxiety and panic attacks. The good we do is also inherited by our family, children and society. The more good we do as individuals, the more others are encouraged to do the same. It’s just human nature.
Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh
the devil’s whispers
What is one way of defining sin?
It is choosing a pleasure over friendship with God
How does sin affect one’s children?
Our children imitate and inherit the way we act. Sinful behavior is often inherited from parents.
How does sin affect society?
People directly or indirectly copy what we do, just like people imitate famous stars.
What is primary effect of sin?
It distances a person from God.
What is the effect of distance from God?
Our souls become disturbed and more vulnerable to Shaytān.