20 August, 2018 | 8 Dhu al-Hijjah, 1439 H

"What corrupts generosity is mentioning it."

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Trivializing the Harām

Abstract

Our cultural assumptions are sometimes at odds with Islamic precepts. Our assumptions will tell us that a certain action is ok to do, but God in all His wisdom forbids it. Some make the presumption that God will forgive us no matter what. This tension is to be overcome by the faithful believer for he or she knows that sins are not just a matter of God forgiving or punishing us, but more so a matter of spiritual health where sins in the end corrupt our souls and keep us from spiritual growth.

 INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! When driving on roads, most people are conscious of red lights. Even to the detriment of their own breaks, most people will make abrupt stops when they realize that they are about to pass a red light. Why is this?  

 

For some, it’s a moral choice. They know that passing the red light may result in some kind of tragic accident. Not only will it endanger their own lives, but it will also endanger the lives of others. Most people, however, will obey traffic light rules because they are afraid of fines which can be quite hefty.  

 

When it comes to observing the halāl and harām, it is unfortunate that we don’t see the same rate of “consciousness” as we do with traffic light rules. Part of it is understandable even though it is not justifiable! Most people are deterred by immediate punishments. You pass the light, a police officer stops you right away and gives you a ticket. When we break God’s rules, things, at least at face value, don’t happen that fast. We don’t get those immediate fines with visible ink.  

 

Yet the toll it takes on us is much heftier than a simple fine or a point reduction. In previous lessons, we’ve seen how sins darken our hearts. In this lesson we will continue this theme by looking at how belittling sins and trivializing the harām also destroys our souls and our chances at salvation.  

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil (tāghūt) and believes in Allah has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing. Allah is near [and a friend] to those who have true faith, taking them out of deep darkness into the light – whereas near unto those who are bent on denying the truth are the powers of evil that take them out of light into darkness deep: it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide. (Chapter 2, verses 256-257 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

We live in society. We are all brought up within particular cultures.  These cultures teach us a variety of dos and don’ts, virtues and taboos. Some of what is culturally learnt is in sync with Islam, but others are not. An unfortunate reality is that the sins that we consider culturally unproblematic are often taken lightly.  

 

Some of our cultures, for example, may not consider backbiting or having intimate relationships with the opposite gender as a moral problem. Unfortunately, this is not unheard of among some Muslim communities nowadays. 

 

Although Islam condemns backbiting and fornication, sometimes these sins are trivialized as they are culturally accepted. A common approach is to play on God’s mercy where it is argued that God is so infinitely merciful that He will forgive these sins in the Hereafter. 

 

The first and most obvious problem with this view is that it assumes that God will forgive these sins. Although He is merciful, there is no guarantee that He will not take us up to task on the harām acts we’ve committed. This approach is as presumptuous about God as it is naïve. It assumes a false certitude that we know what God will do.  

 

The second, and perhaps greater problem is that it discounts the effect of committing harām deeds has on our souls. The Qur’anic verse we read earlier taught us two things: the point of our lives is to establish a friendship with God.  

 

This friendship is established by doing what God, in all His Infinite wisdom, has deemed healthy for our souls. Friendship with Him is to our benefit for it takes us from darkness into light. That is, it takes us from a state of inner darkness and corruption to inner light and purity.   

 

Committing sins, that is, doing what is harām isn’t just about being taken to task by God for disobeying Him, what is really at stake is the poisoning of our inner souls.  

 

For example, it is illegal to take drugs. If one is caught taking drugs, one will get punished by the law. However, if we don’t get caught, does this mean that no harm has come to us? Any rational person will know that the harm that a drug like heroin does to us is much worse than any kind of punishment (jail, fines, probation etc.) that the police and a court judge can throw at us.  

 

Choosing the harām is choosing friendship with the powers of evil, the head of which is Satan, over friendship with God. In the former, we poison and corrupt our souls, whereas in the latter, we chose what will benefit them. It is the choice between the life of light and the life of darkness.  

 

By committing the haram we are not harming God in anyway, who we are harming first and foremost is ourselves. If Allah gets “angry” with us (please indicate some quotation to note that this word is used figuratively) it is out of His infinite love where He wants what is best for us and does not want us to destroy ourselves by our own devices. 

 

Allah says the following in the Qur’an: 

 

[And said], "If you do good, you do good for yourselves; and if you do evil, [you do it] to yourselves." (Chapter 17, verse 7 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

Even if God forgives us for our sins on the Day of Judgment, remember that the action, regardless, kept us from growing spiritually and rising to higher levels in Paradise. Our goal in this life is not simply to avoid sin, but it is to grow spiritually.  

 

To trivialize the harām is to trivialize our own souls. 

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh 

Tāghūt

powers of evil, head of which is Satan 

Q1

What does it mean to trivialize the harām?

It is to believe that either God doesn’t really care if we commit sins, or believe that He will forgive no matter what.

Q2

Can we be sure that God will forgive us of our sins on the Day of Judgment?

Never 

Q3

What is an example of an act that our cultures may consider ok but is haram in Islam?

 Backbiting 

Q4

When we do something harām, who do we harm the most?

Our souls 

Q5

If God forgives us for our sins, do we still lose something?

Yes, the chance to grow spiritually. Obedience to God would naturally take us forward. 

Muslim
God
Allah
Hereafter
Religion
Salvation
Soul
sin
sins
Muslim Community
halāl
harām
tāghūt
trivializing the haram
trivializing sins

Further Reading From Islamiclibrary.com