Sin And Repentance

Sin is willfully and knowingly disobeying God. The greatest of all sins is polytheism, though any intentional violation of the commandments of God is a sinful act. God, The Preventer, has prohibited a number of things that are harmful to the individual or to society. Murder, assault, theft, fraud, usury (footnote 18), fornication, adultery, sorcery (footnote 15), consumption of alcohol, eating pork, and the use of illicit drugs are all examples of sinful acts.

Islam rejects the doctrine of original sin. No soul shall bear the burden of another, as this would be a great injustice because God, The Most Merciful, is The Just. Each of us is accountable before God, The All Seeing, for our own deeds. However, if one person encourages another to commit a sin, both are punishable. One of them deserves punishment for actually committing the sin; the other deserves punishment for encouraging it.

When a person commits a sin, he or she is deserving of God’s punishment. Fortunately, God is The Most Compassionate and The Oft-Forgiving. God acts out of infinite knowledge and justice. Muslims do not believe that Jesusp, the son of Mary, had to die for the sins of mankind. God, The Most Compassionate, forgives whomever He chooses. To believe that it was necessary for Jesusp to suffer and die in order to have our sins forgiven denies God’s infinite power and justice. God is unlimited in His mercy.

God, The Answerer, promises us that He will forgive us if we turn to Him in sincere repentance. Repentance is a serious matter. It is the way a person can attain salvation by the mercy of God. Repentance cannot be taken lightly. Sincere repentance has the following conditions:

  • 1. The person must recognize and acknowledge that he or she has committed a sin and must truly regret having done so.
  • 2. The person must humbly turn to God for forgiveness.
  • 3. The person must have a sincere resolve not to commit the sin again.
  • 4. If the sin caused harm to someone else, the person must make every possible attempt to remedy the harm.

This does not mean that if the person returns to the same sin in the future, his or her former repentance is annulled. What is needed is a serious commitment in the heart not to sin again. Because we do not know what the future holds, the door to repentance is always open. God, The Oft-Pardoning, is pleased when the children of Adam turn to Him for His abundant forgiveness. Repentance is a form of worship.

No one can forgive sins except God. It is forbidden for a Muslim to seek divine forgiveness for sin through or by turning to anyone else, as Muslims believe this would be considered polytheism.