Books · Repentance · When Will You Repent

Types of Haram Actions


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


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My dear brother!

Remember this that man cannot qualify to be titled “Ta’ib” [repentant] unless he stays away from twelve types of haram [impermissible] actions. And they are:

1. Disbelief

And there are two types of disbelief: major disbelief and minor disbelief.

Minor disbelief calls for retribution but not for remaining in Hellfire forever.

Major disbelief calls for dwelling in Hellfire forever and it has five types:

i. The disbelief of denial
ii. The disbelief of arrogance
iii. The disbelief of negation while acknowledging
iv. The disbelief of doubt
v. The disbelief of hypocrisy

2. Shirk [Associating Partners with Allah]

It too has two types: major and minor.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not forgive major Shirk unless one specifically repents from it and it is associating partners with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala; loving and honoring someone as one should love and honor Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and this expels one from Islam.

Minor shirk is: showing off [riya], sacrificing for the creation and swearing by other than Allah. The doer of such a shirk is liable for retribution but it does not expel one from Islam.

3. Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy too has two types: major and minor.

Major hypocrisy: liable for dwelling in the lowest level of Hell. And it is declaring faith (believing in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day) by tongue but in the hidden he denies them all.

Minor hypocrisy: Its doer does not deny in the hidden. The doer of such hypocrisy is liable for punishment but will not dwell in the Hellfire forever.

4. Fisq 
5. Disobedience
6. Sin
7. Injustice
8. Shamelessness
9. Evil deeds
10. Transgression
11. Attributing something to Allah without Knowledge
12. Following a Path Other than that of the Believers

If a person remains indulged in these actions while repenting, then his repentance will not be accepted.

[Conditions for Sincere Repentance]

We are encouraged to repent as soon as we realize our mistake, however, if a person dies without seeking repentance from minor sins then though he might enter Hellfire, he will not remain there forever. How lightly do we take our minor sins? We treat them as if they do not matter. But here we learn that minor sins too can lead one to the Hellfire. Shouldn’t then we be conscious of major as well as minor sins?

The disbelief of denial is a sin that almost all the nations did when their messenger approached them. The disbelief of arrogance is what Shaytan and Pharaoh committed. The disbelief of doubt is having doubts about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, His Book, His Messenger and so on. The Qur’an begins with the words: There is no doubt. Therefore, we too should have no doubt about it and everything that our Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught us.

One of the traits of sincere believers is that they are intense in their love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We need to ask ourselves: Who do we love the most? If there’s anyone in our life, whether it be our parents, our spouse or our children that we love more than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then we have committed Shirk. We need to draw lines and honor the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala above everything else.

[Believers love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala more than Anything Else]

Showing off is a minor sin – it is not something trivial – it can take us to the Hellfire. We should be conscious of our speech and what we post on social media.

Other acts of disobedience include injustice, insulting others, fighting, immoral actions, consuming alcohol, adultery, consuming interest [riba], and saying about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala what one knows not.

We also learn that going against the Sunnah is also a haram act. If we reflect on our lives how much do we follow the Sunnah and how much do we follow others? Are we on the path of the believers?

Having learned the types of haram, one feels perhaps there is nothing that we are saved from, isn’t it so? It is for this reason that we need to learn our Deen and know what pleases Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and what displeases Him. May He allow us to live and die as true Muslims, aameen.

[NOTE: This is a rough English translation of the Arabic book and lessons discussed in the class. Listen to the Urdu lectures on this book hereDownload the book (in Arabic and Urdu).]

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