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Major and Minor sins in Islam

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Major and Minor sins in Islam

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.


To disobey Allah (SWA) and to oppose His Will is a grave sin in itself. Hence, many scholars are of the view that every disobedience of Allah is nothing but a major sin. The distinction between minor and major sins is made only when these are compared to each other.

In short, a sin which is technically known as minor does not mean that people should go about indulging in it neglectfully. On the contrary if minor sin is done with nerve or heedlessness or even continuously it will become a major sin.

The definition of major sins, as indicated by the Qur’an and Hadith and as explained by our pious elders, is that sin on which a Hadd or punishment has been prescribed in the Quran or Sunnah to be enforced in this present life or on which words of curse have appeared or on which stern warning of Hell has been mentioned, are all major sins. (Extracted from Maariful Qur’an p.406- p.408 v.2)

Major Sins

  • Worshiping others, or associating partners with Allah (shirk)
  • Believing in superstition, fortune telling and astrology
  • Using magic or sorcery
  • Committing murder
  • Committing suicide
  • Bearing false witness
  • Committing adultery or fornication
  • Cheating, stealing, and lying
  • Charging or paying interest or usury (riba)
  • Consuming pork or alcohol
  • Consuming the wealth of an orphan
  • Not fasting in the Month of Ramadan
  • Not observing daily prayers
  • Not paying zakat
  • Gambling
  • Bribery, betraying trusts and breaking contracts
  • Backbiting and slandering
  • Breaking the ties of kinship
  • Disobeying or not honouring one’s parents (Mazahirul Haqq p.110 v.1)

Minor Sins

  • Not lowering your gaze. i.e. looking at unlawful women
  • Cursing
  • Bullying
  • Imitating immoral people in dress, behaviour and lifestyle

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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