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The Faith Revival – He is Not a Believer When…

There are certain sins that are called mubiqat (destructive) and they are the major sins. It’s not that any sin cannot be forgiven by Allah, but there are certain sins that even in your lowest point, you shouldn’t go to.

There are a few narrations about these major sins and particularly the impact they have on iman.

In one narration, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

When a man commits adultery , then Allah removes belief from him the way that a roof would come off of someone.

So if you can imagine a sliding roof, where a person is sheltered as they are sitting with their belief, but at that point Allah removes it just like a sunroof , iman from that person.

Then the Prophet said:

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Until he stops committing that act and repents to Allah, and then the roof comes back.

In another narration, the Prophet explains this beyond the adultery. He said:

A person does not commit adultery while they are believers. And a person doesn’t steal while he is a believer. He doesn’t drink alcohol while he is a believer. He doesn’t kill while he’s killing and he’s a believer. (Al-Bukhari)

So the Prophet is saying that in the moment of those deeds a person is devoid of faith, iman leaves them.

Iqrimah said:

“I asked ibn Abbas: how faith leaves him? What does it mean?”

Ibn Abbas clasped his hands and said: “Like this (departing his hands) and then when he repents it comes back.” (Al-Bukhari)

So it’s a temporary departure. A person doesn’t become a disbeliever for committing major sins. That’s from the mercy of Allah.

So long as a person acknowledges their belief even if they’re committing major sins, we don’t say about people that they’ve become disbelievers, that they left the faith.

But when a person is committing those deeds, they are purposefully ignoring Allah. And instead of using the senses that God gave them to draw closer to Him, they’re using those senses to pleasure themselves… they’re actually worshiping their own desires.

If you insist upon that, Uthman says:

“I swear by Allah that faith and alcohol can’t coexist in a person’s heart. Eventually one of them is going to expel the other.”

The Prophet says:

The one who insist upon drinking alcohol becomes like the one who worships idols. (An-Nasa’i)

He also says that there are certain characteristics that they just not befitting to a believer even in their lowest point.

He said that there is no iman for a person that lies, or a person that can’t be trusted. A believer can do many things. He can be a coward, he can be a miser, but he can’t be liar, it’s not be fitting.

He said:

A believer’s belief is sound so long as he doesn’t murder.

All of these boundaries that are set for us show us a very important point: that not all sins are equal, especially in regards to their impact on your faith.

A lot of times we go through low moments, and when we go through that, we justify our sins. The worst thing you can do is end up in one of those major sins. You don’t want death to come to you while you’re in that state, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned, devoid of belief.

That would be a tragedy. How many people just have something they’re going through in life, getting to some relationship, or go to the bar and drink, and end up in car accident, or end up with something very harmful happening to them as a result of these things.

You don’t want to meet Allah with that being your last moment. So keep that as a bare minimum. Allah understands. He knows that sometimes your faith will be low.

And there are certain sins that you’re going to be prone to, but don’t fall into major sins. Stay away from the major sins in particular and don’t insist on the minor sins, and that should be the bar that we set for ourselves at the bare minimum that we don’t fall into those things.

May Allah protect us from ever being attracted to those things, or ever fall into those things.

And if we fall into them, may He allow us to repent immediately and to not leave this world except that we are forgiven for those sins and not insisting on them. And protect our iman and let us die with iman.


Visit Yaqeen Institute.

About Omar Suleiman
Imam Omar Suleiman is the President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University. He’s also the resident scholar of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, a multi-faith alliance for peace and justice.