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Deserting Sins Is Difficult; Here Are Some Useful Tips

Before we can speak of deserting sins, we need to have a good idea of what we mean by “sins.”

From the Islamic point of view, a sin is a conscious and willful act that violates Allah’s rights (i.e. His commandments) or the rights of a fellow being.

On the other hand, we cannot consider a person to be a sinner if he or she is forced to do something prohibited against his or her own will.

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Likewise, acts done because of some illnesses, such as insanity or obsessive-compulsive disorder, are not sins.

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This is because human accountability is an important aspect of justice as envisaged in Islam. And no one can be truly held accountable for an action he or she has no power to resist or avoid, because Allah does not lay more burden on a human than he or she can bear.

The original sin

Islam teaches that sin is an avoidable act that harms the perpetrator’s own soul, so there is no “original sin.” This means that there is no innate or inherited nature that prompts a person to disobey Allah; that is to say, it is a person’s choice whether to sin or not.

Indeed, Islam has a unique view on the subject of sin, one not shared by other religions. According to the Qur’an, Adam and Eve, the first pair of humans, were allowed to live in the heavenly Paradise to enjoy a happy life, but they had been warned not to approach a particular tree so that their happy life would not be disrupted.

But Iblis (Arabic for: Satan) led them into temptation and made them slip into sin. Consequently, they were expelled from Paradise, and thereafter, their destiny was to live on earth until the Day of Judgment.

Both Adam and Eve knew of the seriousness of the sin they committed, and so they repented, and Almighty Allah accepted their repentance and forgave them.

Humans Are Imperfect

This story given in the Qur’an tells us how imperfect we, the children of Adam, are. And at the same time, it is made clear that the humans are created with a capacity for realizing their lapses and amending themselves.

Almighty Allah, by narrating this story in the Qur’an, makes us aware of the fact that He is Compassionate and Merciful to His creatures, particularly to those who repent and return to Him.

This story also brings to light the idea that humans are susceptible to being influenced by external circumstances. But this does not mean that they are without freedom of choice.

Indeed, they are endowed with free will and intellectual faculties. This makes them responsible for their choices and actions, while freeing them from the burden of hereditary or instinctual sinfulness.

Islam teaches that Almighty Allah does not leave humans helpless in the constant struggle between the forces of good and those of evil; rather, He guides them through His books and Prophets.

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About Professor Shahul Hameed
Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.