Patheos answers the question:

What Are the Three Major Sins in Islam?

Muslim woman in prayer

The most serious sin in Islam is considered to be idolatry, or associating other powers with God, known in Arabic as Allah. This sin is so serious that if one dies without repenting of this major sin in Islam, it is considered as if he or she will not be able to ever repent of this sin. But while this is considered one of the most serious sins, that does not mean that there are not other major sins in Islam. Lots of religious traditions might include an intricate and complex list of behaviors and actions that range anywhere from not ideal to considered deeply sinful. This hierarchy implies that while the devout follower should be mindful of many ways in which his or her actions might lead them away from the right path, there are certain lines and actions they should be particularly careful to not cross. The concept of serious which belong in a category of severity distinct from other described sinful behavior is also one way for a religion to express their values, and signal the foundational acts that define the faith. In this context, Islam has several acts which are commented on as particularly egregious sins.

The other major sins in Islam include the act of murder, practicing magic or sorcery, and disregarding the five pillars of Islam, which include a belief in one God, praying five times a day, giving charity, fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime, assuming one has the opportunity and ability to make such a trip. This means that many Muslims consider it a major sin to ignore these five pillars, and therefore among the major sins in Islam include not praying, not giving charity, not fasting on Ramadan (assuming one is healthy and able), and not going on the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once (assuming one has the health and means to do so).

However, there are other prohibitions that are also considered to be major sins in Islam. When it comes to three major sins in Islam, there is no agreed upon ranking of sins which are accepted across all traditions and scholars. In fact, some scholars consider there to be seven major sins, and others believe that the number is seventy is the right number. These interpretations are based on a variety of teachings and sayings which include different enumerations of some of the major sins in Islam. Many Muslim scholars have drawn up their own lists of grave sins.

Nonetheless, the three sins which are agreed upon to be described as very serious in religious scripture include shirk, or idolatry, the practice of magic, and murder.

Other holy texts in Islam include discussions of other very serious sins. The most commonly listed other sins in these texts include, in addition to the sin of shirk—which means associating any other power with Allah—are disobeying one’s parents, offering false testimony, offering false utterances, running away from the battlefield or deserting one’s army as fighting advances, using an orphan’s property and inheritance, benefitting from usury, and slandering modest women.

The devout Muslim will keep in mind many prohibitions and obligations during his or her life, but these sins are considered particularly severe sins to commit. 

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3/23/2021 6:32:39 PM