Sins and consequences

Q602 :Could you please give some examples of cardinal sins in Islam. I had thought that actions could have only one of several rulings. Some people say that some sins are more serious than others. Could you please explain.

A602 : There are five verdicts which could be pronounced on most things or actions. An action could be required (as a duty), recommended, allowed, discouraged or forbidden. It is possible that the same action could have any one of the five verdicts in different situations. Thus, telling a lie is normally forbidden, but it can be only discouraged if there is some benefit to gain by it, without causing anybody any harm as a result. It can be allowed in a family situation when it is calculated to avoid any problems in the family without cheating anyone. I will give you a clearer example: Take the case of a man who gives his parents regular financial help, but his wife always objects to that and creates problems for him when she knows that he has given them a generous contribution. If he has given them a sum of money which would cause her to be angry when she knows, and he mentions a much smaller amount in order to avoid family friction, then that is allowed. The point here is that he has dispensed with his money in a very good cause and the aim of his misinformation is simply to avoid friction in the family. His wife will come to no harm as a result of receiving the wrong information. That is acceptable. On the other hand, telling a lie may be recommended or even required if there is a definite gain to be achieved, for the Muslim community. Suppose a Muslim is questioned about the position of the Muslim army in time of war and he fears that the information he would give might be useful to the enemy, he may be duty bound to give false information in such situations. Certain sins are certainly much more serious than others. Associating partners with Allah is the most cardinal of sins. Adultery is more serious than fornication and theft incurs a much more severe punishment than drinking or gambling. Perjury is a very serious crime. Generally speaking, sins which affect others, or the society at large, are more serious than personal actions.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )