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Ethics & Morals
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In order to answer this question, lets first have a look at two incidents from the life of Imam Ali (as): 

Once, the Imam was having a conversation with the Prophet (s) in the month of Ramadan, during which the prophet started to cry. When the Imam asked him the reason the Prophet (s) said; O’ Ali, I cry because of what will be done to you in the month of Ramadan, I see the day when your beard will be colored with the blood of your head. Then, Imam Ali asked, O’ Messenger of Allah, will I die then as a faithful man? The prophet (s) replied: Your faith will be safe. 1

And when the prediction of the Prophet (s) came true and Imam Ali (as) was struck on his head by a sword coated with poison while performing the prayer of morning in the mosque, he said: "By the Lord of Ka'ba, I have succeeded.” And he passed away (reached martyrdom) two days later [on the 21st of Ramadan] due to the injury.

divine salvation or prosperity and to make sure that in the end we depart this world while having faith is the last stage of perfection for which we all must strive and which must be our main concern. 

Look how a divine leader like Imam Ali is so much worried about his end, and when he is sure that he is leaving this world with a pure faith in Allah, he is relieved, and this shows that divine salvation or prosperity and to make sure that in the end we depart this world while having faith is the last stage of perfection for which we all must strive and which must be our main concern.

Being a believer at the moment should not make us confident about our destiny, for history is full of people who lived with piety for a period of time but then they changed the course of their lives and became wretched.

Being a believer at the moment should not make us confident about our destiny, for history is full of people who lived with piety for a period of time but then they changed the course of their lives and became wretched, the most evident example of which is Satan, about whom Imam Ali says, 

You should take a lesson from what Allah did with Satan; namely He nullified his great acts and extensive efforts on account of the vanity of one moment, although Satan had worshipped Allah for six thousand years - whether by the reckoning of this world or of the next world is not known. Who now can remain safe from Allah after Satan by committing a similar disobedience? None at all. 3

1 al-Amali, p. 193.
1 Khasa'is al- 'A'immah, p.63
3 Nahj al-Balagha, sermon. 192 
Answered by Saeed Mahmoudzade. 

Ethics & Morals » Islamic Morality
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To apprehend whether there is a conflict or not, one must first have a clear definition of the two terms. There are two ways of understanding self-confidence:

1. Comprehending one's abilities, potentials, and building on the existing capabilities in the attempt to satisfy one’s desires and attain to the true human identity. This version is in no way in conflict with the spirit of trust in Allah (awj). The advantage of this version is its compatibility with two key religious terms: self-knowledge and knowledge of Allah’s (awj) blessings and the right way of employing them.

2. Egocentrism. That is, to rely solely on one’s personal capabilities and knowledge to the extent of considering one’s ambitions and desires as the source of ultimate well-being and success. This understanding is not only in disharmony with religious teachings; it is a mirage, a mere figment of the imagination. This objectionable self-confidence is actually self-centeredness and being over-confident of oneself. It is in allusion to this type of self-confidence that the Commander of the Faithful says,

“Whosoever trusts in his self will be betrayed many times.”

The Definition of Tawakkul

Tawakkul comes from the root wikalah and so by derivation means “appointing someone as one’s trustee (wakil)”. What is meant by the self-confidence that is in harmony with tawakkul is maintaining one’s composition in the face of great predicaments by relying on the endless power of Allah (awj), thereby considering oneself triumphant. It means to struggle resolutely in the face of all the troubles and tribulations that befall one, trusting in Allah (awj) where one feels powerless and not ceasing to try. Rather, even where one feels capable, one should know that the real power is Allah (awj). For, in the eyes of the true monotheist, He is the fountainhead of all existing powers, so that viewing the natural phenomena in separation from the Divine will is a kind of polytheism. All natural causes derive their potency from Him and exist due to His will.

What is meant by the self-confidence that is in harmony with tawakkul is maintaining one’s composition in the face of great predicaments by relying on the endless power of Allah (awj), thereby considering oneself triumphant. It means to struggle resolutely in the face of all the troubles and tribulations that befall one, trusting in Allah (awj) where one feels powerless and not ceasing to try. Rather, even where one feels capable, one should know that the real power is Allah (awj).

But the second interpretation of self-confidence is in no way compatible with tawakkul, for in this sense self-confidence would be to regard one’s strengths and capabilities independent of Divine will. And self-reliance and relying on other creatures are in opposition to the spirit of trust in Allah (awj).
The Prophet(s) has been related as having said,

“I asked Jibra`il(a), What is tawakkul?’  He replied, ‘

Recognizing the truth that a creature can neither harm nor benefit, and not to have your eyes on the wealth of others. When a servant of Allah acquires these traits, he will act only for Allah and will not have any hope in other than Him. This is the truth and boundary of tawakkul.’”

 

Ethics & Morals » Vices
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Sins are like an ill-smelling putrid bog. The deeper a person gets into it the less he feels its disgusting smell because his smelling taste ceases to function. However, a person's firm decision to discontinue this path is by itself a victory. One who has achieved victory at this stage should try to strengthen and reinforce his motivation to fight sins and not to fall in them so that he may also succeed in the subsequent stages of his life.
The best way to get rid of lust is marriage (permanent or temporary) in accordance with the rules prescribed in the manuals of Islamic laws (Tawzih al-Masail). If he cannot afford marriage, he should take exercise, keep fast and fill his leisure time doing useful work so that he may protect himself and the society against the physical and spiritual harms of this evil act.

 

Ethics & Morals » Virtues
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The sins that people commit are not all alike in terms of their greatness and the forgiveness of different sins depends on the kind of sin that has been committed.  Some sins can be forgiven by only saying astaghfurullah once while others may require more effort. We must note that according to Islam, anyone can repent to Allah up until the last moment of his life, and in order to do so, after asking for the help of Allah and the Ahlul-Bayt, he must make great effort to compensate for the rights he trampled in regard to Allah and people.

Ethics & Morals » Vices
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To keep away from sins we need to:

1- Remember the fact that Allah (SWT) is always seeing us, so, never do any sin when He is seeing us. Those who commit sins forget the fact that Allah is watching over them. The Quran says:

Does he not know that Allah sees [him]? [96:14]

 

2- Keeping in mind the fact that sins are the way to hell fire and misery in this life and the hereafter. 

3- Taking account of our deeds every day, and stopping on every sin committed -God forbid- and repenting on it and seeking forgiveness and deciding not to do it again. We also should thank Allah (SWT) for every good deed done, so that we get more from His bounties.

4- Repeating Estighfaar (seeking forgiveness) as much as possible, especially before sunset and before Fajr:

 And [the pious are] those who, when they commit an indecent act or wrong themselves, remember Allah, and plead [to Allah seeking His] forgiveness for their sins -and who forgives sins except Allah?- and who knowingly do not persist in what [sins] they have committed. [3:135] 

5- Performing Salat al-Layl (Namaz-e-Shab or Night Prayers) as it has got great benefits including making us away from sins. Wassalam Mohammad al-Musawi


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Ref: www.wabil.info

Ethics & Morals » Vices
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There are different methods to recognize the greater sin and we indicate towards two of these methods. 

1. Every action the doers of which have been promised by Allah punishment and chastisement in the Holy Quran. (Whether, it is clearly stated or indicated or it may be emphatic prohibited again and again). It is a greater sin.

2. Through the correct and authentic traditions that have reached us from the great leaders of Islam and in which the greater sins are clearly enumerated. For example the letter Imam Ali Ibn Moosa ar-Rida (‘a) had written to Mamoon the Abbaside Caliph. In the letter he has mentioned the number of greater sins. And in the same way is the tradition narrated by Amash from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (‘a). There is mention of many greater sins in this tradition. And the same is the condition of other traditions. 

Now we shall describe a greater part of the greater sins which have been mentioned in ayats (verses) or traditions and pray to the Almighty Allah that He may grant us the Taufeeq to shun all these sins.

1. Murder 2. Adultery  3. Wine  4. Leaving Prayer 5. Usurping the property of orphans 6. Fleeing the battlefield 7. Interest taking 8. Gambling 9. Oppression 10. Sodomy 11. Helping the oppressors 12. Supporting the oppressor 13. Denying the rights of people 14. Fighting the saints of Allah  15. Lying  16. Betrayal of trust. 17. Hurting the Parents 18.Accusing pure people falsely 19. Backbiting 20. Being heedless of the Anger and Punishment of Allah 21. Carelessness about performing the Hajj 22. Squandering and over spending 23. Pork 24. Blood 25. Eating dead meat 26. Eating the flesh of animal which is slaughtered without reciting the name of Allah 27. Despair from mercy of Allah 28. Repeating smaller sins 29. Breaking off relations 30. Nonpayment of Zakat 31. Breaking of covenant 32. Concealing Testimony 33. False swearing.
The above-mentioned sins are a major portion of greater sins though according to the view of many scholars they are not limited to these.

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Ref: Ayt. Makarim Shirazi and Ayt. Ja'far Subhani., Religious questions answered: Logic for Islamic rules, Published by: Ansariyan Publications Qum, The Islamic Republic of Iran

Ethics & Morals » Vices
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The above question must be answered in four parts.

The Reality of Sin

Sin, which in ‘Arabic is referred to as ithm and ‘isyan, means to disobey the order of the Master and to slip in complying with His wishes. The sinful individual, in lieu of following the dictates of reason, obeys his desire and anger, which means that he may commit any sin imaginable, which if he does, he has actually betrayed himself. Sin is the snare of Satan. The inner reality of sin is fire while on the outside it deceives the individual by a fleeting sense of pleasure and lust, in temptation of which the oblivious human being incurs Divine chastisement.

The Effects of Sin

Sin entails harmful consequences for the individual as well as for society at large. Its consequences for the individual are, among others: the darkening and hardening of one’s heart; depriving the sinner of knowledge of the Divine secrets and gnosis; the transformation of the heart into a niche for Satan; being barred from self-knowledge; relinquishing the pleasure of Divine conversation; the invalidation of the sinner’s worship; leading the sinner to denying the hereafter and Allah’s (awj) reward and punishment. 
The social repercussions of sin consist of the decadence and retrogression of the sinful society, although it might appear as though it is headed in the direction of progress. For, in reality, such a society is drawing near to its extinction due to neglecting human and moral values.

The Cause of Sin

Religious authorities arraign ignorance and obliviousness as the main causes for sin. The most effective tactic of an enemy and its first means of infiltration is to distract its opposing party. Ignorance is the fountainhead of corruption-ignorance of the existential values of humanity, of the valuable results of sexual purity (‘iffah), of the effects of sin, etc. 

The Way of Salvation

Several ways can be enumerated here:
1. Repentance (which is returning to Allah (awj) with the resolute intention of abstaining from sin and which encompasses a multitude of grades) and pleading for forgiveness.
2. Reminding oneself of one’s sins.
3. The remembrance of Allah (awj).
4. A resolved will [to remain on the straight path].
Thus, after the clarification of the meaning of sin and the other related issues, attributing sin to Allah (awj) becomes meaningless. The issues of guidance, being led astray, and the variations in the natures of human beings in creation will be dealt with separately.

Ethics & Morals » Virtues
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There are many ways mentioned below that one can be forgiven and purified from his sins and misdeeds:
1- Repenting according to its conditions and returning to Allah.
2- Doing extraordinary good deeds that cause the forgiveness of evil deeds.
3- Avoiding major sins which entails the forgiveness of minor sins.
4- Enduring the difficulties and catastrophes of this world, the hardships of Barzakh (the barrier between the mortal world and the hereafter) and the initial stages of the Day of Judgment will purify believers.
5- Intercession: Of course we must pay attention that Intercession will only purify a sinner from his bad deeds if he makes the required changes and possesses the qualifications of being forgiven.
6- Divine Forgiveness: It will only apply to people who possess the required qualifications and conditions; meaning that it covers the believers who had practical shortcomings and faults.

Ethics & Morals » Vices
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A major sin is one thatthe punishment of Hell is promised to its committer in the Quran or ahadith.  (There are also other criteria for a sin being a major one).  Also minor sins turn into major sins when committed repeatedly (when insisted on by the sinner).
In the Quran, Allah has promised to forgive all sins if one truly repents to Him.  Regarding Haqqullah (the rights of Allah) repentance would be to make up for the past and saying Istiqfar while regarding Haqqunnas (the rights of people) it would be doing Istiqfar, giving the person back his rights and striving to obtain his satisfaction.     

Ethics & Morals » Vices
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Real repentance from sin is backed by beliefs and values that one truly believes in. If a person really believes in Allah (swt) and the Day of Judgment and knows that he/she will see the outcome of his/her actions on the Day of Judgment and doesn’t allow him/herself to forget such a fact, he/she will easily be able to stay away from sin. If one truly pays attention and understands how haram acts cause him/her to sink to low levels and darken his/her inside, it will be even easier. Drinking alcohol and other intoxicants is one of the haram acts in Islam.

If a person really believes in Allah (swt) and the Day of Judgment and knows that he/she will see the outcome of his/her actions on the Day of Judgment and doesn’t allow him/herself to forget such a fact, he/she will easily be able to stay away from sin. If one truly pays attention and understands how haram acts cause him/her to sink to low levels and darken his/her inside, it will be even easier. 

There are a few practical ways for putting alcohol aside:
1- First one must make a serious decision to do so in such a way that nothing can weaken the decision.
2- Try changing your mind about being with friends who may invite you to commit this act.
3- If your drinking is contingent upon certain preliminary preparations, such as finding a place where no one can see you, try to stay away from them.
4- Try to think how harmful alcohol can be for your body.
5- You can get help from religious and dependable doctors for solving this problem.
6- There are many hadiths on this subject; we will mention a few from Imam Sadiq (as):
The imam says:

“Whosoever takes a sip of wine (or any other intoxicant), Allah (swt) and the angels and His messengers and the believers will curse him.  If he drinks enough to become drunk, the spirit of faith will leave him…” [1]

He also says:

“Wine is the head of all sins.” [2]

Also, he says:

“Allah (swt) has appointed a lock for all badness; the key of that lock is wine (and any other intoxicant).” [3]

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[1] Muhammad ibn Yaqub Kuleini, Kafi, vol. 6, p. 399.
[2] Kafi, vol. 6, p. 402.
[3] Ibid, p. 403.
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Ref: www.Islamquest.net


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الإمام علي (عليه السَّلام):لا يكونُ أخوكَ أقوى مِنكَ على مَودّتِهِ.
Do not let your brother be stronger than you are in your amity for him.