The Seventy Major Sins in Islam

Imam al-Dhahabi compiled a list of seventy major sins, which I will mention below so as to give a clear indication of the actions that many of us – knowingly or unknowingly – may take part in or have done so in the past. Once we know what these major sins are, it’s vital that we make the intention not to be involved in them again and take all the necessary precautions to follow this through.

  1. Shirk – associating anything with Allah (swt).
  2. Killing someone unlawfully.
  3. Practising magic (sihr) – either by yourself or through someone else.
  4. Not praying – this can mean that someone doesn’t offer salah purely due to laziness, but it can also mean that a person may not believe that salah is an obligation, or they may say “Allah doesn’t need my salah”.
  5. Not paying zakat – we may pay other taxes regularly, but that does not excuse us from paying our due zakat. It is an obligation given to us from Allah (swt), Who we must hold in a higher position than any government.
  6. Not fasting during Ramadan without a valid excuse (such as due to illness, travelling, breastfeeding, pregnancy etc.)
  1. Not performing hajj when we are able to. This could mean purposely delaying hajj so we can buy a house, or until our children finish university or get married.
  2. Disrespecting our parents – saying “uff,” or “ugh,” to them and walking away. Showing them any kind of disrespect is not allowed.
  3. Abandoning relations/relatives.
  4. Fornication and adultery.
  5. Homosexuality.
  6. Interest (riba).
  7. Wrongfully consuming the property or wealth of an orphan.
  8. Lying about Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sws)
  9. Frequent lying in general.
  10. Running away from the battlefield.
  11. A leader deceiving his people and being unjust to them.
  12. Pride and arrogance.
  13. Showing off.
  14. Falsely testifying as a witness.
  15. Drinking alcohol.
  16. Gambling.
  17. Slandering chaste women.
  18. Stealing from the spoils of war.
  19. Stealing in general.
  20. Highway robbery.
  21. Taking a false oath.
  22. Oppression – this can come in the form of something as simple as not treating your sibling well, or taking their belongings just because you are older, or it could be something as big as oppressing the poor in society by not allowing them access to basic needs.
  23. Illegal gains.
  24. Consuming wealth that is acquired unlawfully.
  25. Committing suicide.
  26. Judging unjustly.
  27. Giving and accepting bribes.
  28. Women imitating men or men imitating women.
  29. Being a cuckold – a man whose wife is sexually unfaithful or is regarded as an object of derision.
  1. Marrying a divorced woman for the purpose of making her lawful again for the first husband.
  1. Not protecting oneself from urine.
  2. Learning knowledge of the religion for the sake of gaining worldly praise and concealing the knowledge (or not sharing the knowledge for the benefit of others). An example of this could be memorising the Qur’an so that people can say you are a hafiz or hafizah or making your children memorise the Qur’an so that people can praise you for being the parent(s) of a hafiz or hafizah.
  3. Betrayal of trust.
  4. Recounting favours.
  5. Denying Allah’s (swt) decree.
  6. Listening to or eavesdropping on people’s private conversations.
  7. Carrying tales (namimah) – this means to repeat false or questionable stories about something that you have heard.
  8. Cursing.
  9. Breaking contracts.
  10. Believing in or visiting fortune-tellers and astrologers (practices such as palm-reading, tarot card reading etc.). Only Allah (swt) has the knowledge of the Unseen.
  11. A woman’s bad conduct towards her husband.
  12. Making statues and pictures.
  13. Wailing loudly, tearing clothes, hitting oneself or pulling one’s hair when an affliction befalls.
  14. Treating others unjustly.
  15. Overbearing conduct towards the wife, the servant, the weak and the animals.
  16. Offending one’s neighbour.
  17. Offending and abusing other Muslims.
  18. Offending people and displaying an arrogant attitude towards them.
  19. Trailing one’s garment in pride.
  20. Men wearing silk or gold.
  21. A slave running away from his master.
  22. Slaughtering an animal which has been dedicated to anyone or anything else other than Allah (swt).
  23. Knowingly ascribing one’s paternity to a man other than one’s real father.
  24. Arguing and disputing violently.
  25. Withholding excess water.
  26. Giving short weight or measure (for example, selling something for the price of a certain weight, but purposely cheating in the weighing of it).
  27. Feeling secure from Allah’s (swt) plan, assuming that you know better.
  28. Offending Allah’s (swt) righteous friends/servants.
  29. Not praying in congregation, but instead praying alone without an excuse.
  30. Persistently missing Friday prayers without an excuse.
  31. Usurping the rights of the heir through bequests.
  32. Deceiving others and plotting evil.
  33. Spying – this can mean spying for the enemy of the Muslims or even spying on your own family members. For example, taking someone’s phone and looking through it without their permission. This also applies to parents spying on the phones of their children unless they made a contract or agreed upon it.
  34. Cursing or insulting any of the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (sws)

As we can see, there are many sins in this list that are commonly carried out, so it is our duty to educate ourselves on the major sins and avoid committing any more for the sake of our Hereafter.


Excerpt is from Sins The Poison of the Heart by Dr Haifaa Younis 

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Learning about sins is an eye-opening, transforming experience that changes your heart and mind. Furthermore, it makes you look at the world from a new perspective which can change your life forever.

Discover, dissect and digest how to prevent and even overcome that which poisons the heart of the believer!