The Major Sins by Imam al-Dhahabi
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The present work al-Kaba'ir is one of the most important ones he wrote for ordinary readers. In it he deals with themes which are of great interest and benefit to them in both their deen and matters of this world, explaining matters which are less easy to understand in other books of knowledge written for specialist scholars and researchers.
In al-Kaba'ir adh-Dhahabi adopts the approach of a warning guide who seeks to correct people as regards their beliefs and lives and presents his material in easily understood language and in a clear attractive style. He avoids complexity, obscurity and artifices and his book is a useful source for speakers and preachers alike. By his words he awakens the heedless and bewildered, chides rebels and deviants, and guides those who desire to travel the path of Allah to truth and to what is correct.
The major sins are those acts which have been forbidden by Allah in the Quran and by His Messenger (SAW) in the Sunnah (practise of the Prophet), and which have been made clear by the actions of of the first righteous generation of Muslims, the Companions of the Prophet (SAW
There is some difference of opinion among scholars in this regard. Some say these major sins are seven, and in support of their position they quote the tradition: 'Avoid the seven noxious things'- and after having said this, the propeht (SAW) mentioned them: 'associating anything with Allah; magic; killing one whom Allah has declared inviolate without a just case, consuming the property of an orphan, devouring usury, turning back when the army advances, and slandering chaste women who are believers but indiscreet.' (Bukhari and Muslim)
'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas said: 'Seventy is closer to their number than seven,' and in this book Imam Adh-Dhahabi goes through the 70 Major Sins Supported by the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)