Sin: 7 reasons why we commit it
It’s a life long struggle. The battle between sin and virtue is on-going, endless and a constant battle.
But how is it that vice manages to enter our lives?
Why do we commit sin?
So, just like a doctor, let’s analyse the very root cause of the illness. Here are 7 reasons as to reason why we become sinful. These are taken from the original 7 causes of sin highlighted by Hadhrat Mirza Bashirudin Mahmood Ahmad (ra) in ‘The way of the Seekers”
- Open your eyes “Ignorance. Sometimes a person allows himself no time for reflection while trying to satisfy his natural impulses and allows a passing interest or pleasure to determine his action. The excitement of the moment removes from his view the more permanent and the more solidly happy ends of life.
Why should this happen? Why are the more permanent ends of life ignored?
First, because of ignorance which may be permanent or passing. Permanent ignorance is a thing apart. Temporary ignorance is ignorance despite knowledge. This sort of ignorance can have many causes:
- Greed – too much greed blinds a person to many important matters
- Intense need
- Bad health
- Excessive fear
- Excessive love
- Excessive optimism
- Excessive pessimism
- Excessive insistence on anything
- Excessive desire
- Excessive lack of desire
- Hereditary tendencies
These are the twelve sources or circumstances which produce or promote ignorance.
- Bad company “Besides ignorance, the second big source of sin is social contacts and companions. Man is a born imitator. He tends to do as others do, without weighing and considering the consequences of what he is doing. These social influences include the influence of parents and other relations, playmates, teachers, social institutions and customs.”
- Get your facts right! “One source of sin and sinning we have said is ignorance. But ignorance can be just ignorance or it can be wrong knowledge which makes it different from sheer ignorance. Wrong knowledge is often accepted as knowledge and spurious generalisations as authentic principles.”
- Never give in “Another source of sinning is bad habits. Knowing very well what truth is and that merit attaches to telling the truth, when the crucial moment arrives a person tends not to tell the truth. An addict makes up his mind not to drink any more. He knows all about drinking and not drinking. But when the party sits down to drink he allows himself to join and cannot resist the temptation. At the slightest call his resolve not to drink is broke
- Plain lazy “Sin is also caused by habits of laziness and lack of organised hours of daily life. A person tends to take things easy. He is carefree. He has no inclination to work. When the time comes, he tends to make light of what he has to do. Time passes and he suddenly finds himself drinking. Once a sincere companion of the Holy Prophet (saw) — on him be peace and blessings — was all but ready to go to the battlefield but he made no preparation for it. He had persuaded himself that when the time came he would be able to join the party with ease. He continued to leave his preparations to the end. The result was he was left behind and could not join the army. Laziness, therefore, is often the cause of sin. Man is lazy and easy-going and is incapable of commanding himself to get up and go.”
- Dilemma “One source of sinning is lack of comparative judgment. Out of two alternative courses of action, a person cannot decide which the better of the two is. It also becomes a question for such people how different emotions are to be applied to different situations and is made by two parties, but how far does one go with one party and how far with the other?
A man loves his wife but also his mother. Both have a similar title to love. This gives rise to difficult situations which are largely self-created. Similarly many people become convinced of the truth of the Promised Messiah (as) but hesitate to join the fold. They say they owe allegiance to another saint whom they do not want to leave. These difficulties are due to an incapacity to judge.”
- Brain waves “Another source of sin are the many invisible influences which criss-cross one another in our lives. They exert a kind of hypnotic influence, unknown to the person affected. No argument is given nor is any appeal made, but the presence of influences which ideas generate is undeniable. This needs some explanation. Let a decent person live in close proximity to nine others not so decent, who nurse evil thought without any overt communication. He will soon begin to feel the evil influence. This reminds me of a Sikh student who had great affection for the Promised Messiah. On one occasion he sent a message to him — through Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin Sahib (ra) — that his mind was being affected by agnostic thinking. The Promised Messiah (as) suggested that this young man should change his seat in the classroom and sit away from his classmates who sat close to him. The change proved the cure for his agnosticism. No argument had passed between them, but unexpressed thoughts were being communicated in some mysterious way.”
Staying with those who are righteous; is keeping good company.
“Thoughts are like waves and have a power of their own. The Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet (saw) — on him be peace and blessings — endorse this. Animal life also bears out this point. For example, two cats confront each other in an imminent fight. After an exchange of the usual mutual threats and noises, one of them is found to lower its tail and leave as if worsted. There is no visible fight; yet there was some kind of a contact.”
There you have it, 7 reasons as to why we commit sin.
Avoid sinning by attacking its root!