hate the sin, not the sinner (revisted)

Comment: ASA,
How can one hate the sin and not the sinner? Don’t they go hand in hand? What if you have repeatedly told the person to stop what their doing, i.e. gossiping and they know what they are doing is wrong but they keep doing it? What if the person doing the sin is a person of high status or a prestigious organization? I don’t believe it is necessary to taint a persons reputation but don’t you think that sometimes it is the person who is tainting their own reputation? Sorry I just did not understand your answer.

Response: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

We have talked about the above in detail at our local Center. Summary of what we have said.

Scholars use the following example to illustrate the point of hating the sin and not the sinner by virtue of the following dialogue that sheiks take part in towards their students that seek self reformation. Although I do not consider myself reformed, I find it an honor to share this parable with you (even though I accept your point of view, for it fits many circumstances.) My clarification is a little winded, so please bear with me.

There was a man that had his hand cut off, and then his leg cut off, then his other hand, then his other leg. Later he was hung of what may resemble a pole, so people would learn the ills of being a criminal.

A saint went and kissed the bottom of what was left of this man. People said: Ya sheik, how could you kiss the bottom of such a man. He was a pathological thief! The sheik responded: even though he was a chronic thief, I admire him for his consistency.

This is also an example of how not to hate the person of wrong, but the wrong itself. We must note, nowadays we hate the wrong and do the wrong ourselves. Yet, if we despised the wrong we would become the best we could ever be. Often we hate people that backbite but enjoy listening to the gossip. We love sin not the sinner. Instead it should be the other way around: we should despise the sin not the sinner. After all, the sinner too is human, a creation of Allah (SWT.) We should pray for the betterment of the sinner. This can make us improve our lot in life too.

I do understand when you say, sin and sinner go hand in hand. The problem of not distinguishing would make us hate humans sometimes more than usual and not the ills of humans. For example, our Prophet (SAW) did not like the action of the person that killed Hamza (RA). Yet, he (SAW) accepted his (RA’s) conversion despite his (saw) having a human negative feeling towards this now sahabi. Examples such as this remain replete. Again, hate the sin of the person, not the person.

Hope I have helped clarify a tad bit more. I got your point and appreciate it. Hope our view also gave a new perspective to the matter.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

Trivia: who was the shiek that kissed the leg?


5 responses to “hate the sin, not the sinner (revisted)

  1. As-salaam-alaikum Imam, I understand your example and the idea of the gossip behavior. I have friends that I respect as good Muslims but, have a gossip problem. I just attribute that to one fault and try not to partake in it but, sometimes get pulled in, truthfully, as we are both human. However, being human, larger sins are hard to separate from the sinner. In your example of our Prophet (saw) accepting the conversion of the person who killed Hamza (RA), I see that as he (saw) had no right to deny this person the path to Allah (swt) but, someone who is a Muslim and continues to commit sins without desire to change nor regret, etc. should know better and will only bring down our society who is striving to go on the path of good. It is our obligation to stop evil, prevent ill, promote good moral behavior and become and help others to be a good example of a Muslim. I would not hate the gossiper but, I would stay away and do try to because otherwise, I can be drawn to that behavior, or go astray, which is equally bad. I do however, hate a Muslim person who has done a major wrong and harmed a lot of Muslims, knowing it was wrong. May Allah (swt) remove this hate from my heart or forgive me this on the day of Judgment. Ameen.

  2. Asalamu Alaykum,
    Imam Mohammed Shoayb, I just wanted to apologize to you. I am sorry for all the injustice and harm that I have caused you. I understand your answer. I am really, really sorry.

  3. Asalaamu Alaikum Imam,

    I have been trying to figure out who that sheikh was, but can not find the answer. Who was he?

  4. nawwarah Navid

    Asalamu alaikum all, I have to admit that I have a problem, I don’t actually know how to stop what Im doing, I am really trying hard to but is very difficult for me to. Any time I try to stop I will be influenced by other people or the heart will say, Hey is just for the main time and everything will pass which I hate the most, sometimes when I do something terrible I feel very awful but stopping that is my problem even if I stop it doesn’t take long and it will come back. e.g. listening to musics, not keeping shout when you see something, saying this and that about somebody. etc. Im ashamed of my self saying this in public but I really need help,