Download PDF: Definition of Sin (A Beautiful Hadeeth)

There was a person by the name of Kareem.  Once, he went to the market to buy something for Iftaar.  When he entered into the shop, he saw a long queue of people and it went longer as the time of Iftaar came closer.  The shop-keeper himself was Muslim so he was also worried whether he will be able to make it by the end of that day’s fast or not.  It was almost the time of Iftaar when Kareem’s turn came and the shop-keeper was totally exhausted.  Kareem bought the groceries for the value of R50 and gave the shop-keeper a note of R100 but the shop-keeper returned more than R50 as change.  Kareem hesitated at first and looked at the shop-keeper in surprise.

The shop-keeper asked, “Is there something wrong?”

Kareem kept the money inside his pocked and told him, “Nothing.”

When he sat to eat he was worried and when it was time to sleep and Kareem went to bed, he became even more worried.  He felt as if someone is shaking his heart and asking, “Why did you do this, Kareem?  Who gave you the right to slide the money into your pocket that did not belong to you?”

For that moment, Kareem thought of going to his mother and narrating this incident but then the next moment he changed his mind and did not tell her anything, because he knew that his mother will go red in anger after knowing this.  He kept changing sides the whole night in restlessness but could not sleep on either sides, and when he woke up in the morning, he could not even breathe freely.  His sight fell onto a piece of writing on an Islamic calendar hanging on the wall which changed his the state of his heart.  He rushed and went to the shop-keeper and quickly returned his money.

The piece of writing he saw written on the calendar was actually a very beautiful and true Hadeeth of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him:

اَلْاِثْمُ مَا حَاکَ فِیْ صَدْرِکَ وَکَرِھْتَ اَنْ یَّطَّلِعَ عَلَیْہِ النَّاسُ

A sin is something which causes disturbance within your heart and you would dislike it if people were to find out.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 4232)