Our Contributor’s Perspective
The concept of forbidden acts or sins is inherent and built into most religions of the modern or ancient civilized world. The foundation of these sins or forbidden acts is laid out in social or moral principles. Many of them are common to most religions, especially the ones on social welfare and mutual coexistence of humans in a society (like lust, greed etc). The aim of this post is to highlight any similarities between the seven deadly sins in Christianity and Islam. For new readers of this blog, I am a Muslim woman with some amount of ideological clarity in the study of comparative religions.
Before I go on to comment on the similarities between seven deadly sins in Christianity and Islam, let me as well shed some light on my understanding why there are similarities in the list of deadly sins in Christianity and Islam.
Muslim And Christian Connection
Quran, the basis of most Islāmic guidance on sins, declares Christianity and Judaism to be the other two heavenly religions apart from Islam. The list of sins provided in the Bible and Quran are similar given that they are declared to be from the same heavenly origin. The seven deadly sins (as enunciated in the Christian list) are equally applicable in Islam although the order of severity or prohibition may not be exactly applicable in Islam.
There are specific wordings in the Quran and Sunnah (the sayings and acts of the Holy Prophet Muhammad) discouraging or prohibiting these acts. Following is the Islāmic perspective on the seven deadly sins in Christianity:
Lust has multiple connotations in the Islāmic ideology of sin. It may be the greed to accumulate more worldly means or to answer your illegitimate sexual desires (sex outside the bond of marriage in its prescribed and approved manner). Understood as sexual misconduct or adultery, the penalty in Islam is severe to the extent of being punishable by death
Gluttony in Islam is not punishable “in the world” but highly undesirable from the viewpoint of the Day of Judgment. If you happen to pay Zakat (the Islāmic charity payable by all Muslims at the rate of 2.5% on a prescribed limit) then there is no restriction to accumulating. However, Muslims are strongly encouraged to give away as much as they can in the way of Allah as charity.
Greed is again an undesirable trait for a Muslim though it may not qualify as a sin if there are no illegal acts. There are many references in Quran and Sunnah that forbid Muslims from greedy acts.
It is technically not a sin in Islam to not visit with a religious people as in the understanding in Christianity. If a Muslim is abiding by the compulsory religious duties (like praying 5 times a day and abiding by other personal religious obligations) then they are in keeping with the tenets of the faith. All Muslims are strongly encouraged to keep personal company with the pious and Allah fearing community.
Again, wrath is a highly undesirable trait in any Muslim but not considered a sin unless some immoral or forbidden act is committed in the state of extreme anger, rage or hatred. As a rule, all Muslims are commanded to be kind and humble in their interaction with other humans.
It does qualify as a sin on the Day of Judgment. Muslims are allowed to be envious only in the matters of taking the lead over other in the acts of kindness and charity. Muslim history is replete with such examples where pious men have been known to be envious of others in the acts of kindness and piety and that was religiously approved.
Pride is one of the most disliked traits in Islāmic ideology. There is a specific verse in Quran that says “Why do you walk with pride on the earth? Can you move the mountains or tear the heart of earth?” The only pride that Islam allows is the pride of a soldier in display of his weaponry or bravado.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, the classification of punishable sins in the world and in the life after are a little different in Islam from Christianity. In my faith, Christianity’s seven deadly sins are in certain cases are more classified as distasteful and forbidden acts that are punishable in the life after.
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