Any sin entailing either a threat of punishment in the Hereafter explicitly mentioned by the Qur’an or Hadith, a prescribed legal penalty (Hadd), or being accursed by Allah or His Messenger ﷺ is called a major sin. We have to bear in mind that some major sins are most heinous than another. Like Shirk is the worst of them all.
We are obliged to learn about what the major sins are, so that Muslims may avoid them.
In addition to what is narrated on the authority of early Muslims. Allah, the Most high, promises whoever avoids the major sins to expiate his minor sins. Allah, the Almighty says,
“If ye (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, we shall remit your evil deeds, and admit you to a gate of great honour.” (An-Nisaa :31)
Also the Prophet ﷺ said, “The five prescribed Prayers, and from one Friday Prayer to another and from Ramadan to another entail forgiveness for what is between them as long as you do not commit the major sins.” Reported by Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ahmed.
We enlist below the 70 Major Sins mentioned in the book “Al Kaba’ir (Major Sins)” by “Imam Shamsu ed-Deen Dhahabi”
7. Not Performing the Hajj When Able to
Whoever is able to do Hajj and does not do the obligatory Hajj, delaying it for no reason, has committed a great evil and a major sin. What he has to do is to repent to Allaah from that and hasten to do Hajj, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allaah], then Allaah stands not in need of any of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:97]
Ali (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “He who possess enough food for the trip, a means of transportation to reach to Makkah, and yet does not perform Hajj, then he dies, he would then die as a Jew or a Christian. This is because Allah says,”Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah -those who can afford the journey.” [Sunan Tirmidhi & Bayhaqi]
27. Collecting Maks
Maks is a kind of tax and refers to money that was taken from vendors in the market-places during the Jaahiliyyah, or taken from merchants when they passed through. (See ‘Awn al-Ma’bood, hadeeth no. 2548). This tax is one of the major sins, because the Prophet ﷺ said, concerning the woman who had committed zina (adultery), then came to the Prophet ﷺ so that the hadd punishment might be carried out on her, “By the one in Whose hand is my soul, she has repented in such a way that if the one who wrongfully takes the maks from people had repented like this, he would have been forgiven.” (Narrated by Muslim, 3208). Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim (11/203): “This shows that the maks is one of the most evil of sins and actions that condemn a man to Hell.”
30. Telling Lies
Allah Most High states,
On the authority of Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him), “the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Adhere firmly to truthfulness for truthfulness surely leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise, and a man is recorded with Allah as a sincere one as long as he is truthful. However, lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to the Hell-Fire, and a man is recorded with Allah as a liar as long as he lies.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
He ﷺ also said, “Three are the signs of the hypocrite, even if he prays, fasts, and pretends to be a Muslim: When he talks, he lies; when he makes a promise he breaks it; and when he is given a trust, he betrays it” (Bukhari & Muslim)
AI-Bukhari reported in his Sahih the following hadith on the authority of Samarah Ibn Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to ask, “Did anyone of you see a dream?” So those whom Allah wished to tell would narrate dreams to him. One morning the Prophet ﷺsaid, “Last night two persons came to me in a dream and woke me up and said to me, ‘Proceed!’ I set out with them… And we came to a man laying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of man’s mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back of the neck and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eyes from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man’s face and did just as he had done with the other side. He hardly completed this side when the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Glory be to Allah! Who are these two persons?’… They said, ‘This man is the symbol of the person who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world.‘”
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ also said, “The believer may be naturally disposed to any shortcoming except treachery and lying.” (Bukhari)
Those who wish to read all the references and details about all the listed sins can download the book 70 MAJOR SINS from https://islamhouse.com/en/books/386056/
SubhaanAllah, there are some listed here which are so common amongst us now and we don’t realise that they are considered as Major sins, we don’t even think twice about them. May Allah forgive us all and give us the Hidayah to set our affairs right.