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HomeIslamic Faith PrinciplesThawab (Reward) And Sin According To Islam

Thawab (Reward) And Sin According To Islam

Thawab (Reward) is used to express all kinds of good behavior done to gain the pleasure of Allah and to be useful to people. At the same time, those who obey orders and prohibitions will also gain rewards. Contrary to thawab, Sin is negative attitudes and behaviors mean doing useless deeds that harm people. A person commits a sin when he/she doesn’t obey Allah’s orders and prohibitions.

In the Hereafter (after death), the good deeds that a person has done in this world are rewarded, while the bad deeds and sins are punished. In the Quran, “But no! Those who commit evil and are engrossed in sin will be the residents of the Fire. They will be there forever. And those who believe and do good will be the residents of Paradise. They will be there forever. .”[1] verses inform the postmortem situation of those who do good and evil, that is, those who earn good deeds and sins.

According to the Islam, when one intends to do a favor to a person, rewards are written even if he cannot do it. The prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing be upon him ) addressed this situation saying : “If My slave intends to do a bad deed then (O Angels) do not write it unless he does it; if he does it, then write it as it is, but if he refrains from doing it for My Sake, then write it as a good deed (in his account). (On the other hand) if he intends to do a good deed, but does not do it, then write a good deed (in his account), and if he does it, then write it for him (in his account) as ten good deeds up to seven-hundred times.”[2]

Concerning the bad deeds, the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said; “If a Muslim commits a sin, the angel who oversees writing down his sins will wait for three hours. If a person repents for that sin in one of those hours (within three hours) and asks Allah for forgiveness, Allah will not make the angel aware of his sin, nor will He punish the person on the Day of Judgment.”[3] He stated that it is not possible to be a sinner by intending to commit sin, and that it will not be written immediately when a sin is committed, and time is given for repentance.

The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said regarding those who do good deeds and cause the good to happen to others and as well who do bad deeds and cause the bad to happen to others, “He who introduced some good practice in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their’s being diminished in any respect.”[4] According to the Islam, this situation continues even after the person dies. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explains this situation with the following words; “When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: Ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah)[5], beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.”


Man is personally responsible for what he does. It is a requirement of Allah’s justice that it turns to good or bad with the will given by Allah and as a result it finds its reward. Verses and hadiths have always encouraged repentance (asking for forgiveness) for evil and sins, and no intermediary was required for this. A person can ask Allah’s forgiveness at any time and place, at home, at work or in his vehicle. Allah stated that he will forgive sins as long no partnership is established with him.[7] The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also informed that there is no one without fault, and that the important thing is repentance and regret.[8] It is also stated in verses that nothing done in this world will go unrewarded.[9]

According to Islam, there is always hope that for those who avoid sin or regret it they are forgiven . In the Quranwith the verse, ” If you avoid the major sins forbidden to you, We will absolve you of your ˹lesser˺ misdeeds and admit you into a place of honour.”[10] it is stated that sins can be forgiven regardless of whether they are big or small.

According to the verses and hadiths not insisting on committing sins and regretting  are the requirements of forgiveness. According to this Surah Al-i Imran 135-136 states, “And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know. Their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens under which rivers flow, staying there forever. How excellent is the reward for those who work ˹righteousness˺!”

What is expected of a Muslim is to be between fear and hope. It is recommended to avoid sin with the fear of not being forgiven, to continue to repent with the hope of forgiveness, that is, to keep these two feelings in balance.[11] The prophet Mohammed(PBUH) informed that these two situations are possible too,“When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.”

[1] Al-Baqarah, 81-82

[2] Sahih Al-Muslim, The book of Faith,204

[3] Mustadrak Al Hakim, 4/291

[4] Sahih Al-Muslim, The book of Zakat,69; Sunan an-Nasa’I, The book of Zakah, 64

[5] Sadaqah Jariyah: Good deeds that result in constant reward

[6] Sahih Al-Muslim, The book of wills,14, Jami` at-Tirmidhi, The chapters on Jugements,36

[7] An-Nisa,48 ; Luqman, 13

[8] Asu-Shu’ara, 25

[9] Al-Baqarah, 281 ; An-Nisa,134

[10] An-Nisa,31

[11] As-Sajdah, 16 [12] Sunan Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 29


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