Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) said, “Avoid the seven great destructive sins.” The people enquired, “O Allah’s Apostle! What are they?” He said, “To join others in worship along with Allah, to practise sorcery, to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic law), to eat up riba (usury), to eat up an orphan’s wealth, to give back to the enemy and fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.”
The Holy Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) was a great teacher and guide who raised his companions on healthy spiritual and moral grounds. He adopted the various modes of teaching to impress upon his companions to suit the demand of the situation.
In the hadith under study he enjoins people, particularly his followers to avoid seven deadly sins. This does not mean that these are the only sins that we have to keep from to lead a pious life. This, in fact, is one dose given by him in a given time.
When asked what those deadly sins are, the first thing that the Holy Messenger mentioned is that Muslims must shun shirk (polytheism) viz. joining others in worship along with Allah. The Hoy Qur’an also calls shirk the greatest oppression on earth. So, in every sphere of life, we must take care that whatever we say or do, think or believe, does not even border on shirk. The second deadly sin is the practice of sorcery, which is rampant in a society steeped in superstitions. Then comes the killing of a person without any just cause. Then are the sins of eating up of riba (interest) and an orphans’ wealth. And the last two sins are fleeing from the battlefield and accusing a chaste woman. If people pledge to keep from only these seven deadly sins, the society will undergo a change for the better.