It is necessary to know that performing sins is detrimental and harmful to the servant. The harm that sins cause to the heart is comparable to the differing levels of harm that various types of poison cause to the body. Indeed is there a single evil that occurs in the world or will occur in the Hereafter except that its cause is sin?
What caused our parents to be ejected from Paradise – the land of delight, felicity and joy – to the land of pain, misery and affliction?
What caused Iblis to be ejected from enjoying the company of the Angels to being debased and cursed? What caused his outward and inward form to be disfigured such that he took on the most vile of features and his inner features even worse? What caused him to become distant [from Allah] after being close; from being a recipient of His mercy to being a recipeint of His curse; from being beautiful to being ugly; from being in Paradise to being condemned to the blazing Fire; from being a believer to being a disbeliever; from being the friend of Allah to being His greatest enemy; from being a person devoted to the glorification of his Lord to being a person of kufr, shirk, lies and shameful deeds; from wearing the rainment of faith to wearing the rainment of disbelief, sin and disobedience causing him to become completely worthless and insignificant in the Sight of Allah? What caused him to become an outcast – despised and humiliated – such that he became a leader for every sinner and criminal? O Allah we take refuge with You from opposing Your command and taking on board Your prohibition!
Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Da wal-Dawa, pp. 56-57
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