Is Not Regretting One’s Sins Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

Question

Is not regretting and not hating a sin is kufr? Is it considered kufr if someone doesn’t feel bad doing a sin and doesn’t regret it afterward?

For example, if someone loves alcohol and drinks it without regret and doesn’t feel hatred towards it when someone else drinks it, is this considered kufr?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

It is not disbelief (a) not to regret the sin, nor (b) not hating the sin.

Imam Tahawi (Allah have mercy upon him) states in his Creed: “Nothing takes a believer out of belief (iman) except the rejection of what made them enter into belief.” [Tahawi, Aqida]

The sinful believer—despite the seriousness and gravity of disobeying one’s Creator and Benefactor—remains a believer.

What About Not Having Regret For The Sin?

The key to changing one’s state is reflection (fikr). Don’t just think of the “smallness” of the sinful action. Rather, reflect on the Greatness of the one being disobeyed. Reflect on the Divine Gift of existence, life, faith, guidance, and all the good that Allah Most High has blessed you with.

Then consider what gratitude (shukr) would entail. It would entail obeying the commands of your Creator and leaving the few things your Creator has commanded you to leave.

Allah Most High reminds us,
“O human! What has emboldened you against your Lord, the Most Generous, Who created you, fashioned you, and perfected your design, molding you in whatever form He willed? But no! In fact, you deny the ˹final˺ Judgment, while you are certainly observed by vigilant, honorable angels, recording ˹everything˺. They know whatever you do.” [Quran, 82:6-12]

Don’t Despair Even If You’re Struggling

Recognizing that one should have regret for one’s sins is itself a good sign. Recognition is the beginning of change—and the first step towards turning to Allah Most High and His Pleasure.

Renew your commitment to Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). Strive to pray with presence of heart. Make regular, heartfelt supplication (dua), with certainty in Allah’s response. And seek out good company—such as committing to a weekly circle of Islamic knowledge—in your community.

And never despair. Allah Most High calls us:
“Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.