In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Abu Hashim Jafari, a companion of Imam Hassan Al-Askari (PBUH) has narrated that he had heard the Imam (PBUH) say, "Among the sins that are not forgiven is that which the person (considers less significant compared to his other mistakes, and) says about it, I wish I would get punished [only] for this sin."
Abu Hashim says, "I started thinking with myself that this is indeed a very important issue, and one should always be careful about what he does. At this point, the Imam (PBUH) addressed me by saying, what you just thought is right, keep yourself bound to it (1)".
Allah (SWT) has favored us by regarding some sins as small (Saghirah) and some as great (Kabirah); however, logically, every opposition to the Divine orders is a great mistake and a great sin, and the disobedient person would deserve Divine punishment. Because once our wisdom understands the presence, greatness, and grace of Allah (SWT), and learns about His request for remembrance from His servants, we find whatever contradicts this Divine request as a great sin and a great loss. In fact, even failure to strive toward fulfillment of such purpose would count as a great mistake for him.
In other words, our wisdom finds allying with the enemies of a merciful and generous king and turning our backs to Him, who is the provider of all-time affluences and blessings, as a great sin.
In brief, wisdom finds any disobedience of Allah (SWT) a great sin, but Allah (SWT), out of His mercy, has considered some of our mistakes as small ones, i.e. the punishment for some sins are less than others.
Yes, that is the Divine benevolence. But what should our perception be about this issue? According to what Imam Hassan Al-Askari (PBUH) teaches us, we should never regard any of our mistakes as small, because whenever a servant considers his sin as a small one, that sin would be counted as a great sin in front of Allah (SWT). And whenever one considers his sin as a great sin, his sin would be counted as a small in front of Allah (SWT). But why is it like that?
Whenever one counts his sin as a great one, the sense of lament and dissatisfaction from the sin will fill his heart, and such feeling would prevent the influence of that sin on his heart. However, when a person underestimates his disobedience towards Allah (SWT), it is evident that he is accustomed to that sin, and such familiarity would make the sin influence his heart and make it dark and corrupt.
Now, on the auspicious birthday of Imam Hassan Al-Askari (PBUH), it is very appropriate that we turn towards Allah (SWT), and say, O Allah! Forgive all our sins, and turn a blind eye to our mistakes.
(Selection taken from Asrar al-Salat (Mysteries of Prayer), by Mirza Jawad Maleki Tabrizi (with some changes))
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 8th of Rabee al-Thani, the auspicious birthday anniversary of the heir of the Prophets and the leader of the faithful, Imam Hasan Al-Askari (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Manaqib ibn Shahr Ashoub, vol. 4, p. 439