The present work al-Kaba'ir is one of the most important ones he wrote for ordinary readers. In it he deals with themes which are of great interest and benefit to them in both their deen and matters of this world, explaining matters which are less easy to understand in other books of knowledge written for specialist scholars and researchers.
In al-Kaba'ir, adh-Dhahabi adopts the approach of a warning guide who seeks to correct people as regards their beliefs and lives and presents his material in easily understood language and in a clear attractive style. He avoids complexity, obscurity and artifices and his book is a useful source for speakers and preachers alike. By his words he awakens the heedless and bewildered, chides rebels and deviants, and guides those who desire to travel the path of Allah to truth and to what is correct.
The major sins are those acts which have been forbidden by cin the Quran and by His Messenger (SAW) in the Sunnah (practise of the Prophet), and which have been made clear by the actions of of the first righteous generation of Muslims, the Companions of the Prophet (SAW
There is some difference of opinion among scholars in this regard. Some say these major sins are seven, and in support of their position they quote the tradition: 'Avoid the seven noxious things'- and after having said this, the propeht (SAW) mentioned them: 'associating anything with Allah; magic; killing one whom Allah has declared inviolate without a just case, consuming the property of an orphan, devouring usury, turning back when the army advances, and slandering chaste women who are believers but indiscreet.' (Bukhari and Muslim)
'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas said: 'Seventy is closer to their number than seven,' and in this book Imam Adh-Dhahabi goes through the 70 Major Sins Supported by the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
An excellent book in English.
Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Uthman ibn Qaymaz ibn `Abd Allah, Shams al-Din Abu `Abd Allah al-Turkmani al-Diyarbakri al-Fariqi al-Dimashqi al-Dhahabi al-Shafi`I, known as Imam Shams Ad-Din Adh-Dhahabi (1274–1348), a Shafi'i Muhaddith and historian of Islam.
Al-Dhahabi was born in Damascus in 1274 CE/673 AH, where his family had lived from the time of his grandfather `Uthman. His most important teacher at Baalbek included a woman, Zaynab bint ʿUmar b. al-Kindī. He lost his sight two years before he died, leaving three children: his eldest daughter Amat al-`Aziz and his two sons `Abd Allah and Abu Hurayra `Abd al-Rahman. The latter taught the hadith masters Ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi and Ibn Hajar, to whom he transmitted several works authored or narrated by his father.
Dhahabi authored nearly a hundred works, some of them of considerable size. His work regarding the practice of prophetic medicine was straightforward in its presentation, but also categorized by the author as alternative medicine. Much of it consisted of an integration of medicine as understood from the revelations of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and the practices of Pre-Islamic Arabia with Ancient Greek medicine, quoting heavily from the ideas and terminologies of Hippocrates and Ibn Sina.
Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley, born 1948 in the United States. She holds a BA in French and MA in Near Eastern Languages from the University of California, Berkeley. She spent a year with a fellowship at the American University in Cairo and at the same time attended a seminar on Sufism and Islamic philosophy at Dar al-’Ulum. She is a student of Shaykh Abdalqadir al-Murabit, and also studied Ibn ‘Arabi with the late Sidi Fudul al-Hurawi in Fes, Morocco.
Aisha Bewley converted to Islam in 1968. She is the author and translator of many published and unpublished works, some available on her website. She is married to Hajj Abdalhaqq Bewley with whom she often translates and mother of three children.