Avoid Shirk in Islam
The act of associating partners with Allah, is called Shirk. The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah and prohibits people from associating partners with Him. The Quran also states that shirk is a big sin and Almighty will never forgive associating partners with him. Quraan has said in many ways to convince people to avoid shirk. The Muslims should not take this matter lightly and must avoid shirk in the light of the following sayings of holy Quran.
Surah No. 4, An Nisa, Ayat No. 116
o ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيدًا
Surah No. 16, Al Nahl, Ayat No. 20 & 21
o أَمْوَاتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاءٍ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ
They are dead, lifeless: nor do they know when they will be raised up.
o كُنَّا نَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِكَ فَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلَ إِنَّكُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
o فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ سَحِيقٍ
o فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم بِرَبِّهِمْ يُشْرِكُونَ
Surah No. 35, Al Fatir, Ayat No. 22
o مَّن فِي الْقُبُورِ
The religious scholars have divided shirk into two types. Shirk e akbar (major shirk) and Shirk e asghar (minor shirk). A brief description of each type is given below :
1 – Major shirk
This means ascribing to someone other than Allah something that belongs only to Allah. This kind of shirk of those who worship idols and graves, or the dead.
Shirk may sometimes take the form of beliefs:
Such as the belief that there is someone else who creates, gives life and death, or controls the affairs of the universe along with Allah.
Or they may associate others with Allah in love.
Or Shirk may sometimes take the form of words: For eg. those who make du’aa’ and seek his help or seek refuge with him with regard to matters over which no one has control except Allah, whether the person called upon is a Prophet, a Wali (“saint”), or some other created being. This is a kind of major shirk.
Shirk may sometimes take the form of actions:
Such as one who sacrifices, prays or prostrates to something other than Allah.
Consequently, whoever dies while committing acts of major Shirk, will absolutely be one of the dwellers of Hellfire, forbidden from entering Paradise. We seek refuge with Allah from this (punishment).
2. – Minor Shirk
Minor Shirk are the acts such as Riya’ (doing good deeds for show) and seeking reputation, as when reciting the Qur’aan, offering Salah or calling to the Path of Allah and the like for the sake of showing off. It is authentically reported that the
Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, “The thing that I fear most for you is minor Shirk.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is minor Shirk?” He said, “Riya’.
In minor Shirk, swearing by anyone or anything other than Allah such as swearing by the Ka‘bah, the Parents, the Quraan, the Children etc is included.
Referrred by ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra) that the Prophet (saws) said,“Anyone who swears by other than Allah has committed Shirk .
There is another minor Shirk called Shirk Khafi (hidden Shirk). The Messenger of Allah.(saws) said, “It is the hidden Shirk; a person stands up in Salah (Prayer) and tries to make it perfect when he realizes that others are looking at him.” (Related by Imam Ahmad)
With regard to minor Shirk, they may be forgiven for committing it. However, they may be punished for this by being admitted into the Fire for some time. Minor Shirk nullifies the acts, performed by a person. For example, if someone offers Salah out of Riya’ he or she will not be rewarded for it; but the person will be punished for such an act.
It is therefore the duty of every Muslim to pay much attention to this matter and all of them must avoid shirk in both its minor and major forms.