Class 3 – Major Shirk and its types

Class – 3

Major Shirk & its types


Q1 What is major Shirk?

 A. It is to devote any of the forms of worship to one other than Allah, such as supplication, inocation, sacrifice, etc.

The proof-text is Allah’s Saying: And invoke not besides Allah, any that neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zálimün (polytheists and wrong-doers)’ (V.10:106)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “The greatest sins are joining others with Allah in worship, disobedience to parents and to give false evidence(Muslim)

Q2 What Is the greatest sin with Allah?

A. The greatest sin with Allah is to commit major Shirkthe proof-text is Allah’s Saying: recalling the words of Luqman to his son:

0 my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is great Zulm (wrong) indeed.” (V. 31:13)

When Allah’s Messenger ﷺ  was asked which is the greatest sin, he answered: To ascribe partners with Allah even though He Alone created you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)  

Q3 Does Shirk exist among Muslims today?

A. Yes, it does exist, the proof-text being Allah’s Saying:

 And most of them believe not in Allah, except that they attribute partners (unto Him i.e. they are Mushrikun – polytheists).” (V.12:106)

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The Doomsday will not occur until some sections of my people have joined the idolaters and they will even worship idols.” (Tirmidhi)  

Q4 What is the ruling concerning praying (supplicating) to the dead or those who are absent?

A. Praying to them is a major Shirk, as Allah says:

Invoke not with Allah another Ilâh (god) lest you be among those who receive punishment.” (V.26:213)

The Prophet ﷺ said: Whoever dies having called upon partners besides Allah shall enter Hell-fire (Bukhári)  

Q5 Is supplication a form of worship?

A. Yes, supplication is worship, as Allah says:

And your Lord said: Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (V. 40: 60)

The Prophet ﷺ  said:   Supplication is worship.” (Tirmidhi)

Q.6 Do the dead hear our supplications?

A. No, they do not hear, as Allah said:

But you cannot make hear those who are in graves.” (V.35:22)

1. Ibn ‘Umar . says: The Prophet ﷺ  stood at the graves of the idolaters at Badr and recited: “Have you also found true, what your Lord promised (warnings, etc.) … (V.7:44)

Then he said: “They now hear what I say”.

When this was mentioned to ‘Aisha . , she said: The Prophet ﷺ  only said that: “now they shall know that what I used to tell them was the truth.”  

She then recited (this verse): “You cannot make the dead to hear “ (V.27:80)

Qatadah, the narrator of this Hadith (from Ibn ‘Umax) said: “Allah brought them to life to make them hear the words of the Prophet as a rebuke and humiliation.” (Bukhari)

This HadIth teaches: That these idolaters slain (at Bath) were caused to hear temporarily by the Order of Allah. This is proven by the Prophet’s saying: “Now they can hear” which implies that later they will no longer hear, as Qatadah, the narrator of the Hadüh said: “Allah brought them to life to make them hear His Words as a rebuke and humiliation…

2. ‘Aisha’s refutation of Ibn ‘Umar’s version that the Prophet ﷺ  did not say: “They can hear” but rather that he said: “Now they know” was based on the verse:Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear …“ (V.27:80)

3. The versions of lbn ‘Umar and ‘Aisha can be harmonized in the following manner: The fact is, that the dead cannot hear; as is plainly stated by the Qur’ân, but Allah brought to life the idolaters slain (at Badr) miraculously for the Messenger’s sake, so that they could hear him — as Qatadah, the narrator of the HadIth states — and Allah knows best.  


Q7 Should we seek help from those who are dead, or from those who are not present?

A. No, we should not seek their help, rather we should seek the help of Allah, as He says:

Those whom they (A1-Mushriki2n) invoke besides Allah have not created anything, but are themselves created. (They are) dead, lifeless, and they know not when they will be raised up.” (V.16:20,21) 

(Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you‘ (V 8:9)

The Prophet ﷺ  prayed: “0 the Ever living, the Everlasting Allah, I seek help through Your Mercy. (Tirmidhi)

Q8 Is It permitted to seek help from any other besides Allah?

A. No, it is not permitted, the evidence is Allah’s Saying:

You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).” (V.1:5)

The Propet ﷺ  said: If you ask, ask of Allah, if you seek help, seek help of Allah. (Tirmidhi)  

Q9 May we seek help from the living?

A. Yes, in the matters in which they are able (to help), as Allah says:  

Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety) … “(V.5:2)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Allah helps His worshipper as long as the worshipper helps his brother’ (Muslim)

Q1O Is it permitted to swear oaths (make vows) to any other besides in the Name of Allah?

A. No, it is not permitted to swear oaths except in Allah’s Name, as Allah mentions the words of Mary’s mother:

0 my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship)“ (V.3:35)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Whoever vows to obey Allah should obey Him, and whoever vows to disobey Him should not disobey:’ (Bukhári)  

Q11 Is it permitted to sacrifice In any name besides Allah?

A. No, it is not permitted, the proof is Allah’s Saying: “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only).” (V.108:2)

(To sacrifice is to slaughter an animal for food in Allah’s Name).  

The Prophet ﷺ  said: Allah curses whoever sacrifices and slaughters in any name other than Allah.” (Muslim)

Q12 Is It permitted to circumambulate any other structure besides the Ka’ba?

A. No, it is not permitted to circumambulate any other structure besides the Ka’ba, as Allah says:

And circumambulate the Ancient House (the Ka’ba at Makkah).” (V.22:29)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Whoever circumambulate the House (the Ka’ba) seven times and prays two Rak’a of Salát, it is as if he has freed a slave.” (Ibn Majah)

Q13 What Is the ruling In Islam concerning (the practice of) magic/sorcery?

A. The practice of magic/sorcery is considered rejection of faith (Kufr), as Allah said: “But the devils disbelieved, teaching men magic” (V. 2:102)  

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Avoid seven deadly sins; Shirk, magic” (Muslim)

Q14 Should we believe the claims of fortunetellers and soothsayers?

A. No, we should not believe them, as Allah says:

Say: “None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (unseen) except Allah“(V.27:65)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Whoever goes to a fortuneteller or a soothsayer, and believes what they say, has rejected what has been revealed to Muhammad.” (Ahmad) 

Q15 Does anyone have knowledge of the unseen?

A. No, no one but Allah Alone has knowledge of the unseen. Allah says (referring to Himself):

And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.” (V.6:59)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: No one has knowledge of the unseen except Allah.” (Tabaráni)

Q16 What is the ruling In IslAm concerning applying non-Islamic laws?

A. Abiding the laws which are contrary to Islâm and accepting them as superior to Islamic Laws is rejection of Faith. Allah says:  “And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the Káfirun (i.e. disbelievers — of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allah’s Laws  (V.5:44)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “When the leaders do not rule by Allah’s Book (Qur’ân) and choose from that which Allah has rejected, Allah will cause conflict among them.” (Ibn Májah)

Q17 What if Satan tempts us with the question: “Who created Allah?

A. If Satan tempts you with this question you should seek refuge in Allah, as Allah says: “And if an evil whisper from Satan tries to turn you away (0 Muhammad ri.., ) (from doing good etc.), then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (V.41:36)

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ  taught us to resist Satan’s deceptions by saying:

i) “I believe in Allah and His Messenger. He is Allah, (the) One. AlIah-us-Samad  (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him:’ Then to spit over the left shoulder three times, seeking refuge from Satan, when this is done the temptation will pass. (Summary of AhadIth collected by Bukhári, Muslim, Ahmad and Abü Dáwud)

One should say in response to this question that Allah is the Creator and that He has not been created, to make this easier to understand, we may say for example: One comes before two, and nothing comes before one … Allah is One, nothing comes before Him.

As the Prophet ﷺ  said: “Allah, You are the First, there was nothing before You.” (Muslim)

Q18 What were the beliefs of the Idolaters In Arabia before Islam?

A. They use to pray to saints to earn their pleasure and intercession. Allah says (referring to their beliefs): “And those who take ‘Auliyá’ (protectors and helpers) besides Him (say): “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah….” (V.39:3)

And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allah.’ “ (V.10:18)

Some Muslims also seek the intercession of saints thus imitating the idolaters.

Q19 How do we eliminate (all traces of) Shirk?

 A. Shirk cannot be completely eliminated unless we exclude the following:

 1. The belief that others share in Allah’s works such as the (Szfi) belief that there are men called Qutub who regulate the universe, even though Allah asked the idolaters: And who disposes the affairs?” They will say: Allah “  (V.10:3 1)

2. The belief that others have the right to be worshipped, such as supplicating to the Prophets and saints for help etc. Allah says: “Say (0 Muhammad ): “I invoke only my Lord (Allah Alone), and I associate none as partners along with Him.” (V.72:20)

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ  said: “Supplication is worship.” (Tirmidhi)  

3. The belief that others share in Allah’s Attributes, such as the belief that the Prophets or saints have knowledge of the unseen, Allah says: “Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (unseen) except Allah.” (V.27:65)

4. Anthropomorphism (Tashbih), comparing Allah’s Attributes to humans, such as one who says: There must be a mediator between humans and Allah, to whom we address our prayers, just as one cannot meet the ruler or a higher authority (of a nation) except through a mediator, this is comparing the Creator to His creation, a form of Shirk.

 Allah says: “There is none like unto Him” (V.42:11)

Allah says: “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.” (V.39:65)

If one repents and eliminates these practices of Shirk and worship Allah Alone he will once again become a true believer in the Oneness of Allah . 0 Allah let us be among those who worship You Alone, do not make us to be idolaters.

Q20 What are the dangers and punishment of Shirk Akbar?

 A. Shirk Akbar condemns one to eternal damnation in Hell-fire, as Allah says:

Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zallimun (polytheists and wrong- doers) there are no helpers.” (V.5:72)

 The Prophet ﷺ  said: “And he who met Allah associating anything with Him entered (Hell) Fire’ (Muslim)

Q.21 Are good deeds of any benefit to one who worships others besides Allah?

A. No, good deeds are of no benefit to those who worship others besides Allah. Allah says concerning the Prophets:

But if they had joined in worship others with Allah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them. (V.6:88)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: Allah says: “I have no need of partners, whoever does any deed in which they associate partners with Me, I reject them and their partners as well