Class 4 – Minor Shirk, Kufr, Hypocrisy and their types

Class – 4
Minor Shirk, Kufr & Hypocrisy

& their types


 Q1 What is Shirk Asghar?

 A. Minor shirk can only occur in Uloohiyyah. Minor shirk is still a major sin.

Minor Shirk (Shirk Asghar) is to worship Allah so as to be seen by others.

Allah says: “So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (V.18:110)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “What I fear most for you is Shirk Asghar — Ar Riya (worshipping to be seen by others).” (Ahmad) Included in Shirk Asghar is the saying: “Were it not for so-and-so, it is Allah and so-and so’s will.”

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Do not say: It is the Will of Allah and so-and-so, rather say: ‘It is the Will of Allah and then because of so-and-so’.” (Ahmad)

Q2 Is it permitted to swear by other’s name besides Allah?

A. No, it is not permitted to swear by another name besides Allah.

Allah says: “Say: Yes! By my Lord, you will certainly be resurrected… “ (V.64:7)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: ‘Whoever swears by anyone other than Allah, has associated partners with Allah (i.e. has commited Shirk). (Ahmad)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: ‘Whoever must take an oath should swear by Allah or keep silent (should not swear).” (Bukhâri and Muslim)

Swearing by the Prophets or saints is a major form of Shirk, if one believes that the saint has power to harm him. So we should refrain from taking such an oath, as this too is a major sin resulting in severe punishment.  

Q3 Should we wear good luck charms (like a thread or ring) believing that they have healing powers?

A. No, we should not wear them, since Allah says: “And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He,...” (V.6:17) Hudhaifa saw a man wearing a thread around his hand to cure fever, so he cut the thread reciting Allah’s Words: “And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners (unto Him) i.e. they are Mushrikin — polytheists.” (V.12:106) (Ibn Abü Hátim)

Q4 Should we attach beads or shells etc. to our clothing to protect us from the evil eye?

A. No, we should not do that for protection from the evil eye, Allah says: “And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He….“ (V.6: 17)

The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Whoever wears an amulet has committed Shirk.” (Ahrnad)

(An amulet — any object worn in the belief that it provides spiritual protection).

Q5 What is the difference between Major & Minor Shirk?


i) The Major Shirk expels one from the religion and the Minor Shirk does not expel one from the religion.

ii) The Major Shirk causes the person who is committing it to remain in the Hell Fire forever, whereas the Minor Shirk does not cause the one who commits it to remain in the Hell Fire forever – if he enters it at all.

iii) The Major Shirk nullifies all of the person’s deeds, but the Minor Shirk does not nullify all of the person’s deeds. Rather, the showing off and doing actions for the sake of worldly reasons only nullifies the deed which they are mixed with.

iv) The Major Shirk makes the blood (i.e. life) and wealth of those who commit it lawful, but the Minor Shirk does not make these two things (life and wealth) lawful (for the Muslims to take).


Q1 What is Kufr? And what is the difference between Shirk and Kufr?

A. Kufr is the disbelief of one or some religious basics which are known with certainty that the Prophet has brought them from Allah. Shirk, on the other hand, one’s belief of Allah’s having a partner (or partners) or an associate in His being the Lord, in His names, attributions, and actions, although he/she believes in Allah’s existence; or one’s setting up partners in worship with Allah.  Shirk and Kufr are very close terminologies. The difference between them is that kufr is more general and shirk is more private. Therefore every shirk is a kufr but every kufr is not a shirk. Shirk comes about as a result of by associating partners to Allah and His Self, name and attributes. Kufr comes into being by accepting some of the beliefs which is known that they are kufr. 

Q2 What are the types of Kufr?

A. There are two types of Kufr:

i) Major Kufr, which casts its people out of Islam.

ii) Minor Kufr, which does not cast the one who commits it, out of Islam. It is Kufr of ungratefulness.

Q3 What are the types of Major Kufr?

A. There are five types of Kufr: –

1. Kufr of denial, as referred to in the following verse: And who is more unjust that he who forges a lie against Allah, or rejects the truth when it comes to him? Is there not an abode in Hell for those who disbelieve? [Soorah (29): 68] 

2. Kufr of arrogance with acknowledgement, as proven by the words of Allah, the Exalted: And when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam,’ and they all prostrated except Iblees (Shaytaan), he refused and was proud and was on of the Kafireen (arrogant, disobedient to Allah).  [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 34]

3. Kufr of doubtfulness, as mentioned in the Words of Allah: And he entered his garden while he was wronging himself (through arrogance). He said, ‘I do not think this will ever perish; not do I think the Hour will ever come. And even if I am ever brought back to my Rabb, I shall, surely, find a better resort than this. His companion said to him while he was arguing with him, ‘Do you disbelieve (Kafarta) in Him Who created you from soil, then from a sperm-drop, then fashioned you into a perfect man? But as for me, I believe that Allah Alone is my Rub, and I will not ascribe a partner to my Rab.” [Soorah (18): 35-38]

 4. Kufr of aversion. Its proof: And those who (kafaru) disbelieve turn away from what they have been warned with aversion. [Soorah (46): 3]

5. Kufr of hypocrisy, as proven by the Words of Allah: This is because they first believed, then (kafaru) disbelieved. So a seal was set upon their hearts and consequently they do not understand.”  [Soorah al-Munafiqeen (63): 3]

Q4 What is Minor Kufr?

A. The minor Kufr, or the practical Kufr, does not constitute apostasy. This type of Kufr comprises of sins that are referred to in the Book and the Sunnah as Kufr, but do not reach the level of major Kufr, such is expressing ungratefulness to the favors of Allah, as Allah say: And Allah sets forth for you a parable of a city which enjoyed security and peace; its provision cam to it easefully from everywhere; but it (Kafarat) denied the favors of Allah.” [Soorah an-Nahl (16): 112]

So Allah made it taste hunger and fear which were made to cleave to it because of what they used to do. 

And fighting of Muslims against each other, which is referred to in the Hadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ, “Reviling of a Muslim is an act of disobedience and fighting him is Kufr.” [Agreed upon]

And in his saying: “Do not revert after me (Kufran) like the infidels killing each other.” [Agreed upon]

Likewise, swearing by other than Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said: “He who swears by other than Allah, commits an act of Kufr, or Shirk.” [Tirmidhee]

Allah, the Exalted, declared a Muslim who commits a major sin as a believer. He says: O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 178]

Hence, Allah, the Exalted, did not exclude the murderer from the believers, rather He referred to him as the brother of the slain’s guarding saying (in continuation of the verse): “Therefore, one who is granted remission by one’s brother, then he should pursue that matter in a kind manner and pay the blood-money with kindness (when he excepts blood-money) with fairness.”

‘Brotherhood’ which is referred to in the above verse, doubtlessly means brotherhood in faith. Allah, the Exalted, says: And if two parties of believers fight against each other, make peace between them. [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 9]

And if after that one of them transgresses against the other, fight the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of Allah. Then if it returns, make peace between them with equity, and act justly. Allah loves the just. 

Surely all believers are brothers. So make peace between brothers.”  [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 10]


Q1 What is Hypocrisy?

A. Nifaq (hypocrisy) means a pretense of loving Islam while concealing Kufr and evil. A hypocrite is given this appellation because he enters the religion from one door and exits from another. Hence, Allah, the Exalted, cautioned against hypocrites saying: “Verily, hypocrites are the rebellious.” [at-Tawbah : 67]

The rebellious are those who rebel against the Islamic laws, Allah considers the hypocrites as more evil than the infidels saying: “Verily, the hypocrites shall be in the lowest level of fire.” [Soorah an-Nisa : 145]

And Allah, the Exalted, says: “The hypocrites (think) that they deceive Allah when in fact it is Allah who deceives them.” [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 142]

Allah also says: “They (think) that they deceive Allah and the believers, but they deceive only themselves, but they do not know. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah has increased their disease to them; and for them is a grievous punishment.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 9-10]

Q2 What are the types of Hypocrisy?

A. There are two types of Hypocrisy:

  1. Hypocrisy in Belief or Doctrinal hypocrisy which is major hypocrisy
  2. Hypocrisy in deeds and actions or Practical hypocrisy

Q3 What is Hypocrisy in Belief?

A. The one who upholds it displays Islam and conceals infidelity. This type constitutes absolute apostasy, and condemns those who uphold it to the lowest level of Hell-Fire. Allah has described its people as possessing evil characteristics; such as Kufr, lack of Eemaan, derision of faith and its people and inclining entirely to the enemies of Islam for sharing their hostility.

There are six types: –

  1. Denying the Messenger ﷺ
  2. Denying part of what the Messenger ﷺ was sent with
  3. Hating the Messenger ﷺ
  4. Hating some of what the Messenger ﷺ was sent with. 
  5. Rejoicing over the decline of the deen of the Messenger ﷺ. 
  6. Resenting the prevalence of Islam.

 Q4. What is Hypocrisy in deeds and actions?

A. Possessing a trait of the hypocrites while retaining Eemaan in the heart. This does not constitute apostasy, but it is considered as a means to it. A person who upholds it combines both, Eemaan and hypocrisy. When the latter prevails, he becomes a sheer hypocrite.

There are 5 deeds that are traits of Hypocrisy:

  1. When he speaks, he lies.
  2. When he promises, he breaks it.
  3. When he is entrusted, he betrays.
  4. When he disputes, he acts immorally.
  5. When he makes a pact, he acts treacherously.