What is Shirk in Islam

Shirk is the sin of idolatry or polytheism in Islam, that is, deification or worship of anyone other than God. Islam teaches that God does not share His divine attributes with anyone. According to the Islamic belief of monotheism, polytheism with God is not allowed. Polytheists are those who practice shirk, which literally means “association” and refers to the acceptance of other gods and divinities along with God (as “partners” with God). The Qur’an describes polytheism as a sin that will not be forgiven if a person dies without repenting of it. wiki

Shirk in Quran and Hadith

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱفْتَرَىٰٓ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا ٤٨
Indeed, Allah does not forgive associating others with Him ˹in worship˺,1 but forgives anything else of whoever He wills. And whoever associates others with Allah has indeed committed a grave sin.

Surah An-Nisa

The Qur’an says “twice” in verses 48 and 116 of Surah al-Nisa, “that God can forgive all sins, except one”, that of shirk (“attachment”).

Bukhari, Muslim Hadith

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said in one of his hadiths about polytheism: “Whoever dies claiming to be a rival to Allah will go to hell” (Bukhari).

It is in the hadith that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Whoever dies claiming that Allah has a rival will go to hell. Sahih Bukhari Hadith No. (4497). Muslim, 92.

Meaning of shirk

In terms of shari’ah or Islamic terminology, shirk means ascribing a partner or rival to Allah in Lordship (rububiyyah), worship or in His names and attributes.

Types of Shirk

Scholars divide Shirk into two types which they call Shirk Akbar (Major Shirk) and Shirk Asghar (Less Shirk):

Big shirk

It means attributing to someone other than Allah that which belongs to Allah alone, such as Lordship, Divinity (Al-Wahiya) and Names and Attributes (Al-Asmaa Wal-Safaat).

This type of shirk can sometimes be outward, such as the shirk of those who worship idols and graves or are dead or absent.

Or it can sometimes be hidden, such as those who trust in gods other than Allah, or the polytheism and disbelief of the hypocrites. For although their (the hypocrites’) shirk excludes them from the fold of Islam and means that they will remain in Hell forever and ever, it is a hidden shirk, for they make an outward display of Islam and their disbelief. And they hide shirk, so they are among the shirk. A polytheist inwardly but not outwardly.

Minor shirk

It includes everything that can lead to major polytheism, or that is described as polytheism in the texts but does not reach the level of major polytheism.

Being emotionally attached to certain means that have no basis and are not permitted by Allah Ta’ala, such as hanging “hands”, turquoise beads, etc. on the grounds that they protect or ward off the evil eye. But Allah Almighty did not make them a means of such protection, neither according to Sharia nor according to the laws of the universe.

Honoring certain people or things in a way that does not claim lordship over them, such as swearing by something other than Allah, or saying that if Allah did not exist, such and such, etc. islamqa


shirk meaning in arabic

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