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Shirk In Islam And Type of Shirk.

by I Need Allah


Shirk means associating someone with Allah Almighty or you can say partnership. It is the opposite of the oneness of Allah (SWT) that is Tawheed. The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah Almighty and firmly prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes. In the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty stated that Shirk is one of the big sins that Allah (SWT) will never forgive. The following verse of the Holy Qur’an asserts:

“Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases, and whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin.” (Surah an-Nisā’ 4:48)

It means that whoever dies as a polytheist, there is no chance of his salvation. Although Allah (S.w.T.) may forgive any of those who have committed any other sin. Allah (S.w.T.) says:

“Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust.” (Surah al-Mā’ida 5:72)

Also, the Holy Qur’an states:

 “Do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous inequity.” (Surah Luqmān 31:13).

“And whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin.” (Surah an-Nisā’ 4:48)


Every Muslim knows fully well that Shirk is a Greater Sin. We all should know that shirk is an impermissible act which is involving the association of partners with Allah Almighty. There are three types of shirk:

  • The Major Shirk
  • The Minor Shirk
  • The Hidden Shirk



The Major Shirk

  1. This means ascribing to someone other than Allah something that belongs only to Allah, such as Lordship (Ruboobiyyah), Worship (Uloohiyyah) and the Divine Names or Attributes (Al-Asmaa’ Was-Sifaat). 
  2. The belief that there is someone else who creates, gives life and death, reigns or controls the affairs of the universe along with Allah. 
  3. The belief that there is someone else who must be obeyed absolutely besides Allah.


The Minor’s Shirk

Minor shirk is ‘ar-riyaa’ which is to beautify an action which is initially intended for Allaah, for the sake of showing off or gaining praise.

 1. Allaah, the Most High, 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.” (al-Kahf: 110)

2. The Prophet  (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) said, “That which I fear for you most is the minor shirk.” Then he was asked about it, so he (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) replied, “ar-riyaa (showing off).” 

3. Then, he  (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) explained it saying, “A man stands in prayer, and beautifies it due what he notices somebody else looking at him.” 

4. And from this shirk is swearing by other than Allaah, such as swearing by forefathers, the rivals (set up alongside Allaah), the Ka’bah, and honesty etc. The Prophet  (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) said, “Do not swear by your fathers or mothers or the rivals (set up alongside Allaah).” 

5. He  (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) said, “Do not say, ‘By the Ka’bah’, rather say, ‘By the Lord of the Ka ‘bah’. ” 

6. He  (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) said, “Do not swear by anyone except Allaah.” 

7. He  (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) said, “He who swears in the name of honesty is not from amongst us.” 

8. He  (sallallaahualaihi wasallam) said, “He who swears by other than Allaah has committed kufr (disbelief) or shirk.” And in another narration, “Kufr and shirk.” 

9. And from minor shirk is the saying, “Whatever Allaah wills and you will.” The Prophet  (sallallaahualaihi Wa Sallam) said, to the one who said that, “Have you made me a rival (or partner) to Allaah, rather say, ‘Whatever Allaah alone wills.'” 

10. And from minor shirk is the saying, “Had it not been for Allaah and you ….” and, “I have no one but Allaah and you.” and, “I ask Allaah and you.” and the likes of this.
The Prophet  (sallallaahualaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Do not say, ‘Whatever Allaah wills and so and so wills’, rather say, ‘Whatever Allaah wills then whatever so and so wills.'” 

11. The people of knowledge have said that it is permissible to say, “Had it not been for Allaah then so and so…” but not, “Had it not been for Allaah and so and so …”

The Hidden shirk

The Prophet clarified very well what hidden Shirk means, and he explained that it is showing off. An example is when a man prays and he prolongs his prayer when he notices that other people are watching him.

Abu Sa’eed  narrated that the Prophet  said: “Shall I not tell you about that which I fear more for you than the Dajjaal?” We said: “Yes.” He said: “Hidden Shirk; which is when a man stands to pray and makes it look good because he sees a man looking at him.” [Ahmad and Ibn Maajah. Al-Haakim classified it as authentic and Ath-Thahabi agreed with him]

Hence, one should make sure his intention and motive to act are sincere, as he might act to show off without feeling it.

As regards the second part other of your question, then we did not clearly understand what you mean by it.

Allah knows best.


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