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A. Haroun (Abu Imran

 بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

Setting up Partners (Shirk) in the Worship of Allaah

All acts sactioned by Prophet muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to seek closeness or pleasure of Allaah are considered acts of worship. Examples include; sacrifice, supplications, prayer, hope (for Allaah's mercy), fear (of Allaah's punishment), repentance, sujuud (prostration) etc. Allaah says

"and we have not created the Jinns and the mankind except for worship" (Q51:56).

When ANY of these acts is directed to other than Allaah, it is called shirk! Partners to whom acts of worship are directed in a way that leads to shirk include; 

The sun and moon (Q 41:37)
Angels (Q 34:40)
Prophets (Q 5:116)
Pious men ( Q 17:56)
Trees and stones i.e idols (Q 51:56).

Shirk is a great injustice! How can the creature worship helpless creatures at the expense of the Creator of himself, those before him, the heavens and the earth, who sent down rains from the heaven, and from it plants grow? Ibn Katheer (رحمه الله) says “the creator of all these (heavens, earth humans...) is the most worthy of worship". This is why Luqmaan in one of his advices to his son said “Oh my son, do not associate partners with Allaah, verily Shirk is a great injustice"! (Suratu Luqmaan)

We need to be very careful of falling into shirk, for it is a matter that even those closest to Allaah were scared of. Prophet Ibraahim (عليه السلام), the father of monotheism whom Allaah referred to as His khaleel (chosen friend), who destroyed idols and was thrown into fire for it, became scared of falling into shirk when he saw how widespread it had become among his people. Allaah says “and when Abraham prayed “My Lord! Make this city (makkah) secure, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping the idols) [Q14:35] 

Even the most perfect of mankind in tawheed, prophet muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم ) used to say “Oh turner of hearts, make firm my heart upon your deen (Islaam)” and Aishah (  رضي الله عنها   ) would say to him “you (also) fear for yourself? And he (صلى الله عليه و سلم ) replied “Oh Aishah, why should I feel secured when my hearts are between the two fingers of the most merciful (أخرجه احمد). So every conscious muslim should learn about shirk, remain watchful and pray, lest he falls into it, for we are even more in need of the caution than those two.

There are those who consider shirk to be only the worship of idols and attempt to exonerate the worship of saints and pious persons. They claim that their calling upon these people is just a means to seek for a pious intermediary between them and Allaah. This is false and misleading, for Allaah is free from all intermediaries! He is able to hear His slave if and when he calls upon Him, and to call ANYONE beside him under whatever guise is shirk!

There are also those who think shirk is only in atheism (disbelieving in Allaah as the sole creator, provider and controler of all affairs). This is also a very faulty reasoning since most of the idol worshippers affirm the existence of Allaah as the creator of all things yet they worship idols as intermediaries. While the atheist disbelieves in tawheed ar-rubuubiyyah, the idolator disbelieves in tawheed al-uluuhiyyah! May Allaah protect us from them.

So it follows that whoever; makes sacrifice to other than Allaah, swears by other than Allaah, seeks help from the dead, worships graves and a host of other related actions is commiting shirk and if he dies upon that he will live forever in hell, May Allaah protect us from such an end! 

Allaah says “Verily, Allaah does not forgive that partners be set up with Him (in worship), but he forgives whatever is other than that, to whomever He wills.” Qur'aan 4:48

It was narrated that Mu'adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) said: 

I was riding behind the Prophet (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) on a donkey and he said to me "O Mu'adh, do you know what is the right of Allah on his slaves and what is the right of the slaves upon Allah?" I responded: "Allah and His Messenger know best." 

He continued, "The Right of Allah upon His slaves is to worship Him Alone and never to associate anything with him. The right of slaves upon Him is not to punish any person who does not associate anything with Him." I said: "O Allah's Messenger, may I not give the glad tidings to the people?" He replied: "No. Do not inform them, lest they rely on (this promise and lapse in their service to Him)" ( صحيحين).

What are the types and consequences of shirk as well as it's relation to our environment? 


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