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A. Haroun (Abu Imran)

Continuation of Explanation on Shirk (Polytheism)

From among the numerous consequences of Shirk includes:

1. Whoever dies upon major shirk will never be forgiven.
Allaah says "verily Allaah does not forgive that partners be associated with him, but he forgives other than this for whom he wills" (Q 4:48).

In a hadeeth Qudsiyy reported by Imaam tirm

idhiyy on the authority of Anas ibn maalik, the prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allaah ta'alaa said: oh son of Adam, if you were to come to me with (an equal measure of) the earth filled with sins, and then you meet me without having associated partners with me, I will grant you a forgiveness of equal measure.

2. Whoever dies upon major shirk will abide in hell forever.

It is reported in the saheehayn from Anas that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah and has in his heart goodness the weight of a grain of barley will be brought out of Hell, then whoever says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah and has in his heart goodness the weight of a grain of wheat will be brought out of Hell, then whoever says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah and has in his heart goodness the weight of an atom (or a small ant) will be brought out of Hell.” 

Allaah says: Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers” (Q 5:72)

3. Shirk lays waste all good deeds that came before it. 
Allaah says: 

"and it has already been revealed to you, and to those before you, (that) If you were to associate partners with Allaah, all your (good) deeds will lay waste, and you will surely be in the ranks of the losers".
Scholars differ as to what happens to the deeds if such a person repents, will it be returned or will he start afresh, and Allaah knows best.

4. Minor shirk may not nullify Islaam but it greatly reduces from a person's Islaam and it should be feared also. Ibn Mas'uud used to say "it is preferable to me to swear by Allaah while I am lying, than to swear by other than Allaah while I am truthful" (أخرجه طبراني في الكبير). This is because the sin of shirk is greater than the sin of lying!

It is unfortunate that our customs and traditions are laddened with various forms of shirk and this is why they say the sunnah has come to rob you of your tradition, and they deceive you by this to keep indulging in it. Islaam never came to abrogate all of tradition, however a muslim can not boast of being a muslim untill he prioritises Islaam over all else, so that all traditional acts or belief system are first weighed in the light of Islaam. Those that conform with the dictates of Islaam or do not violate any of it's prohibitions are embraced while the rest are discarded. 

Allaah tells us that the reason he has made us into nations and tribes is for the sake of identity; so we can identify ourselves (Q 49:13). So, being a Hausa, yoruba, igbo, igbira, Nigerian, turkish, Pakistani, arabian etc is by Allaah's design and we would certainly have differences in traditional practice. However, our affiliation to Islaam must remain above our attachment to these traditions for that is one of the ways we can achieve unity, and one way we would find it easier to abandon the shirk in our traditions.

From among the traditions in Nigeria I find soaked in shirk is the issue of masquerades. The tradition and belief surrounding this usually reek of the stench of idolatry, with sacrifices to gods and belief in spirits prominent among supporters of it. It is not befitting for any muslim to either belief in this or support it! 

Then you also have some superstitious beliefs such as attitudes towards twins especially in the southwest. Then you have belief in gods and other deities as well as ancestral worship and belief in reincarnation. You would find in the heart of some genuine love for Allaah and islaam, but their love and attachment to tradition is just as much or even more and this is in and of itself shirk of love!

If we were to compare what has been said so far about shirk with what has been writen by the scholars about it, it may not reach 1%!. We need to strive to know more about it, and struggle to free ourselves from it's dangers. May Allaah make that easy for us.
و فوق كل ذي علم، عليم!

Closely related to shirk is that one places intermediaries between himself and Allaah......


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