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Shirk or Association of Gods with Allah



From all the major sins, Shirk is the biggest sin of all. The other sins can be ignored and forgiven by Allah Almighty by His will ofcourse but shirk is the only sin which can never be forgiven and ignored. The base of Islam is Tauheed and Shahdah. Shirk is opposite to Tauheed. Islam teaches us monotheism but shirk is all about polytheism.

Meaning of Shirk

Shirk is an Arabic word which means to associate or to share. In Islamic perspective, shirk is the association of other gods with Allah almighty. This also means to ascribe partners with Allah(SWT)

Person does shirk is

The persons who do shirk or associate partners or other gods with Allah(SWT) are called mushrik.

O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean surah al touba verse 28.

History of shirk

Satan started to misguide people in different ways like music, adultery, murder but until tenth century there was no shirk. He knew that if he started to tell people to do shirk then they will know that he is Satan. So to fulfil his purpose of misguiding people he waited for 10 centuries and misguided in different ways to pave the way. From Prophet Adam(AS) till Prophet Noah (AS), there were nearly 10 centuries and no one was mushrik at that time.

Allah sent Prophets (Adam, Sheith, Idress and then Noah) only to warn people and send good tidings.In Surah al Bakarah verse 213, it is narrated that

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

Before Prophet Noah(AS) , five pious people from the group of Salaf were died their names were mentioned in Surah Noah verse 23.
And said, ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa’ or Yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr.

These five were the first ones who were worshipped by the people at that time when Satan mislead them.

Before Islam, the idolaters worshipped 3 main idols names Al Manat, Al Lat and Al Uzza. These were considered as the partners of Allah. In surah al Najam verse 19 and 20 the names of these idols were mentioned

So have you considered al-Lat and al-‘Uzza? And Manat, the third – the other one?

Besides these handmade idols, they also worshipped wealth, Sun, Moon, animals, stars, fire, trees and many more gods.

Types of Shirk

There are three types of shirk

1. Shirk e Rabobiya (lordship)
2. Shirk e Amsa al Sifaat (attributes)
3. Shirk Fil Haqooq

 Shirk e Rabobiya

It means that one denies the existence of Allah and His lordship. It is also a type of shirk in this kind to associate partners with Allah(SWT) . This is the worst type of shirk.

History of shirk e Rabobiya

This was started from the people who were actual followers of Prophets and Rusul. In period of Prophet Ibrahim and Ishaq, people started to believe that the Angels were the daughters of Allah (SWT). That’s why the names of most of their idols were feminine like Laat, Uzza, Manat. They considered that these will help in their forgiveness. Then some of Jews started to believe that Prophet Uzair was son of Allah (SWT) but it is limited in them. The followers of Prophet Issa also believed that he was the son of Allah(SWT) and it is the extreme kind.

Shirk e Asma al Sifaat

This means that a person associates the qualities of Allah with someone else. Like if one says that such person has a knowledge of past or future or one can hear us like Allah or can fulfil our wishes etc then he is committing shirk. There are three points of difference between the qualities of Allah (SWT) and man.

1. The qualities of Allah (SWT) are ancient whereas manly qualities are only present.

2. The qualities of Allah(SWT) are limitless while qualities of man are limited.

3. Allah is absolute in His qualities while a person have flaws in its qualities and these qualities are bestowed by Allah as well.

To keep this points in consideration is important to protect oneself from this type of Shirk.

 Shirk of worship

This is the most common type of shirk in which one does the acts of worship other than Allah (SWT). Like obeying someone else, giving charity for other, reciting man made invocations, fasting for other than Allah (SWT).

Why shirk is bad

Shirk is the source of fear, humiliation and misery. The example of a person doing shirk is like one has jumped from a high and bright place in a very deep dark place. In beginning, one starts to love someone (living or dead) then this love becomes obsession and  the person does not hesitate to give his loved one the statues of God.

why is it prohibited to make idols of Allah?

One can never make idol of Allah(SWT). Making idols means to degrade Allah(SWT) and His commandments.
Allah(SWT) made human beings so it is not right for a human being to make Allah (SWT) in the form of statues as he has never seen him.

Difference between kufr and shirk

The word Kufr means to deny. In Islamic terminology, kufr means to deny the truth or to deny the status of Allah as only deity and to deny the message of Prophets. On the other hand, word shirk means to associate partners with Allah. So it is possible for a person to have both kufr and shirk in it as he is denying Allah being a deity and he associates other gods with Allah like the idolaters.

Can a Muslim be mushrik?

Yes a Muslim can also be mushrik if he does any type of shirk which is described above. Denying Allah is not only shirk but to associate someone with Him in anything is shirk. It is clearly mentioned in the verse 106 of Surah Yousaf that

And most of them believe not in Allah except while they associate others with Him.

Is shirk forgivable?

Shirk is a sin which is not forgivable. This is a sin which questions the oneness of Allah and it is against the verses of Quran. In Quran 4:48

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. Surah al Nissa verse 48.

Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers. Surah al Maidsa verse 72.

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray. Surah al Nissa verse 116

Shirk is only forgiven by Allah if one seeks forgiveness from Allah for this sin and then prohibits himself from committing it again. If a person dies while he is a mushrik and does not ask for forgiveness then he surely will be sent in hell by Allah in accordance with the above mentioned verses.

Quranic verses about shirk

Surah toubah is full of verses about mushrikee. There are many verses about mushrikeen in Quran.

And they worship other than Allah that which neither harms them nor benefits them, and they say, “These are our intercessors with Allah ” Say, “Do you inform Allah of something He does not know in the heavens or on the earth?” Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him surah younas verse 18

And most of them believe not in Allah except while they associate others with Him. Surah yousaf verse 106

And those who associate others with Allah say, “If Allah had willed, we would not have worshipped anything other than Him, neither we nor our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything through other than Him.” Thus did those do before them. So is there upon the messengers except [the duty of] clear notification? Surah al nahal verse 35.

Hadith about shirk

Narrated Mu`adh bin Jabal: The Prophet said, O Mu`adh! Do you know what Allah’s Right upon His slaves is? I said, Allah and His Apostle know best. The Prophet said, To worship Him (Allah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is? I replied, Allah and His Apostle know best. The Prophet said, Not to punish them (if they do so). Sahih bukhari book of names and attributes of Allah hadith 7373

Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari: The Prophet said, None is more patient than Allah against the harmful and annoying words He hears (from the people): They ascribe children to Him, yet He bestows upon them health and provision . Sahih bukhari book of names and attributes of Allah hadith 7378


If you find any mistake in this article please feel free to contact us and point it out. We will try to correct it in the light of Quran and Sunnah. May Allah bless us all with the authentic knowledge of Islam. May this effort of ours ease the way of jannah for our family.

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