Shirk : Very Dangerous Sin

To Seek Help of Other than Allah is Shirk

"Do not call onto any beings other than Allah. These are capable of neither benefit nor harm. To do so is therefore guilty of wrongdoing. When Allah inverts you with an affliction, none can remove it except Him." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 10, Verse 106-107

"Seek your livelihood from Him and worship Him alone." The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 29,Verse 17

"Who is more foolish than he who prays to other beings than Allah, to beings who are ever impotent to answer his prayer?" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 46, Verse 5"

"Is He not Allah Who answers the appeal of the needy when he calls upon Him and removes the deed?" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 27, Verse 62

"Do not call onto any beings other than Allah. These are capable of neither benefit nor harm." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 10, Verse 106

Tawheed (Monotheism) comes natural to a Human Being

Firstly: The Prophet's (pbuh) saying that he related from his Lord: "I created all my servants upon the true Religion (upon Tawhîd, free from Shirk). Then the devils came to them and led them astray from their true Religion. They made unlawful to people that which I had made lawful for them, and they commanded them to associate in worship with Me, that which I had sent down no authority." Related by Muslim (8/159) and Ahmad (4/162)

Secondly: The Prophet's (pbuh) saying that "Every child is born upon the Fitrah (Al-Fitr: means to begin and create, and Al-Fitrah is the condition resulting from it. The meaning is that mankind were born upon a disposition and a nature which is ready to accept the true Religion. So if he were to be left upon this, then he would continue upon it. However, those who deviate from this do so due to following human weaknesses and blind following of others ... " ) but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian or a Magian. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a natural offspring. have you noticed any born mutilated, before you mutilate them."

So how Big a Crime is Shirk ?

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur'an that all Sins can be forgiven by Him except the Sin of Shirk (Setting up partners in worship with Him). Shirk is the gravest of Sins.

Verily, Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom He pleases other sins than that , The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 4, Verse 116.

Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers, there are no helpers .The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 5, Verse 72.

All Good deeds done by a Person are nullified if he commits Shirk.

As Allah says: “And if you commit Shirk, We will surely cancel out your good deeds and you will indeed be from the losers.” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 39,Verse 65

"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 17,Verse 23

We may conclude here that Polytheism/Idolatry is a most heinous sin.

Allah the Almighty has said,"False worship (shirk) is indeed the highest wrongdoing." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 31,Verse 13

The one who commits Shirk will never be granted forgiveness and never enter Paradise if he has not renounced polytheism/idolatry before his death."... Whoever joins other gods with Allah, He will forbid him the Garden..." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 5, Verse 72.

Shirk And Its Kinds

1. The first kind of Shirk is the Greater Shirk, which means either to worship other than Allah, or to make partners with Allah in something that is specifically His. For example, to take someone as His partner in worship, obedience, love, fear, supplication, and seeking help.

When one associates partners with Allah - regardless of who that partner is, such as a man, animal, plant, or inanimate object - one has perpertrated the Greater Shirk, examples of which are as follows:

- To supplicate to that partner as one supplicates to Allah.
- To love that partner as one loves Allah.
- To hope from that partner as one hopes from Allah
- To submit oneself in obedience to thay partner as one submits in obedience to Allah
- To fear that partner as one fears Allah.
- To seek someone's judgement instead of the judgement of Allah's Shariah.

Allah Almighty says: "Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship."

Of course, the Greater Shirk is the worst and most severe kind of Shirk; indeed, it is the greatest sin with Allah, for Allah does not accept any deed from its perpetrator, regardless of how pious he may be otherwise.

If one dies, associating partners with Allah, Allah will not forgive him, for He says: "Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin."

Whoever dies upon this form of Shirk is from the dwellers of the Hellfire, for the Prophet (s) said: "Whoever dies and he is calling upon other than Allah as a rival then he enters the Hellfire." (Recorded by Al-Bukhairi and Muslim form Ibn Masud).

In another Hadith, the Prophet (s) said, "Whoever meets Allah without assciating any partners with Him enters Paradise. Whoever meets Him, associating any partner with Him enters the Hellfire." (Recorded by Muslim, from Jabir).

The Muslim, therefore, worships and invokes only Allah, and submits only to Him. For Allah Almighty says: "Say: "Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims."

Before we get in to the subject we should know "Islam" means - One who submits to the will of Allâh (SWT), and follow his Messenger Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

Allâh's Apostle (s) said, "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected." (Sahih Al-Bukari) V-3 H-861.

Associating partners with Allâh (SWT) is the foremost Sin in Islam. The foremost major sin in the sight of Allâh (SWT) is "Shirk" - One who associates partner with God. Thus he becomes musrikeen, or polytheist. It is said in the Qur’ân , the polytheist is going to dwell in Hell forever, Allâh (SWT) will never cleansed their sin, nor will He forgive them.

Riyaa: Hidden Shirk

Riyaa is to perform acts which are pleasing to Allah with the intention of pleasing other than Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said "Should I not inform you of that which i fear for you even more than the dangers of Dajjal? It is the hidden Shirk; A person stands to pray, and he beautifies his prayer because he sees the people looking at him." Sunan Ibn Majah Vol 2, 3389

Causes of Riyaa

The primary cause is a weakness in Iman. A person weak in his Iman will prefer the admiration of people over the pleasure of Allah.

In a hadith of the first three people thrown into the hellfire; the scholar (who taught for fame), the martyr (who fought for fame), and the charitable person (who did so that people would call him generous). All three acts even though being amongst some of the most pleasing ones to Allah are not accepted since these people desired the pleasure of people over the pleasure of Allah.

The dislike of criticism is another reason for Riyaa. Either the person neglects a command of Allah to avoid criticism from his peers or he obeys certain commands of Allah (swt) since people will criticise him if he does not do it.

Another reason is greed for possessions. If a person for example is jealous of a position of a certain person in society, he will try every possible means to attain the same position which leads him to spending his time putting on a show for other people so that they admire him.

Some scholars advised: "Remove the causes of riyaa from yourself by considering the opinion of people as important to you as animals and small children. Do not differentiate in your worship between the presence of people or their absence, or between their knowledge of your actions and their ignorance. Rather be conscious of the infinite knowledge of Allah alone."

Ways to avoid Riyaa

1) Increasing knowledge of Islam

2) Dua (Supplication). The Prophet (pbuh) taught the specific dua for riyaa: "Allahumma inna na-oothu bika an-nushrika bika shay'an na'lamuhu, wa nastagfiruka limaa laa na'lamuh." "O Allah, we seek refuge in you from committing shirk knowingly, and ask your forgiveness for (the shirk that we may commit unknowingly)".

3) Reflecting upon Heaven and Hell

4) Hiding one's good deeds

5) Reflection upon oneself's shortcomings

6) Accompanying the pious

7) Knowledge of Riyaa


The belief that dead awliyaa' ("saints") can fulfil one's needs or help at times of distress, and calling upon them for aid.

Allaah says : "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him . . ." [al-Israa' 17:23]

Similarly, they call upon dead Prophets, righteous people and others to intercede for them or to rescue them from some calamity, but Allaah says :

"Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? . . ." [al-Naml 27:62]

Some of them have adopted the habit of mentioning the name of a shaykh or wali ("saint") when they stand up, or sit down, or stumble, or encounter problems or distress, so they might say "O Muhammad!" or "O 'Ali!" or "O Husayn!" or "O Badawi!" or "O Jeelaani!" or "O Shaadhili!" or "O Rifaa'i!" - or they may call upon al-'Aydaroos or Sayyidah Zaynab or Ibn 'Alwaan.

Allaah says : "Verily those whom you call upon besides Allaah are slaves like you . . ." [al-A'raf 7:194]

Some of those who worship graves walk around them as if in Tawaaf, and acknowledge their corners, or touch them, kiss them, wipe their faces with their dust, prostrate towards them when they see them, or stand before them in fear and humility, praying for whatever they need of healing from some disease, or for a child, or for help with some difficulty. Sometimes they call upon the occupant of the grave, saying "O my master, I have come to you from far away, so do not let me down."

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever dies calling on someone else as a rival to Allaah, will enter Hell." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 8/176).

Some of them shave their heads at the graves, and some have books with titles like Manaasik Hajj al-Mashaahid ("The Rituals of Pilgrimage to Shrines"), mashaahid or shrines referring to graves or tombs of awliyaa'. Some of them believe that the awliyaa' are running the affairs of the universe and that they have the power to benefit or harm.

Allaah says : "And if Allaah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is no one who can repel His Favour . . ." [Yoonus 10:107]

'Aa'ishah (R.A) and 'Abd-Allâh ibn 'Abbaas (R.A.) said: "When (death) approached the Messenger of Allâh (PBUH) he started to cover his face with a cloak of his. When he became distressed he lifted it from his face, Prophet (PBUH) said: "May Allâh curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship." (Sahih Al-Bukari 414, Muslim).

Prophet (PBUH) said: "Do not sit on graves and do not pray facing them." (Muslim H-972)

Narrator Abu Marthad Al-Ghanawi.Jundub Ibn 'Abdullaah al-Bajalee said that he heard Prophet (PBUH) said: five days before he died: "Verily those before you took the graves of their Prophets and righteous people as places of worship, so do not take the graves as places of worship. Indeed I forbid you from this!" (Muslim 2/67-68)

Abu Hurayrah (R.A) says that the Messenger of Allâh (PBUH) said: "O Allâh, do not turn my grave into an idol. May the curse of Allâh be upon those who take the graves of their Prophets as places of worship" (Ahmad H-7352)

It is also shirk to make a vow to any other than Allaah, as is done by those who vow to bring candles or lights for the occupants of the graves.