Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 19

A BRIEF

OUTLINE
OF SHIRK

By Sister Uzma

2017

FORWARD
Bismillahi-Rahmaani-Raheem
All praise is due to Allah (swt - Subhanah Wa Taala) and may the peace and blessings be
upon Muhammad the last Messenger and Prophet of Allah (saw - Sallallahu alayhi wa
sallam).
To proceed, the best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of
Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), the worst practice is the introduction of new
practices (bidahs) in Islam and every bidah is a misguidance.
I am going to give a brief outline of shirk. I am hoping inshaAllah that you all will
understand the basic concepts and gain the tools to recognise shirk and hence avoid it.
All references I provide are in the most appropriate English translation as the Quraan and
ahadith are in Arabic.
INTRODUCTION
There is an ayah in the Quraan which states:
And most of them believe not in Allah except while they associate others with him.
12:106
In other words there are people who do believe in Allah to a certain degree but they also
commit shirk.
So why learn about shirk in the first place? It is something forbidden so why do you need
to know about it?
Do we really know what tawheed (monotheism believing in one deity/god) is?
If you really think about it you will know that the only way to perfect your tawheed
which is part of the shahaada the first pillar of Islam by saying and knowing and
applying what this means makes us a Muslim) is to know what is shirk. If you do not
know what something is how can you say with complete certainty that you are not doing
it?
DEFINITION OF SHIRK
What is shirk?
If we look at the first part of the shahaada
There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.

What is a deity?
It is something that is worshipped whether it is Allah, a Prophet, an Angel or a stone.
What is worship?
It means to utilise the actions of the heart, tongue or limbs or combinations of these and
to direct it to a deity.
When a person directs their worship to other than Allah they have committed shirk.
For example, a person sacrifices to something in order to please it, is an act of worship to
that thing. The sacrifice is an act of worship and it has been directed to a deity. If that
deity is not Allah then that person has committed shirk.
An expansion of this point is to consider the Names and Attributes of Allah (swt), if a
person believes that others share with Allah any of the essence of these Names and
Attributes then they have made a partner with Allah. This is by the belief in their heart
that something else can be like Allah. We know from the Quraan that this is not the case.
There are also emotions attached to the worship of a deity: love, hope and fear. Obviously
the love, hope and fear which may exist between creation is different to that which is
directed towards a deity. For example, we may fear a lion but it will not be the same type
of fear that we have of Allah. We may love our children, but it is different to the love we
have of our Creator Allah.
Another common type of worship is Dua. Dua is to call out to a deity and asking them to
grant us something. We cannot call out to anything without that thing we are calling out
to being a deity. The act of calling out to something makes that thing a deity. This is
different from asking for example, a doctor to make us better. It is different because:
They can hear us. We are right in front of them. Anything that is called out to that
is not Allah cannot hear us. Only Allah is All-hearing.
They usually have some ability to help us. Deities that are called out to that are
other than Allah cannot help us.
Hence asking a human that is alive to help us (if they are able) or to do Dua to Allah on
our behalf or intercede in for us in worldly matters is permissible. Anyone who seeks help
of anyone in matters that only Allah has power over has committed shirk.
Another area where shirk can occur albeit very rare, is attributing partners to Allah in his
Lordship. This is where a person says that Allah and/or something else created him.
Therefore the first part of the shahaada is to reject and disbelieve in all else that is
worshipped except Allah and to worship Him alone.

MAJOR AND MINOR SHIRK


Major shirk if committed knowingly and intentionally removes a person from the fold of
Islam. Therefore no Muslim commits major shirk. If a person believes in major shirk and
dies in that state without repenting then all their good deeds will be worthless and they
will stay in the hell-fire forever.
Minor shirk is hidden and not as obvious as major shirk. An example of minor shirk is
showing-off. For example, a person is praying to Allah then another person comes in the
room and the first person then makes their prayer sound nicer and they prolong the
standing position so that the second person is impressed. Scholars have said that by doing
this a person does not leave the fold of Islam but that prayer is not accepted. So minor
shirk nullifies the particular action it was committed in. To put it into perspective minor
shirk is worse than murder but compared to major shirk it is minor.
HOW SHIRK CAME ABOUT
Shirk came about by the excessive praise of the righteous. Idol worship started when
there were some pious people of Prophet Noah (Nuh) (as alayhis salaam). When they
died Shaytaan inspired them to place idols at the places where they used to gather. They
accepted the idea thinking it would encourage them to do good deeds as those pious men
did. These idols were given the names of those pious men. But they did not worship them
straight away. As generations past away the reason why these idols were there became
unclear and people then began to worship these idols. (see Al Bukhari).
As we can see bidah can lead to shirk. By over-praising or inventing matters in religion
shirk can easily creep in. The Quraan and authentic Sunnah are all we need to live our
lives in a way that is most pleasing to Allah. In Surah Maidah Allah says that he has
completed our religion. We are not allowed to add anything to it or leave anything out of
it. A person who innovates is basically saying that Allah did not leave us a complete
religion and the innovator knows more than Allah and His Prophet (saw).
Consider the following ayah:
Say, [O Muhammad], Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to
[their] deeds? [They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think
that they are doing well in work. 18:103-104
Some innovators are genuinely trying to do good. There is a hadith (in Al-Bukhari and
Muslim) which basically says some people went to the wives of the Prophet (saw) and
asked them about what the Prophet (saw) did. Then they said they would do more than
that. For example, fast and pray more than the Prophet (saw). When he heard that he
concluded his response by saying: he who does not follow my Sunnah is not of me.
Since the Prophet (saw) is the best example for us to follow then it means a person who
does not follow his Sunnah is not of his ummah.

And Alhamdulillah the Quraan and Sunnah are so vast to ever need to look elsewhere.
A side point. There were some people who existed at the time when Ali (ra radiAllahu
anhu) was Khalifah and the sahaaba (companions of the Prophet (saw)) would think their
worship was inferior to theirs. These people were called the Khawarij and the Prophet
(saw) described their physical features and then said that basically despite their outwardly
impressive acts of worship that infact they had little or no faith at all. These Khawarij
actually fought the companions as they thought themselves better than them and
considered the companions as disbelievers.
Remember Aishah (ra) reported: Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
If anyone introduces in our matter something which does not belong to it, it will be
rejected. (Al Bukhari and Muslim)
So even if a persons intentions are good, if it is not of the Deen of Allah its worthless
and a waste of time. And could even lead to shirk and hence the hell-fire.
This religion is perfect (see 5:3). People try to make it imperfect by adding things or
deleting things thinking they are pleasing Allah. They are not. The Quraan and Sunnah
are full of Duas and acts of worship. And these are the best Duas and best forms of
worship. People should not belittle themselves by choosing less than that.
INTERCESSION OR SHAFAAH
Intercession can be divided in to two types. There is the one where people who are alive
intercede for each other, which can be demonstrated using the following ayah:
Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a share [i.e., reward] therefrom; and
whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a portion [i.e., burden] therefrom.
And ever is Allah, over all things a keeper. 4:85
Which means for example, if a person gives in charity and others copy him he will gain
reward for what they do without their reward being decreased and likewise the opposite is
true. If a person prays to a rock and people copy him then he will also be punished
without their punishment being decreased, because he was the one who gave them the
idea.
The other type of intercession is the one that will occur on the Day of Resurrection. This
is when the Prophet (saw) will be allowed to intercede for his ummah (anyone who
believes in La illaha illAllah sincerely from his heart). The hadith of intercession as it is
commonly called is a lengthy one and shows the Prophet (saw) being given permission
from Allah to intercede (after he (saw) prostrates to Allah) and Allah choosing those
whom the Prophet (saw) can intercede for (it can be found in Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

From other hadith we know that others like Prophets, Angels and believers will be able to
be intercessors on the Day of Resurrection, (see Al-Bukhari).This intercession is
dependent on Allah. Allah chooses those who can be interceded for. Thus only people
whom Allah is pleased with are allowed to be interceded for. Also those who are
worshipped will disown those who worshipped them on the Day of Resurrection.
To get the Prophets (saw) intercession we can do a Dua after the adhaan (found in most
Dua books).
Any other type of intercession is shirk. This can be demonstrated in the following ayah:
Unquestionably, for Allah is the pure religion. And those who take protectors besides
Him [say], We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in
position. Indeed, Allah will judge between them concerning that over which they
differ. Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and [confirmed] disbeliever. 39:3
In an explanation of this ayah from tafseer ibn kathir, he says in an English translation
that these mushriks claimed that they made these images/statues to look like Angels and
worshipping them was like worshipping the Angels. This would then make the Angels
intercede with Allah for them and grant them provision, help etc. Mushriks invented this
concept and Allah has sent down no authority or permission for this. He hates this and
prohibits it. This is what the Messengers (as) came to refute and prohibit and to call to
tawheed.
There is no other type of intercession a person cannot pray to someone or something to
intercede for them with Allah. Remember Dua is only to Allah.
GRAVE WORSHIP
Graves and graveyards are not places for prayer. In a hadith in sunan Ibn Maajah the
Prophet (saw) said: the whole earth is a place of prayer except graveyards and
bathrooms.
Graves/graveyards serve the purpose of reminding us of death. If we see the ages on
tombstones we will see that not everyone lives to see old age. By doing this we may
receive some sort of admonition and gain taqwa of Allah. Hence, aim to be in a good
state when we die.
People cannot do Dua to dead people no matter how pious they were. In an authentic
hadith it basically says that the deeds come to an end when a person dies except for three:
charity of continual benefit, knowledge beneficial to people and a pious child who prays
for him, (Muslim).

Allah says in the Quraan


And who is more astray than he who invokes besides Allah those who will not
respond to him until the Day of Resurrection [i.e., never] and they, of their
invocation (Dua), are unaware. 46:4
Therefore the person in the grave cannot hear Duas made to them. On the Day of
resurrection they will deny being worshipped, since they do not know about it and if they
were righteous and pious they would disapprove of such things anyway. If we want such
people to benefit us we can ask them when they are alive to do Dua for us.
Aishah (ra) reported: Umm Habiba and Umm Salamah mentioned before the Messenger
of Allah (saw) a church which they had seen in Abyssina and which had pictures in it.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
When a pious man amongst them (among religious groups) dies they build a place of
worship on his grave, and then decorate it with such pictures. They would be the worst
of creatures on the Day of Judgement in the sight of Allah, (Muslim)
Some other relevant points to note are:
The dead cannot hear no matter how pious they are (there is no evidence that the
companions did Dua to the Prophet (saw) and they were the best of people after
the Prophets (as). Hence we cannot pray to the Prophet (saw). We can do dua to
Allah for him. If we want to show our love for the Prophet (saw) we should copy
and emulate him by following his Sunnah. Some people out of ignorance believe
that calling out to the dead is a form of tawassul (seeking nearness to Allah). This
is false and not tawassul, it is shirk. Tawassul is achieved by calling out to Allah
using His Names and Attributes, asking a pious person who is alive in front of us
to do dua to Allah for us, doing good deeds (as can be seen in the hadith in the
conclusion) and doing dua to Allah whilst mentioning Allahs favours on us, our
state and neediness to Allah and the effect of that dua.
To ask Allah by the status (Jaah) of the Prophet (saw) or anyone else is bidah.
However, we can do Dua to Allah by saying O Allah I ask you by my love for
your Prophet (saw) as loving the Prophet (saw) is classed as a good deed.
Having trust in (tawakkul) something/someone created in areas that only Allah
has the ability to do is shirk.
To recite Quraan at graves is bidah.
Any form of worship at the grave except Dua to Allah is bidah (unless it is to the
grave then it is clear shirk). Likewise, tawaf (going around the grave) is bidah if
done to please Allah and shirk if it is for the person the grave.
Whatever leads to the haram is haram, i.e. whatever leads to shirk is also haram.

OTHER EXAMPLES OF SHIRK


What follows are common examples of shirk along with an explanation of why it is shirk.
1. Seeking intercession of people be they Prophets, martyrs, Angels, Walis or
saints by calling out to them (doing Dua to them)
To seek intercession we must ask Allah using the methods in the Quraan and Sunnah. If a
person feels they are too sinful to ask Allah directly they should remember Allahs
immense Mercy and seek His Forgiveness. He is Rahmani Raheem the Most Merciful
and Especially Merciful and He is Al Ghafaar the Most Forgiving and At-Tawaab the
acceptor of Repentance. Allah loves repentance.
2. To make Dua or pray to someone or thing other than Allah to grant you
something
They are not All-Hearing like Allah so they cannot hear you. They are not All-Knowing
like Allah so they do not know what you are doing. Those that are worshipped with Allah
that are pious and God-fearing would not approve of such an act anyway. Only Allah has
the power to grant you what you want. He is Al-Wahhaab the Bestower. And He is Al
Kareem the Generous. So why displease or anger the only One who is capable of giving
you what you want. Dua is only done to Allah. He is the Mujeeb the Responder of
Duas.
Other similar examples are:
Doing Dua to someone in the grave to grant you a child - only Allah can grant
life. Again dead people cannot hear and they are not All-powerful so they cannot
grant such requests.
To do Dua to other than Allah to grant wealth or find work.
To Dua to other than Allah to grant you paradise.
To Dua to other than Allah to make the rain fall.
To do Dua to other than Allah to remove harm from you only Allah is al Fattah
the remover of difficulties.
Remember Dua is only to Allah (swt).
3. To seek refuge in other than Allah
Refuge is only to be sought from Allah. This is a more specific type of Dua, and Dua is
only to Allah.

4. To seek help from other than Allah


Narrated Ibn Abbas (ra): the Prophet (saw) said O young man, I shall teach you
some words [of advice]: Be Mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be Mindful of
Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if
you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to
gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with
what Allah had already written for you. And if they were to gather together to harm
you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already
written against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried. (AtTirmidhi).
5. To sacrifice for anything other than the sake of Allah. For example, to
sacrifice a goat for an Angel or dead person so they will be pleased
This over-exalts what you are sacrificing for. Sacrifices are only for Allah, as offering
sacrifices are an act of worship. All acts of worship have to be directed to Allah alone.
Other similar examples are:
To give charity for another deity other than Allah.
To fast for the sake of other than Allah.
To believe that something other than Allah can grant you salvation or forgive your
sins.
6. To make bowing (ruku) or prostration (sujjood) to anything other than Allah
This makes the object or person you are bowing or prostrating towards much greater than
what it is. It makes it a partner with Allah as only Allah is allowed to be bowed or
prostrated to. Bowing and prostration are acts of worship. Hence during the funeral
prayer there is no bowing and prostration as the body is in front of the imam.
7. To love someone or something the way you should love Allah
For example, some people do not mind taking a false oath in the Name of Allah, but they
will never take a false oath in the name of their wali. This is shirk in love. The love for
our Creator, the One who provided us with sight, hearing, provisions and everything else,
should not be the same as the love that we have between ourselves, and we should not
elevate our love of anyone to the way that we love Allah. One of the reasons why we
worship Allah is because of our love for Him and this type of love should not be directed
to anyone or anything else. We should love Allah (swt) and then the Prophet (saw) more
than anyone or anything else. This principle is the same in fearing and hoping in someone
or something the same way you should have fear of and hope in Allah. If you love or fear
or have hope in someone or something more than Allah, then this is even worse.

8. To believe a human has quality of absolute infallibility (i.e., they do not make
mistakes) or have knowledge of the past, future and unseen or can change
destiny
Only Allah is free from defects and has knowledge of the unseen. Destiny cannot be
changed. It lies with Allah alone.
9. To make a vow in the name of other than Allah or His Names and Attributes
A vow is when a person says to a deity If you grant me a child (for example), I will
fast for three days. This is not permissible in Islam as it over-exalts the thing the
person is making a vow to. Vows are only to Allah.
10. To believe in omens like Friday the 13th , breaking mirrors or a black cat
crossing your path being bad luck
Omens by their nature suggest that man has the power to avert any danger headed their
way. This is not possible as it suggests that man can prevent what Allah has decreed for
him.
In an ayah in the Quraan Allah says:
And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him;
and if He intends for you good, then there is no repeller of His bounty. He causes it
to reach who He wills of His servants. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. 10:107
Other similar examples are:
To spill salt to prevent bad luck or to knock on wood to prevent your good
fortune from changing.
To believe that things like a rabbits foot, horseshoe, four leaf clovers or certain
numbers are Lucky.
11. To take other than Allah as the Law Giver. For example, following leaders in
matters relating to the Deen (way of life) which are not based on the Quraan
and Sunnah
No-one has the right to legislate except Allah. If a person believes and agrees with a law
that is not in agreement with the Quraan and Sunnah then such a person has made that
law maker a partner with Allah. If they think that the non-Islamic law is better than the
Islamic law then this is worse. There is no Prophet or Messenger after Muhammad (saw).
There are no more revealed Books to arrive after the Quraan. No-one can legislate
anything new. The only Deen acceptable to Allah till the end of time is Islam and the
rules and regulations of this Deen are found only in the Quraan and Sunnah. Previous
nations made Lords of their Rabbis and Monks due to the fact they followed them blindly

and those Monks and Rabbis made lawful what Allah made unlawful and unlawful what
Allah had made lawful (see Quraan 9:31). No one can say something is halaal when
Allah made it haraam and no one can say something is haraam when Allah made it halaal.
To do this can take a person out of Islam. An example, of this is a person who says and
believes it is halaal to drink alcohol.
12. Atheism (denying Allah) for example, to say the world created itself
An atheist denies that Allah is responsible for the events and things they see around them.
So instead of making Allah the Creator they make mother nature or time their
Creator (when they say things occur exclusively by the passage of time). Denying of
any of Allahs Names and/or Attributes means you are suggesting that something else
caused things to happen or something else has this name or attribute.
13. To believe that there are other deities as well as Allah for example, to
believe there is a deity of good and a deity of bad. Or a person may believe in
mother nature as well as Allah
A person who believes that there are partners with Allah has committed shirk. This also
applies when a person thinks that Allah is everywhere, or in His creation. His Knowledge
is All-encompassing. He knows everything. He sees everything. He is the Watcher, the
Witnesser. As clearly stated in the Quraan and Sunnah, Allah is above His Throne which
is above the Heavens, Paradise and the Kursi. Allah and man cannot unite. Allah is far
greater than this. Man cannot have any of Allahs Names or Attributes or Rights, to
suggest this means the person is giving partners to Allah. Belief in Allahs Names and
Attributes means to believe in Allah and what He can do. And that only Allah has these
most perfect, magnificent and majestic Attributes and beautiful characteristics. The
opposite is true. Allah cannot be like creation. For example, Allah does not get tired.
Denying any of Allahs Names or Attributes or Rights is also prohibited.
14. To disbelieve in Qadar (pre-destiny) the good and bad thereof, by believing
that man is entirely in control of his own destiny
Believing in all the pillars of faith is an obligation on all Muslims. Qadar, the good and
bad consequences thereof, is the sixth pillar of faith. Allah is the one who created us, our
actions and the means to those actions. This does not mean that we do not have any free
will. Common sense tells us that we do. By believing that man creates his own actions
makes man a partner in his creation, which is illogical. Only Allah is the Creator.
15. To say if so-and-so had done this, that would have happened, or that would
not have happened
A person cannot say for example, If you had stayed at home then you would not have
been in that car crash. By doing this the person suggests that that person could have
changed his destiny. Destiny is only controlled by Allah.

The Prophet (saw) said:


"Seek carefully what benefits you (in the Hereafter) and seek help only from Allah
and neither lose heart. If any adversity comes to you don't say: 'If I
had only acted in such and such way, it would have been such and such' but instead
say: 'Allah has decreed it and what He willed is done.(Qadarullahi wa ma shaa aa fa
al)' Verily 'If' opens the way for the work of Satan."(Muslim).
16. To say: what Allah wills and so-and-so wills
The Prophet (saw) said, "Say not: What Allah wills and so-and-so wills, but say:
What Allah wills, and then what so-and-so wills.(Abu Dawood)
For example, to say I was cured by Allah and Doctor so-and-so is shirk. You should say I
was cured by Allah and then Doctor so-and-so. Because by saying what Allah wills and
so-and-so wills makes that person a partner or equal with Allah.
17. To show gratitude to other than Allah for your provisions.
Allah is al-Razzaaq the Provider. He is the one who gives you sustenance. You can
thank creation after thanking Allah if they have done something for you.
18. To say were it not for the skill of the captain we would have drowned
In this case the person is attributing Allahs favours (the fact that Allah saved them) to
someone else. This is ingratitude and disbelief/shirk.
19. To have the name or title King of Kings or similar such names.
The Prophet (saw) said: The most disgraceful man near Allah is a man who calls
himself (or likes others to call him) king of kings. (Al Bukhari and Muslim).
These names indicate likeness to Allah. Such names imply grandeur and supremacy. The
person who calls another by such names or who has such a name is setting up a partner to
Allah, as this is an attribute belonging only to Allah. Other examples are: shahinshah,
judge of judges, master of masters, sultan of sultans etc. Be careful what you say, even if
you do not intend that they are the King of Kings (i.e. Allah if you did this would be
worse) but having these titles earns Allahs displeasure.
20. To believe in the fortune-teller. This also includes astrologists (like
horoscopes), numerologists, palm readers, fortune cookies, and tea leaves
Such people are saying that something other than Allah or as well as Allah has knowledge
of the unseen, or that a person can avert any harm that is headed their way. All of these
are prohibited in Islam.

21. To do magic or have it done for some reason


Magic is one of the destructive sins. The methods used in magic may contain shirk. The
intention and belief of the person are important. If they believe they can change destiny
or have the power to make things happen then this is shirk. To believe a magician has
these abilities is shirk as only Allah has these abilities. To practice magic or be pleased
with it is major Kufr/disbelief and takes a person out of Islam. To counteract magic with
magic prohibited. There is no such thing as good or white magic. A person who uses this
type of supernatural help is showing he does not need Allah. He does not put his trust
in Allah. If he has done Dua to Allah to remove his affliction by doing this he believes
Allah cannot help him and this magician can.
22. Seeking blessings from stones, rocks, graves, people or anything not
supported by proof in the Quraan or Sunnah
This depends on a persons intention as to whether something is shirk or bidah. If a
person believes that a rock can cure them, bring them blessings or avert danger then this
is clearly shirk as only Allah can cure, bring blessings or avert danger. If a person
believes that Allah will cure him through this rock then this is bidah. If you seek cures or
protection, there are many Duas in the Quraan and Sunnah to help you. To seek blessings
from something or someone exalts that thing. If there is no evidence in Quraan and
Sunnah then such things are a waste of time as it will be rejected. There is also a risk
committing shirk. The things that you can seek blessings from and the way they are
sought can be found in the Quraan and Sunnah, for example, Layl-at-ul-Qadr is a blessed
night and a person seeks Allahs forgiveness in it and spends its night in worship.
23. Wearing charm bracelets thinking they can avert harm to you or bring you
benefit
You can seek protection through legitimate methods mentioned in the Quraan and
Sunnah. For example, recite the ayat-ul-Kursi and surahs 112, 113 and 114.
24. Wearing of amulets to prevent or protect you from the evil eye or magic
Another name for amulet is talisman or tahveez. If they are non-Quraanic they are blatant
shirk as the person wearing them believes that the amulet has power to protect. We should
rely on and put our trust in Allah. Wearing Quraanic ayahs is bidah. This is due to lack of
evidence in the Quraan and Sunnah and from the sahaaba (ra). Hence, it is rejected. If
you want the best protection, stick to the Quraan and Sunnah. Remember this: in acts of
worship everything is haraam unless you find evidence from Quraan or Sunnah to
support it.

25. Ruqyaa (to recite on someone) with things not in Quraan and Sunnah
This can be bidah or shirk depending on what is said. Most of the times people do not
know what they are reciting. Stick to the methods in the Quraan and Sunnah for example,
using ruqyaa for poisonous stings and the evil eye.
26. To take an oath in the name of other than Allah or His other Names and
attributes
An oath is when someone swears by a deity for example, that they telling the truth. Some
people swear by their mothers or themselves.
This is not permissible in Islam as it over-exalts the thing the person is making an oath
by. Oaths are only allowed in the name of Allah. If you swear by your mother you are
making her an equal with Allah. You cannot swear by the Kaaba either, only the Lord of
the Kaaba (i.e. Allah).
He who swears by other than Allah, commits shirk, (At-Tirmidhi).
Narrated Abdullah (ra): The Prophet (saw) said, Whoever has to take an oath should
swear by Allah or keep quiet. (Al-Bukhari).
27. To put money as your main goal in life.
The Prophet (saw) said:
May he be miserable, the worshipper of the dinar and dirham, and the worshipper of
the striped silk cloak. If he is given anything, he is satisfied; but if not, he is
unsatisfied". (Al Bukhari)
By striving after worldly things and ignoring the rights of Allah and His commands, it is
as though such a person is worshipping that thing as he has made it more important to
him than Allah. People still need worldly things but not at the expense of disobeying
Allah.
28. To give charity only due to the fact that they are being watched and seen by the
people, so they will say such a person is generous and kind. If no one was watching
such a person would not give in charity
This is another example of showing off. The deed is not done to please Allah seeking His
Reward. Rather, it is done for the people seeking their approval and praise.
29. To go to a Doctor believing that they alone can cure you
This is major shirk as all power belongs to Allah and He is the One who cures. However,
if a person believes that the Doctor can help him with the permission of Allah and that

Allah has given the Doctor some knowledge by which he can help you, then there is no
shirk in that, but be careful not to verbally attribute the cure to the Doctor alone, even if
you do not believe it.
30. To pass on emails with Quraanic ayat in them believing that this can avert
calamaties or bring blessings.
This is shirk as there is no basis in the Quraan or sunnah for this. Only Allah can avert
danger and give blessings. There are certain ayat that are used for specific things like
reciting the last three surahs on oneself three times morning and night to protect against
the evil eye and magic. This is found in the sunnah. To believe that such aforementioned
surahs should be emailed around to protect against evil eye and magic is bidah, as this is
not how they were used in the sunnah.
WHAT TO DO IF UNKNOWINGLY COMMTTED SHIRK
Simple, sincerely repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness and do good deeds, as good
deeds erase bad deeds. Even if you knowingly commit shirk you can still sincerely
repent, but you have to re-new your shahaadah and it is recommended that you do ghusl
as you a entering in to Islam again.
HOW DO YOU AVOID SHIRK
This list is not all inclusive, but it does give some of the practical ways of avoiding shirk.
Do not say or do anything that implies shirk even if it is not intended.
Keep checking your intentions to ensure your deeds in particular your acts of
worship are done only for Allah.
Do actions for pleasure of Allah alone and in accordance with Quraan and
Sunnah. Remember for an act of worship to be accepted it has to be with the right
intention and according to the Quraan and Sunnah. To understand the Quraan and
Sunnah correctly we must go back to the understanding of the companions (unless
there is evidence in the Quraan and Sunnah that contradicts that understanding).
The prophet (saw) said:
The best people are my generation, then the next generation, then the next
generation. (Al Bukhari)
Do not say things about this Deen that you do not know, i.e., that is not based
upon proof (from the Quraan or Sunnah). Also lying about Allah (swt) and the
Prophet (saw) is a tremendous sin.
Do not blindly follow people without investigation. A certain amount of
investigation is required. If a person has no knowledge of the Deen, then
investigate to find the most knowledgeable person and follow their advice on
matters you are unsure about. Then ask them for evidences/references to back
their verdict if they have not provided you with any.

Always review your understanding of the Deen and seek knowledge so can
deduce bidah from Sunnah and this will help you to avoid doubt.
.say, My Lord, increase me in knowledge. 20:114
The prophet (saw) said, If Allah wants to do good to a person, He makes him
comprehend the religion and verily, knowledge is attained by learning. (AlBukhari).
The prophet (saw) said Allah makes the way to jannah easy for him who treads the
path in search of knowledge (Muslim)
Hasan bin Ali (ra) said: I remember (these words) from Messenger of Allah
(saw): Give up what is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful; for truth
is peace of mind and falsehood is doubt. (At-Tirmidhi).
Narrated An-Numan bin Bashir (ra): The Prophet (saw) said: Both legal and
illegal things are obvious, and in between them are (unclear) doubtful matters
(things). So whoever forsakes those doubtful (unclear) things lest he may
commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and whoever indulges
in these (unclear) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly
illegal. Sins are Allahs Hima (i.e., private pasture) and whoever pastures (his
sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Learn the seerah and tafseer so you can understand why things were revealed and
said.
Do not consider places as holy/blessed when there is no evidence in Quraan or
Sunnah (if in doubt, ask someone with knowledge)
Never neglect the obligatory duties (e.g. prayer, zakat, fasting etc).
Do not excessively praise any one or thing.
Avoid going into excess. Islam is a religion of moderation. As can be seen in the
life of Muhammad (saw).
Do not use Allahs Names in vain or say or think bad things about Allah, for
example being displeased with the Decree of Allah.
Always think the best of Allah.
Put your trust in Allah and rely on Him alone (tawakkul).
Do not envy others for what Allah has given them.
Do not build mosques over graves (Al-Bukhari).
Do not take graves/graveyards as places of worship.
Do voluntary prayers at home.
Do not imitate the disbelievers.
Be humble and attribute all favours to Allah and be grateful to Him.
Recite surah Kafiroon (surah 109) and other duas in the sunnah that specifically
protect you from shirk (see Fortress of the Muslim)

Learn Sunnah Duas like ya muqallibal qulub thabbit qalbi ala deenik (O Turner
of the hearts [Allah], make firm my heart upon your Deen) and Allahumma
musarrifal-qulubi, sarrif qulubana ala taaatika (O Allah Controller of the hearts,
direct our hearts to Your obedience), as well as other Sunnah Duas and ruqyaas.
Do not read the horoscopes.
Stay away from magic and anything associated with it.
Do not go to fortune-tellers
Do not make images of things which have a spirit.
Never feel you are too sinful for the Mercy of Allah at the same time do not feel
safe from His Punishment. Fear Allah without losing hope in His Mercy.
The Prophet (saw) said:
Verily, Allah created Mercy. The day He created it, He made it in to one hundred
parts. He withheld with Him ninety-nine parts and sent its one part to all His
creatures. Had the non-believer known of all the Mercy which is in the Hands of
Allah, he would not lose hope of entering Paradise, and had the believer known of
all the punishment which is present with Allah, he would not consider himself safe
from the Hell-fire. (Al Bukhari)
Remember Allah much.
Allah says in the Quraan:
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of
Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured. 13:28
In other words hearts feel at ease with the remembrance of Allah.
Do not say if.
Avoid places and situations that could lead to sins or places where there is no
goodness (for example, avoid places where music is played or intermingling of
the genders) do not put yourself in places that expose you to fitnah.
Avoid places of bidah.
CAN I CALL SOMEONE A KAAFIR/DISBELIEVER IF I SEE THEM
COMMITTING SHIRK?
No. It is not the duty of the average Muslim to go around judging people and labeling
them a kaafir. In the hadith in Muslim:
If a man declares his brother to be a kaafir, it will apply to one of them.
Therefore it is forbidden for the average Muslim to call another Muslim a kaafir. The
only ones who can do so are the judges (in an Islamic state) or the scholars. It is their

responsibility to clearly present the proofs to the person committing shirk or kufr and
ensure that the other conditions for a person to be declared a kaafir are met. This is not a
simple task. As a Muslim, unless this is done, we treat that person as a Muslim and leave
their affair with Allah, unless they openly say they are not a Muslim. If a Muslim
unknowingly commits shirk he is not a kaafir. I am sure that all Muslims who commit
shirk do not think they are committing shirk. No Muslim wants to commit major shirk.
We also need to make distinction between those leaders (who may call themselves
scholars) who promote shirk and those that blindly follow them. The same is applied to
the innovators (people who invent bidahs) and their blind followers. Even a Muslim who
commits major sins is still a Muslim. Our love for our Muslim brothers and sisters will
vary depending on how much they obey Allah. For example, our love for a Muslim who
obeys Allah will be much more than a Muslim who disobeys Allah. But we still should
not hate the sinning Muslim. As people who care for the well-being of our brothers and
sisters we need to be kind to them and do our best to remind and inform them that what
they are doing is wrong, - you could give them books or lectures without addressing the
topic directly, and most importantly do Dua to Allah to guide them.
CONCLUSION
Knowledge of the Deen of Islam is very important. The basics of the Deen everyone must
know and act upon. By the basics I mean the five pillars of Islam (the testimony of faith,
prayer, zakat, fasting in Ramadaan and Hajj) and the six pillars of faith (Allah, His
Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and Qadar, the good and bad
consequences thereof) and the correct Islamic way to do what ever else we do in our life,
for example marriage rules, funeral rules etc. As we can see knowledge of Allah is very
important. We must know and realise who Allah is. By doing so we will realise that only
Allah is worthy of worship and not want, need or dare to turn to other than Allah. Here is
just a taste of who Allah is:
The Prophet (saw) said that Allah (swt) said:
.O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and
the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to
give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I possess, except
what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it. (Muslim)
In reference to the Day of Resurrection:
Allah's Messenger (saw) said:
Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, would fold the heavens on the Day
of Judgment and then He would place them on His right hand and
say: I am the King; where are the haughty and where are the proud
(today)? He would fold the earth (placing it) on the left hand and
say: I am the King; where are the haughty and where are the proud
(today)?

Note: In relation to the Names and Attributes of Allah we must keep the following
ayah in mind:
There is nothing like unto Him. 42:11
This means that there is no similarity between Allah and His creation. Therefore anything
you can imagine about Allah would be incorrect since our imagination is based upon the
creation of Allah and there is nothing like Him. So we accept everything He says about
Himself without trying to understand or imagine how they occur.
The Prophet (saw) said:
The seven heavens are to the Kursi (Allah's Footstool) but like a ring thrown in a
desert land. And the superiority of the Throne compared to that of the Kursi is like the
superiority of that desert compared to the ring.
Allah said in the Quraan:
The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established. 20:5
Ibn Musud (ra) said:
The distance between first and second heaven is that of 500 years, and between each of
the seven heavens is also 500 years, and the distance between seventh heaven to the Kursi
(Allah's Footstool) is also 500 years, and the distance between the Kursi and the water is
again 500 years. The Throne (Arsh) is above the water and Allah the Almighty is above
the Throne. And nothing is hidden to Allah of your deeds."
Finally.
Allah says: Whoever takes My friend as an enemy, has declared war on Me. My
servant does not draw near to Me with anything better than his doing that which I have
enjoined upon him, and my servant keeps drawing near to Me by doing Nawafil
(superogatory) deeds until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with
which he hears (i.e. he only hears what pleases Allah), his vision with which he sees,
his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask Me for
anything, I would give it to him, if he were to call on Me, I would respond, if he were to
seek Me for refuge I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate to do anything as I
hesitate to take the soul of My believing servant, because he hates death and I hate to
upset him, but it is inevitable, (Al Bukhari).
So do your obligatory deeds and more if you are able and you will have nothing to fear
accept Allah and Allah is all you need.
I seek Allahs forgiveness for any shortcomings in this booklet. I ask Allah to forgive us
all and ask Him to protect us from all types of doubt, bidah, kufr and shirk and guide us
to know, understand and act upon tawheed and all aspects of Islam. Ameen