Lesson Eight 826
Lesson Eight:
Warning against Shirk [Polytheism] and explanation of its classification.
Allah (the Exalted) said:
﴿۞وَٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَلَا تُشۡرِكُواْ بِهِۦ شَيۡ‍ٔٗا﴾ [النساء: 36].
Meaning: "Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, Q4: V36. And Allah (the exalted) said:
﴿إِنَّ ٱلشِّرۡكَ لَظُلۡمٌ عَظِيمٞ ١٣﴾ [لقمان: 13].
Meaning: "Indeed, Polytheism [associating partner with Allah] is great injustice. Q31: V13.
And Allah (the Exalted) said:
﴿إِنَّهُۥ مَن يُشۡرِكۡ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدۡ حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَمَأۡوَىٰهُ ٱلنَّارُۖ وَمَا لِلظَّٰلِمِينَ مِنۡ أَنصَارٖ ٧٢﴾ [المائدة: 72].
Meaning: "Indeed, he who associates others with Allah- Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers". Q5: V72. And Allah (the Exalted) said:
﴿إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغۡفِرُ أَن يُشۡرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغۡفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُۚ وَمَن يُشۡرِكۡ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلَٰلَۢا بَعِيدًا ١١٦﴾ [النساء: 116].
Meaning: "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 gone far astray. Q4: V116.
Abdullahi bin Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "I asked the Prophet, "Which is the greatest sin in the Sight of Allah?" He said,"
«أَنْ تَجْعَلَ لِلَّهِ نِدًّا وَهْوَ خَلَقَكَ» [متفق عليه].
Meaning: "That you set up a rival unto Allah though He alone created you." (Agreed upon).
Jabir the son of Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) Narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
«مَنْ لَقِىَ اللَّهَ لاَ يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَنْ لَقِيَهُ يُشْرِكُ بِهِ دَخَلَ النَّارِ». [رواه مسلمٌ].
Meaning:" The Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) said: He who meets Allah without associating anything with Him will enter Paradise and he who meets Him associating [anything] with Him will enter Hell Fire. Reported by Muslim.
And shirk means, to worship [any deity] besides Allah (the exalted). So, whoever invokes any one with Allah, whether invocation of request or invocation of worship, is  a polytheist, pagan. He has indeed joined a partner and a rival to Allah in his worship, and Allah (the Exalted) does not agree to be joined with other [deities] in worship, neither a sent apostle nor a close angel [to Allah] or anyone other than them. Thus, Ibadah [worship] is the right of Allah alone. Allah (the Exalted) said:
﴿إِنِ ٱلۡحُكۡمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ﴾ [یوسف: 40].
Meaning: "Legislation is but for Allah, He has commanded that you worship not except Him. Q12: V40.
And Allah the Exalted said:
﴿قُلۡ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ شُرَكَآءَكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقُواْ مِنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ﴾ [فاطر: 40].
Meaning: "Say, "Have you considered your partners whom you invoke besides Allah? Show me what they have created from the earth.
And Allah the Exalted said:
﴿وَمَن يَدۡعُ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا ءَاخَرَ لَا بُرۡهَٰنَ لَهُۥ بِهِۦ فَإِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُۥ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦٓۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُفۡلِحُ ٱلۡكَٰفِرُونَ ١١٧﴾ [المؤمنون: 117].
Meaning: "And whoever invokes besides Allah another deity for which he has no proof- then his account is only with his Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will not succeed. Q23: V117.
Therefore, whoever invokes besides Allah any rival, he is a mushrik [i.e. polytheist].
And polytheism is the greatest sin which Allah was offended with, and it is the worst of all things which Allah forbids; it is the greatest sin, the greatest injustice. It is a revocation of Allah's promise and His covenant, a treason to the greatest probity and the biggest right. That is, the right of Allah (the great and almighty) for which He created the creatures. That is, worshiping Him alone without [associating] partner with Him.
No wonder, its punishment is the worst punishment in the world and in the hereafter.
As for this world, its (punishment) is hatred of Allah and His anger, as Allah (the Exalted) said:
﴿إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُنَادَوۡنَ لَمَقۡتُ ٱللَّهِ أَكۡبَرُ مِن مَّقۡتِكُمۡ أَنفُسَكُمۡ إِذۡ تُدۡعَوۡنَ إِلَى ٱلۡإِيمَٰنِ فَتَكۡفُرُونَ ١٠﴾ [المؤمن: 10].
Meaning: "Indeed, those who disbelieve will be addressed, "The hatred of Allah for you were [even] greater than your hatred of yourselves [this day in Hell] when you were invited to faith, but you disbelieved [i.e, refused] Q40: V10.
In addition to what will befall them in this world from the penalty of what their hands acquired, as a result of their turning away from the guidance of Allah, [as such they will be befallen by] delusion, misery, fear, sadness, hesitation, doubt, disorder, and miserable life. Even if they are made to enjoy in this world a little enjoyment to a limited time, it is indeed a punishment on them and bad consequence. Allah the (Exalted) said:
﴿لَا يَغُرَّنَّكَ تَقَلُّبُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فِي ٱلۡبِلَٰدِ ١٩٦ مَتَٰعٞ قَلِيلٞ ثُمَّ مَأۡوَىٰهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمِهَادُ ١٩٧﴾ [آل عمران: 196-197].
Meaning: "Be not deceived by the [uninhibited] movement of the disbelievers throughout the land. [It is but] a small enjoyment; then their [final] refuge is Hell, and wretched is the resting place. Q3: V196 and 197.
And [Allah] the Most high said:
﴿وَمَن كَفَرَ فَلَا يَحۡزُنكَ كُفۡرُهُۥٓۚ إِلَيۡنَا مَرۡجِعُهُمۡ فَنُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمُۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ ٢٣ نُمَتِّعُهُمۡ قَلِيلٗا ثُمَّ نَضۡطَرُّهُمۡ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٖ ٢٤﴾ [لقمان: 23-24].
Meaning: "And whoever has disbelieved –let not his disbelief grieve you. To Us is their return, and We will inform them on what they did. Indeed, Allah is Omniscient of [all private thoughts and feelings that are reposited] in the bosoms. We will grant them enjoyment for a little; then We will force them to a massive punishment. Q31: V23 and 24.
And [Allah] the Most high said:
﴿وَمَن كَفَرَ فَأُمَتِّعُهُۥ قَلِيلٗا ثُمَّ أَضۡطَرُّهُۥٓ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ ٱلنَّارِۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ ١٢٦﴾ [البقرة: 126].
Meaning:"…And whoever disbelieves- I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination." Q2: V126.
And as for the hereafter, they will be in an intense and successive punishment, right from when their souls are plucked because of the curse of Allah upon them. Their souls will be plucked intensively [while] they will be punished with it, and they will be punished with the fright of commencement (of the Day of Judgment), and by the sight of angels assigned with punishment. They will be punished in their graves severely. They will be punished when they are resurrected with the fright of the Judgment Day and by the greatest fright. They will be punished with the long standing in the courtyard [of the Judgment Day], and they will be punished with the nearness of the sun to them in a day the extent of which is fifty thousand years, and they will be punished in the courtyard [of the Judgment Day], and afterwards, their final abode will be the Hell Fire abiding therein forever, neither will its torment be lightened for them, nor shall they be removed from it. Allah (the Exalted) said:
﴿إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمۡ كُفَّارٌ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ لَعۡنَةُ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَلَٰٓئِكَةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ أَجۡمَعِينَ ١٦١ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَا لَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنۡهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنظَرُونَ ١٦٢﴾ [البقرة: 161-162].
Meaning: "Indeed, those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers- upon them will be the curse of Allah and the angels and of the people, all together (161).
Abiding eternally therein, the punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved (162). Q2: V161 and 162. And He (the Exalted) said:
﴿وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَهُمۡ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يُقۡضَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡ فَيَمُوتُواْ وَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنۡهُم مِّنۡ عَذَابِهَاۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجۡزِي كُلَّ كَفُورٖ ٣٦ وَهُمۡ يَصۡطَرِخُونَ فِيهَا رَبَّنَآ أَخۡرِجۡنَا نَعۡمَلۡ صَٰلِحًا غَيۡرَ ٱلَّذِي كُنَّا نَعۡمَلُۚ أَوَ لَمۡ نُعَمِّرۡكُم مَّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَآءَكُمُ ٱلنَّذِيرُۖ فَذُوقُواْ فَمَا لِلظَّٰلِمِينَ مِن نَّصِيرٍ ٣٧﴾ [فاطر: 36-37].
Meaning: "And for those who disbelieve will be the Fire of Hell. [Death] is not decreed for them so they may die, nor will its torment be lightened for them. Thus, do We recompense every ungrateful one (36). And they will cry out therein, "Our Lord, remove us; we will do righteousness- other than what we were doing!" But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the Warner had come to you? So test the [punishment], for there is not for the wrong doers any helper (37). Q35: V36 and 37.
And He (the Exalted) said:
﴿إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَعَنَ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ سَعِيرًا ٦٤ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدٗاۖ لَّا يَجِدُونَ وَلِيّٗا وَلَا نَصِيرٗا ٦٥ يَوۡمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوهُهُمۡ فِي ٱلنَّارِ يَقُولُونَ يَٰلَيۡتَنَآ أَطَعۡنَا ٱللَّهَ وَأَطَعۡنَا ٱلرَّسُولَا۠ ٦٦ وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّآ أَطَعۡنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَآءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا ٱلسَّبِيلَا۠ ٦٧ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِهِمۡ ضِعۡفَيۡنِ مِنَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ وَٱلۡعَنۡهُمۡ لَعۡنٗا كَبِيرٗا ٦٨﴾ [الأحزاب: 64-68].
Meaning: "Indeed, Allah has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a Blaze (64). Abiding therein forever, they will not find a protector or a helper (65). The day their faces will be turned about in the Fire, they will say, "How we wished we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger." (66) And they will say, "Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way.(67) Our Lord, give them double the punishment and curse them with a great curse (68). Q33: V64-68.
And among the evidences that indicate the great danger of shirk and the necessity of being cautious of it is that, whoever associates partner with Allah after being a Muslim, then his deeds will be in vain, and he will be among the pagans, the losers. As if he has not done anything in the past, for Allah does not accept any deed from a polytheist. Allah (the Exalted) said:
﴿وَمَن يَبۡتَغِ غَيۡرَ ٱلۡإِسۡلَٰمِ دِينٗا فَلَن يُقۡبَلَ مِنۡهُ وَهُوَ فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ مِنَ ٱلۡخَٰسِرِينَ ٨٥﴾ [آل‌عمران: 85].
Meaning: "And whoever desires other than Islam as religion- never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the hereafter, will be among the losers. Q3: V85.
And He [Allah] (the Exalted) said:
﴿وَلَقَدۡ أُوحِيَ إِلَيۡكَ وَإِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِكَ لَئِنۡ أَشۡرَكۡتَ لَيَحۡبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَٰسِرِينَ ٦٥ بَلِ ٱللَّهَ فَٱعۡبُدۡ وَكُن مِّنَ ٱلشَّٰكِرِينَ ٦٦﴾ [الزمر: 65-66].
Meaning: "And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you will surely become among the losers (65).  Rather, worship [only] Allah and be among the grateful (66). Q39: V65-66.
And He [Allah] (the Exalted) said, after mentioning the Prophets in chapter 6 suratu-Al'an'am and praising them:
﴿وَمِنۡ ءَابَآئِهِمۡ وَذُرِّيَّٰتِهِمۡ وَإِخۡوَٰنِهِمۡۖ وَٱجۡتَبَيۡنَٰهُمۡ وَهَدَيۡنَٰهُمۡ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ ٨٧ ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ يَهۡدِي بِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِۦۚ وَلَوۡ أَشۡرَكُواْ لَحَبِطَ عَنۡهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٨٨﴾ [الأنعام: 87-88].
Meaning: "And [some] among their fathers and their descendants and their brothers- and We chose them and We guided them to a straight path. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whoever He wills of His servants. But if they had associated others with Allah, then worthless for them would be what they were doing. Q6: V87 and 88.
Thus, the Prophets- in spite of their righteousness, honor and their closeness to Allah (the Exalted) and His great love for them- will not be forgiven for associating partner with Allah if they had done that. And we all know that Allah (the Most high) has preserved them from polytheism. Hence, those who are not Prophets are more entitled to this rule, for Allah has retained this statement to be recited on us to ponder over and look attentively at it, and understand from it the greatness of the crime of polytheism.
Ashshirk [polytheism] is classified into two:
One of it is the major shirk, and it occurs in Arrububiyyah [i.e, the works of Allah] and Al'uluhiyyah [i.e, the acts of worship from the slaves which no one deserves except Allah].
As to the major shirk in Arrububiyyah, it means to believe that there is a partner to Allah in His works such as creation, sustenance, ownership and planning.
And as for the major shirk in Al'uluhiyyah, it means invoking other than Allah, be it an invocation of request or invocation of worship, and major shirk could be done by heart, by speech and by action.
Example of major shirk which is done by heart is believing that idols have power or authority to dispose in this cosmos, and they have the knowledge of the unseen, they can harms and benefits. Likewise, loving idols, relying on them, and seeking assistance from them. All these are among the acts of worship done by the heart which is forbidden to be devoted to any one besides Allah (the Almighty). Therefore, whoever devotes these acts to any one besides Allah (the Exalted), is a polytheist, a pagan.
And the example of major shirk which is done by utterance is invoking idols besides Allah, and the blasphemous words which are said in glorifying idols and praising them, and fabricating falsehood against Allah.
And the example of shirk which is done with the organs is offering sacrifices to [anything] other than Allah, making vows to it and prostrating to it.
Major shirk withdraws from the religion of Islam, and whoever dies without repenting from it will not be forgiven by Allah, In fact, it necessitates the anger of Allah and eternity in the Hell Fire, we seek refuge with Allah.
The second category is the Minor shirk which is [anything] that leads to the major shirk, and is called shirk in the texts [Quran and Hadith] without comprising any performance of worship to [any one] other than Allah the (Almighty).
And it may be done by heart by utterance and by actions,
Thus, an example of minor shirk which is done by heart is believing in the causality of something Allah has not made a cause neither by law nor by destiny. Like believing that charms are beneficial in repelling calamity and believing in evil omen.
An example of minor shirk which has to do with actions is Arriya [i.e., doing things for others to see so that they can praise you] by beautifying the prayers in other to gain people's praise and admiration while worshiping Allah (the Almighty)
Thus, he prayed for Allah but he wanted people to praise him for the beauty of his salah [prayer].Perhaps he beautifies it more for people to praise him more. This is a minor shirk because he has not been sincere to Almighty Allah in his aim, and it is not major shirk because he has not worshiped other than Allah.
Examples of minor shirk in terms of utterances include; to tell somebody that whatever you and Allah will, to swear by other than Allah, and to say (during rain fall) this rain is from so and so star. Minor shirk does not take one out of Islam neither does it necessitates eternity in Hell Fire. However, it is a great sin and it is obligatory on whoever falls into it to repent. If he does not repent then he has made himself liable to the anger of Allah and His severe punishment.
Chapter: shirk (polytheism) can be obvious and hidden.
An obvious shirk is that which is clear and open such as calling on (a deity) other than Allah, making sacrifices to idols, and other actions and statements of shirk that are open and clear.
As for the hidden shirk, it can be major or minor. The hidden and major shirk are the actions of major shirk that are hidden, such as relying on other than Allah to a large extent by resorting to other than Allah, depending on him and believing that he can benefit and harm.
The example of minor and hidden shirk is for the heart to be attached to this world to the extent that it affects it (negatively) in terms of its obligatory acts or committing some forbidden acts because of it. The Prophet indeed said:
«تَعِسَ عَبْدُ الدِّينَارِ وَعَبْدُ الدِّرْهَمِ».
Meaning :"the servant of Dinar will be miserable, the servant of Dirham will be miserable". Thus, he referred attachment to wealth as worshiping it. And among hidden shirk are things like preferring obedience of other than Allah to obedience of Allah without intending worship of other than Allah or being attached to other than Him and this is the most delicate form of hidden shirk and nearly no one is free from it.
Narrated from Ma'qal bn Yasaar- may Allah be pleased with him- he said:
I went together with Abubakar Assideeq to the Prophet (SAW) so he said:
«يَا أَبَا بَكْر، لَلشِّرْكُ فِيكُمْ أَخْفَى مِنْ دَبِيبِ النَّمْلِ».
Meaning:" O Abubakar, verily shirk among you is more hidden than the creeping of the Ant". So, Abubakar said: is there any shirk other than associating partners with Allah in worship? So, the Prophet (SAW) said:
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَلشِّرْكُ أَخْفَى مِنْ دَبِيبِ النَّمْلِ، أَلَا أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى شَيْءٍ إِذَا قُلْتَهُ ذَهَبَ عَنْكَ قَلِيلُهُ وَكَثِيرُهُ؟».
Meaning:" by the one in whose hands is my life, verily shirk is more hidden than the creeping of the Ant. Shall I not direct you to something that if you say it shirk will go away from you both the little and plenty of it. The Prophet said:
قُلِ: «اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أُشْرِكَ بِكَ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ، وَأَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا لَا أَعْلَمُ». [رواه البخاري في الأدب المفرد].
Say: O Allah I seek refuge with you from associating partners with you knowingly and I ask your forgiveness for that which I do not know". Reported by Albukhari in his book Adabul mufrad.
Hence, as for the hidden shirk, nearly no one can escape from it except who ever Allah protects because it includes preferring your heart desires to obedience of Allah, and obeying some creatures by disobeying Allah through major or minor sins. And this prophetic prayer is a great way to gain freedom from it, take away its effect, and win Allah's forgiveness.
Therefore, establishing Attauheed (Islamic Monotheism) is through submission of the heart and face to Allah. Thus, his obedience, love, hate, donation, and forbiddance will be for Allah's sake. With this a person will be a believer with complete faith. We ask Allah for His bounties.