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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shirk (Polytheism)

Definition:
Shirk basically is polytheism, i.e., the worship of others along with Allah. It also implies attributing divine attributes to any other besides Allah. It particularly implies association partner in worship with Allah or to believe that the source of power, harm, or blessing is from others besides Allah.

Types: There are three types of Shirk namely

(1) Ash-Shirk-Al-Akbar i.e. Major Shirk
(2) Ash-Shirk-Al-Asghar i.e. Minor Shirk
(3) Ash-Shirk-Al-Khafi i.e. Inconspicuous Shirk

Manifestations:

(1) Ash-Shirk-Al-Akbar i.e. Major Shirk:

The major and serious polytheistic form, it has four aspects.

(a) Shirk-ad-Dua i.e. Invocation. This aspect implies invoking, supplicating or praying to other deities besides Allah.

Almighty Allah says:

“And when they embark on a ships they invoke Allah, making there faith pure for Him only, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others,"
(V. 29:65)

(b) Shirk-al-Niyyah Wal-Iradah Wal-Qasd. This aspect implies intention, purpose and determination in acts of worship or religious deeds not for the sake of Allah but directed towards other deities.

Almighty Allah says:

“Whosoever desires the life of the bird and its glitter, to them We shell pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the hereafter but fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.” (V. 11:15,16)

(c) Shirk-at-Taah. This aspect implies rendering obedience to any authority against the order of Allah.

Almighty Allah Says:

“They (Jews and Christians) took their Rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things wish they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah), and (they also took as their lords) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded (in the Torah and the Gospel) to worship none but one Ilah (God i.e. Allah), La Ilaha Illa Huwa (None has the right to be worshiped but He). Praise and glory is to Him(for above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).”
(V. 9:31)

Once, while Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H) was reciting the above verse, ‘ Adi bin Hatim said, “O Allah’s Prophet ! They do not worship them (Rabbis and Monks).’ Allah’s Messenger said, “They certainly do. They (i.e. Rabbis and Monks) made legal things illegal, and illegal things legal, and they (i.e. Jews and Christians) followed them; and by doing so they really worshiped them.”
(Narrated by Ahmed, At-tirmidhi, and Ibn Jarir). (Tafsai At-Tabari, Vol. 10, Page No. 114)

(d) Shirk-AL-Mahabbah. This implies showing the love wihich is due to Allah alone, to other then Him.

Almighty Allah Says:

“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (then any thing else). If only those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that al power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in Punishment.” (V. 2:165)

(2) Ash-Shirk-Al-Asghar Ar-Riya (The mionor Shirk, i.e. acts performed to show off)

Any act of worship or any religious deed done in order to gain praise, fame or for worldly purposes, false under this category.

Almighty Allah says:

“Say (O Muhammad (P.B.U.M)):’ I am only a man like you, it has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is one Ilah (God-i.e. Allah) so whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.’ “ (V. 18:110)

(3) Ash-Shirk-AL-Khafi (The inconspicuous Shirk)

This type implies being in worldly dissatisfied with the inevitable condition that has been ordained for one by Allah; conscientiously lamenting that had you done or not done such and such or had you approached such and such you would have ahd a better status, etc.

The Nobel Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said:

“Ash-Shirk-Al-Khafi in the Muslim nation is more inconspicuous then the creeping of black ant on black rock in the pitch – darkness of the night.” And this inconspicuous Shirk is expiated by saying thrice the folloiwng sentence with in a day and night: “O Allah! I take your refuge for that I should ascribe any thing as partner in Your worship, being conscious of that, and I beg Your pardon for that sin which I am not aware of.”

What must we do to avoid shirk?

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique has narrated that Rasulullah (SAW) said : “Shirk in my Ummah is much more hidden than the pace of an ant crawling upon a black stone.”

Shirk is very hidden. It enters the heart very silently and very few are saved from it.

Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique asked : “How can one be saved from it?”

Rasulullah said : “ Should I not show you such a supplication (dua) that if you recite it, you will be free from minor and major shirk.”

Hazrat Abu Bakr requested him to do so. Rasulullah (SAW) instructed him to say :

“Allahumma innee a’oozu bika min an ushrika bika shay-a`w wa-ana a’alam wa-astaghfiruka limaa laa a’alam.”
“O Allah, I seek protection in You from that I ascribe partners to You knowingly and I seek forgiveness from You for those things which I do not know.”

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