Category: Scholar’s Corner

Concept of Shirk

ayah-48Shirk is a topic we least understand among the other topics most discussed about. It’s important to get hold of the concept of Shirk before practicing the precautions in our life… Fortunately, I came across some genuine references of Shirk and types mentioned in Ahadees and Quran and questions answered by a Turkish Scholar,   İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi. A little long, but worth a read!

The root of the verb “Sha-ri-ka” means to share, to become a partner. As a religious term, shirk means associating partners with Allah.

Shirk means partnership and it is the opposite of oneness (tawhid). Sharik means partner.

The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah and severely prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes.

The Quran states that shirk is a big sin and oppression that God Almighty will never forgive associating partners with him and that He will forgive the sins except shirk of the people He wishes.

It is a grave sin and great oppression for man whom everything on the earth is appointed to serve and to whom the administration of everything is given to accept some beings that serve him as gods and to worship them instead of Allah.
Shirk is a sin and oppression not only because it is the transgression of the rights of Allah and that it includes slander and insult but also because it is a great insult and transgression of the rights of the universe and all of the creatures.

Types of Shirk

Main types of shirk are as follows:
1. To leave Allah and to adore and worship living and non-living things other than Him.
2. To believe in Allah but to associate partners with Him, that is, to believe that some other beings have the attribute of divinity. (The belief of trinity in Christianity is included in this part…
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3. To accept that there is a creator of this world but
to worship non-living things like idols and sculptures in order to approach Him. (Idolatry is included in this part.)
4. Another form of shirk is to accept some people as Lord, that is, to obey their orders and to avoid their prohibitions instead of the orders and prohibitions of Allah by believing them blindly. It is stated in the Quran that Jewish people accept their rabbis and Christians accept their clergymen as Lords.
5. The most common type of shirk is the one in which man obeys his own passion and desires blindly and see his desires as a divinity.

In the Quran, those kinds of people are condemned by this verse:
“Seest thou such a one as taketh for his god his own passion (or impulse)?”

6. There is another form of shirk: hidden shirk, that is riya (hypocrisy). That is, instead of praying and worshipping only for the sake of Allah, to pray and worship so that other people will see him and appreciate him. Worshipping like that is a kind of associating partners with Allah. Our Prophet defined it as hidden shirk.
A believer must avoid all kinds of shirk; whether hidden or visible, whether open or covered. The real oneness can only be obtained like that. All kinds of shirk are rejected severely in the Quran; the real belief of oneness is preached to humanity.

What is Major Shirk and Minor Shirk? Explain in detail with examples. How to differentiate betweeen major and minor shirk? How to be save from Shirk?
In Islamic sources there are concepts such as “Major and Minor Shirk (Hypocrisy).  Major Shirk: Shirk means partnership and it is the opposite of oneness (tawhid). Sharik means partner. The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah and severely prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes. The Quran states that shirk is a big sin and oppression that God Almighty will never forgive associating partners with him and that He will forgive the sins except shirk of the people He wishes. It is a grave sin and great oppression for man whom everything on the earth is appointed to serve and to whom the administration of everything is given to accept some beings that serve him as gods and to worship them instead of Allah. Shirk is a sin and oppression not only because it is the transgression of the rights of Allah and that it includes slander and insult but also because it is a great insult and transgression of the rights of the universe and all of the creatures.
Minor Shirk: This subject is explained in the Qur’an as follows: Say: “Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.” (Al-Kahf, 18/110)

What is meant by polytheism while worshipping Allah is not being sincere while worshipping and having feelings like hypocrisy, show off and similar interests. (al-Baydawi, Anvaru`t-Tanzil wa Asraru`t-Tawil, Egypt 1955, II, 14)

Some of the hadiths that Hz. Muhammad narrated about this subject is as follows:
The most dreadful thing which I fear about you is minor polytheism. The companions asked: What is the minor polytheism? He said: It is hypocrisy; and he added that on the Day of Judgment, when rewarding people for their deeds, Allah (SWT) will say to the hypocrites: Go to those for the sake of whom you used to perform good deeds; and see whether you can get any reward from them. (Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 428,429).

“The most dreadful thing which I fear about you is associating partners with Allah (polytheism). However, be careful! I do not say that they will worship the moon, the sun and idols. I want to say that they will have aims other than the pleasure and consent of Allah and the feelings of hidden lust, hypocrisy and show off.” (Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 21).

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say: “The first person to be judged against on the Day of Judgment will be a martyr. That person will be taken to the presence of Allah; Allah will remind him the bounties He gave him. He will remember them.
Allah will say, “What did you do among those bounties?”
He will say,”I fought for your sake and became a martyr.”
Allah will say, “You are lying. You fought so that people would say hero for you. According to a narration, that person is dragged into Hell facedown.

The second person to be taken to the presence of Allah will be a person who learned Islamic sciences and taught them to others and read the Quran. Allah reminds him the bounties He gave him. He remembers them.
Allah will say to him,”What did you do among those bounties?”
He will say,”I learnt the Quran and Islamic sciences and for your sake and taught them to others.”
Allah will say, “You are lying. You learnt the Quran and Islamic sciences for hypocrisy and show off, so that people would say you read very nicely. And they praised you.” He is thrown into Hellfire based on the order of Allah.

The third person to be taken to the presence of Allah will be a person whom Allah gave wealth and various goods. Allah reminds him the bounties He gave him. He remembers them.
Allah will ask him:” What kind of good deeds and charities did you do among those bounties?”
He will say:”I spent money for your sake on the things that you like. I helped everybody.”
Allah will say similar things to him:” You are lying. You did so because you wanted people to call you a generous person. You showed off. You received the praise that you wanted.” He is dragged facedown into Hellfire based on the order of Allah.” (Muslim, Imara, 152; Nasai, Jihad, 22; Ahmed b. Hanbal, II, 322).

As it is stated in this hadith, to become a martyr, to be a scholar, to do charities are very good deeds. However, if they are not done for the pleasure and consent of Allah but to show off or to gain material interests, they will have no value.

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Not Greater Than Allah’s Mercy!

Whenever we find ourselves either intentionally or unintentionally comitting a sin, yet a time comes we believe the sin is so great it might become a barrier between our prayers being accepted. Sometimes, people go with the extreme guilt that the leave prayers or stop reciting Quran, “I cant face my Lord with this burden of sins with me…” We think that is the solution? While these people exist, there are yet many thousands who dont care even after disobeying Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Still, Allah is there for every breath they take, every little perfect metabolism and every big decision in their lives. He is there.. Waiting. Maybe His servant will come back to Him in repentance so He would forgive. I came across a beautiful explaination by AbdelRahman Murphy as described in his own words below:

Someone once asked Hasan Al Basri, “shouldn’t one feel too shy to commit a sin, then ask Allah for forgiveness, then commit that sin again, then ask Allah for forgiveness again?”

Hasan Al Basri [r] responded, “this is precisely the attitude that Shaytaan wants us to have. Don’t ever tire of asking or be to shy to ask for forgiveness.”

From a young age, our lives are filled with lessons and directions as to what is permissible and what is impermissible, with motivation to do former and abandon the latter.

In Surah Zumar, Allah gives us a unique prohibition, “…Oh my servants who have wronged themselves (by sinning): don’t ever ever ever! despair in the mercy of Allah – verily Allah can forgive all sins, ever!” It is impermissible to lose hope in Allah’s mercy!

While it’s true that certain actions are damaging to someone’s faith, and that we should avoid and compassionatelyand wisely help others avoid those actions, we often forget that one of the most damaging things a person can do to their faith is think that their mistakes are too great for Allah to forgive. It’s simply not true.

Your mistakes, my mistakes – they’re absolutely dwarfed by Allah’s mercy and His ability, willingness, and want to forgive. The despair and guilt we might feel for committing a sin – perhaps repeatedly – should motivate us to change, but should never cause us to despair and completely lose hope – and we should never ever lose hope in others, or be the reason that someone else feels this despair! Rinse your heart with the soothing and cleansing water of tawbah, and continue on your way to and down the straight path.

Allah’s ability and willingness to forgive is – and will always be – greater than our mistakes and ability to sin.

🙂

The Three Kinds of Soil.

SHEIKH KHALID YASIN.

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “An example of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is that of a rain that falls on different kinds of lands. One land is good; it accepts water and produces vegetation and grass in plenty. Another kind of land is dry with a solid bed that preserves the rain water so that people can drink and irrigate from it. The third kind of land is porous that can neither retain water nor produce vegetation. This is the example of those who acquire knowledge of the Deen and benefit from that which Allah sent me with, and of those who do not take heed and insist on rejecting Allah’s Guidance.” [Bukhari]

The Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) likens the knowledge of Islam to rain, because both are causes of life. Rain is the cause of life for the body, while knowledge is the cause of life for the heart. Thus, just as there are three kinds of lands or soil, there are also three kinds of hearts:

1) The first is fertile land which accepts water and is ready to produce vegetation. When rain falls on it, it absorbs the water eagerly, giving rise to all sorts of pleasant vegetation. This is the example of a healthy, pure, and intelligent heart, which embraces knowledge, is guided by its intelligent nature, and thus blossoms wisdom and faith. It is eager to take knowledge, and ready to bear fruits. It is like a rich businessman who has experience and knowledge, which enables him to invest his wealth in that which brings the best profit.

2) The second kind of land is hard. It can hold water as a reservoir does and can be used to drink or irrigate from. This is the example of the heart that preserves knowledge so as to convey it accurately to others. But this person cannot extrapolate or derive conclusions from the knowledge himself. He is like a rich man who does not possess the ability to invest his wealth and increase it, but who knows how to preserve it.

3) The third kind of land is barren. It is incapable of producing vegetation or even holding water. No matter how much rain falls on it, it does not benefit by it. This is the example of the heart that does not accept any knowledge or wisdom at all. It is like a poor man who neither possesses wealth nor can he increase or preserve it.

The first of the above three examples applies to a learned man who teaches knowledge, and who calls people to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) with clear guidance; such are the inheritors of the Prophets. The second applies to one who preserves the knowledge and transmits what he hears precisely; he carries to other people precious goods that they can use for trade and investment. The third applies to one who neither accepts Allah’s Guidance nor benefits from it.