By: Triple A (أحمد عبد ٱلأول)
This morning after doing some computer work related to Al Islaam I became curious about information on the internet regarding shirk. One web site had the following, “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” Al - QUR'AAN Surah 4:48. My attention was drawn to the word ‘worship’, which is not in the original Arabic. So, what is shirk, and what is worship? Recalling conversations between Muslims and from readings related to this subject – shirk - I began to perceive that in the minds of many Muslims shirk has come to mean ‘worshiping someone or something other than Allaah’. I agree with that perception but it does not fully convey to me what this sin really is.
Shirk and worship being closely tied together, each helps to define the other. There are numerous directives in The Qur’aan about what to say and what to do, but they are all also about how to think. When verses in The Qur’aan direct the saying or doing of something it is Allaah commanding those to be done, and when they are not it is not only disobedience, it is also shirk. Disobedience to commands from Allaah can only be from three reasons; 1) unawareness of the commands, 2) following commands from someone else, and/or, 3) following ones own inclinations. As regards the first the reasons for not following the commands are obvious, in the second it is because someone else’s commands have superseded those of Allaah, and in the third it’s ones own personal desires which have superseded Allaah. Either one or both of the last two constitute following someone other than Allaah; that is shirk. The association of shirk and worship is, inventing deities to worship instead of Allaah, inventing deities to worship along with Allaah, and inventing partnerships with Allaah’s authority. Any time Allaah is not obeyed - I’m going to repeat that - any time Allaah is not obeyed the reason will be one or more of the three fore mentioned associations. The only exception to those is ignorance; not having any knowledge of the existence of Allaah consequentially not having any knowledge of his commands. I personally do not believe there is anyone who does not have any knowledge whatsoever of Allaah. A person may not believe in God, or a person may not believe there is any such thing as a God, but each of those means they have heard of Allaah and have taken a position in relation to him. Neither of those are the same as people who say they “do not believe Allaah is God”; those are the ones who play childish semantic games with language and I am not dealing with them; I am dealing with adults who are intelligent.
و كلمة الله هى العليا و الله عزيز حكيم
And the word of Allaah it is supreme, and Allaah is Mighty, Wise 9:40
و ما يؤمب اكثرهم بالله الا و هم مشركون
And most of them who believe in Allaah also they associate with him 12:106
I have read verse 12:106 numerous times and had always overlooked its importance. After twenty plus years of reading English editions of The Qur’aan I read this verse once again a couple of years ago, and that was when it finally reached me. The verse is short but I still read it a few times - in both Arabic and English - making sure I did not make a mistake, and I had not. It sent cold chills through me, frightened me to the extent that I had to stop reading, I closed The Qur’aan. That was my wakeup call; that was when I began looking at myself and what I had been doing for over twenty years. It was shocking to realize the verse was talking about me, that ‘I was a Mushrik’ (a person who associates anyone or anything with Allaah). That is what I had been, but I immediately made up my mind not to remain one. I now examine everything through the microscope of the word of Allaah, Al Qur’aan. It is what everything has to measure up to for me and it is the only thing I am willing to trust wholeheartedly now. When I become aware of anything related to Al Islaam my actions are to see how it resonates with the word of Allaah. I check Al Qur’aan for its validity and if I cannot verify it there, I reject it, which is the only way I now feel safe. Are you willing to do the same, to trust Al Qur’aan?
بل لله الامر جميعا
rather the command is with Allaah exclusively 13:31
Yusuf Ali’s Commentary #1847 Re. 13:31: Everything is possible and in Allah's power. His plan is beneficent and all - embracing. But it is not for his creatures to dictate to him, or demand what he should do, or how he should do it. The command is with Allah in all things. The believers know his omnipotence, and they also know that he will order his world for the best.
ان الله لا يغفر ان يشرك به و يغفر ما دون ذالك لمن يشآء و من يشرك بالله فقد افترى اثما عظيما
Verily Allaah does not forgive associating with him but forgives other than that to who he wills,
but whoever associates with Allaah has definitely fabricated a great sin 4:48
Shirk, ‘the only sin which there is no forgiveness for’, yet it is the one sin committed the most and not just by Disbelievers, Hypocrites, and Idolaters, but also by Believers.
There is a large Christian church not far from where I reside and I often pass it while out driving. While driving to the Maasjid for Fajr Salaat (dawn prayer) one day I noticed the announcements for the upcoming events to be held at this church, the topic for the coming Sunday’s sermon was ‘You Are What You Follow’, that was deep. I continued thinking about that en route to the Maasjid. It went though my mind that – sadly - too many of my co-Muslims do not realize ‘You Are What You Follow’. Whatever it is you follow, it is what you believe in and what you worship! Do you follow the word of Allaah, do you follow Al Qur’aan?
Most Muslims do not follow the Qur’aan therefore; they do not follow Allaah. Most of them follow the Qur’aan and, Allaah and, just like they recited Shahaadat and! Food for thought; are you aware what is called the ‘Shahaadat’ is in reality a Shahaadatayn - one shahaadatun for Allaah, one for Muhammad, which are recited together as if they were one - and is not to be found in Al Qur’aan? Yes, there are verses which say there is no god except Allaah, and three verses which say Muhammad is a Deliverer, but the Shahaadatayn is not contained in any verse of Al Qur’aan. What was it that the sign said? “You Are What Your Follow!” Muslims and Believers have backed themselves into a dark corner with ‘shirk’, and they refuse to come out of it into the light. They do not want to expose their past arrogance, hypocrisy, ignorance, and disbelief in Al Qur’aan, and in Allaah, to the world. It is more important for them to ‘save face’ than to admit having made a mistake - correcting themselves - and going on from there.
كنتم خير امة اخرجت للناس تأمرو بالمعروف تنهون عن المنكر و تؤمنون بالله و لو ءامن اهل الكتاب لكان خيرا لهم منهم المؤمنون و اكثرهم الفاسقون
You are the best community raised for mankind commanding to right and forbidding from wrong and believing in Allaah,
and faith for the peoples of The Decree would be better for them,
among them are believers but most of them are transgressors 3:110
Would not it be better to stand up, “command to right, and forbid from wrong” then to continue - as Al Qur’aan says - doing as you found your fathers doing? I would rather take the short term heat - if any - of being human and having made a mistake, then the long term heat of the hellfire. I am human therefore I make mistakes, and I know it, that is why I continuously read - and study - Al Qur’aan.
How have Muslims and Believers gotten themselves into the dark corner of shirk? Easy, they have taken someone else’s word over that of Allaah - they accept the word of their Imaam’s, Shayks, their so-called scholars, etc. - because they have chosen to believe they are filled with ‘righteousness and wisdom’. They have ‘allowed’ themselves to be conned, not realizing the essence of what they are doing is in fact saying that; what Allaah has said in Al Qur’aan, is a lie! Go back to verse 9:40 and instead of just reading it, also think about it.
و نزلنا عليك الكتاب تبيانا لكل شىء و هدى و رحمة و بشرى للمسلمين
and we have sent down to you The Decree clarifying all things and a guide and grace and good news to those who submit 16:89
ذالك الكتاب لا ريب فيه هدى للمتقين
This is The Decree which has nothing doubtful in it, it is guidance to those who reverence Allaah 2:2
و من لم يحكم بمآ انزل الله فاولاءك هم الفاسقون
and whoever does not judge by what Allaah has sent down they are the transgressors 5:47
There is that word transgressors again, it was just in verse 3:110 and there it is again in 5:47.
Shirk is learned, it is taught and accepted. No one is born a Mushrik, no child comes out of the womb committing shirk - they are taught to commit it. People are taught to commit shirk by the sun’a (example, way) of others who are committing it themselves. People are taught shirk directly from other people and the writings of persons they assume to be more learned and more intelligent than them. What a waste of the blessing of intelligence! Have you ever heard the phrase “educated dummies”, well who is educating you, is it Allaah or someone else?
و اتقوا الله ويعلمكم الله و الله بكل شىء عليم
and reverence Allaah, and Allaah is teaching you, and Allaah has knowledge in all things 2:282
و الله يعلم و انتم لا تعلمون
but Allaah knows and you know not 24:19
و اياى فارهبون
and only fear me (or, hold only me in awe) 2:40
و تخشى الناس و الله احق ان تخشاه
and you did fear the people but you should in truth fear Allaah 33:37
قل اتعلمون الله بدينكم و الله يعلم ما فى السماوات و ما فى الارض و الله بكل شىء عليم
Say would you teach Allaah your way of life (diyn) and Allaah knows all that is in the heavens and the earth,
and Allaah is aware of all things 49:16
Be forewarned that it is a lonely path you walk when you decide that the word of Allaah, Al Qur’aan, is your guide. Be prepared for the backlash. You will be talked about negatively, told you do not know what you are talking about, do not have the right understanding, that is why we have leaders and you should follow them, and it will all come from your co-Muslims. Moreover, it will only be because you have decided that being a Muslim means to submit to Allaah only - and that means not committing shirk. Your co-Muslims who refuse to come out of the dark corner of shirk will try their best to wear you down and get you to come back to their "sun’a" - back to ‘their diyn’ - if they can, but if you ever feel disheartened just think about verse 9:72
و رضوان من الله اكبر ذالك هو الفوز العظيم
and the pleasure of Allaah is the greatest,
that is the supreme felicity 9:72
قل الله اعبد مخلصا له دينى
Say to Allaah I worship making my way of life (diyn) exclusive to him 39:14
Why am I going on and on about shirk? It’s not only because it is the ultimate sin, it’s because I also believe it is the ‘root of each and every sin committed’. Everyone has his or her own ideas about what sin is but the actual definition of sin is really a simple one; it is “disobedience to God”. And how would one disobey God? By obeying or following someone else instead of Allaah! Isn’t that what shirk is? And what is the root of shirk? Its root is Ibliys (Al Shaytaan, the Devil, the Evil One, the Rejected One) who declared himself the enemy of humankind and who - according to the word of Allaah - was the first to every disobey him. So sin was not introduced by Adam and his wife. Our fore parents - Adam and his wife - did sin, but they were not the first and so they did not introduce it. It’s The Devil who holds that unholy honor, he was the first sinner. Adam and his wife simply followed someone else instead of Allaah! “You Are What You Follow!”
Why is it that the ones you think are so righteous and filled with wisdom keep trying to have you disobey and doubt the word of Allaah, Al Qur’aan? Why do they keep trying to convince everyone that Allaah “sent down” something else ‘along with’ Al Qur’aan? Did you ever read anything even remotely like that in any of the one hundred fourteen chapters, the over six thousand verses in Al Qur’aan? The answer to that question is no, you haven’t. Here’s a question for you; could it be that because “misery loves company”, and since they are afraid and refuse to come out of that dark corner of shirk they want us in there with them? Do you think Allaah was so busy maintaining the whole of creation that he forgot to put something in Al Qur’aan for us, or made a mistake in what he said in verse 6:114?
افغير الله ابتغى حكما و هو الذى انزل اليكم الكتاب مفصلا و الذين ءاتيناهم الكتاب يعلمون انه منزل من ربك بالحق فلا تكونن من الممترين
Shall I seek other than Allaah for judgment and he it is who has sent down to you The Decree explained,
and those whom we have given The Decree know that it has been sent down from your Lord in truth,
so do not be among those who doubt 6:114
Just in case you even might think any of their discourses are sound then remember the verse just quoted, 6:114, and also verse 20:52.
لا يضل ربى و لا ينسى
my Lord does not make mistakes and does not forget 20:52
While you are at it, do not forget that disobeying Allaah is what Ibliys did, and that is exactly what shirk is, disobedience to Allaah.
و اذا تتلى عليهم ءاياتنا بينات قال الذين لا يرجون لقآءنا اءت بقرءان غير هاذآ او بدله قل ما يكون لى ان ابدله من تلقآءى نفسى ان اتبع الا ما يوحى الى انى اخاف ان عصيت ربى عذاب يوم عظيم
And when our clear signs are recited to them say those who don’t believe the return meeting to us
”bring us a reading other than this or change this”,
say ”it is not for me to change it, I follow only what is inspired to me,
I fear if I disobey my Lord the punishment of a great day” 10:15
Al Shaytaan could not get Muhammad to change anything in Al Qur’aan no matter how much pressure was made to bear upon him.
و تمت كلمت ربك صدقا و عدلا لا مبدل لكلماته و هو السميع العليم
And complete is the word of your Lord true and accurate, none can change his words, and he hears and knows 6:115
و من لم يحكم بمآ انز الله فاولآءك هم الكافرون
and whoever does not judge by what Allaah has sent down they are the disbelievers 5:44
I would like you to do something for yourself, I would like you to read and think about Suwrat Al Faatiha (the first chapter in the Qur’aan). While reading and thinking about those seven verses also consider the following verses, 61:2 and 61:3.
يايها الذين آمنوا لم تقولون ما لا تفعلون
O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do 61:2
كبر مقتا عند الله ان تقولوا ما لا تفعلون
Greatly detestable is it with Allaah that you say what you do not do 61:3
و ابدوا الله و لا تشركوا به شيءا
and serve Allaah and do not associate with him, anything 4:36
اليس الله بكاف عبده ويخوفونك بالذين من دونه و من يضلل الله فما له من هاد
Is not Allaah enough for his servants,
but they try to frighten you with others besides him,
for those Allaah leaves to stray there can be no guide 39:36
Has Allaah left you to stray and you are not even aware of it - because you have decided that he is not enough for you?
Muslims have divided themselves into so called sects, i.e. Sunni, Shia, Wahabbi, etc., when Allaah has commanded them in Al Qur’aan not to do so. Christians have divided themselves into so called sects, i.e. Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc.; did Allaah through Jesus command them to do so? Jews have divided themselves into so called sects, i.e. Hasidic, Masorti, Haredi, i.e.; did Allaah through Moses command them to do so? They appear to be triplets to me! Now pay attention because this is Breaking News, Muslims and Christians have elevated their Deliverers above the messages and above Allaah, and Jews have elevated their Rabbi’s above the message and above Allaah, who is the sender of the messages! Once again, they appear to be triplets to me, a trinity!
و لا يأمركم تتخذوا الملآءكة و النبين اربابا ايأمركم بالكفر بعد اذ انتم مسلمون
And would he command you to take Angels and Receivers for Lords,
would he command you to disbelief after you have submitted 3:80
No matter how you look at it, dress it up, by whatever names you want to call it, it is still Shirk!
و اتبعون هاذا صراط مستقيم
and follow me, that is the straight path 43:61
فذكر بالقرءان من يخاف وعيد
so remind with The Qur'aan such as fear my warning 50:45
ففروا الى الله
Therefore hasten (or flee) to Allaah 51:50
May Al Rahmaan save us from our own ignorance
Last Updated 02/12/2010