Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
All Praise is due to Allaah, Lord of mankind and jinn, and may the peace and blessing of Allaah be upon Muhammad, His slave and Final Messenger.
“Then do not set up rivals unto Allaah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped).” 1
And He said,
“And they set up rivals to Allaah, to mislead (men) from His path! Say: ‘Enjoy (your brief life)! But certainly, your destination is the (Hell) Fire!’” 2
In the hadeeth it is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever dies claiming that Allaah has a rival, will enter Hell.” 3
The above three quotes are talking about the same one thing; shirk. From the sharee’ah definition, this means to ascribe a partner to Allaah, to worship someone or something other than Allaah or to appoint someone or something as having an attribute that belongs solely to Allaah.
Shirk is not only a major sin, but the greatest sin anyone can commit.
Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Shall I not inform you about the greatest of the major sins?” We said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allaah (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” He said, “To join others in worship with Allaah…” 4
Shirk can be divided into two; major shirk and minor shirk. Major shirk causes a person to leave the fold of Islaam whereas minor shirk does not.
Major shirk is ascribing something to someone which belongs to Allaah; such as Lordship, Divinity or an attribute that belongs to Allaah alone. For example, prostrating to idols or using someone as an ‘intermediary’ when making du’aa as the pagans in the Quraysh did. This is the type of shirk that Allaah does not forgive.
Minor shirk is anything that can lead to major shirk, which includes amulets and swearing by other than Allaah.
May Allaah protect us from shirk. Aameen.
‘The Book of Major Sins’ by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab