Islamic concepts

Shirk شِرك — idol worship, polytheism, consider something equal to God, setting up equals to Allāh, attribute to Allah equals

ALA-LC shirk
IPA ʃɪrk

considering God to have equals

  • making someone or something or oneself equal to God

ascribing divinity to creatures

treat an object or person as equal to Allāh

to get hung up on symbols?

who do you go through to get to God?

Shirk is the opposite of Tawḥīd. Once you understand Tawḥīd, then you understand Shirk.

one who does not purely worship Allāh

  • to associate equals to Allāh
  • to give the rights of Allāh to other than Allāh
  • associating anyone or anything with Allāh
  • to regard an object or person as equal to God
  • to consider someone or something equal to God
  • to deify anyone or anything but the Oneness
Do not knowingly set up anything as an equal to God. (Qurʾān 2:22)

Shirk literally means dividing among partners, sharing among peers. To take a partner alongside Allāh.

is attributing a power that only allah has to other than allah. shirk is to give the rigths of allah to other than allah.

shirk comes from exalting very good people.

It’s to think that something or someone can be godlike or equal to God. For example, in 7th century Arabia, people would worship statues and objects as gods. Shirk is to confuse the symbol for the Divine it was meant to point to. If you treat a finite object or person as if it had godlike powers and attributes, that’s Shirk.

zumur 65 most strict verses against shirk

mahilah 72

tawba 28 disgusting

surah nuh v approx 6? names the idols

even muhammad's uncle died in shirk, muhammad could not...

to give the rights of Allāh to other than Allāh

is the #1 absolute sin in Islam

take an illah beside allah

ultimate Creator

to take a partner alongside Allāh

don't have to replace Allah to commit shirk

most people commit Shirk while believing in allah and worshipping allah

  • We cannot mock the strange things other people pray to 6:108

Nidd = partner Partners share the same privileges, even if not equal. doesn't have to be equal.

If you die in the state of Shirk, that your religion is Shirk, it's the one unforgivable sin.

To Muslims, Allāh (swt) has no physical form and is beyond anything we can think of. The true Divine is absolutely one and cannot be split up into multiple competing gods, or into three persons of the same god. Allāh is without equal.

Even if we don’t worship the same statues the 7th century Arabs did, Shirk is still around today. The question is: what do you ultimately serve and obey? Imagine the junkie without his heroin, the pick-up artist without sex. In first world countries, many of us live as if we worshipped the material world. We have a lot of fabulous technology, and some of us believe that the tangible, measurable world of physical materials is the only true Reality. Such finite things come and go. Some of them can even harm us. Allāh is forever.

In Islam, the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ is regarded as the best example and role model of how to practice our religion, how to achieve humbleness before Allāh. While we admire his traits, we must also be careful not to go overboard. It is Shirk to worship Muḥammad ﷺ (or any other prophet) as if he were godlike himself.

Categories of Shirk

  • Rabb
    • affirmation
      • total: total affirmation of another Rabb — Jupiter, Zeus
      • partial: partial affirmation of Rabb besides Allāh, attribute some characteristics of Rabb to other than Allāh. "allah created me, but so and so sustains me." common in many mythologies, one total rabb, and other partial gods fighting. pray to saints to cure you.
    • negation
      • total: atheism. to take the rights of allah and give tthem to other than allah. say allah didnt create creation. they give this power to something else. there is no one term. science, nature, chance. the creation creates itself, parents. differ in terminology. agnostic = doubt.
      • partial: philosophers' concept of god, cosmic force, unmoved mover, einsteinian god, rules of nature, equations of the world, power out there we don't understand, it's not living, doesn't understand us, know us. doesn't care about us.
  • Object of worship
    • major:
      • practical: action based. idol worship, prostrate or sacrifice to idol. easiest shirk to understand.
      • theoretical: in your mind, conceptual. even if you don't worship other than allah, you consider it morally permissible, OK for other religions to worship false gods. you're ok, i'm ok, we're all ok. all paths lead to god. perennialism. i disagree with it morally, but never physically. physically even in an islamic state the gov't khalifah doesnt have the right to prohibit shirk. morally disagree with it, it's my right. contradicts the two kalimahs. 1st. if you say 'jews/xians are all ok, all going to paradise', i think it's shirk for me, but if you do it, then kalimah doesn't apply to you. no deity worthy of worship. saying they can worship, you're saying others can do so.
    • minor: (everything else in the whole chart is major) --- future session
  • Names and attributes
    • deification, take sthng and raise it to level of a god
    • anthropomorphism: make God into a human, take away allah's names and attributes

have you not seen the one who takes his desires as a god. doesn't reach level of major shirk. drinking alcohol doesn't make you a kafir. if it causes you to say 'no i don't believe in allah' then shirk.

  • unhealthy obsession?


The first Shirk to occur was during the time of the prophet Nūḥ

Related concepts

The two excuses that people of the Quraysh tribe used to justify their Shirk:

  • 39:3
  • 10:18
  • Shirk al-Ulūhīyah:
    • Practical: prostrate yourself in front of idol
    • Theoretical: you don't worship other than Allah, but you consider it morally permissible for others to worship false gods. right to disagree morally but physically they can do what they want, even in Islamic state. cannot claim other religions also good.
  • Shirk al-Asmā wa-al-Ṣifāt: deification of person or thing, anthropomorphism
  • hedonism, take your own desire as god