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Types of Shirk in Islam

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Shirk is a great sins and the most destructive sins in Islam commited by human or specifically carried out by Muslims to worship other things or other deities beside Allah SWT. In Islam we accept and know about the meaning of tawheed. The meaning of tawheed itself is attributing oneness only to Allah SWT and describing Him as one, single, and unique, with no partner, or peer in His attributes as well as His essense.


“Say, he is Allah, (who is) One, Allah the eternal refuge, he neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.”

Al-Ikhlas : 1-4

It is very importance for muslims to accept those idea and believe, since if muslims reject or did not accept it, than he already commiting an unforgivable sins as mentioned in the verses below,

“(He) who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know (that there is nothing similar to Him).”

Al-Baqarah : 22

“And they have attributed to Allah equals to mislead (people) from His way. Say, “Enjoy yourselves, for indeed, your destination is the Fire.”

Ibrahim : 30

From the above verses, it is clear that attributing Allah to anything or anyone else except Him and even believing that there are other creature equal to Allah is great sin and the result for that action is only hellfire. You might want to know about most common bid’ah in Islam.

Rasulullah said in the following hadith also explaining the danger of commiting shirk,

“Whoever dies claiming that Allah has a rival, will enter Hell.”

Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim

Now, as muslims we should equip ourselves with the knowledge of what action or things related or equal to Shirk. Actually there are two types of Shirk generally. Scholars deided to describe Shirk into two main categories which are Major Shirk (Shirk Akbar) and Minor Shirk (Shirk Asghar). So know let’s us peel off about the meaning of major shirk and minor shirk and what is the form of those shirk in our daily life.

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Major Shirk (Shirk Akbar)

A major shirk means that we associating anything other than Allah that they have something that only belong to Him in term of lordship (rububiyyah), divinity (uluhiyyah), and the divine name or attributes (al-asma wa shifat). Other sins that might give us punishment as great as major shirk is kufr in Islam.

1. Rububiyyah

The word rububiyyah means there are other entities other than Allah SWT who can do or commit His actions. It is included as the believe of sustenance, life, death, or any incident happened because of certain people or certain things. Whereas in Islam all these things are believed to be only done by Allah.

“Say, “Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Or who controls hearing and sight and who brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and who arranges (every) matter?” They will say, ” Allah,” so say, “Then will you not fear Him?”

  1. Yunus : 31

2. Uluhiyyah

While rububiyyah is Shirk because they believe in an entities who could done an acts that is attached to Allah. Uluhiyyah is quite different, it is a form of shirk which associating Allah with other entities in the matters of worship. You could find this type of shirk has mushroomed in society today like worshiping grave, certain statue, or people, or anything else. It’s also a form of shirk which sometimes not realized by certain people. Very dangerous if we did not realized of doing it, since the punishment is severe, as mentioned in the following verse,

“And (yet), among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah . And if only they who have wronged would consider (that) when they see the punishment, (they will be certain) that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.”

  1. Al-Baqarah : 165

3. Al-asma wa shifat

Allah SWT have a special name and attributes and is only attached to Him. Associating Him or believing other things have this name or unique attributes is equal to shirk of al-asma wa shifat.

“(He is) Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you from yourselves, mates, and among the cattle, mates. He multiplies you thereby. There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

  1. Ash-Shuura : 11

There are several actions that equal to this sins such as know magic things, prophecy and so forth.

Minor Shirk

It is also a form of shirk but lesser than major shirk, it includes everything that may lead to major shirk or described to be shirk but does not reach the extent of being major shirk. Small things of believe to other than Allah SWT is equal to minor shirk. The example of minor shirk are as follows,

  • Wearing charms, beads, necklace, talismans, amulets, which are believed to protect them from bad luck, evil, bring happines and so forth.
  • Praying or worshiping Allah SWT next to the grave, it is very common in Indonesia that some people like to seach fortune to certain grave of special person.
  • Doing worship or charity just to gain attention or praise from other people.
  • To swear in the name other than Allah SWT.
  • Venerating other being, people, trees, animals, but not to worship them.

Rasulullah said in the following hadith,

“Incantations, amulets and love spells are shirk.”

Narrated by Abu Dawud

After knowing the types of Shirk in Islam as mentioned above, we should protect ourselves not to involve in such deeds. There are some ways to avoid hypocrisy or know the side effects of black magic in Islam. Types of shirk in Islam maybe vary and could not be realize sometimes, therefore we should always increase our knowledge about Islam. Since shirk happened because ignorance, following desire, love of life and wordly matters.

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