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Shirk | Definition | Meaning | Types


What is the Meaning of Shirk?

Shirk is an Arabic Language word that Means Making a Partner or Relating a someone’s God, God is an English Language word this word means in Islam.

Shirk Definition

Shirk is also known as a Big sin in Islam. In Islam polarity and Polytheism are associated with Allah with other deities.

What is Shirk
What is Shirk

In the Quran, Allah (SWT) says

“No one related to me because I am so Mercyful and kind.”


On the whole Earth Allah does not share his power with other partners or some other person or things.

Those persons or people who believed their idols, that types of people together with his idols, will become the fuel of fire on the Day of Judgment. The Day of Judgment is called Qayamat day.

The great majority or Mushrikeen (polytheism) in the Prophet’s times were those who are idols or some other things.

In Fiqah shirk became legally equivalent to unbelief. Shirk is the opposite of Tawheed (the oneness of Allah).

Types of Shirk.

Different types of shirk are distinguished, the part of pure and blatant polytheism.

types of shirk
types of shirk

1. Shirk al Adah (shirk of custom)

which is called superstition.

2. Shirk Al-Ibadah (shirk of worship)

In shirk al ibadah the person who believed that thing created on hands. e.g the reversing of saints, kissing holy stones, and praying to the older persons who lived in graves.

3. The shirk al ILM (shirk al Knowledge)

This type of shirk credit goes to someone, such as interpreters, astrologers’ dreams, whit knowledge of the future.

All these types of shirk are called shirk al Asghar (minor shirk) in comparison to polytheism.

i. Minor

It is called a Shirk al Asghar.

ii. Shirk in Ibadah

Shirk in Ibadah is the worshipping of multiple gods. In Islam shirk is the polarity and polytheism or monotheism or worship of anything besides Allah.

It means ascribing to the establishment partners besides Allah.

iii. Shirk al raboobiyah

That person who believe in other things besides Allah is called Shirk al raboobiyah.

There are different types of shirk like shirk al raboobiyah, minor and shirk al labbadah.

The cause of shirk is that when a person sees problems around then his mind changes to some other person who solves his problems. This is a cause of shirk.

There are three types of shirk al minor, shirk al raboobiyah, and shirk al kabbalah. in shirk al minor in this type of shirk, it is called shirk al Asghar.In shirk al raboobiyah the person.

The shirk is firstly related to or associated with supplication or dua. This is involved and related to Allah as the means of gaining and fully depends on Allah.

Companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) in Arabic are called Ashaab or Sahabah.

These are people and follower of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) who had personal contact with him, however slight.

The first 4 caliphs, who are the Ashab held in highest esteem among Muslims, are part of the Ten companions to whom Muhammad promised Paradise.

The companion is the most eyewitness of the most important sources of  Hadith.

That is the lifestyle and activities of Muhammad(P.B.U.H) and the Companions(Ashab) followed that activities.

What is Shirk in Islam

In Islam shirk is the sin of Polytheism or anyone worshiping besides Allah. It means ascribing to the establishment of a partner besides Allah.

Shirk is the opposite of Tawheed, Tawheed means to believe in Allah. Allah is so merciful and kind.

What is the meaning of Shirk?

Shirk is an Arabic word and it means polytheism. it also means associated anything else with Allah.

And the one who ascribes with Allah that is called in Islam Mushrik. shirk becomes legally equivalent to the kufar, and the kufar is a big malefactor.

Shirk means in Arabic idolatry, polytheism, and associated with Allah anyone or anything.

It represents the most obvious form of idolatry against which the prophet was specially sent by Allah, calling the message and worship of Allah.

Reference in Quran.

Quran Sayings About Shirk
Quran Sayings About Shirk

Allah says in Quran

When Luqman said to his son while advising him “Oh my son! Don’t ascribe partners Turn unto Allah (only), for whose ascribe partners unto Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky and the birds had snatched him or the wind had blown him to a far off place.

(Al hajj:31)

“Surely we have to send every nation a messenger saying, worship Allah, and avoid Taaghoot(false gods)”.

[Surah al-Nahl 16:36]

Allah Messenger (P.B.U.H) said:

Prophet's Saying About Shirk
Prophet’s Saying About Shirk

“The most dreadful which I fear about you is minor polytheism. The companion asked: What is minor polytheism? He(PBUH) said: it is hypocrisy; and he added that on the day of judgment,

When rewarding people for their deeds, Allah will says to hypocrites: “Go to those for the sake of whom you use to perform good deeds; and see whether you can get any reward from them”

[Musnad Ahmad:428/5]

Why is shirk such a major Sin?

Belief in Tawheed, the oneness of Allah is the foremost belief in Islam. Allah is divine and nothing in the world is as great as him it can be associated with him.

To make anyone or anything equal with Allah or give them some of Allah’s attributes, is classed as Shirk it goes against that most basic and foremost principle. Shirk breaks the testimony shahadah that ‘ There is no God but Allah’.

Because Islam is the only true and pure religion and shirk take you out of the fold and Islam.

Every action must be for the sake of Allah and to Glorify Allah. In shirk Al Akbar(Major Shirk) this form of shirk occurs when any act of worship is directly associated with other than Allah.

This type of Shirk is most polarity and obvious which the prophet is especially sent to people say Allah messages Allah is so Merciful and mankind and Allah is Ghafo rur Rahim.

Riyaa of the Hypocrites: That person who Individual non-Muslim, but pretending to be a Muslim intending to put on a show, to gain politically and financially.

What type of a person hides his reality or that he is a disbeliever from the people, and persists with this evil intention?

Then this type of a person is rejection and he commits Major Shirk which makes him a disbeliever.e,g The hypocrites of Madina and whose leader was Abdullah ibn Ubay.

Hidden Fear in Islam this is referred to a  secret fear for the entities worshiped besides God who, In reality, has no power and might.

So, a person who worships that person who died in the grave who is considered a righteous person might harm him if he does not fulfill any oath made for the dead person.

What are the Causes of Shirk?

The cause of Shirk is going to extremes with regard to pious people and objects.

Rising their status and transgressing the bounds. The prophet said

“Beware of extremism, for the people before were destroyed due to it.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

Ibn Qayyum said:

“Of the primary cause of idol worship is the exaggeration of the created. So a person is raised above this actual status until he is worshipped.”

Ibn Qayyum

The first cause of shirk is the weakness of Emaan is called Hidden of Shirk. When a person does not strong faith in Allah.

He will prefer the admiration of people over the Pleasure of Allah. There are three causes of symptoms of Riyaa and it is necessary and most important that a believer avoid all of them:

  • Love of praise.
  • Fear of Criticism
  • Peoples possessions.

The supplication of Shirk in the Quran.

“O Allah, I seek refuge with You  knowingly associated anything with you, and I seek your forgiveness for that which I do unknowingly”

Al Quran

The Shirk in supplication, in Loving and obedience and intention the Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, sent the Messenger called Muhammad (peace be upon him) with glad tidings and warning of humanity.

The Muhammad(peace be upon him) ‘s a main duty is to call the people to worship Allah alone, i.e to call the people of faith and Tawheed, warn them against shirk, and associated someone with Allah-like partners.

What designation between Islam and kufr, It called believer and non-believer, between entire paradise and entering hellfire.

Allah and His Messenger call the people and warn us against falling into shirk; which has two categories: Major and Minor.

Holy Prophet’s sayings about Shirk

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

O people,beware of this Shirk (from of polytheism), for it is more subtle than the footsteps of an ant. The one whom Allah willed should speak said to him, How can we beware of it when it is more subtle than the footsteps of an ant, O Messenger of Allah.

(Narrated by  Ahmad 4/403)

Allah  says:

“Say (Muhammad), If you do love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you(in return) and forgive your sins.”

(Quran 3:31)

Today’s Results About Shirk

Today in many communities: there are many people involved in types of shirk because the shirk is so dangerous part of Islam and the people got closed and even fall into these types of shirk, especially the shirk of obedience.

If Allah’s says or the rules of Allah coincide with their desires, they will rush to an application. But if it does not, they will shop around for a fatwah (legal ruling) that suits their whims.  

Molana Tariq Jameel Bayan on Shirk

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