The different types of Shirk
There are two main forms of shirk in relation to the actions (of the heart, tongue and limbs – which cannot be separated from one another), which is major and small shirk. Shirk in itself can be divided into three types:
- Ash-Shirk ul-Akbar (The major shirk)
- Ash-Shirk ul-Asghar (The small shirk)
- Ash-Shirk ul-Khafie (The hidden shirk
The differences between ash-Shirk ul-Akbar and ash-Shirk ul-Asghar
1. Ash-Shirk ul-Akbar takes one outside the fold of Islaam.
The fundamental difference between ash-Shirk ul-Akbar and ash-Shirk ul-Asghar is that the first takes one outside the fold of Islaam, whereas the second does not, though it can lead to major shirk.
"They have become kaafir those who say: 'Verily Allaah is al-Maseeh (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)…" (Maaidah, 5:17)
The way we can avoid committing shirk is by studying the ritual acts of Islaam (Sha’aa-ir ul-Islaam); by doing so, you will know not to do them for anyone other than Allaah, such as prayer, fasting, da’wah, slaughtering etc.
'Nawaqidul Iman' - The negations of Iman
By Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab
1. Shirk - Associating someone or something to Allah
Shirk is to associate anyone or anything to Allah (swt) such as to say Jesus is the son of God, Tony Blair is the legislator, ruling by kufr law (non-Islamic law) etc. Whether one denies it or not or whether he legalises it or not; anyone who commits Shirk Akbar he will go out of the Millah (Islam) after it is explained to him by an Alim.
Allah (swt) says, Luqman advised his son,
﴿ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴾
O my son! join not in worship (others) with Allah. for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing."
[Surah Luqman 31:13]
﴿ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيدًا ﴾
Verily Allah forgives not shirk (the sin of setting up partners in worship with him), but he forgives whom he wills sins
other than that (sins of a lesser degree), and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah (commits shirk), has indeed strayed far away.” [Surah An Nisa 4: 116]
﴿ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ ﴾
Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong*doers) there are no helpers. [Surah Al Maidah 5:72]
The Nullifiers of Islam
Shaykh Muhammad Bin Abd Al-Wahhab
Muhammad bin Saleh Alduhayman
Quran explained by
Ministry of Islamic Affairs of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
He said -may Allah's mercy be upon him-:
Know that the things that nullify Islam are ten:
The first: polytheism, which is worshipping other gods besides the One Allah who is alone should be worshipped. Allah, the Exalted, said: Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills. (Al-Nisa': 48), and He said: Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allâh is the Messiah [‘خsâ (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary)." But the Messiah [‘خsâ (Jesus)] said: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord." Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers. (Al-Ma'idah: 72). And, polytheism could be slaughtering animals for other than the One God, like slaughtering animals for Jinn or graves.