What is Shirk? and What are the types of Shirk?

The Details of the Question

What is Shirk? and What are the types of Shirk?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Shirk means partnership and it is the opposite of oneness (tawheed). Sharik means partner.

The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah and severely prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes.

The Quran states that shirk is a big sin and oppression that God Almighty will never forgive associating partners with him and that He will forgive the sins except shirk of the people He wishes. 

It is a grave sin and great oppression for man whom everything on the earth is appointed to serve and to whom the administration of everything is given to accept some beings that serve him as gods and to worship them instead of Allah.

Shirk is a sin and oppression not only because it is transgression of the rights of Allah and that it includes slander and insult but also because it is a great insult and transgression of the rights of the universe and all of the creatures.

• Types of Shirk

Main types of shirk are as follows:

1. To leave Allah and to adore and worship living and non-living things other than Him.

2. To believe in Allah but to associate partners with Him, that is, to believe that some other beings have the attribute of divinity.

The belief of trinity in Christianity is included in this part...

3. To accept that there is a creator of this world but to worship non-living things like idols and sculptures in order to approach Him.
Idolatry is included in this part.

4. Another form of shirk is to accept some people as Lord, that is, to obey their orders and to avoid their prohibitions instead of the orders and prohibitions of Allah by believing them blindly. It is stated in the Quran that Jewish people accept their rabbis and Christians accept their clergymen as Lords.

5. The most common type of shirk is the one in which man obeys his own passion and desires blindly and see his desires as a divinity.

In the Quran, those kinds of people are condemned by this verse:
“Seest thou such a one as taketh for his god his own passion (or impulse)?”

6. There is another form of shirk: hidden shirk, that is riya (hypocrisy). That is, instead of praying and worshipping only for the sake of Allah, to pray and worship so that other people will see them and appreciate him. Worshipping like that is a kind of associating partners with Allah. Our Prophet defined it as hidden shirk.

A believer must avoid all kinds of shirk; whether hidden or visible, whether open or covered. The real oneness can only be obtained like that.
All kinds of shirk are rejected severely in the Quran; the real belief of oneness is preached to humanity.

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