When we read the supplication (dua) to be protected from shirk (polytheism), do we get protected from shirk?

The Details of the Question

- Abu Musa al-Ash’ari narrates: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) delivered the following sermon to us one day:
“O people! Avoid shirk because it is more hidden than the trace left by the ant on the stone." Thereupon, he was asked,
“O Messenger of Allah! If it is so hidden, how can we avoid it?” The Prophet (pbuh) said,
 Say ‘Allahumma inna naudhu bika min an nushrika bika shay’an na’lamuhu wa nastaghfiruka lima la na’lamuhu / O Allah! We seek refuge in You from committing shirk knowingly. We ask for your forgiveness for what we do not know.’” (Kanzul-Ummal, 1/169; Ahmad, Musnad, 4/403)
1. How should we understand the hadith above? If we commit shirk that we do not know, how do we get rid of it when we read the supplication above?
2. How sound is that hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

For the hadith narration in question, see Kanzul-Ummal, 3/817.

1) It is a recommended supplication (dua).

As we have stated several times before, some seemingly general words in verses and hadiths are in fact absolute, not general. That is, the decree in question is not valid for everyone, but it is expressed as absolute. The style that expresses it seemingly is a style of guidance. Its meaning is as follows:

The reason why the decree in question is expressed as if it is valid for everyone is to encourage everyone to the decree in question and to that good thing. For example, that it is said "read this supplication to be protected from shirk (polytheism)" aims to draw everyone’s attention to the very bad thought like polytheism and to ensure that people always seek refuge in Allah in this regard.

Therefore, this supplication should not be regarded as a guarantee of being away from polytheism because it is a supplication; it is possible for a supplication to be accepted or not to be accepted

2) Ahmed b. Hanbal’s narration is sound. (see Majmauz-Zawaid, hno: 1769)

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