Types Of Shirk
The following are some of the things that negate Tawheed or cause deficiencies in it, as the scholars have mentioned. It is presented here for you so that you may beware of them.
1. Wearing a ring or string of any type, whether it is made of brass, copper, iron, or leather, with the intent of removing some ailment or protecting against something. Indeed this is a form of shirk.
2. Prayer formulas (or incantations) that are innovated or written and worn. The prayer formulas (or incantations) that are innovated include talismans, unintelligible words, seeking help from the jinns in learning the cause of the illness, undoing magic (that is done to someone) with the help of Jinns, and using written formulas. These written formulas are hung on the person or animal with thread or string. It makes no difference whether it contains innovated words that are written that have not come from the Qur’an and Sunnah, or words that do come from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. This is because hanging written formulas like this is one of the causes that lead to Shirk.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said “Verily, Ar-Ruqa (incantations containing shirk), At-Tama’im (written formulas that are worn), and At-Tiwalah (spells that make people fall in love) are all Shirk.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawood)
This also includes hanging paper, or pieces of copper, or iron inside the car that contain Allaah’s Name, Ayat al-Kursi (Verse 2:255 of the Qur’aan), or putting a copy of the Holy Qur’an inside the car. To place this things in the car while believing that they will protect it and prevent any evil from happening to it, such as the evil-eye or other things is a type of Shirk. Also placing an object that is in the shape of a hand or that has an eye drawn on it is not permissible because people believe that this protects against the evil-eye.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever hangs something then he is entrusted to its care.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)
3. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is seeking blessings through people, touching them (for blessings) and requesting blessings from them. This also includes seeking blessings through trees, stones and other things. Even the Ka`bah shoul not be wiped for blessings. `Umar bin Al-Khattab said while he was kissing the Black Stone (of the Ka`bah),
“Verily I know that you are merely a stone. You cannot harm nor benefit. If I had not seen the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم kissing you, I would not kiss you.” (Bukhari and Abu Dawood)
4. From that which negates Tawheed is sacrificing animals for other than Allaah, like sacrificing them for righteous people (who are deceased), devils, and jinns, in order to bring about some benefit or repel their harms. This is from the greatest forms of Shirk. Just as it is not permissible to sacrifice animals for other than Allaah; it is also not permissible to sacrifice (animals) in a place where sacrifice is made for other than Allaah, even if the person sacrificing the animal intends to sacrifice for Allaah alone. This is a means of prevention that which may lead to Shirk.
5. Making a vow to other than Allaah. Making vows is a form of worship and it is not permissible to direct vows to other than Allaah.
6. Seeking help and seeking refuge in other than Allaah.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said to Ibn `Abbas, “When you seek help, seek the help of Allaah, and when you ask, ask Allaah…” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
Thus, from this we know that it is prohibited to make supplications to the jinns and the dead.
7. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is exaggeration concerning the righteous people (Awliyaa’) and the pious (Saaliheen), and elevating them above their appropriate status. This exaggeration takes the form of magnifying them, elevating their status to the status of the Messengers, or thinking that they were infallible, and that they had the knowledge of the unseen (`ilm al-Ghaib).
The Prohet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a slave. So, call me the Slave of Allaah and His Apostle.” (Bukhari)
8. From that which negates Tawheed is making circuits (Tawaf) around graves. This is a type of Shirk. It is also not permissible to pray (Salah)at graveyards because it is a means of Shirk. So how about praying to the graves and worshipping them?! May Allaah protect us from this.
9. In order to preserve Tawheed, building structures over graves, placing domes and Masjids over them, and singling them out as special places (i.e. shrines) has been forbidden.
10. From that which negates Tawheed is magic, going to magicians (for help), soothsayers, fortunetellers, horoscope predictors and their likes. People who practice magic are disbelievers and it is not permissible to go to them, ask them, or believe in them, even if they are called Awliya’ (saints), Shaikhs (religious men), and other similar titles.
11. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed are omens. This is the act of looking for signs of omen in the flight of birds, or in a particular day, month, or a person (e.g. Friday the 13th, Zodiacal signs, saying good/bad luck, black cat). All of this is not permissible. Belief in omens is Shirk just as has been mentioned in a Hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
12. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is extreme reliance upon the means, such as the doctor, the medicine, one’s job and other things, while not placing ultimate reliance upon Allaah. What is correct according to the Islaamic-legislation is that effort should be made to use the means, like seeking cures and sustenance, but the heart should be reliant upon Allaah and not the means.
13. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is astrology and using the stars for other than what they were created for. They should not be used for learning the future and unseen events. All of this is not allowed in Islaam.
14. Attributing the cause of rain to the stars, movement of the planets (stars), the seasons and believing that the stars bring the rain or hold it back. Rather, the One Who sends down the rain and holds it back is Allaah. Thus, one should say:
“We were given rain by the blessing and mercy of Allaah.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
15. From that which negates Tawheed is directing anything from the types of worship of the heart to other than Allaah. Examples are directing absolute love or absolute fear to things from created beings.
16. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is feeling secure from the Plan of Allaah and His torment, or despairing of His Mercy. No one should feel safe from the Plan of Allaah nor should one despair of His Mercy. Rather, one should be in a state between fear and hope.
“Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep? Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing? Did they then feel secure against the Plot of Allâh? None feels secure from the Plot of Allâh except the people who are the losers.” Surah Al A`fraaf (7): 97-99
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Verily Allaah created Mercy. The day He created it, He made it into one hundred parts. He withheld with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent its one part to all His creatures. Had the non-believer known of all the Mercy which is in the Hands of Allaah, he would not lose hope of entering Paradise, and had the believer known of all the punishment which is present with Allaah, he would not consider himself safe from the Hell-Fire.” (Bukhari)
17. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is lacking patience in the Decree of Allaah, becoming restless with worry and opposing the Divine Decree by saying things like, “O Allaah! Why did you do this to me?”, or “Why have you done to so-and-so?!” or similar statements of wailing with anguish, tearing the clothes and pulling out the hair.
18. Doing deeds for show or to be heard by others and that a person seeks worldly gains by his deeds are all aspect of shirk.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “If anyone acquires knowledge of things by which Allah’s good pleasure is sought, but acquires it only to get some worldly advantage, he will not experience the arf, i.e. the odour, of Paradise.” (Abu Dawood: Authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee)
Also refer to the Hadith of the martyr, the Qur’aan recite, and the one who gave sadaqah, as has been narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh.
19. From that which negates Tawheed is obeying the scholars, leaders and other than them in forbidding that which is permissible, or making permissible that which is forbidden. Obeying them in these things is a type of Shirk.
20. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is saying, “What Allaah wills and what you will.” Or saying, “If it were not for Allaah and so-and-so…” Or saying, “I have placed my trust in Allaah and so-and-so.” It is obligatory to use the word “then” in all of the previous statements in place of the word “and”. This is due to the command of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to say:
“What Allaah wills, then what you will.” (Nasa’i, Authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee)
21. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is reviling time, the era (in which one lives), the days, and the months.
22. From that which negates Tawheed is mocking the religion (Islaam) or the Messengers, or the Qur’aan or the Sunnah. Also included in this is the mocking the righteous people and the scholars because of what they carry of the Sunnah (i.e. their knowledge of it preaching of it) and its appearance on them. Examples of this would be the mocking the beard or the tooth stick (siwak), or wearing the garments above the ankles, and other aspects of the Sunnah.
23. Using the names `Abdun-Nabi (servants of the Prophet), `Abdul-Ka`bah (servant of the Ka`bah), or `Abdul-Husain (servant of Husain, the Prophet’s grandson) is not permissible. Rather, servitude and worship are for Allaah alone. Thus, we should use names like `Abdullaah (servant of Allaah) and `Abdur-Rahmaan (servant of the Most Gracious).
24. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is making pictures of things that have souls (i.e. animate beings), and then honoring these pictures and hanging them on the walls, in the sitting rooms and other places.
25. From that which negates Tawheed is putting crosses, drawing them, or leaving them present on clothes and allowing them. It is obligatory to break the cross or erase it.
26. From that which negates Tawheed is befriending disbelievers and hypocrites by glorifying and honoring them. This includes addressing them with the title Saiyid (sir), receiving them with greetings of respect and loving them. (It also includes participating with them in their religious festivals like Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc.)
27. From that which negates Tawheed and contradicts it is ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed, and placing man-made systems of government in the position of the most wise legislation of Islaam. This results from the belief that man-made systems of government are correct to be ruled by and for lawmaking or that the man-made systems of government are like the Islaamic law, or better than it, or more suitable for the current times. Being please with this (man-made systems of government replacing the Islaamic law) also falls in this same category. It also includes the belief that the Islaamic legislation is not meant for all people and for all times, or that it or some part of it, is not applicable in these modern times.
28. From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is swearing by other than Allaah. Examples of this are a person’s saying, “By the Prophet!” or “By the trust (given to me)” or “By my father!” or similar statements.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever swears by other than Allaah has committed disbelief (Kufr) or associated a partner with Allaah (Shirk).” (Tirmidhi, and authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee)
Adopted from the book “The Concise Collection On Creed & Tawheed”, by Darussalam publishers and distributors.