By- Khushi Bisht
The word ‘shirk’ comes from the Arabic word ‘asharaka,’ which means ‘to share’ or ‘to make someone equal.’ Shirk, according to Islam, is when someone or something is attributed to Allah as an equal companion, or when someone or something is linked to Him.
In Islam, the word ‘shirk‘ refers to the worship of someone or something other than Allah. Unlike polytheism (the worship of various divine forms), Islam proclaims stern monotheism (the belief in/ worship of one God) based on ‘Tawhid’ or ‘Tawheed’ (Oneness of God), which is one of the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and states that God is one.
Know about ‘Shirk,’ an indelible sin in Islam
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The Islamic belief that Allah is one – that none else compares to Him is explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an (Verse: 42:11): “There is certainly nothing like Him. He is All-hearing and All-aware,” which affirms the wholeness and individuality of God. As a result, Islam is a monotheistic religion in which only one God is worshipped. Islam forbids the worship of idols, deities, and other beings.
The rejection or disbelief of this core principle is known as shirk, and it is deemed an unforgettable sin. ‘Mušrik’ is a term used to describe anyone who denies this belief or commits Shirk. However, shirk is divide into two types:
Major Shirk (Shirk Al-Akbar):
Major Shirk is a serious sin that expels the perpetrator from Islam’s folds. It has been identified as equating someone or something with Allah. Major shirk is when an individual assumes that other entities are also involved in the creation of the universe. This shirk may take the form of thoughts, expressions, or deeds. An individual commits major shirk when he practices polytheism and refuses that there is only one God. It is an act of open polytheism.
Minor Shirk (Shirk Al-Asghar):
This shirk does not make the person who commits it a nonbeliever or expels them from Islam. However, it is also severe shirk and involves anything that could result in major sin. It encompasses anything performed for the sake of gaining recognition, glory, or some other earthly desire. It’s a kind of covert polytheism.
Here’s how some people commit shirk in their daily lives:
Loving someone/something more than Allah- Most of the time we love our partners, kids, and other family members more than Allah. An individual commits shirk when he/she prioritize wealth, glory, or other material possessions above Allah and his commandments.
Fearing someone or something other than Allah- It is an act of shirk when a person expresses fear of another human being, perhaps because the individual might hurt them. However, we should have complete faith in Allah and have no fear of anyone but Him.
Seeking Assistance from Someone Else Than Allah- When people look for support and help from other individuals, they are implying that somebody is able of accomplishing tasks in the same way as Allah is. Since they are elevating somebody to the level of Allah, it is a kind of shirk.
Missing Salah (Namāz)- Missing and even delaying the prayer is a major sin in Islam. People who deliberately miss their prayer will be punished harshly in this world and other worlds to come.
According to Islamic leaders, shirk is related to our Akhirah (afterlife). We could suffer everlasting torment in the unquenchable fires of hell if we ignore and misinterpret it. This punishment is stated clearly in verse 3:151 of the Quran, “We will strike panic into the disbelievers’ hearts because they attribute partners to God although He has sent no authority for this: their shelter will be the Fire- how miserable is the home of the evildoers!” However, if we devote our lives to Allah, we will be assured of life in heaven.