The Four Rules regarding Shirk


I ask Allaah, the Most Generous, Lord of the Great Throne to befriend you in this world and the Hereafter, and to make you blessed wherever you may be. And (I ask) that He make you from those who when they are given, are thankful; when they are tested, are patient; and when they sin, seek forgiveness (from Allaah). For indeed these three characteristics are the true signs of happiness.


Know, may Allaah grant you the ability to obey Him, that the Haneefiyyah, the religion of Ibraaheem is that you worship Allaah alone, making the Religion sincere for only Him, as Allaah says: “And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Surah Adh-Dhaariyaat: 56]

So when you come to realize that Allaah created you in order to worship Him, then know that worship is not called worship unless it is accompanied by Tawheed, just as prayer is not called that unless it is accompanied by (ritual) purity. So if Shirk (mixing partners) enters into one’s worship, it ruins it, just like impurity when it enters into the (ritual) purity.

So when you come to realize that Shirk – when mixed into one’s worship – spoils it, invalidates one’s actions, and makes the person who possesses it into one who will reside eternally in the Hellfire, you will know that the most important thing that is binding upon you is to gain knowledge of that, so that perhaps Allaah may absolve you from this trap, which is ascribing partners to Allaah (i.e. Shirk) about which Allaah said: “Verily, Allaah does not forgive that partners be ascribed to Him in worship, but He forgives what is less than that to whom He wills.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 116] This can be achieved by knowing Four Rules that Allaah has mentioned in His Book.


The First Rule: You must know that the disbelievers whom the Messenger of Allaah fought against agreed that Allaah was the Creator and the Administrator. But this (belief) did not cause them to enter into the fold of Islaam. The proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “Say: ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth, or who owns the hearing and the sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living? And who administers the affairs?’ They will surely say: ‘Allaah.’ Say: ‘Will you then not be dutiful to Him?’” [Surah Yoonus: 31]


The Second Rule: They (i.e. the disbelievers) said: “We did not invoke them nor turn towards them except to seek nearness (to Allah) and (their) intercession. The proof for their seeking nearness (to Allaah) is His saying: “And those who take protectors besides Him (say): ‘We don’t worship them except to bring us closer to Allaah.’ Verily Allaah will judge between them concerning that which they differ in. Verily, Allaah does not guide he who is a liar, a disbeliever.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 3]

The proof for their seeking intercession is Allaah’s saying: “And they worship besides Allaah things that harm them not nor benefit them. And they say: ‘These are our intercessors besides Allaah.’” [Surah Yoonus: 18]

Intercession is of two types: Intercession that is negated and Intercession that is affirmed.

The Negated Intercession is that which is sought from someone other than Allaah in matters that no one has the ability to carry out except Allaah. The proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “O you who believe! Spend of that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining nor friendship nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 254]

The Affirmed Intercession is that which is sought from Allaah. The intercessor is one who is granted the honor of being able to intercede (by Allaah), while the one who is interceded for is the one whom Allaah is pleased with his statements and actions. (All of these occur) after Allaah’s permission is granted, as Allaah says: “Who is it that will intercede in His presence except with His permission.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 255]


The Third Rule: The Prophet was sent to people that differed from one another in their worship. Among them were those who worshipped the angels. And among them were those who worshipped the prophets and righteous people. And among them were those who worshipped trees and stones. And among them were those who worshipped the sun and the moon. However, the Messenger of Allaah fought against (all of) them and did not differentiate between any of them. The proof for this is Allaah’s statement: “And fight against them until there is no more fitnah (trial, i.e. Shirk) and the Religion is all purely for Allaah alone.” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 39]

The proof of them worshipping the sun and the moon is Allaah’s saying: “And among His signs are the night and the day and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon, but rather prostrate to Allaah who created them, if it is truly He whom you worship.” [Surah Fussilat: 37]

The proof that they worshipped the angels is Allaah’s saying: “And nor did he order you to take the angels and prophets as lords (besides Allaah).” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan:80]

The proof that they worshipped the prophets is Allaah’s saying: “And when Allaah will say: ‘O ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam! Did you tell the people: Take me and my mother as gods besides Allaah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You, it is not for me to say what I have no right to say. Had I said such a thing, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my inner self yet I do not know what is in Your self. Verily, You’re the All-Knower of the Unseen.’” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 116]

The proof that they worshipped the righteous people is Allaah’s saying: “Those whom they call unto (besides Allaah), they themselves seek the means of access to their Lord as to which of them will be the nearest (to Him). And they hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment.” [Surah Al-Israa: 57]

The proof that they worshipped trees and stones is Allaah’s saying: “Have you then considered Al-Laat and Al-‘Uzzaa, and Manaat, the third other?” [Surah An-Najm: 19-20]

And also the hadeeth of Abu Waaqid Al-Laythee (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) who said: “We went out with Allaah’s Messenger to (the Battle of) Hunayn, and we had just recently come out of Kufr (Disbelief). The polytheists used to have a lote-tree, which they would organize by and hang their swords on (seeking blessings from it); it was called Dhaat Anwaat. So we passed by a lote-tree and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! Make for us a Dhaat Anwaat, just as they have a Dhaat Anwaat?’”


The Fourth Rule: The polytheists in our era are more severe in their (committing of) Shirk than the first polytheists (during the Prophet’s time). This was since the first polytheists used to ascribe partners to Allaah at times of ease and worship Him sincerely during times of hardship. However, the polytheists in our era constantly commit Shirk in times of ease as well as in times of hardship. The proof for this is Allaah’s statement: “And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allaah making their Faith purely for Him alone. But when He brings them safely to land, behold they give a share of their worship to others.” [Surah Al-‘Ankaboot: 65]

This completes the treatise. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be on Muhammad, his family and Companions.

The following book is recommended as it contains an explanation of this classical treatise by eight different scholars that should provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the subject of Shirk.

About islamtees

The Qur'an and Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salafus-Saalih (Righteous Predecessors).
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