Understanding Islam – Shirk

Understanding Islam – Shirk

Literally: In Arabic shirk means Partnership, Sharing or Associating

Islamic Terminology: Assigning partners with Allah (swt) in whatever form it may take

Major Shirk

[surah nahl 16:36] We have sent a messenger to every community, saying, “You shall worship Allah, and avoid idolatry.” Subsequently, some were guided by Allah, while others were committed to straying. Roam the earth and note the consequences for the rejecters.


[surah zaarayat 51:56] I did not create the jins and the humans except to worship Me alone


(surah luqmaan 31:13) And (remember) when Luqmaan said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Do no join others in worship with Allah. Surely, joining others with Allah in worship is a great injustice”.



The prophet of Allah (peace be upon him said): ” the most and greatest of the sin is to commit shirk with Allah”. (Bukhari, Muslim)


When Messenger (pbuh) was asked what is the greatest sin. He replied the most severe sin is that you set up deities besides Allah while He has created you.
(Bukhari, Muslim)

Other evidences from the Holy Qur’an

(surah nisaa ch4 v38) (surah nisaa ch4 v48) (surah Al maida’ah ch5 v72) (surah kahf ch18 v26) (surah kahf ch18 v110) (surah hajj ch22 v31) (surah Araaf ch7 v190)
(surah Araaf ch7 v191)Minor Shirk

1) The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

i) The thing I fear for you the most is al- shirk al- asghar (minor shirk). The companions asked “O messenger of Allah, what is minor shirk?” He replied (pbuh) “showing off (Riya)”

ii) He (peace be upon him) said: “When a person gets up to pray and strives to beautify his prayer because people are looking at him, that is secret shirk”.

Imam al-Hafidh al-Bayhaqi said in his book, Al-Asma’u was-Sifat, on page 400 [Kawthari edition]:

والذي روي في اّخر هذا الحديث إشارة إلى نفي المكان عن الله تعالى، وأن العبد أينما كان فهو في القرب والبعد من الله تعالى سواء، وأنه الظاهر فيصح إدراكه بالأدلة، الباطن فلا يصح إدراكه بالكون في مكان. واستدل بعض أصحابنا في نفي المكان عنه بقول النبي صلّى الله عليه و سلّم أنت الظاهر فليس فوقك شىء، وأنت الباطن فليس دونك شىء، وإذا لم يكن فوقه شىء ولا دونه شىء لم يكن في مكان

“…. What was mentioned towards the end of the hadith is an indication of denying Allah has a place and denying the slave is alike to Allah, wherever he was, in proximity or remoteness. Allah, the Exalted, is adh-Dhahir–hence, it is valid to know about Him by proofs. Allah is al-Batin–hence, it is invalid that He would be in a place.”

He also said:

“Some of our companions used as a proof to refute the place to Allah the saying of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam : ‘You are adh-Dhahir and there is nothing above You, and You are al-Batin and there is nothing underneath You.’ Therefore, if there is nothing above Him and nothing underneath Him, He is not in a place.”


Similarly, regarding this same hadith [from Sahih Muslim]:

O Allah, You are the first: there is nothing before You; and You are the last: there is nothing after You. You are the Manifest (al-Zahir): there is nothing above You. You are the Hidden (al-Batin): there is nothing below You.

Al-Raghib al-Isfahani (d. 425 hegira) in his Mufradat al-Qur`an explained that Allah is the Manifest because His existence is intuitively evident to us through everything we see in the creation, while He is the Hidden because we can not comprehend the nature of His existence.

Mufradat al-Qur`an, (Damascus, Dar al-Qalam; and Beirut, Dar al Shamiyyah, 1992), p.131.

Imam Zayn ul-Abidin said:

وروى الحافظ اللغوي محمد مرتضى الزَّبيديُّ في شرح الإحياء بالإسناد المتصل أن الإمام عليًّا زين العابدين كان يقول: “سبحانك لا يحويك مكان” اهـ، وزين العابدين كان أفضل أهل البيت في زمانه

“glory be to you who has no place”

[documented in Imam Murtada Zabidis’s sharh al ihya ulum ud deen, with a mutasil isnad]

In Al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq under the chapter heading:

في بيان الاصول التى اجتمعت عليها اهل السنة

Imam Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi says:

واجمعوا على انه لا يحويه مكان ولا يجرى عليه زمان خلاف قول من زعم من الشهامية والكرامية انه مماس لعرشه وقد قال امير المؤمنين على رضي الله عنه ان الله تعالى خلق العرش اظهارا لقدرته لا مكانا لذاته وقال ايضا قد كان ولا مكان وهو الآن على ما كان

rough translation:

“Allah created al-‘arsh as an indication of His Power and did not take it as a place for Himself. Allah existed eternally without a place, and He now is as He ever was” [i.e. without a place]


Imam Ali [RA] is reported to have said:

تفسير مدارك التنزيل وحقائق التأويل/ النسفي
قول علي رضي الله عنه: الاستواء غير مجهول والتكييف غير معقول والإيمان به واجب والسؤال عنه بدعة لأنه تعالى كان ولا مكان فهو على ما كان قبل خلق المكان لم يتغير عما كان.

[rough translation]

“al-Istiwa is not unknown, and the modality is altogether inconceivable. To affirm it is obligatory and to ask questions about it is an innovation, this is because Allah was, when there was nothing, and He created place before there was a place, and He is in no need for a place”.

[Reported in Tafsir Madaarik al-Tanzeel wa Haqaa’iq al-Ta’weel by an-Nasafi, under surah Taha (20) ayat (5)]

قال الإمام علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه :-” من زعم أن إلهنا محدود فقد جهل الخالق المعبود” ا.هـ رواه أبو نعيم في حلية الأولياء

Ali bin Abi Talib RA is also attributed by Hafidh Abu Nu’aym in his Hilyatul Awliya as saying:

[rough translation]

“He who a claims that our Lord is limited is ignorant about the Creator who is worshipped.”
Imam Ash-Shaafi’i stated,

” إنه تعالى كان ولا مكان فخلق المكان وهو على صفة الأزلية كما كان قبل خلقه المكان لا يجوز عليه التغيير في ذاته ولا التبديل في صفاته ” اهـ. [إتحاف السادة المتقين (2/ 24 ]

“Verily, He the exalted was, without makaan (station or place). He created Makaan and He was upon His attribute of eternality just as He was before he created makaan. It is not permitted upon Him to change his essence or to change in His attributes.”

[It-Haaf As-Saadah Al Muttaqeen 2/24]


Imaam Ibn Hibbaan in his Thiqaat says,

“الحمد لله الذي ليس له حد محدود فيحتوى، ولا له أجل معدود فيفنى، ولا يحيط به جوامع المكان ولا يشتمل عليه تواتر الزمان”. الثقات (1/ 1)

He also stated in his Saheeh,

“كان- الله- ولا زمان ولا مكان”

“Allah was – without time and without makaan (station).”

وقال الشيخ الإمام أبو منصور عبد القاهر بن طاهر التميمي البغدادي الإسفراييني (429 هـ) ما نصه : “وأجمعوا- أي أهل السنة- على أنه- أي الله- لا يحويه مكان ولا يجري عليه زمان ” اهـ.

Ash-Shaykh Al Imaam Abu Mansur Abdul Qaahir ibn Taahir At-Tameemi Al Baghdaadi Al-Isfaraa-ini (died 429 AH) said, “They have consensus – meaning Ahlus Sunnah – upon the fact that Allah is not contained in a place (makaan) and time does not run upon him.”

الفرق بين الفرق (ص/ 333)

وقال أبو محمد علي بن أحمد المعروف بابن حزم الأندلسي (456 هـ) : ” وأنه تعالى لا في مكان ولا في زمان، بل هو تعالى خالق الأزمنة والأمكنة، قال تعالى: (وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيراً)(سورة الفرقان/2)، وقال (خلقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا)(سورة الفرقان/59)، والزمان والمكان هما مخلوقان، قد كان تعالى دونهما، والمكان إنما هو للاجسام”

Ibn Hazm Al Andalusi said, “And He ta’alaa is not in a place and is not in time…”

[كتابه علم الكلام: مسألة في نفي المكان عن الله تعالى (ص/ 65)]


Al Qaadhi Ash-Shaykh Abul Waleed Muhammad ibn Ahmad Qaadhi Al Jama’ah in Qurtubah (cordoba), well known as Ibn Rushd Al Jadd (the grandfather – this is not the author of Bidaayatul Mujtahid – it is his grandfather) Al Maaliki stated,

“ليس- الله- في مكان، فقد كان قبل أن يخلق المكان

“Allah is not in a place. He is as he was before he created ‘place’. ”

[This is mentioned by Ibn Al Haaj Al Maaliki in his Madkhal.]

قال ابن حزم (وهو ممن يتكلم باسم السلف) قول تعالى يجب حمله على ظاهره ما لم يمنع من حمله على
ظاهره نصّ آخر أو إجماع أو ضرورة حس, وقد علمنا أن كل ما كان في مكان, فإنه شاغل لذلك المكان
ومالئ له ومتشكل بشلكه, ولا بدّ من أحد الأمرين ضرورة, وعلمنا أن ما كان في مكان فإنه متناه بتناهي
مكانه وهو ذو جهات ست أو خمس متناهية في مكانه وهذه صفات الجسم اه ثم قال:إن الأمة أجمعت على
أنه لا يدعو أحد فيقول يا مستو ارحمني, ولا يسمى ابنه عبد المستوي اه ثم قال إن معنى قوله تعالى على
العرش استوى أنه فعل فعله في العرش وهو انتهاء خلقه إليه, فليس بعد العرش شيء, والعرش نهاية جرم
المخلوقات الذي ليس خلفه خلاء ولا ملاء, ومن أنكر أن يكون للعالم نهاية من المساحة والزمان والمكان
لحق بقول الدهرية, وفارق الإسلام اه ثم ردّ على القائلين بالمكان وختم كلامه بقوله فإنه لا يكون في
مكان إلا ما كان جسما أو عرضا في جسم, هذا الذي لا يجوز سواه, ولا يتشكل في العقل والوهن غيره
ألبتة, وإذا انتهى أن يكون الله عز وجل جسما أو عرضا, فقد انتهى أن يكون في مكان أصلا وبالله نتأيد اه
فليعتبر بقول ابن حزم هذا أدعياء السلف من مشبّهة العصر. 3


Imam al-Kawthari RH says regarding Imam Ibn Hazm RH:

Ibn Hazm (who was a person wont to speak in the name of the salaf) said:

“One is required to take Allah’s word, exalted is He, literally as long as there is no text, or consensus, or empirical necessity, stops us from doing that. We know that everything that is in a place occupies that space and fills it and assumes its shape. One of the two things has to be. We know that whatever is in a place has to be limited by the limits of that place, as it has to be in limited by a finite limit in the six or five directions in its space, and these are the attributes of bodies.”

Then he said: “The ummah is agreed that no one should say ‘O, He who has ascended, have mercy on me’! just as no one should name his son ‘Slave of the One Who Ascended.’”

Then he said: “Truly, the meaning of His saying, exalted is He, ‘He made istiwà on the Throne’ is that He acted in some way on the Throne; namely, He ended His creation with it, for there is nothing after the Throne which is the end of creation; there is nothing after it, neither space, nor void. Anybody who denies that the creation has a finite limit in distance and time and space joins the materialists and leaves Islam.”

Then he refuted those who insist that Allah occupies space and he ended his discourse saying: “Nothing can be in space except what is a body or an accident [what occurs in a substance like heat, color and so on] in a body; there is no other possibility, for neither reason nor imagination can conceive of another possibility at all. Since it is concluded that Allah is neither a body nor an accident, it is concluded that He cannot occupy space absolutely. And Allah is our help.”

So let those claim to follow the salaf in our times likening Allah to His creatures consider carefully this proclamation of Ibn Hazm.


الأسماء والصفات, ص 516 , تعليق رقم ( 1



About sami Anwar Quadri

Join us In facebook :- http://www.facebook.com/Islamtreasure786 Sahih bukhari,Volume 1, Book 2, Hadith no. 15: Narrated Anas RaziAllah anhu: The Prophet sallallahu alihi wa sallam said "None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind."

Posted on May 29, 2011, in beliefs of Ahle sunnah. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. syedakbarhussain

    Reblogged this on Ahlus-Sunnah.

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