Knowing The Meaning of Shirk And Its Types Is The Most Important Thing


Knowing the meaning of Shirk and its types is not necessity but compulsory to every Muslins.

You could have heard a lot that committing Shirk is the worst thing to do. Also reading that some Shirk are major and some are minor may seem a bit confusing.

But don’t worry, you will get the explanations to the meaning of Shirk and also the difference between minor and major Shirk.

Why Knowing The Meaning of Shirk And Its Types Is Needed For Sound Faith

Like you’ve read above, knowing how serious Shrink is and its types because it’s needed for a complete Tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allah) and sound faith in Allah, the Greatest.

The Meaning Of Shirk In Arabic Term

May Allah guide you to His correct part, the word shirk in Arabic means taking a partner. Which means regarding someone as the partner of another.

In simple terms, it just means introducing someone else to a certain affair.

How Sharee’ah Explain The Meaning Of Shirk

That was in Arabic meaning, but what about the true meaning of Shirk base on Sharee’ah – The Islamic rules.

In sharee’ah or Islamic terminology, shirk means ascribing a partner or rival to Allah in Lordship (ruboobiyyah), worship or His names and attributes.

A rival is a peer or counterpart.

This means that Allah forbids taking rivals with Him and he condemns those who take them (rivals) as gods instead of, or beside.

Allah said in the Qur’an

“Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped)” [al-Baqarah 2:22]

Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies claiming that Allah has a rival, will enter Hell.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4497; Muslim, 92.

Understanding The Types Of Shirk

Following the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the scholars divided shirk into two types: shirk Akbar (major shirk) and shirk Asghar (minor shirk).

Major shirk

This means ascribing to someone other than Allah something that belongs only to Allah, such as Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) and the divine names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat).

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals(to Allah). They love them as they love Allah” [al-Baqarah 2:165]

Minor shirk

This includes everything that may lead to major shirk, or which is described in the texts as being shirk but does not reach the extent of being major shirk.

To differentiate from both

The scholars have arranged guidelines to distinguish major shirk from minor shirk when it is mentioned in the texts of sharee’ah.

As following:

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) states clearly that this action is minor shirk, such as in al-Musnad (27742). That action is minor shirk.

When the word shirk is used in the Qur’an and Sunnah in the indefinite form [without the definite article al-].

It is usually referred to as minor shirks, such as when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Incantations, amulets and love spells are shirk.”

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3883; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 331.

If the Sahaabah understood from the texts of sharee’ah that what was meant by shirk here was minor shirk, not major.

If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) interpreted the words shirk or kufr in a manner that indicates that what is meant is a minor form thereof and not the major form.


Muslims must try and avoid any of the Shirk as they both harm one in the hereafter.

And Allah knows best.


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