October 26, 2011

Shirk and Other Sins that Lead Us Away from Islam

Shirk (Associating Partners with Allah)

Islâm is the only Religion that teaches pure and absolute monotheism. Both the Qur’ân and the Sunnah stress the oneness of Allâh the Almighty. It is our obligation to know the Truth that Allâh is One, Who Alone deserves true worship, so that we can refrain ourselves from associating partners with Him. Our Only Creator not only commands us to worship Him but also wants mankind to know the Truth that He has no partner. Therefore, we should not associate partners with Him. Allâh the Almighty says:

“O mankind! Worship your Guardian Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer), Who created you and those who came before you that you may become righteous; Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allâh when you know (the truth).” (2:21-22)

“Serve Allâh and join not any partners with Him: and do good to parents, kinsfolk orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet) and what your right hands possess: for Allâh loves not the arrogant the vainglorious.” (4:36)

In a long Hâdîth compiled by Imam Bukhâri the Prophet (pbuh, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked a group of people regarding knowing the meaning of the belief in the oneness of Allâh:

“Do you know what is meant by believing in Allâh Alone?” They replied, “Allâh and His Messenger know better.” Thereupon the Prophet (pbuh) said, “It means: 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh; 2. to offer prayers perfectly; 3. to pay the zakat (obligatory charity); 4. to observe fast during the month of Ramadan; and 5. to pay Al-Kumus (one fifth of the booty to be given in Allâh’s Cause).” (Bukhâri 1/50)

It is for the guidance of the non-Muslims that they should believe in the absolute Oneness of Allâh the Exalted. Otherwise, Allâh will never guide them to the Right Path, which is Islâm that leads the Believers to eternal happiness in Paradise. All their good deeds will be in vain if they continue associating partners with Allâh and join others in worship with Him. Allâh the Most High says:

“This is the Guidance of Allâh. He gives that guidance to whom He pleases, of His servants. But if they were to join other gods with Him, all that they did would be vain for them.” (6:88)

“And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), as it was to those (Allâh’s Messengers) before you: ‘If you join others in worship with Allâh, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.’” (39:65)

For their own salvation, they must believe that indeed Allâh the Most High is One God and that they must refrain from committing shirk (associating partners with Allâh). Allâh our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) makes it very clear that shirk is a very great sin that deserves eternal punishment in the Hell-Fire:

“ ... Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allâh is to devise a sin most heinous indeed.” (4:47- 48)

‘Abdullâh ibn Mas‘ûd (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allâh’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Anyone who dies worshipping others along with Allâh will definitely enter the Fire.” I said, “Anyone who dies worshipping none along with Allâh will definitely enter Paradise.” (Bukhâri 2/330, 6/24 and Muslim 168)

Aside from Shirk, Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) warn us of other major sins that lead us out of the fold of Islam. Some of these major sins are as follows:

Loving others and the world above Allah and His Messenger (pbuh):

"They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more. If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.” ( 2:165)

"Say (to them O Muhammad): 'If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, your possessions that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear may slacken, and dwellings you love, if these are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and to struggle in His Way, then wait until Allah brings about His Command (Punishment). And Allah guides not the people who are all fasiqun (rebellious and disobedient to Allah).'" (9:24)

"Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire and vain are their deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.” (11:15-16)

Taking the enemies of Allah (the disbelievers and the polytheists) as friends and/or supporters:

“Let not the believers take disbelievers for their auliya (friends or supporters) in preference to believers. Whoever does this has no connection with Allah unless you are guarding yourselves against them as a precaution. Allah bids you to beware (only) of Himself. And to Allah is the Final return.” (3:28)

“ O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the Truth and have driven out the Messenger and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allah your Rabb. If you have come forth to strive in My cause and to seek My Good Pleasure, (then take not these disbelievers and polytheists as your friends). You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you (Muslims) does that, then indeed he has gone (far) astray from the Straight Path. (60:1)

“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them, for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). And whoever will befriend them, then such are the wrong doers.” ( 60:8-9)

Denying the Finality of the Prophethood

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is ) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (Qur'an, 33: 40)

Those who disbelieve in the above Qur'anic Ayah about Prophet Muhammad as the Seal (Final) Prophet and believe in men who claim to be "prophets" are disbelievers. We must believe the above clear Qur'anic Ayah about the finality of the prophethood because Allah has commanded us to believe the Qur'an, the whole of it; otherwise, we become disbelievers:

“. . . Then is it only a part of the Book that you believe in. And do you reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous chastisement for Allâh is not unmindful of what you do. These are the people who buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter: their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.” (2:85-86)

Denying the Sunnah by believing that Islam is only the Qur'an:"

Say (O Muhammad to mankind): 'If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ªn and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.' Say (O Muhammad): 'Obey Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad).' But if they turn away, then Allâh does not like the disbelievers." (3: 31)

"And whoever opposes the Messenger after the guidance has been manifested unto him, and follows other than the believers' way, We appoint for him that unto which he has turned, and expose him unto hell--a hapless journey's end!" ( 4:115)

"O mankind! Verily, there has come to you the Messenger (Muhammad) with the truth from your Rabb (Sustainer). So believe in him, it is better for you. But if you disbelieve, then certainly to Allâh belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. And Allâh is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise." ( 4: 170)". . . So let those who go against his (the Prophet) command beware, lest a trial befall them, or there befall them a painful chastisement." (24:63)

“And those who believe in Allah and His messengers they are the Truthful and the martyrs in the eyes of their Rabb (only God and Sustainer). They shall have their Reward and their Light. But those who reject Allah and deny Our Signs, they are the Companions of Hell-Fire.” (57:19)

Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, he amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me; but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent (i.e., Islam) and dies in his state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.” (Muslim 1/ 284)

Judging other than the Shari'ah (Allah's Law Based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah and the right deduction from these two Revealed Sources): are some who take (for worship) others beside Allah

“But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein. And they shall have a humiliating punishment.” (4:14)

"... And if any fail to judge by what Allah has revealed, they are wrongdoers.” (5:45)

"It is not for a believing man nor a believing women, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have the choice in their affair; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has surely gone astray in manifest error." (33:36)

"O you who believe! Obey Allâh, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad) and render not vain your deeds." (47: 33)

Believing only a part (Surah or Ayah) of the Qur'an and rejecting the rest:

“. . . Then is it only a part of the Book that you believe in. And do you reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous chastisement for Allâh is not unmindful of what you do. These are the people who buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter: their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.” (2:85-86)

Ridiculing Any Aspect of Islam

"And if you (O Muhammad) question them, they (the hypocrites) will say: "We were only talking idly and jesting." Say (to them o Muhammad), "What, then were you mocking Allah and His Signs and His Messenger. Make no excuse you have disbelieved after you have believed..." (9:65-66)

Hating Any Aspect of Islam

"That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (Qur'an and Sunnah or the Shari'ah), so He has made their deeds in vain." (47:9)Performing and/or being Pleased with Sorcery

"The devils disbelieved, they teach people sorcery." (2:102)

Believing that one may obtain salvation by following other than the religion of Islam (or by refusing to call the infidels, like the Jews and Christians, infidels, or to doubt their unbelief, or to say their religion is still correct)

"The true religion with Allah is Islam." (3:19)

"Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him and in the Hereafter he shall be among the losers." (3:85)

"And they say, 'Be Jews or Christians then you shall be guided.' Say: 'Nay, rather the religion of Abraham, a man of pure faith, and he was not of idolaters.'" (2:135)

Turning away from Islam by neither learning nor acting upon its Teachings"And who does greater evil than he who is reminded of the signs of His Rabb, then turns away from them? We shall take vengeance upon the criminals." (32:22)

The above divine injunctions must serve as admonitions to all of us to refrain from committing sins that will lead us away from the True Path, Islam. The best way to do this is to learn Islam according to its authentic Sources. We need to read more of the Qur'an and the authentic Ahadith as well as Islamic books (or reading materials) based on these revealed sources of knowledge and guidance. In this way, we know the sins or unlawful beliefs and deeds that turn us away from Islam and be able to avoid them.

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