Dear muslims, may Allah always bestow His guidance upon us. We already know that Allah is the only Rabb (Lord) of the Universe, Who has created us and generations before us, Who created the earth as field for us to earn our living, and Who poured the rains to fertilize our plants as sustenance for us. After we knew such fact, we are supposed to worship Allah alone, and do not set up rivals to Allah in worshipping Him. Allah the Exalted decreed, which can be translated as,
“It is He Who has made the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy, and sent down water from above wherewith He brought forth fruits for your sustenance. Do not, then, set up rivals to Allah when you know (the truth).” (Al Baqarah/The Cow : 22)
Hazier than tracks of ants on the black stone, in the middle of the night
Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with him- who has very vast and deep knowledge, interpreted the verse above by saying, “The meaning of setting rivals to Allah (in the verse above -author) is committing shirk. Shirk is a hazier, dimmer sin to recognize, than the track of an ant that creeping on a black stone, in the middle of the night.”
After that Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them both- took an example of that vague shirk as the saying, ‘By Allah and by your life O so and so’, ‘By my life’, or ‘If it is not for this little dog, the burglars might already have entered our house’, or ‘If it is not for the goose in this house, the burglars might have came already’, and the saying of someone to his friend, ‘By Allah’s wish and your wish.’, also one’s saying, ‘If it is not for Allah and so and so.’
Finally, he -may Allah be pleased with them both- said, “Do not make so and so (as rivals to Allah -author) in those sayings. All of these sayings are SHIRK.” (Narrated by Ibn Abi Hatim). (Refer to: ‘Kitab Tauhid’, by Sheikh Muhammad At Tamimi).
That is shirk. Some of it’s forms are already evidently known, such as slaughtering, vowing (nadzar), praying, asking to be saved from calamity (istighotsah), to other than Allah. And there are also the hazy, vague forms of shirk, such as forms mentioned by Ibn Abbas above, that are very difficult to recognize.
There are two types of this shirk:
First, shirk in one’s intention and aim. This is included in the vague acts because intention’s place is in one’s heart, and Allah the Exalted is the only one Who knows it. Such as a person who perform prayer, while wants to be seen by others (riya’) or be heard (sum’ah) by them. No one knows such act but Allah the Exalted.
Second, shirk that is unknown to most of the people. This kind of shirk is like the shirk in people’s sayings (other than in the matters of creed/beliefs). This kind is shirk that will be discussed in this occasion. Because it’s haziness is more than the ant’s tracks on the black stone in the middle of the night. Thus, only slightest people who recognize this kind of shirk clearly. (See: ‘I’anatul Mustafid bisyarh Kitabut Tauhid’, Page, 158, by Sheikh Shalih Ibn Fauzan Al Fauzan)
It will be mentioned below, the examples of shirk that are still unclear, belittled, and used to be uttered by our people of today.
Reproaching Creatures who are unable to do anything
This practice usually done by most of the people today -which is probably us too- . We are easily reproaching other creatures which have no power to do anything, such as time, wind, or even rain. The example is by our saying, “This disaster probably happened due to this is the month Suro (Muharram, translator)’, or by our saying, ‘Damn it! Because of this hurricane, our harvest failed.’ or by saying, ‘Ouch!! Too bad, it’s raining again!’
How we are easily uttering those words, whereas in fact the creatures we reproached have no power to cause anything but by Allah’s will. Reproaching them basically means reproaching, disturbing, and hurting the One Who has created and controlled them, that is Allah the Exalted.
The Prophet – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Allah the Exalted decreed, ‘Men are hurting Me; he reproached the time, whereas I am the Owner and Controller of time. I am the One Who control the night and the day so that they’ll be in turn.’” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim). The messenger of Allah — peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- also said, “Do not reproach the wind.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi, he classed it as hasan sahih (good – valid).
From these indications we can see that reproaching the time, wind, and other powerless creatures is forbidden in shari’a. This prohibition could be included in the major form of shirk (shirk that causes it’s actor out of Islam) if it is believed that the creatures is the true actor that control the unpleasant situation. Such beliefs means that the creatures themselves create the good and the bad, meaning that believing that there are other Creator than Allah. But if it is believed that Allah is the One Who destined such and such, and the creatures merely act as the causal, it is considered as something forbidden but not yet achieving the level of shirk. And if it is meant just to break the news, for example by saying, “Today is very hot, thus we’re getting tired.” , without any reproaching intention, such sayings are fine.
Sworn by mentioning names other than Allah
Sworn by other names but Allah also usually being practiced by our people today, such as the saying, ‘By Nyi Roro Kidul’ (a famous female jinn among Indonesian people -editor), or ‘I swear by the name of such and such…’. All of these sayings are forbidden, even included in shirk. Because the practice shows that the heart of someone who utter it glorifies and exalts other than Allah, hence using that other names to swear. Whereas such exaltation should only be for Allah the Exalted alone. Whoever exalts other than Allah with an exaltation that only deserves for Allah the Exalted alone, means that he has fallen into the major shirk, which causes him out of Islam. But if the swearer doesn’t believe in the exalted state of the thing that he uses in his swear, then he has fallen into the minor shirk (minor shirk however is greater in sin than the great or major sins).
Be careful O brother of these kind of swears because the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, which can be translated as, “Whoever swears by other than Allâh, he has committed disbelief or Shirk.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi and Hakim, classed sahih by Al Albani in his work ‘Shohihul Jaami’)
Attributing favors to other than Allah
This practice is also still considered trivial by other people these days. Whereas attributing favors to other than Allah is indeed among the forms of shirk and disbelief to Him. Allah the Exalted decreed, revealing about people who denied His graces in His verse, which can be translated as, “They are aware of the favours of Allah, and yet refuse to acknowledge them. Most of them are determined not to accept the Truth.” (QS. An Nahl/The Bee: 83)
One of the interpretation of this verse is: “They recognized various favours of Allah (that is all favours mentioned in chapter An Nahl/The Bee) by their hearts, yet their tongues attribute those favours to other than Allah. Or they said that the favours come from Allah, but their hearts attribute it to other than Allah’.
Such practice is included in shirk because whoever attributes the favours to other than Allah means that they have stated that other than Allah is the one who has bestowed upon them those favours (this is included in shirk in rububiyya of Allah) and it is also means that they have abandoned a form of worship, that is being grateful. And abandoning grateful means that they have nullified the tawheed. While every slaves of Allah are obliged to be grateful for the favours Allah given to him.
The example is the saying: “This house is an inheritance from my father.”If it is just a news without forgetting the Bestower of Favours, Allah, such saying is just fine. But it will be considered as shirk if one saying it utter the statement and forgetting the real Bestower of Favours, that is Allah the Exalted.
Let us strive to be grateful to Allah every time He gives us favours, by fulfilling the three pillars of grateful, which are: . Being grateful of the favours by tongue (uttering the grateful expressions); . Admitting that the favours come from Allah by heart, and . Making efforts to use the favours by performing obedience to Allah. (See: ‘I’anatul Mustafid’, page148-149 and ‘Al Qoulul Mufid ‘ala Kitabit Tauhid’, II/93)
We shall make better of ourselves
Those matters of shirk above are rarely known to mankind, and most of them are belittling these by often saying it. Whereas Allah the Exalted had decreed, which can be translated as, “Truly it is only associating others with Allah in His Divinity that Allah does not forgive, and forgives anything besides that to whomsoever He wills. Whoever associates others with Allah in His Divinity has indeed strayed far away.” (QS. An Nisa/The Women : 116).
Thus it is vital for us to learn about creed (aqidah) where this matter often being neglected and rarely studied by most of the people. Creed is the pivot, the centre of all religious matters. If it is already right and straight, the others will be right either. But if it is damaged, the others will surely be ruined too.
We shall make betterment to ourselves by always think first of what we’re about to say. Remember the saying of our noble Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, “One might have spoken a word that made Allah pleased without him being aware of it, hence by this word Allah lift up his degree. But one might have spoken a word which Allah was wrathful of it without him being aware of it, hence by this word Allah put him inside the Hell.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
If one of us already done this kind of shirk, he should erase it by reciting the supplication that is ever mentioned by our Prophet – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ‘Allahumma inni a’udzubika an usyrika bika sya’an wa ana a’lamu wa astaghfiruka minadz dzanbilladzi laa a’lamu’ (‘O Allaah, I take refuge in You lest I should commit shirk with You knowingly and I seek Your forgiveness for sins that I do unknowingly.’) (Narrated by Ahmad).
Author: Muhammad Abduh Tuasikal
Article of www.whatisquran.com