Quarterly: Issue No 71

Rajab 1435




Polytheism (SHIR-K) is a belief in and worship of many gods. Islam considers shirk illogical and totally unacceptable when referring to Godhead (Divinity). Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala - Glorified and Exalted be He) says in the Noble Quran:

If there were therein gods beside Allah, then verily both (the heavens and the earth) would have been disordered. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, from all that they ascribe (unto Him). (Surah Al-Anbiya: Chapter 21: Verse 22)

As the verse above makes it very clear, the order of the universe, the ecological balance and the oneness of the Creator is more logical than many gods with several wills and authorities.


In Islam, SHIR-K is the greatest sin. It is the only sin that cannot be forgiven by Allah (SWT), even on the Day of Judgment.  As Allah (SWT) says in the Qur'an:

Verily! Allah forgives not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgives (all) except that to whom He wills. And whoever ascribes partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin. (Surah Al-Nisaa: Chapter 4: Verse 48)




The main reasons are:


1. Shir-k causes the greatest downfall of human status and dignity

Man is the best creation of Allah (SWT), created in 'the highest of forms' (Surah At-Teen: Chapter 95: Verse 4). He is the khalifatul fil ard [the administrative deputy or vicegerent of Allah (SWT)]. He falls 'to the lowest of the low' (Surah At-Teen: Chapter 95: Verse 5) when he takes any other creation of Allah (SWT) as gods.  Allah (SWT) says:

Turning unto Allah (alone), not ascribing partners unto Him; for whoso ascribes partners unto Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky and the birds had snatched him or the wind had blown him to a far-off place. (Surah Al-Hajj: Chapter 22: Verse 31)


2. Shir-k is the root of evil and superstition

It is because of the sin of ascribing partners with Allah (SWT) that man can believe in the powers of jinn, spirits and some particular human beings. Some believe that they can predict future events or cause an event to occur or not to occur. All these can give rise to various forms of evil or ignorant practices. This is a form of Shirk, because Allah (SWT) has clearly stated:

"And with Him (Allah) are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it..." (Surah Al-An’aam: Chapter 6: Verse 59).  Allah (SWT) also says:

"Say (O Muhammad): None in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except Allah; and they know not when they will be raised (again).'" (Surah Al-Naml: Chapter 27: Verse 65)

Some ignorant believe that if they know what is in store for them tomorrow, they can prepare for it from today. In that way, they may avoid all the bad and ensure they get all the good. Yet, Allah’s Messenger was told by Allah to say:

Say (O Prophet), ‘For myself I have no power to either benefit or to harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.’ (Surah Al-A’raaf: Chapter 7: Verse 188)

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “The daily prayers (salaah) of whoever approaches a fortune-teller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for forty days and nights.” (Muslim)   Whoever approaches a fortune-teller and believes in what he says, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad." (Ahmad & Abu Dawood)   


3. Shir-k is tyranny and injustice

An injustice is to withhold someone's rights or treat someone in an unfair manner. In praising and worshipping ‘gods’ that have no power whatsoever to control one’s life, man forgets Allah’s sole right to be worshipped. He ignores his Creator Who had given him his life and thus is really ungrateful and unjust to Allah (SWT).  Allah (SWT) says:

And (remember) when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, “O my son, do not ascribe partners with Allah. Indeed, ascribe partners (with him) is a great injustice." (Surah Luqmaan: Chapter 31: Verse 13)


4. Shir-k is the cause of anxiety and fear

Because the mushrik (polytheist) believes in the powers of his various ‘gods’, he always lives in constant fear, whereas the only one to be feared is Allah (SWT), as all other things are dependent upon Him.  Allah (SWT) says:

We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe unto Allah partners, for which no authority has been revealed. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the abode of the wrongdoers. (Surah Aal Imraan: Chapter 3: Verse 151)


5. Shir-k denies Jannah in the hereafter

For those who ascribe partners with Allah (SWT), Jannah has been made haraam for them. Allah (SWT) says:

They surely disbelieve who say: Surely! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whosoever ascribes partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden Jannah. And his abode is the Fire. And for evil-doers there will be no helpers. (Surah Al Maa’idah: Chapter 5: Verse 72)


LETS live up to the prophet’s teachings

The book titled Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom (The Sealed Nectar) - a biography of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) - contains a speech by one of the earliest Muslims who sought refuge during the Prophet’s time in a Christian King’s country. The King’s name was King Ashamah Negus (also known as al-Najjashi). In this speech, Sayyiduna Ja’far bin Abi Talib (Radiyallahu Anhu) tells the King about the message that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) brought to them. This speech is referenced as one of the most concise and well-expressed speeches that captured the moments of that era, and expressed the message of Islam very concisely and clearly. Sayyiduna Ja’far bin Abi Talib (Radiyallahu Anhu) was the son of Abu Talib - uncle of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) - and the elder brother of Sayyiduna Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu), the fourth Rightly Guided Caliph of Islam.

The Quraish Tribe of Makkah at that time was amongst the foremost in persecuting new Muslims.  They could not tolerate the Muslims living peacefully in the Christian kingdom. Hence, they made a last minute efforts to get those Muslims sent back to Makkah.  They then sent two of their strongest envoys to demand their extradition. Those envoys were Amr bin Al-Aas and Abdullah bin Abi Rabi’ah (these two embraced Islam a few years later - radiyallahu anhumaa). The two envoys took valuable gifts for the king and his clergy in the hope of convincing the king to return the new Muslims to Makkah. These two pagan envoys demanded the extradition of Muslims on grounds that they had abandoned the religion of their forefathers.  Their leader (Muhammad) was preaching a religion different from theirs and from that of the Christian King.

On hearing the claims against Muslims that these envoys had presented, the Christian king summoned the Muslims to his court. The Muslims selected Ja’far bin Abi Talib (RA) to speak on their behalf. With silence in the court, Ja’far bin Abi Talib (RA) stood up and addressed the king.  The following is the text of his speech:

“O King! We used to be a community that was ignorant and a toy in the hands of the devil. We used to worship idols and eat the flesh of the dead. We used to engage in all kinds of wickedness. We did not care about family ties or neighbourly rights. Whoever was strong amongst us would oppress the weak. Then Allah sent a Prophet from amongst us whose family we all knew very well, and whose truthfulness and trustworthiness was already praised among us. He invited us to know Allah as the Unique One of Absolute Unity, not to worship anyone but Him, and to leave our ancestral habit of worshipping idols that we had made with our own hands from stones and clay. He also invited us to speak the truth, to keep our promises, to strengthen the ties between relatives by visiting each other, to have good and warm relations with our neighbours. Equally he warned us against all things haram, or prohibited, against shedding blood, wickedness, gossip and lies, against exploiting the rights and assets of the orphans and against slandering women who live virtuously. He also invited us to worship Allah, who is the Unique One of Absolute Unity, and not to worship any other god besides Him, to perform the Prayers (Salaah), to give Zakaah (the prescribed purifying alms), and we have accepted what he said and we have submitted to him in faith. We have devoted ourselves to doing what he has brought to us from Allah, to worship Allah Alone, and not to hold anything equal to Him. Now we consider what Allah says haraam as unlawful and what Allah has allowed halaal as permitted. But our tribe started to become hostile to us, and they subjected us to all sorts of torture. They tried to make us abandon our faith, to prevent us from turning our faces towards Allah and forced us to engage in all the said evils. They did everything in their power to force us to  go after these hand-made idols back again, and they thought it fair to resort to any means in their efforts. When their torture became too much for us to bear and they tried to get between us and our religion, we sought refuge in your land. We preferred your country among others. We hoped we would not be subjected to any oppression under your rule, O King,”


This speech stood the test of time and delivers the message of Islam today just as effectively as it did more than 1400 years ago.


Let us live up to the message of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).




Allah, the Most Compassionate, says in the Holy Quran: "Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to worship me will surely find themselves disgraced in Hell" (Surah Ghaafir: Chapter 40: Verse 60).
Allah, the Exalted, has said:
"Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret" (Surah Al-A’raaf: Chapter 7: Verse 55),
"When My servants question you (O Prophet) concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided."  (Surah Al-A’raaf: Chapter 2: Verse 186), "
Is not He (Allah, the best) who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes the evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there any god with Allah? Little do you reflect." (Surah Al-Naml: Chapter 27: Verse 62)


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When any one of you has finished salaah (and makes dua), let him start by praising Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet (SAWS), then after that let him ask for whatever he wants.”  (Sunan al-Tirmidhi: Book 45: Chapter 64: Hadith 3477).

Allah is angry with those who don’t make Dua

In fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua: The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Whosoever does not supplicate (make dua) to Allah, He will be angry with him."  (Sunan al-Tirmidhi: Book 45: Chapter 2: Hadith 3373).


O Allah, I ask forgiveness of You for everything for which I repented to You and then returned to them.  And I ask forgiveness of You for everything I displeased You with and all that concerns me with which You are displeased.  And I ask forgiveness of You for the favours which I used for increasing my disobedience towards You.  And I ask forgiveness of You for the sins which no one knows except You, and no one sees except You, and nothing encompasses me except Your Mercy and nothing delivers me from except Your forgiveness and kindness. There is no god except You alone. You are the Most High, and I was one of the self-oppressors.


O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.


Requesting your humble duas!


Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Kyalami Glen, Gauteng

Johannesburg, South Africa