A Critical Analysis of Shirk
We have been created for a very specific purpose and goal. Allah says in the Qur’an;
“I have only created Jinns and Men that they may serve Me.”
This verse is the most explicit verse in the entire Qur’an concerning the reason of creation. This tells us that we have one goal in this life. It tells us that we have one purpose on this planet, and that is the worship of Allah . Because of this goal Allah created us. And because of this goal, and the same message of Tawheed, Allah sent all of the Prophets. Allah says;
“We have not sent any Messenger before you, except that we have inspired him with ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah, so worship Me (alone)’.
So because of this we were created. And because of this Prophets were sent. And because of this the books were revealed. Allah says;
“Alif, Laam, Raa. (This is) a Book, with verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning), further explained in detail - from One Who is Wise and Well-acquainted (with all things): (It teaches) that ye should worship none but Allah.”
And it is on the basis of Tawheed that Allah has differentiated us. He did not differentiate us based upon our skin colours, or based upon our national origins, or the language that we speak. Rather, He differentiated us based upon our eemaan in Him, or our lack of eemaan in Him.
“It is He Who has created you; and of you are some that are Unbelievers, and some that are Believers: and Allah sees well all that ye do.”
And it is based on this same principle that Allah has allocated our success in the Hereafter. So those who believe in Allah, for them will be the Jannaat an-Na’eem. But for those who disbelieve in Allah, for them will be the ‘adhaab al-‘Aleem. And it is also for this same principle of Tawheed, which is the first obligation upon every single human being, that the Prophet has been commanded to do Jihad. Jihad is a means, and not a goal in and of itself. It is a means to establish Tawheed in the land.
Allah’s Apostle said;
“I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah…”
[Bukhari, Volume1, Book 2, No.24]
So the whole reason why Allah has Created us, and Sent the Prophets, and Revealed the Books, and differentiated between us on this principle, and allowed Jihad is the basis and principle of Tawheed. And that is why Tawheed is the first commandment in the Qur’an.
“O Mankind! Worship your Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness.”
And this commandment, to worship Allah alone, is the most common commandment in the Qur’an. And Tawheed is the only means to enter Jannah and to be saved from the Fire of Hell.
Therefore, when we study Tawheed, it is part of our ‘aqeedah to study the opposite of Tawheed - Shirk. This is because we will not be able to understand or appreciate any concept without studying the opposite of this concept. For example, if you wish to appreciate the whiteness of something, you would compare it with something black. So you can then appreciate and understand White vs. Black, and Black vs. White, because you are comparing two exact opposites. Likewise, if you want to understand the importance of Sunnah, you will have to understand the dangers of Bid’ah. So if you want to understand the importance of Tawheed, one of the ways is to understand the dangers of Shirk. If you want to make sure that you die upon Tawheed, one of the ways to achieve that is to study the classifications and types of Shirk.
So we should know that the knowledge of evil is one of the goals that the sharee’ah wants us to learn. Allah says;
“Thus do We explain the signs in detail: that the way of the sinners may be shown up.”
That is why Hudhaifa ibn al-Yammaan used to say;
“My companions used to learn the good, while I used to learn the evil.’ It was said to him, ‘What made you do such a thing?’ He said, ‘Whoever learns the place where evil is will avoid it.’
[An-Nasaa’ee, Kitaab-ul-‘Ilm, No. 74]
Therefore the knowledge of evil is a fundamental principle of our ‘aqeedah. Not to fall in to it, not to obey it, but to beware of it! To know that it exists and to know the tactics that are needed in order to avoid falling in to this evil! Therefore Ibnul-Qayyim rahimahullaah divides Mankind in to four categories with regards to their knowledge of good and evil:
· There is the ‘Aalim: Who knows good inside out, and he knows evil inside out. So he calls to that which is good, and he warns against that which is evil. Because he is aware of both of these categories ‘ala baseerah – upon a clear knowledge. This is the highest category.
· The one who is aware of the good in general, but not aware of the evil that much: For example, they are aware of Tawheed and Sunnah, but they are not very aware of Shirk and Bid’ah. Therefore you may find that many of them may fall in to Bid’ah and shirk, because they don’t know the reality of these evil things. And if they do not know the reality of it, how can they avoid falling in to it? Only by a study of these evils, e.g. what are the signs of it, what are the conditions of it, can one avoid it. The majority of Mankind falls in to this category.
· Those who specialise in studying the evil, but do not have a strong ground in good: For example, they specialise in Christianity and other religions, but they don’t know their own ‘aqeedah that well. So for this reason, they have made many mistakes, even in their calling to Islam and their perception of Christianity. For example, they could easily quote you verses from the Bible, but they don’t study the Qur’an in great detail. This is the case of many of the ignorant Du’aat.
· The totally ignorant person: He who is not aware of the good or the evil. Because he is not aware of anything, he is like a feather in the wind. Wherever the wind blows, that’s where he will go. This is the lowest category.
So the true Taalib-ul-‘Ilm will study good, and act upon it. He will study evil, and he will stay away from it. The knowledge of evil is a fundamental principle of Islam. Not to call to it, not to fall into it, but to avoid it and know it. Only when you don’t know shirk, will you fall in to it. How will you even feel scared of falling in to Shirk, if you don’t know the dangers of it?
This is what is meant by knowledge of evil; the classifications, types, categories, history, futility and dangers of it – as Shirk is the greatest of evils. And also the evidences used by those who try to justify Shirk, and a refutation of those evidences. All of these points will be briefly touched upon, as this is an introductory class. InshaAllah this will act as a stepping stone. Once we realise that Tawheed is the most fundamental of all principles, and that Shirk is the most evil of all sins, we must also prove why it is important to study it. We are studying it to avoid it, much like a doctor studies diseases. Why? Not that they can spread the diseases, but they need to understand how the disease operates. They need to understand the mechanisms behind these diseases and viruses, so that they can combat them and find antidotes. And this is the same for the student of knowledge and da’ee. He studies evils for the same reason in mind.
The Definition of Shirk:
Every single word used in the Sharee’ah has a relationship with the linguistic meaning. For example, Zakaah linguistically means ‘purification’, so we know that the Zakaah that we pay purifies our money.
Linguistically: Comes from the three letter root: Shaa Raa Kaaf, which means
‘not to be alone’, or ‘to have more than one’. So that is why linguistically a partner is called ‘shareek’, and a company is called ‘Shurakaa’, because it is composed of a group of partners. So linguistically, Shaa-Raa-Kaa comes from the meaning which means ‘not be alone’, the opposite of ‘one’.
The Shar’ee (Legal) Definition: To make a partner along with Allah .
And the proofs for this definition are found in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
“…Then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth).”
[Al Baqara 2:22]
‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said, ‘I asked the Prophet, “What is the greatest sin in the sight of Allah?” He said, “That you set up a rival unto Allah though He Alone Created you.”’
[Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, No.4]
Another definition is: To give the created the Rights of the Creator.
The Dangers of Shirk
There are a number of dangers of Shirk; here we will only mention a few.
Number one: It is the only sin that if a person dies upon it, Allah will never forgive it. Notice the condition, ‘if he dies upon it’. Many people think that if a person commits Shirk once, then they are doomed forever. Most of the Sahaaba were mushrikeen before accepting Islam, yet Allah chose them to reach the height and peak of Mankind, because they rejected that Shirk and accepted Tawheed. The only way to remove the sin of Shirk is to accept Islam, but if a person dies upon Shirk, the sin will not be forgiven. Allah says;
“Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything less, to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.”
Side Note: So Allah does not forgive Shirk, but he forgives anything less than that. However, all Kuffar and Munafiqoon are not necessarily Mushrikoon. So will Allah forgive the Kuffar who are not Mushrikeen and the Munafiqoon? However, Allah said that He will forgive anything less than Shirk. Kufr is the opposite of Islam. You could be ahlul-Kitaab, or a Hindu, or you could believe in a philosophy without a god, or you could be an atheist. If you’re not a Muslim, then you’re a Kaafir. Of course, there are various levels of eemaan. But there is nothing between Islam and Kufr. Kufr is a broad category, and within Kufr there is a subcategory called Shirk. So every single Mushrik is a Kaafir, but not every Kaafir is a Mushrik. For example, cursing Allah and His Messenger is not Shirk, but it is Kufr. And within Kufr, you also have another circle called Nifaaq, so every single Munaafiq is a Kaafir. However, in this Dunya they are treated like Muslims, as we do not know what is in their hearts, so we give them the rights of Islam, but in the sight of Allah he is a Kaafir. Not every single Kaafir, though, is a Munaafiq. So once we understand this, the verse becomes clear. Allah will only forgive that which is less than Shirk, but the sin of Kufr, Nifaaq and Shirk are equivalent in that they are opposites of Islam. So Kufr and Nifaaq are included in this verse, as they are at the evil level of Shirk. If Shirk exists in your heart, you are not upon Tawheed. If Kufr exists in your heart, you are not upon Islam. If Nifaaq exists in your heart, you do not have eemaan. So all of these three concepts cannot exist in the heart of a believer. Therefore Allah mentions the most common type of Kufr and the most evil type of Kufr, because there are relative types of evil as well. For example, if a person kills one human being the penalty is death. And if a person kills 100 people the penalty is still death. Likewise, you look at it relatively; although Shirk is one of the most evil types of Kufr that does not mean that it is less evil than Shirk, and less punishable. So this is the first danger, that it is the only sin that if you die upon it, Allah will not forgive it.
Number two: The sin of Shirk causes a person to remain permanently in the Fire of Hell.
Number Three: Shirk makes it Haram for a person to enter Jannah.
“Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode.”
Number Four: When a person commits Shirk, and He dies in that state of Shirk, every single good deed that he has done will be destroyed.
“But it has already been revealed to thee - as it was to those before thee,- "If thou wert to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will be thy work (in life), and thou wilt surely be in the ranks of those who lose (all spiritual good)".
So no matter how much good a Mushrik does, it will be no good to him. All of his good deeds will be in vain. And this is without doubt one of the greatest evils of Shirk. That one act of Shirk, no matter how small, and it is not repented for, will cause a person’s entire life to be in vain.
Number Five: The life and property of a Mushrik holds no value, becomes halal, in the state of Jihad. Take note that this is only in the state of Jihad.
Allah’s Apostle said;
“I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer their prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity. So if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me…”
[Bukhari, Volume1, Book 2, No.24]
This means that if they don’t say ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’, their life and property are Halal for the Muslims. Now realise that this is only when there is an actual Jihad going on, and not in the West where there is no Jihad. Those people who say that this allowed, they are simply like the Khawaarij of old. The Prophet lived in Makkah for 13 years, and he didn’t do these types of acts, because this is not the time and place to do them. When there is an official Islamic state, and a Khaleefah, and he calls for Jihad and the Muslim army is behind him fighting with him that is the time. But this does not apply to the women, children, and monks and worshippers in the places of worship. It only applies to the one who is fighting you.
Number six: It is not allowed for a Muslim to ask forgiveness for a Mushrik.
“It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire.”
Notice how evil the sin of Shirk is, that you cannot even ask Allah to forgive the Mushrik once he dies in that state, even if it is your mother or father. This is why Allah’s Messenger was prohibited from asking Allah forgiveness for his own parents, as occurs in the authentic hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim. And the same applied to Abu Talib.
Number Seven: The Mushrikoon are described as impure. Allahu says;
“…Truly the Pagans are unclean…”
He describes them with a spiritual filthiness which can only be purified through Tawheed. Notice the severity of the word ‘Najas’, a filthy, impure, dirty substance. This impurity is spiritual and not physical.
These are just some of dangers of Shirk.
Categories of Shirk
You can categorise something in a number of ways, and there will be no contradiction between them. For example, you can categorise a car based upon its colour, model, company, and there is no contradiction between each categorisation scheme. Therefore, we shall discuss various schemes of categorising Shirk, and there is no contradiction between each one. They are simply from different perspectives. The types of Shirk are too many to count, so we shall just mention the categorisations of Shirk so that all the different kinds of Shirk can be put under these categories. The following are the main schemes used to categorise Shirk.
Scheme No.1: Categorisation based upon Tawheed:
Side Note: The categorisation of any concept in and of itself is not a Bid’ah, as long as the basis for this categorisation is found in the Qur’an and Sunnah. For example, usool al-fiqh, hadeeth, mustalah, tafseer, were not divided by the Prophet , but the ‘Ullemaa of Islam, without exception, accepted these categorisations as the basis of these sciences is found in the Qur’an.
Ruboobiyyah – To believe in Allah’s Lordship, that He is the Creator, The Sustainer, the Giver of Life and the Grantor of Death. So there is only one Rabb, and that is Allah .
Shirk in Ruboobiyyah can be done in a number of ways.
§ Shirk at-Ta’teel: To completely deny that there is a Rabb, e.g. the atheists and the communists. Therefore they have gone against Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah, because they have denied the existence of a Rabb.
§ To add on other Lords besides Allah, or to distort Ruboobiyyah, and this can be done in a number of ways:
o To deny completely the Names and Attributes of Allah, while affirming His existence. This goes against Ruboobiyyah, as part of Ruboobiyyah is to believe that Allah is the Khaaliq and the Raaziq. This is what the philosophers of the past did, the Jahmiyyah, and also the Mu’tazilah to a certain extent.
o To substitute a false Rabb in the place of the real Rabb, e.g. Fir’awn said “Ana rabbukumal A’la”.
o To deny the reality of His separate and perfect existence, i.e. pantheism, and wahdatul-wujood, this was held by heretics such as al-Hallaj and ibn Arabi.
o Adding another Rabb besides Allah, such as the Zoroastrians. They believe in two rabbs. This is the only practiced religion that believed in two rabbs, two sustainers, and two creators – the god of evil, and the god of good.
Uloohiyyah – To believe that all forms of worship should be for Allah alone. Shirk in Uloohiyyah is that you direct an act of worship that is the right of Allah – such as du’a, Salah, divine fear, divine hope, sacrifice, making Tawaf around something or hajj - to other than Allah . Shirk in Uloohiyyah exists amongst Mankind in two primary ways.
§ That they worship Allah, and other than Allah. So sometimes they worship Allah, and sometimes they worship other than Allah, e.g. the Christians who believe in trinity.
§ That they worship other than Allah all the time, e.g. some of the extreme sects who always make du’a to other than Allah when they make du’a, and Buddhists.
Asmaa wa Siffaat – To make unique Allah’s Names and Attributes, and follow the principles of the Salaf in this matter. Shirk in Asmaa wa Siffaat can occur in two ways.
§ Comparing Allah to the creation, like the Jews and the Christians – they say Allah ‘forgot’ or became ‘tired’.
§ Comparing the creation to Allah, which is common in some of the extreme sects, e.g. ‘Our Imam controls everything’, ‘Our Saints has ‘Ilmul-Ghayb’, ‘Our Imam hears our du’a anywhere in the world’.
Scheme No.2: Categorisation based upon major and minor Shirk
Shirk Akbar: To give the created the Rights of the Creator.
Shirk Asghar: Whatever the Sharee’ah has called minor Shirk, and doesn’t take you outside the fold of Islam, e.g. Riyaa, to give an oath by other than Allah.
There are five major differences between Shirk Asghar and Shirk Akbar.
· Shirk Akbar takes you outside the fold of Islam, whereas Shirk Asghar does not take you outside the fold of Islam, but shows a weakness in eemaan and is one of the signs of a hypocrite.
· Shirk Akbar necessitates a permanent residence in the Fire of Hell. As for Shirk Asghar, the correct opinion is that it is up to the Will of Allah, and if He Wishes to forgive it He can, and if He Wishes it to Punish the servant He can, though eventually the person will be removed from the Fire of Hell.
· Shirk Akbar can never be forgiven by Allah, unless the person accepts Islam. As for Shirk Asghar, it is up to Allah whether He will forgive that sin.
· Shirk Akbar destroys all of a person’s good deeds, whereas Shirk Asghar only destroys that particular sin where it occurred, e.g. a single prayer with Riyaa does not negate every single Salah.
· Shirk Akbar makes a person’s life and property Halal for the Mujahideen in the state of Jihad, whereas Shirk Asghar does not.
Tawheed Preceded Shirk
The original ruling was that Mankind was upon Tawheed, and Shirk came after that. There are three basic evidences for this.
No.1: The Fitrah
The human Fitrah is the innate nature that Allah created in all of us.
Allah’s Messenger said,
“Every child is born with true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allah alone), but his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Zoroastrianism. As an animal delivers a perfect baby animal, do you find it mutilated?”
[Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, No.440]
The basis for this Fitrah is the mithaaq, the covenant that Allah took from all of Mankind when Adam was created, as is reported in the authentic hadeeth in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee, al-Haakim and others. However, the mithaaq was removed from our memory, as this would cause the test of this life to be futile. However, it is still in our Fitrah. Therefore, the reminisce of the mithaaq is still in our Fitrah. That is why Islam is so appealing. The proof for this is in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Allah says;
“When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yea! We do testify!" (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful"”
That is why the majority of people who lived between two Prophets will go to Hellfire if they died upon Shirk, even if they did not get the message of the new Prophet. This is because they went against their own Fitrah. And the proof for this is that there existed people in their time that left Idol worshipping, and they were called Hunafaa. Therefore, they realised by their Fitrah that these Idol worshippers were upon dhalaalah; misguidance.
And the incident of mithaaq is recorded by Imam Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee, at-Tirmidhee, al-Haakim, Abu Dawood, at-Tabaraani and so many other books of hadeeth, from over six companions. And the ‘Allaamah, the Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaanee has a very good discussion of this, and made a very good takhreej of these narrations in his Silsilatal-Hadeeth as-Saheehah No.1623, which is one of the best discussions found.
The Fitrah means we have a general knowledge of the Sharee’ah, but not a detailed knowledge. For example, every single human being knows that murder, lying, cheating, and stealing is wrong. This is why every society, even the most ruthless, has similar prohibitions of these things. This is the first evidence.
No.2: The First Man
We know that the first man to exist was Adam u, who was a Prophet and servant of Allah that was upon Tawheed, so it is impossible for Shirk to have existed before that in Mankind.
“Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of 'Imran above all people.”
So he would have taught his children Tawheed, and they would have taught that to their children. This is another basic proof.
No.3: The people of Nooh
We know that the first people to commit Shirk were the people of Nooh . Ibn ‘Abbaas narrates in the Mustadrak of al-Haakim that between Adam and Nooh were ten generations; all of them were upon the sharee’ah and Tawheed. Then they differed (in to shirk) amongst themselves, so Allah sent Nooh . It says in the Qur’an;
“And they have said (to each other), 'Abandon not your gods: Abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa', neither Yaguth nor Ya'uq, nor Nasr'”
And ibn ‘Abbaas narrates, in Saheeh Bukhari, that concerning this verse, that these five people were five pious people. When they died Shaytaan come to that generation and said, ‘Are you not grieved that your companions have died?’ They said, ‘Yes we are’. So Shaytaan replied, ‘Should I not make images of them, so that when you see them, they will remind you of their worship of Allah? Should I not place it in the Qibla, so that when you face the Qibla you will see them and remember Allah?’ They said, ‘No, don’t place it in our Qibla.’ This was because their Fitrah told them that this was something bad. They said, ‘Face it to our backs.’ So Shaytaan did that for them. And then that generation passed away. And when later generations came, shaytaan came to them in the form of an old man and said, ‘What are these statues in your places of worship?’ They said, ‘We found that our fathers had them, so we have them as well.’ So shaytaan said, ‘Verily your forefathers used to worship these idols, therefore you should worship them as well.’ So they started worshipping these idols, and this became the first Shirk that was started by Mankind. And that was when Allah sent Nooh . The basis of Shirk started in the time of Nooh , when they exaggerated the status of five righteous people, and this is the basis of Shirk all over the world.
However, many of the modern-day anthropologists claim that first there was Shirk, and then there was Tawheed, i.e. the tribes started off with idol-worshipping, and then they worked their way up to monotheism. And this is the commonly held belief today. What gave rise to this type of idea is Darwinism. This is a rotten fruit of Darwinism, which is the belief that Mankind evolved from something primitive in to something superior. They have two basic evidences for this.
Firstly: archaeological excavations
They dig up an ancient civilisation, and find an idol. So this leads them to the belief that Shirk existed before Tawheed.
We can refute this in a simple manner. You are never going to find an archaeological excavation that brings up Tawheed, as Tawheed negates Idols. You are never going to find an idol or picture of Tawheed, so their whole point makes very little sense. Just because some of the civilisations they have found were upon Shirk, this does not mean that every single generation or civilisations before that were similarly upon Shirk. So there is no proof here.
And secondly, they cannot prove that these were the first of Mankind. If they dig up an excavation in a valley in Iraq and find idols there, then all they have proved is that 3000 years ago, in a valley of Iraq, idols were worshipped. This is it, and nothing more. They can only specify it to that particular time, and that particular place. You cannot generalise it to all of Mankind at that time, or the people before that.
They make Qiyaas (analogy) upon the primitive tribes of Africa, and the Aborigine tribes and they find that they are upon Shirk, so they come to the conclusion that our great ancestors must have been upon Shirk as well.
However, in order to draw analogies there needs to be some similarities. What gives you the right to draw analogies between earlier nations, and the tribe of Africa today, simply because technology hasn’t reached these current tribes? Technology is not a similarity that makes your religion the same as well. You can find nations that are not technologically advanced, yet they are upon Tawheed. In Arabic, this type of Qiyaas is called ‘Qiyaas ma’al saariq’, meaning a Qiyaas that has no basis. There is no basis in comparing apples to oranges. So in reality, these people have turned away from the revelations of Allah, and relied upon their own understandings. Therefore they have gone astray, and fallen in to ideas and methodologies which are contrary to the Qur’an and Sunnah. All of this, because they do not rely upon the inspiration from Allah .
The Futility of Shirk
The dangers of Shirk are different than the futility. The futility of something can be compared to taking a road that does not lead to your desired destination. Shirk combines both dangers and futility, it is ‘Baatil’. It does not make any sense.
The futility of Shirk can be proven in four ways.
You can divide the ways that Allah has shown the futility of Shirk in to three categories.
§ By using Ruboobiyyah to prove the futility of Shirk, i.e., since Allah is the one who created you, sustained you, and since Allah controls everything, it is absolutely useless to turn to other than Allah. Once you admit that Allah is your Rabb, then why do you turn to other than Him? This does not make any sense. This can be shown in the following ayaat;
“If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law), they will certainly reply, "Allah". How are they then deluded away (from the truth)?”
“And if indeed thou ask them who it is that sends down rain from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death, they will certainly reply, "Allah!" Say, "Praise be to Allah!" But most of them understand not.”
§ By giving examples in the Qur’an:
“He does propound to you a similitude from your own (experience): do ye have partners among those whom your right hands possess, to share as equals in the wealth We have bestowed on you? Do ye fear them as ye fear each other? Thus do we explain the Signs in detail to a people that understand.”
So Allah gives the example of a slave who has one owner, and a slave who has many owners. Which one will make more sense? The slave who has many owners will not be able satisfy any of the owners, as the demands will be too many.
“Being true in faith to Allah, and never assigning partners to Him: if anyone assigns partners to Allah, it as if he had fallen from heaven and been snatched up by birds, or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prey) and thrown him into a far-distant place.”
Ibnul-Qayyim explains the above ayah. He says that Allah compares Tawheed with the heavens, and He compares Shirk with falling down from the vast, wide and beautiful heavens to the lowest of the earths. And He compares one’s desires to the wind, where ever his desires take him; he will follow it, like a feather in the wind. And He compares the shayateen to the birds. Every single shaytaan gets a piece of the flesh, and they are happy with him. So the punishment is in this entire ayah; the man falling to his death, the wind blowing him to a far away a place and the birds plucking at his meat.
“O men! Here is a parable set forth! Listen to it! Those on whom, besides Allah, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition!”
Ibnul Qayyim says this is the most powerful analogy in the Qur’an, with regards to Shirk. Allah is saying that all of these idols, if theoretically they were to combine together, they could not create the smallest of creation; a small fly. Therefore, what about Allah who is One, and has Created the fly, and everything besides it? So who has more of a right to be worshipped? And Allah states that if this fly were to take something very small and miniscule from them, these idols would not be able to take it from it. So know that scientists will never be able to create anything. What they see as creation is not creation. They cannot create something from nothing, and give it life. And till this day, a scientist would not be able to take back a crumb of bread from a fly, after it has eaten it. Look at the beautiful analogy here. How can an object that cannot even protect itself from a fly, how can it protect you from a fly, or anything greater than that?
§ Through the stories of the previous nations:
“Say: "Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before (you): Most of them worshipped others besides Allah."”
Allah is telling us to look around us, and see the end of the previous nations. So of what use is Shirk when the end result will be destruction in this Dunyaa and in the Aakhirah?
2. The Sunnah
There are many ahadeeth that show the futility of Shirk. I shall quote one as an example.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Tirmidhi have narrated from al-Harith al-Ash’ari that the Prophet said, that Yahya ibn Zakariya said to Bani Isra’eel;
‘Verily, God, Blessed and Exalted, has commanded me with five words to act upon and to call on you to act upon it. The first of them is that you worship God and associate none with Him. For verily, the one who associates partners with God is like the man who buys a servant with his won wealth, be it gold or silver, and says to him, ‘This is my house and this is the work I have for you. So do it and render me its fruits.’ But the servant does it and renders the fruits to another. Which of you would be pleased with such a servant?’
The analogy is clear. Allah created you, and gave you your rizq, your house, and everything that you have. Is it proper then that you should worship other than Allah, through hope, fear, love, awe, du’a and all other types of worship? So in this way, the futility of Shirk is shown in the Sunnah.
3. The Fitrah
“"It would not be reasonable in me if I did not serve Him Who created me upon the Fitrah, and to Whom ye shall (all) be brought back.”
So the human Fitrah knows the futility of Shirk, and this is because of the Mithaaq.
4. ‘Aql/Common sense
Allah is the One who Created you. Does it not make sense to worship only Him?
“Is then He Who creates like one that creates not? Will ye not receive admonition?”
Are the two the same? Indeed, they are not. So when almost all of creation affirms that Allah is the Khaliq, how can they compare the Khaliq with the makhlooq (created)? How can they compare God to Jesus? How can they compare the Supreme Being with any other beings? When you realise that Allah is the Khaliq, then does it make sense to worship anything else?
The Most Important Reasons for Shirk
This is the most important reason, without a doubt. Exaggeration of righteous people and their status is a type of Ghuloo. The most obvious proof for this is that the first incident of Shirk occurred due to the exaggeration of pious people, during the time of the people of Nooh . This was the start of Shirk; the exaggeration of saints. And saint worship is the biggest cause of Shirk today, amongst the Muslims and the Catholics, and the Catholics are notorious for this. The Muslims are no different, wherever you go in certain countries you will find a grave that is worshipped besides Allah. You will find that people make pilgrimages to this grave, and seek barakah from it, and they will actually make sajdah to this grave. Every third masjid has a grave in it, and the central theme of attraction is not the masjid but the grave, and people will come from far and wide just to worship this grave. And originally this person may have been a pious person, Allah knows best, but in general, most of them were people who did not fear Allah. As for ‘AbdulQaadir Jeylaani, we know nothing but good from him and his history, and we hope that he was indeed pious. But as for the Shirk that is associated with him today, he did not preach this. Rather, it was something his followers started. In our times, his grave is now a place of worship, an exaggeration of saints. Just like the people of Nooh did. That is why Ghuloo has explicitly been mentioned in the Qur’an;
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion.”
This is because this is what the people of the book did; they exaggerated the status of Men and directed worship towards them. They put ‘Easa ibn Maryam above his status. Likewise, the Prophet said, ‘Those who exaggerate will be destroyed.’
The Callers to Shirk/Baatil
Of the examples of this is when Abu Talib approached death;
Narrated Sa’id ibn al-Musaiyab from his father:
‘When the time of death of Abu Talib approached, Allah’s Apostle went to him and found Abu Jahl ibn Hisham and ‘Abdullah ibn Abee Umaiya ibn al-Mughira by his side. Allah’s Apostle said to Abu Talib, “O Uncle! Say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, a sentence with which I shall be a witness for you before Allah.’ Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah ibn Abee Umaiya said, “O Abu Talib! Are you going to denounce the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib?” Allah’s Apostle kept on inviting Abu Talib to say it (i.e. ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah) while they (Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah) kept on repeating their statement till Abu Talib said as his last statement that he was on the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib and refused to say, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’
[Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 442]
So Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah ibn Abee Umaiya were amongst the callers to Baatil. So, as can be seen from above, this is one of the primary reasons for Shirk in this Dunya. In our times, we have ‘Ullemaa who have PhDs from various universities and institutions who are openly calling to Shirk, such as du’a to other than Allah, sacrificing to other than Allah, doing sajdah to other than Allah, and undertaking pilgrimages for other than the sake of Allah . These people may have studied for decades, and appear to be very pious, i.e. long beards, wearing turbans etc. Yet they are Du’aat al-Baatil. These people can deceive others through not only their appearance, but also because they are fine orators and have eloquent speech, and through the use of weak and fabricated ahadeeth. So therefore the people are convinced by them. And that is why the Prophet said, ‘There will come a time when there will be callers to the gates of Hellfire. These people are shayateen in human form.’ This is because Shayateen are of two types:
(i) Shayateen of the Jinn
(ii) Shayateen of the Ins (Mankind)
The majority of Shayateen fall in to the first category. However, there are some human beings, who are of normal birth, and their form is the form of a human, yet they are so evil that they are classified as shayateen, and amongst them are the callers of Baatil.
For example, ‘My father did it, so he must have been right’; ‘My ancestors did it so it must have been right’. And this is exactly the excuse of the Mushrikeen, throughout history and the generations; ‘We found our forefathers upon this, and we are going to follow their beliefs’.
“Nay! They say: "We found our fathers following a certain religion, and we do guide ourselves by their footsteps."
Just in the same way, whenever We sent a Warner before thee to any people, the wealthy ones among them said: "We found our fathers following a certain religion, and we will certainly follow in their footsteps."”
“When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! We shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?”
They said they would only follow what their fathers did. And this is also very common today. Those of us who are immigrants will have witnessed that this is used an excuse for committing Shirk in their native lands. And these excuses are the same excuses that the Mushrikeen of old used. Even though you are Muslims InshaAllah, don’t use this as an excuse to justify anything. It is stated in the Qur’an;
“He said: "What! Even if I brought you better guidance than that which ye found your fathers following?" They said: "For us, we deny that ye (prophets) are sent (on a mission at all)."”
So this evidence can be refuted, by reminding the Muslims that this was the same excuse used by the Mushrikeen of old, and this also the same reason that Abu Talib did not accept Islam. It was because of this ‘Asabiyyah, this Jahiliyyah this ancestral pride, that he did not accept Islam, and was therefore sentenced to Hellfire. This was also the case of the people of Nooh. As was stated previously, Shaytaan came to them with a lie, and told them that their ancestors worshipped those statues. And this lie was a sufficient enough reason to worship the statues, because of their ancestral pride.
Shaytaan’s Beautification of Shirk
Shaytaan tries to beautify Shirk to Mankind through his ways and means. And we find this clearly in the case of Nooh. What excuse did Shaytaan use for creating the idols? He used the excuse of Tawheed, so that they may be reminded of Tawheed when they looked at the idols. Yet he knew in the long term that it was likely to result in idol-worship. So Shaytaan started off by beautifying Shirk, so that people would fall in to it step by step. This why it is absolutely forbidden to have 3D statues and idols, and 2D hand drawn images of animals and humans. These are without a doubt Haram. And the main reason is because it leads to Shirk.
Shaytaan makes evil deeds, and in this case Shirk, seem beautiful. And he makes excuses, brings about doubts and Shubuhaat and Shahawaat, so that these callers to evil have evidences to use, e.g. fabricated ahadeeth, perverted ideas and concepts.
Incorrect parables and analogies are a very common cause of Shirk. An often used example is, ‘Just like the King, you cannot approach the King directly. The King is too holy, too noble to be approached directly. So you must go through people to approach the King. So too is Allah (wa A’udhubillah), like Nabi-Allah Muhammad , ‘AbdulQaadir Jeylaani, Moinudin Chisti, etc. and they will take up your du’a to Allah for you.’ There are many other types of analogies as well.
However, our religion is not based upon analogies. It is based upon the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah, and we only use Qiyaas when it is in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah, not when it refutes the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah. When Allah says, ‘Worship Me alone’, you cannot make up a Qiyaas to go against this.
Here are some other reasons, briefly listed:
· Lying upon Allah
· Following your desires
· Not realising who Allah is
If someone understood the Asmaa and Sifaat of Allah, there is no way that he could fall in to Shirk.
What is the Ruling on the Person Who Commits Shirk
Here we have to differentiate between someone who claims ‘Laa Ilaaha illallaah Muhammad ar-Rasulullah’ (i.e. someone who claims he is a Muslim), and someone who does not claim to be a Muslim. Someone who claims to be a Jew, or a Christian or an Atheist, you don’t need to dwell on this, he is a Kaafir and he admits it. So there is no problem then. When a person says ‘I am a Christian’, the person in question has admitted to the takfeer, and has admitted to being outside the fold of Islam.
The problem arises when someone says, ‘I am a Muslim, Laa ilaaha illallaah Muhammad ar-Rasulullah’, and then you find him committing acts of Shirk or Kufr, e.g. making du’a to the graves, making sajdah to the graves, calling out to other than Allah – like saying, “Ya ‘Ali!” or “Ya Muhammad!”; calling out to other than Allah is major Shirk. To find out the ruling on this person can be a very tricky and problematic issue. The reason being that pronouncing takfeer on a Muslim is a very serious issue. If you say that ‘So-and-so is a Kaafir’, you are saying that they will remain in the fire of Hell forever. You are saying that when he dies his relatives will not be able to inherit from him. You are saying that when he dies, he will not be given a ghusl, and the Muslims will not pray for him. You are saying that when he dies he will not be buried in a Muslim graveyard. And even when he is alive, he does not receive the rights of the Muslims, such as the salutations of peace when you meet him, visiting when sick etc. So you are breaking of the rights of Islam when you say ‘So-and-so is a Kaafir’. It’s a very immense thing, however this all too common in our times. We find people saying, ‘Fulaan is a Kaafir’, ‘this group are Kuffar’, etc. And the fundamental rule here is that pronouncing takfeer is not something the average layman should do. He is not responsible for this, so leave it to the ‘Ullemaa. Stay away from it, as the dangers of takfeer are too much. The Prophet said;
‘If a man says to his brother, “O Kaafir!” Then surely one of them is such (i.e., a Kaafir).’
[Saheeh Bukhari, Vol. 8, Book 73, No. 125]
In other words, if you call someone a Kaafir who is not a Kaafir, that curse will come back to you. Therefore, it is a major sin to call another Muslim a Kaafir. So it is not something trivial or meaningless that we should play around with. So therefore it is clear, that it is imperative that we differentiate between someone who admits that they are not Muslim, e.g. John, or Matthew who profess they are Christians, and someone who claims to be Muslim, e.g. Zayd, Ahmad or Mustafa and says ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’, yet commits major Shirk. And many of us cannot distinguish between bid’ah, kufr and Shirk in its practical form. Something that is bid’ah is not necessarily Shirk or kufr, and neither is something that is kufr necessarily Shirk, though none of these things are trivial matters. Therefore, when we cannot even distinguish between these things, it is better and safer to remain quiet, and say ‘Laa adree, - I don’t know’. The same applies when we go to countries where Shirk is rampant. We must not pronounce takfeer upon the people who are involved in this, as there is an ikhtilaaf amongst the major ‘Ullemaa whether ignorance is an excuse for committing major Shirk. And most of the Muslims who commit major Shirk do not know that they are committing major Shirk. They are simply blindly following their grand ‘Ullemaa and muftis. So whichever is the correct opinion, it is not the job of the layman to pronounce takfeer on those who claim to be Muslims. Leave it, just call them to Tawheed. Don’t worry about the labels on their bodies, as that is between them and Allah . Allah will judge them; it is simply our responsibility to call those around us to Tawheed.
The Most Important Evidences Used to Justify Shirk
This section covers the most important evidences used by the mushrikeen to try to justify Shirk. This is mainly focused on those who claim to be Muslims, yet are doing major acts of Shirk. The refutations for these ‘evidences’ will also follow.
1. Belief in Ruboobiyyah
They say, ‘We believe that Allah is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Provider, so how can you say we are committing Shirk?’
For example, when you are giving da’wah to a Muslim who is committing Shirk, and calling him to Tawheed, the first thing he will say is, ‘Why are you calling me to Tawheed? I am already upon Tawheed! I believe in Allah, that He is the Khaaliq, the Raaziq, and that He is All-Powerful.’ Yet, this was the ‘aqeedah of the mushrikeen at the time of the Prophet . This was the ‘aqeedah of the same people whom the Prophet fought, killed and took as captives and slaves. They believed and they affirmed that there is no creator except Allah, no sustainer except Allah, no power except by the will of Allah. And this is mentioned in many verses in the Qur’an;
“Say: "To whom belong the earth and all beings therein? (say) if ye know!"
They will say, "To Allah!" say: "Yet will ye not receive admonition?"
Say: "Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and the Lord of the Throne Supreme?"
They will say, "(They belong) to Allah." Say: "Will ye not then be filled with awe?"
Say: "Who is it in whose hands is the governance of all things,- who protects (all), but is not protected (of any)? (say) if ye know."
They will say, "(It belongs) to Allah." Say: "Then how are ye deluded?"”
So here, we can see that they had a firm belief in Ruboobiyyah; that Allah is One, that Allah exists, Allah is the Khaaliq, Allah is the Raaziq, Allah is the Rabb. And they affirmed that you turn to Allah for protection. Yet, they rejected Allah. And they did this by not directing their worship to Allah alone.
So when this person comes and says, ‘I believe in Laa Ilaaha illallaah’, say ‘No, you believe in Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah, not in Uloohiyyah. And Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah is exactly what the Arabs of Jahiliyyah believed, such as Abu Jahl and Abu Lahb, and yet that was not sufficient for them to be accepted as Muslims.’ So, they believed in Allah, and that He is the Rabb, yet this was not sufficient for the Prophet to call it Islam. So to summarise this evidence, this understanding of Tawheed is that ‘There is no creator except Allah’, which is the same understanding that the Mushrikeen had. The understanding of Laa ilaaha illallaah is ‘There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah’. ‘Ilaah’ means ‘A-Ma’bood – the one that is worshipped’ and ‘Ilaah’ does not mean ‘Al Khaaliq – the one that creates’. So, once you present the ayaat similar to the ones above, and he is open minded InshaAllah, you show them that this is the same ideology that they have.
Another point that is usually made is that one is not worshipping these people in the grave, or whomever they direct their du’a to, but they are merely using them as a means of intercession. They claim that they are too sinful to ask of Allah directly, and that these people whom they direct their du’a to are pious and holy, so they merely take them as a means for their du’a to reach Allah. So they make a distinction between what they are doing and what the Mushrikeen at the time of the Prophet are doing, i.e. worshipping idols.
However, this is exactly what the Mushrikeen used to do. The Mushrikoon used to worship these idols in order for these idols to take their demands up to Allah. They did not intend to make their worship directly to these idols, but they actually intended for it to go up to Allah through these idols. Which is exactly the claim made in this point. The proof for this is in the following verse;
“Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say): "We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah." Truly Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But Allah guides not such as are false and ungrateful.”
This verse is very explicit. So these people turned to the idols such as al-Laat, Al-Manaat and al-‘Uzza to come closer to Allah. So it is clear that they did not intend to worship them as their final destination, but rather they worshipped them in order to reach Allah . So when a person does this through saints; through ‘Awliyaa, through Prophets; through Anbiyaa, through Angels; through Malaa’ika, it is exactly the same thing.
3. The object of worship
Another excuse that is used is that the Mushrikeen worshipped idols, yet they are going to pious people, such as the Prophet , ‘AbdulQaadir Jeylaani, al-Badawi, etc. Are you comparing al-Laat and al-‘Uzza to The Prophet ? And when this question is posed, the person may become very angry, as he sees this as an affront to his love of the Prophet . So you explain to this person that love of the Prophet is shown through obedience to his example, not disobedience.
“Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."”
When the Prophet came, there were various groups of people on the earth, and he was sent to all of Mankind. There were various religions at that time. Some of the Arabs worshipped rocks, some of them worshipped the sun and the moon, some of them worshipped the Angels. Some of them, such as the Christians worshipped ‘Easa ibn Maryam. Some of them, such as the Jews, worshipped ‘Uzayr. Did the Prophet distinguish between those who worshipped ‘Easa ibn Maryam, and those who worshipped al-Laat and al-‘Uzza? Or did he say that all of them are Kuffar, and if they do not accept Islam they will go to the fire of Hell? In other words, did the Prophet distinguish between the objects of worship? Did he say that the one who worship al-Laat and al-‘Uzza will go to Hellfire and the one who worships ‘Easa ibn Maryam will enter paradise? Or did he say, ‘And there is none of the Jews and Christians that hears about me and does not believe in me, except that he goes to the Fire of Hell’? He did not distinguish between any of the Kuffaar and their objects of worship, so why should we? It is irrelevant who you worship other than Allah. The fact that you are worshipping other than Allah is Shirk. You can worship Shaytaan or you can worship Jibreel, yet both are Shirk, though one is more despicable than the other. Did not the Prophet say,
“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So call me the Slave of Allah and His Apostle.”
[Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, No.654]
Note: the Shirk of the people in our time is worse than the Shirk of the people at the time of the Prophet . This is because the Mushrikeen of the past committed Shirk in times of ease, and worshipped Allah sincerely at times of hardship. This is proven in the ayah;
“And when they board a ship, they supplicate to Allah, sincere to Him in religion [i.e. faith and hope]. But when He delivers them to the land, at once they associate others with Him.”
However, the Mushrikeen of our time are always committing Shirk in ease and in hardship. Their Shirk is continuous. They are always directing their du’a to other than Allah.
4. The Intercession is True
They point out that the intercession has been granted to the Prophet , therefore they are asking the Prophet for something he has been given.
However, the Prophet is not alive anymore. He has entered the Barzakh, which is a separate life, and therefore he cannot communicate with us and neither can we communicate with him. When he was alive, then it would have been easy for you to ask him to make du’a for you. The sahaba would ask the Prophet to make du’a for them whilst they were alive. But once the Prophet passed away, the sahaba never asked the Prophet to make du’a for them, although there are a couple of fabricated ( without a shadow of a doubt) ahadeeth that suggest otherwise. So it is not narrated in a Saheeh or Hasan hadeeth that the sahaba came to the Prophet’s grave and asked him for something.
Furthermore, the intercession is a right of Allah .
“Say: "To Allah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) intercession: to Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: In the End, it is to Him that ye shall be brought back."”
So the Prophet will intercede by the permission of Allah, on behalf of those whom Allah has told him to intercede for. This is the key point here; the Prophet will not choose those whom he will intercede for. Rather, this is in the control of Allah completely. And it is related in an authentic hadeeth, that at the time of intercession;
‘So they will come to me and I will proceed till I will ask my Lord’s Permission and I will be given permission. When I see my Lord, I will fall down in Prostration and He will let me remain in that state as long as He wishes and then I will be addressed, ‘(Muhammad!) Raise your head. Ask, and your request will be granted. Say, and your speech will be listened to. Intercede, and your intercession will be accepted.’ I will raise my head and praise Allah with a saying He will teach me, and then I will intercede. He will fix a limit for me (to intercede for).’
[Bukhari, Vol. 6, Book 60, No. 3]
So Allah will choose who will be interceded for, and who will intercede – everything goes back to Allah. The intercession is a means of showing mercy to those who are being interceded for, and it is a means of honouring those who interceded (e.g. the Prophet ).
So when we hear the adhaan, we pray to Allah to give the Prophet the ‘Waseelah’ and the ‘Fadheelah’, and the ‘Maqaam al-Mahmoud’. So in other words, we pray to Allah to bless the Prophet with the Shafaa’ah, we do not pray to the Prophet to make intercession for us. So this du’a is made to Allah.
5. The saying of ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’
They say that whoever says ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ is a Mu’min, and they know this from Mutwaatir ahadeeth. Therefore, how can one use the evidences against the Mushrikeen against a believer?
However, it is not the verbalisation of ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’, but the implementation that makes you a believer. If we were to go up to a Kaafir, and asked them to repeat the kalimah, would that make them a believer? Of course not. Why? Because he has not actualised and implemented it. So only if you act upon the kalimah does he become saved from the fire of Hell. If you commit Shirk you have gone against the basis of Laa ilaaha illallaah. This is because Laa ilaaha illallaah has certain connotations and meanings that come with it. And these must be believed in and acted upon.
Also the scholars have a consensus that if a person verbalises Laa ilaaha illallaah, then commits an act of Shirk or Kufr, then that statement is negated. So if a person says Laa ilaaha illallaah, then intentionally shows disrespect to the Qur’an, then by unanimous consensus of all of the scholars of all of the madhaahib, this person is a murtad. Why is this? Because even though he said Laa ilaaha illallaah, he committed an act of kufr which negated this statement.
6. The Hadeeth of Intercession
In the hadeeth of intercession in Saheeh Bukhari, Mankind will approach some of the Prophets to make intercession for them. So some people pose the question, why can’t we approach the Prophet now to make intercession for us?
Firstly, these Prophets will be alive at this time, and they will also be present in front of the people. So this is as if they are alive in front of you. So this is similar to what the companions used to do at the time of the Prophet , i.e. asked him to make du’a for them. So this is completely different to us being in this world, and the Prophet being in the Barzakh. That is two separate lives, and we have no communication with that life. Therefore it is not permissible for us to ask of him whilst he is in another life. And this is why none of the Salaf-as-Salih would do this type of thing. Therefore, this analogy is not correct, because it goes against the well-known fact that the dead cannot hear us as they are in a different type of life.
Side note: Tawassul
This is not necessarily related to Shirk, but rather it is a type of minor Shirk and bid’ah. This is using the status of the Prophet to ask Allah . For example, a person says, ‘O Allah! I ask you by the status of the Prophet to grant me this and that’. So you do Tawassul using the status of the Prophet . This, however, is a bid’ah. The proof for this is that du’a is a type of worship, and anything that we do in terms of ‘Ibaadah must have evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah. And there are no authentic evidences that state we should ask Allah through the status of the Prophet . Therefore this is an innovation. Not only this, but it is an innovation that will lead to Shirk, because you are raising the status of the Prophet .
Secondly, the status of the Prophet is absolutely irrelevant to you and your du’a. That will not effect whether or not your du’a is answered, as it is not pertinent to you and your request. Indeed the Prophet has a high status in the Sight of Allah, and the Prophet is more beloved to Allah than the rest of Mankind, but of what relationship is this to your du’a? It is more appropriate that you say, ‘O Allah! I ask you by my following of the Prophet’s Sunnah!’ Because your love and following of the Prophet is a form of worship, so this would be a form of making Tawassul through your good deeds, which is permissible. So even from a logical perspective, making Tawassul through the Prophet’s status does not make sense.
There are several forms of Tawassul which are permissible in Islam.
· The first way is asking Allah through His Names and Attributes, such as ‘Ya Ghaffaar! Forgive me! Ya Rahman! Have mercy upon me! Ya Raaziq! Sustain me!’
· The second way of making Tawassul which is permissible is what was mentioned before; making Tawassul through your good deeds. An example of this would be saying, ‘O Allah! I gave charity sincerely for your sake on such-and-such day, and I did this in seclusion. O Allah! You know that I was in need of that money, yet I gave it purely for Your sake, so please give me such-and-such’.
· The third way is mentioning your situation. For example, ‘O Allah! I have been wronged!’ Or saying, ‘Ya Allah! I am all alone in a strange land.’ So you use your situation and complain to Allah like Moosa did;
"O my Lord! Truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that Thou dost send me!"
This is a form of making Tawassul through your own situation.
· A fourth way of making permissible Tawassul is asking a living Muslim whom you believe is pious and God-fearing, with whom you can communicate by natural means (i.e. the person is in front of you, or you communicate by telephone, email, etc.), and you ask them to make du’a for you. However, there is a condition, which is that you also make du’a for yourself and you do not place your trust in them. This type of Tawassul goes against the perfection of eemaan, but it does not go against eemaan in general, as it is permissible.
Some other ‘Ullemaa give other examples which can be found in the Qur’an and Sunnah, but in order for it to be permissible it is necessary that it be found in the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah.