Types of Shirk


Surah Al-Baqarah-2:22.

Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy,

and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you.

Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship)

while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped).



There are Two types of Shirk

Major Shirk

There are various aspects of Tawheed, thus Shirk would oppose the very aspects of Tawheed. Shirk is committed when one ascribes any of the aspects of Tawheed to any other, than Allah subhana wa taala. Thus, where the aspects of the Oneness of Allah in Lordship (aRubbubiyah), in Worship (Al-Ubudiyyah), in His names of Invocation (Al Asma wa Sifath), in His rulership (Al-Hakamiyyah) is attributed to any one or anything else, that would constitute shirk.

These may occur through outward actions, inward beliefs or the utterence of words,


Outward Actions

These actions would include;

  • bowing and prostrating to anything other than Allah subhana wa taala,
  • any acts of worship to any other than Allah subhana wa taala.


Inward Beliefs

This would include;

  • any inner belief that anything else or other beings carry the attributes of Allah subhana wa taala,
  • reliance on anything else or other beings other than Allah subhana wa taala for protection, for invocation, for worship.
  • seeking assistance or protection in Jinn (other supernatural beings, animate or in-animate of creation)


Utterance of Words

Often this occurs when dua (invocation) is made, however, the dua does not invoke Allah subhana wa taala alone, rather there is invocation to other than Allah subhana wa taala through incorrect intercession (i.e. incorrect tawasul-seeking the intercession of a person (a saint) who has passed away, or asking a person who is dead).

Stating words which leads to the attribution of creation to Allah subhana wa taala, an example of this is where words which state that Allah subhana wa taala “is everywhere”, as if Allah subhana wa taala is manifested in creation.

Mockery of the deen also falls within the aspect of Shirk, as it is belittling Allah subhana wa taala, His laws and His message to all.



Minor Shirk

Minor Shirk occurs in two aspects;


This occurs when seeking assistance from things; relying on amulets (whether worn on the body or fixed on to walls or kept in vehicles), seeking protection in smoke (lobaan)

Person  /People

Excessively venerating a person in a way which does not attribute lordship, but which, but thereby attributing that person as a sole cause pf something either good or bad (i.e. “if it were not for fulan wa fulan”)


Key Considerations

  • Where reference is made in Quran and Sunnah with specific reference to it being minor shirk /kufr, it is considered minor shirk
  • Where reference is made in Quran and Sunnah without specific reference to it being minor shirk /kufr, it is generally considered minor shirk
  • Where the sahabah are referred to in an instance of minor shirk, then it is taken that it is minor shirk


Either instance of shirk must be avoided as shirk is an unforgivable sin should one die upon such shirk.




>>Invoking other than Allah



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