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					CREED:.                    DEVIATIONS:.                   {ARTICLE 02}:.                 AUTHOR: Shaykh Saalih aal Shaykh

SOURCE: AT-Tamheed lisharh kitaabi tawheed. Page 8. Daaru Tawheed print.

                                                       Explaining Shirk

     Shirk is the opposite of tawheed. The meaning of shirk is to take a shareek [partner]. That is to make one a
     partner to another. It is said:                      ashraka baynahuma: if he made them two. And if you said:

                               ashraka fee amrihi ghairuh [literally means: he partnered in his affair someone else] if

     he made that affair for 2 [people]. So shirk, entails                tashreek [partnering]. Allah ‫ جل و عال‬has
     condemned shirk.

     The people of knowledge, when explaining shirk divide it into categories. Some of them have divided it into
     2 types, whereas others are of the opinion that the branches of shirk are 3.

     From the view that shirk subdivides into 2 types, they are:                         {a} Shirk akbar [major shirk]
                                                                                         {b} Shirk asghar [minor shirk]

     And those who regard the branches of shirk as 3 say:                                {a} Shirk akbar [major shirk]
                                                                                         {b} Shirk asghar [minor shirk]
                                                                                         {c} Shirk khafiyy [hidden shirk]

     Shirk is to set a partner with Allah ‫ جل و عال‬in Ruboobiyyah, or in `Ibaadah, or in the Asmaa wa Sifaat. The
     intended meaning here1 is prohibiting one taking a partner with Allah ‫ جل و عال‬in worship, along with
     ordering him with the tawheed of Allah ‫.سبحا نه‬

           THE FIRST

     The division of shirk into 2 branches: akbar [major] and asghar [minor].

     Shirk akbar removes one from the religion of Islam.

     Shirk asghar is whatever the Shaari` [the Legislator – Allah ‫ ] سبحا نه‬ruled that it is shirk, however, it does
     not entail tandeed kaamil [setting up a rival alongside Allah in a complete sense] that takes it to the level of
     shirk akbar. Some of the `ulemaa defined it as being anything that leads one to Shirk akbar.

         Translator’s note: here refers to the book the Shaykh is explaining: that is Kitaabu tawheed.
With this view, from Shirk akbar is that which is clear and manifest, and from it also is what is hidden and

An example of clear Shirk akbar is the worship of idols, and graves, and the absent. An example of the
hidden Shirk akbar is the shirk of those who place their trust and reliance upon their Sheikhs, or upon their
various gods. Another example is the shirk of the hypocrites. These hypocrites are actually mushrikoon
[polytheists] inside. Their shirk is akbar [major]. However it is hidden; meaning within the inside, and not
apparent on the outside.

Likewise, Shirk asghar in this view: from it is what is clear and manifest, and from it is what is hidden and
secret. An example of the open from shirk asghar is the wearing of an amulet, or thread, and hanging a
charm, and swearing by other than Allah, and the likes of this from the sayings and actions.

And an example of that which is hidden from shirk asghar is yaseeru riyaa [minor riyaa].

Riyaa, in this view: from it is what is akbar as is the riyaa of the hypocrites. Allah ‫ تعالى‬said in their

                                                          {                                                        }

To be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance;

Al-Qur'an, 4.142 (An-Nisa)

Following this, is the example of some people who exaggerate in their prayer fall into when they do that for
the sake of the people’s looks towards them. From this as well is the one who loves to be seen or heard [in
performing acts of worship].


Is the division of shirk into 3 branches.       {1} Shirk akbar
                                                {2} Shirk asghar
                                                {3} Shirk khafiyy

Under this view, what is meant by shirk akbar is all that removes one from the religion of Islam from those
matters that entail devoting worship to other than Allah ‫. جل جالله‬

Shirk asghar is all that is a medium leading to shirk akbar, and it entails setting partners alongside Allah but
however does not reach the extent of removing someone from the religion of Islam. [In this type of shirk, it
should be known that] the Legislator has indeed ruled upon the one who commits it as having committed an
act of shirk. The reality of his condition is that he has established a rival and partner with Allah.

As for shirk al-khafiyy, its example is the like yaseeru riyaa [minor riyaa] and the likes of it.

Some of ahlul `ilm [the people of knowledge] regard the first view, whereas others regard the second
opinion. In reality, the two are equal. One agrees with the other, and there is no ikhtilaaf [difference]
between the two. So if you heard someone saying: shirk branches into akbar and asghar, his saying is
saheeh [correct]. And if you heard someone else saying: shirk subdivides into akbar, and asghar, and
khafiyy, then this is also saheeh.


Memorize it – may Allah bless you.


                      FIRST VIEW                                             SECOND VIEW

      Shirk akbar                    Shirk asghar             Shirk akbar                    Shirk khafiyy

                                                                             Shirk asghar

Don’t forget: Both views are correct.