Classified into major and minor, Shirk (polytheism) remains the most dangerous sin and tops the categories of big crimes in Islam. In several verses in Quran, Almighty Allah makes it categorically clear that He will forgive any offence (falling in the category of those things which are related to Allah and known as rights of Allah in Islam) except Shirk.
Allah (SWT) states in Surah Nisa, Verse 48 that He will not excuse Shirk (associating someone in the worship of Allah) and will pardon any other sin barring it. Allah says,
In yet another place, Allah says,
This verse is clear indication that people who are perpetrators of the major Shirk, will find themselves in a position where they will be denied a place in the paradise for their mere indulgence in shirk with Allah (SWT) either in his worship or his attributes. The verse warns us of the upcoming danger and prompts us to prepare ourselves for the Big Day (the Day of Judgment) wherein nothing, including the huge wealth, shall be of any worth.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Whoever dies while claiming that Allah has a rival, will enter Hell.”
من مات وهو يدعو من دون الله ندا دخل النار
al-Bukhaari, 4497; Muslim, 92.
Our beloved Prophet warned people about the imminent danger shirk is going to pose to this Ummah and that is why the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) warned his Ummah to keep itself thousands of miles away from it.
In a famous Hadees of Muaaz Bin Jabal,[ii] the Prophet very fondly asked him if he knew what sort of rights the slaves of Allah had with their Creator and upon his denying to have any such knowledge, the Prophet Muhammad SAW responded himself that Allah would not punish his slaves if they did not indulge in shirk.
The foregoing Quranic verses and the Sayings of the Prophet (Ahadees) are enough to shed light on the dangers of the Shirk and severity of indulging in it- the most heinous crime on earth.
Despite these decisive warnings, we wonder and regret the continuous practice of Shirk in numerus forms in the world. We tend to see the Ummah itself being involved in this transgression. In the Indian subcontinent, the worship of graves in multiple forms and the respect these graves hold in the heart of the Muslims are a serious cause of concern. Graves are, unfortunately, worshipped just because the dead bodies lying therein are believed to be of the God-fearing people. Almighty Allah says,
“And do not invoke besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers.”
(Surah Yunus: 106)
At another place, Allah says,
But those ˹idols˺ they invoke besides Allah cannot create anything—they themselves are created.
(Surah Nahal: 20)
They are dead, not alive—not even knowing when their followers will be resurrected.
(Surah Nahal: 21)
These verses are eye-openers. They are compelling evidences against worship of false objects or dead bodies. We pray to Allah to keep us away from these kinds of false worship and guide us towards the right path!
Until we refrain from the worship of graves or indulge in any kind of polytheism, we are not bound to live in peace and tranquility for Allah says in Surah Anam, Verse 82, that those of you who are believers and don’t indulge in any form of Shirk are the ones who will enjoy peace and they are the ones who are on the right track. In this verse, Allah (SWT) has intertwined peace with Tauheed (withdrawal from polytheism and a strict adherence to the worship of the real Creator).
To conclude, we pray to the Almighty Allah to allow us to stick to the right path and not go astray! We pray that the Ummah (the Muslim community across the globe) should keep itself miles away from the perils of the shirk!