By: Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Al-Saadi (rahimahullah)
Chapter 4 – pgs. 43-46
The Fear of Shirk
Shaykh Ibn Abdul Wahaab (rahimahullah) says:
Allah said : “Indeed Allah does not forgive associating partners with Him, and He forgives other than that as He wills.” (Surat An-Nisa :48 & 116 ). And Al-Khalil (Ibrahim (‘alayhi salaam)) said, “And prevent me and my descendents from worshipping the idols.” (Surat Ibrahim 14:35)
And in the hadith; “The thing I fear most for you is the minor shirk.” He (‘alayhi salaatu wasalaam) was asked what that was, he replied: “Riya’ (show).” *
* Footnote: Al-Mundhiri said, “Recorded by Ahmad with a good chain, also by Ibn Abu Al-Dunya and Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Zuhd, and others.” Shaykh Al-Albani (rahimahullah) graded the hadith sahih in Sahih Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib, no.#29 (Riyad edition 1409)
Ibn Masood (rady Allahu ‘anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (alayhi salaatu wasalaam) said: “Whoever dies and he is calling upon others along with Allah, he will enter the Fire.” Recorded by Al-Bukhari.
Muslim records from Jabir (rady Allahu ‘anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (alayhi salaatu wasalaam) said: “Whoever meets Allah without having associated anything with Him will enter paradise, and whoever meets Him having associated something with Him will enter the Fire.”
1. The fear of shirk.
2. That riya is a form of shirk.
3. That it is a kind of minor shirk.
4. That it is the most dangerous thing for the righteous.
5. The nearness of Paradise and the Fire.
6. Mentioning their nearness in the same hadith.
7. That he who meets Him, without associating anything with Him, enters Paradise; and he who meets Him, while having associated something with Him enters the Fire, even though he may have been the person most prone to worship.
8. The tremendous importance of this issue, such that al-Khalil (Ibrahim (alayhi salaam)) asked that he and his offspring be protected from worshiping idols.
9. His concern for the condition of most people when he said: “Oh my Lord! Indeed they (the idols) have misguided many of the people.” (Surat Ibrahim 14:36).
10. The interpretation of La ilaha illa Allah, as mentioned by Al-Bukhari.
11. The virtue of the one who is free of shirk .
Commentary by Shayhk Al-Saadi:
The Fear of Shirk:
Every instance of shirk in tawheed al-uloohiyah and al-ibadaah negates tawheed. And this shirk is of 2 types: The blatant major shirk, and the subtle minor shirk.
It is to make a rival to Allah that is called upon as Allah is called upon, or to fear him, or hope in him, or love him, as Allah is loved, or to render a type of worship to him. This is the shirk which does not leave it practitioner with any tawheed at all, this is the mushrik that Allah has forbidden from Paradise, and his abode is the Fire.
It doesn’t matter whether the worship rendered to other than Allah is called worship or tawassul (seeking nearness to Allah), or even if it is given a name other than these. All of that is major shirk, because what is important is the reality of the thing and its implication, not the word or expression used to describe it.
This is every saying or action which leads to shirk, like aggrandizing creature in a way that does not quite reach the level of worship. Like, for example, making an oath by other than Allah, or behaving for show, etc.
Since shirk negates tawheed and necessitates eternal damnation in the Fire, and when it the major type it makes Paradise unlawful, and since bliss cannot be achieved except by escaping from it, then it is necessary for the worshipper to duly fear it, to hurry in escape from it – its every path, means and cause – and to ask Allah to protect him from it was the habit of the prophets, the purified, and the best of creatures.
The worshiper must struggle to increase and strengthen the sincerity in his heart, and this is done by completely devoting oneself to Allah – being subjugated, repentant, fearful, hopeful, obedient, seeking His satisfaction and rewards in all that he does without neglecting this in any matter, open or hidden. True sincerity inherently repels both major and minor shirk, but whenever a type of shirk is present it will weaken one’s sincerity.