Definition Of Shirk
The Quran and Sunnah have defined shirk,
“So do not make, along with Allah, partners (andaad) while you know (that He is the true Creator)” (2:22)
Ibn Mas’ood radiyAllahu ‘anhu asked the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam,
“What is the greatest sin?”He replied: “To take alongside Allah a partner (nidd) even though it was He that created you.”
The essence of Shirk involves giving Allah’s rights to other than Him. Therefore, to claim that a certain object or deity has the power to bless one with one’s needs is shirk. To prostrate or make du’aa to other than Allah is also shirk. The claim that any created object knows everything, or can hear any plea directed to it, is shirk. Whenever any specific right of Allah’s is given to any other object, whether that object be a living being or an inanimate object, real or imagined, shirk has occurred.
Categories of Shirk
1.Shirk in Ruboobiyyah – This includes shirk by denial or affirmation. Shirk by denial includes denying that creation has a Creator, or denying the perfect existence of Allah by denying any of His Names and Attributes. By this definition, atheism is a form of shirk, since they take the right of creating away from Allah. Shirk by affirmation would be like affirming another creator in addition to Allah.
2.Shirk in Asmaa wa as-Sifaat. This canoccurs by comparing Allah to the creation, or by comparing the creation to Allah.
3.Shirk in Uloohiyyah. This is the most common type of shirk. It is also the only category in which minor shirk can occur. This will be explained in the manifestations of Tawheed.