Category Archives: VIII – Minor Shirk
AsSalam Alaikum, beautiful one !!
Don’t miss it !!
Zaid: As-Salamu ‘Alykum
Abdur-Rahmaan: Wa-Alykum As-salam…..how was your volunteer experience at the seminar?
Zaid: Alhumdullilah. But…. I worked so hard for this event but no one came to me and said any thanks or any words of appreciation!
Abdur-Rahmaan: Perhaps if you niyyah was correct, you wouldn’t be thinking like that. If only you were doing it sincerely for the sake of Allah and expecting reward only from Him. I think you need to see a heart specialist and get some x-rays!
Zaid: What?!?! But I’m not sick?
Abdur-Rahmaan: I am talking about the hidden disease of Riya. Its very hard to recognize. Imagine a black ant over a black road on a dark night; that’s how hard it is to recognize it. Riya means “to perform acts which are pleasing to Allah, with the intention of pleasing other than Allah.” You need to x-ray your heart and find the intentions behind your actions.
Zaid: Hmm … how do recognize this disease? What are the symptoms?
Abdur-Rahmaan: The primary cause of riya is a weakness of eman. When a person does not have strong faith in Allah, he will prefer the admiration of people over the pleasure of Allah. Here are some of the symptoms:
Love of Parise: You must have heard the hadith about first three people to be thrown into the fire of Hell: the scholar, the martyr and the person who gave his money in charity. All three of these people desired the praise of people, over and above the pleasure of Allah.
Fear of Criticism: Some people obey certain commandments of lslam, not for the sake of Allah, but because they fear people will look down on them and criticize them if they does not do it. eg: praying in jam’ah, woman wearing hijab at mosque etc
Lastly, if you discover that you are doing good deeds only in public, and doing evil deeds when you are alone, this is an indication that you are falling into riya! Tell me one thing–what if I ask you to volunteer, for example, in a parking lot, where no one would see you and wouldn’t know about it. Would you do it?
Zaid: Hmmmm … I guess you are right. How do I treat and cure this disease?
Abdur-Rahmaan: Here are some of the best ways:
Duaa! The prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa salam) taught the specific duaa for riya:[O
Allaah, I take refuge in You lest I should commit shirk with You
knowingly and I seek Your forgiveness for what I do unknowingly.]
Hiding one’s good deeds. Do them where nobody can see!
Reflection upon’s oneself’s shortcomings.
Accompanying the pious (and good companionship helps with many things).
Knowledge of Riya, the evilness of it.
Always ask yourself why you’re doing something, and if you’d still do it if nobody but Allah knew about it.
Zaid: Jazakallah khairan bro, any final piece of advice?
Abdur-Rahmaan: Usually when I feel like getting praised or someone praises me, I remind myself of the response of the righteous slave of Allah when they feed people:
إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاء وَلَا شُكُوراً. إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِن رَّبِّنَا يَوْماً عَبُوساً قَمْطَرِيراً
Translation: We feed you only for the countenance of Allah . We wish not from you reward or gratitude. Indeed, We fear from our Lord a Day austere and distressful. [Surah
Al-Insaan, verses 9-10]
How To Protect Yourself From Showing Off
An Exclusive Translation for Sisters Upon Al-Istiqaamah
The Shaykh, ‘Allaamah Zayd Ibn Muhammad Ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee was asked:
Noble Shaykh, how does the believer distance himself from showing off in his actions? And does the people’s praise of him on account of his worship harm him?
Actions are judged in accordance to the intentions.
As for the person who the people praise due to him performing good deeds and he did not do these acts except seeking the pleasure of Allah, then the people’s praise of him and their commendation is a testimony for what he is upon and this does not harm him.
However, if he notices something (i.e. in his heart) when the people praise and commend him or when he hears that someone praises him, if he notices something in his heart like amazement or showing off then he should turn to Allah; and he should say the supplication that has been reported upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):
“O Allah, I seek refuge with you from knowingly committing Shirk and I seek your forgiveness for what I have no knowledge of.”
[In the book there appears to be a typing error towards the latter part of the hadeeth, and Allah knows best. So I have affirmed that which is found in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad of Imam Al-Bukhari and other hadeeth collections.]
Verily, this – by the Will of Allah – will remove what is in his heart from weakness or showing off, by the Might and Power of Allah.
Al-‘Iqd Al-Munaddad Al-Jadded (1/28)
Related Links :
Du’aa for Fear of Shirk – Hisn al Muslim (Fortress pf the Muslim) – Must Read !!
AUTHOR: al-’Allaamah ‘Abdurrahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah)
SOURCE: ‘Al-qawlu–s-sadeed fee maqaasidi at-Tawheeed , Sharh kitabu-tawheed’
“ Say (O Muhammad ): “I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilâh (God) is One Ilâh (Allâh). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”
“ Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.”
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said;
“Allaah said, ‘ I am most independent and free from needing partners. Whoever does a deed associating something in it with me, he and his shirk are forsaken.’ 
From Abu Sa’eed al-Khudhriyy (radhiyAllaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“Shall I not inform you of what I fear most for you than al-maseeh ad- dajjaal ?” They said, “Yes O Messenger of Allah! ” He said, “ Hidden shirk (riyaa). A man stands to pray, so he beautifies his prayer when he notices someone looking at him.”
From Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllaahu ‘anhu) that he said the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said;
“Ruin for the worshipper of the dinar, Ruin for the worshipper of the dirham, Ruin for the worshipper of the khamisah! Ruin for the worshipper of the khamilah! If he is given, he is pleased, and if he is not given he is displeased. Ruin and humiliation! He can not even find relief from the slightest prick! But toobaa is for the worshipper taking the reins of his horse in the cause of Allaah: his hair flying, his feet dusty. If he is assigned the watch, then he remains on watch. If he is assigned the rear guard, he guards the rear .Yet if he asks permission, he is not permitted, And if he intercedes, his intercession is not granted.”
Commentary by al-‘Allaamah ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullah):
Know that sincerity for Allaah is the foundation of the religion, and the essence of tawheed and worship. It is when the worshipper intends all of his deeds for the Face of Allaah, for His rewards, and His favours. So he maintains the six foundations of faith, the five signs of Islaam, and the fulfillment of faith – ihsaan – as well as the rights of Allaah and the rights of His worshippers. In this way his intention is perfected for the Face of Allaah and for the abode of the Hereafter. He does not intend by this to be seen, nor to be heard of, nor does he do it for position, or for worldly matters. By this he will have completed his faith and tawheed.
Among the worst behaviors that diminish the sincerity is to perform deeds just to be seen by people, for their praise, or to honour them, or doing deeds for the sake of worldly matters. This degrades sincerity and tawheed.
There are some details about riyaa:
If a worshipper does a deed with the goal of having people see it , and he remains with this evil intention , then his deed is disgraced , and he commits shirk, and he runs the risk of it leading him to major shirk.
If a worshipper does a deed intending the Face of Allaah and with that, he is also intending it for the sake of people – if he does not remonve the riyaa from his deed – then the texts are clear that this deed is also false.
When a worshipper does a deed for the sake of Allaah alone , but riyaa surfaces for an instant during his deed , if he wards it off and purifies his sincerity for Allaah, then there is no harm in that deed. But if he settles for that – becoming tranquil with it – then the value of the deed diminishes, resulting in a weakening of his faith in proportion to the amount of riyaa that survived in his heart. Still, the deed remains for Allaah , but whatever portion of it he mixed up and was confused about is riyaa.
Riyaa is a dangerous disease which requires the soul to hasten to disciplining itself in sincerity , to wage war in defence against the destruction caused by riyaa, to oppose its assault , seeking Allaah’s help to defend against it , so that perhaps Allaah will purify the worshippers’ faith and complete his tawheed.
As for deed done merely for worldly reasons or for the attainment of things in the world : if the worshippers’ intent is always for this goal , without having the objective of doing things for the Face of Allaah and the abode of the Hereafter , then there will be no reward for him in the Hereafter for these acts.
Acts characterized in this manner will not be found in the hearts of the believers , as the believer – even if his faith is weak – will certainly bring the goal of Allaah and the abode of the Hereafter in mind.
As for the one who does such acts for the Face of Allaah , as well as for the sake of the world ; these objectives being equal or approximately so , then these will – if he is a believer – diminish his faith , tawheed and sincerity . His deed will be diminished because he has forsaken complete sincerity in them.
One who does a deed for Allaah alone , and he is most sincere in his deed – having complete sincerity in it – but for that deed recieves wages designated to help in work for the religion , wages that are to be spent on good deeds – such as the mujaahid who deserves some spoils of war or provisions for his struggling , or like in the case of an endowment that is responsible for paying the salaries of those who work in the masjids , schools , and other religious positions – then there is no harm on the worshipper’s faith and tawheed to accept such wages , since it is not being used for worldly work , it is only intended for the religion , and the objective is that the individual who recieves it does work in the religion.
For this reason Allaah designated a great portion of the sharee’ah wealth , like zakaah and the spoils of war , for those who work for religious endowments , as well as helping to benefit in the world. This topic is well known.
The previous examples help to make the rulings for these many important issues clearer to you , it is up to you to judge similar cases in the proper light. And Allaah knows best.
 Qur’aan 18:110
 Qur’aan 11:15-16
 Ibn Maajah, al-Bayhaqee, Saheeh al-Jaami’ (No. 2607)
 Al-Bukhaaree and a shorter version with Ibn Maajah. The examples given in the hadeeth are intended to be clear opposites : the first person can only be pleased by things, and he is never satisfied. The second remains in the utmost sincerity for Allaah , without any compliant , although he is the kind of person whose requests are not commonly granted by people , nor his intercession. In this way , he is opposite of the person who is always used to getting his way , doing all that he does with that goal in mind.
Ikhlaas and Riyaa`
These are some narrations brought by the Shaykh `Abdul-Malik ar-Ramadaanee (hafidhahullaah) in his excellent book “Sittu Durar”:
It has been stated in definition of Ikhlaas,
“Ikhlaas is when the servants internal and external actions are the same (i.e. are in agreement with each other). And Riyaa is when the external actions are better than the internal actions (of the heart). And truthfulness in one’s sincerity is when the internal is better (developed) than the external.
(Refer to Madaarij us-Saalikeen for this definition 2/91).
Bilaal bin Sa’d (rahimahullaah) said,
“Do not be a wali (friend) of Allaah outwardly, yet an enemy to him internally” (Ahmad in az-Zuhd, Abu Nu’aym in al-Hilyah).
It has been stated,
“Ikhlaas is that you do not request anyone to witness your action except Allaah, and that you do not seek anyone to reward you (for it) except Him”.
Salamah bin Dinar said,
“Hide your good deeds (from the people) just like you hide your evil deeds”. (Abu Nu’aym, Bayhaqee)
And in a narration in al-Bayhaqee,
“Hide your good deed like you hide your evil deed, and do not be amazed with your own action, for you do not know whether you are happy or wretched (in the Hereafter)”
It has been stated in definition of Ikhlaas,
“It is to single out Allaah, free from all imperfection, in one’s intention (qasd) in one’s obedience (to Him).”
Hammaad bin Zaid said,
“I used to walk with Ayyoob (as-Sakhtiyanee) and he would take me through different routes. I would be surprised at how he would guide himself through them, fleeing from (being seen by) the people who might say, “This is Ayyoob”.”
He also said, “Ayyoob used to take me via a route that was the longest and I would say “But this one is closer”, He would reply, “I fear from (passing by these) gatherings”. When he would pass by them and give salutations, they would reply to him with more than what he had greeted them, compared to others. So he would say, “O Allaah, you know that I did not desire this! O Allaah, you know that I did not desire this.” (Ibn Sa’d, al-Fasawee)
Abu Zur’ah bin Abi Amr said,
“ad-Dahhak bin Qays came out and made the prayer for rain with the people, but they were not granted rain, and nor did they see any clouds come. ad-Dahhaak said, “Where is Yazeed bin al-Aswad?” (And in a narration, “But nobody answered him!”. He then said again, “Where is Yazeed bin al-Aswad al-Jurashee?” And I was resolute about him that if he was to hear my words he would get up.) Then he said, “Here I am”. So he (ad-Dahhaak) said,”Stand and intercede with Allaah Azza wa Jall on our behalf, that he should grant us rain”. So he stood up, made his face point in the direction of his feet, and made his head sink into his shoulders (out of humility). He then said, “O Allaah, these servants of yours sought intercession through me from you. So he had not called upon Allaah, three times, except that the people were granted rain in such abundance that they almost drowned on account of it. Then Yazeed said, “O Allah, this one made a show of me (i.e. ad-Dahhaak, by asking him and calling him out), so grant me freedom from this (fame).” Then he did not live except for the next Jumuah and then he passed away.
In his book, al-Qawlus-Sadeed fee Maqaasid-it-Tawheed Sharhu Kitaab-ut-Tawheed ( ) (which is an Explanation of the Book of the Imaam Muhammad ibn AbdulWahhaab rahimahullaah, Kitaab-ut-Tawheed ), the ‘Allaamah, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee rahimahullaah mentions in the commentary of the Chapter 36: “What is said about Riyaa’ (showing off)” and Chapter 37: “Intending deeds in the world for the sake of humans is a type of Shirk”:
Know that sincerity for Allaah is the foundation of the Religion and the essence of Tawheed and worship. It is when the worshipper intends all of his deeds for the Face of Allaah, for His rewards, and His favours. So he maintains the six foundations of faith, the five signs of Islaam, and the fulfillment of faith – ihsan – as well as the rights of Allaah and the rights of His worshippers. In this way his intention is perfected for the Face of Allaah and for the abode of the Hereafter. He does not intend by this to be seen, nor to be heard of, nor does he do it for position, or for worldly matters. By this he will have completed his faith and tawheeed.
Among the worst behaviours that diminish sincerity is to perform deeds just to be seen by people, for their praise, or to honour them, or doing deeds for the sake of worldly matters. This degrades sincerity and tawheed.
There are some details about Riyaa’:
If a worshipper does a deed with the goal of having people see it, and he remains with this evil intention, then his deed is disgraced, and he commits minor shirk, and he runs the risk of it leading him to major shirk.
If the worshipper does a deed intending the Face of Allaah AND with that, he is also intending it for the sight of people – if he does not remove the riyaa’ from his deed, then the texts are clear that this deed is also false.
When the worshipper does a deed for the Face of Allaah alone but riyaa’ surfaces for an instant during the deed, if he wards it off and purifies his sincerity for Allaah, then there is no harm in that deed. But if he settles for that – becoming tranquil with it – then the value of the deed diminishes, resulting in a weakening of his faith in proportion to the amount of riya’ that survived in his heart. Still, the deed remains for Allaah, but whatever portion of it he mixed up and was confused about is riyaa’.
Riyaa is a dangerous disease which requires the soul to hasten to disciplining itself in sincerity, to wage war in defence against the destruction caused for riyaa’, to oppose its assault, seeking Allaah’s help to defend against it, so that perhaps Allaah will purify the worshipper’s faith and complete his tawheed.
source: Understanding the Reality of Ikhlaas and Riyaa’
Al-Riyaa – Showing off – Seeking the praise of the people and wanting to be known – Sheikh Muhammad bin Haadi Al-Madhkhali
Al-Riyaa – Showing off – Seeking the praise of the people and wanting to be known
Sheikh Muhammad bin Haadi Al-Madhkhali
Translated by Abdulilah Lahmami
Haafidh al-Hakami rahimahullaah said in his book Ma’aarij Al-Qubool:
وَالثَّانِ شِركٌ أصْغَرُ وَهُوَ الرِّيَا
The second category is the minor shirk and it is Al-Riyaa (to show off)
فَسَّرَهُ بِهِ خِتَامُ الأنْبِيَـــا
The last of the Prophets explained it in that way
This second category is the minor shirk, it does not take you out of Islam, but it reduces the reward of an action. It may even invalidate an action if it is much and (showing off) becomes the sole reason for doing that action. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam explained that minor shirk is Al-Riyaa in his saying, “The thing I fear most for you is the minor shirk” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah what is minor shirk?” He said, “Al-Riyaa.” [Musnad Imam Ahmed (5/428) Al-Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Eeman (5/333) no. 6831 and others with a good chain. Cited in Ma’aarij Al-Qubool vol:2 p.608]…
In the narration reported by Imam Ahmed rahimahullaah that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said that Allaah said, “I am the best of those they ascribe partners to, so whoever does an action and by it seeks another partner besides Me, I am free from him and he is left to the one he associated partners with.” [Musnad Imam Ahmed (2/301) with an authentic chain. Cited in Ma’aarij Al-Qubool vol:2 p.611].
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: Allaah will say on the Day of Judgement when people are given their reward for their actions, “Go to those whom you were showing off to in this life and see if you find with them any reward!” [hadeeth hasan similar to the hadeeth in Musnad Imam Ahmed (4/215), (3/466)]. Cited in Ma’aarij Al-Qubool vol:2 p.611]…
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Haadi said in his explanation to this section, three days ago (5/1/1432 – 11 December 2010):
These narrations are a clear proof showing the danger of falling into minor shirk. As for the major shirk you will find the people of Tawheed keep away from it, those whose Tawheed is firmly rooted in their heart and they love Tawheed.
However, satan is eager to misguide the person so everyone must strive their utmost to make themselves upright. Look at the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim:
قَالَ نَعَمْ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يَقُولُ « إِنَّ أَوَّلَ النَّاسِ يُقْضَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَيْهِ رَجُلٌ اسْتُشْهِدَ فَأُتِىَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ قَاتَلْتُ فِيكَ حَتَّى اسْتُشْهِدْتُ. قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ قَاتَلْتَ لأَنْ يُقَالَ جَرِىءٌ. فَقَدْ قِيلَ.
ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِىَ فِى النَّارِ وَرَجُلٌ تَعَلَّمَ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمَهُ وَقَرَأَ الْقُرْآنَ فَأُتِىَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ تَعَلَّمْتُ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمْتُهُ وَقَرَأْتُ فِيكَ الْقُرْآنَ. قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ تَعَلَّمْتَ الْعِلْمَ لِيُقَالَ عَالِمٌ. وَقَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ قَارِئٌ. فَقَدْ قِيلَ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِىَ فِى النَّارِ. وَرَجُلٌ وَسَّعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ
وَأَعْطَاهُ مِنْ أَصْنَافِ الْمَالِ كُلِّهِ فَأُتِىَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ مَا تَرَكْتُ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ تُحِبُّ أَنْ يُنْفَقَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ أَنْفَقْتُ فِيهَا لَكَ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ فَعَلْتَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ جَوَادٌ. فَقَدْ قِيلَ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ ثُمَّ أُلْقِىَ فِى النَّارِ ».
Abu Hurairah (radhiallaahu ‘anhu) heard the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam say:
“the first of the people to be judged on the Day of Judgement is a man who was martyred. He will be brought in front of Allaah and Allaah will remind him of the blessings He gave him. The man will recognize it and Allaah will say to him: “What have you done concerning it?” He will say, “I fought for your sake until I was martyred.” Allaah will say to him, “you have lied, you fought that it be said you are brave (and it was said).” Then he will be ordered to come and will be dragged on his face until he is put in the fire.
(Another) man who learnt knowledge and taught it and recited the Qur’an. He will be brought in front of Allaah and Allaah will remind him of the blessings He gave him and the man will recognize it. Allaah will say to him, “What have you done concerning it?” He will say, “I learnt knowledge for your sake until I taught it and learnt the Qur’an for your sake.” Allaah will say to him, “you have lied, but you learnt that it be said you are a learned man. You (also) recited the Qur’an that it be said you are a reciter (and it was said).” Then he will be ordered to come and will be dragged on his face until he is put in the fire.
(Another) man whom Allaah had blessed with wealth and gave him from all the different types of wealth. Allaah will remind him of the blessings He gave him and the man will recognize it. Allaah will say to him, “What have you done concerning it?” He will say, “I have not left a path of goodness that You love except that I was charitable towards it for your sake.” Allaah will say to him, “you have lied, but you did that so it be said – such and such is generous (and it was said).” Then he will be ordered to come and will be dragged on his face until he is put in the fire.” [Saheeh Muslim]
The sane person is he who does not sell his deen for the praise of the people.
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ
وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ
Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.
[Soorah Al-Anbiyaa: 90]
The show off seeks praise and he usually gets what he wanted in this world. He was eager for people around him to know him so Allaah gave him what he sought but on the Day of Judgement, Allaah will expose him, humiliate him in front of everyone. People used to say of him, “O he fasts much, O he prays at night, O he is generous, You are not able to compete with him in the prayer!” This is what the show off sought. He was known by those around him in his generation but Allaah will make it known of him in front of all generations. Allaah will place a flag (or sign) on him so he is recognized (for what he has done)… We ask Allaah to help us with regards our souls, ponder how is it the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alahi wa sallam and his companions feared for themselves and look at our situation? Rather they used to ask Allaah for His mercy and forgiveness… (The Sheikh cried)…
Indeed, Tawheed is sweeter than honey and important than the air you breath, whosever says you don’t need Tawheed is insane and if Allaah does not give him light then he has no light. We ask allaah that our actions are for His sake with no Riyaa in it and not seeking the praise of the people. (Ameen)
Minor shirk can only occur in Uloohiyyah. Minor shirk is still a major sin.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw), in an authentic narration, said that they would be among the first groups of people thrown into because the scholar, when he taught the knowledge that Allah gave him, did not do so for the sake of Allah. He taught so that people would praise him, saying what a great scholar he is and how knowledgeable he is. Allah will say to him: “You received your praise, what you sought in that world. But there will be nothing for you in the next.” So he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell.
Similarly the rich individual – the philanthropist, who was generous with his wealth. He gave and people praised his generosity, but Allah will say, “You did it for the praise and you were praised. There was no sincerity there; it was not for the sake of Allah. You did it for as long as people appreciated it, but when people did not pay you mind, you were not generous anymore. Your generosity was conditional; it was not really for the sake of Allah.” So that individual will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell.
And the martyr – the one whom we all assumed had died fii-sabilillah. We would think that his place in Paradise is guaranteed. But Allah will say: “You fought so people would say, ‘How brave this one is! How strong and courageous he was!’” People said it; they praised him, but he did not do it for the sake of Allah, so he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. (Tirmidhi)
Shirk in Uloohiyyah can also be divided into 2 categories: major shirk (shirk akbar) and minor shirk (shirk asghar).
Every matter which contains a type of shirk but does not reach the level of major shirk
Every matter that the religion has prohibited and which is a means and channel to major shirk, and which Islamic Law has termed ‘shirk’.
Equating other than Allah with Allah in a matter that is specific to Him, either by attributing it as a means, or by way of accident.
Minor shirk could be to rely on the cause instead of the creator of the cause. For example, medicine. A ‘cause’ must be either something Allah has informed us, or a direct, physical, common-sense relationship.
Or it could be making something which Allah has not made a cause into a cause (while believing that Allah is the Rabb). For example a talisman. We cannot invent a cause. This is minor shirk if we acknowledge Allah as the Rabb. If we say talisman is holy in and of itself, its major shirk, if you say Allah has made the talisman holy, it is minor shirk.
We can differ about physical causes like homeopathy vs. traditional medicine, but we cannot get into supernatural like ‘chi energy’ as this borders on the religion.
Minor shirk is a grave issue.
“The matter that I fear the most for you is minor shirk…” (Al-Albaanee’s As-Silsilah As-Saheehah)
“Were I to lie and swear by Allaah, it would be more beloved to me than to swear by other than Allaah while telling the truth.” (Saheeh Tarheeb wa Targheeb)
“Minor shirk is more hidden than a black ant on a black stone in a dark night.” (Ibn ‘Abbaas)
Differences between major and minor shirk.
1. Major shirk expels a person from Islam. This is the main point and the other points follow from this one.
2. Major shirk necessitates a person’s eternal punishment in the Fire of Hell.
3. Major shirk nullifies all of a person’s good deeds.
4. Major shirk makes it permissible for a Muslim state to take the life and property of its practitioner.
There is a difference of opinion about whether Allah can forgive minor shirk without punishment.
Minor shirk in acts of worship pertaining to the heart. These are only some examples and not a comprehensive list.
Minor shirk in the heart.
The most common type is riyaa: worshipping Allah based upon the Sunnah but to impress people, and this is the most common type.
“When they get up for the prayer (Salaah), they get up lazily. That is because they only show off in front of the people, and rarely do they think of Allaah.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:142)
“The thing that I fear most for you is the minor Shirk; Riyaa”(Ahmad in his Musnad)
Allah(swt) will ask the one who does riyaa on the Day of Judgement to take his rewards from those he showed off for.
You have to fight riyaa. This is one thing that simple knowledge cannot cure. It is something that affects the most ignorant worshipper and the greatest alim. It is a continuous struggle.
The question arises about performing a good deed purely for a worldly benefit. For example, going on hajj purely for business. Unlike riyaa, which nullifies your deed, worldly benefit can be combined with the deed.
“There is no sin on you if you seek the Bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading, etc.). Then when you leave ‘Arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His Praises, i.e. prayers and invocations, etc.) at the Mash’ar-il-Haram. And remember Him (by invoking Allah for all good, etc.) as He has guided you, and verily, you were, before, of those who were astray.” (2:198)
In one hadith the Prophet (saw) mentioned that the best wages one can earn are those from teaching the Quran.
Minor shirk in statements of the tongue
Swearing by other than Allah while believing that Allah is the Rabb.
A Jewish man came to the Prophet (saw) and said to him: “Verily, you (Muslims) commit Shirk, for you say: “As Allaah (swt) Wills and as you will;” and you say: “By the Ka’bah!” And so the Prophet (saw) ordered whoever wanted to swear, to say: “By the Rabb of the Ka’abah!” and to say: “As Allah (swt) Wills, then as you will.” (Narrated by An-Nasaa`ee)
Equating Allah with the creation using the conjunctive ‘and’. Do not say I was cured because of Allah and the doctor, but say Allah first and then the doctor.
Naming created objects with names that go against pure tawheed like “Abul-nabi” or “King of Kings” – “Verily, the lowest name to Allaah is that of a man who calls himself “King of kings,” for there is no king except Allah (SWT).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Minor shirk in actions of the limbs
This includes amulets and charms. It also includes certain types of riyaa, like trying to show off to people that one is a great worshipper.