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What is shirk

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Burhan,

You said: "Allah Subhanah will Judge each individual according to his deeds, and if He Wills, He may forgive all the evil deeds of the person (except the sin of Shirk, which He has Himself declared that He will not forgive)".

Forgive my ignorance, but what is Shirk?


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




What is the meaning of Shirk?

Shirk is associating a partner with God in His God-head, or sharing any of Gods Attributes with another, or sharing any of the rights due to God with another, or believing that God is not Alone, Unique, and Incomparable.


I will formulate this answer with the Christian belief in mind, so please bear with me! All the quotation I quote from the Holy Bible are taken from the King James Version.


Islam and Christianity have a multitude of beliefs in common; the one belief that differentiates these two Abrahamic religions is the divinity of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). Other than this one belief, you will be surprised how similar the two beliefs are.


Here is Islams position of Jesus Christ:

Islam is the only non-Christian Faith which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus. No muslim is a muslim if he does not believe in Jesus Christ!

Islam recognizes and respects Jesus as one of the mightiest Messengers of God.

Islam believes that Jesus was born miraculously, without any male intervention whatsoever.

Islam believes that Jesus was the Messiah, translated Christ.

Islam believes that Jesus performed all the miracles (healing those who were born blind, healing the lepers, giving life to the dead, etc.) with Gods permission.


One may ask, if both Muslims and Christians love and respect Jesus (pbuh), where exactly is the parting of ways? The one major difference between these two great faiths, is the divinity of Jesus Christ (a.s.).


The Holy Bible does not support the Christian belief in Trinity at all. No where, absolutely no where in the whole Bible is the term Trinity, or the concept of Trinity even mentioned! The Quran, on the other hand, clearly mentions and condemns the concept of Trinity and determines it as associating others with God or shirk.


God says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 171: O People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but Truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in Allah and (all) His Messengers. Say not "Trinity"! Desist! it will be better for you: for Allah is One Allah. Glory be to him: (for Exalted is He) above having a son! To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.


One of the scribes once asked Jesus (pbuh) as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh) had said earlier:

"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad."

This is a Hebrew quotation, which means:


"Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, is one Lord."

[The Bible, Mark 12:29]


It is striking that the basic teachings of the Church such as Trinity and atonement find no mention in the Bible at all!!! In fact, various verses of the Bible point to Jesus (pbuh) actual mission, which was to fulfill the law revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh). Indeed Jesus (pbuh) rejected any suggestions that attributed divinity to him, and explained his miracles as the power of the One True God. Jesus (pbuh) thus reiterated the message of monotheism that was given by all earlier Prophets of Almighty God!


I, even I, am the Lord; and besides Me there is no savior.

[The Bible, Isaiah 43:11]


I am Lord, and there is none else. There is no god besides Me!

[The Bible, Isaiah 45:5]


I am God, and there is none else. I am God, and there is none like Me.

[The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]


The Holy Bible clearly condemns shirk in the verses below:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord, thy God, am a Jealous God."

[The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5]


"Thou shalt have none other gods before me."

"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth."

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord, thy God, am a Jealous God."

[The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]


The following statement from the Bible supports the Islamic belief that Jesus (pbuh) was a Prophet of God.


"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."

[The Bible, Acts 2:22]


"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent."

[The Bible, John 17:3]


"And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. "

[The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17]


"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

[The Bible, John 5:30]


"I cast out devils by the Spirit of God."

[The Bible, Mathew 12:28]


"I with the finger of God cast out devils."

[The Bible, Luke 11:20]


" and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Fathers which sent me."

[The Bible, John 14:24]


God declares in the Quran, that the people who have declared Jesus as the son of God have committed the heinous sin of shirk or associating someone with God!


God says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verses 72-73:

72 They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ, the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him Paradise, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.

73 They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity!; For there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.


God says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 31: They (the Jews and the Christians) take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (the Christians take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; Yet they were commanded to worship but one Allah. There is no god but He. Praise and Glory to Him. (Far and Exalted is He) from the SHIRK that they do.


Please do let me know if the concept of shirk is clear to you, or if you have any questions or need any sort of clarifications whatsoever. I shall feel honored to address them for you.


Your friend and sincere well-wisher,




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