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Erasing the Accusation of Shirk

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Erasing the Accusation of Shirk: A Conversation with a Kharajite - By Abu Ammar

Acknowledgements
Foreword by Umm Ammar

 

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AUTHOR?S INTRODUCTION
1) The Khawarij are very argumentative people
2) The Khawarij believe that anyone who committed a major sin is a Kafir (non-Muslim)
3) They are also well known for calling Muslim rulers Kafir and Tahgut (opressors)
4) The History of the Khawarij
5) The Evidence used by the Khawarij against Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and other rulers

Part1
THE DECEASED PIOUS HAVE NEVER BEEN WORSHIPPED BECAUSE OF THEIR PIETY
Polytheists of Makkah worshipped angels
1) Honoured slaves
2) Polytheists of Makkah worshipped Iblis (Satan)?
3) ? Jinn
4) ?.stars and the Moon
5) ? and Idols
6) Origin of Idols
7) No origin from previous nation?s Idols
8) The meaning of the word Tad?u

9) The Calf was not pious

10) Proof from Hadith
11) Previous nations worshipped Idols
12) The Nation of Ibrahim (peace be upon him)
13) The Nation of Musa (peace be upon him)
14) What the commentators of the Qur?an have said
15) Martyrs are Alive in their graves
16) The Pious are Alive in their graves
17) Even the disbelievers are not lifeless in their graves
18) The deceased can hear
19) Sayidna Musa (peace be upon him)
20) Those who disbelieve also own something
21) ?ABD? has been used to refer to Non-humans
22) Proof of Possession
23) Power
24) The Polytheist?s concept of Intercession
25) The Pious will intercede On the day of Judgment
26) Intercession will not be available for disbelievers

27) Wasila and Sayyidina Nuh?s (peace be upon him) son

28) A Prophet and His companions are blessed

29) Setting up rivals to Allah
30) Polytheists worshipped two gods
31) They worship other gods than Allah
32) They worshipped Iblis
33) They Sacrificed animals in the name of their idols
34) They dedicated their animals for their Idols
35) They gave a higher status to their idols than Allah
36) They sacrificed they children to please their idols
37) They believe their idols were entitled to being worshipped
38) They sacrificed for the idols
39) They respected their idols more than Allah
40) Do you Understand!?
41) The Muslim Ummah will not worship besides Allah!
42) Incarnation
43) Divinity?
44) Regarding Sayyidina Uzayr (Ezra) Peace be upon him
45) Regarding the Trinity
46) What Isa, son of Mary said about himself
47) Regarding death of Isa son of Mary
48) Isa son of Mary was not humiliated by Allah
49) An Interesting Incident
50) The existence of Soothsayers (Kaahin)
51) Soothsayers are ?friends? with Iblis
52) Iblis was able to listen to what was being said in the heavens!!
53) Iblis is able to talk to humans
54) The polytheists of Makkah obeyed the Idols and Soothsayers(Kaahin)
55) Astrologers
56) The Whispers of Iblis

PART 2
WHAT IT MEANS TO ASK HELP FROM OTHER THAN ALLAH

1) It is permissible to ask someone else to make supplication on your behalf?
2) The hypocrites did not want the Prophets or the Pious to pray for them
3) Even the Pharaoh (Firawn) knew that the supplication (Du?a) of the Prophets and Pious are accepted
4) The Polytheists approach of seeking assistance from other than Allah
5) The Muslim meaning of asking help from other than Allah
6) Allah provides through the angles and other creations
7) It is permissible to attribute actions to other than Allah?
8) Proof from the Hadith
9) Sayyidina Isa had power to help!
10) It is permissible to ask the pious to help you with something that is beyond human capability?
11) Iblis even helps his followers
12) Proof that the Pious are enjoying the life of their graves
13) Sayyidina Zakariya (peace be upon him) supplicated to Allah at a holy place
14) The Mountains As-Safa and Al-Marwah
15) You should not be hopeless from the people of the grave
16) Even the living cannot hear without Allah?s will!
17) Human?s have been made from two things: Clay & Spirit
18) The spirit does not die after death
19) The spirits of the deceased meet daily with the living
20) The deceased can communicate even after their death

PART 3
WASILA

1) Proof of Wasila from the Qur?an
2) ?Make us die with the Righteous?
3) ?Through the Prophets?
4) ?Join me to the Righteous?
5) Messenger is among you
6) Place of Sayyidina Ibrahim (peace be upon him)
7) Two Examples
8) Our Explanation of wasila
9) Iman and Kuffr (Belief and Infidelity)
10) Can the Deeds of the Prophets and Pious be beneficial for others?
11) Disbelievers do not believe that the Prophets are an intermediary between mankind and Allah Most High
12) The Polytheists of Makkah and Tai?f did not believe that Rasulullah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is in an intermediary between Allah Azawajal and mankind
13) Objections to Wasila
14) The actual Background and meaning of Verse 003:79/003:80

PART 4
THE NEED OF HADITH

1)Regarding: ?We have neglected nothing from the book?
2)The Qur?an is an extract from the ?Lawh-e-Mahfudh?
3)What Sayyidina Musa (peace be upon him) said to Pharaoh
4)Regarding: ?We reveal the Scripture unto thee as an exposition of all things? (016.089)
5)Revelation to the Beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) other than the Qur?an
6)Adhan (The call to prayer)
7)Jummah (Friday prayer)
8)Janaza (Funeral Prayer)
9)Cutting trees
10)Keeping a secret
11)How revelation is revealed
12)The command of umrah (lesser pilgrimage) was given to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) through a dream.
13)Prophets should be obeyed
14)The Hypocrites
15)The Importance of hadith
16)Wisdom
17)We have the best example
18)Prostration and Hadith

 

Acknowledgements

All praise and thanks are due to Allah Most High for He has helped me to compile this book ?Erasing the Accusation of Shirk: A Dialogue with a Kharajite? Nothing is possible without His help and I pray to Him that He accepts my work.

This lengthy project would also not have been completed if it were not for the time and effort exerted by those who so kindly assisted me with this book. It has all been very taxing and has required some to spare hours, weeks, months, and for some, years. I would like to thank all the brothers and sisters from the deepest part of my heart for their valuable time that they all gave to this project. Among them, I wish to thank: Marghoob Ahmad and Mayumnah Zainab for their long hours of typing and research, my wife Umm Ammar for her constant support, kind advice and the Foreword of this book, I would further like to thank Sadia Kauser and Muhammad Mujtaba for the proof reading and particularly Brother Naveed Mushtaque and Sister Zahra Niazi for their thorough proof reading of the book, their continuous support, priceless advice and specifically for their examination of the accurate translations of the verses of the Qur?an.

Most of all I would like to thank Brother Aftab Malik, who whilst working on two of his own crucial publications gave up his time and worked exhaustive hours for this book. I am deeply thankful for his continuous support and advice from the very beginning of this book. I pray Allah rewards him greatly, for without him this book that you hold in your hands would not have been possible.

My deepest thanks go to them all. I pray that Allah rewards them with the best of rewards, for only He is capable of giving such gifts to His believers. Insha Allah, Allah will reward them in this life and in the life hereafter. Amin.

I again would like to thank Allah, The Sublime, The Majestic, for instilling in me the courage and strength to compile this book for the benefit of others. May Allah, in His infinite grace and mercy, accept this humble effort. Amin.

Abu Ammar

October 15, 2006 | Ramadan 23, 1427

Foreword

Umm Ammar

H

aving witnessed the countless hours, days and months that Abu Ammar had dedicated to this book, it was only natural that I was too happy to read through the first draft and see what it was that had taken precedence over me as a loving wife! Having had such an opportunity, I would like to congratulate my husband for engaging with this topic in a thorough way and I applaud him for his unique style which makes it accessible for the masses. May Allah reward him and increase him further. Amin. However, despite such praise, I did note one considerable drawback: no where did I find an explicit description of the term shirk. A simple and clear definition was essential considering that the entire book dealt with this issue. So I queried Abu Ammar regarding this and he suggested that I research this subject myself and write something for his book. And so, what you read before you is the outcome of that modest research.

I began by first challenging myself to find a clear and simple definition for the term shirk which I did by consulting the hadith collections and works such as Tarikh (history) and of course the Tafsir (Interpretation of the Qur?an) volumes. While consulting the Qur?an, even though it speaks to us about the evilness of shirk in many instances, there were no verses that offered an explicit definition. It then dawned upon me that to fully understand what shirk is one must first acknowledge the precise meaning of Tawhid (the oneness of Allah). Naturally then, anything that opposes the meaning of Tawhid would then necessitate it being classified as shirk. Tawhid is thus understood to fall within two basic categories: The first concerns the Essence of Allah, which humans cannot comprehend, but as Muslims, we have faith that He (Allah) is alone with no partners. The second category deals with what are known as the attributes of Allah, i.e., the names of Allah which give us an idea of His supremacy. We can see in our own world that most of creation always has an opposite. For example, we have the darkness of the Night and light of the day; Male and Female; Hot or Cold; Sweet and Sour, good and bad (etc) and in the case of Tawhid, its opposite is shirk. There is a principle in the Islamic sciences which notes that all things are identified by their opposites, so to recognize an act of shirk one must be sure that there is something competing with Tawhid, i.e., against either the Essence or attributes of Allah.

Currently, we are faced with a dire situation where a particular group of people are accusing other Muslims of committing actions of shirk. However, what these people do not understand is that shirk is only a reality when something is challenging the understanding of Allah?s Tawhid. In the Qur?an we are told of the shirk that was committed by previous nations. We understand from them that they committed shirk by establishing rivals to Allah in both the Essence and Attributes of Allah. For example, the polytheists would set up partners besides Allah and make sacrifice for them in their name. As Muslims, we fully understand that Allah is alone and that there is no other deity besides Him. Any understanding which opposes this is shirk.

One can say that shirk is based upon three premises:

1)      To unite any partners with the essence of Allah

2)      To unite any partners with the attributes of Allah

3)      To think that anyone other than Allah is entitled to being worshipped

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The current Delusion of Shirk

It was the increase of the use of this word (shirk) in our time that made me question what was the actually meaning of this term that was being used so frequently. A friend of mine, a sister of wisdom and kindness, went to visit another sister. They discussed many things as they had not seen one another for a while, and they began to talk of food and particular recipes?a typical topic for women! My friend told the sister of a dish that I had given to her a few days back?her exact words were: ?Umm Ammar gave me such and such dish which I really enjoyed.? Upon hearing the sister frantically stood up, clearly outraged. My friend asked her what was wrong and she replied that the statement she made was shirk: as she was saying someone other than Allah had given her something?or provided her with food. My friend was shocked and deeply saddened by what this sister had just said. She explained that this was not her intention and it was a matter of mere words?of course Allah is the sole provider she further explained, but the sister did not want to hear of it and accused her of becoming a polytheist. My friend left her house in a sate of confusion and shock. Later when my friend told me of this incident I did not know if I should have laughed or cried. I could not understand how she could come up with such an absurd idea! Sadly, this is the reality that we are currently faced with: a nation crying shirk! I am deeply appalled that Muslims have become so accustomed to saying the word shirk without understanding the weight of its meaning. It is one thing to merely use this word but another to accuse a Muslim committing shirk. SubhanAllah! What a sad state indeed.

Another similar example occurred when a young girl recently approached me. I was aware that she had been learning how to read the Qur?an from another sister who had studied from one particular institute in Islamabad (Pakistan). The young girl told me that she was talking amongst her friends in her Qur?an class about some new Nike trainers she had brought. She told her friends that she loved her new Nike trainers very much. When her teacher heard this she gave a similar reaction that my friend received from the other sister. The teacher stopped her entire class and explained that the statement the young girl had made was a statement of shirk! She spoke angrily as she explained that to love other than Allah was shirk?particularly the love of shoes! The young girl explained to me that she was so upset at the embarrassment her teacher caused but knew in her heart not to bother protest to such stupidity!

These are just two examples of the misuse of the word shirk that have happened to people I know. I am both saddened and amused by the ignorance and the delusion about shirk which people have. This reminds me of a story I read during my youth: There was a prince who fell ill with the flu. The doctor requested an explanation to the patient as to how he thought he had caught the flu. The prince explained that he was riding on his horse and his horse galloped upon a radish peel and it must have been for this reason he caught a cold and then the flu. The doctor laughed at his ignorant presumption. It is this similar ignorant presumption of shirk that certain people have, which is causing them to accuse their own friends, families and students of shirk.

Intimidating Others

Something else which I have found in the people who are deluded with the idea of shirk is that they often intimidate other people: they use loud voices and claim to have ample proof from the Qur?an. They take the verses of the Qur?an out of context and recite verse after verse to sincere people on the path of knowledge. When one sees such ?knowledge? and ?passion? we do not dare to argue. I have recently seen famous Muslim sportsmen, ex-Singers, and doctors, being brainwashed with this same delusion of shirk. Such personalities also intimidate and influence others, forcing them to accept and join the club of the ?Shirk Brigade!? An example of these intimidating people is when I was invited to give a speech amongst some sisters, one of the sisters was filming the event. As she was filming another sister stood up (she was a doctor at the local hospital) and began to recite a verse from the Qur?an at the top of her voice. She used the verse to prove that to film using a camera was shirk! What disturbed me further that almost everyone in the hall immediately accepted what she was saying. Why? Because of the intimidation they felt. Unease filled the room as all the sisters thought to themselves, she must know better than us, she knows Arabic, she is a doctor and the tone of her voice shows certainty. It is this very personality that scoops people into this incorrect ideology. But let me show you the ignorance of these people by telling you the verse she presented:

?Therefore, set right your face for the obedience of Allah being one devoted to Him only. The established pattern of Allah upon which He has created mankind. No change in the created things of Allah. This is the only right religion. But most of the people know not.?[1]

It was by the grace of Allah that I had a copy of Sahih al-Bukhari with me at the talk. I asked the sister to come forward and asked her to read the Tafsir of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) of this verse from Sahih al-Bukhari which said:

Narrated Abu-Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "No child is born except on al-Fitra (Islam) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?" Then he recited: ?The religion of pure Islamic Faith (Hanifa), [i.e. to worship none but Allah], The pure Allah's Islamic nature with which He (Allah) has created mankind. Let There be no change in Allah's religion (i.e. to join none in Allah's worship). That is the straight religion; but most of men know not...?? (30.30).[2]

Upon reading this the Sister left the hall. Afterwards many of the sisters came to me and thanked me for removing the doubts she had placed in their hearts. The sister filming was almost close to tears as she too thanked me. She said she could not comprehend how her intention of filming the event could compromise the Tawhid of Allah! I then explained that in Islam some acts have been defined as shirk, however many actions have also been categorized as Haram (Forbidden), Makruh (disliked) and La Yajaaz, (Not recommended). Those people though they only wish to use the term shirk, even for minor acts, it seems they do not receive any piece of mind until they use this word!

Meaning of Shirk and Tawhid

from classical Arab dictionaries

Meaning of Tawhid: The belief in One

In Islam, Tawhid means that Allah is One in His essence, attributes, actions and has no partner and there is none like Him.[3]

Meaning of Shirk: To unite/make a partner

In Islam, shirk means to unite someone with Allah?s essence, attributes or actions or to believe that other than Allah possesses his unlimited qualities.[4] Allamah Taftazani writes that the term shirk means to make an equal partner with Allah, just as the polytheists did. Shirk also entails believing (as the polytheists of Makkah did) that so-called partner of Allah are entitled to be worshipped just as the polytheists did with their idols.[5] I feel that Allamah Taftazaani (may Allah be pleased with him) has given a very accurate description of the term Shirk, because the polytheists of Makkah used to think that their idols were entitled for their worship and this was clearly described as Shirk as Allah Almighty says in the Qur?an:

039.003 Yes, the sincere exclusive devotion is to Allah only. And those who have taken for protectors other than Allah say, 'we worship them only so that they may bring us nearer to Allah'. Allah will decide among them concerning that wherein they are differing. Undoubtedly, Allah guides not him who is a great ungrateful liar.

In the above verse we see how the polytheist themselves confessed that they believed their idols were entitled of being worshipped and that, in fact they did worship them. Can one ever think that a Muslim, someone with the faith of the One Allah and His Holy Prophet, ever think, even for a second, that someone other than Allah is entitled to be worshipped? Of course not! This is the description of shirk, yet there are some ignorant people who still think that Muslims can commit shirk and have made it their mission in life to label other Muslim?s polytheists! (I seek refuge from Allah)

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Shirk Fid-Dhat:

Shirk with the Essence of Allah

First Example

We have already established that the meaning of Tawhid is to have complete faith in the oneness and unity of Allah, to believe that He has no partners, He is alone and only He is entitle for all worship and sacrifice.

The polytheists (of Makkah) could not grasp the fact that the entire world had been created by Allah alone, and that it is Allah Almighty who is controlling every movement of this world; from the hurricanes to the movement of a leaf. Instead of accepting the truth of Allah?s oneness, the polytheists thought that there must be a power other than the one God; they concluded that there must be two gods. (I seek refuge from Allah!). It was this thought that brought about the concept of two gods rather than the One Allah Almighty. Allah then sent the blessed Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who explained to them the truth of the one God?Allah. He told people to turn away from their idols of wood and stone and submit to Allah alone; however the polytheists were so astray that they were shocked at what the prophet was preaching. Allah then revealed this verse:

038.015 What! Makes he the gods a single Allah? A strange thing is this, to be sure!

Allah then revealed a verse of truth and perfection, which shattered their false ideology, as Allah Almighty says in the Qur?an:

016.051 And Allah has said: Take not two gods, He is only one Allah; so of Me alone should you be afraid.

021.022 If there had been in them any gods except Allah, they would both have certainly been in a state of disorder; therefore glory be to Allah, the Lord of the dominion, above what they attribute (to Him).

Allah Almighty explains in this verse that the concept of two gods is one of foolishness. If there had been two gods, there would be a state of disorder?one god would desire one thing and the other would want something else. One god would want the sun to rise from the East and one god would want the sun to rise in the west! If there were two gods, the concept of an all powerful god would not exist, as one god would be more superior, thus their concept was one of sheer stupidity?the destruction of the universe would be inevitable. This was the manner in which the polytheists would make partners with Allah?they would insult the essence of Allah by giving something else the same status and essence-this is known as shirk fid-dhat meaning shirk with the essence of Allah. (I seek refuge from Allah.)

Second example

When a child is born, often the child inherits characteristics from their parents. A son may take the same height or eye colour as his father. It was bearing this idea in mind that the polytheists believed that Allah also had children and that his children had inherited some of his characteristics and traits. They further believed that the children of Allah also had the right to be worshipped. (I seek refuge from Allah) we are informed of this in the Qur?an, as Allah Almighty says:

006.100 And they make the jinn associates with Allah, while He created them, and they falsely attribute to Him sons and daughters without knowledge; glory be to Him, and highly exalted is He above what they ascribe (to Him).

043.019 And they make the angels-- them who are the servants of the Beneficent Allah-- female (divinities). What! did they witness their creation? Their evidence shall be written down and they shall be questioned

043.015 And they assign to Him a part of His servants; man, to be sure, is clearly ungrateful.

From these verses we see the second explanation and type of shirk, fidh-dhat. By claiming that Allah has children or attributing creation as his children is associating partners with him-this is what the polytheist of Makkah did and again, this is shirk with the essence of Allah.

 

Polytheists always commit Shirk Fidh-Dhat

(Shirk with the Essence of Allah)

 

The Kharajite sect have accused other Muslims of committing shirk by venerating the Prophets and the pious. They say there is no difference between Muslims who do this and the polytheists of Makkah. The belief that Muslims are committing shirk by ?worshipping? Prophets and the pious is a completely lie and based on falsehood. (I do not want to discuss this subject as my husband has thoroughly explained this with many evidences later in this book). The polytheists always committed shirk Fidh-Dhat, in that they made partners with the essence of Allah in the form of children or with the concept of two gods. They did not commit shirk Fidh-Dhat by saying the attributed partners were pious though they committed shirk Fidh-Dhat by claiming that they were the children of Allah! The following verse explains that this false belief has been passed on from ancient generations:

009.030 And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!

Many people wrongly claim that shirk originated from people associating the Prophets and pious with Allah and this is also what the polytheists used to do. However, this verse informs us that the polytheists committed Shirk Fidh-Dhat by attributing sons and daughters to Allah: they did not worship their false deities due to their piety, the reason for worshipping them was because they believed they were the sons and daughters of Allah. We further come to know that even the nations before these polytheists?nations before the time of the Pharaoh?committed this exact shirk with the essence of Allah as Allah says, they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before. This highlights the fact that never was anyone worshipped due to piety?the shirk that took place was because of shirk with the essence of Allah by attributing sons and daughters to Him.

Shirk Fis-Sifat:

Shirk with the attributes of Allah

There are many attributes of Allah, we can never know of them all, but the names that have been attributed to Him in the Qur?an we do know of. The attributes of Allah are all:

         His own (personal)

         Eternal

         Unlimited

If anyone was to believe that someone other than Allah shares his attributes with the above three conditions then that would be shirk with the attributes of Allah (shirk Fis-sifat). In other words, if someone were to say ?such and such has personal knowledge of the world which is unlimited and eternal? this would be shirk. However, if someone were to say that ?such and such has knowledge,? knowing that of course it is unlimited and not his own (i.e., granted by Allah) and that it is not eternal then this is not shirk. Similarly, to say that someone has power or is powerful in some way is fine. If one acknowledges that their power is not his own and was given by Allah, the power is neither eternal or unlimited, then again this would not be shirk. The Kharajite sect say that to believe someone has excessive knowledge or knowledge of the unseen is Shirk; they say the same with ?power?; they claim that to say the Prophets and the pious have power, particularly supernatural power is also Shirk because only Allah has knowledge and power, no one else can share these attributes, so to believe someone has power is Shirk. Below is an explanation that this is not shirk fis-sifat.

Honour

In the below two verses, we are informed of one of the attributes of Allah?the Honourable. In one verse we are told that all honour is for Him. However in another verse we are told that honour is for Allah, His messenger and the Muslims. Some will say that to give others the attributes of Allah (here being ?honour?) is shirk. This is absurd because what is implied in the verse is that honour is bestowed upon the Prophet and Muslims by Allah: it is limited, not eternal and it is not like the Honour Allah the Almighty has. If we acknowledge this, then it cannot be shirk, as Allah Almighty says in the Qur?an:

004.139 Those who take non-believers as awliya [6] instead of Muslims, Do they seek honour from them? Then surely all honour is for Allah.

063.008 They say, 'if we return to Madina, the one most honour able will surely expel therefrom the one most mean, whereas the honour is for Allah, and His Messenger and Muslims, but the hypocrites know not.

From the above verse we see that Allah has given the attribute of honour to Himself, the Prophet and the Muslims, so this cannot be shirk. You will find this is the case of many of Allah?s attributes in the Qur?an, where the Prophets and Muslims have been given the same attributes of Allah. Let me give you another example:

002. 143 Verily Allah is very Kind and Merciful to human beings.

009.128 Assuredly there has come to you a messenger from among yourselves, heavy upon him is your suffering; ardently desirous of your welfare, and to Muslims is most Kind and Merciful

In the above verse, the words ?Kind and Merciful? are attributed to Allah and then they are attributed to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). This further proves that others can be recognized by Allah?s attributes, knowing that it was Allah who granted it to the person anyway, it is not eternal and unlimited.

Shirk Fis-Sifaat with Idols

The polytheists used to give their idols the same attributes of Allah. i.e., ?Powerful, knowing, Kind, Merciful?? they also believed that these attributes were the idol?s own and were not granted to them by anyone; they believed that these attributes were unlimited and eternal: this was shirk with the Sifat of Allah (Attributes of Allah). Allah has never mentioned any quality of the idols or given them any status or any praise, instead they have been cursed and will be brought alive on the final day and thrown into hell, whereas the Prophets and Muslims have been praised by Allah. They have been given status and their qualities have been mentioned time and time again in the Qur?an; He has called them addressed them and praised them with his own attributes. For example: Powerful, knowledgeable, Kind, Merciful, Helpers and the Muslims have been promised a great reward unlike the idols.

Shirk Fil Ahkam:

Shirk by accepting Commands

Amr Bin Luhayy was the man who brought idols from Syria into Makkah. It was at this point that people left the teachings of Sayyidina Ibrahim (upon him be peace) and began to listen to the commands of Amr Bin Luhayy. He told the people to worship the idols he had brought and told them to sacrifice for the idols, claiming that the idols were equal to Allah. The polytheists left the command of Allah and that of the Prophets and accepted the command of Amr bin Luhayy. They made the command of Amr Bin Luhayy superior to the command of Allah; this was shirk Fil Ahkam (Shirk by making commands superior to Allah).

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Three Questions

First Question

Earlier this year during the month of Rabbi al-Awwal, I had been invited to give a talk in Wales as there was a gathering to celebrate the Mawlid. At the event, I talked of the events that surrounded the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the blessings of the day. After the lecture, one of the sisters said she had not come to listen to the talks but only come to warn us all that by celebrating the birth of the Holy Prophet we were all committing shirk! I then explained that firstly celebrating the birth of the Holy Prophet does not fit into any of the categories of shirk explained in the Qur?an, and secondly by celebrating the birth of the Holy Prophet we are in actual fact declaring the Tawhid of Allah by celebrating that the Holy Prophet was a man and was born unlike Allah Almighty! Again I was taken aback at how easily people use the word shirk; many of you will have come across these people who often cry shirk, but if you are to compare their accusations with the true definition of shirk, the meanings will never fit and their accusations will be false.

Second Question

Another sister questioned me on whether I thought that the Prophets had the authority to make things lawful and unlawful. I answered ?Yes.? She replied that only Allah has the right to do this and to believe that the Prophets can make things unlawful and lawful is an act of shirk; she then gave the example of Amr Bin Luhayy who introduced the worship of idols in Makkah when Allah had forbidden this and made it unlawful. I answered by explaining to her that Allah has all right to make whatever He wills lawful and whatever He wills unlawful; however Allah did not give any right to Amr Bin Luhayy to do this, who contradicted Allah by making lawful that which Allah made unlawful. However Allah Almighty has given the Prophets the permission and right to decide what is awful and unlawful, and the Prophets never made anything lawful which was already forbidden by Allah, for this reason it is not shirk, as Allah Almighty says in the Qur?an:

009.029 Fight those who believe not in Allah, and in the Last Day, and accept not as unlawful what Allah and His messenger made unlawful.

007.157 He will bid them to do good and will forbid them from doing evil, and will make lawful for them clean things and will forbid for them unclean things, and will take off from them that burden and shackles which were upon them. Then those who believe in him and honour him and help him and follow that light which has been sent down with him, they are the persons who attained their objects.

I presented her these two verses from which we see that the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was granted the authority to make things lawful and unlawful; so to say they have the power to do shirk is definitely not shirk!

Third Question

Another sister stood up and said that Muslims who call the Prophet of Allah ?Hakim? (the judge) are committing Shirk. I then simply showed her with the following verse; as Allah Almighty says in the Qur?an:

004.065 Then O beloved! By your Lord, they shall not be Muslims until they make you judge in all disputes among themselves, then they find not any impediment in their hearts concerning whatever you decide, and accept from the eve of their hearts.

In the above verse we are informed that we cannot even be Muslims unless we give the Holy Prophet the status and name of a Hakim. So how could this possibly be Shirk! The above questions were all asked to me on the same day! This is how frequently and easily the word ?Shirk? is being used! However I do not blame the sisters themselves, most have been brainwashed by the Khwaarij sect who have made the use of this word a custom, though their habit of using and spreading this word is clearly not justified as they do not even know what it means.

?Shirk is not a hat that you can place on anyone?s head!?

By now, you should have realised that I am very concerned at the frequent use of the word shirk. One must understand that someone can only commit shirk if they are competing with the Tawhid of Allah: it is impossible for a Muslim to have this thought! The word Shirk is not a hat that you can place on anyone?s head! However this seems to be an active practice of the Kharajite sect.

The First people to accuse Muslims of committing Shirk

I have come across a number of brothers and sisters who have a sincere desire to study Islam and follow in the footsteps of the beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace); many set out in a search for enlightenment and knowledge and meet people belonging to the Khwaarij Sect. The people of this sect always highlight the importance of ?amal (good deeds) and are very firm in their own practice, they will have beards on their faces and piety in their clothes and actions, Salah will be given the utmost importance and they will have revised many quotations of the Qur?an (often on the topic of shirk!). Their evidences for any matter will be given from the Qur?an (which they take out of context); they have a huge concern for the Ummah at large; they think that they are the only ones who truly care for the suffering Ummah when this is clearly not true. Upon seeing this, the sincere people looking for a path are often very impressed by the Khwaarij sect, their extreme piety and ?knowledge? of the Qur?an will blind you from seeing their reality. However the Holy Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in his great wisdom warned us of these very people centuries ago as he said:

Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Holy Prophet said:

?A nation will appear, many of them will be young and they will be brainwashed; they shall try to prove everything from the Qur?an, they will seem very pious, their slogans and aims will seem very attractive, however they shall be far from the deen.?[7]

It is very difficult for people nowadays, particularly the youth to avoid this particular sect. Especially when they are receiving much praise and support from influential people such as sportsmen and ex-singers; but it is essential to remember that even though they may present the correct slogans of Tawhid, Qur?an and Jihad, their intentions are incorrect and they lack the most important thing in our deen: love. Love for the Prophets and the Pious, for without this mahabba we are lost and empty.

To say these people are wrong and to not fall into their trap is very difficult.

The Sahabah (companions of the holy Prophet) were also tested

Indeed it is a struggle for us to stand up to these people and face them; it is a huge test and we are being tested just as the sahabah (companions) were tested. Great companions such as ?Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) were tested. It was during the time of Sayyidina ?Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Khwaarij sect first appeared and since then they have been developing to this day. The Khwaarij were the unfortunate, confused people when they accused ?Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him), the cousin of the Holy Prophet of committing Shirk and Bid?ah (innovation in Islam). The Khwaarij taunted Sayyidina ?Ali and many of the other companions with this accusation and would insult and embarrass them day in day out. Sayyidina ?Ali and the other Muslims of the time were faced with a huge trial; they tried to rationalise with them and preserve patience, but even for a great personality of Islam such as Sayyidina ?Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) it was just too much! The Khwaarij then began to kill many of the sahabah because they thought they were committing shirk. After consulting with the other companions, Sayyidina ?Ali decided to wage war with them. Many of the companions fought alongside Sayyidina ?Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) during this war and they were victorious against them. The name of this war was Nehrwaan and the classical scholars of Islam such as Imam Tabari, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn Kathir and Allamah Dhahabi and Ibn Athir have written about the above events in their respective Tarikhs (History books) under the chapter of ?Khilaafa of Sayyidina ?Ali? and Hafidh bn Taymiyyah has also written of these events in detail in his fatawa Volume 11.

The trial of the Sahabah

When Sayyidina ?Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and his followers left for the war at Nehrwaan, they found the Khwaarij deep in worship and supplication, whilst some were beautifully reciting the Qur?an others were in prostration. Upon seeing this, the Sahabah were uneasy about fighting against this sect. How can we fight against such pious men they thought to themselves; it was these thoughts that provoked the following two events:

Hafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani and Qadi Shawkani write:

The Famous Sahabi, Sayyidina Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ?When we went to fight against the Khawarij at Nehrwaan, once I saw their piety, doubts filled my heart, how could I possibly fight these people, the beards upon their faces their heads touching the ground, their recitation of the Qur?an echoing around me. I had to find a way not to fight against these people. I then made the excuse of an extended prayer and placed my spear in the ground. I asked Sayyidina ?Ali (may Allah be please with him) to go on without me as I wanted to pray. Sayyidina ?Ali left me to pray. During my Salaah I was still pondering on whether to fight against these people; after I completed my salaah I raised my hands to Allah and asked him ?Oh Allah if to fight these people is wrong then do not give me the strength to fight?. As I finished my supplication I saw Sayyidina ?Ali running towards me at an extreme speed, he came to me and hit his hand against my chest and said ?remove the doubts from your heart?. My prayer had been answered: it was from here my heart acknowledged that I must support Sayyidina ?Ali and to fight against the Khwaarij sect was indeed correct. I then went and joined the army and killed many of the Khawarij.??[8]

We can see the trials that the Khawarij caused the sahabah, both physically and mentally, and if it was difficult for them to endure this trial then surely for us this is a huge struggle. I understand it may be hard to acknowledge that the Khawarij sect are wrong, but it is indeed a great blessing to have the wisdom to understand this as this even the sahabah were unsure. However, The Holy Prophet has already warned us about the Khawaarij in detail, warning us of their signs and slogans, so if anyone truly wants to understand they will not have any problem knowing who is right and wrong.

Closing Du?a

I pray to Allah that He accepts this small contribution of mine. I especially pray that people understand this and benefit from it and that their suspicions, doubts and accusations of shirk shall be erased. May Allah further give people the strength to stand against the Khwaarij as the companions did. May Allah give the Khwaarij the wisdom to love the Prophets, the family of the Prophet and of the Pious: let our end be with those that you love.

O our Lord! We heard a proclaimer that he calls for believing, that believe unto your Lord; then we believed. O our Lord! Forgive us our sins and wipe off us our evils and cause us to die along with the righteous.

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