Shirk: Complete Meaning and Definition

Shirk meaning and definition

What does shirk mean?

People who commit shirk are known as polytheists. They relay more on power other than asking from Allah.

The polytheists are willing to spend a certain amount of money just to get something.

Also read: Ayat Manzil

Shirq sometimes involves the tombs or graves of religious scholars and saints.

Types of Shirk

Shirk is divided into two main types. That are following:-

Shirk Akbar

This polytheism can be the cause of a person’s exit from Islam. An example of this shirq is worshiping things such as graves, trees, stones and so on and considering oneself inferior to those things.

Shirk Asghar

that is, every speech or deed that is declared shirq by the syara but does not remove from the religion.

It is a major sin that can lead to major shirq.

Usually this shirk occurs when a person does something with the intention of showing off.

Practical shirq is the belief that there is another power other than Allah.

This polytheism can cause a person to leave Islam.

Sins that are not Forgiven By Allah

What is the sin that Allah does not forgive?

There is one sin that Allah SWT will not forgive. That sin is the sin of shirk.

The words of Allah SWT:

Surely Allah does not forgive associating ˹others˺ with Him ˹in worship˺,1 but forgives anything else of whoever He wills. Indeed, whoever associates ˹others˺ with Allah has clearly gone far astray.

Al Nisa – 116

As for sins other than shirq, no matter how big it is and how many. Allah SWT will forgive us if we repent or ask for forgiveness from Him earnestly. 

As it has been explained in the discussion of Allah is the Most Forgiving. A person who have killed a hundred people is forgiven by Allah SWT his sins after he repents.

Similarly, other sins such as adultery, stealing, drinking alcohol, gambling and so on, will be forgiven by Allah SWT if you truly repent to Him.

This means that there is only one sin. That is not forgiven by Allah SWT. It is the sin of shirq or associating partners with Allah SWT. 

Regarding this shirk, there are people who openly associate partners with Allah SWT. There are those who associate Allah SWT secretly and there are also those who associate Allah SWT without him realizing it.

Associating Allah SWT is like people who believe in the existence of a father god, mother god and son god openly like the chirsten belief.

Similarly, a person who worships idols, it is said that he worships the idol is nothing but to bring him closer to Allah SWT. 

There are people who have such beliefs. 

Allah SWT’s words in Surah Az-Zumar verse 3 which means: 

Indeed, sincere devotion is due ˹only˺ to Allah. As for those who take other lords besides Him, ˹saying,˺ “We worship them only so they may bring us closer to Allah,” surely Allah will judge between all regarding what they differed about. Allah certainly does not guide whoever persists in lying and disbelief.

Az Zumar – 3

People who associate Allah SWT secretly, for example, people who have the understanding that there are those who organize this world other than Allah SWT. They think that there is something other than Allah SWT.

So it is about giving sustenance, turning on and off, sending rain, preserving. So it is about giving benefit, harm, and so on.

There are many other examples of practices that lead to shirk.

Sometimes the person who does it is not aware that he has committed shirq. The conclusion is only the sin of shirk which is not forgiven by Allah SWT.


Allah SWT does not forgive the sin of shirk as long as the polytheist does not change his understanding. 

If he has changed his belief, he believes that only Allah SWT is in power. Allah SWT determines and makes everything. Only Allah SWT should be worshiped. After that he repents for his deviant belief. Then Allah SWT will forgive him.

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