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Wearing Amulets is Forbidden even if They are from the Qur’aan


What is the ruling on wearing amulets and placing them on the chest, or under the pillow, bearing in mind that these amulets contain Qur’anic Verses only?


The correct position is that wearing amulets, even if they are from the Qur’aan or from Hadiths is forbidden. This is because it was not reported from the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, for any means to attaining an end which is not reported from the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam is invalid and is not to be taken into account, because it is Allaah, the Almighty, the Majestic Who causes all effects, and if this means is unknown to us either from the Islamic law or from practical experience, then it is not permissible and is not to be considered as a means of attaining an end. Amulets, according to the most reliable view, are forbidden, whether they are from the Qur’aan or from other than the Qur’aan. When a person is afflicted by anything, he should find someone to recite over him, as Jibril recited incantations over the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and he used to recite incantations over his Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, and this is lawful.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen

Fatawa Islamiyah, vol.1, p.202, DARUSSALAM

Take from:

The Importance of Tawheed and how Ikhwanul Muslimeen neglect Tawheed

Ikhwaanul-MuslimeenBismillaah al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
Amma ba’d

1- I first invite you to read this brief article by Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan:  The True Meaning of The Statement of Tawheed

2- Then – if you read Arabic – go through this: A site of Shaikh Muhammad Sa’eed Raslaan [Website of Shaikh Muhammad Sa’eed Raslaan, a genuine scholar who used to be an Ikhwanee before Allaah guided him to the correct Islam and then to be a Shaikh, maa shaa Allaah; may Allaah preserve him and make him a means of Allaah guiding many Ikhwanees to Salafiyah (following the Prophet, salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his sahaabah in ‘aqidah, manhaj, manner of worship, and character; and understanding each ayah and each hadeeth in the manner the Messenger taught the sahaabah). Ameen.]

3- And then feel free to benefit from the following notes taken from a manhaj class last year, notes read to us from the work of Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmee (rahimahullaah) regarding the errors/deviance of the Ikhwanul Muslimeen or “Ikhwanees”:

Allaah says in Surat al-Kahf (ayat 103-105):

Say (O Muhammad): Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? “Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds! “They are those who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight.

Who are the greatest losers?
Those who are lost, thinking they’re upon good. The one who does not meet Allaah with Tawheed; he does not know the Islamic religion. The Sufis think they can make du’aa to the creation, or that awliya can perform kiramat (miracles). The one who grows up among the Sufis, do you think they will be safe from these bid’ah and shirk? No, except he whom Allaah saves.

Ikhwanees have neglected Tawheed. [The deviant] Hasan al-Banna was brought up with Sufis (proof can be found on pg. 27 of his own book – Al Ikhwan Al Muslimun, Ihdaf sana’at Tarikh), and used to attend a nest of shirk that is the Mashhad (shrine) of Zainab. In Damna Hur, he met with the people of the Sufi order, and took from them that path. (pg. 28 of his own book).

This Jama’ah of Ikhwanul Muslimeen is rooted in Sufi Order. Why do you [Ikhwanees] not look at the ‘aqidah of Tawheed and read a single aya? [Allaah says:]
And the mosques are for Allaah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allaah.(Al-Jinn:18)

And they call to Wahdat ul-Wujud (the deviant belief that everything is Divine, that Allaah is everywhere, and that He is in His creation, and that Allaah’s presence is the only presence.) [The Hindus and Budhists believe the same thing.] (pg. 70-71, again of al-Bannah’s own book)

Hasan’s brother said: “After ‘Isha, my brother [Hassan al-Bannah] used to sit with the Hasafia…”

At the shrine of Zainab (daughter of the Prophet, salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), people would make tawaff and make du’aa to it; al-Bannah gave khutbas there. Al-Bannah did not forbid shirk that happened right around him, refusing to deal with this (shirk such as du’aa to Zainab, tawaaf of shrine).

The Ikhwanees observe shirk around the graves – du’aa to the dead, tawaaf, ruku’ – and don’t put forth any effort to remove this shirk. And al-Bannah called himself a da’ee (caller).

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmee said:
It is obligatory that if you call to Allaah, and witness shirk [being committed with Allaah], that you call them to Tawheed and refute shirk. Al-Bannah went to the graves and gave lectures, giving the impression to the regular people that this was alright. [This created a problem for people who held al-Bannah in high esteem.]

Al-Bannah himself wrote in his own book (pg. 33, Al-Ikhwan Al Muslimun, Ihdaf sana’at Tarikh) that after fajr on Friday, he and his people used to walk three hours [20 KM] to the grave of Zainab [the shrine] inside the masjid, pray Jumu’ah, eat lunch and relax, pray ‘asr and then go home.

They used to go the graves, specifically to either make du’aa (bid’ah in this situation, because he specifically traveled to the grave and specifically to make du’aa there) or pray:

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmee (rahimahullaah) made the following observations about Hassan al-Bannah, founder of Ikhwanul Muslimeen:

1- al-Bannah diluted these people (by going to these shrines) into believing that du’aa to the grave, or tawaaf around the grave, or sacrifice, or vowing to other than Allaah is from Islam.

2- al-Bannah gave power to the grave-worshippers.

3- al-Bannah accepted the mushrikun, even though their ‘aqidah may have been that of the Rafidah, who believe their imams are mistake-free. [Only Allaah is Perfect!] Never did al-Bannah tell the Shi’a, or Qadariah, or Mu’tazila to leave their ‘aqidah. [Note: Prophets are mistake-free regarding sins and in (conveying) the religion]

4- al-Bannah called the Shi’a his “brothers”, even though they call their imam “perfect”, even though they say that Angel Jibril (‘alaihi salaam) erred in sending the Qur’an to the Prophet, even though they curse Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, also calling them “kufar”, even though they call ‘Aisha an adultress (despite Allaah exonerating her in the Qur`an], even though they say the Qur`an is incomplete…

5 – al-Bannah tried to bring the Muslims together regardless of ‘aqidah, instead of trying to bring them together upon correctness, upon the correct ‘aqidah, upon the truth. [al-Bannah] said: “The Shi’a and Sunni are Muslimun. They are united upon the banner of la illaha il Allaah.”  [The deviant al-Bannah of Ikhwan al-Muslimeen] also said: “Our problems with the Jews is not religious, because the Qur`an encourages us to be with them, and Allaah has praised the Jews. And every time, the Qur`an deals with them, it deals with them on an economical level.”

6- al-Banna’s erroneous beliefs that tawassul is not from ‘aqidah. His 15th Principal from his book of 20 principals is: if du’aa is attached to tawassul, then this is from the brances of the deen and not from ‘aqidah.”  [Nadharat fi Risalit Ta’lim]

[Note: Legislated Tawassul are three:
a- asking righteous people to make du’aa to Allaah for you;
b- asking by Allaah’s Names and Attributes; and
c- to ask by virtue of one’s good deeds.

If it was legislated to make tawassul through the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) after his death, ‘Umar would not have asked ‘Abbaas to make du’aa to Allaah for rain. Ibn Taymiyyaah said: The sahaba used to make tawassul through the du’aa of the Prophet when he was ALIVE, but when he died, they sought tawassul with the du’aa of ‘Abbas…Du’aa is an act of ‘ibaada, and has to be done according to the Sunnah (and du’aa to other than Allaah is Major Shirk).]

7- al-Bannah attached himself to a Sufi ‘Aqidah, in the Hisafia tariqa. He admitted this and admitted (pg. 28 and pg. 29) to sitting with them [Jamiati Al Hisafia]. He actually started a Sufi order. And he was chosen as their secretary. The leaders of the Ikhwanees had an Ash’aree ‘aqidah, distorting Allaah’s attributes. They make the Attributes like a puzzle and a riddle, but Allaah’s religion is clear (bayinah).

Ten Points Regarding the Manhaj of Ikhwaanul-Muslimeen

by the Muftee of Jeezaan, Shaykh Ahmad ibn Yahyaa an-Najmee (rahimahullaah)

From his book: Al-Fataawa al-Jaliyyah ‘anil-manaahij ad-Da’wiyyah (pgs 102-104)

The noble Shaykh (rahimahullaah) said:

The definition of Ikhwaanul-Muslimeen is: they are those who follow and attach (themselves) to Hasan al-Banaa, and there are some observations upon their manhaj, the most important of which follow:

1) Carelessness and neglect in regards to Tawheed al-‘Ibaadah, which is the most important thing in Islaam, and the servant’s Islaam is not correct except by it.

2) Their silence and approval of the people being upon Shirk al-Akbar (major Shirk), from du’aa to other than Allaah, and circumambulation (tawaaf) of the graves, and swearing oaths to their inhabitants, and sacrificing by their names, and what is similar to that.

3) That verily the founder of this manhaj is soofee; he has a connection to the Soofiyyah, taking the bay’ah from ‘Abdul-Wahhaab al-Hasaafee upon his Hasaafiyyah ash-Shaadhiliyyah Tareeqah (soofee order).

4) The presence of innovation amongst them, and their establishing worship by it; rather it is the basis of their manhaj. They attest that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhee wa salaam) attends their sittings of dhikr and forgives them for what has proceeded from their sins, in their saying:

“The Ilaah sent prayers upon the noor [i.e. the Prophet] which appeared
for the ‘aalameen (all that which exists), and outshined the sun and the moon, this is the beloved [i.e. the Prophet] attending with the beloved and has forgiven for all that which has passed and taken place.”

5) Their call to (establishing) the khilaafah, and this is a bid’ah, for verily the Messengers and those who followed them were not commanded except with the call to at-Tawheed. The Most High said:

And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allaah (Alone), and avoid at-Taaghoot (all false deities and objects of worship).” An-Nahl (16):36

6) The non-existence of al-walaa` wal-baraa` amongst them or its weakness. And they make that clear through their da’wah to closeness between [those upon] the Sunnah and the Shee’ah, and the saying of their founder: “We cooperate [with each other] in that which we agree upon, and we excuse each other in that which we disagree in.”

7) Their hatred for Ahlut-Tawheed, and the people [who traverse] the path of Salafiyyah, and their loathing of them and they make that plain in their statements regarding the country of Saudi Arabia, which was established upon at-Tawheed, and teaches at-Tawheed in its schools and in its institutions and universities; and from the murder of Jameel ar-Rahmaan al-Afghaanee because he was calling to at-Tawheed, and he was one who had schools in which he taught at-Tawheed.

8.) Their scrutiny and pursuit of the mistakes of the rulers, and searching for their shortcomings, whether it is true or a lie, and spreading them amongst the inexperienced youth so as to cause them to hate and loathe them [the rulers] and to fill their hearts with hostility towards them.

9) The foul disgusting hizbiyyah (blind partisanship and bigotry) which they ascribe to. So they support and have closeness on account of this hizb (party), and show enmity and oppose on account of it.

10) Taking the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to work for the Ikhwaanee manhaj with the ten conditions which its founder mentioned, and there are other observations to be made which it is possible that we take them later.

TN: These ten conditions or pillars of the bay’ah of Ikhwaanul-Muslimeen are mentioned in al-Banaa’s Majmoo’atur-Risaa’il (p.268), where he said: “O you brothers who are truthful! The pillars of our bay’ah are ten, so memorize and hold on to them:
(1) Understanding
(2) Sincerity
(3) Action
(4) al-Jihaad
(5) self-sacrifice
(6) Obedience
(7) firmness and strength
(8) Impartiality
(9) Brotherhood
(10) Trust.”

Translated by Aboo Sufyaan ‘Uthmaan Beecher

What is the true meaning of shirk and what are its types?

I often read that “this action is major shirk” and “this is minor shirk”. Could you explain to me the difference between the two?.

Praise be to Allaah.
One of the most important obligations is to know the meaning of shirk, its seriousness and its different types, so that our Tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allaah) and our Islam may be complete, and our faith may be sound. We say – And Allaah is the Source of strength and true guidance comes from Him:
Know – may Allaah guide you – that the word shirk in Arabic means taking a partner, i.e., regarding someone as the partner of another. It is said [in Arabic]: ashraka baynahuma (he joined them together) when he regarded them as two of equal status; or ashraka fi amrihi ghayrahu (he introduced another into his affair) when he made two people involved in it.
In terms of sharee’ah or Islamic terminology, shirk means ascribing a partner or rival to Allaah in Lordship (ruboobiyyah), worship or in His names and attributes.
A rival is a peer or counterpart. Hence Allaah forbids setting up rivals with Him and he condemns those who take them (rivals) as gods instead of  or besides Allaah in many verses of the Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then do not set up rivals unto Allaah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped)”
[al-Baqarah 2:222]

“And they set up rivals to Allaah, to mislead (men) from His path! Say: ‘Enjoy (your brief life)! But certainly, your destination is the (Hell) Fire!’”
[Ibraaheem 14:30]

In the hadeeth it is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies claiming that Allaah has a rival, will enter Hell.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4497; Muslim, 92.

The types of shirk:
The texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate that shirk and the ascribing of rivals to Allaah sometimes puts a person beyond the pale of Islam and sometimes does not. Hence the scholars divided shirk into two types which they call shirk akbar (major shirk) and shirk asghar (minor shirk). There follows a brief description of each type:
1 – Major shirk
This means ascribing to someone other than Allaah something that belongs only to Allaah, such as Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) and the divine names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat).
This kind of shirk may sometimes be outward, such as the shirk of those who worship idols and graves, or the dead or absent.
Or it may sometimes be hidden, such as those who put their trust in other gods besides Allaah, or the shirk and kufr of the hypocrites. For even though  their (hypocrites’) shirk puts them beyond the pale of Islam and means that they will abide  forever in Hell, it is a hidden shirk, because they make an outward display of Islam and conceal their kufr and shirk, so they are inwardly mushriks but not outwardly.
Shirk may sometimes take the form of beliefs:
Such as the belief that there is someone else who creates, gives life and death, reigns or controls the affairs of the universe along with Allaah.
Or the belief that there is someone else who must be obeyed absolutely besides Allaah, so they follow him in regarding as permissible or forbidden whatever he wants, even if that goes against the religion of the Messengers.
Or they may associate others with Allaah in love and veneration, by loving a created being as they love Allaah. This is the kind of shirk that Allaah does not forgive, and it is the shirk of which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals (to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah”
[al-Baqarah 2:165]

Or the belief that there are those who know the Unseen as well as Allaah. This is very common among some of the deviant sects such as the Raafidis (Shi’ah), extreme Sufis, and Baatinis (esoteric sects) in general. The Raafidis believe that their imams have knowledge of the unseen, and the Baatinis and Sufis believe similar things about their awliya’ (“saints”), and so on. It is also shirk to believe that there is someone who bestows mercy in a manner that is befitting only for Allaah, so he shows mercy as Allaah does and forgives sins and overlooks the bad deeds of his worshippers.
Shirk may sometimes take the form of words:
Such as those who make du’aa’ or pray to someone other than Allaah, or seek his help or seek refuge with him with regard to matters over which no one has control except Allaah, whether the person called upon is a Prophet, a wali (“saint”), an angel or a jinn, or some other created being. This is a kind of major shirk which puts one beyond the pale of Islam.
Or such as those who make fun of religion or who liken Allaah to His creation, or say that there is another creator, provider or controller besides Allaah. All of these are major shirk and a grave sin that is not forgiven.
Shirk may sometimes take the form of actions:
Such as one who sacrifices, prays or prostrates to something other than Allaah, or who promulgates laws to replace the rulings of Allaah and makes that the law to which people are obliged to refer for judgement; or one who supports the kaafirs and helps them against the believers, and other acts that go against the basic meaning of faith and put the one who does them beyond the pale of Islam. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.
2 – Minor shirk
This includes everything that may lead to major shirk, or which is described in the texts as being shirk, but does not reach the extent of being major shirk.
This is usually of two types:
1 – Being emotionally attached to some means which have no basis and  for which Allaah has not given permission, such as hanging up “hands”, turquoise beads etc on the grounds that they offer protection or that they ward off the evil eye. But Allaah has not made them the means of such protection, either according to sharee’ah or according to the laws of the universe.
[Translator’s note: the “hands” referred to are objects made of metal, pottery etc, usually blue or turquoise in colour, that some people hang up to ward off the evil eye, according to their mistaken belief]
2 – Venerating some people or things in a way that does not go so far as ascribing lordship to them, such as swearing by something other than Allaah, or saying, “Were it not for Allaah and So and so,” etc.
The scholars have stipulated guidelines to distinguish major shirk from minor shirk when shirk is mentioned in the texts of sharee’ah. These guidelines include the following:
(i) – When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) states clearly that this action is minor shirk, such as in al-Musnad (27742) where it is narrated that Mahmoud ibn Labeed said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The thing that I fear most for you is minor shirk.” They said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what is minor shirk?” He said: “Showing off, for Allaah will say on the Day when people are recompensed for their actions: ‘Go to those for whom you were showing off with your deeds in the world, and see what reward you find with them.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 951.
(ii) – When the word shirk is used in the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah in the indefinite form [without the definite article al-]. This usually refers to minor shirk, and there are many examples of this, such as when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Incantations, amulets and love spells are shirk.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3883; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 331.
What is meant by shirk here is minor shirk, not major shirk.
Amulets are things that are hung on children such as turquoise beads and the like, which they claim will protect them from the evil eye.
Love spells are something that they do, claiming that it will make a woman beloved to her husband and a man beloved to his wife.
(iii) – If the Sahaabah understood from the texts of sharee’ah that what was meant by shirk here was minor shirk, not major. Undoubtedly the understanding of the Sahaabah carries weight, because they are the most knowledgeable of the people concerning the religion of Allaah, and the most knowledgeable as to the intent of the Lawgiver. For example, Abu Dawood (3910) narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tiyarah (superstitious belief in omens) is shirk, tiyarah is shirk,” three times, and there is no one among us but (will have some of that) but Allaah will rid him of it by means of tawakkul (putting his trust in Allaah). The words “there is no one among us…” are the words of Ibn Mas’ood, as was explained by the prominent scholars of hadeeth. This indicates that Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) understood that this was minor shirk, because he could not have said, “There is no one among us…” referring to major shirk. Moreover, major shirk cannot be eliminated by means of tawakkul, rather it is essential to repent therefrom.
(iv) – If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) interpreted the words shirk or kufr in a manner which indicates that what is meant is a minor form thereof and not the major form. For example al-Bukhaari (1038) and Muslim (74) narrated from Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led the morning prayer for us at al-Hudaybiyah following rainfall during the night. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished, he turned to face the people and said to them: “Do you know what your Lord has said?” They said: “Allaah and his Messenger know best.” He said: “This morning one of My slaves became a believer in Me and one a disbeliever. As for him who said: ‘We have been given rain by the grace of Allaah and His mercy,’ that one is a believer in Me, a disbeliever in the stars; and as for him who said: ‘We have been given rain by such-and-such a star, that one is a disbeliever in Me, a believer in the stars.’”

The interpretation of the word kufr here is given in another report narrated from Abu Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do you not know what your Lord said? ‘I do not send any blessing upon My slaves but a group among them become kaafirs thereby because they refer to the stars and attribute things to the stars. This explains that if a person attributes rainfall to the stars by believing that they caused it to fall – when in fact Allaah has not made the stars a means of causing rainfall – his kufr is a kind of ingratitude for the blessing of Allaah. It is well known that ingratitude for the blessing of Allaah is minor kufr. But if a person believes that the stars are controlling the universe and they are the ones that cause the rain to fall, then this is major shirk.

Minor shirk may sometimes take the form of outward actions, such as wearing talismans, strings, amulets and the like, and other words and deeds. And sometimes it may be hidden, like a little bit of showing off.
It may also take the form of beliefs:
Such as the belief that something may be a cause of bringing benefit or warding off harm, when Allaah has not made it so; or believing that there is barakah (blessing) in a thing, when Allaah has not made it so.
It sometimes takes the form of words:
Such as when they said, “We have been given rain by such and such a star,” without believing that that the stars could independently cause rain to fall; or swearing by something other than Allaah, without believing in venerating the thing sworn by or regarding it as equal with Allaah; or saying, “Whatever Allaah wills and you will,” and so on.
It sometimes takes the form of actions:
Such as hanging up amulets or wearing a talisman or string to dispel or ward off calamity, because everyone who attribute powers to a thing when Allaah has not made it so either according to sharee’ah or according to the laws of the universe, has associated something with Allaah. This also applies to one who touches a thing seeking its barakah (blessing), when Allaah has not created any barakah in it, such as kissing the doors of the mosques, touching their thresholds, seeking healing from their dust, and other such actions.
This is a brief look at the division of shirk into major and minor. We cannot go into great detail in this short answer.
What the Muslim must do is to avoid shirk in both its minor and major forms. The greatest sin is shirk and transgression against the unique rights of Allaah, which are to be worshipped and obeyed alone, with no partner or associate.
Hence Allaah has decreed that the mushrikeen will abide forever in Hell and has told us that He will not forgive them, and He has forbidden Paradise to them, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allaah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin”
[al-Nisa’ 4:48]

“Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers”
[al-Maa’idah 5:72]

Every wise and religiously-committed person should fear shirk for himself and should turn to his Lord, asking Him to help him avoid shirk, as al-Khaleel [Ibraaheem – peace be upon him] said:
“and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols”
[Ibraaheem 14:35 – interpretation of the meaning]
One of the salaf said: “Who can claim to be safe from this after Ibraaheem?”
So the sincere believer’s fear of shirk should increase as should his desire for his for his Lord to keep him away from it, and he should say the great du’aa’ which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught to his companions when he said to them: “Shirk among you will be more subtle than the footsteps of an ant, but I will teach you something which, if you do it, both minor and major shirk will be kept away from you. Say: Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika an ushrika bika wa ana a’lam wa astaghfiruka lima la a’lam (O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from associating anything with You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness for that of which I am unaware).”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3731
The above refers to the difference between major and minor shirk, defining each and describing its types.
With regard to the difference between them as far as the ruling is concerned:
Major shirk puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, so the one who does that is judged to be out of Islam and to have apostatized therefrom, so he is a kaafir and an apostate.
Minor shirk does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam, rather it may be done by a Muslim but he still remains in Islam; but the one who does that is in great danger because minor shirk is a major sin. Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “If I were to swear by Allaah falsely, that is better for me than if I were to swear by something other than Him sincerely.” So he regarded swearing by something other than Allaah (which is minor shirk) as being worse than swearing by Allaah falsely, and it is well known that swearing by Allaah falsely is a major sin.
We ask Allaah to make our hearts steadfast in adhering to His religion until we meet Him, and we seek refuge in His Might – may He be glorified – from going astray, for He is the Ever-Living Who never dies, but the jinn and mankind will die. And Allaah knows best and is most wise, and to Him is the final return of all.
Courtesy: Islam Q&A
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