Shirk the Unforgivable Sin in Islam

Being a human, it is common to do mistakes or sins, for it is the way of life. Almighty Allah has created us imperfect. Human beings are created in this worldly life to worship Allah (SWT) and to obey His teachings. Allah Almighty has put human beings in trials to resist Shaytan’s whispers and suggestions, to sin, and to repent to Him with a sincere heart. Allah Almighty will forgive all sins except the one unforgivable sin that is Shirk.

 In the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty stated that Shirk is a big sin that Allah (SWT) will never forgive. “Indeed, Allah does not forgive that (anything is) with Him associated; and (anything) whatever, apart from that, He forgives to whomever He decides. And whoever associates (anything) with Allah, then he has certainly gone far astray.” (Quran, 4:116)

Shirk means associating someone with Allah Almighty or you can say partnership. It is the opposite of oneness of Allah (SWT) that is Tawheed. The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah Almighty and firmly prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes. As shirk is the major sin that will never to be forgiven so it is important for us to know about the seriousness and different acts of shirk that we are committing in our daily life but we don’t realize.

Allah Almighty forbids setting up rivals with Him and He condemns those who take them (rivals) as Gods besides Him in many verses of the Holy Quran: “Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped)” (Quran, 2:22). Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in one of his hadiths about shirk: “Whoever dies to claim that Allah has a rival, will enter Hell” (Bukhari). Humanizing Allah Almighty by giving Him attributes similar to humans is shirk. Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Quran: “There is nothing like Him, and He sees and hears all things” (Quran 42:11).

 One of the majors’ shirk is to ask the help of a saint to achieve one’s needs. As Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “And do not invoke besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers” (Quran, 10:106). Arguing on Allah’s command is considered as “major shirk”, to adore and worship the living and non-living things other than Allah Almighty is also shirk. Having a belief that an individual is a prophet or a companion of the prophet or a righteous man has the knowledge of unseen is an act of Shirk. Holy Quran says: “And with HIM are the keys of Ghaib (all that’s hidden), none knows them but HE.” (Quran, 6:59)