What is Shirk in Islam? Acts of Shirk that we Don’t realize we are Committing

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. In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty stated that Shirk is a big sin that Allah (SWT) will never forgive. 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 Allah (SWT) 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).

We all should know that a shirk is an impermissible act which is involving the association of partners with Allah Almighty. There are three types of shirk:

  • The Major Shirk
  • The Minor Shirk
  • The Hidden Shirk

We don’t realize that we are committing one of the above-mentioned types of shirk.  Some examples are mentioned below that we should know and try to avoid them:

  • Arguing on Allah’s command is considered as a “major shirk”
  • To adore and worship living and non-living things other than Allah Almighty
  • Instead of praying and worshipping only for the sake of Allah, to pray and worship so that other people will see them and appreciate him. Worshipping like that is a kind of associating partners with Allah
  • It is impermissible to place admiration on things or people in a way that it leads to attributing lordship. This type of shirk is considered as “minor shirk”
  • Extreme admiration in which admiring people to such a point that is due to Allah only
  • Giving charity to gain praise and attention or we can say for the purpose of showing off instead of doing it for Allah Almighty
  • Humanizing Allah (SWT) by giving Him attributes similar to humans is shirk. Allah Almighty says in Noble Quran: “There is nothing like Him, and He sees and hears all things.” (Quran 42:11)
  • Associating Allah (SWT) and His will to people. Major shirk is to ask the help of a saint to achieve one’s needs. As Allah Almighty says in 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)
  • Having a belief that an individual is a prophet or a companion of 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)

In short, A believer must avoid all kinds of shirk. Whether they are hidden or visible, open or covered. The real oneness can only be obtained in this way. May Allah Almighty give us the strength to follow the right path! Ameen