A. Definition: The omission of any of the above mentioned categories of tawheed or deficiency in the fulfillment of any criteria of Tawheed is referred to as 'shirk'.(Please note that the Arabic word 'Shirk' has the same sound as in the English word 'ship' and not as in the English word 'shirk',which means 'to evade'
‘Shirk’ literally means sharing or associating partners. In Islamic terms it means associating partners with Allah and is equivalent to idolatry.
B. Shirk is the greatest sin that Allah will never forgive:
The Qur’an describes the greatest sin in Surah Al-Nisa’:
"Allah forgives not That partners should be set up With Him; but He forgives Anything else, to whom He pleases; to set up Partners with Allah Is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed." [Al-Qur’an 4:48]
The same message is repeated in Surah Al-Nisa’:
"Allah forgives not (The sin of) joining other gods With Him; but He forgives Whom He pleases other sins Than this: one who joins Other gods with Allah, Has strayed far, far away (From the Right)." [Al-Qur’an 4:116]
C. Shirk leads to hell fire:
The Qur’an says in Surah Ma’idah:
"They do blaspheme who say: ‘Allah is Christ the son Of Mary.’ But said Christ: ‘O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord And your Lord’. Whoever joins other gods with Allah –Allah will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire Will be his abode. There will for the wrongdoers Be no one to help." [Al-Qur’an 5:72]
D. Worship and Obedience to none but Allah:
The Qur’an mentions in Surah Ali-’Imran:
Say: "O people of the Book! Come To common terms As between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; That we associate no partners with Him; That we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, Say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) Are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will)." [Al-Qur’an 3:64]
The Glorious Qur’an says:
"And if all the trees on earth were pens And the Ocean (were ink), with seven Oceans behind it To add to its (supply), yet would not the Words Of Allah be exhausted (In the writing): for Allah Is Exalted in power, Full of Wisdom." [Al-Qur’an 31:27]
Our analysis of Concept of God in various Religion shows that monotheism is an integral part of every major religion of the world. However, it is unfortunate that some adherents of these religions violate the teachings of their own scriptures and have set up partners to Almighty God.
An analysis of the scriptures of various religions, reveals that all scriptures exhort mankind to believe in, and submit to One God. All these scriptures condemn the association of partners to God, or the worship of God in the form of images. The Glorious Qur’an says:
"O men! Here is A parable set forth! Listen to it! Those On whom, besides Allah, You call, cannot create (Even) a fly, if they all Met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch Away anything from them, They would have no power To release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition And those whom they petition!" [Al-Qur’an 22:73]
The basis of religion is the acceptance of Divine guidance. A rejection of this guidance has serious implications for society. While we have made great strides in science and technology, true peace still eludes us. All ‘isms’ have failed to provide the much vaunted deliverance.
The scriptures of all major religions exhort mankind to follow that which is good and eschew that which is evil. All scriptures remind mankind that good will not go unrewarded and evil will not go unpunished!
The question we need to address is, which of these scriptures provides us with the correct ‘instruction manual’ that we need to regulate our individual and collective lives?
I hope and pray that Allah guides all of us towards the Truth (Aameen).
-Dr. Zakir Naik