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Truth_light24 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 April 2008 at 4:57pm

Ash-Shirk al-Akbar (Major Shirk):

This form of Shirk occurs when any act of worship is directed to other than Allah. It represents the most obvious form of idolatry which the prophets were specifically sent by Allah to call the masses of mankind away from.

Major Shirk represents the greatest act of rebellion against the Lord of the Universe, and is thus the ultimate sin. It is a sin so great that it virtually cancels out all good a person may do and guarantees its perpetrator eternal damnation in Hell. Consequently, false religion is based primarily on this form of Shirk. All man-made systems in one way or another invite their followers to the worship of creation. Christians are called upon to pray to a man, a Prophet of God named Jesus, whom they claim to have been God incarnate. Catholics among Christians pray to Mary as the "mother of God", to the angels like Michael who is honored on May 8 and September 29, Michaelmas Day, as St. Michael, as well as to human saints, whether real or fictitious.

Muslims whose acts of worship fall into this category of Shirk are those who pray to Prophet Muhammad or of saints, the pious scholars, their forefathers, the unseen (ghayb) which is very popular in Southern Philippines (Mindanao).. believing that they can answer their prayers and helped them overcome their hardships, illnesses and a lot more.

Ash-Shirk al-Asghar (Minor Shirk):

Mabmood ibn Lubayd reported, "Allaah's messenger said: "The thing I fear for you the most is ash-Shirk al-Asghar (minor shirk)." The companions asked "Oh! messenger of Allah, what is minor Shirk?" He replied "Ar-Riyaa (showing off), for verily Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection when people are receiving their rewards, 'Go to those for whom you were showing off in the material world and see if you can find any reward from them.

Riyaa is the practice of performing any of the various forms of worship in order to be seen and praised by people. This sin destroys all the benefits that lie in righteous deeds and brings on the one who commits it a serious punishment. It is particularly dangerous, because it is natural for man to desire and enjoy the praise of his fellow men. Doing religious acts to impress people or in order to be praised by them is, therefore, an evil which deserves man's utmost caution. This danger is really significant to the believers whose goal is to make all of the acts of their lives religious acts dedicated to God. In fact, the likelihood that knowledgeable true believers would commit ash-Shirk al-Akbar is small, since its pitfalls are so obvious.

But, for the true believer like everyone else, the chance of committing Riyaa is great because it is so hidden. It only involves the simple act of changing one's intention. The motivating forces behind it are also very strong, since it comes from man's inner nature. Ibn 'Abbaas alluded to this reality when he said, "Shirk is more hidden than a black ant creeping on a black stone in the middle of a moonless night."

Thus, great care has to be taken to ensure that one's intentions begin pure and remain pure whenever righteous deeds are being done. In order to ensure this, the saying of Allah's name is enjoined in Islam before all acts of importance. A series of Du'aas (informal prayers) have also been prescribed by the Prophet before and after all natural habits like eating, drinking, sleeping and even going to the toilet, in order to turn these everyday habits into acts of worship and develop in Muslims a keen awareness of Allah. It is this awareness, called Taqwaa, which ultimately insures that intentions remain pure.

Edited by Truth_light24 - 25 April 2008 at 4:58pm
And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin. Quran33:59
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