WHAT IS SHIRK?
The biggest sin in Islam is shirk: “associating partners with God.” Shirk may be generally defined as polytheism (worshiping of or believing in more than one deity, especially several deities), but also includes such things as the Christian concept of a triune God(Christian Trinity), or the worshipping of anything other than God, whether it’s a human being, any natural/human creation or phenomenon. This tends to create quite a theological abyss between Muslims and polytheists(people who believe in more than one deity), but also with Christians and certain other religious groups.
Expressions such as “Holy Mother of God!”, and “in the name of the Father,Son and Holy Gost…” or “…Holy Cow” give most observant Muslims the theological willies.
TEN THINGS WHICH NULLIFY ONES ISLAAM
There are ten things which nullify one being a Muslim but I’m going to concentrate on the first three and seventh.All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of the worlds. May peace and salutations be upon the Last Messenger of Allaah, and upon all those who follow him until the Last day.To proceed:Brother and Sister Muslim, you must be aware that there are matters which nullify your Islaam. Please be Mindful of them.
1. Associating partners with Alaah (shirk). Allaah Most High says (in the meaning ):
“Truly, whosoever sets up partners with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden the Garden for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.” (Soorah Al-Maa’ida 5:72)
Calling upon the dead, asking their help, or offering them gifts or sacrifices are all forms of shirk.
2. Setting up intermediaries between oneself and Allaah, making supplication to them, asking their intercession with Allaah, and placing ones trust in them is unbelief (kufr).
3. Anyone who does not consider the polytheists (mushrikeen) to be unbelievers, or who has doubts concerning their unbelief, or considers their way to be correct, is himself/herself an unbeliever (kafir).
7. The practice of magic. Included in this, for example, is causing a rift between a husband and wife by turning his love for her into hatred, or tempting a person to do things he dislikes using black arts. One who engages in such a thing or is pleased with it is outside the fold of Islaam. Allaah Most High says (in the meaning):
” But neither of these two (angels, Harut and Marut) taught anyone (magic) till they had said, Indeed, we are a trial; then do not disbelieve. (Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:102)
8. Supporting and aiding polytheists against the Muslims. Allaah Most High says (in the meaning):
“Whoever among you who takes them as allies is surely one of them. Truly, Allaah does not guide the wrongdoers.” (Soorah Al-Maaida 5:51)
RIGHTS OF OTHER RELATIVES
Besides parents’ rights, a great emphasis is also laid on the rights of other relatives. In Islamic terms, ‘Silah-Rahimi’ is used to denote ‘good treatment towards the relatives’.
In the Quraan, where the Muslims are enjoined to show kindness to parents, they are also required to treat the other relatives with love and sympathy and to pay due regard to their rights as well.
the foremost claim on a person is that of his mother, then of his father, and then grade by grade, of the other relatives. Therefore through relationship, the relatives’ rights come after that of the parents.
Allah has declared, “I am Allah, I am Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), I have created the bond of kinship and named it Rahim,-which I have derived from the root of my name of Rahman. Thus, whoever, shall join it (ie. Rahim), I shall join him, and whoever will break it, I shall break him.”
The Almighty has designed the system of birth in such a way, that whoever is born, is tied to the bonds of kinship-and these bonds carry certain claims and rights. Thus, whoever fulfils these claims, by being kind to his relatives and treating them well, Allah will “join him” i.e. He will make him His own and bestow His favour and mercy on him. And whosoever will violate these claims, Allah will “break him” i.e. He will have nothing to do with him.
Fulfilling the Rights of Relatives
It is related by Anas (R.A.) that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said “Whoever wants an increase in his sustenance and that the marks of his feet remain for a long time in the world (i.e. to live long) – he should be kind and helpful to his relatives.”
Basically, there are two ways of being kind and considerate to relatives. One is by giving them monetary assistance, when needed, and the other is by devoting a part of one’s time and energy at their service.
Family quarrels, which generally arise from the disregard of the relatives’ rights, affect a man’s health and make it difficult for him
to concentrate in his work. Those who treat their relatives well and are helpful to them, are free from tensions of this kind and they are happier and more peaceful.
Violation of Relatives’ Rights
The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has said “Whoever violates the rights of relatives, shall not go to Paradise.”
Commentary:- This hadeeth, alone, should be enough to make us realise the importance of ‘Silah-Rahimi’. It shows that the violation of the relatives’ rights is so detested by Allah, that with its filthiness, no one can enter Paradise. It is only when a person (believer) has received his punishment or has been forgiven, that the gates of Paradise will be opened for him.
Showing Kindness to Those Who Severe Relations
Often, there are people who care little for the bonds of relationship and are rude and unjust in this respect. Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has enjoined to continue to treat them well and fulfil the obligations, irrespective of what they do and how they behave.
Abdullah ibn Umar(R.A.) relates from the Prophet (S.A.W.), “He does not fulfill the claim of Silah-Rahimi who shows no kindness in return for the kindness shown to him.. The person who really fulfils the claim is he who treats his relatives well even when they are mean and unjust to him’’.
When the violation of the rights of relatives is returned in a similar manner, the evil will spread in the society — while if it is returned with kindness, it may lead to their correction and it will assist in the promotion of Silah-Rahimi, in the life of the community.
Keeping a grudge with a relative shortens some one’s life on earth according to Islam. Allah may prolong or shorten one’s life depending on the relationship one holds with his or her relatives. There are several hadiths or ilimu around this area.
When a relative is engaged in Shirq, we still continue to show kindness and love to them unless if their involvement in Shirq may affect your belief in Islam. If it does, then avoiding your relative is allowed in Islam.
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