Shirk is antithesis of Tauheed (Tauheed: The Islamic Monotheism). Shirk, linguistically means to associate, and in terms of Islamic Shariah, shirk means ascribing a partner or rival to Allah in HIS Lordship (ruboobiyyah), HIS worship (Uloohiyyah) or in HIS names and attributes (Asma-was- sifaat). Allah SWT orders, “Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped)” [Al-Baqarah 2:222] Shirk is the gravest transgression and sin that a human being can commit. ‘’Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.” [An-Nisa 4:48]. ‘’And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray’’ [An-Nisa 4:116].
The most horrendous sin mankind can commit is associating partners with the Magnificent Creator Allah SWT. In the chronology of most dreadful sins, Shirk tops the list. Mercy of Allah SWT can prevail over any sin except Shirk. Ibn Masud RA narrated that the Prophet PBUH said: “Whoever dies while ascribing partners to Allah SWT, enters the hell-fire.”[Bukhari]
Mankind, from the beginning was a single nation which was on the doctrines of Tauheed (Oneness of Allah). Allah SWT says in the Quran: “Mankind was one Ummah, then Allah sent prophets bringing good news and warnings.” [2:213] Ibn Abbaas RA said: “Between Nooh (Noah) and Aadam were ten generations, all of them were upon Sharee’ah (law) of the truth, then they differed. So Allah SWT sent prophets as bringers of good news and as warners.” [Related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree in his Tafseer (4/275) and al-Haakim (2/546)]. From this statement of Ibn Abbas RA we can infer that the deceit of Shirk started to nurture only after ten generations. In a Hadith al Khudsi Allah SWT says “I created all my servants upon the true Religion (upon Tauheed, free from Shirk). Then the devils came to them and led them astray from their true Religion. They made unlawful to people that which I had made lawful for them, and they commanded them to associate in worship with Me, that which I had sent down no authority.” [Muslim and Ahmad]
The Prophet PBUH said, “Every child is born upon the Fitrah [natural inclination towards Islam] but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian or a Maigan. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a natural offspring. Have you noticed any born mutilated, before you mutilate them?” Abu Hurayrah said: Recite if you wish:“Allaah’s Fitrah with which He created mankind. There is to be no change to the creation (Religion) of Allaah.” [Ar-Rum 30:30] [Agreed upon] After this clear and lucid elucidation, it is of supreme importance for the Muslim to know how Shirk made its unpleasant roots in the minds of believers, after they were Muwahideen (people upon Tauheed). Allah SWT says about the people of Nooh: “And they have said: You shall not forsake your gods, nor shall you forsake Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya’ooq, nor Nasr.” [Nuh 71:23] Ibn Abbas relates: “Indeed these five (Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya’ooq, nor Nasr) were the names of righteous men from the people of Nooh. When they died, Shaytaan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of them, so they did this. However, none from amongst them worshipped these statues, until when they died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to worship them.” [Bukhari]
Thus Allah SWT sent Prophet Muhammed PBUH as the final prophet and made his Shareeah a compulsion to follow for the rest of the ummah. This Shareeah prohibits all means and avenues by which people may fall into Shirk at large. Once a person falls into the muck of Shirk all his deeds are of no use.
Brothers!! Building shrines over the graves and intending to travel towards them for having once wishes fulfilled, sacrificing an animal in their name, asking help from them or swearing an oath by the inmate of the grave are all heinous forms of Shirk which the Creator SWT for sure dislikes to core.
This being the case even more so in an age in which knowledge is diminishing, ignorance is increasing, there are few sincere advisers (to the truth) and Shaytaan is co-operating with men and jinn to misguide mankind and to take them away from the worship of Allah SWT alone – the Blessed, the Most High