Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Minor shirk

Minor shirk
I have a colleague at work, and whilst I was talking to him he told us that he has an amulet that he got from some people who say that they are Shaykhs who treat people in the neighbourhood. He says that written inside it is Aayat al-Kursiy and he put it in a piece of leather and tied it and hung it on his chest. We had a discussion, myself, him and some of our colleagues. We advised him to burn the paper or take it to a trustworthy person to undo it and neutralize it, but he refused on the grounds that they are Shaykhs and that no one is allowed to see what is inside this thing, and it is beneficial. My reaction was to try to make him fear Allaah and I did not realize what I was saying; I said: “If you die with this thing on you, you will go to Hell.” To be honest, I regretted it after I said it, and I am afraid that Allaah may cancel out my good deeds, like the man who said to a sinner, “Allaah will not forgive you,” but Allaah said: “Who is the one who swore by Me that I will not forgive So and so? I have forgiven So and so and I have cancelled out your good deeds”. Now I am worried about this matter and I hope that you can advise me and tell me what I should do. May Allaah reward you with good.


Praise be to Allaah.


It is not permissible to wear amulets even if they are from
the Holy Qur’aan, because of the general meaning of the words of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever wears an amulet,
may Allaah not fulfil his need, and whoever wears a sea-shell, may Allaah
not give him peace.”  Narrated by Ahmad (17440); classed as hasan by Shu’ayb
al-Arna’oot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad. 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever wears an amulet has committed shirk.” This hadeeth was classed as
saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’. 

If amulets contain Qur’aan, then there is a difference of
scholarly opinion concerning them. The more correct view is that they are
not allowed, because of the general meaning of the evidence, and so as to
ward off the means (that may lead to shirk). And that is also because of the
disrespect to which they are exposed in most cases, because the wearer
sleeps wearing the amulet, and enters the toilet wearing it, and so on. 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (1/212): The
scholars are unanimously agreed that it is haraam to wear amulets if they
contain something other than Qur’aan, but they differed concerning those
that contain Qur’aan. Some of them allowed wearing them and some of them did
not allow that. The view that it is not allowed is more correct, because of
the general meaning of the ahaadeeth and so as to ward off the means (that
may lead to shirk). End quote. 

This has been discussed in detail in the answer to question
no. 10543

All of this applies if we accept that the amulet asked about
here does not contain anything other than Aayat al-Kursiy or other words of
Allaah. But it may also include witchcraft and kufr. It is strange that that
practitioners of witchcraft put the words of Allaah with their kufr and
falsehood, so as to conceal their evil and deceive the people. 

It seems from your colleague’s concern that no one should
look inside the amulet and his refusal when you asked him for the amulet so
that you could see what was inside it, that your colleague is either
ignorant of what is really inside the amulet or he knows that what is inside
is not only the words of Allaah. 

Based on that, you have to advise this colleague of yours and
warn him against wearing anything the contents of which he does not know,
and wearing amulets altogether. 

His saying that no one is allowed to see what is inside it is
not correct, rather this is one of the lies of the practitioners of
witchcraft and charlatans, and is a way in which they scare the people so
that they will not see what is inside the amulets of the names of devils or
writing that has no meaning. 


As for your saying “By Allaah, if you die with this thing on
you, you will go to Hell”, if what you meant is that the one who does that
deserves to go to Hell, based on what you have heard about the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbidding that, and his warning
of Hell to the one who did that, whilst also knowing that we cannot know
whether any specific person will go to Paradise or Hell, except those who
are mentioned in the Wahy (Revelation), and that believers in Tawheed who
commit sin are subject to the will of Allaah, and if He wills He will punish
them and if He wills He will forgive them – if that is what you meant, then
there is no sin on you in sha Allaah. 

Similarly, if your intention was to warn him of the
punishment of those who take such matters lightly and persist in doing them,
there is no sin on you for that, in sha Allaah. 

In Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (19498) it is narrated that
al-Hasan said: ‘Imraan ibn Husayn told me that the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw a ring, I think he said of brass, on a
man’s upper arm. He said: “Woe to you, what is this?” He said: It is for
pain in the shoulder and hand. He said: “It will only increase you in
weakness. Take it off, for if you die with it on you, you will never
succeed.” [Classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in al-Da’eefah

In Sunan Abi Dawood (4669) it is narrated that Ibn
al-Daylami said: I went to Ubayy ibn Ka’b and said to him: I am rather
confused about al-qadar (the divine decree); tell me of something by means
of which Allaah may take away that which is in my heart. He said: If Allaah
punished the inhabitants of His heavens and the inhabitants of His earth, He
would punish them and would not be unjust towards them. If He were to bestow
mercy on them, His mercy would be better for them than their good deeds. If
you were to spend the equivalent of Uhud in gold for the sake of Allaah,
Allaah would not accept it from you unless you believed in al-qadar and knew
that whatever befalls you could not have missed you and whatever missed you
could not have befallen you. If you die believing something other than this,
you will go to Hell. He said: Then I went to ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood and he
said something similar. Then I went to Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan and he said
something similar. Then I went to Zayd ibn Thaabit and he narrated something
similar to me from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’

Al-Qaari said concerning the words “you will go to Hell”:
this is a warning and a threat! End quote from Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi. 

But if what you meant was that this specific person is one of
the people of Hell because of this action of his, this is a mistake on your
part. We cannot testify that any specific person will be in Paradise or in
Hell, unless there is a text that testifies to that. 

Note: Wearing an amulet may be minor shirk or it may be major
shirk, depending on the situation of the one who uses it. If he believes
that it can bring benefit and cause harm in and of itself, then this is
major shirk. If he believes that it is a means, then this is minor shirk,
because he is regarding something that is not a means as a means. If a
person dies in a state of minor shirk without having repented, is he subject
to the will of Allaah, or will he not be forgiven, as in the case of major
shirk? There are two scholarly points of view: 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was
asked: Do the words of Allaah, “Verily, Allaah
forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship)” [al-Nisa’
4:48] include minor shirk? 

He replied: The scholars differed concerning that. Some of
them said that it includes all kinds of shirk, even minor shirk such as
swearing by something other than Allaah; Allaah will not forgive him. But
with regard to major sins, such as drinking alcohol and zina, they are
subject to the will of Allaah; if Allaah wills He will forgive them and if
He wills He will punish them. 

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said different things. On one
occasion he said: Allaah does not forgive shirk even if it is minor. And on
another occasion he said: That which Allaah does not forgive is major

Whatever the case, we must beware of shirk altogether,
because the general meaning may include minor shirk too, because He says “Verily,
Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him” meaning any
partner, therefore it suggests any kind of shirk. End quote from Majmoo’
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (2/203). 

As for what you have to do, you have to repent to Allaah from
your taking such wording lightly, and not do that again in the future.  

And Allaah knows best.

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