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The Many Dangers of the Tongue

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Chapter Two

Committing Shirk Through the Tongue

Shirk refers to assigning a partner or partners with Allah in whatever form it may take, and it is the opposite of worshipping Allah alone.

This act of associating partners with Allah is (one of) the most dangerous sins in which a Muslin can be involved. In fact, if someone dies in such a state, then he/she will not be forgive Allah protect us from all types of shirk. Ameen.

About shirk Allah, the Most High said:

"Indeed Allah does not forgive shirk (that you associate any partners with Him), but He forgives other than that to whom He pleases." [An Nisaa 4:48]

He, the Sublime said:

"Indeed shirk is the greatest oppression." [Luqman: 13]

Allah, the Most High also said:

"...Indeed he who associates partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Jannah (Paradise) for him, and the Fire (of Hell) will be his abode ."

[Al-Maaida 5:72]

In addition to that, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Shall I not inform you about the greatest of sins?" We said: "Surely, O Messenger of Allah". He (peace be upon him) said: "Associating partners (shirk) with Allah….."

[Bukhari and Muslim]

Proofs indicating the dangers of shirk (associating partners with Allah) from the Quran and authentic Sunnah are numerous, but the above reference would suffice. Shirk is a very extensive subject about which most Muslims are ignorant. However, a sin that Allah does not forgive definitely needs serious attention, because Satan would work assiduously to get us to concern ourselves with smaller issues, thinking that we are saved, but causes us to practice Shirk. Listen to what Allah, Most High, said:

"Say, Shall we not tell you (who are) the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds. Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds. [Al-Kahf 18: 103- 104]

Allah, the Sublime said:

"And if you commit shirk (associating partners with Allah) all of your works would be in vain (destroyed) and you wilt definitely be among those who are the losers".

[Al-Zumar 39:65]

It is reasonable to conclude that unless we, as Muslims, know clearly what is Shirk, then we are likely to become ready victims of it. And if we are in shirk (may Allah save us from this plight), then, based upon the above statements of Allah, about which there is no doubt, ail of our works would be destroyed and we would be from among the losers, although we may think we are not doing anything wrong. Brother and sisters, let us make more sincere effort to know our Deen, and not just assume that, because Allah is All-forgiving, that we would get His forgiveness. We must remember also, that He is swift in punishment. Forgiveness has to be earned, and it is not given to someone just because he carries a Muslim name, or says he is Muslim. It is earned by striving. Allah, the Almighty, said: "...and strive all-together for the forgiveness from your Lord... "

[Aali 'Imraah 3:133]

The grave sin, Shirk, like acts of worship, can be done with either the heart, the tongue, or the limbs. However, we will only deal with those aspects of shirk which are committed by the tongue herein.


Supplicating to Other Than Allah.

He, the Glorious said:

"Supplicate to Me and I will answer you" [Ghaafir:60]

The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Du'aa (supplication) is worship itself".

[Abu Dawood]

Since Du'aa is the essence and main element of worship, as it is the seeking of help from a supernatural source, it must be directed to the Creator and Sustainer, Allah Himself. It is precisely for this reason that, Allah, the Sublime, warns:

"And supplicate not to any other than Allah, that which can neither profit nor harm you, but if you do so, then certainly you will be from among the transgressors."

[Yunus 10:106]

Yet, we would find Muslims going to graves of seemingly pious people, supplicating to them to fulfill their needs. It is also commonplace for some Muslims to make Du'aa through the name of the Prophet (peace be upon him), as well as other righteous people. However, all supplications must be directed towards Allah, Alone. To do otherwise constitutes shirk, -pure and simple.

Kufr Ni'mah: Disbelief Manifesting Itself in Ungratefulness

for Allah's Blessings or Favors.

Allah, the Sublime said:

"They recognize the bounty (blessings) of Allah, yet they deny it and most of them are disbelievers". [An-Nahl 16:83]

Instead of praising Allah for the bounties He, the Sublime bestows upon us, we deny them and sometimes feel it is by our own hands that we have achieved whatever Allah has blessed us with. The correct attitude would be to acknowledge, that all that we have is only from Allah, the Almighty. This should help us to feel less independent, and make us more grateful to Allah, the Sublime. This, in turn, will cause us to receive more of Allah's blessing (Inshaa Allah), He, the Glorious said:

'And if you are thankful, I will increase (My blessings) to you." [Ibraheem 14:7]

Visiting Fortunetellers; or Obeah Men; or Psychics; etc.

The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and asks him anything, Allah will not accept his Prayers for 40 days. " [Muslim]

This is the punishment for going to him and seeking his help. However, if a Muslim believes in what the fortuneteller says, the harm is even greater. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and believes in what he says, has disbelieved in what was brought by Muhammad (i.e. Islam)." [Ahmad]

This Hadeeth clearly declares, that to believe anything from the fortuneteller/obeah man, is disbelief.

These experts at deception have deceived many people, and extracted from them much wealth. Yet, many Muslims frequent them. May Allah assist and guide us from such practitioners of evil.

Swearing By Other Than Allah

Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allah prohibits you from swearing by your fathers, so whoever swears, let him swear by Allah or shut up. [Bukhari & Muslim]

It is stated in another Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that: "Whoever swears by other than Allah has committed shirk" [Ahmad, Tirmidhee & Al-Haakim]

Swearing is allowed in Islam, but a person can only swear by Allah. If he swears by anything else, then this is an aspect of Shirk. To swear by the moon or the star or any of Allah's creation, is Haraam. Allah can swear by whatever He wants to, but we can only swear by Him. The common practice among many Muslims to swear by the Quran is a Bid'ah (innovation), and should be discouraged. What is even more heinous, is to swear by Allah while knowing fully well that one is lying.

Denying a Name or Description of Allah or Changing its Apparent Meaning

This occurs when someone denies any Name or Attribute of Allah that He affirmed for Himself, or that His Messenger (peace be upon him) affirmed for Him, the Most High. For example, to deny or cast doubt on the fact that Allah has Two Hands, or that He hears, or that He is above the heavens, are aspects of Shirk which fall within this category. To seek to explain the Hands of Allah as His Mercy, Strength, Power, etc., falls into the above category also. This type of explaining of Allah's Attributes is also prohibited in Islam.

It must be noted that the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah regarding Allah's Names and Attributes is:

"That Muslims must believe in all of Allah's Names and all of His Attributes that are found in the Quraan and the authentic Sunnah. They must accept them exactly and literally as they are."

The above demands the following:

(a) Not seeking to explain any of them by similitude (i.e. by saying for example that Allah's Hands are just like the hands of mankind).

(b) Not seeking to explain "How it is" (i.e. by seeking to explain, for example, how Allah is established above His Throne).

(c) Not declaring it to be figurative language and not literal (i.e. by saying, for example, that the meaning of 'the Hand of Allah is with the Jamaa'ah' means 'His Mercy or Blessings and not literally Hand'. Or to say that Allah does not have Hands or a Face because these are human or animalistic characteristics, and thus the "Hands" and "Face" is figurative and not literal.

To Blaspheme Allah, His Quraan or His Messenger (peace be upon him)

Another aspect of disbelief is to blaspheme Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him), the Quraan, the sunnah of the Messenger, the Deen of Islam, Muslims, the angels, etc.

Ibn Taimiyah said: "If the one who blasphemes is a Muslim, he has disbelieved, and therefore, should be killed (by the Khaleefah). This is a consensus among the four Imaams."

Allah, the Almighty said:

"Verily, those who annoy Allah and his messenger (by, abusing or telling lie against Allah and his messenger), Allah has cursed them in this world, and in the hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment " [Al-Aahzaab 33:57]

Deniers of Qadr

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Every ummah has its majoose (fire worshipper) and the majoose of my ummah are those who say: "There is no Qadr (Predestination)' if they become sick! do not visit them and if they die do not witness them (i.e. to attend their funerals)". [Ahmad]

It Is Prohibited To Sit in the Company of Those Who Give Deviant or Wrong Interpretations About the Quraan or Islam.

This evil is so great that Allah, the Wise, even prohibits Muslims to allow themselves to overhear the conversations of those who involve in the wrong interpretations about the Quraan or Islam. Allah, the Great, said:

"And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our Verses by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Satan causes you to forget, then after you have remembered, sit not in the company of the evil-doers."

[Al-A'araaf 7:68]

And He, the Most High said:

"And stay away from those who take their religion as play or amusement and are deceived by the Life of this world.. " [Al-A'araaf 7:70]

Allah, the Glorious said:

"And We have already revealed in this Quraan, that whenever you hear the verses of Allah denied and mocked at, then sit not in such a company until they change the subject of discussion. (If you sit in such company), then, verily you are just like them. Surely Allah will gather all the disbelievers and hypocrites in Hell" [An-Nisaa 4: 140]

In his Tafseer, Imaam Al-Qurtubi has noted that the scholars of Islam have declared it totally forbidden for anyone to remain in any such company (i.e. the company of sinners), whilst they are committing these sins, or the people of bid`ah, or of anyone who distorts the teachings of Islam. [Al-Qurtubi Vol. 5 Pg. 268]

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