Did I do shirk? Can You Answer?

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One of our readers asks:
"I'm Think I Did Shirk
What Can I Do Now?"

Note: 'shirk' is the unforgivable blasphemy in Islam; the act of making partners with the One True God - Allah. Whoever makes 'partners' with Allah has commited 'shirk'. May Allah save us all from this unforgivable sin, ameen.

From the Collection of Montheism (Islamic "Tawheed")

I was wearing a copper bracelet because a friend told me it takes away rheumatism and other things. Since then I heard at the masjid it s 'haram' because the prophet said it's like 'shirk'. So, I took it off and I don't wear it anymore.

But now I'm afraid that if I did 'shirk' and Allah does not forgive "shirk" - right? What is "shirk" exactly?

Is there something I have to do to make up for this or can it be made up?

"Is it considered "shirk" when someone wears a bracelet for some good purpose, like health reasons? What about other things like rings, strings or bands on the wrist, or amulets and stones that cure things, or keep away evil things?



It is reported on the authority of Umran Ibn Husain (ra), that Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, saw a man with a brass ring in his hand, and he asked him: "What is this?" He replied: "It is for protection from al-waahinah (rheumatism)." The Prophet, peace be upon him, answered: "Remove it at once, for verily, it will not increase you except in weakness, and were you to die whilst wearing it, you would never be successful."
(Narrated by Ahmad, with an acceptable Sanad)

A person can repent (make 'taubah') from 'shirk' by making a new shahadah (declaration of faith) and then worship Allah only, without any partners. As long as a person dies on 'At-Tawheed' (monotheism - belief in the true Oness of God), Allah can forgive their sins. So, repenting of this is the answer and dying as a true believer, worshipping only God Allah.

Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists, tells us the answer in His Quran:

Quran 3 102

" O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].

Surah An-Nisa', chapter 4, verse 102.

Allah, tells us about not forgiving 'shirk' in Quran:

Quran 4 48
Translation of meaning -
"Surely, Allah does not forgive Ash-Shirk (associating partners in worship with Him) - but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin."

Surah An-Nisa', chapter 4, verse 48.

Surah Zukhruf 39 verse 38

And Allah says,
Translation of meaning -

"And if you asked them, "Who created the heavens and the earth?" They would surely say, "Allah". Say 'Tell me then, the things you call upon besides Allah - If Allah had intended harm to me, could they (these things) remove His harm? Or had He (Allah) intended Mercy for me, could they withhold HIs Mercy?"
Say, "Enough for me is Allah; in Him do those who trust (true believers) must put their trust."

Quran - Surah Az-Zukhruf, chapter 9, verse 38

In this verse Allah, The Most Glorified, Most High commands His Prophet Muhammad  to reject those powerless, graven images worshipped by the polytheists, which can neither remove any harm which might befall a person by Allah's Decree, nor prevent any sustenance or blessings which might come to a person from Him. Then He commands him to place his trust in Allah, for He is Sufficient to bring benefit or prevent harm for all who sincerely depend upon Him.
Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. The obligation to reject the abominable.
2. The falseness of idol-worship.
3. That the removal of harm and the bringing of benefits is only from Allah.
4. The obligation to trust in Allah and depend upon Him, free from dependence upon any other, and this does not conflict with the requirement to take whatever legal measures one can in order to achieve one's objectives.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of the Chapter
That it proves that protection from harm is only from Allah , and so entrusting oneself to any other protector - such as rings, threads etc. is an act of Shirk.*

*It is reported by Ibn Abi Hatim, on the authority of Huzaifah (ra) that he saw a man with a thread in his hand to protect him from fever; he broke it and recited the Words of Allah (ra), Most High: "And most of them do not believe in Allah, except that they associate partners with Him" (Qur'an 12:106)

Hudhaifah visited a sick man and found him wearing a thread on his wrist; and when he asked the man what was the purpose of it, he told him that it was a protection from fever, at which Hudhaifah broke it declaring it to be Shirk; and as proof of this, he recited the Words of Allah , Most High: " And most of them do not believe in Allah, except that they associate partners with Him" - and the meaning of this verse is that many people believe in Allah , but adulterate their belief with Shirk.
It is also reported by Ahmad on the authority of `Uqbah Ibn A`mir (ra) in a marfoo' 6 form: "Whoever wore a tamemah (Talisman or amulet). Allah will never fulfill his wishes, and whoever wears a wada'ah (A sea-shell resembling an oyster shell). Allah will never grant him peace and tranquility." - and in another narration of Ahmad: "Whoever wears a tamemah has committed an act of Shirk."

`Uqbah Ibn A`mir (ra) informs us in this Hadith that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, supplicated against every person who wears a talisman or a seashell, believing that it will benefit him without Allah , that Allah will not allow him to achieve any of his goals nor fulfill his wishes or dreams; rather, He will prevent him from ever finding security and tranquility; and he also informed us that any such action is false; indeed, in another narration, he informed us that the tamemah is a form of Shirk because its perpetrator believes that it will benefit him without Allah .

Umran Ibn Husain informs us in this Hadith that the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a man with a brass ring in his hand, and he asked him for what purpose he was wearing it. The man answered that he was wearing it to protect him from illness, at which the Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered the man to remove it and informed him that it would only cause him to become weak and not protect him from illness at all, and that should he die while wearing it and believing in its power to protect him, he would not succeed in the Hereafter, nor would he know eternal bliss.

We ask Allah to keep us away from anything and everything associated with "shirk", ameen.

Yusuf Ests is not a scholar of Islam, nor does Islam Newsroom present his writings or answers to questions as authoritive as scholarllly works. He only presents translations from scholars in simple English language to help other English speakers better understand the beautiful teachings and rulings of Islam for both Muslms and non-Muslims alike. To write to him or invite him for events, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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