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  • Does Use Of Words Matter In Terms Of Polytheism?

    Posted by Mohammad Ali Soomro on April 18, 2023 at 10:52 am

    hello there assalamualaikum,

    my question is that there was an article in Islamqa where while describing shirk, minor shirk was told and one of the cases of minor shirk in words was that saying “whatever Allah wills and etc etc wills”. and also a hadith regarding this is

    Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man said to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “It is as Allah wills and you will.” Thereupon, he said: “Do you make me an equal to Allah? It is only as Allah wills.”

    but there’s also a hadith which says like

    Hudhayfah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not say: What Allah wills and this person wills. Rather you should say: What Allah wills, then what this person wills.”

    Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4980

    Hadith on Providence: What Allah wills, then what so-and-so wills

    so my question is that is it shirk or a mushrikaana rawaiiya to say such words? i mean if the intention of the sayer is not to equalize them but is just to say normally. so would it be a sin? and also when we say words like “i fed the poor” “i made this chair” or “i helped this man”. now if we look this in words no one can feed a man intrinsically or help someone or making something intrinsically but it is just a way of saying that Allah allowed me to do the asbaab for that thing and Allah did the thing through me etc. i mean we use the same words for Allah as well like “Allah helped me” “Allah willed it” and also use for people “etc etc helped me” ” or he gave me his car because his father wanted/willed the car to be given to me”. because of limitations of language, the words used are same but the reality of the concept of the sayer is different etc in both cases.

    so what would be the ruling in above Hadith and case below. can it be said that saying something side to side with Allah’s name like “whatever Allah will and you will” saying side by side, coupling it would be blameworthy and minor shirk, as this can give an impression of sayer meaning them to be equal but. if said isolated separate from Allah’s name then it’s fine?

    Umer replied 5 months ago 2 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Does Use Of Words Matter In Terms Of Polytheism?

    Umer updated 5 months ago 2 Members · 5 Replies
  • Umer

    Moderator April 19, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    It is not shirk but should be avoided as a precautionary measure because this sentence has a potential to give an impression where Allah and his creation seem to be presented as equal. Prophet Muhammad (sws) also pointed to this fact and did not issue fatwa of polytheism to the people who uttered these sentences; just pointed this out to them to be more careful in uttering such sentences. It was a preventive measure (sadd-e-zariya).

    When I say that I fed that poor man, it is not to equate with Allah, but to state a fact that I paid someone this much money or gave the poor person a bowl of food to eat, this is not to say that I, just like Allah has power to feed others. But if someone says that “Allah fed that poor person and I fed him too”, then it is not outright shirk, but that person will be asked to avoid using such sentences as they have potential to give a wrong impression even if that was not the intention of the person.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member April 21, 2023 at 3:47 am

      @UmerQureshi brother but how would we know that it’s not actual minor shirk or mushrikaana rawaiiye and just a precautionary measure as the wording of first hadith that “do you make me equal to Allah”?

    • Umer

      Moderator April 25, 2023 at 3:42 pm

      Because definition of Shirk is very clear and it has to do with belief and/or appication of that belief (See: Discussion 75878 • Reply 75951). Rest of the matters were preventive measures adopted to counter polytheistic attitudes so that they may not lead to actual polytheism. Wordings of Hadith are not words of Propeht (sws) verbatim, instead they are an understanding of the narrator, so it needs to be understood in the light of Quran and Sunnah to reach to the actual message that Propeht (sws) was conveying. The above matter can be categorized as a polytheistic attitude, but it also needs to remain clear that polytheistic attitudes are not polytheism themselves, they are countered in a preventive way to avoid the path that may one day lead to polytheism.

  • Mohammad Ali Soomro

    Member April 21, 2023 at 3:56 am


    and secondly brother, if for example the context of a sentence gives a hint, but still there’s a little bit probablity that what if someone else listeneing might take it otherwise, for example. a man asked his brother that “have you studied for your tomorrow’s science exam?” and he replies “yes, i know everything, so i don’t need to study from book”. i mean the context of the sentence points out towards that the boy was saying that he knows sufficiently for tomorrow’s exam and not like he knows everything in absolute knowledge manner. but still in some minute probability like maybe 1% chance that other person might mistaken him and think or have a doubtful thought for a second like “is he saying it in absolute manner?”. so would saying such sentence where context is relatively clear but not absolutely no probability of understanding mistakenly, such words uttering is fine?

    i mean in the example of saying “Allah feeds him and i feed him” there’s a significant probability of someone misunderstanding the sentence and being equating, so it is not to be used.

    but the example i gave now, the probability is much less but still not zero that person listening or a third person who tried to listen to conversation in the midst, might misunderstand. so is it okay?

    • Umer

      Moderator April 25, 2023 at 3:43 pm

      Islam does not burden Muslims with such low probabilities (e.g. See Quran 5:48 and Quran 2:286). The day such sentences start to get used in a polytheistic sense (voluntary or involuntary) then scholars will definitely advise Muslims to stop their usage as a preventive measure following the footsteps of how Prophet Muhammad (sws) adopted certain preventive measures in this regard.

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