Allah blessed me with the opportunity to listen to Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, who specializes in Aqeeda, speak about shirk. Here’s what he said.
Question: What happens if you’re Muslim and you’ve committed shirk?
Answerer: Shaykh Yasir Qadhi
In the Qur’an, in many places, Allah says shirk is unforgivable.
Translation: Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin. (Surah Nisaa, verse 48)1, 2
Notice Allah says he “forgives what is besides that”–that means any sin is potentially forgivable. Subhanallah.
So what happens if you’re Muslim, and you commit an act of shirk? Does it destroy all your good deeds? Are you doomed to enter Jahannam, may Allah protect us all from that?
“Allah does not forgive [shirk]” means Allah will not forgive the person if he doesn’t repent. Repentance wipes out every sin, without exception. Many sahaba (may Allah be pleased with all of them) were mushrikoon when they accepted Islam.
The point is, if you commit shirk and die without repenting, Allah will not forgive you. If you fornicate, drink alcohol, consume interest, steal, and you repent afterward, Allah will forgive you inshaAllah. If you don’t repent from those sins and you die, Allah may forgive you. With shirk, if you die with it unrepented, Allah will not forgive you.
The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) saught refuge from shirk and taught us a wonderful du’a to protect ourselves:
Allaahumma innee ‘aoothu bika an ushrika bika shaiann wa anaa a’lamu, wa astaghfiruka limaa laa a’lamu.
Translation: O Allah, I seek refuge in You lest I associate anything with You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness for what I know not.
Source: The collection of Ahmad. You can find the du’a in Fortress of a Muslim. You can find more details more in the comments inshaAllah.
May Allah protect us all from the evil of shirk, and allow us to live and die as true Muslims.
(1) Shakir, trans. “An-Nisaa (Women).” USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts. USC-MSA. 16 Mar. 2006 <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/004.qmt.html>.
(2) Pickthall, Muhammad M., trans. Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem: Parallel Arabic text with English Translation. One Ummah Network. 28 Dec. 2005 <http://www.oneummah.net/quran/quran.html>.
(3) Yasir Qadhi. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Light of Guidance. University of Toronto, Toronto. March 2006.