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Islamic Q and A ( 1 Jun 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Is the act of Shirk (associating others with God) Forgivable in Islam?

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam

1 Jun 2021

Shirk is forgivable before death but not after death

Important points

The act of Shirk can be forgiven before death by way of repentance

If a person does not repent in the world, his shirk will not be forgiven in the hereafter  

One should not lose hope in the mercy and turn to Allah for repentance

Allah is the Merciful and forgives Kufr and Shirk if the person repents in the world   


Answer: Whoever repents in the worldly life and turns to Allah, He Almighty will forgive him. Allah says in the Quran,

“Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (39:53)

Regarding the cause of revelation (Shane Nuzul) of this verse, it is reported that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said that some people had killed a lot of people unjustly and had committed a lot of shameful acts. They came to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and submitted before him, “the religion you invite to us is undoubtedly very good, but we have a problem. We think about all those major sins we have already committed. Now if we were to become Muslim, do you hope that our repentance will be accepted?”. Thereupon, the aforementioned verse was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). (Sahih Bukhari/Tafsir al-Qurtubi)

The scholars interpret verse of the Quran 39:53 to infer that the outcome of the subject taken up in this verse comes to be that, if a person before his death repents from sins, no matter how serious, even from kufr and shirk (associating partners with Allah), his repentance will be accepted and all sins will be forgiven, therefore one should not lose hope in the mercy of Allah.

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar said that out of all verses of the Quran, this message brings the strongest message of hope for sinners.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “He who repents of a sin is like him who has not committed any sin.” (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2338 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “Allah accepts a servant's repentance (tawba) till he gives up his spirit in death.”

However, if the person commits shirk (i.e. ascribes any partners to Allah) and dies without repenting of it, he will not be forgiven in the hereafter, as Allah Almighty has made it clear in the Quran that committing shirk is unforgivable in the hereafter.  

“Surely, Allah does not forgive the ascribing of a partner to Him and forgives anything short of that for whomsoever He wills. And whoever ascribes a partner to Allah has tailored a great sin.” (4:48)

In another verse of the Quran, Allah says, “And it was already revealed to you and those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers." Rather, worship [only] Allah and be among the grateful.” (33:66-67)

Quoting these two verses, the Muslim scholars believe that if a person who has committed any acts of shirk dies, he will not be forgiven. The only chance of forgiveness for shirk is if he repents before he dies.


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