Shirk in Isti'anah (asking for aid and help)
Isti'anah refers to asking help from Allah in general matters that takes place at a time without evident hardship. Committing shirk in this refers to asking for help in other than Allah in that which only Allah can help with. For instance, asking the help of a dead person in that which only Allah can help one with sayings like "Oh so and so (dead person) ease me of my sadness." Or "Oh so and so angel.." or "Oh so and so Jinn.." and "Oh so and so (name of a Prophet).."
It is only to Allah (عز وجل) we make these general dua to.
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
"You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)." [al-Faitha 1:5]
However, if we ask the help of someone who is alive and is capable of helping us, this is not shirk. For instance, asking an employer for a raise, asking a neighbor for a loan, etc..
Shirk in Istigatha
Istigatha refers to seeking refuge in Allah in specific matters that take place in times of extreme hardship and difficulty. For instance, if one is drowning and another person is there next to him who can help him, he can say "Oh so and so and help me!" This is called istigatha in that person. Or if someone says "Oh Allah help me!" This is considered istigatha in Allah. Committing shirk in istigatha refers to asking other than Allah who cannot physically help in these times. For instance, one who commits this might say "Oh Badawi, help me from this fire!" when in fact Badawi is absent from the situation. One might even say "Oh Messenger of Allah! help me from drowning!"
Allah reiterates the help can only come from Allah in these situations as He says,
إِذْ تَسْتَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُمْ فَاسْتَجَابَ لَكُمْ أَنِّي مُمِدُّكُم بِأَلْفٍ مِّنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُرْدِفِينَ
"(Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): "I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other (following one another) in succession." [al-Anfal 8:9]
If one asks for help in these situations from another person who is able to help them in the situation, then this is permissible. For example, the Jew asked Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) for help.
وَدَخَلَ الْمَدِينَةَ عَلَىٰ حِينِ غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا فَوَجَدَ فِيهَا رَجُلَيْنِ يَقْتَتِلَانِ هَٰذَا مِن شِيعَتِهِ وَهَٰذَا مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ ۖ فَاسْتَغَاثَهُ الَّذِي مِن شِيعَتِهِ عَلَى الَّذِي مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ فَوَكَزَهُ مُوسَىٰ فَقَضَىٰ عَلَيْهِ ۖ قَالَ هَٰذَا مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ مُّضِلٌّ مُّبِينٌ
"And he entered the city at a time of unawareness of its people, and he found there two men fighting, - one of his party (his religion - from the Children of Israel), and the other of his foes. The man of his (own) party asked him for help against his foe, so Musa (Moses) struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: "This is of Shaitan's (Satan) doing, verily, he is a plain misleading enemy." [al-Qasas 28:15]
Shirk in Isti'atha
Isti'atha means to seek refuge in Allah out of fear that some hardship is approaching. This is the same as Istighatha. Shirk is committed when one seeks Isti'atha in that which only Allah can do.
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ
"Say: "I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the daybreak," [al-Falaq 113:1]
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ
"Say: "I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind," [an-Nas 114:1]
Seeking refuge only in Allah in general is the rule. However, if one seeks refuge and specifies that the other person is able to help, then it is permissible to seek refuge in someone other than Allah. This is true ONLY if that other has the capability to resolve the situation. For instance, if a man has a bad son, a person can seek refuge in the son's father in order for the son to stop his evil behavior. As long as situations are under the person's control, it is permissible to seek refuge in them in these matters. With this we can derive the opposite in that it is shirk to seek refuge in the dead.
Shirk in Ruqyah
Ruqyah is reciting the Qur'an or the Sunnah over mentally or physically sick people in order to seek a cure. Shirk is committed in ruqyah if one seeks ruqyah in other than Allah (عز وجل)
If one does ruqyah by the names of the angels, prophets or jinns, this is considered shirk. Bid'ah is committed if one believes he must recite for instance surah Yasin 70 times in order to cure the sick because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) never did that.
If one does ruqyah by the Qur'an or Allah's name, attributes, or adiyyah that have no shirk in them this is permitted and at times from the Sunnah.
Ruqyah is three kinds:
a) Permissable Ruqyah
This is from the Qur'an or a dua that is either found in the Sunnah or the general dua that contains no bid'ah or shirk
Ruqyah has 3 Requirements in order for it to be Permissible:
1. It must be from Qur'an or names or attributes, or dua we know or dua we make up
2. It must be in the Arabic language
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) performed all of his ruqya in the Arabic language. Some evil witchcraft speak foreign and strange words that chant evil words we do not understand. Some will recite al-Fatiha first then do the encantation of tamtam in order for us to have less doubt and fear that what is actually being committed is shirk.
3. We must believe the curer is Allah (عز وجل)
Proof of this is the hadith of Abu Saeed al Khudri (رضي الله عنه) where a group of the sahabah were on a journey. They asked to be a guest at a certain tribe who refused them. The tribe later approached them saying their master has been bitten by a snake and they needed a cure. They asked if anyone knew medicine. The sahabah said "You refused us as guest and ask us this now?" The tribesman said "We will reward you if you perform medicine on him." A sahabi read on him al-Fatiha and the man jumped up cured. The tribe gave them a generous gift. The sahabah were going to divide it but the sahabi who recited told them to hold off until the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) approves of it.When they went to the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) they told him the story and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ordered that they give him a portion of the gift. The point is that it was sign of approval of both reciting Qur'an with the intention of Allah curing someone for that.
Another proof is the general verse where Allah (عز وجل) said:
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا
"And We reveal of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy for believers though it increase the evil-doers in naught save ruin." [al-Isra' 17:82]
Another proof is the hadith in Muslim: "We used to recite upon our ill and we asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) if we can do that after Islam, he said recite to me what you recite then he said there is no problem with it unless it contains shirk."
It was narrated by Anas and other sahabah in Sahih al-Bukhari that they said to their sick "Allahuma rab an-nas muthib alba's eshfi anta ash-shafi la shifa' ila shifahak shifa'an la ughader saqaman"
Also, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to say to the sick in duaa 7 times (Asa'l allaha Rab al-'Arsh al-Atheem An yashfeeka wa uaffeeka)
b) Shirk in Ruqyah.
This is seeking cure or help in jinn or angels.
c) Shirk which is a bid'ah.
This may be a result of a weak or fabricated hadith that say for example the cure for stomach ache is to recite Ayat al-Kursi 70 times under the light of moon, when there is really no hadith that says that.
Shirk in Riyaa'
Riyaa' means to show off. Committing this shirk pertains to polluting one's intentions by doing the vast majority of one's deeds for the sake of other than Allah.
There are two categories of people who fall into this.
1. Munafiqoon (hypocrites) who became muslims for this life. They did not believe in Allah. They did their actions, praying, fasting, hajj, jihad, etc.. to show people instead of doing them for the sake of Allah. For instance, in the Battle of Uhud, they went for jihad but they did it for the sake of people. If there is plenty of riyaa it becomes shirk akbar as was done by the munafiqeen like Abdullah bin Ubayy and his role at the Battle of Uhud taking back with him 1/3rd of the army.
2. Believers who do good deeds and they want to show off with those deeds. This is shirk asghar, though in aqeedah it is shirk akbar. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said in Musnad Ahmad, "Do you want me to tell you what I fear over you more than al-Maseeh ad-Dajjal?" They said, "Yes oh Prophet of Allah!" He said, "The secret shirk (shirk of showing off) is when one man gets up to pray, and then extends his prayer to impress others."
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُون
"Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. " [Hud 11:15]
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الْآخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ
"Whosoever desires (with his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whosoever desires the reward of this world (with his deeds), We give him thereof (what is written for him), and he has no portion in the Hereafter. " [ash-Shura 42:20]
If a Muslim does hajj for money, he studies to get money, migrates for dunya or women, or guards his prayer because he is an employee of the masjid, this is shirk asghar and takes away the reward of the deed that he did.
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُون
"Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. " [Hud 11:15]
There are some who do deeds for Allah's sake then does other deeds for worldly gain. He does the deed for Allah (عز وجل) and does hajj for Allah (عز وجل) at first, but does a 2nd hajj for wordly gain. Allah makes no mention about these deeds, the scholars say they are rewarded according to which intention is heavier in their hearts.
Shirk in Barakah
Tabaruk is to believe in barakah and having hope in it. Committing shirk in barakah pertains to one believing that objects have barakah in itself, objects such as trees, rocks, or graves. This is what mushrikoon during the Prophet's time did.
If one believes that trees have barakah in itself, this is shirk akbar. If one believes that graves have barakah in itself, this is shirk akbar. And so on..
But, if one believes that a grave is a reason for them to get barakah from Allah, not that the grave in itself has barakah, this is shirk asghar.
One can say "BarakAllahu feek" to a Saeed for organizing a class and this is not shirk in barakah because it is out of Saeed's barakah that the class is taking place online or in a classroom. But if one says "It is because of Saeed's barakah that there is snow outside" then this is shirk in barakah because Saeed does not produce the snow nor can he do anything for snow to fall from the sky.
Proof: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was in battle when he did not want to leave a neckless of A'isha that was lost. He sent everyone looking for it, but no one found it.
The time of prayer came and there was no water, so Allah revealed to them how to do tayamum. They did tayamum and prayed. They still could not find it until they decided to leave. They found it under the camel.
Abad bin Bisher said to A'isha and the family of Abu Bakr, "This is not the first time we get something good from your barakah after something bad happens. We were delayed because of you and our water ran out. Now, look we have tayamum." (Bukhari & Muslim)
This story has many unique things to it:
1. Those who the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent looking did not make tayamum or water, so it applies today to someone who is in hospital and cannot get either one.
2. That Prophet did not know the ghaib (unseen) like some sects claim or why he sent people.
Abu Waked al-Laithi narrates that in Hunayn there were new Muslims having left the ways of shirk. They passed by a tree and saw some mushrikeen worshipping a tree called Anwar. Abu Waked and others asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), "Oh Prophet! Make us one like them!" The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) became angry and told us that was what Bani Israil told Musa (عليه السلام), and Musa told them "inkm koum tajhaloon". We want a tree like them to get barakah from them. The Sahabah did not commit shirk, as understandably they were new to Islam and it was asked out of ignorance.
Shirk in Nather
Nather refers to giving a vow to Allah. Meaning, to be close to him and to hope good from him stating "Oh Allah if this happens, I will do this and this for you."
If nather is to be done, nather should only be for worshipping Allah.
وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن نَّفَقَةٍ أَوْ نَذَرْتُم مِّن نَّذْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُهُ ۗ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
"And whatever you spend for spendings (e.g., in Sadaqah - charity, etc. for Allah's Cause) or whatever vow you make, be sure Allah knows it all. And for the Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.) there are no helpers." [al-Baqarah 2:270]
Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
Whoever makes a vow to obey Allah then He shoud obey Him, and whoever makes a vow for something which is in disobedience to Allah then let him not carry that vow out. (Bukhari)
Committing shirk in nather refers to one making this commitment to other than Allah, seeking to be close to him and to hope good from him. For instance, those who make commitment to a grave to do things they need or to those who are dead. It is common in the middle east to say "Ya saidy badawy if my sickness gets cured I will give so and so or sacrifice for you." This is shirk in nather.
Some scholars say nather is makrooh because one ransoms himself with something he does not have to. While some scholars say that it is haram. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:"Nather never brings any good, it is only forces the cheap person to spend out."
People might begin to believe that nather is what rectified his situation and not Allah (عز وجل).
If one does nather, one has to fulfill the conditions one places upon himself and carry it out. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: "If you make a commitment to obey Allah, then obey Him."
يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيرًا
" They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide-spreading." [al-Insan 76:7]
Shirk in ath-Thabh
Thabh means to sacrifice in order to be closer to Allah (عز وجل). Shirk in thabh pertains to sacrifice to other than Allah (عز وجل).
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
"Say (O Muhammad): "Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)." [al-An'am 6:162]
فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ
"Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)." [al-Kawthar 108:2]
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
May Allah curse the one who sacrificed for other than Allah.
Shirk in Tawbah
Tawbah means to repent to Allah. Shirk in tawbah means to repent to other than Allah (عز وجل) in that which is only concerning Allah (عز وجل). Meaning, one repents to other than Allah (عز وجل) and asks forgiveness to that which only belongs to Allah (عز وجل). Christians do this during "confession." There are Sufis known for doing this as well. They approach their mureed, confess their sins even those completely unrelated to the mureed, and the mureed supposedly forgives them. But we know forgiveness is only from Allah in these matters. The shia have also been known to do this where the people get a document from their imam stating they will enter jannah.
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
"And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; - and none can forgive sins but Allah - And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know." [ali-Imran 3:135]
In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad there was prisoner who was brought to Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He said: "Oh Allah I repent to you and not to Muhammad." The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: "He knows who to give the right to."
وَمَا يَذْكُرُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ هُوَ أَهْلُ التَّقْوَىٰ وَأَهْلُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ
"And they will not receive admonition unless Allah wills; He (Allah) is the One, deserving that mankind should be afraid of, and should be dutiful to Him, and should not take any Ilah (God) along with Him, and He is the One Who forgives (sins)." [al-Muddathir 74:56]
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ يَوْمَ لَا يُخْزِي اللَّهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ ۖ نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَىٰ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
"O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) the Day that Allah will not disgrace the Prophet (Muhammad ) and those who believe with him, their Light will run forward before them and with (their Records Books of deeds) in their right hands they will say: "Our Lord! Keep perfect our Light for us [and do not put it off till we cross over the Sirat (a slippery bridge over the Hell) safely] and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things ." [at-Tahrim 66:8]
If one asks another for forgiveness because he has committed an offense against the other, this is correct. One may even say "Oh Allah please forgive me. Oh so and so please forgive me." This is acceptable. This was the case when A'isha (رضي الله عنها) brought in pictures and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) became angry and took it out. She said "atoob ila allah wa ila rasool allah" "Oh Allah I repent to you and I repent to the Prophet of Allah. (because she made him angry)"
Shirk in at-Ta'ah
At-Ta'ah means obedience to Allah. Shirk at-Ta'ah refers to obedience to other than Allah (عز وجل), to listen to someone in disobedience, making haram halal or halal haram.
By these actions, the person has taken another lord other than Allah (عز وجل). Making the haram and halal is a characteristic ONLY of Allah (عز وجل).
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
"Or have they partners with Allah (false gods), who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed. And had it not been for a decisive Word (gone forth already), the matter would have been judged between them. And verily, for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers), there is a painful torment. " [ash-Shura 42:21]
Ahmad narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when he recited "They took their priests as lords instead of Allah" Adiy bin Hatim, who used to be Christian, said "We do not worship our scholars." The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) asked him: "Do they not make haram halal and you obey them? Do they not make halal haram and you make it haram?" He said: "Yes." The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told him that listening to them in haram and halal is worshipping them in other than Allah (عز وجل).
This rule could be applied to obeying scholars, presidents, employers…etc when they say wine is halal and he therefore believes it halal, when they say zina is halal and he therefore believes it is halal.
**IF a person thinks that a certain issue is haram but he obeyed the other for the sake of his position or wealth, he is not a mushrik but a sinner.
Shirk in Tawaf
Tawaf means to circumumbulate around the ka'bah for the sake of Allah. Shirk in tawaf is to make tawaf in other than the ka'bah to be closer to other than Allah (عز وجل).
For example, to walk around the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) (as they would do around the ka'bah) in order to draw spiritual closeness to him, to walk around the grave of someone's "shaykh" (as they would do around the ka'bah) in order to draw spiritual closeness to him, or to walk around a wife's grave (as they would do around the ka'bah) in order to draw spiritual closeness to her. This is considered shirk akbar because the person is making tawaf to other than Allah (عز وجل).
ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ
"Then let them complete the prescribed duties (Manasik of Hajj) for them, and perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House (the Ka'bah at Makkah)." [al-Hajj 22:29]
Tawaf is only for the ka'bah and no other. However, if one makes tawaf around a grave in order to "be closer to Allah" this is considered an innovation and the person guilty of this is called a mubtadi', not a mushrik.
Shirk in Sujood
Sujood means to prostrate. Committing shirk in sujood means to make sujood to other than Allah (عز وجل). For example, the Sufis are known to prostrate before their mureed, shaykh. They claim it is respecting the scholar. But we, ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah, say that it does not matter because the actions show actions that are only for Allah (عز وجل).
There are many more ways to show respect to someone besides prostrating to them. For this reason, the act of sujood itself carries the meaning of worshipping and is a worship directed to the one that is prostrated to.
Scholars say that making sujood to other than Allah is shirk that takes one out of Islam. Those who make sujood and those that sujood is made for are all mushrikeen. The one who made sujood committed shirk and the ones who accepted the sujood accepted that they were worshipped like Allah (عز وجل).
Shirk in Ruku'
Ruku' is only for the sake of Allah (عز وجل). Committing shirk in ruku' means to make ruku' to other than Allah (عز وجل).
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ارْكَعُوا وَاسْجُدُوا وَاعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
"O you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful." [al-Hajj 22:77]
Sujood in the following ayah is interpreted as ruku'.
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ادْخُلُوا هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًا وَادْخُلُوا الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا وَقُولُوا حِطَّةٌ نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَايَاكُمْ ۚ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
"And (remember) when We said: "Enter this town (Jerusalem) and eat bountifully therein with pleasure and delight wherever you wish, and enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: 'Forgive us,' and We shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers." [al-Baqarah 2:58]
Shirk al-Halq (Shaving Heads)
Shaving the head is an act of Ibadah only for the sake of Allah ordered by Allah during Hajj and Umrah. However, one commits shirk in this by shaving the head for the sake of other than Allah such as shaving the head for a shaykh to worship him and be closer to him. Sufis are known for this.
Tawakul refers to depending on Allah (عز وجل). Committing this shirk means one depends on other than Allah (عز وجل) in that which only Allah (عز وجل) can help him with. For example, those who go to the dead or people of the grave for their life's problems believing that the dead one will take care of their affairs or give people victory.
قَالَ رَجُلَانِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ادْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَالِبُونَ ۚ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُوا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
"Two men of those who feared (Allah and) on whom Allah had bestowed His Grace [they were Yusha' (Joshua) and Kalab (Caleb)] said: "Assault them through the gate, for when you are in, victory will be yours, and put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed." [al-Ma'idah 5:23]
Again, if one depends on someone who is able to help them such as fixing a car, etc.. this is not shirk. But if one depends on someone who is able to help them but neglects to believe that true help comes only from Allah, it becomes shirk asghar because the heart leans and depends on the other.
Identical to the issue of shirk in raja', except this is in a more physical sense where as raja is an internal sense.
Shirk in Sihr
Sihr is black magic, sorcery, witchcraft, vudoo, and so on. The people who practice sihr is considered a kafir. The act of sihr deals with communication and association with the devils and the evil jinns and the usual effects range from bodily harm to death.
The proof on their kufr:
وَاتَّبَعُوا مَا تَتْلُو الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ ۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَٰكِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ كَفَرُوا يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَارُوتَ وَمَارُوتَ ۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَا تَكْفُرْ ۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِ ۚ وَمَا هُم بِضَارِّينَ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُوا لَمَنِ اشْتَرَاهُ مَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ ۚ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْا بِهِ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
"They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, "We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us)." And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their ownselves, if they but knew." [al-Baqarah 2:102]
Differences of opinion:
1) Imam Malik, Ahmad, Abu Hanifah state that those who commit sihr are kafir, have fallen out of the fold of Islam, by dealing with the shayateen.
2) Whoever does this is a kafir unless the sihr is by medicine. Imam Shafi' says one who commits sihr must be asked what kind of sihr he does. If the person deals with jinns, he is a kafir. If he uses medicine and the person behaves in a strange way due to the medicine. This is not shirk. If he says it is halal, he is a kafir. If not, he is a kabeerah.
The Jumhoor all agree that sihr is not sihr unless one contacts the shayateen.
How do those who do sihr fall into shirk?
1) When one deals with the jinns, then one has made that jinn take the place of Allah (عز وجل). The jinn will order or command a person to do many things such as sacrificing for it and the person who committed the sihr will act upon the jinn's orders.
2) When one commits acts of sihr, one claims to know the unseen or the future which only Allah (عز وجل) has knowledge of.
قُل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۚ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ
"Say: "None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (unseen) except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected." [an-Naml 27:65]
Does a Sahir's repentance get accepted?
What is between the one who is guilty of sihr and Allah (عز وجل) only Allah knows. However this repentance is in reference to his hadd (punishment) in the shari'ah. Some scholars say he cannot be forgiven in matters of this life. If he is captured and he has not repented, then he repents (as a possibility to stop the hadd that will be applied to him), his repentance is not accepted and the punishment according to the shari'ah is for him to be killed. The only exception to this is if he repents (by virtue of surrendering himself to the khalifah, etc) before he is captured his repentance is accepted.
Is Sihr true or something from our imagination?
The belief of ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah is that sihr is true and has real and serious consequences such as killing between people, husband and wife becoming estranged to each other, disputes among people, and so on. The only sect that does not believe this are the Mu'tazilah who claim it is all from the imagination.
The evidence for this:
Sihr was attempted on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) where he used to become delusional believing that he did things when he did not. Had it not been real, Allah would not have said to seek refuge in Allah from it.
قَالَ بَلْ أَلْقُوا ۖ فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَىٰ
"Musa (Moses)] said: "Nay, throw you (first)!" Then behold, their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast." [Taha 20:66]
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was and is still accused of being delusional in the revelation of the Qur'an. However, these delusions he had when sihr was attempted on him was related to matters of this life, and it did not concern Allah's revelation. It was a sickness like any other sickness. We know that in matters of Allah's revelation and Allah's ordainments, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not make mistakes other than if he did it was to purposely teach us (praying 2 raka'at when it was supposed to be 4, Allah made him forget it to teach us "sajd sahw")
How does one cure sihr?
One who is afflicted with sihr cannot go to those who commit sihr. Those who turn to those who do sihr, their prayer will not be accepted by Allah (عز وجل) for 40 days. And, whoever believes that the cure can only be from the one who does sihr will be a kafir because the one who is guilty of sihr will inevitably ask for such things as sacrificing for other than Allah (عز وجل) or dua to the jinns and so on.
The cure is to turn to Allah (عز وجل) through recitation of the Qur'an and certain dua. There are many cures for sihr. One of them is using seven papers from a certain type of tree in madinah called as-Sigr that the sahabah used to use. These papers are placed inside a container of water and one recites Qur'an over them.
Verses from Surah Taha:
وَأَلْقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُوا ۖ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُوا كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ ۖ وَلَا يُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَىٰ
"That which they have made is only a magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, no matter whatever amount (of skill) he may attain." [Taha 20:69]
Five verses from Surah Taha:
(118) إِنَّ لَكَ أَلَّا تَجُوعَ فِيهَا وَلَا تَعْرَىٰ
(119) وَأَنَّكَ لَا تَظْمَأُ فِيهَا وَلَا تَضْحَىٰ
(120) فَوَسْوَسَ إِلَيْهِ الشَّيْطَانُ قَالَ يَا آدَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَىٰ شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لَّا يَبْلَىٰ
(121) فَأَكَلَا مِنْهَا فَبَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ ۚ وَعَصَىٰ آدَمُ رَبَّهُ فَغَوَىٰ
(122) ثُمَّ اجْتَبَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ وَهَدَىٰ
"Verily, you have (a promise from Us) that you will never be hungry therein nor naked. And you (will) suffer not from thirst therein nor from the sun's heat. Then Shaitan (Satan) whispered to him, saying : "O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?" Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves the leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance." [Taha 20:118-122]
Two verses from Surah Yunus:
(81) فَلَمَّا أَلْقَوْا قَالَ مُوسَىٰ مَا جِئْتُم بِهِ السِّحْرُ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَيُبْطِلُهُ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُصْلِحُ عَمَلَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
(82) وَيُحِقُّ اللَّهُ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُجْرِمُونَ
"Musa (Moses) said: "What you have brought is sorcery, Allah will surely make it of no effect. And Allah will establish and make apparent the truth by His Words, however much the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.) may hate it." [Yunus 10:81-82]
اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۖ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
"Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter . And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. [al-Baqarah 2:255]"
Last three Surahs:
(1) قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
(2) اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ
(3) لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
(4) وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
Say (O Muhammad ): "He is Allah, (the) One. Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him." [al-Ikhlas 122]
(1) قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ
(2) مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
(3) وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ
(4) وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ
(5) وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
"Say: "I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the daybreak, From the evil of what He has created; And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away). And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots, And from the evil of the envier when he envies." [al-Falaq 113]
(1) قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ
(2) مَلِكِ النَّاسِ
(3) إِلَٰهِ النَّاسِ
(4) مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ
(5) الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ
(6) مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ
"Say: "I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind, The King of mankind, The Ilah (God) of mankind, From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one's heart after one remembers Allah), Of jinns and men." [an-Nas 114]
Plenty of Dua.