SHIRK - شرك
Literally: To ascribe or establish partners.
Associating partners with Allah (‘Azza wa jalla). The deification or performing ‘ibâdah to anyone or anything besides Allah (‘Azza wa jalla). Denying Allah (‘Azza wa jalla).
Shirk is the greatest dhulm. Allah has no partners in His essence, attributes, shuûn and rubûbiyyah. He has no similar. Shirk is the opposite of the haqiqah of Tawhîd.
There are variations of shirk.
1. Ascribing any effect to a cause and the creational laws,
2. Obeying willingly and knowingly any religious or political person’s order, law or commands which are not in the sphere of the Sharî’ah by way of acceptance through the heart.
3. Obeying anyone, any religious or political person's commands, which are in the sphere of the Sharî’ah, not in the name of Allah, but directly that person
One of its variations is the hidden shirk, riyâ. That is, to not intend the pleasure of Allah through religious service and ‘ibâdah, rather intend people’s acceptance, attention and other worldly benefits.
(Please refer to the compilation of Shirk)
“The âyah, اِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ 1 states that to do shirk is an infinite dhulm. Shirk is a vast crime since it transgresses the rights, honour and dignity of all creatures. Only Jahannam can cleanse it…
…It is because the crimes of shirk and kufr constitute aggression against all the universe's perfections and its sacred haqiqahs and the elevated rights of beings, that the universe becomes angry at the people of shirk and kufr. The samâwât and earth become wrathful, and the elements unite to destroy them, overwhelming and submerging the people of shirk, such as Nûh Alayhissalâm's people, and the 'Ad and Thamud peoples, and the Pharaoh. In accordance with the mystery of the âyah,2 تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ Jahannam so rages and fumes at the people of shirk and kufr that it almost bursts apart. Yes, shirk is a terrible insult to the universe and a great transgression against it. By denying the sacred duties of beings and the hikmah of their creation, it insults their honour….
For example, through the mystery of wahdah the universe resembles a huge, corporeal malâikah; does tasbîh its Sâni’ through sanctifying with hundreds of thousands of heads, to the number of species of beings, and with hundreds of thousands of mouths, to the number of members of those species, and with hundreds of thousands of tongues in every mouth, to the number of organs, parts, and cells of those members - a wondrous creature who has an elevated rank and engaged in ‘ubûdiyyah like Isrâfîl. Through the mystery of tawhîd, the universe is also an arable field yielding copious crops for the dwelling-places and ’âlams of the âkhirah; a factory producing numerous goods, such as human actions, for the levels of the Abode of Bliss; and a movie-camera with a hundred thousand lenses continuously taking pictures of this world to show to the spectators in al-‘âlam al-baqâ and especially in Jannah al-‘A’lâ. Shirk is to transform this truly wondrous, absolutely obedient, living, corporeal malâikah into a lifeless, soulless, unemployed, perishing, meaningless, wretched, futile collectivity, revolving in the tumult of events and storms of change and darkness of non-existence; and to convert this strange, utterly orderly, beneficial factory into an idle, confused, unconscious plaything of chance which is without product or result or function; to make it into the playground of deaf Nature and blind force, a place of mourning for all intelligent beings, and the slaughterhouse of all living creatures, and a vale of tears.
In accordance with the mystery of,3 اِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ , shirk, although a single evil, leads to such vast and numerous crimes that those who perpetrate it deserve infinite torment in Jahannam. Anyway…” The Rays ( 19 -21)