Associating partners with Allah

Q 4: In Nigeria there are some societies that believe in the Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunnah; however, the followers of these societies also have some false beliefs such as the belief in polytheism, fortunetelling, jugglery, magic and other things. It is worth mentioning that these practices are done in some Islamic establishments. What should be done with regard to those people?

A: The meaning of associating partners with Allah (Exalted be He) is to associate idols, righteous people, deceased people, leaders of some religious groups as partners with Him in worship. This practice is regarded as a form of major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) which draws a person out of the fold of Islam. This is because Allah (Exalted be He) has ordered His servants to worship none but Him alone and has forbidden them to worship others or to associate partners with Him in worship. Allah (Exalted be He) says, Worship Allâh and join none with Him (in worship) He (Exalted be He) also says, invoke not anyone along with Allâh. (Part No. 1; Page No. 48) In addition, Allah (Glorified be He) rejects the practices of those who associate righteous people as partners with Him in worship, claiming that such righteous people are their intercessors with Allah (Exalted be He) who says, And they worship besides Allâh things that harm them not, nor profit them, and they say: "These are our intercessors with Allâh." Say: "Do you inform Allâh of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?" Glorified and Exalted is He above all that which they associate as partners (with Him)! He (Exalted be He) says, So worship Allâh (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allâh’s sake only. Surely the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allâh only. And those who take Auliyâ’ (protectors, helpers, lords, gods) besides Him (say): "We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allâh." Verily Allâh will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allâh guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever. Learning, teaching, and practicing magic is considered a form of Kufr (disbelief) in Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). Also, learning, teaching and practicing magic draws a person out of the fold of Islam, as Allah (Exalted be He) says, They followed what the Shayâtîn (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaimân (Solomon). Sulaimân did not disbelieve, but the Shayâtîn (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Hârût and Mârût, 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 Allâh’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. (Part No. 1; Page No. 49) With regard to jugglery, it is a sort of deception and trickery, as said by Allah (Exalted be He) about the magicians brought by Fir`aun (Pharaoh) : ...their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast. Thus, it is regarded as a sort of magic, so the ruling that applies to magic also applies to it.The Prophet (peace be upon him) regarded magic as a major sin and fortune-telling as a way of claiming to know the Ghayb which none but Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows. Claiming to know the Ghayb is one of the practices that nullify one's Islam. Also, it is not permissible for a Muslim to visit a diviner nor to believe him, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, He who visits a diviner and asks him about anything, his prayers extending to forty nights will not be accepted. (Related by Muslim). Another Prophetic Hadith reads: If anyone resorts to a diviner or a soothsayer and believes in what he says, then he has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.