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Does prostrating and invoking an Idol with the pure Intention to worship Allah alone is considered as Shirk?

My intention in asking this question stems from my earlier understanding that :

Intention cannot be viewed as one of the conditions to judge an act Halal or Haram. For something to be called as Haram , intention is necessary but not sufficient as the act itself could be Haram irrespective of intention like the example given above. Are such examples also present in the Quran?

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In case you are a hindu and you have social pressure, only Allah knows and maybe He might consider that. But other than that better not to take any risk. –  Nasaralla Jan 29 '13 at 21:36

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is haram, no matter the intention, to do any form of worship that is not in the Quran or the Authentic Sunnah, to get closer to Allah. For the Prophet (May God's Blessings and peace be upon Him) said:

ما تركتُ شيئاً يقربكم إلى الله إلا وأمرتكم به

I have not left anything that will bring you closer to Allah, except that I have given it.

You may read the above Authentic Hadith, narrated by Al Tabarani, here, at exactly the 25th line count each line until you reach the 25th.

As for prostrating to idols with the intention of worshiping Allah, this is totally unacceptable and is clear, without a doubt, shirk. Allah says in Surat Azzamar Ayah 3:

Unquestionably, for Allah is the pure religion. And those who take protectors besides Him [say], "We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position." Indeed, Allah will judge between them concerning that over which they differ. Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and [confirmed] disbeliever.

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Does prostrating and invoking an Idol with the pure Intention to worship Allah alone is considered as Shirk?

I'm not sure if I have understood this sentence correctly:

  1. If you mean one pretends to worship an idol while he is indeed worshiping the unique god, Allah, then it is not Shirk obviously. It is Taqiyyah, see here for some explanations around it. However, Taqiyyah has some conditions to be allowed, when it is allowed then most of the times it is also obligatory, but if it's conditions are not met it will be forbidden, and like any other sin it can be considered as a minor Shirk (obeying something beside Allah in action while believing in the unique God theoretically) although if it is not a single mistake.

  2. If you mean one is really worshiping another being beside Allah while believing in the uniqueness of Allah then it seems to be a paradoxical statement.

  3. If you mean only respecting an idol (or anything or any person) but worshiping only Allah, then it is not Shirk but one can argue if such a respecting method itself is allowed in Islam or not. For example prostration is not allowed. If by idol you mean a piece of stone or wood or etc. then even invoking it can be arguable, although some stones like the black stone (حجر الأسود) is indeed an angel and every other element of this Dunya also according to Qur'aan is alive indeed, however, there is a covering between us and them so that the communication may be cut or limited, but of course for us the ordinary Muslims while the holy prophet could order the mountains and the trees and etc and they were obeying (like the mountains were accompanying David peace be upon him in his prayers). So for us it seems not to be encouraged to talk with such wooden and etc. idols, but if by idol you mean the grave of martyrs and even death person we have discussed that before at length and seemingly you are not going to change your mind no matter how much evidence is brought to you from Qur'aan and Ahadeeth. What is clear is that envoking anyone independent of Allah is Shirk.

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