(Legit questions, looking for answers)

According to Islam, shirk is the worst sin you can possibly commit, the only unforgivable sin. Shirk is associating partners with Allah. According to Muhammad, if you even swear by something other than Allah you are committing shirk against Allah. This is found in all 6 of Islam's most trusted Hadith's. Here are some examples:

  • Sahih al-Bukhari 6108:
    Allah's Messenger said: "Verily!" Allah forbids you to swear by your fathers. If one has to take an oath, he should swear by Allah or otherwise keep quiet."

  • Sunan Abu Duwad 3242:
    The Apostle of Allah said: "Do not swear by your fathers, or by your mothers, or by rivals of Allah; and swear by Allah only, and swear by Allah only when you are speaking the truth."

  • Sunan al-Nasai 3795:
    The Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever swears, let him not swear by anything other than Allah."

So why in the Qur'an does Allah repeatedly swear by things that are lower than himself?

  • "I swear by the Quran full of wisdom" S. 36:2

  • "I swear by those who draw themselves out in ranks" S. 37:1

  • "I swear by the wind that scatters far and wide" S. 51:1

  • "I swear by the heaven full of ways" S. 51:7

  • "I swear by the Mountain" S. 52:1

  • "I swear by the star when it goes down" S. 53:1

  • "But nay! I swear by the falling of stars" S. 56:75

  • "Nay! I swear by the day of resurrection. Nay, I swear by the self accusing soul, that the Day of Judgment is a certainty." S. 75:1-2

  • "So I swear by what you see, and what you do not see" S.69:38-39

(Many more but I don't want this to be too long)

Why does Allah associate so many lesser partners with Himself?

Edit: Saying "The law doesn't apply to Allah" is just silly. Can Allah worship Jesus in a Christian church? Because that is the same as shirk. If Allah is able to commit the worst sin, the unforgivable sin, he is also able to steal, cheat, lie, & commit all other sins.

I'm still looking for a better answer.

2nd Edit (per mod request)

To add clarification as to my question:

  1. Shirk is the only unforgivable sin (Surah 4:116)
  2. Even swearing by something other than Allah is to commit shirk (Sahih al-Bukhari 6108, Sunan Abu Duwad 4:116 + more)
  3. Allah repeatedly swears by things other than himself (S. 36:2, 37:1, 51:1, 51:7, 75:1-2. 69:38-39 + many more).
  4. My question is, If what Allah has done is not shirk, can you give me scriptural basis for this claim? Implying things such as "Allah can sin without it being sin" are too big a claim for me to accept without Qur'anic or Hadith passages.
  • 2
    Shirk is worshiping God and associating him to another being, god shall be worshiped on his own you don't worship god and angels for example, plus it will not make sense for a god to worship himself and some one else, please use logic before asking questions, بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ bi-smi llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ ۞Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One, اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ ۞Allah, the Eternal Refuge. لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ ۞He neither begets nor is born, وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ ۞Nor is there to Him any equivalent."
    – Aboudi
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 11:39
  • darulfiqh.com/…
    – Habib
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 20:37
  • Please take more time to focus your question, to make it more clear what you're actually seeking in an answer, otherwise you're likely to just keep getting "silly" answers that don't help you and just waste everyone's time.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 23:10
  • Your question is based on the premise that swearing by something entails associating it as a partner to Allah, which is simply not true! I already explained that in my answer.
    – infatuated
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 2:47
  • @goldPseudo I clarified my question, please remove it from being on-hold. It has a lot of interest and it is well-documented and clear.
    – Klutch
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 17:48

5 Answers 5


How can God take anything/anyone else to be God instead of himself? Have you ever taken someone else to be you? Did you ever wake up one day and say "that random person walking on the street is actually me”... I hope you understand the absurdity in the sentence.

This question is actually paradoxical in essence. It is paradoxical because it is fallacious. It lacks the understanding of the Arabic language, as well as the understanding of the wisdom behind why God swears by his creation.

Basically the prophet said to swear to none other than Allah was, because the motive was... that whenever you make a promise, you remember and take Allah as the ultimate witness for all your actions...

Taking anything else as the ultimate witness is useless... and wrong.

Also, if you understand Arabic and know the context in which God swears by his creation... is usually to divert the attention of the reader to something. Or to show the importance of that object, by which God swears.

  • I'm not saying "X is Allah", that's not what shirk is. Shirk is associating partners with Allah.
    – Klutch
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 16:02

The laws of Islam are meant to be followed by humans (and jinn). It's a ridiculous notion to apply those laws to God Himself. He is the One who is believed in. Therefore it is impossible for Him to associate partners with Himself in His infinite knowledge. God is allowed to take oaths by the things that He has created - something that we humans can't claim and something we don't have the privilege of doing. When He swears by His Creation, He is not associating partners with Himself, rather He is drawing attention to the majesty of that thing He is swearing by. Usually what follows is tightly connected to the object of the oath.

  • 2
    Allah doesn't have to follow his own rules? Can Allah worship Jesus in a Christian church? Can Allah renounce Muhammad as a prophet?
    – Klutch
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 5:16
  • 8
    @Klutch I don't think you understand the absurdity of those questions - it's the same level of absurdity as the rock question. The laws of Islam are meant for Muslims, not their Creator. Muslims pray to Allah - are you going to fault God for not praying to Himself? What sense does that make?
    – Ansari
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 5:23
  • 1
    @Klutch worshipping Jesus in a church, would make God unjust.. which would be going against the very nature of God's essence. God's attributes. And also renouncing Prophet Muhammad would be going against Allah's decree. Which is very paradoxical... how does God go against his own decree or against his own essence?? Very absurd suppositions indeed.
    – Andre
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 6:26
  • @Ali, I would argue committing the unforgivable sin is also unjust. In fact, worshipping Jesus in a church is the same as shirk.
    – Klutch
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 15:32
  • This answer does explain why Allah swears by His creation, but it doesn't explain why it is so wrong for humans to swear by things Allah Himself swears by. I believe there's nothing wrong with swearing by things if done in the right Monotheist spirit. The hadith was not also meant to forbid all forms of swearing. I attempted to clarify my points in my updated answer.
    – infatuated
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 4:16

The perceived contradiction is resolved after clarifying the real implications of the narration and elucidating the real essence of Tawheed and Shirk.

The fact is that Allah swearing by creation doesn't amount to shirk. That's because swearing by something does not necessarily imply attributing Divinity -- apart from Allah -- to the object sworn by. In fact, Allah and people can swear by anything that is truly holy and sacred in order to be more persuasive in their proclamations and that includes swearing to creation.

But as for the reason why the Holy Prophet discouraged swearing by anything other than Allah it is because swearing is usually done by things that are considered to be valuable, sacred or Divine, and since Pagans believed in many false deities and adhered to many false values (e.g. ancestral or tribal nobility), they would subsequently use them as objects of swearing in their arguments; such as swearing by their fathers, the idols or deities they worshiped, etc.

Within this Pagan cultural background, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) discouraged Arabs to swear by anything other than Allah, he had mainly intended to repel the spirit of shirk that permeated the old practice of swearing by things that were considered holy apart from Allah, not the act of swearing itself.

The Difference between Swearing as in the Spirit of Tawheed and in the Spirit of Shirk

Islam instead taught that as Allah is the holiest being and indeed the source of all value, majesty and holiness found in other beings, He qualifies as the most credible object of oath. But that was not to negate using other beings (i.e. creation) as objects of swearing so long as it was done in the right Monotheist spirit.

To elucidate what "the right monotheist spirit" means, it is crucial to understand that the value of actions are mainly determined by the validity of their underlying intentions and beliefs. From this observation it follows that once we fully embrace the belief in Divine Unity (Tawheed) in essence (dhat), attributes (sifat) and acts (af'al) i.e. that not only Allah is the one unique supreme essence but also that all good traits and acts in creation originate from and trace back to Him -- and thus negating independence, sovereignty and self-origination for all creation in all respect -- then swear by things other than Allah is done within the right belief system and with the right meaning and implications. As a result, the spirit of Tawheed sanctifies an action that may otherwise imply or represent polytheistic beliefs.

Swearing by things other than Allah, in this Monotheistic spirit, is done to imply the God-given importance, worth or vital function of those beings in the general scheme of Allah's creation, not to associate partners with Allah in His divinity.

Indeed, in the eyes of Allah and any Allah-conscious person, everything is holy because everything is created, granted value and sustained by Allah, from mud and olive tree to mountains and stars, to Quran and Angels, they are all manifestations of Allah's grace and blessing upon we human beings.

This is how swearing in the spirit of Tawheed is distinguished from swearing in the spirit of Shirk. One shows off the majesty of Allah's creation and reinforces our gratitude for Allah for His multitude of blessings, the other compromises our belief in Tawheed by implying independent worth and sanctity for things apart from Allah.


Allah's Laws are meant for men, not God. God is the Able, He can do anything He wants. If you argue this is a double standard, then if He follows the laws meant for men, won't He lower Himself to men's level? If you argue this is fair, and the other way around would be discrimination, Allah has no needs, and why does He have to follow your view?

  • I would argue that Allah associating partners with himself is lowering him to whatever he swears by.
    – Klutch
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 17:55

They read to me as setting the context on what He is saying. Showing indications/absolute facts, maybe those relevant to what he is telling. Read the rest on what He is giving His word on.

Swearing on/by the absolutely trusted. For clarity, a better explanation?

Human can fall into errors, and can't always tell what is absolutely correct.


(53:1-2) I swear by the star when it goes down that Mohammed ... ? Stars go down, but Mohammed doesn't go untruthful/unjust

(69:38-39) So I swear by what you see, and what you do not see that Qur'an is ... ? Qur'an is accurate-- more so than whatever you do/don't see around

Not a scholar or anything. Just my personal thoughts.

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