Bismillah. Alhamdulillah. Wassalatu wassalamu A'la Rasoolillah. Ama ba'd
What is shirk in Islam?
Look at my answer for this ^ for a detailed discussion of what SHIRK ACTUALLY is
Briefly, however, know, SHIRK is giving the right of Allah to someone else and it i.e. Shirk Akbar is a nullifier of Islam.
With the one who commits Shirk Akbar there is no difference whether he is Jaad (Serious), Haazil (Joking) or Kha-if (Fearful(of what shouldn't be feared))
There is however one exception i.e. compulsion
Five conditions must be fufiled however:
- He must ACTUALLY be forced
- the individual doesn't go over board with the nullifier e.g. forced to
prostrate to idol don't start glorifying or kissing the idol etc.
- Resist as much as you can before you have to actually do it and do as least as you have to e.g. forced to do sujud to grave to half a sujud or less
- Your heart is filled with Iman at that time i.e. not pleased with this Kufr
- This act doesn't harm others
What do i mean by harm?
Imagine you yourself a layman held at gunpoint to do sujud to a grave as a layman you are allowed to do this.
Imagine now the most knowledgeable (actually knowledgeable) scholar you know - for them to make sujud is impermissible and for them to take the gun is better.
Because, they are in a position of authority. Let's say perhaps the scholar does said action and they kill him anyway. People might find it okay to do that action as the scholar etc. did it (stupid reasoning they have but it happens). this harms the people as they may copy the action of Shirk willingly believing it to be good.
With the one who is ignorant it is not a black and white answer however... so dont be ignoarnat.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYMHRhiOCws - short vid what Shaykh saleh al fawzan says about ignorance
Insha Allah that helped!