Is giving into ones desires shirk?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Is giving into ones desires shirk? I’m trying to understand this verse. Does that mean when we know something is wrong, yet we still do it its shirk, is this a major or minor form of shirk?

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ – 45:23

“Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah ? Then will you not be reminded?”

Also found this

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the words “It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their Belief with Zulm (wrong)…” [al-‘An’aam 6:82] were revealed, the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) were distressed by that and said: Who among us has not wronged himself? The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not as you think; rather it is shirk. Have you not heard what Luqmaan said to his son when exhorting him: ‘O my son! Join not in worship others with Allaah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allaah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed’ [Luqmaan 31:13]?”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) meant in the words “rather it is shirk” was major shirk, then what he meant was that the one who is not one of the people of shirk is safe from the threat of punishment in this world and in the Hereafter that is issued to the mushrikeen, and he is among the guided. But if what he meant is shirk in general terms, then it may said: when a person wrongs himself, such as withholding – because of his love of wealth – and not doing some obligatory duties, this is minor shirk; and loving that which Allaah hates so that he gives his whims and desires precedence over love of Allaah, this is minor shirk, and so on. The one who does that has missed out on security and guidance commensurate with the level of his shirk,

but then again i also found this

Forbidden love: This includes love which constitutes shirk, which is when a person loves something instead of Allaah or as much as Him. In such a case he has taken that thing as a rival to Allaah. This is the shirk of love, and most people have taken things as rivals to Allaah in love and glorification.

How is the above statement different to this one bellow? One is saying its shirk, one is saying it isn’t?

There are also types of forbidden love which do not go to the extent of shirk, such as loving one’s family, wealth, tribe, business or house, and preferring those things, in whole or in part, over doing the duties that Allaah requires of him, such as hijrah (migration for His sake), jihaad, etc. The daleel (evidence) for this is the aayah quoted above (“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight . . . are dearer to you than Allaah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allaah brings about His Decision (torment).” [al-Tawbah 9:24])

We all fall have desires and even though we know they are wrong we still do them, does this constitute shirk? I have read in some places that it is a type of Shirk al Muhabbah (Shirk of Love). A major shirk, wouldnt that then mean that everytime we give into our desires knowingly we commit shirk?

Say if one likes listening to music or watching TV (Hollywood Movies ect), we know its not right, but we still do it. So does that mean we commit shirk?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The fundamental principle of forgiveness is clearly understood from the following verse.

{إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَنْ يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا} [النساء: 116]

Translation: Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray.

Shirk in the above quoted verse refer to ascribing partners with Allah. Every other sin besides shirk can be forgiven.

In principle, if one commits major sins, he has to make tawbah (repent) for the sin to be forgiven. If a person commits minor sins, his good deeds serve to wipe out the minor sins. [1] If Allah want, Allah will forgive the major sins even without repentance.

It should be understood that in various Ahādith, the word shirk is used to express the intensity of some sins. That is not like the shirk referred to in the above verse. For purposes of understanding, the shirk that is not forgiven is called shirk-e-Jali (the major shirk).

Wherever, the term shirk refers to other sins besides ascribing partners with Allah is referred to shirk-e-khafi (hidden minor shirk). The word shirk is used to express the abhorrence of such sins. However, such sins are not like shirk-e-Jali.  

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Rabiul Islam

Student Darul Iftaa
Detroit, Michigan, USA 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] {وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ} [هود: 114]


{إِنْ تَجْتَنِبُوا كَبَائِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُمْ مُدْخَلًا كَرِيمًا} [النساء: 31]

This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

Find more answers indexed from:
Read more answers with similar topics:

Pin It on Pinterest