Shirk is the opposite of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah)
Allah will not forgive those who those who associate something / someone with Him except he repent.
Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. (An Nisa 4:48)
By doing Shirk, it contradicts the very purpose of why Allah created us.
“And I have not created neither jinn nor humans, except to worship Me Alone.” (Adz Dzaariya 51:56)
There are numerous forms of Shirk, some of it will be discuss below:
The Major Shirk
This category of Shirk is to worship to other than Allah.
The major shirk here includes seeking help or supplicating to a false god / gods, prophet, angel, saint, idol, or anything besides Allah. Christians pray to a man who they believe to share divinity with Allah, the Prophet of Allah Jesus, may Allah praise him. Catholics direct certain types of worship to saints, angels, and Mary, which they regard as “veneration”. All these things are regarded as shirk.
To follow the commandment of religious leaders, government, others which include our parents, spouse, relatives or brother and sisters that is clearly against the teaching of Islam is also a form of major shirk.
They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah), (At Taubah 9:31)
Another form of major shirk is to love something else more than Allah. Examples are such as money, power, family and others.
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah (more than anything else)…” (Al Baqarah 2:165)
Riya – seeking praise of human
Minor Shirk is such as doing religious act to seek worldly gains and also swearing using the name other than Allah.
“The thing I fear for you the most is ‘minor shirk.’ The companions asked ‘Oh! Messenger of Allah, what is “minor shirk?” He replied showing off, for surely Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection when people are receiving their rewards, ‘Go to those for whom you were showing off in the material world and see if you can find any reward from them.’” (Ahmad, at-Tabarani, al-Baihaqi)
The early generations of Muslims realised the importance of sincere and correct intentions; an example being in a narration of Abdullah ibn Mas’ood:
1. “Speech by itself is worthless, unless it is followed by action.
2. Speech and Action by themselves are worthless, unless they have the right intention. And
3. Speech, action and the right intention are worthless unless they agree with the Sunnah.”
Therefore, we see that there are a number of prerequisites for any deed to be accepted by Allaah. The first condition is that the deed is done for the sake of Allaah, and only for the sake of Allaah. The second condition is that the deed is encouraged by the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
Other daily examples of Shirk:
• Arm bracelets, shells, beaded necklaces to avert evil, sickness and bring good fortunes is totally prohibited.
• Quranic charms
• Pre-islamic arab use birds and animals as omen
• Islam against this form of practice as directing form of worship known as Trust (Tawakkul) to other than Allah.
3. Fortune Telling
• Islam opposed all forms of fortune telling.
• Prophet said : The prayer of whoever approaches a fortune teller and ask him about ANYTHING will not be accepted for 40 days and nights. (Muslim)
• Prophet said : Whosoever approaches a fortune teller and believes what he says , has Disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad (Ahmad, Abu Daud)
• The Hour – Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is AllKnower, AllAware (of things). (Luqman 31:34)
4. Astrology and Horoscope
• Use by sailors or desert travellers to determine direction or by farmers to determine seasons. This is the only aspect which is halal to practise according to : It is He Who has set the stars for you, so that you may guide your course with their help through the darkness of the land and the sea. We have (indeed) explained in detail Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, Revelations, etc.) for people who know. (An An’am 6:97)
• Other than that all are haram, visiting astrologist and listening to his prediction, buying and reading books on horoscope is haram as well