What is the ruling of the person who dies upon minor Shirk?
Whoever dies upon minor Shirk has died upon a major sin.
A person dying upon minor Shirk, or being upon minor Shirk, does not negate the basis of his Tawhīd, rather it negates the completion of the obligatory Tawhīd.
Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, said:
(ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوٓا۟ إِيمَٰنَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ لَهُمُ ٱلْأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ)
“It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.”
So whoever was a person of complete Tawhīd would obtain complete security, as for those who have the basis of Tawhīd, and had mixed his Tawhīd with minor Shirk, or major sins, then this person would obtain security, but not the complete security, they would obtain the basis of security.
They would be from the sinners from the people of Tawhīd, those that if Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, wishes He will pardon and forgive for them due to what takes place of weighing of the good deeds and the sins, and it could be the case that from the Mercy of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, that He forgives them for this due to the good deeds surpassing the bad deeds, so their ruling is the ruling of the sinners from amongst the people of Tawhīd.
And some of the people of knowledge have went towards that minor Shirk is not forgiven, except through repentance.
They used as evidence, the likes of the statement of Allah, the Most High:
(إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآء)
“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.”
Here أَنْ is a letter of masdariyah, it forms with what comes after it and it’s interpreted as a verbal noun, making the meaning:
(إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ)
“Verily, Allah forgives not”
(أَن يُشْرَكَ بِه)
“that partners should be set up with Him in worship”
I.e: [ إِشْرَاكَا ] “setting up partners”
Because this verbal noun: (إشراكا – setting up partners) is indefinit, and came in a context of negation (Allah forgives not), it then encompasses all setting up of partners, (i.e any setting up partners) be it major or minor.
So upon this, minor Shirk would be from that which does not fall under what’s classed to be under the Will of Allah (i.e that which if He wants He will forgive it and if He wants He will punish for it), so its perpetrator will be punished for it, and being punished for it does not mean that they will dwell eternally in the Hellfire, their ruling is that of the other perpetrators of major sins.
But this, minor Shirk, could be from that which falls under what is weighed and then forgiven if his good deeds surpass his bad deeds, Allah, the Mighty and Majestic could forgive it from him.
So the point of benefit is that those that die upon minor Shirk, and haven’t fallen into a nullifier of Islām and major Shirk, then their ruling is that of the sinners of the people of Tawhīd.
Shaykh Abu Hatim Yusuf Al-‘Inaabi Al-Jazaa’iree – may Allah preserve him.
Abu ‘Abdirrahman ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmed Ash-Shingaani.