The Four Principals Of Shirk

Last month I completed an online course with Madinah College studying two of the most important books of Aqeedah. Below is a summary of what I learnt and also a link to the institutes website.

Book Studied: The Four Principals Of Shirk 

Author:  Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab  

Teacher: Shaykhul Fahad al Fuhaid – Imam at the University Of Riyad 

Institute:  Madinah College, Brixton (Online Class) 

Bio of Muhammad Ibn Adbdul Wahab 

Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab was born in Arabia into a family of scholars. From his Grandfather, to his Uncle to his Father who was also a famous well respected Qadi             (Judge). He studied under his father and memorised the Quran at the age of ten. He then travelled to Madinah and Iraq where he studied with well known and knowledgeable scholars.

Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab authored many of the well known and important books on shirk and innovation such as, Kitab al Tawheed, Usul al Thalatha and  Al Qawa’aid al arba’ah. The Shaykh died at 91 years old and is praised by many scholars.


Shaykh Abdul Wahab begins this treatise with a dua for the reader. He asks that Allah protect the reader both here and in the hereafter and that he blesses the reader. He then goes on to ask Allah to bestow the reader with the following: that they are from those who are thankful when they are given, who are quick to repent when they sin; and are patient when they go through difficulty. He calls these attributes the three keys to happiness.

Why are the 4 principals important?

Understanding the four principals of shirk is highly important as worship is not accepted if it is mixed with shirk, that is associating partners with Allah.  In Surah an Nisa v 116, Allah tells us that shirk is the only thing which He will not forgive us for. By being aware of these rulings we are able to stop ourselves from falling into it. 

Principal One: “Just knowing that Allah is the creator of the worlds is not enough to make you a believer” 

There are many from the the time of the prophet peace be upon him until present day, who know and believe that Allah is the creator of the worlds and yet, still associate partners with Him in their worship. There are people who when they are in hardship for example, stuck at sea during a storm they will call out for Allah’s help knowing only He can save them. When Allah gives them refuge and they are safe they go back to placing partners alongside Allah who can neither save or benefit them.

Principal Two: “There is no excuse or valid reason that will be accepted for associating partners with Allah” 

There are others who when questioned, will say that they are not worshipping these saints / idols but only using them as a means to get closer to Allah. For example shia’s who make dua to Ali, Hassan or Hussain, may Allah have mercy upon them. They claim  they are not worshipping these companions and are only using them as a form of intercession due to their nobleness. You will also see this in those who worship Jesus, peace be upon him stating that he is their way to Allah.

For a person who does not know the principals of shirk and tawheed this may sound logical however, when you are equipped with the correct knowledge you will be able to recognise and distinguish between the truth and falsehood

Principal Three: “No matter who or what you worship it is still considered shirk” 

Regardless if you worship people high in rank such as Saints, Prophets or even Angels; or if you worship inanimate beings such as fire, the sun or the stars this is all considered shirk and placing partners alongside Allah.

Principal Four: “Those who fall into shirk now are worse than those who fell into it at the time of the Prophet”

This is because those people of old although they placed intermediaries with Allah, at times of hardship they knew it was ONLY Allah who would be able to help them. Whereas today when the people of shirk are in ease or hardship they call upon their intermediaries whom can neither harm or benefit them.

This is a summary of what can be studied in the book The Four Principals of Shirk. A PDF copy is available  Here  for download

To take the online class visit Madinah College’s website Here




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