Hard Questions for the New Year

How does one repent from associating partners with Allah (shirk)?

Question Summary

How does one repent from associating partners with Allah (shirk)?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

If one commits shirk (defined below), repenting requires a renewal of faith. That renewal of faith is by renewing one’s belief in the testimony of faith ‘La ilaha ill Allah – There is no god other than Allah’

Detailed Answer

Before going into repenting from shirk, we must first understand the meaning of the word.

Definition of Shirk

Shirk or associating partners with Allah Most High is

(1) to believe that Allah has a partner in divinity (such that one believes in multiple gods).

(2) to ascribe any of the attributes of Allah to other than Allah Most High.

(3) to ascribe ultimate causality to other than Allah Most High.

(4) to worship other than Allah Most High

[Sanusi, Sharh al-Muqaddimat]

Note that much of what people describe as being shirk does not fall under the above definition not shirk.

Repenting From Shirk

Repenting from shirk necessitates that one corrects their beliefs by renewing one’s faith in pure monotheism (tawhid). This may be attained by repeating the testimony of faith granted that one understands it,  believes its meanings, and relinquishes any beliefs contradictory to it.

By doing this, one returns to the fold of Islam. One should seek forgiveness for having committed shirk; however, seeking forgiveness is not a condition for them to return to the fold of Islam rather a condition for the forgiveness of the sin.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh]Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.