Is Exclaiming “Jesus Christ” Shirk?

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question

I know a young boy who claimed he made a huge error. He is frightened of this error and is inquiring about what he should do. The situation goes that this young boy was watching something on his phone, which made him jump in horror, to which he said, “Jesus Christ.” He claims that he stopped midway through saying that expression and said, “Astaghfirullah.” He also claims it was a slip of the tongue from being around people who said the same during his life; now, as he looks back on it, he is terrified about whether or not he committed shirk and doesn’t know what to do.

Answer

This is absolutely not shirk.

Shirk is a belief that one holds regarding God. The expression of this brother, “Jesus Christ,” at the moment you describe says nothing about what he believes and does not stand as proof against his acceptance of tawhid (God’s oneness). Rather, it is a typical expression people use to express surprise or anger. While it may be offensive and should be avoided, it does not impact the status of the faith of the brother in question.

[Shaykh] Salman Younas
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Born and raised in New York, Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studied Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is now in his final year of his PhD at Oxford University, looking at the early evolution of the Hanafi madhab.
His teachers include: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Salah Abu’l Hajj, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Hamza Bakri, Ustadh Rajab Harun and others.
Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in the UK with his wife.