Is it shirk to… – Keep it simple, Stick to The Opening

I really don’t know why some people make a big deal about issues that are only relevant to less than 3% of the ummah1. Let’s just stick to The Opening. Seriously. People know more about ta***s**, isti***h*, and ist***n*2 than they know the tafsir of Surah-tul-Fatiha (The Opening Chapter) while some probably don’t even know the meaning of al-Fatiha. Seriously. If we were to do a survey in our own immediate family including all our cousins, aunts, uncles, children, etc. and ask them what is the meaning of al-Fatiha, how many of them would answer it correctly?

Seriously, we need to stick (go back) to the basics, and I mean the literal basic meaning of Surah al-Fatiha. Throw in Surah al-Ikhlas and we’ve covered (almost) everything a Muslim needs to know about their creed. Why make it complicated for everyone? Unless you want to become a student of knowledge and eventually a scholar, then yes, go study aqidah in depth and read the books on it. But if you’re like me who’s main job is a web developer then I don’t need to know whether or not if I can ask a dead person to make dua for me. I just need to pray my fardh and make dua to Allah. That’s it! Nothing else.

Why worry about these issues when only fitna is result of it? Some of us talk about these complicated fiqh/aqidah issues while neglecting the important issues. There are already many books, articles and refutations written on all these issues. No point in adding to it.

Before anyone claims that MR is attacking one side here, I’m not attacking anyone. I’m not concerned with those who practice it or those who are against it. You are welcome to do what you want to do, but I just want you guys to keep it simple for the general Muslim ummah and don’t involve all the creedal differences and fiqh issues related to this.

So the next time someone asks you “what do you think of ta***s**, isti***h*, and ist***n*?” or “do you believe in ta***s**, isti***h*, and ist***n*?” just tell them, “Surah al-Fatiha is all I need”. Don’t forward a fatwa and don’t share your opinion. If you’re studying in your aqidah/fiqh class, then obviously this isn’t related to you, but if your’e not a student of knowledge3 4 then keep it simple.

So in conclusion learn about Surah al-Fatiha and it’s meaning!

Important Notes:

1 This post is related to Muslims in America and not necessarily related to the Muslim world.

2 I purposely put stars in the Arabic transliteration for the terms so those who don’t know will stay that way. You don’t need them to get to jannah, inshaAllah. I know the terms are part of the deen but many Muslims who have no knowledge of them already practice the agreed upon by everyone form of it, so no need to confuse them with more terms of basic ibadaat.

3 I do not consider myself a student of knowledge and it does not mean I am one even if I attended many classes with various teachers and shuyukh.
4 There are many who claim to be students of knowledge, but aren’t really ones. If your full time job is not seeking ilm, then I don’t consider you a student of knowledge. That’s just my opinion. Allah knows best.

29 Replies to “Is it shirk to… – Keep it simple, Stick to The Opening”

  1. Assalaam’aaleykum!

    Hmmm…! Couldn’t agree more to what you have said, Bro. It’s a human tendency to exult in the faults and deficiency of others, even when their own faults are not yet corrected or taken care of.

    May Allah grant us taufeeq to look at our ownselves first and contribute more of our time in correcting ourselves before we find err in others.

    Waaleykum’Assalaam to

  2. Ummm….Assalaamu Alaikum,

    I have no idea what phrases you were hiding with all those stars. I’m not a very knowledgeable Muslim, but I’m not completely ignorant either.

    This has to be the longest post I’ve ever seen MR write.

    I for one prefer to get information from two different Islamic websites that cover two different angles.

    Islam-online, which is a little more liberal and Islam QA which is a little more conservative. I know that if I use both of those websites, Inshallah, I can get a broader understanding of any subject.

    Suffice it to say, in most cases, the fatawa from those two websites agree with each other. They may disagree on things like mawlid and hanging Arabic calligraphy in your home. But otherwise, there’s much more in common.

    Islamic portals like Islamic Learning Materials are good for distributing lots of information also.

    Just my two cents.

  3. Yeah, you put a bunch of stars in there, so I have no idea what you are talking about. And outside of that? I really have little idea what you are talking about. Guess I’m hanging out with the “wrong” kind of Muslims…

  4. “hanging Arabic calligraphy in your home”
    dude is that really an issue.. really

    yeah I’ll stick to to the simple cuz that wont require redecorating my home

  5. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

    Very powerful point… and because only 3% of the Ummah are aware of the issues you mentioned is why we are suffiering, i.e. ignorance. May Allaah SWT increase us all in beneficial knowledge and give us all a deep comprehensive knowledge of the Deen:

    **The Holy Prophet said, “He for whom Allâh desires great good, He grants him (superlative) understanding in the Religion (yufaqqihhu/yufqihhu fî al-dîn). I only distribute and it is Allâh Who gives. That group shall remain in charge of the Order of Allâh, unharmed by those who oppose them, until the coming of the Order of Allâh.”1

    “It may be that one carries understanding without being a person of understanding; it may be that one carries understanding to someone who possesses more understanding than he.”**

    Was-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,


  6. Salaam,

    MaShaaAllaah you brought up a great point, brother ‘MujahideenRyder’. I have noticed that when you go into unnessisary details the result is fiqhin’ fights, confusing, arrogance, complex issues, etcetra. Although Blog Authors may not be Aimmah (Plural of Imaam) or Shuyookh (Plural of Shaykh), yet they are more like the ones riding on horses, sending and bringing news to distant lands–or like the ameers since the Internet has such a ‘governing’ power over people’s minds.

    It’s true. Once everyone has the basics, there will be no more bid’aah in our deen since everyone understands the laws and regulations.

    For an example, take Surah Ikhlaas. In Pakistan, some “”Muslims”” go to graves and worship them (Pakistani readers, please back me up here with stories, LOL). If they truely understand Surah Ikhlaas WITHOUT GOING THROUGH ANY SINGLE TAFSEER BOOK, I assure you they will come back to true Islam.

    Thank you very much Brother.


  7. By the way,

    I am posting an article on “Naats” (Songs Praising the Prophet; ie; Bid’ah) in the near future. When it comes, please give me some feedback. Thanks.


  8. “There are many who claim to be students of knowledge, but aren’t really ones. If your full time job is not seeking ilm, then I don’t consider you a student of knowledge. That’s just my opinion. Allah knows best. ”

    Many of the Shuyukh held down full time jobs and studied in their spare time.

  9. You make many valid points but I think you should be careful with encouraging that, it sounds like another extreme. I would have thought that the basic knowledge that we are required to know would go a bit beyond just Surahs Fatihah and Ikhlas, especially living in the West, eg those two Surahs don’t really tell us about the permissibility about taking a loan for a house. I know you were probably using that as just an example but I was just trying to highlight that there is another extreme.

    Anyway didn’t mean to sound like I am arguing, I agree with you on the existence of that problem, just not so sure about the solution.

  10. @Kearns – You’re straight man if you don’t know what it’s about. 😀

    @Belal – Taking a loan out on a house has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. I’m only talking about creed here.

  11. @MR I think Belal has some points there, after all how can you possibly study the creed without choosing a shaykh, scholar, book, etc. And how do you choose that? I’m rather sure that even Al-Fatiha has something in it that differing schools (or non-schools) have debated.

    I think that just as choosing to be Muslim, or choosing to remain Muslim, is important, so is choosing a “bent”, because without making that choice how can you systematically study the deen? And without that understanding, you can quite easily make the mistake of mixing your Ahmadiyyah scholars with your Ismaili scholars and getting very confused.

  12. @Kearns – I guess I didn’t present my thoughts well enough, but basically, what I’m trying to say was a response to the constant bickering and fitna amongst the students of knowledge and in general active Muslim youth on the issues I censored above. There discussions aren’t really positive and helping and complicate the deen for many Muslims who don’t even understand the basics of the deen.

    All I’m saying is go back to the basics and study that. Of course we need to get a teacher. No such thing as being self-taught when it comes to this deen. We all have teachers. And the teachers had teachers and so on up to Muhammad sallahualyhiwasalam, who was the best of teachers.

  13. @MR ah yes, much the same as the arguments from Faraz Rabbani and the gentleman from Maghreb Institute on the video you posted a few days back. I’d sum it up as:

    1) If you feel the need to correct your brother, make sure you are the top scholar around
    2) If you are the top scholar around and still feel the need to run around correcting people, move somewhere where there are better scholars because you should know better than that.


  14. I don’t think the fitnah is the fact we’re discussing the issue, I think the fitnah is that we’re discussing the issue without any respect, without any real logical premise, just labeling each other as Ahl Biddah or Mushrikeen, and not really hearing out the argument itself.

    At the MuslimMatters post, you’ll see that a lot of people made comments about Sh. Faraz, but how many of them actually attacked the logical premises of his point of view? You see, the fitnah isn’t that we’re discussing the issue, because honestly, we haven’t even discussed it, we’ve only labelled eachother.

    I personally think the fitnah is caused when people forget that the INTENTION of his brother, regardless of their opinion, is to submit to Allah. If they realized this obvious fact, there wouldn’t be as much anger and hatred in the arguments. Thats what the unit pledge was, it was the recognition that everyone present had the INTENTION to submit to Allah, not that they shared the same opinions, but that they had the same intention behind those opinions.

    And tafsir IS important:

    “It is ONLY thee who we worhsip, and ONLY thee from whom we ask help”

    Now does that mean it is haram to ask for help from anybody?
    That question is the very root of the issue here, I’m surprised that nobody posted this, but this is the first few things Sh Faraz says when he answers the question on SunniPath:

    a) It is a fundamental belief of Muslims that only Allah benefits or harms; that only Allah gives and takes;

    b) It is also a fundamental belief of Muslims that Allah has created means for humans to take;

    c) However, the relationship between these created means and their effects is only normative: it is Allah who creates the means, and Allah who creates the results.

    So does the above sound like a mushrik, or are you just being close minded to a point of view that is foreign to your own?

    (Question not directed to MR)

  15. Having read this post (and blog for months) I can say I like this post. You take a tough stance, which is ironic, since there are some who forgot the entire point of your post (basics–> no change, good!).

    To Ismaeel:

    To be honest with you, there aren’t that many people who go to graves and worship them. Yes, there are some ignorant/poorly educated ones who do worship past Sufi Saints. Which is only the more ironic, since the vast majority of Sufi Saints would never proscribe such a ‘duty’ on Muslims.

  16. Ah, that’s what you’re talking about.

    I pray that Allah shine His mercy, His compassion upon all who claim to be Muslim and increase their wisdom, knowledge, and understanding so that we may all benefit from His deen that he has proscribed for us all.

    And I will be respectful, and have good character, and not reveal my thoughts on this subject, at the request of our host.

  17. BismillahirRahmanirRahim

    I can’t believe MR is saying we don’t need to do taraw*h and concentrate on Fatiha and Iklhas.

    Tongue in cheek.

    This post fundamentally misses the point.

    Yes, learn your Fatiha and read your Ikhlas… but does that mean you don’t do certain things because you cant find it in the Quran and you think its ‘extra’?? some people think that way.

    Visiting the Graves of holy people is a way of benefiting us, the Prophet (S) told us to visit the graves, to contemplate death to pray for them.

    Following a teacher to teach us the Prophet’s (S) lifestyle is necessary.. Whats in this post, on the other hand, is spiritually lazy.

  18. @yursil, my dear brother, I hope I have understood MR to that I don’t think he recommends a Muslim study Al Fatiha and Ikhlas and then stop, but that arguing about issues that Shaykh X and Scholar Y and Dr. Z all disagree on just brings discord when most of us really need our Islam 101 straightened out.

  19. @Yursil – I am not saying only learn al-Fatiha and al-Ikhlaas, but I am saying specifically to the younger Muslims who involve themselves in topics they just read about or heard form a lecture without even knowing their basics. In fact, it’d be much better for them to spend time under a teacher instead of trying to “refute” or “defend” their opinions they just read a month ago. Scholars did have other jobs, but their full time job was seeking ilm. That’s what I mean. They were all dedicated.

  20. @ MR,

    Sorry bro, my previous comment had little to do with your post, I was just letting out some thoughts on digital ink regarding fitnah, but you know what, I mostly agree with you, especially when it comes to younger Muslims such as myself, its better to concentrate on the basics.

    For those who do believe in calling on the dead, I think sometimes there is too much of an emphasis on talking about it, mostly to try and refute the accusations of shirk, but the focus on the fundamentals is lost, and they end up feeding their nafs with food for the ego.

    I totally get what you’re saying, this is one way Shaytaan works, he busies us with debates about things that have nothing to do with the fundamentals, and makes us lose the focus on our ultimate goal. Meanwhile, we actually believe we are progressing by engaging ourselves in these debates, spending huge amounts of energy on providing evidence for these types of things, while some of us may not even know the meaning of the words in prayer!!!!

    Alhamdulillah, good post.

  21. Calm down people. What MR is trying to say is understand the basics before pretending to be a big boy, which is something that is not said enough. Jazakallahu khair for the beneficial reminder.

  22. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum to all,

    I would like to share something will all of you just to show you how the Salafis disrespect the great scholars of this ummah and in how they try to cover up our tradition. or the The Salafi Society of North America translated one of Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee’s (rahimahullaah) works titled Kashf-ul-Kurbah fee wasfi Haali Ahlil-Ghurbah (Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers) which is a book that describes the Strangers (al Ghurabaa) whom will appear during the last days. In the introduction the Pseudo-Salafi translator Isma’eel Alarcon praises the Imaam and even considers Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee’s (rahimahullaah) as being on the “Salafee Methodology”. Then he condemns the Imaam for having “Sufi ideas” which “were prevalent during his time”…. subhanallaah! In an ironic way the Salafis show us how tasawwuf was indeed fully ingrained in the Islamic tradition! LOL… WOW… you can never cover haqq! Haqq will always manifest no matter how much people try to cover up the truth!

    Whats even more astonishing is that they refused to translate the end of the book because the Imaam basically talks about “inward strangeness” in how the inners spiritual states of the Sufis make them from amongst the Ghurabaa! It is if the Pseudo-Salafis are trying to cover up or censor that fact in order to hijack or steal the tile of al-Ghurabaa for themselves lol… caught red-handed! How sad and pathetic of an attempt. we don’t even have to refute the Pseudo-Salafis because they do a pretty good job in refuting themselves! They even left a note at the end of the book and this what they have to say:

    [This is where we will end the translation of the treatise. As stated in the introduction, the Imam
    goes into discussion of themes founded upon Sufi concepts which have no basis in Islaam and
    which have little benefit, so All praise is due to Allaah through whose Grace all good deeds are

    WOW… what a perfect example of Pseudo-Salafi censorship! Anyhow here are some excerpts taken from the introduction [ for those interested you can download the entire e-book from the al ghurabaa website – alghurabaa dot org in the hadith section]:

    All praise is for Allaah and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be on His Final Messenger, his family
    and those who follow him in goodness until the Day of Recompense. To Proceed.
    This book is a translation of a short treatise entitled Kashf-ul-Kurbah fee wasfi Haali Ahlil-Ghurbah, or
    Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers, written by the great Imaam, Al-
    Haafidh Zayn-ud-Deen Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee, rahimahullaah.
    In this treatise, Ibn Rajab deals with the topic of the Strangers, or Al-Ghurabaa…

    And towards the end of his
    treatise, he begins to divert from the topic by going deep into the issue of inner strangeness, sometimes
    focusing on aspects that have no basis in Islaam, such as talk about the ‘Aarif, wajd, khulwah, etc. These
    were Sufi ideas that were prevalent during his time…

    Shaikh Saleem Al-Hilaalee said: “Ibn
    Rajab (rahimahullaah) treaded the Manhaj of the Salaf with regard to the issues of Eemaan and
    acquiring knowledge. And he supported it and defended it from the false arguments of the opponents.
    His books are loaded with that. And he wrote some treatises specifically on this topic such as his book
    ‘Bayaan Fadlu ‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaal-Khalaf.’ However, there can be found traces of Sufism in his books,
    may Allaah protect him from inclining towards it’s dangerous paths, due to what Allaah has given him
    from vast knowledge of the Narrations and a clear Salafee Methodology.” [Iqaadh-ul-Himam: pg. 9]

Comments are closed.