“Is every mushrik a kaafir, but not every kaafir is a mushrik?”

Shaykh al-Albaani (rahimahullaah) answers:

“This is the current understanding in people’s minds, except few of them. I will explain that with an example: a man bears witness that none has the right to be worshiped but Allaah and that Muhammad [sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] is the Messenger of Allaah, and he prays, fasts and so on, but he rejects an aayah from the Qur’aan. This (man) has disbelieved or not disbelieved? He has disbelieved. Has he associated partners with Allaah? That which is correct is that he has associated partners with Allaah. Every kaafir is a mushrik and every mushrik is a kaafir; there is absolutely no difference between the two words…

Whoever disbelieves has associated partners with Allaah, and whoever associates partners with Allaah has disbelieved; there is no confusion about that. The evidence for this is if we remember the conversation of the believer and the disbeliever in Surat ul-Kahf: {And put forward to them the example of two men: unto one of them We had given two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palms; and had put between them green crops (cultivated fields) / Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein, and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of them / And he had property (or fruit) and he said to his companion, in the course of mutual talk: ‘I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men’} – pay attention now – {And he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief) unjust to himself. He said: ‘I think not that this will ever perish / And I think not the Hour will ever come-}. According to your wrong understanding, this (man) has disbelieved but not associated partners with Allaah and he (merely) denied the Resurrection. He (then) said: {-and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him’ / His companion said to him during the talk with him:-} {-‘If you see me less than you in wealth, and children, / It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, and will send on it Husban (torment, bolt) from the sky, then it will be a barren slippery earth / Or the water thereof (of the gardens) becomes deep-sunken (underground) so that you will never be able to seek it’ / So his fruits were encircled (with ruin). And he remained clapping his hands (with sorrow) over what he had spent upon it, while it was all destroyed on its trellises, and he could only say: ‘Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!’}
Therefore, when he denied the Resurrection, he associated partners with Allaah.

So, whoever disbelieves in something that has come in the Book (Qur’aan) or the Sunnah, then he is (also) a mushrik during his state of disbelief. This is with respect to the Qur’aanic text, so what is the intellectual aspect? The answer is that (Allaah), the Most High, said: {Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god)?} Therefore, whoever disbelieves with some disbelief, he is (also) a mushrik, because he himself made his logic to be a partner with His Lord, the Blessed and Most High. Thus, do not differentiate between kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allaah).”

Source : asaheeha translations

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