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Answering Islamophobic Claims

Does Allah forgive polytheism?

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The supposed contradiction claim is as follows:

Allah does NOT forgive shirk:

Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed. -- Sura 4:48

Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, Hath strayed far, far away (from the right). -- Sura 4:116

Apparently this verse contradicts:

Allah forgives shirk(even in the same sura):

... Yet they [the Israelites] worshipped the calf even after Clear Signs had come to them; even so We forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority. -- Sura 4:153

So therefore the person is arguing one verse says Allah does not forgive shirk (polytheism), yet he forgave the children of Israel for committing shirk, so which one is it?

When the Quran says that Allah does not forgive shirk, this means that if you die and meet Allah on judgment day without repenting from this major sin while you were alive Allah would not forgive you, however so if you commit shirk and repent of it while you are alive Allah will forgive you.

Ibn Kathir explains:

Allah said that He,

(forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship),) meaning, He does not forgive a servant if he meets Him while he is associating partners with Him,

 (but He forgives except that) of sins,

 (to whom He wills) of His servants. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

 (Allah said, "O My servant! As long as you worship and beg Me, I will forgive you, no matter your shortcomings. O My servant! If you meet Me with the earth's fill of sin, yet you do not associate any partners with Me, I will meet you with its fill of forgiveness.'') Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith with this chain of narration. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah and he said,

 ("No servant proclaims,`There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah,' and dies on that belief, but will enter Paradise.'' I said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft'' He said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.'' I asked again, "Even if he committed adultery and theft'' He said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.'' The fourth time, he said, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in the dust.'') Abu Dharr departed while pulling his Izar and saying, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in the dust.'' Ever since that happened, Abu Dharr used to narrate the Hadith and then comment, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in dust.'' The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "We used to refrain from begging (Allah) for forgiveness for those who commit major sins until we heard our Prophet reciting,

 (Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills;), and his saying,

 (I have reserved my intercession on the Day of Resurrection for those among my Ummah who commit major sins.)'' Allah's statement,

(and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.) is similar to His statement,

 (Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Which is the greatest sin' He said,

 (To make a rival with Allah, while He Alone created you.)''

So as you can clearly see, the verses regarding Allah not forgiving people of shirk is referring to the here-after, that if you die in a state of shirk you will not be forgiven. The person must repent of this sin before that person dies in order to be forgiven.

The children of Israel were forgiven because they repented while they were alive, and hence Allah forgave them.

In conclusion, there is no contradiction. 

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