Allaah, may He be exalted, says: “And most of them believe not in Allaah except that they attribute partners unto Him (i.e. they are Mushrikûn, i.e. polytheists” [Yoosuf 12:106]. What is the meaning of this verse? What is meant by shirk in this verse?.
The scholars, such as Ibn ‘Abbaas and others, have explained its meaning. What it means is that when the polytheists are asked who created the heavens and earth, and who created them, they say Allaah, yet despite this they worship idols and statues like al-Laat, al-‘Uzza and others, they seek help from them, and they make vows and offer sacrifices to them. This belief of theirs is Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (belief in oneness of divine Lordship), but it is invalidated and corrupted by their association of others with Allaah (shirk) and does not avail them anything. Abu Jahl and his ilk believed that Allaah was their Creator and Provider, and the Creator of the heavens and the earth, but this did not avail them anything, because they associated others with Allaah by worshipping idols and statues. This is the meaning of the verse according to the scholars. End quote