In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [rahimahullaah] said:
The shirk of the early generation [i.e. the people of Shirk during the era of Allaah’s Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam)] is less severe than the shirk of the latter ones [i.e. the people of today]. The shirk of the latter ones is greater and more repugnant, because the people of Shirk in the early generation used to commit shirk during times of ease and sincerely worshipped Allaah in times of hardship; but as for the people of shirk in most of the lands [today], their shirk is constant – both in times of ease and hardship, such as those who direct acts of worship to Al-Badawi, Al-Hussain, Shaikh Abdul Qaadir Al-Jaylaani and other than them. Therefore, it is obligatory to warn against the shirk committed by the people of Shirk in times of hardship and ease – be it great or small.
And the proofs regarding the shirk committed- in times of ease- by the people of Shirk [during the era of Allaah’s Messenger] is the statement of Allaah: [فَإِذَا رَڪِبُواْ فِى ٱلۡفُلۡكِ دَعَوُاْ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّٮٰهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡبَرِّ إِذَا هُمۡ يُشۡرِكُون – And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him only, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others. [Surah Al-Ankaboot. Aayah 65] – Meaning: When they sailed at sea and feared drowning or that their ship would capsize, they sincerely invoked Allaah; but after Allaah saves them, they returned to their shirk.
Allaah said: [وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ ٱلضُّرُّ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدۡعُونَ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُۖ فَلَمَّا نَجَّٮٰكُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡبَرِّ أَعۡرَضۡتُمۡ – And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you invoke besides Him [Allaah] vanish from you except Him [Allah Alone]. But when He [Allaah] brings you safely to land, you turn away [from Him]. [Surah Al-Israa. Aayah 67]
Also in [another Aayah Allaah said]: [وَإِذَا غَشِيَہُم مَّوۡجٌ۬ كَٱلظُّلَلِ دَعَوُاْ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ – And when a wave covers them like shades (i.e. like clouds or the mountains of seawater), they invoke Allah, making their invocations for Him only. [Surah Luqmaan. Aayah 32]
This was the state of the people of Shirk in times of hardship, for they used to sincerely worship Allaah and they knew that Allaah alone is the one who will save them; however, in times of ease they fell into shirk by worshipping their false deities and idols.
As for the people of Shirk in this era [of ours], their shirk is constant and they are deprived of clear-sightedness, because they direct acts of worship to other than Allaah both in times of ease and hardship. They have no discernment due to their feeble intellects and being completely submerged in ignorance. We ask Allaah for wellbeing and safety.
[An Excerpt from At-taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Ar-Rasaa-il Al-Aqadiyyah Li-Shaikhil Islaam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhaab’ page 22-23. Slightly paraphrased]