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Essence of Polytheism (5)
Amin Ahsan Islahi
(Tr. by:Nikhat Sattar)

Summary of Previous Discussion


The purpose of this whole long debate and detail was to demonstrate that while it is easy to deny another deity and accept God as the only god verbally, when its requirements emerge in daily life, no aspect of the latter can remain without its implication.

This reality has been shown with clarity in the previous three chapters phase wise. The People of Makkah were believers in the being of God and all His attributes, but the Qur’an did not give this any importance. Going one step forward, People of the Book accepted tawhid, His books, His angels and His messengers, but even this proved to be weightless according to the standard of the Qur’an. Hypocrites came at the end and they thought that there was nothing in the demands of tawhid which they had not fulfilled and there was no stain of shirk which they had not washed away. But the Qur’an exposed their internal shirk and informed everyone that none amongst them was sincere to God, or a follower of tawhid. Everyone had made others partners in their worship and God did not value the service that was adulterated with association of others.

Consider the charge sheet for the above three groups.

The Ishmaelites were informed thus: they believed that angels were worthy of service; considered them daughters of God; worshipped them; believed that this worship would bring them closer to God; declared that their wealth and children, prosperity in this world and happiness was a result of their blessings; thought that their intervention in front of God would redeem them; loved them as much as God and believed that they had knowledge of the unknown.

They considered the jinn equal to God; believed that they could bring benefit or harm to them much as God could; called to them for help; killed their children to gain their approval; believed that their reach was beyond the upper heavens; considered them the way to knowledge of the unseen; worshipped them; meditated in order to obtain revelation from them. They believed that stars were active in the running of the universe; considered rain to be the blessing of star zones; thought that the activity of their trade was a result of blessings of poets. They had set up an assembly of their gods where the status of God was merely that of a superior deity who concerned Himself with the skies that were His capital.

The earth was His far off region which he had given to his managers to control and kept aloof from. They worshipped these deities and created worship places and temples. They travelled for pilgrimages to them; sacrificed to them; presented offerings to them; left animals in their name; declared many things haram or halal; presented themselves in front of them and determined their wishes by playing games of chance and swore by them. They had made the graves and ruins of their ancestors places of worship and considered them sources of healing and of bringing them close to God. They considered such rituals as part and parcel of religion and shari‘ah.

They had further made themselves into deities. Instead of God’s guidance, they followed their own desires or laws made by others. They had made the rites, customs and traditions of their ancestors into and thus their society, families and tribes into deities. They designed their own laws and shari‘ah. They had adulterated the religion given to them through their father, Abraham (sws) with innovations. They had become their own legislators. They believed that they deserved as a right the blessings they received from God and that they were a consequence of their knowledge, skill and efforts only. They were proud of their superiority; arrogant about being the progeny of Abraham (sws). They believed that every act of theirs was based on God’s shari‘ah without testimony. All of this was shirk and there was no relationship between this and worship of God.

To the People of the Book, God had said: their claim of monotheism and worship of God was false. They gave their priests and rabbis the right to make laws and alterations and allow or prohibit things. Whatever they said was considered to be the instructions of the Almighty. What they tied on earth was tied similarly on the skies and what they opened up on earth was opened on the skies. They had replaced their book and rational extraction from the word of their prophets by the words of sorcerers. Jews called Uzayr the son of God and Christians said that Jesus (sws) was the son of God. They were supposed to be spirit of God. They divided godliness into a trinity and God was considered to be one of this.

Then they were claimants of superiority and were proud to be the children of Abraham (sws). They believed that this connection was enough for them to be close to God and be loved by Him. They had become forces of evil and extracted themselves from servitude of God. In spite of being recipients of books of God, they had adopted worship of magic and either created evil systems that crossed all boundaries or accepted such systems that were set up by transgressors. They thought that they were pure of spirit and above reproach and believed that whatever they did was free of sin and a work of God and religion. It was not necessary to make it according to God’s instructions. They had created discrimination between God’s prophets: they believed in one group and denied another. They declared their own guidance in place of that from God, their approach, their prophets and their nation as the centre of guidance. They claimed that they would not remain in Hell forever: they would suffer punishment for a short time and then be reinstated at high positions close to God. They believed in magic, casting spells, future telling through stars and knowledge of evil forces. They believed in leaders and magicians whose statements went against what God had said and who were followers of Satan and themselves were transgressors. They supported shirk and preferred the approach of polytheists to that of believers. All these things were against tawhid and sincerity.

Their claims to tawhid were false. They were guilty of obedience to transgression. They took their matters to courts of those who were deniers of God and His Prophet (sws). They either did not believe in the Prophet (sws) and in obedience to him, or in doing so in practice, whereas obedience to God without obeying the Prophet (sws) was not possible and a claim to worship of God without obeying Him was false. A necessary condition of tawhid was to submit oneself completely to the Prophet (sws), obey him totally, revert to him for all matters and accept his decisions without question. They criticised God and teachings of the Prophet (sws) or else hid objections within their hearts and held doubts, hesitation and suspicion. They deviated from the instructions given by God and the Prophet (sws) to the people of faith and wished to follow the Prophet (sws) only for worldly benefit. They loved their worldly advantages, personal interests, blood relations and allies more than they did God and the Prophet (sws). All of this was shirk and God shall never forgive shirk.     


 (Translated by Nikhat Sattar)




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