Monday, April 18, 2011

Deviation in Human Life

"What's the solution to the problems of Muslims? What should we do?

Should we follow the path of our ancestors, or should we make our own path or should we follow the Path shown by our CREATOR through his messengers. All the messengers of ALLAH came with the central message of believing in Only One ALLAH and directing all forms of worship to HIM Alone, and teaching the ways to worship HIM. All the messengers showed the path of ALLAH's liking which leads to the gate of eternal bliss. All the prophets warned against all the other paths that earns ALLAH's wrath, which leads to the gate of eternal sorrow and pain. Our Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him)) was the last and seal of all prophethood and messengership, and we Muslims are his ummah (nation). Hence, we Muslims should strictly follow the path that ALLAH shown us through him and reject all other paths.

The first point of rectification is Aqeedah, and at we have a weekly segment devoted to Aqeedah alone every Saturday. Come, join and take benefit... insha Allaah... about the most important part of Islam our beliefs... our Aqeedah.

By Shaikh Saalih Al Fawzaan

Allah has created the creatures to worship Him, and provided them with provisions to enable them to do that. Allah, the Exalted, said: "And I have created jinn and men only to worship Me. I want no sustenance from them, not do I want them to feed Me. Surely, it is Allah, Who is the Provider, The Powerful." [Soorah Az-Zariyat (51): 56-58]

Man naturally acknowledges Allah's divinity, loves Him, worships Him, and ascribes no partner to Him. But human and jinn devils who suggest to each other polished speech out of deception, corrupt his natural disposition, and lead them astray.[1]

Tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allah) is firmly instilled in human nature, while polytheism is accidental and intrusive Allah says: "And remain steadfast on the religion of hanifan (Islamic Monotheism), Allah's fitrah [2] with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in khalq-illah (i.e. the religion of Allah), that is the straight religion." [Soorah ar-Rum (30): 30]

And the Prophet (salallahu alaihe wasallam) said: "Every infant is born with fitra [2] but it is his parents who make him a Jew, or a Christian or a magian (fire worshiper)." [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim] Hence, the tawheed or the belief in the Oneness of Allah is man's innate belief.[3]

Islam is the faith which was upheld by Adam, whom Allah rendered safe from and those who came after him for many centuries. Allah says: "Mankind were one community, then Allah sent the Prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners." [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 213]

Polytheism and corruption in Aqeedah appeared first among the people of Noah [4] who was the first Messenger of Allah sent, as Allah says: "We have revealed to you just as We revealed to Nooh and to the Prophets after him." [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 163]
Ibn Abbas said: "There was a period of 10 centuries between Adam and Noah, during which people were Muslim." [5]

In his comment on Ibn Abbas's statement, Ibn al-Qayyim said: "This statement is definitely true, for Ubay Ibn Kaab used to recite the verse, "Then they differed (strayed from the right guidance) then Allah sent the Prophets."[6] Ubay Ibn Kab's recitation is supported by the following verse: "And mankind were but one single Ummah then they differed." [Soorah Yunus (10): 9]

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) meant that differing over the sound deen to which mankind originally adhered was the reason for sending Prophets. Just as the Arabs were following the deen of Ibraheem, Whom Allah rendered sage from evil, until Amr bin Lahi al-Khuza'ee brought idols in the Arabian Peninsula and to Hijaz in particular. Idols were worshiped afterwards in lieu of Allah, and shirk prevailed in the sacred land and the lands adjacent to it.

Idol worship continued until Allah sent Muhammad (salallahu alaihe was-sallam) the last of His Prophets. He invited people to uphold the Aqeedah of Tawheed and to follow the deen of Ibraheem. He struggled in the cause of Allah in the best manner until he finally prevailed and destroyed the idols and put an end to paganism. Allah completed the deen through him and perfected His favor for men and jinn.

The distinguished generation of this Ummah adhered to the Prophet's Sunnah during the early stage of Islam. Later on, ignorance prevailed in the latter centuries during which new beliefs and religions emerged. Shirk appeared and was practiced by many Muslims due to the hard work of the promoters of perversion. Tombs were erected on graves of pious people for visitation, and were taken for idols that they worshiped to the exclusion of Allah. Acts of worship such as supplications, appeals for aid, and offerings were dedicated to them (the engraved). They euphemized Shirk by calling it, 'appeal to pious people' claiming that they only loved them and did not worship them. They forgot that such was the claim of the early pagans, who used to say: "We worship them only so they may bring us nearer to Allah in rank." [Soorah al-Ankabut (39): 3][7]

Despite the Shirk which appeared among the people in the past and present, the majority of them believed in Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyah (i.e. to affirm that Allah Alone is the, 'Rabb' - One Who Creates, Sustains and Commands). They committed Shirk in terms of worship as Allah says: "And most of them do not believe in Allah without being guilty of idolatry." [Soorah Yusuf (12): 106]

Only few of mankind deny existence of the Rabb, such as Fir'awn (Pharoah), the Atheists and the Communists of this age. Their denial is only out of stubbornness, for they are compelled to admit inwardly, the belief in the existence of Allah. Allah says: "And they deny Our signs, although inwardly they certainly knew them to be from Allah, wrongfully and hastily." [Soorah an-Naml (27): 14]

Their intellects recognize that every creature must have a creator and every existing thing must have an originator. And that the accurate and precise order of this universe must have One Who manages it, Who is Wise, Capable and Knowledgeable. He who denies this fact is either unintelligent or stubborn and does not apply reason and ridicules himself. Such people are worthless.

[1] Mankind in the beginning was a single nation upon true Tawheed. Subsequently and gradually shaytan misguided them towards associating partners with Allah. The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihe wasallam) said: Allah said: “I created all my servants upon the true Religion (Tawheed). Then the devils came to them and led them astray from their true Religion. They made unlawful to people that which I had made lawful for them, and they commanded them to associate in worship with Me, that which I had sent down no authority." [Al-Khawaakibud-Duraaree fee Tarteeb Musnadul-Imaam Ahmad'alaa Abwaabil-Bukhaaree (6/212/1), still in manuscript form.]

[2] Fitrah is the innate pure instinct inborn in every human, which recognizes the True Lord. Fitrah, if not corrupted leads one to the Belief in the Existence of Allah, the Exalted

[3] “(remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seeds and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?”They said: “Yes! We testify.” Lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this. Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the men who practiced Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshiping others besides Allah)?” [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 172]

[4] Extremism in praise and position of Righteous Persons is the Root Cause of Infidelity of Mankind and its deviation from the True Religion: Allah said about the people of Nooh: "And they have said: You shall not forsake your gods, nor shall you forsake Wadd, nor Suwaa', nor Yaghooth, nor Ya'ooq, nor Nasr." [Surah Nooh 71:23)]

Ibn Abbas (radiallahuanhu) relates: “Indeed these are five names of righteous men from the people of Nooh. When they died Shaytaan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of them, so they did this. However, none from amongst them worshipped these statues, until when they died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to worship them.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (11/418) and Saheeh Muslim (18/52)]

Abu Ja'far (radiallahuanhu) said:"Those from the later generation saw what the (previous generation) had done and considered the extent that they took him as an ilah (deity) to be worshiped besides Allah.” He then said: "This was the first idol worshiped other than Allah, and they called this idol Wadd.”
[Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (8/534)]

Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anha) reported that Umm Habeebah and Umm Salamah (radhi allahu anhuma) mentioned about a church they had seen in Ethiopia in which there were pictures. They told the Prophet (salallahu alaihe wasallam) about it, on which he said, “If any religious man died amongst those people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creature in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.” [Saheeh Al-Bukharee (vol..1; no.419) and Saheeh Muslim (vol.1;no.1076)]

In the above three Ahaadeeth, it has clearly been explained how polytheism gradually develops. It starts from pious intention like, building of places of gathering by the grave of pious person so that he be remembered but steadily the people begin to look upon the religious man as a demigod and ultimately elevate to a higher status of Godhood. This undermines the belief in the oneness of Allah. Similarly as known from the Hadeeth of Aa'ishah; the pictures of the pious men were displayed in the places of gatherings in order to keep alive their memories, but with the passage of time the people begin to worship them.

So, the first Shirk on the earth occurred due to the confusion spread by Shaytaan regarding righteous persons and mixing truth with falsehood; first, exaggeration in the love of the righteous and then innovative practices of the people intending to do good (i.e. Bidah: newly invented practice in the religion). Therefore, all means that lead to Shirk are prohibited in Islam, such as innovations, exaggeration in status of righteous men even the Prophets, building shrines over graves and intending to specifically travel to them, taking them as places of festivity and gathering and swearing an oath by the inmate of a grave and other acts that should only be directed towards Allah.

This confirms the sayings of righteous predecessors that Bid'ah (innovations in the religion) is the main cause leading to Kufr (disbelief) and that Bid'ah is more beloved to Iblees than sinfulness because one may repent from sins but he will not repent from Bid'ah for he performs Bid'ah thinking it to be a means of closeness to Allah and achieving rewards from Him.

This teaches us,

a) Hanging pictures on walls and setting up statues and sculptured images lead people to idolatry because excessive exaltation of these pictures and statues gradually develops into a belief that they bring good and prevent harm, as evidenced in the example of the people of Nooh.

b) Shaytan is (waiting) to deceive mankind. He will try every trick to exploit man's sentiments. When satan observed among the people of Nooh their emotional liking for pious people, he tempted them to exceed their love and finally made them place statues in their dwellings in order to make the common people stray from the right path.

c) Not only does shaytan try to deceive the present generation, he also keeps his eye on the future generations. When he could not plunge the present generation of the people of Nooh into idolatry, he anticipated the coming generation to be misled and set a trap for them.
d) Negligence must not be shown toward evil, but it must be eradicated and all its doors must be closed.

e) The presence of diligent and learned men is a blessing because Shaytan can only deceive the people after the learned men among them have passed away. This also explains the value of the presence of knowledge and harm of losing it. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihe wasallam) said: "Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 1, Book: 3, no: 100)]

[5] Ibn Abbas (radiallahuanhu) said: “Between Nooh and Adam were ten generations, all of them were upon Sharee'ah (law) of the truth, then they differed. So Allah sent prophets as bringers of good news and as warners.” [Tahdheerus-Saajid min Ittikhaadhil-Quboori Masaajid (pp.101-106)]

[6]The verse which Ibn al-Qayyim refers to is verse no. 213 in Soorah al-Baqarah, "Mankind were one Ummah, then Allah sent the Prophets." Ubay Ibn Kab used to add the above words after the word Ummah, which explains the reason for sending Prophets to mankind. [Translator]

[7] Imam Ibn Katheer writes in the Tafseer of this verse, "meaning what motivates them to worship them is the fact that they made their idols in the image of angels - or so they claim - and when they worship those images it is like worshipping the angels, so that they will intercede with Allah for them to help and give them provision and other worldly needs…. Qatadah, As-Suddi and Malik said, narrating from Zayd Ibn Aslam and Ibn Zayd: "only that they may bring us near to Allah." Means, 'So that they may intercede for us and bring us closer to Him.' [At-Tabari 21: 251, 252] During Jahiliyyah, they used to recite the following for their Talbiyah when they performed Hajj, 'At Your service, You have no partner except the partner You have; he and all that he owns belongs to You.' This pretentious argument which the idolaters of all times, ancient and modern, used as evidence is what the Messengers came to refute and forbid, and to call people to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate. This something that the idolaters themselves invented, Allah did not give them permission for it, not does He approve of it, He hates it and forbid it..." [See Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

A similar practice in also found in today's times, which has been given the name of Waseelah (or Tawassul) when people invoke upon the engraved for help claiming it to be a 'means of closeness to Allah' while misinterpreting the verse of the Qur'aan: “Seek the means of approach (al-waseelah) to Him.” [Soorah al-Maaidah (5): 35] Whereas Waseelah in this verse means to draw closer to Allah by (a) invoking Allah by His Beautiful Names, (b) means of Righteous Deeds of the Supplicant and (c) Supplication made by a Living Righteous Man as is known from the practice of Allah's Messenger (salallahu alaihe wasallam) and the Sahabah.

Note: All footnotes which mention, [Translator] at the end are by the translator, Mahmoud Ridha Murad.

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