Friday 10 November 2023

Believers! Cleanse your faith if you believe in God and yet associate others with Him

Faith is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. In the context of religion, faith is "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". And talking of religions, almost all religions, whether worldly or Divine inadvertently hinge around the concept of an unchallengeable Heavenly Deity Who created the entire universe and all living beings. It is He, alone, Who controls the motion of stars, galaxies, and celestial bodies. It is He alone who controls the weather, rainfall and growth of crops and trees from the earth. It is He alone Who ensures a balance in everything that is in the entire universe.

That is from the heart of the heart, everyone believes there is One Deity, yet because of a weak and wavering faith they have doubts and find worldly deities at par with the One True God. And the most in alarming thing is that many a Muslims too fall into this category and take their worldly deities, both dead and alive as their deliverer. This indeed is the worst form of Shirk, associating others with One True God - something most detested by One True God, or Allah as we say in Arabic. 

We share today the 106th verse of Surah 12 Yusuf (Prophet Joseph, may peace be upon him) whic cautions believers of associating others with Him:

وَمَا يُؤۡمِنُ اَكۡثَرُهُمۡ بِاللّٰهِ اِلَّا وَهُمۡ مُّشۡرِكُوۡنَ‏ 
(12:106) And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (others as partners) with Him! 
That is, they associate other deities with Allah because they do not pay heed to His Signs, which serve as pointers to the Right Way. So, they go astray from it and get lost in thorny bushes. Nevertheless, many of them do not lose sight of Reality entirely, and do not disbelieve in Allah as their Creator and Sustainer, but they get involved in shirk. That is, they do not deny the existence of God, but they believe that there are other deities who are also partners in His Being, His Attributes, His Powers, and His Rights. They should never have been involved in shirk, had they considered these Signs in the heavens and the earth from this point of view, for in that case they would have discovered everywhere, in each and every one of them, the proofs of the Oneness of Allah.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.) Ibn `Abbas commented, "They have a part of faith, for when they are asked, `Who created the heavens Who created the earth Who created the mountains' They say, `Allah did.' Yet, they associate others with Him in worship.' 

In the Sahih, it is recorded that during the Hajj season, the idolators used to say in their Talbiyah: "Here we rush to Your service. You have no partners with You, except a partner with You whom You own but he owns not!' 

Allah said in another Ayah: (إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.) [31:13] 

This indeed is the greatest type of Shirk, associating others with Allah in worship. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "I said, `O Allah's Messenger! What is the greatest sin' He said, (أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك That you call a rival to Allah while He alone created you.)'' 

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on Allah's statement, (And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.) "This is the hypocrite; if he performs good deeds, he does so to show off with the people, and he is an idolator while doing this.'' 

Al-Hasan was referring to Allah's statement, (Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salah, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little.) [4:142] 

There is another type of hidden Shirk that most people are unaware of. Hammad bin Salamah narrated that `Asim bin Abi An-Najud said that `Urwah said, "Hudhayfah visited an ill man and saw a rope tied around his arm, so he ripped it off while reciting, (And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.) 

In a Hadith, from Ibn `Umar collected by At-Tirmidhi who said it was Hasan, the Prophet said, (He who swears by other than Allah, commits Shirk.) 

Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud and other scholars of Hadith narrated that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said, (إِنَّ الرُّقَى وَالتَّمَائِمَ وَالتِّوَلَةَ شِرْك Verily, Ar-Ruqa, At-Tama'im and At-Tiwalah are all acts of Shirk.) 

In another narration collected by Ahmad and Abu Dawud, the Prophet said, (Verily, At-Tiyarah ﴿omen﴾ is Shirk; everyone might feel a glimpse of it, but Allah dissipates it with Tawakkul.)''

Yusuf Ali Explanation
Even if people profess a nominal faith in Allah, they corrupt it by believing in other things as if they were Allah's partners, or had some share in the shaping of the world's destinies! In some circles, it is idolatry, the worship of stocks and stones. In others, it is Christolatry and Mariolatry, or the deification of heroes and men of renown. In others it is the powers of Nature or of Life, or of the human intellect personified in Science or Art or invention, and this is the more common form of modern idolatry. Others again worship mystery, or imaginary powers of good or even evil: greed and fear are mixed up with these forms of worship. Islam calls us to worship Allah, the One True God, and Him only.
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Yet even the believers among them allow an element of disbelief, in one form or another, to creep into their hearts. True faith requires being constantly alert so that any fleeting thought that Satan tries to sneak into our beliefs, and every worldly value in any action or attitude we take are removed straightaway. To do so is to ensure that we address all our actions to God alone. Pure faith needs a firm decision in the question of who has the supreme influence on people’s hearts and actions. This ensures that all submission is to God alone.  No one else has any position that requires even partial submission.
“And most of them do not even believe in God without also associating partners with Him.” (Verse 106) They associate some earthly value in the way they consider events, matters and people, or give to something other than God’s will or power a role in what brings them harm or benefit. Or they may acknowledge an element of submission to a ruler or master who does not confine himself to God’s law alone; or they look up to someone other than God for the fulfilment of their hopes; or address their sacrifice in a way that seeks to win people’s admiration; or strive to ensure some benefit or dispel harm but their striving is not done purely for God’s sake; or they may allow something to creep into their worship which makes it not purely dedicated to God alone. Hence, the Prophet says: “Shirk, i.e. associating partners with God, may be more subtle than the creeping of an ant.” [Related by Abū Ya’lā on the authority of Ma’qil ibn Yasār.]

Verse 106 is followed by the Divine answer (verse 107):
Then, [by trusting the partners they associate with God,] have they become content that a torment visits them from God or the Day of Judgement suddenly descend on them and they are absolutely unaware of it?

Let us conclude that there are two categories of men: 
One which does not believe in any religion, yet silently acknowledges that there is a Supreme Deity that manages and administers the world. Despte the realization, they have made idols that REPRESENT various attributes of the Supreme Deity. This is more applicable to Hindus and Buddhists.

The second category is of those believers who follow a Divine Religion, like Jews, Christians and Muslims, who acknowledge that there is One True God. But one of these also believe that God is Three in One - that is adding associates with the One True God. Some even go to the extent of all calling the three gods at par with each other.

Yet again a part of the second category, that is of Muslims, who while having faith in One True God, called Allah in Arabic, also worship worldly deities, mostly dead and some alive. They visit their graves and ASK the dead saints to invoke Allah on their behalf for the fulfillment of their wishes. They even distribute food and charity money in the name of the dead saints and not in the name of Allah. Some even elevate their status so high that one starts to question the reality of their faith.

All above categories are extreme type of Shirk and those who do not want to be subjected to the punishment of committing shirk, must cleanse their faith and follow One True God without any conditions or additions attached to Him. Many non-Muslims are realizing the flaw in their faith and entering the fold of Islam everyday around the world. But what about the Muslims who have tainted their faith and yet are not concerned of the gravity of the offense they are committing. May Allah help them to cleanse their faith before angel of death takes their souls away.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may refer to our reference page: Faith in Allah to read more directives on the subject.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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