Strengthening of the Faith


  • bookcover

  • Strengthening of the Faith


  • Chapter Seven

    Prohibition of Shirk in Social Customs

    This chapter contains various Verses and Ahddith which prove that the manner in which a man expresses his gratitude to Allah and dignifies Him in his day-to-day mundane affairs, observing and employing different modes, he must refrain from doing the same in respect of any entity other than Allah.

    The whispering of Satan (Devil prodding):

    Allah the Almighty says:

     

    {They (all those who worship others than Allah) invoke nothing but female deities besides Him (Allah), and they invoke nothing but Satan a persistent rebel!" Allah cursed him. And he (Satan) said: ‘I will take an appointed portion of your slaves. Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah. And whoever takes Satan as a Wali (protector or helper) instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss. He (Satan) makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Satan's promises are nothing but deceptions. The dwelling of such (people) is Hell, and they will find no way of escape from it.} (V.4:117-l20)

     

    The people who invoke deities other than Allah, they worship none but females (according to them). Someone calls upon Hazrat Bibi, someone Bibi Asiyah, someone Bibi Utawli, someone red fairy, someone black fairy, someone Satila, someone Masani and someone goddess Kali. These are merely fancies having no trace of reality. These presumed male and female deities are none but delinquent fallacies and whisperings induced by Satan which the people have taken to be the objects of worship. The one who speaks and creates spectacles (by playing tricks) sometimes, is none other than Satan himself.

    All the acts of worship which are being carried out by these polytheists are to propitiate none but Satan. According to them, they only make their vows and offerings to women, but in fact it is all seized upon by Satan. These things neither benefit them in terms of religion nor help them in their mundane affairs. Since Satan himself is a renegade and an outcast, how could he possibly benefit someone in terms of his religious and moral edification? Moreover, he is a sworn enemy to the mankind and hence no favor could ever be expected from an antagonist.

    He has already stated in the presence of Allah saying, "I will convert many of Your slaves into my own slaves. I shall destroy their wisdom in such a manner that they will recognize their own ideas as authentic ones and follow them. They shall dedicate animals to me which shall be bar-coded with the sign of such vows which they would be making in my name. For instance, they shall slit an animal's ears or amputate them, or they shall put a sash around it's neck, or color its forehead with henna, or embellish its face with trappings, or place a coin in its mouth. Be it as it may, any sign which denotes that this animal relates to a vow belonging to such and such deity is included in this category. Satan had already gone to the extent of saying that I shall hold such a sway on people that they shall be persuaded to deform the shapes and facial features created by Allah. Someone shall raise a plait in someone's name, someone shall perforate his nose or ear in the name of some deity, someone shall shave off his beard and someone shall exhibit his mendicancy by shaving off his eyebrows. These are satanic deeds and are contrary to the Islamic teachings. Then the one who abandons Allah, the Munificent and follows the path of Satan, is bound to suffer a manifest loss. This is owing to the fact that first of all, Satan is an enemy to the human beings. Secondly, he is not capable of doing anything other than inducing whispering in the hearts of the people. He beguiles and placates people momentarily by making false promises to them by suggesting that if you believe in such and such deity, your such and such wishes shall be fulfilled. He allures them with tremendous aspirations that if you could muster a certain massive amount of riches, you may acquire for yourself such resplendently beautiful garden, an orchard for a magnificent palace. As long as these hopes are evanescent and never get materialized, the man gets fidgeted, forgets Allah in his spasmodic bewilderment and runs after the so-called deities. All his wild and erratic pursuits turn out to be a cry in the wilderness bearing no fruits as he acquires nothing except what has already been penned down in his destiny. This is nothing but a deceptive mirage and a whispering aroused by Satan. The outcome of all this trumpery is that a man becomes entangled and enmeshed into the quagmire of Shirk and deserves the Hell­fire. He falls prey to the ruses of the Devil so dangerously that despite trying his might and mane, he finds himself unable (and incapacitated) to get himself freed from his tentacles.

     

    Polytheistic rituals in regard to the soliciting of children:

     Allah the Almighty says:

    {It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her. When he had sexual relation with her, she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly. Then when it became heavy, they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying): If you give us a Salih child (good in every aspect), we shall indeed be among the grateful. But when He gave them a Salih child (good in every aspect), they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them. High is Allah, Exalted above all that they ascribe as partners to Him.} (V. 7: 189,190)

     

    It alludes to the fact that Allah Himself created the man originally gave him a wife and caused a feeling of love to grow between them. And when they expected a child, they made supplications to Allah that they would be extremely thankful to Him if He blessed them with a Salih child (i.e. good in every aspect of life and robust in health and sound in his mental faculties etc.) Once blessed with such a child according to what they longed for, they turned into the devotees of the so-called deities and started making vows to them. Some people take their children to the graves of saints and some to their sanctums. Someone raises a braided plait on his shaven head in someone's name, whereas someone else either puts a sash (around one's neck)[1] or a chain (around one's neck or feet). Someone even goes to the extent of committing such an inequity that he coerces and subjugates his child to turn into a mendicant (as a gratitude towards the accomplishment of his vow to a deity) and giving his children such polytheistic names like Nabi Bakhsh, Ali Bakhsh, Pir Bakhsh, Satila Bakhsh, Ganga Bakhsh, Jamna Das, etc. etc. As far as Allah is concerned, He is totally free from their callousness and insensitivity, but these dolts become deprived of their Faith.

    Polytheistic rituals in Agriculture:

    Allah the Almighty says:

     

    {And they assign to Allah a share of the tilth and cattle which He has created, and they say: 'This is for Allah' according to their pretending and this is for our (Allah's so-called) partners.' But the share of their (Allah's so-called) 'partners' reaches not Allah, while the share of Allah reaches their (Allah's so-called) "partners!" Evil is the way they judge!} (V.6:136)

     

    It means that even though there is no denying in the fact that all the grain and animals have been created by Allah, but despite having a cognizance of this fact, polytheists dedicate some things of theirs for the false deities other than Allah as like they dedicate for Allah and it is an astonishing reality that the tremendous amount of respect which they observe while dedicating these things to the other so-called deities, they fail to exhibit the same amount of veneration while apportioning Allah's share in their offerings.

    Polytheistic rituals in regard to the cattle:

    Allah the Almighty says:

     

    {And according to their pretending, they say' such and such cattle and crops are forbidden, and none should eat of them except those whom we allow.' And (they say) there are cattle forbidden to be used for burden or any other work, and cattle on which (at slaughtering) the Name of Allah is not pronounced; lying against Him (Allah). He will recompense them for what they used to fabricate.} (V.6:138)

    Some people express their opinion about a certain thing (by merely running a conjecture) that such and such thing is a unique one having a streak of oddity, and therefore it only behooves that particular person to have it. Some people do not use these animals as beasts of burden and do not let others ride them either, on the plea that as long as this animal is under a vow (made to such and such deity), it commands our respect and thus we are bound to hallow it as a sacred entity. Some people dedicate the animals to the so-called deities presuming that these acts shall go a long way to propitiate Allah and thus their long­-cherished penchants shall be fulfilled, but fallacious are their conjectures and deeds for which shall they indeed be penalized.

    Allah the Almighty says:

     

    {Allah has not instituted things like Bahirah (a she-camel whose milk was spared for the idols and nobody was allowed to milk it) or a Saibah (a she-camel let loose for free pasture for their false gods, e.g. idols, etc. and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), or a Wasilah (a she-camel at it's first delivery and then again gives birth to a she­ camel at it's second delivery) or a Ham (a stallion-camel freed from work for their idols, after it had finished a number of copulations assigned for it, all these animals were liberated in honor of idols as practiced by pagan Arabs in the pre-Islamic period). But those who disbelieve invent lies against Allah, and most of them have no understanding.} (V.5:l03)

     

    A ritual slit was used to be etched out on to the ear of an animal which was dedicated to a certain deity. This kind of animal was known as Bahirah. Had this animal been a bull, it was called Sdibah.. An animal which was declared to be under such a conditional vow that if the same gave birth to a male colt, it (the colt) would be given away as an offering. Now, if the said animal gave birth to both a male and female offspring at one stroke, they would refrain from giving away even the male colt as an offering. Such a pair of colts was called Wasilah. People would stop riding and putting their burden on an animal which gave birth to ten off-springs. Such an animal was called Ham. It has clearly been stated that all these practices are merely customs and rituals and have nothing to do with the injunctions of Shari 'ah.

    Thus it becomes known to us that the acts of dedicating an animal to a certain deity, bar-coding it, and determining that such and such deity shall only accept a cow, a goat or a hen in terms of offerings (against vows made to them), are nothing but the myths and rituals of ignorance and are in contravention of the sanctified Islamic law.

    Slandering Allah in the matters of lawful and forbidden things:

    Allah the Almighty says:

     

     

    {And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: 'This is lawful and this is forbidden,' so as to invent lies against Allah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper.}(V.16:ll6)

     

    It means that one should not take it upon himself to determine as to what is lawful and what isn't, because such an act is the sole prerogative of Allah. This sort of thing shall only amount to inventing lies against Allah. It is wrong to be driven by one's own flights of fancies that if that particular assignment is undertaken after this particular fashion, it will click or else it shall go haywire, for one can never succeed by inventing lies against Allah. Thus it becomes known to us that fostering such myths that one should not partake of betel leaves in the month of Muharram, one should not wear red dresses, the male should not eat the food of vowing in the name of Bibi, a food offering made in the name of a certain saint must contain those particular vegetables or the same should necessary contain Missi (a kind of female cosmetics in the olden days) and henna etc., or declaring that such a food should not be eaten by a female slave or for the woman who remarries (either after the death of her first husband or after being divorced by him) or the ones belonging to the lower castes of the society, or an adulteress, declaring that the offering made in the name of Shah Abdul­-Haque (a saint) has to be a Halwa (a sweet dish) necessarily which should be prepared with an utmost precaution and that it should not be had by someone who is addicted to using a hubble-bubble, alleging that the offering made to Shah Madar (a saint) has to be Maleeda (a sweet dish); the one offered to Bu Ali Qalandar, has to be a dish of Siwaiyan (vermicelli) and the one offered in the name of the Companions of the Cave (Ashdb­e-Kahf), a dish of meat and bread. Giving currency to such myths that on the occasion of someone's marriage or in the event of somebody's death, it is necessary to observe such and such customs, propagating such ideas that a woman should not remarry after the death of her husband, should not attend a marriage ceremony or should not marinate pickles, fanning a superstition that this particular person should not wear blue clothes and that person should abstain himself from wearing red ones etc. All the above things are acts of Shirk and the people who perpetrate such things are in fact interfering in the matters which solely belong to Allah the Almighty and hence are inventing their own Shari' ah.

    Giving credit to the influence of planets (Zodiac signs), is an act of Shirk:

    Zaid bin Khalid bin Juhni {May Allah have mercy on him} narrated the following Hadith:

     

    "One day the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} led us the morning prayer in Hudaibiyah pursuant to a night-long rain. After completing the prayer, he diverted his attention to the people and said, 'Do you know what your Rabb said?' The Companions {May Allah be pleased with Them} answered that Allah and His Prophet {Peace be upon Him} knew the best. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} answered, 'Allah said that among the slaves of mine who entered the morning, some were believers and some disbelievers. The one who said that this rain was induced due to the blessing and mercy of Allah has indeed affirmed his Faith in Me and denounced the stars and the one who said that this rain was caused and brought by such and such star[2], has denounced me and affirmed his Faith in stars." (Al-Bukhari -Muslim)

    It means that the one who cherishes such a belief that the stars (which are merely a creation of Allah) exercise their influence in the matters of the universe, Allah considers him as the one who negates Him. Such a person is none but a star-worshipper. The one who affirms that this universe is operative by Allah's command, is His beloved slave and not a star-worshipper. Thus, we understand that believing in propitious and unpropitious hours, making an inquiry as to which day or date is auspicious or inauspicious (to commence an activity) and giving one's credit to the observations of an astrologer are the activities which open the door to Shirk (polytheism). This is due to the fact that all these activities belong to astrology and these are only the star-worshippers who believe in them.

    The astrologers are magicians and the magicians are disbelievers:

    It is narrated by Ibn Abbas{May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "The one who learns a chapter of astrology in a way contrary to the commandments of Allah, has learnt a part of magic. An astrologer is a soothsayer, a soothsayer is a magician, and a magician is a disbeliever." (Razin)[3]

     

    It means that the Noble Qur'an states that the stars are a manifestation of the power and wisdom of Allah. They serve as an embellishment to the sky and a scourge to drive away the Devil.[4]The Qur'an never states that these stars have the power to interfere in the running of nature or that they have a direct bearing on the virtuosity and vices taking place in the world.

    Now, if someone disregards the former merits of the stars and postulates that these heavenly bodies influence the worldly affairs and thus claims to have the knowledge of the unseen, he indeed is a polytheist. As the soothsayers, in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance, used to predict about the unseen by consulting the jinns, the astrologers do the same by consulting the stars which means that a soothsayer, an astronomer, a Rammal (a conjurer), a Jaffar (a soothsayer) all follow the same creed. A Kahin (the one who prophesies about the future events) courts friendship with the jinns just like a magician and the same is not possible until one believes in them, invokes them and makes an offer to them. It all relates to infidelity and making partners to Allah. May Allah the Almighty save and preserve Muslims from committing acts or Shirk. Amin.

    The Sin of believing in Astrology:

    It is narrated by Hafsah {May Allah have mercy on Her} the Mother of Believers, that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "The one who approaches a soothsayer and consults him about any matter, his prayers shall not be accepted for forty days." (Muslim)

     

    It means that anybody who approaches a certain person, claiming to have the knowledge of the unseen, and thus enquires of him about any of his problems, his prayers shall not be accepted for forty days. This is due to the fact that such a person has committed an act of Shirk, and Shirk destroys all acts of worship. An astrologer, a conjurer, a diviner, the one who predicts about the unseen by casting lots etc. are all categorized as soothsayers.

    Deducing an Omen is an act of disbelief:

    It is narrated by Qabisah {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "The acts of making prophesies through making a bird fly, or casting lots to infer a good or bad omen or declaring something to be carrying a foreboding presentiment are acts of disbelief and apostasy."[5]

     

    It is narrated by Abdullah bin Mas'ud {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

                                                         

    "Taking an omen is an act of Shirk, taking an omen is an act of Shirk, taking an omen is an act of Shirk!"

     

    The custom of taking an omen was rife in the Arabian society and the Arabs had a great belief in it. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} reiterated that it is an act of Shirk so that the people should refrain from having a faith in this absurdity.

    Sa'd bin Malik {May Allah have mercy on him} narrated that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    “A belief (i.e. in the magical properties) that an owl is a sign of omen, is baseless, no disease gets transmitted from one person to another; and nothing is inauspicious (carries a misfortune). Had it been so, the same would have been found in a woman, a house and in a horse." (Abu Dawud)

     

    A belief was rife among the then Arabs, about a victim of a murder whose death is still ur1fetaliated, that an owl comes out of his skull and pleads for his revenge. This owl was known as Hammah. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} declared this kind of faith to be baseless. Thus, the concept of the transmigration of souls is thoroughly baseless too. The Arabs were of the opinion that the diseases like itching and leprosy etc. are contagious ones. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} refuted this view to be an erroneous one.

    Thus it becomes known to us that a view which is generally held by the people to the effect that the people suffering from smallpox should be avoided and that the children should not be permitted to go near them, is among the myths cherished by the disbelievers, and hence we should not give our credit to them, which means that we should not nurse such a faith that the ailment of that person shall strike us automatically Without the will of Allah since no disease strikes anyone unless Allah commands it to be so. (However, from the medical point of view, there is no harm in taking the necessary precautions).

    A myth which has gained a wide currency among the people is that they often keep observing that a certain assignment is inauspicious for the particular person and hence he did not succeed in it. This belief is erroneous too. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} stated that, had something been inauspicious, it would have been a house, a horse and a woman.[6] The above things sometimes do prove to be inauspicious, but no formula has been prescribed to ascertain their inauspiciousness. A belief widespread among the people is that a house resembling a lion's mouth[7] a horse having a star-like forehead and a woman having a vicious mouth are inauspicious. These myths are baseless, having no authenticity, and the Muslims should pay no attention to them. If someone buys a new house, a horse or marries a woman, one should only ask Allah to make them auspicious for him and similarly one should seek Allah's protection from their evil. As to the rest of things, one should refrain from harboring such notions as to this particular work augured well for him whereas that particular assignment proved to be ill-starred to him, and therefore he flopped in it.

    It is narrated by Abu Hurairah {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "There is no contagion (a disease transmitting from one person to another), no owl (believing in its so-called magical properties) and no Safar (a ghost allegedly inhabiting the belly of a person)." (Bukhari)

     

    A view which was rife among the Arabs regarding the people suffering from Ju'ul-Kalb (an ailment characterized by an insatiable hunger) was that his belly was inhabited by an evil spirit which in took all the food he devoured and therefore his hunger was never satiated. This so-called evil spirit was known as Safar. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} declared that there is no such thing as a ghost or an evil-spirit (i.e. inhabiting the belly of the sick person) and this was merely a superstition. Thus we understand that the ailments are not induced by the evil spirits. Some people believe that some of the diseases occur due to the influence of some evil spirits like Satila, Masani, Barahi[8] etc. but this is untrue. During the pre-Islamic period, people used to consider the month of Safar as an evil one and did not perform any activity during this month. This was wrong too. Thus, it becomes known to us that considering the thirteen days of Safar as inauspicious and believing that the calamities befall the earth during this specific period and deeming a thing, date, day or an hour to be of an evil presentiment are all polytheistic concepts. It has been narrated by Ibn Majah on the authority of Jabir {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} took the hand of a leper, put his hand along with his own hand in a bowl and said:­

     

    "Have an absolute Faith and trust in Allah and eat."

    It means that our trust lies in Allah Alone. He can inflict disease on anyone whomsoever He wishes and can make anyone hale and hearty. We, on our part, do not desist from eating with anyone and do not believe that a disease may be transmitted from one person to another.

    Do not make Allah an Intercessor:

    It is narrated by Abu Dawud on the authority of Jubair bin Mut'im {May Allah have mercy on him} that a nomad Arab came to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} and said:

     

    "People are suffering from hardships, the children are suffering from an extreme hunger and the livestock has perished. We would like you to make supplications to Allah on our behalf to invoke rain. We would like to appoint you as our intercessor towards Allah and appoint Allah as our intercessor before you." The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} (upon hearing this) started mentioning the glory of Allah by repeating the phrase "Glory is to Allah, Glory is to Allah." He kept doing it for such a length of time that one could notice it (the expressions of curiosity) writ large on the faces of his Companions. Then the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said, 'You the one who do not understand!' Allah does not intercede on anyone's behalf. Far Exalted is He (in his position and status) than doing this. O ignorant person! Do you know what Allah is? His Throne rests like this on the heavens!" He then made a gesture with folding his fingers in a round and convex shape denoting it to be like a dome and said that the Throne, under the weight of His Majesty is wobbling and shaking about exactly as if the saddle of a camel gyrates and creaks about under the weight of a rider."

     

    The incident goes that once there was a drought in the Arabian Peninsula. A bedouin came to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} and told him the sufferings of the people and asked him to make supplications to Allah. He further said that we would like to intercede with Allah on our behalf and similarly we would like Allah to be our mediator to you in this matter. Once the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} heard what he said, he started trembling due to fear of Allah and started uttering the words of praises manifesting the greatness of Allah. The facial expressions of the audience changed considerably as they heard the words epitomizing Allah's dignity and magnificence. Then the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} went on to explain to the bedouin that the authority belongs only to the Master. If the Master does the needful by accepting someone's mediation, it is so kind of him. If someone says that we have brought Allah to the Messenger as an intercessor, it means that such a person has vested an absolute power and authority in the hands of the Prophet, even though this prerogative belongs to none but Allah only. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} enjoined upon him to never repeat like this. Allah the Almighty is so great and magnificent that all the Prophets and saints do not even measure a particle before Him. His Throne encircles all the heavens and earth just like a dome. Even though the Throne is too massive and gigantic, yet it is unable to withstand the greatness of this Emperor of emperors and thus it is wavering and creaking about. His creatures are unable to perceive and appreciate His greatness and they are not capable of expressing about it by using their normal thoughts and perceptions. Interfering in His work and laying hands in the matters concerning His great empire is out of question. He is so powerful that He can accomplish millions of things without the help of an army, or even a minister or a consultant, just in one stroke. Why should He go to anyone to intercede on someone's behalf? Who could be powerful before Him? Prophet Muhammad {Peace be upon Him}, who is the best creation of Allah among all the human beings, became flabbergasted with,  consternation upon hearing an indecent remark from a bedouin and started praising Allah in every respect of His grandeur which fills the earth and the skies. What do we make out of the people who stat1 associating familiarity with Allah akin to a brother's or a friend's relationship and keep blurting out their gossips with a big mouth?

    Someone says that he has purchased Allah for a mere pittance and someone alleges that he is two years older than his Lord! Someone does not even feel shy to utter a blasphemy to the effect that he would never see his Lord if He appears to him in any shape other than that of his religious preceptor. Someone has uttered a couplet which runs in the following manner:

    "My heart is bruised with an extreme love of Prophet Muhammad {Peace be upon Him} and I nurse an envy against my Lord."

    Another poet says:

    "One must treat Allah with a madness whereas Prophet Muhammad {Peace be upon Him} must be treated with an absolute seriousness and mental composure."

    Someone considers the personality of Muhammad {Peace be upon Him} preferable to Allah Himself. All these things are pathetic and utterly deplorable. Why have the Muslims turned mentally decrepit ones and have become blindfolded in the presence of the Noble Qur'an. May Allah protect us from these acts of delinquencies. Amin.

    Someone has justifiably remarked:

    "We ask Allah's guidance that may He bless us with (an attitude of) respectfulness as a disrespectful person becomes deprived of the blessing of his Lord."

     

    A practice which is prevalent among the people is that once they conduct a gathering and complete all the portions of the Noble Qur'an therein, they pronounce a formula sentence which goes like this:

    "O Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani! Please fulfill our desire for Allah's sake!"

     

    This statement is a manifest Shirk.[9] May Allah save Muslims from such acts! One should never utter a word from his mouth which reeks of Shirk (polytheism) or a word which borders on impropriety and disrespectfulness towards Allah! Allah the Almighty is magnificent! He is the Emperor of emperors, Who is perfect in all respects and His glory never fades! It is only to punish one for a minor fault and forgive other for a minor deed­-depends wholly on His own will. It is an arrogance to suppose that even though one has apparently used a word showing disrespectfulness, but in fact the same alludes to a distant meaning. This is due to the fact that Allah is far above it all and defies all the enigmas. If someone starts gossiping freely with his elders, it is bound to be regarded as an arrogance and sauciness. It only suits to be free with one's close friends in this respect and not with one's father or a king.

    The dearest names to Allah:

    It is narrated by Muslim on the authority of Ibn Umar {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet said:

     

    “The dearest names with Allah are Abdullah and Abdur-Rahman."

     

    How lovely it is to have a name like the slave of Allah or the slave of the Most Gracious. This category includes Abdul-Quddus, Abdul-Jaleel, Abdul-Khaliq, Ilahi Bakhsh, Allah Diya, Allah Dad etc. All these names demonstrate a relationship to Allah.

     

    Kunya [10](pet name) with the name of Allah must be avoided:

    It is narrated by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i on the authority of Shuraih bin Hani {May Allah have mercy on him}:

     

    "When I, along with the delegation of my clan, visited the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}, he {Peace be upon Him} noticed that the people of my clan were addressing me with a patronymic appellation of Abul-Hakam. He (the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} called me and said, "Hakam (the one having a jurisdiction) is none but Allah Himself. Only His commandments are effective. Why do you have such a pet name as Abul-Hakam."

     

    It means that it is only the prerogative of Allah to settle the disputes and give verdict in regard to all the dissensions, a fact which shall be demonstrated on the Day of Judgment. No other is capable of doing that. Thus it becomes clear to us that a word which only befits the magnificence of Allah must not be used for someone else. For instance, none but Allah should be called the "King of kings." "He Alone is the Rabb of the whole universe and can do anything He likes." This type of expressions may only be used for Allah. Similarly the expressions like the object of worship, the All-wise, the Carefree etc. are only fit to be used for Allah Alone.

     

    Only say Ma Shii Allah (What Allah wished):

    It is narrated in Sharh As-Sunnah by Hudhaifa{May Allah have mercy on him} that the

    Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "Do not say, what Allah and Muhammad {Peace be upon Him} wished, but you should only say, what Allah wished."

     

    It means that none of the creatures has a say in the matters concerning Divinity, no matter how great and close one that creature could be. For instance, one should never say that if Allah and His Messenger wished, it should happen so, since all the things in the world happen by the Will of Allah only and not by the will of the Prophet. If someone enquires of you as to what a person really conceals in his heart, or when that person shall be marrying or how many leaves that particular tree bears or how many stars are there up in the heavens, never respond to him by saying that these things are only known by Allah and His Prophet, as the knowledge of the unseen rests with Allah and not with His Prophet. However, there is no harm if someone says such a thing in regard to the religious matters as Allah has given a full knowledge of religion to His Prophet and has commanded people to comply with the instructions of His Prophet.

    Taking an oath in the name of anyone other than Allah is an act of Shirk:

    It is narrated by Tirmidhi on the authority of Ibn Umar {May Allah have mercy on him} that he heard the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} saying:         ­

     

    "The one who administers an oath in the name of anyone other than Allah, has committed an act of Shirk.”

     

    It is narrated by Abdur-Rahmiin bin Samurah {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said: 

     

    "Do not take an oath in the name of the idols nor in the name of your fathers." (Muslim).

     

    It is narrated by Ibn Umar {May Allah have mercy on him} that Allah's Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "Allah prohibits you from taking an oath in the name of your forefathers. If anyone of you were to take an oath, let him either do it in the Name of Allah or he should observe silence." (Al-Bukhari-Muslim)

     

    It is narrated by Abu Hurairah {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "Whoever has taken an oath in the name of Al-Laat and Al-Uzza (name of two idols) (by the force of habit), he must say La Ilaha ill-Allah. (There is no one worthy of being worshipped but Allah). (Al-Bukhari-Muslim)

     

    During the pre-Islamic period, it was a common practice to swear to the idols. After embracing Islam, if someone happens to swear to an idol unconsciously (by the force of habit), he must immediately recite La Ilaha ill-Allah to affirm the Oneness of Allah. Thus it becomes known to us that we must refrain from taking an oath in anyone's name other than Allah. If such a thing happens inadvertently, one must immediately seek Allah's forgiveness. The types of oaths prevalent among the polytheists tend to weaken and jeopardize the Faith.

    The verdict of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} about observing vows:

     It is narrated by Thabit bin Dahhak {May Allah have mercy on him}:

     

    A certain person during the era of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} made a vow that he would slaughter a camel in a place known as "Bawanah." Then this person came to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} and informed him about his vow. The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said: Does the said place comprise any of the sanctums (dedicated to any of the deities during the pre-Islamic period)?" The Companions of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} answered in negative. Then the Prophet enquired of them as to whether had there been any festival observed there? They still answered in negative. Then the Prophet instructed this person to go ahead with observing his vow

    saying that it is forbidden to observe only that kind of vow which defies and contradicts Allah's injunctions. (Abu-Dawud)

    Thus it becomes known to us that it is a sinful act to observe a vow in the name of anyone other than Allah. One should never accomplish such a vow because making an intention to undertake such a vow is itself a sin and if someone still goes ahead and completes it, he will only incur an increased amount of sin. It is further added to our knowledge that a place where the animals are sacrificed in the name of the deities (to the exclusion of Allah), their worship is regularly conducted and congregational activities of Shirk are performed, we should not even carry there an animal which is to be sacrificed in the Name of Allah. We should also refrain from attending such

    activities, irrespective of our intention whether good or bad, because participating in these activities is itself a perpetually bad thing.

    Prostration to Allah and paying due respect to a Messenger:

     It is narrated by Aishah {May Allah have mercy on Her}:

     

    The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} was sitting with a group of Muhajirin and Ansar. A camel came walking all the way to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} and prostrated before him. Upon observing this spectacle, his Companions said: "O Allah's Messenger {Peace be upon Him}! The animals and trees prostrate before you! And as long as they do it, we are more rightful in doing this to you (i.e. to prostrate before you)." The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} answered: "You must worship your Lord and pay due respect to your brothers." (Musnad Ahmad).

     

    It means that all the human beings are brothers to one another. The one who is the most elderly and the most pious is an elder brother. We should respect such a person just like our elder brother. Allah is the Rabb of all and therefore, we should worship none but Him alone. Thus we understand that all the people who are close to Allah, regardless of whether they are Messengers or saints, are none but the helpless slaves of Allah, and are our brothers, and as long as Allah has bestowed on them marks of greatness, they are like our brothers and we are instructed to obey them. Since we are younger to them, we are instructed to respect them in their capacity as human beings only without giving them a Divine status (i.e. without making them an object of worship). It is further added to our knowledge that some saints are held in great reverence by animals and trees also and hence we do find some Dargah (sanctums and tombs of saints) being frequented by lions, or elephants or wolves, but the human beings are not supposed to emulate their examples and ape them in their actions. A human being may only respect someone within the limits prescribed by Allah and may not exceed it. For example, the statutes of Shari'ah do not permit anyone to take a residence in a tomb or around a grave in the capacity of a Mujawir (caretaker or custodian of a grave) and therefore, one must never become a Mujawir even though one may notice the presence of a lion day and night at a certain tomb of a saint, since it is not the becoming of a man to ape an animal.

    It is reported by Abu Dawud on the authority of Qais bin Sa'd {May Allah have mercy on him}:

     

    I went to the city of Hirah where I saw the people prostrating to their king. I thought within my heart that Allah's Messenger{Peace be upon Him} indeed is more eligible and rightful to be prostrated. Therefore, I went to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} and said: "I have seen people prostrating to their king in the city of Hira and hence you are more rightful and eligible that we should offer our prostrations to you." The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} answered: "If you happen to pass by my grave, will you still prostrate before it?" I said, "No." At this the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said: "Then you must not do this too!"

     

    By this the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} meant to convey it to the people that the day would come when he {Peace be upon Him} would pass away and have an eternal sleep in the grave and then he {Peace be upon Him} would not be worthy of such prostrations. The only one, worthy of prostrations, is the One Who is Eternal and Everlasting. Thus we understand that no one, whether dead or alive is eligible for prostrations. It is not permissible for one to prostrate either before a grave or at the tomb/sanctuary of a saint, because the one who is alive is definitely going to die tomorrow and the one who is dead now, had once been alive and was none but a human being. Therefore, he is still a slave of Allah after his death and has not acquired a Divine status.

     

    It is not permissible to call someone one's slave:

    It is reported by Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "Everyone must refrain from uttering such words like 'my male slave' or 'my female slave.' All of you are the slaves of Allah and all your women are slaves of Allah. A slave should not address his master as his lord because the Lord of you all is Allah."

     

    Thus it becomes known to us that even the slaves, while talking to each other, must avoid such expressions during the course of their conversation such as "I am a slave of such and such person and such and such person is my lord." Taking this into consideration, how unfair is it to be known by such names (denoting slavery to someone) as the slave of the Prophet, the slave of Ali, the slave of His Excellency, the choicest worshipper, the worshipper of an adolescent boy, the worshipper of a woman, the worshipper of one's religious preceptor and what an arrogance it is to often observe such remarks that "You are the master of our lives and wealth, or we are at your absolute command, and we shall obey you in whatever you instruct us to do." All these observations are based on falsehood and Shirk (polytheism).

     

    An excellent example to pay respect to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}:

     

    It is narrated by Umar {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "Do not exceed the limits in dignifying me as the Christians have done to Jesus {Peace be upon Him}.I am none but Allah's slave only and therefore you should call me a slave of Allah and His Messenger." (Al-Bukhari-Muslim)

     

    What the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} meant to convey to the people is that whatever qualities and perfections Allah has conferred on him, become epitomized in calling him a slave and a Messenger of Allah, because what greater status or title of honor may be conferred on a human being than awarding him the honor of being a Prophet? The rest of the other titles just rank underneath it. But a human being, despite being awarded Prophethood, is still a human being. He takes pride in being a slave itself. He does not acquire Divine qualities after being awarded the Prophethood and he does not get merged with Allah's Self (i.e. by losing his separate identity as a slave). We must treat human beings in their capacity of human beings only. We should not become like Christians who did not recognize Jesus {Peace be upon Him} as a human being and gave him a Divine status and thus they became disbelievers and polytheists and deserved Allah's wrath and perdition. This is the reason why the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} instructed his Ummah not to resort to such casuistry as done by the Christians and not to exceed the limits in lavishing undue praise to him lest it (Ummah) should deserve and invoke the anger of Allah on itself. But it is a deplorable fact that the rude and disrespectful people among this Ummah paid no heed to the instructions of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} and started pursuing the misleading sophistry as done earlier by the Christians. The view which the Christians hold about the Jesus Christ {Peace be upon Him} is that Allah, Himself appeared assuming a guise or incarnation of Jesus Christ and therefore, Jesus Christ is a human being on one hand whereas on the other hand, he is the Rabb. Some supercilious and arrogant delinquents have observed exactly the same view in regard to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} by saying:

     

    "The Rabb Himself descended this earth assuming different incarnations of the Prophets during different ages. Finally, He came down in the guise of an Arab and became the Emperor of the world."

     

    Another poet observes:

    "You (the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}) are both a mortal and an eternal entity at the same time and your existence involves an element of possibility as well as an element of compulsion."

    These kind of polytheistic expressions are intolerably repulsive and hence an abomination to the earth as well as to the heavens. May Allah award proper understanding of Faith to the Muslims. Amin.

    Some of the unscrupulous perverts also had the cheek of fabricating a Hadith and ascribing it to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} himself. According to this fabricated Hadith, the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} observes:

    "I am Ahmad without the alphabet “Meem" which means that I am Ahad (i.e. the one and solitary, which is one of the Attributes of Allah, may Allah forbid!). Similarly, some people concocted lengthy patches of prose in Arabic, named it Khutbat-ul-lftikhar and ascribed it to Ali {May Allah have mercy on him} This is a monstrous act of slandering. (O Rabb! You are free from all kinds of Shirk. This is a mighty calumnious accusation which they have directed against You. O Rabb! We hereby implore You to make the truth prevail over falsehood and let the perpetrators of falsehood face an ignominy in this world! Amin.

    The Christians believe in such a faith that the Prophet Jesus Christ {Peace be upon Him} wields a jurisdiction over both the worlds. Anyone claiming to have a faith in him, if pleads him in earnest, needs not worship Allah. Sins do not affect his faith. Making a discrimination between the permissible and the forbidden does not hold true for him anymore. In another words, he is free to run berserk like a mad elephant, liberated and unfettered, and doing everything according to the dictates of his whims. He musters this audacity encouraged by the belief that Jesus Christ shall intercede with Allah on his behalf and save him from Allah's punishment. The ignorant Muslims nurse an identical belief not only in regard to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} alone, but also in regard to every Imam, pious person, and preceptor. May Allah direct them to the Right Path.

    It is narrated by Mutarrif bin Abdullah bin Ash-Shikhkhir {May Allah have mercy on him}that he, along with a delegation of Banu Amir tribesmen, went to Allah's Messenger {Peace be upon Him} They said:

     

    "You are our Lord!" The Prophet answered, "Allah is the Lord." They said, "You are superior to us, elder than us and more generous than we are." The Prophet answered, "Yes, you can say all or some of these things about me, but I am afraid lest the Devil should make you arrogant."

     

    It means that one should observe an extreme precaution while passing a remark about a saint. One should praise a saint in his capacity as a human being only and that too within reasonable limits (i.e. avoiding exaggerations). Do not extol him to the skies lest you should commit a sacrilege towards Divinity.

    The word Saiyid carries two meanings:

    The word Saiyid carries two meanings which are as follows:

    1. a) Self-dependent or independent, the master of all who is not governed by anyone, and does anything he wills to do. No one except Allah possesses this quality and magnificence and hence there is noSaiyidbut Allah in this sense of the meaning.
    2. b) In another sense, it implies a person who receives the instructions of a lord and then conveys it to the others. This type of sense includes a chieftain and a land-lord etc. According to this sense, each Messenger of Allah is the chief of hisUmmah,each Imam a chief of his contemporaries, every Mujtahid a chief of his followers, every saint a chief of his devotees and every scholar a chief of his disciples. They are accorded this position of prominence due to the fact that at first, they act upon the Divine injunctions by themselves, and then they educate and instruct their youngsters in this faculty of knowledge. In this respect, our favorite and beloved Prophet {Peace be upon Him} is the Saiyid of the whole world. He {Peace be upon Him} has the greatest and the most exalted status with Allah. He {Peace be upon Him} was the one who followed the injunctions of Shari'ah to the core more than anyone else. The people stand in dire need of him to be enlightened about the religion of Allah. Therefore, He {Peace be upon Him} may semantically be called the master of the entire world, nay, we should justifiably call him so. In terms of the first implied meaning, we shouldn't even consider him {Peace be upon Him} a master of an ant, because he himself is not empowered to exercise an authority even over an ant.

     

    Sayings of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} in regard to the pictures:

     

    Aishah {May Allah have mercy on Her} narrated:

     

    "Once I bought a cushion which was decorated with pictures. When Allah's Prophet {Peace be upon Him} sighted it, he kept standing at the door and did not enter the house. I detected an expression of disgust on his face. Upon noticing it said, "O Allah's Messenger, I seek forgiveness of Allah! What have I done wrong?" The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said: "What this cushion is all about?" I said, "I have bought it for you so that you may sit on it and use it as a pillow." The Prophet said, "The people who portray these pictures shall be subjected to a perdition on the Day of Judgment as they shall be asked to revive the picture they have portrayed." The {Peace be upon Him} further elaborated saying that the angels do not enter a house which contain pictures. (Al-Bukhari)

    Since the majority of the polytheists indulge in an act of worshipping idols, the angels and the Prophets are averse to them and therefore angels do not enter such a house. The artists who portray and paint pictures shall be brought to books as they purvey to the people the paraphernalia of idolatry. It thus becomes understood that the preservation and portrayal of a picture, whether it be of a Prophet, an Imam, a saint, a Qutub, a preceptor or a devotee, is forbidden. The people who honor the portraits of their elderly folks or religious mentors and preserve them as an object of consecration are indeed the ones who have gone astray and have turned into polytheists.

    Such people are abhorred by the Prophets and angels. It is an obligation on a Muslim that he must eliminate pictures of all kinds from his house considering them abominable so that the angels bearing the mercy of Allah may also enter his house thereby filling it with the element of Barakah (blessing).

    The five major sins:

    It is narrated by Ibn Abbas {May Allah have mercy on him} that he heard the Prophet

    {Peace be upon Him} saying:

    "The one subjected to the severest torture on the Day of Judgment shall be the one who either killed a Prophet or the one who was killed by a Prophet, or the one who has killed either of his parents and the one portraying pictures, and a scholar who does not benefit out of his knowledge." (Baihaqi)

    It means that the one who portrays pictures, also falls under the category of the major sins and therefore a penalty which is incurred by the murderer of a Messenger shall also be incurred by the one who portrays pictures.

    It is narrated by Abu Hurairah {May Allah have mercy on him} that he heard the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} saying:

     

    "Allah the Almighty says that the most wrong-doer person is the one who makes an effort to create like I do. In case some one boasts of doing that, let him create a particle, a grain or a barley." (Al-Bukhari-Muslim)

     

    It implies that a portrayer (i.e. an artist) surreptitiously claims Divinity. He intends to create things which are the sole prerogative of Allah. He is the most arrogant person and a great liar. Despite the fact that he does not even possess the capability of creating a grain, he is still trying to emulate divinity. An imitator is a condemned person who is accursed by Allah.

     

    The statement of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} about himself:

    It is narrated by Anas {May Allah have mercy on him} that Allah's Messenger {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "I do not want you to raise me above the status which Allah has designated for me. I am Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, a slave of Allah and His Messenger." (Razin)[11]

     

    The point which the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} wanted to drive home is that the way the other people, enjoying power and authority (i.e. the celebrities and tycoons), feel gratified and flattered out of being excessively praised, he (the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}did not like being exaggerated in his praise even in the least. These (so­ called) great people have nothing to do with the religion of those who lavish praise on them and they little care about whether or not they observe the precepts of their religions. But the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}was so kind and compassionate about his Ummah that he was always obsessed with their welfare in terms of religion (i.e. uplifting their moral standards and edifying their religious awakening etc.). When he {Peace be upon Him} knew that the people of his Ummah loved him on the immense and cherished that the way the other people, enjoying power and authority (i.e. the celebrities and tycoons), feel gratified and flattered out of being excessively praised, he (the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}did not like being exaggerated in his praise even in the least. These (so ­called) great people have nothing to do with the religion of those who lavish praise on them and they little care about whether or not they observe the precepts of their religions. But the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}was so kind and compassionate about his Ummah that he was always obsessed with their welfare in terms of religion (i.e. uplifting their moral standards and edifying their religious awakening etc.). When he {Peace be upon Him}knew that the people of his Ummah loved him on the immense and cherished their utmost gratitudes for him while also being aware of the fact that in order to oblige their favorites, people often eulogize them by extolling them to the skies, the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} became afraid lest the people should exceed the limits in lavishing praise on him thereby committing a sacrilege towards Allah, because if such a thing happens, their faith shall be utterly destroyed, and it is but imperative that it will also cause a resentment to him (the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}). With a view to this possibility, the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}declared that he disliked exaggeration in his own respect. He {Peace be upon Him}said, "My name is Muhammad {Peace be upon Him}' I am not the creator or sustainer. Like anybody else, I was sired by my father and my honor lies within the status of my being a slave of Allah. The only thing separating me from the common people is that I have the knowledge of the commandments of Allah which the people do not have. Therefore, people should seek the knowledge of Allah's religion from me."

    O our Rabb! Show Your mercy and blessing upon the one who was sent as a manifestation of mercy for the entire world (i.e. the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}).

    O Allah! None but You can understand and reward to the fullest, the tireless efforts which the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}made to teach religion to the ignorant like us.

    O Allah, the Exalted, the Supreme! We are none but your helpless slaves! Nothing lies under our control. As You, by Your grace, have made us comprehend and appreciate the meanings of Shirk (polytheism) and Tauhid (The Oneness of Allah), made us aware about the requirements of La ilaha ill-Allah, separated us from among the polytheists and made us purified and among the ones who believe in the Oneness of Allah, we entreat You to similarly teach us, by Your kindness and munificence, the meanings of Bid'ah (i.e. innovation in religion) and Sunnah (the ways of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}), award us an awareness about the compulsory requirements of pronouncing the Kalimah "Muhammad Rasulullah. "

    O my Rabb! We implore You to be so kind as to separate and distance us from among the apostates and the ones who innovate new things in religion and make us the pure devotees of the creed of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}and prompt us into being the followers of Qur'an and Sunnah. Amin.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    [1] A sash or chain of administering a vow People wear them at the time of making a vow, and take them off at it's completion. This is a custom observed by many people.

     

    [2] ‘Naw’ is translated as 'Zodiac'. It implies one's destiny, fate, horoscope or a certain position within the constellation. The expression implies the position of the moon in the sky.

    In the terminology of astrology, it implies those planets or the zodiac positions of the moon which are in a swinging motion day and night. They are attributed to be carrying special effects and specific modes of influence on each hour of the day and night. Astrologers pronounce something as auspicious or in auspicious by observing them, which is absolutely wrong.

     

    [3] Razin bin Mu'awiyah is one of the leading narrators of Hadith. He died in the sixth century according to the Hijra calendar.

     

    [4]The three advantages of stars which are mentioned in the Noble Qur'an are: Beautification of sky, driving away the devils and providing guidelines to the sea and land travelers.

     

    [5] Al-'lyafah used to release a deer or a bird. If these animals proceeded to the right, they considered it to be auspicious, but if the same proceeded to the left, they considered it to be as a foreboding one and thus refrained from commencing an act. At-Tayarah also implies the same meaning. The people who were known as At-Tarq used to either cast pebbles on the ground or draw lines in the sand thereby inferring good or bad omens.

     

    [6] The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} on another occasion, elaborated on it this way:

     

    "An evil house is the one which has bad neighbors, an evil woman is the one who is short-tempered and ill-mannered, and a horse which is not worth keeping is the one who is unruly and skittish."

    [7] A house which is broad and wide at the front and small and constrained at the rear is called Sher Dahan (lion-mouthed). The Indians considered this type of house to be evil and inauspicious.

     

    [8] Barahi is the name of a goddess of diseases among the Hindus, which is worshipped to repel diseases.

     

    [9] According to the Hadith of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}, the recitation of Salam on the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} prior to a supplication and after it, is the reason for the acceptance of one's supplication. Adopting someone as an intermediary (or as a means of directing one's supplications to Allah) is a practice which is not endorsed and authenticated in a fare and square manner by either of the four Imam or the eminent personalities of the three ages of Islam (the ages of the preferential order according to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}. Therefore, one should also avoid resorting to such means.

     

    [10] Calling one, "O father of so-and-so" or "a mother of so-and-so."

    [11] The references of this matter are to be found in Musnad Ahmad and At- Tabarani etc. The following are the words of Hadith recorded in Musnad Ahmad:

    It is narrated by Anas {May Allah have mercy on him} :

    "A person said to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} "You are our chief and the son of our chief!" The Prophet {Peace be upon Him} answered, "You may say so, but you must observe an utmost precaution lest the Satan should play tricks on you and prompts you into the act of exaggerating about me. I am Muhammad, the son of Abdullah and I swear to Allah that I do not like you to uplift me further from the status which Allah has assigned to me (by extolling me to skies through hyperboles)."

     

    A narration of At- Tabarani composes these words:

    It is narrated by Husain bin Ali {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} said:

     

    "Do not raise me any further than what my status is, because Allah has created me as His slave prior to appointing me as His Messenger.'"

     

     

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