A thing is distinguished by knowing its reality and being aware of it’s opposite. If one falls a victim to major and minor polytheism it opposes the foundations of Tawheed, and if it is Major shirk then it expels him from the fold of Islam. Allah, The Most High says, “And verily, if you ask them, who created the heavens and the earth?” Surely they will say,”Allah (has created them).” Say, “Tell me then, the things that you invoke besides Allah – if Allah intended some harm for me, could they remove His harm? Or if He (Allah) intended some mercy for me, could they withhold His Mercy?” Say, “Sufficient for me is Allah; in Him those who trust (i.e. believers) must put their trust.” (Qur’an, 39:38)
Allah, The Majestic clarifies that the powerless engraved and carved images, worshiped by polytheists cannot remove any harm which might befall a person by Allah’s Decree, nor prevent any sustenance or blessings which might come to a person from Him. Then how is that some of the Muslims rely on rings, strings, pearls, a piece of iron or anything similar that is worn thinking that it can bring benefit or prevent harm. Similarly, even objects which people hang in homes, offices, cars or on small children with a strong belief that it will remove affliction. This is a minor type of polytheism because the hearts become attached to these worthless items in a partial manner. If one thinks that these worthless item actually have powers then this is committing major polytheism with Allah, The Supreme One.
Allah, The All powerful negates that the helpless and powerless gods have any ability to harm or benefit. The verse implies that if the attachment to the greater deities is futile then attachment with the worthless items is completely futile. The Hadith below conveys the meaning of severe rejection of the worthless items. It is reported on the authority of Umran Ibn Husain (may Allah be pleased with him), that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) saw a man with a brass ring in his hand, and he asked him, “What is this?” He replied, “It is for protection from Al-Wahinah.” (Wahinah is a type of illness that weakens the body.) “The Prophet answered, “Remove it at once, for verily it will not increase you except in weakness, and were you to die whilst wearing it, you would never be successful.” (Ahmad)
It was the night of 26th Ramadan 1415 H corresponding to March 27, 1995 when one of my friends called me and told me about a Hindu priest, Ravi Shankar. He wanted to learn more about Islam, but was afraid of getting involved with unsuitable.
We visited him the next day to find out this gentleman’s concern. Shankar asked us to explain the different Muslim groups/sects in Islam as largely seen in India. He wanted to know the truth before accepting Islam. He told us that they worshipped idols which were senseless because if they broke or got old people simply threw them in the dustbin.
However, according to his perception, Muslims also do something similar – they circumambulate the Ka’ba, bow in front of it and worship the dead. He also wanted to know how people from all walks of life come together to pray in the Mosque and stand close to each other. A scene like this in a temple is next to impossible as Hindu temples do not allow low caste Hindus to even enter it, let alone stand close to one another. Shankar wanted to know the difference between Hinduism and Islam.
He also told us that people from different groups approached him and told him about their ideologies, but none in particular satisfied him. He asked us which group we belonged to. After patiently listening to his questions we tried to clarify his doubts to the best of our abilities. I told him that we were inviting him to the group of Abu Bakr and Omar, (May Allah be pleased with them) the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that we only follow his teachings. I also clarified his doubt about worshiping the dead i.e. visiting graves and worshiping the dead even if it is Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) is not acceptable in Islam. We cannot benefit from the dead in any way. For more go here.
Times of difficulty are always a good time to reflect about one’s position in life. This is not only true for individuals, but also for nations. The past year has been troublesome for most Arab nations. The dissatisfaction of the people with their living conditions reached a point that they took to the streets to demand better leadership for their countries. Today, they are still in the process of finding a new order for their lives and their societies.
As long as the stream of life runs calm and everything seems to be in order, a lot of problems remain hidden under the surface and people enjoy a superficial sense of relief and satisfaction. Nevertheless, even a seemingly calm running river, with a shiny surface, hides a lot of trash underground! It is in times of disturbances that much of this filth comes to the surface and people start to wonder where all these impurities are coming from. It is a mercy of Allah that once in a while he forces us to face reality to recognize all the trash that has built up in the so-called Muslim countries.
Allah said, “Evil, (sins and disobedience to Allah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His pardon.)” (Qur’an, 30:41) This is precisely the moment when people have to look deeper into the realities of life to find the root of all this mischief that happened, which led their countries into this state of backwardness.
It is about time that Muslims look for a new path and move in the right direction by leaving behind the path of falsehood, which has given nothing but misery.For more read here.