Answering MIAW’s first principle of Shirk

Muhammed bin Abdul Wahhab formulates his first principle as follows:

The first principle is that you know the kuffaar, whom the Messenger saws fought, used to affirm that Allaah, the Most High, was the Creator and the Disposer of all the affairs but that did not enter them into Islaam and the proof is His, the Most High’s, saying, “Say: Who provides for you from the sky and from the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs? They will say:”Allaah.” Say:”Will you not then be afraid of Allaah’s Punishment?”[Yunus 10:31]

Refutation:

This individual begins his work by first projecting the perception that the Meccan polytheists had actually acknowledged Allah’s oneness in Lordship.  A Wahhabist commentator to this book, by the name of “Muhammed bin Abdir Rahmaan al Khumayyis”, further explains this principle as such:

“The first of these rules is: Knowing that the polytheists during the time of Allah’s Messenger, from the disbelievers of Makkah  and others, affirmed and acknowledged Allah’s Lordship(Ruboobiyyah), which is to single Allah out and make Him one with regard to His creating, administering and controlling of the universe. They did not ascribe partners to Him in these aspects. ……… However, they ascribed and mixed partners with Him in worship, so this acknowledgement was of no benefit to them.”

This rather simplistic but erroneous conclusion, on the belief of polytheists, is from the fundamental reasons why Muhammed bin Abdul Wahhab and his followers have remained floating in their misguidance. They formed these erroneous notions based on an ultra-literalistic half-eyed reading of these Quranic verses and concluded that Meccan polytheists had actually believed, in the oneness of Allah’s Lordship.

The verse in question here, uses a polemical form of questioning, where an argument is being made by basing it upon a certain premise which the opponents had acknowledged or admitted. By using that acknowledgement, a derived argument is being put forward against them for what they do not yet acknowledge, so that they come to agree on that too, or in order to prove that the initial acknowledgement they make is futile and void.

In this particular verse, the attributes of Lordship which the Meccan polytheists acknowledged regarding Allah is being used to counter against the heedlessness the polytheists had for Allah. The verse does not contain anything by which a person can conclude the polytheists believed in the oneness of Allah’s Lordship. That, the polytheists did indeed admit to the Lordship of Allah do not mean that they acknowledged the oneness of His Lordship without any sort of attribution of partners or share in His Lordship. It is from basic knowledge that the difference between a denier of God i.e., an atheist, from a polytheist is that the polytheist openly acknowledges the existence of God/Allah. Acknowledging Allah would by nature require acknowledging the attributes of Lordship to Allah. While the difference between a polytheist and monotheist is not in attributing Lordship to Allah but, in attributing oneness to His Lordship.

The Meccan polytheists did indeed ascribe partners in Allah’s Lordship [1], mainly in the form of attributing sons and daughters to Allah. An affirmation of offspring for Allah is by its nature, shirk in Lordship.  The shirk present in this is understood with ease if one reflects at his own self and his position with regards to his family. The son on account of his son-ship, obtains the attributes of his father. This therefore when attributed to Allah is shirk in Lordship as it implies that these alleged offspring’s has independent sovereign attributes like Allah. Furthermore, the father, in a house of family, is usually the creator, owner, controller, governor and provider of the house. Yet despite this, the son would have a partnership in the affairs of his father, such as in the ownership, control, providing and judgmental opinion/decision making, in the affairs of the father’s house. This is the kind of shirk the Meccan polytheists committed, with their attribution of offspring’s to Allah and this is shirk in Lordship. The Meccan polytheists were not in possession of tawhid in any real sense as falsely alleged by the Wahhabi ideologists.

The Christians too attribute Lordship to Allah, but despite that it’s clearly nonsensical and the height of ignorance for one to conclude that the Christians believed in the oneness of His Lordship. Shirk in Lordship committed by Christians was in the form of trinity and son-ship they ascribed to Allah. Similarly, the shirk in Hinduism, despite the Lordship they ascribe to a Supreme God, is in the form of considering all of creation to be the Supreme God Himself or by dividing the Supreme God into several gods and incarnate gods.

Further Quranic Refutation:

The Quran in fact, makes an argument against the partners, the polytheists ascribe to Allah’s Lordship:

[Quran 43:] 9 If you [Prophet] ask them, ‘Who created the heavens and earth?’ they are sure to say, ‘They were created by the Almighty, the All Knowing.’ 10 It is He who smoothed out the earth for you and traced out routes on it for you to find your way, 11 who sends water down from the sky in due measure––We resurrect dead land with it, and likewise you will be resurrected from the grave––12 who created every kind of thing, who gave you ships and animals to ride on 13 so that you may remember your Lord’s grace when you are seated on them and say, ‘Glory be to Him who has given us control over this; we could not have done it by ourselves. 14Truly it is to our Lord that we are returning.’ 15Yet they assign some of His own servants to Him as offspring! Man is clearly ungrateful!

The format of argument made here is similar to the verse in question. But these verses by the end, makes reference to shirk of polytheists, which was in their taking the servants of Allah as offspring’s of Allah. There are a couple of points worth mentioning here:

(1)         Allah rejects the ascription of son-ship to Him, yet instead ascribes them to be servants/slaves to Him. From this we see that, a fundamental difference between tawhid and shirk is the distinction between a slave and an offspring. The difference between a slave and an offspring is clearly in lordship, as the difference consists in their attributes, independence, providence, control, ownership, obedience and so forth. This also proves that the Meccan polytheists did not take these objects they worship as slaves of Allah, which therefore again constitutes their association of partners in Allah’s Lordship.

(2)         The verses after relating the admission of polytheists, that Allah is the creator of the heavens and the earth, by the end opposes them for attributing offspring’s to Allah. The implication of this is that the attribution of offspring to Allah is contradictory to what they acknowledged at first i.e., Lordship of Allah. The verses would be revealed for purpose of exposing this contradiction. But…, for theses verses to be effective, it has to be taken that polytheists ascribed these offspring’s as partners in Allah’s Lordship. If not, there would be no effective argument made by these verses, as there would be nothing else present in these verses that would oppose the ascription of an offspring to Allah. This would render the Quranic verse as pointless.

So, in order for these verses to be an argument against the attribution of offspring’s to Allah, it has to be understood that the polytheists did ascribe share in Allah’s Lordship to these offspring’s. And as such, the polytheists would be having contradictions in their belief, which Allah thereby refutes by way of argument. It is with such belief that they are showing ungratefulness. This is because, despite them acknowledging the heavens and earth as the creation of Allah, they then go onto ascribe offspring’s to Allah; which implies the sharing of Allah’s attributes of Lordship and Ownership, among these alleged offspring’s. This therefore would stand out as a contradiction in the statement and belief of the polytheists. The polytheists would be forced to abandon their belief in offspring’s, if they would want to maintain the validity of their initial acknowledgement of the Lordship to Allah.

The same format of argument is also found in the Quranic chapter Muminun, but shirk of the polytheists is made even more explicit here:

[Quran 23:] 84 Say [Prophet], ‘Who owns the earth and all who live in it, if you know [so much]?’ 85 and they will reply, ‘God.’ Say, ‘Will you not take heed?’ 86 Say, ‘Who is the Lord of the seven heavens? Who is the Lord of the Mighty Throne?’ 87 and they will reply, ‘God.’ Say, ‘Will you not be mindful?’ 88 Say, ‘Who holds control of everything in His hand? Who protects, while there is no protection against Him, if you know [so much]?’ 89 and they will reply, ‘God.’ Say, ‘Then how can you be so deluded?’ 90 The fact is, We brought them the truth and they are lying. 91God has never had a child. Nor is there any god beside Him– if there were, each god would have taken his creation aside and tried to overcome the others. May God be exalted above what they describe! 92He knows what is not seen as well as what is seen; He is far above any partner they claim for Him.

In these verses, Quran initially argues “Will they not take heed?””Will you not be mindful?” This is because the polytheist, as we see in the verses prior it (23:81-83), denied that they will be resurrected. Quran is thereby using the attributes of Lordship they ascribe to Allah, to refute their rejection of resurrection, since, if they acknowledge the ownership, creation and control are with Allah then how could they question Allah’s ability to resurrect them? This is a type of shirk too [2], because it constitutes the denial of the attribute or power of Allah and thereby leads to the belief that someone other than the true Allah is Lord.

But the more relevant part of these verses just quoted, is the final conclusion of the argument, where Allah brings forth the truth of their belief and labels them as liars. The reason for calling them as liars, as per the verse, is because they attributed Allah with children. And this constitutes shirk in Allah’s Lordship. Furthermore, we see from the same passage of Chapter Muminun, the following verse {Nor is there any god beside Him– if there were, each god would have taken his creation aside and tried to overcome the others} [23:91]. The argument made in this verse is considered to be Qur’an’s greatest rational proof in establishing tawhid against the polytheists. With the advent of the Wahhabist movement, it can now be considered as the greatest proof against the Wahhabiyyah in establishing the reality of tawhid. This is because, the verse presumably implies that the polytheists believed these partner gods had their own personal creations and had the power to fight and compete with other gods. Such a belief constitutes the attribution of Lordship to these partner gods and thereby a direct refutation of the creed of the Wahhabiyah.

Other forms of argument against polytheism made by these verses

Another type of argument that is made by such verses, is one that is directed against those polytheists who do not direct their worship to Allah. The polytheists did believe in the existence of a Supreme God (along with the several other subordinate gods which they attributed as partners), but what is peculiar in many of their belief structure is that this supreme God cannot be accessed directly but instead has to be accessed through the system of intermediary minor gods only. The Hindu belief is an example of this whereby despite the acknowledgment of Brahma as the Supreme God, the Hindus barely devote any worship to Brahma. They would reason that Brahma cannot be accessed directly and that they have to instead choose various incarnate gods as the object of worship. This form of belief in the inaccessibility of the Supreme God exists in the layman form as well as in the garb of philosophical language, among various polytheist groups. The Qur’an by these verses is questioning this false belief of theirs, that, despite them acknowledging Allah to be the Supreme Lord then why do they not worship Allah Himself and turn towards Him ? Why do they instead devote worship to others besides Allah when in fact it is Allah who is firstly and mostly deserving of their worship ?

But this again does not mean that they acknowledged the oneness of His Lordship in any pure sense. The Wahhabis quickly assume that just because Allah’s Lordship (Rububiyah) is used to argue for Allah’s right to be deserving of worship, then such would mean polytheists acknowledged His oneness in Lordship in pure form and that polytheists are mistaken only in the case of worship.  But that is not really the case  when one understands the nature of polytheistic belief. Using Lordship as an argument does not necessitate admittance of oneness of His Lordship. Rather Allah’s Lordship is being used, simply because such polytheists did not even believe in the need to worship Allah. They believed that it is enough to worship the partner gods and assumed that they would reach near to Allah by it and that it is not a requirement to worship Allah Himself. They acknowledge Allah as Lord in all this and yet they devote their worship and fear others besides Him and not Allah. This characteristic of polytheists of  not worshiping Allah, is being questioned by these verses.

A different point of attack against polytheism contained in these verses is in the sense that, as the polytheists acknowledge Allah as the exclusive Lord in some of these great matters, like the creation of the heavens and earth, then, it is Allah who is deserving of worship rather their other gods who do not have these exclusive matters. The exclusivity of these attributes for Allah requires worshiping Allah only. This again does not mean that polytheists believed in pure oneness of His Lordship because attributing a partner can be done through many other attributes of Lordship and not necessary that they have to attribute every single attribute of Allah to the partner gods too. There are multiple ways of committing shirk in Lordship.  Additionally, those partner gods are also being nullified as false gods because in the absence of such exclusive attributes, these gods loose their exaltedness and they are inferior or defective to even be considered as a true God worthy of worship, even though they might claim to attribute other divine attributes to it through other means of associations.

The other argument that is made by these verses is one that is against idolatry. When the polytheists acknowledge Allah’s Lordship over the heavens and the earth, then everything in the creation by nature would necessitate being a  slave of Allah. Therefore, their idols and whatever they associate from among the heavens and earth as partners to God, is forced to be taken as a created slave of Allah and not have any possibility of them being anymore claimed as partners to God. Therefore polytheism is being refuted by first making them acknowledge Allah as the Lord of the heavens and the earth and thereby this Lordship negating the possibility of anything else in creation being taken as lords.

These verses are also an attack against atheism in the sense that when the atheists are to be asked about these matters of the heavens and the earth, then they would be surely forced to admit the existence of Allah, and therefore they are then being asked to obey and fear Allah.

——–

Finally, note that the passage quoted from Chapter Yunus, concludes by saying that, it has been proven the polytheists “do not believe.  Therefore, tawhid and shirk is a question of belief and not mere outward actions divorced from belief. The reason why the polytheists did not believe is because their belief was polluted by shirk and therefore does not constitute a real belief.  Using the analogy of Muhammed ibn Abdul Whahab himself, just as “prayer is not regarded as prayer unless accompanied by purification” similarly, the belief in Allah is not regarded as belief in Allah unless accompanied by purification. The acknowledgement made by Meccan polytheists that Allah had the attributes of Lordship, is similar to the saying of the Christians or Hindus that God is one. Their saying is not considered as true belief because their belief is still impure with shirk.  Therefore, true belief is when belief is purified from shirk. And it is this purification in belief that has been summarized beautifully in the Quranic chapter “Tawhid/Ikhlaas”, considered as 1/3rd of the Qur’an (thereby encompassing the meaning of 1/3 of the Qur’an):

[Quran 112:] 1 Say, ‘He is God the One, 2 God the eternal. 3 He begot no one nor was He begotten. 4 No one is comparable to Him.’

This is what constitutes the tawhid of Quran, and this is what missed the minds of those who follow the creedal innovations of Muhammed bin Abdul Wahab.

Conclusion:

This principle is factually flawed and cannot be categorized as a principle of shirk. That the polytheists ascribed to Allah the attributes of Lordship is irrelevant; as a polytheist would obviously by nature of having an open belief in a God, as opposed to atheism, acknowledge it. While the conclusion made from it of polytheists being believers in the oneness of His Lordship, is outright false as the polytheists did in reality attribute partners to Allah’s Lordship, mainly in the form of offspring’s.

______

Notes:

[1] Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. 333/944) in his tafsir of verse 9:31, says :

[أو يقول: أفلا تتقون عبادة غيره دونه، وإشراك غيره في ألوهيته وربوبيته]

[2] On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Allah Almighty has said: The son of Adam denied Me and he had no right to do so. And he reviled Me and he had no right to do so. As for his denying Me, it is his saying: He will not remake me as He made me at first – and the initial creation [of him] is no easier for Me than remaking him. As for his reviling Me, it is his saying: Allah has taken to Himself a son, while I am the One, the Everlasting Refuge. I begot not nor was I begotten, and there is none comparable to Me. [Related by al-Bukhari and an-Nasa’i]

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6 comments

  1. Al-salam ‘Alaikum,

    Can you comment on the following verse:

    وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
    إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
    قَالُوا نَعْبُدُ أَصْنَامًا فَنَظَلُّ لَهَا عَاكِفِينَ
    قَالَ هَلْ يَسْمَعُونَكُمْ إِذْ تَدْعُونَ
    أَوْ يَنفَعُونَكُمْ أَوْ يَضُرُّونَ
    قَالُوا بَلْ وَجَدْنَا آبَاءَنَا كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ
    قَالَ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَعْبُدُونَ

    And recite to them the story of Ibrahim.
    When he said to his father and his people: “What do you worship?”
    They said, “We worship idols and remain to them devoted.”
    He said, “Do they hear you when you supplicate? Or do they benefit you? or do they harm?”
    They said: “Nay, but we found our fathers doing so.”
    He said, “Then do you see what you have been worshiping, You and your ancient forefathers?

    Some of the tafasir (Ibn Kathir, Al-Baghawi and others) seem to suggest that Ibrahim’s people did not believe that their idols had any powers of Rububiyyah. This would be compatible with the Wahhabi position that the mushriks – at least those in the time of Ibrahim – did not commit shirk in Rububiyyah but only in Uluhiyyah would it not?

    Allah reward your efforts. Amin.

    1. Suppose idol of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in form of a man with all humanizing details such as beard and trimmed mustache. One believes this Idol of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is my Ilah (i.e. worthy of worship) and worships this idol. Even though one knows the idol is helpless and harmless and benefit-less and has no inherent capacity to hear, or see, or grant anything yet one still worshiped the idol. Question would arise, why would one worship something which has absolutely no capacity to benefit or harm? The answer is, one worships it due to whom the idol represents and that one is able to harm and benefit. Even the polytheists of Jahilliyah and all modern polytheists knew and know; the idols are made from inanimate material are without life and as such have no ability what so ever. The polytheists believed that their Ilahs were loved by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) so much so that He elevated them as Ilah. Therefore they believed worship of them will gain them nearness of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). You might have heard the saying; access to a man’s heart is via his stomach. Polytheists believed nearness to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is via those loved Ilahs. So they asked Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) via the route of their Ilahs but in time of extreme hardship like life/death situation they directly invoked Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). In comfort the idols were invoked and if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was invoked then their Ilahs were invoked with it. One might question, how did you arrive to this understanding? This understanding was realized with copious amount of contemplation over various verses of Quran. Putting the pieces of puzzle together and with help from modern forms of polytheism and bit of common sense. One must look at the polytheism of present era compare it with polytheism of hundred years ago and older more documentarily established forms of polytheisms. One will come to realize polytheism hasn’t changed only the puppets have changed and the philosophies supporting polytheism are same.

      They worshiped the being which the idol represented along side the idol. Some time the zahir is stated but what is part of it is included. We say the medicine cured … a Muslim saying this, does he believe actually the Zahir (the apparent – i.e. medicine) cured or does he believe Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has cured via medicine? Atheist says medicine cure’s, does he only mean the Zahir, the apparent, meaning the medicine is the curer? Or is the belief about Allah/God curing part of it? What I am trying to point is: Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) said they worship idols. Their worship of idols is inclusive of the being which the idol represented. Just as we the Muslims say medicine cured. Even though our statement indicates medicine cured but the Zahir has to be interpreted in light of belief of person, which in this case is belief of Tawheed hence the belief about Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) curing is included when it will be interpreted. Coming back to the subject of idol worship, they worshipped the idols along side that the idols represented. Now one might argue: Ok, I understand the point of the Batin (i.e. the hidden – i.e. beliefs etc.) being part of the Zahir (i.e. the apparent i.e. statement).Why should they create an idol to represent the being which they have taken as Ilah when there is no need to do so? Why would they worship an idol when they should only worship the being whom the idol represented? In some cases the belief of Ilahiyyah was affirmed first for a being and then Idols were created to worship them. At least in one case the idols were created first to remember the pious people. Later when the origin story in connection with the idols was forgotten the belief of Ilahiyyah was affirmed and the created idols were worshipped. Why would two groups; i) created the idols then affirmed Ilahiyyah, ii) affirmed Ilahiyyah and then created idols, then worshipped them? They simply could have like you said worshipped the beings whom the idols represented so why create the idols? Which ever group originated as a leader, it inspired the other. In those days polytheism was order of the day Tawheed was sparse. In this context; monkey see, monkey do, concept existed, it is bit like present time; world see Westerners do, world do. Alhasil, this is how the idols came to be worshipped with the beings whom they represented. This still doesn’t quite justify; why would one worship a idol with the being whom it represented when they knew, there is inherent harm or benefit from the idols? Best way this can be explained is with a scenario which relates to a Muslim’s moral compass. Suppose you have a replica of Kabah. Which now days can be purchased in shops. You are throwing some idols found in your attic belonging to previous owners of the house, coincidently they were Hindu. Along side their various Ilah-idols a replica of Kabah was part of that stash unknown to you. In your garden there is bucket of cow dung and in an act of jealousy for Tawheed and love of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), you proceed to dip each idol in the bucket of dung and each time you pronounce: ‘Bin! Bin! Bin!’ when you chuck one in bin. At the bottom there was a replica of Kabah. The question is; will you dip it in cow dung and proceed to pronounce bin upon it or will you deem it as an act of sacrilege and Kufr? If you had tiny bit of respect and in my lets say naïve opinion a Muslim would not even contemplate doing this. Now the question is why not? It represents something which is holy; important to symbol of your faith therefore a Muslim would treat it with respect even though it is not part of it, or piece of Kabah just a replica made from plastic imported from China. The meat of matter is; polytheists even though understood their idols are not the beings which they are suppose to be representing. They worshipped the idols along the beings because in their belief it was an act of disrespect to distinguish between the idol-representative and the being believed as their deity hence they worshiped both – the being and the idol which represented it. It is bit like why a Muslim won’t distinguish between the Kabah and the replica of Kabah when it comes to treating the latter with respect.

    2. wa-alaikum as-salam,

      Looks straight forward to me. The verse is no different to many other verses that constantly repeats the theme that these idols they worship cannot harm or benefit, like:

      Quran 35:14-15
      {That is Allah , your Lord; to Him belongs sovereignty. And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed. If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication; and if they heard, they would not respond to you. And on the Day of Resurrection they will deny your association. And none can inform you like [one] Acquainted [with all matters].}

      – If we look at the state of idolaters, they don’t consider the idols themselves as god in the sense of attributing Lordship to a stone itself (other than of course in terms of using idols as a talisman or using it for divination and other superstitions they attribute to the idols which also contain or is a result of their shirk). The idolaters crafted and attributed these idols as images and representations of their gods and not god by itself. Only taking into account their belief regarding the idols as a stone don’t explain their beliefs regarding the beings whom these idols represent. It is there we see them committing shirk attributing to these gods as partners to Allah in His Essence, Attributes or Actions.

      [In fact their mere representation of god in an image of creation should also be clear indication of their shirk through anthropomorphism were an object other than Allah is attributed as god. If a person believes that there is only one god, but this one god is a cow, it is still shirk and not monotheism as he taken a creation as Lord rather than Allah.]

      – The Salafis seem to be focused on this verse because the translation uses the word “Nay” giving the impression that the idolators agreed the idols don’t benefit or harm. But “Nay” is not actually used in the arabic wording and so without that the verse could either mean they agreed it did not benefit or harm but followed their forefathers, or could instead even mean they did not know accurately if it could or could not and simply followed their forefathers, or it could mean they considered it could indeed benefit and harm because their forefathers used to consider it so. Hence even going by such isolated literal reading, it does not give them any clear argument to establish foundational aspect like monotheism.

      – If we consider these verses to mean that they agreed their idols don’t benefit/harm (which as mentioned before is nothing new nor argument for them anyway), this specific verse is also at the same time saying they believed the idols cannot hear their prayers. Now this would actually be an argument against Salafis as they argue mushriks were committing shirk by invoking these idols for intercession with Allah just as Muslims are seeking intercession from the Prophets & Awliya of Allah. But here it would imply mushriks did not consider these idols could even hear let alone believe these idols would intercede or help them.

      – Also if they never attributed rububiyah to idols in any sense as Salafis claim, then it would make no sense for Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salam) to go about breaking the idols and blaming one of the idols to be responsible for it, as all that was done by Ibrahim (as) to prove these idols are nothing but harmless powerless senseless objects and not Lord.

      – As a side point, Salafis don’t understand the absurdity of idolatry that it has to do with mere fact of using a stone or some other senseless object as objects of worship. They seem to get confused by defense made by polytheists that these idols are just representations of their gods but they don’t see that worshiping mere representations is absurd by itself. Its like me carving a statue of you and i do all my conversations with that statue and consider that as equivalent to having a conversation with the real you, which is absurd as a stone is stone and never equivalent to you yourself in real. Hence the constant argument against idolaters of their absurd length of reverence they go about giving to mere stones they crafted with their own hands like as though these stones are equivalent to living gods itself.

      – Imam al-Razi in tafsir of a similar verse {And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said to his father Azar, “Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error.”} [6:74], says:

      المسألة السابعة: اشتمل كلام إبراهيم عليه السلام في هذه الآية على ذكر الحجة العقلية على فساد قول عبدة الأصنام من وجهين: الأول: أن قوله: { أتتخذ أصناماً آلهة } يدل على أنهم كانوا يقولون بكثرة الآلهة؛ إلا أن القول بكثرة الآلهة باطل بالدليل العقلي الذي فهم من قوله تعالى: { لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا الِهَةٌ إِلاَّ ٱللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا } والثاني: أن هذه الأصنام لو حصلت لها قدرة على الخير والشر لكان الصنم الواحد كافياً، فلما لم يكن الواحد كافياً دل ذلك على أنها وإن كثرت فلا نفع فيها ألبتة.

      Hence, the arguments and proofs Prophet Ibrahim (as) made against these polytheists was with regards to establishing oneness in rububiyah.

      – Al-Tabari on 6:74 : أتتخذ أصناماً آلهة تعبدها وتتخذها ربًّا دون الله

      So these Mushrikeen took these idols as rabb.

      – Ibn Kathir (http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=994&Itemid=61) on this same verse of Quran 6:74:

      We should note here that, in these Ayat, Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was debating with his people, explaining to them the error of their way in worshipping idols and images. In the first case with his father, Ibrahim explained to his people their error in worshipping the idols of earth, which they made in the shape of heavenly angels, so that they intercede on their behalf with the Glorious Creator. His people thought that they are too insignificant to worship Allah directly, and this is why they turned to the worship of angels as intercessors with Allah for their provisions, gaining victory and attaining their various needs. He then explained to them the error and deviation of worshipping the seven planets, which they said were the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The brightest of these objects and the most honored to them was the Sun, the Moon then Venus. Ibrahim, may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him, first proved that Venus is not worthy of being worshipped, for it is subservient to a term and course appointed that it does not defy, nor swerving right or left. Venus does not have any say in its affairs, for it is only a heavenly object that Allah created and made bright out of His wisdom. Venus rises from the east and sets in the west where it disappears from sight. This rotation is repeated the next night, and so forth. Such an object is not worthy of being a god. Ibrahim then went on to mention the Moon in the same manner in which he mentioned Venus, and then the Sun. When he proved that these three objects were not gods, although they are the brightest objects the eyes can see,

      ﴿قَالَ يقَوْمِ إِنِّى بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ﴾

      (he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.”) meaning, I am free from worshipping these objects and from taking them as protectors. Therefore, if they are indeed gods as you claim, then all of you bring your plot against me and do not give me respite.

      ﴿إِنِّى وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِىَ لِلَّذِى فَطَرَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ حَنِيفاً وَمَآ أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴾

      (Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, Hanifan, and I am not one of the idolators.) meaning, I worship the Creator of these things, Who originated and decreed them, and Who governs their affairs and made them subservient. It is He in Whose Hand is the dominion of all things, and He is the Creator, Lord, King and God of all things in existence.

      and later says:

      (and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord wills something.) Ibrahim said, among the proofs to the falsehood of your creed, is that these false gods that you worship do not bring about any effect, and I do not fear them or care about them.

      We see from this explanation that these idols were representing angels, they were expecting their needs from it including harm and benefit, and this is also understood from the fact that Ibrahim (AS) would not have challenged these polytheists to have their idols harm him without permission of Allah if these polytheists never believed such could happen in first place.

  2. إن الحمد لله، نحمدُه ونستغفره ونستعينه ونستهديه ونعوذُ بالله من شرورِ أنفسنا ومن سيئاتِ أعمالنا، من يهْدِ اللهُ فلا مضِلَّ له ومن يضلل فلا هادي له. وأشهد أنْ لا إله إلا اللهُ وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أنَّ محمداً عبدُه ورسولُه

    أَ مَّا بَعْدُ AMMA BA’AD:

    وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ قُلْ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَادَنِيَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ هَلْ هُنَّ كَاشِفَاتُ ضُرِّهِ أَوْ أَرَادَنِي بِرَحْمَةٍ هَلْ هُنَّ مُمْسِكَاتُ رَحْمَتِهِ قُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ يَتَوَكَّلُ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ

    Surah Az-Zumar, ayah number 38

    The meaning of which in English:
    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.”

    The Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah of the Meccan kuffar is traditionally inferred from this verse. I do believe this is also the case with the Sheik’s own understanding. The very Kallam of Allah subhanahu wa’ta’ala, I would hope incontrovertible and easily acquiesced to by you. The imperative portion of course being:

    Further more, worshipping other than Allah negates Tawheed Al-Uloohiyyah, but doesn’t necessarily negate Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah given that the kuffar also said: And verily, if you ask them: “Who created the heavens and the earth?” Surely, they will say: “Allah (has created them).”

    أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ

    Az-Zumar, ayah 3 which means:
    Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah only. And those who take Auliya’ (protectors and helpers) besides Him (say): “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.

    Naturally, “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah”, is yet more proof that the Meccan mushrikin knew of the Ruboobiyyah of Allah azzawajal.

    The sahih aqeeda is known, follow it if you wish.

    1. The verse Q39:38, as seen from the tafsirs was revealed about the idolaters who worshiped al-Lat, al-Uzza & Manat. And these idols were considered by them as daughters of God (see Q 53:20-21). And that is shirk in Ruboobiyah from many levels as mentioned above in the article. Declaring Allah as the Creator does not necessitate Tawhid Ruboobiyah. You can refer to the relationship between God and son of God in Christianity, or many other Roman and Egyptian idolatry which all influenced and spread into Arab idolatry and you can see clearly the full picture of their shirk.

      Same with the Q 39:3 you quoted, these idols were considered by them as sons of God Q 39:4. (More on that verse and intercession of polytheists is mentioned in detail here: https://hornofsatan.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/answering-miaws-second-principle-of-shirk/)

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