Thursday, July 24, 2008

Basis of Shirk (polytheism) and Kufr (Infidelity)

Basis of Shirk (polytheism) and Kufr (Infidelity)
When we understood the foundation stones of Tawheed, Islam and Iman, we also got an idea about the basis of Shirk and Kufr. It is so because whatever is contrary to Tawheed and Iman is Shirk and Kufr. In other words, the way fire and water cannot come together, Iman and Kufr or Islam and Shirk also cannot get together. Putting in simpler words, Shirk can be broadly defined as the belief of man, that somebody else is an associate of Allah in terms of His qualities and powers or that Allah’s soul can pervade into any creation or that He can adopt some kind of worldly form or that somebody else is running the universe along with Him or that somebody else might be having the knowledge of the unseen and unknown or that he can solve the problems of the people and give happiness to the world or that he can prolong the life - spans or can delay the moment of death or he is dependent on any sort of intercession for fulfilling the needs and requirements of His creations.
If a person harbours such unrealistic views and beliefs about some creation, be it a prophet or messenger, he shall be disowned from Islam and shall fall under the purview of Shirk and Kufr.
Incorrect interpretation of Shirk
Nowadays, Shirk exists in such forms in which the person neither denies the existence of Allah nor does he negate Him as his Creator and Sustainer. Instead, although he accepts the fact that Allah as the Creator and Sustainer of the World, yet he includes others, making them His partners in his powers and possessions. He makes excuses that he worships others as a means to get closer to Allah and that, basically, he worships Allah alone. However, even this aspect falls under the category of Shirk because a similar belief was harboured by Mushrikeen for Allah, in the times of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Regarding them, Allah says in the Quran: O Mohd. (SAW), if you ask these Mushrikeen and Kuffar as to who has created the skies and earth, they will promptly say that it is Allah. However, they were disowned from Islam by Allah since they believed in Allah yet they did not believe in Allah alone. Islam stands for having belief in Allah alone, not Allah also. Islam extended the message of pure Tawheed without an iota bit of Shirk. It emphasises that man does not need any means or leverage to approach Allah.
Root cause of Shirk
The underlying basic reason behind Shirk is that man has not recognized Allah, the Almighty in totality along with all of His real characteristics, powers and traits. Moreover, he presumed Him like those rulers and kings, who themselves seek help and guidance from their ministers and aides. He made Allah’s existence comparable and synonymous with the likes of those rulers who can be won over by appeasing their ministers. He believed that God forbid, even Allah could be appeased by means of idols, prophets, angels and saints. They conceived this illogical notion that the way in which the recommendations of the loved ones of the kings are not turned down in his court, the commendations by statues and prophets will also not be turned down in the court of Allah. When man begins to believe in Allah in totality with all of His real attributes and qualities, the beliefs pertaining to Shirk, themselves, vanish away.
Basically, Shirk got imbued in human beings by the influence of Satan or Iblees upon them or losing control over their desires or emulating blindly the traditions of their ancestors and forefathers. This is evident because we find several instances in history where the rationality of men scored over worshipping and bowing before mere idols, Their conscience used to oppose their deeds now and then, however they kept denying the perfectly rational concept of Tawheed as mentioned in the Quran by simply quoting their ancestors and forefathers, despite the fact that their hearts used to decried that their inappropriate deeds were laid upon the bedrock of ignorance. Whoever thinks a little bit, is aware of the history and background of Satan’s enmity with man and realizes that the Satan is seeking vengeance from man by distracting him to Shirk, spoiling, thereby, his Akhirah (the life hereafter) and thus making him destined for the Fire of Hell. Such a person shall not even imagine about Shirk and Kufr, the least bit.

Beginning of Shirk
We know that all the human beings on this planet today are the progeny of Hazrat Adam (A). He was the first man to be created by Allah and the entire lineage of man has been derived from him. After coming into existence, Hazrat Adam along with his wife Hazrat Hawwa, were kept in the Heavens, where Iblees was already staying. He had been bestowed extraordinary knowledge by Allah. After creating man, Allah declared him as the most superior amongst all the creations. It was made known to all the angels as well as Iblees. They were also enjoined to bow before Hazrat Adam (A) as a gesture of respect. They bowed down except Iblees. He refused to comply with the orders out of haughtiness and made an excuse that he himself was created from Fire, while Adam was created from clay and since fire is superior to clay, he will not bow down. Because of such defiance, Allah expelled him from the Heavens forever. He was also deprived of Allah’s grace. Albeit, he was given certain powers as per his request and desire, that he could modify his form, disguise himself even as human beings and divert them from the Righteous path of Allah by means of his tricks and deceits to make them condemnable and disgraced. Moreover, he could sway them away from Tawheed and make them indulge in Shirk and Kufr. In this way, he can vest his ire on man and can take several others along with himself to Hell. With such powers, Allah also foretold him that his influence shall only work on those who would listen to him whereas the virtuous and righteous people would not heed to him at all. Because of his affection, Allah told man straightway, while expelling him out of the Heaven: look, Satan is your real enemy. He would try to divert you from the Righteous path. He would not let go any available opportunity. Beware of him. Never fall prey to his deceitful tactics. In view of such clear instructions from Allah for human beings, the Satan could no longer assume his original form and divert people from the Righteous path. Since, the Satan was very shrewd and knew Allah’s promise to human beings that He might excuse all their sins and follies except Shirk which is absolutely unpardonable. Hence, the Satan made a last-ditch attempt by bringing the true Muslims or followers of Allah out of the folds of Tawheed and Iman towards the swamps of Shirk and Kufr. He started off his wily campaign soon after Hazrat Adam arrived into this world. However, his misleading campaign could cut no ice on man for a long period of time. The Satan could not persuade the human beings not to worship Allah and not to include someone else along with Him. Therefore, he devised a plan that whenever any pious and virtuous person died, he used to assume form of a human being and tell the bereaved people: The virtues and qualities of the deceased are such that they should be remembered forever. Moreover, one should try to follow his steps. For this purpose, you can keep a picture of him in your home so that you cannot forget him. At first, some innocent people got misled by him. They could not comprehend his wily tricks. The process continues for long such that a time came when he exhorted them to replace the pictures of those saintly souls with her statues. These statues were sculpted with pure intentions. In order to preserve the memories of these saints, intact, a large number of statues were sculpted and began to be place in homes and places of worship. Consequently, whenever a virtuous man died, his statue was made and kept inside the places of worship. The statue was known by the deceased person’s name. The hundreds of statues belonging to the polytheists of Makkah and the infidels of Arab, such as the famous statues of Late Uzza and Manat were also linked with their forefathers. Initially, the people had made these statues for remembering their pious and righteous deceased people only. Later on, the oncoming generations started kissing them onto of respect. Even later, the most generations began to bun before them and much later, prostrating before them, sacrificing in their names, making vows to them, and seeking help from them.
Some even started to make them a means of reaching Allah. Finally, a generation emerged which began regarding them as gods. They even failed to know why did their ancestors sculpt their statues and place them in their homes and places of worship and what was the underlying objective. Those statues of pious men, which made people remember their virtues and propel them to follow their steps, had lost all meaning. Rather, they themselves were being worshipped. In this way, the elusive and shrewd Satan managed to imbue Shirk in human beings by means of covert trickery. The process continued for long to the extent that man started worshipping anything, which could benefit him. Some started to worship the Sun and Moon because of their characteristic luminance, some others worshipped the Trees on account of their productivity; some people worshipped the cow for its milk while others started worshipping the snake or fire for it’s pernicious potential.
Under the guidance of the messengers sent by Allah, some civilizations regretted and sought forgiveness for their misdemeanor in adopting Shirk. They reaffirmed their faith in Tawheed but the oncoming generations distorted the religious teachings on their own and added certain facts, which they had not said at all. Consequently, the further generations could hardly distinguish between the right and wrong. The Truth got concealed with the inter-mixing of the Falsehood with the Truths. Thereafter, an epoch came when their Prophets and Messengers themselves were regarded as gods. God forbid! some called a Prophet as the son of Allah like the Christians and some regarded a prophet as some regarded a prophet as some deity or incarnation, like the Jews.


khalid said...

Amazinng article. Very well said. Very informative.

Crazy said...

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