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THE REALITY OF SHIRK (POLYTHEISM) | IBN’UL QAYYIM AL-JAWZIYYAH RAHIMAHULLÂH

Started by Subul’us Salâm, 23.09.2022, 00:06

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Subul’us Salâm


The Reality of Shirk (Polytheism)1

Ibn'ul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Rahimahullâh

The reality of Shirk is comparing oneself to the Creator and likening the creation to Him. This is the reality of Tashbîh (likening the creation to Allâh); affirming Allâh's perfect Attributes that He and His Messenger described Him Subhânahu with is not Tashbîh. So the one whose heart Allâh has caused to invert, whose insight He blinded, and whom He turned upside-down by means of confusion in the affair, deeming Tawhîd to be Tashbîh and deeming Tashbîh to be glorification and obedience, such person has reversed the truth. Hence, the Mushrik is someone who likens the creation to the Creator in matters that are specific to Divinity. Amongst the things that are specific to Divinity is oneness in possessing harm, benefit, provision, and deprivation.

This necessitates supplication, fear, hope, and reliance being devoted to Him alone. Therefore, whoever devotes these to any one of the creation has likened it to the Creator and has deemed that something that does not possess benefit, harm, death, life, or resurrection for himself, let alone possessing these for someone else, is like the One who owns every affair. The reigns of all affairs is in His Hands and all affairs return to Him. Whatever He wills takes place and whatever He does not will does not take place. There is none who can deprive what He gives, and there is none who can give if He has deprived. On the contrary, if He opens the door of Mercy for His servant, none other than Him can withhold it, and if He withholds it, none other than Him can release it upon such person.

So it is from the most heinous of likening to liken that which is incapable and destitute by nature to the One who is able to do all things and self-Sufficient.

From amongst what is specific to divinity is ultimate perfection from every angle, the one who does not possess any deficiency from any one of many angles. This necessitates all of worship, glorification, respect, fear, invocation, hope, penitence, repentance, reliance, requesting aid, and the pinnacle of humility alongside the pinnacle of love being directed to Him alone. Intellectually, religiously, and innately, all of these are obligatory to be directed to Him alone. It is also intellectually, religiously, and innately forbidden for these to be directed to other than Him. Therefore, whoever offers one of these to someone other than Him has resembled this other entity with the One Who has no similar, equal, or partner. This is the vilest and most invalid form of resemblance. Due to the severity of its vileness and its inclusion of the pinnacle of oppression, Allâh Subhânahu has informed His servants that He shall never forgive it, even though He Has prescribed mercy for Himself.

Also, amongst what is specific to divinity is servitude which stands upon two legs which are the pinnacle of love alongside and the pinnacle of humility and servitude cannot stand upright without these two. This is complete worship. The variation in levels amongst the creation with this regards depends on their variation with regards to adhering to these two foundations. Whoever offers their love, submission, and humility to other than Allâh has likened that being to Him in one of Allâh's pure rights. It is impossible for any of the divine legislations to bring this. Its vileness is deep-rooted in every innate and intellect. But the devils have altered the innate and intellects of much of the creation, corrupted them, and distanced them from their innate and intellects.

Those whom the best reward of Allâh has been prescribed for, continued upon the first innate. Thereafter, Allâh sent His Messengers to them and revealed His books to them that correspond to their innates and intellects. By this, they increased in light upon light. "Allâh guides to His Light whom He wills." (an-Nûr 24/35)

When one recognizes this, then he will also recognize that from amongst what is specific to divinity is prostration. Thus, whoever prostrates to other than Allâh has likened that creation to Him.

Amongst what is specific to divinity is reliance. Thus, whoever relies upon other than Allâh has likened this creation to Him.

Repentance is also amongst what is specific to divinity. So whoever repents to other than Allâh has likened this creation to Him.

Likewise, from amongst what is specific to divinity is taking an oath by His name in honor and glorification of Him. So whoever takes an oath by other than Allâh has likened that creation to Him.

This is regarding Tashbîh.

As for likening oneself to Allâh, then whoever is arrogant and proud; calls people to praise him through extoling him, glorifying him, submitting to him, having hope in him, and calls their hearts to fear, hope, seek security and aid from him has likened himself to Allâh and he has challenged Allâh in His Lordship and Divinity. Hence, he is deserving of the pinnacle of degradation and pinnacle of humiliation from Allâh and for Allâh to lay him beneath the feet of His creation.

In the Sahîh, it is reported that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

"Allâh Azza wa Jalla says: Honor is My Robe and Pride is My Cloak. Whoever challenges Me regarding one of them, I shall punish them."2

Since it is the case that the one illustrates with his hands is the most severely punished among people on the Day of Resurrection due to his likening of himself to Allâh in producing, what should be thought about one who likens himself to Allâh in His Lordship and Divinity? Likewise, the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

"The most severely punished people on the Day of Judgment are the illustrators, it will be said to them: Give life to what you have created."3

It is also reported in the Sahîh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

"Allâh Azza wa Jalla said: Who is more unjust than one who tries to create a creation like Mine? Let him create an atom or a grain of wheat!"4

Here, Allâhu Taâlâ indicated what is greater and bigger than it while making mention of the atom and grain.

The intended point here is that if this is the condition of those who have likened themselves to Allâhu Taâlâ in producing an illustration, then how would the condition be of those who liken themselves to Him in what is specific to His Lordship and Divinity?

The same applies for one who likens himself to Him in a name that only Allâh is deserving of, such as Malik'ul Amlâk (King of Kings) or Hakim'ul Hukkâm (Judge of Judges) and the likes.

It has also been established in the Sahîhayn (of al-Bukhârî and Muslim) that the Nabî Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

"The most disgraceful name in the sight of Allâh is when a man who is named Shâhânshâh, meaning King of Kings. There is no King other than Allâh."5

Another wording of the narration states,

"The man who angers Allâh the most is a man who is named Malik'ul Amlâk."6

This is the hatred and anger of Allâh towards anyone who likens himself to Him regarding a name that only befits Allâh. Allâh Subhânahu alone is the King of Kings and He alone is the Judge of Judges. It is He who rules over all judges and passes His judgment on all judges, not anyone else.




1- Ibn'ul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Ad-Dâ'u wa'd Dawâ, Dâru Atâ'ât'il Ilm, 313-318.

2- With similar wording, Muslim, Hadîth no. 2620.

3- Al-Bukhârî, Hadîth no. 5950-5951; Muslim, Hadîth no. 2108-2109.

4- Al-Bukhârî, Hadîth no. 7559; Muslim, Hadîth no. 2111.

5- Al-Bukhârî, Hadîth no. 6205-6206; Muslim, Hadîth no. 2143.

6- Muslim, Hadîth no. 2143.
"If the ignorant persists, gets haughty, is determined upon his transgression and misguidance, chooses blindness over guidance, and if what he falls into and disputes with regards to is Shirk Akbar (major Shirk) that brings the person who commits it out of the fold of the faction of Muslims to the party of polytheists, then in this case, the just verdict is the sword!" (al-Fath'ur Rabbânî min Fatâwâ'l Imâm ash-Shawkânî, 1/185)

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