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Author Topic: THE REALITY OF SHIRK (POLYTHEISM) | IBNUL QAYYIM AL-JAWZ RAHIMAHULLH  (Read 51 times)

Izhr'ud Dn

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بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
الحَمْدُ للهِ وَحْدَهُ، وَالصَّلاة وَالسَّلامُ على مَنْ لا نبيَّ بَعْدَهُ، وَبَعْدُ

The Reality of Shirk (Polytheism)
Ibnul Qayyim al-Jawz Rahimahullh[1]

The essence of polytheism is in resembling something or someone to the Creator and resembling the creation to Him. This is the creed of Tashbh in its true form. It consists of negating Allhs perfect Attributes that He described Himself with and the perfect Attributes His Messenger described Him with. So the one whose heart Allh has caused to invert has reversed the truth, caused blindness in his insight along with a mix-up of the reality. This individual believed the realization of tawhid (monotheism) to be in the creed of resemblance and that it is in reality a glorification and act of obedience.

Hence, the polytheist is someone who resembles the creation to the Creator in matters that are exclusive to Him. Amongst the things that belong exclusively to Allh is His oneness in Sovereignty, harm, benefit, provision and deprivation and they all necessitate that any supplication, fear, hope and reliance must be directed to Him. Therefore, whoever attaches these affairs to any part of the creation has resembled it to the Creator in that he has resembled someone or something that is unable to bring benefit or repel harm from himself, nor does he possess the ability to cause himself to die or bring himself to life or resurrection, let alone have the ability to do this to someone else with the One who is control of every affair. The reigns of every affair are in His Hands, and they all return to Him, so whatever He wills takes place and whatever He does not will shall never take place. There is none who can deprive if He gives, and there is none who can give if He has deprived. In fact, if He opens His door of Mercy before His servant, none other than Him can withhold it and if He withholds it, none other than Him can release it. So it is from the most heinous acts of resemblance to liken this creation that is incapable and destitute by nature to the One who is self-Sufficient and able to do all things.

Likewise, amongst the distinguishing aspects of divinity is ultimate perfection from every angle without deficiency from any perspective. This necessitates that any worship must be directed to Him alone including glory, veneration, fear, invocation, hope, repentance, reliance, requesting aid, utmost servitude alongside utmost love should all be directed to Him in accordance with legislation and a humans natural inclination. It is also intellectually and naturally inconceivable for such actions to be devoted to anyone else. Therefore, whoever offers such deed to someone else has resembled this other entity with the One Who is unlike anything from the creation Who possess no partners. This is the vilest form of resemblance and the most invalid. Due to the severity of this vileness and its inclusion of the pinnacle of all oppression, Allh has informed His servants that He shall never forgive it even though He Has ordained Himself with Perfect Mercy.

Also, from the distinguishing aspects of divinity is the worship that is directed to him through the two pillars that act as the main framework for it: utmost love alongside utmost submissiveness. This is the worship in its fullest form, and the variation in levels amongst the people depends on their level of adherence to these two foundations. Whoever offers their love, submission and humility to other than Allh has likened Him in one of His sole rights, which is something impossible for any divine legislation to present, and its vileness is deep-rooted in the natural inclination and intellects of mankind. But the devils have warped the natural inclinations and intellects of much of the creation, corrupted, and misguided them. As for those whom the best reward has been prescribed for them, they continued along the path of sound inclination and Allh sent Messengers to them and revealed the scriptures to them that correspond to their natural inclination and intellects. Consequently, they receive compound light upon light:


يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ
Allh guides to His light whomsoever He wills. [An-Nur: 35]

If one acknowledges this, then know that the other distinctive aspects of divinity consist of prostration. Thus, whoever prostrates to other than Allh has likened that creation (being prostrated before) to Him.

Also, from them is reliance. Thus, whoever relies on other than Allh has likened this creation to Him. Also, from them is repentance. So whoever repents to other than Allh has likened this creation to Him. Likewise, from them is making an oath by a name in honor and glorification of that name. So whoever makes an oath by other than Allh has likened that creation to Him. This is far as resemblance is concerned.

As for of likening oneself to the Lord, then whoever behaves as if superior to the rest, or arrogantly and entices the people to exceedingly praise and glorify him whilst requesting their submissiveness to him, having hope in him and directing the hearts to fear, hope, seek security and aid from him has likened himself to Allh. He has challenged Him in His lordship and worship. Hence, he is deserving of the utmost degradation and humiliation from Allh dropping him to a level beneath the feet of His creation. In the Sahh,[2] is is reported that the Messenger of Allh Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam said: Allh says: Honor is My lzr and Pride is My Cloak. Whoever vies with Me regarding one of them, I shall torment them.[3]

Since it is the case that the picture maker who fashions the picture with his hands is the most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection due to his likening of himself to Allh in the creation of an image, what do you think would be the case for someone who vies with Allh in His Lordship and worship? The Messenger said: The most severely punished people on the Day of Resurrection are the picture makers, it will be said to them: Give life to what you have fashioned.[4]

Furthermore, it is reported in the Sahh that[5] the Messenger of Allh Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam 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![6] Here, He cautions using the example of the atom or the grain also implying anything greater than that.

The intended point here is to highlight the condition of those who have taken a resemblance to Him through fashioning a picture of a living being, and how heinous it would be to go further than that and liken themselves in His Lordship and worship. The same applies for the one who resembles Him in a name that only Allh is truly deserving of, such as Malik al-Amlak (King of Kings) or Hakim al-Hukkam (Judge of All Judges) and the likes.

It has also been authentically reported in the Sahh of al-Bukhr that the Prophet said: The most disgraceful names for man in the sight of Allh is when a man names himself Shahan Shah: King of Kings, as the Kingdom belongs to Allh.[7]

Another wording of the narration states: The most detested man to Allh is the one who calls himself Malik al-Amlak [King of Kings].[8] This is the dislike Allh has towards anyone who likens himself or herself to Him via a name that is only befitting to Allh. He is The King of all Kings; The Judge of All Judges and it is He who passes His judgment on them all.
 1. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, The Disease and the Cure, Hikmah Publications, p. 299-303.
 
 2. I have corrected this phrase of the English translation. In the original translation, it says, "In the Sahh, al-Bukhr reports that the Messenger of Allh Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam said".
 
 3. Collected by Muslim [2620].
 
 4. Collected by al-Bukhr in the Book of Clothing, Chapter: The Punishment of the Picture Makers on the Day of Resurrection [5950, 5951]. Also collected by Muslim in the Book of Clothing and Adornment [2108, 2109].
 
 5. I have corrected this phrase of the English translation. In the original translation, it says, "Furthermore, al-Bukhr reports in his Sahh that the Messenger of Allh Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam said".
 
 6. Collected by al-Bukhr in the Book of Tawhid, Chapter: {Allh Has Created You and What You Do} [7559]. Also collected by Muslim in The Book of Clothing and Adornment [2111].
 
 7. Collected by al-Bukhr in the Book of Manners, Chapter: Some Names Are Specifically for Allh [6205, 6206], Also collected by Muslim [2143].
 
 8. Also collected by Muslim [2143].
Shaykh'ul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullh stated,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

"The lim (scholar) recognizes the Jhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jhil. The Jhil does not recognize the lim since he has never been an lim." (Shaykh'ul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majm'ul Fatw, 13/235)

 

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