Two Major Misconceptions
When a person reaches at a mature age, a basic question appears in his mind. What is this universe? Who has created it? The answer of this question determines his/her way of life. Whenever people committed a mistake in answering this question, they reached at two wrong conclusions.
Some Western scholars of 19th and early 20th century concluded that this universe was created automatically without a Creator. It was an unscientific and irrational theory. They presented this view based on Darwin’s Theory which has been proved wrong by further research. Even if Darwin’s Theory was proved true, it only explains the process of creation. The existence of a creator cannot be denied.
Ancient people reached at another wrong conclusion i.e. polytheism. According to that theory, One God created this universe and then distributed His powers to a large number of gods and goddesses. Based on this theory, a world of mythology was created. All these ideas were not created based on intellect but simply due to their love and affection for their supposed gods.
Beside these extremes, Prophets sent by the Real Creator pointed out the true reality.
أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَاسْتَقِيمُوا إِلَيْهِ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ وَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ (فصلت 41:6)
Verily, your Lord is only One. Be steadfast for Him and seek forgiveness from Him. There is a great suffering for the polytheists.
Followers of these Prophets used to adopt the faith of pure monotheism. Their Lord was the center of their worship, love and submission. They used to seek help from Him, surrender themselves in front of Him and seek His refuge in case of any problem. With the passage of time, later generations of these Monotheists used to adopt the polytheistic practices of their contemporary nations. They used to mix polytheism with their pure monotheism. Israelites were pure Monotheists. Their later generations adopted idol worship and other polytheistic practices due to interaction with the pagans of Palestine and Egypt.
It is strange that some of these nations started polytheism for the purpose of describing the personalities of the exalted messengers of Allah. On one side, an Israelite sect declared Prophet Ezra (علیہ الصلوۃ والسلام) as the son of God. On the other side, Christians declared Prophet Jesus (علیہ الصلوۃ والسلام) as the son of God. They mixed polytheism with their pure monotheism. The progeny of Prophet Ishmael (علیہ الصلوۃ والسلام) placed pictures of their ancestors in the Monotheistic Center of Ka’aba established by Prophet Abraham and Ishmael (علیہما الصلوۃ والسلام).
The concept of pure monotheism is embedded deeply into human nature. If someone adopts any form of polytheism, (s)he considers it like a hierarchy of gods. In that hierarchy, One Entity is considered superior. On the contrary, if a person adopts atheism, (s)he considers an ideology in place of God and submits himself to it. Communists, who were atheists, were submitted to communism as God-oriented people of the world are submitted to the Almighty Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) reinforced the concept of pure monotheism. His followers are committed to this pure monotheism. Although, polytheistic views and practices have been adopted by some Muslims due to their interaction with other nations but their majority is committed to monotheism in totality. It is essential to pinpoint these polytheistic views, practices and rituals so that we can remove them from our personalities.
In our opinion, some Muslims indulge in polytheistic views and practices in four ways:
a. Establishing God-Slave Relation with Someone other than God
b. Creating Rituals for God-Slave Relationship
c. Creating Mythology
d. Practical Refutation of the End of Prophethood
We described in earlier part that some Muslims indulge in polytheistic views and practices in four ways:
1. Establishing God-Slave Relation with Someone other than God
2. Creating Rituals for God-Slave Relationship
3. Creating Mythology
4. Practical Refutation of the End of Prophethood
The detail is as follows:
Establishing God-Slave Relation with Someone other than God
Compared to the times of the Prophet Muhammad, our love for Allah has greatly diminished. No longer do we seek forgiveness or guidance from him, nor crave his mercy and love. Instead, some people even try to promote loving some pious person instead of Allah. If they arrange one congregation in the name of Allah, they will arrange 10 more for others.
Although there are some who still seek forgiveness and mercy from Allah, their numbers pale compared to the millions of others who seek the same from other entities. They pray to these entities like they should pray to Allah. If this practice was right, then the companions of the Prophet would have turned to the Prophet for super-natural help. Since they did not, it’s obvious that this is wrong.
Some people think that the court of the Almighty Allah is like the courts of ordinary kings. They believe that because the messages sent to a ruler pass through a channel of his subordinates, the message sent to God should also pass through a channel of His appointed people. This concept is totally wrong. A ruler is an ordinary weak person. It is not possible for him to listen millions of people. Therefore, he appoints a bureaucracy to pay attention to public demands. The Almighty Allah is free from this weakness. It is very easy for him to listen to the prayers of all His creatures.
If seeking super-natural help was considered lawful in Islam, Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) would have instructed us to do so. There is no single Hadith which tells us to engage in this activity
Creating Rituals for God-Slave Relationship
In all religions, some rituals are established to worship Allah. In the same manner, some people have created a set of rituals to submit themselves in front of pious people. The rituals regarding visiting the graves of ancient pious people, putting sacrifices for them etc. is something which has been established by people contrary to what the Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) taught us.
A big collection of mythology is available in Muslims. A large number of strange, irrational and mysterious events are associated to our saints. If we compare these with Greek or Indian Mythology, we will find amazing similarities. It is evident that such mythology is created by people having the same mentality. An astonishing event may happen with a pious person but it depends upon God’s will. It is not possible for any pious person to show a mysterious demonstration by pressing a button.
Practical Refutation of the End of Prophethood
In order to guide the humanity, the Almighty Allah sent His revelation to certain selected persons called His ‘prophets’. It was a special arrangement that ended with Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم). All Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) was the last messenger of God. The final testament given to the Prophet is free from any human intervention and contains the guidance for the entire humanity.
In order to continue Prophethood, some persons have invented the concept that the direct contact with God is possible through a special form of revelation called “Ilham”. This sort of revelation is possible for Non-Prophets. It is free from Satanic intervention and it is essential to follow that sort of revelation.
After accepting this theory, the doctrine of “End of Prophethood” becomes useless. Even a person believes that Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) was the last messenger of God, but special messages are being revealed by the God on His beloved Non-Prophets. It is essential to follow that Non-Prophet receiving that kind of revelation. A large number of people belonging to Judaism and Christianity were also the victim of the same theory. According to Quran:
اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَاباً مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ (توبہ 9:31)
They made their religious scholars and monks ‘gods’ beside Allah.
A’di Bin Hatim (رضی اللہ عنہ), the son of famous Arab leader Hatim Tai, was Christian. When he converted to Islam, he asked Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) about it.
A’di bin Hatim said: I was brought to the Prophet and a golden cross was hanging in my neck. The Prophet said, “O A’di! Remove this idol”. Then he recited the verse, “They made their religious scholars and monks ‘gods’ beside Allah.” After that he said, “They did not use to worship their scholars and monks but they use to consider something lawful or unlawful according to the declarations of their scholars.”
Due to this intellectual slavery, religious scholars and monks were exalted to the rank of Prophet and the Prophet was exalted to the rank of God.
We must avoid all these polytheistic concepts and practices. We must adopt the pure monotheism because our salvation depends on it. Prophet Muhammad as well as all previous Prophet (علیہم الصلوۃ والسلام) taught the same. That is the religion followed by the Prophet’s companions and pious people of all nations.
(Author: Mubashir Nazir, Review: Muhammad Umar Khan)
Think about it!
1. Describe the significance of Monotheism. How deeply is this concept embedded in human personality?
2. Identify the polytheistic concepts and practices common in our society.
3. How are pious people exalted to the rank of God? Give practical examples.
4. Many people treat the pious people like Prophets? What is reason for this attitude?
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