THE GREATEST OPPRESSION
In the beginning, humanity was united in pure monotheism. Allah says: “Mankind was one single nation. And Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; And with them He sent the book in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed.” [ Q2: 213]. Humanity knew nothing of idolatry except after ten epochs had passed from the time of Adam to the time of Noah (peace be upon them). This is the time when idolatry & the worship of other than Allah first took place. This is why Allah sent Noah; to call the people to return to the worship of Allah alone.
They rejected the message of Noah. “And they said (to each other): ‘Abandon not your gods, abandon neither Wadd nor Suwâ`, neither Yaghûth nor Ya`ûq nor Nasr.” [ Sûrah Nûh : 23]
Ibn `Abbâs says these names belonged to pious people who had belonged to Noah’s nation aforetime. When those pious people died, Satan inspired the people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit and confer upon those statues the names of those people. At that time, however, the statues were not worshipped.
However, after that generation had passed away and knowledge was lost, those statues were taken as objects of worship. After that, the idols of Noah’s people became the idols of the Arab tribes. [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî (4920)]. This state of affairs continued, Allah sent messengers to guide people & finalised it with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who demolished the idols. Allah says: And there has never been a people who have not had a warner live among them.” [ Sûrah Fâtir : 24]
The greatest sin is “shirk”; it’s a transgression against the unique rights of Allah (swt) & oppression of our own souls. “Shirk” in Arabic means taking a partner i.e. one as the partner of another or two of equal status. In shari’ah; means ascribing a rival to Allah in Lordship, Worship or in His Names & Attributes. Unfortunately, the majority of people who believe in God commit this gross offense without even realizing it. If you ask them, “Who is your god?“, they will feel offended & be outraged to hear this question. They will say, `My god is the Creator of the heavens and the earth.’ ” And most of these people will be shocked to find out that their proclamation is no more than lip service, and that they are in fact destined for Hell (12:106).
Recall that Luqmaan said to his son, as he enlightened him, “O my son, do not set up any idols beside GOD; idolatry is a gross (oppression, injustice).” [Q31:13]. Shirk is a gross injustice, the violation of the first commandment in all the scriptures of God, and is an unforgivable sin if maintained until death.
Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. Q4 :48.
The Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever dies claiming that Allah has a rival, will enter Hell.”(Bukhari).
Shirk includes; worship of idols, graves, saints dead or alive, reliance on other than Allah, supporting the kufaar against the believers, swearing by other than Allaah, seeking blessing from any object, hanging “stuffs” to protect or ward off the evil eye, to belief that there is another “diety” who knows the unseen, who creates, who gives & takes life, helps, controls the affairs of the universe, who must be obeyed absolutely ,who can legislate, who must be loved most, bestows mercy, forgives sins & accepts supplications. Many people fall into shirk through du’a (supplication) that have shirk as contents or by making their supplications to other than Allah. Allah says “It is You (only) we worship and You (only) we ask for help. Q1:5.
Anas ibn Malik reported: Prophet (salallahualehim wasalam) Said “…..If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]…”
إذَا سَأَلْت فَاسْأَلْ اللَّهَ، وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْت فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاَللَّهِ….”
“Let one of you ask his Lord concerning his needs, all of them, until he asks him even for a shoestring when his breaks.” Tirmidhī Sahih.
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you”…….” (Q40:60)
In short, everything that is deemed to be a form of worship to Allah should never be offered to other than Allah. It is idolatry and polytheism to do so. Allah says: “One who joins other gods with Allah has strayed far, far away (from the right).” [ Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 116]
Idolatry is not confined to the worship of physical statues and fetishes. Allah says: “Have you seen such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, left him astray upon knowledge and sealed his hearing and his heart, and set a covering upon his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah? Will you not then receive admonition?” [ Sûrah al-Jâthiyah : 23]. Al-Musnad, Mahmoud ibn Labeed said: The Messenger of Allah said: “The thing that I fear most for you is minor shirk.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is minor shirk?” He said: “Showing off, for Allah will say on the Day when people are recompensed for their actions: ‘Go to those for whom you were showing off with your deeds in the world, and see what reward you find with them.’” (saheeh). Prophet said: “Shirk among you will be more subtle than the footsteps of an ant, but I will teach you something which, if you do it, both minor and major shirk will be kept away from you. Say: Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika an ushrika bika wa ana a’lam wa astaghfiruka lima la a’lam (O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from associating anything with You knowingly, & I seek Your forgiveness for that of which I am unaware).” (Saheeh al-Jaami). “Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): they love them as they should love Allah, but those who believe are overflowing in their love for Allah.” [ Sûrah al-Baqarah : 165].
Today, there is an epidemic of shirk in the forms of charms, omens, amulets, taweez, tameemah, talisman, numerology, astrology, star reading via internet, phones, newspapers, fortune cookies concept, magic in games, cartoons etc. However, the Prophet (saw) said: “Incantations, amulets & love spells are shirk.” Abu Dawood. Ibn Mas’ood (ra) said that the Prophet (saw) said: “Tiyarah (superstitious belief in omens) is shirk, tiyarah is shirk,” three times (abu dawud).
Are Prophet Muhammad’s parents in hell fire because of Shirk?
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