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The Polytheists Took Their Idols As Lord Partners Of Allah.


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Newest Version Of Above Article. Mods Please If You Have Time Move This To The Top And Delete The Previous Version. Thanks.

Introduction:


Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab wrote in Qawa’id Al Arba that polytheists affirmed the [Tawheed Al] Rububiyyah and did not commit Shirk in [Tawheed Al] Rububiyyah but their Shirk was in [Tawheed Al] Ulluhiyyah, only. These beliefs are now fundamental part of Wahhabi sect. Indeed the polytheists of Arabian Peninsula did commit Shirk in Ulluhiyyah but they also committed Shirk in Rububiyyah. Denial of polytheists committing Shirk in Rububiyyah is clear cut Kufr which invalidates the belief in Islam.[1]

Wahhabi Definition Of Tawheed Al Rububiyyah:

Tawheed of Rububiyyah has been defined as and I quote: “Meaning of Tawheed-ar-Rububiyyah (Oneness of Allah’s Lordship): Ascription of all Acts of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to none but Him Alone, such as: creation, bringing into being, providing sustenance, giving life, causing death.”[2] In the book, Aqeedah Of Tawheed written by Saleh bin Fawzan bin Abdullah Al Fawzan and translated by Abu Nasir Abid bin Basheer, writes while explaining Tawheed Al Rububiyyah: It is to single out Allah alone in His actions, with the belief that He is the only Creator of all the creation: … He is the Sustainer of all the animals, the people and everything else: … He is the Owner of the dominion, the One who manages all the affairs of the world. He brings some near to Him and distances others. He honors some and brings humiliation upon others. He has the ability to do everything. He alternates the night and the day and gives life and death: … Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, has negated any partner or associate for Himself in the dominion, just as He has negated a partner for Himself in Creation and Sustenance. He, the Most High, said: … Similarly, He has declared that He is alone in His Lordship over His creation by saying: ... Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, has given all of the creation a natural disposition to affirm His rububiyyah such that even the mushrikeen, who used to ascribe partners to Him in His worship affirmed His Oneness in rububiyyah. He, the Most High, said: …”[3] Saleh bin Fawzan is from one of the grand Wahhabi Shuyukh in Saudi Wahhabiyyah. He has clearly stated while explaining [Tawheed Al] Rububiyyah that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is one who manages all affairs of the world and He honors some and humiliates others. In basic form [Tawheed Al] Rububiyyah means believing, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is alone manager of all actions in the universe.[4]

Wahhabi Belief Mushrikeen Believed In Al Rububiyyah:

“The disbelievers whom the Messenger fought affirmed Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah (Oneness of Allah's Lordship), yet their affirmation of Tawheed ar Rububiyyah did not enter them into Islam and did not sanctify their blood or wealth. This proves that Tawheed is not just the affirmation of Rububiyyah (Allah's Lordship) and Shirk is not just the Shirk in Rububiyyah (Allah's Lordship). Rather there has never been anyone who committed Shirk in Allah's Lordship except some strange amongst the creation. Otherwise, all the nations affirmed Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah (Allah's Lordship).[Ref: Four Foundations Of Shirk, Written by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, Explanation by Saleh Ibn Fawzan Al Fawzan, Translation by Shawana A.Aziz, Published by Quran Sunnah Education Programs, Page 30]

Tafsir A – Idols As Lords And Gods:

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “O [my] two companions of prison, are separate Arbab [plural of Rabb] better or Allah, the One, the Prevailing?” [Ref: 12:39] This indicates the polytheists took many idol-gods as lord partners of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: “Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your Ilah is One Ilah. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Rabb[5] - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Rabb anyone.” [Ref: 18:110] The verse establishes polytheists committed Shirk in worship of their Lord. They worshiped idol gods whose names they have invented: “You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Legislation is not but for Allah . He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.” [Ref: 12:40] Polytheists sought provisions from these idol-lords and worshiped them. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) instructs the polytheists to worship and seek provisions from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala): “You only worship, besides Allah, idols, and you produce a falsehood. Indeed, those you worship besides Allah do not possess for you [the power of] provision. So seek from Allah provision and worship Him and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be returned." [Ref: 29:17]

“O [my] two companions of prison, are separate Arbab [plural of Rabb] better or Allah, the One, the Prevailing?” [Ref: 12:39] Regarding the lords of polytheists Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority.” [Ref: 12:40] “And they worship besides Allah that for which He has not sent down authority and that of which they have no knowledge. And there will not be for the wrongdoers any helper.” [Ref:  22:71] Those lords which the polytheists worshiped without authority and permission from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) were believed to be gods besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala): “These, our people, have taken besides Him gods. Why do they not bring for [worship of] them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie?" [Ref: 18:15] Polytheists took idols as lord gods: “And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azar: "Do you take idols as gods? Verily, I see you and your people in manifest error." [Ref: 6:74]

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) relates the question of Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salaam): “O [my] two companions of prison, are separate Arbab [plural of Rabb] better or Allah, the One, the Prevailing?”[6] [Ref: 12:39] This is a rehtorical question which demands thinking and those who have thought well will know one Lord is better then many lords. “You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority.” [Ref: 12:40] The polytheists worshiped idols which they and their forefathers created themselves:“They said: "We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted."  [Ref: 26:71] “So be not in doubt as to what these people (pagans and polytheists) worship. They worship nothing but what their fathers worshipped before (them). And verily, We shall repay them in full their portion without diminution.” [Ref: 11:109] Yet the right to legislate who is worthy of worship is of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala): “Legislation is not but for Allah . He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.” [Ref: 12:40] On the day of judgment the idol-god-lords which the people worshiped will turn against them: Not at all, instead those "gods" will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgment].“ [Ref: 19:82]

These three interpretations establish that Mushrikeen took their idol as gods and took these gods as Arbab partners with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). These three interpretations also a confirmation and validation of main point of next part – polytheist took their idol-gods as Arab (i.e. lords).

Interpretation Of Surah Yusuf Verse Thirty-Nine And Methodology Involved:

While narrating the story of Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salaam) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) mentions Prophet Yusuf’s (alayhis salaam) questioning of polytheists companions about; if belief in many Lords in better then believing in the One and the Only Allah. What is the purpose of this story? Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has answered this question in the following verse: There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Qur'an a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe. “ [Ref: 12:111] What relevance did this story have with beliefs of polytheists of Arabian Peninsula in the time of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam)? Stories are told for recounting history or to teach a moral lesson but in the Quran the stories are also repeated because these story of past have relevance to the beliefs and practices of Arab polytheists. Therefore, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) narrated the events in the past to inform the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) and the Muslims that history is repeating itself. Giving an example, one of the main objection against the Prophet-hood of the Prophets was that they are human beings, like the people and nothing is special about them. This was also the same argument of the polytheists of Arabian Peninsula against our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam). The conclusive point is, event of past are narrated in the Quran for recounting of history, moral teaching and importantly the event or it’s detail might have some relevance to the people for whom the story is being narrated for. In the context of the verse thirty-nine, this boils down to; the belief of polytheists of Arabian Peninsula was same as the belief of prison companions of Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salaam). In other words the prison companions believed in their idol-gods to be Arbab besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and polytheists living during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) also believed their idols are Arbab besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

Busting Belief – Polytheists Didn’t Take Idols As Lords:

Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salaam) enquired from his companions of prison: “O [my] two companions of prison, are separate Arbab [plural of Rabb] better or Allah, the One, the Prevailing?” [Ref: 12:39] Note, that a Prophet of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) would not falsely attribute a belief to anyone, which they did not hold. With this question, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) reveals polytheists took their idol-gods as Arbab. Ibn Abbas (radiallah ta’ala anhu) has been reportedly interpreted the verse to mean: “O my two fellow prisoners! “He said this to the prison master as well as to the prisoners; “Are diverse Arbab better …” is the worship of numerous gods better; “… or Allah the One, the Almighty?” or the worship of Allah, the One Who has no son or partner, the All-Conquering over His created beings.” [Ref: Tafsir Ibn Al Abbas – 12:39] Ibn Kathir the darling of Khawarij also interpreted the word Arbab to mean idol-gods of polytheists: “Prophet Yusuf went on calling his two prison companions to worship Allah alone, without partners, and to reject whatever is being worshipped instead of Him like the idols, which were worshipped by the people of the two men, Yusuf said; “Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible.” to Whose grace and infinite kingdom everything and everyone has submitted in humiliation. Prophet Yusuf explained to them next that it is because of their ignorance that they worship false gods and give them names, for these names were forged and are being transferred from one generation to the next generation. They have no proof or authority that supports this practice, hence his statement to them, …” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir - 13:39] Note, they interpreted the word Arbab (i.e. Sustainers) to mean Aaliha (i.e. gods). In following verse the word Rabb (i.e. Sustainer etc.) has been used to mean Ilah: “Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your Ilah is One Ilah. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Rabb - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Rabb anyone.” [Ref: 18:110] Also the word Aliha [plural of Ilah] has been used to mean Arbab [pural of Rabb]: Yet they have taken besides Him other gods (i.e. alihah) who created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither harm nor benefit for themselves, and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.” [Ref: 25:3] Polytheists took their idols as Ilah-partners with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) hence, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) informed that Ilah is only One Ilah. Polytheists also believed their idol-gods are Arbab [plural of Rabb] and worshipped them as Arbab. Therefore, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has introduced the word Rabb to inform them that they should not commit Shirk in worship of their Only One and true Rabb – Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Number of points are established; polytheists took their idol-gods as Arbab (i.e. lords) and they worshiped these Arbab, which Allah (subhaanhu wa ta’ala) prohibited. The word Rabb has been used to mean Ilah [12:39, 25:3] and word Ilah is used to mean Rabb [18:110].

Clear Evidence Polytheists Committed Shirk In Rububiyyah:

Polytheists believed that their idol gods were partners of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states about polytheists: “Is not Allah enough for his Servant? But they try to frighten thee with other besides Him (i.e. gods)! for such as Allah leaves to stray, there can be no guide.” [Ref: 39:36] What could the idol gods of polytheists do to anyone realistically? Nothing! But they still had the belief that these gods can harm and this was the reason they attempted to strike fear of idol gods in the heart of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) about danger of earning the wrath of their gods. This is belief, that idol gods can harm is confirmed in another verse, where it is stated: "We say nothing but that (perhaps) some of our gods may have seized thee with imbecility. “He said: "I call Allah to witness, and do ye bear witness, that I am free from the sin of ascribing, to Him." [Ref: 11:54] If the polytheists did not believe in their idol gods having powers of harm and benefit, how could they threaten with harm coming from their idol gods? Indeed, they affirmed that their idol gods were able to inflict harm upon those who displease them. How can this not be Shirk in Rububiyyah?  To inflict punishment those who displease Him is in power of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and He alone should be feared for His ability to inflict harm: “Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord, [striving as to] which of them would be nearest, and they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is ever feared.” [Ref: 17:57] Allah (subhanahu wa t’ala) states: “You only worship, besides Allah, idols, and you produce a falsehood. Indeed, those you worship besides Allah do not possess for you [the power of] provision. So seek from Allah provision and worship Him and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be returned." [Ref: 29:17] Why would Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) declare, idol gods of polytheists could not provide you sustenance? Common sense says polytheists sought their provisions from their idol-god-lords and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) informed the polytheists of their inability to provide sustenance. Then instructs them to seek provisions from, and worship, Allah (subanahuwa ta’ala) alone. In another verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they might give them honor.“ [Ref: 19:81] Which means that polytheists believe that their idol gods give them honor.[7] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states, when an adversity touches the polytheists they call upon Allah Rabil Alameen but in comfort they associate idol gods with their Lord: “And when adversity touches the people, they call upon their Lord, turning in repentance to Him. Then when He lets them taste mercy from Him, at once a party of them associate others with their Lord.[Ref: 30:33]

Usage Of Words Ilah And Rabb In Quran:

The word Ilah has been used in various meanings in the Quran. When the word Ilah is used for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in context of verse which mention worship then it is used in linguitic meaning of Mabood (i.e. one that is to be worshiped) and when in context of disposing of affairs of universe, including creating, giving life/death, then it is used in Urf Al A’am (i.e.general linguistic) sense to mean Rabb. Based on the linguistic meaning of word Ilah and usage in Urf of Quran (i.e. language of Quran) comprehensive meaning of Ilah is; a [eternal] Creator, disposer of [all] affairs [of universe] and one worthy of worship. Therefore where ever the word Ilah has been outside of mentioned contexts then comprehensive meaning is intended which is inclusive of Rubb. When the words Ilah/A’lihat [literally; god and gods] are also used for polytheistic gods then the words are used to mean idol/idols, as is in the following verse: “And We took the Children of Israel across the sea; then they came upon a people intent in devotion to [some] idols of theirs. They said, "O Moses, make for us a god just as they have gods." He said, "Indeed, you are a people behaving ignorantly.”[8] [Ref: 7:138] Also when the word is used in context of verses which either refute or threaten punishment for worship gods besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then it is in meaning of ma’bood. Finally when the word Ilah used for the idols of polytheists in context of idol possessing some ability to harm or benefit then it is inclusive rububiyyah (i.e. lordship), as in the case of verse: "We say nothing but that (perhaps) some of our gods may have seized thee with imbecility. “He said: "I call Allah to witness, and do ye bear witness, that I am free from the sin of ascribing, to Him." [Ref: 11:54] Hence to believe the polytheists of Arabian Peninsula did not commit Shirk in Rububiyyah is due ignorance of how the word Ilah has been used in the Urf of Quran.

Conclusion:

It has been established that Tawheed Al Rububiyyah fundamentally is believing that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) alone is manager of all actions and doer of all actions [excluding the actions of living beings] in the entire universe. This includes providing sustenance vital for life; food, water, oxygen, and He honors some and humiliates the others. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) harms by those who displease Him with means of His choice. The polytheists also believed their idol gods have the ability to harm, to provide and to punish those who displease them. Hence, it is established that polytheists committed Shirk in Rububiyyah of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabi sect and all those who believe polytheists believed in Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah and did not commit Shirk ar-Rububiyyah were/are upon belief which is reprehensible Kufri innovation in Islam. It is essential for a Muslim to believe polytheists committed Shirk in Rububiyyah after evidence of it becomes apparent, otherwise Kufr is warranted, which invalidates belief in Islam.

Wama ilayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Footnotes:

- [1] Those who believe, polytheists affirmed Tawheed Al Rububiyyah, due to lack of knowledge they are excused as long as they affirm the minimum requirement of creed of Islam, they remain in the fold of Islam as heretics. Those who are made aware of polytheists committing Shirk in Rububiyyah and after evidence as been presented to them, but they choose to disregard the evidence, such people become
apostates.

-
[2] This brief description of Tawheed Al Rububiyyah was taken from the website SabeelAlMomineen.

- [3] The quoted verses used as evidence to establish the points are removed due to restricting the length of the quote. Where the verses or portions are removed there, three dots have been inserted to indicate more material.

- [4] The polytheists did not believe that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was sole disposer of all affairs of the universe. They believed that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was sole disposer of Amoor Al Azaam (i.e. major affairs) of universe but in minor affairs they believed their idol-god-lords had powers of their own.

- [5] The verse begins with making statement about One-ness of Ilah but then shifts to censoring worship of Arbab. From the perspective of the beginning of the verse the ending should also be stating, who so ever wishes to meet his Ilah left him do good deeds and not to commit Shirk in worship of his One true and the Only Ilah: "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your Ilah is One Ilah. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Ilah - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Ilah anyone.” The shift in the verse indicates, the word Rabb has been used as alternative of Ilah in the verse 12:39.

- [6] “Allah puts forth a similitude: a (slave) man belonging to many partners (like those who worship others along with Allah) disputing with one another, and a (slave) man belonging entirely to one master. Are those two equal in comparison? All the praises and thanks be to Allah! But most of them know not.” [Ref: 39:29]

- [7] “Allah, the Exalted, informs about the disbelievers who associate partners with their Lord, that they have taken gods besides Allah, so that these gods may be a source of honor and might for them. They think that these gods give them power and make them victorious. Then, Allah mentions that the matter is not as they claim, and it will not be as they hope. He says, …” [Ref: Tafsir Ibn Kathir – 19:81]

- [8] “He said, "Is it other than Allah I should desire for you as a god while He has preferred you over the worlds?" [Ref: 7:140]

Edited by Mughal...
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