July 1999: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

Idolatry or Submission

Cont’d from page 1

For example, if we choose to put our fingers in the fire, then we are responsible for this deed. The Quran further explains this concept in Sura ‘Parties.’

We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant. (33:72)

This happened before the creation of human on earth when we were just souls in the heaven. As it suggests, our Most Gracious God offered us not to be responsible for our own deeds, but we did not take His advice. Other creatures accepted their submissive role without being responsible for their actions. Therefore it was the humans who made a choice to have the freedom of choice and be responsible for what they did. As we can see, all other creatures are happy and provided for:

There is not a creature on earth whose provision is not guaranteed by God. And He knows its course and its final destiny. All are recorded in a profound record. (11:6)

After establishing the fact that God is in control and we are responsible for our own deeds, if any of us still thinks that any other entity beside God can help us, then we are in fact refusing the fact that God alone is in control. Any person thinking this way practices idolatry, and he is responsible for this act according to the verse 42:30. At this point it makes sense to understand

the idols and idolatry so that sincere believers can benefit from this information.
The concept of idol worship by the majority is someone who is praying to a statue. While this is true, it is just the tip of an iceberg. Idolatry covers a very wide area. The Quran informs us of different idols. One of the most subtle and common idols today is the saints and prophets. You have heard about Jesus being idol worshipped by Christians, but have you considered the fact that today’s Muslims can be idolizing Prophet Muhammad? First let us refer to the verse where God explains that His servants cannot be set up as idols:

Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode. (18:102)

Before we can prove the fact that idolizing of Muhammad is common today, let us find out what the prophet would think of us idolizing him:

Never would a human being whom God blessed with the scripture and prophethood say to the people, “Idolize me beside God.” Instead, (he would say), “Devote yourselves absolutely to your Lord alone,” according to the scripture you preach and the teachings you learn. Nor would he command you to idolize the angels and the prophets as lords. Would he exhort you to disbelieve after becoming submitters? (3:79-80)

It is quite clear from the above verses that Prophet Muhammad would never ask us to idolize him, and the people who do this are disbelievers

according to these verses. We have to be honest and ask ourselves: If we think that the prophet can bring us closer to God, or he can benefit or harm us, then according to the following verse we will be idolizing him:

Absolutely, the religion shall be devoted to God alone. Those who set up idols beside Him say, “We idolize them only to bring us closer to God; for they are in a better position!” God will judge them regarding their disputes. God does not guide such liars, disbelievers. (39:3)

If we think that the prophet brings us closer to God when God condemns this action, and calls the people who do this disbelievers, then we’d better stop doing this and devote our worship to God. Indeed, God Almighty does not need the help of Jesus, Muhammad or anybody to approach Him. He clearly says in the Quran that He is always near believers.

When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. (2:186)

Those who believe, and do not pollute their belief with idol worship, have deserved the perfect security, and they are truly guided. [6:82]

Ijaz Chaudry