What is Idolatry?
Before Submission, if anyone told me that I was committing idol worship, I would have been very offended because my understanding of idol worship was restricted to worshiping pictures, effigies, deities and elements of nature to name a few. As a Christian I did not consider worshiping Jesus as idol worship. Like most Christians I was brought up to believe in the concept of ‘holy trinity, one God.’ Even though I did not understand it, I was happy to go along. Having grown up seeing various temples and mosques, my understanding of idolatry was limited to what I saw of the worship of figurines and mausoleums as idols.
When I came into Submission, the meaning of ‘idolatry’ changed. I was shocked to know that I was worshiping Jesus as an idol besides God. As a Christian, I was told that Jesus is one third part of God. I did not understand it then and I don’t understand it now. However, Submission has opened my eyes to the truth. The foremost commandment, that is the essence of God’s scriptures, the Bible and Quran, is to worship GOD ALONE.
[Bible Exodus 20:1-6] 1 “And God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments”
[Quran 4:36] “You shall worship GOD alone―do not associate anything with Him...
[Quran 39:66] Therefore, you shall worship GOD alone, and be appreciative”
The Biblical verses very clearly state that you cannot have any other god before God. So it stands to reason that God cannot be reduced to one third, as that is a gross violation of His commandment. Even creating an image in any form, be it human or otherwise is strictly prohibited. So if we can’t give God an image or form, then logically Jesus cannot be God. Of course, I did not realize this before submission, nor did I think too much about it. I was raised not to ask questions and embarrass the elders (as they were unable to give logical answers to these questions). In the early days of Submission when I questioned my family about the concept of Trinity, they would say ‘blessed are those who have not seen but still believe’. Back then I did not understand that the words were being quoted out of context. Praise God for His guidance, as my lack of understanding forced me to search further and dig deeper into my religion only to understand that I was misguided. Submission has taught me that it is ok to question one’s belief in order to establish faith. Once I realized that by worshiping Jesus I was committing a gross sin as per God’s scriptures, that is when my life changed; for the better.
Idol worship can easily be confused as the worship of physical idols in temples as these are idols we see clearly. This is why traditional Muslims do not consider praying at the mausoleums of a ‘dead saint’ as idol worship. They convince themselves that they pray to the saints as they are closer to God, just as the Christians pray to Mary or the saints as they are closer to God and in a better position to intercede. Neither realizes that asking anyone for help other than God is an acknowledgment of the idol’s power to help.
Some Catholics pray to saints with the logic that they do not pray TO saints or Mary, but rather they ask saints (or Mary) to pray FOR them. They believe asking idols to pray for them is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for us. They do not realize that the idols are totally unaware of their prayers and cannot respond to them until the Day of Resurrection. Further, whether a
saint or Mary is being prayed TO or being asked to pray or intercede FOR someone, neither practice has any scriptural basis.
Nowhere does the Bible instruct us to pray to anyone other than God. This concept is unbiblical.
[Bible Hebrews 4:16] Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
This clearly tells us that we, believers here on earth, can “approach the throne of grace” with confidence. There is absolutely no need to pray to anyone other than God. There is no basis for asking those who “are in heaven” to pray for us. Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. No one in heaven has any greater access to God’s throne than we do as individuals through our submission and prayer.
Submission helped me understand idolatry and its distortions. It has helped me gain confidence in God and His system that there is no other god but GOD and only He can protect and guide us to the right understanding should we want to be guided.
[Quran 16:93] “Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He sends astray whoever chooses to go astray, and He guides whoever wishes to be guided…”
God answers prayers based on His will and His knowledge of what is good for us
[Bible 1 John 5:14-15] “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him”.
[Quran 28:56] You cannot guide the ones you love. GOD is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.
Guidance is a blessing from God for those chosen for Submission, something we should never take for granted.