The greatness of the guilt of being polytheist – The polytheist shall themselves deny polytheism which they had themselves held as their conviction – They shall desire to be returned to this life
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ
21. "And who is more unjust than him who forges a lie against Allah or denies His Signs; Verily the unjust will not succeed. "
The Qur'anic expression /wa man azlamu/ (and who is more unjust) has occurred in the Qur'an about fifteen times. This phrase has been used with the senses of calumny against Allah , barring people from going into the mosques, and concealing the testimony of the Truth.
This denotes that cultural injustice and barring people from rectitude and comprehension, is the worst injustice upon the society.
Setting a stone and a piece of wood equal to the Lord is an injustice toward Him, and worshipping them is an injustice toward humanity. Therefore, the unjust people will never meet the true salvation. The above-mentioned verse says:
The more, an oppressed person is dear and holy, the more intense is the danger of transgression against him. That is why being unjust toward the Lord and the Sacred House, and belying against Divine Holy Essence, are the worst injustice:
Transgression upon the thought and culture of nations is one of the worst transgressions. Polytheism, forging a lie against Allah, a false claim of being the divine prophet, innovation, interpretation of the Qur'an by personal opinion, concealing the Truth, and the like, are all kinds of this sort of injustice.
The following couple of traditions are recorded in Qurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 1, p. 149.
Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as) said:
"Avoid transgression. It is the greatest sin. Verily every transgressor will be punished for his transgression."
Again, he (as) said:
"Avoid cruelty. Whoever commits it, his life will become dark."
وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ نَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ أَيْنَ شُرَكَآؤُكُمُ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ
22. "And on the Day We will muster them all together, then We will say to those who associated partners (to Allah): 'Where are your associate-gods whom you were asserting?'"
In the previous verse, it was said that the oppressors, who apparently gain some social ranks by calumny, rejection and concealing the Truth, will not meet salvation. A prosperous person is one who has some positive matters for answering the questions in the Hereafter, because all the polytheistic imaginations will be effaced therein.
The objective meaning of the Arabic word /jami'an/ mentioned in the verse, is either 'all human beings', or the polytheists and the idols. The evidence for this idea is the content of another verse that targets men end their wives, and what they were worshipping. That verse says:
It is true that the verse under discussion refers to polytheists, but those who accept the leadership of other than Allah’s saints, and oppose the friends of Allah, are rather a kind of polytheists.
In Jami'ah Supplication, we recite: "And he who opposes you is a disbeliever."
An Islamic tradition, narrated from the immaculate ones, says: "The person who refuses us (our way) is similar to the person who refuses (the word of) Allah and such a person is as a disbeliever."
ثُمَّ لَمْ تَكُن فِتْنَتُهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ وَاللّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ
انظُرْ كَيْفَ كَذَبُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ
23. "Then their excuse would be nothing but that they would say: 'By Allah, our Lord! we were not polytheists'. "
24. "See how they (the polytheists) lie against their own selves, and that which they were forging has passed away from them."
The Arabic term /fitnah/, here, has been rendered into 'intimidated to idols and paganism'; or, it means 'excuse'.
As their quality requires, liars tell lies on the Day of Judgment, too. In this regard the Qur'an says:
Regarding this holy verse, Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as) in a tradition has said that after this lie, their lips will be sealed and their other limbs will tell the truth.
Thus, in the court of Allah, neither telling a lie is helpful, nor an oath.
Hence, the polytheists will dislike their own thoughts and creeds on the Hereafter Day, when they will say:
However, on the Hereafter Day, surely hating polytheism will not be helpful.
وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَسْتَمِعُ إِلَيْكَ وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا وَإِن يَرَوْاْ كُلَّ آيَةٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَا حَتَّى إِذَا جَآؤُوكَ يُجَادِلُونَكَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِنْ هَذَا إِلاَّ أَسَاطِيرُ الأَوَّلِينَ
25. "And of them there are some who hearken to you, and We have laid veils upon their hearts lest they understand it, and in their ears a heaviness; and (even) if they see every sign they will not believe in it, so that when they come to you they dispute with you, those who disbelieve say: 'This is naught but the legends of the ancients'."
In this verse, the psychological conditions of some of the pagans are hinted to. They do not usually show the least inclination from themselves when they are told the facts.
They not only do not show inclination, but also oppose these facts hostilely, and, by means of calumny, they keep themselves and others aloof from them. Concerning these people, the Qur'an says:
Indeed, attributing such matters to Allah relates to 'the law of causation' and the property of 'action'. That is, the result of continuation in doing wrong and insisting on obstinacy is that it turns the soul and self of the person into its own nature.
Experience has proved this fact that, at first, evil-doers feel inconvenience with their own evil action. But little by little, they will be accustomed to it, so that there may come some day that they count doing their evil actions obligatory.
So, the verse indicates that their circumstance has changed to a state that if they see all the signs and revelations of Allah they will not believe in them.
The verse says:
The verse informs the Prophet (S) implying that beyond their disbelief, when they come to you they have no aim but disputing and quarrelling with you. The verse says:
Instead of hearkening to you heartily and, at least, in the form of a seeker of the truth that they should corn template upon it to probably find it; they stand against it with a negative soul and thought.
When they hear your statements, which have originated from the source of revelation, they cannot afford it but using the strike of calumny. The verse continues saying:
وَهُمْ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَيَنْأَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَإِن يُهْلِكُونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ
26. "And they prohibit people from it, and themselves they keep afar from it, and they destroy none save themselves, while they are not aware."
The Arabic term /yan'aun/, mentioned in the verse, is derived from /na'ya/ with the sense of 'to avoid'.
Some of the commentators of the Sunnite schooled have considered this verse about Abu-talib. They have said that he prohibited people from hurting Muhammad while he himself did not believe in Islam and avoided becoming Muslim.
They similarly have considered some other verses of the Qur'an concerning this matter, such as Surah At- Taubah. No.9. verse 115, and Surah Al-Qasas, No. 25. Verse 57
But, from the view Point of Shi'ah School, Abutalib was one of the best Muslims whose belief has been reflected in his poems.
Moreover, a Muslim believing woman like Fatimah Bent-i-Asad lived as a wife with him until the end of his life. This is also another evidence for this idea3.
However, pagans and polytheists always try to hinder people and keep them afar from the path of benevolence and good deeds.
Keeping afar from the acceptance of truth by a person is paving the way of annihilation upon his own self.
The real awareness is finding the path of truth, while losing the path of truth and leader of truth, from whoever it maybe, is foolishness.
وَلَوْ تَرَىَ إِذْ وُقِفُواْ عَلَى النَّارِ فَقَالُواْ يَا لَيْتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَلاَ نُكَذِّبَ بِآيَاتِ رَبِّنَا وَنَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
27. "And if you could see when they are stationed before the (Hell) Fire, then they say: 'Would that we might be returned, and we would not belie the Signs of our Lord, and we would be of the believers."
According to the verses of the Qur'an, the desire of returning to this world in human beings is found both at the moment of death, and in the grave, and in Hereafter. Surah Al-Muminun. No.23. verses 99 and 100 say:
And, again, the same Surah, verse 107 says:
We must believe in the truth as long as we have been respited in this world, because it will be too late in the Hereafter.
As the philosophers and wiser men have said, this world is the place of movement and the coming world is the world of actuality. As far as an apple is with the tree, it has some movement towards development. But, when it separates from the tree, that movement will end and no more growth is expected from it.
Therefore, if a person wishes to be among the dwellers of Paradise, he must prepare the concerning means of development in this life, which is the world of movement.
Otherwise, he will be involved with punishment.
By the way, the consequence of rejecting the Signs of Allah will be remorse in the Hereafter, and being entangled with the Hell-Fire.
بَلْ بَدَا لَهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يُخْفُونَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَوْ رُدُّواْ لَعَادُواْ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
28. "Rather, what they used to hide before has (now) appeared to them; and even if they were returned, they would revert to what they were prohibited, and most certainly they are liars."
The Resurrection Day is the day of manifestation of people's hidden secrets. The Qur'an has frequently pointed out this fact. A few of these Qur'anic occurrences are as follows:
On the Day of Judgment, all the secrets will be uncovered.
It is impossible for the mortals to return from the coming world back to this world. The verse continues saying:
There are some vicious persons that we cannot expect them to become well again. They will not change even with the respite they will ask for.
Sometimes it happens that a person is confronted with difficulties, calamities and bitter circumstances. When such a person is in that condition, the one may make some good decisions, but later, when he reaches to ease and welfare, he forgets all of them.
So, when telling lies becomes a quality in a person, he will tell a lie in the Hereafter, too, and will bring some false claims there.
وَقَالُواْ إِنْ هِيَ إِلاَّ حَيَاتُنَا الدُّنْيَا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَبْعُوثِينَ
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ وُقِفُواْ عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ قَالَ أَلَيْسَ هَذَا بِالْحَقِّ قَالُواْ بَلَى وَرَبِّنَا قَالَ فَذُوقُواْ العَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ
29. "And they say: ' There is nothing save our life of the world and we shall not be resurrected'."
30. And if you could see when they are stationed before their Lord He will say: 'Is this not the truth? 'They will say: 'Yes, by our Lord I' He will say: 'Taste you then the chastisement for what you used to disbelieve'."
This verse is the continuation of the statements of the arrogant and stubborn pagans who, by seeing the scenes of Resurrection, desire to return back to this world once more in order to compensate.
But the Qur'an implies that if these people return to the world, they not only will not compensate their evils, but also will continue committing their vicious deeds, and, basically, they deny the Resurrection and Hereafter, too. Surprisingly, they will say that the life is only the life of this world and they will not be raised again. The verse says:
In this holy verse, the Qur'an hints to these people's fate on the Resurrection Day, and says:
They are told once more that they should taste the punishment for that they used to reject that punishment, and they disbelieved. The Qur'an says:
It is sure that the purpose of 'standing before the Lord' is not that Allah (S.w.T.) has a place. It means to stand before the scenes of His punishments. This status is the same as the state of establishing the canonical prayer for which a servant says he is standing before Allah.