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Third Speech: Worship And Submission Based On God

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

هُنَالِكَ تَبْلُو كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا أَسْلَفَتْ ۚ وَرُدُّوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ مَوْلَاهُمُ الْحَقِّ ۖ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ قُلْ مَن

يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَمَّن يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَمَن يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَمَن يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ ۚ فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللَّـهُ ۚ فَقُلْ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ

There will every soul prove (the fruits of) the deeds it sent before: they will be brought back to Allah their rightful Lord, and their invented falsehoods will leave them in the lurch. Say: "Who is it that sustains you (in life) from the sky and from the earth? or who is it that has power over hearing and sight? And who is it that brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living? and who is it that rules and regulates all affairs?" They will soon say, "Allah". Say, "will ye not then show piety (to Him)?" (Qur’an, 10:30-31)

Tawhid – An Identity

As we have said, there is a long and detailed discussion on Tawhid in Qur’an. It can be stated that the longest and most detailed discussion on any subject in Qur’an is on Tawhid; even longer than the discourse on Prophethood which by itself is quite long with stories of Prophets and various occurrences that have been presented to learn lessons from. The way Tawhid, presence of God and, especially, negation of polytheism have been portrayed in certain instances in Qur’an is unique from both presentation style and number of verses point of view. Although the number of issues related to Tawhid goes up due to the enormity of discussion, we will discuss only a few with validation from certain verses instead of all the problems related to Tawhid.

We think if we accept that in addition to being an ideology and a cognizance based on reality, Tawhid is a notion that is a motivator for action and gives direction to life. (These are some concepts that have been explained in the past few days.) If we accept that Tawhid is a faith that has commitment and accountability as its integral part, then we will need to look for the commitment – the responsibility that is associated with Tawhid; and look for it in Qur’an and other Islamic sources. I ask all brothers and sisters who still remember the context for this discussion and I believe most do, to concentrate on the words and phrases I am using and understand them correctly.

Tawhid is a belief that brings commitment and responsibility with it. We need to understand and find out what the responsibility and commitment are.

Is our responsibility limited to having a belief on our tongue or in our heart and mind? In other words, is having the belief our only responsibility?

Or the sphere of responsibility crosses the boundaries of thought and puts a chain of responsibilities on the shoulders of a monotheist person to fulfill the demands of Tawhid. Or is it limited to obligatory prayers or making sure not to slaughter a sheep without reciting God’s Name or similar other things? Or no; the responsibility Tawhid gives to a monotheist person and a monotheist society includes society’s most important, the most comprehensive and the most basic concerns. What are they?

Monotheist Society

Governance, economy, international relations and relationships among people are the most important fundamental rights for running and sustaining a society. Our belief is that the responsibility and accountability on a monotheist’s shoulders relevant to Tawhid stem from these basic rights and responsibilities.

Let me state it in one sentence so we could get into more detailed discourse. The shape and structure of a monotheist society is different from that of an atheist society. It is not that if we take a single law or a set of laws from the monotheist society and implement in an atheist society, the latter will turn into a monotheist society. No. The dimensions of a monotheist society, the interaction between the components of such a society and the common pieces of such a society built on Tawhid and monotheism are totally different from those of a different society. This is a comparison of communal systems.

The communal system of a monotheist society is totally different from and probably opposite to that of an atheist society. You should analyze the next sentence. The discourse and discussion related to the communal system and the dimensions and pieces of a society can be understood with help from the modern civilization and more so from Qur’an and Traditions. This is universal.

We present Tawhid as a declaration that has certain articles. We will describe the articles one by one. Just the way there is an agreement after negotiations between two people, groups or factions in the form of a binding resolution, the monotheists of the world are bound by their Lord to act on the Tawhid resolution. The first article of this declaration should become clear in today’s verses. By the principle of Tawhid men do not have the right to serve or obey any person or thing other than God. This is the first principle. When we said any person or thing, it covers a large spectrum. Let us see where servitude and obedience apply.

أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ.

O’ Children of Adam! Did I not get a commitment from you not to worship Satan? (Qur’an, 36:60)

Satan – Broad Concept

Did I not get a commitment from you not to worship Satan, O Children of Adam? In discussing worship of Satan and about Satan we have explained that Iblis is not the only Satan or it is not something that is hidden and cannot be touched. It can possibly come at any point in a man’s life.

Satan is a broad and generally known concept. It denotes such powers that are outside a man and are trouble makers. Just like if we define the man’s essence (one that is a companion, servant, agent and partner of Satan), we can say that it refers to the trouble making powers inside a man’s existence. The essence consisting of wicked desires is inside a man’s existence and Satan is outside. These are both mischief-creating powers. Both create sedition. Satan is everything that is outside you and creates hindrances in your path; makes trouble; turns into a wolf or creates wolves and robbers. This is Satan.

In this series of reciting and contemplating gracious Qur’anic verses when we come to the discussion about Prophethood, then we will translate this verse. “Satans from humans and jinns were the enemies of all the prophets sent by God.”

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ.

And we have a satan enemy from humans and jinns for every prophet.(Qur’an, 6:112)

However, we will clarify later who these satans were; what kind of people they were; what groups and classes they belonged to and the reason for their animosity. Satan is a generally known entity.

أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ. What does it mean? Do not worship these miscreant powers. Do not obey them. And this is Tawhid. When I say “this is Tawhid”, it does not imply that this is all Tawhid is. No. It is only part of it. Tawhid has its fine details; it has other angles and components; some of them we may discuss later. Not obeying such powers; not worshipping them and not accepting forcefully imposed things is one part of Tawhid.

There is a tradition that I have related in different contexts and this is a good opportunity to read it again. It is related to Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (‘a) in our reliable books including Usul Al-Kafi. 1

وَلَاَعُذِّبَنَّ کُلَّ رَعِیَّۃ فِی الِاسلَامِ دَانَت بِوَلَایَۃِ کُلِّ امَام جَائِرلَیسَ مِنَ اللہِ وَاِن کَانَتِ الرَّعِیَّۃُ فیِ اَعمَالِھَابَرَّۃَ تَقِیَّۃ وَلَاَعفُوَنَّ عَن کُلّ رَعیَّۃ فیِ الاِسلَامِ دَانَت بوِلَایَۃِ کُلّ اِمَام عَادِل مِنَ اللہِ وَاِن کَانَت الرَّعِیَّۃُ فیِ اَنفُسِھَا ظَالِمۃُ مُسِیَئۃ

Instead of literal translation of the tradition let me give you the gist. Obeying a power not sent by God or one that does not represent God or obeying a center of power that is not aligned with the center of God’s Powers, all fall within the boundaries of polytheism. The reason is that those involved in this activity are stricken with a colossal collective ailment. Even though in their personal affairs they may be wonderful and organized people. بَرَّۃَ تَقِیَّۃ . God-conscious, pious and caring. Yet, this disease becomes the cause of Exalted God removing His kindness and blessing from this nation and subjecting them to punishment.

Man’s Perfection

Submission and worship of someone other than God is not in conformity with the goal for which God created human being; it is against man’s achieving perfection and loftiness; it is against his freedom and non-affiliation – such freedom and non-affiliation that is the preamble to his upward ascent. If a man is not free and is incarcerated, he cannot fly to his desired destination; he cannot reach the high station God has set for him. He is like a plant that has been covered or a plant that has a strong wire tied to the bottom of its trunk thus stopping its growth. Such a plant cannot flourish and cannot bear fruit; then what is the point of having such a plant? Why does it exist? Did it have a purpose other than bearing fruit? Obeying and worshipping someone other than God is a similar affliction. In any case, there are several verses in Qur’an in this context. I came across these verses without much or little search so I mentioned them here.

Now let us revert to our original topic. We should be familiar with the presentation style of Qur’an in relation to Tawhid. In the process of understanding Islam we have moved far away from Qur’an or we have become engrossed in ordinary and puny thoughts that are shallow and baseless; and are full of rubbish. This is why, thoughts that were apparently attractive, yet shallow on the inside, could not compete with the waves of materialism and collapsed in front of our eyes. Or we got entangled in such logic related to Tawhid that was dry, lackluster, ineffective and incapable of inculcating a sense of responsibility.

Formation Of A Monotheist Society

Such dry and ineffective philosophical discussions! The theologians have debated Tawhid so much and yet these discussions have been futile in the formation and evolution of the monotheistic society. If a life related problem is discussed for a hundred years, is it possible that it would leave no impression on life? They chatted for centuries in a manner that was empty, dry, apparently attractive, yet lifeless on the inside, and out of touch with real life. However, today when we want to get help from Tawhid for the development of a new life and look at these discussions, we find them irrelevant.

We find nothing useful in these discussions. Instead, we should turn to Qur’an and take Tawhid from Qur’an. Qur’an has presented different angles of Tawhid, its components and its style in hundreds of verses very eloquently. We will find what a monotheistic life is and what a monotheistic person is.

Tawhid – A Life-Shaper

We need to ponder over the verses about Tawhid. Now I will translate a few for you.

وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا

The day we will gather all creation. (Qur’an, 10:28-32)

This is a reference to the Day of Judgment. ثُمَّ نَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا. Then we will say to those who associated. مَكَانَكُمْ أَنتُمْ وَشُرَكَاؤُكُمْ. Stay in your places, you and your associate-gods. This is in the tone of a command and wrath. Stop in your tracks, you and your imaginative associate-gods – the ones you proclaimed equal and rival to God. مَكَانَكُمْ أَنتُمْ وَشُرَكَاؤُكُمْ ۚ فَزَيَّلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ. We will create split between them and their associate-gods.

The associates being addressed are neither the idols – Hubal2, Manaat, Laat, Uzza or a certain statue in Rome – nor calves of Hinduism. They are not human beings and cannot be told to stop.

We are talking about a man who has been selected to be a rival or associate of God. He will be told to stop.

The first furious command that negates the powers of associate-gods is this one. “Stop”. Imagine the impact it will have. Anyone who has been picked to be a rival of God by an Arab polytheist or non-Arab Polytheist, Iranian or Roman, African or Indian or Egyptian will face this situation. He and his followers will hear the enraged command and stop.

فَزَيَّلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ. We will cause split between them. وَقَالَ شُرَكَاؤُهُم مَّا كُنتُمْ إِيَّانَا تَعْبُدُونَ. The so-called Allah’s partners or rivals will say to their followers, “It was not us that you worshipped”. They will behave like criminals who try to get rid of the crimes from their necks by using various excuses.

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا بَلْ مَكْرُ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَار.

The subjects will tell their leaders, “Those were your treacheries day and night.” (Qur’an, 34:33)

Those groups who were competing in ignorance will face off on the day of judgement and quarrel with each other. The followers who declared associates of God will want to grab the associate by the neck, throw him on the ground and say, “I accepted you in place of God and now I am in such trouble”. And the one who was worshipped in the world will be ready to rebuff his followers of the world to protect his own destiny. مَّا كُنتُمْ إِيَّانَا تَعْبُدُونَ. You did not worship us. فَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ. God is enough as a witness between us.إِن كُنَّا عَنْ عِبَادَتِكُمْ لَغَافِلِينَ. We did not know that you were worshipping us. We did not notice that you looked at us for worshipping and slavery. This is the associates’ talk.

هُنَالِكَ تَبْلُو كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا أَسْلَفَتْ. At that time everyone will examine their past deeds.

وَرُدُّوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ مَوْلَاهُمُ الْحَقِّ. Everyone will be reverted to their Lord, Who is their real Owner and Supporter.

وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ. They will forget what they used to slander. They will fail to remember what used to motivate them for obeying associate-gods. All the reasons and excuses for worshipping associate-gods that they thought will help them on the day of judgement will be taken away from them.

To justify his polytheism a man drums up an excuse – even a legal (shar’ai) and appropriate one. He wants to count those excuses on the day of judgment but finds out that he has nothing; all his excuses are worthless. وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ. What he depended on in the world – his excuses and his associate-gods – are of no help on this day in removing the burden from his shoulders. Alas. Poor fellow!

Tawhid – Motivator For Action

Let us study Qur’anic style for making a case. It does not emphasize presenting logic. It creates an environment that induces man to come up with logic himself. In the ensuing verses God wants to prove that only He should be obeyed and worshipped. He says:

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ.

O’ Messenger! Ask them who gives them nourishment from the earth and the sky. (Qur’an, 10:31)

Life-giving water from the sky and nourishing matter from the earth. أَمَّن يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ. Who owns the faculties of listening and seeing? Don’t think of listening (sam’a) as ears. Ear is the name of a certain organ. It is called gosh in Farsi and uzun in Arabic. Sam’a is the state and capability of listening. As an example, if someone’s ears are cut off, you won’t say that his sam’a has been cut off. What you say is that his ears have been cut off. Same applies to basar (seeing). It is not eyes or chashm in Farsi. Basar is soul and eyes are body. Even if the eye is called basar, it is called basar due to the existence of the seeing capability. As an example, a non-seeing eye cannot be called basar. أَمَّن يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَار. Who has control over the capabilities of listening and seeing? Who has given you these faculties? Who can take them away from you? As a matter of fact, this verse is hinting at the man’s thinking capability so he can answer the question, “is he the owner of listening and seeing faculties?”

وَمَن يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ.

Who is it that brings out life from the dead?(Qur’an, 30:19)

Apparently alive from apparently dead. As an example, a woman dies during pregnancy, her living child is extracted from her dead body. Similarly, the apparently dead sperm yields life. The earth itself is dead, even though it is a treasure of thousands of life-giving and nourishing elements. What is the real source and base of human beings except the nourishing material that comes from the earth? These are some acceptable suggestions about the meaning of this verse. They are also signs of the Lord’s might.

وَمَن يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ. Who is it that does the planning of this universe’s core system?

Who is it that puts the gravitational force inside the earth so humans can live on it?

Who is it that puts resources for life inside the earth, the ocean and the mountains as a trust?

Who is it that gives the man capability to extract these resources?

Who is that brings this sun, the moon, the stars and the far away world into a presence with amazing order?

Who is it that keeps the moon at a measured distance from the earth? If it was any farther, humans could not live on the earth as the oceans would cover the whole earth. And if it was any closer, humans could not live on the earth as there would be no water on the surface; it would have all gone down into the depths of the earth.

Who is it that made the sun and keeps it at a certain distance from the earth? If it was any closer, heat and any farther, cold would make life unbearable on the earth. And other similar examples.

What can be said about God’s immaculate work and His divine power! So many books have been written in this century by the scientists and there are so many things that if a speaker like me wants, he can stand here for several days to relate them. I am not in favor of doing that.

وَمَن يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ. Who is it that runs the affairs of this universe?

This question was put to the polytheists at the time of revelation and it is still pertinent to you and I.

Who is it that runs this universe – from atoms to the depths of the far away worlds? He is the one Who runs it all single-handedly.

Who is it? Ponder without any bias or personal interest and with full focus so you could arrive at the right answer.

فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللَّـهُ. They will say, “Allah”. Some people just say “Allah” without thinking about it; it is part of their faith now and it was in the early times. I muse over it, think over it and then say “it is Allah”. The stunning orderliness of this created world is from God. It is His hand that is driving this vehicle. Whatever we see with our physical or metaphysical eyes and what we do not see but will see after a few decades due to the progress in knowledge, is nothing but the creation of God’s divine power.

Now that there is a God, فَقُلْ say. Grab them by their collar O Our Prophet! “O Broadcaster of Our glad tidings! O the one responsible for taking man to spiritual loftiness! Say. أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ. Why don’t you embrace God-consciousness and piety?

What is this? You are not fearful of the Great God! You set Him aside and obey someone else; you find someone else as His partner for worshipping.

You see if the creation of this universe is in His hands then why should lawmaking for this universe not be in His hands? There was a time when I used to explain Surah Mulk at Masjid al-Karamat (famous mosque in Mashhad). Do you remember?

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ . الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا

Blessed be He in Whose hands is Dominion; and He over all things hath Power. He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving. (Qur’an, 57: 1-2)

Then we discussed the creation of the universe, skies and the earths. However, what is the beginning? تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ. Government or power is in His hands. What power? The power of creation is with Him. The power of law-making is also with Him. One Who bestows existence to this universe, why would He relinquish law-making to someone else?

And that someone else is created by Him. The One Who made the physical laws for the universe and the man and established practices, would He entrust the job of making civil laws and laws for reward and punishment to weak people, poor intellects, little knowledge and weak will of the man? Why?

Why would He not run the society Himself?

Why would He not make the laws Himself?

Why would He not assign someone to oversee and protect the law and support him?

Why not have Imamat and Wilayat?

Why not appoint an Imam?

Why not appoint a Guardian?

Why assign to people’s poor intellects?

فَذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّـهُ رَبُّكُمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَمَاذَا بَعْدَ الْحَقِّ إِلَّا الضَّلَالُ ۖ فَأَنَّىٰ تُصْرَفُونَ

It is the same Allah Who is the truth and He nourishes you; there is only dishonor on leaving the truth; then where are you being carried away?(Qur’an, 10:32)

We did not mention two or three verses that we did not wish to focus on. However, you can study them in Qur’an along with translation. Now we arrive at the fourth verse.

O Prophet! Talk to them again for their guidance and edification. Say:

قُلْ هَلْ مِن شُرَكَائِكُم مَّن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ.

Is there of your partners (whom you ascribe unto Allah) one that leads to the Truth? How then are ye turned away? (Qur’an, 10:34)

It is certain that idols, stone, wood and similar articles are not being referred here. No one thought they would guide people. It is obvious that it is the live idols being referred to here. Those who had command or power or religion or some other worldly thing such as Pharaoh or Qadhi Sharih or other similar characters.

قُلْ هَلْ مِن شُرَكَائِكُم مَّن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ. Is there of your partners (whom you ascribe unto Allah) one that leads to the Truth? What is the answer of the polytheists? It is possible that they would say, “Yes, the ones we have chosen are absolute truth in themselves; they do more than guiding towards truth.” This is why their answer has not been reported. This is rubbish. They are wrong about their ascribed partners to God providing guidance. You respond to them by saying,

قُلِ اللَّـهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ. Say, it is Allah Who leads people and intellects to the truth. Why? Because God has created the truth; He understands the intricacies of the truth and invites people to the truth. Anyone who opposes God invariably invites towards something other than the truth. So it is only God Who invites towards the truth.

Success Of Man

Now we know that God invites towards the truth and the imaginary competitors do not do it.

أَفَمَن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ. This is a conclusion one ought to reach by using the God given intellect. أَفَمَن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَن يُتَّبَعَ. Is One Who guides towards the truth more deserving of being obeyed? Or أَمَّن لَّا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَن يُهْدَىٰ. Someone who cannot find the path himself and needs someone else to hold his hand.

After all, who should be followed? Should we follow God Who created the truth and the leaders who could lead us to the truth?

Or should we follow someone who himself needs hand holding to get somewhere? Blind leads the blind.

جاھل برومرشدبی معرفت چہ فیض

کوری کجاعصاکش کوری دگرشود

O’ ignorant! What will you gain from your mentor who has no knowledge? A blind cannot lead the blind.3

Does he want to guide us? He himself needs guidance and someone will do that. Who do you think we are talking about? Can this ascribed partner provide any guidance to people or can he not? If he wishes to be guided, someone will need to escort him. What kind of a person can this ascribed partner be? Is it the cow of the cow-worshipping Hindus or the idols worshipped by pagan Qureshis or others? Or is it the sacred fire of the Zoroastrians? Or is it the idols in synagogues of Jews or idol-temples of Rome and Greece?

For sure it is none of those. It is a person who may or not be able to lead. If he needs guidance, he will be directed. He is someone who alleges to be the leader. He claims that he can take the society to spiritual success.

Qur’an says that God takes a man to spiritual loftiness. God leads man to the source of truth; He guides man to the reality. Those who don’t have anything of their own, cannot do such a thing. أَمَّن لَّا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَن يُهْدَىٰ ۖ فَمَا لَكُمْ. What is the matter with you? O’ people who don’t ponder and understand. كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ. What sort of a command do you give? How can you think of accommodating someone other than God? This is one of the things about Tawhid.

Tawhid is denial of worshipping God imitators. God imitators are people who impersonate God; they think they are gods. Tawhid is negation of man’s living idols; these idols may be under the garb of religious scholars, worldly powers, elite of the society or the rich in the society.

Islam made a proposal to the people of the book (Christians, Jews) as mentioned in the Qur’an. The proposal was about rejection of obedience to ungodly powers as the verse says:

قُل یَاھلَ الکِتبِ تَعَالَوااِلی کَلِمۃِ سَوَا بیَنَناَ وَبَینَکُما لَّا نَعبُدَ اِلَّا اللہَ وَلَا نُشرِک بِہ شَیا وَلَا یَتَّخِذَ بَعضُنَا بَعضا اَربَابا مِّن دُونِ اللہِ. O’ Messenger! Say, “O’ People of the Book! Let us agree on a just word that we will not worship anyone other than God; we will not ascribe partners to Him and we will not elevate anyone amongst ourselves to the station of God.”

Supplement

To summarize we learnt that in addition to being a philosophical ideology, Tawhid is a practical and life-forming identity. In other words, it is a faith essential for formulating the individual and communal life of a man.

Now we will present a few segments of the material on Tawhid in Qur’an.

Based on the foundation of real Tawhid, men have no right to obey and worship anyone other than God. In the history of mankind all the commands given by the mighty and all oppressive acts were against the truth. This statement covers all idols, different gods, God-impersonators and rebellious carnal desires.

The following verses address all who have been ascribed as partners to God; they may be humans or non-humans and this is the complete picture of Tawhid.

Surah Yunus(10), Verses 28-31:

وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا. The day we will gather them all.

ثُمَّ نَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا مَكَانَكُمْ أَنتُمْ وَشُرَكَاؤُكُمْ. And then we will tell the polytheists that they and their ascribed partners to God should stay and wait in their places.

فَزَيَّلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ. And then we will split them.

وَقَالَ شُرَكَاؤُهُم مَّا كُنتُمْ إِيَّانَا تَعْبُدُونَ. And the ascribed partners will tell the followers, “it was not us that you used to worship”.

فَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ إِن كُنَّا عَنْ عِبَادَتِكُمْ لَغَافِلِينَ. Now God is sufficient as a witness between you and us that we certainly knew nothing about you worshipping us.

هُنَالِكَ تَبْلُو كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا أَسْلَفَتْ. At that time everyone will examine his past deeds.

وَرُدُّوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ مَوْلَاهُمُ الْحَقِ. And everyone will be reverted to their rightful Lord.

وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ. And their invented falsehoods will leave them.

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ. Say, “who provides you sustenance from the heaven and the earth?”

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ. Who owns your hearing and sight?

أَمَّن يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَار. Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living?

وَمَن يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ. And who is it that brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living?

وَمَن يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْر. And who manages the affairs?

فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللَّـه. They will say, “Allah”.

أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ. Say, “will you not then be afraid of Allah’s punishment?”

And then after a few verses Qur’an brings the subject closer to the living idols.

Surah Yunus (10), Verse 35:

قُلْ هَلْ مِن شُرَكَائِكُم مَّن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ. Say, “Is there any one from your associate-gods who guides to the truth?”

قُلِ اللَّـهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِ. Say, “Allah guides to the truth.

أَفَمَن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَن يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّن لَّا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَن يُهْدَىٰ. Is, then, He who guides to the truth more worthy of being obeyed, or he who has no guidance at all unless he is guided (by someone else)?

فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ. So, what has happened to you? How do you judge things?

It is obvious that guiding and being guided are relevant to living and human existence. The verse addresses those people who declare themselves as partners to God or His successors in order to entice other people into obeying and worshipping them.

Islam made a proposal to the people of the book (Christians, Jews) as mentioned in the Qur’an.

The proposal was about rejection of obedience to ungodly powers as the verse says:

قُل یَاھلَ الکِتبِ تَعَالَوااِلی کَلِمۃِ سَوَا بیَنَناَ وَبَینَکُم. O’ Messenger! Say, “O’ People of the Book! Let us agree on a just word.

الَّا نَعبُدَ اِلَّا اللہَ. We will not worship anyone other than God.

وَلَا نُشرِک بِہ شَیا. We will not ascribe partners to Him.

وَلَا یَتَّخِذَ بَعضُنَا بَعضا اَربَابا مِّن دُونِ اللہِ. We will not elevate anyone amongst ourselves to the station of God.

فَان تَوَلوفَقُولُواشھَدوابِانَّا مُسلِمونَ. And even then if they turn away, say, “be a witness that we were the true Muslims and obedient to Allah”.

  • 1. Usul e Kaffi, Book Alhujjah, Chapter Fi Man wa Inn Allah Azz wa Jall without Imam min Allah, hadith 4 from Imam Al-Baqir
  • 2. An idol placed in Ka’aba for worship before Islam
  • 3. Kaleem Kashani