Table of Contents

Section 6: Irrational and Incorrect Perception of six Qur'anic Terms

The main focus of this creed is on the issue of Monotheism and Polytheism1 obtained from the beliefs of Ibn Taymiah Damishqi.

Mohammed ibn Abdul-Wahhab in the Kashf-ul-Shūbahāt discourse presents his case in this regard, the summary of which is as follows:

1. The Monotheism that Islam has promoted is Oneness in Worship, because the polytheistic Arabs believed in the Oneness of a Creator and declared that the whole universe was the creation of God:

{وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ خَلَقَهُنَّ الْعَزِيزُ الْعَلِيمُ}

"If you ask them, 'Who created the heavens and the earth?' they will surely say, 'The All-mighty, the All-knowing created them'." 2

And elsewhere He says:

{قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ أَمَّن يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ والأَبْصَارَ وَمَن يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَمَن يُدَبِّرُ الأَمْرَ فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللّهُ فَقُلْ أَفَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ}

"Say, 'Who provides for you out of the sky and the earth? Who controls [your] hearing and sight, and who brings forth the living from the dead and brings forth the dead from the living, and who directs the command? They will say, 'Allah'. Say, 'Will you not then be wary [of Him]?" 3

According to these Verses the Arab polytheists, considered the one and only God as the Creator of the universe and the Benefactor for servants and the Superintendent and Contriver of the world. Then what was their polytheism in? Their only problem was with the Oneness in Worship, meaning that they worshipped idols and some of the righteous personalities. In other words the Arab polytheists never repudiated the Oneness of the Creator, Benefactor and Lord of the worlds, but they were polytheistic in God's worship and thus Islam called them to the worship of the only One God.

2. The idea of Polytheism denotes man's invoking an entity other than the One God and taking refuge in that entity for resolving difficulties (for instance when he calls upon the Messenger of God or Imam Ali), as the holy Quran states:

{...فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا}

"So do not invoke any one along with God" 4

3. If somebody seeks intercession from the Prophet of Islam (S) or any one of the Islamic prime-leaders and righteous personalities, this act of his is polytheism! His life and wealth is admissible to the monotheists! Because he is a polytheist and it is admissible to arrogate the life, wealth and woman of every polytheist. The Holy Quran suggests:

{قُل لِّلَّهِ الشَّفَاعَةُ جَمِيعًا لَّهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ}

"Say 'All intercession rests with Allah. To Him belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; then you will be brought back to Him" 5

4. Moreover, when the Arab polytheists were denounced for idol-worship, they said:

{...مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى...}

"We only worship them so that they may bring us near to Allah" 6

And the Holy Prophet (S) never accepted this claim from them.

Thus they worshipped idols not because they were the Creator or benefactors, but as intercessors only. Thus, anyone who considered anything other than God as the intercessor was just like the Arab polytheists and his blood and wealth was admissible!!

This was a brief account of their statements on the issue of Monotheism and polytheism.

Criticism And Analysis

In reality the main source of Wahhabism in their different books on monotheism and polytheism is just the few verses mentioned above which they refer to everywhere, and try to evade the other Quranic Verses easily, and consider them as unseen, thus being completely selective towards the Quran. Moreover, in order to disarm the opposing scholars, who unveil their errors through other Quranic Verses, they claim that all the Verses that others refer to in denying this interpretation of monotheism and polytheism, are all ambiguous verses7!

In a precise analysis, the incorrect and faulty interpretation of "Six Quranic terms" has caused him to regard all Muslims except the followers of his beliefs as polytheists.

Why are they not ready to sit with the scholars of Al-Azhar, Damascus, Qom and Najaf for logical discussions to elucidate the truth? Why are they not ready to initiate a friendly debate in accordance with the commands of the holy Quran:

{...فَبَشِّرْ عِبَادِ* الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُ...}

"So give good news to my servants - who listen to the word [of Allah] and follow the best [sense] of it." 8

If they did so, all the pure Muslim blood would not be shed nor their possessions plundered; the enemies couldn’t dominate them and the Zionist minority couldn’t play about with their destiny. It is not known what sort of answer they have prepared to put forward before God on the Day of Judgment?

However, the six fatal words are as follows:

Shirk (polytheism) and Mushrik (polytheist) [in the holy Quran]

1. Ilah9 (God) [in "لا إله إلا الله" in the Holy Quran]

2. Worship10 [in the Holy Quran]

3. Intercession11 [in the Holy Quran]

4. Supplication12 [in the Holy Quran]

5. Heresy13 [in the Holy Quran and tradition]

Polytheism (Shirk)

The first vital term is 'Shirk' and 'Mushrik'.

'Shirk' in the Arab language corresponds to accompanying something and "Sharīk" is the partner.

Lisān al-Arab, for the meaning of the word "Ishtirāk"14 states:

أشرَﻙَ بالله: جَعَلَ لَهُ شَرِيکاً في مُلکِهِ

and for the meaning of the word "Shirk" states:

والشِّرﻙُ أن يَجعَلَ للهِ شريکاً في رُبوبيّتِهِ

and explains Shirk as ascribing a partner to God in His Sovereignty and Lordship.

Rāgheb15 mentions in his Mufradāt16: "In religion Shirk is of two kinds: the first is the 'Major Shirk' where man ascribes a partner and a fellow to God which will deprive him of Heaven17. The 'Minor Shirk' is when man is concerned about other-than-God in some affairs, which is the same as ostentation or hypocrisy. The Holy Quran suggests:

{وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ}

"And most of them do not believe in Allah without ascribing partners to Him." 18

Therefore the reality of 'Major Shirk' is to regard someone as God's counterpart and coequal in Creating and Owning, Lordship and Worship.

But if we say, his Holiness Jesus (PBUH) healed the incurable ill by God's will, and revived the dead by God's will, and through the knowledge that he had acquired from God gave news of the unknown and the hidden, neither have we sought the path of polytheism nor have we spoken falsely.

Doesn’t the Quran tell in the name of Jesus (‘as):

{... وَأُبْرِىءُ الأَكْمَهَ وَالأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ}

"And [he will be] an apostle to the children of Israel, [and he will declare] 'I have certainly brought you a sign from your Lord: I will create for you out of clay the form of a bird, then I will breathe into it, and it will become a bird by Allah's leave. And I heal the blind and the leper and I revive the dead by Allah's leave. And I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. There is indeed a sign in that for you, should you be faithful." 19

Therefore, if we plead with the Holy Prophet (S) and some of God's righteous servants such as the Imams of the Prophet’s Household (‘as) for such affairs in the same manner, meaning requesting "by God's will", not only is it not Shirk (Polytheism) but it is perfect Tawheed (monotheism), as we never place them on the same level and rank, nor treat them as God's partners, or independent of God in effect. In actual fact, we deem them as obedient servants and executors of His commands.

It is weird that the Wahhabi leaders have misinterpreted the term "Shirk", and regarded as "Shirk" every appeal to God's righteous servants who don’t act but by God's consent, a notion against the explicit inference of the Quran!?

Assume that one owns a servant who is dutiful towards his master and never performs any act without his permission. If somebody asks him to request his master for something, is the asking person considering the servant as equal to or equally ranked or as partner to his master, or in his service?! Does any enlightened conscience accept the statement, that this act is "Shirk"? The fault stems from this point: they haven’t and will not place the Quranic Verses besides one another so that their true meaning becomes evident, but insist on acknowledging only that which is in accordance with their interpretation.

Ilah (God)

According to the Wahhabis, the term "Ilah" infers only the worshipped deity. The statement "there is no deity but God", which has been the testifying statement of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) and all the Muslims of the world, is only considering "Tawheed (oneness) in worship".20 They infer that there is no worshipped deity except the One and only God. The idolators believed in His Oneness as Creator, as Nourisher and Lord. The only problem they had was the lack of Tawheed (monotheism) in worship, because they worshipped other than God. Opposed to this, the Arab idolators (polytheists) were not merely afflicted by idolatry in worship and "Ilah" does not always infer the worshipped diety, but at times it implies the "Creator". The holy Quran states:

{أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا آلِهَةً مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ هُمْ يُنشِرُونَ * لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ}

"Have they taken gods from the earth who raise [the dead]? Had there been gods in them21 other than Allah, they would surely have fallen apart. Clear is Allah, the Lord of the Throne, of what they allege [concerning Him]."22

In these Verses "Aleha"23 the plural of "Ilah" has clearly come to infer the meaning of "Creator".

In another Verse this same meaning is apparent in a more lucid manner:

{مَا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ مِن وَلَدٍ وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُ مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِذًا لَّذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَهٍ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلَا بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ * عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ}

"Allah has not taken any offspring, neither is there any God besides Him, for then each god would take away what he created, and some of them would surely rise up against the others. Clear is Allah of what they allege! The Knower of the seen and the unseen, He is above having any partners that they ascribe [to Him]." 24

In these verses the existence of any another creator except the unitary Allah has been negated (and that is achieved by the term "Ilah") that if there was any other creator other than Him, the order of the universe would have been devastated. This verse clarifies the polytheistic Arab belief in the plurality of creators, for it states: "He is above having any partners that they ascribe [to Him]".

Consequently to restrict the call of Islam to "Tawheed (oneness) in worship" and the lack of attention to other branches of Tawheed (monotheism), is a grave mistake and against the Quran.

The Wahhabi obsession with their perception of the concept of "monotheism" and "polytheism" led them to easily bypass those verses in the Quran that were not in favour of their perception and intentionally neglect them, although most of them were supposedly memorisers of the Quran. Unfortunately, memorising the Quran does not always imply understanding the Quran!

Furthermore, it is drawn from other Quranic Verses that a group of idolators believed in the "divinity"25 of the idols and their influence on their destiny. They were superstitiously convinced that the idols’ wrath fell upon those who were against them, and they brought good fortune to those who believed in them. For instance, the idolators at the time of Hud sated:

{إِن نَّقُولُ إِلاَّ اعْتَرَاكَ بَعْضُ آلِهَتِنَا بِسُوءٍ قَالَ إِنِّي أُشْهِدُ اللّهَ وَاشْهَدُواْ أَنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ}

"All we say is that some of our gods have visited you with evil.' He said, ' I call Allah to witness – and you too be [my] witnesses – that I repudiate what you take as [His] partners." 26

A famous poem composed by an Arab poet in reprehending the tribe of "Bani Hanifah" during the era of paganism is a witness to this claim! When there was a year of famine the people of this tribe had to eat the idol that they had made with dates:

"The tribe of Bani Hanifah devoured their God in the year of famine and hardship,

Were they not afraid of the chastisement of their Lord?"27

The poem has ascribed the word Lord (ربّ) to the idols, and has warned the devourers of the idol against the detrimental consequences of their deed lest they get harmed by them. Another poem states:

"Is their lord the idol that the foxes urinate on? "28

Throughout the history of idolatry, ascription of the words "Lord" (ربّ) and "lords" (أربابّ) to the idols, testifies that they believed part of the superintendence of the affairs of universe was in the hands of the idols.

Thus when Joseph (Yusuf ‘as) wanted to invite the polytheistic prisoners towards Tawheed (monotheism), he said:

{يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ}

"O my prison mates! Are different masters better, or Allah, the One, the All-paramount?" 29

Observe the word lords (أربابّ) in this verse, the plural of Lord (ربّ)]

The Messenger of Allah (S) according to explicit Verses of the Holy Quran addressed the polytheistic people of the Book:

{قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلاَّ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضاً {أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُولُواْ اشْهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ}

"Say, 'O people of the Book! Come to a word common between us and you: that we will worship no one but Allah, that we will not ascribe any partner to Him, that we will not take each other as lords besides Allah.' But if they turn away, say, 'Be witnesses that we are Muslims’30."31

The use of the term lords32 clearly demonstrates that they were also ensnared by polytheism on the issue of Allah's lordship. In another Verse from this Surah we read:

{وَلاَ يَأْمُرَكُمْ أَن تَتَّخِذُواْ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ أَرْبَابًا أَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْكُفْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ أَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ}

"And He would not command you to take the angels and prophets for lords. Would He call you to unfaith after you have become Muslims?" 33

Regarding the idolators of the pagan era the Holy Quran states:

{وَاتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ آلِهَةً لَعَلَّهُمْ يُنصَرُونَ}

"They have taken gods besides Allah [hoping] that they might be helped." 34

Hence, they were ensnared by polytheism in its branch of Lordship and regarded the idols as surely effective in their fortunes.

Abraham (‘as) initially referred to the moon, the sun and the stars and said, "This is my lord",35 until he saw the fallacy of their belief. His emphasis on lordship clearly shows that the idolators of Babylon, regarded the moon, the sun and the stars as governers of their lives. His statements in Namrood's presence express the same thoughts.

The conclusion is that Ilah does not only mean the worshipped diety, but at times it is used as creator and at times as lord. Thus, the polytheists were not only ensnared by polytheism in worship but also believed their idols to be creators and lords.

Considering the shallow perceptions the Wahhabis have of the Quranic Verses, particularly of the term "Ilah", can they determine whose blood is permissible and whose wealth they can plunder? Indeed, how worthless has become the life and the wealth of a Muslim!!

Worship

Worship36 is the third Quranic term that the Wahhabis have falsely perceived. They state explicitly: if somebody entreats the righteous to become their intercessor beside Allah, they are the referrents of this Holy Verse:

{أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ}

"Look! [Only] exclusive faith is worthy of Allah, and those who take guardians besides Him [claiming] 'We only worship them so that they may bring us near to Allah', Allah will indeed judge between them concerning that about which they differ. Indeed Allah does not guide someone who is a liar and an ingrate." 37

The polytheists are being condemned for seeking intercession of their idols to whom they prostrated, prayed, and also worshipped.

When we go for pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Messenger of Allah (S) and appeal to him to be our intercessor both in this world and the hereafter, are we worshipping him? Do we fall to the ground and prostrate before him?

What has seeking intercession got to do with worship? Whoever is familiar with language and customary practice, knows that if somebody came to Prophet Isa (’as) and brought his blind child and said, ‘If you claim that you cure the blind by God's will, cure my child by God's will’, which part of this practice is worship?! This is a practice that the Holy Quran has regarded acceptable.

"Worship" as a term and as a customary practice refers to utmost humbleness before somebody, like prostration and genuflection (bowing in prayer), but requesting somebody has no connection with this matter.

Ragheb mentions in Mufradat:

"Servitude is expressing abjection and worship is superior to that because it is the utmost abjection".38

We read in Lisan al-Arab:

"The basis of servitude is humbleness and abjection." 39

It is interesting that the leader of the Wahhabi creed has paid great attention to the sentence: "so that they may bring us near to Allah"40, but has heedlessly gone past the beginning of the sentence "'we only worship them so that…"41, so the problem lies with worshipping other than God, not with "requesting intercession for closeness to Allah" and that being an intercession by God's consent.

Indeed, when one enters a subject matter with incorrect pre-judgements, it sees only that which is in harmony with his intention, and he who opposes, at times never sees it and at times intentionally denies it and issues the verdict for the murder of millions of those Muslims who he decides are mushrik! Then he regards their blood, property and reputation as permissible!

Intercession

Intercession 42 is the fourth Quranic term that this party has fallaciously interpreted, and as already stated, they have passed the verdict of infidelity against all those who seek the intercession of the Prophet or Imams of the Household (S) or other righteous servants of Allah, and called them polytheists.

Their fanaticism is obvious from the fact that their leader, in the disquisition43 of "Kashf al-Shubahat", regards these self-determined polytheists worse than the idolaters of the era of paganism44 for two reasons.He states blatantly that although the idolaters never believed in resurrection, nor performed the ritual prayer or any of the Islamic rituals, and regarded the Prophet of Islam (S) as a magician and obligatory to murder, and the Quran as sorcery, they still have primacy over the polytheists of our age who accept as true everything brought to them by Islam, but seek the intercession of the Holy Prophet (S)!! This affirms that the polytheism of the idolaters is lighter than their's! Why?!

Because, they say, only at times of welfare they worshipped idols, but during adversity, when they were trapped in stormy and dangerous sea waves, they called upon God sincerely!

How unjust can one be? Who can claim that those religious people who believe in all the principles of Islam, act upon all its teachings and rituals, abstain from all the sins, pay their alms45 and all their religious taxes carefully, perform the pilgrimage to the house of Allah from distant locations, memorize the Quran and are erudite in all the Islamic principles, are worse than the alcoholic murderers and ignorant savage idolaters who never believed in anything and were infected by all sorts of sins? How can anyone acknowledge this logic in today's world?!

Has Shaikh al-Islam made a new discovery in this matter that remained undiscovered for all the Islamic scholars throughout history except for him and his Excellency Ibn Taymieh?!

The reality is that the basis of the idea of intercession has been confirmed through many Quranic Verses, and according to the consensus of the Islamic scholars it is an accepted premise which even the Wahhabis do not repudiate but admit explicitly.

Another point is that the impracticality of intercession by intercessors without Allah's consent is also an accepted premise because it has been explicitly mentioned in more than five Quranic Verses; amongst which is Ayat al-kursi which reads thus:

{...مَن ذا الَّذي يَشفَعُ عِندَهُ إلّا بِإذنِهِ...}

"Who is it that may intercede with Him except with His permission?" 46

Unity of Divine Actions47 states every action in the universe must occur by God's consent and no one is His partner in it, and if an intercession takes place, it is by His order and consent, and since He is All-wise, His order and consent takes place according to wisdom, and only to those does He bestow consent for intercession who have the competency for intercession, and have not burned the bridges behind them by means of contumacy.

Thus far, there is agreement in all matters, then where does the difference lie? The difference lies where the scholars of Islam state that requesting the Prophet (S) for that which Allah has bestowed upon him (i.e the status of intercession) is an admirable act and not only is it not against Tawheed but it verifies it, but the Wahhabis claim that if you seek his intercession you'll become an infidel and a polytheist and your blood and wealth will be admissible!!

Is intercession considered as void? No, because it is legitimate according to the concensus of all the scholars. Does the Prophet (S) lack the status of intercession? Everybody asserts that indeed he has that status. Then where does the problem lie? TheWahhabis state that he has the status of intercession but if you request him you'll be an infidel! They quote the Quranic Verse which states that the Arab polytheists claimed that they worshipped the idols so that they could become their intercessors before Allah, so your action is exactly like the act of the Arab polytheists. Is it?!

We assert that they worshipped the idols; we never worship the Prophet and his Household (S), and seeking intercession without worship is totally different.

They insist it is just what they say!

We state: The Quran itself instructs the sinful to go to the Prophet (S) and plead with him to ask for forgiveness of Allah so that Allah forgives them:

{وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَاؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا}

"If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful." 48

And more indicating than that is once we read the story of Jacob (Ya'qoob ‘as) when the sons of Jacob after confessing their misconduct and offence towards Joseph (Yusuf ‘as), pleaded with their father (for intercession) to ask Allah for their forgiveness, they said:

{قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِينَ* قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّي إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ}

"Father! Plead [with Allah] for forgiveness of our sins! We have indeed been erring.'
He said, 'I shall plead with my Lord to forgive you; indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful.'" 49

Not only did Jacob (‘as) not negate this request which was the request for intercession with Allah, but he recieved it warmly. Does a Prophet of Allah invite his sons to polytheism and heresy?

Lame Excuse

The interesting point is that the fanatic Wahhabis due to a lack of justification, change their words when they get to this point, they state: the above two verses are related to the lifetime of the two Prophets, but after their deaths, when they turn into dust, there is nothing they can do!!

Thus pleading with the Prophet (S) for intercession after his death is worthless!

Notice thoroughly that at this point the matters of polytheism and heresy are removed from the picture, and the issue of worthlessness has come about, and they state that if it was during their lifetime, it would not have been polytheism or heresy, but if it was after their demise, it’s a worthless act, and this is the indication of renouncement of all their previous allegations. We state that it is neither heresy nor is it worthless, as no Muslim allows himself to declare that the status of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) was less than an ordinary martyr on the battlefields of Badr and Uhud, for, they are:

{...أَحْيَاءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ}

"Living and provided for, near their Lord"50

But the Prophet (S) becomes dust?51 Which cruel person can say such a thing?! It appears that their mistake emerges from where the Quran tells the Prophet(S):

{إِنَّكَ لَا تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَى وَلَا تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ الدُّعَاءَ إِذَا وَلَّوْا مُدْبِرِينَ}

"Indeed you cannot make the dead hear, nor can you make the deaf hear the call when they turn their backs [upon you]."52

Whereas this Verse refers to the ordinary people not the Prophet (S) or the righteous and the pure.

They must be asked then, why do you send regards to his Holiness (S) during the ritual prayer:"Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and God's mercy"53. Do you send blessings and greetings to someone who (God forbid) does not percieve anything?

Do you have faith in the Verse:

{إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا}

"Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who have faith! Invoke blessings on him and invoke Peace upon him in a worthy manner."54

God and those who have faith, who are you sending your blessings and mercies to? To someone who (God forbid) does not perceive anything?! Why have you signposted this Verse above the Sacred Sepulcher of His holiness (S)?

{...لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ}

"O, you who have faith! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet and do not speak aloud to him as you shout to one another, lest your works should fail without your being aware."55

Why don’t you allow anyone to raise his voice besides the Sacred Sepulcher of the Prophet(S)? If you believe that after the demise of the Holy Prophet he doesn’t apprehend anything (God forbid),56 what do these contradictory actions and statements imply?!

Supplication

Another term which the extremist Wahhabis fallaciously interpreted is supplication in the Quran. They believe that whoever calls upon the Prophet (S) or one of God's saints and righteous persons, is an atheist and a pagan, and his life and wealth are admissible.

San'ani57, one of the supporters of the thoughts of Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab in the book, "Tanzeeh ul-i'teqad"58 asserts: "God has deemed supplication as worship and has said: "Your Lord has said, 'Call Me, and I will hear you[r supplications]!' Indeed those who are disdainful of My worship will enter hell in utter humility." 59

Thus whoever calls upon the Prophet (S) or God's saint to achieve something, or asks them to intercede with Allah to grant their wish, like relief from a debt or cure for an illness, or the like, has supplicated (invoked) the Prophet (S) or that saint, and supplication is considered as worship, in fact it is the core of worship. Such a person has worshipped other than God and has become an atheist, because "Tawheed" is not complete unless one deems God unique in divinity, in being the Creator and the Sustainer (provider), and refrains from considering any other being as the Creator or Sustainer, and does not worship other than Him. No one must perform some of the prayers for other than God."60

Such statements are precisely what are repeated in many of their books.

Their reference for the verdict that announces the infidelity of those who call upon other than God, is the above Quranic Verse which was mentioned in San'ani's words, and also other verses such as the following:

1.

{وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِله فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ الله أَحَدًا}

"The places of worship belong to Allah, so do not invoke anyone along with Allah."61

2.

{لَهُ دَعْوَةُ الْحَقِّ وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُم بِشَيْءٍ...}

"[Only] to Him belongs the true invocation; and those whom they invoke besides Him do not answer them in any way."62

3.

{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ الله عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُكُمْ...}

"Indeed those whom you invoke besides Allah are creaturs like you."63

They conclude from these verses, precisely what was mentioned in San'ani's declarations. According to them, no one has the right to even say: "O,Messenger of God, intercede for me before God", since he will then become an atheist and one whose blood can be shed. With this decree, they execute thousands and thousands of people and raid their wealth.

Now we return to the Holy Quran, and inquire about the meaning of the term supplication from the Quran, so it elucidates for us that supplication and calling upon other than God is at times heresy and at times faithfulness; but these people due to lack of knowledge or incorrect interpretations, have gone so far astray.

Nevertheless, the term supplication has appeared with diverse meanings in the holy Quran:

1. Supplication inferring worship in verse 18 of surah64 Al-Jinn:

{... فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ الله أَحَدًا}

"So do not invoke anyone along with Allah."65

The phrase along with Allah66 demonstrates that the holy verse commands men not to take anybody as God's partner nor worship other than Him.

The witness to this claim is Verse 20 of the same Surah (with one verse gap), which states:

{قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَدْعُو رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ أَحَدًا}

"Say, 'I pray only to my Lord, and I do not ascribe any partner to Him.'"67

Every Muslim is aware that supplication in this sense, is specific to God, and He takes no partners, and there is no scope for doubt and suspicion.

2. Supplication (دُعَاء) in the sense of summoning towards something, of the same kind to what is reported about Prophet Noah (‘as), where the Holy Quran states:

{قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِي لَيْلًا وَنَهَارًا* فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَائِي إِلَّا فِرَارًا}

"He said 'My Lord! Indeed I have summoned my people night and day * But my summons only increase their evasion." 68

It is evident that these summons and calling of the people, are similar to inviting people to faithfulness, and such summons are identical to faithfulness and its execution was incumbent upon the Prophets of God.

And similarly, God states to the Prophet of Islam (S):

{ادْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ...}

"Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice."69

3. Supplication70 in the sense of entreating for a need, for instance:

{وَلاَ يَأْبَ الشُّهَدَاءُ إِذَا مَا دُعُواْ}

"The witnesses must not refuse when they are called." 71

Such calling and summons is done in ordinary affairs, and certainly whoever performs it wouldn’t become an infidel, but in fact he would be obeying Allah’s command.

Sometimes it is by means of the extraordinary, a miracle, which can be of two types:

It can be accompanied by the belief in the independence of other-than-God in effectiveness, and it might be a plea to a great person to ask God for what we want.

The first type is a form of Shirk (polytheism), because independent in effect is only the pure entity of God; all the ordinary causes and effects get all they have from God and perform only by his consent.

Upon this ground, the Holy Quran states:

{ادْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ...}

"Say, 'Invoke those whom you claim [to be gods] besides Him. They have no power to remove your distress nor to bring about any change [in your state]."72

No conversant believer or faithful Muslim holds such a belief about anyone of the Prophets and God's saints.

As for the second type, it is Tawheed (monotheism or the belief in oneness) where one takes someone to be the intercessor and mediator to the divine threshold and deems God as the cause of all causes and conceives everything under His supremacy and authority, yet by resorting to God's saints, implores them to plead for them with God, and this is the exact Tawheed and belief in the Supreme Divine Providence.

The Holy Quran states: The Children of Israel came to Moses and asked him to request God for miscellaneous foods (other than manna and quails):

{وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَى لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَى طَعَامٍ وَاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الأَرْضُ مِن بَقْلِهَا...}

"And when you said, O Moses, 'We will not put up with one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us, that He may bring forth for us of that which the earth grows – its greens and its cucumbers,… ." 73

Moses never complained about their addressing him! He didn’t turn around and say: ‘Why don’t you request God directly as this is blasphemy and polytheism’. On the contrary, he asked God for their request and it was responded to with, "you will indeed get what you ask for! 74" Besides that, He told them that they had left the better food for inferior food.

Conclusion

This group of Wahhabis, rather than referring to the Quran and observing the diverse applications of "Supplication" (دُعَاء) and placing them alongside one another and discovering the depth of the Quranic teachings on the issue of supplication, they just studied a few Verses and manipulated matters for their own good and then decreed the majority of Muslims as infidels and polytheists, and even more pitiful than that, they carried that out in practice, and executed a large majority of sincere Muslims and plundered their wealth.

Innovation

The sixth Quranic term, misinterpreted by this group of Wahhabis, is Bid'ah75 (or innovation).

The Holy Quran, while denouncing and reprehending the issue of monasticism, states:

{...وَرَهْبَانِيَّةً ابْتَدَعُوهَا مَا كَتَبْنَاهَا عَلَيْهِمْ إِلَّا ابْتِغَاءَ رِضْوَانِ اللَّهِ فَمَا رَعَوْهَا حَقَّ رِعَايَتِهَا...}

"But as for monasticism, they innovated it – We had not prescribed it for them – only seeking Allah's pleasure. Yet they did not observe it with due observance."76

The Christians innovated a kind of monasticism and renunciation which was not assigned by God, even then they never adhered to it. The meaning of the Verse is that God had not instructed them to monasticism (but it was an innovation of their own). Allah had recommended Seeking the pleasure of Allah77, which they never observed.

In any case, this Verse reproaches this kind of innovation, which, according to some historians, came into being only a few centuries after the Holy Messiah (‘as), due to some historic events that resulted in the defeat of the Christians. They were forced to flee to the mountains and deserts and take refuge in a life of isolation, and eventually monasticism took on a religious garb.

Initially the Anchorites (Christian monks) headed off for "monasteries". Thereafter, they were joined by the anchoresses and monasticism was established.

Amongst the traditions that fallaciously accompanied monasticism was the complete renunciation of marriage, which was against the basic nature of mankind and it became the basis for corrupting it.

Will Durant (1885-1981), the famous Western historian, has discussed the hermits, which is attention grabbing. He confesses that the joining of anchoresses (the monastic women) began from the fourth century and the achievements of monasticism reached their peak by the tenth century. 78

Although the anchorites and anchoresses carried out many different social services, but the social and ethical corruption that arose within their ranks were rather embarrassing and he thinks it would be better to withdraw from their mention. This has also been pointed out in the books by Christian historians. Indeed, the result of innovations mostly goes astray.

Anyhow, in addition to the aforementioned Verse, there are many traditions in reproach of innovation cited in the Islamic sources. Among them is the famous Prophetic tradition; Every innovation is misguidance! 79, which has been mentioned in many books such as Musnad Ahmad80, Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn81, Sunan al-Baihaqī82, al-Mu'jam al-awsat Tabrānī83 and Sunan ibn Majeh84.

The extremist Wahhabis, on reading such traditions, without understanding the meaning of innovation, initially opposed any novel phenomenon, to the point of calling the bicycle the steed of Satan, and opposing the telephone. As they saw the world moving rapidly towards industrialization, they finally submitted to the industrial phenomena in the West. Not only did they submit to it, they got drowned in it, and today we find Saudi Arabia packed with different brands of the latest fashionable cars, modern ventilation devices, most eye-catching home furniture and even different sorts of supermarkets and Westerns meals, which everybody, adult and child, learned or ignorant use.

Meanwhile, they have stopped opposing these innovations, and have focused on opposing innovations that, according to them, have a colour of religion. For instance, building tombs on graves, ceremonies to commemorate the birth of the Prophet (S) and religious saints, memorials for mourning the loss of martyrs and their like are condemned as innovations. Anyone who performs these functions is considered to be an innovator and deserves to be censured.

But it is important to know the meaning of innovation and in which case is it forbidden?

"Innovation" (Bid'ah) literally means any sort of good or bad addition to religion, and according to the scholars of jurisprudence, "admitting that which is not of religion into religion." 85 If we attach that which is not part of religion into religion, and regard that as a divine rule, we have committed innovation.

This is done in two ways: turning an obligatory act into a prohibited one or a prohibited act into an obligatory one, and turning a forbidden act into an admissible act or an admissible act into a forbidden one.

For instance, to say that usury is unavoidable in today's banking system, it is therefore accepted, or that the religious command to cover (Hijāb) is related to the past but today unveiling is permissible, are clear examples of innovation because they pay no respect to Divine commands and declare the forbidden permissible.

Sometimes we regard as part of religion that which is not mentioned in religious rulings or in the book and tradition; for instance, regarding cultural behaviour as part of religion like the funeral ceremonies for the dead on the third, seventh and fortieth day (after their demise), or considering the celebration and rejoicing on Islamic Eids as religiously obligatory.

Innnovation is of Three Kinds

1. Innovation in affairs that have nothing to do with religious matters, such as industry, scientific inventions and natural sciences also existed at the time of the Prophet (S). The progress of science and invention are valuable and contructive innovations, and all the world's intellectuals welcomed any useful phenomenon – without prejudice – irrespective of which race and nationality it came from.

2. Innovations concerning religious matters, without associating them to religion, such as building the mosques in a special style; the minarets, the altars (Mīhrāb)86, the tiling, the cornice; using loudspeakers to call for prayer (Adhān), and hundreds of such innovations.

For sure none of these existed at the time of the Holy Prophet (S), but nobody condemns them as Bid'ah and forbidden, and all Muslim mosques, even in Saudi Arabia, the centres of Wahhabism and the Prophet’s (S) mosque are full of them.

Also the massive changes, which have taken place in Masjīd ul-Harām by no means resemble the time of the Holy Prophet (S), like building a second floor over the site of the Sa'i (ritual of running) between Safa and Marwa, and the new odd ammendments in Jamarāt, and the relocation of the places of slaughter to the outside of Mina and the like.

These innovations are there to ease difficult tasks and reduce problems and hazards and are not considered as special religious rulings nor regarded as Bid'ah (innovation in religious sense).

Arranging sessions for Quranic competitions and selecting the best reciters, memorizers and interpreters of the Holy Quran were not present at the time of the Holy Prophet (S); these are innovations that are thought to bring progress in religious aims and objectives, with no claim that they are part of religion. Similarly, respect for the dead is shown by holding their memorials in specific points in time. Besides these, organizing conferences, religious seminars and ceremonials for the elites of religion, celebrating birthdays of the leaders of religion and commemorating their martyrdom or demise. Such events serve the cause of Islam and Muslims, and help create awareness amongst Muslims.

These traditions arouse awareness and awakening among the youth, and attract towards Quranic and Islamic knowledge and religious affairs, and closing down such programs would cause great loss to Muslims.

These are a series of traditions which nobody regards as commanded by God or His Messenger (S) while being performed. In other words including that which is not part of religion into religion without considering it divinely decreed. Therefore, it is wrong to call it Bid'ah on the premise that Every innovation is aberration87, so it should be considered as misguidance.

3. There exists another type of innovation, as the forbidden innovation, which was refered to in the beginning: breaking the inviolable sanctuary88 of religion and establishing a ruling against the rulings of religion or adding or deducting a ruling without there being a reason for it in religion.

But the extremist Wahhabis, due to their lack of knowledge regarding Islamic jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence,89 (methodology of deriving law from Islamic sources) fail to differentiate between these three kinds of innovation, and for the slightest reasons they accuse their Muslim brothers of Bid'ah, as easily as they accuse them of polytheism.

We end this discourse with a saying from the prominent scholar and famous lecturer of Masjid ul-Harām, Yūsuf ben Alawī Mālekī,.

Below is a summary of his account of Bid'ah in his book, The Concepts That Need To Be Corrected under the heading Good and Bad Innovations:

Some sordid ignorant and narrow-minded extremists, who gratuitously relate themselves to the righteous forebearers90, campaign against and reject every valuable invention on the premise that it is an innovation and every innovation is aberration, without making a distinction between correct innovation and heresy91 or distinguishing between good and bad innovation.

This distinction is approved by common sense and the intellect, and the prominent scholars of Principles of Jurisprudence such as "Nawawi", "Suyouti", "Ibn Hajar" and "Ibn Hazm" have assented to this distinction.

When we put together the Prophetic tradtions which interpret one another, and revise them collectively, the same conclsuion is deduced.

Amongst these traditions is: Every innovation is aberration92, which condemns those depraved innovations that come in under none of the principles of religion.

He adds: innovation in its literal sense (i.e the act or process of inventing or introducing something new), is not prohibited; that which is prohibited and considered as misguidance is the innovation in its religious sense like "Adding something to the ruling of religion and giving it a religious colour and appearance" on the premise that it is transmitted by an owner of religion, so it must be accepted and practiced.

But worldly innovations are by no means prohibited.

Therefore, dividing innovation into two branches; good and bad, is just literal. Actually, religious innovation is of only one type which is prohibited and if those opposing this division knew the meaning of the source of division, they would not oppose it and would recognize that the dispute is only terminological.

Indeed, among the worldy innovations, many valuable matters are found which must be pursued, while there are matters that are nothing but mischief and corruption. (Referring to some of the social dissipations) 93

  • 1. –توحيد و شرک .
  • 2. – Surah Al-Zukhruf 43:9.
  • 3. – Surah Yūnus 10:31.
  • 4. – Surah Al-Jinn 72:18.
  • 5. – Surah Al-Zumar 39:44.
  • 6. – Surah Al-Zumar 39:3.
  • 7. –متشابهات .
  • 8. – Surah Zumar 39:17 & 18.
  • 9. –إله .
  • 10. –عبادة .
  • 11. –شفاعة .
  • 12. –دعاء .
  • 13. –بدعة .
  • 14. –اشتراﻙ .
  • 15. –راغب .
  • 16. –مفردات .
  • 17. – من يُشرﻙ باللهِ فَقَد حَرَّم اللهُ عَلَيهِ الجَنَّةَ .
  • 18. – Surah Yusuf 12: 106.
  • 19. – Surah Al-I Imran 3: 49.
  • 20. –الرازقية.
  • 21. – That is, in the heavens and the earth.
  • 22. – Surah AL-Anbiya 21: 21-22.
  • 23. –آلهة .
  • 24. – Surah AL-Mu'minun 23: 91-92.
  • 25. – Sovereignty.
  • 26. – Surah Hud 11: 54.
  • 27. –أکلت حنيفة ربّها عام التقحم والمجاعة لم يحذروا من ربّهم سوء العواقب و التباعة
  • 28. –أربّ يبول الثعلبان برأسه .
  • 29. – Surah Yusuf 12: 39.
  • 30. – That is, those who have submitted to Allah.
  • 31. – Surah Al-I Imran 3: 64.
  • 32. –أرباب .
  • 33. – Surah Al-I Imran 3: 80.
  • 34. – Surah Yasin 37: 74.
  • 35. – هَذا رَبِّي.
  • 36. – عبادة.
  • 37. – Surah Al-Zumar 39: 3.
  • 38. – العُبُوديَّةُ إظهارُ التَّذَلّل و العِبادةُ أبلَغُ منها لأنَّها غايةُ التّذلّل.
  • 39. –اَصلُ العُبُوديَّة الخضوعُ و التَّذَلّل .
  • 40. – Surah Al-Zumar 39: 3.
  • 41. – Surah Al-Zumar 39: 3.
  • 42. –شفاعة .
  • 43. – رسالة (collection of Hadiths dealing with one major topic).
  • 44. – جاهلية .
  • 45. – زکوة (money payable by a Muslim as part of his religios obligations).
  • 46. – Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 255.
  • 47. – توحيد افعالي.
  • 48. – Surah Al-Nisa 4: 64.
  • 49. – Surah Al-Yusuf 12: 97, 98.
  • 50. – Surah Al-I Imran 3: 169.
  • 51. – کا لحجر!.
  • 52. – Surah Al-Naml 27: 80.
  • 53. – السّلامُ عليكَ اَيُّها النَّبيُّ وَ رَحمةُ الله.
  • 54. – Surah Al-Ahzab 33: 56.
  • 55. – Surah Al-Hujurat 49: 2.
  • 56. – العياذُ بالله.
  • 57. – صنعانی.
  • 58. – تنزيه الاعتقاد.
  • 59. – ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ.
  • 60. – تنزيه الاعتقاد.
  • 61. – Surah Al-Jinn 72: 18.
  • 62. – Surah Al-Ra'd 13: 14.
  • 63. – Surah Al-A'raf 7: 194.
  • 64. – Chapters in the Quran are refered to as 'Surah'.
  • 65. – Surah Al-Jinn 72: 18.
  • 66. – مَعَ الله.
  • 67. – Surah Al-Jinn 72: 20.
  • 68. – Surah Al-Nuh 71: 5 & 6.
  • 69. – Surah Al-Nahl 16: 125.
  • 70. – In its Arabic sense that is دُعَاء.
  • 71. – Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 282.
  • 72. – Surah Al-Isra 17: 56.
  • 73. – Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 61.
  • 74. – فإنَّ لَکُم مَا سَأَلتُم.
  • 75. – بدعة.
  • 76. – Surah Al-Hadid 57: 27.
  • 77. – ابتغاء مرضاة الله.
  • 78. – The Story of Civilaization, Volume 13, Page 443.
  • 79. – کُلّ بدعَةٍ ضلالة.
  • 80. – مسند احمد (Volume 4, page 126).
  • 81. – مستدرک الصحيحين (Volume 1, page 97).
  • 82. – سنن البيهقی (Voume 10, page 114).
  • 83. – المعجم الاوسط الطبرانی (Volume 1, page 28).
  • 84. – سنن ابن ماجه (Volume 1, page 16).
  • 85. – ادخال ما ليس من الدين فی الدين.
  • 86. – Niche in the mosque marking prayer direction.
  • 87. – کُلّ بدعةٍ ضلالةٌ.
  • 88. – حريم.
  • 89. – علم الأصول.
  • 90. – سلف صالح.
  • 91. – Innovation in religion not based on the Quran or the Sunnah
  • 92. – کُلّ بدعةٍ ضلالةٌ.
  • 93. –مفاهيم يجب أن تصحّح" ": Concepts that Need to be Rectified page 102 and onwords.