Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Shirk in seeking the help of causes

One the types of polytheism common among the Muslims are that: The creator of the universe has appointed a cause for everything. The cause for everything is something else. For example the cause for the birth of a child are his parents. The cause of the cure of a disease rests in medicine and doctor. He has made working the cause of earning livelihood.

Man refers to the causes in order to obtain some benefit or to save himself from some harm. If he begins to consider that this is only a medium of harm and benefit the actual cause is Allah, there shall definitely be an increase in his Marefat and insight.

قُل لاَّ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلاَ ضَرًّا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ

“Say: I do not control any benefit or harm for my own soul except as Allah please.”

(Surah Araaf 7:188)

Muslims should consider the causes mere causes. If Allah wills he sends benefits or harm through them. If Allah wants he can nullify all their effects.

Man has to perform prayers in order to make this belief firm. And everyday he should utter this 10 times with sincerity: ‘Thee alone we worship. And thine help we seek.’ These sentences are recited at least 2 times in every prayer. They mean that the person considers Allah to be the bestower of everything in the world and the Hereafter. Only the can protect us from the mischief of the world and the Hereafter. He is the true refuge. This is the actual meaning of relying upon Allah (Tawakkul). And Tawakkul is a necessary component faith.

We should repose hope in the final cause

Reliance does not mean that we do not refer to the causes. Tawakkul is an emotion of the heart. It’s strength, hope and support is the Almighty Allah, alone. However, it is the command of Allah that we must seek help of the causes. On the basis of this command if man seeks the assistance of the causes for gaining something or avoiding some harm, it is a part of Tawakkul. Every rational person garners the support of someone or something. However, his right is trained only on the Almighty. He continues to pray to Allah because he knows that if Allah wishes he can solve his problem through the cause and if He so wills it will become ineffective. Then Allah can make someone else the cause. The final achievement is not in the hands of the cause. It is with Allah. Allah can fulfill the needs of His slave through whichever medium He likes. If Allah wills he can fulfill his needs even without a cause of a medium. We have mentioned the details of it in the first volume of Greater Sin.

Obeying someone in sin is also Polytheism

وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ

“And most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others (with Him).”

(Surah Yusuf 12:106)

Zurarah says that he asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) regarding the tafseer of the above ayat: Imam (a.s.) replied,

“It is the same type of Shirk that man says, “No! By your life!”

(Tafseer Ayyashi)

Thus swearing by a creature to prove our word right is also a kind of polytheism. The following tradition has also been recorded in Tafseer Ayyashi from Imam Baqir (a.s.): The saying of man also constitutes Shirk that:

By Allah! Or by such and such person.”

This shows that is swearing we must not make anyone a partner to Allah. We should consider Allah that final cause to be equal to a creature (an intermediary cause). Thus it is only Allah who deserves to be sworn upon His name. In reality the greatest entity is that of Allah. The greatness of all the creatures is derived from the Almighty. Thus we should not consider anyone as the partner of Allah is according respect.

Swearing by anyone else is not Haraam

However, it is important to state that since swearing by creature of Allah is not polytheism in worship or obedience, it is not haraam. In the same way it is not haraam if we make someone a partner in honouring Allah. It is certainly permitted. According to Shaykh Tusi such traditions have meant to state that it is a detestable act. He writes on pg. 191 of volume six of his book Al-Mabsuta, “It is makrooh to swear by anyone else other than Allah. For example to swear by the Prophet the Ka’ba, by ones parents etc, is makrooh.”

It is recorded in traditions that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said,

“Do not swear by your forefathers and the idols. Do not swear by anyone except Allah. Do not even swear by His name unless you are speaking the truth.”

Another tradition of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says that he heard Umar swearing in the name of his father, He (s.a.w.s.) said,

“The Almighty Allah has prohibited you to swear by your forefathers.”

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) also said,

“One who swears by anyone other that Allah ascribed him as the partner to Allah.”

Some narrations mention,

“Such a person has denied his Lord.”

However, it is construed as shirk and Kufr only when man makes him a partner in Allah’s greatness. He equates him to Allah. But if he considers him of less importance than Allah then it is not Shirk, Kufr or haraam. It is most certainly makrooh (detestable) in the light of these traditions.

Practice for Tawheed

People have been refrained from swearing by the creatures because that the people of faith may get practice for Tawheed. He should always and in all circumstances train his thoughts on Allah Almighty alone. In his words, deeds, actions and everythings. There should not even be an iota of polytheism. They should gain perfect belief in Tawheed and remain steadfast on it.

In this way he is prohibited to seek the help of creatures. This also helps to inculcate him the habit of asking everything from Allah, except when one is helpless.

Muhaqqiq Ardibeli says It is detestable to ask anyone other than Allah. And this is proved from reason and Shariat.” It is mentioned in traditions that some companions requested the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) to guarantee for them Paradise. The Prophet (s.a.) gave his guarantee but on the condition that they would so much self reliant that in case when they were climbing on the back of the horse and the whip fell down from their hands they could ask any person standing by to hand over the lash. They would themselves alight and pick it up. This traditions is mentioned on pg. 6 of the book ‘Qubodatul Bayan’

Thus asking a creature is detestable, but the detestability does not remain in times of emergencies. It is prescribed in this way so that people get the practice of tawheed.

Do not Hide the faith by oppression

The 82nd Ayat of Surah Anam says,

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُواْ إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ

“Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.”

Injustice is of various types and the greatest injustice is Shirk.

إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ

“Most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity.”

(Surah Luqman 31:13)

What greater injustice can be there that the master is giving all bounties to His servant and removing every type of problem. But this shameless servant is denying the famous of his Master right before his eyes and considering someone else as the bestower of those bounties. What can be more serious than hiding the favours of his master?

A person who considers the cause to be everything and believes that the cause is sufficient even without the help of the final cause is an oppressor. One who ignores the unlimited bounties of Allah and instead of His praise and thankfulness he is falsely praising the causes, such a person in beyond the precincts of justice. He is an oppressor. He is deserving of different types of punishments. He has forgotten his origin. He is nothing in the beginning. Then he assumed the shape of a sperm. He did not possess anything. When he came to the world he didn’t even have clothes on. Later he was bestowed different types of bounties by Allah. Is there any doubt that such thankless person is an oppressor?

It is written the history of Sultan Mahmud Ghazni that in the beginning Ayaz was one of his slaves. But due to his intelligence and sacrifices he became the closest confidante of the Sultan. The other ministers and courtiers became jealous of him. Ayaz had a small room of his own and it was always locked. Noone entered it except Ayaz. Early in the morning he entered this room, stayed inside for sometime and came out again and locked it. Two of the ministers were always looking for an excuse to bring down Ayaz in the eyes of the Sultan. One day they said to the Sultan.

“Ayaz has stolen a part of your treasure and kept in a room He is looking for a chance to revolt against you. No one can enter his room. He keeps it locked.”

The sultan fell into doubt and issued an order that when Ayaz is in his service the net morning, the two of them should go and break the lock. Enter the room and bring to me whatever treasure is collected over there.”

The next day when Ayaz joined the duty to serve the Sultan the two ministers went to his room accompanied by their labourers and bullock carts etc. They broke the lock and entered the room. But all they saw there were an old dress and a pair old shoes. They said to themselves that no one would put a lock just for a tattered dress and shoes. The treasure is probably buried in the room. Thus they began to dig the room. The deeper they dug the more ashamed they felt. At last the two of them came to the Sultan fearfully. The king learnt of their jealousy and lies and said, “If Ayas is satisfied you can be saved.” The vizier fell down at the feet of Ayaz and offered to present him all his property. Ayaz said, “The judgement rests with the Sultan.” The sultan forgave the two ministers and then asked Ayaz why he had locked an empty room and why he visited it every day? That is why he had been the center of some people’s doubt. Ayaz said,

“O Sultan! I was a destitute before your slavery. I did not possess anything other than that dress and the pair of shoes. By the grace of sultan I have everything today. I fear that my self may not become disobedient and revolt. That is why I keep that dress and the shoes in that room. Everyday I go there so that I may not become proud. So that I always remember that whatever I have is given to my by the Sultan.”

In the same way every person should remember his past.

فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ خُلِقَ مِن مَّاء دَافِقٍ

 “So let man consider of what he is created: He is created of water pouring forth (sperm).”

(Surah Tariq 86:5-6)

In the couplets of Mawlana Rumi:

You are a germ. You became a lump of flesh by the synthesis of dirt. Even though you might have spread a great fame and influence in the world. You were born from the sperm. Leave your ego. O Ayaz! Remember that tattred old dress. That way Ayaz, brimming with intelligence. He had hung his clothes and old shoes. Every morning he entered the room alone and said, “These are your shoes. Do not look up!” Right now in the state that you are will bring ecstasy. It will remove intelligence from the brain and shame from the heart. It was for this reason that Azazeel became Ibless. He ased to say why is Adam superior to me?

It is recommended to recite the following sentences after the Asr prayer again and again.

“O Allah! Whatever bounty we have it is from You. There is no deity except You. I seek forgiveness from You and repent to You.”

Similarly we should remember the following sentences of Dua Abu Hamza Thumali.

O my chief! I was that nomenty whom you exalted. I am that same weakling whom you bestowed strength. I am that same needy fellow whom you enriched. I am that same deviated person whom you guided. I am that same lowly creature whom you have made a great person.

Believers in Difficulties and Polytheists in Comfort

The Holy Quran says,

فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ لِيَكْفُرُوا بِمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ وَلِيَتَمَتَّعُوا فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ ???

“So when they ride in the ships they call upon Allah, being sincerely obedient to Him, but when He brings them safe to the land, lo! they associate others (with Him); Thus they become ungrateful for what We have given them, so that they may enjoy; but they shall soon know.”

(Surah Ankabut 29:65-66)

The ayat shows that people in difficulties tend become religious but once they gain comfort they forget their religiousity. But such people cannot escape the divine punishment that will soon catch up with them.

Forgetting the Favours

The Almighty Allah says,

وَإِذَا مَسَّ الْإِنسَانَ ضُرٌّ دَعَا رَبَّهُ مُنِيبًا إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلَهُ نِعْمَةً مِّنْهُ نَسِيَ مَا كَانَ يَدْعُو إِلَيْهِ مِن قَبْلُ وَجَعَلَ لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا لِّيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ قُلْ تَمَتَّعْ بِكُفْرِكَ قَلِيلًا إِنَّكَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ

“And when distress afflicts a man he calls upon his Lord turning to Him frequently; then when He makes him possess a favor from Him, he forgets that for which he called upon Him before, and sets up rivals to Allah that he may cause (men) to stray off from His path. Say: Enjoy yourself in your ungratefulness a little, surely you are of the inmates of the fire.”

(Surah Zumar 39:8)

A Wrong Notion

In the same Surah we have the following verse,

فَإِذَا مَسَّ الْإِنسَانَ ضُرٌّ دَعَانَا ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلْنَاهُ نِعْمَةً مِّنَّا قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ بَلْ هِيَ فِتْنَةٌ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“So when harm afflicts a man he calls upon Us; then, when We give him a favor from Us, he says: I have been given it only by means of knowledge. Nay, it is a trial, but most of them do not know.”

(Surah Zumar 39:49)

All the grace-blessings are from Allah

The wretched man says that I have got these blessings because of my knowledge, experience, my strength-power and ability. He forgets that, who has given him this knowledge, strength, ability and experience? If he had considered, he would have known that, Allah has bestowed upon him all these blessings for a short period of time, and Allah is the Master of all that. And He gives these blessings with such means and motives.

When the fact will be known

It is a matter of sorrow that man wants to remain in the darkness of ignorance. He wants to see the dream of his silly ideas and wrong notions. When the death will come and the Day of Judgement will rise, at that time he will know the fact-the truth. He will see that, he was not considering the bestowing of those blessings as means and motives from Allah, but straight way it was effective because of his good conduct-his good self, they were just the means. But when the truth will be known, then his eyes will become wide-open.

In the third volume of the book “Kifayatul-Mowahhedin” on page number 292 this hadith is there, that, when the truth will be revealed, he will be ashamed so much, that, he will wish that he gets hidden in the pit of Jahannam as soon as possible, so that he is saved from shame and disgrace. But he does not know, that he has lost the opportunity of salvation on his own.

Alone have come, alone will return

In Surah An’am the Elevated Creator-Allah has said;

Arabic text of Ayat no.94, surah no. 6.???

وَلَقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا فُرَادَى كَمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَتَرَكْتُم مَّا خَوَّلْنَاكُمْ وَرَاء ظُهُورِكُمْ وَمَا نَرَى مَعَكُمْ شُفَعَاءكُمُ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّهُمْ فِيكُمْ شُرَكَاء لَقَد تَّقَطَّعَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنكُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ

“And certainly you have come to us alone as We created you at first, and you have left behind your backs the things which We gave you, and We do not see with you your intercessors about whom you asserted that they were (Allah’s) associates in respect to you; certainly the ties between you are now cut off and what you asserted is gone from you.”

(Surah Anam 6:94)

In the commentary of this ayat in Tafsirul-Mizan, something like this is written, that; this noble ayat informs that, in the new life man will know the truth-reality of life. On the Day of Judgement he will be resurrected again and produced before the Lord, then he will know the truth-reality: He will come to know that the ability which he had to do something, was also given by Allah. In the world, no one but only Allah was making arrangement of his life. He had wrong notion that man’s planning was only efficacious. He was thinking that, equipment, properties and children, wives and relatives, all by themselves are having some effect in the life, but there he will know that, this was a baseless thing. In the same way, he was considering other gods to be associates of Allah, and thinking that they will recommend for him in front of Allah, was also a wrong thing, they were not supposed to be worshipped at all.

source : QALBE SALEEM/Shaheede Mehraab Ayatullah-ul-Uzma Al-Haaj Sayed Abdul Husain Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.)
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