Sent by: Brother Ramli Daawood, Malaysia               Part-(III) Final

Similarly, Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibne Mas’ood related that one day Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) drew a line in the sand for them and said:

هَذَا سَبِيلُ اللهِ

“This is Allah’s path.”

He then drew several lines [branching off] to the right and to the left and said:

هَذِهِ سُبُلٌ عَلَى كُلِّ سَبِيلٍ مِنْهَا شَيْطَانٌ يَدْعُو إِلَيْهِ

“These are the paths (of misguidance) on each of which is a devil inviting people to follow it.”

He then recited the Aayah No. 153 of Soorah (Chapter) No. 6 i.e. Al-An’aam (The Cattle):

وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَٰطِي مُسۡتَقِيمٗا فَٱتَّبِعُوهُۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ ٱلسُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمۡ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦۚ ذَٰلِكُمۡ وَصَّىٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ [سورة الأنعام153:١٥٣]

“Verily, this is my path, leading straight, so follow it. And do not follow the (other) paths for they will deviate you from His path. That is His command to you in order that you may be conscious of Allah.” (Ahmed)

Thus, the only acceptable way to worship Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is according to the way of the prophets. That being the case, innovation in religious affairs would be considered by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) among the worst of all evils. Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) was reported to have said:

وشرَّ الأمورِ مُحدثاتُها ، وكلَّ مُحدَثةٍ بدعةٌ ، وكلَّ بدعةٍ ضلالةٌ ، وكلَّ ضلالةٍ في النَّارِ

“And the worst of all affairs is newly invented matters, and every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire.” (An-Nasaaee)

Innovation in the religion is forbidden and unacceptable to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) was also reported by his wife, Hadhrat ‘Ayeshah, to have said:

مَنْ أَحْدَثَ فِي أَمْرِنَا هَذَا مَا لَيْسَ فِيهِ فَهُوَ رَدٌّ

“He who innovates something in our religion, that is not of it, will have it rejected.” (Bukhari)

It is fundamentally due to innovations that the messages of the earlier prophets were distorted and the many false religions in existence today evolved. The general rule to follow in order to avoid innovation in religion is that all forms of worship are prohibited, except those which have been specifically prescribed by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and conveyed to humans by the true messengers of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).

The Best of Creation
Those who believe in One Unique God, without partners or offspring, and do righteous deeds (according to the above-mentioned principles) become the crown of creation. That is, although humankind, as such, is not the greatest creation; they have the potential to become the best of His creation. In the final revelation, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) states this fact as follows:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ هُمۡ خَيۡرُ ٱلۡبَرِيَّةِ [سورة الـبينة7:]

“Surely, those who believed and did righteous deeds, they are the best of creation. (Al-Bayyinah 98:7)

The Gravest Sin
To contradict the purpose of one’s creation is then the greatest evil that a human being can commit. Hadhrat ‘Abdullah reported that he asked Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam) which sin is the gravest in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s sight and he replied: “To ascribe a partner to Allah, even though He created you.” (Bukhari)

Worshipping others besides Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), called شرک (Shirk) in Arabic, is the only unforgivable sin. If a human being dies without repenting from his or her sins, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) may forgive all their sins, except Shirk (Polytheism). In this regard, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) stated:

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغۡفِرُ أَن يُشۡرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغۡفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُۚ [سورة النساء116:]

“Surely, Allah does not forgive that a partner is ascribed to Him, and forgives anything else for whomsoever He wills.” (An-Nisaa 4:116)

Worshipping others besides Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) essentially involves giving the attributes of the Creator to His creation. Each sect or religion does this in their own particular way. A small but very vocal group of people down through the ages have actually denied Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s existence. To justify their rejection of the Creator, they were obliged to make the illogical claim that this world has no beginning. Their claim is illogical because all of the observable parts of the world have beginnings in time, therefore it is only reasonable to expect the sum of the parts to also have a beginning. It is also only logical to assume that whatever caused the world to come into existence could not have been a part of the world nor could it have a beginning like the world. The atheist assertion that the world has no beginning means that the matter which makes up the universe is eternal. This is a statement of Shirk, whereby Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s attribute of being without beginning is given to His creation. The numbers of genuine atheists have historically always been quite small because, in spite of their claims, they instinctively know that Creator does exist. That is, in spite of decades of communist indoctrination, the majority of Russians and Chinese continued to believe in God. The Almighty Creator pointed out this phenomenon, saying:

وَجَحَدُواْ بِهَا وَٱسۡتَيۡقَنَتۡهَآ أَنفُسُهُمۡ ظُلۡمٗا وَعُلُوّٗاۚ [سورة النمل14:]

“And they denied them out of sheer injustice and arrogance, though their hearts believed them (to be true).” (An-Naml 27:14)

To atheists and materialists, life has no purpose beyond the fulfillment of their desires. Consequently, their desires also become the God which they obey and submit to instead of the One True God – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). In the Quraan, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) said:

أَرَءَيۡتَ مَنِ ٱتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُۥ هَوَىٰهُ [سورة الفرقان43:]

“Have you seen the one who takes his desires as his God?” (Al-Furqaan 25:43)

أَفَرَءَيۡتَ مَنِ ٱتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُۥ هَوَىٰهُ [سورة الجاثية23:]

“So, have you seen him who has taken his desires as his God? (Al-Jaathiyah 45:23)

Christians gave Prophet Jesus Christ the attributes of the Creator by first making him co-eternal with God, then by making him a personality of God whom they titled ‘the Son’. Hindus, on the other hand, believe that God has become man in many ages, by incarnations called avatars, and then they divided God’s attributes between three gods, Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.

Love of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)
Shirk also occurs when human beings love, trust or fear the creation more than Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). In the last revelation, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) said:

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَندَادٗا يُحِبُّونَهُمۡ كَحُبِّ ٱللَّهِۖ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَشَدُّ حُبّٗا لِّلَّهِۗ [سورة البقرة165:]

“Among the people there are some who set up co-gods beside Allah whom they love like the love due to Allah. But those who believe are most firm in their love for Allah.” (Al-Baqarah 2:165)

When these and other similar emotions are directed more strongly to the creation, they cause human beings to disobey Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) in an effort to please other humans. However, only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) deserves a complete human emotional commitment, for it is He alone, who should be loved and feared over all creation. Hadhrat Anas bin Maalik narrated that the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said:

ثَلاَثٌ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ وَجَدَ حَلاَوَةَ الإِيمَانِ أَنْ يَكُونَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِمَّا سِوَاهُمَا، وَأَنْ يُحِبَّ الْمَرْءَ لاَ يُحِبُّهُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ، وَأَنْ يَكْرَهَ أَنْ يَعُودَ فِي الْكُفْرِ كَمَا يَكْرَهُ أَنْ يُقْذَفَ فِي النَّارِ

“Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith: (1) The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else (2) Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake (3) Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.” (Bukhari)

All the reasons for which humans love other humans or love other created beings are reasons to love the Creator – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) — more than His creation. Humans love life and success, and dislike death and failure. Since the Creator is the ultimate source of life and success, He deserves the full love and devotion of mankind. Humans also love those who benefit them and help them when they are in need. Since all benefit and help come from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), He should be loved above all else.

وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآۗ [سورة النحل18:]

“If you count the bounties of Allah, you cannot count them all.” (An-Nahl 16:18)

However, the supreme love which humans should feel for the “Lord” must not be reduced to the common denominator of their emotional love for creation. Just as the love humans feel for animals should not be the same as what they feel for other humans, the love of the Lord should transcend the love humans feel towards each other. Therefore, human love of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) should be, fundamentally, a love manifest in complete obedience to the laws of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa):

قُلۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِي يُحۡبِبۡكُمُ ٱللَّهُ [سورة آل عمران31:]

“Say (O Prophet!): ‘If you really love Allah, then follow me, and Allah shall love you….” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:31)

This is not an abstract concept, because human love of other humans also implies obedience. That is, if a loved one requests that something be done, humans will strive to do it according to the level of their love for that person.

The love of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) should also be expressed in the love of those whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) loves. It is inconceivable that one who loves Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) could hate those whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) loves and love those whom He hates.

The Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) was quoted by Hadhrat Sahl bin Mu’aaz Al-Juhni as saying:

"‏ مَنْ أَعْطَى لِلَّهِ وَمَنَعَ لِلَّهِ وَأَحَبَّ لِلَّهِ وَأَبْغَضَ لِلَّهِ وَأَنْكَحَ لِلَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَكْمَلَ إِيمَانَهُ

“Whoever gives for the sake of Allah, withholds for the sake of Allah, loves for the sake of Allah, hates for the sake of Allah, and marries for the sake of Allah, he has indeed perfected his faith.” (Tirmizi)

Consequently, those whose faith is proper will love all those who love Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). In Quraan, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) indicates that He puts love in the hearts of the believers for those who are righteous.

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ سَيَجۡعَلُ لَهُمُ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنُ وُدّٗا [سورة مريم96:]

“Verily, those who attain belief and work for the good of others, (Allah) the Beneficent will endow them with love” (Maryam 19:96)

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah also related that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam) said the following in this regard:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ إِذَا أَحَبَّ عَبْدًا دَعَا جِبْرِيلَ فَقَالَ إِنِّي أُحِبُّ فُلَانًا فَأَحِبَّهُ قَالَ فَيُحِبُّهُ جِبْرِيلُ ثُمَّ يُنَادِي فِي السَّمَاءِ فَيَقُولُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ فُلَانًا فَأَحِبُّوهُ فَيُحِبُّهُ أَهْلُ السَّمَاءِ قَالَ ثُمَّ يُوضَعُ لَهُ الْقَبُولُ فِي الْأَرْضِ

“When Allah loves a servant, he calls Gabriel and he says: Verily, I love this person so you should love him. Then Gabriel loves him and makes an announcement in the heavens, saying: Allah loves this person and you should love him. Thus, the dwellers of the heavens love him and he is honored on the earth.” (Bukhari and Muslim)