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Introductory Materials
  An Explanation of the Truth of Monotheism
Author: Shaikh Salih al-Fawzaan
Source: Trans. M.S. Dabas
Article ID : TAW020001  [120776]  
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Thus, these words leave no impact on their actions. You hear them say, "There is no god but Allah", but you also hear them calling "O Abdul Qadir", or "O Badawi", or other pious individuals. They invoke the dead for help when faced with adversity. The idolators of old times were better informed of the meaning of these words, i.e. commitment to the Oneness in worship of Allah, the Almighty, than those people who adorn the tombs and graves of pious people. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the idolators to say "La Ilaha ilallah : (There is no god but Allah),they realized that these words of commitment to Oneness clearly meant that they must abandon idolatry and worship Allah alone. Therefore, the idolators' answer was : "Has he made the gods (all) into one ilaah (god)?" (33) About the people of Hud, the Quran says, "They said, You came to us, that we may worship Allah alone and give up the cult of our fathers?" (34) The people of Saleh said, "Do you forbid us the worship of what our fathers worshipped?" (35)

About the people of Noah, the Holy Quran relates, "And they have said (to each other), Abandon not your gods : abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa, neither Yaguth or Yauq no Nasr." (36) This is how the unbelievers understood the meaning of (There is no god but Allah) - that it means to give up deities and come forward to worship Allah only. That is why they refused to utter these words of Monotheism, for there could not be any compromise with their adoration of Lat, Uzza or Manat, the well known idols. But, amazingly, those who adore graves today do not realize this contradiction. They utter these words and continue their adoration of the dead.

Thus, we notice that some people interpret "God" as the one capable of invention, creation and origination. In this context, the meaning of "There is no god but Allah" will be that no one is capable of creation except Allah. This is one of the worst mistakes because it goes no farther than what the unbelievers had already acknowledged. We notice that idolators and others had affirmed that no one is capable of invention, creation, sustenance and causing life or death except Allah. (37) This statement of the unbelievers is illustrated in a previously mentioned Quranic verse. However, they could not become Muslims by this confession because this alone does not fulfil the requirement of the testimony of faith, "There is no god but Allah".



We have indicated earlier the first occurrence in which people placed humans or other objects in positions to share with Allah His sole right to be worshipped. Such practice unfortunately continues to the present; this is polytheism which is of two kinds. The first is greater idolatry which is committed by Muslims by performing deeds, such as slaughtering in the names of other persons or deities than Allah, or by adoring others in any form that will make them dearer than, or even equal to Allah the Almighty. The second is idolatry of a lesser degree which makes one's faith inferior, and which may sometimes place one outside of the Islamic faith. This applies to those taking oaths in the name of other persons or deities than Allah, or uttering words like, "by the life of so and so, or by the sun, moon or stars, etc."

Such polytheism has developed among people because they have distanced themselves from the Book of Allah and the Prophet's traditions. They are determined to imitate their ancestors even though they have strayed from the right path of Allah. They exalt some of the dead saints or pious people to the extent of worship. For example, they build shrines on these deceased saints' graves. All of this happens because such people are not aware of the facts of their religion, Islam. As Umar ibn AI-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) stated, "The bonds of Islam will indeed breakdown, one after the other, if one who has grown up in Islam has not known about the pre-Islamic paganism." Many people are misled due to circulation of various doubts of stories and heresies which they inadvertently consider as authentic evidences to justify their deeds. Some of these doubts are similar to those previously raised by idolaters of past people and generations. Here are some examples of such doubts and suspicions

FIRST : A common suspicion of past and contemporary people is that they have inherited these practices from their ancestors. About them, Allah the Almighty said, "Just in the same way, whenever We sent a Warner (i.e. a messenger who calls to the worship of Allah the Almighty) before you to any people, the wealthy ones among them said, "We found our fathers following a certain religion, and we will certainly follow in their footsteps." (38)

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