Servitude is Due to God Alone

Book in text:

Servitude is Due to God Alone

 

By:

Dr. Abd Ar-Rahman al-Sheha

 

 

Translated by: Abd Ar-Rahman Murad

Edited by: Amber (Hafsa) Deen Thompson

 

 

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Table of Contents

Introduction: 3

Concept of Freedom.. 5

The Holistic View of Islam towards the World. 7

Origin of Creation: 7

The Purpose behind Creating Humankind: 13

Stages of the Creation of Man. 14

Intellectual Evidence of Resurrection from the Qur’an. 17

Proofs of God’s Existence: 19

Life in the Grave: 20

The Everlasting Afterlife: 24

Creation’s Need of a God: 25

Servitude in Islam.. 29

First Steps in Becoming a True Servant to God. 39

The Universal Message of Oneness. 42

Start of Shirk (Association of Partners with God) 46

Reasons for Servitude to Other than God. 50

Danger of Worshipping Other than Allah: 59

Submitting to God: 75

Final Words: 78

Invitation: 79

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Introduction:

All praise is due to Allah alone and may Allah exalt the mention of Prophet Muhammad and his family.

“It is important for one to be impartial when viewing Islam, and not make the mistake of judging Islam by what Muslims do.”

Servitude to Allah alone is ‘programmed’ within our being and nature; we cannot escape it; thus we either turn in servitude to an individual or to God alone. There is no ‘third’ option. God, the Exalted, says: “Say (O Muhammad) "It is God I serve, sincere in my faith in Him alone -- as for yourselves, worship anything you please besides Him!" Say, "The real losers will be those who lose themselves and all their kith and kin on the Day of Resurrection. That is the [most] obvious loss. They will have sheets of fire above them and sheets of fire beneath them." That is how God puts fear into the hearts of His servants. Fear me, then, My servants.” (Qur’an 39:14-6)

Since we are beings who have been endowed with free will, some may not give complete servitude to God alone. Instead it may be given to things that don’t deserve it. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, consider the one who has taken his own desire as a deity, whom God allows to stray in the face of knowledge, sealing his ears and heart and covering his eyes -- who can guide such a person after God [has abandoned him]? Will you not take heed?”(Qur’an 45:23)

A scholar once mentioned: “Showing servitude (to something) is an innate quality within man; if it is not shown towards God Himself, it shall be shown to other than Him. Showing servitude to God alone is what sets us free and grants us honor in this world. On the other hand, when servitude is given to man it would slowly but progressively destroy the positive qualities of humanity and make one extremely materialistic.”

When servitude is given to fellow man it is not viewed as something positive. In fact, it usually garners scorn and hate as it may be perceived as a form of slavery. This form of servitude is almost never accompanied with love and reverence. On the other hand, when it is given to God alone, it will organize and structure one’s life in a positive manner and it grants one honor and freedom. God, the Exalted, says: “God commands justice, kindness and giving their [due to] near relatives, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and transgression. He admonishes you so that you may take heed!” (Qur’an 16:90)

God prohibits all forms of oppression; whether it relate to an individual or society at large. God, the Exalted, says: “Believers, do not wrongfully consume each other's wealth, but trade with it by mutual consent. Do not kill one another, for God is most merciful to you.” (Qur’an 4:29)

God forgives those who transgress when they repent truthfully to Him. God, the Exalted, says: “Be tolerant; enjoin what is right; and avoid the ignorant.  (Qur’an 7:199)

Concept of Freedom

In today’s world the search for ‘freedom’ is an ongoing quest. The term itself has been modified countless times and on a whole, the definition simply indicates what you can and cannot do.To a Muslim (i.e. one who submits to God) this quest is not one that is difficult; a Muslim believes that true freedom is already given to us by God. God, the Exalted, says: “We raised among every people a messenger who enjoined, "Worship God alone and shun the evil one." Then among them were some whom God guided and among them were others who became deserving of ruin. So travel across the earth and observe what was the end of those who rejected the messengers.”(Qur’an 16:36)

Surely a society that offers unbridled freedom will be a chaotic one. Rich would abuse and exploit the poor. Oppression would be rife and life would become unbearable. God, the Exalted, says: “We created many of the jinn and humankind for hell. They have hearts they do not understand with; they have eyes they do not see with; and they have ears they do not hear with. Such people are like cattle -- no, they are even more misguided. Such are the heedless.” (Qur’an 7:179)

The main reason behind all humanities problems, whether it is general oppression, wars, economic disaster, social issues or political corruption is that servitude is not offered to God alone; instead, it is given to oppressive systems that exclusively benefit segments of society and neglect others. God knows what is best for us and indeed He has told the truth. He, the Exalted, says: “How could He who created not know His own creation, when He alone is the Most Subtle in His wisdom and the All Aware?” (Qur’an 67:14)

The first generation of Muslims had a firm understanding of this servitude. They turned to Allah in all their affairs, and their rule was indeed a most just and fair one. The main reason Muslims suffer today is due to the lack of the proper understanding of the concept of servitude to God alone. They believe in part and disbelieve in part of the Scripture and have appointed over themselves people who have little faith and are not truthful in their religion. God, the Exalted, says: “God would never withdraw a favor that He had conferred upon a people unless they change what is in their hearts. God is all hearing and all-knowing. ” (Qur’an 8:53)

The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “May you be safe from witnessing five things…” He mentioned among them: “Muslims will become subjected to humiliation, governed by their enemies and will fight among themselves when they abandon divine law.” (Sahih At-Targhib #764)

This is the condition of the Muslim Ummah (nation) today!

The Holistic View of Islam towards the World

Throughout the ages humanity has sought the answer to the reason behind creation; with each hypothesis, speculations seem to cloud the minds of many. Yet, the Qur’an vividly describes to us the reason for our existence. God created all creation for the sole purpose of worshipping Him.

Origin of Creation:

As an introduction to this topic, let us view the words of God, the Exalted. He says:

“Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One. Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born; nor is there to Him any equivalent."” (Qur’an 112)

A delegation from Yemen came to Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, and they asked him about the creation of the universe. In response, he said: “God has always been there and nothing was before Him. During this time, His throne was on water and He then created the Heavens and the Earth and ordained all that would come to pass.” (Kitab as-Sunnah #584)

Allah, the Exalted, says: “Do not those who deny the truth see that the heavens and the earth were joined together and that We then split them asunder? And that We have made every living thing out of water? Will they still not believe?” (Qur’an 21:30)

God created the Heavens and the Earth while they were a compound singularity; thereafter, God brought all things into existence. He ordained that the Heavens would be layered in seven layers and that the Earth be similar. He separated between the Lowest Heaven and Earth with a barrier of air. God caused rain to precipitate and the ground gave forth its vegetation. Allah, the Exalted, says: “He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He decrees something, He says only, "Be!" and it is.” (Qur’an 2:117)

Allah then created Adam, the father of all humanity, and the angels bowed down to him, except Iblees, the father of devils. He refused and rejected this command from God and was determined to carry on an unending tale of animosity and hate towards Adam and all his offspring. God, the Exalted, says: “[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay. So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration." So the angels prostrated - all of them entirely. Except Iblees; he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers. [Allah] said, "O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?" He said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay." [Allah] said, "Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense." He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." [Allah] said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved until the Day of the time well-known.” [Iblees] said, "By your might, I will surely mislead them all except, among them, Your chosen servants." [Allah] said, "The truth [is My oath], and the truth I say - [That] I will surely fill Hell with you and those of them that follow you all together."” (Qur’an 38:71-85)

Allah then created for Adam his wife Hawa so that humankind could reproduce. God, the Exalted, says: “O humankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.”(Qur’an 4:1)

They initially lived in Jannah (Heavenly Garden) but Iblees was determined to have them removed from there at any cost. God, the Exalted says: “So We said, "O Adam, indeed this is an enemy to you and to your wife. Then let him not remove you from Paradise so you would suffer. Indeed, it is [promised] for you not to be hungry therein or be unclothed. And indeed, you will not be thirsty therein or be hot from the sun."” (Qur’an 20:117-9)

Allah commanded them to eat, enjoy themselves in Jannah; and he forbade them for eating from one tree. God, the Exalted, says: “And We said, "O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat there from in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers."” (Qur’an 7:19)

Iblees through his deception and cunningness was able to trick Adam, the father of humanity, and his wife to eat from that tree that was prohibited upon them, God, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, it is [promised] for you not to be hungry therein or be unclothed. And indeed, you will not be thirsty therein or be hot from the sun." Then Satan whispered to him; he said, "O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?" And Adam and his wife ate of it, and their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred. Then his Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him].” (Qur’an 20:118-122)

The punishment of Prophet Adam and his wife was that they were banished from Heaven and sent to earth. God, the Exalted, says: “We said, "Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs - those will be companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally."” (Qur’an 2:38-9)

When they were sent down from Jannah the enmity of Iblees went to new heights. He was bent on ruining all humankind. Allah, the Exalted, says: “[Allah] said, O Iblees, what is [the matter] with you that you are not with those who prostrate?" He said, "Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud." [Allah] said, "Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense." He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." [Allah] said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved. Until the Day of the time well-known.” [Iblees] said, "My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all except, among them, Your chosen servants."  [Allah] said, "This is a path [of return] to Me [that is] straight. Indeed, My servants - no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators. And indeed, Hell is the promised place for them all.”(Qur’an 15:32-42)

In the beginning all people were united as one nation, and they spread across the earth in search of livelihoods and provisions. God, the Exalted, says: “Humankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it - after the clear proofs came to them - out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path. ” (Qur’an 2:213)

As people spread out and settled in different lands. God sent to each nation a prophet, who served as a warner and guide. God, the Exalted, says: “[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that humankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise. ” (Qur’an 4:165)

Whoever obeyed the Messenger and followed the Message of God would enter the Heavenly Garden and whoever disobeyed and arrogantly turned away would enter Hell. God, the Exalted, says: “O children of Adam, if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you My verses, then whoever fears Allah and reforms - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. But the ones who deny Our verses and are arrogant toward them - those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.”(Qur’an 7:35-6)

The Prophets reminded their peoples of the enmity Satan held towards humankind. They warned them of his plots and his goals. God, the Exalted, says: “O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.” (Qur’an 7:27-8)

The Purpose behind Creating Humankind:

Everything invented by humankind has been brought into ‘existence’ for a reason; each ‘invention’ serves a distinct purpose and has a role. Humankind in this regard is no different. God, the Exalted, says: “Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned?" So exalted is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth; there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Noble Throne. ” (Qur’an 23:115-6)

God did not create for the sake of recreation and vanity. All creation has been brought into existence on account of a divine wisdom. Allah, the Exalted, says: “And We did not create the heaven and earth and that between them in play. Had We intended to take a diversion, We could have taken it from [what is] with Us - if [indeed] We were to do so. ” (Qur’an 21:16-7)

God only created humankind to worship Him. God, the Exalted, says: “And I did not create the jinn and humankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength.” (Qur’an 56:56-8)

God created humankind and prepared for them all that they would need to live properly in accordance to His laws; life in this manner would be pleasurable and the security and safety of each individual would be ensured. God, the Exalted, says: “And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses; not for them was the choice. Exalted is Allah and high above what they associate with Him.” (Qur’an 28:60)

This is the purpose behind the creation of all that exists. All creation has been brought into existence to worship God alone. The amazing things we see around us are meant to serve as signs to show us the greatness of God. Indeed, we are all in need of God, while He needs none of us. God, the Exalted, says: “O humankind, you are in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy. If He wills, He can do away with you and bring forth a new creation. And that is easy for Allah. ” (Qur’an 35:15-7)

Whoever lives by the servitude of God would have achieved true happiness in their lives. God, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures. Indeed, they who have believed and done righteous deeds - those are the best of creatures. Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. That is for whoever has feared his Lord. ” (Qur’an 98:6-8)

Stages of the Creation of Man

The Qur’an informs us of the manner of creation. God, the Exalted, says: “We have certainly created man in the best of stature. Then We return him to the lowest of the low. Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they will have a reward uninterrupted. So what yet causes you to deny the Day of Recompense? Is not Allah the most just of judges? ” (Qur’an 95:4-8)

Our creation is not the result of an evolutionary chain. We have been created by God as we are, in the best of stature. Allah created man through a set of known creational stages, the end of which will be either everlasting life in Heaven or in Hell. The Qur’an speaks of these stages of creation in various verses, of which are the following: “And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging. Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the best of creators. Then indeed, after that you are to die. Then indeed you, on the Day of Resurrection, will be resurrected.” (Qur’an 23:12-6)

These stages (in detail) are as follows:

  1. Allah created us from nothing. Man was created from a mere nothingness. This is indeed a great example of God’s ability and power. God, the Exalted, says: “Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned? Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing. Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful. Indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a blaze.” (Qur’an 76:1-3)
  2. In the womb of the mother. It is in this stage that Allah forms the child; he grows and becomes clear in his/her features. God, the Exalted, says: “He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, within three darknesses. That is Allah, your Lord; to Him belongs the dominion. There is no deity except Him, so how are you averted?” (Qur’an 39:6-7)

Life of this world:

Life is in itself a stage of trials, tests and challenges. God has blessed humankind with all that they need in terms of human faculties to understand what is good and what is evil. God, the Exalted, says: “And God has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers while you do not know a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful.” (Qur’an 16:78)

Allah created man in the best form and each of our bodily limbs can be used to achieve goodness. Allah, the Exalted, says: “Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him]. ” (Qur’an 31:20)

Since God has only created humankind to worship him, it is due to His mercy that He sent messengers to us and gave us divine wisdom through divinely revealed books. God, the Exalted, says: “And We send not the messengers except as bringers of good tidings and warners. So whoever believes and reforms - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Qur’an 6:48)

God created all things and made them submissive for humankind to make life easier. God, the Exalted says: “It is He who made the earth tame for you - so walk among its slopes and eat of His provision - and to Him is the resurrection.” (Qur’an 67:15)

Intellectual Evidence of Resurrection from the Qur’an

No doubt, the matter of resurrection after death is one that has put fear into the hearts of the vast majority. This fear is not something new; in fact, it is something shared by all nations over the ages. God, the Exalted, says: “Those who disbelieve have claimed that they will never be resurrected. Say, "Yes, by my Lord, you will surely be resurrected; then you will surely be informed of what you did. And that, for Allah, is easy."” (Qur’an 64:7)

The proofs used by those who deny God’s existence are extremely weak and not intellectually acceptable. God, the Exalted, says: “And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, their argument is only that they say, "Bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful."” (Qur’an 45:25)

Denying resurrection is indeed a gateway through which Satan is able to confuse and overcome an individual. In many verses of the Qur’an God encourages man to think, to use his intellect and to consider all that is around him. In themselves, these stand as proofs of God’s existence. God, the Exalted, says: “And the disbeliever says, "When I have died, am I going to be brought forth alive?” Does man not remember that We created him before, while he was nothing?” (Qur’an 66:66-7)

Intellectually speaking, whoever has the ability to form and create something from nothing, should be able to ‘recreate’ it. God is indeed able to bring us back to life after having brought us into it from a mere nothingness. God, the Exalted, says: “And it is He who begins creation; then He repeats it, and that is [even] easier for Him. To Him belongs the highest attribute in the heavens and earth. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Qur’an 30:27)

 

Proofs of God’s Existence:

The verses of the Qur’an should be sufficient enough to convince one of the veracity of Islam and the existence of God. Sound intellect likewise plays an integral role in leading one to this conclusion. In light of this, God, the Exalted, reminds us of the beginning of creation. He, the Exalted, says: “Does man not consider that We created him from a [mere] sperm-drop - then at once he is a clear adversary? And he presents for Us an example and forgets his [own] creation. He says, "Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?" Say, "He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing." ” (Qur’an 36:77-9)

In the following paragraphs, we will outline points that indicate the existence of God:

  1. Ponder the stages of creation. God, the Exalted, says: “Does man think that he will be left neglected? Had he not been a sperm from semen emitted? Then he was a clinging clot, and [Allah] created [his form] and proportioned [him] And made of him two mates, the male and the female. Is not that [Creator] Able to give life to the dead?” (Qur’an 75:36-40)
  2. Ponder the Earth that we see before us. It becomes fertile and grows vegetation after it has seemingly lost its fertility. God, the Exalted, says: “And of His signs is that you see the earth stilled, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and grows. Indeed, He who has given it life is the Giver of Life to the dead. Indeed, He is over all things competent. ” (Qur’an 41:39)
  3. Ponder the world around us, for it is greater than the creation of man. If this does not impede the power of God, then re-creation is a simpler ordeal! God, the Exalted, says: “Do they not see that Allah, who created the heavens and earth and did not fail in their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yes. Indeed, He is over all things competent.” (Qur’an 46:33)
  4. Ponder the sleep we all experience, as this is considered a lesser form of death. When we get up from sleep, it’s similar to coming back from the dead. God, the Exalted, says: “Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. ” (Qur’an 39:42)

 

Life in the Grave:

God, the Exalted, has clarified that He will resurrect all of creation from Prophet Adam to the very last human being. God simply issues the command ‘be’ and it is. To bring this closer to our minds, today with the press of a single button the lights of an entire city light up! In a similar fashion, the command of God will bring back all creation! God, the Exalted, says: “Your creation and your resurrection will not be but as that of a single soul. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.” (Qur’an 31:28)

 

This is the life after death; it is a transitionary stage between the worldly life and the afterlife. God, the Exalted, says: “And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown again, and at once they will be standing, looking on.” (Qur’an 39:68)

In the grave one would remain in a state of constant bliss or constant torment. God, the Exalted, says: “The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening. And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said], "Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment." ” (Qur’an 40:46)

After this, the trumpet will be sounded, after which the Final Hour will be established and all creation will emerge from their graves. God, the Exalted, says: “O humankind, fear your Lord. Indeed, the convulsion of the [final] Hour is a terrible thing. On the Day you see it every nursing mother will be distracted from that [child] she was nursing, and every pregnant woman will abort her pregnancy, and you will see the people [appearing] intoxicated while they are not intoxicated; but the punishment of Allah is severe.” (Qur’an 22:1-2)

Once the trumpet is blown, the pristine balance that has preserved life as we know it will become chaotic. God, the Exalted, describes this saying: “When the sun is folded up, and when the stars lose their light, and when the mountains are moved, when ten-month pregnant camels are left untended, and when all beasts are gathered together, and when the seas are set on fire, when the souls are divided into different classes, and when the female infant buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed, when the records of men's deeds are laid open, when the sky is unveiled, and when Hell is set ablaze, when Paradise is brought close: [then] each soul shall know what it has put forward.  (Qur’an 81:1-14)

Judgment:

On the Day of Resurrection, each of God’s creations will stand awaiting their trial. There will be no injustice on that Day. God, the Exalted, says: “We shall set up scales of justice on the Day of Resurrection, so that no soul can be in the least wronged. Actions as small as a grain of mustard seed shall be weighed. We are sufficient as a reckoner. ” (Qur’an 21:47)

Every nation will be judged on account of what was made lawful for it and what was prohibited upon it. A believer will be rewarded and one who is disobedient will be punished if God so wills. God, the Exalted, says: “The Day will surely come when We shall summon every people with their leader. Then those who are given their records in their right hands will read their records [eagerly] and shall not in the least be wronged: but whoever has been blind in this life will be blind in the life to come, and still farther astray from the path [of truth].” (Qur’an 17:71-2)

Then, each of the creation would have their rights restored if they were among those who were oppressed in this life. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Do you know who the bankrupt is?” The Companions said: “The bankrupt is he who has no money and no assets.” The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Indeed the bankrupt in the Ummah is one who comes on the Day of Resurrection with great amounts of deeds: prayer, fasting, charity, but because he cursed and swore at this person or that person, harmed this person or that person, each would take from his good deeds, until he remains with no good deeds and he would then take of people’s sins, until he is cast into Hell.” (Tirmidthi #2418)

The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “You shall be made to give back due rights to their respective owners, even animals will be dealt with justice, as a horned animal that gorged another would be dealt with by God in a manner of justice.” (Muslim #2582)

After that people would be assembled into two groups; one that would be destined to heaven and the other that is destined to Hell. God, the Exalted says: “And the Day the Hour appears - that Day they will become separated. And as for those who had believed and done righteous deeds, they will be in a garden [of Paradise], delighted. But as for those who disbelieved and denied Our verses and the meeting of the Hereafter, those will be brought into the punishment [to remain].” (Qur’an 30:14-5)

The Everlasting Afterlife:

Believers who have believed in the message given to them by their Prophet/Messenger and obeyed God will be blessed with the Heavenly Garden. In it there is what no eye has seen, no ear has heard of and no mind has thought of. God, the Exalted, says: “For them therein is whatever they wish, [while] abiding eternally. It is ever upon your Lord a promise [worthy to be] requested.” (Qur’an 25:16)

Believers will enjoy themselves and will have their lawful desires fulfilled; they shall not experience any hardship or anything that ruins their pleasure. They will neither urinate nor defecate, and what they consume will come out as sweat that smells like the sweetest scent of musk. No one will be afflicted with any disease or pain. This is what our Prophet, may God praise him, has informed us of.

As for non-believers who deny the Messengers, they will dwell forever in Hell. God, the Exalted, says: “And for those who disbelieve will be the fire of Hell. [Death] is not decreed for them so they may die, nor will its torment be lightened for them. Thus do we recompense every ungrateful one. And they will cry out therein, "Our Lord, remove us; we will do righteousness - other than what we were doing!" But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the warner had come to you? So taste [the punishment].” (Qur’an 35:36-7)

They will experience an everlasting, non-ending punishment. God, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, those who disbelieve in Our verses - We will drive them into a Fire. Every time their skins are roasted through We will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Qur’an 4:56)

This is the start of the true everlasting life. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “When the people of heaven enter into it and the people of hell enter into it, a caller would call out: “O People of Heaven, you shall live therein forever with no death, and O people of Hell, you shall live in it forever with no death.” (Bukhari #4730)

An intellectual would surely prepare himself for this Day. God, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.” (Qur’an 10:44)

 

 

Creation’s Need of a God:

Humankind is in need of a god who they worship. Worship fulfills the spiritual need of one’s body as food would suffice and fulfill the body’s physical needs. Without this divine system of law, the ‘law of the jungle’ would prevail and people would live in a form of total chaos. The strong would prevail and the fittest would survive. Oppression and wrongdoing would be the norm in society.

Indeed our human mindsets are designed by God to accept the notion of a God being present. God, the Exalted, says: “So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.” (Qur’an 30:22)

The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Every child is born in the state of Fitrah (pure human nature) it is their parents (father/mother) that would make them Jewish, Christian or a Majian.” (Bukhari #1358)

Even when this fitrah is broken you find those individuals searching for a higher power that can grant them their wishes, who can help them when they are in need. This is what has been witnessed from previous nations who took gods besides Allah as a focus of their worship. In spite of what they did, the urge within man to turn towards the heavens to have their prayers answered is actually a sign of the Fitrah (innate nature) within man. God, the Exalted, says: “And when adversity touches the people, they call upon their Lord, turning in repentance to Him. Then when He lets them taste mercy from Him, at once a party of them associate others with their Lord,” (Qur’an 30:33)

Also when a person finds himself in a calamity or troubling ordeal, it is here that the falsehood of what they worship would shine forth and the true desire to call upon God alone will come out of that individual. God, the Exalted, says: “And when affliction touches man, he calls upon Us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove from him his affliction, he continues [in disobedience] as if he had never called upon Us to [remove] an affliction that touched him. Thus is made pleasing to the transgressors that which they have been doing” (Qur’an 10:13)

This innate nature once again comes out when the person finds that he has no other option; the ebbing urge within him would compel him to turn to God and ask of Him. God, the Exalted, says “It is He who enables you to travel on land and sea until, when you are in ships and they sail with them by a good wind and they rejoice therein, there comes a storm wind and the waves come upon them from everywhere and they assume that they are surrounded, supplicating Allah, sincere to Him in religion, "If You should save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful." ” (Qur’an 10:22)

The previous nations took gods of stone that they worshipped besides God. The reason they did this was for the sake of becoming religious. Thus, when divine religion was not present, humankind turned in worship to whatever surrounded them. God, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, those you [polytheists] call upon besides Allah are servants like you. So call upon them and let them respond to you, if you should be truthful.” (Qur’an 7:194)

Interestingly idols that are taken for worship besides God would be rejected by the rational mind. It is quite shocking to see people who are well-educated who then worship things that make no sense. God, the Exalted, says: “They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware.” (Qur’an 30:7)

This draws us to the importance of believing in the Oneness of God. This belief is structured to protect an individual and preserve life.

Intellectual Evidence of God’s Oneness

Any ship will go in circles if there is more than one captain running it (who both actively navigate the ship simultaneously). Likewise a company with two competing CEOs would fall into chaos. If this holds true in relation to worldly standards then by right the heavens and the earth cannot have more than one God, for they would fall into chaos. God, the Exalted, says: “Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.” (Qur’an 21:22)

It is common among peers and equals to compete with each other in order to attain the greatest amount of prestige. At times this competition would be very detrimental to the business and can lead it to complete ruin. God, the Exalted, says: “Allah has not taken any son, nor has there ever been with Him any deity. [If there had been], then each deity would have taken what it created, and some of them would have sought to overcome others. Exalted is Allah above what they describe [concerning Him].” (Qur’an 23:91)

This is quite evident among kings of competing kingdoms; each would intend to devastate the other. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, [O Muhammad], "If there had been with Him [other] gods, as they say, then they [each] would have sought to the Owner of the Throne a way."” (Qur’an 17:42)

Servitude in Islam

Islam is the religion of all Prophets and Messengers of God. In reality, Islam simply means that one submit and surrender themselves to the will of God. It also implies that one not associate partners with Him. Servitude to God is the greatest status a human being can fulfill. The more you are in God’s service; the greater you shall experience freedom. God, the Exalted, says: “And Our word has already preceded for Our servants, the messengers, [that] indeed, they would be those given victory. And [that] indeed, Our soldiers will be those who overcome.” (Qur’an 37:171-3)

Servitude to God alone is the law which all Messengers gave their peoples. God, the Exalted, says: “He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].” (Qur’an 42:13)

Due to the importance of this concept in the lives of all people, the Prophet, may God praise him, stayed in Makkah for 13 years preaching to its people the importance of serving God alone. He worked on correcting the erroneous beliefs held by his people. He told them: “O people say ‘there is no god worthy of worship but Allah’ and you shall be successful.” (Majma #6/25)

Servitude to God alone is the cornerstone of divine law; without it, all acts of worship and deeds will only be considered as simple deeds. God, the Exalted, says to Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him: “And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers." Rather, worship [only] Allah and be among the grateful.” (Qur’an 39:65-6)

This is the methodology of the Messenger and his Companions. The Prophet, may God praise him, would send his Companions to spread the religion of Islam and educate people about the rights they owe to God. He told Muadh, one of his Companions, upon sending him to Yemen: “You shall verily approach a People of the Book; when you approach them, call them to the belief in God alone and that Muhammad is His messenger. If they obey you in this, then inform them that Allah has imposed upon them five daily prayers, if they obey you in this, inform them of the obligatory charity, which is to be taken from their rich and returned to their poor. Do not take the most valuable of their possessions as charity and fear the supplication of the one who is oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and God.” (Muslim #19)

God wants to liberate us from servitude of the creation to serving God alone. Our desires should be in conformity to the commandments of God. In this manner, all people will live a peaceful, harmonious existence. God, the Exalted, says: “O you who believe fear Allah and be with those who are truthful.” (Qur’an 9:119)

A person should also make good between himself and his community. The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said: “Shall I not inform you of the believers? A believer is he who others trust their wealth and lives with. A Muslim is one who others are safe from his harm and the Mujahid is one who has strived to worship God and the true Muhajir is one who has abandoned sin.” (Silsilah #549)

Servitude to God alone dictates that one abandon following their fancies and desires that contradict with the teachings given to us by God. God, the Exalted, says: “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers. O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful. ” (Qur’an 49:11-2)

Servitude to God alone improves communities at large, God, the Exalted, says: “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful. ” (Qur’an 3:136)

It also serves to better the environment, God, the Exalted, says: “And cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. And invoke Him in fear and aspiration. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.” (Qur’an 7:56)

It also serves to better our condition politically. God, the Exalted, says: “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Qur’an 60:8)

It also serves to better our economic condition, as God says: “And do not consume one another's wealth unjustly or send it [in bribery] to the rulers in order that [they might aid] you [to] consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know [it is unlawful].” (Qur’an 2:188)

When we intellectually view the concept of serving God, we will clearly see that it organizes our lives and elevates our manners. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Indeed I was sent to perfect the good mannerisms.” (Majma 8/191)

Islam dictates that we spread love, mercy, peace, justice, purity, faithfulness, and do good to all people. These traits are not just to be shown towards humankind, but to animals as well. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “When you are kind to every living creature, there is a reward in that.” (Bukhari #2363)

Staying away from evil deeds such as oppression, theft, cheating, lying, monopolizing items, usury and harming parents is a requirement of faith. God, the Exalted, says: Say, "Come! I will tell you what your Lord has really forbidden you! Do not associate anything with Him; be good to your parents; and do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them, refrain from committing indecent deeds, whether openly or in secret; and do not kill the life which God has made sacred, save by right. That is what He has enjoined upon you, so that you may understand. Stay well away from an orphan's property, except with the best intentions, before he comes of age. Give full measure and weight, according to justice, We never charge a soul with more than it can bear, when you speak, observe justice, even though it concerns a close relative; and fulfil the covenants of God. That is what  (Qur’an 6:151-2)

This is how the Prophet, may God praise him, dealt with those who were oppressive towards him. They had even gone as far as trying to kill him; yet when the Prophet, may God praise him, had the upper hand over them, he let them free. He asked the people of Quraish who had fought against him: “O Quraish, what do you think I will do to you?” They said: “Nothing but good, as you have been a kind and generous brother and nephew.” He said: “Go, you are all free to go!” (Silsilah #1163)

Furthermore, when the Companions came to the Prophet asking him to supplicate against the people of Quraish who had openly harmed him, denounced him and thrown him out of his city, he said: “I have not been sent to curse others, I have been sent as a mercy.” (Muslim #2599)

Servitude to God in Islam is not specific to acts of worship but it is a way of life wherein one surrenders themselves to God and submits to Him. All ones’ acts of worship should be performed for God alone. Allah, the Exalted, says: “Nothing is like unto God and He is the all-hearing, the all-seeing.” (Qur’an 42:11)

In light of this, it should be understood that there are deeds that are not congruent with the concept of servitude to God alone. These deeds (sins) take one away from the circle of servitude. Examples of these actions include the practice of sorcery (i.e. seeking the help of devils) and seeking blessings from the deceased at their graves and believing the dead have a power in bringing goodness or warding away evil. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Indeed among those in the past were a people who took the graves of their Prophets and pious as places of prayer. Indeed do not take the graves as places of worship, Indeed I forbid you from this.” (Bukhari #3453)

The Prophet, may God praise him, commanded his Companions to treat him as God commanded. This entails that no worship be given to him, and no shave of divinity be granted to him. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Do not adulate me as the Christians have adulated the Son of Mary. Indeed I am merely a slave of God, so say the slave of God and His Messenger.” (Bukhari #3445)

This is further confirmed through the narration of Adi bin Hatim, may God be pleased with him, who at the time was a Christian. When he heard the words of Allah: “They took their rabbis and priests as gods besides Allah.” (Qur’an 9:31) He said to the Prophet, may God praise him: “We never worshipped them!” He said: “Did they not prohibit upon you certain things that were lawful? Did they not legalize certain things that were unlawful?” Adi said: “Of course!” The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “This is worship!”

Indeed showing complete servitude to God will make it easier for one to control their desires and one can become a better individual. Distance from this concept has only brought corruption on the earth and has caused a rift between man’s true nature and the role they should be playing. God, the Exalted, says: “Evil has become rife on the land and at sea because of men's deeds; this in order that He may cause them to have a taste of some of their deeds; perhaps they will turn back (from evil).” (Qur’an 30:41)

In the modern world, servitude is not usually shown to God; instead, it is given to systems of law that may condone various forms of oppression. On the other hand, divine law presents us with a unique, complex system that preserves the rights of all individuals. The Prophet, may God praise him, informed us: “Those who show mercy to others shall be shown mercy on the Day of Resurrection.” And he said: “Show mercy to those on earth, you shall be shown mercy by the One Who is in the heavens.” (Tirmidthi#1924)     

Muslims are on varying levels when it comes to realizing the true form of servitude to God within their lives. Muslims are like any other human being. They may be overcome by their desires, and follow their whims. They are not angels, nor are they infallible. Therefore it is erroneous for one to judge Islam by what Muslims do.

The Relationship Between God and His Creation:

God, the Exalted, says: “And if My servants ask you, O Prophet concerning Me, tell them that I am quite near to them. I hear and answer the prayer of the suppliant, when he calls to Me. So let them respond to My call and believe in Me. Convey this to them, O Prophet; perhaps they may be guided aright.” (Qur’an 2:186)

No matter what sins you have committed, and no matter how bad you may be in term of sin, you need not seek acceptance through anyone; you have a direct connection and link to God. God, the Exalted, says: “He who does either evil or wrongs himself, and then asks for the forgiveness of Allah, will find Allah All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.” (Qur’an 4:110)

No matter how many needs you have, Allah becomes happy when you ask of Him. God, the Exalted, says: “Call upon your Lord with humility and in secret. Surely He does not love transgressors.” (Qur’an 7:55)

God never is in need, nor does He stop giving. God, the Exalted, says in a holy narration: “O my servants, If you all, the first of you and the last of you, your Jinn and humankind, stood together on one ground and asked  all that you wanted at once, and Allah was to give what each one wanted, this would not diminish His domain in the least.” (Muslim #2577)

The true God has no need for an intermediary between Himself and His creation. He knows best their condition; He hears them when they call unto Him. He is never overwhelmed by the many needs of His creation. God, the Exalted, says: “Your Lord has said, "Call on Me, and I will answer your prayers." But those who are too arrogant to worship Me will certainly enter Hell, in disgrace.” (Qur’an 40:60)

This is what God has clarified to His servants. They should be weary from those who try to dissuade them from the truth. God, the Exalted, says: “It is to God alone that sincere obedience is due. And those who take other guardians besides Him say, "We serve them only that they may bring us nearer to God." Surely, God will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. God does not guide anyone who is bent on lying and is a disbelieving liar.” (Qur’an 39:3)

The Results of Worshipping Other than Allah

All forms of oppression that are witnessed throughout the world today, whether it be the disunity of the family core, spread of evil, drug abuse, administrative corruption, economic downturns, political upheavals, continuous warfare, and destruction in general is caused by one’s distance from the concept of servitude to God alone. God, the Exalted, says: “If truth had followed their whims and desires, heavens and earth and all that lives in them would have been brought to ruin. Rather We have brought them their Reminder. Yet they keep avoiding their Reminder.” (Qur’an 23:71)

Let it be known that the realization of servitude to God is one that is achieved on an individual basis. Every time the society at large improves and distances itself from evil in general, the closer they would be, on a whole to realizing the true concept of servitude to God. God, the Exalted, says: “God said, "Go down, both of you, from here, as enemies to one another." If there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance will not lose his way, nor will he come to grief,” (Qur’an 20:123)

First Steps in Becoming a True Servant to God

Indeed the first step in showing complete submission and servitude to God is by not associating partners with Him and by obeying His commandments and refraining from His prohibitions. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, "My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for God, the Lord of the worlds.” (Qur’an 6:162)

If one of these elements is missing, one’s submission to God would be incomplete. God, the Exalted, says: “Yet there are some who set up equals with God and adore them with the adoration due to God, but those who believe love God most. If only the wrongdoers could see, as they will see when they face the punishment, that all power belongs to God, and that God is severe in punishment. ” (Qur’an 2:165)

This is what Allah has instilled within all His creation. They all praise Allah, and are submissive to Him by nature. God, the Exalted, says: “The seven heavens and the earth and all who dwell therein glorify Him. There is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise; but you do not understand their glorification. Truly, He is forbearing and most forgiving."” (Qur’an 17:44)

All of Allah’s creation submits to Him willingly and happily. Allah, the Exalted, says: “All who dwell in heavens and on the earth submit to God alone, willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows in the mornings and in the evenings.” (Qur’an 13:15)

In general, all creation submits to Allah, and refuses all forms of Shirk (associating partners to Allah). Allah gave Prophet Solomon son of David, a kingdom that was never given to any of His creation. The winds and Jinn were all submissive to Him. God, the Exalted, says: “We subjected the wind to Solomon; its morning course was a month and its evening course a month; and We caused a fount of molten copper to flow for him. And of the jinn there were some who worked under him, by the command of his Lord. If any one of them turned away from Our command, We would make him taste the punishment of the burning fire. They made for him whatever he desired: palaces and statues, basins like reservoirs, and large cooking vessels fixed in their places. We said, "Give thanks, house of David, for few of My servants are truly grateful."” (Qur’an 34:12-3)

God as well gave him the knowledge of how to talk to animals and birds. God, the Exalted, says: “And when they came to the Valley of the Ants, one ant said, "Ants! Go into your dwellings, in case Solomon and his hosts inadvertently crush you." Solomon smiled broadly at its words and said, "Lord, inspire me to be thankful for the blessings You have granted me and my parents, and to do good deeds that please You; and include me, by Your grace, among Your righteous servants!"” (Qur’an 27:18-9)

Prophet Solomon was very keen on observing the ranks and attendance of his troops. They would bring him the news of people within his kingdom and those beyond. God, the Exalted, informs us of this saying: “Solomon's hosts of jinn and men and birds, were all gathered together in his presence and were ranged in battle order,” (Qur’an 27:17)

One day he did not find among his troops one bird, the Hoopoe. He was very upset with its absence and promised to punish it, as it was late in attending. As he was in this condition, the bird finally arrived and spoke to Prophet Solomon informing him of a queen in the land of Sheba. The bird was amazed that her people were bowing down to the sun instead of God alone. This story is given to us in the Qur’an. God, the Exalted, says: “Then Solomon inspected the birds, and said, "How is it that I do not see the hoopoe? Is he absent then? I shall surely punish him severely or order him to be executed, unless he gives me a good reason for his absence." But he was not long in coming, and said, "I have learnt something you did not know. I have come to you from Sheba with reliable news. I found a woman ruling over them, who has been given everything and she has a mighty throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun, instead of God. Satan has made their conduct appear good to them, and has thus diverted them from the right path, so that they might not be guided. Should they not worship God who brings forth what is hidden in the heavens and earth and knows both what you conceal and what you make known? He is God: there is no deity but He, the Lord of the mighty throne." ” (Qur’an 27:20-6)

The Universal Message of Tawheed (Oneness of God)

Servitude to God alone and worshipping God sincerely is in effect the call of all Prophets and Messengers from Prophet Adam until the final Messenger, Muhammad, may God praise them all. God, the Exalted, says: “We sent all messengers before you with this revelation: "There is no deity save Me, so worship Me alone." ” (Qur’an 21:25)

Besides the fact that each Prophet and Messenger was chosen by God, the fact remains that they are all human beings. They are not to be given any form of worship. God, the Exalted, says: “No one to whom God has given the Scriptures and on whom He has bestowed wisdom and prophethood would say to men, "Worship me instead of God." [He would say rather], "Be devoted servants of God, for you have taught and studied the Scriptures." Nor would he enjoin you to take the angels and the prophets as your lords; how could he command you to be disbelievers after you have submitted to God.” (Qur’an 3:79-80)

The first messenger sent by God after Prophet Adam was Prophet Noah. He lived among his people for 950 years calling them to the path of God openly and privately. God, the Exalted, says: “We sent Noah to his people. He said, "O my people, worship God; you have no other god but He. I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful Day," ” (Qur’an 7:59)

And after that each time a nation faltered away from the path of God, God sent to them Messengers and Prophets who would revive the message of God among them; which is the true Tawheed (i.e. belief in the Oneness of God). God, the Exalted, says: “We raised among every people a messenger who enjoined, "Worship God alone and shun the evil one." Then among them were some whom God guided and among them were others who became deserving of ruin. So travel across the earth and observe what was the end of those who rejected the messengers.” (Qur’an 16:36)

Prophet Abraham, the father of the prophets, debated with his people and tried to reason with them to leave aside worshipping idols. He managed to convince them initially as they began to question what they were doing. God, the Exalted, tells us of his story: “Remember when Abraham said to his father, Azar, "Do you take idols as your gods? I see that you and your people have clearly gone astray." In this way We showed Abraham Our kingdom of the heavens and the earth, so that he might have certainty of faith. When night descended on him, he saw a star. He said, "This is my Lord!" Then when it set he said, "I do not love things that set." When he saw the moon rise and spread its light, he said, "This is my Lord." But when it set, he said, "If my Lord does not guide me, I will be one of the misguided people." Then, when he saw the sun shining, he said, "This is my Lord! This is the greatest of all!" Then when it set, he said, "My people, I disown all that you worship besides God. I have set my face with single-minded devotion, towards Him who has created the heavens and the earth, and I am not one of the polytheists." (Qur’an 6:74-9)

Prophet Yaqoob (Jacob) the father of the children of Israel likewise was very keen on preserving the true faith among his children. He actually gave his kids a living testament and will; he gathered his kids and spoke to them about this. God, the Exalted, informs us of this saying: “Were you present when Jacob faced the hour of death and he asked his sons, "Who will you worship after me?" They answered, "We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac: the one God; we have submitted ourselves to Him." ” (Qur’an 2:133)

Likewise, Prophet Joseph, he too called to this belief. When he was in prison, he started calling the inmates of that prison to the belief in the Oneness of God. God, the Exalted, says: “O my two fellow-prisoners! Are many diverse lords better, or God, the One, the Almighty? All those you worship instead of Him are mere names you and your forefathers have invented, names for which God has sent down no authority: all power belongs to God alone, and He orders you to worship none but Him: this is the true faith, though most people do not realize it. ” (Qur’an 12:39-40)

Likewise Prophet Moses, he too called his people to the Oneness of God. His people, who had just been saved from the Pharaoh, happened to pass by a group who were worshipping an idol and they requested that they too be given an idol to worship and revere. Prophet Moses rebuked them. God, the Exalted, tells us: “We brought the children of Israel across the sea and they came upon a people who were devoted to their idols. They said, "Moses, give us a god just like the gods these people have." He said, "You are indeed an ignorant people: what they are engaged in is doomed to destruction and all their works are in vain." He said, "Shall I seek a deity for you other than God, while it is He who has exalted you above all peoples?” (Qur’an 7:138-140)

As well with Prophet Jesus, he was sent to the children of Israel who had lost their way, and had begun associating partners with God. God, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, they are deniers of the truth who say, "God is the Christ, the son of Mary." For the Christ himself said, "Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord." If anyone associates anything with God, God will forbid him the Garden and the Fire will be his home. The wrongdoers shall have no helpers.” (Qur’an 5:72)

The last of Prophets and Messengers, Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, was sent to his people who had abandoned the belief in the Oneness of God and had begun worshipping inanimate objects. He called them to the path of God for 11 years saying: “So that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, and you shall become successful.” (Majma #6/24)

This is the eternal message that all the messengers were sent with. It is a message to bring people back to the belief in the Oneness of God. Allah, the Exalted, says: “"O my people, worship God, you have no other god but He. Then will you not be God-fearing?"” (Qur’an 7:59)

Start of Shirk (Association of Partners with God)

In the beginning, all humanity was united upon the belief in One God; this was the condition from the time of Prophet Adam until the time of Prophet Noah, among whose people Shirk was rampant. Shirk didn’t suddenly occur; rather, it was in a state of “continuous evolution”. Pious individuals were revered too much and pictures and idols were erected to remind people of their piety. As generations passed, people had forgotten why the idols and pictures existed, and then began worshipping them at the ebbing of Satan. God, the Exalted, says: “And they said [to their followers], "Do not ever abandon your deities: abandon neither Wadd, nor Suwa', and neither Yaghuth, nor Yauq nor Nasr!"” (Qur’an 71:23)

The Companion Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “These idols held the names of the pious predecessors of that nation. When they died, Satan whispered to the people to erect idols and pictures to remind them of their piety; and to call the idols by the names of the pious ones who had passed away. They did this, and when this generation passed away, people began worshipping the idols.”

The presence of Shirk among humanity today is indeed an indication of the need of creation to return to the solid belief in the Oneness of God. This is not easily done, as ample time has passed and Satan has beautified evil to those who do it. What we will do here is clarify certain aspects of Shirk, so that the reader may be aware of them:

  1. Worshipping pious individuals, as the people of Prophet Noah did. God, the Exalted, says: “And they said [to their followers], "Do not ever abandon your deities: abandon neither Wadd, nor Suwa', and neither Yaghuth, nor Yauq nor Nasr!" (Qur’an 71:23)
  2. Worshipping idols, stones and other inanimate objects. This is the Shirk of the people of Prophet Abraham. They would craft for themselves gods that they worshipped. God, the Exalted, says: “but he said, "How can you worship things you carve with your own hands, when it is God who has created you and all your handiwork?"” (Qur’an 37:95-6)
  3. Worshipping the stars, sun and other heavenly bodies. This was the Shirk of the people of Saba’ during the reign of Prophet Solomon, may God praise him. God, the Exalted, says: “I found her and her people worshipping the sun, instead of God. Satan has made their conduct appear good to them, and has thus diverted them from the right path, so that they might not be guided.” (Qur’an 27-24)
  4. Worshipping human beings. This was done by the Pharaoh, who subjugated his people into worshipping him. God, the Exalted, says: “Pharaoh said, "O nobles, I know of no god for you other than myself. So, Haman, burn me bricks of clay, and build me a high tower, so that I may have a look at the God of Moses, though I consider him to be one of the liars."” (Qur’an 28:38)
  5. Worshipping animals. This was done by the people of Prophet Moses. God, the Exalted, says: “Then he forged a calf for them -- an image producing a lowing sound. They said, "This is your deity, the deity of Moses; he has forgotten it." Why did they not see that it could not give them any response and had no power to harm or benefit them? Aaron had already told them, "O my people! You are only being tested by this. Your Lord is the All Merciful, so follow me and obey my command." They replied, "We shall not cease to worship it until Moses returns to us." ” (Qur’an 20:88-91)
  6. Worshipping Prophets and Messengers, as was practiced by Jews and Christians. God, the Exalted, says: “The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of God," and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of God." These are but their baseless utterances. They imitate the assertions made in earlier times by those who deny the truth. May God destroy them! How far astray they have been led!” (Qur’an 9:30)
  7. Worshipping trees, as was the practice of the People of Shu’ayb, may Allah praise him. God, the Exalted, says: “The dwellers of the forest also rejected the messengers. Shu'ayb said to them, "Will you not fear God? I am a trustworthy messenger to you: so fear God, and obey me.” (Qur’an 26:176-9)
  8. Worshipping stones and idols, as was the practice of the pre-Islamic Arabs. God, the Exalted, says: “Have you really considered al-Lat and al-"Uzza, and the third one, Manat? "What! For you the males and for Him the females?" That indeed is an unfair division -- these are nothing but names which you yourselves have devised, you and your forefathers. God has sent down no authority for them. They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own selves desire, even though guidance has already come to them from their Lord!” (Qur’an 53:19-23)

As is clear from this, the source of Shirk among all nations is that one adulates or over-praises something; this would eventually lead to Shirk. This is what the Prophet, may God praise him, clarified to Umm Habibah and Umm Salamah, when they described to the Prophet a Church they had seen in Ethiopia, known as the Church of Maria. It contained many images and amazing sculptures. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Whenever a pious man would die from among them, they would mark the place of his death by erecting a temple. And those images would be placed within them. They are the most evil of all on the Day of Resurrection.” (Nasa’ie #703)

Reasons for Servitude to Other than God

God, the Exalted, has informed us that one of the methods of acquiring knowledge is through the senses we have been gifted with; be it through means of vision, hearing, intellect and as well by what we witness around us in the world. God, the Exalted, says: “God brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and hearts, so that you might be grateful.” (Qur’an 16:78)

It is through these god-given senses that one can understand and contemplate what surrounds them. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, "Look at whatever [exists] in heavens and on earth." But signs and warnings do not benefit the unbelievers. ” (Qur’an 10:101)

For this reason the majority of the verses in the Qur’an appeals to one’s senses. One is encouraged to contemplate; an individual and all that surrounds him cannot be the mere result of a freak accident or chance. There must be a God that created and brought all this into existence! God, the Exalted, says: “Were they created out of nothing, or are they their own creators? Did they create the heavens and the earth? No! They have no faith.” (Qur’an 52:35-6)

At times God addresses people of intellect so that they use their god given intellect to find the truth. God, the Exalted, says: “In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the ocean bearing cargoes beneficial to man; in the water which God sends down from the sky and with which He revives the earth after its death, scattering over it all kinds of animals; in the courses of the winds, and in the clouds pressed into service between earth and sky, there are indeed signs for people who use their reason.” (Qur’an 2:164)

At times, verses of the Qur’an direct us to ponder the amazing creation that surrounds us. God, the Exalted, says: “One of His signs is that He created you from dust and, behold, you became human beings and multiplied yourselves throughout the earth. Another of His signs is that He created for you from among yourselves spouses, so that you might find repose in them, and He created between you affection and kindness. Truly there are signs in this for people who reflect. Another of His signs is that He created the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your languages and colors. There truly are signs in this for those who know. Among His signs are your sleep, at night or in daytime, and your seeking His bounty. There truly are signs in this for people who hear. Among His signs is this: He shows you the lightning, giving rise to [both] fear and hope, and sends down water from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless: in this, behold, there are signs indeed for people who use their reason! Another of His signs is this: the heavens and the earth stand firm by His command and afterwards when He calls you, behold, from the earth you will come forth.” (Qur’an 30:20-5)

At times God commands us to be attentive and aware of things that occur around us. God, the Exalted, says: “He has created the skies without any support that you could see, and has placed firm mountains upon the earth, lest it sway with you, and has caused all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon. And We sent down water from the skies, and thus We made every kind of excellent plant grow there: this is God's creation. Show me then what those besides Him have created! The wrongdoers are in manifest error.” (Qur’an 30:10-1)

At times God commands us to listen and then reason and accept the truth. He, the Exalted, says: “It is He who has made the night dark for you so that you may rest in it, and the day a source of light. Surely, there are signs in this for a people who listen.” (Qur’an 10:67)

At times the verses instruct us to heed from what we see around us. God, the Exalted, says: “There is also a lesson for you in cattle. From the contents of their bellies, from between the dung and blood, We give you pure milk to drink, pleasant for those who drink it.” (Qur’an 16:66)

God, the Exalted, also says: “We let loose fertilizing winds, and bring water from the sky for you to drink; and you could not have stored it up for yourselves.” (Qur’an 15:22)

God, the Exalted, says: “He has set the two oceans in motion, converging together. (19) Between them is a barrier, which they do not overrun. (20) Which of your Lord's wonders would you deny? ” (Qur’an 55:19-22)

God, the Exalted, also says: “On the earth are diverse tracts, adjoining one another: vineyards and cornfields and groves of palm, the single and the clustered. Their fruits are nourished by the same water; yet We make the taste of some excel that of others. In this also are signs for people who understand.” (Qur’an 13:4)

Indeed Allah, the Exalted, has clarified to us the main reasons for the spread of servitude to other than God, and we have to be aware of these so that we don’t fall into them ourselves.

These reasons are as follows:

1. Blind following of one’s forefathers; such that the acts of worship they did would be emulated and their habits implemented even if they are false. God has chastised nations who have done this, as they should have questioned the veracity of their beliefs with their god-given faculties of understanding. God, the Exalted, says: “When it is said to them, "Come to what God has sent down and to the Messenger." They reply, "The faith we have inherited from our fathers is sufficient for us." Even though their forefathers knew nothing and were not guided!” (Qur’an 5:104)

2. Blind following of one’s scholars and religious clergy; such that their statements would be taken blindly without any form of review. God, the Exalted, says: “They have taken their learned men and their monks for their lords besides God. So have they taken the Messiah, son of Mary, although they were commanded to worship only the One God. There is no deity but He. He is far above whatever they set up as His partners!” (Qur’an 9:31)

One is only to be obedient when it comes to following that which is good. As well, it should be known that the truth is not synonymous with what the majority do. God, the Exalted, says: “If you obey the majority of those on earth, they will lead you astray from God's way. They follow nothing but conjecture. They are only guessing.” (Qur’an 6:116)

3. Blind obedience to rulers and people of power. At times, in the path of seeking nearness to them, one would do the inappropriate to attain some of the wealth and prestige they have. God, the Exalted, says: “God has rejected those who deny the truth and prepared for them a blazing Fire. There they will live forever, and they will find therein neither friend nor helper. On the Day when their faces are turned over in the Fire, they shall say: "Oh, would that we had obeyed God, and obeyed the Messenger!" They shall say, "Our Lord, we paid heed to our leaders and our elders, but they led us away from the right path. Our Lord, give them double punishment and curse them with a mighty curse."” (Qur’an 33:64-8)

4. Following one’s desires, as these are beautified by Satan. God, the Exalted, says: “If they do not respond to you, then know that they follow only their own desires. Who could be more astray than he who follows his own likes and dislikes with no guidance from God? God does not guide the evil-doers.” (Qur’an 28:50)

5. Arrogance. There are those who know the signs of God yet out of arrogance refuse to accept them. This was the case of Pharaoh when Moses showed him the truth. He refused to accept it. God, the Exalted, says: “Pharaoh said, "What is this: Lord of the Universe?" Moses said, "Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if only you would be convinced." Pharaoh said to those around him, "Did you hear?" Moses went on, "He is your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers." Pharaoh said, "This messenger who has been sent to you is surely possessed!" Moses said, "He is the Lord of the East and the West, and all that lies between them, if only you could understand." Pharaoh said, "If you take any deity other than myself, I will throw you into prison," and Moses asked, "Even if I show you a clear sign?" Pharaoh said, "Show it then, if you are telling the truth!" So Moses threw down his staff and suddenly it appeared as a serpent, plainly visible. And he drew out his hand, and it appeared [shining] white to the beholders. Pharaoh said to the chiefs around him, "Surely this man is a skilful sorcerer.” (Qur’an 26:23-33)

This arrogance is usually removed when one experiences weakness. This is what happened with the Pharaoh, when the waves began crushing around him and his troops were drowning. He called out to God as God tells us: “So We brought the Children of Israel across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them arrogantly and aggressively. When he was about to drown, [Pharaoh] exclaimed, "I believe that there is no deity save Him in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those who surrender themselves to Him!", "Only now? When you had always been a rebel, and a wrongdoer. So We shall save your body this day, so that you may serve as a sign for those who come after you: for many people are indeed heedless of Our signs." ” (Qur’an 10:90-2)

Likewise one may simply refuse servitude to God out of stubbornness and not comply. This indicates one’s ignorance of God. God, the Exalted, says: “And they persisted in rejecting them wrongfully and arrogantly, while in their hearts they were convinced of their truth. Observe, then, how evil was the fate of the evil-doers.” (Qur’an 27:14)

6. Personal gain. At times a person accepts worship and servitude from others on account of personal gain; whether this gain be social, economical, religious, or political. God, the Exalted, says: “Believers, many religious scholars and monks wrongfully appropriate people's possessions and turn people away from God's path! Tell those who hoard gold and silver instead of giving in God's cause that they will have a painful punishment:” (Qur’an 9:34)

7. When one over-indulges in the beauties of this life and then on account of that forgets the purpose of his creation. God, the Exalted, says reminding us: “For it has been thus whenever We sent a warner to any community. Its affluent ones said, "We reject what you have been sent with." They say, "We have more wealth and children; and we are surely not going to be punished." Say to them, "My Lord increases the provision for whoever He pleases and decreases it for whoever He pleases; but most people do not know it." It is not your wealth or your children that will confer on you nearness to Us. It is those who believe and act righteously who will be doubly rewarded for their good deeds, and will dwell in peace in the high pavilions [of paradise], while those who strive to thwart Our messages, seeking to defeat their purpose, shall be summoned to punishment.” (Qur’an 34:34-8)

8. Ignorance. This is among the greatest forms of evil inherent within man. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, [O Muhammad], "Is it other than Allah that you order me to worship, O ignorant ones?” (Qur’an 39:64)

 

Danger of Worshipping Other than Allah:

All sins that an individual does would be forgiven by the will of God. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, [God says] "O My servants, who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of God's mercy, for God surely forgives all sins. He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 39:53)

God forgives all sins, except Shirk (associating partners with Allah). This is the gravest sin man can commit, and the one who dies without repenting to God from it, will be punished eternally in Hell. God, the Exalted, says: “Surely, God will not forgive the ascribing of partners to Him. He forgives whoever He will for anything other than that. Whoever ascribes partners to God has strayed far indeed.” (Qur’an 4:116)

No matter how many sins one commits, and how hefty one’s scales will be in this regard, as long as one does not commit Shirk, they will find God oft-forgiving and merciful. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Whoever performs a good deed will receive 10 times equal to its reward or more. Whoever performs a sin, it will be recorded as a single sin or it may be forgiven. Whoever does an earth load of sin and then meets God while not associating any partners to Him, will be given an equal amount of forgiveness.” (Tabrani 7/367)

The only sin that will prevent one from being saved through intercession is Shirk. God, the Exalted, says: “and We shall take all that they did and turn it into scattered dust.” (Qur’an 25:23)

When looking at our condition today, we can easily spot many forms of shirk manifesting in different societies. There are those who worship animate and inanimate objects. Beyond this, even among Muslims, certain forms of Shirk, have become manifest. Some Muslims will call upon a deceased saint or individual. God, the Exalted, says: “And who is more misguided than one who invokes, besides God, such as will not answer him until the Day of Resurrection, and who [in fact] are not even aware of his call, ” (Qur’an 46:5)

It is on account of this that Islam has prohibited all things that would lead to Shirk. Whatever leads to Shirk is prohibited to preserve humanities integrity in their belief. God, the Exalted, says: “If you ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they will surely reply, "God." Say, "Consider those you invoke besides Him: if God wished to harm me, could they undo that harm? Or if God wished to show me mercy, could they withhold that mercy?" Say, "God is sufficient for me. In Him let the faithful put their trust."” (Qur’an 39:38)

 

The Reality of What is Worshipped Besides Allah

All things that are worshipped besides God cannot create the smallest being! God, the Exalted, says: “People, here is an illustration. So listen carefully. Surely, those whom you invoke other than God cannot create even a fly, even if they were all to combine together to do it, and if a fly should snatch anything away from them, they cannot recover it from it. Both are indeed weak, the seeker and the sought.” (Qur’an 22:73)

The Qur’an has clarified to us in many verses that the provisions and means of sustenance are all in the Hands of Allah. There is no comparison between the Creator of all things and the created. There is a vast difference between the One True God and the false deities that are worshipped instead of the true God! In the Pre-Islamic Era, the Arabs living in the Arabian Peninsula would craft their idols from almost anything. At times, they would designate food items as gods! One Companion, Abu Raja al-Utaridi, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Before Islam, we worshipped idols. If we could not find an idol, we would take some dirt and mix it with milk to shape it into an idol and then fall in prostration towards it!” 

People of intellect are quick to realize the fallacy of this action. Once Abu Dharr, who before Islam worshipped a wooden idol, saw a fox urinating on the head of his statue. It was at that moment that he realized that he was worshipping something that could not even defend itself!

 

He sang the following lines of poetry:

A god upon whom a fox urinates, indeed is unworthy and deserves humiliation.  

If it was a true god, it would defend itself!

I have announced this day forth that I am innocent of any idol worship

and now believe in the One Almighty God.

It is with this mindset that people can contemplate and return to that which is proper. We should critically think about what we worship. God, the Exalted, says: “Do they associate with Him those who create nothing and are themselves created? They can give them no help, nor can they help themselves. It makes no difference whether you call on them or remain silent. If you call them to the right path, they will not follow you. Those whom you call on besides God are but creatures like yourselves. Call upon them, then, and let them respond to you, if what you say is true. Have they feet to walk with? Have they hands to hold with? Have they eyes to see with? Have they ears to hear with? Say, "Call upon those you associate with God as partners, then all of you contrive against me and give me no respite. My protector is God who sent down the Book, for it is He who protects the righteous. Those whom you call on besides Him have no power to help you, nor can they help themselves." If you call them to the right path, they will not hear you. You find them looking towards you, but they do not see you.” (Qur’an 7:191-8)

A sane mind will dictate that one look and explore his surroundings to see what God has created therein and that one worship Allah, the One who has no partners. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, "All praise be to God, and peace be upon those servants of His whom He has chosen. Is God better, or what they associate with Him? Who created the heavens and the earth and sends down water for you from the sky, by which We make luxuriant gardens grow, you could never make such trees grow in them, is it another deity besides God? No indeed, but they are a people who equate others with Him. Who is it that made the earth a stable place to live in? Who made rivers flow through it? Who set mountains upon it and placed a barrier between the two seas? Is there another deity besides God? Indeed, most of them have no knowledge. Who responds to the oppressed when he calls out to Him, and relieves his suffering and who will make you inheritors of the earth? Then, is there a god besides God? How little you pay heed! Who guides you in the darkness of the land and sea? Who sends the breezes as heralds of His mercy? Then, is there a deity besides God? Exalted is God above what they associate with Him. Who originates creation, then regenerates it, and who gives you sustenance from heaven and earth? Then, is there a deity besides God?" Say, "Bring forward your proofs, if you are telling the truth." Say, "No one in the heavens and the earth has knowledge of the unseen except God." They do not know when they will be raised up again.” (Qur’an 27:59-65)

The Reality of What is Worshipped Besides Allah:

In the Qur’an God clarifies to us that attributes of perfection belong to God alone. None of His creation share these qualities with Him. Of these attributes:

  1. God is all-knowing; His knowledge encompasses all things. God, the Exalted, says: “Those who deny the truth declare, "The Hour will never come upon us." Say, "Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come upon you! Who knows the unseen. Not the smallest particle in the heavens or the earth, or anything less or greater than that escapes Him; all is recorded in an open Book.” (Qur’an 34:3)

The creation is ignorant in this respect and does not possess all-encompassing knowledge. It may be aware of some of what occurs, but not the complete whole. God, the Exalted, says: “Those whom you call on besides God are but creatures like yourselves. Call upon them, then, and let them respond to you, if what you say is true.” (Qur’an 7:194)

  1. God is completely capable; nothing impedes His power and all are submissive to Him. God, the Exalted, says: “Do they not see that God, who has created heavens and earth, is able to create the like of them? He has appointed a definite term for them; there is no doubt about it, but the wrongdoers persist in denying the truth.” (Qur’an 17:99)
  2. God owns the kingdom of both the heavens and the earth. God, the Exalted, says: “To God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; on the Day when the Hour comes, those who follow falsehood will be the losers. ” (Qur’an 45:27)
  3. God has created all things from nothing. God, the Exalted, says: “This is God, your Lord, there is no God but Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him; He is the guardian of all things.” (Qur’an 6:102)
  4. All creation is powerless without God. Nothing stands independent of Him. God, the Exalted, says: “Call upon those whom you set up beside God! They possess not an atom's weight either in the heavens or on the earth, nor have they any share in either, nor has He any helpers among them.’(Qur’an 34:22)
  5. God is the one who has taken care of all the affairs of the creation. God, the Exalted, says: “Truly, your Lord is God who created the heavens and the earth in six days [periods], then He ascended the Throne, disposing the whole affair. No one may intercede with Him save with His permission. Such is God, your Lord, so worship Him alone. Will you not take heed?” (Qur’an 10:3)
  6. God is the provider and sustainer of all creation. He is the one who has complete power. God, the Exalted, says: “How many creatures cannot fend for themselves! God provides for them and for you. He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing. ” (Qur’an 29:60)
  7. God is the One who provides sustenance. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, "Who provides [sustenance] for you from heaven and earth? Who is it who controls the ears and the eyes? Who brings forth the living from the dead, and the dead from the living? And who governs all affairs?" They will say, "God". Then say, "Will you not then fear Him? ” (Qur’an 10:31)
  8. God is the ‘ever-living’. He never experiences death or any displeasure that we experience in life. God has no beginning or end. He has no partner, rival or equal. God, the Exalted, says: “He is the Living One. There is no deity save Him. So pray to Him, making religion pure for Him [only]. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Universe! ” (Qur’an 40:65)

Things that are worshipped besides God are all susceptible to conditions of life. They may be ruined, destroyed, fall ill or die. Thus, these human conditions make them unworthy of any form of worship. God, the Exalted, says: “Invoke no god other than God, for there is no god but Him. All things are bound to perish except Himself. His is the judgment, and to Him you shall be returned. ” (Qur’an 28:88)

  1. God is the one who gives life and takes it away (causing death). He does this to whomever He wills of His creation. God, the Exalted, says: “Surely to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth. He gives life and death. You have none besides God to protect or help you. ” (Qur’an 9:116)
  2. God has perfect hearing and sight. Nothing impedes his vision or hearing. God, the Exalted, says: “Who responds to the oppressed when he calls out to Him, and relieves his suffering and who will make you inheritors of the earth? Then, is there a god besides God? How little you pay heed!” (Qur’an 27:62)

The Reality of What is Worshipped on the Day of Resurrection:

God, the Exalted, explains to us the end result of all things that are worshipped besides Him. He, the Exalted, says: “You and what you worship instead of God will be fuel for hell: to it you shall all come -- if those had really been deities, they would not have been led there; but there they will remain forever. They shall groan. They will not hear therein anything else.” (Qur’an 21:98-100)

God, the Exalted, further says: “Who does a greater wrong than he who invents lies against God or rejects His revelations? Such people will have what has been decreed for them. And when Our messengers come to them to take away their souls, they shall ask them, "Where are those you used to call upon besides God?" They will answer, "They have deserted us;" and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers?” (Qur’an 7:37)

He, the Exalted, also says: “On that Day He will say to them, "Call on those whom you thought to be My partners." And they will call on them, but their prayer will not be heard; and We shall place a barrier [of enmity] between them.” (Qur’an 18:52)

Those who were worshipped and never accepted worship from their followers would denounce those who worshipped them. God, the Exalted, informs us of this saying: “On the Day when We gather them all together, We shall say to those who ascribed partners to God, "Keep to your places, you and your partners!" Then We shall separate them from one another and their partner-gods will say, "It was not us that you worshipped.” (Qur’an 10:28)

On the Day of Resurrection those who were worshipped and those who worshipped them would fight among themselves. God, the Exalted, says: “They have taken other deities besides God, so that they may be a source of strength for them. But they shall reject their worship and turn against them.” (Qur’an 19:81-2)

In certain situations both the worshipped and those who were worshipped will be in Hell. God, the exalted, says: “You and what you worship instead of God will be fuel for hell: to it you shall all come -- if those had really been deities, they would not have been led there; but there they will remain forever.” (Qur’an 21:98-9)

Fruits of Serving God Alone

Serving God is indeed a positive step in the life of any individual. It makes them positive and healthy members of society. God, the Exalted, says: “Believers, violate neither the sanctity of God's signs, the Sacred Month, the sacrificial animals, the animals wearing garlands [indicating they are to be sacrificed] nor those on their way to the Sacred House seeking the bounty and pleasure of their Lord. When, on completion of your pilgrimage, you take off the garb of the pilgrim, you may hunt. Do not let the enmity of those who barred you from the Sacred Mosque lead you into sin. Help one another in goodness and in piety. Do not help one another in sin and transgression. Fear God! God is severe in punishment.” (Qu’ran 5:2)

The belief that God is aware of all that we do would compel one to better uphold their obligations. God, the Exalted, says: “He is aware of the stealthiest glance, and of all that the hearts conceal.” (Qur’an 40:19)

Through this divine system, one would be able to positively condition their behavior and manners. God, the Exalted, says: “Be tolerant, enjoin what is right and avoid the ignorant.” (Qur’an 7:199)

In general, Islam modifies one’s behavior in a positive manner. God, the Exalted, says: “Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and show kindness to your parents. If either or both of them attain old age with you, say no word of contempt to them and do not rebuke them, but always speak gently to them and treat them with humility and tenderness and say, "Lord, be merciful to them both, as they raised me up when I was little." Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts; if you are righteous, He is most forgiving to those who constantly turn to Him. Give to your relatives their due, and also to the needy and the wayfarer. Yet do not spend extravagantly;  the wasteful are the brothers of Satan, and Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord -- but if, while waiting for your Lord's bounty which you are expecting, you turn them down, then at least speak to them kindly. Be neither miserly, nor so open-handed that you suffer reproach and become destitute. Your Lord gives abundantly to whom He will and sparingly to whom He pleases. He is informed and observant about His servants. You shall not kill your offspring for fear of want. It is We who provide for them, and for you. Indeed, killing them is a great sin. Do not commit adultery, for it is an indecent thing and an evil course. Do not take life which God has made inviolate -- except by right. If anyone is killed wrongfully, We have given authority to his heirs to demand retribution, but let them not transgress the prescribed limits in exacting retribution; for then he will be assisted [by the law]. Do not go near the orphans' property, except with the best of intentions, until they reach maturity. Keep your promises; you will be called to account for every promise which you have made! Give full measure, when you measure, and weigh with accurate scales. That is fair, and better in the end. Do not follow what you do not know; for the ear and the eye and the heart shall all be called to account. Do not walk proudly on the earth. You cannot cleave the earth, nor can you rival the mountains in height. All that is evil in the sight of your Lord, and is detestable. ” (Qur’an 17:23-38)

God, the Exalted, also says: “Tell My servants that they should always say what is best. Satan stirs up discord among them. Surely, Satan is an outright enemy to man. ” (Qur’an 17:53)

Islam sets forth guidelines that improve the quality of society. It works to preserve one’s life, wealth, intellect and offspring. God, the Exalted, says: “We prescribed for them in [the Torah]: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and a wound for a wound. But, if anyone forgoes it, this shall be for him an expiation. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are wrongdoers!” (Qur’an 5:45)

It organizes political relations and encourages one to be a good neighbor. God, the Exalted, says: “Humankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes, so that you might come to know each other. The noblest of you in God's sight is the one who fears God most. God is all knowing and all-aware.” (Qur’an 49:13)

God, the Exalted, only sent his Prophet Muhammad to humankind as a mercy to them. Whoever obeys him would have obeyed God. They would then be given of the bounty and mercy of God in both this life and in the next. God, the Exalted, says: “We have sent you forth as a mercy to all humankind. ” (Qur’an 21:107)

This is the call of the Prophet, and this is his faith. He was sent to guide creation to the servitude of God alone. God, the Exalted, says: “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation and reason with them in a way that is best. Your Lord knows best those who have strayed away from His path, and He knows best those who are rightly guided. ” (Qur’an 16:125)

One’s servitude should be for God alone. When this is upheld, justice will prevail. In the Prophetic narration, it states that a woman was punished in Hell on account of her harshness towards a cat. She had tied it so that it would starve to death. Another entered the Heavenly Garden on account of her kindness towards a dog; she gave it water when it was thirsty. Another was granted the Heavenly garden on account of him removing harmful objects from the path of people. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, "My Lord has commanded you to act justly. Turn your faces up toward Him at every time and place of worship, and call upon Him, making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion. As He brought you into being, so shall you return." ” (Qur’an 7:29)

Being Neighborly is a Result of True Servitude to God

We are commanded to treat our neighbors well. God, the Exalted, says: “He does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you on account of your faith or driven you out of your homes: God loves the just.” (Qur’an 60:8)

God, the Exalted, also says: “If any one of the polytheists seeks asylum with you, grant him asylum so that he may hear the word of God; then convey him to a place of safety. That is because they are a people who have no knowledge.” (Qur’an 9:6)

One is prohibited from cheating and tricking non-believers. God, the Exalted, says: “And if you learn of treachery on the part of any people, throw their treaty back at them, so as to be on equal terms, for God does not love the treacherous. ” (Qur’an 8:58)

One is to return all entrusted items to their rightful owners. God, the Exalted, says: “God commands you to hand back your trusts to their rightful owners, and when you judge between people, to judge with fairness. God's instructions to you are excellent. God hears and sees all things.” (Qur’an 4:58)

One is never to betray a trust or treaty. God, the Exalted, says: “As for those who have honored the treaty you made with them and who have not supported anyone against you: fulfill your agreement with them to the end of their term. God loves those who are righteous. ” (Qur’an 9:4)

One is to be fair towards non-believers and not oppress anyone. God, the Exalted, says: “Believers, be steadfast in the cause of God and bear witness with justice. Do not let your enmity for others turn you away from justice. Deal justly; that is nearer to being God-fearing. Fear God. God is aware of all that you do.” (Qur’an 5:8)

One is to establish a peaceful coexistence, whereby all can live amicably. God, the Exalted, says: “Then if they should be inclined to make peace, make peace with them, and put your trust in God. Surely, it is He who is All Hearing and All Knowing. ” (Qur’an 8:61)

Submitting to God:

Islam gives a believer certainty and a sense of true reliance upon God. This is beautifully exemplified in the story of Prophet Moses, may God praise him, who fled from the Pharaoh with his people and they arrived at a great body of water. It seemed to those who were with him that this was the end, but in fact, with the power of Moses’s certainty, God gave him a way out. God, the Exalted, informs us of what happened: “Pharaoh and his people pursued them at sunrise, and when the two groups saw each other, Moses' companions said, "We are sure to be overtaken." Moses replied, "No, My Lord is with me, and He will guide me." Then We bade Moses strike the sea with his staff. And it parted, and each part was like a huge mountain. In the meantime We made the others approach that place. We delivered Moses and all those who were with him,  then We drowned the others. Surely in that there is a sign; yet most of them do not believe:” (Qur’an 26:60-8)

With firm belief one will achieve true faith. The Prophet, may God praise him, said: “Know that if the entire nation were to gather to benefit you, they would not benefit you in something except if it has been ordained by God. If they gather to harm you, they will not harm you in anything except in that which God has ordained.’ (Ahmed #4/233)

This is similar to what God says in the Qur’an: “No affliction can befall man but by God's permission -- He guides the hearts of those who believe in Him: God has knowledge of all things --” (Qur’an 64:11)

One day Ibn Abbas, a Companion, was riding behind the Prophet, may God praise him, and he said to him: “O Ibn Abbas be content with what God has decreed. If it is discomforting for you, know that it has been ordained in the Book of God.” He then instructed him to read the verse: “You may dislike something although it is good for you, or like something although it is bad for you: God knows but you do not.” (Qur’an 2:216)

Servitude to God makes one more appreciative and patient. This story is best retold through what happened during the Pharaoh’s time. The sorcerers believed in God and the Pharaoh promised to torture them; instead of losing faith, they became stronger as they found peace in their new found religion. God, the Exalted, says: “The magicians then prostrated themselves. They said, "We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses." Pharaoh said, "Have you believed in him before I permit you? He must be your master who has taught you magic. I will cut your hands and feet off on opposite sides, and have you crucified on the trunks of palm-trees. You shall know whose punishment is more severe and more lasting." They said, "Never shall we prefer you to all the evidence of the truth that has come to us. Nor to Him who has brought us into being. So decide whatever you will. Your jurisdiction only covers the life of this world -- we have believed in our Lord so that He may forgive us our sins and forgive us the sorcery that you have forced us to practice. God is the best and the most abiding." Indeed, he who comes to his Lord a sinner shall be consigned to Hell; he shall neither die therein nor live.” (Qur’an 20:70-4)

God honors His servants when they submit with servitude to Him. God, the Exalted, says: “For God is with those who are righteous and those who do good.” (Qur’an 16:128)

Satan has no power over those who submit to God. God, the Exalted, says: “Surely, you shall have no power over My true servants, except those misguided ones who choose to follow you.” (Qur’an 15:42)

Those who submit to God will experience tranquility and true peace. God, the Exalted, says: “To one who fears God, He will grant a way out [of his difficulties], and God will provide for him from an unexpected source; God suffices for anyone who puts his trust in Him. God will surely bring about what He decrees. He has set a measure for all things.” (Qur’an 65:2-3)

Servitude to God puts rest to all fears. God, the Exalted, says: “They returned home with God's favor and blessings, without having been touched by evil; for they pursued God's pleasure. And God's bounty is infinite. It is Satan who instills fear [into you] of his followers; do not fear them. But fear Me, if you are true believers.” (Qur’an 3:173-4)

Final Words:

No doubt all humanity has come forth from a single individual, Prophet Adam. God, the Exalted, says: “O humankind! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. He created its mate from it and from the two of them spread countless men and women [throughout the earth]. Fear God, in whose name you appeal to one another, and be mindful of your obligations in respect of ties of kinship. God is always watching over you.” (Qur’an 4:1)

Logically speaking, since we are from one father, our faith should be the same as well. God, the Exalted, says: “Humankind was only one community, but then they differed, and had it not been for a prior word from your Lord, their differences would have been settled for them.  (Qur’an 10:19)

God made us into peoples and tribes, races and ethnicities. God, the Exalted, says: “Humankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes, so that you might come to know each other. The noblest of you in God's sight is the one who fears God most. God is all knowing and all-aware. ” (Qur’an 49:13)

He also says: “Another of His signs is that He created the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your languages and colors. There truly are signs in this for those who know.” (Qur’an 30:22)

Invitation:

With this, we invite non-Muslims, to the servitude of God alone. No doubt, for some, this book may be the initial step in an enlightening journey.

 

At the onset of this journey, we would like to highlight that the message of God in the Qur’an is not specific to the Arabs or a nation by itself. It is a religion that is for all creation and is general for humankind at large.

 

We are willing to help in this search and are ready to provide you (the reader) with any resource material that may be needed.

 

We would like finally to inform you that our religion commands us to be respectful of all faiths. God, the Exalted, says: “Do not revile those [beings] whom they invoke instead of God, lest they, in their hostility, revile God out of ignorance. Thus to every people We have caused their actions to seem fair. To their Lord they shall all return, and He will declare to them all that they have done.  (Qur’an 6:108)

 

 

 

 


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Servitude is Due to God Alone

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