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Smashing the Idols

Idolatry is a lifestyle common to those who grow up in societies that do not know the true religion. Heedless of Allah, they ignorantly adopt their society's false deities and thereby ascribe equals to Allah without a second thought. As a result, most people never imagine that their deeds actually constitute rebellion against Allah and that He will punish them severely for their ignorance. Furthermore, they find those strange who call them to Islam and to abandon that which they have made equal to Him.

Makkah's leading idolaters at the time of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) reacted in exactly that same way. They believed in Allah's existence, but equated almost all of their worldly affairs with other, minor and false deities, idols. Trade, love, war, and agriculture – all had their own false deities. This idolatrous order seemed perfectly natural to them, and thus they were stunned when our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) rejected it and called upon them to believe in Allah alone. Allah reveals this in the Qur'an:

They are surprised that a warner should come to them from among themselves. The non-believers exclaim: "This is a lying magician. Has he turned all of the deities into One God? That is truly astonishing!" Their leaders went off saying: "Carry on as you are! Hold fast to your deities. This is clearly something planned. We have not heard of this in the old (ancestral) religion. This is merely something contrived." (Surah Sad: 4-7)

Our Prophet's (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) declaration that Allah is the Only God and that all other supposed deities had no true power totally confounded the perverse mentality of the idolaters. Due to their blindness, they could not understand that all of these false deities possessed no real power. In fact, it is Allah Who bestows His grace upon Whom He wills. Allah reveals this truth in the Surah Quraysh:

… in acknowledgment of the established tradition of Quraysh, their tradition of the winter and summer caravans: so let them worship the Lord of this House Who has preserved them from hunger and secured them from fear. (Surah Quraysh: 1-4)

People living today make this same mistake. How, they may ask, can they live after abandoning all of the concepts and people they have regarded as deities and serve only Allah? The answer is: they must realize that only Allah possesses the power to create them, to cause them to continue living, has mercy upon them, and protects and watches over them. Their employer does not enable them to eat by paying their salary; rather, this is accomplished by Allah, Who created their employer with his or her own destiny and causes him or her to pay those wages. Events neither take place haphazardly and by coincidence; nor occur through millions of small and false divine interventions, on the contrary each one happens in accord with His will. Allah created the world with a destiny and people, as revealed in Surat al-Takwir 29, have submitted to Him so completely that they cannot even ask for anything unless He so wills it:

Şeytan insana, şirkten kurtulmayı; tevhidi, ihlası ve imanı ise yaşamayı zor gibi gösterebilir. Oysa bu, yalnızca şeytanın verdiği bir vesveseden ibarettir. Şeytanın yalancı olduğu, Kuran'ın bir ayetinde şöyle haber verilir:

There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock (Surah Hud: 56)

Satan may portray freeing oneself from idolatry and living by monotheism, purity, and faith as something quite difficult. But such claims are no more than mere apprehensions inspired by satan the liar. Allah reveals this in the Qur'an:

When the affair is decided, satan will say: "Allah made you a promise, a promise of truth, and I made you a promise but broke my promise. I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you responded to me. Do not, therefore, blame me, but [rather] blame yourselves. I cannot come to your aid, nor you to mine. I reject the way you associated me with Allah before." The wrongdoers will have a painful punishment. (Surah Ibrahim: 22)

Given this fact, it would be highly irrational for people who are trying to be true and sincere believers to despair because of satan's whispered lies and apprehensions.

A sincere change of intent is enough to liberate oneself from idolatry, for this will transform one's idolatrous worldview into a monotheistic one. To put it another way, there is no need to illuminate all places so that someone wearing dark glasses can see them; it is enough just to take off one's glasses. Idolatry blocks the light of truth in exactly the same way. Taking off one's glasses in a single stroke is both easy and the only effective way to pass from idolatry to the life of faith and purity that pleases Allah. And, this involves no more than deciding to trust Him in all circumstances and to adhere scrupulously to His commands and prohibitions in the Qur'an. This sincerity and determination will inevitably bring with it His assistance and mercy, as well as the true path to salvation in both worlds.

Only Allah can lead people to the true path. Thus, those who wish to live a life that will win His approval must constantly ask Him to guide them to the true path, help them to live an honest and sincere life, and know that He will certainly answer such sincere and honest prayers. They must never fall into satan's trap of pessimism by wondering How can I ever manage all of this? How can I ever acquire a sincere and unsullied faith? Rather, they must understand that Allah will turn them in the direction of the best path and protect them from all deviations, provided that they show true sincerity and determination, and enable them to live in the ease and joy that such knowledge brings.

Those who abandon their false deities and turn to Allah alone will never be left empty and alone; on the contrary, they will attain the greatest peace, comfort, and security. Allah states this in the Qur'an:

Whoever has fear of [and respect for] Allah – He will give him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect. Whoever puts his trust in Allah – He will be enough for him. Allah always achieves His aim... (Surat al-Talaq: 2-3)

For this reason, people who realize and regret that they are living in a state of idolatry must immediately stop worshipping their false deities, whether they be their possessions, money, businesses, or properties. None of their possessions actually belong to them; their daily bread does not depend on them, their great wealth may or may not continue to be enjoyed by their descendants, and so on, because only Allah controls everything and bestows upon people what He wills. Realizing this, people must not become proud because of their possessions; rather, they should consider their lifestyle and worldview very carefully and make the necessary changes. They must understand that whatever they possess belongs to Allah alone, that they are a test from Him, and that they must be used in a manner that will please Him. Making the intention to free themselves from any feelings of pride and ownership, they must utterly destroy these false deities. Their sincerity in this matter, however, can only be proven by their subsequent lifestyle and determination. For instance, they must be able to spend all of their wealth and possessions, when necessary, in Allah's cause without a second thought or any concern for the future or from where their next meal will come. Completely trusting in Allah, they must always remember that only He can provide one's daily bread and realize that they are utterly helpless before Him.

As we have seen, the difference between monotheism and polytheism is generally one of intention and perspective. Our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) literally smashed the idols inside the Ka`bah, and the Prophet Moses (pbuh) burned the calf and threw its ashes into the sea. So they properly smashed the logic of the idolatry. Today, it is necessary to smash the logic of idolatry in a drastic way, which can only be done by changing one's intention and perspective.

Therefore, the greatest change experienced by new believers takes place primarily in their own mind. While they might be able to maintain certain elements from their previous life, they will nevertheless have a totally new perspective and understanding. In short, their society's social norms, their elders' and ancestors' beliefs, their own personal desires, and the ideas of other people will become meaningless, for they will regulate their new life solely according to the Qur'an and the hadith and aim to achieve Allah's approval. By ceasing to illogically serve and please many minor and false deities, they will surrender entirely to Allah. This is revealed in the Qur'an:

(Joseph said:) "What you serve apart from Him are only names that you and your ancestors have made up. There is no mandate for them from Allah. Allah alone is qualified to judge. His order is to worship none but Him. This is, in truth, the straight and upright religion, but most people do not know." (Surah Yusuf: 40)

 

 

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