The Prophet didn’t differentiate between idol worshipers and those who worship Angels, Prophets,Righteous or other created beings

Four Rules Regarding Shirk

Section Four: The Third Rule Regarding Shirk

[Text from Imam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s “Four Rules Regarding Shirk”]

The Third Rule: The Prophet was sent to people that differed from one another in their worship. Among them were those who worshipped the angels. And among them were those who worshipped the prophets and righteous people. And among them were those who worshipped trees and stones. And among them were those who worshipped the sun and the moon. However, the Messenger of Allaah fought against (all of) them and did not differentiate between any of them. The proof for this is Allaah’s statement:

“And fight against them until there is no more fitnah (trial, i.e. Shirk) and the Religion is all purely for Allaah alone.” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 39]

The proof of them worshipping the sun and the moon is Allaah’s saying:

“And among His signs are the night and the day and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon, but rather prostrate to Allaah who created them, if it is truly He whom you worship.” [Surah Fussilat: 37]

The proof that they worshipped the angels is Allaah’s saying:

“And nor did he order you to take the angels and prophets as lords (besides Allaah).” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 80]

The proof that they worshipped the prophets is Allaah’s saying:

“And when Allaah will say: ‘O ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam! Did you tell the people: Take me and my mother as gods besides Allaah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You, it is not for me to say what I have no right to say. Had I said such a thing, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my inner self yet I do not know what is in Your self. Verily, You re the All-Knower of the Unseen.’” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 116]

The proof that they worshipped the righteous people is Allaah’s saying:

“Those whom they call unto (besides Allaah), they themselves seek the means of access to their Lord as to which of them will be the nearest (to Him). And they hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment.” [Surah Al-Israa: 57]

The proof that they worshipped trees and stones is Allaah’s saying:

“Have you then considered Al-Laat and Al-‘Uzzaa, and Manaat, the third other?” [Surah An-Najm: 19-20]

[Translator’s Note: These three are names of stone idols that the pagan Arabs used to worship. They were originally righteous men who after their deaths and after many generations began to be worshipped.]

And also the hadeeth of Abu Waaqid Al-Laythee (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) who said:

“We went out with Allaah’s Messenger to (the Battle of) Hunayn, and we had just recently come out of Kufr (Disbelief). The polytheists used to have a lote-tree, which they would organize by and hang their swords on (seeking blessings from it); it was called Dhaat Anwaat. So we passed by a lote-tree and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! Make for us a Dhaat Anwaat, just as they have a Dhaat Anwaat?’”

Listen to the Explanation of Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullaah)

[Souncloud Audio Link]

Source for the above AudioExplanation of The Four Rules (Al-Qawaa’id-ul-Arba’ah) – Dr. Saleh as Saleh [Audio Series|En]. Audio Series based on the explanation of Shaykh Uthaymeen rahimahullah

Explanation from Dr. Muhammad Bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Al-Khumayyis’ explanation of Four Rules Regarding Shirk

Language:

Fitnah (tribulation) here means Shirk; ‘alaamaat (signs) proofs and indicators; yabtaghoon (they seek) they look for; hudathaa ‘ahdin (recently come out) close to that time; sidrah (lote-tree); yanootoon (hang on) cling onto.

Explanation:

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was indeed sent to a people who varied in their worship and differed in their religions. Among them were those that worshipped angels and (those that worshipped) prophets and righteous people, and those that worshipped trees and stones or the sun and the moon. So Allaah legislated for His Prophet to fight against them. Rather, He commanded him to do that without differentiating between any of them. He commanded him to fight against every one of them until all of the Religion (i.e. worship) became solely for Allaah and until islaam gained supremacy over all other religions. Allaah says:

“And fight against them until there is no more fitnah (i.e. Shirk) and the Religion is all purely for Allaah.” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 39]

So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) fought against all of them until he brought them under the rule and laws of Islaam. From the texts that provide evidence that there existed those who worshipped the sun and the moon and that Allaah forbade them from doing that is His saying:

“And among His signs are the night and the day and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon, but rather prostrate to Allaah who created them, if it is truly He whom you worship.” [Surah Fussilat: 37]

And from the evidences that indicate that there existed those who used to worship the angels, and that Allaah forbade them from doing that, is Allaah’s saying:

“And nor did he order you to take the angels and prophets as lords (besides Allaah).” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 80]

And from what makes it clear that there existed those who would worship the prophets and that this worship of theirs was false is Allaah’s saying:

“And when Allaah will say: ‘O ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam! Did you tell the people: Take me and my mother as gods besides Allaah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 116]

So ‘Eesaa, peace be on him, will free himself from their worshipping of him and rule upon its falsehood. And from the proofs that show that there existed those who would worship the righteous people and the ruling that this is futile, is Allaah’s saying:

“Those whom they call unto (besides Allaah), they themselves seek the means of access to their Lord as to which of them will be the nearest (to Him). And they hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment.” [Surah Al-Israa: 57]

Some of the scholars of Tafseer said: There was a group amongst the Arabs that used to worship some individuals amongst the Jinn. Afterward, these Jinn accepted Islaam, but those people who worshipped them did not know this. So Allaah explains to them that those people whom you worship, they themselves seek nearness to Allaah, hoping for His reward and fearing His punishment.

And from that which indicates that there existed those who would worship the stones is Allaah’s saying:

“Have you then considered Al-Laat and Al-‘Uzzaa, and Manaat, the third other?” [Surah An-Najm: 19-20]

These were (false) gods that the polytheists of Makkah used to worship. They were statues that they had constructed and worshipped besides Allaah.

And from that which indicates that there existed those who would worship trees is the hadeeth of Abu Waaqid Al-Laythee (radyAllaah ‘anhu) when some of the Companions went out with the Prophet during the battle of Hunayn. And among them were those who had just recently come out of disbelief, i.e. they had only become Muslims a little while before. So they saw a lote-tree that belonged to the polytheists, known as Dhaat Anwaat, which the polytheists would seek blessings from and hang their swords on. So they asked the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to make for them a Dhaat Anwaat tree just like theirs.

At this the Prophet said Allaahu Akbar, became very angry and was stern in his speech, forbidding them from this. He said to them: “You have just said, by the One in whose hand my soul is, similar to what the companions of Moosaa said to him: ‘Make for us a god just as they have gods.’ He replied: ‘Verily you are a people given into ignorance.’”

[Reported by Ahmad (5/218), ‘Abdur-Razzaaq (20763), At-Tayaalisee (1346), Al-Humaydee (848), At- Tirmidhee (2180) who said of it: “hasan saheeh” and others.]

So this hadeeth proves that there existed those polytheists who would worship trees. It also proves that believing in trees (i.e. that they have the ability to bring good or repel harm) amounts to disbelief. It also proves that even the noble and scholarly amongst people may fall into Shirk, while not being aware of it. It also proves that if a person utters a statement of disbelief while not knowing that it amounts to disbelief or intentionally doing it, he does not commit disbelief until he is fully aware (of what he is saying).

Allaah has declared all of these different types of worship false and futile. And He commanded His Messenger to fight against all of these people without differentiating between any of them.

Summary:

1. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent to various people with different religions.

2. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) fought against all of these people without differentiating between any of them.

3. A Muslim does not commit disbelief by making a statement of disbelief if he says it unknowingly and unintentionally.

4. The truth may be unknown at times to the high ranking amongst people, not to mention the common folk.

Examination:

1. State some of the types of worship that existed at the time of the Prophet’s advent, giving one proof for each type.

2. Did the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) distinguish between the adherents of these various religions?

3. What points of benefit can we derive from the hadeeth mentioned in this chapter?

Excerpted from: An Explanation of Shaykhul-Islaam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s Four Rules Regarding Shirk,  Explained Shaykh Muhammad Al Khumayyis ,Al-Ibaanah book publishing [e-Book]

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