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The Idolators' worship of others besides Allah and Their vehement rejection of the Ayat of Allah

Allah tells us that the idolators, in their ignorance and disbelief, worship besides Allah others which He has sent down no authority for, i.e., no proof or evidence for such behavior. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ وَمَن يَدۡعُ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَـٰهًا ءَاخَرَ لَا بُرۡهَـٰنَ لَهُ ۥ بِهِۦ فَإِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُ ۥ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦۤ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَا يُفۡلِحُ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرُونَ

(And whoever calls upon, besides Allah, any other god, of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, the disbelievers will not be successful.) (23:117) So Allah says here:

﴿ مَا لَمۡ يُنَزِّلۡ بِهِۦ سُلۡطَـٰنً۬ا وَمَا لَيۡسَ لَهُم بِهِۦ عِلۡمٌ۬‌ۗ

(for which He has sent down no authority, and of which they have no knowledge;) meaning, they have no knowledge in the subject that they fabricate lies about; it is only something which was handed down to them from their fathers and ancestors, with no evidence or proof, and its origins lie in that which the Shaytan beautified for them and made attractive to them. Allah warned them:

﴿ وَمَا لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ مِن نَّصِيرٍ۬

(and for the wrongdoers there is no helper.) meaning, no one to help them against Allah when He sends His punishment and torment upon them. Then Allah says:

﴿ وَإِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتُنَا بَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬

(And when Our clear Ayat are recited to them, ) means, when the Ayat of the Qur'an and clear evidence and proof for Tawhid of Allah are mentioned to them, and they are told that there is no god besides Allah and that the Messengers spoke the truth,

﴿ يَكَادُونَ يَسۡطُونَ بِٱلَّذِينَ يَتۡلُونَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَا‌ۗ

(They are nearly ready to attack with violence those who recite Our Ayat to them.) then they nearly attack and do harm to those who bring proof to them from the Qur'an, and cause them harm using their tongues and hands.

﴿ قُلۡ

(Say) O Muhammad to these people,

﴿ أَفَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِشَرٍّ۬ مِّن ذَٲلِكُمُ‌ۗ ٱلنَّارُ وَعَدَهَا ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ‌ۖ

(Shall I tell you of something worse than that The Fire which Allah has promised to those who disbelieved,) The fire and wrath and torment of Allah are far worse than that with which you are trying to scare the believing close friends of Allah in this world. The punishment in the Hereafter for these deeds of yours is worse than that what you claim you want to do to the believers.

﴿ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(and worst indeed is that destination!) how terrible is the Fire as a final destination and abode!

﴿ إِنَّهَا سَآءَتۡ مُسۡتَقَرًّ۬ا وَمُقَامً۬ا

(Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.) (25:66)

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَن يَخۡلُقُواْ ذُبَابً۬ا وَلَوِ ٱجۡتَمَعُواْ لَهُ ۥ‌ۖ وَإِن يَسۡلُبۡہُمُ ٱلذُّبَابُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا لَّا يَسۡتَنقِذُوهُ مِنۡهُ‌ۚ ضَعُفَ ٱلطَّالِبُ وَٱلۡمَطۡلُوبُ مَا قَدَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ

(73. O mankind! A parable has been made, so listen to it: Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are the seeker and the sought.) (74. They have not regarded Allah with His rightful esteem. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.)

The insignificance of the Idols and the foolishness of their Worshippers

Here Allah points out the insignificance of the idols and the foolishness of those who worship them.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ۬

(O mankind! A parable has been made,) meaning, a parable of that which is worshipped by those who are ignorant of Allah and who join others as partners with Him.

﴿ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ

(so listen to it) pay attention and understand.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَن يَخۡلُقُواْ ذُبَابً۬ا وَلَوِ ٱجۡتَمَعُواْ لَهُ ۥ‌ۖ

(Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose.) Even if all the idols and false gods whom you worship were to come together to create a single fly, they would not be able to do that. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah recorded the Marfu` report:

« وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ (خَلْقًا) كَخَلْقِي، فَلْيَخْلُقُوا مِثْلَ خَلْقِي ذَرَّةً أَوْ ذُبَابَةً أَوْ حَبَّة »

("Who does more wrong than one who tries to create something like My creation Let them create an ant or a fly or a seed like My creation!'') This was also recorded by the authors of the Two Sahihs via `Umarah from Abu Zur`ah from Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Prophet said: a

« قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ ذَهَبَ يَخْلُقُ كَخَلْقِي، فَلْيَخْلُقُوا ذَرَّةً، فَلْيَخْلُقُوا شَعِيرَة »

(Allah says: "Who does more wrong than one who tries to create (something) like My creation Let them create an ant, let them create a grain of barley.'') Then Allah says:

﴿ وَإِن يَسۡلُبۡہُمُ ٱلذُّبَابُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا لَّا يَسۡتَنقِذُوهُ مِنۡهُ‌ۚ

(And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly.) They are unable to create a single fly and, moreover, they are unable to resist it or take revenge against it if it were to take anything from the good and perfumed thing on which it lands. If they wanted to recover that, they would not be able to, even though the fly is the weakest and most insignificant of Allah's creatures. Allah says:

﴿ ضَعُفَ ٱلطَّالِبُ وَٱلۡمَطۡلُوبُ

(So weak are the seeker and the sought.) Ibn `Abbas said, "The seeker is the idol and the sought is the fly.'' This was the view favored by Ibn Jarir, and it is what is apparent from the context. As-Suddi and others said, "The seeker is the worshipper, and the sought is the idol.'' Then Allah says:

﴿ مَا قَدَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۗ

(They have not regarded Allah with His rightful esteem.) meaning, they have not recognized the might and power of Allah when they wor- ship alongside Him those who cannot even ward off a fly, because they are so weak and incapable.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ

(Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.) means, He is the All-Strong Who, by His might and power, created all things.

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يَبۡدَؤُاْ ٱلۡخَلۡقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ ۥ وَهُوَ أَهۡوَنُ عَلَيۡهِ‌ۚ

(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him) (30:27)

﴿ إِنَّ بَطۡشَ رَبِّكَ لَشَدِيدٌ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ يُبۡدِئُ وَيُعِيدُ

(Verily, the punishment of your Lord is severe and painful. Verily, He it is Who begins and repeats.) (85:12-13)

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلرَّزَّاقُ ذُو ٱلۡقُوَّةِ ٱلۡمَتِينُ

(Verily, Allah is the Provider, Owner of power, the Most Strong.) (51:58).

﴿ عَزِيزٌ

(All-Mighty) means, He has subjugated and subdued all things, and there is none that can resist Him or overcome His might and power, and He is the One, the Subduer.

﴿ ٱللَّهُ يَصۡطَفِى مِنَ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةِ رُسُلاً۬ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعُۢ بَصِيرٌ۬ يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡ‌ۗ وَإِلَى ٱللَّهِ تُرۡجَعُ ٱلۡأُمُورُ

(75. Allah chooses Messengers from angels and from men. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.) (76. He knows what is before them, and what is behind them. And to Allah return all matters.)

Allah chooses Messengers from the Angels and Messengers from Mankind

Allah tells us that He chooses Messengers from His angels as He wills by His law and decree, and He chooses Messengers from mankind to convey His Message.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعُۢ بَصِيرٌ۬

(Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.) means, He hears all that His servants say, and He sees them and knows who among them is deserving of that, as He says:

﴿ ٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ حَيۡثُ يَجۡعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ ۥ‌ۗ

(Allah knows best with whom to place His Message) (6:124)

﴿ يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡ‌ۗ وَإِلَى ٱللَّهِ تُرۡجَعُ ٱلۡأُمُورُ

(He knows what is before them, and what is behind them. And to Allah return all matters.) He knows what will happen to His Messengers and the Message He sent them with, for none of their affairs are hidden from Him. He says:

﴿ عَـٰلِمُ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ فَلَا يُظۡهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيۡبِهِۦۤ أَحَدًا

("The All-Knower of the Ghayb (Unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghayb.'') (72:26) until His saying;

﴿ وَأَحۡصَىٰ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ عَدَدَۢا

(and He keeps count of all things.) (72:28) So He, may He be glorified, is guarding them, and is Witness to what is said about them. He is protecting them and supporting them.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلرَّسُولُ بَلِّغۡ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ‌ۖ وَإِن لَّمۡ تَفۡعَلۡ فَمَا بَلَّغۡتَ رِسَالَتَهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡصِمُكَ مِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۗ

(O Messenger! Proclaim which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind) (5:67).

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱرۡڪَعُواْ وَٱسۡجُدُواْ وَٱعۡبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ وَٱفۡعَلُواْ ٱلۡخَيۡرَ لَعَلَّڪُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ ۩ وَجَـٰهِدُواْ فِى ٱللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِۦ‌ۚ هُوَ ٱجۡتَبَٮٰكُمۡ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬‌ۚ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمۡ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۚ هُوَ سَمَّٮٰكُمُ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ مِن قَبۡلُ وَفِى هَـٰذَا لِيَكُونَ ٱلرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَتَكُونُواْ شُہَدَآءَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۚ فَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱعۡتَصِمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ هُوَ مَوۡلَٮٰكُمۡ‌ۖ فَنِعۡمَ ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ وَنِعۡمَ ٱلنَّصِيرُ

(77. O you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful.) (78. And strive hard in Allah's cause as you ought to strive. He has chosen you, and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship: it is the religion of your father Ibrahim. He has named you Muslims both before and in this (Qur'an), that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind! So, perform the Salah, give the Zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your Mawla, what an Excellent Mawla and what an Excellent Helper!)

The Command to worship Allah and engage in Jihad

It was reported from `Uqbah bin `Amir that the Prophet said:

« فُضِّلَتْ سُورَةُ الْحَجِّ بِسَجْدَتَيْنِ، فَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْجُدْهُمَا فَلَا يَقْرَأْهُمَا »

(Surat Al-Hajj has been blessed with two Sajdahs, so whoever does not prostrate them should not read them.)

﴿ وَجَـٰهِدُواْ فِى ٱللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِۦ‌ۚ

(And strive hard in Allah's cause as you ought to strive.) means, with your wealth and your tongues and your bodies. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِۦ

(Have Taqwa of Allah as is His due.) (3:102)

﴿ هُوَ ٱجۡتَبَٮٰكُمۡ

(He has chosen you,) means, `O Ummah (of Islam), Allah has selected you and chosen you over all other nations, and has favored you and blessed you and honored you with the noblest of Messengers and the noblest of Laws.'

﴿ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬‌ۚ

(and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship) He has not given you more than you can bear and He has not obliged you to do anything that will cause you difficulty except that He has created for you a way out. So the Salah, which is the most important pillar of Islam after the two testimonies of faith, is obligatory, four Rak`ahs when one is settled, which are shortened to two Rak`ah when one is traveling. According to some Imams, only one Rak`ahs is obligatory at times of fear, as was recorded in the Hadith. A person may pray while walking or riding, facing the Qiblah or otherwise. When praying optional prayers while traveling, one may face the Qiblah or not. A person is not obliged to stand during the prayer if he is sick; the sick person may pray sitting down, and if he is not able to do that then he may pray lying on his side. And there are other exemptions and dispensations which may apply to the obligatory prayers and other duties. So the Prophet said:

« بُعِثْتُ بِالْحَنِيفِيَّةِ السَّمْحَة »

(I have been sent with the easy Hanifi way.) And he said to Mu`adh and Abu Musa, when he sent them as governors to Yemen:

« بَشِّرَا وَلَا تُنَفِّرا وَيَسِّرَا وَلَا تُعَسِّرَا »

(Give good news and do not repel them. Make things easy for the people and do not make the things difficult for them.) And there are many similar Hadiths. Ibn `Abbas said concerning the Ayah,

﴿ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬‌ۚ

(and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship), "This means difficulty.''

﴿ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمۡ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۚ

(It is the religion of your father Ibrahim.) Ibn Jarir said, "This refers back to the Ayah,

﴿ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬‌ۚ

(and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship) meaning, any difficulty.'' On the contrary, He has made it easy for you, like the religion of your father Ibrahim. He said, "It may be that it means: adhere to the religion of your father Ibrahim.'' I say: This interpretation of the Ayah is like the Ayah:

﴿ قُلۡ إِنَّنِى هَدَٮٰنِى رَبِّىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬ دِينً۬ا قِيَمً۬ا مِّلَّةَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ حَنِيفً۬ا‌ۚ

(Say: "Truly, my Lord has guided me to a straight path, a right religion, the religion of Ibrahim, a Hanif) (6:161)

﴿ هُوَ سَمَّٮٰكُمُ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ مِن قَبۡلُ وَفِى هَـٰذَا

(He has named you Muslims both before and in this (Qur'an),) Imam `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak said, narrating from Ibn Jurayj, from `Ata', from Ibn `Abbas: concerning Allah's saying,

﴿ هُوَ سَمَّٮٰكُمُ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ مِن قَبۡلُ

(He has named you Muslims before) "This refers to Allah, may He be glorified.'' This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Qatadah. Mujahid said, "Allah named you Muslims before, in the previous Books and in Adh-Dhikr,

﴿ وَفِى هَـٰذَا

(and in this) means, the Qur'an.'' This was also the view of others, because Allah says:

﴿ هُوَ ٱجۡتَبَٮٰكُمۡ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬‌ۚ

(He has chosen you, and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship) Then He urged them to follow the Message which His Messenger brought, by reminding them that this was the religion of their father Ibrahim. Then He mentioned His blessings to this Ummah, whereby He mentioned them and praised them long ago in the Books of the Prophets which were recited to the rabbis and monks. Allah says:

﴿ هُوَ سَمَّٮٰكُمُ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ مِن قَبۡلُ

(He has named you Muslims both before) meaning, before the Qur'an,

﴿ وَفِى هَـٰذَا

(and in this.) Under the explanation of this Ayah, An-Nasa'i recorded from Al-Harith Al-Ash`ari from the Messenger of Allah , who said:

« مَنْ دَعَا بِدَعْوَى الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْ جِثِيِّ جَهَنَّم »

(Whoever adopts the call of Jahiliyyah, will be one of those who will crawl on their knees in Hell.) A man said, "O Messenger of Allah, even if he fasts and performs Salah'' He said,

« نَعَمْ وَإِنْ صَامَ وَصَلَّى ، فَادْعُوا بِدَعْوَةِ اللهِ الَّتِي سَمَّاكُمْ بِهَا الْمُسْلِمِينَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عِبَادَ الله »

(Yes, even if he fasts and performs Salah. So adopt the call of Allah whereby He called you Muslims and believers and servants of Allah.)

﴿ لِيَكُونَ ٱلرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَتَكُونُواْ شُہَدَآءَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۚ

(that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind!) means, `thus We have made you a just and fair nation, the best of nations, and all other nations will testify to your justice. On the Day of Resurrection you will be,

﴿ شُہَدَآءَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۚ

(witnesses over mankind),' because on that Day all the nations will acknowledge its leadership and its precedence over all others. Therefore, on the Day of Resurrection the testimony of the members of this community will be accepted as proof that the Messengers conveyed the Message of their Lord to them, and the Messenger will testify that he conveyed the Message to them.

﴿ فَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ

(So perform the Salah, give Zakah) means, respond to this great blessing with gratitude by fulfilling your duties towards Allah, doing that which He has enjoined upon you and avoiding that which He had forbidden. Among the most important duties are establishing regular prayer and giving Zakah. Zakah is a form of beneficence towards Allah's creatures, whereby He has enjoined upon the rich to give a little of their wealth to the poor each year, to help the weak and needy. We have already mentioned its explanation in the Ayah of Zakah in Surat At-Tawbah (9:5).

﴿ وَٱعۡتَصِمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ

(and hold fast to Allah.) means, seek the help and support of Allah and put your trust in Him, and get strength from Him.

﴿ هُوَ مَوۡلَٮٰكُمۡ‌ۖ

(He is your Mawla,) meaning, He is your Protector and your Helper, He is the One Who will cause you to prevail against your enemies.

﴿ فَنِعۡمَ ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ وَنِعۡمَ ٱلنَّصِيرُ

(what an Excellent Mawla and what an Excellent Helper!) He is the best Mawla and the best Helper against your enemies. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Hajj. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions, and grant them peace; may Allah honor and be pleased with the Companions and those who follow them in truth until the Day of Resurrection.