Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Shirk Is An Expression Of Ingratitude To The Benevolence Of God

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam 28 December 2022 A Rejoinder To Mr Sumit Pal's Article On Shirk Main Points: 1. Allah was not the deity of Quraish. 2. The Quran pointed out the impurities inserted in Christianity and Judaism. 3. The Quran, not Prophet Muhammad pbuh, made shirk an unpardonable sin. 4. All religions originated in a tribal society. ---- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr Sumit Pal Quotes Professor Reynold A Nicholson: "Tribalism Is The Essence Of Islam". In Fact It Is The Other Way Round. Islam Originated In The Tribal Society Only To Retrieve The Arabs From Their Tribal Mentality And Bring Them In Harmony With The Modern Civilised Society. It Scientific Research And Started The Process Of Social Rehabilitation Of Slaves And Abolished Sex Slavery, A Tradition Of Tribal Society Since The Time Of Judaism. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr Sumit Paul's article on shirk discusses the topic from the point of view of a polytheist and so the concept of shirk as presented by the Quran seems to be an 'idiotic idea' to him as would seem to most of the polytheists. Islam, as well as Judaism and Christianity, profess the belief in one God (Brahman of the Upanishads, Sarvabhutantaratma) and shirk is the antithesis to not only to Islam but also to Judaism and Christianity. All the prophets, including Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Jesus, Moses, Manu ( Maha Nuh) Atharva, Angeera, Angeeras and Satyavah preached the belief of one God. It is human nature that after a few centuries followers of every religion invent develop new ideas and insert new beliefs and practices and impurities corrupt the original faith. This happened to Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Vedic dharma. In Buddhism, 18 sects emerged after only two centuries of the Parinirvan of Gautama Buddha. Even the difference in opinion on the preparation of robes and the way of wearing them became the cause of the birth of new sects. Gautama Buddha did not believe in a personal God but in later periods, Vajrayana, an offshoot of Buddhism, believed in deities and gods. So if a reformer of Buddhism emerges and insists on reverting to the original beliefs of Buddhism as preached by Buddha would be termed rigidity of belief by Mr Sumit Pal, though in reality, it be an attempt to remove the ideological impurities that have sneaked into the belief system. The concept of Trinity was an innovation which even a large section of Christians did not and still don’t believe but at one period of time, the kings patronised Trinity and the Christians who did not believe in it were slaughtered. The Jews and Christians abandoned some of the practises that were originally enjoined on them or made changes according to their convenience. This is why sects have emerged among the Jews and Christians. The Quran only pointed out to the impurities in belief that entered in later periods. Mr Pal writes: "All the Semitic faiths have this putrid blige called shirk as Judaism and Christianity also don't allow their followers to worship any other god. Islam being the last one among the three Semitic faiths, borrowed religious concepts and tenets from its predecessors and instead of changing or improving on them (Christianity and Judaism), it has worsened the things by putting an extra ounce of adamancy and interpolations." How should Islam have improved on Christianity or Judaism? By accepting the worship of Jesus as the son of God? Islam tried to improve on them by reasserting the beliefs professed by Prophet Abraham, Prophet Jacob and Prophet Moses a.h. Another excerpt from his article: "Here it must be mentioned, rather praised, that Muhammad was a fine and astute leader of men and he integrated and coalesced forever embattled tribes into a coherent unit. He successfully established the superiority of his Quraish tribe and its deity Allah. Muhammad made it mandatory to follow ONLY Allah of the Quraish tribe." Allah was not the deity of Quraish. The Quraish inherited the faith of Abraham a.s. and believed in Allah but at the same time they worshipped many deities like Lat, Manat, Hubal and Uzza. There were 360 deities installed in the Kaaba. The Quran on a number of occasions mentions the belief of the Quraish. It says that they believed that the universe has been created by Allah but also believed in the powers of deities as their intercessors. That is why, the Quran time and again warns the polytheists that no intercessor will save them from the wrath of Allah on the Day of Judgment. Abdallah (slave of Allah,, Abdul Muttalib (slave of Muttalib), Abd Monaf (Slave of Monaf) are some of the names of the people of Makkah before the advent of Islam. Since the Quraish believed in Allah and set up partners with Him, they were called Mushrikeen (polytheists). It was the Quraish who were Mohammad's arch enemy because he opposed their practise of worshipping deities along with Allah. Mr Pal further writes: "Mixing tribal ethos with nascent faith ( read Islam) , Muhammad ossified the concept of shirk and made it an unpardonable sin for the Muslims." Prophet Muhammad pbuh only preached what he was revealed him in the form of God. The Quran declared shirk an unpardonable sin and prophet Mohammad pbuh only conveyed the message to the Quraish and also practiced it. There are hundreds of verses in the Quran which warn the People of the Book against shirk either in the form of Trinity or in the form of the worship of deities or in the form of having belief in the powers of Auliya". If I quote all the verses on shirk, it will require another dozens of pages. Mr Sumit Pal quotes Professor Reynold A Nicholson: "Tribalism is the essence of Islam". In fact it is the other way round. Islam originated in the tribal society only to retrieve the Arabs from their tribal mentality and bring them in harmony with the modern civilised society. It scientific research and started the process of social rehabilitation of slaves and abolished sex slavery, a tradition of tribal society since the time of Judaism. In the end, Mr Sumit Pal makes an interesting point: "The point is, one must have an unflinching faith in Allah and nothing else is an idiotic idea. Doobte Ko Tinke Ka Sahara. When one's vulnerable one resorts to a number of alternatives." Perhaps the following verse of the Quran criticises this attitude of people: "And there are some who worship Allah on the verge of faith: if they are blessed with something good, they are content with it, but if they are afflicted with a trial, they relapse into disbelief, losing this, world and the Hereafter. That is truly the clearest loss. They call besides Allah what can neither harm nor benefit them. That is truly the farthest one can stray."(Al Hajj:11-12) According to the Quran, shirk is an expression of man's ingratitude to the benevolence of God. Not only Islam, every religion preaches unflinching faith in its god or deity. Being on the verge of faith is considered akin to disbelief. One is free to try all alternatives within one's belief system in times of trial and afflictions but losing faith in one's god in bad times and worshipping it in times of happiness and prosperity is not appreciated in any religion. To sum up Mr Pal's article has not been written with the seriousness the topic deserved. However, he adopted the style of a true Muslim while winding up the article. He, like a true Muslim, concluded a serious article with a Urdu couplet. ----- S. Arshad is a columnist with URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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