Saturday, June 28, 2008

Virtue and Significance of Solāh

The Virtue and Significance of Solāh

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

Solāh occupies an immense status in Islam that is not shared by any other act of worship. It is not only the pillar of the religion erases sins, but it is the first thing for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection.

The significance is as follows:

1 - It is the pillar of the religion, which cannot stand without it.

According to a hadīth narrated by Abu Abdul Rahman whose real name is Mu’adz Ibn Jabal (radiyallāhu’anhu), the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:  “Shall I not tell you of the head of the whole matter and its pillar and top?” I [Mu'adz] said, "Yes, O Messenger of Allāh." He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is Solāh and its top is jihad” [Narrated by al-Tirmidzi, 2616; classified as sahīh by al-Albāni in Sahīh al-Tirmidzi, 2110].

2 - It is second in status to the Shahādatayn (twin testimony of faith) as further proof of the soundness of a person's belief and as visible evidence of the beliefs that reside in the heart.

The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Islam is built on five [pillars]: the testimony that there is no god but Allāh and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, establishing Solāh, paying zakāh, performing pilgrimage to the House, and fasting Ramadhān” [Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 8; Muslim, 16].

Establishing Solāh means performing Solāh in full with all its words and actions, at the appointed times, as it says in the Qur'an (interpretation of the meaning):

Transliteration: 'Inna Aş-Şalāta Kānat ‘Alá Al-Mu’uminīna Kitābān Mawqūtān

"Verily, As-Solāh (the Solāh) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours" [Al-Nisā' 4:103]. i.e., Solat is performed at defined times.

3 - Solāh occupies a special position among other acts of worship because of the way in which it was enjoined.

It was not brought down to earth by an angel, rather Allāh wanted to bless His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) by taking him up to heaven and addressing him directly concerning the obligation of Solāh. This is something that is unique to Solāh among all the rituals of Islam.
Solāh was enjoined on the night of the Mi'rāj (Prophet's ascension to heaven), approximately three years before the Hijrah.

Fifty Solāhs (per day) were enjoined at first, and then the number was reduced to five, but the reward of fifty remains. This is indicative of Allāh's love of Solāh and its great status.

4 - Allāh erases sins by means of Solāh

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “What do you think if there was a river by the door of any one of you and he bathed in it five times a day, would there be any trace of dirt left on him?” They said, "No trace of dirt would be left on him'' He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “That is like the five daily Solāh, by means of which Allāh erases sin”. [Al-Bukhari (528) and Muslim (667)]

5 - Solāh is the last part of religion to be lost, and if it is lost the whole religion is lost.

It was narrated that Jabir ibn 'Abdallāh (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Between a man and shirik [associating others with Allāh] and kufur [disbelief] there stands his giving up Solāh” [Narrated by Muslim, 82].

Hence the Muslim should be keen to perform the Solāh on time, and not be lazy or take the matter lightly. Allāh says (interpretation of the meaning):

Transliteration: Fawaylun Lilmuşallīna, Al-Ladhīna Hum ‘an Şolātihim Sāhūna

"So woe unto those performers of Solāh (hypocrites); Those who delay their Solah (Solāh from their stated fixed times)" [Al-Mā'ūn 107:4-5].

And Allāh warns those who cause their Solāh to be lost by saying (interpretation of the meaning):

Transliteration: Fakhalafa Min Ba’dihim Khalfun ‘adā‘ū Aş-Şalāta Wa Attaba`ū Ash-Shahawāti Fasawfa Yalqawna Ghayyān

"Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Solāh [i.e. made their Solāh to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell" [Maryam 19:59].

6 - Solāh is the first thing for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: I heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) say: The first deed for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his Solāh. If it is good then he will have prospered and succeeded, but if it is bad then he will be doomed and have lost. If anything is lacking from his obligatory Solāh, the Lord will say, 'Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary Solāhs, and make up the shortfall in his obligatory Solāh from that.' Then all his deeds will be dealt with likewise” [Narrated by Al-Nasa'ie, 465; Al-Tirmidzi, 413: sahīh].

We ask Allāh to help us to remember Him, give thanks to Him and to worship Him properly.

Solāh is consisting of pillars, duties, and Sunnan. The Spirit of Solāh is intention, devotion, and contemplation of heart. Without the contemplation, invocation is of no avail since this will be futile utterance. By the same token, all other acts of Solāh will not bring forth its avowed fruits of the act of Qiyam (standing) that connotes the observation and Sujud (prostration) that implies humility and glorification, which will never be attained without attention (khusyuk).

Allāh, Most Exalted Says: "It is not their meat or their blood that reaches Allāh: it is your piety that reaches Him." (Al-Hajj: 37)

It is now clear that what counts most in the Sight of Allāh, Most Exalted, is the state of the heart, by which one submits to the commands of Allāh. In this way alertness and mindfulness are required in Solāh even if a lapse of negligence is pardoned by the Allāh as long as consciousness dominates it.

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[Reference: Al-Solāh by Dr. Al-Tayyaar, p. 16; Tawdīh Al-Ahkām by Al-Bassām, 1/371; Tārīkh Mashrū'iyyat Al-Solāh by Al-Balūshi, p. 31.]

[Via Islam Q&A]

Addendum 1:

the Virtue of Wudhu’ and Nawafil Wudhu’

In a narration by Humran who related that he observed `Uthman Ibn `Affan  (radhiyallāhu`anhu) performing his Wudhu': `Uthman would washed his hands thrice, rinsed his mouth and then washed his nose, by putting water in it and then blowing it out, and washed his face thrice, and then washed his right forearm up to the elbow thrice, and then the left forearm up to the elbow thrice, then wiped his head with water, washed his right foot thrice, and then his left foot thrice and said, “I saw Allāh's Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) performing wudhu’ similar to the one I’ve just performed, and then Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Whoever performs Wudhu’ (as I’ve just done) and then offers two raka`at (of Nawafil Wudhu’) in which he does not think of worldly things, all his previous sins will be forgiven’.” [This is recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Addendum 11:

The Measure of an Acceptable Solāh.

1 - Consciousness: It means to show indifference to all worldly interests and have absolute consciousness of Allāh subhānahu wa ta`ala. The cause of such consciousness is decisive intention since the man who has decisive intention to do something, necessarily puts his heart to it. Consciousness, in fact, differs according to the strength of belief in the Hereafter and scorn of this world. Therefore, if you miss consciousness in Solāh, you should know that the root-cause of this is weakness of faith, and so you should exert yourself to strengthen and bolster it.

2 - Reflection on the words; this is the second step after consciousness: Consciousness may be present without grasping the meaning, and so attention should be directed to grasping the meaning by refraining from thinking of other matters.

3 - Glorification and fear of Allāh subhānahu wa ta`ala, which emanate from two facts: realizing the Majesty and Magnificence of Allāh, and looking down upon one's self, which would result in humility and consciousness. Hope is also an important factor in Solāh. The one who offers Solāh should hope for the reward of Allāh, and fear the punishment due to his imperfection.

The worshiper should contemplate on every act of Solāh: When he hears the Adzān (Call to Solāh), he should remember the call on the Day of Judgment, and prepare himself to the answer, thinking how to reply. When the worshiper covers his private parts, he should remember his concealed vices which no one knows except Allāh, Most Exalted, and which require repentance.

When the worshiper faces the Qiblah (Direction of Solāh), he turns his face towards the House of Allāh and turns his back to all other directions. No doubt, directing his heart towards Allāh is worthwhile.

When you say: "Allāh is Greatest", your heart should not belie your tongue. If you believe that there is something greater than Allāh, you will be a liar. Be cautious.

When you say: "I seek refuge in Allāh from the accursed Satan", you should take into account that you resort to Allāh subhānahu wa ta`ala. In this case, if your heart is not in tune with your tongue, what you say will be nonsense and irrational. Try to grasp the meaning of what you say.

• When you say: "Praise be to Allāh, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds," you should ponder over the meaning of these words. Also, you reflect on Allāh's mercy when you read: "Most Gracious, Most Merciful". Think about Allāh's power when you read: "Master of the Day of Judgment". In this way, one should reflect on what he reads or say in Solāh.

It is reported that Zararah Ibn Abi Awfa (radiyallāhu`anhu) fell dead when he recited the Qur`anic verse, "Finally, when the trumpet is sounded." [Al-Muddathir: 8] which is, no doubt, was due to his imagination of this horrible scene.

When ruku’, observe humility to your Lord. Likewise, you should be more humble when prostrating since you place yourself in its proper and original position, namely, the earth from which you have been created. In this case, try to reflect on what you say.

Finally, you should know that performing Solāh in such a manner purifies and enlightens the heart, which, in turn, could behold the Glory of Allāh. In fact, no one but the devout scholars can grasp these meanings.

In contrast, whoever performs Solāh without observing its requirements would in no way grasp its significance? Such a man, furthermore, may exceed the limit and deny its existence.

Allāh Almighty knows best.

[Excerpted with slight modification, from Ibn Qudamah ‘Al-Maqdisi's Mukhtasar Minhaj Al-Qasidin’, published by Darul-Manarah for Translation, Publishing and Distribution, Egypt, 2001.]

[Via Islam Online]

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Excellence of Performing Solāh at the Masjid

The Excellence of Performing Solāh at the Masjid

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wasallam, is His Messenger.

Muslims should not fail to go to the mosque every day and night and should love being there unless it is not permissible for some obvious reasons. `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (radiyallahu`nhu) said: “No one should miss the Solāh at the mosque except the ill and the hypocrites.” He also added that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) taught us the means to guidance and one of these means is praying at the mosque.

With regard to your question, we cite what Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states in his well-known book Fiqh Us-Sunnah:

1 - Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “If anyone goes back and forth to the mosque [to attend the Solāh], Allah will prepare for him a feast in Paradise as often as he goes back and forth” (Ahmad, Al-Bukhari, and Muslim).
2 - Abdullah Ibn `Umar (radiyallāhu`anhu) reports that the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Solāh in congregation is superior to a solāh performed individually by twenty-seven degrees.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim. 
3 - Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reports that the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “The solāh of a man in congregation is twenty-five times more superior (in reward) to his solāh  in his house or market - and this is because he makes the wudhu’ and perfects it and goes to the masjid with the sole purpose of performing the solāh . He does not take a step without being raised a degree and having one of his sins erased. When he prays, as long as he does not lose his wudu, the angels keep on praying [for him] ‘O Allah, bless him. O Allah, have mercy on him.’ And he is considered in solāh as long as he is waiting for the solāh.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
4- Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) also reports that a blind man said to the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam): “O Messenger of Allah, I have no guide to guide me to the masjid.” He asked the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) for permission to perform Solāh in his house and the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) gave it to him. Then, when he turned to go, the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) called him and said: “Do you hear the call to solāh?” The blind man said “yes.” The Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) then said: “Then respond to it!” [By coming to the masjid] This is related by Muslim. 

5  - Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (radiyallahu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If you see a man frequenting the mosque, then testify that he has faith. As Allah says, ‘The attendants of Allah’s mosque are those who believe in Allah and the last day (At-Tawbah: 18)’” [Ahmad, Ibn Mājah, Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban, and At-Tirmidzi].

6 - Muslim records, on the authority of Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu`anhu) that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If anyone purifies himself in his house, and then walks to one of the houses of Allah to fulfill one of the obligations laid down by Allah, then [each one] of his steps will erase one of his sins and the next will raise his degrees.”

7 - Abu Ad-Darda’ (radiyallahu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The mosque is a house for every pious person, and Allah provides everyone whose house is the mosque with comfort, leisure, and a path to Allah’s pleasure, to Paradise” [This is also recorded by At-Tabarāni and Al-Bazzār].

8 - Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: "If the people knew what was in the Adzān and the first row (of the Solāh in virtue), and that they could not get it save by drawing lots, they would draw lots. If they knew the reward for praying the noon Solāh early in its time, they would race to it. And if they knew the reward for the night and the morning Solāh s in congregation, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.” (Recorded by al-Bukhari and others) 

9 - Mu’awiyyah reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The callers to Solāh will have the longest necks of all people on the Day of Resurrection.” (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Ibn Majah) 

10 - Al-Barra’ Ibn `Aazib (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah and His angel’s solah upon those in the first rows. And the caller to Solāh is forgiven, for as far as his voice reaches and whoever hears him will confirm what he says. He will get a reward similar to those who pray with him.” This hadith is related by Ahmad and An-Nasā`ie. Al-Munzhiri says its chain is good.

Allah Almighty knows best.

[Via Islam Online]

Friday, June 20, 2008

Idolatry in Our Age

Idolatry in Our Age
 Ibn Abdullah

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the Praise is to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad His Messenger.

Syirik is the word used for idolatry in Arabic means "partnership or association". In the Qur'an, to practice idolatry is to associate any other being, any other person, or concept with God, considering them to be equal to Allah, and to act upon this unsound belief. In translations of the Qur'an, idolatry is explained as "associating a partner with Allah". It is expressed thus: "having another god besides Allah", or "worshipping another god besides Allah".

In its broadest sense, idolatry is to adhere to principles and values, or pursue a life style other than is consistent with the teachings and moral values of the Qur'an. Someone adopting such principles simply sets up the person laying down these principles as a partner to Allah. This person may be anyone; his father, grandfather, an ancestor he may so exalt the society he is a member of, the founders of an ideology, a philosophy or its followers. In this broad sense of idolatry, someone adhering to a different way of living other than the Qur'an, simply practices idolatry. He may call himself an atheist, Christian, or Jew. He may even appear to be a Muslim, performing his regular prayers, fasting and obeying the laws of Islam. Nevertheless, anyone harboring a thought or judgment opposing the Qur'an is a mere idolater; by such a stance he simply manifests his acceptance of the existence of a ruler other than Allah.

Idolatry does not essentially require an absolute denial of the existence of Allah. Rather, the majority of the idolaters avoid explicitly accepting such an attribute or "title". Never scrupulous in conduct, they deceive themselves throughout their lives. On the Day of Judgment, they still reject being involved in idolatry. The stance they adopt is explained in the following verse:

One day shall We gather them all together: We shall say to those who ascribed partners (to Us): "Where are the partners whom you (invented and) talked about?" There will then be (left) no subterfuge for them but to say: "By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who associated other gods with Allah."Behold! How they lie against their own souls! But the (lie) which they invented will leave them in the lurch. (Surah Al-An’ am, 6: 22-24)

An idolater does not necessarily have to make "declarations". You will certainly never hear a statement like this: "I hereby take this divine being as a god besides Allah and I swear an oath of loyalty to him." Idolatry resides primarily, in the heart and is then disclosed through word and deed. From the standpoint of the Qur'an, having a preference for a being other than Allah underlies it. Giving preference to the will of some person over the Will of Allah, for instance, fear of other people rather than fear of Allah, or an attachment to some person rather than to Him are examples of idolatry described in the Qur'an.

It is clear that idolatry is the diversion of the feeling of "love" from Allah to other beings. The strong attachment formed to idols is explained in the following verse:

Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): They love them as they should love Allah. But those of the Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the penalty: that to Allah belongs all power, and Allah will sternly enforce the penalty. (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:165)

This verse makes it clear that "love" given to the wrong people lays the basis for "worshipping others than Allah" as well as idolatry. Unlike believers, unbelievers can never maintain an intimate relation with their Creator. They love either themselves or others, or both; they share out their love among their fathers, sons, brothers, wives, husbands, lovers, the people they are surrounded by, and so on. As well as for people, unbelievers feel attachment for non-living things, or rather concepts like money, possessions, houses, cars, status, prestige, etc.

The superior and gorgeous properties of all living things and non-living things alike are mere reflections of the infinite attributes of Allah. The unique possessor of these features is Allah and therefore the only One worthy of loyalty, devotion and love. Feeling an attachment then for anything other than Allah is mere association of partners with Allah.

In another verse, in the words of Prophet Abraham ‘alaihissalam, it is asserted that unbelievers leave Allah and strengthen the bond with their idols:

And he said: "You have taken (for worship) idols besides Allah, out of mutual love and regard between yourselves in this life; but on the Day of Judgment you shall disown and curse each other: and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have none to help you." (Al-Ankabut, 29: 25)

Passion for women is the most striking example of ascribing partners to Allah in terms of love. The woman in question can be anyone-a spouse, a girl friend, or even a woman to whom one is platonically attracted. In consequence, if the love felt for a woman makes a man drift apart from Allah, makes him see a woman as equal to or at a higher level than Allah, then this is explicitly "ascribing partners to Allah." Such a mentality, assumed to be innocent behaviour in society, has serious consequences, however, in the presence of Allah:

(The Pagans), leaving Him, call but upon female deities: they call but upon Satan the persistent rebel! (An-Nisa, 4:117)

This point of view also holds true for women. This type of love, unacceptable in the presence of Allah, is however encouraged in modern societies under the "innocent" rubrics of "love", "romanticism" or "dating." The indoctrination of romanticism- especially targeting young people-has devastating effects upon new generations. This is surely a great hindrance to the healthy development of the youthful mind and consciousness. As a result of this indoctrination, generations devoid of understanding, come into being. In such circumstances, the members of society live in a total unawareness of the purpose of their existence on Earth, and the exigencies of their religion and faith. Such people simply cling to an ignorant way of living and lead their lives without knowing what love of Allah or fear of Allah really means.

Another reason for the individual to drift into shirik is fear. Just like love, fear should be felt only for Allah. One who feels or shows fear for created beings simply attributes individual might to them. This is idolatry, pure and simple.

Allah has said:

"Take not (for worship) two gods: for He is just One God: then fear Me (and Me alone)." To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and on earth, and to Him is duty due always: then will you fear other than Allah? (An-Nahl, 16:51-52)

Unbelievers go in great fear of other people. This is narrated in the Qur'an:

...When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them, behold! A section of them feared men as - or even more than - they should have feared Allah. They said: "Our Lord! Why have you ordered us to fight? Could you not grant us a brief respite?"... (An-Nisa, 4: 77)

Apart from the feelings of love and fear, there are other attitudes leading man to idolatry.

The basis of idolatry is the preference for a person, or a thing over Allah, for instance, to prefer somebody's approval to Allah's, to fear somebody as one fears Allah to love him as one loves Allah…Or to do for an idol what he doesn't do for Allah, or to make a sacrifice which he does not do for Allah's approval.

Given the foregoing arguments, it would be a shallow interpretation indeed to define idolatry as the worship of statues. This is surely an argument used by unbelievers to justify their stance. According to their explanation, idolatry ceased when the idols in the Ka'abah were broken at the time the message of Islam was communicated. If this argument were true, then the hundreds of verses warning believers against idolatry, and providing a detailed explanation about it, would have relevance only to a few primitive tribes in our day-a piece of a reasoning quite contradictory to the essence of the Qur'an. Furthermore from the Qur'an which will prevail until the Day of Judgement we understand that, in every age, pagans lived together side by side with believers. The related verse follows:

Strongest among men in enmity to the believers you will find the Jews and Pagans... (Al-Maidah, 5:82)

Turn back in repentance to Allah, and fear Him: establish regular prayers, and do not be among those who associate other gods with Allah Turn to Him, be careful of your duty to Him, be steadfast in prayer and do not be of the polytheists, who split up their religion, and become (mere) sects, each party rejoicing in its own beliefs! (Ar-Rum, 30: 31-32)

As the verses suggest, one of the most significant characteristics of polytheistic societies is their approach to true religion; they reject some commandments of the religion revealed by Allah and hence form divisions within the religion. The members of these divisions assume themselves to be on the right path and fight with one another. However, it should be kept in mind that even a minor diversion from the Qur'an is an addition or alteration to what Allah has revealed, and consequently a source of polytheism.

In the verses below it is stated that no deed of the pagans is accepted by Allah; even their prayers and worship:

But it has already been revealed to you, as it was to those who went before you, "If you were to associate other gods with Allah, truly fruitless would your work in life be," and you would surely be in the ranks of those who lose all spiritual good". (Az-Zumar, 39: 65)

Out of what Allah has produced in abundance in tilth and in cattle, they assigned Him a share: they say, according to their fancies: "This is for Allah and this for our partners!" But the share of their "partners" does not reach Allah, whilst the share of Allah reaches their "partners”! Evil and unjust is their judgement! (Al-An’ am, 6:136)

A believer may commit various sins. However, behind these sins, there is no question of a revolt or a similar intention or act against Allah. What makes idolatry different from other sins is that, in contrast to the other sins, idolatry assigns another god besides Allah and invents a lie against Him. Thus idolatry is the greatest sin. It is in a way a manifestation of disrespect to Allah.

Accordingly, Allah mentions in the Qur'an that He will forgive any sin except idolatry:

Allah does not forgive those who set up partners with Him; but He forgive to whom He pleases; for anything else; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed. (An-Nisa, 4:48)

Allah does not forgive the sin of associating other gods with Him; but He forgives whom He pleases for sins other than this: one, who associates other gods with Allah, has strayed far, far away (from the right). (An-Nisa, 4: 116)

Therefore in many verses of the Qur'an, Allah warns believers against idolatry and deters them from this greatest sin. The Qur'an explains idolatry in detail:

O you who believe! Truly, the Pagans are unclean... (At-Tawbah, 9:28)

Being true in faith to Allah and never assigning partners to Him: if anyone assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from heaven and been snatched up by birds, or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prey) and carried him off to far-distant place. (Al-Hajj, 22:31)

Turn back in repentance to Allah, and fear Him: establish regular prayers, and do not be among those who associate other gods with Allah. (Ar- Rum, 30:30)

Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: "O my son! Serve no other deity besides Allah: for false worship is indeed the greatest wrong-doing." (Luqman, 31: 13)

Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him do what is right, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner." (Al-Kahfi, 18:110)

Anything, living or non-living, which the pagans assign as partners to Allah by no means possess any divine attributes.

Allah states in the Qur'an that these partners can neither harm them nor profit them (Jonah, 10:18), cannot create anything (Jonah, 10:34, Al-Araf, 7:191), they cannot help anyone, not even themselves (Al-Araf, 7: 192), and cannot lead to the righteous way (Jonah, 10:35). Despite their all being inherently weak, these "partners with Allah" are set up by pagans. The main reason for such an attitude is the fact that Allah bestows some of His attributes upon these beings.

The authority, sovereignty, supremacy, and prosperity a person possesses, for instance, truly belong to Allah. As a trial, Allah grants some of his attributes to some people in this life. Attributing all the power, possessions, etc. to a person's personality, and thus showing fear for him, would be merely associating partners with Allah. That person is neither a divine being nor someone who possesses the power to attain anything by himself. At this point, we hardly need mention that these are only imaginary beings one creates in one's own mind. In the Qur'an it is described thus:

Behold! Truly to Allah belong all creatures, in the heavens and on earth. What do they follow who worship as His "partners" other than Allah? They follow nothing but fancy, and they do nothing but lie. (Jonah, 10:66)

A person who worships someone other than Allah will live to regret his delay in understanding that those partners had no virtues whatsoever. Those partners, whom they preferred to Allah in this life, will lead them to a great grief in the Hereafter. Those partners are also the main reasons why pagans take Allah, Who has the sole power, honors, and glory, and Who is also the only One to be taken as the Protector, as their enemy. On the Day of Judgment, their fate will be as narrated in the following verses:

One day shall We gather them all together. Then we shall say to the idolaters, "To your place! You and those you associated with us as 'partners'. We shall separate them, and their "partners" will say: "It was not us that you worshipped! Allah is sufficient for a witness between us and you: we certainly knew nothing of your worship of us!" There every soul will prove the fruits of the deeds it sent before it: they will be brought back to Allah their rightful Lord, and their invented falsehoods will leave them in the lurch. (Jonah, 10: 28-30)

Then they will be asked: "Where are the deities to which you gave part-worship in derogation of Allah?" They will reply: "They have left us in the lurch: Nay, we did not invoke of old, anything that had real existence." Thus Allah leaves the unbelievers to stray. (Al-Ghafir, 40: 73-74)

The Qur'an defines the end of the pagans as follows:

But when they saw Our punishment, they said: "We believe in Allah, the one God and we reject the partners we used to associate with Him." But their professing the faith when they actually saw Our punishment was not going to profit them. Such has been Allah's way of dealing with His servants from the most ancient times. And so the rejecters of Allah perished utterly! (Al-Ghafir, 40: 84-85)

And Allah Knows Best .