Friday, 3 July 2015

Mushirks on a sinking ship

Mushirks on a sinking ship


M. ibn Abdul Wahab (Najdi ) (d.1206.AH) in his book:

“The three basic principles and their proofs”

says at the end of the book as a fourth rule : The associationists -mushriks- of now days are worse and hence more guilty than those of the ancient times. For the ancient ones used to commit shirk in prosperity and return to genuine faith in adversity, whereas… ...
Then he quotes ayah 65 of surah ankabut :
“ When they board the ship ,they invoke Allah making their faith pure for Him only; then when He brings them safe to land ,they start committing shirk. ”

My question is:
How does it become pure or genuine faith when someone calls Allah only when having difficulty while travelling on a ship?
I.e If a mushrik who beliefs in the multiplicity of Allah and worships others beside Allah when trapped in a ship calls Allah; how does the faith become pure?
Isn’t pure faith to believe that there is no God but Allah rather then just calling only Allah?
Is the translation of the ayah correct?
If not, what is the actual translation of the ayah ?


Aţ-Ţabariyy says about the meaning: When they were afflicted by this affliction, they purified their belief in the oneness of Aļļaah, and made their obedience only for His sake, and submitted their worship to Him alone, and did not call their deities or idols.
تفسير الطبري – يقول تعالى ذكره: فإذا ركب هؤلاء المشركون السفينة في البحر، فخافوا الغرق والهلاك فيه( دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ) يقول: أخلصوا لله عند الشدّة التي نزلت بهم التوحيد، وأفردوا له الطاعة، وأذعنوا له بالعبودة، ولم يستغيثوا بآلهتهم وأندادهم،

Ibn Al-Jawziyy narrated that Muqaatil said: “diin here (what was translated as “faith” above) means tawĥiid, i.e. they would not call those they claimed to be Aļļaah’s partners.
زاد المسير – قوله تعالى : { فاذا رَكِبُوا في الفُلْك } يعني المشركين { دَعَوُا اللّهَ مُخْلِصِين له الدِّين } أي : أفردوه بالدُّعاء . قال مقاتل : والدِّين بمعنى التوحيد؛ والمعنى أنهم لا يَدْعُون مَنْ يَدْعُونه شريكاً له { فلمَّا نَجَّاهم } أي : خلَّصهم من أهوال البحر ، وأَفْضَوا { إِلى البَرِّ إِذا هم يُشْرِكون } في البَرّ ، وهذا إِخبار عن عنادهم .

An-Nasafiyy said it means: They took the appearance of a believer that takes his religion purely for Aļļaah’s sake, and only make (worshipful) remembrance of Him and do not worship anyone else (or call another deity).
تفسير النسفي – { فَإِذَا رَكِبُواْ فِى الفلك } هو متصل بمحذوف دل عليه ما وصفهم به وشرح من أمرهم معناه : هم على ما وصفوا به من الشرك والعناد فإذا ركبوا في الفلك { دَعَوُاْ الله مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدين } كائنين في صورة من يخلص الدين لله من المؤمنين حيث لا يذكرون إلا الله ولا يدعون معه إلاهاً آخر

Al-Bagħawiyy said it means: They abandoned their idols.
تفسير البغوي – قوله تعالى: { فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ } وخافوا الغرق، { دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ } وتركوا الأصنام

So faith, in the sense of real belief in the heart is not necessarily the meaning here.

In fact, it can mean worship or obedience, or that they took the appearance of montheists, as An-Nasafiyy stated.

As always, the word duˆaa here is understood as meaning worship or calling in worship. It is not merely calling, or even calling for help. If someone was on a ship about to sink and called someone to help him with a sail he would not have committed shirk, because this call is not worship. It is not worship because he does not consider the called to be deserving of worship, or having the real and actual power to influence events. This is what M. ibn ˆAbdul Wahhaab  (Najdi)  and his ilk could not understand.

Someone asked: I need the to know the specific(not general) reason for revelation of these verses.  Why is the act of mushriks on a sinking ship specifically mentioned in several verses ?
Comment: Some mention that it was a habit of the Arabs to bring idols with them on their boats, and then if the going got tough, they would do as described. As they say, " there is no atheist on a sinking ship.” There seems to be something about sinking ships that makes it a solid reality call. Anyone who has been on the ocean in bad weather knows what I am speaking of. I guess the best way to describe it is: “A enormous unpredictable deathtrap not under any creature’s apparent control.” Ponder that.

Someone asked: did the mushriks believe that only Allah can help in distress?  did the mushriks call other gods beside Allah when in distress?
Comment: They knew that Allaah is the true Creator, but the worshiped other than Him still. They believed that this was something that would make Allaah accept them. Note that we are speaking of actual worship here, not merely asking for help or intercession. The latter is based on the acknowledgment that some worshipers are more likely to have their prayers answered than others, and to be blessed in what they do. The former, however, is based on thinking that other than Allaah deserves worship. The difference between them is enormous.

Someone asked: do you have any book/quote from sunni scholars on the mushrikeen belief of Allah/god?
Comment: Sure, there are many. For example, under the kinds of shirk, As-Sanuusiyy (895 AH) mentions 6 types of shirk.

The 2nd and 3rd kinds mentioned are:

(2) Shirk of making close, which is to worship other than Aļļaah to (according to those who do it) get closer to Aļļaah (i.e His acceptance), such as the shirk of the predecessors of the Arabs of the Jaahiliyyah period.
(3) Shirk of immitation, which is to worship other than Aļļaah because others are doing it, like the later generations of the Jaahiliyyah.” (Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat, P. 46)

source: Here


Wahhabi Contention: Asharis do not refute Shirk

Wahhabi Contention: The threat of worshipping other than the True God (i.e., shirk) is actually much more real and pronounced, and it is for this reason that literally thousands of verses in the Quran deal with the problem of shirk, whereas only a handful deal with atheism. We only wish the Asharis took on refuting shirk with the same passion and zeal that they do in determining what God ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ be characterized with.

Sunni Response: 

The Ahl al Sunnah wal Jama’ah are concerned with the problem of shirk.
We want everyone to believe that Allah is not a body. There is no difference between someone who believes that Allah is a body, and says “but I don’t know how,” and a Hindu that only worships one idol that he has not seen yet, and says “I don’t know how.”

Both are worshiping something physical that they don’t know the shape of, but that has a shape; they are two things of the same kind.

Al-Qurtubi in his commentary in the Quran narrates from his Shaykh Ibn Al-Arabi, the famous hadith scholar of Andalus, regarding those who say Allah has a body: “The sound verdict is that they are blasphemers, because there is no difference between them and those that worship idols and pictures. Thus they are requested to repent from this belief, and if they refuse they are killed” (4/14).

What it comes down to is that it is of extreme importance that you actually worship Allah, not just something that you call Allah. You don’t become a believer in Allah by calling an idolAllah.”

This is the main concern of Ahl al Sunnah wal Jama’ah, and it is a concern about shirk.

Author: Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji

source: Here

Ibn Abdul Wahab Najdi’s
4 Principles of Shirk


(Edited by ADHM)