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Da'wah Of Prophets And Apostles: Their Examples And Virtue Of Tawheed - Part One

27 January 2011

By Al-Ikhwah Al-Mujahidun

Throughout human history, from the time of Prophet Adam Alaihi Salam (AS) to Nuh AS (estimated to be 10 centuries apart), may Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala (SWT) always shower them with peace, all were still upon the groundwork and foundation of tawheed (Islamic Monotheism).

Ibnu Abbas said:

كان بين نوح وادم عشرة قرون كلّهم على شريعة من الحقّ فاختلفوا فبعث الله النبيين مبنشّرومنذرين

"Between Nuh and Adam, there were 10 centuries in which all of them were upon the shari'a of haq, then they disagreed, so Allah SWT sent the Prophets as the bearers of glad tidings and warnings." [jami' Al-Bayan 2/194].

Deviation from the doctrines of tawheed, happened for the first time among the people of Prophet Nuh AS, who worshipped idols because of excessive reverence for pious men among them. Allah SWT recounts this incident in His verse:

"Noah said, 'My Lord, indeed they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children will not increase him except in loss.' And they conspired an immense conspiracy. And said, 'Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa' or Yaghuth and Ya'uq and Nasr.'" {QS Nuh : 21-23}

Ibnu Abbas said:

صارت الأوثان التى كانت في قوم نوح في العرب بعد امّا ودّكانت لكلب بدومة الجندل وامّا سواع كانت لهذيل وامّا بغوث فكانت لمراد ثمّ لبنى غطيف باجرف عند سباء وامّايعوق فاكانت لهمدان وامّا نسر فكانت لحمير لال ذى الكلاع اسماء رجال صالحين من قوم نوج فلمّاهلكوا اوحى الشيطان الى قومهم ان انصبوا الى مجالسهمالّتى كانوا يجلسون انصابا وسمّوها باسماءهم ففعلوا فلم تعبد حتى اذا هلك اولئك وتنسّخ العلم عبدت

"Pagan idols that existed in the time of Nuh would become idols for the Arab nation afterwards. Wadd was an idol of the Bani Kalb in Daumatil Jandal. Suwa' was an idol of the Bani Hudzail. Yaghuth was an idol of the Bani Murod, and later for the Bani Ghuthoif on a hillside located in Saba. Ya'uq is an idol for Hamdan. While Nasr was an idol for Himyar. All are the names of the prominent figures of pious people of Prophet Nuh. When they died, satan then began to blow whispers on the people in the council chamber where they sat, prompting them to make sculptures of them, then they named them with those names, and they did so, but had not worshipped them yet, until the time when they were all dead and knowledge began to dim, then all of those were worshipped ." [HR. Bukhari: 4920]

It is from this ummah of Prophet Nuh AS that later the shirk (polytheism) was spreading into the midst of the human race following them. It is in such context that the caravans prophets came and went to restore mankind back to the basis of their fitrah (innate nature), namely tawheed.

Allah SWT says:

"And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, "There is no deity except Me, so worship Me." {QS Al-Anbiyaa : 25}

"All the Apostles before you (Muhammad) along with their books, the essence and basis of their message is the commandment to worship Allah SWT alone, there is no partner of Him, as well as the clarification that He is the true Ilah Who has the right to be worshipped. And worshipping others besides Him is bathil." [Taisiir Al-Kariim Ar-Rahman : 470]

Allah SWT says:

"And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], 'Worship Allah and avoid Thaghut.'" {QS An-Nahl : 36}

"That there is not even one ummah, from the past or which came later, except that Allah SWT sent to them a Rasul (Apostle) all of whom carried a single mission (da'wah), one religion i.e to worship Allah alone, Who has no partner." [Taisiir Al Kariim Ar Rahman : 393]

In other verse, Allah SWT says:

"We had certainly sent Noah to his people, and he said, 'O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him.'" {QS Al-A'raaf : 59}

"Allah SWT said about Nuh or other apostles: "Verily, We have sent him to his nation to invite them to worship Allah SWT alone. When they were worshipping idols."" [Taisiir Al Kariim Ar-Rahman : 255]

And in a verse which is in harmony with the above verse, Allah SWT says:

"And to the 'Aad [We sent] their brother Hud. He said, 'O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. Then will you not fear Him?'" {QS Al-A'raaf 65}

"He called on them toward tawheed, forbidding them to do shirk and evil on earth." [Taisiir Al-Kariim Ar-Rahman : 265]

"And to the Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, 'O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him.'" {QS Al-A'raaf : 73}

"SWT sent a Prophet to them to invite towards iman and tawheed, as well as prohibiting them from doing shirk and seeking equals. The da'wah of Salih is the type of preaching of the other apostles i.e. the commandment to worship Allah SWT and explain to them that a slave has no Ilah other than Him." [Taisiir Al-Kariim Ar Rahman : 257]

All those continued to happen, until the time came when Allah SWT raised Prophet Isa AS to heaven, then mankind began to deviate and replaced the shari'a of Allah SWT, thus shirk became rampant on the face of the earth and the Jews and Christians began to ascribe partner to Allah SWT. The Jews worship Uzair, while the Christians worship Isa (Jesus) and his mother.

Allah SWT says:

"The Jews say, 'Ezra is the son of Allah'; and the Christians say, 'The Messiah is the son of Allah.' That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]" {QS At-Taubah : 30}

"The followers of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah) differed in opinions after he was raised to heaven, as told by Ibnu Abbas and other ulama's of salaf. Such as what they had said: 'With us, was a slave and apostle of Allah SWT who was raised to heaven,' the others said 'He is Allah SWT'. Whereas, some others said: 'He is the son of Allah SWT'" [Al-Qasas al-Anbiya : 627]

And far away there, in the Arabian peninsula (Hijaz) to be exact, a majority of the Arab nations have long since followed the da'wah of Ismail AS, i.e. when he called upon the religion of his father, Ibrahim, in which the essence was to worship Allah SWT, acknowledge His Oneness (tawheed) and embrace His religion.

And as time rolled further, many of them neglected the teachings of tawheed which had been conveyed to them. Yet, there was still some teachings of twaheed remaining and some Shi'ar from the religion of Ibrahim, until Amr bin Luhay, the leader of Bani Khuza'ah, came into the scene. He grew as a person who likes to act wisely, giving sadaqah and respectful towards the affairs religion, so everyone loved him and they almost considered him as a great ulama' and respected wali (saint).

Then, he travelled to Sham (Syria). There he saw the people of Sham worshipping idols and considered it as a good and right thing to do. Because, according to him, Sham is the birthplace of the apostles and where the holy books were revealed. Then he returned home while bringing with him the idol of Hubal and placed it inside the Ka'bah. After that he invited the inhabitants of Makkah to associate a partner against Allah SWT by worshipping that Hubal. Many people of Hijaz then immitated the inhabitants of the holy land.

Their first idol was Manat, which was placed in Mushallal on the side of the Red Sea near Qudaid. Then they cerated Lata in Tha'if and Uzza in Nakhlah Wadi. These are the three biggest idols. Polytheism got more widespread after that and smaller idols were scattered in every place in Hijaz. It was told that Amr bin Luhay had helpers from the species of jinn.

These jinn told him that the idols of the people of (Wadd, Suwaa, Yaghuts, Ya'uq and Nasr) are buried in Jiddah. So he went there and picked them, and carried them to Tihamah. After the hajj season came, he presented those idols to the various kabilah (tribes) and in the end those idols returned to each of their places of origin, until it could almost be ascertained that in every tribe and in every house, it had its idol. They also filled Al-Masjidil Haram with all sorts of idols and statues.

When Rasulullah conquered Makkah, there are three hundred and sixty idols around the Ka'bah. He destroyed the pagan idols until they all collapsed, he then ordered the idols to be removed from the masjid and burnt.

That's the story of polytheism and the worship of idols, which became the biggest phenomenon in the religion of the jahilliyah (ignorant) people who (still) considered themselves upon the hanif religion of Prophet Ibrahim AS.

It is precisely for that, that Rasulullah was sent i.e. to restore the fitrah of mankind to tawheed preached by the apostles before him.

"Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you." {QS Fussilat : 43}

 

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