In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 165 – 167
The previous ayaat talked about the Oneness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We learned that the only One worthy of worship is Him. In the current ayaat, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala highlights one of the errors made by mankind – loving others as one should love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Such an error leads one to Shirk – a sin that will never be forgiven unless one sincerely repents from it.
In these ayaat, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala mentions the condition of the polytheists in this life and their destination in the Hereafter. They appointed equals and rivals with Allah, worshipping them along with Allah and loving them, just as they love Allah. However, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the only deity worthy of worship, Who has neither rival nor opponent nor partner. It is reported in the Saheehayn that ‘Abdullah bin Mas’oud radhiAllahu ‘anhu said: I said, “O Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! What is the greatest sin?” He said:
أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك
“To appoint a rival to Allah while He Alone has created you.”
All the blessings that we enjoy are from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, but we have love, hope, and attachment for someone else? While Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala should have been the center of our attention others have become our main focus. We worry more about what people think of us and what they expect from us rather than what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala thinks of us.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala corrects our error by reminding us who the believers should love the most:
وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ
“But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else)”
Because these believers love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, know His greatness, revere Him, believe in His Oneness, they do not associate anything or anyone with Him in worship. They worship Him Alone, depend on Him and they seek help from Him for each and every need.
POINT TO REFLECT: Are we truly like this? Do we truly depend on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala as we should? Do we truly believe that He is the Only One Who can ease our worries or do we take our problems to others first and then to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Is there someone or something other than Allah that has become the main focus of our lives?
When the heart is attached to someone or something else, it puts the love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala after the beloved. Here, there is a danger of Shirk – a major sin that we should be cautious of.
Some ways of protecting ourselves are increasing our knowledge about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, knowledge about His Names and Attributes, keeping our hearts free from vain desires and temptations, being watchful of the distractions and maintaining a righteous company.
It is natural to fall in love – this is a human need but before we fall for a created being we must give our hearts to the Creator [as was mentioned in ayaat 93 – 96]. Therefore, one must not assume that loving one’s spouse, children or family and friends is prohibited. Rather, it is obedience or submission to something other than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and something that becomes our main focus instead of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that is prohibited.
We should remember that love falls into two categories: (i) That which is pure, and that is worshipful love which necessitates humility, submissiveness, exaltation and complete obedience; none has the right to such love except Allah; (ii) the second kind of love is shared love: This includes natural love, such as the love of certain foods, certain places, etc., the love of family, such as that of a child for his parents and vice versa. Such love may come and go, strengthen and weaken, unlike the first category, for it is incumbent upon us to love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to the utmost of our ability.
If there is someone or something that you love more than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, someone or something who has become the main focus of your life and you obey him while disobeying Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to free you of such a slavery.
Anyone or anything that makes us negligent of the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is a Fitnah. If we are so indulged in raising our children or serving mankind that we miss our prayers, have no time for Qur’an or do anything worthwhile in the way of Allah then we really need to check our heart’s state.
We cannot worship a place (such as a grave) or a person. Only Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala deserves this servitude.
[Listen to the Lecture: Muhabatoun ka Imtehaan (in Urdu)]
Whoever loves someone or something as much as Allah, has set up a partner with Allah and this is an act of Shirk. This is what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala warns us about, “If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment that all power belongs to Allah.” If these people knew what they will face and the terrible punishment they are to suffer because of their disbelief and Shirk (polytheism), then they would shun the deviation that they live by.
We run after other people or sources because we believe they will save us or rescue us from our trials. We should remember that every created being is weak in its nature. Therefore, instead of chasing or relying over weak beings we should depend on the One Who is the Most Powerful and All Capable. He has the way out for all our problems, so why not turn to Him?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala mentions their false beliefs in their idols, and that those they followed will declare their innocence of them on the Day of Judgment. “When those who were followed disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them),” meaning the deities that they claimed to worship will disown the polytheists as was mentioned in another ayah, “We declare our innocence (from them) before You. It was not us they worshiped.” [Al-Qasas 28:63]
Because of their incorrect belief there will be no one to save them, “…all their relations will be cut off from them.” Their power and means of salvation will all be cut off, and they will have no way of making amends, nor will they find a way to escape the Hellfire.
Witnessing the denouncement of their false deities and no means of salvation, the polytheists will request Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to return them to the worldly life, for one more chance, so that they too can declare their innocence from the false deities. Ibn Katheer writes that this ayah means if we only had a chance to go back to the life so that we could disown them (their idols, leaders, etc.), shun their worship, ignore them and worship Allah Alone instead. But they utter a lie in this regard, because if they were given the chance to go back, they would only return to what they were prohibited from doing, just as Allah said. This is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said:
كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ حَسَرَتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ
“Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them,” meaning, their works will vanish and disappear. This has been mentioned at many places in the Qur’an, for example,
“The parable of those who disbelieved in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day.” [Ibraheem 14:18]
“As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water.” [An-Nur 24:39]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the topic by saying, they will never get out of Fire. It is because, as mentioned earlier, Shirk is a major sin and there is no hope for one’s salvation unless one seeks repentance. We should read up on the various types of Shirk and keep ourselves protected. There is also a need to spread this because many people love another created being or depend more on others than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
We seek refuge in Allah from Shirk and having our deeds wasted. We ask Him to fill our hearts with His and everything that brings us closer to Him and to distance us from all the things that distance us from Him. Allahumma ameen.
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