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The Sealed Nectar

 The Sealed Nectar by Shaykh Safi ur-Rahman

 Most of the Arabs had complied with the call of Ishmael (Peace be upon him) , and professed the
religion of his father Abraham (Peace be upon him) They had worshipped Allâh, professed His
Oneness a nd followed His religion a long time until they forgot part of what they had been reminded
of. However, they still maintained such fundamental beliefs such as monotheism as well as various
other aspects of Abraham’s religion, until the time when a chief of Khuza‘a, namely ‘Amr bin Luhai,
who was renowned for righteousness, charity, reverence and care for religion, and was granted
unreserved love and obedience by his tribesmen, came back from a trip to Syria where he saw
people worship idols, a phenomenon he approved of and believed it to be righteous since Syria was
the locus of Messengers and Scriptures, he brought with him an idol (Hubal) which he placed in the
middle of Al-Ka‘bah and summoned people to worship it. Readily enough, paganism spread all over
Makkah and, thence, to Hijaz, people of Makkah being custodians of not only the Sacred House but
the whole Haram as well. A great many idols, bearing different names, were introduced into the
area.

An idol called ‘Manat’, for instance, was worshipped in a place known as Al-Mushallal near Qadid on
the Red Sea. Another, ‘Al-Lat’ in Ta’if, a third, ‘Al-‘Uzza’ in the valley of Nakhlah, and so on and so
forth. Polytheism prevailed and the number of idols increased everywhere in Hijaz. It was even
mentioned that ‘Amr bin Luhai, with the help of a jinn companion who told him that the idols of
Noah’s folk – Wadd, Suwa‘, Yaguth, Ya‘uk and Nasr – were buried in Jeddah, dug them out and took
them to Tihama. Upon pilgrimage time, the idols were distributed among the tribes to take back
home.

Every tribe, and house, had their own idols, and the Sacred House was also overcrowded with
them. On the Prophet’s conquest of Makkah, 360 idols were found around Al-Ka‘bah. He broke them
down and had them removed and burned up.
Polytheism and worship of idols became the most prominent feature of the religion of pre-Islam
Arabs despite alleged profession of Abraham’s religion.
Traditions and ceremonies of the worship of their idols had been mostly created by ‘Amr bin Luhai,
and were deemed as good innovations rather than deviations from Abraham’s religion. Some
features of their worship of idols were:

Self-devotion to the idols, seeking refuge with them, acclamation of their names, calling for
their help in hardship, and supplication to them for fulfillment of wishes, hopefully that the
idols (i.e., heathen gods) would mediate with Allâh for the fulfillment of people’s wishes.

Performing pilgrimage to the idols, circumrotation round them, self-abasement and even
prostrating themselves before them.

Seeking favour of idols through various kinds of sacrifices and immolations, which is
mentioned in the Qur’ânic verses:

“And that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone-altars)” [5:3]
Allâh also says:

“Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which Allâh’s Name has not been pronounced (at
the time of the slaughtering of the animal).” [6:121]

Consecration of certain portions of food, drink, cattle, and crops to idols. Surprisingly
enough, portions were also consecrated to Allâh Himself, but people often found reasons to
transfer parts of Allâh’s portion to idols, but never did the opposite. To this effect, the
Qur’ânic verses go:

“And they assign to Allâh a share of the tilth and cattle which He has created, and they
say: ‘This is for Allâh according to their pretending, and this is for our (Allâh’s so-called)
partners.’ But the share of their (Allâh’s so-called) ‘partners’, reaches not Allâh, while the
share of Allâh reaches their (Allâh’s so-called) ‘partners’. Evil is the way they judge.”
[6:136]
17

Currying favours with these idols through votive offerings of crops and cattle, to which
effect, the Qur’ân goes:

“And according to their pretending, they say that such and such cattle and crops are
forbidden, and none should eat of them except those whom we allow. And (they say) there
are cattle forbidden to be used for burden or any other work, and cattle on which (at
slaughtering) the Name of Allâh is not pronounced; lying against Him (Allâh).” [6:138]

The Sealed Nectar

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