Shuraka- Partners with Allah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In this post we will see the characteristic traits mentioned in Al-Kitab of ‘shuraka’; those who are made partners in the Lordship of Allah. Assigning partners with Allah, is an unforgiveable sin, so it is important to recognize this sin and keep well clear of it. Many people take this issue lightly, believing that they can never fall into the trap of associating any one with Allah. However, the below ayat states the opposite:

12:106  وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ

And the majority of them, do not believe in Allah  without associating (other as partners) with Him!

The above ayat states that majority of the people who believe in Allah, associate others with Him. While most believers are under the assumption that they can never associate with Allah. So, is there a gap in our understanding of association of others with Allah and Allah’s expectation of us? Lets review below ayahs:

7:194  إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُكُمْ ۖ فَادْعُوهُمْ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Verily those whom you call upon besides Allah are servants like you. Call upon them, and let them respond to you, if you are (indeed) truthful!

Allah forbids calling in divine matters anyone except Allah and He declares that those people you call upon are only people like you. In your eyes they may possess superhuman qualities, but in fact they are only humans with all humans constraints. Do they respond to you when you call them?

39:36  أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ ۖ وَيُخَوِّفُونَكَ بِالَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ ۚ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ

Is not Allah enough for his servant? But they try to frighten you with others besides Him! for he who Allah leaves to stray, there can be no guide.

Allah is asking a question: isn’t Allah sufficient for His slaves, why then they have to make others, their masters  in religious matters? These people  try to frighten you from their self appointed human deities for whom you will not find any confirmation in the Book of Allah.

39:38  وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ۚ قُلْ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَادَنِيَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ هَلْ هُنَّ كَاشِفَاتُ ضُرِّهِ أَوْ أَرَادَنِي بِرَحْمَةٍ هَلْ هُنَّ مُمْسِكَاتُ رَحْمَتِهِ ۚ قُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ ۖ عَلَيْهِ يَتَوَكَّلُ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ

If indeed you ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they would be sure to say, “Allah”. Say. ” Do you see then? Those  you call besides Allah,- can they remove His harm on me, If Allah intends a harm on me?- Or if He wills some Grace for me, can they keep back his Grace?” Say. “Sufficient is Allah for me! In Him, trust those who put their trust.”

The people who assume that there are some personalities who can remove their harms or bring them nearer to Allah’s grace, they do believe in Allah. The Messenger tells them to have their trust in Allah alone, as He is sufficient to take care of them.  

39:3  أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ

Isn’t the Din (Judgment) purely for Allah alone? But those who take protectors (Walis) besides Him (say). “We do not serve them except that they are nearer to bring us closer to Allah.” Truly Allah will judge between them in what they differ. Verily Allah does not guide him who is a liar, kafir (rejecter/coverer).

Allah provides identification of shuraka/partners. They are those, who people think are the chosen ones of Allah and by serving them, they will bring them nearer to Allah.

18:102 أَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَن يَتَّخِذُوا عِبَادِي مِن دُونِي أَوْلِيَاءَ ۚ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ نُزُلًا

Do the Unbelievers think that they can take My servants as protectors besides Me? Verily We have prepared Hell for the Unbelievers for (their) hospitality.

42:21  أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Do they have partners, who have established for them ways in religion (Shariat)  without the permission of Allah? Had it not been for the decree of Judgment, the matter would have been decided between them (at once). But verily the wrong-doers will have a grievous penalty.

Further identification of these shuraka/partners. They are making ‘sharia’ of religion. Those people who make sharia/ways in Din and cannot justify it from the Book, are identified as partners in orders of Allah. Why are they termed as partners, because people take orders from Allah and also take orders from these people.

10:35  قُلْ هَلْ مِن شُرَكَائِكُم مَّن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ ۚ قُلِ اللَّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ ۗ أَفَمَن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَن يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّن لَّا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَن يُهْدَىٰ ۖ فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

Say. “Of your ‘partners’ is there any one who can give any guidance towards truth?” Say. “It is Allah who gives guidance towards truth, is then He who gives guidance to truth more worthy to be followed, or he who finds not guidance (himself) unless he is guided? what then is the matter with you? How do you judge?”

A logical question, why not follow the source of guidance. 

31:30  ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ الْبَاطِلُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ

That is because Allah is the Haq/Truth, and  whoever else they call other than Him is falsehood; and indeed Allah,- He is the most High, most Great.

in some sects, it is common to call some personalities for help in divine matters and fate, which is prohibited by Allah.

72:18  وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا

“And the mosques are for Allah. So do not call any one along with Allah;

The above ayat prohibits calling any one with Allah as well, i.e calling ‘others’ with or without Allah, both are prohibited. As people would assume that labelled non-muslims, call deities which are other than Allah, while labelled Muslims are justified in calling and praising in divine/religious matters their favorites who have favors with Allah therefore are with Allah. 

6:114  أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ مُنَزَّلٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ

Say. “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah? – and He is Who has sent unto you (people) the Book, explained in detail.” The people whom we gave the Book, know fully well, that it has been sent down from your Lord in truth. Thus you, never be of those who doubt.

A direct question posed by messenger and should be followed in his sunnah by others; Why should I seek orders from others while Allah has sent down the Book explained in detail?

The partners/Shuraka in Allah are those whose orders are also followed in addition to Allah’s. So, if any one orders something and cannot not produce basis of the ayat which is the source of his order, that would mean his order is not from Allah and should not be followed.

No sharia or order other than Allah’s to be accepted, as he has sent a Book containing all necessary details. When Allah has sent down a detailed book then why should people seek other’s orders? Allah is asking; do these people take their orders from some one other than Allah, while he has revealed the Book with details.

39:45  وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ

When Allah, alone is remembered, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with aversion; but when others than Him, are remembered, behold, they are filled with joy!

Further identification of unwanted behavior of people holding on to others as partners of Allah: When Allah alone is mentioned in a group, these people don’t feel comfortable, however when the names of their favorites are mentioned, they become happy.

2:165  وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ

Yet there are people who take others besides Allah, as equals. They love them as they should love Allah. But the believers have great love for Allah. If only the oppressors could see the penalty, that to Allah belongs all power, and Allah is severe in punishment.

Identification of true believers; They love Allah more than any one else.

12:40  مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

You do serve beside Him certain names invented by you and your forefathers, Allah has not revealed any authority for them. The Command (hukum) is for none but Allah and He has commanded that you shall not serve except Him. This is the established Din/Judgement, but most people do not know.

This Ayat needs soul searching as many believers may be revering some list of names against which  Allah has not revealed any authority in His Book.

7:70  قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا ۖ فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ

They said, “Did you come to make us serve Allah alone, and abandon what our forefathers used to serve? We challenge you to bring (the doom), you threaten us with, if you are truthful.”

The above is the reply all messenger get when they convey the message of Allah to their nations. ‘How can we forsake, what our forefathers were serving all their lives and what they instilled in us?’

10:18  وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِندَ اللَّهِ ۚ قُلْ أَتُنَبِّئُونَ اللَّهَ بِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

They serve, besides Allah, those who cannot either harm them nor profit them, and they say. “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say. “Do you indeed inform Allah of something He does not know, in the heavens or on earth?- Glory to Him! and  He is far above the partners they ascribe (to Him)!”

Those who people hold on to, and boast as their intercessors with Allah, for which Allah has not revealed any authority, He asks them that do they inform Allah of their decision, while He knows everything. Were they really to be intercessors with Allah, He would have revealed authority for them in His Book.  

16:56  وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ نَصِيبًا مِّمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ ۗ تَاللَّهِ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنتُمْ تَفْتَرُونَ

And they (even) assign, to those they do not know, a portion of their sustenance! bestowed by Allah. You shall certainly be called to account for your false inventions.

Those people are mentioned who assign portion of their Rizq/sustenance for those they don’t even know such as Nazr/Niaz for others. They will certainly be called to account for this invention.

7:197  وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَكُمْ وَلَا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَنصُرُونَ

“and those people you call upon besides Him, are unable to help you, and indeed to help even themselves.”

The people who are normally called upon as helpers in divine matters, are incapable of helping.

17:56  قُلِ ادْعُوا الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِّن دُونِهِ فَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ كَشْفَ الضُّرِّ عَنكُمْ وَلَا تَحْوِيلًا

Say. “Call on those – besides Him – whom do you assume with pride. They have neither the power to remove your troubles from you nor to change them.”

2:141  تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۖ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ ۖ وَلَا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Those were the people who has passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and you of what you do! and you will not be questioned of what they used to do.

Pay heed to this Allah’s advise. You will not be questioned about what previous people used to do, as you cannot be witness over them except what Allah tells in his Book.

10:66 أَلَا إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَمَا يَتَّبِعُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ شُرَكَاءَ ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ

Behold! to Allah belong all what is in the heavens and in the earth. What do they follow who call upon “partners” other than Allah? They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but guesswork.

Holding on to partners with Allah, is a system of conjecture and guesswork by people.

43:15  وَجَعَلُوا لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا ۚ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَكَفُورٌ مُّبِينٌ

And they have made some of His servants an (integral) part of Him ! truly man is a clear rejecter.

29:51  أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to you the Book which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is Mercy and a Reminder to those who believe.

Is it not enough for them the Book is revealed by Allah, which is recited to them. What else are they waiting for?

9:17  مَا كَانَ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يَعْمُرُوا مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ شَاهِدِينَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِم بِالْكُفْرِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ وَفِي النَّارِ هُمْ خَالِدُونَ

It is not for the mushriks / associaters to spend time in mosques of Allah, while they are witness over their nafs/psyche to rejection. They are those whose works are wasted and in the fire they will live forever.

The associaters time spent in mosques and their worships will all be in vain. They themselves will tell and will be witness to what they say and associate with Allah while they are in the mosques.

6:22-23  وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ نَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا أَيْنَ شُرَكَاؤُكُمُ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ  ثُمَّ لَمْ تَكُن فِتْنَتُهُمْ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا وَاللَّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ

One day shall We gather them all together. We shall say to those who ascribed partners (to Us). “Where are the partners whom you assumed with so much pride? “There will then be no temptation for them but to say. “By Allah our Lord, we were not those who took partners (with Allah).”

The people who associate do not realize that they are the associating with Allah. Even on the day of Judgment before Allah, they will be repeating the same and will swear that they are not the mushrikeen/associaters.

4:48  إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

Verily Allah does not forgive that partners should be set up with Him; but He may forgive anything other than that, according to His wishes; Whoever set partner with Allah indeed invented a most grievous sin.

However, the sin of associating partners with Allah is not going to be forgiven by Allah.

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