Excessive Dogma in the Righteous Persons is the Root Cause of Infidelity of Mankind and its deviation from True Religion
The Statement of Allah the Almighty and Most Exalted: “O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah anything but the truth…” (4:171)
In the Sahih, Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) commented on the verse: “And they have said: You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd nor Suwa` nor Yaghuth nor Ya’uq nor Nasr (names of the idols).” (71:23)
He said: “These are the names of some righteous persons from Noah’s (Nuh) people. When they passed away, Satan inspired their people to set up statues in their honour and set them in their
gathering places, and to give these statues the names of those departed. They did this but did not worship them until these people passed away and knowledge of their origins were forgotten, then
they were worshipped.”
Ibn Al-Qaiyim (May Allah be pleased with him) said that most of our predecessors have stated: After the death (of the righteous persons), they confined at their graves and made statues and after much time passed they started worshipping them.
Umar (bin AI-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him)) is reported to have said that Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not exaggerate in praise of me just as the Christians exaggerated in the praise of Jesus, son of Mary. I am but a slave, so call me Allah’s slave and His Messenger.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Beware of exaggeration. Your predecessors perished on account of their exaggeration.”
In (Sahih) Muslim, Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Destroyed are those who are extreme (in religion).” He (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said it three times.
Important issues of the Chapter
1) Whoever understood this chapter and the following two, will recognize clearly the
“strangeness” of Islam and see Allah’s wondrous power and wisdom to change hearts.
2) The first Shirk on the earth happened due to the confusion regarding righteous persons (that they have attributed godly characteristics).
3) The first thing to cause changes in the religion of the Prophets and the reason for that, despite the knowledge that they were sent by Allah.
4) The acceptance of heresy though it is against legal laws and inborn nature. 5) The reason for all of that is the mixing of truth with falsehood: firstly, the exaggeration in the love of the
righteous; and secondly, the action of people with religious knowledge intending to do good (performed with well intentions); but the later generations thought that they intended
6) Explanation of the verse in Surah Nuh (71:23).
7) Human nature towards the truth weakens in the heart while falsehood increases. (Except upon whom Allah has bestowed His mercy).
8) It confirms the sayings of righteous predecessors that heresy(Bid’ah) is the main cause leading to Kufr (disbelief) [and that it (Bid’ah) is more loved by Iblis than sinfulness because one may repent from sins but will not repent from Bid ‘ah].
9) Satan (the devil) knows what the result of heresy is (and how much will it misguide), even if one commits it with good intention.
10) Knowledge of the general rule that excess and exaggeration (in the righteous ones) is prohibited, and knowledge of what it leads to.
11) The harm of seclusion at the grave even with intention of performing a righteous deed.
12) The prohibition against statues and the wisdom in destroying them.
13) Greatness of the matter within this story and how badly it is needed (i.e. the lesson within) in the face of the heedlessness and neglect of it.
14) It is absolutely amazing! And more amazing is that despite their (people of Bid’ah) reading this story in the books of Tafsir and Hadith, along with their understanding of its meaning, and knowing about the obstruction that Allah has put between them and their hearts, they believed that the deed of the people of Nuh (i.e. over praising the dead and memorializing their graves with statues) is the best type of worship. They believed in what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden which is the disbelief (Kufr) that permits the taking of life and wealth …!
15) The declaration that they only wished the righteous ones to intercede for them.
16) Their assumption that those scholars who first shaped the statues had intended so.
17) The tremendous statement of Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) “Do not exaggerate in praise of me just as the Christians had exaggerated in the praise of Jesus, son of Mary”. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him who has conveyed the clear message!
18) The admonition by the Prophet (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) to us of destruction of those going to extreme in religion.
19) The clear statement that they (the statues) were not worshipped until true knowledge was forgotten. This explains the value of the presence of knowledge and the harm of losing it.
20) The reason for the loss of knowledge is the death of scholars.