Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 7 Whoever Seeks Blessing From a Tree, Stone, or Any Such Thing
Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 7
Whoever Seeks Blessing From a Tree, Stone, or Any Such Thing
Allah (swt ), says:
" Have you seen Al-Laat and Al-`Uzzaa? and another, the third, Manaat? What! Is the male sex for you and the female for Him? That would indeed be a most unfair division!" (Qur'an 53:19-22)
Allah (swt ), Most High, reviles all idol-worshipping polytheists in general and in particular, those who worship the three idols: Al-Laat,1 the idol of the people of Taa'if,2 Al-'Uzza,3 worshipped by the people of Waadi Nakhlah, and Manaat,4 the idol of the people of Al-Mushallal, near Al-Qadeed,5 and He challenges them concerning these idols: Can they benefit them in any way, by bringing good or protecting from harm? Or are they simply names which they have given themselves, not sanctioned by Allah (swt )? Allah (swt ) also reviles their unfair division: That they appoint those whom they despise, especially the weak females, as children for Allah (swt ), the Almighty, the All-powerful, while they prefer for themselves sons, embodying the characteristics of manliness, strength and power.
That being the case, if this is injustice to women, then how about Allah (swt )? Allah (swt ) is far above that which they attribute to Him from sons and daughters.
Benefits Derived From These Verses
1. The obligation to reject the forbidden.
2. The falseness of idol-worship.
3. The obligation to reject the attribution of sons and daughters to Allah.
4. The corruption of the fitrah6 in the polytheists, who attributed daughters to Allah, even though they despise them for themselves; and they claimed that their idol-worship was only to bring them closer to Allah.
Relevance of These Verses to the Subject of the Chapter
That they prove that the worship of these idols by the polytheists was a means of seeking protection from harm; and anyone who seeks blessing from a tree, a grave or worships any other created thing seeking benefit or protection from harm is imitating them and commits an act of Shirk like them.
It has been said concerning Al-Laat that he was a pious man who used to prepare saweeq7 for the pilgrims to Makkah, and that when he died, they began to worship at the site of his grave.
It was also said that it was a name given to a carved stone; and in reconciling these two statements, we may say that the carved stone was near to the grave (which is often marked with a stone), and the edifice erected covered both of them, thus making them into one object of worship.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Waqid Al-Laithi (ra ) that he said: "We were travelling with the Prophet (saas ) to Hunain, when we had only recently abandoned disbelief and the polytheists had a lotus-tree at which they used to worship and upon which they used to hang their weapons. They called it: Zaatu Anwaat. So we said to Allah's Messenger (saas ):
"Make for us a Zaatu Anwaat like theirs," at which the Messenger of Allah (saas ) said: "Allaahu Akbar! Verily, that which you have said - by Him in Whose Hand is my soul - is the same as was said by the Children of Israel to Moosa: "Make for us a god such as the gods which they (the polytheist Egyptians) have." Then he (saas ) said: "Verily, you are an ignorant people who will follow the way of those who were before you."(Narrated by At-Tirmizi, who declared it authentic)
Abu Waaqid Al-Laithi (ra ) informs us in this Hadith that he accompanied the Prophet (saas ) on a journey to the Battle of Hunain, and that they (the Companions) knew that the polytheists had a lotus-tree from which they used to seek blessings and at which they would remain to worship; and because of the fact that they were new to Islam, and because they did not fully realize its goals (i.e. to call people to worship Allah swt , Alone), they asked the Prophet (saas ) to designate a tree like it for them that they might also seek blessings from it and worship in its vicinity like the pagans. At this, the Prophet (saas ) exclaimed, in vexation: "Allaahu Akbar!", 8 then he explained to them that such ignorance was the same as that displayed by the people of Moosa (as ) who asked him to make for them an idol like those of the pagan Egyptians which they might worship and this was after Allah (swt ) had saved them from Fir'aoun9 and his people. Then he informed them that this Ummah will do as the Jews and Christians do in everything, including Shirk.
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. The virtue of making clear that which would refute the charge of back-biting, by saying: "...when we had recently abandoned disbelief..."
2. The difficulty man experiences in removing ingrained habits.
3. That devotion (i'tikaaf) to a particular place is an act of worship.
4. That the ignorant person is excused by virtue of his ignorance so long as he ceases his mistake once knowledge comes to him.
5. The prohibition of imitating the ignorant people such as the polytheists and others.
6. The permissibility of saying: "Allaahu Akbar!" when one is surprised.
7. The obligation to close off all possible routes leading to Shirk.
8. That Shirk will occur in this Ummah.
- The permissibility of invoking Allah's Name, when delivering a legal verdict.
10. The permissibility of swearing without the intention of making an oath for good reason.
11. That this Ummah will do all that the Jews and Christians do.
12. That all the evil deeds done by the Jews and Christians should serve as a warning to us.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter
That it proves that taking trees as a source of blessing, and carrying out devotions in their vicinity is Shirk and it includes every tree, stone or other object of worship from which blessings are invoked.
It has become very common nowadays for people to invoke blessings by the sweat of the righteous, or by touching them or their clothes or by their tahneek 10 of children, which they base upon the action of the Prophet (saas ); but this is unacceptable because this was something purely and solely for him (saas ), not a sunnah for all the Muslims. His Companions - who were the best of people in following him and implementing his Sunnah did not do so, either in his lifetime or after his death.
1. Al-Laat: Derived from the word: Al-Ilaah, which means: the Deity.
2. Ta`if: A city in the mountains east of Makkah, in present-day Saudi Arabia.
3. Al-'Uzzaa: Derived from the name: Al-'Azeez, which means the Almighty and said to be the name given to a tree in Waadi Nakhlah, which is on the road between Makkah and Ta`if. The pagans had erected a building over it, and covered it with curtains and a gate and it was worshipped by Quraish and the tribe of Banoo Kinaanah.
4. Manaat: Derived from Al-Manaan, which means the Benefector, it was a structure in Al-Mushallal, near to the town of Al-Qadeed; it was worshipped by the tribes of Khazaa'ah, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, and they used to use it as a starting point when making pilgrimage to Makkah.
5. Al-Qadeed: A town lying between Makkah and Madinah in present-day Saudi Arabia.
6. Fitrah: The natural state in which we are born, i.e. believing in the Oneness of Allah (swt).
7. Saweeq: A kind of porridge made from wheat or barley.
8. Allaahu Akbar: Allah (swt) is Greater.
9. Fir'aoun: Pharoah.
10. Tahneek: Putting juice and saliva into the mouth of an infant: It is reported on the authority of 'Aa`ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that: "The first child born in the Islamic State (Madinah) amongst the Muhaajiroon (Emigrants) was 'Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair. They brought him to the Prophet (saas). The Prophet (saas) took a date and after chewing it, put its juice in to his mouth. So the first thing that went into the child's stomach was the saliva of the Prophet (saas)." (Narrated by Bukhari)