By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Hala Akram and Aisha Akram
They asked: What is the worst stupidity?
I replied: It is to associate with Allah. The polytheists are many types, but the inception is one: polytheism. They differ in its manifestation. Amongst them are those who carve idols, making monuments and statues to which they prostrate. Some worship the sun, moon, stars, earth, mountains, seas, rivers, trees and plants. Others revere animals, beasts, insects and worms. And there are those who call upon the angels, devils, tyrants and the righteous children of Adam, the living and the dead.
They asked: How did you make polytheism the worst stupidity? We wish for you to explain what you intend?
I replied: What do you think of someone, who was invited by a king to his palace, he fed him, quenched his thirst, clothed him, loved him and favoured him. And then this guest denies the king? Yet he accepted the garments, pots, plates, utensils, jugs, cups, tables and the table spread with varieties of foods and drinks. Rather, turning to these things with praise, reverence and veneration, and even prostration and worship.
They asked: We have not heard of anyone thanking clothes and vessels. What is this cloddish example? We are very surprised by you.
I replied: Stupidity is surprising. Does the polytheist not worship that which does not harm nor benefit, and that which does not avail him and that which cannot be heard nor seen and that which does not possess knowledge nor will, nor life nor death. Or that which does not create a creation whilst they are created. The example that was so shocking to you, is it not applicable to them? The stupidity of the polytheists refuses to be evident. They’re just like cattle, rather they are more astray.
They asked: How did you compare them to cattle, or even worse?
I replied: If I offer food to a dog in a bowl, does he thank me, or does he thank the food and the bowl.
They said: He will thank you and will be loyal to you.
I said: Have you ever seen a dog thanking a river he drinks from?
They replied: No.
I said: If you throw a stone at a dog, will it run behind it and bite it?
They said: No.
I said: See how the dog distinguishes between a person and the means used for kindness and abuse. Dogs have not been given the intellect that humans have been given. Are not the polytheists, then, more astray than dogs and other animals?
I said: Indeed, the polytheists show great contradiction concerning the affairs of their lives.
They asked: What do you mean by their contradiction?
I replied: A man who claims that the idol is an example of God and provides solutions. If he lost his son, and you make a statue of his son and then say to him: This is your son. Will he be reassured and abandon his son for the statue?
They replied: No.
I said: People worship statues of cows in their temples, but do they turn to it when they need milk, or do they go to the cow that Allah the almighty created?
They said: We have not seen anyone milking a statue of a cow.
I said: If a thief steals idols made of gold, will those idols defend themselves or tell their worshipers of the place where the thief has hid them?
They replied: No.
I said: Scrutinize all types of polytheism accordingly. The polytheists worship illusions and mirages. Those who call upon the angels, the Jinn, Christ son of Mary and his mother and the rest of creation- worshipping and seeking help from them are delusional.
I said: Know that Allah created creatures dependent on Him in their existence, their upbringing and their survival- in every matter, small and big. There is no goodness for creation except by His grace and bounty. And if they are rebellious, they have wronged themselves; the consequence of their matter is open corruption and clear loss.
Disclaimer: Translations have not been checked by the author and represent the work of the translator