Every creation of the Almighty Allah has been created for some specific reason and purpose, namely, the sun, the trees, water, the wind. Explaining the purpose for the creation of Man, the Almighty Allah states:
Wa ma khalaqtul Jinna wal insa illa liya’budun
“I have not created Man and Jinn, but that they
worship Me.” (Ad Dhaariyat: Verse 56)
Worship can only be performed if there is recognition. In other words, mankind and Jinn have been created to recognize the Almighty Allah. The question that arises is, what is the outcome of this recognition? It means that the more we recognize Allah, the more we worship Him.
From the above discussion we come to realize that mankind has been created to recognize Allah, and by doing so we become closer. In other words, closeness to Allah is the pinnacle of glory in the life of mankind.
By understanding this, we must examine it’s connotation, it’s results and it’s meaning in the light of Islamic Law.
There is a Hadith-e-Qudsi found in the Sahih Bukhari explaining this: The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has explained that the Almighty Allah has stated: “He who has caused enmity with My Wali (Friend), I give him declaration of war. Among those acts through which My slave achieves My closeness, the most beloved are the Fardh (Compulsory) acts. My slave also achieves My closeness through the Nafil (Optional) deeds, till I make him into My beloved. When he becomes My beloved, I become his ears through which he listens, his eyes through which he sees, his hands by which he holds, his feet by which he walks. When he pleads to Me for anything I definitely bestow it on him. When he seeks refuge in Me from any bad deed, then I definitely save him from it.”
Some individuals state that only after achieving this status does the slave refrain from all bad deeds. This thought is a flagrant misinterpretation of the Tradition, for any person possessing a little common sense will tell you that after refraining from all bad deeds, does the slave achieve this status. In other words, after he has adopted piety and abstinence, does he stand any chance of becoming the beloved.
In the following verse, Almighty Allah is explaining how we can achieve His closeness. He states:
Kul in kuntum tuhiboonal laaha fattabi’ooni yuh’bibkumul laahu
“Say (O Muhammad to them), if you love Allah follow me,
Allah will love you.” (Sura Ale Imraan: Verse 31)
In other words, after we have adopted piety and abstinence in following the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), will we have any chance of becoming a beloved? The slave first refrains from bad deeds and actions. He then performs the Fardh and Nafil acts continuously. Then only does he become the beloved. It is not possible for him to continue performing evil deeds and still feels he can become the beloved servant of Allah.
Imam Fakhrudeen Raazi (radi Allahu anhu) in his “Tafseer Kabeer”, explains the above Hadith: “In the same manner, if the slave continuously adopts good deeds, then he indeed reaches that stage of which the Almighty Allah states that He becomes the slaves eye and ear. When the Magnificent Noor (Light) of Allah becomes the eye of the slave, then the slave perceives things near and distant. When this Light becomes the hand of the slave, then he, the slave, is then able to dispense with things easy and difficult, near and far.”
We also come to realize from this explanation that the beloved slaves of Allah have been given the power to help and assist. Once we have proved this, how can we call it Shirk if we implore them for assistance? It can never be Shirk, for although the slave and the Creator can help and assist, remember that the Creator Possesses this Attribute without it being given to Him by anyone. The slave, on the other hand, possesses these attributes after it has been given to him by Almighty Allah, and we still believe that the slave is the servant of Allah and is still subservient to Him. This is the belief of all Muslims.
When we have understood and accepted this, the difference between Tauheed and Shirk becomes quite clear, yet, unfortunately, there are certain individuals who state that they believe in Allah, yet consider asking His beloved slaves for assistance as Shirk. If this indeed be their faith, then what, we ask of you, is Kufr?
It also seems to be the habit of these “believers” to relate verses meant for the Kufaar towards Muslims, perhaps they are merely following the habit of their forefathers. It is recorded in the Sahih Bukhari, that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) used to despise the Khaariji sect the most. Why? Let us see. He considered them the worst of creation. He use to say that “these people have made it a practice of theirs, that whatever verse has been revealed against the idol worshippers, they relate these verses towards the Muslims.”