| 2 Doctrine of Monotheism


Early emergence of Shirk among the descendants of Adam (peace be upon him)

Allah, Most High, says (interpretation of meaning): And mankind was not but one community united in religion, but then they differed. Quran 10:19

Ibn Katheer said: “In this ayah, Allah, Exalted be He, informs us that Shirk was new to humankind. It was not in the original religion of humanity, and that people were believers and adhered to one religion, namely, Islam.” [15] See Tafseer Ibn Katheer 4\356 The first act of Shirk committed by human beings dated back to the people of Prophet Nooh (Noah). Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “There were ten centuries between Adam and Nooh, during which people adhered to the true religion of Tawheed (Islam), then they differed, and therefore Allah sent the Prophets as bearers of glad tidings and warners.”||hamish||16||/hamish||

Allah, Most High, says about the people of Prophet Nooh () (interpretation of meaning): And they said, 'Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwaa‘ or Yaghooth and Ya‘ooq and Nasr. Quran 71:23

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said about the names stated in this ayah: “These were the names of righteous men among the people of Nooh. When they died, Satan enticed their people to make idols of them (i.e., of the dead righteous men) in the places where they used to sit and name those idols after them. They did, but the idols were only venerated and were not worshipped at that point. When those people died and knowledge was lost among their people, the idols were worshipped (by the following generations).” [17] Narrated by Al-Bukhaaree (no. 4920)


As for the people of Prophet Ibraaheem (peace be upon him), the origin of their Shirk was from the worship of celestial bodies: planets, Sun, and Moon. Both those groups, in reality, worship the jinn, since the (Jinn) devils may communicate with them and help them perform some actions, and they may mistakenly believe that they are worshipping the angels, but in fact they are worshipping the jinn, who help them out with their needs and are pleased with their Shirk. Allah, Exalted be He, says (interpretation of meaning): And mention the Day when He will gather them all and then say to the angels, "Did these people use to worship you?" They will say, "Exalted are You! You, O Allah, are our benefactor not them. Rather, they used to worship the Jinn; most of them were believers in them." Quran 34:41-42 [18] See: ((Qaa'idah Jaleelah Fee Al-Tawassul wa Al-Waseelah)) (p. 22)


Ibn Katheer said: “(In these ayaat, Prophet Ibraaheem was debating with his people, explaining to them their error in worshipping these idols and statues.) In his first debate with his father, Prophet Ibraaheem explained their error in worshipping the earthy idols, which they made in the (alleged) image of heavenly angels … He then explained the error and deviation of worshipping those moving celestial bodies...” [19] See Tafseer Ibn Katheer 3/292

Allah, Most High, says (interpretation of meaning): Then who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah to mislead the people without knowledge? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people." Quran 6:144

In his interpretation of this ayah, Ibn Katheer said: “The first person to whom this ayah applied was ‘Amr ibn Luhayy ibn Qama‘ah; for he was the first to change the true religion revealed to the Prophets of Allah (and introduce idol-worship to the land of Arabs) …” [22] See Tafseer Ibn Katheer 3\352
The Arab polytheists believed that their idols could bring them closer to Allah, The Almighty, and therefore took them as intermediaries between themselves and Allah, and this is similar to the Shirk committed by the people of Prophet Nooh (peace be upon him).

Allah, Most High, says (interpretation of meaning): And they worship other than Allah that which neither harms them nor benefits them, and they say, "These are our intercessors with Allah Quran 10:18

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: “The idol worshippers claim that these idols are their intercessors with Allah. They associate them as partners with Him by supplicating them and seeking refuge with them and the like, believing that they are venerating and glorifying Allah, Exalted be He, by these acts, but in reality, they are undermining His unique Oneness because He is All-Knowing, and to Him alone belongs the unchallengeable command and absolute power, and accordingly He stands in no need of intercessors.” [23] See Al-Qawl Al-Mufeed 'ala Kitaab Al-Tawheed 1\329

As for the belief in the covert influence of some created beings for which there are no apparent or known reasons, it seems that it was introduced by the Chaldeans, who believed in the influence of celestial bodies. This was also the essence of Shirk committed by the people of Prophet Ibraaheem (peace be upon him). The devils adorned the worship of those celestial bodies for them and deceived them into believing in them and erecting statues of them (idols). This practice found its way to the Arabs, who used to seek rain from the Anwaa’ (rain stars/constellations), and their practice of fortune-telling and belief in superstition were among the manifestations of their belief in the covert influence of some created beings. Thus, it becomes clear that anthropolatry (man-worship) was the origin of Shirk in humanity and then astrolatry (worship of celestial bodies), and this was the form of polytheism that the Messengers of Allah were sent to denounce and eradicate. In fact, Shirk is not confined to the belief in another deity or lord equal to Allah, The Almighty. Rather, this form of Shirk was not known earlier among the children of Adam.” [24] See: ((Mahaj Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jamaa'ah wa Mahaj Al-Ashaa'irah Fee Tawheed Allah Ta'aala)) by Khaalid 'Abd Al-Lateef (1/95-98).

Ibn Taymiyyah said: (During the period between Prophet Adam and Prophet Nooh (peace be upon him), people adhered to Tawheed, following their father Adam, the father of humankind, until they invented polytheism and idolatry, which were purely man-made and earthy products that were not revealed in any heavenly book nor inspired to a Messenger by Allah, The Exalted. These practices were rather contrived by people, acting upon the misconceptions that Satan beautified for them by employing corrupt criteria and pariah philosophy. Some of them claimed that these statues were mere talismans of the celestial bodies, astronomical cycles, and heavenly spirits (that they worshipped). Others erected statues in the image of their Prophets and righteous people. Other groups made statues of the underworld spirits: the jinn and devils, and some followed different paths … and most of these people imitated their leaders.” [25] See Majmoo' Al-Fataawa 28\603