Negators of Islam are more than ten, but Shaykh-ul-Islam, Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab, (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) mentioned ten negators for some reasons, of which: These negators were unanimously agreed upon among scholars that they nullify Islam. These negators are frequently spread among people. These negators more dangerous, therefore Sheikh Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab mentioned them.
Disbelief is more general than polytheism because a disbeliever does not believe in god such as the Pharaoh, however a disbeliever believes in the Lord but associates others with Him in worship, so there are generality and exclusiveness between disbelief and polytheism.
The first negator:
Shaykh-ul-Islam, Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab, (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: Let it be known that negators of Islam are ten:
The first is: Polytheism in worship
Allah (may He be Exalted) said: "Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allâh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin." [Surat An-Nisa': 48]. He also says: "Surely, they have disbelieved who say: Allah is the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary). But the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)] said: O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers." [Surat Al Ma'idah: 72].
Of its type is offering sacrifices to other than Allah like Jinn or the dead.
The first issue is: It is necessary for a servant to fear for his religion.
As long as a Muslim is alive, he should fear for his religion from trials and doubts. Imam Muslim reported in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. A man would be a believer in the morning and turn to disbelief in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and turn disbeliever in the morning, and would sell his Faith for worldly goods.''
One of the greatest matters which a Muslim fears is to apostate and leave the religion. Abraham (peace be upon him) invoked his Lord saying: "And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said: O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols. * O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoso follows me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeys me, - still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Surat Ibrahim: 35 - 36].
Abraham (peace be upon him), who broke idols with his hands, was harmed in the cause of Allah, and was cast into fire, feared for himself to apostate and go back to the worship of idols. The people who worshipped idols were also humans who had minds and perceptions but their minds could not save them from that trial of worshipping idols. So, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was the most perfect of all in faith and monotheism feared for himself and supplicated: "Ya muqallibal-qulubi, thabbit qalbi `ala dinika" (O Controller of hearts make my heart steadfast in Your religion).'' The Mother of the Believers, `A'ishah, asked him: Do you fear for yourself? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "O `A'ishah, what would make me sure while the hearts of people are between two of Allah's Fingers." [Reported by Ahmad and An-Nasa`y, and Al Albany graded it as authentic]. So, the Prophet (peace be upon him) feared for his religion, therefore he resorted to his Lord to make him firm. If that was the condition of two honorable Prophets [i.e. Abraham and Muhammad], other people must fear for themselves from doubts and trials. Why not and we are living in the middle of dangerous doubts, bad callers to Allah, and trials which mislead people and confuse the learned?! All these trials and doubts make a person fears for himself and his religion; may Allah protect you and us from apparent and hidden trials.
The second issue is: Associating others with Allah in worship, its definition and its consequences:
Linguistically, polytheism means sharing.
Idiomatically, associating others with Allah in deity, Lordship, names, and attributes, and mostly it indicates to polytheism in deity.
It is the worst trial a Muslim must fear because polytheism is the grievous sin and one of the negators of Islam as it is the origin of all evils. As for its consequences, they are as follows:
First, it makes its doer a disbeliever.
Second, its doer will spend eternity in Hellfire because Allah has forbidden Paradise for him. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Surely, they have disbelieved who say: Allah is the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary). But the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)] said: O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers." [Surat Al Ma'idah: 72].
Third, Allah (may He be Exalted) has undertaken not to forgive a polytheist except after he repents.
Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin." [Surat An-Nisa': 48].
Nothing can erase polytheism except when a person gives up his polytheism and repents to Allah.
Fourth, polytheism frustrates all actions. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), as it was to those (Allah's Messengers) before you: If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers." [Surat Az-Zumar: 65].
He also says: "This is the Guidance of Allah with which He guides whomsoever He will of His slaves. But if they had joined in worship others with Allah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them." [Surat Al An`am: 88].
Fifth, it is the grievous sin as it is the major oppression. Imam Ahmad, Al Bukhari, and Muslim reported from the Hadith of `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud who said: When this Ayah was revealed: "It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided." [Surat Al An`am: 82].
It was hard on the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and they said, "Who among us has not wronged (oppressed) himself?" Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "The meaning of the Verse is not as you think, but it is as Luqman said to his son, 'O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah, Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed. [Surat Luqman: 13].'"
Imam Ahmad, Al Bukhari and Muslim reported from the Hadith of `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud who said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): What is the greatest sin in the Sight of Allah?" He said: "That you set up a rival unto Allah though He Alone created you." I said: "That is indeed a great sin." Then asked, "What is next?" He said: "To kill your son lest he should share your food with you." I asked, "What is next?" He said: "To commit illegal sexual intercourse with the wife of your neighbor."
Sixth, polytheism makes the blood of a polytheist available to be shed. Imam Muslim reported in his Sahih from the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) He said: "I have been commanded to fight people till they say: 'There is no God but Allah'. So, if they say that then they have protected from me their blood and their property, save against a right on them, and their reckoning is with Allah."
There is nothing can save money and blood but monotheism. As for polytheism, it makes blood and money lawful. The money and blood of a polytheist are lawful except those people who were protected by the Shari`ah such as Dhimmis (Non-Muslims living in and under the protection of a Muslim state) and people who have held covenants with Muslims.
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