“Allah presents an example: a slave owned by quarrelling partners and another belonging exclusively to one man – are they equal in comparison?” [al-Zumar, 39:29]
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān said [concerning this āyah]: “The mushrikūn [polytheists who associate partners with Allāh] have chosen to leave the worship of Allah alone, to whom their belongs no partners. [This worship] is the very reason for their creation and the only means to their happiness. They have been afflicted with the calamity of worshipping devils and thus their own wishes and desires have spiralled. As Imām Ibn al-Qayyim said: ‘They run from the agreed servitude for which they were created. So, they attain [instead] servitude towards their own desires and that of the devil.’ There will be no uniting of the hearts or goodness in this world except through tawḥīd [testifying to the oneness of Allāh]. Allah says:
‘Or have men taken for themselves gods from the earth who resurrect [the dead]? Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.’
Consequently, should tawḥīd ever become completely extinguished in this world, the Day of Judgement will commence. Imām Muslim narrates that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘The final hour shall not commence until there exists no one to even utter [the name] ‘Allāh! Allāh! [in invocation].’ The differences that exist among the first polytheists with regards their method of worshipping and the deities they worship is similar to the differences that exist today among the qubūriyūn who worship graves. Every one of them has an appointed raised object [above the graves they worship] to which they direct their various forms of worship. Every branch from the branches of the ṣūfīmethodology has a leader [termed a shaykh]. Their followers take them as gods besides Allāh as they allow them to prescribe on their behalf religious acts for which they possess no permission from Allāh. Thus is the playful mockery of the devil with the children of Ādam. There shall be no safety from the [devil’s] evil or deceitful plots except through holding steadfast to the tawḥīd of Allāh, and through emulation of His book and the practises of His messenger.
They run from the agreed servitude for which they were created. So, they attain [instead] servitude towards their own desires and that of the devil.
We ask Allāh to reveal to us that which is the truth as being the truth, and to provide us with the means to follow it. [We ask Allāh] to allow us to recognise falsehood as being falsehood and provide us with the means to avoid it cautiously and actively. For He is our true Protector. How magnanimous is He as a protector and supporter!”