وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ وَاتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۗ وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلًا
“And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allāh (i.e. follows Allāh’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism); and he is a Muḥsin (a good-doer). And follows the religion of Ibrāhīm (Abraham) Hanīfā (Islamic Monotheism – to worship none but Allāh Alone). And Allāh did take Ibrāhīm (Abraham) as a Khalīl (an intimate friend).”
Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH) comments:
How can one with even an iota of discerning intelligence not distinguish between a religion fundamentally built and whose structure rises in relation to it being firmly rooted in the worship of al-Raḥmān [the Most Beneficent]; a religion that is based on carrying out private and public acts that are beloved to Him with sincerity while treating the creation with justice, equity, fairness and righteousness as He has ordered them, while favouring acts of His obedience over that of al-Shayṭān [Satan], with a religion whose structure is based on an undetermined brink of a precipice, ready to crumble along with its companion into the Fire?
A religion based on the worship of light (i.e. the Majūs)1, and the forming of a coalition between al-Raḥmān [the Most Beneficent] and al-Shayṭān [Satan], between Him (عز وجل) and idols?
Or a religion based upon the worship of the cross (i.e. Christianity) and painted images [for worship] on walls and roofs? A religion that claims that the Lord of everything in existence has descended from His Throne of Might to impregnate himself into the womb of a woman. Then, after having spent a period of time therein, between her menstrual blood, the darknesses of her intestines and bowels and below her folds of fat, he was delivered as a breastfeeding infant, growing continuously. Crying, eating and drinking. Urinating and sleeping. Playing with other children. Then, he was finally placed in a school with other Jewish children to learn what befits a young man.
All this, while his foreskin was removed during his circumcision. Then, later on the Jews chased him out; evicting him from one place to another. Then, they finally seized him, subjecting him to torture and humiliation of various kinds. Donning upon his head a crown of thorns among the ugliest, most detestable of crowns. Then they attached him to a pole free of reins or bridles after which they pushed him onto the wood of a cross, all the while slapping him and spitting on his face. They were in front of him, behind him, and on his left and right. Then they paraded him around while his condition was thus, from which our hearts and bodies recoil in disgust. They tied his hands and legs with rope and bolted them down with nails that broke his bones and rend his flesh. While he pleaded: “O my people, show mercy to me!” but not a single person showed him compassion.
All this, while he was controlling the affairs of the celestial and temporal worlds?! While whosoever in the heavens and the earth was begging their needs from him, every day he has a matter to bring forth?! Then he died and was buried in the dirt of a large, granite rock. Then he stood from his grave and ascended to his throne and kingdom after everything that had transpired.
So what should we reasonably expect of the secondary articles branching off from a religious structure whose foundation is thus?!
1. Majūs: Persian word used to describe a pagan religion characterised by belief in two gods; darkness who created evil and light who created goodness, between which they claim there exists an eternal struggle. Thus, according to them, there may be evil that was outside the control of the god of good. They also claim that they alone hold the ability to harm or benefit themselves, besides god. They also worship the sun, moon, and fire as mentioned here – erecting massive places of worship dedicated to fire worship. Shaykh al-Islām said: “Their worship of celestial or lowly worldly entities is the same as the shirk committed by the people of Ibrāhīm who used to worship the stars and idols on earth. This shirk is the greatest of the two types of shirk committed by the people of earth.”See Talbīs al-Jahmiyyah 2: 589 and Kitāb Qāʿidah Mukhtaṣirah: 163.
Source: Hidāyah al-Ḥiyārá: 5-6
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī