In this world, we have one of two choices either the path to God or Satan.
[36:60] Did I not covenant with you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not worship the devil? That he is your most ardent enemy?
(٦٠) أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَابَنِي آدَمَ أَنْ لَا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ
God’s path is strict monotheism, while all the other paths lead to idol worship. This is a mandatory test that every generation will deal with, and while it will come in different forms and shapes, the underlying structure is one and the same.
An example of these two paths can be seen in the history of Moses. After God saved Moses, Aaron, and the Children of Israel from the oppression and persecution of Pharoah, we see the two paths that the people took. That while Moses took a straight path to God, the Children of Israel followed a path toward Hellfire.
[20:80] O Children of Israel, we delivered you from your enemy, summoned you to the right side of Mount Sinai, and we sent down to you manna and quails. [20:81] Eat from the good things we provided for you, and do not transgress, lest you incur My wrath. Whoever incurs My wrath has fallen. [20:82] I am surely Forgiving for those who repent, believe, lead a righteous life, and steadfastly remain guided.
[20:83] “Why did you rush away from your people, O Moses?” [20:84] He said, “They are close behind me. I have rushed to You my Lord, that You may be pleased.” [20:85] He said, “We have put your people to the test after you left, but the Samarian misled them.”
[20:86] Moses returned to his people, angry and disappointed, saying, “O my people, did your Lord not promise you a good promise? Could you not wait? Did you want to incur wrath from your Lord? Is this why you broke your agreement with me?” [20:87] They said, “We did not break our agreement with you on purpose. But we were loaded down with jewelry, and decided to throw our loads in. This is what the Samarian suggested.”
[20:88] He produced for them a sculpted calf, complete with a calf’s sound. They said, “This is your god, and the god of Moses.” Thus, he forgot. [20:89] Could they not see that it neither responded to them, nor possessed any power to harm them, or benefit them? [20:90] And Aaron had told them, “O my people, this is a test for you. Your only Lord is the Most Gracious, so follow me, and obey my commands.” [20:91] They said, “We will continue to worship it, until Moses comes back.”
[20:92] (Moses) said, “O Aaron, what is it that prevented you, when you saw them go astray, [20:93] “from following my orders? Have you rebelled against me?” [20:94] He said, “O son of my mother, do not pull me by my beard and my head. I was afraid that you might say, ‘You have divided the Children of Israel, and disobeyed my orders.’ ”
[20:95] He said, “What is the matter with you, O Samarian?” [20:96] He said, “I saw what they could not see. I grabbed a fistful (of dust) from the place where the messenger stood, and used it (to mix into the golden calf). This is what my mind inspired me to do.” [20:97] He said, “Then go, and, throughout your life, do not even come close. You have an appointed time (for your final judgment) that you can never evade. Look at your god that you used to worship; we will burn it and throw it into the sea, to stay down there forever.”
Moses rushed to God, hoping God would be pleased with him. Additionally, he said that the people were close behind his footsteps. The two words in Arabic that are critical in the understanding of this history are the words rushed (‘ajal) and my footsteps (athari).
[20:83] “Why did you rush (aʿjalaka) away from your people, O Moses?”
[20:84] He said, “They are close behind my footsteps (athari). I have rushed to You my Lord, that You may be pleased.”
[20:85] He said, “We have put your people to the test after you left, but the Samarian misled them.”
(٨٣) وَمَا أَعْجَلَكَ عَنْ قَوْمِكَ يَامُوسَىٰ
(٨٤) قَالَ هُمْ أُولَاءِ عَلَىٰ أَثَرِي وَعَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَىٰ
(٨٥) قَالَ فَإِنَّا قَدْ فَتَنَّا قَوْمَكَ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ وَأَضَلَّهُمُ السَّامِرِيُّ
Impatience Leads To Idol Worship
[20:86] Moses returned to his people, angry and disappointed, saying, “O my people, did your Lord not promise you a good promise? Could you not wait? Did you want to incur wrath from your Lord? Is this why you broke your agreement with me?”
فَرَجَعَ مُوسَىٰ إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ أَلَمْ يَعِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ وَعْدًا حَسَنًا أَفَطَالَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْعَهْدُ أَمْ أَرَدْتُمْ أَنْ يَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُمْ مَوْعِدِي
Turning God’s Blessings to Idols
They turned God’s blessing into their curse. God blessed the Arabs by sending them a prophet in their midst who delivered to them the Quran, yet they turned their prophet into their idol.
[20:87] They said, “We did not break our agreement with you on purpose. But we were loaded down with jewelry, and decided to throw our loads in. This is what the Samarian suggested.”
قَالُوا مَا أَخْلَفْنَا مَوْعِدَكَ بِمَلْكِنَا وَلَٰكِنَّا حُمِّلْنَا أَوْزَارًا مِنْ زِينَةِ الْقَوْمِ فَقَذَفْنَاهَا فَكَذَٰلِكَ أَلْقَى السَّامِرِيُّ
Their Idols Cannot Help Them
[20:88] He produced for them a sculpted calf (‘ej’lan), complete with a calf’s sound. They said, “This is your god, and the god of Moses.” Thus, he forgot.
(٨٨) فَأَخْرَجَ لَهُمْ عِجْلًا جَسَدًا لَهُ خُوَارٌ فَقَالُوا هَٰذَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ وَإِلَٰهُ مُوسَىٰ فَنَسِيَ
[20:89] Could they not see that it neither responded to them, nor possessed any power to harm them, or benefit them?
(٨٩) أَفَلَا يَرَوْنَ أَلَّا يَرْجِعُ إِلَيْهِمْ قَوْلًا وَلَا يَمْلِكُ لَهُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا
Worshiping the Messenger
[20:90] And Aaron had told them, “O my people, this is a test for you. Your only Lord is the Most Gracious, so follow me, and obey my commands.”
(٩٠) وَلَقَدْ قَالَ لَهُمْ هَارُونُ مِنْ قَبْلُ يَاقَوْمِ إِنَّمَا فُتِنْتُمْ بِهِ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ فَاتَّبِعُونِي وَأَطِيعُوا أَمْرِي
[20:91] They said, “We will continue to worship it, until Moses comes back.”
(٩١) قَالُوا لَنْ نَبْرَحَ عَلَيْهِ عَاكِفِينَ حَتَّىٰ يَرْجِعَ إِلَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ
The Average Muslim’s Internal Conflict
[20:92] (Moses) said, “O Aaron, what is it that prevented you, when you saw them go astray,
(٩٢) قَالَ يَاهَارُونُ مَا مَنَعَكَ إِذْ رَأَيْتَهُمْ ضَلُّوا
[20:93] “from following my orders? Have you rebelled against me?”
(٩٣) أَلَّا تَتَّبِعَنِ أَفَعَصَيْتَ أَمْرِي
[20:94] He said, “O son of my mother, do not pull me by my beard and my head. I was afraid that you might say, ‘You have divided the Children of Israel, and disobeyed my orders.‘ “
(٩٤) قَالَ يَاابْنَأُمَّ لَا تَأْخُذْ بِلِحْيَتِي وَلَا بِرَأْسِي إِنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ تَقُولَ فَرَّقْتَ بَيْنَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَلَمْ تَرْقُبْ قَوْلِي
The Samarian: The Devil’s Agent
[20:95] He said, “What is the matter with you, O Samarian?”
(٩٥) قَالَ فَمَا خَطْبُكَ يَاسَامِرِيُّ
[20:96] He said, “I saw what they could not see. I grabbed a fistful (of dust) from the messenger’s footsteps (athari), and used it (to mix into the golden calf). This is what my mind inspired me to do.”
(٩٦) قَالَ بَصُرْتُ بِمَا لَمْ يَبْصُرُوا بِهِ فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِنْ أَثَرِ الرَّسُولِ فَنَبَذْتُهَا وَكَذَٰلِكَ سَوَّلَتْ لِي نَفْسِي
[20:97] He said, “Then go, and, throughout your life, do not even come close. You have an appointed time (for your final judgment) that you can never evade. Look at your god that you used to worship; we will burn it and throw it into the sea, to stay down there forever.”
قَالَ فَاذْهَبْ فَإِنَّ لَكَ فِي الْحَيَاةِ أَنْ تَقُولَ لَا مِسَاسَ وَإِنَّ لَكَ مَوْعِدًا لَنْ تُخْلَفَهُ وَانْظُرْ إِلَىٰ إِلَٰهِكَ الَّذِي ظَلْتَ عَلَيْهِ عَاكِفًا لَنُحَرِّقَنَّهُ ثُمَّ لَنَنْسِفَنَّهُ فِي الْيَمِّ نَسْفًا
Comparing Hadith to The Calf
Many people read this history and think how dumb the individuals were who created and worshiped the calf, except this history is not there for followers of the Quran to feel superior. It is there for us to take heed so that we do not fall into the same trap.
Obviously, Satan knows that he cannot make people fall into idol worship like he did in the past. So instead, he devises new ways that are more palatable for each generation. But despite the facade being slightly different, the swindle is one and the same.
In the above narrative, we have Moses, who rushed to God in order to try to please God. On the flip side, we had the Children of Israel who took the blessings that God gave them and with the ingenuity of the Samarian who took the dust from the footsteps of where the messenger stood and consolidated these items into an idol for the people.
The word Athar ( أَثَرِ ), which is used in these verses as footsteps, also means “tradition” and is another name for Hadith.
I saw Al-Bukhari in a dream. He was walking behind the Prophet (S), and each time the Prophet (S) raised his foot from a spot on the ground, Abu ‘Abdullah (Al-Bukhari) placed his foot on the very same spot.
—Muhammad b. Abu Haatim Al-Warraaq(Read on pg 148, Salaahud-Deen ibn ‘Alee ibn ‘Abdul-Maujood, The Biography of Imam Bukhaaree. Darussalam. Riyadh: 2005.)
Bukhari and the like collected the supposed footprints of the prophet and created works that attempted to mimic his sounds and actions, just like how the Samarian took the dust from the footsteps of the prophet and created a golden calf, complete with calf sounds.
Bukhari is the Samarian of the Muslim Umma
Bukhari and the other Hadith collectors spent their life collecting the supposed stories from the footsteps of the prophet and, in doing so, negated the entire message of the prophet: that the object of worship should always be God alone, that we should not associate anything with God, and that our only source of religious law should be that of the Quran.
[39:3] Absolutely, the religion shall be devoted to GOD alone. Those who set up idols beside Him say, “We idolize them only to bring us closer to GOD; for they are in a better position!” GOD will judge them regarding their disputes. GOD does not guide such liars, disbelievers.
أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ
[39:45] When GOD ALONE is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion. But when others are mentioned beside Him, they become satisfied.
(٤٥) وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ
[4:36] You shall worship GOD alone—do not associate anything with Him. You shall regard the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, the related neighbor, the unrelated neighbor, the close associate, the traveling alien, and your servants. GOD does not like the arrogant show-offs.
وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنْبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا
Sunnah of God
Choice to follow the Sunnah of God, or to follow the Sunnah of the generations of the past.
[35:43] They resorted to arrogance on earth, and evil scheming, and the evil schemes only backfire on those who scheme them. Then are they waiting except for the Sunnah of the past? You will find that GOD’s Sunnah is never changeable; you will find that GOD’s Sunnah is immutable.
اسْتِكْبَارًا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَكْرَ السَّيِّئِ وَلَا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهْلِهِ فَهَلْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَّا سُنَّتَ الْأَوَّلِينَ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَحْوِيلًا
[48:23] Such is GOD’s Sunnah throughout history, and you will find that GOD’s Sunnah is unchangeable.
(٢٣) سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا
Hadith Are the Golden Calf of Muslims
Individuals like Bukhari, and the other Hadith collectors, are the Samarian of the Muslim Umma. Their collection of Hadith literature is the golden calf that they have produced, and the Muslim masses by upholding these books besides that of the Quran, are setting up a rival with God and His scripture.
[6:112] We have permitted the enemies of every prophet—human and jinn devils—to inspire in each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنْسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ
[6:113] This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such fabrications, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions.
(١١٣) وَلِتَصْغَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَفْئِدَةُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ وَلِيَرْضَوْهُ وَلِيَقْتَرِفُوا مَا هُمْ مُقْتَرِفُونَ
[6:114] Shall I seek other than GOD as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed? Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt.
أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا وَالَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ مُنَزَّلٌ مِنْ رَبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ
[6:115] The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.
(١١٥) وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
[6:116] If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of GOD. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.
(١١٦) وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ
Tricking the Masses
One of the tricks that the devil utilized over the masses was convincing them that idol worship is limited to the physical imploring, bowing, and prostrating before some other entity. Except the Quran informs us that our property, business, children, etc. can be our idols if we love them more than we love God (9:24). That if we think anything besides God can harm or benefit us independent of God that this is a form of idol worship (5:76). That if we take any other source of religious law over what God informs us, this is a form of idol worship (6:121).
[6:121] Do not eat from that upon which the name of GOD has not been mentioned, for it is an abomination. The devils inspire their allies to argue with you; if you obey them, you will be idol worshipers.
وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ
The prophet of God came and delivered God’s final scripture to mankind. It contains everything one needs in order to be redeemed by God.
[18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.
وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لِلنَّاسِ مِنْ كُلِّ مَثَلٍ وَكَانَ الْإِنْسَانُ أَكْثَرَ شَيْءٍ جَدَلًا
God has blessed the Arabs by sending his final prophet to them and revealing His final scripture, the Quran, in their language. Yet they have taken this blessing of having this messenger and turned him into an idol to rival God.
[25:27] The day will come when the transgressor will bite his hands (in anguish) and say, “Alas, I wish I had followed the path with the messenger.
[25:28] “Alas, woe to me, I wish I did not take that person as a friend.
[25:29] “He has led me away from the message after it came to me. Indeed, the devil lets down his human victims.”
[25:30] The messenger said, “My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.”
(٢٧) وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَالَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا
(٢٨) يَاوَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا
(٢٩) لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنْسَانِ خَذُولًا
(٣٠) وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَارَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
The Muslim Response
While the majority of Muslims are swept up by upholding the Hadith besides the Quran, just like the majority of the Children of Israel were committed to the golden calf, there are some who see the blasphemy of what is happening yet, like Aaron, are concerned of the possible blowback.
[3:175] It is the devil’s system to instill fear into his subjects. Do not fear them and fear Me instead, if you are believers.
(١٧٥) إِنَّمَا ذَٰلِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَخَافُونِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
Additionally, there are some who also, like Aaron, see the grossness of what is being done by the Muslim masses yet are concerned that if they speak out against the blasphemy, they will be dividing the umma.
We are each responsible for our own necks, and the sole purpose of our being here on Earth is to see if we are devoted to God alone in all our dealings. Idol worship is the only sin that God says He will not forgive if maintained till death. If individuals do not speak out or vote with their feet, then they run the risk of being deemed compromisers and the possibility of spending eternity in Hell.
Therefore, do not take this matter lightly, and do not let Satan make a claim against you that you only sat there and watched while fully realizing how these people are destroying their own souls by worshiping at the footsteps of the messengers rather than following the path of the messenger to the worship of God alone.
[7:27] O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.
يَابَنِي آدَمَ لَا يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنْزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْآتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ