“O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Hawwa] out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiments, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and Qabiluhu (his soldiers from the jinns or his tribe) sees you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the devils allies for those who believe not.” -Al-A’raaf: 27
A Sign in the general language usage is an object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. In the context of this write up, it nevertheless refers to supernatural occurrences that are beyond ordinary human understanding. The natures of the supernaturalisms that are concerned for the purpose of this article are either from Allaah or from the world of the Shayatin (Devils).
Examining the differences between the true divine signs of Allaah and the demonic deceit of Shaytaan is as significant as identifying the inevitable distinction between Tawheed and Kufr. This is indubitably owing to the important fact that the raison d’etre of any such sign is to persuade the attention of men to a certain path or ideology.
It is thence important to swiftly emphasise that the ultimate objective of any Allaah-given sign is to rightly guide people to the noble path and not to render them misguided. This also forms one of the bases why the Qur’aan is considered the greatest miracle of Islaam. Allaah the most exalted says:
“We will show them Our signs in the universe, and within themselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth…” Fussilat: 53.
The signs of Shaytaan according to the authentic creed of Islaam is however without any iota of uncertainty a falsity and deceit in its entirety. His goal is to divert people from the way of Allaah by creating beauty in falsehoods such as shirk, innovations, all sorts of ungodly characters and striving to make men dwellers of fire in the hereafter as the chief accomplishment. Allaah therefore described him as open enemy to mankind:
“Verily, Shaytan is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (party) to be among the dwellers of the blazing Fire.” Faatir: 6
Having understood the major aim of any sign from Allaah, and that of shaytaan, which I will feel more comfortable to describe as ‘deceit’. It could thus be adequate to conclude with ease and no longer details that the dissimilarity in the both natures is sufficiently apparent, since the former calls to Godliness and the latter invites to the wrath of Allaah. No much wonder that Allaah revealed that Shaytaan will be able to deceive or conquer only those who have willingly chosen to submit to his will.
On the 5th of September 2013, Vanguard (Online) reported the news of the strange appearance of three ‘clerics’ on the wall of a Mosque at Owode Onirin, Ikorodu, Lagos. They were Ahmad Tijani, Ibrahim Niyas and Jamiu Bulala. Immediately it was discovered, men and women trooped in multitude to the scene for the sake of witnessing the strange occurrence. Unfortunately, majority engaged themselves in numerous acts of kufr (disbelief) by prostrating, supplicating, bowing and glorifying the images. Some as reported took bottles and plastics filled with water to the scene with the belief that it will be blessed. Some had to compel their children and loved ones to be there, like the place now represents where the authority of Allaah resides. Astaghfirullaah! No two descriptions befit all these than astray. This alone is sufficient to refute the fallacious insinuation that the sign is Godly. It was indeed an unambiguous trick of Shaytaan. And his objective was easily achieved with a distinction. Since the majority of the people have refused the guidance of Allaah by following the Sunnah, the other alternative is everly available to grab them with no struggle.
WHY IMAGES OF LIVING CREATURES CANT BE A SIGN OF GUIDANCE FROM ALLAAH
In the ocean of abundant refutations available to disprove the acclaimed Godliness in the occurrence, the aim of this article is to discuss the one that is believed to be most sacrosanct, apart from the aforementioned.
It has come to my great surprise how people easily conclude that Allaah will send His sign through a medium which He strongly discouraged. The crafting, making, drawing, sketching, and even to the far extent of keeping portraits and images of living creatures in houses are strongly prohibited in Islaam. Not to mention a Masjid of Allaah. To lay a solid basis for this argument is the authentic hadeeth that was narrated by An-Nasaa’ee thus:
“Jibreel asked permission from the Prophet (SAW) to enter. He (SAW) said: Enter. Jibreel said: How can I enter while there is a curtain in your house which has in it images? You must either cut off the heads (of the images), or make it into a carpet which is walked upon. Verily, we the assembly of angels do not enter a house which has in it images.”
This corroborates the Hadeeth reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas in Muslim that the Prophet said: “The Angels of Allaah do not enter a house which has in it a dog nor image”.
It is as such clear from the above narrations that such an incident can’t be the handiwork of the Angels of Allaah, due to the detestable nature of such appearance to them. It is not a joke to also presume that the Angels of mercy have been barred from entering such a Mosque due to the presence of the images.
The abhorrence of entering a place with images in it isn’t limited to only the Angels, the Prophet of Allaah also finds a great disgust in it. Bukhaari reported that Aaisha (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) returned from a journey, while she had hung up a thick curtain having images on it. The Prophet didn’t hesitate to command her to remove it. She pulled the curtain down before he came in.
It is also narrated in Abu Dawud “that the Prophet (SAW) commanded Umar (RA) in the time of the conquest of Makkah while at ‘Al-Bathaa’, to go to the Ka’abah and to remove every image (soorah) found in it. The Prophet (SAW) didn’t enter Ka’abah until every image (soorah) was removed.”
From all the above, we can confidently assert that the appearance of the unusual images can’t be given a positive interpretation within the scope of the deen. And since it can’t be a handiwork of the Angels, It therefore must be the handicraft of Shaytaan.
The declaration of images as Haraam is not disassociated from the obvious goal of Shaytan to lead people into associating partners with Allaah. It is confirmed in authentic narrations of the Prophet and postulates by scholars that one of the vital instruments Shaytaan uses to lure the children of Adam to Shirk are images. The below Hadeeth narrated by Bukhaari supports this:
“Ibn Abbaas said: The idols of the people of Nooh were known among the Arabs later on. Wadd belonged to (the tribe of) Kalb in Dawmat al-Jandal. Suwaa belonged to Hudhayl. Yaghooth belonged to Muraad, then to Bani Ghutayf in al-Jawf, near Sabaa. Yaooq belonged to Hamadaan. Nasar belonged to Humayr of Aal Dhil-Kalaa. These were names of righteous men from the people of Nooh. When they died, the Shaytaan inspired their people to set up idols in the places where they had used to sit, and to call those idols by their names. They did that but they did not worship them, but after those people died and knowledge had been forgotten, then they started to worship them.”
This is the exact similitude of what is rampant in the recent days. Images or portraits of people that are ‘believed’ to be ‘righteous personalities are created and later converted to a symbol to be worshipped. This is the evolution of all idol worshippers. It is also the dominant culture of the Christians and some deviant groups that were formed out of Islaam. It is this purpose that the following Hadeeth that was narrated by Muslim came to serve:
“Abul-Hiyaaj al-Asadi said: Ali ibn Abi Taalib said to me: Shall I not send you on the same basis as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave any image without obliterating it, and do not leave any built-up grave without razing it to the ground.”
Ibn Taymiyyah when commenting on this hadeeth in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa said: The command is to destroy two types of images: images which represent the deceased person, and images which are placed on top of graves because Shirk may come about from both types.
In the famous Zaad al-Maaad of Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, the great scholar of the Sunnah says: “In most cases, the reason why nations fall into Shirk is because of images and graves.
All the above have sufficiently identified to us that image is actually an epidemic tool in the hands of Shaytaan and his subordinates from amongst the Jinn.
THE POWER OF THE SHAYAATEEN (DEVILS) TO APPEAR IN A HUMAN FORM
We may also be curious to ask how it could be possible for the devil to possess such a magnanimous power to come up with a trick of such magnitude. This shouldn’t come to our surprise, as there exists numerous authorities where the devil appeared not even as an ordinary image, but in the complete figure or appearance of human.
Among the clearest evidence of that from the Sunnah is the story narrated by al-Bukhaari, from Abu Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) put me in charge of guarding the zakaah of Ramadaan. Someone came to me and started scooping up some of the food, and I said, By Allah, I will take you to the Messenger of Allah (SAW). He complained of being in need and having dependents, so Abu Hurayrah took pity on him and let him go. This happened three times, and on the third occasion, Abu Hurayrah said: I will take you to the Messenger of Allah. This is the third time and each time you say that you will not come back, then you come back. He said, Let me go and I will teach you something by means of which Allah will benefit you. I said: What is it? he said:
When you go to bed, recite Aayat al-Kursi, Allah! Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyoom (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists) [Al-Baqarah 2:255]
until you complete the verse, then you will always have a protector from Allah, and no devil will come near you until morning comes. So I let him go, and the next morning I told the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) what had happened. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: He told you the truth, although he is a liar. Do you know who you have been speaking to for three nights, O Abu Hurayrah? He said: No. He said: That was a devil (a shaytaan).
Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in al-Fathul Baari that the hadeeth teaches us a number of things. That one of the characteristics of the Shaytaan is lying, and that he may appear in various forms that may be seen.
It was also narrated that the Shaytaan appeared to Quraysh in the form of Suraaqah ibn Maalik ibn Jusham and encouraged them to fight the Prophet (SAW) during the battle of Badr. Ibn Jareer al-Tabari narrated in his Tafseer that Urwah ibn al-Zubayr said:
When Quraysh decided to march, mention was made of what was between them and Bani Bakr (the war) and that almost made them change their minds. Then Iblees appeared to them in the form of Suraaqah ibn Jusham al-Madlaji, who was one of the nobles of Banu Kinaanah, and said: I will protect you against Kinaanah so that Kinaanah will not be able to do you any harm. So they went ahead with their plan.
And say: “The truth has arrived, and Falsehood has perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.” Al-Isra’: 81
When probing the logicalness in the assertion of those who labelled the image as a sign from Allaah. It was exposed that they have committed an unforgivable Fallacy of False Cause, which is also referred to as Argumentum Non Causa Pro Causa. This is a type of argumentative fallacy in Logic whereby the causation of an occurrence is ascribed to what is not.
What positive implication will the appearance of the images of late ‘clerics’ have on the ‘aqeedah of the ummah, if not an invitation to innovations and shirk. And evidently, Shaytaan will always have his loyalists who will punctually submit to his deceit regardless of the unfavourable implication it will fetch them at last. The en masse turn out of people to worship the Shaytan-sketched idols by their prostrating, bowing and the directing of supplication to it is a sufficient evidence that the devils are conveniently in control of the sick hearts. The simple fact that similar images were commanded by the prophet (SAW) to be obliterated because of this same consequence suffices to hold onto as a proof.
We beseech Allaah to channelize us all to the straight path, liberate us from the misguidance of shaytaan, raise us to the height of perfection in the faith, and destine both the writer and readers amongst the privileged to be admitted into the Jannah by the Mercy of Allaah.
Abdul Hasib Suenu, LL.B (Double Hons.) LASU.