In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] stated – in Surah Al Ankabut – regarding some of the Messengers, the plots of their enemies and the final outcome of those events:
وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦ فَلَبِثَ فِيهِمۡ أَلۡفَ سَنَةٍ إِلَّا خَمۡسِينَ عَامً۬ا فَأَخَذَهُمُ ٱلطُّوفَانُ وَهُمۡ ظَـٰلِمُونَ (١٤) فَأَنجَيۡنَـٰهُ وَأَصۡحَـٰبَ ٱلسَّفِينَةِ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهَآ ءَايَةً۬ لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (١٥) وَإِبۡرَٲهِيمَ إِذۡ قَالَ لِقَوۡمِهِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱتَّقُوهُۖ ذَٲلِڪُمۡ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ إِن ڪُنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ (١٦) إِنَّمَا تَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَوۡثَـٰنً۬ا وَتَخۡلُقُونَ إِفۡكًاۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَا يَمۡلِكُونَ لَكُمۡ رِزۡقً۬ا فَٱبۡتَغُواْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرِّزۡقَ وَٱعۡبُدُوهُ وَٱشۡكُرُواْ لَهُ ۥۤۖ إِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ (١٧) وَإِن تُكَذِّبُواْ فَقَدۡ ڪَذَّبَ أُمَمٌ۬ مِّن قَبۡلِكُمۡۖ وَمَا عَلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ إِلَّا ٱلۡبَلَـٰغُ ٱلۡمُبِينُ (١٨) أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ ڪَيۡفَ يُبۡدِئُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡخَلۡقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ ۥۤۚ إِنَّ ذَٲلِكَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ۬ (١٩) قُلۡ سِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَٱنظُرُواْ ڪَيۡفَ بَدَأَ ٱلۡخَلۡقَۚ ثُمَّ ٱللَّهُ يُنشِئُ ٱلنَّشۡأَةَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ ڪُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬ (٢٠) يُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَرۡحَمُ مَن يَشَآءُۖ وَإِلَيۡهِ تُقۡلَبُونَ (٢١) وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُعۡجِزِينَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِۖ وَمَا لَڪُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَلِىٍّ۬ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ۬ (٢٢) وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَلِقَآٮِٕهِۦۤ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ يَٮِٕسُواْ مِن رَّحۡمَتِى وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬ (٢٣) فَمَا ڪَانَ جَوَابَ قَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِلَّآ أَن قَالُواْ ٱقۡتُلُوهُ أَوۡ حَرِّقُوهُ فَأَنجَٮٰهُ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يُؤۡمِنُونَ (٢٤) وَقَالَ إِنَّمَا ٱتَّخَذۡتُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَوۡثَـٰنً۬ا مَّوَدَّةَ بَيۡنِكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ ثُمَّ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ يَكۡفُرُ بَعۡضُڪُم بِبَعۡضٍ۬ وَيَلۡعَنُ بَعۡضُڪُم بَعۡضً۬ا وَمَأۡوَٮٰكُمُ ٱلنَّارُ وَمَا لَڪُم مِّن نَّـٰصِرِينَ (٢٥) ۞ فَـَٔامَنَ لَهُ ۥ لُوطٌ۬ۘ وَقَالَ إِنِّى مُهَاجِرٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّىٓۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ (٢٦) وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥۤ إِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ وَجَعَلۡنَا فِى ذُرِّيَّتِهِ ٱلنُّبُوَّةَ وَٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ أَجۡرَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَإِنَّهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ لَمِنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ (٢٧) وَلُوطًا إِذۡ قَالَ لِقَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِنَّڪُمۡ لَتَأۡتُونَ ٱلۡفَـٰحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَڪُم بِہَا مِنۡ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (٢٨) أَٮِٕنَّكُمۡ لَتَأۡتُونَ ٱلرِّجَالَ وَتَقۡطَعُونَ ٱلسَّبِيلَ وَتَأۡتُونَ فِى نَادِيكُمُ ٱلۡمُنڪَرَۖ فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِلَّآ أَن قَالُواْ ٱئۡتِنَا بِعَذَابِ ٱللَّهِ إِن ڪُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ (٢٩) قَالَ رَبِّ ٱنصُرۡنِى عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ (٣٠) وَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَآ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ بِٱلۡبُشۡرَىٰ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا مُهۡلِكُوٓاْ أَهۡلِ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِۖ إِنَّ أَهۡلَهَا ڪَانُواْ ظَـٰلِمِينَ (٣١) قَالَ إِنَّ فِيهَا لُوطً۬اۚ قَالُواْ نَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَن فِيہَاۖ لَنُنَجِّيَنَّهُ ۥ وَأَهۡلَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا ٱمۡرَأَتَهُ ۥ ڪَانَتۡ مِنَ ٱلۡغَـٰبِرِينَ (٣٢) وَلَمَّآ أَن جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَا لُوطً۬ا سِىٓءَ بِہِمۡ وَضَاقَ بِهِمۡ ذَرۡعً۬ا وَقَالُواْ لَا تَخَفۡ وَلَا تَحۡزَنۡۖ إِنَّا مُنَجُّوكَ وَأَهۡلَكَ إِلَّا ٱمۡرَأَتَكَ ڪَانَتۡ مِنَ ٱلۡغَـٰبِرِينَ (٣٣) إِنَّا مُنزِلُونَ عَلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِ رِجۡزً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ (٣٤) وَلَقَد تَّرَڪۡنَا مِنۡهَآ ءَايَةَۢ بَيِّنَةً۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يَعۡقِلُونَ (٣٥) وَإِلَىٰ مَدۡيَنَ أَخَاهُمۡ شُعَيۡبً۬ا فَقَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱرۡجُواْ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأَخِرَ وَلَا تَعۡثَوۡاْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مُفۡسِدِينَ (٣٦) فَڪَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَتۡهُمُ ٱلرَّجۡفَةُ فَأَصۡبَحُواْ فِى دَارِهِمۡ جَـٰثِمِينَ (٣٧) وَعَادً۬ا وَثَمُودَاْ وَقَد تَّبَيَّنَ لَڪُم مِّن مَّسَـٰڪِنِهِمۡۖ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ أَعۡمَـٰلَهُمۡ فَصَدَّهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَكَانُواْ مُسۡتَبۡصِرِينَ (٣٨) وَقَـٰرُونَ وَفِرۡعَوۡنَ وَهَـٰمَـٰنَۖ وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَهُم مُّوسَىٰ بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَٱسۡتَڪۡبَرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا كَانُواْ سَـٰبِقِينَ (٣٩) فَكُلاًّ أَخَذۡنَا بِذَنۢبِهِۦۖ فَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهِ حَاصِبً۬ا وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ أَخَذَتۡهُ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ خَسَفۡنَا بِهِ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ أَغۡرَقۡنَاۚ وَمَا ڪَانَ ٱللَّهُ لِيَظۡلِمَهُمۡ وَلَـٰكِن ڪَانُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ يَظۡلِمُونَ (٤٠)
And indeed We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people, and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years [inviting them to believe in the Oneness of Allah (Monotheism), and discard the false gods and other deities], and the Deluge overtook them while they were Zalimun (wrong-doers, polytheists, disbelievers, etc.). Then We saved him and those with him in the ship, and made it (the ship) as an Ayah (a lesson, a warning, etc.) for the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
And (remember) Ibrahim (Abraham) when he said to his people: “Worship Allah (Alone), and fear Him, that is better for you if you did but know. “You worship besides Allah only idols, and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back. And if you deny, then nations before you have denied (their Messengers). And the duty of the Messenger is only to convey (the Message) plainly.” See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it. Verily, that is easy for Allah. Say: “Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated creation, and then Allah will bring forth (resurrect) the creation of the Hereafter (i.e. resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.” He punishes whom He will, and shows mercy to whom He will, and to Him you will be returned. And you cannot escape in the earth or in the heaven. And besides Allah you have neither any Wali (Protector or Guardian) nor any Helper. And those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and the Meeting with Him, it is they who have no hope of My Mercy, and it is they who will (have) a painful torment. So nothing was the answer of [Ibrahim’s (Abraham)] people except that they said: “Kill him or burn him.” Then Allah saved him from the fire. Verily, in this are indeed signs for a people who believe. And [Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: “You have taken (for worship) idols instead of Allah, and the love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helper.” So Lout (Lot) believed in him [Ibrahim’s (Abraham) Message of Islamic Monotheism]. He [Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: “I will emigrate for the sake of my Lord. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” And We bestowed on him [Ibrahim (Abraham)], Ishaque (Isaac) and Ya’qub (Jacob), and ordained among his offspring Prophethood and the Book [i.e. the Taurat (Torah) (to Musa – Moses), the Injeel (Gospel) (to ‘Iesa – Jesus), the Qur’an (to Muhammad ), all from the offspring of Ibrahim (Abraham)], and We granted him his reward in this world, and verily, in the Hereafter he is indeed among the righteous.
And (remember) Lout (Lot), when he said to his people: “You commit Al-Fahishah (sodomy the worst sin) which none has preceded you in (committing) it in the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns). Verily, you do sodomy with men, and rob the wayfarer (travellers, etc.)! And practise Al-Munkar (disbelief and polytheism and every kind of evil wicked deed) in your meetings.” But his people gave no answer except, that they said: “Bring Allah’s Torment upon us if you are one of the truthful.” He said: “My Lord! Give me victory over the people who are Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts). And when Our Messengers came to Ibrahim (Abraham) with the glad tidings they said: “Verily, we are going to destroy the people of this [Lout’s (Lot’s)] town (i.e. the town of Sodom in Palestine) truly, its people have been Zalimun [wrong-doers, polytheists and disobedient to Allah, and have also belied their Messenger Lout (Lot)].” Ibrahim (Abraham) said: “But there is Lout (Lot) in it.” They said:”We know better who is there, we will verily save him [Lout (Lot)] and his family, except his wife, she will be of those who remain behind (i.e. she will be destroyed along with those who will be destroyed from her folk).” And when Our Messengers came to Lout (Lot), he was grieved because of them, and felt straitened on their account. They said: “Have no fear, and do not grieve! Truly, we shall save you and your family, except your wife, she will be of those who remain behind (i.e. she will be destroyed along with those who will be destroyed from her folk). Verily, we are about to bring down on the people of this town a great torment from the sky, because they have been rebellious (against Allah’s Command).” And indeed We have left thereof an evident Ayah (a lesson and a warning and a sign the place where the Dead Sea is now in Palestine) for a folk who understand.
And to (the people of) Madyan (Midian), We sent their brother Shu’aib (Shuaib). He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, and hope for (the reward of good deeds by worshipping Allah Alone, on) the last Day, and commit no mischief on the earth as Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts). And they belied him [Shu’aib (Shuaib)], so the earthquake seized them, and they lay (dead), prostrate in their dwellings. And ‘Ad and Thamud (people)! And indeed (their destruction) is clearly apparent to you from their (ruined) dwellings. Shaitan (Satan) made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and turned them away from the (Right) Path, though they were intelligent. And (We destroyed also) Qarun (Korah), Fir’aun (Pharaoh), and Haman. And indeed Musa (Moses) came to them with clear Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), but they were 0-arrogant in the land, yet they could not outstrip Us (escape Our punishment).
So We punished each (of them) for his sins, of them were some on whom We sent Hasiban (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as the people of Lout (Lot)], and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment – awful cry, etc. (as Thamud or Shu’aib’s people)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qarun (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people of Nuh (Noah), or Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his people]. It was not Allah Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves. [Aayaat 14-40]
Then Allaah stated thereafter:
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ كَمَثَلِ الْعَنكَبُوتِ اتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا ۖ وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنكَبُوتِ ۖ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ ۖ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلَّا الْعَالِمُونَ
The likeness of those who take Auliya’ (protectors and helpers) other than Allah is as the likeness of a spider, who builds (for itself) a house, but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider’s house; if they but knew. Verily, Allah knows what things they invoke instead of Him. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. And these similitudes We put forward for mankind, but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah and His Signs, etc.).
Imaam Ibnul Qayyin [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Allaah mentioned that they are weak and that those whom they take as protectors and helpers are weaker than them. So with regards to their weakness and their goal behind taking others as protectors and helpers besides Allaah, they are similar to a spider that builds a house and it is the frailest and weakest of houses. Based on this parable, the Mushrikoon become much weaker when they take others as protectors and helpers besides Allaah, and they do not benefit from those they take as protectors and helpers besides Allaah, just as Allaah stated [in another verse]:
وَٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ ءَالِهَةً۬ لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمۡ عِزًّ۬ا
كَلَّاۚ سَيَكۡفُرُونَ بِعِبَادَتِہِمۡ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ضِدًّا
And they have taken (for worship) Aaliha (gods) besides Allah, that they might give them honour, power and glory (and also protect them from Allah’s Punishment etc.). Nay, but they (the so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them (on the Day of Resurrection).
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ ءَالِهَةً۬ لَّعَلَّهُمۡ يُنصَرُونَ
لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ نَصۡرَهُمۡ وَهُمۡ لَهُمۡ جُندٌ۬ مُّحۡضَرُونَ
And they have taken besides Allaah Aaliha (gods), hoping that they might be helped (by those so-called gods). They cannot help them, but they will be brought forward as a troop against those who worshipped them (at the time of Reckoning). [Surah Yaa Seen. Verses 74-75]
And after mentioning the destruction of the polytheistic nations, Allaah said:
[وَمَا ظَلَمۡنَـٰهُمۡ وَلَـٰكِن ظَلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَہُمۡۖ فَمَآ أَغۡنَتۡ عَنۡہُمۡ ءَالِهَتُہُمُ ٱلَّتِى يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ لَّمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُ رَبِّكَۖ وَمَا زَادُوهُمۡ غَيۡرَ تَتۡبِيبٍ۬ – We wronged them not, but they wronged themselves. So their Aaliha (gods), other than Allah, whom they invoked, profited them naught when there came the Command of your Lord, nor did they add aught (to their lot) but destruction. [Surah Hud. Verse 101]
These four places in the Qur’aan show that the one who takes protectors and helpers besides Allaah- through whom he seeks to strengthen himself, behave arrogantly and prevail- will not achieve except the opposite, and there is a lot more about this affair in the Qur’aan. This is one of the finest parables and the clearest proofs regarding the falsehood of Shirk and the deprivation of the one who commits Shirk, and that he will achieve the opposite of what he seeks. (1)
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Allaah gave this similitude regarding those who worship others alongside Him, seeking honour, strength and benefit by way of it; but Allaah says that the affair is the opposite of the goal they seek, because their likeness is that of a spider that builds a house to protect itself from the heat, cold and harm; but the frailest and weakest of houses is the spider’s house. The spider is one of those weak animals and its house is one of the weakest of houses, and building its house does not increase it in anything except weakness. Likewise, this is the case regarding those who take protectors and helpers besides Allaah; they are in need and incapable in every way when they take protectors and helpers besides Allaah to seek honour and help by way of them; so they increase weakness on their weakness, and feebleness on their feebleness, because indeed they rely on them in many of their affairs related to their well-being and entrust it to them, refrain from achieving it themselves and [hoping] that these [so-called] protectors and helpers will fulfil it; but they forsake them- neither receive anything [useful, beneficial etc] nor the least [gain, benefit etc] from their help. Had they been acquainted with the reality of knowledge- their situation and that of those whom they take as protectors and helpers besides Allaah, they would not have done so; rather they would have freed themselves from them and take Allaah as Protector and Helper- The Lord Who is able to do all things, The One Who Bestows His Special Mercy to the Believers; Who – when a servant takes Him as a Protector and an Ally, He suffices him, looks after both his religious and worldly affairs, increase him in strength upon strength in his heart [i.e. Imaan], his body [i.e. grant him ability to seek after what is beneficial etc], in all his circumstances and deeds. (2)
Seven Parables or Similitudes Associated With Shirk and One Destructive Illusion!
Seven Parables or Similitudes Associated With Shirk and One Destructive Illusion!
[Ref 1: An Exceprt from ‘Badaa’i At-tafseer Al-Jaami Lima Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim. Vol 2. Page299-300. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. Slightly paraphrased]