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Can we even determine who the polytheists are?

By: admin

Question

Even if it is accepted that polytheists alone are not to be allowed to come in the vicinity of the Ka’bah, the argument remains unanswered. Because at the end of the day, it would still be us humans who would be judging others as ‘Mushrikun’(polytheists).For example,some of us would suggest that hindus are polytheists as they believe in many Gods but i personally know many Hindus who claim that they believe in one God alone, and the “idols” are there only to help them visualise some entity – no more, no less. What decision do we make in such cases, and what approach should we have, at large?As far i am concerned the situation is not as crystal clear as many of us think

Allah Hafiz.

Answer

The basic thing in this regard is the definition of the word Mushrik(polytheist). The word Mushrik implies those who ascribe themselves to the religion of shirk. This entails that those who due to any misunderstanding indulge in Shirk or do not accept that they are polytheists and present some kind of interpretation and explanation to their involvement in polytheism as some of the Hindu sects and Christians do, cannot be called Mushrik. Therefore we see that though the Holy Qur’an says that some of Jews and Christians were involved in polytheistic beliefs yet it did not subject them to the punishment prescribed for the polytheists who had rejected the Messenger of Allah and does not put them in the same bracket when the issue of interfaith marriages is discussed. Therefore the matter does not go undecided and merely subject to our opinion. Rather the final authority in this regard,in present time, is the person himself.Please,bear in mind that It is ONLY when a messenger of God is present among people that the unambigous information is passed on to Him about the beliefs of His addressees.After the demise of prophet Muhammad(pbuh) we cannot call people polytheists just because we think their practices are polytheistic practices when they themselves do not consider their practices as such.

Keeping the foregoing explanation in mind, it should be clear that there is no subjectivity involved in determining whether or not a particular group is Mushrik. If a group or a person ascribes partners to God and accepts that he believes that God has associates and partners, then such a person is a self-proclaimed Mushrik.

We hope this helps

UIUK team

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