- Is there any substantial proof for worshiping other than Allah [SWT]?
- The greatest oppression and injustice is Shirk.
“These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him. Why do they not bring for them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah. (15)
Proof for worshiping other than Allah [SWT]?
After Ashaabul Kahf conveyed tawheed to their people, they asked about the people worshiping other than Allah: <<لَوْلَا يَأْتُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِسُلْطَانٍ بَيِّنٍ>> – why don’t they bring a clear authority? In this ayah عَلَيْهِمْ has two meanings:
- Why don’t they bring clear authority of their existence?
- What proof do they have that these gods deserve to be worshiped?
The word they use for ‘proof’ is sultaan, which has three very important meanings: power (quwwah), authority (hukoomah), and proof (hujjah). They are not asking for just any proof, but proof that has wisdom and manifest authority.
The youth knew that their people were worshiping other than Allah, yet they asked in the form of a rhetorical question, why? They were dispelling any doubts shaytaan may have caused in their hearts. When someone belongs to the minority, they may feel shaky in their hearts as to what they’re calling to because of shaytaan’s whispers of doubt and confusion. Although the youth were the believing minority against a disbelieving majority, asking this question reaffirmed their emaan and tawheed: there is no definitive proof for worshipping other than Allah. The lesson here is that we should always know our proofs to stay firm in our deen, and ask for them as the youth did, because when we know the proofs we will remove any doubts or confusion about the truth.
A related point: can you think of some proofs for worshiping Allah [SWT] alone?
The greatest oppression and injustice is Shirk
Then the youth asked another rhetorical question:
<<فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا>>- And who is more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah? Dhulm literally means to place something other than in its rightful place. So how is shirk dhulm? By giving the right of worship to other than Allah [SWT], one has put the rights of worship in the wrong place. That is why Allah ta’ala says, in surah Luqman, that shirk is dhulm, an injustice, but not just any injustice, shirk is dhulmun a’dheem, the greatest injustice.
Another lesson we learn–not only from this ayah but the whole story of Ashaabul Kahf–is that righteousness is not measured by age. Despite their age, these youth knew the gravity of committing shirk. Sadly, today the youth use their age as justification for commiting sins–as if it is a sufficient excuse! On the Day of Judgment, Allah ta’ala will not look at our age, nor our bodies, nor our wealth. Rather, He will only look to our deeds and our hearts.
WAllahu alam – And Allah knows best.