What happens when a society turns to idolatry?

A few signs let us better understand the "religion" of worshipping people pervading a society. Of these, the most basic is the heedless behavior exhibited by those who forget the existence of Allah and that He is with them at every moment. Instead of seeking Allah's favor, a person who adopts such a pattern of behavior blindly does what others ask of him-even if it is contrary to religious morality-and will be prepared to suffer every humiliation and degradation.

For example, some behave in a way contrary to the teaching of the Qur'an because they want certain others to accept them and be taken into their group. Though they know their behavior is wrong, still they are willing to do every sort of disgraceful thing to get others to like them. As a result, they experience pangs of conscience in this life and will be repaid for their insincerity in the life to come.

Such people think they are ingratiated themselves with others, but Allah knows their real intentions. They forget Allah, but He sees them every moment and knows what they conceal in their hearts. And though other people may hold positive views about them, Allah knows their insincerity.

For example, a person may see that his boss's moral character is corrupt, that he treats the poor and needy unjustly and has made the kind of profit forbidden by Allah. Yet for the sake of a promotion, this employee pretends not to notice his boss's behavior. He tries his best to make his boss think he is a loyal, hard worker and so he turns a blind eye to actions that Allah has forbidden. But Allah sees him, and knows everything he thinks and everything he says. He does nothing to win Allah's favor, but all the things he does to curry the approval of others is written down in the presence of Allah.

In fact, those who think this way and seek to influence others in their own favor become like puppets. Others control their strings, and they carry out to the letter what is wanted of them, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, lawful or forbidden. In order to satisfy only a few worldly desires and selfish passions, they agree to become a part of a system that ignores Allah and cares nothing for earning His favor. They are ready to behave in ways that humiliate themselves and degrade their humanity; they live under others' control, without the human dignity that faith affords. As a result, they comprise a frightening group of people who are insincere, disrespectful and hypocritical towards others. They do not know what love really is and live only for their own gain. They lock themselves into a system where real friendship is absent and every relationship is based on profit. Within this system, have created with their own hands, they are-as Surat al-Isra' tells us-lonely and helpless, far from the mercy and assistance of Allah.

Do not set up any other deity together with Allah and so sit there reviled and forsaken. (Surat al-Isra', 22)
2009-01-29 21:34:38

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