Q&A: Mushirks on a sinking ship

On Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 9:33 AM, someone wrote:
Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahab in his book ”the three basic principles and their proofs” says at the end of the book as a fourth rule : The associationists -mushriks- of now days are worse and hence more guilty than those of the ancient times. For the ancient ones used to commit shirk in prosperity and return to genuine faith in adversity, whereas …………….

Then he quotes ayah 65 of surah ankabut :
” When they board the ship ,they invoke Allah making their faith pure for Him only; then when He brings them safe to land ,they start committing shirk. ”

My question is :
how does it become pure or genuine faith when someone calls Allah only when having difficulty while travelling on a ship?
I.e If a mushrik who beliefs in the multiplicity of Allah and worships others beside Allah when trapped in a ship calls Allah; how does the faith become pure? Isn’t pure faith to believe that there is no God but Allah rather then just calling only Allah?

Is the translation of the ayah correct? If not ,what is the actual translation of the ayah ?

Aţ-Ţabariyy says about the meaning: When they were afflicted by this affliction, they purified their belief in the oneness of Aļļaah, and made their obedience only for His sake, and submitted their worship to Him alone, and did not call their deities or idols.
تفسير الطبري – يقول تعالى ذكره: فإذا ركب هؤلاء المشركون السفينة في البحر، فخافوا الغرق والهلاك فيه( دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ) يقول: أخلصوا لله عند الشدّة التي نزلت بهم التوحيد، وأفردوا له الطاعة، وأذعنوا له بالعبودة، ولم يستغيثوا بآلهتهم وأندادهم،
Ibn Al-Jawziyy narrated that Muqaatil said: “diin here (what was translated as “faith” above) means tawĥiid, i.e. they would not call those they claimed to be Aļļaah’s partners.
زاد المسير – قوله تعالى : { فاذا رَكِبُوا في الفُلْك } يعني المشركين { دَعَوُا اللّهَ مُخْلِصِين له الدِّين } أي : أفردوه بالدُّعاء . قال مقاتل : والدِّين بمعنى التوحيد؛ والمعنى أنهم لا يَدْعُون مَنْ يَدْعُونه شريكاً له { فلمَّا نَجَّاهم } أي : خلَّصهم من أهوال البحر ، وأَفْضَوا { إِلى البَرِّ إِذا هم يُشْرِكون } في البَرّ ، وهذا إِخبار عن عنادهم .
An-Nasafiyy said it means: They took the appearance of a believer that takes his religion purely for Aļļaah’s sake, and only make (worshipful) remembrance of Him and do not worship anyone else (or call another deity).
تفسير النسفي – { فَإِذَا رَكِبُواْ فِى الفلك } هو متصل بمحذوف دل عليه ما وصفهم به وشرح من أمرهم معناه : هم على ما وصفوا به من الشرك والعناد فإذا ركبوا في الفلك { دَعَوُاْ الله مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدين } كائنين في صورة من يخلص الدين لله من المؤمنين حيث لا يذكرون إلا الله ولا يدعون معه إلاهاً آخر
Al-Bagħawiyy said it means: They abandoned their idols.
تفسير البغوي – قوله تعالى: { فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ } وخافوا الغرق، { دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ } وتركوا الأصنام
So faith, in the sense of real belief in the heart is not necessarily the meaning here. In fact, it can mean worship or obedience, or that they took the appearance of montheists, as An-Nasafiyy stated.

As always, the word duˆaa here is understood as meaning worship or calling in worship. It is not merely calling, or even calling for help. If someone was on a ship about to sink and called someone to help him with a sail he would not have committed shirk, because this call is not worship. It is not worship because he does not consider the called to be deserving of worship, or having the real and actual power to influence events. This is what Muĥammad ibn ˆAbdulWahhaab and his ilk could not understand.

2 Responses to Q&A: Mushirks on a sinking ship

  1. ibn ismail says:

    assalaamu alaikum

    This behaviour of mushriks is mentiond in several verses. what is it being taught in these ayahs ?

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