We are taking a winter break and will be travelling Insya Allah. I thought of putting down some reminders for them in their excitement. May we not bring back things that do not please Allah.
I thought of sharing this story with my children (taken from Ar Raheeq Al Makhtum; The Sealed Nectar).
The story is about Amr bin Luhai. He is the chief of the tribe Khuza’a. He was also known as one of the righteous person in Makkah in his time. Do read on.
Most of the Arabs had complied with the call of Prophet Ishmael alaihi salam, and professed the religion of his father Prophet Abraham alaihi salam. They had worshipped Allâh, professed His Oneness and followed His religion a long time until they forgot part of what they had been reminded of. However, they still maintained such fundamental beliefs such as monotheism as well as various other aspects of Abraham’s religion.
Until the time when a chief of Khuza‘a, namely ‘Amr bin Luhai, who was renowned for righteousness, charity, reverence and care for religion, and was granted unreserved love and obedience by his tribesmen.
One day, he came back from a trip to Syria where he saw people worship idols. This is a phenomenon he approved of and believed it to be righteous since Syria was the locus of Messengers and Scriptures.
And then he brought with him back an idol (Hubal) which he placed in the middle of Al-Ka‘bah and summoned people to worship it. Readily enough, paganism spread all over Makkah and, then, to Hijaz, people of Makkah being custodians of not only the Sacred House but the whole Haram as well. As a result of this, a great many idols, bearing different names, were introduced into the area. [Mukhtasar Seerat-ar-Rasool p.12]
An idol called ‘Manat’, for instance, was worshipped in a place known as Al-Mushallal near Qadid on the Red Sea. Another, ‘Al-Lat’ in Ta’if, a third, ‘Al-‘Uzza’ in the valley of Nakhlah, and so on and so forth. Polytheism prevailed and the number of idols increased everywhere in Hijaz.
It was even mentioned that ‘Amr bin Luhai, with the help of a jinn companion who told him that the idols of Noah’s folk – Wadd, Suwa‘, Yaguth, Ya‘uk and Nasr – were buried in Jeddah, dug them out and took them to Tihama. Upon pilgrimage time, the idols were distributed among the tribes to take back home. [Bukhari 1/222]
Every tribe, and house, had their own idols, and the Sacred House was also overcrowded with them. On the Prophet’s conquest of Makkah, 360 idols were found around Al-Ka‘bah. He broke them down and had them removed and burned up. [Mukhtasar Seerat-ar-Rasool p.13-54]
Polytheism and worship of idols became the most prominent feature of the religion of pre-Islam Arabs despite alleged profession of Abraham’s religion.
Listen to this: Traditions and ceremonies of the worship of their idols had been mostly created by ‘Amr bin Luhai, and were deemed as good innovations rather than deviations from Abraham’s religion.
Subhanallah. Let us read now what happen to Amir bin Luhay as told by The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam.
“I saw ‘Amr ibn ‘Aamir al-Khuzaa’i dragging his intestines in Hell. He was the first one to introduce the institution of al-saa’ibah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4623.
Lessons for the children
1. Strengthen your aqeedah and know your fundamentals.
2. One must show on their physical appearance their love to Allah. It is an indication of Iman. But beware also on who we take the religion from. Again strengthen your aqeedah.
3. It is important that we know the correct way to worship Allah as taught by Prophet Mohammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam. Any other way of worshipping not taught by him (salllahu alaihi wasalam) as narrated by the sahabah and the salafis are an innovation to the religion.
4. May we not become among those who bring innovation of the deen to ourselves, our families and the people.
Some features of their worship of idols were:
1. Self-devotion to the idols, seeking refuge with them, acclamation of their names, calling for their help in hardship, and supplication to them for fulfillment of wishes, hopefully that the idols (i.e., heathen gods) would mediate with Allâh for the fulfillment of people’s wishes.
2. Performing pilgrimage to the idols, circumrotation round them, self-abasement and even prostrating themselves before them.
3. Seeking favour of idols through various kinds of sacrifices and immolations, which is mentioned in the Qur’ânic verses:
“And that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone-altars)” [Al-Qur’an 5:3]
Allâh also says:
“Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which Allâh’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of the slaughtering of the animal).” [Al-Qur’an 6:121]
4. Consecration of certain portions of food, drink, cattle, and crops to idols. Surprisingly enough, portions were also consecrated to Allâh Himself, but people often found reasons to transfer parts of Allâh’s portion to idols, but never did the opposite. To this effect, the Qur’ânic verses go:
“And they assign to Allâh a share of the tilth and cattle which He has created, and they say: ‘This is for Allâh according to their pretending, and this is for our (Allâh’s so-called) partners.’ But the share of their (Allâh’s so-called) ‘partners’, reaches not Allâh, while the share of Allâh reaches their (Allâh’s so-called) ‘partners’. Evil is the way they judge.” [Al-Qur’an 6:136]
5. Currying favours with these idols through votive offerings of crops and cattle, to which effect, the Qur’ân goes:
“And according to their pretending, they say that such and such cattle and crops are forbidden, and none should eat of them except those whom we allow. And (they say) there are cattle forbidden to be used for burden or any other work, and cattle on which (at slaughtering) the Name of Allâh is not pronounced; lying against Him (Allâh).” [Al-Qur’an 6:138]
6. Dedication of certain animals (such as Bahira, Sa’iba, Wasila and Hami) to idols, which meant sparing such animals from useful work for the sake of these heathen gods. Bahira, as reported by the well-known historian, Ibn Ishaq, was daughter of Sa’iba which was a female camel that gave birth to ten successive female animals, but no male ones, was set free and forbidden to yoke, burden or being sheared off its wool, or milked (but for guests to drink from); and so was done to all her female offspring which were given the name ‘Bahira’, after having their ears slit. The Wasila was a female sheep which had ten successive female daughters in five pregnancies. Any new births from this Wasila were assigned only for male people. The Hami was a male camel which produced ten progressive females, and was thus similarly forbidden. In mention of this, the Qur’ânic verses go:
“Allâh has not instituted things like Bahira ( a she-camel whose milk was spared for the idols and nobody was allowed to milk it) or a Sa’iba (a she camel let loose for free pasture for their false gods, e.g. idols, etc., and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), or a Wasila (a she-camel set free for idols because it has given birth to a she-camel at its first delivery and then again gives birth to a she-camel at its second delivery) or a Hâm (a stallion-camel freed from work for their idols, after it had finished a number of copulations assigned for it, all these animals were liberated in honour of idols as practised by pagan Arabs in the pre-Islamic period). But those who disbelieve, invent lies against Allâh, and most of them have no understanding.” [Al-Qur’an 5:103]
Allâh also says:
“And they say: What is in the bellies of such and such cattle (milk or foetus) is for our males alone, and forbidden to our females (girls and women), but if it is born dead, then all have shares therein.” [Al-Qur’an 6:139]
It has been authentically reported that such superstitions were first invented by ‘Amr bin Luhai. [Bukhari 1/499]