Exaggeration of Praises of the Righteous People

An Nisa’ 4: 171
O people of the Scripture! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allâh aught but the truth. The Messiah Īsā(Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allâh and His Word, (“Be!” – and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rûh) created by Him; so believe in Allâh and His Messengers. Say not: “Three (trinity)!” Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allâh is (the only) One Ilâh (God), glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allâh is All¬Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.(171)

In this verse Allah forbids the Jews and the Christians from exaggeration and excess in their religion.
the Christians – making deity of Prophet Essa alaihi salam and the status of his mother, Maryam and his disciples
the jews – rejected Prophet Eesa alaihi salam altgether. They also exaggerated concerbing the position of Uzayr, their rabbis and monks.

Allah refuted the Christians for taking Eesa as the God’s son. He is the Messenger of Allah and the slave of Allah. Believe in Him as a prophet but not to elevate their status as equal to Allah.

It was the excessive praises and glorification of Eesa alaihi salam until the deified him and worshiped him as a partner with Allah.

An Nuh 71: 23
And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwâ’, nor Yaghûth, nor Ya’ûq, nor Nasr (these are the names of their idols). (23)

This ayah is about the group of people in the time of Prophet Nuh alaihi salam. They are devoted to the worship of their idols and they advised each other to worship them and not to abandon worshiping them. Wadd, Suwa, Yaguth, Ya’uq and Nasr are the names of their idols.

The names of these idols are the names of the men who had been righteous in their lives. Their people became excessive in their love for them, so that when they died Satan whispered to them that they should make images in them in order to remember them. Then later, after the generation died, the original purpose of the pictures was forgotten, and the succeeding generations began to worship them.

This quran verse prove that exaggeration and excessive veneration of righteous people is an act of shirk. Their excessive praises cause them to cause shirk by worshiping other than Allah.

Regarding the righteous people, it is allowed to love them for the sake of Allah, and they should be respected, and followed in their righteousness and their deeds. If they were among the Messengers and Prophets, their laws and that which they were commanded are to be taken from. What they have left behind is to be followed. This is the limit that has been allowed.

The exaggeration that is given to the righteous people are giving them special divine characteristics. Like for example claiming that they know the Ghayb and the secrets of the “Preserved Tablet”.

We cannot equate Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam to the Creator. And this is shirk. Our love to our prophet does not warrant us to make du’a and ask him to grant us things. This du’a must be directed to Allah alone.

In the authority Umar that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi salam said, “Do not praise me as the Christians praise the son of Maryam. I am no more than a slave (of Allah) and so say that I am Allah’s slave and His Messenger”. Bukhari

The Prophet sallalalhu alaihi wasalam forbids his ummah from praising him excessively in order that may never raise him above the status in which Allah has placed him. Believing in him as Allah’s Messenger sallalalhu alaihi wasalam entails believing him in all that he says, obeying him in what he commands, abstaining from what he forbids. But not to the point of elevating him to the status equal to Allah.

It is reported that the Messenger sallallahu alaihi wasalam said, “Beware of exaggerated praise, for it was only this which led those before you to destruction.” (Ahmad, an Nasa’i and Ibn Majah)

Prophet sallahu alaihi wasalam prohibits us from excess and exaggeration of praises of Allah’s created beings.

Thus be aware
1. Sometimes there is a person that you like for example your favourite speaker. Be aware to over praising him. First as not to destroy the person’s intentions and second to not over exaggerate that destroy you yourself that you overpraise the person to a level that he is not.

2. Be very cautious of being praised as well.

Lessons
1. the first act of shirk that occurred one earth was concerning the excessive praises of the righteous people.
2. Syaitan’s knowledge of innovation leads to, even if the intention of the doer is good.
3. It is forbidden to exceedingly praise the prophets and other righteous Muslims.
4. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam took great care to prevent any means that might lead to sin.
5. The Christians exaggerated in the praise of Eesa.
6. The hadith refutes those who claim that Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam was more than a Messenger.

Reference
1. Kitab at Tauheed – Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab

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