by Khurram Murad
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:
Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah's Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius's question said to them, "Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan replied, "I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group)."
Heraclius said, "Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him." Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me." Abu Sufyan added, "By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet. The first question he asked me about him was:
'What is his family status amongst you?'
I replied, 'He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.'
Heraclius further asked, 'Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?'
I replied, 'No.'
He said, 'Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?'
I replied, 'No.'
Polygamy has been practiced by mankind for thousands of years. Many of the ancient Israelites were polygamous, some having hundreds of wives. King Solomon (peace be upon him) is said to have had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. David (Dawood) had ninety-nine and Jacob (Yacub, peace be upon them both) had four. Advice given by some Jewish wise men state that no man should marry more than four wives. No early society put any restrictions on the number of wives or put any conditions about how they were to be treated. Jesus was not known to have spoken against polygamy. As recently as the seventeenth century, polygamy was practiced and accepted by the Christian Church. The Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has allowed and practiced polygamy in the United States [see footnote 1]
Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:
اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ وَلا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
(2:255) Allah: the Everlasting, the Sustainer of the whole Universe; there is no god but He. He does neither slumber nor sleep. Whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth is His. Who is there to intercede with Him except by His own permission? He knows what is before the people and also what is hidden from them. And they cannot comprehend anything of His knowledge save whatever He Himself pleases to reveal. His Kingdom spreads over the heavens and the earth and the guarding of these does not weary Him. He alone is the Supreme and the Exalted.
This verse is generally known as the 'Verse of the Throne' and it provides in one piece knowledge of God with no parallel.
There is no god but Allah, the Everlasting, the Sustainer of everything.
Regardless of ignorant people's worship of false gods, the truth is that godhead in its entirety, belongs exclusively to the Eternal Being, Who is indebted to no one for His existence. In fact, He is not only self-existent, but upon Him rests the entire order of the universe. He alone wields all sovereign authority over His dominion. None shares His attributes or His power and might, and no one has the same claims against the creatures as He does. Hence, if anywhere in the heavens or earth someone sets up anything or anybody as an object of worship and service (ilah), either instead of or in addition to the One True God, it amounts to declaring war on reality.
He does neither slumber nor sleep.
This is a refutation of the ideas of those people who, in formulating their concepts of God, are inclined to consider God analogous to their own imperfect selves and hence ascribe to God the weaknesses characteristic of human beings. An instance at hand is the famous Biblical statement that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day He rested (see Genesis, chapters 1 and 2).
Whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth is His.
To God belongs the heavens and the earth and everything therein. There is no one who shares anything with God in governance of the heavens or the earth. Any conceivable being other than God would necessarily be a part of the universe and thus belong to, and be a subject of, God rather than His partner and equal.
Who is there to intercede with Him except by His own permission?
This is a refutation of the ideas of those polytheists who consider their saints, angels or other beings to be so influential with God that if they were adamant in demanding something of Him, their demand would prevail. They are being told that, far from anyone having the power to impose his will on God, none - not even the greatest Prophets and the most highly esteemed angels - will dare utter one word in the majestic court of the Lord unless they are expressly permitted to do so.
He knows what is before the people and what is hidden from them. And they cannot comprehend anything of His knowledge save what He Himself pleases to reveal.
Here another blow is struck against polytheism. On the basis of the concept of God's unlimited sovereignty and omnipotence, it was stressed in the foregoing verses that no one shares independently in God's governance of the universe, and no one is so powerful with God that his intercession would decisively influence His judgement. The same point is stressed here but in a different manner. It is pointed out that no one possesses the knowledge that would enable him to comprehend the order of the universe and the considerations underlying it, so no one can legitimately interfere in its governance. The knowledge of human beings, of jinn, of angels and of all other creatures is limited and imperfect. No one's knowledge embraces all the facts of the universe. If someone did have the right to interfere even in only a part of the universe, and if his suggestions were of necessity to be put into eflect, the entire order of the universe would be disrupted. Creatures are incapable of understanding what is best for them, and do not have the capacity to know how best the universe should be governed. It is God alone Who knows everything.
His Kingdom spreads over the heavens and the earth and the guarding of these does not weary Him. He alone is the Supreme and the Exalted.
compiled by Dr. Ishaq Zahid
July 20, 2007