Blind Imitation

Another characteristic of Jaahiliyyah (ignorance) is that their religion was built upon certain principles, the greatest of which was taqleed (blind following). So this was the biggest principle for all of the disbelievers, the first and last of them as Allaah says:

"And similarly, We sent not a warner before you [(Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)] to any town (people), except 'that the luxurious ones among them said: 'Verily, we found our forefathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow in their footsteps.'" (Q43: 23)

A lot of things are wrong with this principle of jaahiliyyah.

Firstly, an action that was done or initiated by ones' forefathers is not a proof for its correctness. A person will be considered a fool if he does wrong and is asked why he did it and said he saw people doing it. Why did he not use his intellect to see whether the act is good or not?

Secondly, we should ask those who use the above as a reason for following their forefathers that, 'would they' want to remain unsuccessful when success comes their way simply because none of their forefathers attained success?'

Sticking to the path or way of our forefathers is a ploy and evil machination of Shaytaan to dissuade people from accepting and following the truth Allaah says:

"And when it is said to them: 'Follow that which Allaah has sent down', they say: 'Nay, we shall follow that which we found our forefather (following).' Would they do so even if the Devil invites them to the torment of the Fire?" (Q31: 21).

Only those who follow their desires and not ready to accept the truth use this faulty principle to justify their evil ways. When Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him) asked his people why they worshipped idols, In reply they said:

"We found our fathers worshipping them." (Q21: 53)

Also, Allaah says:

"When it is said to them: 'Follow what Allah has sent down.' They say: 'Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.' (Would they do that!) Even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided?" (Q2: 170)

This trait of jaahiliyyah is noticeable among some Muslims today. When some of them are told, for instance, not to celebrate Mawlud an-Nabiyy (The Prophet's birthday); they would respond that their forefathers were doing this thing in the past and were also learned. If it were to be something evil they would have known and stopped doing it. Since they are not ready to leave the celebration they may ask: "Are you saying that Allah will punish them for the celebration?"

This should not be the attitude of a believer to matters of the deen. Every act of the deen a believer does must be supported by a proof. When the Jews and Christians claimed exclusive right to al-Jannah Allaah says:

"Produce your proof if you are truthful' (Q2: 111)

We should not follow the way of our forefathers rather our attitude should be according to the statement of Allaah that says:

"Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any partners besides Him.' Little do you remember!" (Q7: 3)

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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