Aspects Of The Days Of Ignorance (Masaa'il-Ul-Jaahiliyyah)

Author: Shaykh-ul-Islaam Muhammad Ibn 'Abd-il-Wahhaab

Source: Al-Manhaj
Translator: Abu Maryam Isma’eel Alarcon

Published: Sunday 26th July, 2015

Points 81 - 128:

  1. They took the graves of their Prophets and righteous people as places of worship
    (masaajid). [1]

  2. They took the marks of their Prophets (i.e. places where their Prophets had been) as places of worship, as has been narrated on 'Umar. [2]

  3. They placed lamps upon the graves.

  4. They took these places (gravesites) as locations for celebrating holidays.

  5. They performed sacrifices at the gravesites.

  6. They sought to gain blessings from the marks and relics of their (deceased) prestigious and revered ones, such as was the case with the central town meeting hall (Daar An-Nadwah). Those who were in its power used to brag and boast about it, as it was said to Hakeem Ibn Hazzaam (when he sold Daar An-Nadwah):

    "You have sold the honor of Quraish."]

    So he said:

    "All honor has passed away except that of piety (Taqwaa)."]

  7. They boasted and were prideful about their family descent.

  8. They slandered (people's) chains of lineage.

  9. They sought the expectation of rain from (determining it through) the constellations of stars (not from Allaah). [3]

  10. Their women would wail and lament for the deceased (An-Niyaaha). [4]

  11. The most honorable of their virtues was bragging and boasting about their chains of lineage. So Allaah revealed concerning it, what He revealed.

  12. The most honorable of their virtues, also, was bragging and boasting, even when they had a right to do so. So Allaah forbade that.

  13. Holding individual fanaticism and zealotry for one's party/group whether they were upon truth or falsehood was a must according to them. So Allaah revealed what He did concerning that matter.

  14. Their religion consisted of holding people accountable for the crimes of others. So Allaah revealed:

    "And no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another." [Surat-ul-Ana'aam: 164]

  15. They used to condemn a person due to what was found in someone else. This is seen in the Prophet's saying (to Abu Dharr, radi-Allaahu 'anhu, when he argued with Bilaal and called him 'son of a black woman'):

    "Do you condemn him because of his mother? Indeed you are a man who has in him, (aspects of) Jaahiliyyah (the Days of Ignorance)!" [5]

  16. They bragged and boasted that they were the caretakers of the House (of Allaah, i.e. the Ka'bah). So Allaah rebuked them, saying:

    "In pride, they (Quraish used to feel pride that they were the dwellers of the Makkah sanctuary) talking evil about it (the Qur'aan) by night." [Surat-ul-Mu'minoon: 67] [6]

  17. They would boast about their condition of being from among the offspring of the Prophets. So Allaah revealed His saying:

    "That was a nation that has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earned." [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 134] [7]

  18. They would boast about their trades, just as the merchants do considering themselves above the farmers. [8]

  19. The worldly life was glorified in their hearts, as is found in His saying:

    "And they say: 'Why is not this Qur'aan sent down to some great man of the two towns (Makkah and Taa'if)?'" [Surat-uz-Zukhruf: 31] [9]

  20. They sought to judge over Allaah, as is seen in His (previous) saying.

  21. They looked down upon the poor folk. So Allaah revealed His saying:

    "And turn not away those who invoke their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face." [Surat-ul-Ana'aam: 52]

  22. They accused those who followed the messengers of having a lack of sincerity and of desiring to achieve worldly ends. So Allaah responded to them by saying:

    "You are accountable for them in nothing" [Surat-ul-Ana'aam: 52]

    and other similar statements.

  23. They disbelieved in the angels.

  24. They disbelieved in the messengers (sent by Allaah).

  25. They disbelieved in the revealed books (of Allaah).

  26. They turned away from (accepting) what was reported concerning Allaah.

  27. They disbelieved in the Last Day.

  28. They denied that they would meet Allaah (on the Day of Judgement).

  29. They denied some of the aspects that the messengers (of Allaah) informed of concerning the Last Day, as is found in His saying:

    "They are the ones who disbelieve in the verses of their Lord and in (their) Meeting (with) Him." [Surat-ul-Kahf: 105]

    This includes denial of His saying:

    "Master of the Day of Recompense" [Surat-ul-Faatihah: 2]

    And His saying:

    "Spend of that with which We have provided you before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining nor friendship nor intercession" [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 254]

    And His saying:

    "Except for those who bear witness to the truth while knowing." [Surat-uz-Zukhruf: 86]

  30. They killed those people who commanded towards justice and fairness. [10]

  31. They believed in al-Jibt and at-Taaghoot (false deities and religions). [11]

  32. They preferred the religion of the polytheists over the religion of the Muslims.

  33. They covered the truth with falsehood.

  34. They concealed the truth, while possessing full knowledge of it. [12]

  35. They enforced the source principle of misguidance, and that is speaking about Allaah without any knowledge. [13]

  36. They found themselves in clear contradiction when they chose to disbelieve in the truth, as Allaah says:

    "But they disbelieved in the truth when it came to them, so they are in a state of utter confusion." [Surah Qaaf: 5]

  37. They believed in some parts of Allaah's revelation, while rejecting other parts. [14]

  38. They differentiated between the messengers. [15]

  39. They argued and challenged those things that they had no knowledge of.

  40. They claimed to follow the Salaf (righteous predecessors), while (in fact) they openly opposed and contradicted them.

  41. The hindered anyone who believed in Allaah from His path.

  42. They loved disbelief and the disbelievers.

  43. They used to believe in omens (Al-'Iyyaafah).

  44. They used to draw lines on the ground in order to predict future events (At-Tarq).

  45. They would foretell upcoming events (omens) based upon the flight of birds (At-Teerah). [16]

  46. They indulged in soothsaying and fortune telling (Al-Kahaanah).

  47. They appealed to At-Taaghoot (false deities and systems) for judgement. [17]

  48. They hated that two servants (of Allaah) marry one another. [18]

And Allaah knows best. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Muhammad, his family and his Companions.


[1] 'Aa'ishah, (رضي الله عنها), reported that the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said during the sickness from which he died of:

"May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians, they took the graves of their Prophets as masaajid (places of worship)." [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (3/159), Muslim (2/67) and Ahmad (6/80)]

[2] During the time of 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab's Khilaafah, the people began to perform their prayer at the place of 'Aqabah, the historic site where the Companions had given their oath of allegiance to the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم). So 'Umar had the tree cut down since the tree had no benefit and to prevent the people from taking this mark of the Prophet as a place of worship. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree][/quraan]

[3] Concerning this, Allaah says:

"And instead of thanking Allaah for the provision He gives you, on the contrary, you deny Him (by disbelieving and saying that we have achieved rain due to such and such lunar phase or such and such star)!" [Surat-ul-Waaqi': 82]

[4] These last four aspects (87-90) are combined in a hadeeth reported by Imaam Muslim, rahimahullaah, in his Saheeh, in which the Prophet, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), said:

"There are four things found in my Ummah (nation) from the Days of Ignorance that they will not abandon: 1) Bearing pride for (one's) ancestors, 2) Slandering (one's chain of lineage, 3) Seeking rain according to the stars, and 4) the wailing of women for the deceased."

And he, (صلى الله علیه وسلم), further said:

"If this wailing woman does not repent before her death, she will be raised on the Day of Resurrection covered in a dress of liquid pitch and a cloak of itches."

[5] Reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (1/80 and 81) from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr, radi-Allaahu 'anhu.

[6] The disbelieving polytheists used to see themselves as the protectors and caretakers of the Ka'bah, but Allaah denied this saying:

"And why should Allaah not punish them, when they hinder (people) from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam, while they are not (even) its caretakers?" [Surat-ul-Anfaal: 34]

[7] Allaah is confirming in this ayah that the good deeds and good standing that these people's forefathers possessed will not be of any benefit to them. This is since each person is responsible for himself and he will not be punished for the sins of someone else nor will he be rewarded by the good deeds of another.

[8] The Quraish were wealthy traders who would always be conducting business trades, traveling to different lands for that purpose as they did to Shaam in the winter and to Yemen in the summer. So they were people of wealth and thus considered themselves above those people who had to do labor for their money, such as the farmers and people of agriculture.

[9] The polytheists of Makkah objected that Allaah did not reveal the Qur'aan to some great wealthy man, of whom it is said either refers to Waleed Ibn 'Utbah or Hishaam Ibn Mugheerah, for these two were considered the most noble, high, wise and prestigious people of Makkah and Taa'if. They were the ones with the most wealth and children. So they claimed that these people were more deserving of the message and Prophethood than Muhammad, (صلى الله علیه وسلم). They only claimed this because they were infatuated with the worldly life and its luxuries, and that is what directed them, such that only those of wealth were fitting for any high and lofty position.

[10] This includes firstly the Prophets, whom the people of the Days of Ignorance used to kill off, rather than accept their call. Allaah says (referring to the Jews):

"Then why have you killed the Prophets of Allaah aforetime, if you indeed were believers?" [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 91]

[11] Concerning this, Allaah says:

"Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Al-Jibt and At-Taaghoot (false deities and religions) and say to the disbelievers that they are better guided as regards the way, than the believers." [Surat-un-Nisaa: 51]

This ayah is in reference to the Jews and the Christians who believed in Al-Jibt and At-Taaghoot. Al-Jibt originally refers to an idol, so it is used for anything that is worshipped besides Allaah. At-Taaghoot can be applied to every falsehood that comes from that thing that is worshipped besides Allaah.

[12] Concerning these last two aspects, Allaah says:

"And do not cover the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while knowing it." [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 42]

[13] Allaah says:

"Say: 'Verily, the things that My Lord has forbidden are Al-Fawaahish (lewd acts), whether committed openly or in secrecy, sins (of all kinds), unjust oppression, ascribing partners to Allaah (in worship) for which He has sent no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge.'" [Surat-ul-A'araaf: 33]

[14] Allaah says about this:

"Do you believe in parts of the Book and reject other parts?" [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 85]

[15] This means they chose whom they liked and rejected whom they disliked, differentiating between the Prophets. This is disbelief because Belief in the Messengers entails believing in all of them -those whose names we know and those, whose names we don't know, since their call was one and the same. Allaah says:

"The Messenger (Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم)) believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and (so) do the believers. Each one believes in Allaah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers. (They say): 'We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.'" [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 285]

[16] This is a specific mode of taking an omen. The word Al-'Iyaafah is more general and entails all other forms of omens, including taking omens from certain times or places or because of certain events. The disbelievers even took bad omens from certain people, as was the case with their claiming to receive a bad omen from the Prophet Saalih:

"They said: 'We foresee a bad omen from you and those with you.'" [Surat-un-Naml: 47]

[17] Allaah says:

"Have you not seen those who claim to believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you. And they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot (false deities and systems), while they have been ordered to reject them?" [Surat-un-Nisaa: 60]

And He says:

"Do they then seek the judgement of the Days of Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allaah for a people who have certain faith?" [Surat-ul-Maa'idah: 50]

[18] Marriage is from the Sunnah of the Prophets, as Allaah says:

"And indeed we sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم)), and placed for them wives and offspring." [Surat-ur-Ra'ad: 38]


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