The Falsehood of Shirk from the Parables in the Noble Quran


All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) and on his Family and Companions.

“Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say; “What did Allah intend by this parable?” By it He misleads many and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are rebellious, disobedient to Allah. Those who break Allah’s Covenant after ratifying it and sever what Allah has ordered to be joined and do mischief on earth, it is they who are the losers.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:26-27]

Allah, the Most High and Exalted, has presented the parable of the muwahhid (monotheist) and the mushrik (polytheist). The Most High and Exalted says:

“Allah puts forth a similitude: a (slave) man belonging to many partners disputing with one another, and a (slave) man belonging entirely to one master. Are those two equal in comparison? All the praises and thanks are to Allah! But most of them know not.” [Surah Az-Zumar, 39:29]

The mushrik has several deities. He worships many statues and doesn’t know which of them to please. His situation is like that of the slave who has many masters all of whom are partners in his ownership. Each one of them wishes that the slave comply and conform to his wishes despite his wishes conflicting with that of the others. This leaves the poor slave bewildered between these many masters, not knowing whom to please from them.

As for the muwahhid however, his parable is that of the one owned entirely by a single person, fully at ease with his wishes and desires. He is in complete harmony with his master, free of conflict, disagreement and anxiety. He is a slave owned by one man. This is the state of the muwahhid who is the slave of one Lord and He is Allah, the Most High and Exalted. He fulfils his religious duties to Allah and abstains from that which displeases Him.


This question is posed out of rebuke. Of course the two are not equal! Allah, the Most High and Exalted, presents this parable to show the difference between shirk and tawheed.

And Allah puts forward another parable to show the falsehood of shirk in His statement, the Most High:

“And whoever assigns partners to Allah, it is as if had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place.” [Surah Al-Hajj, 22:31]

The Muwahhid holds a raised position and a lofty rank with Allah, the Most High and Exalted, like the one in the sky who too commands a raised position and lofty rank. As for the mushrik, his similitude is like the one who falls from a height. By associating partners with Allah he fell from the height in which are the people of tawheed and the loftiness in which are the people of tawheed and the great elevation in which are the people of tawheed. So the mushrik fell from an immensely great height. What do you think will be his predicament as he falls; may Allah protect us from this? Should he collide with a bird’s wings, it will shred his flesh and devour him in the air. And if was able to survive the wings [of the bird] then the wind will carry him to a far off distant, desolate land. Tossing him to this barren, uninhabited place where there is no water or indeed for that matter anything else.

Similarly the mushrik exposes himself to desires, ways and ideas, which will shred him and scatter him and ultimately destroy him. This is the parable of the muwahhid and the mushrik. The muwahhid is in loftiness and highness and elevation with Allah, the Most High and Exalted, for his tawheed and sincerity. The mushrik on the other hand is in free descent from a lofty position and in free descent from tawheed, exposing himself to every destruction and misguidance. This is the state of the mushrik, may Allah protect us from this, exposed to every destruction and desire and to every trial and shaytaan. Each trial causing him distress and doubt. Are the former and the latter equal?

At the end of the (same) chapter, Allah gives another parable showing the falsehood of shirk and says:

“O mankind! A similitude has been coined so listen to it (carefully): Verily! Those, on whom you call besides Allah, will never create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for this purpose. And if the fly snatched away a thing from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.” [Surah Al-Hajj, 22:73]

All of the statues and all of that which is worshipped, other than Allah, cannot create even a fly. So how can they be worshipped instead of Allah when they cannot even create a fly, which is the smallest and most lowly thing? It was not requested of them that they create land or that they create a mountain or that they create a camel, or a cow, or human beings, rather only a fly, the most insignificant of things. This is a challenge from Allah, the Most High and Exalted, for the deities of the mushriks. Therefore if indeed they are unable to create a fly then how can they be worshipped alongside The Creator who created everything, Glorified and Exalted be He? Allah is The Creator of all things, The Creator, the All-Knowing. Nothing defies His ability. So how can this (Creator) and those (false deities) be compared?

This is a clear example of the falsehood of shirk and that it has no foundation, basis or extension.


Take note of the expression “Will never create…” which includes the future until the Day of Resurrection. This is an ongoing challenge till the Day of Resurrection. Therefore any mushrik who calls on other than Allah, it should be said to him: “The thing you worship, is it able to create a fly?” This parable is intended for all that is worshipped including statues, idols, saints, righteous people, graves, trees, stones etc. As long as these [deities] are unable to even create a fly then how do they deserve to be worshipped?

“Is the One Who creates as one who creates not? Will you not then remember?” [Surah An-Nahl, 16:17]

“Those whom they (mushrikeen) invoke besides Allah have not created anything, but are themselves created. (They are) dead, lifeless.” [Surah An-Nahl, 16:20-21]

“Tell me or inform me (what) do you think about your (so-called) partner-gods to whom you call upon besides Allah, show me, what they have created of the earth? Or have they any share in the heavens?” [Surah Fatir, 35:40]

The mushrikeen are unable to declare that their deities created even a fly. Nor will they be able to do so in the future. Even now in an age where technology has advanced and diversified, the world’s craftsmen and the world’s most skilled and the world’s doctors are unable to create even a fly! They are able to manufacture an aeroplane, which carries passengers, by joining (different) parts together. This is a viable product which man has learnt of and come to know of. However it is Allah who made this (knowledge) available to us for our use. He is the One that, out of His mercy, inspired us such that we could use (this knowledge) and take advantage of it. Yes, it is possible that man can make an aeroplane or ship. However as for creation, no he cannot even create a fly! This is from the exclusive rights of Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He.

“Is the One Who creates as one who creates not? Will you not then remember?” [Surah An-Nahl, 16:17]

Then He said:

“And if the fly snatched away a thing from them…”

If the fly, the weakest of entities, took something like scent or gold that had been placed on this idol. And it is from the practices of (the mushrikeen) that they place items on their deities like jewellery, gold, perfume and incense. So if a fly came and took something small that had been placed (on these idols) are these idols able to reclaim that which the fly took? They are unable to defend themselves (in the least bit) from the fly.

“And if the fly snatched away a thing from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker…” who is the mushrik “and the sought” which is the deity other than Allah, Glorified be He. A fly overcame them all! This is one of the greatest examples of (the falsehood of) associating partners with Allah, Glorified be He.

It is possible however that they, the mushrikeen will say: “We didn’t say that our deities are creators alongside Allah. Allah is the sole creator and we acknowledge this. He is The Creator, The Provider, The One Who gives life and death and The One Who arranges all matters. We too believe in this. But these (deities) are righteous servants of (Allah) and we only desire that they intercede for us with Allah. We only take them as a means of approach. We only worship them so they can bring us closer to Allah. We know that they don’t create or provide (for us). However they are the righteous servants (of Allah) who have a high position (with Him) and we wish that they draw us closer to Allah and besiege Him for us and act as intermediaries for us.”

So to this end they make sacrifices to them and take oaths (in their names) and make tawaaf of their graves and assemble by them. They dedicate for them their different types of worship and at the same time they admit that (their deities) didn’t create, provide or arrange the matters (of the creation) in any shape or form. Rather they only want from them to intercede on their behalf with Allah.

Allah, Glorified be he, destroys this (spurious claim) with the following parable:

“He sets forth for you a parable from your ownselves. Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your slaves) to share as equals in the wealth We have bestowed on you? Whom you fear as you fear each other? Thus do We explain the signs in detail to a people who have sense.” [Surah Ar-Rum, 30:28]

So if you would be unhappy that someone should share with you your slaves so how then can you be happy for Allah, that one of His slaves should be associated with Him (in His worship). And they, the mushrikeen used to say in their talbiyah (in Hajj): “I am here (O Allah), You have no partners other than a partner who is for you. You own him and that which he owns.” So Allah coined this similitude about them.

And the tawfeeq is from Allah. May the peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) and upon his Family and Companions.

– By the Noble Shaykh, Dr. Saalih Ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan [in ‘Silsilah Sharh Ar-Rasaai’l by Dr. Saalih al-Fawzaan pg-168-174]

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One Response to The Falsehood of Shirk from the Parables in the Noble Quran

  1. […] Ta’weez that are not from Quran, then that is even more dangerous, because it is considered Shirk (i.e. a form of polytheism). And in another narration, he (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) […]

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