According to Peacetv, the Quran states that the human being is prone to worship any one, or all of the following:
1– Material possessions:
If the only thing you think of is money and how to make money, if your mind is primarily occupied with issues such as: ‘how much will I make out of this deal?’ and ‘what will I gain out of this person?’ etc, if everything in your life is assessed according to its material benefit, then it is said that you worship money. If your business or your property distracts you from worshipping God, then you worship your possessions.
a– The following parable in Sura 18, portrays the tale of the man who was so occupied with his garden to the extent of setting it up as his idol, arrogantly boasting about it to his friend, saying that it will never cease to yield its crop. Consequently, God wiped it out as a punishment and a lesson for his idol worship:
His fruits were totally ruined, so he started wringing his hands over what he had spent on it, as now it had fallen on its trellises, and said, “I wish I had not associated anyone with my Lord.”
b– The story of Solomon and the horses that distracted him from worshipping God goes as follows:
When the thoroughbred horses were displayed before him at dusk, he said, “I loved the material things over the remembrance of my Lord until it disappeared behind a veil.”
Solomon allowed material possessions to distract him from worshipping God. When he realised his error, the sun had already set causing him to miss his Salat! As a result, he repented. Realizing that nothing should have distracted him from worshipping God, he got rid of the horses.
c– Indeed the righteous in the sight of God are described in Sura 24:
Men who are not distracted by trade nor sale from the remembrance of God.
2– Children and spouse:
The Quran warns strongly that our offspring and spouses are a ‘Fetnah’ (test) of our true Worship. Are we going to become totally wrapped up in them to the extent of being distracted from worshipping God? Consider the following verses:
a– …….when she got heavier, they implored God their Lord: “If You grant us a good one, we will be among the thankful.” Then when He granted them a good one, they set up partners to Him in what He has given them. God be exalted, far above whatever they associate with Him.
b– Your money and children are but a test, and with God lies a great reward.
3– One’s own ego:
The Quran also warns against worshipping our own self. People with inflated egos are the ones most prone to such behaviour. They will idolize themselves and live in a permanent illusion of vanity:
a– Have you seen the one who has taken his own desire as his god? Would you be his trustee?
b– The Quran states that to protect one’s self against this danger we should always behave with modesty and humility. God does not like the conceited and egotistic:
God does not like the arrogant, boastful.
The close connection between worshipping God alone and being humble is also made evident in the following words:
Worship God and do not associate anything with Him …… God does not like the ones who are arrogant and boastful.
c– A case of a whole people ending up worshipping themselves is narrated in the Quran in relation to the Jews. Their vanity and illusions of superiority deluded them into thinking that they were guaranteed God’s mercy to the exclusion of all other people:
Say, “O you who are Jewish, if you claim that you are allies of God, to the exclusion of all other people, then long for death if you are truthful.”
Equally, their vanity and egotism eluded them, proclaiming that heaven was exclusively reserved for them!
Say, “If the abode of the Hereafter is yours at God, to the exclusion of all other people, then long for death if you are truthful.”
Perhaps the more familiar example in this category is the worship of stone idols and statues. Sadly, many sects are guilty of such transgression. The Quran warns very strongly against any association with stone, altars or monuments (5:90). In the world today there are those who still worship such objects as statues, the sun, fire, or even certain animals. All these groups are committing great acts of idol worship. We know that shirk (associating others with God) is the only unforgivable sin.
5– The angels, messengers and saints:
There is a very thin line between idolization and worshipping. What would you call those who kiss the ground which the Pope walks on? Are they idolizing the Pope or are they in fact worshipping him? What do you call those who visit the shrines of ‘Al-Hussein’ or ‘El-Sayeda Zeinab’ (Muslim saints) and call on them to answer their prayers or to intercede on their behalf! The Quran states categorically that to call on anyone other than God is to commit idol worship. The Quran warns very specifically against idolizing or worshipping God’s messengers, the saints or the angels:
The Quran establishes the fact that no genuine messenger will ever command his people to glorify him or idolize him:
It is not for any human being to whom God gave the Scripture, the law, and the prophethood to then say to the people, “Be worshippers of me rather than God,” but instead, “Be devoted to the Lord in accordance to the Scripture you have been teaching and in accordance to what you have been studying.”
Nor would he command you to take the angels and the prophets as lords. Would he command you to disbelieve after becoming submitters?
Nor will any genuine messenger ask for any kind of return for his services:
I do not ask you for a reward for it. My reward comes only from the Lord of the worlds.
The Quran asserts that all those who died, whether they are saints, messengers or idols cannot hear us when we call on them:
Those whom you call upon besides Him do not possess as much as a seed’s shell. If you call upon them, they cannot hear your calls. But even if they were to hear, they would not respond to you, and on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your shirk. None can inform you like One who is All-Aware.
On the Day of Judgment those who have been idolized will disown the ones who idolized them:
Among the people are those who take other than God as His equals; loving them as the love of God. However, those who believe have much greater love for God. If only the transgressors would witness the punishment, they would realise that all power belongs to God and that God’s punishment is severe.
Those who were followed disowned those who followed them, they witnessed the punishment and all connections between them were cut off.
Those who followed said, “If only we had another chance, we would disown them as they have disowned us.” God thus shows them their deeds bringing remorse upon them. They will not exit the Fire.
The Quran warns very strongly against setting up God’s messengers as idols:
Do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants as allies beside Me? We have prepared Hell as hospitality for the disbelievers. 18:102
Say, “Call upon those whom you have made claims for besides Him.” They do not have the power to remove any harm from you, nor can they divert it.
Those whom they call upon are themselves seeking the means to their Lord with regards to which of them can be nearer. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is certainly to be feared.
Those who commit such transgressions will come up with the most outrageous excuses:
Unquestionably, it is to God that the pure religion is due. Those who set up allies besides Him: “We only worship them so that they may bring us closer to God.”
In the same verse, God replies to these claims with the words:
God will judge between them regarding that over which they differ. God does not guide the one who is a liar, a disbeliever.
6– The devil
There are various sects all over the world today who worship Satan (Iblis). They engage in all sorts of vile activities such as blood drinking, human sacrifices and carnal depravity. Indeed this is expected of the servants of the devil. The Quran states that the devil will order his followers to commit evil:
The devil promises you poverty and commands you to commit immorality.
We are given a reminder in the Quran that God took a very early Covenant from all of us, not to worship the devil:
Did I not take a pledge from you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not worship the devil, for he is a clear enemy to you, and that you shall worship Me, for that is a straight path?
Anyone who takes the devil for an ally instead of God has indeed lost; a clear loss.
The words of Abraham to his father carried the same warning:
O my father, do not worship the devil. The devil is disobedient to the Almighty.