Translation: Umm Yaasir
Talking about what pride and failure to return to the truth could cause to one, so also being desirous of the world, Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allaah bestow mercy on him – said:
“Verily each one of Fir’aun and Iblees requested that they should be worshipped and followed beside Allaah. That trait in Fir’aun and Iblees was the height of injustice and ignorance from them. There is in the hearts of most of men and jinn a branch of this trait. If Allah does not help and guide a slave, he will fall into what Fir’aun and Iblees fell into as far as possible. One of the people in the know said: “There is no soul except that it has in it what Fir’aun had in his only that he (Fir’aun) had the will thus made his apparent, while others are weak and concealed theirs.”
This is so because when man studies and knows himself and the people, he will see the one who wants himself to be obeyed and exalted as far as possible. Hearts of the people are filled with love for praise and leadership as far as possible, you will find him befriending whoever follows his whims and fighting whoever contradicts his passion; verily what he worships is his desires and wishes.
The Most High says:
أَرَءَيۡتَ مَنِ ٱتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُۥ هَوَىٰهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيۡهِ وَكِيلًا
“Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him?” [Al-Furqaan:43].
People who are with him are like those under the kings of the disbelievers among the Turks (of old) and their likes. They used to say then: ‘My friend is with me, my enemy is not.’ Whoever assents to their desires becomes a friend even if he is an unbeliever, and he who does not assent to them becomes an enemy even he is from the pious, and this is Fir’aun’s case.
A person from amongst those, desires that his command is followed with respect, though he will not be capable of what Fir’aun was capable of by attributing divinity to himself and denying the Creator. Even if these people attest to the Creator, whenever the one who calls them to the worship of Allah which encompasses renouncing their followership comes to them, they take him as an enemy, like Fir’aun took Moosa (peace be upon him) as an enemy. Many who have sense and faith would not seek this limit, instead one of them will seek what he has. So if the one being obeyed is a Muslim, he seeks that he is followed in his objectives even there is in those objectives that which is misdeed and sin against Allah, and so he who follows him is more beloved to him and treasured than he who follows Allaah and contradicts his desires, and this is a branch of Fir’aun’s condition and most of those who called the messengers of Allah liars.
If he is a scholar or a big Shaykh, he loves those who exalt him than those who exalt his counterparts, and many a times he will detest his counterpart jealously and aggressively like the Jews did when Allah sent the one calling to what Moosa called to, The Most High says:
َو إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ ءَامِنُواْ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ قَالُواْ نُؤۡمِنُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡنَا وَيَكۡفُرُونَ بِمَا وَرَآءَهُۥ وَهُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ مُصَدِّقٗا لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡۗ قُلۡ فَلِمَ تَقۡتُلُونَ أَنۢبِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ مِن قَبۡلُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ
“And when it is said to them, "Believe in what Allah has revealed," they say, "We believe [only] in what was revealed to us." And they disbelieve in what came after it, while it is the truth confirming that which is with them. Say, "Then why did you kill the prophets of Allah before, if you are [indeed] believers?" [Al –Baqarah; 91]
And He says;
وَمَا تَفَرَّقَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَتۡهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَةُ
“Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence.” [Al-Bayyinah; 4]
And He says;
وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوٓاْ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡعِلۡمُ بَغۡيَۢا بَيۡنَهُمۡۚ وَلَوۡلَا كَلِمَةٞ سَبَقَتۡ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٖ مُّسَمّٗى لَّقُضِيَ بَيۡنَهُمۡۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُورِثُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ لَفِي شَكّٖ مِّنۡهُ مُرِيبٖ
“And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.” [Ash-Shuura; 14].
And for this He informed about them the like of what He informed about Fir’aun ,and He imposed on them from amongst them the one who would punish them and The Most High says about Fir’aun:
إِنَّ فِرۡعَوۡنَ عَلَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ
“Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land…” [Al-Qasas:4]
And for this The Most High said:
تِلۡكَ ٱلدَّارُ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةُ نَجۡعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوّٗا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فَسَادٗاۚ وَٱلۡعَٰقِبَةُ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ
“That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous.” [Al-Qasas :83]
And Allah glory to Him verily has created the creations for His worship, for them to remember Him, and to thank Him, and to worship Him, and He sent the messengers and He sent down the Holy Books to solely worship Him, and to make the religion in its totality for Allah, and to make the statement of Allah the greatest, The Most High says:
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِيٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُۥ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۠ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ
“And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, "There is no deity except Me, so worship Me." [Al-Anbiyyaa:25]
And He says:
وَسَۡٔلۡ مَنۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلۡنَا مِن دُونِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ءَالِهَةٗ يُعۡبَدُونَ
"And ask those We sent before you of Our messengers; have We made besides the Most Merciful deities to be worshipped?” [Az-Zukhruf:45]
And He has commanded all of the messengers with this, and that they should not disunite on it and He says:
إِنَّ هَٰذِهِۦٓ أُمَّتُكُمۡ أُمَّةٗ وَٰحِدَةٗ وَأَنَا۠ رَبُّكُمۡ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ
“Indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so worship Me.” [Al-Anbiyaa:92]
And He says:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلرُّسُلُ كُلُواْ مِنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَٰتِ وَٱعۡمَلُواْ صَٰلِحًاۖ إِنِّي بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ عَلِيمٞ وَإِنَّ هَٰذِهِۦٓ أُمَّتُكُمۡ أُمَّةٗ وَٰحِدَةٗ
"[Allah said], "O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing. And indeed this, your religion, is one religion.” [Al-Mu’minuun:51-52]
Qataadah said (about the Aayah): Or your religion is one, and your Lord is one, and the law is different, and likewise said Ad-Dahhaak, may Allaah bestow mercy on both.
And it was reported from Ibn ‘Abaas (may Allaah be pleased with him): ‘That is, your religion is one religion.’ Ibn Abee Haatim (may Allaah bestow mercy on him) said: ‘It was reported from Sa’eed bn Jubayr, Qataadah and ‘AbdurRahmaan the like of that.’ Al-Hassan said: ‘It was made clear to them what they should be cautious of and what they should do.’ Then he said: ‘Verily this tradition of yours is one tradition.’ Likewise said the generality of the exegetes, and (الأمة) means: the creed and the path, like He said:
بَلۡ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا وَجَدۡنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا عَلَىٰٓ أُمَّةٖ
“Rather, they say, "Indeed, we found our fathers upon a religion." [Az-Zukhruf:22].
‘The path’ is also called the leader because the passer in it leads for others to follow, likewise the passer seeks it and heads for it, and the nation also is the good teacher that leads people, and Allaah made Nabee Ibraheem (peace be upon him) a leader, and informs that verily he is a nation. And Allah The Most High commands the messengers to be a community and that their religion is one, they will not divide in it as it is in the two authentic books:
انا معاشر الانبياء ديننا واحد
‘Indeed we the Prophets, our Deen is one.’
And The Most High says :
۞شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِۦ نُوحٗا
“He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah” [Ash-Shuura:13].
And for this they said the truth of each other not dividing amongst themselves even though their laws are different.
So whoever is among those being obeyed amongst the leaders and the scholars following the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) will order with what he ordered with and call to it and love who calls to the like of what he called to, and verily Allah loves that, so he will love what Allah loves because his intention is worshipping Allah in His oneness; and to make the religion solely for Allah.
But he who hates that an equal is associated with him, will call to that, he will rather demand that he is the one to be obeyed and worshipped. He will therefore have a portion of Fir’aun’s case and his likes. He who seeks to be followed beside Allaah is like Fir’aun. He who seeks to be followed with Allah will want the people to take as equal with Allah other than Him loving him as they love Allah. Allaah The Most High commands that none is to be worshiped aside Him and that the religion should not be for anyone except Him; and that all loving and hating should be for Him, and that none is to be relied on except He, and that help should not be sort except with Him.” End of quote.
Majmoo Fatawa 8: 217-220 as cited in ‘Tahdheerun Naasiheen minat-Tahazzub lilUlamaa wal Murabbeen’ [Warning the Sincere from Groupism to Scholars and Trainers], pp. 60-63