Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.


Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The term mushrik is derived from shirk, i.e., associating in the sense of ascribing partners to God, which is described in the Koran as the only sin for which no forgiveness is possible (4:48). Another common Koranic expression for this is "those who associate" (alladhina ashraku). At first, the Prophet's preaching was addressed almost entirely to the pagan Arabs whose attitude may be described as follows: Not believing in the existence of an afterlife, they are excessively attached to worldly goods and take great pride in their material possessions and in their sons (19:77-80). But their enjoyment of this world will be brief (2:126, 3:196-7, 31:24, 77:46) and their possessions and children will not avail them (3:10, 116; 9:85, 34:35-7, 58:17, 60:3). Although they ascribe daughters to God (16:57, 53:19-23), they themselves are aggrieved when female children are born to them (16:58-9). God shows them His signs, the wonders of nature, that they may believe and gives them of His bounties, that they may be grateful but they fail to acknowledge that the source of these favours is the One God, Who will resurrect and judge them on the last day. In their unbelief they follow the ways of their ancestors (2:170, 37:69-70, 53:23) and are loath to give up their traditional beliefs and rites, which are connected with idols that will be of no help to them when the final hour comes. They ignore the warnings communicated to them by the Prophet, just as earliest nations had rejected the call of the messengers that God had sent, messengers such as Hud, Saleh, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses and Jesus (6:34, 26:105, 123, 139, 141; 43:7). They mock the believers (83:29-32) and are not impressed by a message coming from someone who is a mere mortal like themselves, someone who fails to produce the miracles that they demand as proof (17:90-3). They turned away when they were admonished (21:2, 26:5, 74:49) or put their fingers in their ears (71:7). Theirs will be painful doom in hell (2:24, 4:56, 7:50, 8:50, 9:35, 21:39, 22:19, 23:104, 40:49, 72, 37:62-8, 44:43-8, 56:52-6)

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