Many of these quotes from Fakhr Ar-Razi have been found through the book “Mawsu’ah Ahlus Sunnah” of Shaykh AbdurRahman Ad-Dimashqiyah written in refutation of the Ahbash. The Ahbash claimed that Mushriks believed in many Lords and their Shirk was in Lordshp (Rububiyah) and these sayings of Fakhr Ar-Razi refute these claims.
Grave worship being similar to idol worship
Allah (Ta’ala) said: “And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!” (Yunus : 18)
Fakhrudin Ar-Razi in the Tafsir of this verse mentioned different sayings of scholars about how the Mushriks took idols as intermediary towards Allah, and he mentioned in fourth explanation:
“They built these statues and idols upon the forms of their Prophets and leaders (Akabir), and they believed that when they would worship these idols, then these leaders (Akabir) would become intercessors for them in front of Allah. And what is similar to this in our times is the veneration (ta’zeem) of a lot of people among the creation of the graves of their leaders (Akabir), with the belief that if they venerate their graves, then they (leaders) will be intercessors for them in front of Allah.”
Comment: After quoting this explanation of scholars explaining how Mushriks worshiped these saints by seeking intercession from their idols, Fakhr Ar-Razi clearly linked this idol worship to grave worship present in his time and also in ours.
Mushriks believed that Allah is the creator of everything
Allah (Ta’ala) said: “And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: “Allah”. How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allah, Who created them)?” (Az-Zukhruf : 87)
Fakhr Ar-Razi wrote in the Tafsir of this verse: “Know that He (Ta’ala) mentioned this speech in the beginning of this Surah and its end, and the aim is to point to the fact that when they believe that the creator of the universe and the creator of the living people is Allah, how can they favour with this creed the worship of degraded bodies and filthy idols that do not bring harm or benefit…?”
Comment: So Fakhr Ar-Razi clearly said that the Mushriks of Makkah believed in Allah, that He was the creator of all things, but despite this belief they would worship other than Allah. This is a clear refutation of Quburiyah of Ahbash and others that claim Mushriks believed in different Lords or creators or sustainers.
Mushriks worshiped idols to get close to Allah
Allah (Ta’ala) said: “Say: “Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein? If you know!” They will say: “It is Allâh’s!” Say: “Will you not then remember?” Say: “Who is (the) Lord of the seven heavens, and (the) Lord of the Great Throne?” They will say: “Allâh.” Say: “Will you not then fear Allâh (believe in His Oneness, obey Him, believe in the Resurrection and Recompense for each and every good or bad deed).” Say “In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything (i.e. treasures of each and everything)? And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector, (i.e. if Allâh saves anyone none can punish or harm him, and if Allâh punishes or harms anyone none can save him), if you know.” They will say: “(All that belongs) to Allâh.” Say: “How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth?”” (Muminun : 84-89)
Fakhr Ar-Razi said in Tafsir of these verses: “It is possible that the aim of these verses is to refute the deniers of resurrection or is it possible that the aim is to refute the worshipers of idols, and this because these people were believing in Allah (Ta’ala) and they said: We worship these idols to get close to Allah.”
Comment: So Ar-Razi affirmed that Mushriks did believe in Allah and in fact worshiped idols to get close to Allah, they were only means to seek Allah’s proximity and they were not equating Allah and the idols or sayings the idols are our Lords
Mushriks established partners to Allah in worship and not lordship
Allah (Ta’ala) said: “And most of them believe not in Allâh except that they attribute partners unto Him” (Yusuf : 106)
Fakhr Ar-Razi wrote in Tafsir: “And most of them believe not in Allâh except that they attribute partners unto Him” the meaning is that they were affirming the existence of the divinity with the proof of His saying: “And if you (O Muhammad (saw)) ask them: “Who has created the heavens and the earth,” they will certainly say: “Allah.” (Luqman : 25) except that they were establishing a partner to Him in worship (Ma’budiyah), and from ibn ‘Abbas, they ate those who are linking Allah to His creation and from him also: This verse was revealed about the Talbiyah of the Arab Polytheists as they would say “Labayka, You do not have a partner except a partner that belongs to You and he does not possess” and from him also: the people of Makkah would say: “Allah alone is our Lord, He has no partner and the angels are His daughters, so they did not do Tawhid rather were polytheists, and the idolaters would say: “Allah alone is our Lord and the idols are intercessors to Him, and the Jews would say: “Allah alone is our Lord and Uzayr is the son of Allah” and the Christians would say: “Allah alone is our Lord and Al-Masih is His son”…”
Comment: So this shows that the Shirk of these people was not in Tawhid ur Rububiyah (Tawhid of Lordship) but in Tawhid ul Uluhiyah (Tawhid or worship). These people believed in Allah as their Lord, creator and sustainer, yet they would associate to him in worship (Ma’budiyah) by worshiping idols, invoking them, sacrificing for them and others. They did not say that these idols are our Lords, they created us and sustain us.
No Mushrik believe that their divinities are equal to Allah
Allah (Ta’ala) said: “And (remember) when Ibrâhim (Abraham) said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as âlihâ (gods)? Verily, I see you and your people in manifest error” (6 : 74)
Fakhr Ar-Razi said in Tafsir of this verse: “Know that there is none in the universe who established a partner to Allah being equal in Wujub (his existence being obligatory), power, knowledge, wisdom, there is only the case of the dualists who establish two divinities, one being wise and doing good and the second being idiot and doing evil. As for worship of other than Allah, then a lot of people went for this”
Comment: So for Ar-Razi, people did not establish partners to Allah in Lordship claiming their divinities have same attributes as Allah, rather they would worship other than Allah without equating these divinities to Allah.
Mushriks worshiped idols to seek intercession from the saints these idols represented
Allah (Ta’ala) said: “It is Allâh Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply. Have they taken others as intercessors besides Allâh? Say: “Even if they have power over nothing whatever and have no intelligence?” Say: “To Allâh belongs all intercession. His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then to Him you shall be brought back.” (Zumar 42-44)
Fakhr Ar-Razi said in Tafsir: “Know that the disbelievers raised a question and said: “We do not worship these idols because of the belief that they are divinities that can bring harm or benefit, we only worship them because they represent the forms of individuals that were close to Allah, so we worship them so that these leaders (Akabir) become intercessors for us in front of Allah” and Allah (Ta’ala) replied to them saying: “Have they taken others as intercessors besides Allâh? Say: “Even if they have power over nothing whatever and have no intelligence?”
The detailed answer to this is that these disbelievers either desired the intercession from these idols or from these scholars and saints upon whose forms these idols have been made.
The first case is falsehood because these non-living idols do not possess anything nor have any intelligence, so how can one think about seeking intercession from them?
As for the second, it is falsehood because on the day of resurrection none will possess the intercession and none will have the power of it except by Allah’s permission, so the intercessor in reality is Allah who allowed this intercession, so worshiping Him is better than worshiping someone else.”
Comment: Ar-Razi showed the weakness of the thinking and belief of these Mushriks, that as Allah only allows the intercession, so He only should be worshiped, and these saints cannot intercede but with Allah’s permission, so they should not be worshiped. Also worshiping non-living idols is useless as they have no intelligence.
Ar-Razi showed that the belief of Mushriks was not that there is another creator brining them harm and benefit besides Allah, they only worshiped idols seeking intercession from them or from saints these idols represented, and seeking intercession of non-living objects is pure falsehood and worshiping saints that will intercede is also falsehood, as Allah, the one who allows this intercession, should only be worshiped.
May Allah send Salah and Salam on the Prophet (saw), his family and companions!