Then the Holy Prophet asked the idol-worshippers why they worshipped the idols instead of the one Almighty God.
They said: “We seek to be nearer to God through these idols.”
The Holy Prophet: “Do these idols hear? Are they pious and obedient servants of God?
How can you seek nearness to God through them ? ”
Idol-worshippers: “No. They do not hear.”
Holy Prophet: “And the fact is that you have carved these idols by your own hands. So, if these had ability to worship, it was incumbent upon them to worship you (because you are their creator) not that you should worship them.
“Moreover, God has never allowed you to worship idols (so how can you be nearer to God through these idols, without any authority from God?).”
On hearing this argument, the idol-worshippers split into three groups:-
One group said: “These are the images of those persons in whom God was incarnated.
Thus we worship God by worshipping the images of those persons who were incarnation of God. ”
The Holy Prophet said:-
1. ” Your belief that God was incarnated in anybody is absolutely wrong because you have made the Creator like His creatures. Don’t you see that God cannot be incarnated in anything unless that thing surrounds God. (But how can anything surround God?)
2. “Also what will be the difference between God and other things which are found in a body (like colour, taste, smell, hardness or softness, heaviness or lightness). All these things are found in other things, and have no independent existence. Is God also like this?
3. “Lastly, when you attribute to God a quality (incarnation) which is the quality of a transient (of a thing which was created after non-existence), then why not believe that all qualities of a transient are found in Him. I mean, you must also believe that God changes and deteriorates and dies, because the body of His supposed incarnation changes and deteriorates and dies. It is impossible for the content not to change with the changes of the receptacle!
“All these considerations prove that it is impossible for God to be incarnated in any body.
“And when incarnation is wrong, there remains no basis for your belief that God was incarnated in some of His creatures and that these idols are the image of such persons.”
The second group said that those idols were the images of those of past generations who were very obedient to God. “We carved their images and worship them with a view to glorify God through their worship.”
The Holy Prophet asked them: “Pray tell me what kind of worship have you saved for Almighty God, when you are worshipping these images by prostrating before them, praying to them, and putting your head before them?
“Don’t you know that it is the right of God that He should not be thought equal to His servant? If you honour a King in the same way as you honour his servant, will not it be an insult to the King? ”
Idol-worshippers: “Yes. It is true.”
The Holy Prophet: “Then, don’t you realize that by worshipping the images of the creatures, you are insulting the Creator ? ”
The last group said: “God created Adam and ordered the angels to prostrate before him.
We are more deserving to prostrate before Adam (because we are his children). As Adam is not alive today, we have carved his image to prostrate before it and to seek nearness to God through that worship.”
The Holy Prophet told them: “Accepted that God ordered the angels to prostrate before Adam. But has He ordered you to prostrate before the image of Adam? Adam and his image are not one and same thing. How are you sure that God is not displeased with your prostration before Adam’s image ?
“Look at it in this way. If a man allows you to enter his house one day, do you have any right to enter that house next day? Or to enter his other house the same day ?
“If a man gives you a gift of one of his clothes, or one of his horses, are you justified in taking it?”
Idol-worshippers: “Yes, we will take it.”
The Holy Prophet: “If you don’t accept that cloth or horse, do you halve any right to take his other cloth or horse without his permission ? ”
Idol-worshippers: “No. Because he had gifted the first cloth or horse, but not the other.”
The Holy Prophet: “Who has more right that his property should not be used without his permission: God or His creatures?”
Idol-worshippers: “God has more right that His property should not be infringed upon.”
The Holy Prophet: “Then why are you contravening this principle? When and where has God allowed you to worship the idols?”
After some consideration, all of them became Muslim.