It’s simple. Through the praising and blaming of one who knows what is praiseworthy and what is blameworthy, the uneducated become educated.
Take a pepaya farmer training a novice fruitpicker. He says this and this about a particular pepaya, in praise of the good aspects of it, so that the person knows it’s a praiseworthy product. Without being given that knowledge, he may otherwise not know, or he may have to learn through his own trial and error.
Then there’s a bad fruit. The farmer would point out the defect so that the apprentice knows what is bad about it. The farmer would say this and this about it, blaming.
Allah has done this for us in the Qur’an, praising and blaming different acts that people commit. In the Qur’an, taking intercessors is blamed along with other forms of polytheism:
Have they taken intercessors besides Allah? Say: Even though they have no power at all and do not comprehend? [Az Zumar 43].
The above verse contains a question and an answer. The evidence that taking intercessors is blameworthy, not praiseworthy, is in the answer. If it was praiseworthy, the answer would show it.
However, Allah asks the rhetorical question: Have they taken intercessors besides Allah? Then Allah himself responds Say: Even though they have no power at all and do not comprehend?
This means [Can they give intercession] even though they don’t have power over anything and don’t comprehend? This answer shows the failure of taking intercessors. The reasons for failure are 1) they aren’t able, and 2) they don’t have the necessary comprehension.
This is already clear from reading the verse from surah Az Zumar above. However, it is made clearer when seen in the context of other Quranc verses which have an almost identical format with the verse mentioned above.
What follows are three places in the Qur’an where something is blamed with the same choice of words:
Have they taken gods from the Earth who can raise the dead? If there were gods in them [the Heavens and the Earth] besides God, they would both be ruined. So glorified is God, Lord of the Throne, from what they attribute.
Here, the issue is deification, not taking intercessors, so it’s about another kind of polytheism. Yet the answer here is again negative. Like in the case of taking intercessors, the answer shows that deifying false gods is something that Allah doesn’t affirm.
Have they taken gods besides Him? Say: Bring your proof. This is a reminder for those with me and those before me. But most of them don’t know the truth, so they are averse.
In surah Al Anbiya, after a just a few verses, the same language occurs again. Indeed, twice in this noble surah of the Qur’an: surah Al Anbiya which instructs us about the prophethood of the prophets.
Once again the verses talk about the problem of deification and once again the response is negative and constitutes blame from Allah. And what is right is that we follow the understanding that accords with the text of the Noble Qur’an.
Hey, didn’t we say we have faith in everything the Qur’an brings us?
Then, let’s look at another verse of the Qur’an in the same style and think about it:
Have they taken protectors besides Allah? Yet Allah is the Protector and it is He who gives life to the dead, and He has power over everything.
In surah Al Shuura, this style is used once again to blame taking protectors for refuge. Like the above cases, Allah shows his rejection through a question and a response.
With this exposition, we can improve our knowledge of the Oneness of Allah (Tawhid). The better our knowledge of Allah, the better we can worship Him.
Allah has commanded us to obtain knowledge of his Oneness. This is our obligation, because he called us to it in his Holy Book: Fa’lam an laa ilaha illallah! That means: Know that there is no god besides God.
These words are a command. A command to gain knowledge. And in order to know, a person must study. Didn’t the messenger teach the Oneness of God? Indeed, every prophet and messenger did so.
Yes! Every prophet and messenger came to call mankind to right worship, which is sincere worship of Allah, and Allah alone. They were tasked with bringing and teaching knowledge about Allah to mankind.
What exactly do we mean when we say that they taught people the Oneness of God? It includes knowing what constitutes worshipping Allah alone and what contradicts it.
In our time, we’ve been blessed with the Qur’an. We don’t have to follow the errors of scholars any more. Through making errors, the scholars of the People of The Book deviated from the right teaching, and millions, no billions, have followed those errors. Obviously, the Qur’an came as a solution to that.
The Qur’an came as a differentiator. It differentiates between right and wrong, or haq and batil in Arabic. Alhamdulillah. With the Qur’an we can obtain the right understanding without doubt.
This is the book. There is no doubt in it. It is guidance for the Godfearing (Q 2:2).
Alhamdulillahirrobil’aalamiin. Glory be to Allah who has blessed us with a protected Holy Book!