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In his writings, Muhammad says "I am forbidden to serve your idols, now that clear proofs have been given me from my Lord." (726) In our society, fashion, fame, sex, wealth, status, TV, computers, and cars could all be considered idols. They are all perishable objects that take our attention and will away from God. Yet for many people, even those that consider themselves Christians, the idols in our society today are still "served" by those people with priority over God.
Is it then wrong to want to be famous or wealthy or to drive a fast car? None of those wants are wrong, as long as they do not precede or interfere with a person's faith and trust in God. They are all wants though. The only need in life is God; therefore nothing of this earth can take priority or precedence over the creator.
When a person asks themselves, "what will believing in God do for me?" or "What can I get by going to church on Sundays?" this is idol worship in the greatest form. Those statements show the speaker putting his or her interests before the wishes of God.
Putting one's own interests ahead of God's wishes could lead to an even bigger form of idol worship. Money and power may be the biggest catalyst of such a form. By striving for money and power over all else, a person is actually trying to turn him or herself into an idol as well.
With science moving in on religions place in our world, some might even consider Darwinian beliefs a form of idol worship, or even science as a whole. Science, and more specifically Charles Darwin, have taken away much attention from God and his word and replaced it with a different sequence of events that created our universe that make the need for God unnecessary. When everything from the creation of the universe to the evolution of primates into humans can be explained through science, who needs God?
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Muhammad discusses in many places how humankind was given signs of God. These signs include Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, giving the "Israelites the Book," meaning The Bible, and warning Noah of the flood. (726) What about those who ignore those and other signs from God and instead indulge in the lure of their idols? What is the price of idol worship? Muhammad says" We now believe in God alone. We deny the idols which We served besides Him." (727) This happened too late though. He follows with "But their new faith was of no use to them, when they beheld Our might: such being the way of God with His creatures; and there and then the unbelievers lost." (728) Worshiping idols only until the point when God had made himself clear to everyone was not true faith in God and would not result in mercy on their souls. The price of idol worship is the worst any man or woman can pay according to Muhammad's writings. Based on these beliefs, many who consider themselves "believers" in our society today, are living in vain.
"And those in the Fire will say to the keepers or Hell: `Implore your Lord to relieve our torment for one day!'
'But did your apostles not come to you with undoubted signs?' they will ask.
`Yes,' they will answer. And their keepers will say: `Then offer your prayers.' But vain shall be the prayers of the unbelievers." (725) Based on these and all other words of Muhammad, if he had a chance to walk in our society today, there is little doubt he would double over in tears at the sight of our lack of faith and our distracted state of being. The idols we are distracted by lead us away from God. The idols in our time may provide us with the fruits we so desire in this life, but they may lead us to perdition in the next.
The Prophet Muhammad. "From the Koran - The Believer." A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers. 6th ed. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston: Bedford, 2002. 723-728