The Status of bowing down before Spiritual Guides
God and Monotheism
Question asked by .
Answered by Siddiq Bukhary

Question: I know one spiritual teacher who does not seem to have knowledge of the Sharī‘ah, and only follows the Sūfi Tarīqah. He asks his followers to prostrate in front of him, which is truly a polytheistic act: shirk. Upon my intimation that prostrating before anyone other than Allah is shirk, he responded angrily: ‘Did Allah not ask angels to prostrate themselves before the Prophet Adam?’ I only want to know what reply can be given to such kind of ignorant people and their innocent followers?


Prostration was never a symbol of worship at the time of creation. This element was added to it with the passage of time. Thenceforth, it became peculiar to God and prohibited for other creatures.

Moreover, Allah had ordered the angels to bow down before Adam, not for his respect, but for the test and trial of creatures which were present at that time. In this test, Satan failed, whereas others passed. God may adopt any way for the trial of His creatures. It may be general in nature or can be peculiar to time or personalities. Such peculiarity will limit the matter to certain periods of history or to certain persons, and hence cannot be argued for as a precedent. The story of Adam and Satan is of the same nature.


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