Leaders of Irreligion Who Call People To The Fire
In the Qur’an, Allah relates that there have been cruel and tyrannical leaders who drew people away from Allah's path and ordered them to reject His religion. Allah defines them in one verse as "leaders summoning to the Fire."43 This type of leader is best illustrated by Pharaoh's character as described in the story of Moses, but similar types have existed throughout history. Employing the same methods, these leaders carried out atrocities against their peoples, distanced the masses from true religion, and dragged them to destruction in both this world and the Hereafter.
In our century leaders such as Adolph Hitler (known for his merciless and bloody massacres throughout Europe), Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, and their mentors, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, can be compared with Pharaoh. Charles Darwin nurtured the cruel views of those leaders and supported disbelief with his theory of evolution.
As declared in the Qur’an, Allah's messengers and pious believers always encountered cruel leaders as fierce enemies whenever they came to warn a society. Therefore, the messengers always presented an ideological argument to the imperious elite of societies rather than to the people themselves because convincing the leaders means winning over the peoples that follow them. The messengers spoke first to the leaders of nations and conveyed their message to them. The Qur’an points out that Moses was sent first to Pharaoh:
And We did certainly send Moses with Our Signs and a clear authority to Pharaoh and his establishment, but they followed the command of Pharaoh, and the command of Pharaoh was not [at all] discerning.44
Then, We sent after them Moses with Our Signs to Pharaoh and his establishment, but they were unjust toward them. So see how was the end of the corrupters.45
In our day the most important fronts of disbelief and irreligion have been communism and anarchism, both of which are based on materialism and the theory of evolution. The founders of these ideologies were the main leaders of disbelief in our time. That they are no longer alive has not reduced their influence; rather, it still persists and is being further intensified by some circles. In the conflict with irreligion it is vitally important to reveal the true faces and goals of such leaders. For a better understanding it might be beneficial to examine the attributes and methods of leaders who "call people to the Fire."
1. They are enemies of religion who hinder their peoples from faith by resorting to oppression.
The major motive of leaders such as Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and Mao, who adopt materialism and apply it to their political systems, is the elimination of religion. Karl Marx, the mentor of communism, shows how materialists view religion:
In an essay entitled The Attitude of the Workers’ Party to Religion, Lenin explains the stance of communism:
Enmity towards religion, having a concise expression in the statements above, was sparked by Marx and has become the most common attribute of all communist regimes. Although Marx did not live long enough to realize his ambitions, Lenin embraced his evil heritage and established a regime based on irreligion. And the cruel regime of Stalin practiced it very strictly.
In pursuit of this goal during the course of the communist revolutions carried out in Russia, China and elsewhere, mosques and houses of worship were closed down and people who opposed communist revolution were brutally murdered. Joseph Stalin carried out the bloodiest massacres in world history, ordering the execution of more than 20 million people. Pol Pot, the communist dictator of Cambodia, who was responsible for the murder of three million people out of a population of only nine million, is also among the most notorious of irreligious leaders. And Enver Hoxha, Albania's communist leader, ordered heavy penalties for every kind of religious belief and worship and declared that he "had founded the first entirely atheist state in the world."
These "pharaohs of the 20th century," bereft of mercy, compassion and love, harbored bitter enmity towards religion as did the ancient Pharaoh, punishing and torturing those who believed. His oppression is depicted in the Qur’an:
But no one believed Moses, except for some offspring [i.e., youths] among his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them. And indeed, Pharaoh was haughty within the land, and indeed, he was one of the transgressors.48
[Pharaoh] said, 'You believed him [i.e., Moses] before I gave you permission. Indeed, he is your leader who has taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of palm trees, you will surely know which of us is more severe in [giving] punishment and more enduring.49
[Pharaoh] said, 'You believed him [i.e., Moses] before I gave you permission. Indeed, he is your leader who has taught you magic, but you are going to know. I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you all.50
2. Defenders of disbelief follow the religion of their predecessors.
It seems incomprehensible that tyrants who carry out pitiless massacres against thousands of people including women and children are followed by so many; however, it is not only true of our own age. In the Qur’an there is extensive mention of societies refusing to give up perverted beliefs, which they referred to as "the religion of our ancestors." Every time disbelievers were invited to the religion of Allah, they responded to the messengers by saying that they could not abandon their previous practices since their ancestors had observed them. One passage states:
And when it is said to them, 'Follow what Allah has revealed', they say, 'Rather, we will follow what we found our fathers doing.' Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided? The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what he hears nothing but calls and cries [i.e., cattle or sheep] – deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.51
The situation of modern disbelievers who reject every kind of religious and moral value is accurately depicted in the verses above. The religions they follow are, in fact, religions of irreligion. Indeed, the disbelievers of our time are determined not to abandon their "religion" because their ancestors, Darwin, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, had put their faith in it and worshipped its gods. Their ancestors believed that life came into existence from lifeless matter, that living beings evolved from one another as a result of mutations, and that there is no Creator who created everything from nothing. The advocates of this concept held nothing but superstitious beliefs: that coincidence and nature were the creators, that these two powers (having neither consciousness nor wisdom) could make intelligent selections, and that only matter is absolute and eternal.
Today, many people who still have faith in "the religion of their fathers" blindly believe these fallacies which have now been repeatedly disproved by science. Furthermore, without any understanding of the actual meaning of their claims, they are fervently defending them in magazines, newspapers and conferences simply because that is what they inherited from their ancestors. Allah draws attention to the fact that disbelief is passed down from one generation to another:
Similarly, there came not to those before them any messenger except that they said, “A magician or a madman.” Did they suggest it to them [i.e., their descendants]? Rather, they are a transgressing people.52
Even when books of scientific evidence are presented to such people and abundant explanations provided regarding their erroneous mind-set, they would not abandon it. Being so blindly attached to their ancestors' "religion," they have lost their faculties of thought, reason and wisdom and fail to see facts obvious even to children. The loss of one's abilities to see and comprehend is described in the Qur’an as follows:
And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.53
Illustrating the Falsehood of Their Ancestorsi
To set materialists and evolutionists free from their bigoted attitude and attachment to "the religion of their fathers" and to counteract the influence this erroneous understanding exerts on people, the true identities of its leaders and their goals have to be disclosed. The most effective way to achieve this is to provide all the evidence and prove that the ideas advocated by these people are actually bereft of any scientific grounds, not to mention wisdom and insight. It has to be exposed that these leaders, who are seen as role models, are not the ideal ideologists or heroes they are assumed to be and that they have actually incorporated immorality into their lives, and thus it is unlikely that their views could be adopted by people of sound mind.
The followers of those misguiding leaders who "call people to the Fire" should never forget one important fact: Lenin, Stalin, Darwin, Mao, Engels and others who are no longer alive today became certain of the truth when they saw the angels of death. They witnessed that all power is relinquished to Allah, that humans are not left unaccountable, that all creation submits to Allah who created them from nothing, that death is not annihilation but rather the beginning of a difficult reckoning and great penalty which will last for all eternity, and that they will never escape from what they had earned.
Those who follow the aforementioned leaders may be unwilling to accept these facts. However, when the angel of death takes their souls, pounding their backs and faces, they will realize the great truth as clearly as Pharaoh and their own leaders did. However, it will be too late; their plea for return to the world to correct their mistakes and sins will be to no avail. They will then blame those who led them to the Hellfire and call for a grievous punishment for them. Not having heeded the warnings of Allah's messengers, they will suffer deep regret. In the Qur’an, Allah gives an account of what they will endure in the Hereafter unless they turn away from the religion of irreligion:
And those who disbelieve say, 'We will never believe in this Qur'an, nor in that before it.' But if you could see when the wrongdoers are made to stand before their Lord, refuting each others’ words… Those who were oppressed will say to those who were arrogant, 'If it not for you, we would have been believers' Those who were arrogant will say to those who were oppressed, 'Did we avert you from guidance after it has come to you? Rather, you were criminals.' Those who were oppressed will say to those who were arrogant, 'Rather, [it was your] conspiracy of night and day when you were ordering us to disbelieve in Allah and attribute to Him equals.' But they will [all] confide regret when they see the punishment; and We will put shackles on the necks of those who disbelieve. Will they be recompensed except for what they used to do?54
[It will be said], 'This is a company bursting with you. No welcome for them. Indeed, they will burn in the Fire.' They will say, 'Nor you! No welcome for you. You, [our leaders], brought this upon us, and wretched is the settlement.' They will say, 'Our Lord, whoever brought this upon us- increase for him double punishment in the Fire' And they will say, 'Why do we not see men whom we used to count among the worst? Is it [because] we took them in ridicule, or has [our] vision turned away from them?' Indeed this is reality- the quarreling of the people of the Fire.55
And we appointed for them companions who made attractive to them what was before them and what was behind them [of sin], and decree has come into effect upon them among nations which has passed on before them of jinn and men. Indeed, they [all] were losers. And those who disbelieve say, 'Do not listen to this Qur'an and speak noisily during [the recitation of] it that perhaps you will overcome.' But We will surely cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe punishment and We will surely recompense them for the worst of what they had been doing. This is the recompense of the enemies of Allah - the Fire. For them therein is the home of eternity as recompense for what they, of Our verses, were rejecting. And those who disbelieved will [then] say, 'Our Lord, show us those who misled us of jinn and men [so] we may put them under our feet that they will be among the lowest.'56
Allah gives glad tidings to the believers who have faith in Him and devote their lives to communicating the message of Islam and living by the Qur’an:
Indeed, those who have said, 'Our Lord is Allah' and then remained on a right course- the angels will descend upon them, [saying], 'Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised. We [angels] are your allies in worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request as accommodation from a [Lord who is] Forgiving and Merciful.' And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, 'Indeed, I am of the Muslims'?57
It might be that all through his life a man has lived by the religion of irreligion and even carried out subversive activities against the true religion. Nonetheless, if he should contemplate sincerely and follow his conscience, he will see that the essentials of the true religion, Islam, are quite correct, straightforward and simple. Furthermore, provided that he repents, he may expect Allah's mercy and forgiveness. One should bear in mind that no leader of irreligion will ever be able to intercede for someone in the presence of Allah, and no person will be of help to another. The only real guardian, friend and helper of man is Allah, Lord of the worlds. The words of a believer who understood this truth are conveyed in the Qur’an:
You invite me to disbelieve Allah and associate with Him that of which I have no knowledge, and I invite you to the Exalted in Might, the Perpetual Forgiver. Assuredly, that to which you invite me has no [response to a] supplication in this world or in the Hereafter; and indeed, our return is to Allah, and indeed, the transgressors will be companions of the Fire.58
43. See Surah al-Qasas, 28:41.
44. Surah Hud, 11:96-97.
45. Surah al-A‘raf, 7:103.
46. On Religion, p. 38.
47. Lenin, Lenin Collected Works, vol. 15, pp. 402-413, "The Attitude of the Workers' Party to Religion," May 13 (28), 1909.
48. Surah Yunus, 10:83.
49. Surah Ta-ha, 20:71.
50. Surah ash-Shu‘ara’, 26:49.
51. Surah al-Baqarah, 2:170-171.
52. Surah adh-Dhariyat, 51:52-53.
53. Surah al-A‘raf, 7:179.
54. Surah Saba’, 34:31-33.
55. Surah Sad, 38:59-64.
56. Surah Fussilat, 41:25-29.
57. Surah Fussilat, 41:30-33.
58. Surah Ghafir, 40:42-43.