As we know since the passing of our beloved Messenger Muhammad ﷺ, nothing but imperfection followed. Slowly, but surely the bonds and bolts of Islām were loosened bit by bit and this was only due to the people’s ignorance regarding the matters concerning ‘Aqeedāh [creed].
And of the strangest of things is that, every single page, every word, every ayāh and every story of the Qur’ān is inked with the message of Tawhīd, and as Shaykh Al-Islām Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhāb [rahīmahullah] stated - after a person has completed reading the Qur’ān the least they will understand from it is to not commit Shirk and this has message has been conveyed from every possible angle and in such a manner the most unintelligible and dumbest from Banī Ādam will understand this.
Yet still, people have missed the point. And after looking at the decline that occurred to the Ūmmah what can be deduced is that Shaytān came to the people and made Shirk appear to them in the form of Love. The people began to feel that after the passing of the righteous, their rights were being abandoned and belittled.
From here onwards, the characteristics of the Pre-Islamic period begin to creep up on the people. It crippled the essence of their ‘Aqeedāh and the trait remained amongst them till this very day. When the people would supplicate to Allāh and worship Him, they would associate the righteous in that worship. Their ultimate goal was to have them intercede on their behalf with Allāh labouring under the assumption that this is what Allāh and the righteous love.
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنْفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِنْدَ اللَّ
They worship instead of Allāh, what can neither harm them nor help them, saying “these are our intercessors with Allāh”.
[Surah Yūnus, 10].
Furthermore, another aspect of Pre-Islamic ignorance prevalent amongst the Ūmmah today is that their religion is founded upon bigoted following [taqlīd]. This is the core principle adhered to by all of the disbelievers, the first and the last of them. However this principle is not only adhered to by only the disbelievers, but the innovators too. Regarding this, Allāh tabāraka wa ta’ālā says:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا
When they are told, “Follow what Allāh has sent down” they say, “No we will follow what we found our fathers doing”.
[Surah Luqmān, 21].
The above mentioned characteristics are perhaps the most prevalent traits we find in the Ūmmah today. Many of us who have taken it upon ourselves to convey the message of Tawhīd and propagate the Sunnah of the our beloved Messenger ﷺ, and so naturally have faced opposition from individuals engaged in innovated and polytheistic rituals. With their rejection of the message we usually find that their statements are followed up by similar statements of those who have passed and so history continues to repeat itself. The ritual practises of ignorance may differ, however the essence never changes.