Nahl 16:73-75

What does worshipping other than Allah compare to? Allah gives a metaphor in Surah Nahl, verses 73-75.

{وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَمْلِكُ لَهُمْ رِزْقًا مِّنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ (73) فَلَا تَضْرِبُوا لِلَّهِ الْأَمْثَالَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ (74) ۞ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا عَبْدًا مَّمْلُوكًا لَّا يَقْدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ وَمَن رَّزَقْنَاهُ مِنَّا رِزْقًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ يُنفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرًّا وَجَهْرًا ۖ هَلْ يَسْتَوُونَ ۚ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ (75)} [النحل : 73-75]

( 73 )   And they worship besides Allah that which does not possess for them [the power of] provision from the heavens and the earth at all, and [in fact], they are unable.

( 74 )  So do not assert similarities to Allah. Indeed, Allah knows and you do not know.

( 75 )   Allah presents an example: a slave [who is] owned and unable to do a thing and he to whom We have provided from it secretly and publicly. Can they be equal? Praise to Allah! But most of them do not know.

In these verses Allah compares worshipping dieties other than Him to asking a slave who doesn’t have anything for one’s needs. Their relevance today is not surprising considering how many people don’t understand that asking from someone who doesnt have anything of their own is useless.

Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said: “This is an example given of the idol and the True God – can they be the same” Once the difference between them is so clear and so obvious, no one can be unaware of it except the one who is foolish.