Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Ighatul-Lahfaan min Masaa`id al-Shaytan
It is obvious to anyone with reason that Satan has greatly manipulated these misled people (Christians). He called them and they responded to him; he befooled them and they obeyed him.
He manipulated them with regards to Allah, the Exalted and Most High.
He manipulated them with regards to Jesus (peace be upon him).
He manipulated them with regards to the cross and the worship of it.
He also manipulated them with regards to making pictures and statues in churches and then worshipping them, so you will not find one of their churches without the picture of Mary and Jesus, saints and other holy individuals and martyrs of theirs. Most of them prostrate to pictures and statues, and pray to them instead to Allah the Most High…
The typical example of what these polytheists are doing is like that of a servant of a king who entered upon a man, so the man jumped from his place, prostrated to the servant, worshipped him, and did to him what he was not supposed to do except to the king. Every rational person would consider him an ignorant and a fool because of what he did, since he did to the king’s servant what he was supposed to do only to the king, in terms of honoring, humbleness and humility.
It is well-known that what the servant did here is more likely to cause the king to hate him and look down upon him than to honor him and exalt his status.
This is the situation of one who prostrates to creation, or a picture of creation. This is because he resorted to prostration which is the greatest means of reaching the Lord’s pleasure. Such an action is not valid except for Allah, so there is no greater repulsiveness or injustice than doing it for a picture or statue of a servant and equalizing between Allah and His servant.
This is why Allah the Most High said, “Verily, shirk (polytheism, setting up partners with Allah) is a great injustice.”
Allah the Most High has created his worshippers prone to recognize ugliness in expressing exaltation, glorification, sumbisiveness and humility towards king’s slaves and servants (as such actions are usually done for the king).
So what is the situation of the one who shows this type of reverence to king’s enemies? For Satan is the enemy of Allah, and the polytheist is in reality setting Satan, not Allah’s prophets and righteous servants¸ as a partner with Allah. For the prophets and righteous servants have nothing to do with those who set them as partners with Allah; they are against them and the strongest in hatred of all people towards them. The polytheists, therefore, are only setting up as partners with Allah His enemies, and equalizing between them and Allah in worship, exaltation, prostration and humility.
This is why the invalidity and ugliness of polytheism is recognized by sound innate nature and reason, and this type of ugliness is recognized more clearly than its other types.
The intent here was to mention Satan’s manipulation of these people in both the foundation and branches of their religion.