“Tell them: ‘Call upon those whom you fancy to be [your helpers] beside Him! They have no power to remove any affliction from you, nor can they shift it.’ Those whom they call upon are themselves seeking the means of access to their Lord, each trying to be nearer to Him. They crave for His mercy and dread His chastisement. Surely your Lord’s punishment is to be feared.”
(Al-Qur’ān – 17:56-57)
These verses throw a challenge to the unbelievers and polytheists to call upon their self-made deities whom they consider their helpers beside God to come to their rescue at times of affliction. They assert that these deities have no power to remove any affliction.
These verses clearly show that not only prostrating oneself before someone other than God, but also praying to and invoking anyone other than God amounts to associating others in His Divinity, i.e. to polytheism. Prayer and invocation are modes of worship and anyone who invokes someone other than God is as guilty of polytheism as an idol-worshipper. Nor can anyone other than God avert a calamity or alter anyone’s plight. If someone entertains such beliefs about anyone other than God, then such beliefs are false and betray the fact that he associates others with God in His Divinity.
How ironic that those whom the polytheists invoked and whom they sought to intercede with God on their behalf were themselves in need of God’s mercy, dreaded His punishment, and were constantly on the look-out for the means which would bring them close to Him.