Living The Quran
From Issue: 484 [Read full issue]
Chapter 14: Verse 22 (Partial)
No one professes, at the doctrinal level, that Satan is a partner of God in His divinity. Nor does anyone worship Satan. In fact, so far as verbal expressions go, people generally curse Satan. Ironically, the same people who curse him, also follow his ways, at times consciously, and at other times unconsciously. It is precisely this which has been termed as associating Satan with God in His divinity.
Polytheism does not merely assume one form, viz. associating others with God in matters of belief. There is also another form which consists of exalting someone to a position where it becomes imperative to follow him without any sanction for it from God, or even in opposition to God's command. Such an act, according to the Quran, is tantamount to setting up a partner to God in His godhead. A person who follows someone in this unreserved fashion is guilty of setting up a partner to God even if he keeps on abusing and cursing him. Even if such a person is not treated on a par with those who commit polytheism at the doctrinal level, nevertheless his act will be considered highly reprehensible.
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 4, pp. 265-267