In order to understand our point, for now consider purpose and desires as a single entity (existence). The reality of human intellect is that man creates a purpose or he has some desires. For example, one man wants to be a doctor, another wants to earn money by going to Saudi Arabia and getting a million rupees. Man’s life revolves around his desires. One man made it his purpose to become a doctor. Since that is his goal, his whole life revolves (turns) around that aim. He works and studies hard to become a doctor. The point is that the purpose is man’s metaphorical House of God (Ka’bah, Qiblah) which his life circumambulates (to circle on foot, ritualistically) around.
What is man’s desire? One man said he has to go to Saudi Arabia. Look how many hardships he faces by going there to earn money. Some people walk from here (Pakistan) to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and then they reach Saudi Arabia and give money, are cursed at and bear many disgraces, but are nevertheless happy that they reached Syria. When the goal approaches nearer, he is happy even though he has to face many hardships and disgraces in order to reach the goal. Yet, he feels happy encountering (facing) these. However, if he is distanced from his goal he will be distressed. For example, if people are expelled from Saudi Arabia then people will be very worried. Some people would even experience heart failure. When the city of Khurram Shahr was attacked, one person’s heart failed. He had a very nice house, but a bomb fell and demolished (destroyed) everything, and with it the owner as well. Although he was a Muslim, his goal was to make a nice house. The house was destroyed, and so was the owner.
Someone made it his purpose to marry a certain girl. Since he could not marry her, he does not get married his whole life. If he does not get married he is not acting according to the Tradition (Sunnah) of the Holy Prophet. The Apostle of God said, “Then you will be excluded from my nation (Ummah).” Or, there are people who want to get married but if someone else takes the girl they commit suicide. Now see how disgraceful this person becomes because of incorrect thinking and flaws (defects) propaganda. Now one can realize how important this matter is. If man formulates an incorrect desire or purpose then his life becomes worthless. The purpose of man is actually his direction of worship (Qiblah) and his life revolves around that purpose. He prostrates before that purpose. In reality, man practically prostrates before his purpose, circumambulates around it, and is in its bondage (slavery). The first point is that if the centre of man’s purpose and desires is not God, if God is not in your purpose, if God does not have a central role in your life, then even if you are apparently a Muslim, practically you are committing polytheism (one who beliefs in many Gods). Because man circumambulates around whatever his purpose is. From morning to evening, man worries about his aim. If wealth is the goal, he circumambulates wealth, not God. If fame, wealth, power, or influences are your life’s aims then you are circumambulating these things, not God. This is a matter of belief, that it will be considered practicing secret polytheism. Your actions and movements will be included as polytheistic movements.
Ya’qub Kulayni narrates from the Great Scholar Ja’far Sadiq (A), “Every hypocrisy (pretence) is polytheism.” Indeed, whoever does an action for the people will get his reward from those people? Whoever does a deed for God, God will give the reward.