Kalbi on Whims: Arabs worshiped idols representing lowly desires

Al-Qurtubi reported: Al-Kalbi, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “It was the habit of the Arabs that if a man among them desired anything, he would worship it besides Allah. If he saw something better, he would leave what he first worshipped and worship what is better. This is the meaning of the verse: Have you seen one who takes his desires as his god?” (25:43)

Source: Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī 25:43

عن القرطبي قَالَ الْكَلْبِيُّ رحمه الله كَانَتِ الْعَرَبُ إِذَا هَوِيَ الرَّجُلُ مِنْهُمْ شَيْئًا عَبَدَهُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَإِذَا رَأَى أَحْسَنَ مِنْهُ تَرَكَ الْأَوَّلَ وَعَبَدَ الْأَحْسَنَ فَعَلَى هَذَا يَعْنِي أَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ بِهَوَاهُ

25:43 الجامع لأحكام القرآن سورة الفرقان قوله تعالى أرأيت من اتخذ إلهه هواه