Fath al Majeed (Kitab at-Tauheed)

Fath al Majeed (Kitab at-Tauheed)

excerpt from first chapters

[scroll down for the footnotes]

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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحيمِ

كِتابُ التَّوْحِيدِ

وقَوْلُ اللهِ تَعَالَى: ( وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالإِنسَ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ )    [الذاريات:56]

وقَوْلُهُ: ( وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولاً أَنْ اُعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ )  الآية [النحل:36].

وقولُهُ: (  وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُوا إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاهُمَا فَلا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيماً(23)وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيراً ) الآية [الإِسراء:23].

وقولُهُ: ( وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلاتُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً ) الآية [النساء:36] . وقولُهُ: ( قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَلاَّ تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَلا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلادَكُمْ مِنْ إِمْلاَقٍ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ وَلا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَلا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ وَلا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ لا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْساً إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُوا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ أَوْفُوا ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ وَأَنَّ هَذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيماً فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ) الآيات [الأَنعام:151-153].

قالَ ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ t : مَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَنْظُرَ إِلَى وَصِيَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ r الَّتِي عَلَيْهَا خَاتَمُهُ فَلْيَقْرَأ قَوْلَهُ تَعَالَى:    ( قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ )– إلى قولِهِ – ( وَأَنَّ هَذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيماً )  الآية.

وعَنْ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ t قَالَ : كُنْتُ رَدْيفَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ r عَلَى حِمَارٍ فَقَالَ لِي : ” يَا مُعَاذُ! أَتَدْرِي مَا حَقُّ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْعِبَادِ، وَمَا حَقُّ الْعِبَادِ عَلَى اللَّهِ ؟ ” قَالَ: قُلْتُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَعْلَمُ . قَالَ: ” فَإِنَّ حَقَّ اللَّهِ عَلَى العِبَادِ أَنْ يَعْبُدُوهُ وَلاَ يُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً، وَحَقُّ الْعِبَادِ عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ لاَ يُعَذِّبَ مَنْ لاَ يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئاً” فقُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَلاَ أُبَشِّرُ النَّاسَ؟ قَالَ: ” لاَ تُبَشِّرْهُمْ فَيَتَّكِلُوا ” أَخْرَجَاهُ في الصَّحِيحَيْنِ.

فيه مَسائِلُ:

الأُولى: الحِكْمَةُ فِي خَلْقِ الجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ.

الثَّانِيَةُ: أَنَّ العِبَادَةَ هيَ التَّوْحِيدُ؛ لأَنَّ الخُصُومَةَ فِيهِ.

الثَّالِثَةُ: أَنَّ مَنْ لَمْ يَأْتِ بِهِ لَمْ يَعْبُدِ اللهَ، فَفِيهِ مَعْنى قَوْلِهِ : (  ولا أَنْتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ ) [الكافرون:3].

الرَّابِعَةُ: الحِكْمَةُ في إِرْسَالِ الرُّسُلِ

الخَامِسَةُ: أَنَّ الرِّسَالَةَ عَمَّتْ كُلَّ أُمَّةٍ.

السَّادِسَةُ: أَنَّ دِينَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ وَاحِدٌ.

السَّابِعَةُ: المَسْأَلَةُ الكَبِيرَةُ أَنَّ عِبَادَةَ اللهِ لا تَحْصُلُ إِلاَ بِالكُفْرِ بِالطَّاغُوتِ؛ فَفِيهِ مَعْنَى قَوْلِهِ: ( فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ …)  الآية.[البقرة:256]

الثَّامِنَةُ: أَنَّ الطَّاغُوتَ عَامٌّ فِي كُلِّ مَا عُبِدَ مِنْ دُونِ اللهِ.

التَّاسِعَةُ: عِظَمُ شَأْنِ ثَلاَثِ الآياتِ المُحْكَمَاتِ فِي سُورَةِ الأَنْعَامِ [151-153]عِنْدَ السَّلَفِ. وفِيهَا عَشْرُ مَسائِلَ، أَوْلهُا النَّهْيُ عَنِ الشِّرْكِ.

العَاشِرَةُ: الآياتُ المُحْكَمَاتُ فِي سُورَةِ الإِسْرَاءِ، وفِيها ثَمَانِيَ عَشْرَةَ مَسْأَلَةً، بَدَأَهَا اللهُ بِقَوْلِهِ: ( لاتَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهاً آخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُوماً مَخْذُولاً ) [الإِسراء:22]؛ وَخَتَمَهَا بِقَوْلِهِ: ( وَلا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهاً آخَرَ فَتُلْقَى فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَلُوماً مَدْحُوراً ) [الإِسراء:39]، وَنَبَّهَنَا اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ عَلَى عِظَمِ شَأْنِ هَذِهِ المَسَائِلِ بِقَوْلِهِ: ( ذَلِكَ مِمَّا أَوْحَى إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ الْحِكْمَةِ ) [الإِسراء:39].

الحَادِيَةَ عَشْرَةَ: آيَةُ سُورَةِ النِّسَاءِ الَّتِي تُسَمَّى آيةَ الحُقُوقِ العَشْرَةِ، بَدَأَهَا اللهُ تَعَالَى بِقَوْلِهِ: ( وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً ) [النساء:36].

الثَّانِيَةَ عَشْرَةَ:التَّنْبِيهُ عَلَى وَصِيَّةِ رَسُولِ اللهِ r عِنْدَ مَوْتِهِ.

الثَّالِثَةَ عَشْرَةَ: مَعْرِفَةُ حَقِّ اللهِ تَعَالَى عَلَيْنَا.

الرَّابِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: مَعْرِفَةُ حَقِّ العِبَادِ عَلَيْهِ إِذَا أَدَّوْا حَقَّهُ.

الخَامِسَةَ عَشْرَةَ: أَنَّ هَذِهِ المَسْأَلَةَ لايَعْرِفُهَا أَكْثَرُ الصَّحَابَةِ.

السَّادِسَةَ عَشْرَةَ: جَوَازُ كِتْمَانِ العِلْمِ لِلْمَصْلَحَةِ.

السَّابِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: اسْتِحْبَابُ بِشَارَةِ المُسْلِمِ بِمَا يَسُرُّهُ.

الثَّامِنَةَ عَشْرَةَ: الخَوْفُ مِنَ الاتِّكَالِ عَلَى سَعَةِ رَحْمَةِ اللهِ.

التَّاسِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: قَوْلُ المَسْؤولِ عَمَّا لا يَعْلَمُ: اللهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَعْلَمُ.

العشرون: جَوَازُ تَخْصِيصِ بَعْضِ النَّاسِ بِالْعِلْمِ دُونَ بَعْضٍ.

الحَادِيَةُ وَالْعِشْرُونَ: تَواضُعُهُ r لِرُكُوبِ الحِمَارِ مَعَ الإِرْدَافِ عَلَيْهِ.

الثَّانِيَةُ وَالْعِشْرونَ: جَوَازُ الإِرْدَافِ عَلَى الدَّابَّةِ.

الثَّالِثَةُ وَالْعِشْرونَ: فَضِيلَةُ مُعَاذِ بنِ جَبَلٍ.

الرَّابِعَةُ وَالْعِشْرونَ: عِظَمُ شَأْنِ هَذِهِ المَسْأَلَةِ.

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(Chapter 1)

In the name of Allah Most Beneficent Most Merciful

The Book of Monotheism

The saying of Allah the Most Exalted: “I have not created jinn and mankind except to worship me (alone). [adh-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

And His saying: “And assuredly We have sent among every people a messenger (with the command): Worship Allah and avoid Taaghoot.”[an-Nahl 16:36]

And His saying: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents.  Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.  And, out of mercy, lower to them the wing of submission and humility, and say: My Lord, bestow on them your mercy as they did (to me) while bringing me up when I was small.” [al-Isra 17:23-24]

And His saying: “Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship.” [An-Nisa 4:36]

And His saying: “Say (O Muhammad): Come I will recite what you Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – we provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life which Allah has made sacred except by way of justice.  That (is really what) He has commanded you, that you may understand.  And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and give measure and weight with (full) justice – no burden do we place on any soul but that which it can bear; and whenever you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the covenant of Allah. That is what He has commanded you, that you may remember.  Verily, this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will scatter you about from His Path.  That is what He has commanded you, that you may be righteous.” [al-An’aam 6:151-153]

(Abdullah)Ibn Mas’ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Whoever wishes to ascertain the wasiyyah (will and legacy) of the Prophet Muhammad – a will on which the Prophet had set his seal, let him read the following words of Allah: “Say (O Muhammad) come, I will recite what your Lord has (really) prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him…[until the end]… Verily, this is My Straight Path.…” [The verses 151-153 of Surat al-An’aam]

Mu’aadh ibn Jabal may Allah be pleased with him, related: “I was riding with the Messenger of Allah sitting behind him on a donkey when he said to me: O Mu’aadh, do you know what is due to Allah from His creatures and what is due them?  I responded: Allah and his Messenger know best.  He continued: What is due to Allah from His creatures is to worship Him alone and never to associate any other beings as partners with Him.  What is due to them is not to punish any person who does not associate aught with Him.  I said: O Messenger of Allah, shouldn’t I give the glad tidings to the people?  He replied: No, do not give them such tidings lest they rely on the promise and lapse (in their worship to Him).” This hadith is reported in the Sahihain (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Some of the Issues in this chapter are:

1.The wisdom of creating jinn and mankind.

2.That worship and service to Allah is Tauheed. For in the opposite of Tauheed (i.e. shirk) lies alienation from Allah, and the reason for the quarrel between the prophets and their antagonists.

3. That whoever does not fulfill the requirements of Tauheed has not worshipped Allah.  For only in Tauheed may the meaning of the verse be sought: “Nor will you worship the God Whom I worship.” [al-Kaafiroon 109:3]

4.  The wisdom of sending prophets.

5.  That the message of prophecy has reached all the members of every people on earth.

6.  That the religion of all the prophets is one and the same.

7.  An issue of paramount importance is that worship and service to Allah is not complete except with the denunciation of at-Taaghoot. Here lies the meaning of the verse: [Whoever denies at-Taaghoot…][alBaqarah2:256].

8.  That generally, at-Taaghoot is anything worshipped and served other than Allah.

9.  That the predecessors have attached great importance to the above mentioned three fundamental (muhkamaat) verses from al-An’aam, a fact which subsumes ten commandments, first of which is the prohibition of shirk.

10.  The fundamental verses of surah al-Isra, and their implications, which are eighteen in number. The first is in the verse, “And do not set up with Allah another God, lest you be doomed to guilt and defeat.”   The last is in the verse, [And do not set up with Allah another god lest you be consigned to Hell, guilty and vanquished] Allah the Exalted has called our attention to the gravity of these issues in the verse That is wisdom which your Lord has revealed to you.

11.  The implication of the verse in surah an-Nisa, which is known as the verse of the ten duties of man, the beginning of which is: “And worship Allah alone. Do not associate ought with Him.”

12.  Attention should be paid to the will and testimony of the Prophet of Allah at his death, peace and blessings be upon him.

13. Our duty to Allah.

14. Our right (and due) with Allah if we fulfill our duty (sincerely) to Him.

15. This last problem is unknown to most of the Prophet’s companions.

16. Permissibility of keeping this matter secret in order to maximize men’s worship and service to Allah.

17. Worthiness of passing the glad-tidings to the Muslim.

18. Fear of reliance on the promise of Allah’s great mercy.

19. Responding to questions without knowledge with the answer, “Allah and His Prophet know best.”

20. Possibility of granting knowledge to some and not to others.

21. The Prophet’s modesty in mounting a donkey with a second rider.

22. Legitimacy of two persons riding on the beast of burden.

23. The virtue of Mu’aadh ibn Jabal.

24. The great important of this matter.

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Abdur-Rahman bin Hasan al-ash-Shaikh’s Foreword On “bismillah”

In the name of Allah Most Beneficent Most Merciful

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This small introductory part on bismillah has not been translated yet, and will be subsequently,,,,,,,,,,,

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كِتابُ التَّوْحِيدِ

The Book of Tauheed

On Tauheed  (Islamic Monotheism) [1]

Tauheed is of two kinds: 1) Tauheed of Knowledge and Confirmation, which is the Tauheed pertaining to Allah’s Lordship and Sovereignty (over all creation) and His blessed Names and Attributes of perfection; and 2) Tauheed of Pursuit and Intention, which is the Tauheed pertaining to Allah’s Divinity and the worship of Allah.

Al-Allaamah Ibn-al-Qayyim states: “The Tauheed to which the prophets have invited mankind and which is in Allah’s revealed Books is of two kinds: Tauheed of Knowledge and Confirmation; and Tauheed of Pursuit and Intention.  The first kind of Tauheed means confirming and attesting to the truth of Allah, the Lord, most Exalted in the reality of His Being, His Attributes of Perfection, His Blessed Acts, His Holy Names, His Words in the revealed Books, and His Speech to whom He Wills of His creatures.  Moreover it means confirming the comprehensiveness of His Divine Decree, Will and Wisdom.  The Qur’an has clarified this kind of Tauheed in many places like the beginning of Surah al-Hadeed, Surah Ta-Ha, the end of Surah al-Hashr, the beginning of Surah as-Sajdah and Surah Aal-i-Imraan, all of Surah al-Ikhlaas, and in many other places.

The second kind of Tauheed is mentioned in Surah al-Kafiroon, in Allah’s saying: [Say (O’ Muhammad) O people of the Scripture, come to a word that is just between us and you: that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with His, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah, then if they turn away say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims’] (Aal-i-‘Imraan 3:65), in the beginning and end of Surah az-Zumar, in the beginning, middle and end of Surah al-Mumin, in the beginning and end of Surah al-A’araaf, throughout Surah al-An’aam, and indeed throughout the entire Qur’an.  It can even be said that each and every Surah of the Qur’an contains, testifies, and calls to both kinds of tauheed.

This can be explained by the fact that the (verses of the) Qur’an (can be classified under one) of the following:

1)      Statement about Allah and His Names, Attributes, Acts and Words, such being the tauheed of knowledge;

2)      Invitation to worship Allah alone and not to associate any partners with Him and to repudiate everything which is worshipped besides Allah, such being the tauheed of pursuit and intention;

3)      Obligation and prohibition, the commitment to obey Allah’s orders and laws, such being the rights of tauheed and the fulfillment of its responsibilities;

4)       Statement about Allah’s generous treatment to those who fulfill the rights of tauheed in this life and in the Hereafter, such being the reward of tauheed;

5)      Statement about those who worship others besides Allah and the grievous punishment Allah afflicts on them in this life and in the Hereafter, such being the just re-compensation for those who transgress against the rights of tauheed.

Thus the Qur’an in its entirety is about Tauheed, its rights and rewards, and about shirk, those who perpetuate the crime of shirk, and its punishment.” [End of lengthy quote.]

Sheikh-al-Islam (Ibn Taimiyyah) says: “The Tauheed which the prophets of Allah have brought (to mankind) includes confirming that Allah alone is the God and that there is no god except Allah, worshipping none but Him alone, trusting on none except Allah, contracting friends and enemies only for Allah’s sake (and according to the example and guidance of the Prophet), and performing (all) religious deeds for Allah only (and in His reverence).  This tauheed also includes confirming that which Allah has clarified (in His revelation) about Himself and His Names and Attributes.

Allah most exalted said: [And your God is one God, there is no other god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful] (al-Baqarah 2:163).

And He said: [Allah has said take not for worship two gods, for He is just one God.  Then fear Me (and Me alone)] (an-Nahl 17:51).

And Allah said: [And whoever invokes (or worships) besides Allah any other god of whom he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord.  Surely the disbelievers will not be successful](al-Mu’minoon 123:17).

And Allah said: [And ask those of Our Messengers whom We have sent before you: “Did we appoint any deities other than Allah most Gracious to be worshipped”.](al-Zukhruf 43:45).  Allah most exalted has informed (us) that each messenger called his people to worship only Allah, who is without peer or partner.  Allah said: [There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: “We are clear of you and of whatever you worship besides Allah; we have rejected you, and there has arisen between us and you hostility and hatred forever – until you believe in Allah and Him alone”.](al-Mumtahinah 60:4).

And Allah said about those who associate other gods with Him: [For they, when it was said to them that there is no god except Allah, would puff themselves up with pride and say: “What! Shall we abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet?”](as-Saaffaat 37:30-36).  Such verses (explaining this tauheed) are many in the Qur’an.

Thus Tauheed is not merely the Tauheed of Allah’s Lordship and Sovereignty, believing that He alone created the creation, as many of the pedantic theologians and Sufis have presumed, believing that if they demonstrate this by analytical reasoning or if they testify to this and obliterate their individual selves (Fana`a) [2] in a hypocritical kind of Tauheed, then they have fulfilled the utmost purpose (of the belief in Tauheed).  Even if someone believed in all the perfect Attributes of Allah which are His due right, exonerated Allah from all imperfection as He should be, and acknowledged that Allah alone is the Creator of the universe, one would not be a true believer in Tauheed unless he testifies that there is no god except Allah, acknowledges that none has the right to be worshipped except Him alone, and then commits himself in deed and practice to only worship Allah and associates no partners whatsoever with Him.  The word god (Ilaah) [3] means the one who is deemed a deity and worthy of worship, and not just the one able to invent, originate and create.  If someone understands “Ilaah” to merely be the one able to invent and originate and create, and believes that this meaning is the most exclusive attribute of Allah whereby if he testifies to this point, he has attained the utmost purpose of Tauheed, (just like) as the pedantic theologians do, and as is related about Abu Hasan al-Ash’ari (d. 324 H) and his followers – then such a person has in fact not comprehended the reality of the Tauheed which the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, has brought (to teach mankind). That is because the Arab Mushrikeen [4] at the time of the Prophet used to acknowledge that Allah alone is the Creator, and yet they were Mushrikeen.  Allah said: [And most of them believe not in Allah except that they associate partners with Him] (Yusuf 12:106).  Some of the predecessors have mentioned: “If you ask them: who created the heavens and the earth?  They will reply: ‘Allah’.  Yet, even so, they worship others besides Allah.”  Allah said: [Say: To whom belong the earth and all being therein?  Say, do you know?  O They will say, “to Allah”.  Say: will you not receive admonition?  O Say: who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and the Lord of the Great Throne?  O They will say, “Allah”.  Say: will you not then fear Allah?  O Say: In whose Hand is the Sovereignty of all things?  Who protects (all) while against Whom there is no protector; if you know?  O They will say, “(All that belongs) to Allah”.  Say: Then how are you deluded (from the truth).](al-Muminoon 23:84-89).  Thus not every one who acknowledges that Allah is the Supreme Lord and Creator worships Allah alone: supplicating, fearing and hoping only for Allah; contracting friends and enemies only for His sake; obeying His Messengers; and ordering (what is right) and prohibiting (what is wrong) according to His Law.  Even though the majority of the mushrikeen acknowledged that Allah is the Creator of everything, nevertheless, they placed intercessors between themselves and Allah and associated peers and partners with Him.  Allah said: [What! So they take for intercessor others besides Allah?  Say: Even if they have no power whatever and no intelligence!  O Say: To Allah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) intercession.  His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then to Him shall you be brought back.] (az-Zumar 39:43-44).  And Allah said: [And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not nor profit them, and they say, “These are our intercessors with Allah”.  Say: Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?  Glorified and Exalted be He alone all that which they associate as partners with Him!](Yunus 10:18).

And Allah said: [And behold! You have come unto Us alone as We created you the first time.  You have left behind you all (the favors) which We had bestowed on you.  We don’t see with you your intercessors whom you claimed to be partners with Allah.  So now all relations between you (and us) have been cut off, and all that which you used to claim has left you in a lurch!](al-An’aam 6:94).

And Allah said: [And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah).  They love them as they love Allah.](al-Baqarah 2:165).

Thus, because they have this mistaken belief, some of them can even prostate, supplicate, fast, and perform rituals to the sun, moon and other planets… and yet claim that this is not associating partners with Allah in worship (shirk). Moreover they claim that shirk is only believing that such (heavenly bodies) have control over you, and have independent causes and effect.  It is known by necessity (as rudimentary undeniable fact) in Islam that such a practice is Shirk.

Allah Most Exalted said: “I have not created jinn and mankind except to worship me (alone).” (adh-Dhaariyaat 51:56).

Sheikh-al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “Worship (Ibadah) is obeying what Allah has ordered as related by His Messengers.”  He also said: “Worship is a comprehensive concept including all words and deeds which Allah loves and is pleased by, be it expressed outwardly or held internally.”  Ibn al-Qayyim has explained worship by saying: “Worship revolves around 15 principles, whoever fulfills them has fulfilled (all) the degrees of worship.  This can be clarified by the fact that (the duties of) worship are distributed among the heart, tongue and limbs, and that the legal principles (which Allah has revealed) about worship are 5: obligatory (wajib), desirable and appreciated (mustahib), forbidden (haraam), undesirable and reprehensible (makrooh), and permissible (mubah).  These legal principles are thus distributed over the heart, tongue and limbs respectively.”  Al-Qurtubi explains: “The root idea of worship is utmost humility and submission.  The practices prescribed by the revealed Law (shariah) of Islam have been called worship because it is incumbent on a Muslim to perform them with humility and submission to Allah.”

Allah has informed in the Qur’anic verse which the author quoted that He has not created the jinn and mankind except to worship Him (alone), and that this is the reason and wisdom behind their creation.  That is, the legal religious reason (which Allah loves and is pleased by).  Al-‘Imaad ibn Katheer says: “Worship of Allah is obeying that which He has ordered and forsaking that which He has forbidden.  This is the essence of Islam since the word Islam means submission to Allah ta’ala, and implies the utmost obedience, humility and submission to Allah. He also says in explanation of this verse: “The verse means that Allah created the creation to worship Him alone and not to associate partners with Him.  Whoever obeys HIm will be greeted by the most perfect reward, and whoever disobeys Him will meet grave punishment.  Allah, moreover, informs us (in the verses following the verse quoted) [5] that He has no need for jinn nor mankind, rather they are in dire need of Him in all circumstances, and that He is their Creator and Sustainer.”

Ali ibn Abi Talib said concerning this verse: “Except to order them to worship Me and to invite them to My worship.”  Mujahid said: “Except to order them (to do right) and prohibit them (from wrong).”  This explanation (as expressed in these sayings) is what az-Zujaaj and Ibn Taymiyah have chosen (to be the most correct).

He (Ibn Taymiyah) says: “This explanation can be demonstrated by what Allah has said: [Does man think he will be left neglected (for that purpose or responsibility](al-Qiyaamah 75:36).  Al Imam Ash-Shafa’i said (in exposition): ‘Not being ordered (to do right) and prohibited (from wrong).’  And Allah has said in many places in the Qur’an: [Worship your Lord] and also [fear your Lord] (meaning by doing what He ordered and abstaining from what He prohibited).  Allah most Exalted has instructed mankind to do that which he is created for ,and for this very reason, He has sent His prophets.  Thus the meaning of the Qur’anic verse is definitely as expounded above, this being what the majority of the Muslims have also understood from it.”  He says (in continuation): “This verse is similar to another verse where Allah most exalted has said: [We have not sent any messenger but to be obeyed, by Allah’s permission.](an-Nisa 4:64).  The messenger (sent by Allah) might be obeyed and he might not be.  Likewise Allah has not created the jinn nor mankind except to worship Him, whereas they might do so and they might not.  Allah did not say that He created them so that they all would worship Him, but rather that He has created them so that they should worship Him, they themselves performing the acts of worship by which they attain their own happiness and success, this being what Allah most exalted (in His Benevolence and Mercy) loves and is pleased by from them and for them.[6] This concept is attested to by many traditions, one of which is reported by Sahih Muslim, that Anas ibn Malik related that the Prophet said: {Allah most exalted will say to one of the companions of the (Hell) fire who is in the least punishment: “If you had the entire world and all (the riches) in it and another world along with it, to ransom yourself (from this torment), wouldn’t you ransom yourself?”  He will reply: Yes (certainly)!!!  Then Allah will say: “I wanted from you something much easier than this when you were in the loins of (your father) Adam: Not to associate any partners with Allah, but yet you insisted on associations.} [7]. This mushrik has violated what Allah wanted from him – namely to believe that He only is God and to worship Him alone and not to associate others in worship with Him – and yet he has disobeyed what Allah ordered and (insisted) on associating (others with Allah).

A distinction must be understood between Allah’s divine Will and Decree in the religious-legal sense and in the universal pre-destination sense, and also how His divine Will and Decree applies in generality or in particularity.  Succinctly put, Allah’s divine Will and Decree has been fulfilled in both senses in respect to the sincere obedient (believer), whereas only His universal – pre-destined Will and Decree has fulfilled itself in respect to the disobedient.  Understanding this distinction (and its ramifications) will save you from much of the foolish (debates) of which the pedantic sophistic scholars and their followers often waste their energies upon. [8]

Allah most exalted said: [And assuredly We have sent among every people a messenger (with the command): Worship Allah and eschew evil (taaghoot).](an-Nahl 16:36)

The linguistic root of the word Taaghoot[9] means excessiveness, to exceed all proper pounds.  The predecessors (salaf) have illustrated its extensive meaning by enumerating some of its individual implications.  Ibn Abi Hatim reports that Omar ibn-al-Khattaab said: “Taaghoot is satan.”  He also reports that Jabir (ibn Abdullah) said: “Taaghoot means the soothsayers or diviners on whom the devils have descended (possessed and inspired to do evil).  (Imam) Maalik ibn Anas said: “Taaghoot is everything worshipped besides Allah.”

Ibn Qayyim has given a comprehensive definition to the word by saying:‎ “Taaghoot includes anything which a person worships, follows, or obeys beyond the proper limit.  The Taaghoot of each people is that which they appeal to for a political, legal decision other than Allah and His Messenger (being the Qur’an and Sunnah embodied in the revealed law of Islam (Shari’ah), or that which they worship other than Allah, or those whom they follow, subordinate themselves to, and obey without regard to Allah (and the shari’ah).  These are the main Tawaagheet (plural of Taaghoot) of the world, and if you contemplate them and then reflect upon the state of mankind, you come to realize that the vast majority of people have turned away from the worship of Allah to the worship of their Tawaagheet, and from the obedience of Allah’s messengers to the obedience of their Tawaagheet. The meaning of the verse becomes clear; Allah has sent a messenger to each people to command them to proclaim this sentence: Worship Allah and eschew Taaghoot; that is, worship Allah alone and forsake the worship of anything other than Him.  As Allah has said: [Whoever rejects Taaghoot and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks.](al-Baqarah 2:256).  This is (also) the meaning of the saying LA ILAHA ILLALLAH, because it is the trustworthiest handhold (intended in the verse).  Ibn Katheer has commented about this verse saying: “All of the messengers have called (their peoples) to the worship of Allah and forbidden them from worshipping anything else, Allah, may He be glorified, has continually sent messengers with that message from (the time of) Noah, the first of the messengers in whose times the corruption of shirk had first appeared, until Muhammad, the final messenger whose call (to Islam) has reached to all corners of the world.  All of them are as Allah states: [We have not sent a messenger before you except that we have revealed to him (the message): “there is no god except I (Allah)”, so worship Me (alone).](al-Anbiya 21:25).  And as it says in the ayah (under examination here): [And assuredly We have sent among every people a messenger (with the command): worship Allah and eschew Taaghoot](an-Nahl 16:36).  Thus how can any mushrik justify (himself) with the false argument (which Allah has recounted in the verse just previous to the one quoted above): [And those who join others in worship with Allah will say: If Allah had so willed, we would have not worshipped ought but Him…](an-Nahl 16:35).  These (recalcitrant) mushrikeen have excluded themselves from Allah’s Will and Decree in the religious-legal sense, even though Allah has forbidden them (from their false worship) by way of the revelation to the messengers; thus they have no right argument to excuse themselves (in their rejection to do as Allah has ordered them) on the pretext that Allah’s Will and Decree has been ordained upon them in the universal pre-destinational sense.  This false pretext is all the more feeble since Allah most exalted –  with His Profound Proof (justifying Himself) and conclusive Wisdom for what He does – has also created the Hell-fire and the devils and disbelievers who will be its dwellers, and (warned us) that disbelief (and ingratitude) from His creatures displeases Him.  Moreover Allah has stated that He has reproached them (for ingratitude) and forewarned them – by way of His messengers’ preaching – about the punishment in this world (for their shirk and disobedience).  For this reason He has said (in this verse about taaghoot): [Of the people were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom error became (inevitably) confirmed.](an-Nahl 16:36).

Allah said: [And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents.  Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.  And, out of mercy, lower to them the wing of submission and humility, and say: My Lord, bestow on them your mercy as they did (to me) while bringing me up when I was small}(al-Isra 17:23-24)

Allah most Exalted said: [And assuredly We have sent among every people a messenger (with the command): Worship Allah and eschew evil (taaghoot).](an-Nahl 16:36

The word Qada (to decree) has been said by Mujahid to mean: “wassa (to enjoin, will and bequeath).  And some of the reciters of the Qur’an, like Ubay bin Ka’ab and Ibn Mas’ood, have read the Qur’an here as wassa.  Ibn Jareer (At-Tabari) reports that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The meaning of qada here is to order and command”.  The meaning of Allah’s command:

[“And your Lord has decreed that  you worship none but Him”] without worshipping anything else, and this is precisely the meaning of (la ilaha ill-Allah): that you worship Him alone. Ibn Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, stated: “Sheer negation (of other dieties and their worship) is not tawheed, just as sheer affirmation (of Allah as God) without negation is not tawheed; thus the real meaning of tawheed comprises both negation and affirmation. [10]

[“And that you be kind to your parents”] Thus means that just as Allah has commanded you to worship Him solely He has commanded you to be kind and dutiful to your parents.  This verse is similar to other verses in the Qur’an (which join Allah’s rights with the rights of parents), for instance Allah said: [Show gratitude to Me and to your parents, to Me is the final destination] (Luqmaan 31:14).

[“Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life say not to them a word of contempt nor repel them.”] This means don’t let them hear from you any bad word, not even a sigh or grumble which is the most insignificant of bad expressions.[11] [nor repel them] means not to do any foul and shameful deeds to them, and as ‘Ata bin Rabah said: “Don’t shake your hands over them”.

After forbidding the bad and foul word or deed, Allah bids (mankind) to the good word and good deed when  He says:[But address them in terms of honor] meaning speak to them with soft, pleasant words in a respectful and polite manner, [And, out of mercy, lower to them the wing of submission and humility] meaning to humble yourself to them, [And say: “My Lord bestow on them mercy as they did (to me) while bringing me up when I was small] meaning say this (prayer for them) when they are old and after their death.

Many hadiths are related (by the Messenger of Allah) about reverence to parents, one of which has been reported by various chains of narrators on Anas bin Maalik and other sahabah: {The Messenger of Allah climbed upon the mimber (pulpit of the Masjid) and said: “Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.” They inquired: O, Messenger of Allah, for what have you said Ameen?  He said: Jibraeel came to me and said: “O Muhammad, The man to whom your name is mentioned and who doesn’t pray for you (and bless you), let his nose be spited.  Say (O Muhammad) Ameen.”  So I said: Ameen.  Then he said: “The man who enters upon the month of Ramadaan and hasn’t been forgiven (by Allah) by time of its conclusion, let his nose be spited.  Say Ameen.”  So I said: Ameen.  Then he said: “The man who reaches one or both of his parents (in their need and old age) and then does not enter into paradise (by his benevolence to them), let his nose be spited.  Say Ameen”.  So I said Ameen.}. [12]

Ahmed recorded that Abu-Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said: {May his nose be spited, (and again) may his nose be spited: He who reaches one or both of his parents, and then does not enter paradise (by his benevolence to them), may his nose be spited.}.  This hadith has been pronounced by Ibn Katheer to be sound (sahih).[13] And in a narration, reported by Bukhaari and Muslim, Abi Bakara relates that the Prophet said: {Don’t you want me to inform you about the gravest of sins? We said: Certainly O Messenger of Allah!  He said: Associating partners with Allah, and disrespect to the parents. Then he sat upright from his leaning position and said: And most certainly to give false testimony, and most certainly to give false testimony. He forthwith kept on repeating (this sentence) until we said to ourselves: If only he would (stop repeating it and) be silent!}.  Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah have reported that Abu Usayd As-Saa’idi(Maalik bin Rabi’a) said: “As we were sitting with the Prophet a man came from the tribe of Bani Salama and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, after the death of my parents is there  anything for me to do to continue my reverence to them.  The Messenger of Allah answered: {Yes, prayer for them, beseeching Allah for their forgiveness, fulfillment of their obligations after (their demise), keeping warm relations with the relatives you have only by way of them, and hospitality to their friends}. [14] The tradition mentioning reverence and obedience to parents are numerous (so let these examples suffice our purpose here).

And Allah said: Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship (An-Nisa 4:36)

Al-Imaad bin Katheer comments on this verse: “Allah most exalted has enjoined His servants to worship Him alone without joining partners with Him, for He (alone) is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Bestower of all favors on His creatures at all times and in all conditions; therefore, it is His due right to believe and declare Allah to be one and peerless (Tauheed), and not to associate any of His creatures with Him (in His exalted divinity).”  This verse has been called the verse of the ten human rights,[15] and in some authoritative manuscripts (of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhaab’s book of Tauheed) it has been mentioned before the verse of Surah al-An’aam which will forthwith be quoted, so we have seen it more appropriate to forward it so that Ibn Mas’ood’s explanation about that verse directly follows its quotation.

And Allah said: [Say (O Muhammad): Come I will recite what you Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – we provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life which Allah has made sacred except by way of justice.  That (is really what) He has commanded you, that you may understand.  And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and give measure and weight with (full) justice – no burden do we place on any soul but that which it can bear; and whenever you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the covenant of Allah. That is what He has commanded you that you may remember.  Verily, this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will scatter you about from His Path.  That is what He has commanded you, that you may be righteous]. (al-An’aam 6:151-153)

Al-‘Imaad bin Katheer said (about this verse): “Allah most exalted says to His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (Say) to these polytheists who have worshipped other than Allah and have prohibited (falsely on themselves) that which Allah has provided for their sustenance, (come); forward and be attentive (I will recite); tell you (clearly), ((what your Lord has prohibited on you)); in truth, not by guess or presumption, rather by revelation from Allah and by His command, (join not anything in worship with Him); this sentence contains an ellipsis which can be inferred from the context and intention: He has commanded to join not anything in worship with Him.  That is why Allah says at the end of the verse (thus He has commanded you).”

The meaning of the verse is therefore as follows: Allah has prohibited you from what He has commanded you not to do; namely, to associate others with Him in worship.  Ibn Hisham in his book (on Arabic grammar and syntax) called al-Mughni has given seven opinions about this sentence, the best of which is as Ibn Kaheer mentioned, and the next best opinion is that the meaning is: “He has clarified these (commandments) to you so that you will not join any partners in worship with Him.  The Arab Mushrikeen (pagans, polytheists) at the time of the Prophet understood well this meaning.  For that reason when they were asked what does this man say to you, they would reply as Abu Sufyan did to Heraculius (the Byzantine emperor): “He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors and fathers have said.”[16] This also is what Abu Sufyan and the others have understood from the Messenger of Allah when he said to them: {Say: LA ILAHA ILLALLAH and you will be successful} [17] Al-Qurtubi comments on Allah’s command, […Be good to your parents] saying: “Being good to your parents means being reverent and dutiful to them, protecting and defending them, obeying their orders, freeing them from slavery (if they happen to be slaves, by paying their price), and not to be overbearing and dominating over them”.

[…Not your children because of poverty – we provide for you and for them,…]. Al-Qurtubi says this means: “Don’t bury your newborn daughters alive (as was the custom of the pagan Arabs) for fear of want and destitution, for we give you and them the sustenance (you need).  There were some of the pagan Arabs who used to bury even their male newborns alive for fear of poverty.  Bukhari and Muslim report that (Abdullah) ibn Mas’ood related that he said: {O Messenger of Allah, which sin is gravest to Allah?  He said: That you make others to be equal to Allah even though (He alone) has created you. I then asked: And then what?  He said: To kill your child fearing that he will eat along with you. I then said: And then what?  He said: To fornicate with your neighbor’s mate. Then the Messenger of Allah recited the following verses of the Qur’an (re-affirming what he just said): [And those who invoke not with Allah any other god, nor slay such life which Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication – and who ever does this shall meet (the due reward of his) sin.  The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace. Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for those Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful](al-Furqaan 25:68-70).

[…Come not near to shameful deeds, whether open or secret]. Ibn ‘Atiya explains: “This is a comprehensive prohibition that includes all the shameful deeds which are sins, reinforced by the words (whether open or secret) since these two states embrace all the possible situations.”

[…Take not life which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice…]. It is reported in the two sahih collections (al-Bukhari and Muslim): {The blood of a Muslim may not be legally spilt other than in one of three (instances): the married person who commits adultery; a life for a life; and one who forsakes his religion and abandons the community}.

[…That (is really what He has commanded you that you may understand}. Ibn ‘Atiya said: “(That) is the demonstrative pronoun indicating these (proceeding) prohibitions; (that you may) explain the reason, that is: Allah has commanded you with these commandments that you may understand them and execute them accordingly.  At-Tabari Al-Hanifi in his commentary (tafseer) explains: “In these three verses Allah has first said [that you may understand] then [remember] then [be righteous (and god-fearing)] because if you understand you’ll remember, and then perhaps you will fear Him and be righteous (by fulfilling your duty to Him)”.

[…And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until be attains the age of full strength…]. Ibn ‘Atiya said: ‘This prohibition carries the general sense not to do anything with their property (which you are guardian over) in order to curtail any wrongdoing, then Allah classifies the exception of doing good, meaning any activity which improves and augments their property.”  Mujahid said (specifying an example): “To do commercial activity and business (with this property)”.  Imam Maalik and others have explained Allah’s saying [until he attains the age of full strength] to mean the age of sound judgment and maturity, when the foolishness and incompetence of their adolescence leaves them after reaching puberty.

[…And give measure and weight with (full) justice…]. Ibn Katheeer said: “The exalted One has ordered to give and take with complete honesty and fairness”.

[…No burden do we place on any soul but that which it can bear], “That is, if one strives his utmost to be just and honest in his dealings, and then meakes some mistakes unwantingly, then there is no obligation.

[…And whenever you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned], “This is an order to be just in word and deed to all whether a close relative or anyone else.  Al-Hanifi explains: “Justice in your speech means fulfilling due right to the friend and the enemy in all circumstances whether pleased or angry, and not allowing partiality to a loved one or relative (sway you from justice).  This verse is similar to the verse where Allah says: [And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice.  Be just that is nearer to piety and fear Allah, for Allah is well acquainted with all that you do](al-Maaidah 5:7).  Ibn Jareer (at-Tabari) comments on Allah’s statement, [and fulfill the Covenant of Allah…] by saying: “To fulfill the covenant which Allah has commanded you comprises obeying Him in what He has ordered and prohibited in accordance with His Qur’an and the  Sunnah of the Messenger, for only such is the fulfillment of His Covenant”.

[This is what He has commanded you so that you may remember], “This means admonished and therefore forsake (the prohibitions which you fabricated and) that which you used to live according to”.

[Verily this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not the (other) paths, for they will scatter you about from His Path]. Al-Qurtubi said: “This significant verse has been mentioned in conjunction with the preceding because His commandments and prohibitions imply a warning not to follow any other paths except His, a message expounded upon in many sound hadiths (of the Prophet) and teachings of the predecessors (aslaaf, plural of salaf).  The article  (anna) has been understood here to imply “recite that verily this is My Path”, or alternatively “(I) have thus commanded you, and verily (I also have commanded you) to follow My Path”.  The “Path” is the way that is the religion of Islam, and it is “Straight” meaning smooth and even without any curves.  Allah ordered (us) to follow His Way as directed by (His Messenger) Muhammad and the Law (he taught).  Whoever travels down this Path (in earnest) will be saved, and whoever deviates onto the other paths will eventually arrive at the Hell0fire.  (As Allah said): [And follow not (other) paths for they will scatter you about from His Path], meaning to deviate.  Imam Ahmed, An-Nisaai, Ad-Daarami, Ibn Abi Haatimi, and Al-Haakim have all reported that Ibn Mas’ood said: {The Messenger of Allah drew a line with his hand and said: This is Allah’s Straight Path.  Then he drew many lines to the right and left of that line and said: And these paths, each one of them has a Satan on it inviting (the people to trod it).  Then he recited (the verse): [Verily this is My Straight Path so follow it, and follow not (other) paths for they will scatter you about from His Path](al-An’aam 6:153)[18].

It is related that Mujaahid said concerning the phrase [And follow not (other paths): Innovation in religion (bid’a) and passions”.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “We will herein say something concise about “the Straight Path” since various explanations have been given about its characteristics and that which is related to it, the fact being that (all these explanation) expound on one central truth: the Straight Path is the way of Allah which He has put in place for His servants so that they may come to Him; there is no other path to Him since all others ways are blocked except the Path He has revealed (literally, placed on the tongues)to His Messengers.  Its (essence is) as follows: to worship only Allah and to obey only His Messenger; not to associate others with Allah in worship and not to associate others with His Messenger in obedience; (believing and practicing) absolute Tauheed (Islamic Monotheism of Allah) and absolute adherence (mutabi’a) to the Messenger, this being the exact meaning of the declaration: “ASHHADU ALLA ILAHA ILLALLAH WA ASHADU ANNA MUHAMMAD U RASULULLAH”.  (I testify that there is no god except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).  Thus whatever explanations are given concerning the Straight Path they all converge upon these two fundamental axioms. The essential point is this: to love Allah with all your heart and please Him in all you effort; so as not to have any part of your heart but that it is filled (overwhelmingly) by the love of Allah and not to have any desire but devotion to please Him; the first being achieved by the fulfillment (in actual life) of the meaning ASHHADU ALLA ILAHA ILLALLAH (I testify that there is no god except Allah), and the second being achieved by the fulfillment (in actual life) of the meaning WA ASHADU ANNA MUHAMMAD U RASULULLAH (and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).  This is (correct Guidance and the Religion of Truth.  It includes that you know the truth and then act upon it (accordingly), and (specifically) that you know what the Messenger of Allah has been sent with (i.e. the revealed Law) and then establish it (sincerely and regularly in your actual life).  Say whatever expression you may about the Straight Path, nevertheless what I have just said is the crux of the entire matter (which gathers all its loose ends).  Sahl ibn Abdullah said: “Adhere to the track of the predecessors (aathaar) and tradition of the Messenger of Allah (sunnah), because I am afraid there will soon come a time when if one mentions the Prophet and the following of his perfect example in all matter of life he will be criticized, alienated, abandoned and even degraded and abused”.

Ibn Mas’ood said: “Whoever wishes to ascertain the wasiyah (will and legacy) of the Prophet Muhammad – a will on which the Prophet had set his seal, let him read the following words of Allah: [Say (O Muhammad) come, I will recite what your Lord has (really) prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him… Verily, this is My Straight Path…](verses 151-153 of al-An’aam)

This saying of Ibn Mas’ood has been reported by At-Tirmidhi – who declared it “good”, Ibn Al-Mundhar, Ibn Abi Haatim, and also with somewhat similar wording by At-Tabraani, and it has been explained to mean whoever wants to see the written and sealed will which has not been changed or tampered with, then let him read these verses.  (This is the case) because the Prophet did not begueth anything except Allah’s Book, as it is reported by Muslim (where the Prophet said shortly before his death): {I am leaving with you that which if you adhere to you will never go astray – Allah’s Book!} It has been reported by Ibn Abi Haatim, Al-Haakim – who declared it sound, and Muhammad ibn Nasr that ‘Ubada ibn as-Saamit said: “The Messenger of Allah said: {Who will pledge allegiance to me according to (the terms) set in these three verses.}.  He then recited: [Say (O Muhammad), Come, I will recite what your Lord has (really) prohibited you from…] until he completed the three verses, and thereafter said: {Whoever fulfills the terms of this pledge then Allah will give him due reward; and whoever falls short in anything thereof for which he is punished in this world, then that is merely the due consequence (of his sins); and whoever Allah (sees fit) to postpone (judgment upon) until the Hereafter then the matter only concerns Him, if He Will He can seize him (for due punishment) and if He Will He can pardon him}.  Another reason (why this is the Prophet’s Will) is that the Prophet only willed to his followers that which Allah has willed to them through the Prophet and in  (Allah’s) Book, [(which is a Book) explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and glad tidings to those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims)](an-Nahl 16:89).  Thus these verses are the Will of Allah most exalted and the  Will of His Messenger.

Mu’aadh ibn Jabal related: {I was riding with the Messenger of Allah sitting behind him on a donkey when he said to me: O Mu’aadh, do you know what is due to Allah from His creatures and what is due them? I responded: Allah and his Messenger know best.  He continued: What is due to Allah from His creatures is to worship Him alone and never to associate any other beings as partners with Him.  What is due to them is not to punish any person who does not associate aught with Him. I said: O Messenger of Allah, shouldn’t I give the glad tidings to the people?  He replied: No, do not give them such tidings lest they rely on the promise and lapse (in their worship to Him)}. The foregoing hadith is reported in the sahihain (al-Bukhari and Muslim

 

This hadith has been narrated in the sahihain (two authentic collections) by way of various chains of narrators, and in some of the it is reported as mentioned above.  (This hadith is of crucial importance and contains many lessons, of which I will mention some).

“I was riding with the Messenger of Allah sitting behind him”: This shows the permissibility of two riders on one mount, and the special eminence of Mu’aadh ibn  Jabal.

{On a donkey} in some narrations the donkey’s name is given as “Ufair”, the donkey which the Maqauqis of Egypt presented to him.  The fact that he was riding a donkey along with another rider shows his humbleness, in contrast to the arrogant behavior (usually associated with) people of importance.

{Do you know what is due to Allah from His creatures…?} The Prophet presented this teaching as a question in order to make it more penetrating and serious to the comprehension of the discipline.  {What is due to Allah from His creatures}, means what is the right of Allah (which He duly demands from them), {and what is due to them}, means what Allah will fulfill (on their behalf) since He has promised them the reward for their (belief and practice of ‎) Tauheed, as He says: [(It is) a promise of Allah, and Allah fails not to keep His promise] (ar-Roum 30:6).

Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The fact that the obedient is worthy of a reward is (only by) the merit Allah bestows through His Grace and Favour.  It is (definitely) not some kind of merit which one is entitled to in return (for service done), the likes of which are demanded by men from others as their due by right.  Some (mistakenly) say there is no meaning to merit except that Allah has informed us that He has promised (His obedient servants a reward), whereas the majority have acknowledged that there is some kind of merit over and above this as can be demonstrated (from the texts) of the Qur’an and Sunnah.  Allah said: [And it was due from Us to aid those who believed](ar-Roum 30-47).  The position of the people who follow the tradition of the Prophet (ahl-as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah) is that Allah has inscribed for Himself (the rule of) mercy[19], and has made the Right, truth (and justice) obligatory on Himself without anyone imposing it on Him.  The M’utazilites claim that this all is obligatory on Him as deduced by analogy on His creatures (and their obligation to do right one to another), that His creatures obey Him (entirely by their own independent free-will) without Him bringing about their obedience (by His universal pre-destinational Will), and that His creatures deserve recompensation without (the fact) that Allah Himself has made it incumbent on Himself (to bestow merit by His Grace and Favor): they thus have committed (a series of) grave mistakes.  The Jibriya al-Qadriyya, followers of Jahm (Ibn Safwaan al-Samarkandi d.128H.) and al-Qadriyya who negate (Allah’s universal pre-destination Will),[20] have both committed blunders in this section (of belief).”

As for the response, “Allah and His Prophet know best”: this shows Mu’aadh’s (respect and) good manners with his teacher.  Such a response is how one should reply if asked something which he doesn’t know, in contrast to those who pretend (to know that which they don’t).

{To worship Him alone and never to associate any other beings as partners with Him}. This means to worship Him solely (Tauheed).  Ibn Al-Qayyim has properly defined worship when he says: “Worship of the Gracious one is utmost love for Him (combined) with humble submission; these are its two purtal poles.  It revolves upon the order (of the revealed Law), that is the order of the Messenger, and not the bidding of passion, desire, or of Satan.[21]

{And never to associate any other beings as partners with Him}.  This emphasizes that the worship of Allah solely means by necessity to free oneself from the worship of all others, since it follows (logically) that whoever associates others with Allah has not performed his worship to Allah alone, rather he is a mushrik and has made others to be equal to Allah (in practice).  This is what the commentator (Sulaiman Abdul Aziz in his book Tayseer al-Azeez-il-Hameed) has meant when he said this hadith shows that worship is (the essence of) tawheed because precisely therein lies the controvercy (between the messengers and their antagonists).

{What is due to them is not to punish any person who does not associate aught with Him}.  Al-Haafiz (Ibn Hajar) said: “Here only the negation of associationism (shirk or ishraak) was mentioned because it implies belief and practice in Allah’s tawheed by necessity, and (by extended implication) calls for the required belief in prophethood, since whoever denies the Messenger of Allah has denied Allah, and whoever denies Allah is a mushrik.  This (connection) is similar to the saying: whoever performs ablution (wudu) then his prayer is acceptable and sound; that is, along with all the other conditions (which he must also fulfill).

{Shouldn’t I give the glad tidings to the people} This shows that it is commentable to announce good news to a Muslim to make him happy, and moreover, that propagation of good news was the practice of the companions (sahaabah).

{No, do not give them such glad tidings lest they rely on the promise and lapse (in their worship to Him)}, meaning, they will depend on the promise and leave striving to outdo each other in the performance of good deeds.  In some narrations it is added: {then Mu’aadh informed them about it (i.e. this teaching) at the time of his death to escape the sin (of suppressing his knowledge of the Prophet’s teaching and its dissemination} that is to avoid the sin.  Al-Wazeer Abu Muzaffar explains: “He wasn’t about to hide it except from the fool whose ignorance would cause him to quit serving Allah in obedience, there being no reason to hide it from the intelligent one who would only increase his obedience when he hears this kind of news and perceives that Allah’s abundant blessings augments an increase in obedience.

This chapter includes many instructions beyond what we have already mentioned, for instance: the encouragement to be sincere in the worship of Allah; that worship with any associationalism (shirk, and/or hypocrisy) whatsoever is of no avail and is not even properly called worship; the instruction to respect the enormous rights of parents and not to be disobedient to them; the awareness about the importance of the authoritative verses in Surah al-An’aam; the permissibility to conceal knowledge for general interest and welfare.

 

Part of Translator’s Appendix to Introduction of Kitab at-Tauheed

The word Tauheed in derived from then Arabic root W-H-D- [وَحّدَ يُوَحّدُ توحيدا] wahhada yuwahhidu tauheedan: to make one. The word Tauheedullah indicates to make Allah one in your faith and worship, since indeed He is One and Only Lord Supreme and the God worthy of worship and ultimate obedience.

It has been said in the English literature about Islamic faith that the word  “Tauheed” is not to be found in the Quran and Sunnah. This hasty judgment may have come from ignorance, but unfortunate those who seek distortion have propagated this and other misinformation to lead people away from Islam entirely or for sectarian motives.  In this appendix,


[1] The other transliterations of the Arabic word include Tawheed, Tauhid, Tawhid, Tuheed, etc, but since the “w” in the first may be confusing, we have chosen as above, as in the transliteration of day as yaum instead of yawm.  The Arabic root is the intensified form of  “to be one,” and thus it indicates, “to make one.”  The meaning in our context is to make Allah one in faith and practical worship. Often the word is translated as monotheism, or Unitarianism, but these words carry incorrect connotations for English speakers from the Christian-Judaic traditions, and thus must be qualified as Islamic Monotheism, or as some have suggested to coin a new term, like the Unicity of Allah. Whatever is used all agree that it means to have faith and believe in and worship in practice the Oneness Allah, who alone is God worthy of worship, and Creator, Sustainer and Lord of the universe. For my fuller discussion of the meaning and usage of the word “Tauheed” see the appendix of this introductory chapter. The Sheikh mentions one of the two famous classifications, the other being the division of Tauheed into Tauheed al-Uluhiyyah, Tauheed al-Rububiyyah, and Tauheed al-Asma wal-Siffat. These classifications are for purposes of comprehension and are different ways of looking at the same realities.

[2] Fana`a is a term used by the some Sufis with various meanings. It may mean to lose consciousness of the self while being absorbed in the worship of Allah. For others, who have strayed from correct Islamic monotheistic beliefs and have come to believe in various forms of pantheism or monism, the unity of all being, the term Fana`a may mean the total obliteration and extinction of the individual by union with the unity of all being thought spiritual practices, as they claim. It is inexplicable and therefore in some ways analogous to nirvana in Buddhism.  Neither these kind of Sufis, nor Buddhists, etc, admit the absolute independent existence of Allah, The Perfect Creator, Sustainer, and Lord of all beings, who is due all sincere worship, but instead talk incessantly about “unity” according to their concepts.

[3] Ilaah, means that which is worshipped rightfully or unrightfully: hence it is translated according to the context as “God” or “god” accordingly.  “Allah” is the proper name of God in the Arabic language; hence LA ILLAH ILLALLAH means there is no god except the God (Allah).  Arab Christians say that Jesus is the son of Allah, which shows that the word for them is analogous to God the Father in their trinity, a blasphemy for Muslims and Jews.

[4] Mushrikeen are those that practice or fall into “Shirk”, the belief in or worship of lords or gods other than Allah.  Shirk is therefore the polar opposite and the antithesis of Tauheed. All Mushrikeen who commit greater Shirk are disbelievers (Kaafareen, Kufaar pl. of kaafir) outside the fold of Islam, even if they claim to be Muslims. This book will detail the forms of shirk which negate Tauheed totally and demolish it necessitating disbelief (Kufr) and are thus called the greater Shirk.  Forms of shirk which are incompatible to Tauheed and damage sincere faith and practice but do not which negate Tauheed totally and demolish it, are called lesser Shirk.

[5]Allah said: [I seek not any sustenance from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me.  O For Allah is He who sustains all, Lord of Power, Most Strong.](adth-Dthariyaat 51:57-58).

[6] For Ibn Taimiyyah’s explanation of this verse similar to what the author quotes, c.f. Majmu’at-al-Fatawa vol..8 p. 56.

[7] Related also by Bukhari and Ahmed.

[8] Repeated reference will be made to this crucial distinction because it is one of the major issues, which has perplexed philosophical-religious thinkers throughout the ages.  The problem revolves around the existence of evil in Allah’s creation and of rebellion against His Supreme Will. The answer simply put is that Allah has created Man for a purpose (explained in detail in this book) and has delegated to him the free choice either to willfully and sincerely worship Him and Him alone, or to refuse to worship Him and/or not to be sincere in worship. There are no other choices. Notice that worship necessitates intention and volition on the part of the worshipper, and acceptance and pleasure or rejection and displeasure on the part of the worshipped (if he may be a live being and not a dead piece of matter like an idol). These two choices consist of the trial and test whereupon just reward or punishment will be recompensed.

[9] Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab has written an essay specifying that the principal Tawaagheet of the world are five:  1) Satan, who calls man to worship others besides Allah.  2) The unjust tyrannical ruler, who rules by his whim rather than Allah’s Law.  3) Anyone who judges arbitrarily according to custom and legal precepts other than Allah’s just Law.  4) Anyone who alleges knowledge of the unseen (without revelation from Allah).  5) Anyone who allows himself to be worshipped and is pleased by such worship.   I have written a paper in Arabic and adapted it into English comprising the Quranic and Sunnah references to Taaghoot and their exposition by the Ulamaa (scholars) entitled “A pillar of Tauheed is Rejecting Taaghoot and avoiding it” or,  “Taaghoot & Rejecting Tawaagheet.”

[10] This crucial concept will be repeatedly referred to because a common misconception is that is if I love Allah and do good deeds then that is enough to receive Allah’s pleasure and fulfill the requirements of tawheed. As will be explained herein tawheed contains as an integral component abhorring and refraining from all forms of shirk and taaghoot, and to do the good deeds and abstain from the evil deeds for Allah’s sake alone and in accordance with the laws and precepts from Allah’s messenger Muhammad, may the peace and blessings be upon him. A general love and  mere good deeds are not enough, although they are themselves necessary, required and encouraged.

[11] The Arabic word “uffin” in Allah’s verse is here translated as a word of contempt, but it’s meaning includes any type of sound uttered in disgust and revile and is often used when confronting obnoxious, vile, or filthy things. Thus Ibrahim  said to the mushrekeen of his time:” Do you worship besides Allah, things that can profit nor harm you.  Fie (uffin) upon you and upon that which you worship besides Allah! Have you no sence? (Al Anbiyaa 21:66-67).

[12] A sound hadith reported by Ahmed, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abi Shaibah, Al-Bazzar, Al-Haakim, Ibn Hibban, At-Tabraani, al-Bukhari (in his book ‘Adab al-Mufrad’), al-Baihaqi, Ad-Deya al-Maqdasi, Ad-Daarqutni, and Ibn Khuzaimah.

[13] Also reported by Muslim.

[14] A weak tradition.

[15] That is, since the completion of the verse comprehensively mentions ten categories of people whom it is incumbent to be good (and to fulfill their rights); Allah said: [Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near of kin, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess.  For Allah does not love the arrogant, the vainglorious].

[16] Reported by Bukhari.

[17] Reported by Ahmed, Ibn Abi Shaiba, Bukhari (in his book “Khalq af’aal al-‘Ibaad”), At-Tabarani, Al-Haakim and Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi.

[18] A sound hadith also reported by At-Tayyalasi, Ibn Waddah, Ibn Abi ‘Aasim, Ibn Nasr, Ibn Jareer, Al-Ajuri and others.

[19] As Allah says in the Qur’an, in surah al-An’aam 6:12.

[20] Two sects who profess diametrically opposite positions are both called al-Qadriyyah.  The first group is called al-Qadriyyah al-Jibriyyah, the strict fatalists and determinists who assert that man has no will of his own whatsoever and all his actions are forced upon him (bil-jabr).  The second group is al-Qadriyyah an-Naafiyah, those who negate Allah’s omniscience, either explicitly or implicitly, by their claim of man’s free will and independent action. The Mu’tazilites were in this issue of the al-Qadriyyah an-Naafiyah, along with their many other innovations.  For more on Jahm c.f.  (to be filled in latter)

[21] As Ibn Al-Qayyim and his teacher and mentor Ibn Taymiyyah have explained that neither love without submission, nor submission without love, constitutes worship, for true worship must combine extreme love with utmost submission of the self in the exaltation and glorification of Allah.  c.f. Ibn Taymiyyah, Mujmmu’a-al-Fataawa vol.10 p.56, 153, 251, vol.28 p.178, Minhaj as-Sunnah vol.3 p.290, Jam’i-ar-Rasaail vol.2 p.111, 219, and Ibn Al-Qayyim: al-Jawaab al-Kaafi p.235, 285, Rawdat-al-Muhibbeen p.52, Ighaathat-al-Lahfaan vol.2 p.181, Tareequl-Hijratain 449, 484, Madaarij as-Salikeen vol.3 p.260, al-Waabil-as-Sayyib pp.22-25.  This central concept is related to what has preceded, cf note 7 ,9.

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2-بَابٌ

فَضْلُ التَّوْحِيدِ وَمَا يُكَفِّرُ مِنَ الذَّنُوبِ

وَقَوْلُ اللهِ تَعَالى: ( الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُمْ بِظُلْمٍ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ الأَمْنُ وَهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ ) الآية [الأَنعام:82].

عَنْ عُبَادَةَ بنِ الصَّامِتِ t قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ r : ( مَنْ شَهِدَ أَنْ لاإِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاشَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَأَنَّ عِيسَى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولُهُ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ وَالْجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ وَالنَّارُ حَقٌّ أَدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى مَا كَانَ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ). أَخْرَجاهُ.

وَلَهُمَا فِي حَديثِ عِتْبَانَ: (فإِنَّ اللهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَى النَّارِ مَنْ قَالَ: لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ يَبْتَغِي بِذَلِكَ وَجْهَ اللهِ).

وَعَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدْرِيِّ t عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ r قَالَ: (قَالَ مُوسَى: يَارَبِّ! عَلِّمْنِي شَيْئَاً أَذْكُرُكَ وَأَدْعُوكَ بِهِ. قَالَ: يَا مُوسَى: قُلْ لا إِلهَ إِلا اللهُ. قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ !كُلُّ عِبادِكَ يَقُولُونَ هذا. قالَ: يا مُوسَى، لَوْ أَنَّ السَّمواتِ السَّبْعِ وعَامِرَهُنَّ غَيْرِي، والأَرَضِينَ السَّبْعَ فِي كِفَّةٍ، ولا إِلهَ إِلاَّاللهُ فِي كِفَّةٍ، مَالَتْ بِهِنَّ لا إِلهَ إِلاَّاللهُ) رَوَاهُ ابنُ حِبَّانَ وَالحَاكِمُ وصَحَّحَهُ.

وَلِلتِّرْمِذِيِّ وَحَسَّنَهُ عَنْ أَنَسٍ t : سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ r يَقُولُ: ( قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ ! لَوْ أَتَيْتَنِي بِقُرَابِ الأَرْضِ خَطَايَا ثُمَّ لَقِيتَنِي لا تُشْرِكُ بِي شَيْئاً لأَتَيْتُكَ بِقُرَابِهَا مَغْفِرَةً ) .

فِيهِ مَسَائِلُ:

الأُولى: سِعَةُ فَضْلِ اللهِ.

الثَّانِيَةُ: كَثْرَةُ ثَوابِ التَّوْحِيدِ عِنْدَ اللهِ.

الثَّالِثَةُ: تَكْفِيرُهُ مَعَ ذَلِكَ لَلذُّنُوبِ.

الرَّابِعَةُ: تَفْسِيرُ الآيةِ (82) الَّتِي فِي سُورَةِ الأَنْعَامِ.

الخَامِسَةُ: تَأَمُّلُ الخَمْسِ اللَّواتِي فِي حَدِيثِ عُبَادَةَ.

السَّادِسَةُ: أَنَّكَ إِذَا جَمَعْتَ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ حَدِيثِ عِتْبَانَ وَمَا بَعْدَهُ تَبَيَّنَ لَكَ مَعْنَى قَوْلِ: (لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ) وتَبَيَّنَ لَكَ خَطَأُ المَغْرورِينَ.

السَّابِعَةُ: التَّنْبِيهُ لِلشَّرْطِ الَّذِي فِي حَدِيثِ عِتْبَانَ.

الثَّامِنَةُ: كَوْنُ الأَنبِيَاءِ يَحْتَاجُونَ لِلتَّنْبِيهِ عَلَى فَضْلِ (لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ ).

التَّاسِعَةُ: التَّنْبِيهُ لِرُجْحَانِهَا بِجَمِيعِ المَخْلُوقَاتِ، مَعَ أَنَّ كَثِيرَاً مِمَّنْ يَقُولُهَا يَخِفُّ مِيزانُهُ.

العَاشِرَةُ: النَّصُّ عَلَى أَنَّ الأَرَضِينَ سَبْعٌ كالسَّمواتِ.

الحَادِيَةَ عَشْرِةَ: أَنَّ لَهُنَّ عُمَّارَاً.

الثَّانِيَةَ عَشْرَةَ: إِثْباتُ الصِّفاتِ، خِلاَفَاً للأَشْعَرِيَّةِ.

الثَّالِثَةَ عَشْرَةَ: أَنَّكَ إِذَا عَرَفْتَ حَدِيثَ أَنَسٍ، عَرَفْتَ أَنَّ قَوْلَهِ فِي حَدِيثِ عِتْبَانَ: (فإِنَّ اللهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَى النَّارِ مَنْ قَالَ: لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ يَبْتَغِي بِذَلِكَ وَجْهَ اللهِ)، أَنَّ تَرْكَ الشِّرْكِ، لَيْسَ قَوْلَها بِاللِّسانِ.

الرَّابِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: تَأَمُّلُ الجَّمْعِ بَيْنَ كَوْنِ عِيسى وَمُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدَيِ اللهِ وَرَسُولَيْهِ.

الخَامِسَةَ عَشْرَةَ: مَعْرِفَةُ اخْتِصَاصِ عِيسَى بِكَوْنِهِ كَلِمَةَ اللهِ.

السَّادِسَةَ عَشْرَةَ: مَعْرِفَةُ كَوْنِهِ رُوحَاً مِنْهُ.

السَّابِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: مَعْرِفَةُ فَضْلِ الإِيْمَانِ بالجنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ.

الثَّامِنَةَ عَشْرَةَ: مَعْرِفَةُ قَوْلِهِ: (عَلَى مَا كَانَ مِنَ العَمَلِ).

التَّاسِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: مَعْرِفَةُ أَنَّ المِيزَانَ لَهُ كِفَّتَانِ.

العِشْرُونَ: مَعْرِفَةُ ذِكْرِ الوَجْهِ.

Chapter 2

The Virtues of Tauheed, and the many sins

for which it atones

Allah the Exalted said: “It is those who believe and do not confuse their belief with wrong: for them (only) there is security, and they are the guided ones.” [al-An’aam 6:82]

‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit said: “Whoever testifies that there is no god except Allah alone, who is without (peer or) partner, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, and that ‘Eisa (Jesus) is the Servant of Allah, His Messenger, His Word which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a Spirit (created) from Him, and that Paradise and Hell-fire are realities, Allah will admit him into Paradise with whatever deeds he has done. Reported by both (Sahih collectors, al-Bukhari and Muslim).

And Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from the tradition of  ‘Utbaan (ibn Malik) that the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, said): “Allah will not permit to be consigned to Hell anyone who witnesses: There is no god except Allah seeking thereby nothing but Allah’s face.”

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Musa (Moses) said: ‘O My Lord, teach me something that I can recite when I remember you and supplicate you.’  Allah answered: ‘Say, O Musa, la ilaaha illa-Lah’  Musa said: ‘O My Lord, all your servants say these words”.  Allah said: “O Musa if the seven heavens and all they hold, and the seven earths as well, were all weighed against this word la ilaaha illa-Lah, the latter would outweigh the former”.  Ibn Hibbaan has reported this hadith, and al-Hakim declared it as a sahih (sound and correct) tradition.

Some of the issues in this chapter are:

1.      The comprehensiveness of Allah’s Mercy and Favour.

2.      The numerous rewards of tawheed granted by Allah.

3.      Its atonement for sins.

4.      Explanation of the verse in surah al-An’aam.

5.      The five points in the hadith reported by ‘Ubaadah.

6.      When joined together the tradition of   `utbaan  and that of ‘Ubaadah’s  clarifies the meaning of “There is no god except Allah” and exposes the errors of the deluded.

7.      Drawing attention to the condition in the hadith of ‘Itbaan.

8.      The prophets’ need for being reminded of the virtues of the witnessing “There is no god except Allah”.

9.      Explanation of (this testimony’s) superiority to all of creation, despite the fact that some among those who profess it will find their balance light (on the Day of Judgment).

10. Textual evidence that there are seven earths just like there are seven heavens.

11. That the seven earths have inhabitants of their own.

12. Confirmation of the divine attributes,  unlike the (innovative)  claims of Ash’ariyyah.

13. That if you understand the hadith of Anaas, you would also understand that of ‘Utbaan, viz., {Allah will not permit to be consigned to Hell anyone who witnesses, “There is no god except Allah”, seeking thereby nothing but Allah’s face}.  The Prophet meant the actual abandoning of shirk, not merely its verbal denial.

14. Joint description of ‘Eisa (Jesus)and Muhammad as servants and messengers of Allah.

15. Predication of title  “the Word of God” to ‘Eisa (Jesus) alone.

16. That ‘Eisa (Jesus) is a spirit from Allah.

17. Virtue of belief in Paradise and Hell.

18. Relation of the deed of witnessing to the reward obtained, as affirmed in the hadith of ‘Ubaadah.

19. Weighing the two sides of the scale against each other

20. Meaning of “Allah’s face

Ibn Jareer (at-Tabari) reported on the authority of his chain of narrators (isnaad) that Ar-Rabee’ ibn Anas said: “Belief is sincerity to Allah alone”.

Ibn Katheer commented on this verse saying: “That is, those are the ones who are sincere in their worship of Allah alone, and who never associated any others with  Him,  they only will be secure on the Day of Ressurection, and will be rightly guided in this life.

Zaid ibn Aslam and  Ibn Ishaaq both said: “(Here Allah has informed that) this is His favor for His Divine Decree concerning Ibraheem and his people”.

It has been related on Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him):” When these verses were revealed, they(the companions) said: “And which of us doesn’t do wrong (and injustice) to himself?”  So  the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said: {It’s not that (which you think)!  Haven’t you heard the saying of Luqmaan: [Join not in worship others with Allah, for false worship is indeed the greatest wrongdoing](Luqmaan 31:13).

Al-Bukhari narrates this hadith according to his chain of narrators on ‘Abdullah (ibn Mas’ood) that he said: “When the verses [It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with wrong…] were revealed we exclaimed: O Messenger of Allah, which one of us doesn’t do wrong (and injustice) to himself!  He said: It’s not as you are saying.  [Join not their belief with wrong] means joining others in worship with Allah (shirk).  Haven’t you heard what Luqmaan said to his son (by way of advice), [“O my son, join not in worship others with Allah, for false worship is indeed the greatest wrong doing”](Luqmaan 31:13).

Ahmad has reported a similar hadith on ‘Abdullah that he said: {When the verses [It is those who believe  and confuse not their belief with wrong…] were revealed the companions of the Prophet deemed it very difficult and hard and said: O Messenger of Allah, which one of us doesn’t do wrong (and injustice) to himself?  He said: The meaning is not as you have surmised.  Haven’t you heard what the righteous servant (of Allah) has said: [O my son, join not in worship others with Allah, for false worship is indeed the greatest wrong doing].  It is only to join others  with Allah in worship.}.

It is related on Umar ibn (al-Khattaab) that he understood the verse to mean sin; thus (according to this understanding) the meaning would be “to be secured from all sins”.

Hassan (al-Basri) and al-Kalbi said: “For them there is security in the hereafter and they are guided in this life”.

Shaikh-ul-Islam (Ibn Taymiyyah) said: “That which the companions deemed difficult for them was their assumption that the wrong-doing intended here – of which they were obliged not to commit (under any circumstances) – was the wrong-doing (and injustice) one does on his ownself, and  also their assumption that there would be no security nor guidance for themselves (whatsoever)except for he who doesn’t do any wrong to himself.  The Prophet made it (perfectly) clear to them that joining others in worship with Allah is (ultimate) zulm (wrong-doing, injustice, oppression) in Allah’s Book, and that the security and quidance mentioned will only be attained by those who don’t commit this kind of wrong-doing. Thus it follows that those who don’t confuse and mix up  their belief with the shirk are the secure and guided ones.  The case here is similar to the case mentioned in the verse of the Qur’an where Allah said: [Then We gave the Book for inheritance to such of Our servants whom We chose: but there are among them some who wrong their ownselves; some who follow a middle course; and some who are, by Allah’s Leave, foremost in good deeds.  That is the highest grace.](Faatir 35:32).  The fact that they are chosen to inherit the Book in no way contradicts the fact that he who wrongs himself and doesn’t repent is liable for (the commensurate degree of) punishment, as Allah has said: [Then anyone who has done an atom’s weight of goods shall see it and anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it](az-Zalzalah 99:7-8).”

(And it has been reported that) Abu Bakar asked the Prophet: {O Messenger of Allah, which one of us hasn’t (at some times) done evil deeds?  So he said (in reply): O Abu Bakar, don’t you become tired?  Don’t you become sad?  Don’t you become stricken to the point where you moan (in pain and anguish)?  That is the recompensation (and atonement) for whatever (sin you have done.}[1].

Here the Prophet clarified that a believer is the one who upon dying enters Paradise being that he has atoned for his evil deeds by bearing afflictions and misfortunes in this life.  Thus whoever protects himself from all three kinds of zulm – that is, shirk which is doing injustice to what is rightfully due to Allah, doing wrong and harm to others, and doing wrong to oneself in anything and everything short of shirk – then such people will be granted complete security and complete guidance.  Whoever does not protect himself from doing wrong to himself will be granted (only) general security and guidance (commensurate with his faith).  He eventually will go to Paradise as Allah has promised him in the other verses,[2] and since Allah has guided him to (follow) the Straight Path whose outcome is Paradise, whatever lack occurs in his security and guidance is only the just consequence from the shortcomings in his belief caused by his own wrong-doings.  The Prophet did not intend when he said: {It is only to join others in worship with Allah (shirk)}, that whoever abstains from associating others with Allah in belief and deed (shirk-al-akbar i.e. the gravest form of association others with Allah in worship) then he will be granted complete security and complete guidance, since many texts in the Qur’an and hadiths have stated clearly that those who commit grave sins expose themselves to the danger (of punishment).   Such people have (undoubtedly) not achieved the security and guidance which qualifies them to be of those who are guided to the Straight Path, the Path upon whom Allah has bestowed His Grace,  of the prophets, the sincere (lovers of Truth), the martyrs, and righteous[3],  those who will not concur any punishment; rather such people have the rudimentary guidance to the Path and have the basis of Allah’s Grace (by consideration of their fundamental belief), and therefore eventually  will enter Paradise (by Allah’s Mercy).  As for the Prophet’s statement: {It is only to join others in worship with Allah (shirk)}: if he meant the gravest form of shirk then he intended that whoever did not commit this (form of shirk) would not receive the dire punishment promised in this life and in the Hereafter to those who join others with Allah in worship; and if he meant the general category of shirk (including) for example, stinginess in obligatory spending due to (greed and) love of money, or love of that which Allah abhors which compells someone to prefer his own passions over Allah’s love – both instances of lesser forms of shirk (shirk al-asghar) – then such a person will (only) miss (Allah’s) Security and Guidance commensurate with (the extent of his mis-deeds).  In this sense the predecessors, taking into account these considerations, used to include sin and wrong-doing as a form of shirk.”

Ibn al-Qayyim said (concerning the above quoted verse and related tradition): “…When the sahabah (mistakenly) understood the zulm mentioned as the wrong-doing one does to his ownself, the Prophet responded (to their inquiry by explaining) that the zulm which completely abrogates Security and Guidance in an absolute sense without exception is associationism (shirk).  This answer of the Prophet is indeed – by Allah – the answer which (perfectly) cures the disease, quenches the thirst, (and hits the nail directly on the head)!  Absolute complete wrong is shirk: the placing of worship in the improper place.  Absolute complete security and guidance is that which is both in this life and the Hereafter and which guides to the Straight Path; therefore absolute complete wrong abolishes absolute complete security and guidance (absolutely and completely).  This does not prevent the wrong (of a lesser degree) from hindering security and guidance in the more general sense.  One should take heed to be attentive to this point: the absolute is for the absolute, and the portion for (the extent of) its share (only).”(Quoted with some abridgement).

‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit said: “Whoever testifies that there is no god except Allah alone who is without (peer or) partner, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, and that ‘Eisa (Jesus) is the Servant of Allah, His Messenger, His Word which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a Spirit (created) from Him, and that Paradise and Hell-fire are realities, Allah will admit him into Paradise with whatever deeds he has done.”  Reported by both (Sahih collectors al-Bukhari and Muslim).

 

[Whoever testifies that there is no god except Allah], that is, who declares it knowing its meaning and acting openly and secretly upon all that it necessitates, because declaration of this great testimony necessitates knowledge, conviction, and action upon its meaning, as Allah has indicated when He said: [Know, therefore, that there is no god but Allah](Muhammad 47:19), and when He said: […except those who bear witness to the truth and they know (the facts about the Oneness of Allah)!](az-Zukhruf 43:86).  As for those who profess it without knowledge, conviction and action upon what it necessitates, which includes repudiation of shirk and sincerity in all words and deeds (words whether spoken outwardly or kept in the heart and deeds whether performed with the limbs of the body or (emotions) felt internally) – then it is of no avail (to him) as it has established by consensus (ijma’a).

Al-Qurtubi has said in his commentary of sahih Muslim called “al-Mufhim“, while commentating on the chapter title: “Mere pronouncement of the shahaadatain (to witness the two Declarations of Faith, i.e. to declare: I testify that there is no god except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) is not enough, one must also have total conviction in one’s heart”: “The purpose of this title is to draw attention to the incorrectness of the extremist marji’ah[4] opinion which says that mere pronunciation of the shahaadatain suffices to be a (true) believer.  The traditions (which Imam Muslim has reported) in this chapter demonstrate the incorrectness of this opinion, over and beyond the fact that it is an opinion commonly known to be utterly false by anyone who happens to come across it (i.e. even the less knowledgeable Muslims can easily recognize it’s falsehood), since it commits one to hold the obviously absurd view that hypocracy is permissible and that a hypocrite is legally a true believer.”

An-Nawawi said: “This immensely important tradition is one of the most comprehensive traditions expounding (the principle articles of) faith because the Prophet has summarized in it that which clears a person from the various forms of disbelief, and put in a few eloquent words the (Islamic belief) which is distinct from all of them”.

La ilaaha illa-l-Lah” , “there is no god except Allah”, means there is nothing rightfully worshipped except Allah.  The addition here wahdahwu la sharika lahu “alone who is without (peer or) partner”, gives added emphasis since “alone” re-emphasizes the affirmation of Allah’s divinity, and “who is without partner” re-emphasizes the negation of divinity of all others.

This saying and its meaning re-occurs frequently.  For instance Allah said: [And your god is one God, there is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful](al-Baqarah 2:163).  And He said: [We have not sent a Messenger before except that we have revealed to him (the message): There is no god except I (Allah), so worship Me (alone)](al-Anbiya 21:25), and He said: [And to the ‘Aad people We sent Hud, one of their (own) brethren.  He said: O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other god but Him.  Will you not fear (Allah)?](al-A’araaf 7:70).  And Allah has said: [That is because Allah – He is the Truth the Reality; and what they invoke besides Him – it is vain falsehood.  Verily Allah is He, Most High, Most Great](al-Hajj 22:62)[5].

This statement (la ilaaha illa-Lah) comprises negating the divinity of anything other than Allah, divinity being to make divine by worship, and affirming the divinity of Allah alone who is without (peer or) partner.  The entire Qur’an from its beginning to its very end expounds, confirms, and guides (us) to this (truth and reality).  Worship in all its multiple forms emanates in the worshipper’s heart by (his feeling of) love, adoration, submission and humbleness – combined with a state of constant awe and hope – towards the worshipped: this is rightfully due to Allah alone as Has been mentioned above.  If anyone diverts any form of worship to another besides Allah then he has made that other to be a peer and rival alongside Allah; thus his words and deeds will be futile and of no avail to him.

Ibn Qayyim said in his Bada’i al-Fawa’id concerning the declaration La ilaaha illa-Lah: “…this is linguistically the strongest way of negating the divinity of all others besides Allah and affirming it (for Him alone) by way of specific designation.  It is much stronger than saying “Allah is the God”.  So let no one be in any doubt (about the conclusive lingual force of this declaration)”.[6]

Az-Zamakhshari[7] said: “The word Ilah (god) is a generic collective noun, like man and horse, and can be applied to any worshipped thing whether rightfully worshipped or wrongfully.  Thereafter it has been predominately used for the one worshipped rightfully”.[8]

Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Ilah is that which is worshipped and obeyed… that which is worshipped rightfully. Allah (alone) deserves to be worshipped by the fact that He (alone) possesses the attributes (of perfection) which compel one to love Him to the utmost degree possible and to be submissive to Him to the utmost degree possible… ilah means the one loved and worshipped, who a person deems to have the attribute of divinity(and Godhood), and therefore to whom one feels extreme love,  submission, humbleness, awe and fear (of his anger and/or punishment), hope (for his pleasure and mercy), and to whom one turns repentantly during times of hardship and supplicates for his concerns, trusts upon for his needs, has recourse to (for protection), is soothed and reassured by remembering him, and finds tranquility in loving him; this all is rightfully due to Allah only, and that is why (the words) la ilaaha illa-Lah are the most truthful words (in existence), and that is why those who declare  (these words) are Allah’s people and His party, and those who deny (these words) are the enemies of Allah upon whom He is angered and takes vengeance.  Whoever makes these words sound and true (through practice in  actual life) then everything pertaining to him will be sound and true, and if a person neglects the work of making them sound and true, then all his knowledge and action will consequently be corrupted (by  the consequences his own neglect)”.

Ibn Rajab said: ilah is that which is obeyed, and out of immense awe, reverence, love, fear, hope, trustfulness, and dire need to constantly supplicate Him, is not disobeyed and defied.  Only Allah deserves this, and whoever associates another besides Allah in any particle of these things which are the special privileged distinctions of Divinity, then such person has violated the sanctity of complete sincerity in his declaration la ilaaha illa-Lah, and there exists in him forms of servitude and worship to others than Allah commensurate with the extent (of his shirk).

Al-Baqaa’i said: “La ilaaha illa-Lah means the negation of there existing anyone (or anything) worshipped rightfully except the Supreme King (of all kings).  The knowledge of this (truth) is the greatest thing one can bear in his mind and mention (repeatedly) to save himself from the terrifying events of the Hour of Resurrection.  Yet it can only by true knowledge by being (effectively) useful, and it can only become useful if one acts upon what it implies and necessitates voluntarily (and sincerely); otherwise (the so-called knowledge of) it is sheer ignorance”.

Similar statements of the ‘Ulama (Muslim scholars) are abundant because, as the commentator (Sulaiman ibn Abdullah in his book Tayseer al-Aziz al-Hameed) has said, this point is a matter of consensus among  them.

Thus the meaning of la ilaaha illa-Lah is the negation of divinity (and the acts of worship it complies) from any other being except Allah and the affirmation of divinity solely to Allah.  This is the tawheed to which the messengers have called (mankind), and which the Qur’an mentions (throughout its verses), as Allah says (informing us what the Jinn have said): [Say (O Muhammad), it has been revealed to me that a group of Jinns listened (to this Qur’an), so they said: ‘We have really heard a wonderful recital!  It gives Guidance to the Right and we have believed therein, and we shall not join (in worship) anything with our Lord](al-Jinn 72:1-2).

Thus la ilaaha illa-Lah avails and benefits only the one who knows its meaning and what it negates and affirms, firmly believes in it, accepts (all that it implies), and acts upon it.  As for those they who utter it without knowledge, conviction, nor acting upon it, then it has just been mentioned that this is sheer ignorance, and most certainly (the mere utterance of it) will be evidence against them (proving their ignorance and caprice and hypocrisy).

As for the saying in the hadeeth: {alone and without (peer or) partner}; this is an emphasis on the preceding meaning and a clarification of it, which Allah has illustrated (and re-emphasized over and over again) in the stories of the messengers and prophets as told in the Qur’an.  Yet the grave worshippers (who claim they are Muslims)[9], how amazingly ignorant are they!  And how amazingly horrendous is the shirk which they commit, which totally contradicts this sincere axiom of pure faith la ilaaha illa-Lah! Whereas the Arab mushrikeen (at the time of the Prophet) rejected this saying in letter and spirit, these (contemporary) mushrikeen accept it in letter and yet reject it in content and spirit.  You’ll find one of them uttering it aloud and at the same time you’ll see them worshipping others besides Allah with love, glorification, fear, hope, trust, supplication, and the other forms of worship.  It can even be said that their shirk is greater than the shirk of the Arab mushrikeen by many degrees: (which is proven by he fact that) if a calamity befalls one of them they start supplicating someone other than Allah with sincere devotion and even believe that this someone can deliver them from their calamity faster than Allah, (which stands) in direct  contrast to the Arab mushrikeen. As Allah has said about them: [Now, if they embark on a boat, they call on Allah, making their devotion sincerely (and exclusively) to Him; but when He has delivered them safely to (dry) land, behold! they give a share of their worship to others!](al-‘ankaboot 29:65).  Keeping this in mind, it is very clear that these contemporary mushrikeen are more ignorant about tawheed than the Arab mushrikeen and other pagans previous to them.

{And that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger} meaning, whoever testifies also to this, since this sentence is connected to the preceding one by conjunction.  Here the word Servant,(abduhu) connotes the slave and worshipper, meaning that (the Prophet) is Allah’s slave, and that servitude and worship (‘aboodiyyah)[10] are his distinct traits (along with his prophethood).  As Allah has said: [Does not Allah suffice His Servant](az-Zumar 39:36).  The highest stage of a creature-servant of Allah is the distinguished (dignity of) servitude and worship of Allah exclusively, and of messengership [11], and the Prophet Muhammad is the most perfect creature in these two traits.  Lordship and Divinity are properly the exclusive Attributes of Allah most exalted, and no near-approaching angel of Allah nor any messenger or prophet may be associated with His exclusive attributes in any manner.  When the Prophet said: {His Servant and His Messenger}, he specified the two traits of his which in combination repudiate any inclination one may have towards exaggeration and excessiveness (about the Prophet) on the one hand, and/or negligence and laxness (about his due rights) on the other hand.  Many who claim to be his followers have exceeded the proper bounds by either their extremism in exaggerating about him or through negligence by not following him.  Many have relied upon opinions which contradict his teachings, or have deviated from his teachings and legal statutes by arbitrarily interpreting them against their proven meanings, or by outright avoidance or rejection (and disobedience).

To testify {that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah}, necessitates belief in him (as a Messenger of Allah), faith in what he says that it is true, obedience to what he orders, abstinence from what he forbids and reprimands, and to have the greatest respect for his words and orders without ever giving precedence over them.  The sad fact is that  many who are called knowledgeable, (even among) the qudaat (judges) and muftieen (those who give formal legal opinion) act in contradiction (to this testimony).  To Allah alone do we supplicate for help (against their corruptions).

Ad-Daarami reports that Abdullah ibn As-Salaam (an eminent Jewish Rabbi who accepted Islam) used to say: “We find the Prophet’s characteristics (in the Scriptures): ‘Verily, we have sent you as a witness and a proclaimer of glad-tidings and warner, and as a protector for those who are illiterate.  You are my servant and Messenger.  I have named him al-Mutawakkal (the one who puts his trust in  Allah).  He is neither hard-hearted nor coarse or rude, nor one who shouts in the markets; he doesn’t return evil for evil but excuses and forgives.  Allah will not take him unto Himself until he guides the most deviant crooked nation to the Right Path, the path of those who pro-claim  la ilaaha illallah, and until he opens blind eyes, deaf ears and closed, knotted hearts”[12].  ‘Ata ibn Yasaar said: “I was informed by Abul-al-Laithi that he heard K’ab (Al-Ahbaar) – a rabbi who accpted Islam during Umar ibn Al-Khattaab’s khaliphate – say just as Abdullah As-Salaam said[13].

{And that Jesus is the Servant of Allah and His Messenge} This stands in direct contrast to what the Christians believe about Jesus that he is god, or the son of God, or the third of a trinity.  Allah is exalted far above what they say!  Allah said: “[Allah has not taken (anyone) to be His son, nor is there any god along with Him](al-Muminoon 23:91[14].  It is incumbent to testify that Jesus is the Servant of Allah and His Messenger with the knowledge and certainty that he is one of His creatures owned by Him (and under His complete control).  Allah created him (miraculously) from a female without the agent of a male, as Allah said: [The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust and said to him: ‘Be’, and he was] (Aal-i-‘Imraan 3:59).  Thus Jesus is in no way a lord or god, Allah be glorified!  He is free from what they associate with Him!  Allah said (in the story of Mary, the chosen one, and in explanation of the miraculous birth of Jesus): [But she pointed to the babe.  They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’  He said: ‘I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.  And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me prayer and charity so long as I live.  (He) has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable.  So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again).’  Such is Jesus, the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.  It is not befitting to (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take a son.  Glory be to Him.  When He determines a matter, He only says to it: ‘Be’, and it is.  Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (alone).  This is the Straight Path] (Mariyam 19:29-36). And Allah said: [Christ does not arrogantly disdain to be a servant and worshipper of Allah, nor do the near-approaching angels.  Those who disdain His worship and are arrogant – He will gather them all together unto Himself (to answer)] (an-Nisa 4:172).  A believer also testifies that what Jesus’s enemies, the Jews – may Allah curse them (for their blasphemy) – have said about him, that he is the son of a whore, is a (slanderous) lie.  No one can become a Muslim until He disavows the false (slanderous) claims of both the Christians and the Jews about Jesus, since he is as Allah has said: {His Servant and Messenger}.

{His Word}: Jesus has been called the Word of Allah by the fact that his existence has occurred by Allah’s command “Be”, as it has been explained by the predecessors and the commentators of the Qur’an.  Imam Ahmad said in his book ‘Rad ‘ala al-Jahmiyyah‘ (Refutation of the (claims of) the Jahmiyyah sect[15]): “By the Word which He bestowed upon Mary when He said “Be”.  Thus Jesus came into existence by “Be”; he is not “Be” itself, but by “Be” he became reality.  “Be” is Allah’s word, and (Allah’s word is not a created thing.  Both the Christians and the Jahmiyyah lie upon Allah (in what they say) concerning Jesus”.

{Which He bestowed on Mary}: Ibn Katheer said: “Allah created Jesus by the Word which He sent with the angel Gabriel(jibraaeel) to Mary which Gabriel breathed into her from his spirit by Allah’s Command.  Thus Jesus came into existence by the permission of Allah: his formation is the result of the Word which Allah spoke, “Be” and he was, and the spirit which Allah sent, was Gabriel.

{And a Spirit (created) from Him}: Ubay ibn Ka’ab said: “Jesus is a soul from among the souls which Allah created and then caused to speak when Allah asked them: [Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?  They said: Yes, we do testify!](al-A’araaf 7:172[16].  Allah sent (this soul) to Mary and it entered into her”.  Ubay’s statement has been reported by ‘Abd ibn Humaid, Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hambal, Ibn Jareer (At-Tabari), Ibn Abi Haatim, and others.

Al-Haafiz (ibn Hajar) said: “Jesus has been characterized as “from” Allah meaning that he has been created by Him and his existence is by Him…through His Power and Wisdom.

Shaikh-ul-Islam (Ibn Taymiyyah) said: “In a genitive grammatical construction, if the noun which is adjoined to Allah’s name is a conceptual meaning which does not stand by itself nor by agency of any created being, then that noun must necessarily be an attribute of Allah existing in Him (May He be Glorified), and thus this construction cannot be the adjoination of a created being to Allah’s name.  If the noun is a proper noun or name of some corporeal object which stands by itself, like Jesus or Gabriel (peace be upon both of them) and the souls of men, then these cannot be the attributes of Allah because what stands by itself cannot be the attribute of another.  A distinction should be made between two types of corporal objects which are adjoined to the name of Allah (in the genitive construction).  The first is that which is adjoined to His name because He originated it and created it.  This includes all creation: as it is said, Allah’s heaven, Allah’s world, and so on.  All creatures are Allah’s servants, and all the wealth in the world is Allah’s wealth.  The second type  is that which is adjoined to Allah’s name for a special distinction which Allah loves, has commanded, or is pleased with.  Allah has distinguished “Allah’s house” (bait-ullah)[17] by special worship not performed anywhere else.  Khums (the property and wealth of which a fifth is due to Allah) and Fai (war booty gained without battle) are also called -the property of Allah and His Messenger.  In this sense “Allah’s servants” are those who serve and worship Him and obey His orders, this construction implying Allah’s Divinity, Law and Religion, whereas the previous construction implies Allah’s Lordship, Sovereignty and Creation”.

{And that Paradise and Hell are realities} means to testify that the Paradise and Hell-fire which Allah has informed us about in His Book, that is,  the Paradise being prepared by Allah for the righteous believers and the Hell being prepared by Allah for the disbelievers, are both sure realities of which there is no doubt.  As Allah said: [Vie one with another in hastening towards Forgiveness from your Lord, and towards Paradise, the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers.  That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He pleases.  And Allah is the Lord of Great Abounding] (al-Hadeed 57:21).  and Allah said: […Then fear the fire (Hell-fire) whose fuel is men and stones prepared for the disbelievers] (al-Baqarah 2:24). These two and similar verses of the Qur’an amply demonstrate that Paradise and Hell are created things which exist now, a belief contrary to the belief of some innovators in religion (who claim otherwise, for instance,  the jahmiyyah as in note no. 15).

{Allah will admit him into Paradise with whatever deeds he has done}.  This clause is the answer (main concluding clause) of the conditional sentence.  In another narration of the same tradition this clause reads: {Allah will admit him into Paradise from any of the gates of Paradise he chooses}. Haafiz (ibn Hajar) said: “The phrase {with whatever deeds he has done}, means whether good deeds or bad, since the people of tawheed must eventually enter Paradise[18].  It’s possible that the meaning is that Allah will admit them into the assigned degrees of Paradise each according to his deeds”.  Qaadi ‘Aiyaad said: “What has been related in the tradition narrated by ‘Ubaadah is especially for those who testify as the Prophet mentioned, and combine, along with the saying of the two declarations of Faith, the true faith and pure tawheed as delineated in this tradition.  The merit of such a person’s good deeds will outweigh and surpass his evil deeds making him worthy of (Allah’s) Forgiveness and Mercy and allowing him to be admitted into Paradise quickly (with the first group entering).

And Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from the tradition of ‘Utbaan (ibn Malik) that the Prophet, may Allah`s peace and blessing be upon him, said): {Allah will not permit to be consigned to Hell anyone who witnesses: “There is no god except Allah”, seeking thereby nothing but Allah’s face}

This is a section of a long tradition reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, and in Bukhari’s version on the authority of Qadada who said: {Anas ibn Malik related to us that the Prophet was riding a mount with Mu’aadh (ibn Jabal) seated behind him.  The Prophet said: O Mu’aadh! He said: Here I am at your service and ready to do your pleasure!  He said: O Mu’aadh! He said: Here I am at your service and ready to do your pleasure!  He said: O Mu’aadh! He said: Here I am at your service and ready to do your pleasure!  After repeating this three times he then said: Anyone who testifies truly from his heart that there is no god except Allah, Allah will not permit him to be consigned to the Fire. Mu’aadh said: Shouldn’t I inform the people so they may rejoice at the glad-tidings?  The Prophet said: Then they would rely on the promise (and lapse in their performance of good deeds). Then Mu’aadh informed them about it (i.e. this teaching) at the time of his death to escape the sin (of suppressing his knowledge of the Prophet’s teaching and its dissemination)}.

Al-Bukhari reports another version (of the hadith) on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik who said: {It was mentioned to me that the Prophet said to Mu’aadh ibn Jabal: Whoever meets Allah (in the Hereafter) having not associated any other partner with Him, then he will enter Paradise. He (Mu’aadh) said: May I not give the glad-tidings to the people?  He said: I am afraid they would rely on the promise}.

It is clear from the context of this hadith that the declaration to testify that la ilaaha illa-Lah, includes leaving (all forms) of shirk and (declaring this testimony) with truthfulness, certainty and sincerity.

Shaikh ul-Islam (Ibn Taymiyyah) and others have explained: “This tradition, and others similar to it, apply to whoever says (this declaration) and then dies (upholding his belief and practice upon it), saying it with sincerity from his heart without any doubt, and saying it  in truth and with certitude, as it has been stipulated in the terms of other (qualifying) traditions.  The essence of tawheed is the total inclination of the heart to Allah (and the sincere worship of Him alone), so whoever testifies that there is no god except Allah sincerely from his heart will enter Paradise, because sincerity is the inclination of the heart to Allah, to turn towards Him with sincere repentance.  If someone dies in  this state then he will attain (Paradise) because numerous traditions (ahaadith mutawaater‎)[19] have clarified that {whosoever testifies that there is no god except Allah and has in his heart some goodness even the weight of a grain of barley, or even the weight of a mustard seed, or even the weight of an atom, then he will (even if he had entered Hell-fire as punishment for some of his sins) be brought out of the (Hell)fire}[20].  Numerous traditions have mentioned that many who say:  “There is no god except  Allah” will enter Hell-fire (for their sins) and then be brought out of it (by Allah’s Grace); and that Allah will not allow the fire to consume the traces of prostration of those who made prayer and prostrated to Him; and that Allah will not permit to be consigned to Hell anyone who testifies that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger.  Nevertheless, these traditions have been qualified by other traditions that mention conditions of great weight.  Many people say this declaration without sincerity as a matter of custom and mere imitation of others, without its delightfulness reaching to the depths of ones hear. As it is mentioned in a tradition (about the hypocrites when asked in their graves about their faith): “I heard the people saying something so I said it (like them).”[21] These people are the closest to what Allah narrates about the reply of those living in luxury: [We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will certainly follow their footsteps] (az-Zukhruf 43:23).

There is no contradiction or discrepancy between these traditions since they make it plain that the state of the one who says (this declaration) with sincerity and total certainty is not the state of the persistent sinner because complete sincerity and certainty necessitates that one loves Allah more than anything else, to the point where there doesn’t remain in his heart a desire to do what Allah has forbidden nor a dislike for what He  has commanded.  Such is the one Allah will not permit to be consigned to Hell even though he may have committed sins previous to that time.  Complete faith, sincerity, repentance, love (for Allah), and certainty, will not allow that sins be written on his account but rather will erase them just as the day light erases the darkness of night.  If someone says this declaration with the perfection which prevents him from shirk in its gravest form or in one of its lesser forms, then this is (the believer) who cannot be a persistent sinner.  He will be forgiven (his previous sins) and Allah will not allow him to be consigned to Hell-fire.  If someone says this declaration in the manner which saves him from committing any grave form of shirk but not other minor forms, and he did not do anything which violated and contradicted (his tawheed in a major sense), then evil deeds cannot measure up to the goodness of this good deed (of tawheed): thus the balance will be tipped towards his good deeds as it has been illustrated in the tradition of the card[22], and Allah will not permit him to be consigned to (eternal) Hell-fire.  However this person’s rank in Paradise will be lowered commensurate with (the amount and degree of severity of) his sins.  This is all in contrast to the  (miserable) one whose evil deeds outweigh their good deeds, who died persisting on repeating their crimes, and thus who deserve to be consigned to Hell-fire.  The person who says “there is no god except Allah” and saves himself from committing the grave form of shirk and yet has not died in this state but rather has committed sins afterwards which outstripped the goodness of his tawheed, then such a person even though he may have been originally sincere has committed so many sins and of such severity that they weakened his sincerity and eventually, like fire devouring fuel, consumed it all up.  A true and sincere believer would not let his good deeds be overcome by evil deeds nor persist on evil doing.  When he dies will be admitted into Paradise.

The really frightful and perilous thing that might happen to a sincere believer is that he may sin to the point where it weakens his faith and then he will not be able to say it (i.e. the declaration of faith – la ilaaha illa-Lah) with the sincerity and certainty which restrains him from sin, or he may commit some grave or lesser form of shirk so that even if he saves himself from the graver forms of shirk his sins will combine with lesser forms to tip the balance towards evil deeds.  Evil-doing weakens and suppresses faith and certainty, makes the saying la ilaaha illa-Lah impotent, and makes true sincerity impossible, until eventually the evil-doer who declares it is only like an insane person jabbering non-sense, or a person talking in his sleep, or a person who even though he has a beautiful voice in reciting the holy verses of the Qur’an does not really believe in it nor taste its succor and sweetness.  Frequent sinning eventually makes even the mention of the declaration of faith cumbersome on the lips, makes the heart become hardened against repeating it; makes one loath to perform deeds of righteousness and goodness; makes one hate listening to the Qur’an, makes one rejoice at mentioning other than Allah; makes one find re-assurance in vanity and falsehood; makes one enjoy obscenity; makes one feel pleasure at being with the foolish people who take no heed (of Allah’s warnings) and displeasure at being with people who love truth (and justice): such a person, if he declares it, only says with his tongue what does not come from his heart, and his actions belie what proceeds from his mouth.

(How correctly did) Hassan al-Basri (put it when he) said: “Faith is not by sweet talk nor by false hope and promises, but it is what becomes an established fact in your heart and is proven true by action, so whoever says the right thing and does good, it will be accepted from him, and whoever says the right thing and does evil, it will not be accepted from him”.  Bakr ibn Abdullah al-Mizini said: “Abu Bakr did not surpass (the other sahaba) with numerous prayers and fasting but by something rooted firmly in his heart…”.  Many ‘ulama like Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Rajab have explained similarly to what we have just quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah with some abridgement.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah said: {Musa (Moses) said: “O My Lord, teach me something that I can recite when I remember you and supplicate you”.  Allah answered: “Say, O Musa, la ilaaha illa-Lah. Musa said: “O My Lord, all your servants say these words”.  Allah said: “O Musa if the seven hearvens and all they hold, and the seven earths as well, were all weighed against this word la ilaaha illa-Lah, the latter would outweigh the former”.  This hadith has been reported by Ibn Hibbaan, and al-Hakim declared it as sahih (sound and correct) tradition.[23]

Since all mankind and even the entire universe is in extreme need of this word, la ilaaha illa-Lah, Allah has made it available to all, easy to  acquire, and of monumental meaning and import.  Even still many ignorant people of the common (Muslims) refrain from (the remembrance of) this word and instead waste their time repeating innovated prayers which have no basis in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Imam Ahmad reports that Abdullah ibn ‘Amr related that the Prophet said: {Nooh (Noah) said to his son at the time of his death: “I bid you (to hold firm to this word) la ilaaha illa-Lah for if the seven heavens and the seven earths were put on a balancing scale and la ilaaha illa-Lah placed on the other side, the scale would tip towards la ilaaha illa-Lah; and if all the seven heavens and seven earths were a firm silent link of a chain, la ilaaha illa-Lah would break it open}[24].

These traditions show that la ilaaha illa-Lah is the best invocation of Allah, and this is also explicit from other traditions, like what has been related on the authority of Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (that the Prophet, may Allah`s peace and blessing be upon him, said): {The best supplication of Allah on Arafaat Day (in the Pilgrimage) is what I and the prophets before me have said: “There is no god except Allah alone who is without (peer or) partner, His is the dominion, to Him are all praised, and He (alone) is able to do all things}, reported by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi [25].

Abdullah ibn ‘Amr also relates (that the Prophet said): {A person of my nation will be called forth  (for judgement) in front of all creation on the Day of Resurrection and 99 scrolls (of his deeds) will be spread before him each one of them stretching as far as the eye can see.  Then it will be said to him: “Do you deny any of this?  Have My scribes, who (also) protect you, done any injustice to you?”  He will say: “No (not at all) O my Lord!” Then it will be said: “Do you have any excuse or any good deed (to present on your behalf)?”  So he will say: “No”. Then it will be said: But yes, indeed you have a good deed, and I will not do any injustice to you today”.  Then a card will be brought out upon which is written Ash-hadu al-laa ilaaha illa-Lahu wa anna Muhammadan ‘abdahu wa rasooluh (I testify that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger).  Then he will say: “O my Lord what can this card do against all these scrolls?”  It will be said: “No injustice will be done to you”.  The scrolls will be put on one side of a balancing scale, and when the card is put on the other side, the scrolls will become light (and insignificant) and the card of monumental weight (shifting the balance with force)}. This tradition is reported by at-Tirmidhi, who declared it good, an-Nisaa`i, Ibn Hibbaan, and al-Haakim who said it is sahih according to the condition[26] of Muslim, with adh-Dhahabi concurring with his opinion[27].

Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Action and deeds are not comparable one to another by their outward form and by quantity but rather (their true comparison is) by what exists in the hearts. It may be that two deeds are in the same form yet their disparity is like the disparity between heaven and earth”.  He (also) said: “You should reflect (deeply) about the tradition of the card wherein it is placed opposite to 99 scrolls of deeds each one of them as long as the eye can see, and then the scrolls become as if weightless and the card heavy. It is a known fact that each and every believer in tawheed has this card, nevertheless many of them will enter the Hell-fire because of their sins”.

At-Tirmidhi reported (the tradition) on Anas (ibn Maalik) and declared as Hasan (good): {I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Allah most exalted said: ‘O son of Adam!  Were you to come to Me with the world full of sins, but then met Me without joining others with Me in worship (shirk), I would come to you with a similar amount of Mercy and Forgiveness’.[28]

{But then met Me without joining others with Me in worship}: By (fulfilling) this condition the said  promise is achieved: i.e. by keeping oneself safe and free from all forms of shirk, great or small, frequent or infrequent. No one can accomplish that completely except by Allah making him safe and sound; this is having a sound heart as Allah has said: [The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah a sound heart] (Ash-Shu’ara 26:88-89).

Ibn Rajab said: “…If a (believer) servant perfects his tawheed and fulfills its conditions with  his heart, tongue, and limbs, or with his heart and tongue at the time of his death, then this tawheed will necessitate the forgiveness of all his past sins and prevent him from entering the Hell-fire altogether.  Whoever makes his heart (sound) by the word of tawheed, eliminating from his heart love, glorification, reverence, exaltation, awe, fear and trust of others besides Allah, then (this is the tawheed) which consumes all sins and misdeeds even if they are as numerous as the foam of the sea”.

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim said about this tradition: “Those who practice pure unadulterated tawheed and who have not contaminated themselves with even an iota of shirk will be forgiven that which others, who are not of such (an immacutous rank), will not be forgiven.  If he meets Allah with a world full of sins, yet not committing any shirk whatsoever, then Allah will come to him with a similar amount of forgiveness.  But this is not the case for him whose tawheed has any  fault, lack, or short coming.  Sins cannot persist with sincere tawheed because such a tawheed contains supreme love of Allah, reverence and glorification of Him, fear of Him (and His punishment), and hope for Him (and His Mercy), all of which merits the cleansing of sins, the contamination (incurred by them) being only incidental, and tawheed’s  repellent (effect against sin) being strong”.

This tradition contains many lessons (some of which are): the many rewards of tawheed; the vastness of Allah’s generosity and magnanimity; the refutation of the Mu’tazilites’ claim of the existence of a stage between the two stages (manzila baina manzilatain) thereby which they mean the sinner who is not a believer nor a disbeliever but must, as they allege, abide forever in the Hell-fire.  The correct position (in this issue) is taken by ahl-as-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah, those who follow the way of the Prophet and the community of faithful; they do not deny the sinner the name of faith (negating whatever faith he has) nor do they declare him as one who has complete faith, but say he is a believer who has sinned and been disobedient to Allah, a believer according to whatever faith he has and a sinner according to the degrees of his sins. This is the position for which ample evidence can be called upon from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Ijma’a (consensus) of the community of believers (to prove its validity).  As it is reported by Muslim on Abdullah ibn Mas’ood that he said: “When the Messenger of Allah was taken for the night journey (from Makkah to Bait al Maqdas (Jerusalem) and then for the ascension into the seven heavens) he eventually came to sidrat-ul-Muntaha (the lote-tree of the utmost boundary of heaven beyond which none can pass).  He was then given three (blessed things): he was given the five salawaat (prayers), the last verses of surah al-Baqarah, and forgiveness for those of his nation who do not join others in worship with Allah, (with the exception of those) grave sins which fling the sinner into the hell-fire (as just recompensation)”.

The author (Sulaiman ibn Abdul Aziz in his book Tayseer al-Azeez al-Hameed) said: “If you consider the five (points of faith) which are mentioned in the tradition of ‘Ubaadah, and combine them with what is mentioned in the tradition of ‘Utbaan, the meaning of la ilaaha illa-Lah will become clear to you. and the mistaken notions of those who mislead will be dispelled (i.e., in these crucial matters of tawheed wherein many mistakenly think that by just uttering the testimony of faith  they will enter Paradise even though they worship others besides Allah).

These traditions (ahaadeeth) contain  (many lessons to be learned, some of which are):

  • Even the prophets stand in need to be informed and alerted about the great excellence of la ilaaha illa-Lah, and about its superiority over everything in the creation.
  • Even though many who pronounce (this testimony), their scales of good deeds will be light and of bad deeds will be heavy on acount of their grave sins).
  • Allah has attributes (which one must believe in).  This is in contrast with the claims of those who deny or suppress Allah’s attributes.
  • If you understand the tradition of Anas, and the saying of the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and mercy be upon him, in the tradition of ‘Utbaan {Allah will not permit to be consigned to Hell-fire anyone who witnesses: “There is no god except Allah”, seeking thereby Allah’s face}, then it will become perfectly clear to you that the avoidance of shirk is not the mere repetition of the words la ilaaha illa-Lah.

 

part of Translator’s Appendix to Chapter 2: Kitab at-Tauheed


[1] A sound hadith reported by Ahmad, At-Tabari, Ibn Habban, Al-Haakim and others.

[2] Here Ibn Taymiyyah is referring to the verse immediately after the verse he quoted above which reads: [Garden of Paradise will they enter to abide eternally…](Faatir 35:33).  c.f. Ibn Taymiyyah’s Kitaab-ul-Eimaan, Majmoo’at-ul-Fatawa vol.8 pp.80-82, which the author ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Hassan has quoted with some minor abridgment.

[3] A reference to surah an-Nisa 4:69.

[4] see glossary.

[5] Al-Haqq has been translated here retaining both its major concepts of truth and reality.  It has been said that all philosophical discussion revolves around epistemology and metaphysics, which most simply put, can be explained respectively as that which is really true and that which is truly real.  The word al-Haqq comprehensively combines both concepts, and Allah is al-Haqq, and all that which  is worshipped besides Him is Baatil, false and without reality or divinity.

[6] In all the languages of the world,  to negate the possession of a characteristic from everyone and then except only one is a statement of extreme clarity and force.  For instance,  if one said:” No one is intelligent here except ‘Amr”, or, “ No one can shoot a weapon here except Zaid,”  we can easily understand the power and confrontational nature of the claims.  When the Messenger ,peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to the pagan Quraish while in their domain : “There is no god except Allah”  he automatically challenged the divinity, sanctity, and  authority of all upon which was built  their religious, social and political institutions. Hence, the confrontations which naturally lead to persecutions and then all-out  warfare.  The clarity and power of this testimony remains for all times, and consequently it’s confrontational nature.

[7] Az-Zamakhshari is a famous Mu’tazalite theologian and the author of the renowned Qur’anic commentary (tafseer) al-Kashaaf.  His sectarion notions aside, he is considered an authority on the Arabic language.

[8] On Ilah, please refer to p.

[9]Here the author is specefically referring to the rampant hagiolatry (saint worship) prevalent in the Muslim world in the popular religious practice of the common people, and even, unfortunately, among some of the educated and the mis-guided religious authorities among them .

[10] ‘Aboodiyyah in the Islamic context comprehends both servitude and worship, and thus an ‘abd can be variously translated a servant, slave, worshipper, adorer, and/or, the creature which Allah has created (to worship Him).  Tawheed al-Uluhiyyah (the tawheed of Allah’s divinity) is also called tawheed al-‘aboodiyyah (the tawheed of servitude and worship); thus when we say taweed al-Uluhiyyah we emphasize Allah’s exclusive divinity, and when we say tawheed al-Uboodiyyah we emphasize that it is our duty as His creatures to serve and worship Allah alone.

[11] Messengership (ar-Risaalah) is distinguished from prophethood (an-Naboowah) in Islamic terminology: both a messenger and prophet receive Allah’s revelation and are entrusted to propagate it.  But whereas a prophet may follow the revealed Canonical Law (shari’ah) of a previous messenger, a messenger has the added distinction of propagating an independent Canonical Law which Allah has revealed to him specifically.  The greatest of the messengers, given the epithet ulul-‘Azm (those of firm resolve, determination, and inflexible purpose) are Nooh (noah), Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), ‘Eisa (Jesus), and Muhammad, may Allah bestow His Peace and Blessings upon all of them.  Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, has the added distinction of being Allah’s last Messenger who brought the final perfected message from Allah to mankind.

[12] A sound tradition also related by Al-Baihaqi and Al-Khateeb on Abdullah ibn As-Salaam.  Bukhari reports a similar hadith on the authority of Abdullah ibn ‘Amr Al-‘Aas.  It may very well be that Abdullah ibn As-Salaam hasn’t meant that these characteristics are all mentioned in one single passage in  the scriptures, but rather that he has collected these traits from some conspicuous texts.  Nevertheless, some similarities between this hadith and Isaac 42:1-13 are noteworthy, all the more so since in this context “Kedar” a descendent of Ismaa’eel (Ishmael the son of Ibraheem) and ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad, is mentioned, thus denoting an undeniable  indicator that only  the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is intended in this prophecy.

[13]Also reported by Ad-Daarami.

[14]Some have translated this verse (No son did  Allah beget), but the translation above, I hope, is closer to the original text.  Not only has Allah not begotten any son, He has not chosen or taken any as a son, unlike what the Jews and Christians claim about Jacob, David, Jesus, and others, and even themselves. c.f. Exodus 4:22, Psalm 82:6, 89:27, Matt. 5:9, 45, Mark 1:11, Luke 1:25, John 1:35, 3:16.  Allah mentions their false claims in the verse: [(Both) the Jews and Christians say: ‘We are sons of Allah and His beloved ones…] (al-Maaidah 5:8).

[15] The Jahmiyyah were the followers of Jahm ibn Safwaan (died 128 H.) who became infamous for their heretical beliefs, the most profane being: 1) that Allah is without any names or  traits (tajahhim fi asmaa Allah wa sifaatihi), a philosophic belief associated with the Greeks and some eastern mystics; 2) that man has no will of his own whatsoever but rather  his action is forced upon him (al-jabr al-mutlaq), a ultra-extreme form of pre-destination; 3) that  faith (imaan) is merely to ”know” Allah, (al-irjaa al-ghaali aw al-irjaa al-mutlaq), some the ideas of which we have eluded to in this article, 4). and that Paradise and Hell do not yet exit prepared for there dwellers( nafi wujood al-jennah wa jahannum al-mu`iditaan li ashaabimuma) , a preposterous fallacy in direct contradiction to numerous Quranic verses, Prophetic traditions, and the consensus of scholars and jurists.   Sheikh Hammaad al-Ansaari, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to say these are the four “jeems“ of the Jahmiyyah which help the student remember their idiotic ideas which all scholars agree amount to words and deeds of shirk and /or kufr.

[16] See p.———–

[17] i.e. the Ka’aba at Makkah in the Masjid al-Haraam, which was originally built by Abraham and Ishmael, and recostructed by the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon all of them.  It is also called bait-ul-‘Ateeq (the ancient house).

[18] For more on this idea c.f.

[19] Mutawaater is a technical term in the science of hadeeth meaning numerous and frequently reported.  For its specific definition please refer to the glossary.

[20] This is mentioned as mutawaater by Muhammad ibn Ja’afar Al-Kitani in his book “Nuthim al-Mutanather on al-Hadith al-Mutawaater” (The Organization of the scattered numerous traditions) No.308.

[21] Reported by Abu Da’ood, At’Tirmidhi, An-Nisaai, Ibn Majah and others.

[22] This tradition will be related in full towards the end of this chapter p.

[23] Adh-Dhahabi concurred with al-Haakim’s declaration, and this hadith is also reported by Abu Nu’aim, Al-Baihaqi and al-Baghawi.

[24] Also reported by al-Bukhari (in al-adab al-Mufrid), and al-Haakim who declared it sahih with adh-Dhahabi concurring.  A tradition with a similar theme is reported by Imam  Ahmad, al-Bukhari (in Adab al-Mufrid) and al-Baihaqi also on Abdullah ibn ‘Amr who related that the Prophet said: {The Prophet Nooh when death come upon him said to his son: I am bequeathing to you a will: I bid you to do two things and forbid you two others.   I bid you (to the word) la ilaaha illa-Lah, for if the seven heavens and seven earths were put on one side of a balancing scale and la ilaaha illa-Lah is placed on the other side, the scale would tip towards la ilaaha illa-Lah. And I bid you to the word subhaan-Allah wa bi-hamdihi (Glory be to Allah and (all) praises). Verily it is the prayer of all creatures, and by it they receive sustenance, and I forbid you shirk and arrogance…}.

[25] Also related by Imam Malik, al-Baihaqi and al-Baghawi.

[26] Please see glossary.

[27] Also reported by Ibn Majah, al-Khateeb, and al-Baghawi.  Some narrations of this hadith add the phrase at the end: {Nothing can compare in weight  with the Name of Allah}.

[28]Also reported by Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan, Ad-Darami, Al-Haakim, and At-Tabraani.

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3- بَابٌ

مَنْ حَقَّقَ التَّوْحِيدَ دَخَلَ الجنَّةَ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

وَقَوْلُ اللهِ تَعَالَى: ( إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتاً لِلَّهِ حَنِيفاً وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ) [النحل:120] وَقَالَ:   (وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ بِرَبِّهِمْ لا يُشْرِكُونَ) [المؤمنون:59]

وَعَنْ حُصَيْنِ بنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحمنِ قَالَ: كُنْتُ عِنْدَ سَعِيدِ بنِ جُبَيْرٍ فَقَالَ:أَيُّكُمْ رَأَى الكَوْكَبَ الَّذِي انْقَضَّ البَارِحَةَ؟ فَقُلْتُ: أَنَا، ثُمَّ قُلْتُ: أَمَا إِنِّي لَمْ أَكُنْ فِي صَلاَةٍ، وَلكِنِّي لُدِغْتُ، قَالَ: فَمَا صَنَعْتَ؟ قُلْتُ: ارْتَقَيْتُ . قَالَ: فَمَا حَمَلَكَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ؟ قُلْتُ: حَدِيثٌ حَدَّثَنَاهُ الشَّعْبِيُّ، قَالَ : وَمَا حَدَّثَكُمْ؟ قُلْتُ: حَدَّثَنَا عَنْ بُرَيْدَةَ بنِ الحُصَيْبِ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: لاَ رُقْيَةَ إِلاَّ مِنْ عَيْنٍ أَوْ حُمَّةٍ. قَالَ: قَدْ أَحْسَنَ مَنِ انْتَهَى إِلى مَا سَمِعَ. وَلكِنْ حَدَّثَنَا ابنُ عَبَّاسٍ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ r أَنَّهُ قَالَ: (عُرِضَتْ عَلَيَّ الأُمَمُ، فَرَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ وَمَعَهُ الرَّهْطُ، والنَّبِيَّ وَمَعَهُ الرَّجُلُ وَالرَّجُلاَنِ، وَالنَّبِيَّ وَلَيْسَ مَعَهُ أَحَدٌ، إِذْ رُفِعَ لِي سَوَادٌ عَظِيمٌ، فَظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُمْ أُمَّتِي، فَقِيلَ لِي: هَذَا مُوسَى وَقَوْمُهُ، فَنَظَرْتُ فِإِذَا سَوَادٌ عَظِيمٌ، فَقِيلَ لِي: هَذِهِ أُمَّتُكَ وَمَعَهُمْ سَبْعُونَ أَلْفَاً يَدْخُلُونَ الجَنَّةَ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ وَلاَ عَذَابٍ) ثُمَّ نَهَضَ فَدَخَلَ مَنْزِلَهُ. فَخَاضَ النَّاسُ فِي أُولئِكَ، فَقالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: فَلَعَلَّهُمُ الَّذِينَ صَحِبُوا رَسُولَ اللهِ  r. وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: فَلَعَلَّهُمُ الَّذِينَ وُلِدُوا فِي الإِسْلاَمِ فَلَمْ يُشْرِكُوا باللهِ شَيْئَاً، وَذَكَرُوا أَشْيَاءَ، فَخَرَجَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَسُولُ اللهِ  r فَأَخْبَرُوهُ، فَقَالَ: (هُمُ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَسْتَرْقُونَ وَلاَ يَكْتَوونَ وَلاَ يَتَطَيَّرُونَ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ) فَقَامَ عُكَّاشَةُ بنُ مِحْصَنٍ فَقَالَ: ادْعُ اللهَ أَنْ يَجْعَلَنِي مِنْهُمْ. قَالَ: (أَنْتَ مِنْهُمْ) ثُمَّ قَامَ رَجُلٌ آَخَرُ فَقَالَ: ادْعُ اللهَ أَنْ يَجْعَلَنِي مِنْهُمْ. فَقَالَ: (سَبَقَكَ بِهَا عُكَّاشَةُ).

فِيهِ مَسائِلُ:

الأُولى: مَعْرِفَةُ مَرَاتِبِ النَّاسِ فِي التَّوْحِيدِ.

الثَّانِيَةُ: مَا مَعْنَى تَحْقِيقِهِ.

الثَّالِثَةُ: ثَنَاؤُهُ سُبْحَانَهُ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ بِكَوْنِهِ لَمْ يَكُ مِنَ المُشْرِكِينَ.

الرَّابِعَةُ: ثَنَاؤُهُ عَلَى سَادَاتِ الأَوْلِياءِ بِسَلاَمَتِهِمْ مِنَ الشِرْكِ.

الخَامِسَةُ: كَوْنُ تَرْكِ الرُّقْيَةِ وَالكَيِّ مِنْ تَحْقِيقِ التَّوْحِيدِ.

السَّادِسَةُ: كَوْنُ الجَامِعِ لِتِلْكَ الخِصَالِ هُوَ التَّوَكُّلُ.

السَّابِعَةُ: عُمْقُ عِلْمِ الصَّحَابَةِ لِمَعْرِفَتِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَنَالُوا ذَلِكَ إِلاَّ بِعَمَلٍ.

الثَّامِنَةُ: حِرْصُهُمْ عَلَى الخَيْرِ.

التَّاسِعَةُ: فَضِيْلَةُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ بِالْكَمِّيَّةِ وِالْكَيْفِيَّةِ.

العَاشِرَةُ: فَضِيْلَةُ أَصْحَابِ مُوسَى.

الحَادِيَةَ عَشْرَةَ: عَرْضُ الأُمَمِ عَلَيْهِ – عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاةُ وَالسَّلاَمُ.

الثَّانِيَةَ عَشْرَةَ: أَنَّ كُلَّ أُمَّةٍ تُحْشَرُ وَحْدَهَا مَعَ نَبِيِّهَا.

الثَّالِثَةَ عَشْرَةَ: قِلْةُ مَنِ اسْتَجَابَ لِلأَنْبِيَاءِ.

الرَّابِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: أَنَّ مَنْ لَمْ يُجِبْهُ أَحَدٌ يَأْتِي وَحْدَهُ.

الخَامِسَةَ عَشْرَةَ: ثَمَرَةُ هَذَا العِلْمِ، وَهُوَ عَدَمُ الاغْتِرَارِ بِالْكَثْرَةِ، وَعَدَمُ الزُّهْدِ فِي القِلَّةِ.

السَّادِسَةَ عَشْرَةَ: الرُّخْصَةُ فِي الرُّقْيَةِ مِنَ العَيْنِ والحُمَّةِ.

السَّابِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: عُمْقُ عِلْمِ السَّلَفِ لِقَوْلِهِ: ” قَدْ أَحْسَنَ مَنِ انْتَهَى إِلَى مَا سَمِعَ، وَلكِنْ كَذَا وَكَذَا “. فَعُلِمَ أَنَّ الحَدِيثَ الأَوَّلَ لا يُخَالِفُ الثَّانِيَ.

الثَّامِنَةَ عَشْرَةَ: بُعْدُ السَّلَفِ عَنْ مَدْحِ الإِنْسَانِ بِمَا لَيْسَ فِيهِ.

التَّاسِعَةَ عَشْرَةَ: قَوْلُهُ: (أَنْتَ مِنْهُمْ) عَلَمٌ مِنْ أَعْلاَمِ النُّبُوَّةِ.

العِشْرُونَ: فَضِيْلَةُ عُكَّاشَةَ.

الحَادِيَةَ وَالعِشْرونَ: اسْتِعْمَالُ المَعَارِيْضَ.

الثَّانِيَةُ وَالعِشْرونَ: حُسْنُ خُلُقِهِ r .

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(Chapter 3)

Whoever Practices Tauheed enters Paradise without Reckoning

Allah most Exalted said: “Abraham was indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allah, unswervingly true in faith, and he was not of those who joined partners with Allah.” [an-Nahl 16:120]

And Allah said: “And those who join not (in worship) partners with their Lord.” [al-Muminoon 23:59]

Husayn ibn  Abdur-Rahman reported: “Once when I was with Sa’eed ibn Jubayr he asked: ‘who saw the shooting star last night?’  I said: ‘I did.   I was not at prayer at the time, but I had been stung (by a scorpion or a similarly poisonous vermin ).  He said: ‘What did you do?’  I replied: ‘I used the spiritual means of prayer and recitation (ruqyah) to cure it.’  He said: ‘What compelled you to do that?’  I said: ‘A report I heard from Ash-Sha’abi.’  He said: ‘What did he report.’  I said: ‘He reported that Buraydah ibn al-Husayb said: (There is ) no ruqyah except for the treatment of “evil eye” (‘ain) and a poisonous bite or sting  (humah).  He said: ‘You have done well to act according to what you have heard (and to the extent of your knowledge).  However, Ibn ‘Abbaas informed us that the Prophet said: {All the nations were paraded in front of me, and I saw a prophet with a small group with him, and a prophet with two or three people, and a prophet with none.  Then there appeared a large multitude of people which I took to  be my nation (ummah).  Then it was said to me: “This is Musa and his people.  Then I looked and saw (another) huge multitude of people and it was said to me: “This is your nation, and among them are seventy thousand who will enter Paradise without reckoning or punishment}. The Prophet then got up and entered his quarters, and the people delved into discussion as to who they might be.  Some said: “Perhaps they are the companions of the Messenger of Allah”.  Others said: “Maybe they are those who were born in Islam and therefore have never committed shirk”.  Other things were also discussed.  Then the Messenger of Allah came out and it was mentioned to him (what they had been discussing), whereupon he said: {They are those who do not commit themselves for ruqyah, nor for cauterization, nor believe in evil omens, but depend on their Lord (putting full trust in Him)}.  ‘Ukashah ibn Mihson then rose up and said (to the Prophet: “Pray to Allah that I may be one of them”.  He said: {You are one of them}. Then another man stood up and said: “Pray to Allah that I (also) may be one of them”.  So the Prophet said: ‘Ukashah has beaten you to it.’”

Some issues in this chapter are:

1.      The peoples’ varying levels of Tauheed.

2.      Meaning of practicing Tauheed.

3.      Allah’s praise of Ibraaheem by describing him as “not of those who joined partners with Allah.”

4.      Allah’s praise of the great saints for their innocence from shirk.

5.      Tauheed implies avoidance of cauterization and ruqyah.

6.      That these characteristics are all comprehended in tawakkul, (trusting upon Allah).

7.      The deep wisdom of the companions’ conviction that such tawakkal  cannot exist without good deeds.

8.      The  companions’ concern for doing the good.

9.      The quantitative and qualitative excellence of this ummah.

10. The virtues of  Musa’s companions.

11. Parade of the nations in front of the Prophet.

12. Every people will come separately to the Judgment with its own prophet.

13. Scarcity of those who responded favorably to the prophets.

14. The prophet to whom nobody responded will come to the Judgment alone (without followers).

15. The moral of all these facts is that man should not be deluded by quantity, nor lose hope on account of scarcity.

16. Tolerance of ruqyah in cases of “evil eye” and sting.

17. Commendation by the Prophet of the companions’ knowledge, as per  the statement: “You have done well to act according to what you’ve heard (and to the extent of your knowledge)”.  That the two hadiths are not contradictory.

18. Reluctance of the salaf to praise falsely.

19. The Prophet’s judgment: “You are one of them”, as an evidence of prophecy.

20. The virtue of ‘Ukaashah.

21. Use of ambiguous speech.

22. The Prophet’s impeccable character

The author means here by “practising tauheed;” its fulfillment by purifying the sincere worship of Allah from all the contamination’s of associationism (shirk), or innovations (bid’ah), or disobedience (ma’asiyah).

Allah has characterized Ibraaheem (Abraham) by these (four) traits through which Ibraaheem realized the complete fulfillment of tauheed.

Ibraaheem was:

1. Ummah [1] a model, leader, and one who teaches goodness (in all things).  He  achieved this high status by his perfect practice of patience and conviction, the two traits by which one attains leadership in the religion (of Islam).[2]

2. Qaani’: Devoutly obedient to Allah.  Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:  The (Arabic root) qunoot means continual obedience.  If someone is performing prayer (salah) and prolongs his standing, bowing and prostration (with sincere devotion), then he is qaan’i. As Allah said: [Is he the one who worship devoutly during the hours of the night prostrating himself or standing (in adoration) who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his trust in the Mercy of His Lord…](az-Zumar 39:9).

3. Haneef: [3] Unswervingly true in faith.  Ibn al-Qayyim said: the haneef is the one who turns towards Allah and away from everything else.

4.  He was not of the mushrikeen: of those who joined partners with Allah and associated others with Him.  That is, he was never of the mushrikeen by the fact of the purity of his sincerity, the superbly complete  nature of his truthfulness, and the distance from which he placed between himself and (all forms of) shirk.

Ibraaheem`s steadfast perfection  becomes even more clear by the study of other verses in his regard.  Allah said: [There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him when they said to their people: ‘We are clear of you and of whatever you worship besides Allah; we have rejected you, and there has arisen between us and you hostility and hatred forever – unless you believe in Allah and Him alone; but not when Abraham said to his father: ‘I will pray for forgiveness to you, although I have no power (to get) aught on your behalf from Allah] (al-Mumtahinah 60:4). Ibn Jareer (at-Tabari) says: “and those with him, meaning those in his religion of his brethren, the prophets and messengers.” [4]

Allah also said explaining what Ibraaheem said to his father, Aazar:  [And I will turn away from you (all) and from those whom you invoke besides Allah.  I will call on my Lord.  Perhaps by my prayer to my Lord, I shall not be unblest.  When he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, we bestowed on him Isaac (Ishaaq) and Jacob (Ya’aqoob), and each of them we made a prophet] (Maryam 19:48-49).  So this is the practice of tawheed: it includes clearing oneself from shirk and those who practice it; isolating oneself from them (entirely); renouncing them and their belief; having (open) hostility with them; and hating them.  From Allah (alone) does a believer seek aid (against the mushrikeen and their evil deeds).

Sulaiman ibn Abdul-Aziz, may Allah have His Mercy on him, commented on this verse saying: “[Ibraaheem was a model]; He who treads the path (of tawheed) should bear in mind the example of Ibraaheem so that he will not become lonely and distressed by the small number of those who trek (with him).   [Devoutly obedient to Allah]; and not (subservient) to the kings and wealthy merchants.  [Unswervingly true in faith]; and not swerving right or left like those ‘ulama (Islamic scholars) who have fallen into temptation.  [And he was not of those who joined partners with Allah]; in contrast to the majority of people even if they may claim to be Muslims”.

Ibn Abi Haatim reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) said concerning the words [Abraham was indeed a model]: “He was on the religion of Islam and no one was on the religion of Islam in his time except him”.  There is no contradiction between this saying and the previous explanations.  [5]

And Allah said: “And those who join not (in worship) partners with their Lord.” [al-Muminoon 23:59]

Allah has characterized His servants who are foremost in hastening (to the deeds which lead) to Paradise with various characteristics the greatest of which is that they do not associate ought  with their Lord (in belief or practice).

Since it may happen that a believer is subject to (the temptation of) the greater and lesser forms of shirk which diminish (the sincerity of) his Islam, Allah negates the possibility that this is the case with them.  This is the fulfillment and realization of tawheed which (compels them to) good and perfect action which is a benefit to them.

Husayn ibn  Abdur-Rahman reported: “Once when I was with Sa’eed ibn Jubayr he asked: ‘who saw the shooting star last night?’  I said: ‘I did.   I was not at prayer at the time, but I had been stung (by a scorpion or a similarly poisonous vermin ).  He said: ‘What did you do?’  I replied: ‘I used the spiritual means of prayer and recitation (ruqyah) to cure it.’  He said: ‘What compelled you to do that?’  I said: ‘A report I heard from Ash-Sha’abi.’  He said: ‘What did he report.’  I said: ‘He reported that Buraydah ibn al-Husayb said: (There is ) no ruqyah except for the treatment of “evil eye” (‘ain) and a poisonous bite or sting  (humah).  He said: ‘You have done well to act according to what you have heard (and to the extent of your knowledge).  However, Ibn ‘Abbaas informed us that the Prophet said: {All the nations were paraded in front of me, and I saw a prophet with a small group with him, and a prophet with two or three people, and a prophet with none.  Then there appeared a large multitude of people which I took to  be my nation (ummah).  Then it was said to me: “This is Musa and his people.  Then I looked and saw (another) huge multitude of people and it was said to me: “This is your nation, and among them are seventy thousand who will enter Paradise without reckoning or punishment}. The Prophet then got up and entered his quarters, and the people delved into discussion as to who they might be.  Some said: “Perhaps they are the companions of the Messenger of Allah”.  Others said: “Maybe they are those who were born in Islam and therefore have never committed shirk”.  Other things were also discussed.  Then the Messenger of Allah came out and it was mentioned to him (what they had been discussing), whereupon he said: {They are those who do not commit themselves for ruqyah, nor for cauterization, nor believe in evil omens, but depend on their Lord (putting full trust in Him)}.  ‘Ukashah ibn Mihson then rose up and said (to the Prophet: “Pray to Allah that I may be one of them”.  He said: {You are one of them}. Then another man stood up and said: “Pray to Allah that I (also) may be one of them”.  So the Prophet said: ‘Ukashah has beaten you to it.’”

This is how the author has conveyed this tradition without specifying that it has been reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim (this specific rendition being his version), at-Tirmidhi, and an-Nisaai.

“I was not at prayer at the time”: Husayn did not want those present to think he was at prayer, which shows the goodness of the predecessors and their desire to be sincere and stay away from all kinds of hypocrisy by pretending to do what they haven’t.

“(There is)no ruqyah except for the treatment of “evil eye” and “ and  a poisonous bite or sting”: This tradition has been reported by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah, who attributed it to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and also by Ahmad, Abu Dawood and at-Tirmidhi on the authority of ‘Umraan ibn Husayn, who attributed it to the Prophet.  ‘Ain is when one is bestriken by someone’s evil eye (in spiteful, venomous  jealousy).  Humah is the poison of the scorpion or similar pests.[6] Al-Khattaabi said: “This tradition means that there is no ruqyah which is better at curing and more appropriate than the ruqyah used against the evil-eye and poisonous stings”.  The Prophet himself used to recite ruqyah and have it read upon him.

“You have done well to act according to (your knowledge and) what you have heard”: This means that the one who adheres to the information and knowledge he is able to attain has done well, in contrast to the one who acts on ignorance, or even worst, one who doesn’t even act on his knowledge and thereby is a no good sinner.  This shows the superior knowledge and good manners of the predecessors (as-salaf as-saalih).

{Without reckoning or punishment}: That is, because they are the ones who have practiced tawheed to its fulfillment.  In another version of this tradition reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim it is added: {Their faces will be shining like a full moon}, and in another version reported by Ahmad and al-Baihaqi – which al-Haafiz ibn Hajar declared as better than hasan – it is added: {Then I asked my Lord to increase their numbers so He multiplied with every thousand of them seventy thousand more}.

“The people delved into discussion as to who they might be”:  This shows that debate and discussion about the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah (of which the Islamic Law (shariah) is based) is permissible on the condition that the purpose is beneficial erudition and the manifestation of truth.  This also demonstrates the virtues of the companions (sahaabah) in their desire to understand properly what the Prophet has informed them so that they may practice according to that proper understanding.  Moreover, it shows that it is permissible to exercise independent reasoning (ijtihaad) even though one does possess (demosrative) proofs; by the fact that  the companions here expressed their opinions in the matter and the Prophet did not reproach them. Nevertheless it is not permissible for one exercising independent reasoning to claim with certainty that his position is the correct one if he has no conclusive proofs, but rather he must say: “maybe the correct opinion is such and such” as the companions did in this tradition.

{They are those who do not commit themselves for ruqyah}: This is the confirmed text as it is reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim, and also as Imam Ahmad reports on the authority of Ibn Mas’ood.  In another version reported by Muslim the text appears: {who don’t recite ruqyah}Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: ” ‎This version is a mistake committed by one of the narrators (in the chain) and not the words of the Prophet.  (It cannot be his words since) he said in another tradition when asked about ruqyah: {Whoever can benefit his brother should do so}[7].  He also said: {It is all right to do ruqyah as long as it doesn’t involve shirk}[8].  And over and above (these traditions) the arch-angel Jibreel recited ruqyah on the Prophet, and the Prophet himself (in actual practice) recited ruqyah on his companions.[9] Ibn Taymiyyah also said : “The difference between committing oneself for ruqyah and reciting ruqyah on others is that the one who commits himself is beseeching begging, and heedful with his heart  and mind to someone other than Allah, whereas the one reciting ruqyah is doing a good deed (to his brother to benefit him).  The intention here is to characterize these seventy thousand as those who depend (totally) on Allah and put their trust in Him and thus do not ask anyone else to recite ruqyah on them or to cauterize them”.  Ibn al-Qayyim has made a  similar statement to what we have quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah

{Nor for *******************************

—– that the Prophet, Allah’s peace be upon him’   sent a doctor to “Ubay ibn Ka’ab who cauterized him.  And in another tradition reported by al-Bukhari on Anas ibn Maalik, he cauterized himself for the disease dhaat al-janb[10] during the Prophet’s life time.  At-Tirmidhi and others have reported on Anas that the Prophet cauterized As’ad ibn Zuraarah for shaukah[11].

Al-Bukhari has reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas related that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: {Cure is in three (things): drinking honey, the flow of blood from cupping, and cauterization, but I prohibit my Nation from cauterization}.  And in a narration of the same tradition: {But I don’t like cauterization}[12].

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: ” ‎The traditions about cauterization are of four categories: the first showing that the Prophet himself performed it; the second showing that he didn’t like it; the third showing that he praised those who left it; and the forth showing that he prohibited it.  And yet there is no contradiction between these traditions, Allah be praised (and exalted from what the ignorant say). His actual practice of cauterization shows that it is permissible generally.  His not loving it doesn’t prove that it is forbidden.  His praise for those who left it shows that abstaining is better and more appropriate.  As for his prohibition of it, this shows that it is prohibited by way of preference (rather than obligation), and that it is considered repugnant and reprehensible.”

{Nor believe in evil-omens}: This means that they are not superstitious by believing that certain birds or signs are unlucky and evil omens.  This will be dealt with later in the chapter (28) on tattayyur – Ascertaining of Evil Omens.

{But depend on their Lord putting full trust in Him}: This  designates the foundation upon which these actions are based and the source from which they proceed: trust and reliance on Allah, seeking sincere refuge in Him, (total) dependence of the heart upon Him.  This is the utmost fulfillment of tawheed which yields the fruits of all its distinguished stations: love of Allah, fear and awe of Him, hope for Him, contentment and delight with Allah as one’s Lord and God, and satisfaction with what He has decreed as one’s fated lot.

It is to be understood that this tradition in no manner shows that one should not apply practically the means of cause and effect, since in general such practicality is a natural  necessary from  which no one can escape.  Trusting in Allah is one of the greatest of causes (which affects the greatest and best results), as Allah most exalted said: [And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him] (at-Talaaq 65:3), meaning He will meet and suffice all his needs.  The moral  here in this tradition is that these people leave the reprehensible things trusting in Allah even though they have some need for them, for instance, seeking ruqyah and cauterization.  This is all more the case of the sick ailing patient who, by nature,  clings to whatever he believes he can be healed by.

It is not reprehensible (makrooh) to seek medical treatment, nor does it detract from ones’ trust of Allah; thus there is no Islamic legislation prescribing one to refrain from medical treatment as is evidenced by the tradition reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: {Allah has not sent down any disease but that He has also sent down its cure; he who  knows it has knowledge,  and he who is ignorant of it is ignorant}.

And it has been reported by Ahmad on the authority of Usaamah ibn Shuraik who said: {I was with the Prophet when some Bedouins came and said: “O Messenger of Allah, should we treat ourselves medically (if we are sick)?”  He said: Yes (certainly)! O servants of Allah, seek medical treatment (when in need), for verily Allah the Almighty and Majestic has not originated any disease but has made a cure for it, except for one disease. They asked: “And what is that?”  He said: Old age.[13]

Ibn al-Qayyim said: “These traditions contain the affirmation of causality and the refutation of whoever attempts to negate it, over and above containing the command to seek medical treatment (when in need) and showing that it does not detract from one’s trust in Allah, just as taking proper measures to repel hunger and thirst and guard against extreme cold and heat doesn’t detract from one’s trust in Allah.  Actually tawheed is not completely fulfilled except by practically applying the causes which bring about their intrinsic results in conformance with Allah’s natural and religious laws.   Whoever leaves their application and believes them ineffective has not only detracted from his trust in Allah but reproached Allah’s Order and Wisdom, and has actually made his trust weaker, whereas he (mistakenly) supposed he was making it stronger by abandoning their application.  Abandoning causality is feebleness and impotency which contradicts  true trust in Allah by depending wholeheartedly on Allah to fulfill one’s needs and repel what harms in the affairs of this world and in religion.  Trust in Allah requisites applying the laws of causality otherwise one would become of those who deny Allah’s Law and Wisdom.  It is incumbent not to make weakness trust nor trust weakness.

The ‘Ulama (Islamic scholars and jurists) have varied in their legal opinions about seeking medical treatment: is it permissible, (Mubah), or is leaving it preferable (afdal), or is it recommendable and appreciated (mustahib), or obligatory (waajib).  The well known  legal judgment of Imam Ahmad is of the first opinion, whereas the established opinion of the followers of Imam Ash-Shaafa’i is of the second even to the point where An-Nawawi has claimed that this is the opinion of Imam Ash-Shaafa’i himself and the majority of the predecessors and those who have come after them.  Al-Wazeer Abu-l-Muzaffar chose this decision and said that Imam Abu Hanifa’s opinion came close to obligation whereas Imam Maalik’s opinion is that it is all right to do it or leave it, both of them being the same (i.e. it is permissible without one or the other being preferred).  Ibn Taymiyyah said (on this subject): “It is not obligatory according to the majority of the leading jurists and only a few followers of Imam Ahmad and Imam Ash-Shaafa’i have made it obligatory”.

“Then another man stood up and said…”: The name of this man has not been specified so there is no need to inquire about him.  The important thing to notice here is that apparently the Prophet did not want those present to start asking for the same distinction  until eventually  someone who is not worthy asks; thus he replied in this polite and courteous manner to cut it all short without getting into details, which shows his implacably good manners and the use of  ambiguous speech (i.e. where one can use words which imply a meaning and yet intend another thus escaping a distressful situation without lying).


[1] Ummah can take various meanings according to the context.  Here model and leader is more appropriate.   In some other verses, nation or people or community better fits the context.

[2] Reference is made here to what Allah said: [And we made from among them leaders, giving guidance by Our Command, when they persevered with patience, and used to believe with certainty in our Signs](al-Sajdah 32:24).

[3] The root (hanafa) linguistically means to incline and bend, hence haneef is the one who constantly turns away from falsehood and shirk towards truth and tawheed.

[4] Only Ibraaheem’s cousin Loot (Lot) (may Allah bless both of them) rejected along with Ibraaheem the false worship of his people and migrated from his homeland for the sake of Allah.  After Ibraaheem all the prophets and messengers are of his descendants.

[5] The word ummah has many shades of meanings, and Ibn ‘Abbaas is implying that Ibraaheem was an entire nation in and of himself, which in no way is incompatible with him being a model and leader and teacher of those who came after him.

[6] Humah should be distinguish from hummah, severe fever.

[7] Reported by Muslim, Ibn Majah and Imam Ahmad.

[8] Reported by Muslim and Abu Dawood.

[9] Al-Bukhari and others report that Jibraeel recited ruqyah on the Prophet to remove the superficial effects of the sorcery that a certain malicious Jew, Labeed ibn ‘Aasim, had applied on him.  The Prophet taught the sahaabah various forms of ruqyah as is evidenced in numerous traditions.

[10] A type of internal abscess and tumor which is often fatal, possibly tuberculosis.

[11] A disease causing severe rash.

[12] It is not meant that cure is exclusively in these three treatments, but that these are known to cure certain ailments.

[13] This sound tradition has also been reported by Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa`e, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibbaan, al-Haakim and others.

4 Responses to Fath al Majeed (Kitab at-Tauheed)

  1. toto says:

    I think you got talent in writing articles. Waiting for more posts

  2. Bouleris says:

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  3. Geibig says:

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  4. Abdullaah says:

    As salaamu alaykum wa rahmaatullaah, in shaa Allaah have you completed the translating of fath ul majeed? Maa shaa Allaah i love this book, i was able by Allaah’s bounty and mercy to sit in the reading of the book with the imaam of washington,dc. at that time akhee aqil ingram hafidhahullaah. I say the imaam because he was the only salafee imaam in the city at that time, and Allaah knows best. If you know of a good english translation of the book in book form please inform me of it. Baraak Allaahu feekum. Wa alaykas salaam wa rahmaatullaahi wa baraakatu

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