Is Rububiyyah alone sufficient for a person to be Muslim?
No! Christians say they believe in one God as do Jews, and believe it or not even Hindus. In other words, they all claim that there is one ultimate God in the end. The Greek had many gods, but Zeus was the ultimate and supreme god (the rest were/are subservient); and the Hindus are polytheistic, but they believe in the God of gods who is Brahma. So, even Hindus have some concept of monotheism. The truth of the matter is that there is really no religion that actually says that there are mutliple supreme gods.
Islam requires more than the belief in one God:
Take for instance the case of the people of Quraysh as an example, they believed in one God as well yet they are criticized in the Qur’an. Why would Allah (SWT) send a messenger to the people who already believed in one God? Because it is not sufficient, for they used to go through channels, mediators etc. to get through to God. They believed that they needed a guide, not to teach them, but who has powers that they attribute to them [such as magic, knowledge of the unseen] whom they can take as a middle-man/mediator/channel to God. As Muslims, we believe that turning to any individual to ask them for ones needs, even if you believe it/he is asking Allah on your behalf–is shirk. So, in summary believing in your Lord as Allah is not sufficient to be Muslim, that is just a prerequisite.So, Quraysh weren’t Muslim.
Why does the Qur’an call them ‘Kufar’ and ‘Mushrikeen’ [Pagan]?
Because they directed their acts of worship to other than to Allah (SWT). So, when modern Muslims say we are going through saints to get to Allah (barakah, shafa’a and waseela), the are confused to know that they aren’t Muslim. They say, “We are just going through the sheikh to get to Allah.” We say to them, “If this is the way you think, then your mindset is the exact same as that of Abu jahl.”
If you are engaging in a dialog, don’t quote a teacher or institute, but quote Allah (SWT) and memorize the evidences. Your opponent can’t respond unless he has another verse. So this is how you respond:
1. With clear and explicit verses from the Qur’an: The first series of verses confirms that Quraysh affirms Allah as their Lord, for instance, Allah (SWT) quotes the Jahili Arabs in Surat Al Ankaboo1 ayahs 61-63, “And if you were to ask them who created the heavens and the earth and who subjugated the heavens and the earth and how were they deluded?”
In Surat Al Zukhruf, 87, “And if you were to ask them, who created them, they would say Allah”
In Surat Al Mu’minoon 84-89, ” Ask them in whose dominion, control is everything. and who is the one whom you need to turn to in protection and no one can protect you against them. ” “Say, who is the lord of the seven heavens adn the great throne. . . “
2. Verses that affirm that Quraysh does believe in Allah, yet their faith is useless. It is not accepted: these are the verses that show that the Jahiliyyah Arabs believed in Allah (SWT) yet committed Shirk.Consider for instance in Surat Yusuf ayah 106, “And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (other as partners) with Him!” Believing in Allah (SWT) means that you do not commit shirk; it means that your Tawheed has to be 100%, it cannot be 99%. Allah (SWT) is affirming an Eman for Quraysh, but a useless one at that because they committed shirk.
4.This point is crucial. So, if Abu jahl believed in Allah as a Rab, as did Abu Sufyan and Abu Talib, why did they turn to rocks and stones to get to Him? What was their excuse? Qur’an tells us their exact mindset. They said that Allah (SWT) was too Holy, Magnificent, and Grandiose to approach Him directly, so we needed a go-between to get to the ultimate goal–Allah (SWT). So realize that back then, when Abu jahl or a Hindu today bows down to the idol he does not believe that it created him. Rather their ideology or philosophy is that it is an intermediary. They believe they are too sinful, too insignificant to stand before Allah. So, to get to the absolute God they have to go through a person/idol that has a high rank with God. [A classic example is that of a president. He seems unattainable, so people get to him through their local congressman to petition to them. Similarly, a king is too holy you need to get to him through his ministers].
The Qur’an came to tell us no, do it directly in Surat Yunus ayah 18 “They serve, besides Allah, things that hurt them not nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allah.’ Say: ‘Do ye indeed inform Allah of something He knows not, in the heavens or on earth?- Glory to Him! and far is He above the partners they ascribe (to Him)!'”So in the light of what we have said, Quraysh does not want to worship Al Laat and Al Uzza, and Mystical groups do nor worship their dead or their shuyookh, they are just using them to get to Allah. In Surat Al Zumur ayah verse 3 Allah (SWT) says,”Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say): ‘We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah.’ Truly Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But Allah guides not such as are false and ungrateful.” So, the ultimate goal is not the middle man–but it is to get through the middle man to the final destination– Allah (SWT).
4. The fact that the Qur’an mentions that Quraysh would turn to Allah (SWT) in times of distress: There are many verses in the Qur’a that affirm this. Consider Surat Luqman ayah 32:
“When a wave covers them like the canopy (of clouds), they call to Allah, offering Him sincere devotion. But when He has delivered them safely to land, there are among them those that halt between (right and wrong). But none reject Our Signs except only a perfidious ungrateful (wretch)! “
And in Surat Al Ankaboot ayah 65: “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)! “
When in distress, or helplessness they call out to Allah sincerely and when they are relieved of their distress they go back to their old ways. There is a beautiful story in the history of Islam of Ikrima ibn Abi Jahl, one of the worst enemies of Islam and his father was nicknamed the Pharaoh of this Ummah. If anything, this story teaches us to never lose hope of anyone being guided to Islam. For full story of his Islam click here. But in brief, when the Prophet (saw) entered Makkah, he gave general amnesty except for a handful who deserved execution for transgressing all limits. Ikrimah was included among the handful. As a result he fled because as it was he could not live under the new administration. He sails off but the ship is about to drown, the captain of the ship says that there only hope is to call to Allah (SWT). The statement lit the light bulb in Ikrimah’s head. If Allah was the only one who could benefit him and his shipmates now, then why should they worship an idol on earth. So he promised Allah that if he was saved he would accept islam and go to the Prophet. He also added a dua in which he asked Allah (SWT) that the Prophet (saw) be merciful in his reception of Ikrima. Still in fear, he wore a turban to disguise himself, and went into the camp of the Muslim and was received by the Prophet (saw). Later on, two decades to be exact, he died a martyr in the battle with the Romans. Consider also, the Islam of Umar Ibn Al Khattab. See entry Verses of Change.
5. Allah (SWT) tells us the reason why Quraysh rejected Islam: It was not because the Prophet was coming with a new god, a new deity. Rather they rejected unifying Allah (SWT) in worship. Rejection worshiping Allah alone . As already been discussed, he was not coming to them with a new god, but rather to tell them to stop worshiping other gods besides Allah. In Surat Al Safaat verse 35-37, “For they, when they were told that there is no god except Allah, would puff themselves up with Pride, And say: ‘What! shall we give up our gods for the sake of a Poet possessed? ‘Nay! he has come with the (very) Truth, and he confirms (the Message of) the messengers (before him).”
They were asked to lose their prized connections to Allah (SWT). They understood what it meant to say La Illah Ila Allah. In Surat Saad ayahs 3-6 “How many generations before them did We destroy? In the end they cried (for mercy)- when there was no longer time for being saved!So they wonder that a Warner has come to them from among themselves! and the Unbelievers say, “This is a sorcerer telling lies! ‘Has he made the gods (all) into one Allah? Truly this is a wonderful thing!’ And the leader among them go away (impatiently), (saying), “Walk ye away, and remain constant to your gods! For this is truly a thing designed (against you)!”
6. The Jahiliyyah Arabs had a Talbiyyah during Hajj: They performed Hajj? Yes, they did. They took it from Ibrhim (as) but it was slightly modified. They had a different version of the Talbiyyah as we have it now. They added to our Talibiyyah, ” Ila Shareekan Huwa Lak Tamlikahu Wa Ma Malak.” [You have no partner except one that belongs to you, and you control him and you control what he owns]
Note: that when you are in dialog with people who worship saints, or are in mystical groups realize that their psychology is exactly the same as Quraysh.
Now another question arises: why does the Qur’an affirm the Rububiyyah of Quraysh? Or in other words, why is it important for the Qur’an to affirm that Quraysh believe in a Rabb?
So as to tell them that the logical consequence of belief in Rububiiyyah necessitates Uluhiyyah. It is only logical that if you affirm that there is one god, then he is the one that you should turn to directly for all your needs. Thatt is what the kalimah directly says, ” La Illaha Ila Allah.”
The Kalimah (La Illaha Ila Allah)
What does mean? What does it imply? What are its blessings?
It is the essence of Tawheed. t is the gist and basis of our religion. It is the reason why the creation was created; why messengers were sent and books were revealed. for this reason mankind has been divided into Muslim and Kafer; that there is heaven and hell-fire. It is what is needed to be publicly proclaimed by a person to accept Islam.That is why when a Muslim child is born, we call the Adhan in his right ear. It is also the goal of every Muslim that it be the last phrase that he utters as the hadith in Abu Dawud says, “Whoever breathes his last with the words: La ilaha illallah, enters Paradise.”
It is so powerful, that is heavier than any other phrase in the scale (hadith of the card mentioned in 2nd day of notes). It is the best phrase that all the prophets have ever uttered “The very best phrase that I have ever said and all the prophets before is ‘Ashhadu an La Illah Ila Allah wahdahu la Shreek lah, Lahu al Mulk wa Lahu al Hamd wa Huwa ala Kulee Shay’en Qadeer.'” And another hadith in which the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “There are over 70 branches of faith. The highest is to bear witness that There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (la ilaha illallahu muhammadur rasulullah). The lowest is the removal of harm from the road. Modesty is also of faith.”
The question arises: what is exactly the meaning of this kalimah [la illah ila Allah] and how do we understand it?
First, how many words are in the Kalimah? 4 words.
How many letters? Three different letters: Ali, Laam and Ha. Clearly by looking at the Kalimah, the term “Illah” is the key term. Ibn Abbas said, “An Illah is one whom everyone turns to for help and worships. It is an object that is worshipped”
Al Asfahani says, “It is a name given to every object that is worshipped.”
Ibn Mandhoor, “Any object taken to be worshipped, is an Illah”
So, by consensus ‘Illah’ is one who is worshipped.
So if we look at the Kalimah now in the light of the definitions provided is it complete?
La [meaning ‘no’]
Illaha [being who is to be worshipped]
Is the kalimah complete as “There is no being who is be worshipped except Allah”?
The word “la” in Arabic requires two actors– so, the noun of the “la” needs a subject also to derive the concept to negate. So, in English [not in Arabic there is a missing phrase, which in Arabic is already implied/assumed and understood from the context] there is a missing PHRASE in the Kailmah–there is no need to mention something that is already understood. Missing description– it is assumed from the context. The missing “khabar” [subject] is “Bihaq” which means “worthy of.”
[This called in in Arabic grammar La Al Nafiyyah Laljins–sorry the source is in Arabic, if you find one in English to explain the concept please provide it in a comment to the entry]
So the “Kalimah” in English is:
There is no deity worthy of worship except for [or other than] Allah.
How many parts can the Kalimah be divided into?
The Kalimah can be divided into two halves, in other words it is composed of two halves:
1) The first part is a negation “La Illaha.”
2) The second is “Ila Allah” is an affirmation.
So, it consists of both a negation and affirmation; you wipe out with the negation, you start a clean slate [isn’t that what the “Shahadha” does to a person when they first take it]
Another example is when we say in Arabic: No one is smart in this room except for . . . [this is unconditional negation in which we have completely given exclusively given the trait/characteristic to one person] It is the highest form of praise–because we have given exclusivity and the height/highest praise.
Saying the “Kalimah” is the crux of our religion; it is the basis; the foundation; key to Jannah.
What does saying the “Kalimah” mean? If we ask someone to repeat it after us, does that make them automatically a Muslim?
There is more to the “Kalimah” than verbalizing it. There are conditions of the “Kalimah.” Someone asked Wahab ibn Munnabih (d. 110) “‘Is not La Illaha Illa Allah the key to Jannah?’ ‘Yes, but every key has ridges, so if you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will be opened for you, otherwise it will not.'” So, the” Kalimah” has to meet the conditions [understanding what it implies and acting upon it]:
1) Knowledge of the “Kalimah” (vs. Ignorance): If you do not have knowledge [‘ ilm] of the “Kalimah”, in other words they are just words to you with no meaning. So, one of the requirements is that you have knowledge of what the “Kalimah” means.
2) Is certain about the “Kalimah”: That he knows the meaning of the :Kalimah” but he is not certain about it. Certainty [Yaqeen] is another requirement.
3) Accepting the “Kalimah”: The Pharaoh, Hercules, Abu Jahl and Abu Talib knew it to be true. Pharoah knew he was not god, he knew Musa (as) came with the truth, but he was too arrogant; same thing with Hercules who knew it was the truth but he was greedy etc. So, “Qubool” [accepting] is another requirement as opposed to rejecting it.
4) Not only must you accept it, you must OBEY the implications of the “Kalimah”: Submitting is done by the body (accepting is done wtih the heart)– “inquiyaad”. That we have a firm belief in Sunni Islam; that we say the “Kalimah” but does none of the forms of worship, person is not a Muslim–he is a “Faseq.” Such as never once praying, or fasting. The body has to conform to the heart.
5) Be truthful to the “Kalimah” ( Al-Sidq): you are not lying.
6) To say it for the sake of Allah with Ikhlas [sincerity], without any shirk involved: i.e not for the people or for “Nifaaq”–so sincerity, Al Ikhlas.
7) Loving it, and its people, and hating those who oppsote it (vs. hating its people): Loving and hating for the sake of the “Kalimah” — Al Mahabah.
Concept of Ibadah [worship]:
We have said that the Kalimah translates as: “There is no deity that is worthy of being worshipped other than Allah.” So, we now have to clarify what worship means? Why? Because once we have defined it, then can we only give it to Allah. Worship is a psychological state and a set/series of actions/rituals. Two perspectives:
1) Psychological frame of mind: Ibn Katheer defines worship, or ‘ibada’ as: ” . . . a state which combines, the perfection of love, submission and fear.” Think of these three emotions:
Think of love, who do you love? Your spouse, children etc. The other emotions–in this case, submission and fear– are not applicable. If you think of something that you fear, the law for instance. You fear it and submit to it but you don’t necessarily love it. So, in these examples as in many other examples, these three emotions are independent of one another But as for ‘Ibahdah,’ these three emotions are combined; all three are simultaneously combined and perfected to the maximum. Ibadah humbles you, you love the being you worship and you submit to the being and you fear the being as well.
2) Rituals of ‘Ibadah’: Referes to the things you need to do, in order to worship Allah (SWT). Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Ibahad is a comprehensive term that encompasses all apparent and hidden acts and statatments thaqt are beloved to Allah.” So for instance, to say the ‘adhan’ [call to prayer], to say the ‘Kalimah,’ to pray, fast, show mercy to the poor etc. That actions that we do as people can be divided into two categories:
i) Rituals: something you do to follow a particular reilgion, so it’s religion specific (for instance, Christians sing hyms, Jews light candles etc. ). For Allah (SWT) to accept them there are two conditions that must be met:
a) Sincerity [IKHALAS]: The opposite of it is Shirk (major and minor), i.e which means that if you do something insincerely then the action will not be accepted. If it was directed to other than Allah (SWT), such as a human being etc. Narrated ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khtaab: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying, “Deeds [their correctness and rewards) depend upon intentions, and every person gets but what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits, or for a woman to marry, his emigration is for what he emigrated for.” (Sahih-ul-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1). Similary, if you do an action for the people and also for Allah (it is considered minor shirk, which is a type of ‘Shirk’) Allah does not want you to taint your intention [Niyah]. Another form of insincerity in intentions is doing it to show off in front of others.
b) Conformity to the Sunnah: You are not allowed to invent rituals, or ways to come closer to Allah (SWT). You take them from the Sunnah, such as changing the number of Rakaa’s’ for instance. If you do so then you have fallen into bid’a (innovation). You are deforming the Shariah!
Note!!! Bida’a can only occur in rituals, i.e. how you pray, how you fast, how you come closer to Allah (SWT), and they have to conform to the Shariah and Sunnah. Hadith of A’isha (raa) who said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e. Islam] which is not a part of it, will have it rejected.” That is exactly what our ‘Kalimah’ is, first part is sincerity and the second is conformity.
ii) Natural Actions: These are actions we do because we are human, such as eating, drinking, marrying, procreating,. They are independent of religion. The general rule is, natural actions require neither sincerity nor conformity. If you eat because you are are hungry,going to sleep because you are tired you have not committed Shirk. To direct a natural action to other than Allah (SWT) is not Shirk. It is not necessary to be conscious of Allah (SWT)), to do it for the sake of Allah (SWT). The beauty of our faith [deen] is that you can convert a natural action into a religious one, and to do only one condition is required and that is sincerity [ikhlas].
The Messenger of Allah (saw.) said: “To smile in the company of your brother is charity. To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is charity. To guide a person in a place where he can not get astray is charity. To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is charity. To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is charity. To guide a person with defective vision is charity for you.” (Bukhari)
All of these are natural, but can be converted into religious acts. Take for instance, going shopping to serve your wife’s needs, everyone does it. But to go with the intention [Niyah] to please Allah (SWT) it becomes a religion act even though you have done it with a natural inclination. Another example is going to work starting with Bismillah. At this level every action becomes one of worship, you have reached the level of Ihsan [meaning that you have reached that level that even if you do not see Alalh (SWT) you are aware that Allah (SWT) sees you]. Muhsin, is a true Muslim who has perfected his faith.
It is related that Salman(raa) once visited Abu Darda’ (raa), and he found his wife in a miserable state. So he asked her, “What is the matter with you?” She replied, “Your brother has not need of anything in this world.” When Abu Darda’ (raa)came, he welcome Salamn (raa) and gave him food. Salman (raa) told him to eat but Abu Darda’ said, “I am fasting.” To which Salman said, “I swear to you that I shall not eat until you eat also.” Salman (raa) spent the night there as well. During the night, Abu Darda’ (raa) got up but Salman (raa) got hold of him and said, “O Abu Darda’, your Lord has a right over you. Your family has a right over you and your body has the right over you. Give to each its due.” In the morning, they prayed together and then went to the meet the Prophet (raa. The Prophet (saw) supported Salman (raa) in what he had said. “
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.58 Narrated by Abu Burda:
Abu Musa said, “. . . Abu Musa added, then we discussed the night prayers and one of us said, ‘I pray and sleep, and I hope that Allah will reward me for my sleep as well as for my prayers.'” For a related lecture please see Sh. Yasir Qadhi’s The Journey of Worshipt Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
Ibadah has three pillars [ 3 motivational factors to worship Allah (SWT)]:
We worship Allah (SWT) because we love Him, we are afraid/scared of His anger, and we hope for His mercy and pleasure. These are the three emotional pillars our Ibadah is based on. We will dicuss each and every one of them, and include the evidences and conditions for them:
1) Al Baqara ayah 165, “Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): They love them as they should love Allah. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the penalty: that to Allah belongs all power, and Allah will strongly enforce the penalty.”
Loving Allah (SWT) is the sign of believing in Him. Remember the famous hadith by Anas bin Malik (raa) reported: The Prophet (saw) said,“There are three qualities whoever has them, will taste the sweetness of Iman: To love Allah and His Messenger (saw) more than anyone else; to love a slave (of Allah) only for (the sake of) Allah; and to abhor returning to infidelity after Allah has saved him from it as he would abhor to be thrown into the fire (of Hell)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Love is of many types:
a) Love of the Divine [Hubb Illah]: We love sthing like a god, the divinity. This love must be exclusively for Allah (SWT) and hence servitude must be unique to Allah (SWT). It is not shared by anyone or anything.
b) Love for the sake of the Divine: We love some being because Allah (swt) asked us to, because it brings us closer to the Divine. The highest is the Prophet/s, angels, pious people, the Qur’an, good deeds. The first two are religious loves that we are required to love. Note that we have put the love for the Prophet (saw) i a different category than Allah (SWT), unlike Christians.
3) Natural love [hubb]: Is love that we humans naturally have and is of many types. As a human we love many things: money, spouse, parents, children, etc. But those who have ‘Ihsan’ can convert natural love into love for the Divine. Eg. it is human nature to love parents, but the Muslim, Mu’mins, Muhsin uses his love for the Divine to dedicate service to parents. That magnifies love for the Divine.
What if a natural love conflicts wtih love for the Divine?
Like love for money for instance can cause a person to embezzle, cheat, lie, deceive, even kill. Love for the opposite sex, crush, can turn into a passionate embrace and even further than that. In these two examples we have taken natural love and used it to disobey the divine, this is not love for the Divine. This is not Shirk, but rather sin. It’s that type of love, that has caused a person to be blinded to Allah’s message.
When is love Shirk, let’s call it Shirki Love?
It would be if you have:
a) Love for other than Allah (SWT): Such as love for Brahma, Krishni, Jesus Christ, in that manner as if they were gods, or sons of god, or whatever trinitarian mysterious love.
b) Love that causes you to reject category one: Reject love of the divine, such as Hercules who rejected loved his power and wealth , Abu Talib loved his culture and ancestry, Qaroon his wealth and privilege. So, it is valuing something over the love of the divine.
Note!!! A drunkard for instance acknowledges Allah (SWT) and his drinking problem does not negate his love for Him. No doubt he is sinning but it does not negate it all together.
2) Fear of incurring Allah’s wrath and anger (Khawf): In Surat Al Imran 175, “It is only the Evil One that suggests to you the fear of his votaries: Be ye not afraid of them, but fear Me, if ye have Faith.” Also in Surat Al Ahzab ayah 39, “(It is the practice of those) who preach the Messages of Allah, and fear Him, and fear none but Allah. And enough is Allah to call (men) to account.” Once again fear is of types and categories:
a) Religious fear: Fear of a supreme deity that has control over you, that can cause you distress. This is only for Allah (SWT). A woman from Thaqeef was asked, “Are you not afraid of Al Laat?” She said, “I only fear Allah.” It is the belief that only Allah (SWT) who can protect you . It’s a fear of the real supernatural.
b) Natural fear: Fear that people have of things that are part of this world, they are not supernatural. Such as for instance a snake in a house. Yes, it is natural to be scared, indeed healthy for an adrenalin rush which makes a person more acute and aware to get out of the situation. Natural fear varies from person to person and gender to gender. If people are afraid of certain things, you can accuse them of being cowardly but not Shirk. So, if a strong person is scared of small minuscule person, then we say he is a coward. It does not seem natural. But if someone at gun point wants to steal from you–then it is natural.
What does a believer do with this fear? Convert the natural fear to the religious. The more eman you have the stronger your ability to overcome the natural fear like the companions. It is said that a companion came across a lion, and without skipping a heartbeat said to the lion, “You are under the command of Allah as I am.” The lion left. Fear of Jinn starts bordering on the religious fear, this paranoia and giving them powerful characteristics is not a good sign of Eman.
3) Hope (Rajaa): Is the third emotion hope is another sign of eman. It is to think the best of Allah (SWT) and to hope in Allah (SWT) . In Al Imran ayah 135 Allah (SWT) says, “And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.” And in Al Baqara ayah 218, “Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of Allah,- they have the hope of the Mercy of Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” So, a believer is always optimistic. A believer desires two things, and both are religion:
a) Religious: This is regarding the acceptance of good and forgiveness of evil, which both should be hopes directed to no one other than Allah (SWT). So, when you perform a ritual the reward should be hoped from Allah (SWT). You should not want another deity to accept it from you.
b) Natural: To hope for some good of a person for a natural reason. Such as a a raise from your boss, a cure from the doctor. You are not ascribing divinity to your boss, or doctor but hoping that the doctor has the knowledge to help you out, and your boss has the privilege to give you a raise.
Caution !!! Unchecked natural hope can lead to Shirk. Hope must be controlled more than the other two emotions. Remember a boss or doctor cannot give you anything without the will of Allah (SWT). the true beleiver is able to convert all natural hope to religious. So the person stops expecting and yearning from any human being other than Allah (SWT).
What is the percentage that you think you should have of each of the three emotion?
Ibn Al Qayyim answered the question for us, ““The heart is like a bird: love at its head and its two wings are hope and fear.” (Ibn Al-Qayyim, Madarij al-Salikin)
So, the primary emotion is indeed love. Why? Love of Allah and for Allah should be the motivational factor. The other two emotions stem from love of and for Allah, it brings about a fear–element of fear in love.Love is the base emotion that overrides the other that are subsidiary/secondary. “ “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” (William Congreve, The Mourning Bride 1697).
Love is like the heart of a bird , and fear and hope are its wings. The percentage of fear and hope, depends on the circumstance, whatever will propel you forward takes precedence . In Surat Al Fatiha these three emotions are evident.
What happens if one of these emotions is missing?
Using Ibn Al Qayyim’s analogy, the bird will not fly straight. Historically speaking all of these emotions are either over-emphasized or under-emphasized. Some have emphasized love and side-lined fear and hope, so love becomes exclusively important. Others have under-emphasized love to such a degree that fear and hope become idolatrous [so a person is doing them only for Jannah]. Another group over-emphasized fear, like being obsessed wtih the fire of hell. Extremist and/or militant groups have Khawarejite mentality, see themselves as vanguards of Islam. If you listen to their forums, their obsession is not falling into sin. There is no talk about mercy at all. They just love to speak of deviant group–pass a ruling and verdict on this group as correct and that group as not. Then there are other groups, like the Christians for instance, who over-emphasize hope, without fear. So, it become not big of a deal to drink, Allah (SWT) is forgiving. This results in a flippant attitude, there is lack of Eman. Another extreme is just to dismiss love and fear, a arrogantly so, and the focus is on hope. To emphasise one over the other leads to deviance.
Surah Al Israa Ayah 57 combines all three pillars, “Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, – even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of.” This ayah really helps to correct the shirk of another Muslim, or Non-Muslim group. A classic example is that Jesus (as) was trying to come closer to Allah (SWT), and he wants Allah’s mercy, and hopes to please Allah. How can you worship a being who has these three pillars? As do the angels or righteous men? The true believer combines all of these three pillars.
To re-iterate: Rububiyyah necessitates Uluhiyyah. It is in fact the primary message of the entire quran–1000 verses are aboout this simple understanding starting with Surat Al Fatiha. Shaytan manages to convince people through perverted arguments to prevent people from Ulihiyyah. If you acknowledge that Allah is the Rab, then the natural result is that you worship Him (SWT).
How about believing in the concept of Al-Asmaa and Al-Sifaat [Allah’s perfect names and attributes]?
If you believe in the them then you are acknoledging a perfect Rab. most of mankind falls short of this, for instance the Christians and Jews say what is not befitting of Allah (SWT). If you use your common sense and your rationality He has to be all perfect, and has to have divine attributes and names. If you affirm this, then you have to worship Him alone. If you know that only Allah can hear you wherever you are, then why call to anyone but Him. Therefore, our Kalimah which consists of Uluhiyyah automically implies Rububiyyah and Asma wa Al-Sifaat. You cannot get to the top except by taking these two ladders.
Now we come to the opposite of Tawheed which is the concept of Shirk that needs to be studied in detail. Only through studying it can we be prevented from falling into it. You do not study evil for its sake, but rather to save yourself from it. What is the definition of Shirk?
Both the Qur’an and Sunnah have defined it. The Qur’an defines it as: “So do not make, along with Allah partners, while you know [that He is the true Creator.”(Surat Al-Baqarah, ayah 22)
Ibn Mas’ood (raa) asked the Prophet (saw), “What is the greatest sin?” He replied (saw), “to take alongside Allah a partner [nidd] even though it He that created you.”
What does a partner [nidd] mean?
In a law firm, a partner is one who shares privileges, rights and ranks as those of the other partner. So in that sense, Shirk means giving the rights of Allah (SWT) to other than Allah. So, anything that belongs to Allah if given to other than Allah is Shirk–we understand Shirk then as broader than just prostration to an idol.
The Qur’an tells us the dangers of Shirk:
1) Allah says, Shirk is never forgiven if you die on it: Surat Al-Nisa ayah 48, “Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed. “
2) Person who commits shirk will never enter Jannah : Al -Maeda ayah 72, “They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.”
3) Shirk is so evil that it destroy’s all of a person’s deeds: In Surat Al-Zumar Ayah 65 addresses the Prophet (saw), “But it has already been revealed to thee,- as it was to those before thee,- “But it has already been revealed to thee,- as it was to those before thee,- “If thou wert to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will be thy work (in life), and thou wilt surely be in the ranks of those who lose (all spiritual good)”. ” Can you compare the good deeds of anyone with those of Rasool Allah (saw)? No. Can the prophet (saw)commit major sins, or Shirk? No, Allah has protected them. Yet, Allah is so severe in this ayah. Why? The message is for us. Allah (SWT) is saying, that even if theoretically or hypothetically if he had his position would not protect him from the punishment.
4) If a person dies in a state of Shirk, it is prohibited for his muslim friends and relatives to seek forgiveness for him: When the Prophet’s uncle died Allah (SWT) said in Surat Al Tawbah ayah 113, ” It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire.” How about those who died not receiving the message of Islam, or knowing the prophet (saw)? We should not worry about hypothetical scenarios, worry about practical scenarios. There are many opinons on this but the strongest is that they will be tested, meaning they will be given a second chance. Hopefully they did not hear about it through Fox news because they will surely fail.
5) Allah has described those who commit shirk as being spiritually filthy [Najas]: In Surat Al Tawbah ayah 28, “O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.”Spiritual filth can only be purified through the leaving of Shirk. Isn’t it unfortunate, in the true sense of the word, that Allah (SWT) has Created you and then you turn to another being who has no favor on you whatsoever and leave Allah (SWT) who has all the favors on you, for him. If that is what you do then you deserve to be spiritually filthy.
Which existed first ‘Tawheed’ or ‘Shirk’?
Tawheed existed before Shirk, but most believe in the opposite. They believe that Monotheism developed, but the pinnacle is atheism. They base this on what they know/speculate on about primitive societies. They assume from what they know about primitive societies is that all of them are polytheistic, such as local tribles of Brazil, the Aborigines of Australia. But as Muslims we believe that Tawheed came first. What are our evidences:
1) Fitrah and Mithaq: Fitrah is the inner compass, and the second is the convenant Allah (SWT) took from Adam and his children.
2) First shirk to occur was during the time of prophet Nuh (as): Prophet Muhammad (saw) told us as did the Qur’an. Allah (SWT) says, “”And they have said (to each other), Abandon not your gods: Abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa´, neither Yaguth nor Ya´uq, nor Nasr”(Surat Nuh, 23)
Ibn Abbas said “Between Nooh (Noah) and Adam were ten generations [1000 yrs], all of them were upon Sharee’ah (law) of the truth, then they differed. So Allah sent prophets as bringers of good news and as warners.” This indeed modern science that says that the Christian speculation of how old the earth is inaccurate. Shaytan then suggested to them to carve images out of the five men, so as to remind them of their worship of Allah (SWT). It is said that he even volunteered to do it for them and place them in the direction of the Quiblah. They said,” Go and build them somewhere else.”So, he did with his own hands. These were the first five icons [images] that were carved. Later on, generations later, he came back in the form of an old man, and told that their forefathers used to pray to these images. They used to ask them for rain in times of drought etc. So, later on they took them on as idols. So, they wanted to use them as steps to Allah (SWT).
Based on what has been mentioned above, how did Shirk start? What are the origins of Shirk? It started to exalt the status of holy men–when a righteous being is raised above the level they deserve. Look around you, the man most worshipped in the world today is Jesus Christ.
3) Adam (as) was the first man and the father of all people. He was a Prophet of Allah. This is not scientifically proven, but we know from the Qur’an that this is true.
Categories of Shirk: Since Tawheed has three categories, it makes sense that Shirk will as well [since it is the opposite of them].
1) Rububiyyah: Unity of Allah (SWT) in his actions. What you can do then is one of two things:
a. Either affirmation of other entities having characteristics like Allah (SWT): can be total or partial. Examples of total like: Brahma, Buddha, Zeus, Jupiter all of which are considered/affirmed as ultimate and complete Lords [Rabb other than Allah] to their followers. Affimration of a complete Rab other than Allah. Even Quraysh did not do this, rather they affirmed partially. Quraysh, as Jesus is viewed by Christians, gave their idols some of the characteristics of the Rabb. They believed that another being could heal/cure, nourish, sustain them. The latter is more common than the former, especially in deviant Muslim groups.
b.Or deny Allah’s characteristics all together: can be total or partial. Total denial is atheism. Who are atheists giving the rights of Allah to? To the creation itself, such as Mother nature for instance. It is interesting that they have to use some noun. So, they say, “Nature has decreed. We find that in Nature” with a capital ‘N.’ They have to use a proper noun, so they invent something.
Partial denial is a little advanced. But to summarize there are some people who claim to be Muslims, whom we don’t view Muslim, but rather they are Islamic philosophers from Mulsim Spain, such as Avicenna, Farabi etc. They called Allah (SWT) the first cause, the unmoved mover as he was called by Aristotle. They believe that Allah (SWT) is not aware fo the creation’ that He (SWT) created and let the creation be;he has nothing to do with his creation. It is called “deism.” Believe that there is god that ought to just let be and let his creation. The belif that there is a Creator but not a nourisher and sustainer, so just a partial Rabb. These groups are pseudo Islamic and they don’t exist as much.
2) shirk of Uluhiyyah: To direct an act of worship to other than Allah (SWT), such as dua [invoke for help, to save] prostration, sacraficing animals, prayer etc. to please another god. This is major shirk in the Uluhiyyah. Note, that calling 911 is not Shirk in Uluhiyyah. This is divided into two categories:
a) Major Shirk which is further divided into 2:
i. Theoretical: Is to consider the worship of other than Alalh to be acceptable and permissible even if you don’t worship other than Allah. In other words to consider it to be morally permissible to worship other than Allah. So the attitude, “If I want to worship my god and you your god we are all on the right path” is on moral grounds rejected. This kind of ideology or thought which is called Perennialism is morally unacceptable. It is not morally acceptable to worship other than Allah. Interfaith dialog has this kind of ideology, that we are all belong to the Abrahmic tradition. This contradicts the Kalimah, it is as is one is saying Someone else is worthy of worship other than Allah (swt).
Note: the people have the right to what they want, but from a moral perspective we don’t agree with it.
ii. Practical [actions]: Praying and giving charity to show off in front of people. To gain popularity, fame and privilege.
b)Minor Shirk: Shirk in Asmaa wa As Sifaat and is divided into 2 categories:
[Please comment on this entry with the URL for the video Sh. Yasir Qadhi referred to called the Explanation on the Hadith of the 73 sects on YouTube]
i. Deification: Such as saying my sheikh knows everything; he can hear everything; he knows what is in my heart. This is what mystical groups believe. In doing so they give the attribute that only belong to Allah alone to another being. Raising a human being into a divine.
ii. Anthropomorphism: Is making God human like; giving God human characteristics such as for instance painting Him as a big old man in the sky [imagining god in human form]. Also giving them characteristics that are demeaning to God such as that he forgets, gets tired, can’t find Adam in the garden. Consider the following lecture Toward Formulating a Vision for Muslims in America in Light of the Seerah.
Manifestations of Ibadah
We are going to discuss the common concepts of Ibadah and explain each one of them:
1) Tawakul: Is putting your trust in Allah (SWT); resigning your fate to Allah (SWT). It is essential that we put our trust in Allah, and have hope in Him alone, indeed that is the perfection of our deen. In Surat Al Maeda ayah 23 Allah (SWT) says, “(But) among (their) Allah-fearing men were two on whom Allah had bestowed His grace: They said: “Assault them at the (proper) Gate: when once ye are in, victory will be yours; But on Allah put your trust if ye have faith.” and in Surat Yunus ayah 84, ” Moses said: “O my people! If ye do (really) believe in Allah, then in Him put your trust if ye submit (your will to His).” In Surat At Talaq ayah 3, ” And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” So, the heart should be attached to Allah (SWT)
Misconception of Tawakul: People think that Tawakul means that they do not need to do anything. This is not Tawakul, it is foolishness. Truly Tawakul means striving towards something. So for instance, a farmer who wants a harvest has to plant, irrigate, cultivate, get rid of pests, uproot weeds etc. In doing so his heart is not attached to his effort, but places hope in Allah. Take the necessary precautions, and then leave the rest to Allah (SWT). Remember tat the Prophet (saw) did not tell the enemy where he was going, and used to wear double protection.
One day Allah’s Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?”
The Bedouin answered, “I placed my trust in Allah.” At that, the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah” (Tirmidhi)
Another hadith, Imam Ahmad narrated that Usamah bin Shuraik said, “I was with Prophet Muhammad (saw) when the Bedouins came to him and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, should we seek medicine?’ He said, ;Yes, O slaves of Alalh, seek medicine, for Allah has not created a disease except that He has created its cure, except for one illness.’ They said, ‘And what’s that?’ He said, ‘Old age.'”
2) Patience: Is the manifestiation of worship. We must be patient for the sake of Allah, there are over 70 verse in the Qur’an that talk about patience. In Surat Al Imran ayah 200, “O ye who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that ye may prosper.” In Surat Al Ra’ad ayah 22, ” Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; Establish regular prayers; spend, out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) home. . .” In Surat Al Nahl in ayah 128, “For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good.”And in Surat Al Mudather ayah 7, “But, for thy Lord´s (Cause), be patient and constant!”.
“Sabr” in Arabic means to hold yourself back. The reason it means that, is because the opposite of that is when you let yourself go; when you do not keep your body in check.
Categories of Patience:
a. Patience in response to a situation that Allah has decreed: Ranges from something simple as being stuck in traffic to more traumatic examples as the death of a loved one. It is to control your body and tongue from doing what is haram [the impermissible according to Qur’an and Sunnah] and this is indeed the lowest.
b. Patience in restraining one’s self from committing sins: It is sometihng that you can control and is a higher category the the first.
c. Patience in constantly worshipping Allah: It is a higher form, such as waking up for fajr, fasting in the month of Ramadhan etc. It’s patience is not just in the heart, but manifested in the tongue and the limbs.
3) Du’aa: It is the greatest action of worship; it is the essence of worship; the crux of worship. Why? Because no action of worship better illustrates the meaning of worship than the action of dua. one making dua affirms Allah as a Rabb, His names and attributes, and calls on Him as a result for His help. It is Uluhiyyah par excellence. The three emotions love, fear, and hope are perfected as well. You love to turn in dua to Allah, fear that he won’t accept because you do not deserve it, but hope He accepts it. Other actions of worship do not perfect all three. so, therefore dua is the common act of worship, even shaytan did it. Dua is the most common act of Shirk as well. Why the most common? It is an act of worship that is the most essential for our daily needs.
There are over 500 verses in which Allah says do not do dua to anyone else but Allah (SWT). In Surat Yunus ayah 106, “Nor call on any, other than Allah;- Such will neither profit thee nor hurt thee: if thou dost, behold! thou shalt certainly be of those who do wrong. ” When one makes dua to other than Allah, you are affirming that that object has the power to respond to you. When you prostrate you only commit shirk in Uluhiyyah, but when you direct your dua to someone other then you have committedSshirk in all three categories of Tawheed. The Qur’an came to eliminate Shirk, so how can it be used to justify Shirk.
There are two types of dua:
a. Istiaadha “seeking spiritual refuge’: Qur’an tells us that when an evil thought comes to us we should seek refuge in Allah (SWT), as well as when you recite Qur’an you should do Isti’adha. In Surat Fusulat ayat 36,”And if (at any time) an incitement to discord is made to thee by the Evil One, seek refuge in Allah. He is the One Who hears and knows all things.” And in Surat Al Nahl ayah 98, “When thou dost read the Qur´an, seek Allah´s protection from Satan the rejected one.” Seeking spiritual refuge from another being other than Allah is major shirk, because in doing so you are giving divine characteristics to a being. Note that seeking natural help, like calling 911 is not a religious action.
b.Isti’anah and Istighathah: Seeking help. Some say, “We are not worshipping but merely asking help.” Such as today when Muslims call out to Abdul Qader Al Jaylani who was a scholar in Baghdad. He wrote books full of Qur’an and Sunnah, but after he died people did to him as they did at the time of Nuh (as). Today, his grave is found in twelve different lands ; lots of stories and legends surroud him. One is allowed to seek help in a physical manner like asking a brother to help you carry something–you are asking them to help you with the physical power they have. What we mean here is supernatural help, like if someone’s son is sick and he asks for a cure.
3) Nadhr [vow]: It is a religious promise that one is allowed to make with Allah (SWT). You say for instance, “If my son is cured I shall fast for ten days.” It’s a religious transaction. Such a vow is one that is not recommended, but if you must do it then it must done with Allah. Why is it not good?
In a hadith the Prophet of Alalh (saw) says, “A vow is only extracted from a miserly person and does not change the decree of Allah.”It is a cheap mentality, because it is like saying, “If you do good to me I will be good to you.” It does not change the decree of Allah. Mystical groups say, “If you cure my son I will make a pilgrimage to the grave of a righteous person.” In that they are linking the the cure to a dead saint.
4) Udhiyyah [sacrificing]: In our religion, an animal imust be taken in the name of Allah (SWT), with the word, “Bismilla.” If you mention other than Allah then you are dedicating it to other that Allah. Hindu offerings to their gods are usually consumed by the priests. In our religion sacrafice done in the name of Allah is in order to:
i. To thank Allah
ii. Purely for the sake of food: But even if it for our own consumption we have to say “Bismillah Arrahman Arraheem.” Remember Surat Al Kawthar. Consider also Surat Al An’aam ayah 162, “Say: “Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds.” Allah’s cuse is on those who sacrafice to other than Allah (SWT). When you sacrifice for your parents who have passed away, you do not do it in the name of your grandmother but do it in the name of Aallah, but make dua that Allah accept the good deed in their name.
5) Tawaf [circumambulation]: We have been asked to do it around one thing only and it is the ancient house, the Ka’aba. To do it around another structure or icon is major Shirk. It is common in India, Somalia, etc. to do Tawaf around the graves of the righteous.
6) Prostration [sajdah]: In Surat Fusilat ayah 37, “Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve.”
It is of two types:
a. Natural: People prostrate as a sign of respect to someone else. Allah allowed it in the previous nations, but religious prostration was always for Allah. Remember, Allah asked the angels to prostrate to Adam (as) out of respect, see Surat Yusuf. Also Abu Hurayrah reports that when Muadh ibn Jabal returned from Sham, he came to the Prophet (saw) and prostrated before him, saying that he had seen the people of Sham prostrating in respect to their monks, and that the Messenger (saw) deserved greater respect than than what Muadh had seen the people of Sham give to their monks. The Prophet (saw) replied, “Were I to have commanded anyone to prostrate to anyone, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate to her husband.” [At-Tirmidhi]