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Why only One God and not two or more than two gods? — Imam al-Tabari

September 11, 2017 Leave a comment

 

Our description has made it clear that the Creator and Originator of all things was before everything, that night and day and time and hours are originated, and that their Originator Who administers and manages them exists before them, since it is impossible for something to originate something unless its originator exists before it. (It is also clear that) God’s word:

“Don’t (the unbelievers) look at the camels (and reflect) how they were created, and at the heaven how it was raised, and at the mountains how they were set up, and at the earth how it was spread out flat? (Quran 88:17-20)

contains the most eloquent evidence and the most effective proofs for those who use reason to reflect and the mind to be instructed, that the Creator of all those things is eternal and that everything of their kind is originated and has a Creator that is not similar to them. That is because everything mentioned by our Lord in this verse, the mountains, the earth, the camels, is dealt with and administered by man, who may move it around and manage it, who may dig, cut, and tear down, none of which he is prevented from doing. Yet, beyond that, man is not able to bring anything of that into existence without a basis (to work from).

 

The conclusion is that the one who is incapable of originating those things could not have originated himself and that the one who is not prevented from managing and organizing whatever he wishes could not have been brought into existence by someone like himself and he did not bring himself into existence. Further, the One Who brought (man) up and gave him substantial (‘ayn) existence is the One Who is not incapable of (doing) anything He wishes, and He is not prevented from originating anything He wants. He is “God Unique and Forceful.” (Quran 12:39)

 

Someone might ask:

Why should it be disapprovable to assume that the things you have mentioned result from the action of two eternal (beings)?

The reply would be:

We disapprove of that because we find that the administration is continuous and the creation perfect. We say:

If the administrators were two, they would necessarily either agree or disagree. If they agree, the two would conceptually be one, and the one would be made two merely by positing two.

If they differ, it would be impossible to find the existence of the creation perfect and (its) administration continuous. For each one of two who differ does what is different from what his fellow does . If one gives life, the other causes death . If one of them produces existence, the other produces annihilation . It would thus be impossible for anything in creation to exist in the perfection and continuity it does.

God’s words: “If there were other gods except God in (heaven and earth), both would be ruined. Praised be God, Lord of the Throne, (who is above) what they describe“; (Quran 21:22) and: “God has not taken to Himself a child , and there has been no god together with Him. Otherwise, each god would have gone off with what he created and risen over the others. Praised be God (who is above) what they describe. He knows what is unseen and what is observable, and He is exalted above their associating (other gods with Him)” (Quran 23:91) -these words of God are the most eloquent evidence and the most concise explanation as well as the most effective proof for the falsehood of those falsehood-mongers who associate (other gods) with God.

 

That is because, if there were another god except God in the heavens and the earth, the condition of the two as to agreement and disagreement would necessarily be the one I have described. Saying that there may be agreement implies that saying they are two is wrong. It confirms the oneness of God and is an absurd statement in as much as the one who makes it calls the one two. Saying that there may be disagreement indicates ruin for the heavens and the earth, as our Lord says : “If there were other gods except God in them, both would be ruined.” (Quran 21:22) For if one originates and creates something, it would be the other’s business to put it out of existence and invalidate it. That is because the actions of two who differ are different, just as fire that warms and snow that cools what fire has warmed.

 

Another argument (would be this):

If it were (true) as those who associate other gods with God say, each one of the two whom they consider as eternal would necessarily be either strong or incapable.

 

If both were incapable , each one, being incapable, would be defeatable and not be a god.

 

If both were strong, each one of them, by virtue of being incapable of subduing the other, would be incapable and being incapable would not be a god.

 

If each one of them were strong enough to subdue the other, he, by virtue of the strength of the other to subdue him in turn, would be incapable. God is above the association of other gods with Him!

 

It has thus become clear that the Eternal One, the Creator and Maker of all things is the One Who existed before everything and Who will be after everything, the First before everything and the Last after everything. He existed when there was no momentary and extended time, no night and no day, no darkness and no light except the light of His noble face, no heaven and no earth, no sun and no moon and no stars. Everything but He is originated, administered and made. He alone by Himself created everything without an associate, helper, and assistant . Praised be He as powerful and forceful!

 

[The history of al-Tabari, vol. 1, pg. 218-220]

 

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The meaning of Tawheed and its categories

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

 

Praise be to Allaah.

 

Praise be to Allaah and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger and Chosen Prophet.

 

Tawheed in Arabic means attributing Oneness to Allaah and describing Him as being One and Unique, with no partner or peer in His Essence and Attributes.  

 

The Arabs say waahid, ahad and waheed, all meaning one. Allaah is Waahid, meaning that He has no rivals or peers in any way. So Tawheed means knowing Allaah is One, with none like unto Him. Whoever does not acknowledge Allaah in these terms and does not describe Him as being One with no partner or associate does not believe in Tawheed.

 

With regard to the shar’i definition of Tawheed, it means believing in Allaah alone as God and Lord and attributing to Him alone all the attributes of Lordship and divinity.  

 

It may be defined as follows:

Believing that Allaah is One with no partner or associate in His Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) or names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat)

 

This word (Tawheed) and its derivatives are used with this meaning in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. For example:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): He is Allaah, (the) One [Ahad].

2. Allaah‑us‑Samad [Allaah — the Self‑Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

3. He begets not, nor was He begotten.

4. And there is none co‑equal or comparable unto Him”

[al-Ikhlaas 112:1-3] 

 

“And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah [ilaahun waahidun] (God — Allaah), Laa Ilaaha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”

[al-Baqarah 2:163] 

 

“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allaah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).’ But there is no Ilaah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilaah [ilaahun waahidun] (God —Allaah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them”

[al-Maa’idah 5:73] 

 

And there are many similar verses.

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (7372) and Saheeh Muslim (19) it is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal to Yemen, he said to him: “You are going to people from among the People of the Book, so let the first thing to which you call them be belief in Allaah alone (Tawheed). If they accept that, then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them five prayers every day and night. If they pray then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them zakaah from their wealth to be taken from their rich and given to their poor. If they agree to that then take it from them but avoid the best of people’s wealth.”

 

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Islam is built on five (pillars): belief that Allaah is One, establishing regular prayer, paying zakaah, fasting Ramadaan and Hajj.” 

 

 

What is meant by Tawheed in all these texts is affirming the meaning of the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, which is the essence of the religion of Islam with which Allaah sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), based on the evidence of the words of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. In some versions of the hadeeth of Mu’aadh quoted above it says:

“You will come to some people from among the People of the Book so when you come to them, call them to bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1492. 

 

According to another version of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Islam is based on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger…”

Narrated by Muslim, 16. 

 

 

This indicates that Tawheed is the essence of the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and that this is Islam with which Allaah sent His Prophet to the two races of mankind and the jinn, other than which Allaah will not accept any religion from anyone.

 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:19] 

 

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:85] 

 

Once this is understood, it should be noted that the scholars have divided Tawheed into three categories, as follows: 

Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of Divine Lordship), Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (Oneness of Divinity) and Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l-Sifaat (Oneness of the Divine Names and Attributes). 

 

Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of Divine Lordship): means believing in Allaah as One and Unique with regard to His actions such as creation, sovereignty, control, giving life and death, and so on.

 

Whoever believes that there is any creator other than Allaah or any sovereign controlling this universe and disposing of its affairs other than Allaah has denied this aspect of Tawheed and disbelieved in Allaah.

 

The kuffaar of old accepted this aspect of Tawheed in general terms, although they differed with regard to some of its details. The evidence that they used to accept this is to be found in several verses of the Qur’aan such as the following (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if you were to ask them: ‘Who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon?’ they will surely reply: ‘Allaah.’ How then are they deviating (as polytheists and disbelievers)?”

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:61] 

“And if you were to ask them: ‘Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death?’ they will surely reply: ‘Allaah.’ Say: ‘All the praises and thanks be to Allaah!’ Nay, most of them have no sense”

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:63] 

“And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: ‘Allaah.’ How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allaah Who created them)?”

[al-Zukhruf 43:87] 

 

In these verses Allaah states that the kuffaar affirm that He is the Creator, Sovereign and Controller, but despite that they do not worship Him alone (Tawheed of worship), which points to the graveness of their wrongdoing and lies, and the weakness of their reasoning. For if there is One Who is described in such terms, none should be worshipped except Him alone and none should be described as being one and unique except Him; may He be glorified above those that they associate with him.

 

So whoever affirms this Tawheed in the true sense must inevitably also affirm the Oneness of Allaah’s Divinity (Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah).

Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah means devoting all acts of worship, both inward and outward, in word and deed, to Allaah Alone, and not worshipping anything or anyone other than Allaah, no matter who he is.

 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him”

[al-Isra’ 17:23] 

“Worship Allaah and join none with Him (in worship)”

[al-Nisa’ 4:36] 

It may be described as devoting all one’s actions to Allaah alone.

 

It is called Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah because it is based on ta’alluh lillaah which is worship and devotion of Allaah accompanied by love and veneration.

 

It is also called Tawheed al-‘Ibaadah (oneness of worship) because it means that a person worships Allaah by doing that which He has commanded and avoiding that which He has forbidden.

 

It is also called Tawheed al-Talab wa’l-Qasd wa’l-Iraadah (Oneness of goal, purpose and will) because it means that a person does not seek anything except the Face of Allaah, so he worships Him sincerely.

 

This is the kind of Tawheed concerning which people went astray, which is why the Prophets were sent and the Books were revealed. This is the purpose for which the universe was created and laws were prescribed. Concerning this disputes arose between the Prophets and their peoples, so the stubborn were doomed and the believers were saved.

 

Whoever goes astray with regard to this Tawheed, such as devoting some of his worship to someone other than Allaah, has gone beyond the pale of Islam and drifted away from true belief. May Allaah protect us from that.

 

With regard to Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l-Sifaat (Oneness of the Divine Names and Attributes), this means affirming the names and attributes of Allaah and believing that there is none like unto Allaah in His names and attributes.

This Tawheed is based on two principles:

1 – Affirmation: i.e., affirming that which Allaah has affirmed for Himself in His Book or that His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has affirmed of His beautiful names and sublime attributes in a manner that suits the Majesty and Greatness of Allaah, without distorting them, twisting their meanings, denying their reality or discussing how they are.

2 – Denial: i.e., denying that Allaah has any faults and denying any shortcomings that He has denied Himself. The evidence for that is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”

[al-Shoora 42:11] 

So He has denied that He bears any resemblance to His creation, and affirmed that He has attributes of perfection in a manner that befits Him, may He be glorified.

See al-Hujjah fi Bayaan al-Mahajjah, 1/305; Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah, 1/57.

 

Types Of Shirk (Forms of Shirk)

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

 

The following are some of the things that negate Tawheed or cause deficiencies in it, as the scholars have mentioned. It is presented here for you so that you may beware of them.

 

 

1.      Wearing a ring or string of any type, whether it is made of brass, copper, iron, or leather, with the intent of removing some ailment or protecting against something. Indeed this is a form of shirk.

 

2.      Prayer formulas (or incantations) that are innovated or written and worn. The prayer formulas (or incantations) that are innovated include talismans, unintelligible words, seeking help from the jinns in learning the cause of the illness, undoing magic (that is done to someone) with the help of Jinns, and using written formulas. These written formulas are hung on the person or animal with thread or string. It makes no difference whether it contains innovated words that are written that have not come from the Qur’aan  and Sunnah, or words that do come from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. This is because hanging written formulas like this is one of the causes that lead to Shirk.

 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said “Verily, Ar-Ruqa (incantations containing shirk), At-Tama’im(written formulas that are worn), and At-Tiwalah (spells that make people fall in love) are all Shirk.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawood)

 

This also includes hanging paper, or pieces if copper, or iron inside the car that contain Allaah’s Name, Ayat al-Kursi (Verse 2:255 of the Qur’aan), or putting a copy of the Holy Qur’aan inside the car. To place this things in the car while believing that they will protect it and prevent any evil from happening to it, such as the evil-eye or other things is a type of Shirk. Also placing an object that is in the shape of a hand or that has an eye drawn on it is not permissible because people believe that this protects against the evil-eye.

 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever hangs something then he is entrusted to its care.”(Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)

 

3.      From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is seeking blessings through people, touching them (for blessings) and requesting blessings from them. This also includes seeking blessings through trees, stones and other things. Even the Ka`bah should not be wiped for blessings. `Umar bin Al-Khattab said while he was kissing the Black Stone (of the Ka`bah),

 

“Verily I know that you are merely a stone. You cannot harm nor benefit. If I had not seen the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم kissing you, I would not kiss you.” (Bukhari and Abu Dawood)

 

4.      From that which negates Tawheed is sacrificing animals for other than Allaah, like sacrificing them for righteous people (who are deceased), devils, and jinns, in order to bring about some benefit or repel their harms. This is from the greatest forms of Shirk. Just as it is not permissible to sacrifice animals for other than Allaah; it is also not permissible to sacrifice (animals) in a place where sacrifice is made for other than Allaah, even if the person sacrificing the animal intends to sacrifice for Allaah alone. This is a means of prevention that which may lead to Shirk.

 

5.      Making a vow to other than Allaah. Making vows is a form of worship and it is not permissible to direct vows to other than Allaah.

 

6.      Seeking help and seeking refuge in other than Allaah.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said to Ibn `Abbas, “When you seek help, seek the help of Allaah, and when you ask, ask Allaah…” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

 

Thus, from this we know that it is prohibited to make supplications to the jinns and the dead.

 

7.      From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is exaggeration concerning the righteous people (Awliyaa’) and the pious (Saaliheen), and elevating them above their appropriate status. This exaggeration takes the form of magnifying them, elevating their status to the status of the Messengers, or thinking that they were infallible, and that they had the knowledge of the unseen (`ilm al-Ghaib).

 

The Prohet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a slave. So, call me the Slave of Allaah and His Apostle.”(Bukhari)

 

8.      From that which negates Tawheed is making circuits (Tawaf) around graves. This is a type of Shirk. It is also not permissible to pray (Salah)at graveyards because it is a means of Shirk. So how about praying to the graves and worshipping them?! May Allaah protect us from this.

 

9.      In order to preserve Tawheed, building structures over graves, placing domes and Masjids over them, and singling them out as special places (i.e. shrines) has been forbidden.

 

10.  From that which negates Tawheed is magic, going to magicians (for help), soothsayers, fortunetellers, horoscope predictors and their likes. People who practice magic are disbelievers and it is not permissible to go to them, ask them, or believe in them, even if they are called Awliya’ (saints), Shaikhs (religious men), and other similar titles.

 

11.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed are omens. This is the act of looking for signs of omen in the flight of birds, or in a particular day, month, or a person (e.g. Friday the 13th, Zodiacal signs, saying good/bad luck, black cat). All of this is not permissible. Belief in omens is Shirk just as has been mentioned in a Hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

 

12.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is extreme reliance upon the means, such as the doctor, the medicine, one’s job and other things, while not placing ultimate reliance upon Allaah. What is correct according to the Islaamic-legislation is that effort should be made to use the means, like seeking cures and sustenance, but the heart should be reliant upon Allaah and not the means.

 

13.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is astrology and using the stars for other than what they were created for. They should not be used for learning the future and unseen events. All of this is not allowed in Islaam.

 

14.  Attributing the cause of rain to the stars, movement of the planets (stars), the seasons and believing that the stars bring the rain or hold it back. Rather, the One Who sends down the rain and holds it back is Allaah. Thus, one should say:

 

“We were given rain by the blessing and mercy of Allaah.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

 

15.  From that which negates Tawheed is directing anything from the types of worship of the heart to other than Allaah. Examples are directing absolute love or absolute fear to things from created beings.

 

16.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is feeling secure from the Plan of Allaah and His torment, or despairing of His Mercy. No one should feel safe from the Plan of Allaah nor should one despair of His Mercy. Rather, one should be in a state between fear and hope.

 

“Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep? Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing? Did they then feel secure against the Plot of Allâh? None feels secure from the Plot of Allâh except the people who are the losers.” Surah Al A`fraaf (7): 97-99

 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Verily Allah created Mercy. The day He created it, He made it into one hundred parts. He withheld with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent its one part to all His creatures. Had the non-believer known of all the Mercy which is in the Hands of Allah, he would not lose hope of entering Paradise, and had the believer known of all the punishment which is present with Allah, he would not consider himself safe from the Hell-Fire.” (Bukhari)

 

17.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is lacking patience in the Decree of Allaah, becoming restless with worry and opposing the Divine Decree by saying things like, “O Allaah! Why did you do this to me?”, or “Why have you done to so-and-so?!” or similar statements of wailing with anguish, tearing the clothes and pulling out the hair.

 

18.  Doing deeds for show or to be heard by others and that a person seeks worldly gains by his deeds are all aspect of shirk.

 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “If anyone acquires knowledge of things by which Allah’s good pleasure is sought, but acquires it only to get some worldly advantage, he will not experience the arf, i.e. the odour, of Paradise.” (Abu Dawood: Authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee)

 

Also refer to the Hadith of the martyr, the Qur’aan recite, and the one who gave sadaqah, as has been narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh.

 

19.  From that which negates Tawheed is obeying the scholars, leaders and other than them in forbidding that which is permissible, or making permissible that which is forbidden. Obeying them in these things is a type of Shirk.

 

20.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is saying, “What Allaah wills and what you will.” Or saying, “If it were not for Allaah and so-and-so…” Or saying, “I have placed my trust in Allaah and so-and-so.” It is obligatory to use the word “then” in all of the previous statements in place of the word “and”. This is due to the command of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to say:

 

“What Allaah wills, then what you will.” (Nasa’i, Authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee)

 

21.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is reviling time, the era (in which one lives), the days, and the months.

 

22.  From that which negates Tawheed is mocking the religion (Islaam) or the Messengers, or the Qur’aan or the Sunnah. Also included in this is the mocking the righteous people and the scholars because of what they carry of the Sunnah (i.e. their knowledge of it preaching of it) and its appearance on them. Examples of this would be the mocking the beard or the tooth stick (siwak), or wearing the garments above the ankles, and other aspects of the Sunnah.

 

23.  Using the names `Abdun-Nabi (servants of the Prophet), `Abdul-Ka`bah (servant of the Ka`bah), or `Abdul-Husain (servant of Husain, the Prophet’s grandson) is not permissible. Rather, servitude and worship are for Allaah alone. Thus, we should use names like `Abdullaah (servant of Allaah) and `Abdur-Rahmaan (servant of the Most Gracious).

 

24.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is making pictures of things that have souls (i.e. animate beings), and then honoring these pictures and hanging them on the walls, in the sitting rooms and other places.

 

25.  From that which negates Tawheed is putting crosses, drawing them, or leaving them present on clothes and allowing them. It is obligatory to break the cross or erase it.

 

26.  From that which negates Tawheed is befriending disbelievers and hypocrites by glorifying and honoring them. This includes addressing them with the title Saiyid (sir), receiving them with greetings of respect and loving them. (It also includes participating with them in their religious festivals like Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc.)

 

27.  From that which negates Tawheed and contradicts it is ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed, and placing man-made systems of government in the position of the most wise legislation of Islaam. This results from the belief that man-made systems of government are correct to be ruled by and for lawmaking or that the man-made systems of government are like the Islaamic law, or better than it, or more suitable for the current times. Being please with this (man-made systems of government replacing the Islaamic law) also falls in this same category. It also includes the belief that the Islaamic legislation is not meant for all people and for all times, or that it or some part of it, is not applicable in these modern times.

 

28.  From that which causes deficiencies in Tawheed is swearing by other than Allaah. Examples of this are a person’s saying, “By the Prophet!” or “By the trust (given to me)” or “By my father!” or similar statements.

 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever swears by other than Allaah has committed disbelief (Kufr) or associated a partner with Allaah (Shirk).” (Tirmidhi, and authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee)

Adopted from the book “The Concise Collection On Creed & Tawheed”, by Darussalam publishers and distributors.

 

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