In the Name of God, the All-Merciful,the Most Gracious. This is my attempt to spread the correct concept of God. I invite u to worship the one God who has created the entire universe & who alone deserves to be worshipped. Please stop associating partners with God(in worship). Thus stop worshipping idols, humans, animals, trees, etc. Plz. Don't worship the creation but worship the CREATOR. This is an attempt to refute atheism, polytheism and other un-Islamic and pseudo-Islamic ways of life.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What is Tawheed?

The word Tawheed has by the grace of Allah, become a word which is well known amongst the Muslims of today. But do we really know the reality of this word?
'What is tawheed?' you ask any Muslim 'Is it the oneness of Allaah?' he would reply 'What's that?' You ask again. 'I'm not too sure' he would say. This is the kind of scenario which the Muslims are involved in, and what a sad state of affairs it is when we cannot even explain the basics of our religion to those around us.
Some of us are so dedicated to completing our studies, that we engross ourselves in the textbooks for hours. Others of us love the western culture and lifestyle so much, that we can mimic and relay the words of non-Muslims to such an extent that we even start to quote chapter and verse from the latest Hollywood blockbuster! Yet upon being asked 'What is Tawheed? ' our tongues fall silent.
The cure for ignorance is knowledge, and in order to cure ourselves we have to take time-out to learn about this beautiful religion, even if it means reading articles such as this!
It is true that tawheed is simply the oneness of Allaah, yet at the same time it is something which is so vividly explained in our religion, that it is a life long quest for knowledge. The detailed nature of tawheed is something which unfortunately, is not known by the majority of the Muslims and this is why you find many Muslims saying that Christianity and Judaism, like Islam, are monotheistic [1] religions. Yet if these Muslims were to truly learn about Islam they would discover that religions such as Christianity and Judaism are forms of idol-worship, which are far from being similar to Islam.

The Reality of Tawheed
Linguistically the word tawheed means unification (to make something one). However Islamically it is in reference to Allaah being singled out alone, in all that is particular to him. The opposite of tawheed is 'Shirk' which is to associate partners with Allaah by giving that which belongs to him, to others. [2]
Traditionally tawheed has been divided into three categories which help us to understand why Allaah alone deserves to be singled out for worship. The division of tawheed into these three categories was something which was not done by the prophet of Allaah (saws) or any of his companions. So is this something new that has been introduced into the religion (bid'ah [3])? The answer to this is no, because we find that the basis of these three categories are to be found in the verses of the Qur'aan, hadeeth [authenticated reports] of the prophet (saws) and the statements of his companions.
The necessity for dividing up tawheed into three categories first came about during the early days of Islam. After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam spread like wildfire and before long the empires of Africa, Byzantium, Persia and India all fell under Muslim rule. Many people from these areas became Muslims. However some of these converts to Islam also carried with them some of their old pagan beliefs. This caused much confusion amongst people, and the simple belief of Islam which the people had accepted, started to become clouded. The task of opposing these new thoughts and ideas which were becoming prevalent, fell upon the shoulders of the Muslim scholars, who rose to meet this challenge intellectually. Amongst the first people to divide tawheed into three categories was the famous scholar of Iraq, Abu Haneefah. [4]
Before mentioning what these three categories are, it has to be stressed that the concept of tawheed is in no way similar to the Christian concept of trinity except the fact that they both begin with the letter 'T'!! The division of tawheed does not divide Allaah up into three separate parts (as does trinity), but rather it helps us to understand as to how our Creator is unique and alone in being singled out for worship and reverence. Unfortunately there are some Christians today[5] who seem to forget this fact and continue to spread lies about the meaning of the tawheed of Allaah.

The Unity of Allah's Lordship
This first category of tawheed is known as tawheedur-ruboobiyyah or the unity of Allah's lordship. Through this we understand that it is Allah who alone created the universe which is why one of his divine names is Al-Khaliq (the Creator). Through this we know that it is Allaah alone who controls the universe and allows things to happen. This is why Allaah refers to himself in the Qur'aan as AI-Malik (The Owner of the universe). Hence when something happens, it only happens with the permission of Allaah:
"And no calamity strikes except with the permission of Allaah" (Qur'an, 64:11)
The prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) further elaborated on this concept of Allah's control over the universe by saying: "Be aware that if the whole of mankind gathered together in order to do something to help you they would only be able to do something for you which Allaah had already written for you. Likewise, if the whole of mankind gathered together to harm you, they would only be able to do something to harm you which Allaah had already written to happen to you." [7]
We know that another name, which Allah chooses to call himself by, is Ar-Razzaq (the Sustainer). It is Allaah who provides us with our food, shelter, clothing, families and friends. When our crops seem to be dying and there is not a cloud in sight, it is Allaah who sends down His rain from the skies and sustains us.
"Allaah created all things and He is the agent upon which all things depend" (Qur'an, 39:62)
From this you would expect that people would turn back to Allah for good or bad fortune. However this is not the case. Today we find people relying on all kinds of good luck charms[9], which they believe will bring them good fortune and ward off evil.
Unfortunately, this selfish act of turning away from the favours of Allah has hit the Muslims hard, we find in many of our societies that the Muslims believe in all kinds of superstitions and good luck charms such as the Tawees (amulet). These practices have absolutely no basis whatsoever in Islam, but rather the prophet (saws) warned us by saying: "Whosoever brings something new into Islam, something which does not belong to it, will have it rejected".[10]

The Unity of Allaah's names and Attributes
This category of tawheed is known as Tawheed-al-Asma Wa-Siffaat or the unity of Allaah's name and attributes. Allaah says in the Qur'aan:
"Allaah there is no god but be. To Him belong the most beautiful names" (Qur'an, 20:8)
This category of tawheed helps us to understand who our Creator is through His Names and Attributes. Through His Names and Attributes we know that Allah is far beyond our imagination and bears no resemblance to human beings. In fact it is this principle which makes Islam unique from all the other religions on the face of this earth. Allaah says in the Qur'aan:
"There is nothing like Him and He hears and sees all things" (Qur'an, 42:11)
It is in this verse that a distinction is made between those who truly worship their Creator and those who worship the creation. The most prominent example of this is that of the Christians. They claim that Jesus was God, this negates the Tawheed of Allaah's Names and Attributes because it degrades the Creator (whom the Christians say was Jesus) to the level of human beings and gives Him those weaknesses which humans possess. It is known from the bible that Jesus ate, drank, felt tired, slept and did all the things which normal humans do. So how is it right for the Christians to say that god lowered himself to the level of humans? As Muslims we say 'Allaah is above such imperfection' (subhan Allaah) and rather it is us weak humans who need to turn to this perfect lord and Creator.

The Unity of Allaah's Worship
This part of tawheed is known as tawheed-al-Ibadah or the unity of Allaah's worship. It is this aspect of tawheed which it could be said is the most important. It is through this that we learn how to worship our Creator alone. Allaah is not the kind of god who does not respond or hear your calls. He is not the kind of god who needs some sort of middleman to take our prayers up to Him. Rather Allaah says:
"And your lord said : Call on me and I will answer you" (Qur'an, 40:60)
There is nothing to prevent a person from calling directly upon Allah and asking for His help and forgiveness. Unfortunately this is violated by most of mankind who believe that other men can intercede for them and even grant them forgiveness because of their apparent special status! An example of this is the Catholic religion which holds that the celibate priests are more purer then normal people. This allows for them to then hear the confessions of people's sins and subsequently grant them forgiveness. It is this kind of behaviour which takes a person away from the worship of Allah to the worship of man.
As Muslims we too should be careful of this, because it seems that many of our brothers and sisters are indulging in this kind of evil and are not even aware of it. How many Muslims are there today who call upon others besides Allah? We find that in countries such as Pakistan and India there are millions of Muslims who go to the graves of 'saints' and ask them for children, wealth, fame and more sadly, forgiveness. What makes this more ironic is the fact that many of these Muslims pray five times a day, and in every rakat (unit) of their prayer they say the following to their Creator:
"You alone do we worship and You alone do we seek help from" (Qur'an, 1:4)
Learning about the tawheed of Allaah is the most important thing for the whole of humanity. For if we learn how to trust and worship our Creator with sincerity, then -and only then- will we escape from the slavery and captivity of this life. By worshipping Allaah alone does a man achieve true peace and success. This is the reason why when the adhaan[15] is called, the muezzin[16] says "Haya alal Falaa" (come to success). And we ask Allaah to make us amongst those who go to this success. Ameen

Footnotes:
1 Monotheistic - The belief in one God
2 The topic of Shirk will be dealt with in the next issue, InshAllaah
3 Bida - The Arabic word for innovation (something new broughtinto the religion)
4 Abu Haneefah an-Nu'man ibn Thabit was born in Kufah (Iraq) in the year 700 CE. He made his living as a cloth merchant, but devoted his entire life to studying and teaching Islam. His refusal to he appointed the judge of Kufah resulted in him being imprisoned and incurring punishment. He died in the year 767 CE in prison. His rulings and reasoning became the basis of the Hanafite school of Islamic law.
5 One of these Christians is a man by the name of Joseph Smith. Smith is on a continuous crusade against Islam and is a regular preacher in Hyde Park (London). A debate between Smith and Abdur-Raheem Green, entitled "The Sources of Islam" shows the fallacy of Smith's lies against Islam.
6 Surah At-Taghaabun 64:11
7 At-Tirmidhee
8 Surah Az-Zurnar 39:62
9 Such as four-leaf clovers, rabbits paws and horseshoes.
10 Bukhari ( Eng. Trans Vol .3 pp 535 No. 861 ) and Muslim Eng Trans Vol. 3 pp 931 No 4266
11 Surah Ta-Ha 20:8
12 Surah As-Shura 42:11
13 Surah Ghaffir 40:60
14 Surah Fatiha 1:4
15 The call to prayer
16 The one who calls to prayer
source: www.islaam.ca

Thursday, June 01, 2006

THE ORIGIN OF SHIRK

In the name of Allah, The most beneficent, The most merciful.
From that which has been established in the Sharee'ah (prescribed law) is that mankind was - in the beginning - a single nation upon true Tawheed, then Shirk (directing any part or form of worship, or anything else that is solely the right of Allaah, to other than Allaah) gradually overcame them. The basis for this is the saying of Allaah - the Most Blessed, the Most High:
“Mankind was one Ummah, then Allaah sent prophets bringing good news and warnings.” [2:213]
Ibn Abbaas - radi-Allaahu ’anhu - said:
“Between Nooh (Noah) and Aadam were ten generations, all of them were upon Sharee'ah (law) of the truth, then they differed. So Allaah sent prophets as bringers of good news and as warners.” [Related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree in his Tafseer (4/275) and al-Haakim (2/546)]
Ibn Urwah al-Hanbali (d.837H) said:
“This saying refutes those historians from the People of the Book who claim that Qaabil (Cain) and his sons were fire-worshippers.” [Al-Kawaakibud-Duraaree fee Tarteeb Musnadul-Imaam Ahmad ’alaa Abwaabil-Bukhaaree (6/212/1)]
I say: In it is also a refutation of some of the philosophers and atheists who claim that the (natural) basis of man is Shirk, and that Tawheed evolved in man! The preceding ayah (verse) falsifies this claim, as do the two following authentic ahadeeth:
Firstly: His sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam’s saying that he related from his Lord:
“I created all my servants upon the true Religion (upon Tawheed, free from Shirk). Then the devils came to them and led them astray from their true Religion. They made unlawful to people that which I had made lawful for them, and they commanded them to associate in worship with Me, that which I had sent down no authority.” [Related by Muslim (8/159) and Ahmad (4/162)]
Secondly: His sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam’s saying:
“Every child is born upon the Fitrah [natural disposition towards Islaam] but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian or a Maigan. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a natural offspring. have you noticed any born mutilated, before you mutilate them.”
Abu Hurayrah said: Recite if you wish:
“Allaah’s Fitrah with which He created mankind. There is to be no change to the creation (Religion) of Allaah.” [30:30] [Related by al-Bukhaaree (11/418) and Muslim (18/52)]
After this clear explanation, it is of the utmost importance for the Muslim to know how Shirk spread amongst the believers, after they were Muwahideen (people upon Tawheed). Concerning the saying of Allaah - the Most Perfect - about the people of Nooh:
“And they have said : You shall not forsake your gods, nor shall you forsake Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya'ooq, nor Nasr.” [71:23]
It has been related by a group from the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), in many narration's, that these five deities were righteous worshippers. However, when they died, Shaytaan whispered into their people to retreat and sit at their graves. Then Shaytaan whispered to those who came after them that they should take them as idols, beautifying to them the idea that you will be reminded of them and thereby follow them in righteous conduct. Then Shaytaan suggested to the third generation that they should worship these idols besides Allaah - the Most High - and he whispered to them that this is what their forefathers used to do! So Allaah sent to them Nooh ’alayhis-salaam, commanding them to worship Allaah alone. However none responded to his call except a few. Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - related this whole incident in Surah Nooh.
Ibn ’Abbaas relates:
“Indeed these five names of righteous men from the people of Nooh. When they died Shaytaan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of them, so they did this. However, none from amongst them worshipped these statues, until when they died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to worship them.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (8/534)]
The likes of this has also been related by Ibn Jareer, at-Tabaree and others, from a number of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) - radi-Allaahu ’anhum .
In ad-Durrul-Manthoor (6/269):
Abdullaah ibn Humaid relates from Abu Muttahar, who said: Yazeed ibn al-Muhallab was mentioned to Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir (d.11H), so he said: He was killed at the place where another besides Allaah was first worshipped. Then he mentioned Wadd and said:
“Wadd was a Muslim man who was loved by his people. When he died, the people began to gather around his grave in the land of Baabil (Babel), lamenting and mourning. So when Iblees (Satan) saw them mourning and lamenting over him, he took the form of a man and came to them, saying : I see that you are mourning and lamenting over him. So why don’t you make a picture of him (i.e. a statue) and place it in your places of gatherings so that you maybe reminded of him. So they said: Yes, and they made a picture of him and put in their place of gathering; which reminded them of him. When Iblees saw how they were (excessively) remembering him, he said : Why doesn’t every man amongst you make a similar picture to keep in your own houses, so that you can be (constantly) reminded of him. So they all said: Yes. So each household made a picture of him, which they adored and venerated and which constantly reminded them of him. Abu Ja’far said: Those from the later generation saw what the (previous generation) had done and considered that ... to the extent that they took him as an ilaah (deity) to be worshipped besides Allaah. He then said: This was the first idol worshipped other than Allaah, and they called this idol Wadd.” [Related by Ibn Abee Haatim]
Thus the wisdom of Allaah - the Blessed, the Most High - was fulfilled, when he sent Muhammad sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam as the final prophet and made his Sharee'ah the completion of all divinely Prescribed Laws, in that He prohibited all means and avenues by which people may fall into Shirk - which is the greatest of sins. For this reason, building shrines over graves1 and intending to specifically travel to them2, taking them as places of festivity and gathering3 and swearing an oath by the inmate of a grave4 ; have all been prohibited. All of these lead to excessiveness and lead to the worship of other than Allaah - the Most High.
This being the case even more so in an age in which knowledge is diminishing, ignorance is increasing, there are few sincere advisors (to the truth) and Shaytaan is co-operating with men and jinn to misguide mankind and to take them away from the worship of Allaah alone - the Blessed, the Most High.

Footnotes:
1 Jabir said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade us to plaster graves with gypsum, to sit on them or to build anything over them.” Narrated by Muslim, al-Janaa’iz, 1610.
2 Abu Huraira (Allaah be pleased with him) reported it directly from Allaah's Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) that he said: Do not undertake journey but to three mosques: this mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis). sahih Muslim No. 3218
3 'A'isha(may Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said during his illness from which he never recovered: Allaah cursed the Jews and the Christians that they took the graves of their prophets as mosques. (sahih Muslim No. 1079 )
4 Whoever swears by anyone other than Allaah, has associated partners with Allaah (Transmitted by Ahmad)
Author: Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaanee
Source: Tahdheerus-Saajid min Ittikhaadhil-Quboori Masaajid (pp.101-106)
Theclearpath.com. A few footnotes are edited/added by me.