No Announcement

"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."


عَنْ عُمَيْرِ بْنِ هَانِئٍ الْعَنْسِيِّ ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ ، يَقُولُ : كُنَّا قُعُودًا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ، فَذَكَرَ الْفِتَنَ فَأَكْثَرَ فِي ذِكْرِهَا حَتَّى ذَكَرَ فِتْنَةَ الْأَحْلَاسِ ، فَقَالَ قَائِلٌ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا فِتْنَةُ الْأَحْلَاسِ ؟ قَالَ : ” هِيَ هَرَبٌ وَحَرْبٌ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ السَّرَّاءِ ، دَخَنُهَا مِنْ تَحْتِ قَدَمَيْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ مِنِّي ، وَلَيْسَ مِنِّي ، وَإِنَّمَا أَوْلِيَائِي الْمُتَّقُونَ ، ثُمَّ يَصْطَلِحُ النَّاسُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ كَوَرِكٍ عَلَى ضِلَعٍ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ الدُّهَيْمَاءِ ، لَا تَدَعُ أَحَدًا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ إِلَّا لَطَمَتْهُ لَطْمَةً ، فَإِذَا قِيلَ : انْقَضَتْ ، تَمَادَتْ يُصْبِحُ الرَّجُلُ فِيهَا مُؤْمِنًا ، وَيُمْسِي كَافِرًا ، حَتَّى يَصِيرَ النَّاسُ إِلَى فُسْطَاطَيْنِ ، فُسْطَاطِ إِيمَانٍ لَا نِفَاقَ فِيهِ ، وَفُسْطَاطِ نِفَاقٍ لَا إِيمَانَ فِيهِ ، فَإِذَا كَانَ ذَاكُمْ فَانْتَظِرُوا الدَّجَّالَ ، مِنْ يَوْمِهِ ، أَوْ مِنْ غَدِهِ ” أبو داود

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)

“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Thursday, December 20, 2007




Belief in Allah is human nature

Allah created us with an inclination to believe in Him. He took us all from the back of Adam and had us bear witness to His Lordship (Al-Ahzaab: 172-173). He sent messengers to remind us of this and call us back to our innate nature (Ar-Rum: 30). The Prophet (sas) said: "Everyone is born on the fitra, but their parents turn them into Jews or Christians or Magians. Just as the animal is born whole – do you see on it any injuries or missing parts?" After reporting this, Abu Huraira said: Read, if you are so inclined: {The Fitra (nature) with which Allah created the people – there is no changing the creation of Allah}

The Prophet (sas) said: "My Lord ordered me to teach you that of which you are ignorant… I created all of my slaves upright (monotheist) but the shayateen came to them and pulled them away from their din and ordered them to associate with me that for which I sent down no authority."

Disbelief is a form of stupidity and a perversion of nature

Since belief is our nature, disbelief is an unnatural state and contrary to our nature. This negates the belief that original or ‘primitive’ man was a pagan worshipper of idols. Rather, the atheists are the most primitive of peoples who actually follow their lusts and desires while believing they are following intelligence and reason. Belief in the oneness of Allah is not something concocted by people – it is our nature and is confirmed by the revelations to all of the prophets.

Why this study is the most noble and the most important knowledge

The nobility of any study derives from the nobility of its subject matter. The subject at hand deals with the knowledge of Allah, His Oneness and dedicating all forms off worship solely to Him.

There can be no more important field of study, since the fruit of understanding tauhid is a good life in this world and the success of eternal joy in the hereafter.

{Whoever works righteousness whether male or female while they are believers, we will give them a good life and will grand them their reward based on the best of that which they used to do.} An-Nahl: 97

{When guidance comes to you from me, whoever follows my guidance will not go astray nor sufer hardship. Whoever turns away from my guidance will have an oppressive life and we will gather him on Qiyama blind. He will say: My Lord why have you brought me back blind though I used to see? He said: Likewise my signs came to you and you were neglectful of them and in like manner today you are neglected.} Taha: 123

The way to belief in Allah (swt)

The disbelievers of all times disputed with guidance by demanding:

A. To see Allah directly
See: Ghaafir: 36-37; Al-Baqarah: 55; An-Nisaa: 153

B. To hear Him speak to them directly
See: Al-Baqarah: 118

In this verse, Allah mentions that their statement resembles that of others before them and that {…their hearts are similar…} indicating that the disbelievers in all ages come with the same lame reasoning. Then, Allah said {…We have made the signs clear to a people who have certainty…} indicating that the road to belief in Allah is to ponder the signs of Allah which will fill the heart with certainty of belief in Him.

C. That Allah grant their special wish or show them the sign they demand
See: Al-Israa’: 90-92

Benefits of belief in Allah

Allah has promised that the results of belief in Him include: a good life in this world (An-Nahl: 97), guidance (Al-Hajj: 54), might and pride (Al-Munafiqoon: 8), power in the earth (An-Nur: 55), salvation (Yunus: 102), Allah’s allegiance to us and

His defense of us and aid with His Might against our enemies (Al-Hajj: 38, Ar-Rum: 47), and that our enemy will never be able to overcome us and violate our dignity (An-Nisaa: 141).

As for the hereafter, the rewards promised are much greater. See: Yunus: 9-10, Al-Kahf: 107-108

The obvious absence of these benefits from our nation today can only be the result of our straying from the true belief in Allah (swt). Our success in this life and the hereafter can only come from our understanding and application of this knowledge. Knowledge required for belief in Allah includes:

A. Belief that Allah exists

B. Belief in the Lordship (omnipotence) of Allah and Allah alone

C. Belief in the Deityship (right to legislate and be obeyed) of Allah and Allah alone

D. Belief in the names and attributes of Allah as conveyed in the Communication


The word tauhid means to make or to conceive as or hold to be one. Tauhid of Allah means both the oneness and the uniqueness of Allah Most High. Stated briefly, tauhid means attributing/ascribing/dedicating all attributes, beliefs and forms of worship to Allah and allowing none of these to be toward other than Allah, Most High.

In this way, tauhid combines the two fundamentals of rejection and assertion. When we say laa ilaha (there is no deity…), we reject all aspects of deity from all others except Allah Most High. Thus, Allah shares His attributes with no one, he alone creates and commands and He alone defines how He is to be worshipped and legislates the laws which govern our lives. When we say illa Allah (…except Allah), we affirm all of the things just mentioned to Allah Most High.

For ease of understanding, the study of Tauhid is divided into three areas:

Tauhid Ar-Ruboobiya

The exclusive uniqueness of Allah as omnipotent Lord. The one and the only one fully capable and in command in His creation. Stated another way: this form of tauhid pertains to the actions of Allah Most High.

Tauhid Al-Uloohiya

The exclusiveness uniqueness of Allah as deity. Allah is the only valid object of worship and no portion of any form of worship may be directed to other than Allah. Stated another way: this form of tauhid pertains to our actions.

Tauhid Al-Asmaa’ wa As-Sifaat

The exclusiveness uniqueness of Allah with regard to His names and attributes as He told us in the Qur’an or commanded his Prophet (sas) to tell us in the hadith. Stated another way: this form of tahuid pertains to complete acceptance of Allah’a attributes and names as they have been given to us.

These three categories are not from the revelation (Qur’an and Sunnah) as such. They were developed by the early scholars of this Ummah for ease of study and understanding. They carry weight because of the specific evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah for each point, not in and of themselves. In fact, this is not the only possible categorization and two other ‘types’ of tauhid are sometimes mentioned:

Tauhid Al-Ittibaa

The exclusiveness of following. Allah, the One has ordered us to take the Prophet (sas) as our guide and our example. Thus to give any other priority in following over the Prophet (sas) is to go against Allah and to divide our belief.

Tauhid Al-Haakimiya

The exclusiveness of Allah in legislation. Since Allah is the Supreme Lawgiver, part of our worship of Allah is to always accept His legislation on all matters and never to give the legislation of any other precedence over the legislation of Allah. Since Allah is our deity, there is no conceptual difference between turning away from bowing to Allah and bowing to others and turning away from Allah’s perfect laws and implementing the laws of others instead.

Once you understand how the two principles of rejection and assertion apply to the three (or four, or five) categories of Tauhid just described, you have a basic understanding of the framework of this field of knowledge into which to place specifics of its study.

First: Tauhid At-Ruboobiya (The Oneness of Allah as Omnipotent Lord)

This is the oneness and uniqueness of Allah with regard to His actions. We believe that Allah alone can create and He is omnipotent and in full control of all things. He alone creates life and brings death. He alone provides our sustenance and sends us messengers. Allah said about His creating:

{Allah is the creator of all things and He is in charge over all things.} Az-Zumar: 62

Allah mentioned his ‘order’, that He alone is in control and in command of all things in two verses (Aal-Imraan: 152-154). The specific mention is in the following sentense in verse 154:

{…they say is there anything for us in this affair? Say: the command belongs entirely to Allah…}

In another verse, Allah combines the two concepts:

{…Verily, His is the creation and the command. Blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds.} Al-A’raaf: 54

The meaning is that everything is created except for Allah and His attributes and that everything is under His command. Nothing happens except by His command, nothing can impede His command and nothing happens which was not commanded by Allah. Allah is the sovereign and has no partner or companion in His dominion.

When Pharaoh, who claimed himself to be lord but actually knew better in his heart, challenged Musa and Harun as to the identity of the lord they claimed, Musa answered:

{He said: "Our Lord is the one who gave all things their form and then directed them.} Taha: 50

Complete understanding of Tauhid Ar-Ruboobiya is not sufficient to avoid Shirk.

Actually, it is rare in human history that any group advocated the rejection of this kind of tauhid. It is mainly cited as something obvious and used as evidence for the other aspects of tauhid. It is the nature of mankind to know and except his creator. Read Sura Ibrahim, verses 8 and 9 for a description of the call of all of the messengers and the behavior of most of the people in the face of it. At the beginning of verse 9, Allah quotes them as saying:

{Their messengers said: "Is there any doubt about Allah, the creator of the heavens and the earth?!"}

Even Pharaoh who, like Farakhan after him, claimed that Allah was a man walking on the earth (himself), knew in his heart that his Creator was the One and Only Allah Most High. Allah quotes Musa as saying to him:

{He said: "You know that these signs have only been sent by the Lord of the heavens and the earth…"}Al-Israa: 102

Also, Allah said about Pharaoh and his people:

{They opposed it, though they were certain of its truth, out of oppression and arrogance.} An-Naml: 14

Even the pagans of Makka, to whom the Qur’an was first sent, accepted the Lordship of Allah Most High and understood Tauhid Ar-Ruboobiya. After mentioning some of the disputes of these people with the Prophet (sas), Allah says about them:

{And if you were to ask them who created the heavens and the earth and put the sun and the moon in submission, they will say: "Allah." So how, then, are they misled?} Al-Ankaboot: 63

After several verses talking about the realities which all who disbelieve in Allah will face on Qiyama, Allah says to them:

{Say: Who provides your sustenance from the heavens and from the earth and who owns hearing and sight and who brings the living from the dead and the dead from the living and who arranges all affairs? They will surely say: "Allah." Why, then, don’t you beware?} Yunus: 31


Although the pagans of Makka and most of the other peoples of this earth acknowledged the Lordship of Allah, Most High, this does not mean that shirk was not also committed in this area. Any belief that creation or command is shared by others than Allah constitutes shirk in this area of tauhid. For example, the Zoorastrians, who believed in a ‘god of light’ and a ‘god of darkness’. Similarly, if one were to believe that Iblis could lead astray one who Allah commanded would be guided, that would also be shirk in this area. To believe that any others besides Allah possess the power to cause harm or bring benefit is to associate partners with Allah in His Lordship. The people of prophet Hud (sas) said to him:

{We say that some or our gods have afflicted you…}Hud: 54

Allah explained the falsehood of such beliefs, i.e., that anyone could share with the one and only Allah in creation or command, saying:

{Allah has not taken for Himeslf any son and there is not with him any other deity. If it were so, then each deity would go with what it had created and they would have struggled to overcome one another.}Al-Mu’minoon: 91

Here, Allah points out that, if there were more than one creator, one of the following would necessarily happen:

Each would depart and separate from the other with its creation and its dominion.

One would overpower the other and they would not then be equal.

They would both be under another third entity who would do with them as He wished. That one, then is the true deity and they are nothing but His slaves and His creation.

Thus, the organization of this creation, its perfect harmony, etc. is the ultimate proof of the single Lord who alone creates and who alone commands in His creation.

So, although the pagans of Makka acknowledged the Lordship of Allah Most High, as do most of humanity, their understanding was deficient and not like the understanding brought by the messengers of Allah, peace be upon them. If they had truly understood the Lordship of Allah, it would have guided them to accepting the deityship of Allah and to worshipping him alone and with no partners.

Tauhid Ar-Ruboobiya is the Door to Tauhid Al-Uloohiya

In other words: The understanding of the Lordship of Allah, i.e., His being ALONE the possessor of creation and command, is the door to understanding what is upon us regarding the deityship of Allah, i.e., His being ALONE the one deserving of our worship, obedience and his being ALONE the one to legislate the haram (forbidden) and the halal (allowed) and to prescribe the laws and principles which govern righteous living in this life.

Most of the Qur’an is filled with discussions of Tauhid. If you look carefully at these verses, you will find that Allah did not seek to establish his uniqueness as Lord as such since this was widely accepted by humanity and by the pagan Arabs first being addressed with the Qur’an. Rather, Allah consistently cites His Lordship in order to guide us to His deityship. Allah said:

{O people, remember the favors of Allah upon you! Is there any creator besides Allah who provides your sustenance from the heavens and from the earth? There is no deity except Him! How, then are you misled?}Fatir: 3

{Allah is the one who made the earth a residence for you and made the sky a structure. He formed you and made you beautiful. He provided for you every clean them. That is Allah your Lord. Blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds. He is the Living. There is no deity by Him, so call to Him sincere in your worship of Him. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.}Ghaafir: 64-65

{Who, then, created the heavens and the earth and sent down to you from the heavens water and caused to grow with it beautiful gardens. You had no way to make its plants grow. Another deity along with Allah?! Rather, they are such an unjust people. Who, then, made the earth a residence for you and placed rivers thereon and put in it anchors and placed a barrier between the two kinds of water? Another deity along with Allah?! Rather, most of them do not know. Who, then, answers the desparate one when he calls out to Him and removes hardship and makes you successors in the earth? Another deity along with Allah?! How little you remember. Who, then, guides you in the darkness of the land and sea and who sends the winds are harbingers before the coming of His mercy? Another deity along with Allah?! Exalted is Allah above what they associate with Him. Who, then, begins the creation and then repeats it? And who provides for you from the heavens and the earth? Another deity along with Allah?! Say: Bring your proof if you speak the truth!} An-Naml: 60-64

Consistently, Allah uses the human awareness of the Creator as an argument or a proof to call people to accepting Allah as the sole DEITY and directing all forms of worship solely to Him.

{Say: Whose is the earth and all who are on it if you know. They will say: It is Allah’s. Say: Why then don’t you take heed? Say: Who is the lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the mighty throne? They will say: It is Allah’s. Say: Why then don’t you beware? Say: In whose hand is the dominion over all things and he grants protection is not protected by anyone, if you know? They will say: It is Allah’s. Say: So how have you lost your sense?}Al-Mu’minoon: 84-89

{Say: Who provides for you from the heavens and the earth and who controls hearing and seeing and who takes the living out of the dead and takes the dead out of the living and who controls this affair? The will say: Allah. So, say: Will you not then beware?}Yunus: 31

You will also find that whenever Allah condemns the worship of idols and other besides Allah, He does so by reminding us of their lacking the attributes of Lordship. This is important because the idol-worshippers did not attribute to them attributes of Lordship. They knew these issues belonged only to Allah. Rather, they directed some acts of worship to the idols as intermediaries between themselves and Allah. By reminding them that these intermediaries possess neither harm or benefit, Allah directed them (and us) to seek our needs directly from the One capable of delivering and He absolutely rejected any intercessors or intermediaries between Himself and His slaves.

{And those to whom they call besides Allah do not create and they themselves are created. Dead and not alive and they have no idea when they will be resurrected. Your deity is a single deity. Those who have no belief in the hereafter have hearts which reject and they are arrogant.}An-Nahl: 20-22

{That which you worship besides Allah is nothing but idols and you have created a forgery. Those who you worship besides Allah cannot grant you sustenance, so seek your sustenance from Allah and worship Him and direct your gratitude to Him. Unto Him is your return.}Al-‘Ankaboot: 17


The meaning of Tauhid Al-Uloohiya is to make Allah Most High the only object of all forms of worship whether spoken, acted or intended and complete rejection of all other objects of [any act of] worship other than Allah. Thus, in order to truly understand tauhid, one must gain an understanding of exactly what worship (ibada) consists of.

The Meaning of Worship

Worship is the deification of Allah alone, the humbling of oneself before Allah and the submission to Allah by carrying out what He has ordered and staying away from that which He has prohibited. The scholars have defined ibada as: "An all-inclusive term for all that which Allah loves and with which He is pleased of our actions, both outward and inward.

So, included in the concept of worship is desire (for Allah's rewards), fear (of His punishment), love, hope and other actions "of the heart". Worship also includes prayer, fasting, paying zakat, Hajj and other actions "of the body". Similarly, worship also includes giving sovereignty to the law of Allah (the Shari'a) by taking our differences or problems to it for solution, giving our allegiance to the believers over and above the disbelievers and turning ONLY to Allah with our du'a and in seeking aid in times of difficulties or against an enemy. Worship also includes keeping promises, fulfilling trusts, maintaining family ties and many other branches and categories of obedience to Allah Most High.

In short, ever major and minor principle and teaching of Islam falls under the concept of ibada. And the meaning of tauhid al-uloohiya, as has been said, is to devote all of these exclusively to Allah Most High and to turn to Him alone with all of these acts and actions.

A Widespread Error in the Area of Worship

The concept of limiting the understanding of worship to the rituals and symbols of Islam exclusively is an error and a deviation which is widespread among Muslims. Perhaps it is one lasting effect of colonialism and the invasion of secular philosophies which advocate the concept of the "separation of church and state". In actual fact, as should be clear by now, EVERY action, statement, etc. which is pleasing to Allah Most High is converted - by the presence of the appropriate INTENTION (niya) of pleasing Allah - to an act of worship.

For this reason, the Prophet (sas) said that "In having relations with your wives there is a [reward of] sadaqa." As another example, taking responsibility for the public interests of the Muslims and working on their needs such as water supply, roads, electricity, etc. is considered a collective obligation (fardh kifaya). With the correct intention, all of these acts become acts of worship of Allah Most High.
Types of Slavery

Slavery is of two types, corresponding to the two "wills" of Allah Most High. Allah has a will which is a "must be". This is his Decree and His Determination of all things. Whatever Allah wills in this way is and whatever is can only be because Allah so willed it. NOTHING happens out of the scope of this will of Allah and nothing can change it or turn it back. The second will of Allah is His Order and His Commandments - what He loves from His creation and what He hates for them to do. The Command of Allah is obeyed and carried out in some cases but is disobeyed and violated in other cases. Allah commanded us all to be Muslim and to obey Him, but many choose kufr over iman and disobedience of obedience to Allah Most High. Corresponding to these two "wills" of Allah are two types of slavery to Allah which have each been mentioned in many places in the Qur'an.

1. Universal and Involuntary Slavery

This is the involuntary submission of every part of Allah's creation to His Decree and His Ordination of all things, actions and events. The righteous, the corrupt, the believer and the disbeliever are all 100% in submission to this Decree of Allah and no one is outside of it. It is the inevitable result of the fact that Allah is the absolute Master of His creation and does with it whatever He pleases. About this, Allah said:

{Wa lahu aslama man fiy as-samaawaati wa al-ardhi taw'an wa karhan}

{And to Him has submitted all who are in the heavens and the earth, willingly and unwillingly.} Aal-'Imraan: 83

{In kullu man fiy as-samaawaati wa al-ardhi illa aatiy ar-rahmani 'abdan. Laqad ahsaahum wa 'addahum 'addan. Wa Kulluhum aateehi yauma al-qiyamati fardan.}

{All who are in the heavens and the earth come to the Merciful slaves. He has surveyed them and counted each and every one of them. And all of them will come to Him on the day of Qiyama alone.} Maryam: 93-95

2. Special and Voluntary Slavery

Allah chooses for this form of slavery those whom He wishes among His slaves. It is a slaver which enobles and raises man to a higher state. Allah said:

{Bal 'ibaadun mukramoon}

{Rather, slaves, highly honored.} Al-Anbiyaa: 26

And, Allah said about His final Messenger Muhammad (sas):

{Subhana alladhiy asraa bi 'abdihi lailan min al-masjid al-haraam ilaa al-masjid al-aqsaa alladhiy baaraknaa haulahu.}

{Exalted is He who transported His slave by night from the sacred masjid to the farthest masjid around which We have blessed.} Al-Israa: 1

{Wa 'ibaadu ar-rahman alladheena yamshoona 'alaa al-ardhi haunan wa idhaa khaatabahum al-jaahiloona qaaloo salaaman.}

{And the slaves of the Merciful who walk on the earth with humility and when addressed by the ignorant, speak a word of integrity.} Al-Furqaan: 63

The Importance of this Tauhid in Islam

This is the most important area of tauhid and it could even be said that it is tauhid. Here are some of the proofs of that:

1. It is the message of all of the prophets (may peace be upon them all). Allah said:

{Wa maa arsalnaa min qablika min rasoolin illa noohee ilaihi annahu laa ilaaha illa ana fa'budoon.}

{We have not send before you any messenger but that we communicate to them that there is no deity except Me, so worship Me.} Al-Anbiyaa: 25

{Wa laqad ba'athnaa fiy kulli ummatin rasoolan an i'budoo Allah wa ijtaniboo at-taaghoot.}

{We have commissioned a messenger in every nation that: "Worship Allah and get away from all those worshipped other than Him."} An-Nahl: 37

{Wa dhkur akhaa 'aadin idh andhara qaumahu bil ahqaafi wa qad khalat an-nudhur min baini yadaihi wa min khalfihi allaa ta'budoo illa Allah.}

{And remember the brother of [the people of] 'Aad when he warned his people by the hills - and many other warnings have gone by both before and after him - that: "You must not worship any but Allah."} Al-Ahqaaf: 21

{Qul yaa ahla al-kitabi ta'aalau ilaa kalimatin sawaa'in bainanaa wa bainakum allaa na'buda illa Allahi wa laa nushrika bihi shai'an wa laa yattakhidha ba'dhunaa ba'dhan arbaaban min duni Allahi. Fa in tawallau fa qooloo ish-hadoo bi'annaa Muslimoon.}

{Say: O people of the book let us come to a fair word between us: that we not worship any but Allah and that we associate none with Him and that we do not take one another as lords other than Allah. If they turn away, the say: "We bear witness that we are Muslim."} Aal 'Imraan: 64

And, the Prophet (sas) said:

"Al-anbiyaa ikhwa. La'ulaatu ummahaatihim shattaa, wa deenuhum wahid."

"The prophets are brothers. The lineage of their mothers is different, but their din is one."

Thus, we see that all religion is one and it is the religion of tauhid. Religions in the sense of rulings, laws and other specifics have been different. Furthermore, these messages superceded and abrogated each other if they came to the same people and the message of Muhammad (the first and only message to come to all of mankind), superceded all previous messages. Note that this last point only pertains to the rulings and details of the law. There was no difference in the tauhid (theology) taught by the various messengers through the ages. The differences we see today are the result of the corruption of the original messages of the earlier messengers. Allah said:

{Wa anzalnaa ilaika al-kitaaba bi al-haqqi musaddiqan lima baina yadaihi min al-kitabi wa muhaiminan 'alaihi. Fa hkum bainahum bima anzala Allahu wa laa tattabi' ahwaa'ahum 'amma jaa'aka min al-haqqi. Likullin ja'alnaa minkum shir'atan wa minhaajan. Wa lau shaa' Allahu laja'alakum ummatan waahidatan wa laakin liyabluakum fiy maa aaataakum. Fa stabiqoo al-khairaati. Ilaa Allahi marji'ukum jamee'an fa yunabbi'ukum bima kuntum fihi takhtalifoon.}

{And we send down to you the book with the truth - a confirmation of the books which came before it and an authority over them. So judge between them with what Allah sent down and do not follow their inclinations away from the truth which has come to you. For each of you we have made a law and a program. And if Allah had wished, He would have made you a single nation. Rather in order that He may test you in that which you have been given. So compete in good deeds. Unto Allah is your return altogether and He will inform you about that in which you differ.} Al-Ma'idah: 48

2. It is the first aspect of the din with which people are addressed. It is a prerequisite required for all good deeds. Just as prayer cannot be accepted without ablution, likewise no good deed can be accepted unless accompanied by tauhid of Allah Most High. Allah said:

{Wa laqad awhaa ilaika wa ilaa alladhina min qablika la'in ashrakta layahbitanna 'amaluka wa lattakunanna main al-khaasireen. Bal Allaha fa 'bud wa kun min ash-shaakireen.}

{It has been communicated to you and to those who came before you that if you associate any with Allah that your deeds will be nullified and you will be among those in loss. Rather it is Allah you must worship and be among the grateful.} Az-Zumar: 65-66

The Prophet (sas) said to Mu'adh ibn Jabal when he sent him to Yemem: "O Mu'adh, you will be coming to a people from those of the book. Let the first thing you call them to be the worship of Allah Mighty and Great. Once they understand that, inform them that Allah has made obligatory upon them five prayers in each day and night. Once they do that, inform them that Allah has made obligatory upon them zakat. It is taken from their wealthy and returned to their poor. Once they obey you in that, take it from them and beware of taking the best of their property." Muslim and Bukhari

3. It is the key to success and safety in this life. With the acceptance of tauhid, the covenant of Islam is established and blood and property is protected from the Muslims except for any provision in the law (such as treason, adultery or murder).

The Prophet (sas) said: "I have been ordered to fight the people until they say: "There is no deity but Allah." So, whoever says "There is no deity but Allah" has protected his blood and his property from me except for its rights and his account is up to Allah." Bukhari

4. It is the key to success and safety in the life hereafter. One who knows the tauhid of Allah in his/her heart will enter Allah's paradise, even if they may be punished in hell-fire for a time if their bad deeds outweigh their good deeds. One who associates partners in worship with Allah will be in hell-fire forever no matter what the quantity of their good deeds and even if they pray and fast and believe themselves to be Muslim. Allah said:

{Inna Allaha laa yaghfiru an yushraka bihi wa yaghfiru maa duna dhalika liman yashaa'.}

{Verily, Allah does not forgive for any to be associated with Him and He forgives anything less than that to whomever He wishes.} An-Nisaa: 48

The Prophet (sas) was asked: What are the inevitables? To which he (sas) said: "Whoever dies not associating anything with Allah enters paradise and whoever dies associating anything with Allah enters the fire."

5. It is the essence if Islam and that which distinguishes it from all other religions and philosophies. This is why a Muslim must repeat its assertion many times a day in the five prayers, in the adhaan in discourse and in remembrance of Allah.

6. All of Qur'an is really about this kind of tauhid, its implications, obligations and results and the result of straying from it. All of the Qur'an consists of:

a. Information about Allah and His Names, Attributes and Actions. This is the intellectual basis of tauhid.

b. Calls to the worship of Allah alone and to avoid any associating with Him in worship. This is the program of action of tauhid.

c. Orders and prohibitions and commands to obey Allah Most High. These are the implications and necessary results of the tauhid of Allah Most High.

d. Information about the bounties Allah has bestowed on the people of tauhid, including the blessings they receive in this world and the great rewards which await them in the hereafter. This is the result of the tauhid of Allah Most High.

e. Information about the people of shirk (the opposite of tauhid) and the examples Allah has made of them in this life as well as the punishment which awaits them in the hereafter. This is the result of straying from, deviating from or being ignorant of the ways of the tauhid of Allah Most High.

The Path to Tauhid Al-Uloohiya

The way to fill our hearts with the worshipping of Allah alone (tauhid al-uloohiya) is through contemplation and understanding of his Oneness and Omnipotence as our Lord and Creator (tauhid ar-ruboobiya). It is the nature of our hearts to turn to the Creator, to the Source of all benefit and harm. From here, we can move to the objective of Islam: the means to come closer to this Lord and to do that which is pleasing to this Lord. Thus, tauhid ar-ruboobiya is the gateway and the means to tauhid al-uloohiya as we have mentioned, this latter being the objective of the messages of the messengers (peace be upon them) and the the only thing which can save us from punishment and admit us to Allah's paradise in the hereafter.

For this reason, even though tauhid al-uloohiya is the objective, this does not mean that understanding tauhid ar-ruboobiya is unimportant. It is essential pursue knowledge of tauhid ar-ruboobiya and strengthen our understanding and faith in the oneness and omnipotence of Allah in his acts of creation, providing sustenance to His creation and controlling all that is in the universe. In this way, we need to fill our hearts with the certainty that none can bring us benefit but Allah and none can keep harm from us but Allah and that whatever good we are enjoying is from Allah. This is the way to then purify our worship of Allah to Allah alone and to cleanse our hearts from the wrong concepts and paganistic practices spread by deviant groups and people of desire.

As mentioned earlier, the Qur'an cites the Lordship of Allah and uses it as proof to the pagans of Makka (who understood and believed in Allah's Lordship) that it was upon them to recognize the Deityship of Allah Most High and to purify their actions from all forms of associates in worship and intercessors and to worship Allah directly and alone. The Prophet (sas) used this approach and instructed his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) to use this methodology in calling people to Islam. It is sufficient for us to ponder two quotations from the Qur'an in this regard. First, Allah said:

{O people, worship your Lord who created you and those who came before you that perhaps you may attain piety. The One who made the earth a mat and the sky a building. And He sent water down from the sky and brought forth with it fruits as a provision for you. So, do not make equals to Allah even though you know.} Al-Baqarah: 21-22

Here Allah mentions several visible aspects of His Lordship and omnipotence:

a. He created us (those present).
b. He created those who came before us (those absent).
c. He made the earth a hospitable place for use to live.
d. He made the sky (the atmosphere) a building (environment) in which we can live.
e. He created the water cycle to support agriculture and food-bearing plants.

These signs of Allah's omnipotence, which we know and understand, are cited here as signs or proofs that Allah alone is the one of whom we should beware. This is from Allahs's statement "that perhaps you may attain peity" (l'allakum tattaqoon)- the Arabic word taqwa means to beware of or to fear. This we should direct to Allah and to Allah alone, since Allah is the only one capable of causing us harm or bringing us benefit. Furthermore, Allah forbids us from diluting this worship by directing ANY of it to other than Him. The Prophet (sas) quoted from Allah in hadith qudsiy:

"I am the least in need of any partner. So, if anyone associates a partner with me, I will leave him with that partner." Muslim

In another verse, Allah says:

{Say: Whose is the earth and all who are on it if you know. They will say: [They are] Allah's. Say: Will you not then take heed? Say: Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Mighty Throne? They will say: [That is] Allah's. Say: Will you not then beware? Say: In whose hand is the dominion over all things? Who grants protection and is not protected by anyone, if you know? They will say: Allah. So how, then, are you bewitched?} Al-Mu'minoon: 84-89

Throughout these verses, we see that Allah uses His Lordship and His Omnipotence and His Protection of those who seek His protection as proofs that He alone deserves worship and deityship is His alone with no partners. This latter is the meaning of tauhid al-uloohiya.


1. Making Allah ONE with our love, our glorification/magnification and making Allah our one and only deity (object of worship).
2. Making Allah ONE with our obedience, our following and our surrender (Islam)

TAUHID OF WORSHIP AND RITUAL - Tauhid Al-Qasd wa At-Ta'alluh

The meaning of this type of tauhid is to make Allah our only object in all forms of worship and ritual. This means to turn to Allah and to Allah alone with all forms of worship whether spoken or acted (internally or externally). This includes love, glorification, hope, fear, reliance, supplication (du'a), seeking of aid, rituals of sacrifice, oaths, bowing, prostration, etc. Allah said:

{Say: Surely my prayer, my [rituals of] sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner! With this I have been commanded and I am the first of those who submit (Muslims)} Al-An'aam: 162-163

Here Allah ordered his Messenger (sas) to announce to the world and to the mushrikeen of Makka, who used to turn to other than Allah with various forms of worship and to sacrifice in other than His name, the he (we) opposes them in this and that he (we) turn only to Allah with all of this. As we have pointed out earlier, these same mushrikeen 'believed in' Allah and knew his lordship and omnipotence. It was their directing various forms of worship to other than Allah - and NOT any rejection of Allah as Lord - which made them mushrikeen. And so this type of tauhid is the core of the message which Muhammad (sas) brought to his people and the world.

Imam Bukhari narrates in his Sahih that Ibn Abbas said:

"The idols of the people of Nuh later spread among the Arabs. Wadd belonged to [the tribe of] Kalb from Domat Al-Jandal. Suwaa' belonged to Hudhail, Yaghooth belonged to Murad then later to Bani Ghutaif from Jarf in Saba'. Ya'ooq belonged to Hamadhan. Nasr belonged to Humair, the people of Dhi Al-Kalaa'. These were names of righteous people from the people of Nuh. When they died, Shaitaan inspired their people to place monuments where they used to sit [and teach]. They named these with their names, but they were not worshipped until that generation died out and the knowledge was corrupted - then they were worshipped."

For this reason, the Prophet (sas) forbid all forms of excess with regard to other humans - even himself - in many hadith. For example:

"Do not exaggerate with me (or exaggerate in praising me) as the Christians exaggerated with 'Isa the son of Maryam. I am nothing but a slave. So say: slave of Allah and His messenger." Muslim and Bukhari

"Beware of excess. It was nothing but excess in religion which destroyed those who came before you." An-Nasaa'i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad

Also in Sahih Al-Bukhari, once the Prophet (sas) was listening to some women chanting about the Martyrs of Badr when one of them said: "And among us is a prophet who knows what will be tomorrow." The Prophet (sas) said: "Stay away from this and say what you were saying before."

In spite of the magnitude of deviation in this time and in other times in the past, Allah has always blessed this Ummah with Mujaddidum (renewers) in every age who call this nation back to the pure tauhid and the pure sunnah and practice of the Companions.

Supplication, Seeking of Aid and Seeking of Refuge

Among the types of worship which belong only to Allah are suplication (du'a), seeking of aid (istighaatha) and seeking of refuge (ists'aadha)

First: Supplication (Du'a)

Supplication (du'a) can be divided into two types: supplication of asking and supplication of worship. Allah has used the word in the Qur'an to mean the first type and to mean the second type and sometimes to mean both of them.

Supplication of Asking

This is asking for that which is beneficial or to be shielded from that which is harmful. Allah rejected in Qur'an the directing of this type of du'a to other than Him, since He alone possesses the right to cause harm or bring benefit. Allah said:

{And do not supplicate beside Allah that which cannot benefit you nor harm you. If you do so, then you are surely among the oppressors.} Yunus: 106

This type of du'a includes and is in fact du'a of worship at the same time because the asker has directed his need to Allah alone and supplicated his Lord in humility and this is one of the best forms of worship. For this reason, the Qur'an and the Sunnah have called this type of du'a 'worship' ('ibaada). Whoever denies that supplication for ones needs is worship has opposed the Qur'an, the Sunnah, the language and the understanding of the nation since its beginnings. The following are proofs of this point:

{And your Lord said: Supplicate to Me that I may respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to engage in worship of me will enter hell-fire humiliated.} Ghaafir: 60

{And who is more astray than one who supplicates beside Allah those who do not respond to them until Qiyama and they are not conscious of their supplication and, when the people are gathered, they will be enemies to them and they will be in total rejection of their worship of them.} Al-Ahqaaf: 5

The Prophet (sas) said: "Du'a is worship." Abu Daud, At-Tirmidhi, Al-Haakim and others.

Supplication of Worship

This is all forms of devotion including mentioning/remembrance, recitation, prayer, sacrifice, etc. These things have been called du'a either because they are similar in their bringing on the reward of Allah or because one who busies himself with these devotions rather than the first form of du'a may be given by Allah even more than those who ask Allah. Or it is because one who engages in any of these forms of worship is actually in a position of asking Allah - asking Him for reward and paradise. So the term du'a really includes both forms as explained here.


As we have seen, seeking a means to Allah by asking Him by means of a righteous person or prophet or through the high station of that righteous person or prophet is an innovation. As such, it is not lawful in Islam. Furthermore, it is something never practiced nor taught nor sanctioned or allowed by the Prophet (sas), his companions or the first two generations after them. There are three types of 'seeking of means' or tawassul which are lawful and legitimate in Islam as follows:

1. Seeking a means to Allah with His beautiful names and sublime attributes

This is prescribed in Islam in the unanimous opinion of the scholars and there is no difference of opinion about that. Here is some of the evidence from the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

{To Allah belong the most beautiful names so call Him with them and leave those who deviate with regard to His names. They will be repaid that which they used to do.} Al-A'raaf: 180

'Deviation' with regard to Allah's names (al-ilhaad fiy asmaa' Allah) means to corrupt or change their meaning or the names themselves. This includes three forms:

* Changing the names themselves. Several of the names of the idols in the Ka'aba were distortions of names of Allah: Al-Laat from Allah, Al-'Uzza from Al-'Aziz, Manaat from Al-Mannaan, etc.

* Adding names which Allah has not given Himself in His Book or in the Sunnah of His Messenger (sas)

* Decreasing Allahs' names - by rejecting the meaning of some of His names.

This verse was revealed about one of the Companions who used to call to Allah saying "O Rahman, O Raheem". One of the mushrikeen said: "Does not Muhammad and his companions claim that they worship one lord? So what is with this one calling to two lords?"

Abu Huraira reports that the Prophet (sas) said: "Allah has 99 names - one hundred minus one. Whoever encompasses them, enters paradise. He is witr ('odd-numbered') and he loves things witr."

{...and put me in - by Your mercy - among your righteous slaves.} An-Naml: 19

This is part of a du'a by Sulaiman after witnessing the great favors of Allah upon him.

Among the du'a of the Prophet (sas), are the statements:

"O Living, O Omnipotent, by Your Mercy I seek aid."

"I seek refuge in your Compassion from Your just punishment. I seek refuge in Your pleasure from your displeasure. I seek refuge in You from You. Glorious is your face - I cannot encompass sufficient glorification of you. You are as You have glorified yourself."

2. Seeking a means to Allah via the du'a of the living among His righteous slaves

{If only they - when they had wronged themselves - had come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness and the Messenger asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah quick to turn back [to those who turn back to Him], most Merciful.} An-Nisaa: 64

Some of the Companions asked the Prophet (sas) to ask Allah for rain when the rain was late in coming. The Prophet (sas) prayed the prayer (istisqaa') and Allah answered it and the rain came.

3. Seeking a means to Allah with good deeds

This too is prescribed in Islam in the unanimous opinion of the scholars. Allah said:

{O you who believe, beware of Allah and seek the means to Him and fight in His path that perhaps you may be successful.} Al-Ma'idah: 35

Also included in this area is seeking the way to Allah by love for the Prophet (sas) and following of his commands because this is a part of good deeds. In fact, love for Allah and His Messenger is the foundation of Islam upon which all other good deeds are built. Following the Prophet (sas) in all that he command and prohibited is the way to Allah's love and forgiveness. Allah said:

{Say: If you truly love Allah then follow me that Allah may love you and forgive for you your sins. Allah is most forgiving, most merciful.} Aal-'Imraan: 31

Third: Seeking Refuge (Al-isti'aadha)

The meaning of isti'aadha is to seek refuge, shelter or protection from some evil or harm. Seeking refuge with Allah is an act of worship prescribed in Islam. After telling us of the power of repaying offense and attach with good deeds, Allah said:

{And if a bad impulse comes to you from shaitaan, seek refuge in Allah. He is surely they Hearer, the Knower.} Fusilat: 36

{And, when you recite Qur'an, seek refuge in Allah from the rejected shaitaan} An-Nahl: 98

{Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the dawn from any evil which He created.} Al-Falaq: 1-2

To seek refuge in any other than Allah is shirk. This is based on the fact that any act which is worship when directed to Allah becomes shirk when it is redirected to other than Allah.

It is not lawful to seek refuge in other than Allah Most High. This is one of the proofs that the Words of Allah are attributes of Allah, part of Him and not a created thing. The proof of this is that the Prophet (sas) used to say: "I seek refuge in the perfect Words of Allah." Also, Allah said:

{And some men among the humans used to seek refuge in some men among the jinn and they increased them in fear.} Al-Jinn: 6

Seeking refuge with Allah is an act of worship which Allah has ordered us to practice in many verses in the Qur'an. Whoever redirects any of this to other than Allah has made a partner to Allah in his worship. The Arabs, when they camped in a valley for the night and felt afraid, used to say: "I seek refuge in the chief of this valley from the foolish among his people." Meaning that they sought the protection of the leader of the jinn of that place. The jinn were so flattered and pleased with being worshipped beside Allah did things to increase the fear of those humans so that they may continue and increase in their worship (seeking refuge) of them.


Fear of Allah is one of the highest and best levels in Islam. It is one of the best forms of worship which Allah has commanded be directed to Him and only to Him. Allah uses various words meaning fear and commands that all of them be directed to Him alone. Among them are:

* Khawf - fear or dread. Focuses more on the mind state of fear than khashya.

* Khashya - same as above. Focuses also on the actions which result from this fear.

* Rahba - fear or dread but also the concept of feeling alarmed or terrorized or intimidated

* Ishfaaq - anxiety, worry or aprehension

There are fine shades of difference in meaning between these words but English is inadequate to express it. Basically, they all translate to "fear".

Speaking about the martyrs who lost their lives in Allah's path and after mentioning the greatness of their reward in the hereafter, Allah said about them (khawf):

{Those to whom the people said: "The people have gathered against you so fear them." So that increased them in faith and they said: "Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best of Protectors." (173) And so they returned with a great gift from Allah and bounty. No harm touched them. They sought the pleasure of Allah and Allah is the possessor of great bounty indeed. (174) That is nothing but shaitaan who inspires fear of his allies. So do not fear them and fear me if you are truly believers.} Aal 'Imraan: 173-175

And (khashya):

{So do not fear the people but fear Me and do not purchase with my signs a paltry value.} Al-Maidah: 44

And (rahba):

{And Allah said: "Do not take for yourself two gods. He is only One god so of Me be afraid."} An-Nahl: 51

About His angels, Allah said (khawf):

{They fear their Lord above them and they do what they are commanded.} An-Nahl: 50

Allah promised those who fear Him in this life TWO gardens in the hereafter (khawf):

{And for the one who fears the standing before his Lord two gardens.} Ar-Rahman: 46

In Sura Al-Insaan, Allah speaks about the final state of those who followed the path of guidance, those who fulfilled their oaths and promises and who gave of their food and sustenance - in spite of their love for it - to orphans, poor people and prisoners. Here we see that fear of Allah frees us from all other fears - not only in this life but during the terrible events of Qiyama and in the hereafter as well.

{Those who fulfill their oaths and fear a day whose harmfulness will be alarming. (1) And they give food, in spite of their love for it, to the poor, the orphan and the prisoner. (2) "We feed you only seeking the Face of Allah. We do not want from you any reward nor thanks." (3) Verily, we fear from our Lord a day of frowning and distress. (4) So Allah shielded them from the harm of that day and granted them light and joy. (5) And rewarded them for their patience a garden and silk.} Al-Insaan: 7-12

If we suffer some anxiety and lack of security because of our steadfastness in the practice of Islam, it will be well rewarded by Allah's protection from the terrifying events of Qiyama and from the punishment of hell-fire. Allah said:

{They said: "We used to be before this with our families in a state of anxiety but Allah has granted us great favor and shielded us from the punishment of the fiery wind."} At-Toor: 26-27

The Prophet (sas) said: "There was a man from among the peoples who came before you who doubted if his actions were good enough. He said to his family: 'If I die, scatter me over the ocean on a stormy day." They did so. Then Allah collected him togther and said to him: 'What drove you to do what you have done?' The man answered: 'Nothing drove me to it but fear of You." And so Allah forgave him"

This man was ignorant of the complete power of Allah over all things and ordered his family to burn him and scatter his ashes over the ocean in his igorance thinking that he could escape from Allah. Even though what he did was wrong and based on ignorance, Allah forgave him because of his great fear of Allah - which is one of the ways of worship of Allah.

Types of Fear

1. Inner or true fear

This is an act of worship of the heart - in fact it is one of the most complete forms of worship. Thus, it must be directed exclusively to Allah Most High. If it is directed to other than Allah, that is shirk such as those who fear other than Allah such as idols or evil ones (taghoot) - that they may be able to inflict some harm on them. Allah said on the tongues of the people of Hud:

{We merely say that some of our deities have afflicted some harm on you. Say: I invoke Allah as my witness and I bear witness that I am innocent of that which you associate (54) less than Allah so scheme against me all of you and give me no breaks.} Hud: 54-55

The mushrikeen of Makka likewise attempted to instill fear in the Prophet (sas) for those whom they worshipped besides Allah:

{Is not Allah sufficient for his slaves? And they seek to instill in you fear for those less than Him.} Az-Zumar: 36

2. Outward fear (fearing other than Allah in one's practice).

This is when on leaves some of the obligations of Islam out off fear of the people. It is forbidden and is a type of shirk which negates the completeness of tauhid. It does not include a case of force or duress in which case a Muslim has permission to leave an obligation or even speak a word of falsehood to save his/her own life. As cited earlier, Allah said:

{That is nothing but shaitaan who inspires fear of his allies. So do not fear them and fear me if you are truly believers.} Aal 'Imraan: 175

Shaitaan and his forces attempt to instill fear in the hearts of the believers in order that they not fight in the path of Allah or enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. Allah has forbidden this fear. As one's faith increases, the fear of shaitaan's allies, which he seeks to instill in our hearts diminishes. Likewise, if our faith diminishes, our fear of shaitaan's allies will increase as we are defenseless against his machinations. This verse reminds us that this fear must be exclusively of Allah and that is one of the conditions of complete belief.

3. Natural or biological fear.

This is the simple, biological fear which is part of our nature such as when one is confronted by a wild animal or other dangerous situation. This is a natural part of a human being and although it varies from individual to individual, it has nothing to do with the subject of tauhid and shirk. Allah said:

{And Musa was apprehensive of a fear in himself} Taha: 67

The Prophet (sas) was asked: "Can a believer be a coward?" and he (sas) answered: "Yes." Malik in the Muwatta, but it is mursal.

Love (Mahabbba) of Allah

The true meaning of worship is the completeness of love and the completeness of submission to Allah Most High. Love of Allah is by taking Him as Deity and Sovereign and by submitting our will, drives and inclinations to Allah. This love is the foundation of Islam and requires and is inseparable from fear of Allah and his punishment and hope for the forgiveness and mercy of Allah. In this sense, this love is not befitting to any others besides Allah. So, whoever loves something other than Allah as one should love Allah or greater than that becomes one of those who have set up rivals or equals to Allah. Allah said:

{Among people are those who take from those less than Allah rivals who they love as the love of Allah. Those who believe are strongest in love of Allah.} Al-Baqarah: 165

Loving others along with Allah (al mahabba ma'a Allah) is different loving for the sake of Allah (al mahabba fiy Allah). This latter is something commanded by Allah. The love which cannot be directed to other than Allah is that love which contains elements of glorification, submission or the belief in some absolute need for this one besides Allah. It is shirk to make one's love for other than Allah equal to that of Allah Most High. Allah tells us of the conversation between those who worshipped other along with Allah and their objects of worship in the fire:

{By Allah, we were surely completely lost (97) when we equated you with the Lord of the Worlds.} Ash-Shu'araa: 97-98

They knew and acknowledged that Allah alone possesses creation, provision, life and death. Their "equating" of others with Allah was with regard to their love, their glorification and other forms of worship.

This is always the state of the people of shirk against Allah. They love their object of worship, they glorify them and are devoted to them as they should do all of those things with Allah. Many times, they love their objects of worship MORE than they love Allah. This can be observed in many ways. They are pleased and joyful at the mention of their objects of worship more than they are please with the mention of Allah, alone and one. They are angered if anyone detracts from or insults the object of their worship more than if one detracts from or insults Allah Most High. What is worse: they are enraged if the boundaries or prohibitions of their object of worship are violated, but when the boundaries and prohibitions of Allah Mighty and Great are violated and disrespected they do not become angry. They produce endless excuses and rationalizations for every kind of disobedience to Allah, but will tolerate no transgression whatsoever against the prohibitions of those whom they worship beside Him.

Though they acknowledge Allah as Omnipotent Lord, the remembrance of their other objects of worship may be much greater and ever-present in their hearts and words, while the remembrance of Allah Himself the One and Alone is less frequent and less fervent than the remembrance of these others. They see nothing wrong with that, claiming that their object of worship is their means and their intermediary to their needs from Allah Most High. This is precisely the state of the idol-worshippers of Makka to whom the message of Muhammad (sas) first came and which the people of shirk have passed on to one another through the ages, though their particular objects of worship may vary. Allah said about the mushrikeen of Makka and all others in all times and places who direct some acts of worship to other than Allah (even though they may believe in Allah as Lord):

{Surely, we have sent the book down to you with the truth. So worship Allah, devoting your religion exclusively to Him. (2) To Allah belongs the pure religion. But those who take allies less than Him [say] "We do not worship them except that they may bring us closer to Allah." Surely, Allah will judge between them regarding that over which they differ. Allah surely does not guide one who is ever-given to lying and to rejecting faith.} Az-Zumar: 3

As for the natural love for certain things - such as the love of people for things which please them like wealth, children, etc., this is not related to the current topic - unless it drives one to leave obligations or commit the forbidden.


The meaning of As-Sihr in the Arabic language is that whose cause is subtle or invisible. In the terminology of Islam, the meaning is various forms of spells, incantations or knots (or other physical items) which have effects on the heart and the body. They can cause illness, death or separation between husband and wife.

The Mu'tazilah (one of the groups who deviated in issues of Aqidah) rejected the existence of sorcery and sometimes ruled with kufr against anyone who claimed its existence. They claimed it is nothing but hallucination and imagination. As for the mainstream Muslims (Ahlus-Sunnah wa Al-Jamaa), we say that sorcery is real, it really takes place and when it occurs, Allah creates whatever He wishes. Thus, its effects do not come from the stars, the talismen, the knots or the sorcerer, rather Allah brings about whatever He wishes upon the occurrence of those things. Allah said speaking about the Jews:

{And when a Messenger came to them from Allah verifying that which was in their possession a group of those who had been given the book before threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know (101) And they followed that which the devils had taught to the kingdom of Sulaiman. Sulaiman did not disbelieve but the devils disbelieved teaching the people sorcery and that which was sent down to the two angels Harut and Marut. And those two did not teach anyone until first saying:

"We are nothing but a test for you so do not disbelieve." And they learn from them that with which they separate a man from his spouse. And they bring harm to no one except by Allah's permission. And they learn that which harms them and does not benefit them. And they know that whoever made this transaction has no share in the hereafter. How evil is that for which they have sold themselves, if they only knew.} Al-Baqarah: 101-102

And, in Al-Falaq:

{And (I seek refuge) from the chanters over the knots.} Al-Falaq: 4

This is a reference to one of the methods of sorcery in the time of the Prophet (sas) - the tying of knots and the reciting of incantations over them. If there was no real effect from this, we would not have been ordered to seek refuge in Allah from it. The verses from Al-Baqarah make it very clear that Allah has allowed for these things to have real effects.

Furthermore, the Prophet (sas) himself was affected by sorcery which was done against him, but Allah aided him against it.

On the authority of Aisah (raa): Allah Messenger was bewitched such that he thought that he had done something but had not really done it and he said to her one day:

"Two angels came to me and one sat by my head and the other at my feet and one said: 'What ails this man?' The other said: 'Sorcery has been done against him.' The other said: 'And who is the sorcerer?' The other said: 'Lubaid ibn Al-A'sam with a comb and and object in the well of Dhi Arwaan."

Sorcery is forbidden in the unanimous opinion of the scholars - not just in Islam, but in the messages of ALL of the messengers of Allah. See the previous verses from Al-Baqarah for this.

{And they know that whoever made this transaction has no share in the hereafter. How evil is that for which they have sold themselves, if they only knew.}

{And the sorcerer will never succeed no matter what they achieve.} Taha: 69

And, in a hadith found in both Muslim and Bukhari, the Prophet (sas) said: "Stay away from the seven which destroy..." and he mentioned among them shirk against Allah and sorcery.

Rulings regarding the Sorcerer

There is no difference of opinion that the sorcerer - if he commits during is sorcery that which removes one from Islam - deserves the death penalty as an apostate. There is also no difference of opinion that if he kills someone with his sorcery that he is to be killed for murder. The difference of opinion which exists is in the absence of both if these issues.

Some among the salaf (the righteous first generations) said that such a one is a disbeliever and is to be killed for apostation. This is the opinion of Malik, Ahmad and Abu Hanifa.

Ash-Shafi'i said: When someone learns sorcery we say to them: "Describe to use your sorcery." So, if he describes something which is disbelief such as believing in appeasing the seven stars or that the stars are the source of what is being sought, then he is a disbeliever as above. Even without this, if he believes that sorcery is lawful in Islam, he is also a disbeliever.

Also, some scholars in the Hanafi school differentiated between one who learned sorcery in order to avoid it or to defend against it as opposed to one who learns it believing that it is lawful, believing that he can get some benefit from it or believing that the devils will do his bidding - this latter one is definitely a disbeliever.

Many Kinds of Sorcery

Sometimes sorcery involves the aid off the evil Jinn which is invoked by some kind of devotion or offering to them with something hateful to Allah Most High. When the sorcerer invokes them with some form of shirk, kufr, disobedience or involvement in najaasa (unclean things), this acts as a "bribe" to the evil Jinn who then does some of the bidding of the sorcerer. This is always a losing proposition for the sorcerer in the long run, as Allah mentioned in the Qur'an:

{And that there were some men among humans who used to seek refuge with men among the Jinn and they increased their burden.} Al-Jinn: 9

Other sorcery is in the category of worship of the stars and the planets. This may involve fortune-telling by them (astrology), seeking shelter in them or asking one's needs of them.

Generally, the reality of sorcery (As-Sihr) is directing oneself to other than Allah in acts of seeking aid, humbling oneself, making offerings to and obeying. It is either worship of the Jinn or worship of other objects such as stars and planets. All of this is shirk against Allah and disbelief.

Sometimes the word "sorcery" (As-Sihr) is used to mean trickery and sleight of hand or the use of potions or ointments ("snake oil") to trick people. None of this falls under disbelief but is in the category of corruption and bad deeds to the extent of the forgery and deception involved.

Sometimes, the word "sihr" is used to mean power of expression and eloquence in language. The Prophet (sas) said that "In some eloquence there is sihr." This goes back to the basic meaning of the word in the Arabic language: "that whose cause is subtle or invisible". If this power of eloquence is used to promote the truth and implement justice, then it is endorsed by the Shari'a and is a good deed. If on the other hand it is used to confuse people to misrepresent the truth and to oppose justice or promote injustice then it is a bad deed condemned by the Shari'a and could reach the level of kufr.

1. An-Nushra (Removal of the effects of sorcery)

An-nushra is types of medication or incantations for the purpose of removing the effects of sorcery from its victim. It is of two types:

a. Using Islamic du'a, Qur'anic verses and seeking refuge in Allah as well as halal types of medication. This lawful without any difference of opinion about that.

b. Using sorcery to combat the effects of sorcery. About this, there has been some difference of opinion going all the way back to the Companions of the Prophet (sas)..

Some viewed it as lawful, among them Said ibn Al-Musayyib, As-Shu'by and others. In Sahih Al-Bukhari, Qatadah reports: I said to Ibn Al-Musayyib: A man has been afflicted by sorcery, is it allowed for him to use an-nushra? He said: "There is nothing wrong with that. They intend with it to do good. That which is beneficial has not been prohibited." And Ash-Shu'by said: "There is nothing wrong with an-nushra."

Ibn Al-Qayyim differentiated between an-nushra when performed with verses of Qur'an, seeking refuge with Allah and lawful dhikr and an-nushra when performed with forms of sorcery, use of unlawful or unclean things and words which contain types of shirk and kufr. All of those narrations indicating the forbidden nature of an-nushra should be applied to this second type and all those narrations indicating that it is lawful should be applied to the first type and thus there is no contradication between any of these narrations.

2. Astrology

At-Tanjeem means citing the conditions of the heavenly bodies as evidence of events on the earth. It is of two type: lawful and unlawful.

The lawful type means studying the movements of the stars and planets in order to predict earthly events which can be found to be related to them by observation such as the tides and lunar and solar eclipses. Allah said:

{He is the one who made the sun shine and the moon a light and set its stages that you may know the number of years and mathematics.} Yunus: 5

As for the haraam, it includes two types:

1. Using the stars to claim to predict future events.

2. Belief that the stars affect human and worldly events and the the course of these events is determined by the stars.

Qatadah said: "Allah has only created the stars for three purposes: as a beautification of the sky, to use in navigation and for stoning the devils. Whoever involves himself in other than that has spoken from opinion and is mistaken. He has forfeited his share and placed himself in that of which he has no knowledge."

3. Amulets and Incantations

Incantations (for cure or repelling harm) include that which is lawful and that which is unlawful. The lawful is that which uses verses of Qur'an, the names and attributes of Allah Most High or other dhikr or du'a from the Sunnah of the Prophet (sas).

As for the unlawful, it is that which involves invoking the aid of other than Allah. The Prophet (sas) was asked about incantations and he said: "There is nothing wrong with these incantations as long as they are not shirk." Muslim And, in another hadith, he (sas) said: "Whoever among you can benefit his brother, let him do so." Since we must be sure that any incantations we use must be free of shirk, therefore if the meaning is unknown, it is not lawful.

Amulet containing only verses of Qur'an and Allah's names and attributes?

Some saw this as lawful among them Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-Aas and it seems to be the meaning of something narrated from Aisha.

Among those who saw it as unlawful are Ibn Masood, Ibn Abbas, Hudhaifa and a large number of the tabi'een (the generation after the Companions).

Clearly, most of the great ones of the first generations viewed this an unlawful. Also, the intelligent thing is that this practice should not be followed because at the very least, it is a dharee'a (gateway or "slippery slope") which distracts the heart from remembrance of Allah and even if we were to say that under certain circumstances it is not actually shirk, it is certainly something which could only lead to shirk in the long run. Also, the narration from Abullah ibn Amr ibn Al-Aas - the only one among the Companions who allowed it - is weak in terms of its chain. Furthermore, since this is clearly in the category of worship, if it is not specifically found and/or endorsed in the sunnah of the Prophet (sas) then it is new. Remember that "new" plus "worshp" always equals bid'a (innovation) and all innovation (with this definition) is forbidden in Islam.

Swearing by Other Than Allah

Another form of shirk against Allah is to swear by other than Allah. The Prophet (sas) said "Whoever swears by other than Allah has committed shirk." Al-Haakim and At-Tirmidhi and he rated it hassan

And, in another hadith: "Allah Most High has forbidden you to swear by your fathers. Whoever swears by something, let him swear by Allah or keep quiet."

Ibn Umar once heard a man say: "No, by the Ka'aba." He said to him: "Do not swear by other than Allah, for I heard Allah's Messenger say: "Whoever swears by other than Allah has committed kufr or has committed shirk." Abu Daud and it is sahih.