Taqwa: Meaning, Benefits and Actions

taqwa-meaning-benefits-actions

Meaning

The word Taqwa has been mentioned 151 times in the Noble Qur`an. Taqwa is an Arabic word which is explained as a shield against wrongdoing and further expounded as to be “conscious of Allah” or to have “fear of Allah” or to be “cautiously aware of Allah”.

The origin of the word Taqwa is from the Arabic root letters wa’ ka’ ya (meaning shield) and its verb is from the word “Ittaki”. Ittaki means to be careful or to be protected or to be cautious. Taqwa is an internal compass on the path that leads towards Allah. The broader meaning and character of Taqwa is to develop one’s behavior, so as to be cautiously aware in the worship of Allah and attain nearness to Him and in so doing, perfect oneself.

This consciousness and fear of Allah is understood as a protection and a shield against wrongdoing. The abstention of evil through this fear, consciousness and establishing a cautious awareness of Allah, ultimately develops one’s love of Him.

The universal principle of submission to the Divine Will is beautifully expressed in the character of one who is a servant of Allah, known as an “Abd-Allah” which is an ideal state of Taqwa.

Abu Darda (R) said: “From the completion of Taqwa is that the servant fears from His Lord even with regards to things, the weight of an atom.” Abu Darda’s advice for servants who wish to accomplish a character of ‘taqwa’ should fear to commit the smallest of sins.

The messenger of Allah said in a Hadith, reported in the Sahih Muslim that, “Taqwa is here”, and he pointed to his chest.

Taqwa is profoundly explained in a discussion between ‘Umar and Ka’b who were companions of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

‘Umar asked Ka’b the meaning of ‘taqwa,’ as Ka’b was renowned for his deep understanding of the Qur’an Al Kareem.

Kaab (R) then inquired from Umar (R), whether he had walked through a thorny bush path with his cloak. Umar (R) replied that he had done so on numerous occasions. Kaab (R) asked Umar (R) to describe his movements through this thorny path. Umar (R) replied that he moved very cautiously, so as not to tear his clothing. Kaab (R) said that was the description and the meaning of Taqwa.

The path that inculcates and embraces a character of Taqwa is one that must be carefully and cautiously treaded. On this path one must be completely aware of oneself and one’s surroundings, to be disciplined with the correct action and behavior which will achieve one’s closeness to Allah.

Taqwa is one of the most profound concepts in Islam. It is an avenue by which Muslims relate to one another in society and a means to channel actions for the pleasure of Allah. Possessors of Tawqa are called Al-Muttaqun or Muttaqeen.

Benefits

  1. Taqwa is a means by which a believer performs righteous deeds and Taqwa causes the righteous deed to be accepted by Allah.

Allah says:

“O you who believe! Have Taqwa (fear) of Allah and always speak the truth. He will direct you to do righteous and correct actions and will forgive you your sins and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed attained a great achievement.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab (33): 70]

and:

 “Verily Allah accepts only from those who are the muttaqoon (those who posses Taqwa).” [Soorah al-Maaidah (19): 71-72]

  1. Taqwa makes one deserving of Allah’s Pleasure and Love. Allah says:

“Verily, the most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa.” [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 13]

and:

“Whoever fulfills his pledge and has Taqwa of Allah much, then indeed, Allah loves those who are muttaqoon (those who posses Taqwa).” [Soorah Aal-Imraan (3): 76]

  1. Taqwa causes sins to be forgiven and increases rewards. Allah says:

“And whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him. He will remit his sins from him, and will enlarge his rewards.” [Soorah at-Talaaq (65): 5]

  1. Taqwa keeps one steadfast on the Straight Path and protects him from deviation.

Allah says:

“O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah. He will give you a Furqaan (criterion to judge between right and wrong).” [Soorah al-Anfaal (8): 29]

Imaam Ibn al-Katheer (rahimahulla) said in his Tafseer, ‘Ibn Abbas, as-Sudde, Ikrimah, adh-Dahhak, Qataadah and Muqaatil, Ibn Huyyan, all said about ‘Furqaan’ that it means a way out (from difficulty).

Mujaahid added: ‘A way out from difficulty both in this world and in the Hereafter.’ In a narration from Ibn Abbas, he said: “It means, ‘Salvation’ and in another narration from him ‘being helped.’ Muhammad Ishaaq said that it means: ‘A criterion to judge between truth and falsehood.’ This explanation from Ibn Ishaaq is the most general of what has proceeded and it is a necessary consequence of it. Since whoever has Taqwa of Allah by obeying His commands and abandoning what He has prohibited, will be given the ability to recognize truth from falsehood.

This will be the cause for his salvation, his being helped; and the cause for his worldly affairs being made easier and his happiness on the Day of Judgment. It will be the cause for his sins to be expiated by Allah, and his being granted forgiveness and Allah shielding him from the people. It will likewise be the cause of him being the recipient of a great reward from Allah, as He the Most High says:

“O you who believe! Have Taqwa (fear) of Allah and believe in His Messenger; and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk.”[Soorah al-Hdeed (57): 28]

Actions Towards Taqwa

a)Bringing the self to account for its deeds

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an:

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” [Al-Qur’an 59:18]

When a Muslim takes account of his own deeds he is able to realize his mistakes and correct them. Those who do not engage in accounting their own deeds, only condemn themselves in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Allah said in the Qur’an:

“So, by your Lord (O Muhammad) We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do.” [Al-Qur’an15:92-93]

Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah said, “Condemning oneself is a practice of the truthful. A servant draws closer to Allah in a moment (when he condemns himself) much more than he would do so through actions.”

When a Muslim takes account of his actions, he is able to realize the right of Allah over him. Ibn al-Qayyim also said, “A benefit of understanding Allah’s right over the servant is that it breeds condemnation of oneself and delivers one from showing off and vanity. It also opens the door of humbleness in front of Allah and closes the doors of conceit. It allows one to realize that salvation is only through Allah’s grace and mercy. It is Allah’s right that He should be obeyed and not disobeyed: that He should be remembered and not forgotten and that He should be appreciated and not unappreciated. Whoever thinks over these things will know with certainty that he cannot fulfill these conditions and, thus, has to resort to Allah’s mercy. Such a person will be convinced that he cannot rely on his actions, lest he be destroyed. Many people think about their rights over Allah and do not about His rights over them. This is how there are detached from Allah and deprived of the desire to meet Him. This is the epitome of ignorance of their Lord and of themselves.”[Ighathat al-Lahfan 1/99-101; secondary reference]

A’ishah radiallahu ‘anha was once asked about the verse:

“Then We gave the Book (the Qur’an) for inheritance to such of Our slaves whom We chose (the followers of Muhammad) Then of them are some who wrong their ownselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who are, by Allah’s Leave, foremost in good deeds. That (inheritance of the Qur’an), that is indeed a great grace.” [Al-Qur’an 35:32]

She answered, “My son! They are in Paradise. Those who raced towards good deeds are those who lived during the time of Rasulullahsallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who testified to their sustenance and Paradise. As for those who were moderate, they followed him among his companions and caught up with him. And as for those who wronged themselves are concerned, they are people like me and you.”

Abu Darda radiallahu ‘anhu said, “No one can achieve complete understanding of Islam until he condemns people for the sake of Allah and then returns home and condemns himself even more.”

Imam Ahmad rahimahullah related from Wahab ibn Munabbah rahimullah, “It is written from the family of Dawud ‘alayhis salam, ‘An intelligent person should not be distracted on four occasions; when he is supplicating to his Lord, when he is auditing himself, when he is being informed by his friends about his shortcomings, and when he is alone with himself.’ “

‘Umar radiallahu ‘anhu said, “Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account [by someone else], weigh your deeds before they are weighed [by someone else].”

Al-Hasan al-Basri rahimahullah said about the verse “No. I do swear by the criticizing self … “ [Al-Qur’an 75:2]:

“A believer will always be critical of himself in his food, his drink and his speech. A sinner will not criticize himself.”

He also said, “A believer is a guardian over himself: he accounts himself for Allah. Those who take account of themselves in this world will be audited lightly in the Hereafter. Those who take this issue lightly will find their auditing very difficult.”

b) Disciplining one’s self for its shortcomings

We are not made perfect by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and we inevitably have our shortcomings. The pious predecessors differed with us in that they were harsh on themselves when it came to their shortcomings because they knew that obedience can be very difficult.

In the Qur’an we are told that Iblis said:

“Because you have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones.” [Al-Qur’an 7:12-17]

The pious predecessors were always fully aware of this and did everything to their capability to take their souls into account for its shortcomings, all out fear, love and hope in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Tamim ad-Dari radiallahu ‘anhu failed to wake up for tahajjud one night and he stayed awake at nights in prayer the whole of the next year. Talhah radiallahu ‘anhu became preoccupied with a bird on his wall on his orchard while he prayed and he donated the wall as redemption for that shortcoming. Imam Muhammad ibn Sirin narrated that Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu said “Sometimes I fell unconscious in between the mimbar of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the chamber of A’ishah. People would say, ‘Maybe he is mad!’ However, Allah knows best that I am not mad, but my hunger made me fall.” ‘Umar radiallahu ‘anhu gave a piece of land when he missed ‘Asr prayers in congregation, and Ibn ‘Umar used to stay awake the whole night if he missed a group prayer and then he would free two slaves.

Allah said in the Qur’an:

“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘Alaykum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.” [Al-Qur’an 39:73]

c) Bringing the self to do acts of obedience

When a Muslim knows the value of the Hereafter, making an effort to have a pleasant abode is no longer difficult. This is why the pious predecessors acted upon the Qur’an and Sunnah. Abu Bakr as-Siddiq radiallahu ‘anhu said, “Whoever enters his grave without any provisions is like the one who mounts the sea without a ship.”

Bringing the self to do actions of obedience to Allah has a great deal to do with being content by Allah’s decree. This state can only be attained by those who seek to have great knowledge and love. And so, by this it is possible to find pleasure in whatever they have been given by Allah whether it is a trial or a tribulation, JUST BECAUSE, it comes from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Allah said in the Qur’an:

“Whoever acts righteously, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will surely give him life with a good life, and We will surely give them their reward in accordance with the best of what they used to do … “ [Al-Qur’an 16:97]

Ahmad ibn Bindar narrated that Abu Hurayrah cried during his last illness, and when asked about it he said, “Surely I am not crying being attached to your world, but rather for the long journey awaiting me, and the little provisions I have prepared for it. This morning, I am descending upon either paradise, or hell, and I have no idea towards which of the two I will be taken!”

Muawiyah narrated that he the Prophet say,

“A group of people amongst my followers will remain obedient to Allah’s orders and they will not be harmed by anyone who will not help them or who will oppose them, till Allah’s Order (the Last Day) comes upon them while they are still on the right path.” [Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 56, Number 835]

Abdur-Rahman ibn Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrated that someone asked his father, “O Abu Abdur-Rahman, teach me a few words that are all-encompassing and beneficial, so that I will need no further elaboration!” Ibn Mas’ud said, “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him. Live by the dictates of the Qur’an and pursue its guidance. Accept the truth and justice even if they come from a stranger you do not recognize, or even from someone you disregard as despicable, and refute falsehood even if it comes from a sibling you love.”

Yahya ibn Mu’adh rahimahullah said, “Congratulations to those who leave the world before it deserts them; to those who build their graves before they enter them; and to those who please their Lord before they meet Him.”

Thus we should try to bring ourselves to the very best of our abilities to do actions of obedience to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

In Sahih Muslim it has been related that on the authority of A’ishah radiallahu ‘anha that Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

“Everyone of the children of Adam has been created with three hundred and sixty joints; so he who declares the Glory of Allah, praises Allah, and declares Allah to be one, Glorifies Allah, and seeks forgiveness from Allah, and removes stone, or thorn, or bone from people’s path, and enjoins what is good and forbids what is evil, to the number of those three hundred and sixty, will walk that having removed himself from hell.”

Abu Dharr radiallahu ‘anhu reported, “Some of the people from among the Companions of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him: ‘O Rasulullah the rich have taken away all the reward. They observe prayer as we do; they keep the fasts as we keep, and they give sadaqah out of their surplus riches.’ Upon this Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhis wa sallam said,

‘Has Allah not prescribed for you by following which you can also do sadaqah? In every declaration of the glorification of Allah there is sadaqah, and every takbir there is sadaqah and ever declaration that He is One is a sadaqah, and enjoining of good is a sadaqah, and forbidding of that which is evil is a sadaqah, and in man’s sexual intercourse with his wife there is sadaqah.’

 The companions said, ‘Rasulullah is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us?’ He said,

‘Tell me if he were to devote it to something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward.’ ” [Muslim]

Abu Dharr radiallahu ‘anhu asked Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Which action is best?” Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallamsaid, “Faith in Allah and Jihad in the way of Allah.” He asked, “Which neck is best for emancipation?”  Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,“That which is dearest of them in price and most valuable of them near its masters.” He asked, “If I cannot do it?” Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “You shall help a laborer or work for one who is disabled.” He asked, “If I cannot do it?” Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “You shall call the people from wrong doing, because it is charity which you bestow upon yourself.” [Agreed upon. Riyadh as-Salihin]

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said in the Qur’an:

“If anyone does a righteous deed, it is for his own soul.” [Al-Qur’an 45:15]

And, He has promised us in the Qur’an:

“And whosoever does good an atom’s weight will see it then.” [Al-Qur’an 99:7]

d)Seeking the company and knowledge of the pious

Unnecessary company is a disease that causes much harm. The wrong kind of companionships often afford one to be deprived of Allah’s blessings. Companionship in this life should be beneficial for one’s akhirah. Ibn al-Qayyim rahimuhullah cites four different kinds of companionships:

  1. People whose company is like food. It is indispensable, night or day. Once we have taken our need from this company we can leave it until we need it again. These are people with knowledge of Allah, who are pious, who wish well for Allah, His prophet and His servants. Associating with them is an achievement in itself.
  2. People whose company is like a medicine. Their company is only needed when a disease sets in. When you are healthy you have no need for them, but mixing with them is sometimes necessary such as livelihood, business and consultation. Once what you need has been fulfilled, mixing with them should be avoided.
  3. People whose company is harmful. Mixing with these people is like a disease, in all its variety and degrees. You will never benefit from them in this life or in the next life if you have them for company. You will lose either one or both of your deen and your livelihood because of them. If their companionship has taken hold of you and is established then it becomes fatal. Among such people are those who neither speak any good that might benefit you, nor listen closely to you so that they might benefit from you. They do not know their souls. Their words are like lashes, while all the while they are full of admiration for and delight in their own words. They cause distress to their company, while believe they are the center of attraction. Mixing with such a person will inevitably come to an end and is destined to be doomed. In such cases a person should just hold on to good behavior, only presenting such company with his outward appearance, until Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala offers him a way out of this company and out of its afflictions.
  4. People whose company is evil in itself. This is like taking poison, its victim either finds an antidote for it or dies. Many belong to this category. They are people of shirk and misguidance who abandon the Sunnah and bring their personal beliefs as the truth. A Muslim should not sit in their company nor mix with them. The result of which will be a death of the heart. With these kinds of companionships, we need to be more aware of what we choose to surround ourselvers with. In addition al-Hasan al-Basri said, “The heart becomes corrupt in six ways: commiting sins in the hope of repenting, seeking knowledge and not applying it, practice without ikhlas (sincerity), eating the sustenance of Allah without appreciating Him, not being please with Allah’s decree and burying the dead without learning from them.”

Thus, in our effort to have increased taqwa we must surround ourselves with company who only seek to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in speech and in actions. We must also take time to acquire knowledge from the pious of the past and of the present. And finally, we likewise must make an effort to keep company of those who are hungry for knowledge about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Meaning of Tawheed

tawhid-shahadah-meaning-transliteration

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

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

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

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

It may be defined as follows: Believing that Allaah is One with no partner or associate in His Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) or names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat).

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

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

  1. “Say (O Muhammad): He is Allaah, (the) One [Ahad].
  2. Allaah‑us‑Samad [Allaah — the Self‑Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].
  3. He begets not, nor was He begotten.
  4. And there is none co‑equal or comparable unto Him”

[al-Ikhlaas 112:1-4]

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

[al-Baqarah 2:163]

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

[al-Maa’idah 5:73]

And there are many similar verses.

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (7372) and Saheeh Muslim (19) it is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal to Yemen, he said to him: “You are going to people from among the People of the Book, so let the first thing to which you call them be belief in Allaah alone (Tawheed). If they accept that, then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them five prayers every day and night. If they pray then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them zakaah from their wealth to be taken from their rich and given to their poor. If they agree to that then take it from them but avoid the best of people’s wealth.”

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): belief that Allaah is One, establishing regular prayer, paying zakaah, fasting Ramadaan and Hajj.”

What is meant by Tawheed in all these texts is affirming the meaning of the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, which is the essence of the religion of Islam with which Allaah sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), based on the evidence of the words of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. In some versions of the hadeeth of Mu’aadh quoted above it says: “You will come to some people from among the People of the Book so when you come to them, call them to bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1492.

According to another version of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is based on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger…” Narrated by Muslim, 16.

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

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:19]

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

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

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

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

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

The entire universe, in the way it is created and the way it is controlled, bears witness to the oneness of Allaah:

“Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!

[al-A’raaf 7:54 – interpretation of the meaning]

The creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of night and day, the different kinds of inanimate objects, plants and fruits, the creation of humans and animals… all of that indicates that the Almighty Creator is One with no partner or associate:

“That is Allaah, your Lord, the Creator of all things, Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). How then are you turning away (from Allaah, by worshipping others instead of Him)? [Ghaafir 40:62 – interpretation of the meaning]

 The variety and greatness of these created things, the perfect way in which they are formed, the way in which they are maintained and controlled, all indicate that the Creator is One and that He does as He wills and rules and decides as He wants:

“Allaah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakeel (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian) over all things”

[al-Zumar 39:62 – interpretation of the meaning]

All of the above indicate that this universe has a Creator, that this dominion has a Sovereign, that behind these forms is One Who gives them shape:

“He is Allaah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names”

[al-Hashr 59:24 – interpretation of the meaning]

The soundness of the heavens and the earth, the order of the universe, the harmony among created things, all indicate that the Creator is One, with no partner or associate:

“Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) aalihah (gods) besides Allaah, then verily, both would have been ruined. Glorified be Allaah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above all that (evil) they associate with Him!”[al-Anbiya’ 21:22 – interpretation of the meaning]

These great created things either created themselves – which is impossible – or man created himself then created them – which is also impossible:

“Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators?

Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief”[al-Toor 52:35-36 – interpretation of the meaning]

 Reason, Revelation and the original state of man (fitrah) all indicate that this universe has One Who brought it into being, that these created things have a Creator Who is Ever-Living and Eternal, All-Knowing and All-Aware, Powerful and Almighty, Kind and Most Merciful. He has the Most Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes and He knows all things. Nothing is beyond His control, and there is nothing like unto Him:

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

[al-Baqarah 2:163 – interpretation of the meaning]

The existence of Allaah is something that is there is no excuse for not knowing. It is the matter of common sense:

“Their Messengers said: What! Can there be a doubt about Allaah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth?”

[Ibraaheem 14:10 – interpretation of the meaning]

Allaah has created people with the natural instinct (fitrah) to affirm His Lordship and Oneness, but the shayaateen (devils) came to the sons of Adam and caused them to deviate from their religion. According to ahadeeth qudsi (a type of prophetic narration), “I created all My slaves as haneefs (monotheists), but the shayaateen (devils) came to them and made them deviate from their religion, and they forbade them that which I had permitted to them.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 2865)

Among them are those who deny the existence of Allaah, and those who worship the Shaytaan, and those who worship man. And there are those who worship the dinar [money], or fire, or genital organs, or animals. And there are some who associate in worship with Him a stone from the earth or a star in the sky.

These things which are worshipped instead of Allaah, cannot create or provide; they cannot hear or see, or bring benefits or cause harm. So how can they worship them instead of Allaah?

“Are many different lords (gods) better or Allaah, the One, the Irresistible?” [Yoosuf 12:39 – interpretation of the meaning]

Allaah has condemned those who worship these idols which cannot hear, see or think:

“Verily, those whom you call upon besides Allaah are slaves like you. So call upon them and let them answer you if you are truthful.

Have they feet wherewith they walk? Or have they hands wherewith they hold? Or have they eyes wherewith they see? Or have they ears wherewith they hear?”

[al-A’raaf 7:194-195 – interpretation of the meaning]

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘How do you worship besides Allaah something which has no power either to harm or benefit you? But it is Allaah Who is the All‑Hearer, All‑Knower”

[al-Maa’idah 5:76 – interpretation of the meaning]

How ignorant man is of his Lord Who created him and provides for him. How he rejects Him and forgets Him, and worships others instead of Him:

“Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind”

[al-Hajj 22:46 – interpretation of the meaning]

Glorified be Allaah far above that which they associate with Him. Praise be to Allaah the Lord of the Worlds:

“Say (O Muhammad): Praise and thanks be to Allaah, and peace be on His slaves whom He has chosen (for His Message)! Is Allaah better, or (all) that you ascribe as partners (to Him)?” (Of course, Allaah is Better).

Is not He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you water (rain) from the sky, whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight? It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees. Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)!

Is not He (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water)? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Nay, but most of them know not!

Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Little is that you remember!

Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain)? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? High Exalted be Allaah above all that they associate as partners (to Him)!

Is not He (better than your so‑called gods) Who originates creation, and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from heaven and earth? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Say: ‘Bring forth your proofs, if you are truthful’”

[al-Naml 27:59-64 – interpretation of the meaning]

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

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

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

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:61] 

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

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:63] 

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

[al-Zukhruf 43:87]

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

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

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

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

[al-Isra’ 17:23] 

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

[al-Nisa’ 4:36]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[al-Shoora 42:11]

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

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

The Station of Muraqabah

station-of-muraqabahMurâqabah is knowing that Allâh is watching over us. Allâh, subhânahu wa ta‘âla, says, “And know that Allâh knows what is in your minds, so fear Him.” [2:235] “And Allâh is Ever a Watcher over all things.” [33:52] “And He is with you wherever you may be.” [57:4] There are many other similar verses stating the same concept.

In the hadîth of Jibrîl, when he asked the Prophet ﷺ about ihsân (goodness and excellence), the Prophet ﷺ replied, “Ihsân is to worship Allâh as if you see Him, but since we do not see Him we should know that He sees us at all times.” (Bukhârî and Muslim) The meaning of this hadîth is the definition of murâqabah. Namely, the endurance of the servant’s knowledge and his conviction and certainty that Allâh is watching over his internal and external affairs. To have this knowledge and certainty at all times is called murâqabah. It is the fruit of the servant’s knowledge that Allâh is his Watcher, Over-seeing him, Hearing his utterances, and Observing all of his deeds at all times.

Al-Junaid said, “The one firm in murâqabah fears the waste of even a moment for other than his Lord.” Dhun-Nun said: “The sign of murâqabah is to favor what Allâh has sent down (of the revelation), to glorify what Allâh has glorified, and to despise what Allâh has despised.”

Ibrahîm Al-Khawâs said: “Murâqabah is the sincerity of both the internal and external to Allâh.” It has been said that “The best that man may cling to on this road to Allâh is muhâsabah (reckoning of the self), murâqabah, and governing his conduct with knowledge.”

The people of true knowledge have unanimously agreed that having murâqabah for Allâh in one’s hidden thoughts is a means for it to manifest in the deeds and the behavior externally. So, whoever has murâqabah for Allâh in secret and internally, Allâh will preserve him in his actions and behavior, both internally and externally.

One of the finest definitions for murâqabah is the following: murâqabah of Allâh is being on the way to Him at all times with over-whelming glorification, inciting nearness and urging joy. The overwhelming glorification is to have the heart filled with glorification of Allâh. Such a state makes the servant unconcerned with glorifying others or paying attention to others beside Allâh. A servant should always have this state, especially when he is remembering Allâh. To be with Allâh provides one with intimacy and love. If these are not associated with glorification, they may take one outside of the limits of servitude. Any love that is not associated with glorification of the Beloved One is a reason to distance him away from the Beloved and lose His respect.

The overwhelming glorification includes five components: walking towards Allâh, constantly walking towards Him, presence within the heart for Him, glorification of Him, and being overwhelmed by His glorification to be concerned with others. The inciting nearness is the closeness to Allâh that incites the servant to have these five components. This closeness makes him glorify Allâh in a manner that he pays no attention to himself or others. The closer the servant becomes to Allâh, the more he glorifies Him and the less mindful he will be for others. The urging joy is happiness and glorification. It is the delight one finds in this nearness. There is nothing in this world comparable in any way to the joy and happiness of the heart and the delight of the eye with Allâh and His closeness. This is one of the states in Paradise. A knowledgeable person said, “There are times when I would say that if the people of Paradise can be in a state like this, they are indeed living a good life.” This joy, no doubt, urges him to be constant in walking to Allâh and doing his best to seek Allâh’s Pleasure. If one didn’t achieve this joy or even a portion of it, then one should doubt their faith and deeds. Faith has grace and sweetness. If one has not tasted it, then one should go back and achieve the true faith and its sweetness.

The Prophet ﷺ mentioned the sweetness of faith in many ahâdîth, including: “…tasted the taste of faith, those who take Allâh as their Lord, Islam as their religion and Muhammad as a Messenger.” (Muslim and Ahmad) He also said: “Whoever possesses the following three qualities attains the sweetness of faith: To have Allâh and His Messenger dearer to him than anything else, to love a person only for the sake of Allah, and to hate to return to kufr after Allâh has rescued him from it like he hates to be thrown into fire.” (Bukhârî & Muslim) I heard Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah saying: “If you don’t find sweetness and joy in the deed you perform, then doubt its sincerity, for Allâh is Shakûr (Most Appreciative and Rewarding).” He meant that Allâh will certainly reward His servant for his deeds in this world as long as the servant is delighted and happy with his deeds. But if he doesn’t find the delight and the joy in his heart, then his deed is imperfect, defective.

This imperfection and defectiveness is the reward of what the servant receives for his deeds. Deeds have consequences and effects that return to the servant that performed them, affecting his life and all of his affairs. Salâh, for example, prevents the servant from unlawful and evil deeds. It also refines his morals and brings him up in the best manner that Allâh loves.

Siyâm strengthens his will and enlightens self-reproach and insight, so the person may see the straight path and become among the righteous. Such are all the good and righteous deeds, they have a reward that affords prosperity in all of man’s affairs. As a result, family life and the society become joyful and prosperous. The evil deeds have their consequences as well. Allâh said, “For those who have done good is best (reward).” [10:26] and “The evil was the end of those who did evil.” [30:10]

The opposition in people is of three kinds. Only those that Allâh protects are free from these. The first kind is the opposition to His Names and Attributes by presenting false and unclear matters. These falsities are negated because of what Allâh and His Messenger have ascribed for Him. These people have ascribed to Allâh what He negated for Himself. By doing so, they became loyal to His enemies and enemies to His Allies. They changed the words from the correct status and have abandoned, as a result, a great part of what was sent to them.

They are those that have divided their religion into differing sects with each group rejoicing in its belief. The only thing that protects from this is the pure submission to the wahî (Divine inspiration). When the heart submits to the wahî (revelation), it will witness its soundness, realize intellectually and in the light of fitrah (sound nature) that it is the truth. Such a submissive person submits by way of hearing, the mind, and the fitrah. This is the most perfect faith.

The second type of person is the one who is in opposition to His Message and Command. These people can vary slightly and can be further categorized. Some may oppose with their opinions and analogies. They make lawful what Allâh has made unlawful, and make unlawful what Allâh has made lawful. They void what Allâh has made obligatory and make obligatory what Allâh has voided. Another type amongst these people are those that oppose the facts of faith and the Message with their visions, personal experiences, and false devilish inspirations. These compose a religion that Allâh has not allowed, invalidate the religion that Allâh sent to His Messenger, and oppose the facts of faith using the devil’s tricks. These people have religions to worship other than Allâh’s religion and place these before Allâh’s religion. Because of their analogies, opinions and personal experiences, the entire world could have been ruined and the pillars of the religion destroyed. But Allâh has preserved this religion and promised to protect those that will preserve and protect it from the plots of these plotters.

Another group of those in opposition are those that oppose the Law of Allâh with their unjust rules. They put their rules before the rules of Allâh and His Messenger ﷺ. Thus they suspend Allâh’s Law, justice and His Hudûd (legislated punishments).

The third type of opposition is of those who oppose Allâh’s actions, decrees and ordinances. This opposition comes primarily from ignorant people. It has many forms, some are clear and some are not. This kind of opposition exists within many souls. If we were to contemplate our utterances, actions and desires, we would see this clearly. Most of us have some kind of opposition to Allâh’s decree and His portioning of livelihood.

The ones that are free of this type of opposition are those that know Allâh with a true knowledge and accept Him with complete satisfaction.

The Meaning of Nafs

nafs-islam-meaning-quran-hadith

“As for whoever exceeded the limits and preferred the life of this world, surely his abode will be the Fire; and as for whoever feared to stand before his Lord and restrained the desires of his self, surely his abode will be the Garden.”(79:39-40)

Ibn Kathîr says:

“The Mu’minîn are a people who have been prevented through the Qur’ân from indulging in the pleasures of this world; it comes between them and what might destroy them. The Mu’min is like a prisoner in this world, who tries to free himself from its shackles and chains, placing his trust in nothing in it, until the day he meets his Creator. He knows full well that he is accountable for everything that he hears, sees and says, and for everything that he does with his body.” (Al-Bidâyah wa al-Nihâyah, vol. 9 pg. 276, Cairo 1352)

There are 2 kinds of people, one are those whose Nafs have overcome them and led them to ruin because they yielded to them and obeyed their impulses. The other kinds are those who have overcome their Nafs and made them obey their commands.

Nafs (pl. Anfus or Nufûs) lexically means soul, the psyche, the ego, self, life, person, heart or mind. (Mu’jam, Kassis)

Although some scholars have classified the Nafs up to 7 stages, there is agreement among ‘Ulamâ’ that in the Qur’ân, Allâh (s.w.t.) has described at least 3 main types of the Nafs. And these are in rank from the worse to better: Nafs al-Ammârah Bissu’ (theNafs that urges evil), Nafs al-Lawwâmah (the Nafs that Blames) and Nafs al-Mutma’innah (the Nafs at Peace).

(Chapter 12 v. 53 in the Tafsîr of al-Tabari: Jami‘ al-Bayân fî Tafsîr al-Qur’ân, 30 vols., Bulaq 1323 & also in Imâm Baghawi’s TafsîrLubab al-Tâ’wil fî Ma‘âlam at-Tanzîl, 8 vols. Cairo, 1308)

A summary of these states of the Nafs are given by Imam Tabarî in his Tafsîr of Sûrah Yûsuf verse 53:

  1. Nafs al-Ammâra Bissû’ (The Soul which Commands Evil):

This is the Nafs that brings punishment itself. By its very nature it directs its owner towards every wrong action. No one can get rid of its evil without the help from Allâh. As Allâh refers to this Nafs in the story of the wife of al-Azîz (Zulaikhah) and Prophet Yûsuf (as):

“The (human) soul is certainly prone to evil” (12:53).

Allâh also says:

“And had it not been for the grace of Allâh and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure; but Allâh purifies whomever He wishes, and Allâh is Hearing, Knowing.” (24:21)

This Nafs resides in the world of the senses and is dominated by earthly desires (Shahawât) and passions….

Evil lies hidden in the Nafs and it is this that leads it on to do wrong. If Allâh were to leave the servant alone with his self, the servant would be destroyed between its evil and the evil that it craves; but if Allâh grants him success and help, then he will survive. We seek refuge in Allâh the Almighty, both from the evil in ourselves and from the evil of our actions.

  1. Nafs al-Lawwâma (the Soul that Blames):

Allâh refers to this Nafs,

“And I do call to witness the Nafs that blames” (75:2).

This Nafs is conscious of its own imperfections.

Hasan al-Basrî said, “You always see the believer blaming himself and saying things like ‘Did I want this? Why did I do that? Was this better than that?’ ”….

  1. Nafs al-Mutma’inna (the Soul at Peace):

Allâh refers to this Nafs,

“O Self, in complete rest and satisfaction!” (89:27).

This Nafs is tranquil as it rests on the certitude of Allah.

Ibn Abbas (r) said, “It is the tranquil and believing soul”.

Al-Qatâdah (r) said, “It is the soul of the believer, made calm by what Allâh has promised. Its owner is at rest and content with his knowledge of Allâh’s Names and Attributes, and with what He has said about Himself and His Messenger ﷺ, and with what He has said about what awaits the soul after death: about the departure of the soul, the life in the Barzakh, and the events of the Day of Qiyâmah which will follow. So much so that a believer such as this can almost see them with his own eyes. So he submits to the will of Allah and surrenders to Him contentedly, never dissatisfied or complaining, and with his faith never wavering. He does not rejoice at his gains, nor do his afflictions make him despair – for he knows that they were decreed long before they happened to him, even before he was created….”…. (Al-Tabarî: Jami‘ al-Bayân fî Tafsîr al-Qur’ân, vol. 13, Bulaq 1323)

Imâm Baghawi says,

“The Nafs al-Mutma’innah has an angel to help it, who assists and guides it. The angel casts good into the Nafs so that it desires what is good and is aware of the excellence of good actions. The angel also keeps the self away from wrong action and shows it the ugliness of bad deeds. All in all, whatever is for Allah and by him, always comes from the Soul which is at Peace.

The Nafs al-Ammarah Bissu’ has Shaytân as its ally. He promises it great rewards and gains, but casts falsehood into it. He invites it and entices the soul to do evil. He leads it on with hope after hope and presents falsehood to the soul in a form that it will accept and admire.”

Ibn al-Qayyim also mentioned the states of Nafs:

“The Nafs is a single entity, although its state may change: from the Nafs al-Ammârah, to the Nafs al-Lawwâmah, to the Nafs al-Mutma’innah, which is the final aim of perfection….

It has been said that the Nafs al-Lawwâmah is the one, which cannot rest in any one state. It often changes, remembers and forgets, submits and evades, loves and hates, rejoices and become sad, accepts and rejects, obeys and rebels.

Nafs al-Lawwâmah is also the Nafs of the believer….It has also been mentioned that the Nafs blames itself on the Day of Qiyâmah – for every one blames himself for his actions, either his bad deeds, if he was one who had many wrong actions, or for his shortcomings, if he was one who did good deeds. All of this is accurate. (Madârij as-Sâlikîn fî Manâzili Iyyâka Na‘budu wa Iyyâka Nasta‘în, vol. 1 pg. 308)

Sa‘îd Hawwa says regarding these Nafs:

“Depending upon its condition, the Nafs exist in multidimensional. When the Nafs is tranquil because of obeying Allâh, and the soul opposes its desires, this soul is known as Nafs al-Mutma’innah. Regarding this, Allâh has spoken about it in the Qur’ân (89:27-28). But if the soul does not attain peace with itself, rather being exposed to desires, then such soul is known as the Nafs al-Lawwâmah because this soul reproaches its owner due to the owner’s carelessness in fulfilling out Allah’s wishes – Qur’ân (75:2). More so, if the soul submits to lusts and allows itself to be seduced by Shaytân, such a soul is known as Nafs al-Mutma’innah. Allâh tells the story about the wife of al-Azîz (Zulaikha) in Qur’ân (12:53). (Tarbiyatun nar Rûhîyah, pg. 32, Cairo: Dar al- Salam, 1408)

There is a famous Arabic saying:

“O soul. Watch out! Help me with your striving,
in the darkness of the nights;
so that on the Day of Qiyâmah,
you will win a good life on those heights.”

May this be of benefit.

And the last of our prayers,

“Glory to your Lord, the Lord of Honour & Power! He is better from what they ascribe to Him! Peace be upon the Messengers! Praise be to Allâh, the Lord of the worlds.” (37:180-182)

The Meaning of At-Tāghūt

taghoot-taghut-false-deities-illegitimate-governments

Having presented the evidence indicating how declaring disbelief in the Tāghūt is a fundamental condition for the correctness of one’s Eemān, we must now study what the definition of Tāghūt is so that we know what is included as Tāghūt and what is not. And we also need to study the characteristics of how to declare disbelief in Tāghūt so that we know how to distinguish between a person who truly declares disbelief in Tāghūt amongst those who do not.

The definition of at-Tāghūt is as follows,

‘All things that are worshipped besides Allah (swt) even from a single aspect of worship, and he is accepting of that status is a Tāghūt.’

The specification of, ‘…is accepting…’ is to exclude the Prophets (as), the Angels and the Sāliheen, those who the people may worship besides Allah (swt), them from being described as Tāghūt as they obviously reject being worshipped besides Allah (swt) and prohibited people for doing such.

We can conclude from the above definition that whatever is worshipped from the angle of being prostrated to (sujood) or bowed towards (rukou’) is a Tāghūt. Whoever is worshipped from the angle of Du’a and requesting (talab) besides Allah (swt) is a Tāghūt. Whoever is worshipped from the angle of fear (khouf) and hope (rajā’) besides Allah (swt) is a Tāghūt. Whoever is worshipped from the angle of obedience (ta’ah) and arbitration (tahākum) besides Allah (swt) is a Tāghūt. Whoever is worshipped from the angle of love (mahaba), allegiance (wala’a) and disassociation (bara’a) besides Allah (swt) is a Tāghūt.

Everything that is worshipped for its own sake is Tāghūt and under this definition comes the rulers, the priests and monks, scholars, leaders of political parties amongst others. The one who follows such peoples for their own sake are worshipping Tawagheet besides Allah (swt) knowingly or unknowingly.

Similarly everything that is loved for its own sake instead of Allah (swt) is a Tāghūt. The object which is loved for its own sake will specify who you should make allegiance to and whom you should hate without caring for what Allah (swt) has ordered; nor whether such requests agree with truth or falsehood.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah commented,

“If a person who is worshipped besides Allah (swt) does not reject such a status he becomes Tāghūt. And the Prophet (saw) called the idols Tawagheet in a Saheeh hadith when he (saw) said, ‘The one who follows the worshippers of Tawagheet are themselves Tawagheet.’ The one who is obeyed in transgressing Allah’s (swt) order, or the one who is obeyed in a matter which is not based upon the guidance but acceptable to the people, if it contravenes the order of Allah (swt) then he is a Tāghūt. For this reason those people who arbitrate to other than the Qur’an are called Tāghūt. And Allah (swt) called Firaoun and the people of Ā’d Tughāt.” [Ibn Taymiyah, Fatwa Vol 28 Pg 200.]

Ibn Qayyim said,

“The Tāghūt are all things that go beyond their boundaries in terms of being worshipped, followed or obeyed. Therefore, the Tāghūt are everyone that the people go to arbitrate instead of Allah (swt) or His Prophet (saw), or they worship besides Allah (swt), or their follow upon guidance other than from Allah (swt), or they follow them blindly even in matters which are obedience to Allah (swt). These are examples of Tawagheet of the world. If you think about the situation of the people of this time, you would find that most of them have left the worship of Allah (swt) to worship these Tawagheet; and have left the arbitration to Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saw) to arbitrate to the Tāghūt; as well as leaving following and obeying the Prophet (saw) to obey the Tawagheet and their followers.”

If this was the situation at the time of Ibn Qayyim what about the current times we live in? The various types and forms of Tawagheet have increased manifest fold. The divine texts from the Sunnah indicate that there is not a generation except that the one following it is worse. We ask Allah (swt) to protect us and give us a good ending!

Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab commented,

“Tāghūt generally is anything that is worshipped besides Allah (swt) and is happy with such worship including the one who is worshipped, followed or obeyed besides Allah (swt); these are all Tāghūt.”

And Sayyid Qutb said in ‘The Shade of the Qur’an’ regarding the verse, ‘some He transformed into apes and swine and those who worshipped Tāghūt’ [5:60],

“The Tāghūt is any authority that contravenes the ruling of Allah (swt); and any judgement that is not based upon the Shari’ah of Allah (swt). Any assault against the Ulouhiyyah (divinity) or Hākimiyyah (right to rule and judge) of Allah (swt) is the worst type of assault and the most evil Tughyān. Such type of action fully enters under Tāghūt by word and meaning. The Jews and Christians (Ahl Kitāb) never physically worshipped their Priests and Monks; however they followed their judgements and laws, instead of the law of Allah (swt) yet Allah (swt) called them Mushrikeen (associators). They are worshippers of Tāghūt meaning that they are following an authority that went beyond its boundaries. They do not worship it by the meaning of making prostration or bowing to it; however they are worshipping them by the meaning of following and obedience. Such type of actions removes one from the worship of Allah (swt) and subsequently even from the Deen of Allah (swt).”

So be careful O servant of Allah from being a worshipper of Tāghūt, or from their helpers, knowingly or unknowingly as it would destroy your deeds and make you loose whatever you have in this life and the hereafter!

The Meaning of Worship

worship

THE MEANING OF WORSHIP: [1]

The statement of Allaah, the Most High: “I did not create the Jinn, nor mankind, except to worship Me.” [Sooratudh-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said:

“Worship (al-’Ibaadah) is obedience to Allaah by following that which He ordered upon the tongues of His Messengers.” He also said, “Worship (al-’Ibaadah) is a comprehensive term covering everything that Allaah loves and is pleased with – whether saying, or actions, outward and inward.” [2]

Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H), rahimahullaah, said:

“Worship revolves around fifteen principles. Whosoever completes them has completed the stages of ’uboodiyyah (servitude to Allaah). The explanation of this is that ’ibaadah is divided between the heart, the tongue, and the limbs. And that for each one of these three come five types of rulings, covering all actions: waajib (obligatory), mustahabb (recommended), haraam (prohibited), makrooh (disliked), and mubaah (permissible).” [3]

Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.671H), rahimahullaah, said:

“The root of ’ibaadah is humility and submissiveness. The various duties that have been prescribed upon the people are called ’ibaadaat (acts of worship), since what is required is that these acts of worship must be done with humility and submissiveness to Allaah, the Most High.” [4]

Ibn Katheer (d.774H), rahimahullaah, said:

“And ’ibaadah is obedience to Allaah by acting upon what He commands, and abandoning what He forbids; and this is the reality and essence of Islaam. And the meaning of Islaam is: istislaam (submission and surrender) to Allaah, the Most High, along with the utmost compliance, humility, and submissiveness to Him.”

He also said whilst explaining the above aayah:

“Indeed Allaah, the Most High, created the creation so that they could worship Him alone, without associating any partner with Him. Whoever obeys Him will be completely rewarded, whereas whoever disobeys Him would be punished with a severe punishment. And He has informed that He is neither dependant, nor does He have any need for them. Rather, it is they who are in dire need of Him, in every condition and circumstance, since He is the One who created, sustains, and provides for them.” [5]


THE MEANING OF TAAGHOOT:

The statement of Allaah, the Most High: “And to every nation We sent Messengers, ordering them that they should worship Allaah alone, obey Him, and make their worship purely for Him; and that they should avoid at-Taaghoot.” [Sooratun-Nahl 16:36]

And at-taaghoot is from the word at-tughyaan, which means: going beyond the limits.

’Umar Ibnul-Khattaab (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said:

“The taaghoot is Shaytaan.” [6]

Jaabir (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said:

“The taaghoots are the soothsayers and fortune-tellers upon whom the devils descend.” [7]

Imaam Maalik (d.179H), rahimahullaah, said:

“Taaghoot: that which is worshipped besides Allaah.” [8]

So this is what has been mentioned by certain people. However, Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim, rahimahullaahu, has given a very comprehensive definition, so he said, “The taaghoot is all that which causes the person to exceed the limits with regards to that which is worshipped, followed, or obeyed. So the taaghoot in any nation is whosoever turns to other than Allaah and His Messenger for matters of judgement; or is pleased to be worshipped besides Allaah; or is followed without a clear proof from Allaah; or is obeyed in that which is known to be disobedience to Allaah.” [9]


Author:Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Hasan aalush-Shaykh (d.1258H)
Source:His commentary Fathul-Majeed li-Sharh Kitaabit-Tawheed (1/84-90)
Translator:Al-Ibaanah Magazine


Footnotes:

[1] Fathul-Majeed li-Sharh Kitaabit-Tawheed (1/84-90)

[2] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (10/149) of Ibn Taymiyyah.

[3] Madaarijus-Saalikeen (1/109)

[4] Al-Jaami’ li-Ahkaamil-Qur‘aan (1/225), and (17/56) of al-Qurtubee.

[5] Tafseerul-Qur‘aanil-’Adtheem (7/402)

[6] Related by at-Tabaree in Jaami’ul-Bayaan ’an-Ta‘weelil-Qur‘aan (no. 5834), al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said in Fathul-Baaree (8/251), “Its chain of narrators is strong.”

[7] Related by at-Tabaree in his Tafseer (no. 5845)

[8] Related by as-Suyootee in ad-Durarul-Manthoor (2/22), by way of Ibn Abee Haatim.

[9] I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een (1/53)

The Khilafah (Caliphate)

The Khilafah (Caliphate) is a general leadership over all Muslims in the world. Its responsibility is to implement the laws of the Islam system and convey the Islamic Message to the rest of the world. The Khilafah is also called the Imama as both words have been narrated in many sahih ahadith with the same meaning.The Khilafah ruling system bears no resemblance to any of the governments in the Muslim world today. Although many commentators and historians have tried to interpret the Khilafah within existing political frameworks, it is in fact a unique political system.

calipkate-khilafah

The Khaleefah (Caliph) is the head of state in the Khilafah. He is not a king or dictator but an elected leader whose authority to rule must be given willingly by the Muslims through a special ruling contact called baya. Without this baya he cannot be the head of state. This is completely opposite to a king or dictator who imposes his authority through coercion and force. The tyrant kings and dictators in the Muslim world are ample examples of this, imprisoning and torturing the Muslims and stealing their wealth and resources.This contract of baya stipulates that the Khaleefah must be just and rule the people by sharia. He is not sovereign and cannot legislate laws from his own mind that suit his personal and family interests. Any legislation he wishes to pass must be derived from the Islamic legal sources through a precise and detailed methodology called ijtihad. If the Khaleefah legislates any law contrary to this or commits oppression against his people, the highest and most powerful court in the State – the Unjust Acts Court (mahkamat muzalim) can impeach the Khaleefah and order his removal from office.

The Khaleefah has been likened by some to a Pope, who is the Spiritual Head of all Muslims, infallible and appointed by God. This is not the case as the Khaleefah is not a priest. His post is an executive post within the Islamic government. He is not infallible and can make mistakes, which is why many checks and balances exist within the Islamic system to ensure he and his government remain accountable. The Khaleefah is not appointed by Allah rather he is elected by the Muslims and assumes authority through the contract of baya. The Khilafah is not a theocracy. Its legislation is not restricted to religious and moral codes that neglect the problems of society. Shari’ah is a comprehensive system that legislates on political, social, economic, foreign policy and judicial matters. Economic progress, elimination of poverty and enhancing the people’s standard of living are all goals the Khilafah will aim to achieve. This is completely opposite to the backward, medieval theocracies founded in Europe during the middle ages where the poor were forced to work and live in squalid conditions in return for the promise of heaven. Historically the Khilafah was an immensely wealthy state with a flourishing economy, high standard of living and a world leader in industry and scientific research for centuries.

The Khilafah is not an empire that favours some lands above others. Nationalism and racism have no place in Islam and are totally prohibited. The Khaleefah can be from any race or colour, and from any school of thought (mazahib) as long as he is Muslim. The Khilafah is an expansionist state but does not conquer new lands in order to steal their wealth and resources. Rather its foreign policy is to convey the Islamic message alone.The Khilafah bears no resemblance to the republican system that is widespread in the Muslim world today. The republican system is based on democracy where sovereignty is given to the people. This means they have the right to legislate laws and a constitution. Sovereignty in Islam is to the sharia. No one in the Khilafah including the Khaleefah can legislate laws from their own minds.The Khilafah is not a totalitarian state. It cannot spy on its Muslim or non-Muslim citizens. Everyone in the Khilafah has the right to express his or her opposition to policies of the state without fear of arrest or imprisonment. Torture and imprisonment without trial is completely forbidden.

The Khilafah does not oppress its non-Muslim minorities. Non-Muslims (dhimmi) are protected by the state and not forced to leave their religions and adopt Islamic values. Rather non-Muslim citizens are protected and their homes, properties and lives cannot be violated. Imam Qarafi, a Classical Scholar summed up the responsibility of the Khilafah to the dhimmi when he said: “It is the responsibility of the Muslims to the People of the Dhimma to care for their weak, fulfil the needs of the poor, feed the hungry, provide clothes, address them politely, and even tolerate their harm even if it was from a neighbour, even though the Muslim would have an upper hand (by the fact that It is an Islamic state). The Muslims must also advise them sincerely on their affairs and protect them against anyone who tries to hurt them or their family, steal their wealth, or violates their rights.”

Women in the Khilafah are not regarded as inferior or second class citizens. Islam gave women the right to wealth, property rights, rights over marriage and divorce as well as a place in society. Islam established a public dress code for women – the Khimar and Jilbab in order to establish a productive society free from the type of negative and harmful relationships prevalent in the west.Establishing the Khilafah and appointing a Khaleefah is obligatory on all Muslims in the world, male and female. Performing this duty (fard) is the same as performing any other duty which Allah (SWT) has ordered us, where no complacency is allowed. Indeed the Khilafah is a vital issue for the Muslims.

The future Khilafah will undoubtedly usher in a new era of peace, stability and prosperity for the Muslim world and beyond, ending years of oppression by some of the worst tyrants this world has ever seen. The days of colonialism and exploitation of the Muslim world will finally come to an end, and the Khilafah will utilise all resources at its disposal to further the interests of Islam and Muslims as well as establish an alternative for the people of the world to the Capitalist system.

Some Ahadith on Khilafah:

Then there will be a caliphate according to the manner of prophecy

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith

Hadith 5378 Narrated by Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman

An-Nu’man told on Hudhayfah’s authority that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Prophecy will remain among you as long as Allah wishes it to remain, then Allah Most High will remove it. Then there will be a caliphate according to the manner of prophecy as long as Allah wishes it to remain, then Allah Most High will remove it. Then there will be a distressful kingdom which will remain as long as Allah wishes it to remain, then Allah Most High will remove it. Then there will be a proud kingdom which will remain as long as Allah wishes it to remain, then Allah Most High will remove it. Then there will be a caliphate according to the manner of prophecy.” Then he stopped. Habib said: “When Umar ibn Abdul Aziz became caliph I wrote to him, mentioning this tradition to him and saying, “I hope you will be the commander of the faithful after the distressful and the proud kingdoms.” It pleased and charmed him, i.e. Umar ibn AbdulAziz.” Ahmad and Bayhaqi, in Dala’il an-Nubuwwah, transmitted it.

The prophet or the Caliph has two groups of advisors

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith

Hadith 9.306 Narrated byAbu Said Al Khudri

The Prophet said, “Allah never sends a prophet or gives the Caliphate to a Caliph but that he (the prophet or the Caliph) has two groups of advisors: A
group advising him to do good and exhorts him to do it, and the other group advising him to do evil and exhorts him to do it. But the protected person
(against such evil advisors) is the one protected by Allah.”

Caliphate will remain with the Quraish

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith

Hadith 9.254 Narrated byIbn Umar

Allah’s Apostle said, “This matter (caliphate) will remain with the Quraish even if only two of them were still existing.”

As long as Quraish stick to the rules and regulations of the religion (Islam)

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith

Hadith 9.253 Narrated by Muhammad bin Jubair bin Mutim

That while he was included in a delegation of Quraish staying with Muawiya, Muawiya heard that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr had said that there would be a king from Qahtan tribe, whereupon he became very angry. He stood up, and after glorifying and praising Allah as He deserved, said, “To proceed, I have come to know that some of you men are narrating things which are neither in Allah’s Book, nor has been mentioned by Allah’s Apostle . Such people are the ignorant among you. Beware of such vain desires that mislead those who have them. I have heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘This matter (of the caliphate) will remain with the Quraish, and none will rebel against them, but Allah will throw him down on his face as long as they stick to the rules and regulations of the religion (Islam).

*Note: Caliphate will remain with the Quraish till they follow rules and regulations of Islam, but if they deviate then rebellions may succeed.

The nation of ‘Arabs, will remain prosperous as long as you choose and appoint another chief whenever a former one is dead.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith

Hadith 5.645 Narrated by Jarir

While I was at Yemen, I met two men from Yemen called Dhu Kala and Dhu Amr, and I started telling them about Allah’s Apostle. Dhu Amr said to me, “If what you are saying about your friend (i.e. the Prophet) is true, then he has died three days ago.” Then both of them accompanied me to Medina, and when we had covered some distance on the way to Medina, we saw some riders coming from Medina. We asked them and they said, “Allah’s Apostle has died and Abu Bakr has been appointed as the Caliph and the people are in a good state.’ Then they said, “Tell your friend (Abu Bakr) that we have come (to visit him), and if Allah will, we will come again.” So they both returned to Yemen. When I told Abu Bakr their statement, he said to me, “I wish you had brought them (to me).” Afterwards I met Dhu Amr, and he said to me, “O Jarir! You have done a favor to me and I am going to tell you something, i.e. you, the nation of ‘Arabs, will remain prosperous as long as you choose and appoint another chief whenever a former one is dead. But if authority is obtained by the power of the sword, then the rulers will become kings who will get angry, as kings get angry, and will be delighted as kings get delighted.”

Sahih Muslim Hadith

Hadith 6963 Narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri

Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said: There would be amongst your caliphs a caliph who would give handfuls of wealth to the people but would not count it.

Twelve caliphs & all of them will belong to Quraysh.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood

Hadith 4266 Narrated by Jabir ibn Samurah

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The religion will continue to be established till
there are twelve caliphs over you, and the whole community will agree on each of them. I then heard from the Prophet (peace be upon him) some remarks
which I could not understand. I asked my father: What is he saying: He said: all of them will belong to Quraysh.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith

Hadith 9.329 Narrated by Jabir bin Samura

I heard the Prophet saying, “There will be twelve Muslim rulers (who will rule all the Islamic world).” He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father
said, “All of them (those rulers) will be from Quraish.”

There will be Caliphs who will increase in number

Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.661 Narrated by Abu Huraira

The Prophet said, “The Israelis used to be ruled and guided by prophets:Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no
prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number.”The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What do you order us (to do)?” He
said, “Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfiltheir (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any
shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship.”

The whole community [The majority] will agree on each of them

Sunan of Abu-Dawood

Hadith 4266 Narrated by Jabir ibn Samurah

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The religion will continue to be established till there are twelve caliphs over you, and the whole community
will agree on each of them. I then heard from the Prophet (peace be upon him) some remarks which I could not understand. I asked my father: What is
he saying: He said: all of them will belong to Quraysh.

Follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood

Hadith 4590 Narrated by Irbad ibn Sariyah

Abdur Rahman ibn Amr as-Sulami and Hujr ibn Hujr said:

We came to Irbad ibn Sariyah who was among those about whom the following verse was revealed:”Nor (is there blame) on those who come to thee to be provided with mounts, and when thou saidst: “I can find no mounts for you.” We greeted him and said: We have come to see you to give healing and obtain benefit from you. Al-Irbad said: One day the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) led us in prayer, then faced us and gave us a lengthy exhortation at which the eyes shed tears and the hearts were afraid. A man said: Apostle of Allah! It seems as if it were a farewell exhortation, so what injunction do you give us? He then said: I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey even if it be an Abyssinian slave, for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error.
*Every evil innovation is an error.

The kingdom will belong to Quraysh.

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith

Hadith 5992 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The kingdom will belong to Quraysh, the legal authority to the Ansar, the office of making the call to prayer to the Abyssinians, and faithfulness to Azd,” i.e. the Yemen. In a version it is in mawquf form. Tirmidhi said, the mawquf is sounder Tirmidhi transmitted it, saying this (mawquf) is sounder.

*The kingdom will belong to Quraysh in Arabia

Sahih Muslim Hadith

Hadith 4568 Narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: When oath of allegiance has been taken for two caliphs, kill the one for whom the oath was taken later.
*Note: Because the other one has no right take office of caliphate when one caliph has already been chosen.

The way to work for Khilafah

It has today become an indisputable reality that this Ummah yearns for the return of the Islamic Khilafah. She has witnessed much that solidifies this desire. Today, we find that Allah (swt) has brought back the desire in the hearts of the Muslims and this Ummah to return to the rule of Islam. Amongst them are those who are willing to dedicate their time and effort for the service of Islam. This article seeks to explain how such people can work for Islam and work for its noble aims.

Knowledge before action

Hazzam bin Hakeem narrated from his uncle from the Messenger of Allah (saw) who said: “You are in a time of many jurisprudents (fuqaha), few speakers/lecturers, many who give and few who ask; so action in this time is better than knowledge. There will soon come a time of few jurisprudents, many speakers, many who beg and few who give; so knowledge in this time is better than action.”

This noble advice by the Messenger (saw) builds the principle that Islam has always placed knowledge before action. It is saddening to see that amongst some workers for Islam, action comes before knowledge. This is highly dangerous, since we saw at the beginning of the last century a plethora of patriotic movements rising up against the colonialist occupation only to find that when the colonialists left they implemented the same secular models in their lands. Also we find today, under the banner of Islam, some Muslim governments conducting “experiments” for Islamisation, even though the Qur’an and Sunnah showed in detail the Islamic system, and this has been explained in many volumes of books.

Islam has placed knowledge and thinking as a precondition for action, and this ensures that the action undertaken is the correct action and that the action is according to Islam and is the correct action to achieve the aim. But the question may be asked – what type of knowledge is required? Here are a few areas that anyone working for Islam should seek to understand:

i. To gain an understanding of Islam and its basic concepts. These concepts need to start with the Aqa’id (belief) because this is the basis of all correct actions. A Muslim must be convinced of his basis, because under all strong structures lay a strong, solid foundation. We have witnessed, with great sadness, excellent people with much energy working for the goals of Islam one day and then leaving this work the other because their foundations were weak and all they had was zeal and desire rather than sound knowledge.

ii. To understand the Shari’ah rules. Islam has made it an obligation for a Muslim to understand the Hukm Shari’ concerning his actions. So a Muslim must be aware of his obligations. It is incorrect for a Muslim to work for Islam, yet fall short of abiding by the rules of Islam in his personal life. Again we witness with sadness many who openly call out against ‘Western culture’ yet in their own lives are engrossed with its films and music, soaps and trivialities the same West gives them. In understanding the Shari’ah rules, one must make sure he or she does not limit themselves to just a specific area which they are inclined to. Rather Islam needs to be taken completely.

iii. To understand the main points of Kufr. This area is unobvious to many. The Messenger (saw) used to know the thoughts of the Quraish so that he could speak out against them. Also Allah (swt) encouraged this, so in the Qur’an He (swt) points out on many occasions the contradictions that existed with the Mushrikeen. Today the Muslim needs to be aware of the dominant ideology, capitalism, its components and its contradiction with Islam. Again this knowledge requires more than just a superficial understanding such that the call of Islam becomes a general unconvincing call. When Allah (swt) says, “Say ‘This is my way: I call to Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me. And Glorified and Exalted is Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikeen” [TMQ Yusuf: 108], he commands the knowledge to be precise. Today we need to understand globalization, democracy, freedom, interfaith dialogue, and secularism amongst many other ideas that are invalid and cannot be adopted by the Muslims.

iv. Knowledge of the correct Islamic work. If a Muslim were to study Islam correctly he would find that Islam has placed the authority as the most essential organ to safeguard the rules of Islam and the Muslims. This necessitates that in the absence of this authority work is required to bring it back. The Khilafah is the only correct structure Islam has laid down, the Messenger (saw) said, “after me there will be no Prophet, but there will be Khulafah and they will number many”. So the correct Islamic work is to call for the Khilafah. That means to work to bring back its return. This work by definition is a political work, and thus requires an aware Islamic political party.

Apart from what has been mentioned above, a Muslim must seek knowledge continuously and must always strive to excel in his or her understanding.

Carrying Da’wa

If a Muslim was to engage in gaining knowledge he would realise quickly that knowledge without action is like a donkey with books on its back. This knowledge would be of no use to the people no matter how much he gained and how much of a faqih he became. Islam has said that the most essential component in carrying Islam and bringing back the Khilafah is to carry Da’wa. That is to invite people. Allah (swt) says, “Invite to the way of your Lord…” [TMQ An-Nahl: 125]. Also Islam has mandated that Da’wa should be carried immediately after knowledge. Never in the history of Islam has a Da’wa carrier stayed at home after being affected by Islam. The stories of the Sahabah (ra) are all an evidence for this. Also the Messenger (saw) said, “Convey from me even if it is one ayah”. The following needs to be kept in mind when carrying Da’wa.

i. Da’wa should be a focused work. The Muslims need to be told in a clear, unambiguous way that the many problems we see are due to the absence of the Khilafah and that Islam demands the Da’wa carrier to discuss this issue. Muslims must expose the plans of the West in our lands, their agents in the form of our leaders and all that stems from their corrupt ideology that distances the Muslims from uniting once again under this strong leadership such as the erroneous concepts of nationalism, pragmatism, gradualism and the like.

ii. A Muslim should not talk about what he does not know. The Messenger (saw) always sought revelation from Allah (swt) before he spoke a word. This forms a general rule that one cannot speak out of ignorance.

iii. Da’wa should be carried purely for the pleasure or Allah (swt). A Da’wa carrier must not seek benefit or position from carrying Da’wa. Rather he must do this purely for the sake of Allah (swt). This principle, that is to carry Da’wa for the pleasure of Allah (swt) if understood, will ensure the Da’wa carrier does not stray from his path and change his argument to suit the people.

iv. When carrying Da’wa nothing should interfere with the correct idea and the conveyance of it. The Messenger (saw) was the best example, and he conveyed this message without allowing egoism or personality into the discussion.

v. The call should be carried without compromise. It is not permissible to change the message in order to please the people or to win a temporary supporter. Rather this call needs to be frank, carried with wisdom, that is using the best of styles but conveying the haq (truth) completely. Furthermore the ideas that are carried must not be reconciled with the Western ideology and its standards. It must rather be derived purely from Islam.

vi. The carrier of the Da’wa must be ready to face the trials and tribulations that those who oppose it will place in his or her path. The only way to prepare for this is to have the clear knowledge of the key Islamic ideas such as al Qadaa wal Qadr, or Rizq (sustenance) being from Allah (swt), or Al-Tawakkul (reliance on Allah [swt]) amongst other ideas. Also they must equip themselves with the knowledge of the previous Prophets (as) and their companions and how they bore hardships and finally they must be close to the Qur’an as there is not any other book but this that has the ability to motivate, inspire and energise.

Working with an Islamic Party

Allah (swt) has made carrying Da’wa Fard upon every Muslim. He (swt) has also obligated upon the community to establish at least one group to call to al-Khair, that is Islam, to enjoin al-Maroof (all that is good) and forbid al-Munkar (all that is evil).

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an,

“Let there arise from amongst you a band of people, who call to Al-Khair, enjoining al-maroof and forbidding al-munkar. And they are those who will gain success.” [TMQ Ale-Imran: 103]

This ayah obligates the establishment of a group. If one was to study the nature of the task to re-establish the Khilafah one would find that for this work to be effective, there needs to be a collective effort. Furthermore the Messenger (saw) worked with the Sahabah (ra) as a group to change the Kufr society and transform it to an Islamic one.

There are some points to consider before choosing which group or groups are correct to ensure that the action undertaken is one with full awareness. As with all actions, Allah (swt) will account us for obedience to him and so to just choose any group would be impermissible, rather the one or ones that fulfils the obligation pointed out in this noble ayah must be considered. These are the points:

i. This group must call to Islam. Allah (swt) mentions in this ayah the word ‘Al Khair’, which is Islam. So if they were a nationalistic, democratic, capitalistic, socialist group etc… then they would not fulfil the command in this ayah. In fact joining groups who are based upon these foreign ideas or who call for such ideas would be sinful, as to call for these ideas and to gather around them is haram.

ii. This group must call to the vital issue, as defined by Islam. The vital issue today is the re-establishment of the Khilafah. It is the Khilafah that will implement Islam, and without it, it would be impossible for the society to adhere to all of the laws of Islam. By definition, calling for the Khilafah is a political work, as it involves changing the society to establish an authority and removing the present authorities based upon non-Islam. So this group must be a political group or party.

iii. It must have a clear method of affiliation. It has been observed that many groups are tarnished with infighting, strands, wings and the like. This is due to the members of these groups not having a unified aim and sets of ideas. Rather the people are often chosen because they show some sort of enthusiasm to do work regardless of them carrying the same ideas and aims.

iv. The group must have a ‘culturing process’. That is they must have a way of developing newcomers to the group as well as established members. This culturing must be taken seriously and all should need to go through it. This ensures they are built and developed with the Islamic culture, purifying their intentions and thoughts, building their concepts and strengthening their resolve. So the initial zeal and enthusiasm is transferred to a sound knowledge and consistent work. It is saddening to see the many who begin to work for Islam and then stop this work; this can generally be attributed to a lack of culturing with Islam in this group.

v. This group must be clear in its language, and bold in its actions – to enjoin the Maroof and forbid the Munkar requires from the Muslim to challenge all that is wrong and uphold all that is right.

vi. The group must study the reality clearly and comprehensively. Islam mandated that the reality in which the group works must be understood. This includes the study of the thoughts and ideas that exist in society as well as the plots and plans of the Kafiroon and her agent rulers in our lands. To just have a generalised understanding of the reality would not allow the people to understand the true nature of the problem we face.

vii. The group must not look down upon the Ummah nor abuse them for not working with them or not adhering to Islam. Rather it should seek to lift up their spirits, energise them, wake them from their slumber and bring about this change. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever says the people are destroyed are the most destroyed of the people.” [Sahih Muslim].

viii. The group should have a strong atmosphere that gels the members together. This atmosphere must be a pure one and it should be based upon seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt). We witness many groups that exist in the West that are run like a company, where the members have to continuously be forced to undertake actions. This is contrary to the way of Islam where the strength of the idea makes a person willingly want to sacrifice his time and effort. The Messenger of Allah (saw) wrote in a letter to Abdullah Ibn Jahsh, when he sent him to lead an expedition to keep an eye on Quraysh at Nakhlah, between Makkah and Ta’if: “Do not coerce anyone of your companions to proceed with you, and go forth with my order with those who follow you.”

These three points; gaining knowledge, carrying da’wa and working with an Islamic Party would be the practical way to work for Khilafah. So after this, we would say join this work with the sincere ones who seek to achieve the highest place in Jannah. Strengthen your resolve, for the Ummah yearns for change, and this change requires work. May our deeds be multiplied in reward in the eyes of Allah (swt) and may we become the ones who will be the “beloved” to the Messenger (saw)!

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) said:
“Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” It was asked, “Who are those strangers, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Those that correct the people when they become corrupt.” This is the narration of at-Tabaraani in his al-Kabeer.

And Allah Knows Best