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Foreword

All praise be to Allah `The Exalted, the Rabb of the worlds, and our Prophet, Muhammad (may Peace Be Upon Him) `Blessings and Peace be upon him', and upon all his family and companions.

When I embraced Islam in 1983, by the grace of Allah , one of the first books which I was given to read was a translation of Kitaab At-Tawheed by the renowned scholar, Muhammad Ibn `Abdil Wahhaab: I understood very little of it and was driven to the conclusion that this was because I was new to Islam and therefore lacked knowledge. It was only later, when I was fortunate enough to study the book, Taiseer Al-'Azeez Al-Hameed in Arabic, that I realized that not even Arabic speakers try to understand Kitaab At-Tawheed without the benefit of an explanation.

It has therefore been in my mind for some time to try to provide English-speakers with an explanation of this great work, but unfortunately, other projects diverted me until now.

In compiling this explanation, I have relied mainly on Al-Jadeed Fee Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Qar'aawi, Tafseer Ibn Katheer and a number of books of Hadith.

I ask Allah that He accept this humble effort from me and make it of benefit to my brothers and sisters in Islam.

" Our Rabb! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Rabb! Lay not on us a burden like that which You laid on those before us; our Rabb! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector; and give us victory over the disbelieving people" (Qur'an 2:286)

 

On Tawheed

Allah , says:

" And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship me. I seek not any provision from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-provider, Owner of Power - Most Strong" (Qur'an 51:56)

Allah , informs us that it is He Who created the jinn and mankind, and that the wisdom behind that creation was that they worship Him , Alone and reject the worship of any other, and that He did not create them for any benefit for Himself, but in order that they should worship Him ; and He has undertaken to provide sustenance for them, and He is the Most Truthful in keeping His Promises and Able to fulfill them, for He is Strong.

Benefits Derived from This Verse

1. That the wisdom behind Allah's creation of the jinn and mankind is that they worship Him Alone.

2. Confirmation of the presence of the jinn.

3. Allah's complete independence from His creation.

4. That the source of all sustenance is Allah, but the slave is commanded to do all in his power to attain his needs.

5. Confirmation of two of Allah's names: Ar-Razzaaq (the All-provider), Al-Mateen (Owner of Power).

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That these Qur'anic verses show the wisdom behind the creation of the jinn and mankind is worship of Allah , Alone and the rejection of all objects of worship besides Him.

..ooOOoo..

Allah , says:

" And verily, We have sent among every community a Messenger [proclaiming]: "Worship Allah [Alone] and avoid the Taaghoot .1 Then of them were some whom Allah guided, and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied [the truth]" (Qur'an 16:36)

Allah , informs us in these Qur'anic verses that He has sent to every community of mankind a Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him), who conveyed to them the Message and ordered them to believe in only One God Allah and to reject all those false gods besides Him . And the people who heard from these Messengers (may Peace Be Upon Him) are divided into two groups: The first, those whom Allah guided to goodness and who responded positively to the guidance of the Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him) and abstained from all that was forbidden to them; the second group were forbidden from success and rejected the truth, and therefore they were losers, both in this world and the Hereafter. And whoever travels throughout the earth, seeking to learn from it, will see the evidence of Allah's Retribution upon some of those who stubbornly rejected the Guidance of Allah and His Messengers (may Peace Be Upon Him), such as `Aad, Thamood 2 and Fir'aoun.3

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. Evidence that mankind has not been neglected and left without guidance.

2. The universality of the Message to all nations, and the fact that the Message brought by each new Messenger abrogated that of the previous Messenger.

3. That the mission of the Messengers was to call the people to the worship of Allah and to reject all false deities.

4. That the Guidance of Success is through Allah, Alone.

5. That the fact that Allah has ordained something for a person does not necessitate His liking for it.

6. The desirability of travelling througout the earth, with the intention of taking heed of the example of the communities of old, whom Allah has destroyed because of their disbelief.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That these Qur'anic verses prove that worship of Allah is of no benefit if the worship of others besides Him is not rejected.

..ooOOoo..

Allah , says:

" And your Rabb has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect [uff!], nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My Rabb! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was a child."" (Qur'an 17:23-24)

Allah , commands all those obligated to obey Him to worship Him, Alone and to observe filial piety and devotion; and He affirms the right of parents upon their offspring immediately after mentioning His right upon His slaves. Then He describes some of the types of filial piety, especially when they become frail and elderly, such as not displaying annoyance with them and not raising one's voice or scolding them, speaking to them in tones of gentleness and kindness and supplicating Allah on their behalf - both while they are alive and after their death.

Benefits Derived from These Verses

1. The obligation of worshipping Allah Alone.

2. The obligation upon every Muslim of filial piety and devotion towards both his parents.

3. The communal responsibility of the whole Muslim society to ensure the rights of parents upon their offspring.

Relevance of These Verses to the Subject of Tawheed

That these Qur'anic verses prove the obligation of worshipping Allah , Alone, without partners.

..ooOOoo..

Allah , says:

" Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer and those [slaves] whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not love those who are proud and boastful" (Qur'an 4:36)

Sincerity is the foundation upon which true religion is built and Allah has commenced this Surah by commanding sincerity in worship and rejection of all false deities and He has followed this up by mentioning the obligation of filial piety because they (our parents) are the means by which we are brought into the world; and He has not neglected the rights of the kinfolk for they are the most deserving of his (the Muslim's) benevolence and kindness. And in order that the rest of his brothers and sisters in Islam be not downhearted, Allah has enjoined upon him kindness to the orphans and poor, whether close relatives or not. Then Allah has made clear the rights of those close to him in this life, mentioning first the neighbour who has Islamic rights and familial rights over the Muslim, then the nearby resident who has rights of a neighbour only - and he is the zimmi .4 Then Allah mentions the rights of the close relatives such as the wife, the travelling companion etc. And Islam has encouraged the Muslim to travel in the land with the intention of doing business and of taking heed of the punishment meted out to former peoples, and because of this Allah has obliged the Muslim to help the traveller who is in need of it - whether it be material or otherwise. He , also affirms the obligation of fairness and justice in dealing with other Muslims; but Islam has not forgotten the slaves: In fact, Allah requires us to give them all their rights, to treat them with gentleness and mercy and to recognize their human rights. And because these deeds are righteous deeds, they bring about a fear of Allah , and prevent the Muslim from becoming proud and self-absorbed because these two attributes would cause the reward of the deeds to be lost.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. The obligation of worshipping Allah , Alone.

2. The obligation of filial piety and obedience - so long as it does not entail disobedience to Allah and His Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) nor harm the one so ordered, for Allah's Messenger said: "Do not harm others nor reciprocate (when harm is done to you)." 5

3. The legal obligation of maintaining close family ties according to the closeness of the relationship.

4. The duty of treating well the orphans in one's care, bringing them up and investing their wealth.

5. The virtue of kindness to the poor and needy - and the varieties of kindness are numerous.

6. The obligation of giving the neighbour his rights.

7. The exhortation to help all one's companions who request assistance, whether travelling companions, or resident.

8. The duty to help the lost wayfarer.

9. The obligation of kindness to the slaves.

10. The forbiddance of pride and vanity.

11. Affirmation of Allah's attribute of Love.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That these verses prove the obligation of sincerity and purity of worship for Allah Alone, and the rejection of all other objects of worship.

Note:- The neighbour falls into three categories:

1. The first has three rights: (i) The right of a Muslim upon his brother, (ii) The right of kinship, (iii) the right of a neighbouring resident.

2. The second has two rights: (i) The right of a Muslim upon his brother, (ii) The right of a neighbouring resident.

3. The right of a neighbouring resident only - and he is the zimmi.

..ooOOoo..

Allah , says:

" Say [oh, Muhammad!]: "Come, I will recite what your Rabb has prohibited for you: Join not anything in worship with him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to shameful sin [adultery, fornication etc.], whether committed openly or in secret, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden except for a just cause [in accordance with Islamic Law]. This has He commanded you that you may understand" (Qur'an 6:151)

Allah , orders His Prophet Muhammad (may Peace Be Upon Him) to call the people to come forth and listen to the Commands of Allah , concerning what has been prohibited for them; and because it is the idolator who most often opposes all good deeds, Allah has begun by warning them to abstain from associating partners with Him, then He has mentioned many of the evil deeds which they are wanted to commit and forbade them from doing so. He , orders them to be kind and dutiful to their parents and forbids them from killing their offspring, for such acts are evil and result in the cutting of the family tree - and He has mentioned poverty here because the fear of poverty was the most common reason for the killing of children in the days of ignorance. And the extra-judicial killing of any person is a great sin, whatever the reason. And because fear of poverty was the most common reason for the killing of one's young, Allah has undertaken the responsibility of sustaining them and their children; then He , has prohibited all acts of disobedience - both open and secret. And because unlawful killing causes many problems in society, such as breakdown of law and order, social unrest, revenge killing, vigilantism, etc., Allah has laid great stress upon the prohibition of unlawful killing, by His saying: " This has He commanded" - that His slaves may understand and act in accordance with it.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. That Shirk 6 is the greatest of sins and that no other deed will be accepted by Allah if there is any association of partners involved in it; and because of its importance, Allah has mentioned it first.

2. The obligation of filial piety.

3. The prohibition of killing one's children - and this includes abortion if carried out after forty days from the start of the pregnancy. 7

4. That Allah has undertaken the responsibility of providing for all mankind.

5. Attempting to prevent pregnancy due to fear of poverty is an act from the days of ignorance.

6. The forbiddance of committing shameful sins, such as adultery and fornication and all that leads up to them (flirting, dating, kissing, caressing etc.)

7. The prohibition of killing any person has been forbidden by Allah , except by judicial means.

8. Allah has not defined here what is meant by judical means, but the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) has mentioned something about it in an authentic Hadith, concerning adultery after chastity, disbelief after belief and the taking of a life for a life.8

The Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That the verse warns against Shirk in any shape or form.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported on the authority of Mu`aaz Ibn Jabal (ra) `May Allah be pleased him', that he said: "I was riding behind the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) on a donkey when he said to me: "Oh, Mu`aaz! Do you know what is the right of Allah upon His slaves and what is the right of the slaves upon Allah ?" I said: "Allah and His Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him) know best." He (may Peace Be Upon Him) said: "The right of Allah upon His slaves is that they worship Him and do not associate anything with Him; and the right of the slaves upon Allah is that those who do not associate anything with Him will not be punished." I said: "Oh, Messenger of Allah (may Peace Be Upon Him)! Shall I not inform the people (of this)?" He (may Peace Be Upon Him) said: "Do not inform them, in case they rely upon it." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Mu`aaz Ibn Jabal (ra) informs us that one day he was riding behind the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) on a donkey, and he (may Peace Be Upon Him) wished to favour him with the answers to certain important questions: In order to do this, he (may Peace Be Upon Him) chose to ask Mu`aaz some rhetorical questions to arouse his curiosity. Mu`aaz did not venture an opinion on a matter of which he had no knowledge, and so he replied that Allah and His Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him) know best. So the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) explained to him two important Truths: The obligation which Allah has placed upon His slaves, and the Bounty and Grace which He has made incumbent upon Himself. And because Mu`aaz cared so much about the welfare and happiness of the Muslims, he asked the Prophet's permission to inform them of this good news, but the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) refused his request for he feared that the Muslims might depend upon this promise and stop competing with each other in the performance of good deeds which wipe out their bad deeds and elevate them in status. However, eventually, Mu`aaz informed them of this, fearful of concealing anything of the Guidance from them although the reason for the Prophet's warning his people against depending upon these words is clear.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The legitimacy of riding behind another, if it does not overtax the riding beast.

2. The humility of the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) in sharing his donkey with another.

3. That the sweat of the donkey is not impure.

4. The virtue of Mu`aaz Ibn Jabal (ra).

5. That asking rhetorical questions is an Islamic way of teaching.

6. The forbiddance of a person venturing to discuss matters about which he has no knowledge.

7. That the first obligation of the slave towards Allah is to worship Him Alone.

8. That the one who dies believing and practising Tawheed is saved from the torment of the Hell-fire - so long as he does not commit any of the major sins which would cause him to be punished in the Fire.

9. Although it is mentioned in an authentic Hadith that the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) said: "Whoever concealed knowledge, Allah will make him wear a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection,"9 there is no contradiction here, because the forbiddance of concealing knowledge in the above Hadith is general, while the first Hadith contains an exception to that forbiddance in special circumstances: For it permits one to conceal knowledge if there is a fear that revealing it will cause disorder or strife in the Muslim community.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that the right of Allah upon His slaves is that they worship Him, and do not associate any partners with Him.

The Virtue of Tawheed and What Sins It Removes

Allah , says:

" It is those who believe and do not adulterate their faith [in Allah's Oneness] with zulm [wrongdoing, i.e. associating partners with Him], for them [only] is there safety and they are rightly-guided" (Qur'an 6:82)

Allah , informs us that whoever practised Tawheed, without confusing their faith with Shirk, verily, Allah has promised him safety from the Fire in the Hereafter, and He will guide him to the Straight Path in this life.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. That faith, when adulterated by Shirk has no value.

2. Shirk is referred to as zulm by Allah.

3. That whosoever does not confuse his belief with Shirk is promised safety from punishment in the Hereafter.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That the verse proves that whoever dies practising Tawheed, having turned to Allah in repentance from any major sins he may have committed, will be saved from any punishment in the Fire; and whoever dies practising Tawheed, having committed major sins without having repented, will be saved from eternal damnation in the Fire (although he may be first punished therein, or forgiven as Allah Wills).

..ooOOoo..

It is reported on the authority of `Ubadah Ibn As-Saamit (ra) that he said: "Allah's Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him) said:

"Whoever testified that none is worthy of worship except Allah (ra), Alone, without partners, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him) and that Eisa (as ) is His slave and Messenger, and His Word which was bestowed upon Maryam, and a Spirit (created) from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are realities, Allah will admit him to Paradise, whatever his deeds might be." (Narrated by Bukhari)

This Hadith tells us that whoever pronounced the shahadah, 10 understanding its meaning and acting in accordance with it in his worship, affirming his belief in the status of Muhammad (may Peace Be Upon Him) as Allah's slave and Messenger and likewise believing in Eisa's status as slave and Messenger of Allah and that he was created by Allah's Word: "Be!" from Maryam (may Allah's peace be upon both of them) and that He absolved her from the charges levelled against her by the iniquitous Jews, affirmed his belief in Paradise for the Believers and Hell for the disbelievers, and he who dying in this state of belief will enter Paradise, in spite of his deeds.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. That the Muslim shahadah or testimony is the essence of the religion.

2. That the shahadah is not valid except from one who understands its meaning and acts accordingly.

3. The mentioning together of the Prophet's status as slave and Messenger is a refutation of those who make exaggerated claims for Him (may Peace Be Upon Him).11

4. Affirmation of the status of Eisa (as ) as Allah's slave and Messenger; and this is a rebuttal of the claims of godhood made for him by the Christians.

5. Affirmation of Allah's Attribute of speech.

6. That Eisa (as ) was created from Maryam by His Word: "Be!" without a father; and this is a refutation of the claims of the Jews, who accused Maryam of the sin of fornication.

7. Affirmation of the resurrection of mankind on the Day of Judgement.

8. Confirmation of the existence of Paradise and Hell.

9. That the sinning Muslims will not dwell eternally in the Hell-fire.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that whoever dies, practising Tawheed will enter Paradise, whatever his deeds may have been.

..ooOOoo..

`Itban (ra) reported that the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) said:

"Indeed, Allah has forbidden from Hell the person who testifies that none is worthy of worship except Allah , seeking nothing by it but Allah's Countenance." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

This Hadith informs us that Allah , will save from the punishment of the Hell-fire all those who confirm His Oneness and act in accordance with that, intending nothing thereby except to get close to Allah , without riyaa' 12 and without sum'ah. 13

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. That none who sincerely believe in the Oneness of Allah will enter the Hell-fire.

2. That words and deeds are of no value without the intention of getting closer to Allah .

3. Confirmation of Allah's Attribute of a Face.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that whoever died, believing sincerely in the Oneness of Allah will be saved from the Hell-fire.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported on the authority of Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri (ra) from the Messenger of Allah (may Peace Be Upon Him) that he said: "Moosa said: "Oh, Rabb! Teach me something by which I may remember You and supplicate You." Allah Said: "Say, oh, Moosa: "Laa ilaaha illAllah." 14 Moosa Said: "Oh, Rabb! All of Your slaves say that." Allah said: "Oh, Moosa! Even were the seven heavens and all that they contain other than Me 15 and the seven earths as well all put in one side of a scale and Laa ilaaha illAllah put in the other, the latter would outweigh them." 16

Our Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) informs us that Allah's Messenger, Moosa (as ) requested Allah to teach him a special act of worship by which he might worship Allah and praise Him and get closer to Him; and so Allah taught him the words of sincerity, which are: Laa ilaahah illAllah. But Moosa (as ) asked Allah to teach him something else, because the shahadah was well-known to all the people, at which Allah told him that were this shahadah, to be weighed against the seven heavens and the seventh earths and all that is in them, it would outweigh them, for it is the essence of every religion and the foundation of every community.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. That it is permissible to ask Allah for something specially for oneself.

2. That the Messengers (may Peace Be Upon Him) know not except what Allah Inform them.

3. Confirmation of Allah's Attribute of Speech.

4. Evidence of the fact that the heavens contain inhabitants.

5. Proof that the seven earths are, like the seven heavens, inhabited.

6. Evidence of the difference between some deeds and others.

7. That the Hadith clearly demonstrates the greatness and virtue of Laa ilaaha illAllah.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that the words of Tawheed: Laa ilaaha illAllah are the best zikr and the weightiest in value.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported that Anas (ra) said: "I heard Allah's Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him) say: "Allah , Said: "Oh, son of Adam (as )! Were you to come to Me with the world full of sins, and meet Me without associating any partner with me, I would come to you with a similar amount of forgiveness."17

Allah , informs us in this Hadith Qudsi18 that whoever dies, sincerely believing in the Oneness of Allah , having rejected all manner of Shirk, Allah will replace all his bad deeds with good, even were his sins to fill the earth or to almost fill it.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. Confirmation of Allah's Attribute of Speech.

2. Proof of the vastness of Allah's Generosity and Mercy.

3. That to die in a state of belief in the Oneness of Allah is a condition of obtaining Allah's Forgiveness; and this matter necessitates explanation:

a. Whoever died upon Shirk Akbar,19 will dwell eternally in the Hell-fire.

b. Whoever died, rejecting both Shirk Akbar and Shirk Asghar, 20 will dwell eternally in Paradise.

c. Whoever died without committing Shirk Akbar, but was guilty of a small amount of Shirk Asghar, if his good deeds outweigh his sins, will enter Paradise.

d. Whoever died without committing Shirk Akbar, but was guilty of a small amount of Shirk Asghar, if his sins outweigh his good deeds, will enter the Fire, but will not remain therein forever.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith proves that whoever died, without being guilty of any kind of Shirk, will enter Paradise, even if his sins were great enough to fill the earth.

Footnotes

1. Taaghoot: All that is worshipped or obeyed in disobedience to Allah (swt) and His Messenger (may Peace Be Upon Him). There are many kinds of Taaghoot: Their leader is Iblees - Allah's curse be upon him - and all those who change the judgement of Allah (swt); and all those who judge by other than that which Allah (swt) has revealed; and all those who call to the worship of others besides Allah (swt); and all those who are worshipped besides Allah (swt) and they are pleased with that worship.
2. 'Aad and Thamood: Communities of old, whom Allah (swt) destroyed, because of their disbelef and rejection of the Messengers.
3. Fir'aoun: Pharoah.
4. Zimmi: A non-Muslim living under the protection of a Muslim State.
5. Narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Majah.
6. Shirk: Associating partners with Allah (swt).
7. This does not mean that abortion before forty days is legal, but that before forty days it is not considered murder, but is still forbidden, unless there is some life-threatening danger to the mother.
8. Narrated by Abu Dawood - The import of this Hadith being that it is not permissible to take the life of a Muslim except for three reasons: (i) Adultery, (ii) apostasy and (iii) murder.
9. Narrated by Abu Dawood.
10. Shahaadah: The declaration made by every Muslim: That none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (swt) and that Muhammad (may Peace Be Upon Him) is His Messenger.
11. Such as the deviant Braillawis of the Indian Subcontinent who have elevated him e to the status of a deity - may Allah (swt) save us from such blasphemy!
12. Riyaa`: Lesser Shirk: Performing good deeds in order to be seen doing so.
13. Sum'ah: Performing good deeds in order to gain a good reputation.
14. Laa ilaaha illAllah: None is worthy of worship except Allah (swt).
15. This must not be understood to mean that Allah (swt) is contained in His creation, as Allah (swt) has confirmed in innumerable places in the Qur`aan that He is Above His creation.
16. Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and Al-Haakim, who declared it authentic.
17. Narrated by At-Tirmizi, who declared it hasan (good).
18. Hadith Qudsi: A Hadith in which the Prophet (may Peace Be Upon Him) says: "Allah (swt) said..."
19. Shirk Akbar: major Shirk.
20. Shirk Asghar: minor Shirk.

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