Tawhid = Unity and Oneness of Allah the Almighty
Shirk = ascribing Partners with Allah the Almighty


Ilm at-Tawhid  Shaykh Sayyad Yahya Ninowy
Concerning the Affirmation of Divine Oneness Shaykh Wali Raslan ad-Dimashqi
Kitab al Tawhid [by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab] : Book Review by GF Haddad
The basics of Monotheism [Text - Fiqh al Akbar] Shaykh Sayyad Yahya Ninowy
Establishing the Truth of Tawhid in Our Minds and Hearts Kabir Helminski
Tawhid in Sufism  Asif Iftikhar

Charging The Muslims With Shirk : Advice to the Ulema of Najd by GF Haddad
The name 'Abd al-Mustafa is Shirk : Refutation of Ihsan Ilahi Zahir by GF Haddad
The Intermediary of Shirk : From the Mafaheem of Sayyid ibn Alawi
Seeking help from the Awliya : Islamic Information Centre 
To ask help of the Prophet & Pious Muslims : Hizmet Books
Do Muslims worship Awliya ? :Wakf Ikhlas
Do Muslims worship Tombs ?  :Wakf Ikhlas
Concept of Shirk : Muhammad Aqdas

What is Shirk? Four types of Shirk by Hamid Faizee Chisti
Shirk Ismi or Jali
Shirk fi'li or kafi
Shirk Vasfi or Akhfa
Shirk Zaathi or Khafiyul Akhfa

Plenty more to come ....

 Also read : Bid'ah/Innovation | Wahhabism | Deobandis | World of Tasawwuf





Truth of Tawhid


Establishing the Truth of Tawhid in Our Minds and Hearts

Kabir Helminski, September 15, 2001



The hatred, fear, and violence that we see manifesting in the world will cause us to ask many questions. What meaning shall we read in these events? What are the root causes of evil? What should our response be? Where shall we turn to find answers and guidance?


Anyone who takes Islam seriously can expect to be stigmatized in the eyes of many in the prevailing society. The current situation presents us with a challenge.


What wisdom and guidance can we receive from the Qur'an al karim and the words of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam ? How can we deal with the reactivity now directed toward Muslims and Islam itself? How do we avoid adopting reactive or defensive postures? And how can we protect ourselves from the contagion of ignorance and human negativity?


The essential insight and consistent point of view of Islam is tawhid: the fundamental Oneness underlying all of existence. From the perspective of tawhid, everything is emerging from God, being sustained by God, and ultimately returning to God. This has profound significance for all of our experience within this existence. All areas of human knowledge are related to this fundamental, unifying Truth.

Sufism is the science, the objective knowledge, of the soul’s relationship to God. This science describes an Origin, a downward arc of manifestation, and an upward arc of return. In the arc of manifestation, everything is coming down from God into successive levels of ever denser realities. In the arc of return, we recognize our Origin and begin the journey back toward its light. This essentially means that we ourselves must become more conscious of the light within ourselves.

Another fundamental proposition of Islam is that of Prophethood, or Messengership. Namely that God, through the manifestation of Divine Intelligence symbolized by the Archangel Gabriel, has communicated countless times the principles of self-perfection to humankind.

From the perspective of Islam, the Qur'an is the earthly reflection in human language of a heavenly Book. This revelation contains the objective principles and guiding insights by which our humanness cannot reach its fulfillment, both on a personal and on a universal scale. In other words, the revealed book offers guidance not only in metaphysics and cosmology, but in social justice, economics, psychology, and spiritual practice, as well.

To summarize, so far, we are saying that the Divine Intelligence has communicated to humankind through revelation. The core of this revelation emphasizes an underlying Oneness which is of more than theoretical importance in all areas of life. The soul's relationship to God and the journey of return are the most fundamental and important matters before us.

The Qur'an, as final revelation to mankind, acknowledges previous revelations to every community and in every language, although it also proposes that what we inherit from these earlier revelations is received in distorted form to varying degrees, and even including the Holy Books explicitly referred to in the Qur'an: namely the Torah, the Psalms of David, the Gospel of Jesus. While these and other divine revelations, which theoretically include even the teachings of various native peoples, contain shreds of truth, no other revelation has occurred so definitively in the clear light of historical time.

This brings us inevitably to the possibility of understanding and acting upon this revelation. We have as our models some of the greatest human beings of all time, people, such as Muhyiddin Ibn al Arabi and Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi Allah be pleased with them, whose hearts and minds became luminous reflectors of the Divine Truth. These two spiritual giants alone have together contributed tens of thousands of pages of spiritual reflection of the highest order, all of it testifying to an organic relationship with the Qur'an and hadith. We have in hand an immense stream of literature, all of it unified in itself, as the Qur'an can be seen to be a unified metaphysical, spiritual, and moral teaching.

The significance of this fourteen centuries long tradition of unified spiritual reflection cannot be underestimated. Its breadth and depth overwhelms all merely self-serving, parochial, and fundamentalist uses to which this revelation had been degraded.

The real and engaging questions will be seen to lie in the area of honest differences of interpretation and their resulting religious orientations. There are hard and soft interpretations, stringent and merciful interpretations. There are various positions (makams) and the Truth may appear in different aspects from these different perspectives. The Qur'an itself warns us, I believe, that we are in danger if we fixate upon any single interpretation, or absolutize a single approach or point of view.

On the one hand, what we mean by Islam is far removed from the "anything goes" relativism of the post modern age. It is a razor thin straight path, demanding fastidious awareness. On the other hand it is not an exclusive, legalistic, preoccupation with form at the expense of meaning. The Qur'an itself continually asks us to reflect on the signs of nature. It points to an essential proposition within a very wide context. Islam presents itself as the Way of Surrender, a way of being in harmony with the natural order of the universe:


Do they seek something other than the religion of God,
While all creatures in the heavens and earth submit,
Willingly or uwillingly, and to Him will be brought back.


Say: We believe in Allah and in what has been revealed
To Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes,
And in the books of Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets,
From their Lord.

We make no distinction between one and another
And to God do we surrender our will.


If anyone desires a religion other than surrender,
It will never be accepted, and in the hereafter
Such a person will be in the ranks of those at a loss.

[al Qur'an 3:83]


It would seem clear that we are being invited to a kind of submission which is the message brought by previous prophets and as broad as the natural order itself. It is telling us that religion cannot be an expression of our individual ego. In other words, true religion does not serve anyone's exclusive sense of entitlment or superiority, nor can it be motivated by any hatred or fear, nor any of the forces of separation. The authentic, primordial religion can only be about perfecting our human nature (fitra), becoming conscious of God, and not allowing ourselves to be dispersed into following the false gods which are the creations of human negativity. The idols of self-righteousness, power, and greed are what corrupt our human nature.



Turn your face toward the primordial religion (Dini Hanifaa),
according to the innate nature (fitra) with which He has made humankind;
do not allow what God has made to be corrupted.

That is authentic religion (Dinul Qayyim),
but most people do not understand.

Turn in repentance to Him and remain conscious of Him:

sustain prayer (salaah)
and do not be among those (mushrikin) who worship false gods in place of God,
those who split apart their religion
and create sects—each group separately rejoicing in what it has!



The perspective of Islam is the perspective that puts the Divine Reality, not the human ego, at the center. We live within a reality that is sustained by God, and our own human nature will find its fulfillment only in relation with God. We are asked simply to turn and remain conscious of God, establish regular prayer, and not promote divisiveness in the name of religion.

The arc of return calls us to make a journey from darkness and toward the light. The immediate darkness we face around us is the imaginary world created by human ignorance, fear, self-righteousness, and hatred. We must not succumb to the mass heedlessness and self-hypnotism which presents itself to us, mostly through the mass media, as the so-called real world.

It is our responsibility to find and act upon the knowledge that can guide us in that journey. This means establishing the truth of tawhid within our own minds and hearts.





The basics of Monotheism




Al-Imam Al-Adham Abu Hanifah Radi Allahu anhu (90-150H.)


Comments and Translation by Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya Ninowy

May Allah forgive him, his fathers, and all believers.

The basics of Monotheism (Tawheed):


The basics of monotheism (Tawheed) 1 , and that which makes faith (Iman) valid, that one says:

1. I believe in Allah (God), His angels, His books, His messengers, resurrection after death, fate, whether good and bad is from Allah Ta'ala, the accounting, the scale, hellfire, and paradise, all is true.

2. Allah is One, not in a numerical sense, but in the sense that He has no partner – "Say: He is God The One; God the Samad 2 ; He begets not, nor was He begotten; and there is nothing comparable to Him."

1- Monotheism: means Tawheed. Some people translate Tawheed of Allah as “unity of Allah”, this is a dangerously erroneous translation, which may lead to blasphemy. Tawheed entails knowing The Creator, by His attributes of Perfection indicating His absolute uniqueness and Oneness. Notice that Al-imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) mentions the Islamic Tawheed as one, reflecting the belief of early righteous Muslims. This refutes the evil innovators who presented a recent philosophical concept of Tawheed being three kinds (i.e. rububiyyah, uluiyyah, and asma wa sifat). Know, may Allah guide you, that such classification was never mentioned in the Qur'an, nor was it ever taught or even mentioned by the Prophet, sallallahu alahi wa aalihi wa sallam, through out his entire life, nor any of the Ahlul Bayt or Sahaba al-Kiram ever even mentioned it, nor any of the massive numbers of Taabi'een nor Tabi'at-Taabi'een. Simply stated, the new innovation of three Tawheeds instead of One, is a recent, unnecessary, and flawed philosophy. One should exercise the best efforts to adhere to the pure Tawheed as in the Qur'an and authentic Sunnah, and reject innovations made by fallible people.

2- As-Samad: it is mentioned in the 2 nd ayah of Surat Al-Ikhlaas, aka: surat At-Tawheed, and it is among the names of Superiority of Allah Ta'ala. As-Samad means: The One who is not in need of anything for anything, yet everything is in need of Him for everything.

3. He does not resemble anything of His creation, nor does anything among His creation resemble Him.

4. He has eternally 1 existed, and will everlastingly 2 exist, with His names and attributes, both relating to Him and His actions –not subject to change-.

5. As for the attributes relating to Him, they are: Life, Power, Knowledge, kalam, Hearing, Sight, and Will. As for those relating to His actions, they are: Creating, Sustenance, Originating, Making, Fashioning, and other attributes of actions.

6. He has eternally existed, and will everlastingly exist, with His attributes and names; neither attribute nor name was created –or subject to change- .

7. He has eternally been The All-Knowing, by of His knowledge, and His knowledge (just like the rest of His attributes) is an eternal attribute.

8. He has eternally been attributed with Power, by His Power, and His power is an eternal attribute.

9. He has eternally been attributed with Al-Kalam, by His Speech and His Speech is an eternal attribute.

1. Eternal: when eternal or eternity is added to Allah's attributes, it means an absolute eternity with no beginning,as beginning is a thing, and Allah is The Creator of everything. Also beginning entails time, and Allah is The Creator of time. It is a reflection of the Arabic word: Al-Azali.

2. Everlasting: it means without an end. [Al-Abadi]. Both The Eternal and Everlasting are the English translation of the ayah: which means: He is the Eternal with no beginning and The Everlasting with no end. It does not mean the first and the last, like some erroneous translations.

  10. He has eternally been The Creator, by Creating, and His creating is an eternal attribute.

11- He wills for actions and things to happen, His will to initiate a certain thing is an eternal attribute, He is The One willing for it to happen. His will is an eternal attribute; the object of His Will is creation, and His action is non-created.

12- His attributes existed in eternity; they did not exist after being non-existent, nor were they created. Whoever says that they are created, existed after being non-existent, or is uncertain about the attributes and doubts them, is a disbeliever in Allah Ta'ala.

The Glorious Qur'an :

13. The Qur'an is the Kalam of Allah Ta'ala, written on books (masahif), preserved in the hearts, recited on the tongues, and revealed to the Prophet, sallallahu alahi wa aalihi wa sallam. Our utterance of the Qur'an is created, and our recitation of the Qur'an is created, but the Qur'an (as the attribute of Kalam of Allah) is not created.

14- And what Allah Ta'ala mentioned in the Qur'an about Moses and other of the prophets – alayhem assalatu wassalam - and also about the Pharaoh and Satan, all of it is Allah's Kalam, informing us about them. Allah's Kalam is not created, but the speech of Moses and other creation is created. The Qur'an is the Kalam of Allah Ta'ala, hence, it is not created, unlike the creation.

15- Moses, alayhi assalam, received the Kalam of Allah Ta'ala, as Allah Ta'ala mentioned (which means) : “and Allah addressed Moses in speech.” Therefore, Allah Ta'ala was always attributed with Kalam in eternity, before willing to reveal anything to Moses. Just as Allah Ta'ala, was The Creator in eternity, even without having created anything. : “Nothing is like Him, and He is attributed with Hearing and Sight.” When Allah addressed Moses He did so with His Kalam that is an eternal attribute.

Dissimilar from every creation in every respect

16- And all of His attributes are unlike the attributes of the creation.

17- He is attributed with knowledge, which is unlike our knowledge.

18- He is attributed with Power, which is unlike our power.

19- He is attributed with Sight, which is unlike our sight.

20- He is attributed with Hearing, which is unlike our hearing.

21- Allah Ta'ala is attributed with Kalam which is unlike our speech, as it is neither by means of organs, parts, limbs, sounds, nor letters (alphabets).

2 2 - Letters (alphabets or Sounds) are a creation. Yet Allah's Kalam is not created.

The Core of Tawheed [monotheism]:

2 3 - He is an “entity/thing”, but unlike other entities/things.

2 4 - The intended meaning of saying He is a "thing," is to merely affirm His existence, but He is not a body 1 , nor substance. Neither composed of nor consists of parts of a whole, or a whole without parts.

25 - He does not have limits nor ends 2 .

2 6 - He does not have equals nor comparables.

27- There is nothing similar to Him.

•  Allah Ta'ala is not a body, nor is He a matter that has a mass and occupies space. Allah Ta'ala is The Creator of mass, matter, bodies and physics. The laws of physics do not limit Him, but certainly limits everything. Attributing Allah Ta'ala with a body, or similar to body, body organs, or limbs leads to unambiguous blasphemy. Allah is The Creator and is not similar to the creation.

•  Allah Ta'ala is not attributed with limits nor ends, because limits, ends, space, place, directions, time, above, below, and everything else are all His creation. He, subhanahu wa Ta'ala, existed eternally when nothing else existed, i.e. no place, no space, no directions, no limits, no above no below, etc.. all those were brought into existence by Allah, who is not in need of them to exist, and existed before their creation without needing them. Attributing Allah Ta'ala with being confined to the sky, heaven, or above the 7 th heaven, sitting on a throne, consisting of organs and limbs, being a mass, governed by space or time, being limited by His creation….etc., leads to unambiguous blasphemy. Allah is The Creator, and He does not resemble the creation in anyway. Nothing is like Him.

  Submitting to Allah [Tafweedh] in the Mutashabihaat of Ayahs 1 , without a how/modality:

28- He added to Himself meanings of Yad (literal meaning is a Hand), Wajh (literal meaning is Face), and Nafs (literal meaning is Self); as Allah Ta'ala mentioned in the Qur'an. Hence, what Allah Ta'ala mentioned about the Yad, Wajh, and Nafs, are meanings He added to Himself, without a “how” (modality).

29 - It should not be said that His Yad definitively means His power or His bounty (exclusively), because such a definitive (and exclusive) interpretation may negate the meaning (Allah willed). This is the method of the (Qadariyyah) and the Mu'tazilah.

3 0 - Rather, His Yad is a meaning He added to Himself without a “how” [modality], (as there cannot be a how, because it is not similar to the creation, not limbs, organs, parts,...etc., a modality, for or shape can only be applied to the creation and attributes of the creation).

3 1 - Anger and pleasure, are two meanings He added to Himself, but (must be understood) without a “how” [modality].

1. The Ayat of the Qur'an are classified as per Surat Al-Imran, ayah 7, into two types; Ayat Mutashabihaat and Ayat Muhkamaat. Linguistically, The Muhkamat verses are those who linguistically and intellectually cannot accept but one meaning, such as : which can only mean that Allah is One. The other verses, Ayat Mutashabihaat, are those ayat who linguistically and intellectually may accept more than one meaning. An example would be which means if translated literally: the hand of Allah is above their hands; yet attributing Allah with limbs or organs leads to blasphemy, hence, Al-imam Abu Hanifah (r.a) mentioned his way and the way of the pious predecessors in understanding such “Mutashabihaat” words, which is believing in such verses and submitting their entire meaning to Allah [Tafweedh]. Furthermore, Imam Abu Hanifah, warned from assigning a specific meaning to such verses, even if those meanings are facilitated linguistically and do not contradict the attributes of Perfection of Allah Ta'ala. One thing must be emphasized though, namely one must have no doubt that those kinds of verses do not intend to assign a limb, organ, or any attribute of any creation in any aspect. Attributing such things to Allah Ta'ala, leads to blasphemy.

The Creating and Decree:

3 2 - Allah Ta'ala created things out of nothing (He brought entities from the state of non-existence into existence), and He had knowledge of them in eternity, before their creation.

3 3 - He is The One who willed and decreed for all things to happen.

34- Nothing happens in this universe or in the hereafter except by His will, His knowledge, His judgment, predestination, and except it being written on the Sacred Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mah'footh), yet this inscription is description, not foreordaining.

3 5 - The Ruling (Qada), Decree (Qadar) and Will are eternal attributes without “how” [modality].

3 6 - Allah Ta'ala knows the non-existent, while in its state of non-existence, as non-existent. And He knows how it will be when He brings it into existence.

3 7 - Allah Ta'ala knows the existent, while in its state of existence, as existent, and He knows how it will perish.

3 8 - Allah Ta'ala knows the one who is standing, while in the state of standing as standing, and when in the state of sitting, as sitting, without Allah's knowledge being changed, or new knowledge added to Him.

39 - For change and alteration are attributes of the creation (not The Creator).

The natural intellectual capacity [fitra]:

4 0 - Allah Ta'ala created the creation free of both belief and disbelief, and then He addressed them commanding and prohibiting them. Some people committed blasphemy through actions, denial and disbelief in the truth by Allah abandoning them. Those who believe did so through actions, testification, and affirmation, by Allah guiding and supporting them.

4 1 - He brought forth the offspring of Adam, alayhi assalam, from his loins in the as particles, and gave them intelligence. Then He addressed them and commanded them to believe and forbade them from disbelief. Then they submitted to His Godhood, which affirms their belief in Him. Hence, they are born (on the fitra) in this state (in which they were initially exposed to the environment of belief) therefore they are conditioned to believe. Whosoever disbelieves thereafter is therefore changing and altering their original prior state –of belief-, and whosoever believes and affirms has conformed and remained steadfast.

Actions of the creation between the total freedom of choice and the absolute foreordaining:

4 2 - He did not constrain any of His creation to either disbelieve or to believe; nor did He create them as believers or non-believers, but rather as people, with belief and disbelief being their own act.

4 3 - Allah Ta'ala knows the unbeliever, in his state of unbelief, as an unbeliever, and if he thereafter becomes a believer, Allah Ta'ala knows him to be a believer in a state of belief and likes him, without any change to His knowledge or attributes.

4 4 - All actions of the creation of Allah, whether motion or standstill are truly acquired by them; yet Allah Ta'ala is their creator. All of them are executed by His Will, Knowledge, Ruling, and Decree.

4 5 - All acts of obedience are executed by the command, Love, Pleasure, Knowledge, Will, Ruling, and Decree of Allah Ta'ala.

4 6 - All acts of disobedience take place by His Knowledge, Ruling, Decree and Will, but not by His Love, Pleasure and Command.

The Prophets Attributes, their infallibility, and the high status of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam:

4 7 . The Prophets, Alayhem assalatu wassalam, are infallibles of all sins, whether major, minor, or disbelief, and of all that is detestable/distasteful. It may be, however, that they commit insignificant lapses and inaccuracies [those are not true errors, as they usually indicate choosing the good, not the best. Secondly and most importantly, the Prophets, alayhem assalam, are immediately alerted to any lapses, and constantly directed by Allah towards the best].

4 8 . And Muhammad, alayhi assalatu wassalam, is His beloved, His worshipper, His Messenger, His Prophet, His pious one, and His Chosen One. He never worshipped idols, he never associated anything with Allah, not even for a blink of an eye, and he never committed a sin, major or minor, ever.

The Righteous Caliphates, their righteous path and the importance of following and supporting them may Allah be pleased with them:

49 . The best of people after the Messengers of Allah, alayhem assalatu wassalam, are Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, then 'Umar bin al-Khattab Al-Faruq; then 'Uthman bin 'Affan Thu-Nurayn [the one with two noors (lights)]; then 'Ali bin Abi Taleb Al-Murtada [the chosen one], may Allah be pleased with them all. They were all [true] worshippers, steadfast on the true path, remained [always] with the truth, and we declare our loyalty and love to all of them.

5 0 . We do not mention any of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah except righteously.

The danger of accusing a sinful Muslim with blasphemy:

5 1 . We do not declare any Muslim a blasphemer because of a sin, however grave, unless that Muslim considers the sin permissible. Nor do we revoke the status of belief from him; and we continue to call him a believer, genuinely. It is possible to be a sinful believer [deviant] without being a blasphemer.

Wiping the shoes and praying Taraweeh:

5 2 . Wiping the Shoes [that fulfill the conditions] is a Sunna.

5 3 . The Taraweeh in nights of the month of Ramadan is a Sunna.

The increase and decrease of Faith (Iman) :

5 4 . Praying behind sinful or pious believers, is permissible.

5 5 . We do not say that the believer is not harmed by sins, we do not say that the believer does not enter Hellfire, nor do we say that a believer remains in Hellfire everlastingly, even if he was a sinner, as long as he departed this life on a state of belief.

56. We do not say, that our good deeds are –definitively-accepted, and our sins are forgiven, like the Mur'ji'ah. Rather we say that whoever does a good deed fulfilling all its conditions, free of invalidating flaws and nullifying contents, without having his deed voided through blasphemy and Riddah [departing Islam by deeds, actions, or words] until departing this life on the state of belief, Allah Ta'ala will not repeal his good deeds, rather He accepts it from him, and rewards him for it.

5 7 . As for sins less than blasphemy and disbelief, for which the one who committed them did not repent from them, but died on the state of belief, then he is subject to Allah Ta'ala's will, which may punish him in Hellfire or forgive him, without punishing him at all.

The Conspicuous Shirk:

5 8 . Associating Ostentation with any deed leads to voiding its reward, and so would arrogance.

Miracles (Mu'jizat), supernatural wonders (karamat) and beguiling:

59 . Miracles (mu'jiza) are ordained to the Prophets, and the supernatural wonders (karama) ordained to the pious people (awliya), are all true.

6 0 . Supernatural wonders performed by the enemies of Allah, such as Satan, Pharaoh and the Anti-Christ (Dajjal), which are recorded in narrations as having happened in the past or will happen in the future, are neither miraculous nor wondrous. Rather we believe it is simply to facilitate their desires, because Allah Ta'ala facilitates the needs [istidraaj] of His enemies to beguile and punish them, so they are fooled, hence, they increase in tyranny and blasphemy. All of that is permissible and possible.

Eternity and uprooting [Tashbeeh] anthropomorphism regarding the Attributes of Allah:

  6 1 . Allah Ta'ala was eternally The Creator before He created and The Provider before He provided.

6 2 . Allah Ta'ala is seen in the Hereafter, and the believers in Paradise will see Him with their eyes, without Tashbeeh (anthropomorphism; attributing Him with attributes of the creation), or a “how” modality, nor is there a physical distance between Him and His creation.

Believers are equal in the basics of Iman:

6 3 . Al-Iman [essence of Belief] is testification and affirmation.

6 4 . The Iman [essence of faith] of those in heavens and on earth does not increase or decrease with respect to the content of [essential] faith, but [is vulnerable to] increase and decrease with respect to the [level] of conviction and affirmation.

6 5 . All believers are equal in Iman [essence of faith] and Tawheed [monotheism], but they vary in their deeds.

6 6 . Islam is submission and surrender to the commands of Allah Ta'ala.

6 7 . Linguistically, there is a difference between Iman [faith] and Islam, but there cannot be Iman [faith] without Islam, and there is no Islam without Iman [faith], they are like the outer and inner part [of one thing].

Knowing Allah Ta'ala:

6 8 . Faith [deen] is a term covering Iman [faith] and Islam, and all revealed laws.

69 . We can only know Allah Ta'ala righteously by what He attributed Himself in His Book, and all His attributes [of Perfection].

7 0 - No one can worship Allah Ta'ala perfectly as He deserves to be worshipped, but [the best way is that] one worships Him according to His orders, as He commanded in His Book and the Sunnah [tradition] of His Messenger.

7 1 - All believers are equal [in being charged to seek] knowledge, conviction, reliance, love, satisfaction, fear, hope, and the belief in that. But they differ in other than the essential belief in the aforementioned.

The endowments of Allah Ta'ala are due to His generosity and punishment from Him is just:

7 2 - Allah Ta'ala is generous with His worshippers, and just. He may give them a greater reward than they deserve, all due to His generosity.

7 3 - He may punish [the sinners] for their sins because He is Just, and may forgive them because of His generosity.

The intercession of the Prophets, the Mizaan, the Basin, and the intercession of our beloved Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam:

7 4 - The intercession of the Prophets, alayhem assalatu wassalam, is a fact.

7 5 - And the intercession of our Prophet, alayhi [wa alihi] assalatu wassalam, for the sinful believers and those among them who committed grave sins and are [consequently] deserving of punishment, is an established fact.

7 6 . Weighing the deeds on the scale on the Day of Judgment is a fact.

7 7 . The Basin of the Prophet, alayhi –wa alihi- assalatu wassalam, is a fact.

7 8 . Retribution among enemies on the Day of Judgment is a fact, through redistribution of the rewards [for their good deeds]. If they have no rewards [for their good deeds] left, then redistributing the burden of evil deeds to them [from their opponents] is a true possibility.

The existence of Paradise and Hellfire is everlasting, contrary to deviant philosophers and blasphemers:

  79 . Paradise and Hellfire [are already created, and] exist today, and will never perish. The [Hur I'een in Paradise ] shall never die.

80. The punishment and the reward of Allah Ta'ala, never ceases everlastingly.

The Guidance and Misguidance by Allah Ta'ala:

81. Allah Ta'ala guides whomsoever He wants because of His generosity.

8 2 . And He misguides whomsoever He wants out of His justice, and His misguiding is by forsaking him, and the meaning of forsaking [someone] consists in not facilitating for him to attain the Pleasure of Allah, which is just from Him.

8 3 . And punishing the forsaken because of committed sins is just.

8 4 . It is not permissible for us to say: "Satan yanks faith from mankind forcefully, and unwillingly." Rather we say: "when man abandons his faith, then Satan snatches it from him."

The next world –in the grave- [Al-Barzakh]:

85. The questioning in the grave [shortly after death] by Munkar and Nakeer is a fact.

8 6 . The rejoin of the soul [and mind] to the body [shortly after death for questioning] of mankind is a fact.

8 7 . The tightening of the grave and the punishment therein is an inevitable fact affecting all blasphemers and some sinful believers.

Emphasis on pure Tawheed and avoiding Tashbeeh [anthropomorphism]:

8 8 . Everything about the attributes of Allah Ta'ala, which the scholars quoted in the Persian language maybe mentioned [as such], with exception of Yad (which literally may mean hand). It maybe said "bro khodai” [which literally may mean the face of God,"] He is exalted and glorified above the attributes of the creation, without likening Him to the creation nor a “how” [modality].

89 . Being Close to or far from Allah Ta'ala does not refer to spatial distance, great or small. Rather they refer to the honor rank or disgrace [of someone]. Hence, the obedient [worshipper] is close to Him, without a ‘how” [modality]. And the sinner is far from Him, without a “how” [modality].

9 0 . Closeness, and farness or approaching [from Allah] captivates the beseecher.

9 1 . Proximity to Allah Ta'ala in Paradise and standing between His hands are without a “how”. [The Imam considers these meanings as “mutashabeh”, hence, the proximity mentioned does not entail physical distance, and between His hands does not refer to limbs, organs nor places or spaces, it means standing before Him, and that does not entail physical distance, or place].

The status of the Qur'anic verses:

9 2 . The Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet of Allah, sallallahu alayhi -wa aalihi- wa sallam, and it is inscribed in the “Mus'haf” [collections of leaves constituting the Glorious Qur'an].

9 3 . The verses of the Qur'an, reflecting the objectives [of the verses], are equal in honor and magnificence; some, however, are have [a combination] of its own honor, in addition to the Glory of its content. An example is Ayatul-Kursi, because it mentions the Majesty, Glory, and attributes [of perfection] of Allah. Hence, it has a combination of honor, the honor of being a Glorious Qur'anic verse, and the Glory of what's mentioned in it [the Glorious Attributes of Perfection of Allah].

9 4 . Other verses have the honor of being a Glorious ayah only. An example is [ayahs containing] the story of blasphemers, there is no honor to those who are mentioned in the ayah because they are blasphemers.

9 5 . Similarly, all the Names of Superiority and the Attributes of Perfection are equal in their honor and magnificence; there is no difference among them.

The children of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam:

9 6 . Qasem, Taher and Ibrahim are the sons of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi –wa alihi wa salam. Fatima , Ruqayyah, Zaynab, and Ummu-Kulthoom are all the daughters of the Prophet of Allah, sallallahi alayhi –wa alihi wasallam, and may Allah be pleased with them.

The importance of [tafweedh] submitting to Allah, and seeking knowledge:

9 7 . If a believer faces obscurity in some of the details of the science of Monotheism [Tawheed], then he must immediately submit to the correct [general] belief which Allah Ta'ala wants [according to the meaning Allah willed] until he finds a scholar to ask [and learn from]. He cannot delay seeking [knowledge], for hesitation to seek is not excusable, and ignoring seeking [of conviction in Tawheed] may lead to blasphemy.

The Ascending to Heavens [Mi'raj] and signs of the Day of Judgment :

9 8 . The ascending [Mi'raj of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam] to heavens is a fact. Hence, whoever denies the Mi'raj is a deviant and an evil innovator.

99 . The emergence of the Dajjal [anti-christ] and of Ya'joog and Ma'joog [Gog and Magog], the rising of the sun in the West, the descending of ‘Isa, alayhi assalam [Jesus], from heavens, are inevitable facts, so are all the other signs of the Day of Judgment, as narrated in authentic Ahaadeeth [Prophetic sayings].

And Allah Ta'ala guides whomsoever He wills to the righteous way.





Tawhid in Sufism


    The face was red with flushing blood as he tried to stop his breath for as long as he could. The eyes bulged out, though staring at nothing. Small rivulets of perspiration shone on the forehead, and the voice coming through the foaming mouth was barely audible. He could scarcely speak when he tried to complete his sentence, and then did that through his gestures, nodding with satisfaction as if the message had been transmitted by some telepathic process.

    The man, a neighbour of mine, was not faking it out. He was a highly educated professional and belonged to a very respectable family. He truly believed in what he was trying to say. Somehow -- perhaps because of my appearance -- he had a misconception that I belonged to his ‘clan'. So he took very little time to begin sharing his ideas with me: ‘The fragrance of flowers, the song of birds, the air, everything... but then, you know it. Yes, yes, you know it. I am Allah, you are Allah, everything is Allah....'

    I realised afterwards that in a very crude manner, the man was expressing (though technically incorrectly) ideas he had gathered from some Sufi....  

The Qur'anic concept of Tawhid (monotheism) is that there is only one God -- Allah. All those characteristics which can only be associated with God must not be attributed to anyone else.   

The Qur'an says:  

    Declare [O Prophet] that1 God is One2! He is the rock.3 He is neither anyone's father nor anyone's son. And none is equal to Him.[112:1-3]  

Therefore, the whole world is His creation: He is above all, and there is nothing like Him.   
It is the correct belief in God which enlightens the heart and solves the riddle this universe is. Every creation points out to the fact that there must be a Creator and therefore reflects God:  

    Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. [24:35]  

In Sufism, however, Tawhid, is expressed as 'only Absolute Reality is absolutely real'. To the Sufi, this concept of Tawhid is different from pantheism (regarded un-Islamic by almost all the Muslim scholars), for the Sufistic Tawhid is not 'everything is God': it is 'God is everything', or, more ostensibly, 'there is nothing except God'. The result is that in Sufism, Tawhid expressed as la ilaha illallah (there is no God but Allah) is the Tawhid of the ordinary, whereas the Tawhid of the elect is la mawjuda illallah (there is nothing but Allah). This means that whatever we see does not have any significance, for it does not exist in reality. It is only relatively real. What does exist in reality is God. Ibn ‘Arabi writes in his book Fasusu'l-Hikam:  

    Although, apparently Creation is distinct from the Creator, in reality the Creator is but Creation and Creation is but the Creator. All these are from one reality. Nay, it is but He who is the Only Reality, and it is He Who manifests Himself in all these realities.  

This concept is called Wahdatu'l Wajud (Unity of Being): the idea is that a knife and a sword, for example, are called by their respective names and are treated as distinct and separate items. But when their 'essence' steel moves wara u'l-wara ('beyond the beyond', that is beyond all forms and shapes), it is called steel. Similarly, God is considered as the Ultimate Reality, which is transcendent (beyond shape and form) but in essence immanent in Creation. In the words of Sha Muhammad Isma‘il (‘Abaqat, ‘abaqah 20, al-isharah u'l-awwal):  

    For all Creation, Ma bihitta ‘yun4 is only one Definite being.  

Another version of this concept is Wahdatu'l-Shahud (Unity of Appearance), according to which, God is the only Reality, and everything else is illusion. This version is again the same concept expressed in a different way. According to Sha Muhammad Isma‘il (‘Abaqat, ‘abaqah 20, al-isharahu'l-awwal):  

    ...deep analysis will show that there is no difference except that owing to the difference in their stages and in their ways of reaching Lahut,5 they [the proponents of the two versions] have adopted varying styles to express their opinions.  

Such beliefs often result in a strong tendency to regard a man's physical self as a 'form' and to consider this form as an obstruction in his going warau'l wara (beyond the beyond) and in reaching the Ultimate Reality. Theosophical (to be more precise, existential) realisation of this Reality through self-denial and self-control becomes the ultimate goal of life, whereas according to the Qur'an, the purpose of man's life is worship and servitude to God (51-56) and the purpose of religion is the purification of his soul to enable him to do just that (62:2). In Sufism, therefore, purification of the soul becomes the ultimate target of the Sufi's life rather than becoming the outcome of following the dictates of Islam. For this purification, rituals and methods other than those recommended or demanded by Islam are often prescribed with such authority6 and adhered to with such pertinacity that they virtually amount to innovation in religion. That which is a means to an end becomes the end in itself: man's humility, which in Islam leads to servitude, becomes a source of his pride in Sufism; servitude, which makes him a humble servant of his Master, makes him the Master.   

According to Sufism, perfect awareness of the Absolute Reality results in the Sufi's being absolutely unaware of Creation and of his own self; to be more precise, it results in his being aware of the fact that in reality there is no existence of Creation and even of his own self. This concept often leads to great imbalance; in negating his ego, the Sufi ends up worshipping it; in negating Creation, he negates life itself.   

Absolute negation of the self is impracticable, absolute negation of Creation impractical.   

No Man born of a woman can conceive nothingness for himself, unless he is deranged enough not to perceive anything at all. Life is not insignificant. Nor is consciousness. And every one of us knows this. Life still brings laughter, death still summons tears. Intellect is still honoured, lack of consciousness is still regarded as insanity. A man thinks and therefore is. When he thinks, he knows -- consciously or otherwise -- that it is 'he' who is thinking. Therefore, if he thinks or believes that he does not exist -- that only God exists --, then he will usually end up thinking or believing that it is 'he' who is actually God. But God he cannot be. For the best of men -- the messengers of God --, even in their greatness, always remained in want of their Lord's mercy for the most minor of their needs:  

    Allahumma inni lima anzalta ilayya min khayrin faqir   

    Lord! verily I am needy for anything you may bestow upon me out of good. [A prayer of Moses (peace be upon him); see the Qur'an  28:24]  

    Allahumma inni ‘abduka, ibn ‘bdika, ibn amatika, nasiyati biyadik....  
    Lord! verily I am your slave, the son of your bondman, the son of your bondwoman, my forelock is in your hands. [that is I am completely in your power]....  
        [A bedtime prayer of the Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam].  

Even a messenger of God is a servant of his Master. To him God is the Master whom he loves with all his heart and all his mind and all his soul. To the Sufi, however, God is the beloved whose love leads him to realise the Ultimate Reality -- and thus makes him the Master (though the Sufi will sometimes deny this. However, as long as 'he' believes -- consciously or otherwise -- that nothing expect God exists, he will usually be thinking of himself as the Deity7).   

The usual result of this shift in the object is that in addition to the spiritual exercises and rituals recommended or prescribed by Islam to enable man to worship and serve God, the Sufi virtually makes many other exercises and rituals obligatory, which often leave him with very little energy and motivation to do God's bidding where it is actually required. And since the Sufi has a philosophical foundation for this shift from the balance required by Islam, he usually ends up being a slave of his own desires.   

Vis-a-vis the society as a whole, the object of an individual's life as envisaged by Sufism is impractical ad absurdum, as realisation of  the object by all would mean negation of Creation by all and therefore negation of society, whereas realisation of the object of a man's life as envisaged by Islam would result in the creation of a truly harmonious society. Worshipping and serving God entail responsibility towards society. One’s affiliation with society is not negated as such in Islam as a goal for achieving self-purification, just as none of the blessings of God is negated for this purpose, howsoever trivial it may appear to be.   

Only when such negation becomes necessary for preventing a greater injustice to the society or to one's own self does Islam allow -- and in some cases demand -- that an individual deny the privileges he has and negate his affiliation with his society.  

In Sufism, however, there seems to be a strong tendency to regard asceticism as highly desirable per se. If nothing else, there is at least an abnormal emphasis on the negation of worldly life:

Ibn ‘Ata Allah writes:  

    The source of every disobedience, indifference, and passion is self-satisfaction. The source of every obedience, vigilance, and virtue is dissatisfaction with one’s self. (Tr. Cryil Glasse, The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, second edition, London: Stacey International, 1991, p. 378).  

    Al Ghazali says in a al-Munqidh mina'l-Dalal:  

    Then I turned my attention to the Way of the Sufis. I knew that it could not be traversed to the end without both doctrine and practice, and that the gist of the doctrine lies in overcoming the appetites of the flesh and getting rid of its evil dispositions and vile qualities, so that the heart may be cleared of all but God....   

    When I considered the intention of my teaching, I perceived that instead of doing it for God's sake alone I had no motive but the desire for glory and reputation. I realised that I stood on the edge of a precipice and would fall into Hellfire unless I set about to mend my ways... Conscious of my helplessness and having surrendered my will entirely, I took refuge with God as a man in sore trouble who has no resource left. God answered my prayer and made it easy for me to turn my back on reputation and wealth and wife and children and friends. (Tr. Cyril Glasse, The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, second edition, London: Stacey International, 1991. p. 379)  

Is this abnormal inclination towards asceticism deliberate? Is it obligatory or merely desirable? -- these questions may be debatable. However, one thing is certain. As far as the concept of perfect awareness of the Absolute Reality is concerned, it inevitably leads to the conceptual negation of Creation and therefore of society.   

Perhaps because of the impracticability and impracticality of their ideas, the Sufis have usually regarded it desirable per se not to reveal their inner thoughts about Tawhid (and when they do reveal them, the style they use makes their language unintelligible to most people), whereas the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam was told to communicate his message clearly as part of his mission (the Qur'an 5:67):  

    Know therefore that the ultimate of all disciples of Mystic intuition is this Tawhid, and the secrets of this discipline and cannot be written in any book because, according to a saying of 'Arifin [those who have achieved awareness], exposing the secrets of Divinity amounts to infidelity. [al-Ghazali, Ihya 'Ulumi'l-Din, Vol. 4. p. 641]  



1]. That has been used here as a pronoun, not as a conjunction. 
2]. That is unique or single in kind. 
3]. That is the rock which is the shelter against the enemy and is the saviour (See Psalms 18:2 & 3 -- the Lord is my rock ...) 
4]. From which other things are, for example a knife and a sword are from steel. 
5]. That is God. 
6]. Sufis claim direct knowledge for themselves through the same Divine source which was the basis of Divine Guidance given to the messengers of God and His Prophets (For example see Sha Muhammad Ismai'l Abaqat, ‘Abaqah 11, al-isharahtu'l-ijmaliyyah ila maratib kamali'l-nafs). Although they believe that no further directives are given to them after the Prophet (sws) as far as the content of religion is concerned, yet the fact that they present their 'prescriptions' for the 'application' of the principles of the Qur'an and the Sunnah on the basis of their 'direct knowledge' and therefore with the same degree of authority that religion itself has is a sufficient cause for concern over innovation in religion. 
7]. Perhaps that is why the walls of the tombs of the Sufi saints echo with claims as Ana al-Haq (I am God -- claimed by Hallaj) and Subhani, ma a'z ama sha'ni! (I am pure! what an exalted status is mine! -- claimed by Bayazid) whenever some ‘Arif in his ecstasy is unable to contain his awareness. One cannot therefore blame the simple followers of the Sufis as our friend with bulging eyes for thinking themselves to be God. 





What is shirk ?

By Hamid Faizee Chisti

In this article, Insha Allah, I will explain Shirk and its classifications as I learnt from my Shaykh.

Shirk is associating partner with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala or giving a share (of those which belongs to Allah alone) to others i.e. ghairullah. Shirk is the most hated sin by Allah. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says in the Qur'an that Shirk is the greatest sin (Inna -al-shirka Zhulm al-azheem Qur'an 31:14). He also says that He will forgive all other sins if he wishes, except Shirk (Qur'an 4:49). So, it is our duty to be wary of the damage it can cause to our belief and avoid it.

The Sufis of the Chishti Qadiri Tariqa (tradition) have classified Shirk into four categories and have explained them. You cannot learn these things without the guidance of a kamil (perfect) shaykh.

The four types of Shirk are:




Shirk Ismi or Jali

This is the most dreaded Shirk. It is associating Ghairullah (anything other than Allah) with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala in worship; accepting Ghairullah as fit to be worshipped or worshipping Ghairullah. One has to be clear of this Shirk to become a Muslim. If a Muslim falls in this Shirk, all his previous good deeds will be wiped off (habthe a'mal). May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala save us all from this.





Shirk fi'li or kafi

This is a latif (delicate) shirk, which most of us do practice, unknowingly. This does not make one a Mushrik , who Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala censures in the Qur'an but, it does deprive the dharajaths (high positions in Allah's sight) in the path of Sulook (way towards Allah).

This Shirk is believing or thinking that Ghairullah can give us profit or loss, victory or defeat, good or bad on their own; believing that a Ghairullah, be it a Prophet or a Vali (friend of Allah) can give us gain or loss or act without the power of Allah the Most Exalted.

Allah says in the Qur'an al kareem, "la hawla wa la quwwatha illa billah" (there is no power other than the one with Allah). Yes, no one can act on their own, whatever their status, except with the power and help of Allah. It is Allah who is helping us to act; even the smallest movement of our fingers is due to Allah providing us His power. The Mu'jizas and Karamath's (miracles) of the Prophet's and Awliya are but the manifestation of Allah's power through them. If anyone thought that they did it on their own, he falls in Shirke Fi'li. In truth, they perform it with the help of Allah. Praying for the sake of Jannath (heaven) or fearing Jahannam (hell) or Riya (acting to satisfy Ghairullah) also come under this category of Shirk.




Shirk Vasfi or Akhfa


It is the Shirk that involves the Zaathi Sifath (own characteristics) of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. It is thinking or believing that the Ummuhathus Sifath (mother of all characteristics), Hayath, Ilm, Iradha, Qudrat, sama'at, basarat and kalam that we find in the creatures are their own. They are in fact Allah’s and He has been merciful to manifest them on His creatures. At this point I would like to mention that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala sees without eyes, hears without ears, speaks without mouth or sound; His action is without movement.

This Shirk will hinder the ascension of the salik to higher grades of Makame Qurb (status of nearness to Allah).





Shirk Zaathi or Khafiyul Akhfa


Only the great saints and awliya have been saved from this Shirk. It is believing or accepting the very existence of Creatures of their own. They exist only due to the subsistence (ujoodh) of Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala. Creatures are but a form that don't have anything and Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala supports them with his ujoodh. Shunning from this Shirk is of the very highest grade of Iman (belief) and those who are encompassed in this Shirk are denied the state of Shuhoodh or Ihsan.