Ramadan Lectures 1430- Al-Fawaid (Points of Benifit)- Lesson (26-31):The characteristics of Tawheed (Monotheism)

2009-09-18


Messenger's Da'wah is based on Tawheed & worshipping Allah:

 Dear brother, let's tackle a new point of benefits from Ibn Al-Qayyim's Points of Benefit, may Allah have mercy upon him. In this point Ibn Al-Qayyim discusses the characteristics of Tawheed saying that the Da'wah of all Prophets, peace be upon them, is based on Tawheed and worshipping Allah. The proof is mentioned in the following Noble Ayah:

"And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) but We inspired him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah)], so worship Me (Alone and none else)."

[Al-Anbiya', 25]

"And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him)"

 "Any Messenger" indicates that the Da'wah of all Messengers, peace be upon them without exception, revolves around Tawheed and worshipping Allah the Almighty. Tawheed is Aqeedah while performing the acts of worship is a kind of behavior. Also, Tawheed has theoretical bases while performing acts of worship has a practical one that is manifested in the behavior. Furthermore, Tawheed is an ideological conviction while the acts of worship are actions, and both suit man who has the ability to think and perform deeds.

 Some scholars say, "The utmost outcome of Islamic knowledge is believing in the Oneness of Allah and the utmost deed is worshipping Allah." Thus, when you believe in the Oneness of Allah the Almighty and when you worship Him, you achieve the purpose of your existence. You can believe in Tawheed by contemplating the creation of the universe, Allah's Signs in the universe, Allah's Actions, Allah's Signs in His creation and His Quranic Ayat, and you can worship him by acting upon His Method (when you abide by His orders and prohibitions). I repeat, when you believe in the Oneness of Allah the Almighty and you worship Him, you fulfill the purpose of your existence.

 Someone may be intelligent, and he may have a Ph.D. degree, but he does not believe in the Oneness of Allah, which explains that not all intelligent people are wise. It seems that man's intelligence deals with the details of matters, while his reasoning deals with the matters in general. Hence, whoever is heedless of the purpose of his existence is not a true monotheist since he falls into hidden Shirk (polytheism).

The major Shirk and the minor one:

 Shirk is a serious matter; it is extremely dangerous to accuse someone of being a polytheist. Scholars differentiate between the major Shirk and the minor one saying that the major Shirk is to worship idols instead of Allah the Almighty. For instance, in some pagan Asian religions (Buddhism) Buddha is worshipped. Once I visited a Hindu temple in America, and I saw two bronze statues inside it. Believe it or not, the price of the Berlant diamond which is on the chest of each statue is hundreds of million dollars. I watched how the followers of that religion did full-body prostration before these idols, and I saw many other strange things there. Thus, when man does not believe in the Oneness of Allah and when he worships an idol, a stone, the sun, or the moon instead of Allah the Almighty, he falls into the major Shirk. As for the minor Shirk, it is represented by taking a wrongdoer as an ally (friend, protector, helper, etc.) because you benefit from him. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

"The most I fear for my Ummah is the hidden shirk."

[Mentioned in the relic]

 By the Grace of Allah the Almighty, the major Shirk is not committed by Muslims, unlike the hidden one. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

"I am not saying that people worship an idol or a stone, but they are longing for a hidden lust or doing deeds which are not in the Cause of Allah."

[Mentioned in the relic]

  When you are controlled by a lust which does not please Allah the Almighty, you take this lust as a god; the proof is mentioned in the following Noble Ayah:

"Have you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) seen him who has taken as his ilah (god) his own desire? Would you then be a Wakil (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him?"

[Al-Furqan, 43]

  When you are completely driven by a lust which displeases Allah the Almighty, and when you insist on fulfilling it, you are considered Mushrik (a polytheist) because you prefer fulfilling this lust to obeying Allah, and so it becomes a god whom you worship instead of Allah the Almighty.

Tawheed is the utmost outcome of Islamic knowledge

 Some people are extremely fond of collecting precious antiques from the places they travel to. Once I visited a man who had a fairly refined taste, and I saw the antiques in his house which cost more than 10 million lira. This is an example of some people who are strongly attached to permissible matters such as traveling.

 Dear brother, you should keep in your mind that Satan is wicked, and he tests your faith and your ability to resist sins and temptation. Satan tries, through his whispers, to make you disbelieve in Allah the Almighty, Allah forbid, but if he finds that your faith is strong, he tries to make you fall into Shirk, but if he finds that you deeply believe in the Oneness of Allah, he tries to make you commit major sins, and if he finds that you are obedient to Allah, he tries to make you commit minor sins. Then if he finds that you are a pious and righteous Muslim, he still has two trump cards; the first one is to make you fond of permissible matters, and so he makes you spend all your time in matters related to this worldly life. By doing this Satan fails in making you commit a sin but he succeeds in making you waste your time on worldly things. However, if you do not listen to his whisper, he uses his last trump card which is considered one of his acts; he makes you instigate conflicts between Muslims. You can notice that between the Islamic sects nowadays; each sect makes accusations against the other sect and each one claims that the truth is by her side, and so she belittles the other one. This is one aspect of being misled and far from Allah the Almighty.

 I keep repeating this fact: unless you belong to the group of the believers, you are not considered a true believer. Thus, believing in the Oneness of Allah the Almighty is the utmost outcome of the Islamic knowledge. Believing that the dominion belongs to Allah the Almighty Alone, that no one has control over everything except Him and that He is the Only Giver, the Only Withholder, the Only Abaser, the Only Exalter, the Only Giver of honor, the Only One Who humiliates and so on is the utmost result of the Islamic knowledge. Tawheed is to believe deeply that you can never ever be a loser as long as you obey Allah, that you can never ever be successful as long as you disobey Him and that you will never ever commit a sin in order to please someone. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

"There is no obedience to any creature in disobedience to the Creator"


The life of the true monotheist


  Tawheed means to fear none but Allah the Almighty, to ask none but Him, to trust in none but in Him, to rely on none but on Him and to put your hope only in His Bounty. This understanding of Tawheed is the utmost outcome of the Islamic knowledge. Some scholars say, "The best thing which the devoted worshippers of Allah have fully comprehended is the reality of Tawheed." Actually, the life of whoever really believes that Allah is the Only Deity is amazing; he lives at ease, and his main concern is pleasing Allah the Almighty. Unlike him, some people care about pleasing other. If they please a particular party the other party gets irritated and vice versa. As a result, they feel completely lost and scatter-brained as they try to please everyone, while the true monotheist, only cares about pleasing Allah the Almighty, he depends on Him Alone, he never becomes malice towards people, he never gives up, because he believes that all affairs return to Allah Alone and he never feels that someone treats him unjustly, because he knows for sure that none can treat him unjustly unless Allah wills that he is treated unjustly; he believes that such treatment is the effect of his sins since Allah the Almighty is the Absolutely Perfect.

 Consider the following incident which took place in 1970's: In one of Damascus fabric shops, a dispute occurred between an accountant and the owner of the shop whom the accountant worked for, so the latter fired the former. After that, the accountant informed the customs that the owner of the shop had some smuggled goods in his shop. As a result, the police raided on his stores and he had to pay a fine of 600 or 700 lira which is about 20 or 50 million lira nowadays, as 1 dollar was equal to 3 lira in 1970's. The owner of the shop couldn't stand that, so he shot the accountant dead. Consequently, he was imprisoned for 30 years. Had he realized that Allah the Almighty allowed that to happen, he would not have killed him. Also, he would have believed that the accountant had been but a means of discipline from Allah the Almighty. Regarding the true monotheist, he submits to Allah, he is pleased with Him and he always watches his behavior. Had that trader reconsidered his acts, he would have found that the amount of money he had paid as a fine was little in comparison with the enormous wealth which Allah the Almighty had granted him. Thus, when you believe that Allah is the Only Deity and that everything happens due to His Will, you never bear grudge against anyone, you never despair and you never feel that you are oppressed, because you believe that all your affairs return to Allah Alone. By Allah, the real monotheist lives an incredible peaceful life even if he lives in a modest house and even if his income is low. He is pleased with Allah the Almighty, and he deeply believes that this worldly life is nothing but a temporary enjoyment, and that the Hereafter is the home that will remain forever. Allah the Almighty says:

"Is he whom We have promised an excellent promise (Paradise), which he will find true, like him whom We have made to enjoy the luxuries of the life of (this) world, then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up (to be punished in the Hell-fire)?"

[Al-Qasas, 61]

Tawheed is the essence of Islam

 Dear brother, I'd almost say: Tawheed is the essence of the Islamic religion. As a Muslim, you should believe that Allah is the Only Deity Who deserves to be worshipped, and you should not be pleased with whoever does you a favor (and forget to thank Allah) as Allah the Almighty inspires him to serve you. Therefore, you should first thank Allah the Almighty, and then thank that man. Also, when someone does harm to you, you should believe that Allah the Almighty allows him to do that in order to discipline you for your sins.

"No man is scratched by a thorn, or stumbles, or has a twitching in a vein, except for a sin, and what Allah forgives is greater"

[Ibn Asaker, from Al-Bara']


  Tawheed is to learn a lesson from every calamity you are afflicted with, to believe that this calamity is a message from Allah the Almighty and to believe that whatever happens is due to profound wisdom even if the one who causes it to happen is a criminal. For example, through Tawheeed, you'll discover after a period of time that the consequences of the events of September 11th are to Muslims' advantage (as Islam has widely spread in America and Europe). Thus, Tawheed is to attach your heart to Allah Alone, and ignore other people. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said about Abu Bakr AS-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him:

"Verily, Abu Bakr is the best of human beings, except the Prophets"

"If I were to choose anyone as intimate friend I would have taken Abu Bakr as my intimate friend. But what binds us is the brotherhood in Islam an its love."

[Ibn Ishaq]

 Nevertheless, when the Prophet, peace be upon him, died, Abu Bakr addressed the people saying, "Whoever worshipped Muhammad….";he did not say the Prophet or the Messenger of Allah in order to remind the people that he, peace be upon him, was a human being". I personally think that Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was the noble Companion who was shocked the most among sh3er at the Prophet's death. Yet, Tawheed helped him keep firm in that difficult situation. He said:

 "Whoever worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die"

Islam becomes meaningless without Tawheed

 The meaning of true Tawheed is embodied in the following incident: In the battle of Yarmouk, Our master Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, deposed our master Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, may Allah be pleased with him, from his command. Our master Khalid asked him three times, "O Commander of the Believers! Why did you do that?" The answer of our master Umar was the same each time, "By Allah, I love you". At the third time he said, "I feared that you may become a source of Fitnah (trial) to people, because you led Muslims to be victorious in all the battles you fought for the Sake of Allah". When our master Umar deposed our Master Khalid, he did that in order to protect people's Tawheed; in order to remind people that victory can be granted by Allah Alone, not by our master Khalid. Thus, Tawheed is the core of the Islamic religion; when you deeply believe that Allah is the Only Deity Who has power over everything and to Whom all matters return, you never despair, submit to anyone or humble yourself before him. Allah the Almighty says:

"So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers."


[Aal-'Imran, 139]


  I strongly believe that the true monotheist never submits to other than Allah, he never despairs and he never becomes a pessimist. Consider the following tradition:

"He who humbles himself before a wealthy person loses two thirds of his religion"

[Al-Baihaqi, from Ibn Mas'ood]

 Thus, Islam becomes meaningless without Tawheed, because even idolaters believed in Allah the Almighty, but they attributed partners to Him. They say as it is mentioned in the following Ayah:

"We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah."

[Az-Zumar, 3]

"The most I fear for my Ummah is the hidden Shirk. I am not saying that people worship an idol or a stone, but they are longing for a hidden lust or doing deeds which are not in the Cause of Allah."

[Mentioned in the relic]

Whoever does not feel he is the happiest man has problems with his faith

 Theoretically, it is easy to be a monotheist, but it is fairly hard to be so practically speaking. To illustrate this idea, consider the example of a man who asked a doctor to teach him how to write a prescription. That doctor smiled saying that writing a prescription is the result of a studying for forty years, so after that period of time the man would be able to write it! Likewise, being a true monotheist is the result of remaining upright upon the Straight Path, reflecting upon the creation of the universe, performing righteous deeds, adhering to Allah's Orders and Prohibitions and doing one's best while controlling impure evil desires and lusts. Believing in Tawheed is the utmost outcome of all righteous deeds. Hence, the real monotheist never despairs, bears malice towards anyone nor becomes a pessimist.

 Whoever claims to be a monotheist, but he does not feel that he is the happiest man in the world, suffers from a serious problem in his faith, so whoever disobeys Allah has shaky belief in Tawheed. Why does he cheat for example? Because he mistakenly thinks that cheating will provide him with an additional income which will be of benefit to him, but he forgets that Allah the Almighty is the Continual Provider, and that He may afflict him with a calamity which will cause him to lose ten times as much of that illegal additional income.

 One of my relatives is a mechanic, and he told me that a man brought his new car to one of his friends, who was a mechanic too, in order to repair it. The man had no idea about the slight problem the car had, and the mechanic noticed that, so he told him that fixing it would take three days and would cost him 10 thousand SYL, while in fact the mechanic had to only wash a machine inside the car which would take no more than a minute! That mechanic told the owner of the car to come back after 4 days in order to take the car. During the first three days, he drove the car taking his family for many picnics. On the fourth day, the owner of the car gave the mechanic 10 thousands SYL in cash. My relative told him that it is impermissible for him to take that amount of money, because fixing that car took only 5 minutes and cost no more than 10 SYL, but that mechanic considered his act a great act of cleverness! Had he been a true monotheist, he would have realized that Allah the Almighty would punish him for deceiving sh3er. Two days later, the son of that mechanic had an accident; while he was using a lathe, a very tiny piece of steel entered his eye, and that mechanic had to pay 16 thousand LBL (which was about 25 thousand SYL as in the past 1 LBL was about 160 Syrian Qursh) for the operation his son underwent in order to remove that piece from his cornea. Tawheed means to deeply believe that you will not be saved from Allah's Punishment when you do harm to Muslims.

Lack of Tawheed is the main cause of problems

 Dear brother, our life will not be straight except by Tawheed. When you disobey Allah the Almighty and gain money in illegal way, this means you are not a true monotheist because you do not deeply believe that Allah the Almighty is the Continual Provider. Consider the following tradition:

"Whoever earns Haram money, Allah will destroy it."

[Ibn An-Najjar, from Abi Salamah Al-Humsi]

 He will lose his wealth by plundering, confiscation and unbearable high taxes, his factory may burn down and so on. These disasters happen because he does not call himself to account severely as he violates the workers' rights by forcing or persuading them to accept their salaries claiming that he cannot raise them because of law profits. The true monotheist, on the other hand, believes that if he doubled the workers' salaries, the production of the factory will increase. Some people may not pay attention to this fact.

 Dear brother, the lack of Tawheed is the main cause of every calamity or every sin in the world. Furthermore, lack of Tawheed is the main cause of man's pessimism and constant compliance. Accordingly, when you really believe in Tawheed, all your problems will be solved. I'd like to conclude this blessed meeting with the following saying which I mention a lot: "The best thing which the devoted worshippers of Allah have fully comprehended is the reality of Tawheed".