Sacrificing for other than Allah

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab
From Kitaab at-Tauhid (Chapters 10 & 11)

Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “Say, ‘My salat, my prayer, indeed my whole life and death are to Allaah, Lord of the universe, to whom there is no associate.'” (Qur’aan 6:163-164)

and “Address therefore your prayers to your Lord, and slaughter (in His name)” (Qur’aan 108:2).

In his Saheeh, Muslim relates from Alee radiallaahu ‘anhu the following: “The prophet of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave four judgements; Admonition to him who slaughters in the name of anyone other than Allaah! Admonition to him who curses his parents! Admonition to him who shelters the perpetrators of a crime incurring a divine sanction! Admonition to him who unjustly alters the frontiers of personal land properties.”

Ahmad reports that Tariq ibn Shihab related that the Prophet of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Flies provided the circumstances for a man to go to paradise and for another to go to hell. When he was asked to explain how that was possible, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Two men passed by a people who had an idol to which they prescribed an oblation for every person seeking to go through their territory. When the first objected that he had nothing to sacrifice to the idol, the people told him he had to sacrifice something even if it were a few flies. So he caught a few flies, sacrificed them and let through. Naturally he was consigned to hell. When another was required to sacrifice something, he objected that he would never sacrifice aught to anyone but Allaah. They killed him, and he of course went to paradise.’

Issues addressed in this chapter:

1.Explanation of the verse ‘Say, My salat my prayer, indeed my whole life and death…’ (Qur’aan 108:2)

2. Explanation of the verse ‘Address therefore your prayers to your Lord, and slaughter in His name’ (Qur’aan 6:163-164)

3. Cursing whomsoever slaughters in any other name than Allaah’s

4. Cursing whomever curses his parents, including the person who invites such curse by cursing somebody else’s parents and thus eliciting a reciprocal cursing of his own

5. Cursing whoever shelters the muhdith i.e. the perpetrator of a crime incurring divine sanction, with a view to enable him to escape punishment

6. Cursing whomsoever alters unjustly the frontiers of personal land properties, and thus continues them to achieve illegitimate advantage

7. Difference between cursing a definite person for a definite crime and cursing the perpetrators of crimes in general

8. The significant story of the flies

9.That the person who sacrificed flies to the idol to avoid the threat of the idolaters went to hell though he did not approve of his own deed

10. Assessing the degree of shirk within the hearts of Muslims. Their patient suffering of martyrdom and resistance to the demand of the idolaters through the latter only required only the external act.

11. That he who entered hell was a Muslim. Otherwise the Prophet would not have said that the man entered hell merely for sacrificing flies

12. This story constitutes evidence for another hadith viz ‘Paradise is closer to man than his own soles. And so is hell’

13. That the work of the heart is the greater requirement, even among idolators.


Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala said: ‘Do not even stand therein.’ (Qur’aan 9:108)

Abu Dawood related that Thabit ibn al Dahhak radiallaahu ‘anhu said: ‘A man made a vow to sacrifice a camel at a place called Buwanah, and sought the Prophet’s permission to do so. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, Does this place have an idol such as those of Jahilliyyah? The man answered, no. The Prophet asked again, Did the unbelievers hold any of their feasts at that place? Again the man answered, no. The Prophet then said, Go ahead and fulfil your vow. The vows which ought not to be fulfilled are those which involve disobedience to Allaah, or fulfilment of what is beyond man’s capacity.’

Issues addressed in this chapter:

1. Explanation of the verse ‘Do not stand therein.’ (Qur’aan 9:108)

2. That disobedience to Allaah, as well as obedience are without real effects in the world

3. Reference of the questionable problem to the clear one, for solution by extrapolation

4. Permissibility of asking the mufti for details wherever there is need

5. Vows specifying the place of fulfilment are legitimate aslong as no legal hinderances intervene

6. Illegitimacy of fulfilling a vow at a place where an idol stands, or had once stood

7. Illegitimacy of fulfilling a vow where unbelievers held a celebration, though the practise is presently extinct

8. Illegitimacy of fulfilling a vow made on such a spot because the vow is ipso facto illegitimate

9. Caution against imitating the unbelievers in their celebrations, even if unwittingly

10. No vow is legitimate if its content is illegitimate

11. No vow is legitimate for a man if it demands fulfilment of what he cannot do

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