On the Importance of Tauhid

by Jamaal Zarabozo

1) Verily, Allaah has created the world and everything in it in order to worship Him alone. He sent the Messenger to call the people to Tawheed and the Noble Qur’aan is concerned with the aqeedah of tawheed in most of its chapters, and it explains the harm of shirk for the individual and the society. Shirk is the reason for destruction in this life and the reason for eternal destruction in the Fire of the Hereafter.

2) Verily, all the Messengers began their call with Tawheed, which they were commanded by Allaah to convey it to the people. He, the Most High, said:

“We have not sent before you from the Messengers, except We inspired to him that He is the only One worthy of worship, so worship Him.” [21:25]

The Messenger of Allaah stayed in Makkah for thirteen years while he called his people to the Tawheed of Allaah and he called to Him alone without associating anything with Him. It was regarding this issue that Allaah revealed the following verse to His Noble Messenger:

“Say: Verily I call to my Lord and I do not ascribe any partners to Him at all.” [72:20]

The Noble Messenger brought up his followers upon Tawheed from the time of childhood and he said to the son of his uncle, his cousin ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas: “When you ask, then ask Allaah, and when you seek help, then seek help from Allaah.” [Hasan Saheeh, Tirmidhi].

This Tawheed is in reality the religion of Islaam, which is built upon it, and anything other than it is not accepted by Allaah.

3) Verily, the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught his Companions to begin their call to the people with tauhid, so he said to Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, when he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent him to Yemen: “So let the first thing you call them to, be the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.” And in another narration: “…that they worship Allaah alone.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

4) Tauhid is embodied in the testification that “None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.” Its meaning is that there is no one who is worthy of deserving worship except Allaah, and there is no worship except that which the Messenger of Allaah came with. It is this testification which allows a unbeliever to enter into Islaam, since it is the key to Paradise, and the one who testifies to it and believes it enters into Paradise as long as he does not invalidate it by shirk or a word of disbelief.

5) The disbelieving Quraish offered the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam kingship, wealth and wives and other than that from the pleasures of this life in exchange for him abandon the call to tauhid, and abandon the attacks against the idols. However, he did not desire that from them, rather lie continued his call and endured the onslaught along with his Companions, until the call to tauhid was victorious after thirteen years, after which Makkah was conquered and the idols were destroyed. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited, “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished, surely falsehood is ever bound to vanish.” [17:81]

6) Tauhid is the preoccupation of a Muslim in his life, so he begins his life with Tauhid and he ends his life with Tauhid. His task in life is to establish Tauhid and the call to Tauhid, since Tauhid unifies the believers and gathers them upon the statement of Tauhid. So we ask Allaah to make the statement of Tauhid (Laa ilaaha lila Allaah) our last words in this world and we ask Him to gather the Muslims upon the statement of Tauhid.

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

Four Basic Rules of Pure Monotheism

Based on an essay by
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab

Almighty God, Lord of the Glorious Throne, I pray that He may guide you in this world and the next; that He may always bless you; that He may make you one of those who recognize His bounty, who remain firm in face of adversity, and who repent and seek His forgiveness if they disobey or sin. These three characteristics are the indices of felicity and blessedness.

Know that pure worship and monotheism, which is the religion of Abraham, consists of worshipping God alone, of dedicating yourself sincerely to serving Him. God said:

“I have not created jinn and men but to worship Me” [Qur’ân 51:56].

Once you know that God has created you to serve Him, you will realize that there can be no service except with Pure Monotheism (Arabic: Tawhid). Just as there is no formal prayer without purity, and there is no purity with uncleanliness, so there is no worship of God while worshipping others along with Him (Arabic: Shirk). By associating others with Almighty God, man’s worship is spoilt, his deeds are vain and he is doomed to eternal Hellfire. If you are cognizant of all this, you will realize that your most important care should be to have all the knowledge pertinent thereto, that God may save you from Hell’s terrible abyss. Almighty God said:

“God will not forgive any the association of anything with Him; but He will forgive any lesser offense to whomsoever He chooses” [Qur’ân 4:47, 115].

It should be mentioned that Almighty God will forgive those who have ascribed partners Him, or worshipped others along with Him, if they repent from doing it before they die].

Such pertinent knowledge consists of four basic rules, elaborated in Almighty God’s Holy Book.

First Rule:

The first rule is the knowledge that the unbelieving pagans whom the Prophet Muhammad, the peace and grace of God be upon him, opposed, did acknowledge that Almighty God – May He be glorified – is indeed the Creator, Provider and Maker of this world. However, this did not make them Muslims. Evidence therefore is in the verse:

“Ask them: ‘Who sends down for you your provision from the sky and grows it out of the earth? Who hears your prayer and sees your condition? Who brings the living out of the dead and the dead out of the living? Who directs the course of the world?’ They will answer: ‘God.’ Answer: ‘Would you then not fulfill your duty to Him?'” [Qur’ân 10:32].

Second Rule:

The second rule is to know that the unbelievers claim that they do not pray to their objects of worship and call on them except to the end that they may intercede on their behalf with God, as the verse said:

“Those who worshipped others as patrons beside God, claiming that they did so only to come through their intercession nearer to Him, will receive the judgment of God in the matter they contend. God will not guide the ingrate, the liar” [Qur’ân 39:3].

Evidence regarding intercession is in the verse:

“They serve beside God beings which can neither benefit nor harm, claiming, ‘These are our intercessors with God.'” [Qur’ân 10:18]

There are two kinds of intercession, one illegitimate and the other legitimate. The former is that which is sought from sources other than God regarding matters where all the power lies in God alone. Evidence for this is-in the verse:

“O men who believe, spend of that which We have provided for you before the Day when there will be neither sale nor purchase, neither favors nor intercession. The unbelievers are themselves unjust.” [Qur’ân 2:254]

The legitimate intercession is that which is asked of Almighty God, where the intercessor receives his power from Him, and the interceded for is he whom God is pleased to accept as such for his word and deed. Almighty God said:

“No one may intercede with God except by His permission” [Qur’ân 2:55].

Third Rule:

The third rule is the knowledge that the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and give him peace, appeared among people of many religious traditions. Some worshipped angels; others worshipped the prophets and saints of God; others worshipped trees and stones, sun and moon. All of these peoples were fought by him, as they must, relentlessly without distinction. Evidence therefore is in the following Qur’ânic verses:

“And fight them, that there may be no aberration in religion, and all religion belongs to Almighty God” [Qur’ân 2:193].

“Day and night, sun and moon, are His creation and sign. Do not .worship the sun or the moon, but God, their Creator, if you seek the truth” [Qur’ân 41:37].

“Almighty God does not command you to take the angels and prophets as Lords” [Qur’ân 3:80].

“And God said to Jesus, son of Mary: ‘Did you ask men to take you and your mother for objects of worship beside Almighty God?’ He answered: ‘Praise be to You, O God! How can I have asked that which is not mine to ask? If I did, You know it and all that is in my mind. I do not know what is in Your mind, O Transcendent, All- Knowing God! I have not conveyed to them except what You have commanded me to convey, namely, Worship and serve God, my and your only Lord. I was a witness for You in their midst. When You caused me to die, You took over the witnessing on them as well as on all else. If You punish them, they are Your creatures; and if You forgive them, You are the Mighty, the Wise” [Qur’ân 5:116-118].

“Those unto whom they pray [i.e., the saints] themselves seek an avenue to their Lord’s mercy, compete in coming close to Almighty God, and fear His punishment. Punishment of your Lord is certainly to be shunned” [Qur’ân 17:57].

“Have you considered al-Lat, al-‘Uzza and the third one Manat? (The names of false gods which were worshipped by the pre-Islamic Arabs) Are yours the males and His the females? Is this not ridiculous? All of them are but names which you have named, following the example of your ancestors. God gave no voucher for them. You follow but a guess and your own desires” [Qur’ân 53:19-23]

Fourth Rule:

The people who associate partners with Almighty God, in both belief and worship, in our own day are worse and hence more guilty than those of pre-Islamic times. For, the ancient ones used to only worship others besides God in prosperity and return to genuine faith in adversity, whereas the present day associationists are constant in their unbelief, regardless of prosperity or adversity. Evidence for this is in the Qur’ânic verse:

“And when they ride in barks [in stormy seas] they address their prayers to Almighty God in complete sincerity, but relapse into shirk (i.e. associating partners with Him) when they reach the shore” [Qur’ân 29:65].

May the peace and blessings of Almighty God be upon Muhammad, his Companions and all those who follow him until the Last Day.