iii. The meaning of La Ilaha Ill Allah. (لا اله الا الله) and the intellectual roots of Yasir Qadhi’s deviance.

In previous posts, I laid down some principles regarding worship, shirk and most importantly the word Ilah (اله) was defined. As clarified before, defining the word Ilah is central to clarifying the misguidance of Yasir Qadhi regarding his deviancies surrounding Tawheed. 

As aforementioned, the word Ilah means anything that is taken as an object of worship. Hence, the statement: La Ilaha Ill Allah (لا اله الا الله) means that nothing is deserving of being  taken as an object of worship/veneration except Allah. To explore the meaning of this statement further, I have ventured into the grammatical construction of this statement: 

Laa (لا): This is called Laa Naafiyah Lil Jins (النافية للجنس) meaning that it negates everything that comes after it.

Ilaha (اله): This is Ism Laa (اسم لا: the subject of Laa). As aforementioned, the word Ilah is whatever is taken as an object of worship. 

Therefore, the first part of the sentence shows negation of worship to anything that is taken as an object of worship. Furthermore, the scholars have mentioned that the predicate of Laa is understood and it is the word Haqq (حق) meaning deserved. 

Illa (الا): This is Istithnaa (الاستثنى) or from the particles which makes what comes after it an exception to that which came before it. 

Allah (الله): Which literally means the one who is worshipped as narrated from Ibn Abbas in several books of Tafseer. Grammatically, Allah is the Mustathna (المستثنى) or the exception to those things that have been falsely taken as objects of worship. 

This final part of the sentence (Illa Allah) affirms that Allah is the only one who worship must be directed toward. 

Therefore, La Ilaha Ill Allah (لا اله الا الله) simply means that there is nothing that deserves to be taken as an object of worship except Allah. For this reason, as aforementioned, when the Prophet Muhammad and those previous to him gave this simple message to their people, those who heard it automatically understood that they had to abandon making du’a, sacrificing, seeking aid, bowing and prostrating to idols, the righteous, the Prophets, the sun, the moon etc.

One may wonder how Yasir Qadhi and those similar to him have deviated from this simple message of Tawheed which has been clearly understood by the Prophets, those who follow them and those who have opposed them for several millennia. 

Yasir’s “thinking outside the box” phantasms are nothing new. Several groups have arisen throughout Islamic History who have made the same claims as Yasir and yet have been written in the annals of Islamic History as astray deviants. Those who thought “outside the box” like the Mu’tazilah, the Jahmeeyah and the Asharis used their intellect to either deny Allah’s attributes or distort their meanings from those which are apparent within the Qur’an. Ultimately, because they relied upon their intellect rather than evidence such groups went further into innovating a new understanding of the Kalimah wherein they perceived that La Ilaha Ill Allah meant that there is no one who has the ability to create except Allah. 

Then many Sufi groups, who picked up both the Ashari Aqeedah and the grave-worshipping practices of the Ismaeeli Shia then merged the aforementioned heterodox ideology with a heterodox action. In other words, they used the Mu’tazili/ Ashari definition of the Kalimah and continued the grave worshipping practices of the Ismaeelis under the shade of that misguided definition. 

Hence, it is not amazing that Yasir’s intellectual lineage  in his “out of the box” thinking returns to those who are historically quite severe in their deviance like the Mu’tazilah, the Asharis, the Ismaeelis, grave worshipping Sufis and their sympathisers like Hatim Al ‘Awni. His intellectual lineage does not return to the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the first three generations of Muslims as shall be proven later on in this series.. 

May Allah guide us to what he loves and pleases. 

Next: The link between Tawheed Al Uluheeyah and Tawheed Ar Rububeeyah.

Chapter 2 subsection 2: The definition of Shirk.

In the previous chapter/post Ibadah was defined and examples such as prayer, fasting, du’a and  seeking forgiveness were all given to demonstrate actions which fall into worship. Additionally, we as Muslims do recognize that acts of worship are the sole right of Allah only without any partner. From this juncture it is obligatory to also understand what Shirk is in order to distinguish Islam from disbelief.

Shirk according to the language refers to having a portion or share in something. Among the scholars there are several valid definitions. From the most comprehensive of them is that Shirk is delegating to other than Allah that which is specific to Allah alone. Hence, Shirk can occur in Allah’s Lordship wherein Allah’s actions are ascribed to his creation and in Allah’s names and attributes wherein Allah’s characteristics and descriptions are ascribed to his creation. 

Shirk occurs in worship when the creation direct their actions of devotion/ servitude, which are specifically for Allah, to other than Allah. An example of Shirk occurs when one directs du’a, prayer, seeking aid, making oaths and sacrificing to one of Allah’s creation, whether it be a tree, a stone, a statue, a grave, an animal. Major Shirk occurs when one directs the act of worship to the object itself e.g asking other than Allah to heal him, provide for him and aid him when Allah is solely capable of doing so. As for Minor Shirk the action of worship is directed to Allah, however with the intention to obtain the praise and pleasure of mankind. 

As clarified in the previous chapter/ post, acts of worship and servitude by the servant are the sole right of Allah. According to the Hadeeth of Mu’aadh the Prophet said: “The right of Allah upon the servant is to worship him and to not make Shirk with him.” To direct these acts of worship to the creation is to give them a portion/share in that which is Allah’s right upon his servants and therefore is Major Shirk. 

Secondly, as previously clarified, every single Prophet was sent to call their nations to worship Allah alone and to distance themselves from Shirk. If we skim through the stories of the Prophets in the Qur’an it would become clear that Nuuh, Musa, Saalih, Huud, Shuaib, Ibraheem and the other than them commanded their people to worship Allah alone and to abandon the worship of other than Allah whether they are statues, idols, righteous human beings and nature. Additionally, when the Prophet Muhammad commanded the Quraish to say La ilaha ill Allah the idolators of the Quraish diaplayed manifest hostility to the Prophet because they automatically understood that they had to abandon the worship of their idols, nature, the righteous and the Prophets. 

To therefore believe that the Prophets commanded the idolaters to single out Allah in Creation, Sustenance and Dominion is an absolute fallacy which has zero foundation in the Qur’an, the Sunnah and previous divine scripture (Torah, Injeel, Zabuur). 

May Allah guide us and project us.

Note: In the next chapter/post I shall delve into the meaning of La Ilaha Ill Allah and discuss the philosophical origin of Yasir’s misguidance.

Chapter 2 :Subsection 1: The definition of worship

Another issue that must be addressed is the definition of worship. Worshipping Allah, as aforementioned is the purpose of our lives and the reason why the books and messengers were sent. It is therefore important to understand what worship is before venturing into it. 

Worship according to the Arabic language refers to complete humility, love and submission to something. As for the legislative terminology then worship has several definitions. Many of them return to the definition according to the language. However, the most comprehensive definition of worship comes from Shaikh Ul Islam Ibn Taymeeyah who said: “Worship is a comprehensive term for everything that Allah loves and is pleased with from actions and statements whether they are done in secret or in the open.” 

Hence if we examine the reality of worship, it refers to any action (whether from the limbs, tongue or heart) done with complete humility, love and submission is used to gain closeness to Allah. Therefore:

  1. Actions that are used to gain closeness to Allah but are directed to other than Allah is defined as major Shirk.
  2. Actions that are used to gain closeness to Allah but are done for the sake of other than Allah is minor Shirk. 
  3. Actions that are used to gain closeness to Allah but are not done according to the way of the Messenger of Allah are termed as innovations. 
  4. Actions that are used to gain closeness to Allah and is done according to the way of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم is correct worship. 

The fourth captures the essence of the Shahadah. Meaning that we should not worship except Allah and that we shouldn’t worship Allah except in the manner which the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم worshipped him. 

Since we understand that Ibadah refers to worship/ veneration i.e actions that are done with love, submission and humility in order to gain closeness to Allah, it is also a must to know that Allah created us to direct these acts to him only. Additionally, Allah sent his Messengers and books in order to reaffirm Tawheed (the oneness of Allah in worship). Furthermore, Allah’s right is to be worshipped alone without any partner as clarified in the Hadeeth of Mu’aadh wherein the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم taught him: “The right of Allah upon the servant is that he must be worshipped without any partner…” 

Examples of worship include: Du’a, prayer, fasting, sacrificing, seeking assistance during hardship, reliance, submission, making oaths, fear, hope etc. These acts of worship, which are the sole right of Allah ta’ala alone must not be directed to other than Allah. Otherwise, upon directing any act of worship to other than Allah, one has given that right of Allah to one of his creation and this is the essence of Shirk (which shall be further clarified in the next post).

Note: I am going to add another subsection (iv) in Chapter 2 in sha Allah which would explore the link between Tawheed in Lordship and Tawheed in Worship and the Qadhite effort to bamboozle the Muslims regarding this issue.

Chapter 2: Definition of the word (إله).

Chapter 2: Definition of the word (إله). 

Central to this current controversy that Yasir Qadhi has brought to the west is the definition of the word Ilaah (إله). According to Yasir Qadhi an Ilaah is an object of worship which possesses God-Like qualities (aspects of Rububeeyah). Therefore, as a result, he has concluded that directing acts of devotion toward other than Allah, such as prayer, prostration, supplication and sacrifice, only becomes Shirk when accompanied by ascribing Rububeeyah (Lordship) to the said object. 

If we examine the aforementioned statement by Yasir Qadhi, we can conclude that he is trying to swindle, hoodwink and bamboozle his audience using eloquent speech. The stark reality of Yasir Qadhi’s belief is that (he believes that) an Ilaah is defined as one who has the ability to create, sustain, dispose of worldly affairs and has dominion over the heavens and the earth or any part thereof. In other words his understanding of the Tawheed of the Prophets and Messengers is Tawheed Ar Rububeeyah (Oneness in Lordship i.e no creator, sustainer, protector, provider except Allah) As for directing acts of devotion to a created being (if we go according his line of logic) then that doesn’t constitute a violation of the Tawheed that Allah sent his books and Messengers to clarify to the people (which has been clarified in the previous post). 

Now, let us look at how trusted and reliable Arabic Dictionaries defined the word Ilaah:

According to the Qamuus Al Muheet it says: 

إِلهُ، بمعنى مَأْلُوهٍ. وكلُّ ما اتُّخِذَ مَعْبُوداً 

Ilaah meaning that which is worshipped and everything that has been taken as an object of worship. 

According to Al Mukhtaar As Sihaah it says:

ومنه قولنا الله وأصله إلاهٌ على فعال بمعنى مفعول لأنه مألوه أي معبود كقولنا إمام بمعنى مؤتم

And from it (from the verb Alaha) our saying Allah and its basis is upon the scale of Fi’aal meaning object because he is the one who is worshipped like our word Imam (leader) meaning the one who is followed.

According to Lisaan Al ‘Arab it says:

الإلَهُ: الله عز وجل، وكل ما اتخذ من دونه معبوداً إلَهٌ عند متخذه، والجمع آلِهَةٌ‏.

Ilaah: Allah (Azza Wa Jall) and everything that is taken as an object of worship other than him is an Ilaah by the one who takes it (as an object of worship) and the plural is Aalihah. 

These are just some of the many notable dictionaries which have defined the word Ilaah as an object of worship. As the reader can clearly see, there are no indications from the Arabic language than an Ilaah is a creation/object that possesses aspects of Rububeeyah (Lordship).

One may wonder where did Yasir Qadhi get his definition of the word Ilaah from? 

Let us look at a scholar who had “Najdi” belief according to Yasir Qadhi’s definition. Imam  Ibn Abil Izz Al Hanafi who died in the year 792 of the Hijrah, more than three hundred years before Shaikh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdil Wahhab was born said in his commentary of ‘Aqeedah At Tahaweeyah:

“And many of the people of Nadhr (rhetoric/logic) believe that Daleel Ut Tamanu’ (in establishing the existence of one God without any partner) is the meaning of his statement: “If there were Aalihah in both (the heavens and the earth) other than Allah both would be in chaos” [Anbiya:22] because of their belief that Tawheed Ar Rububeeyah that they affirmed is Tawheed Al Uluheeyah that the Qur’an has clarified and which the Messengers called toward. And the issue is not like this. Rather the Tawheed that the Messengers called toward and the books were sent for was Tawheed Al Elaheeyah (oneness of Allah in worship) which contains within it his oneness in Lordship. And it is to worship Allah as one without any partner.

For verily the Mushrikeen (of the Arabs) affirmed Tawheed Ur Rububeeyah (Allah’s oneness in Lordship) and that the creator of the heavens and the earth is one. As Allah said: “If you were to ask them who created the heavens and the earth they would say Allah.” [Luqmaan: 25] and (as Allah said): “Ssy, who has dominion over the earth if you do know? They will say Allah, say to them don’t you take this as a reminder?” [Mu’minoon 84-85]. And the likes of this are many in the Qur’an. 

They didn’t believe that their idols had a share with Allah in creating the universe. Rather, their condition is similar to the likes of them from the nations of India, the Turks, the Berbers and other than them. At times they believed that these images were from the righteous and Prophets. They took them as intermediaries seeking closeness to Allah by them and this was the basis of Shirk among the Arabs.” Sharh At Tahaweeyah: Vol 1: page 129. 

My dear brothers and sisters, from this post we conclude the following:

  1. That we must sift through speech to find out its simple reality. We shouldn’t let someone’s eloquence bamboozle us into accepting and affirming an incorrect belief.  Allah has clarified that he has sent to every Prophet enemies from the Satans of mankind and Jinn who reveal to each other eloquent and decorated speech with the goal of deception. Rather, we must search for and focus upon the issue which an argument centres around. 
  2. Arabic linguists have established that Ilaah means object of devotion/ worship. 
  3. Yasir Qadhi’s belief regarding this issue is nothing new. Rather, it is the belief of the people of rhetoric and logic such as the Mu’tazilah, the Asharis and the Maturidis. However, instead of being direct with his belief, he dressed this belief in a novel manner in order to outwit the western masses. 
  4.  The “dangerous Najdi” movement is a myth/figment of the imagination found in the minds of grave worshippers, Rafidah Shi’ahs and Ikhwanis.

May Allah guide us to what he loves and is pleased with. 

In the next post I shall write regarding the definition of worship.

Is Du’a to the Dead Shirk? A refutation of Qadhite doubts regarding Shirk in worship. Part 1: Why did Allah create mankind?

Why did Allah create mankind? 

Verily Allah ta’ala, with his perfect wisdom, didn’t create mankind without purpose. It is a must that as human beings we were not only created by Allah with a body accompanied by five senses similar to animals. Rather he also created mankind with an intellect and a soul as a means to understand, accept and act upon divine guidance. This divine guidance is the path toward success  in both the worldly and everlasting lives and the foundation upon which it’s built is the exclusive worship of Allah without any partner. 

Allah has said in his book: “ And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” (51:56)

From this verse we as Muslims understand the divine wisdom behind Allah creating us and the purpose of our existence. That which is derived from this verse is that Allah did the first, which is to create us, in order for us to do the second, which is to worship him exclusively without any partner. 

Allah has also said: 

Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). “He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” (6-162-163)

This verse has many benefits for the Muslims to reflect upon. From those benefits which have a direct connection with the topic at hand: 

I. Some of the categories of worship which include the prayer and the sacrifice. 

Ii. Acts of worship exclusively belong to Allah. 

Iii. Allah has commanded that all acts of worship be directed toward him. 

Iv. The Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was the first from this Ummah to be given the commandment of worshipping Allah alone without any partner. 

The purpose of our lives is to worship Allah in the manner which the Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) worshipped Allah and to distance ourselves from making partners in that worship. Furthermore, Allah hasn’t sent any Messenger or book except to believe, act upon, propagate and defend this doctrine. Regarding the Prophets Allah has said: 

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).” 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).” (16:36)

And regarding the reason why the Qur’an was sent, Allah has said: 

Alif-Lam-Ra. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings].(This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge, etc.), and then explained in detail from One (Allah), Who is All-Wise and Well-Acquainted (with all things). (Saying) worship none but Allah. Verily, I (Muhammad SAW) am unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of glad tidings. (11:1-2)

Additionally, worshipping Allah is the first commandment that Allah has given to mankind. Allah has said: 

 “O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allâh), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqûn.” (2:21)

Furthermore, it is the first obligation which all the Prophets called their nations toward. From the verses of Surah An’aam: 7:59 until 7:93 there are stories of Messengers (Nuh, Huud, Saalih, Shuaib etc.) which begin with them telling their people the following sentence: 

O my people! Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. (Lâ ilâha illallâh: none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh)” 

Also, it is the first obligation which the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told his companions to call toward. As in the Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbas in both Bukhari and Muslim where the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal:

“ Verily you are going to the people of the book. Therefore, let the first matter you call toward be to worship Allah as one…”

From all these evidences one can derive that the most important obligation in Islam  is to single out of Allah in acts of devotion and obedience (worship). This is the only  reason why mankind was created and the books and Messengers were sent.  It is therefore incumbent upon each and every Muslim to know and understand what worship is, its linguistic and legislative definition and some of the manifestations of worship. 

May Allah bless all Muslim brothers and sisters. 

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah