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

Series: Is Du’a to the Dead Shirk? A refutation of Qadhite doubts regarding Shirk in worship.

Is Du’a to the dead Shirk?

الحمد لله رب العالمين و العاقية للمتقين و لا عدوان الا على الظالمين و اصلي و اسلم على عبده و رسوله محمد و على اله و صحبه و سلم تسليما كثيرا. اما بعد 

Allah has stated in his book: 

“And whoso obey Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allâh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqûn (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddîq (رضي الله عنه), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” 4:69

This verse in the Qur’an clarifies to us that the straight path, the path of those who are favoured by Allah ta’ala,  is that of obedience to Allah and his Messenger. Additionally, Allah has promised that individuals who do so fall into the auspicious company of the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. 

Likewise, those who disobey Allah and the Messenger are those who Allah hasn’t bestowed his favours upon. Rather, they have earned the hatred of Allah and have deviated from the straight path. Furthermore, they would not earn the companionship of the highly favoured. 

Not being a stranger to controversy, Yasir Qadhi, whose statements and philosophy often run contrary to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah has fallen into a bottomless pit of misguidance. Allah ta’ala has indeed disgraced him to such an extent that he doesn’t comprehend the reason why Allah has created him, sent Prophets, Messengers and books. Allah has said in his book: 

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allâh (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût1 (all false deities i.e. do not worship Tâghût besides Allâh).” Then of them were some whom Allâh 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

Allah has also said: 

“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) but We revealed to him (saying): Lâ ilâha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allâh)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).” 21:25

For this reason, with the aid of Allah ta’ala, I shall make an attempt with this series to dismantle, destroy and obliterate Yasir Qadhi’s deviant ideology which seeks to sanitize Shirk to the Western Masses.

At first, I shall write this refutation in a series of posts and afterward the posts shall be edited, compiled and published into one single, easy to read file. The following are the topics that shall be posted for the next month- two months (in sha Allah) regarding Qadhi’s faulty principles: 

  1. Why did Allah create mankind? 
  2. Definition of the word (إله). Under this comes three subchapters:

I. The definition of worship. 

Ii. The definition of Shirk. 

Iii. The definition of La Ilaha Ill Allah. 

  1. Argument of Yasir Qadhi: If one doesn’t believe that that which they are invoking doesn’t possess Godly powers it isn’t Shirk. And this also comes under some subchapters:

I. Evidences from the Qur’an that the Mushrikeen believed that their idols didn’t have Godly powers. 

Ii. The reasons why the Mushrikeen worshipped their idols. 

Iii. Evidences that invoking other than Allah is Shirk.

  1. Is the belief that Major Shirk is invoking other than Allah a “Najdi” belief? Under this are two subchapters:

I. Why does Yasir Qadhi target Sh. Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab?

Ii. What Pre- “Najdi” Da’wah scholars have said regarding invoking other than Allah. 

 I ask Allah to make this effort as one that is sincere, for his pleasure only and to make it a means of closeness to him and a means to  expiate my sins and of those who read it and spread it.

Uncovering the doubts of callers on Social Media (Part 9) Is Al Barbahari’s Sharh Us Sunnah (Explanation of the Sunnah) a reliable reference for the creed of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah?

Much ado about Imam Al Barbahari!

Some have made concerted efforts to tarnish his name (e.g Hajji) and others have tried to demonize his book using various methods e.g calling it the “Talmud” of the “Madkhalis”. Some (like Hajji) have even become so desperate that they quote from Anti-“Wahhabi” websites with reckless abandon.

All of this is done to discredit a well known scholar who spent his life defending the Sunnah. A scholar who is praised by Imam Ibn Katheer in Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, Imam Ibn Jawzi  and Imam Adh Dhahabi in Siyar ‘Alaam An Nubala.

But then again what do these scholars/ Muslim historians know in front of the formidable Bro. Hajji!

And although scholars such as Ibn Abi Ya’la, Imam Adh Dhahabi, Shaikh Ul Islam Ibn Taymeeyah, Ibn Muflih etc. ascribed this book to Imam Al Barbahari why take their speech seriously when the formidable Bro. Hajji has spoken on youtube!!

Although it is a travesty that Bro. Hajji is taken seriously by some when he really shouldn’t be taken seriously. I will still write this short post to clarify this issue.

The reasons why so many are opposed to Sharh Us Sunnah are two:

  1. It’s strong speech against the Khawarij, and the manner in which it clarifies the Khariji methodology.
  2. It’s strong speech regarding those who associate with the people of innovation. Meaning that they are constantly seen entering with them, leaving with them and keeping their company.

Hence we find such a robust effort among those who oppose the pristine Salafi Methodology in demonizing the book and its author as the deviance of many of these personalities on social media would be uncovered and they would be seen for who they truly are.

It is quite interesting that the book and its author have been unfairly targeted when what should have been targeted was the misunderstanding of the book which resulted in its reckless misapplication in the issues of boycotting and Tabdee’ (calling an individual an innovator) by SPUBS.

However, the book should not be dismissed as it contains general guidelines regarding the methodology of Ahlus Sunnah. Furthermore, the likes of Shaikh Salih Al Fawzan and Shaikh Ahmad An Najmi have both written explanations of the book as it is primary source material regarding the beliefs of the early Muslims.

There is no need for me to write anything in defense of Imam Al Barbahari as the appraisals of Imam Adh Dhahabi and Imam Ibn Katheer should be considered far more weighty than the disparagement of Hajji. And although I don’t have the need to prove the ascription of Sharhus Sunnah to Imam Al Barbahari after distinguished Imams of the Sunnah have done such, I will still take this as a teaching moment to educate the readers regarding the science of textual criticism.

Now in looking at a text, a few things must come to mind:

  1. Title of the text.
  2. Author (Date of Birth, Death, Biography)
  3. Type of paper and ink used (which helps to determine age of the text)
  4. What ideological inclination the author has.
  5. The contents of the text.
  6. What were the socio-political/ cultural conditions of the time.

After looking at these factors one can determine as to whether or not a text, diary, letter etc. can be ascribed to a particular author. The first 5 I mentioned is from a historical method called textual analysis. What is an added help to is to whom well known, trustworthy authors ascribe the text to. Hence, the fact that so many well known mountains of knowledge ascribed Sharh Us Sunnah to Imam Al Barbahari and quoted from it shows that it can indeed be ascribed to Imam Al Barbahari.

Secondly, the difference between the manuscript of Ghulam Khaleel and that of Imam Abu Ya’la is that Abu Ya’la’s script has a small part of the beginning missing and the Manuscript of Ghulam Khaleel has some points from the end missing. Hence, it is indeed amazing that although both sources have parts missing it is preferred that Sharh Us Sunnah be ascribed to Ghulam Khaleel although the vast majority of scholars ascribe it to Imam Al Barbahari as was done by Imam Abu Ya’la. 

Thirdly, it is highly possible that Imam Abu Ya’la and others who have ascribed the book to Imam Al Barbahari came into contact with manuscripts that ascribed the book to him. However, their sources may have disappeared or are maybe hard to find. A principle that must be realized is that the non-availability of a previous text doesn’t prove it never existed. One simply has to read the biography of past scholars to see that some of their books are مفقود or lost.

May Allah ta’ala give us beneficial knowledge coupled with righteous actions. May Allah make ourselves and others humble to realize that if we don’t know we either stay quiet or ask a scholar.