Risalat on Tawhid (English translation)

risalat on tawhid

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Bilad Al Sham Media

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The English translation of our release:

“Risalat on Tawhid”

First edition:

Three things obligated due to Shirk

The three fundamentals Wajib upon us all to have Iman in

Shirk in Obedience and Love

14 September 2013

Author: Abu Dujanah Al Maaldifi

Translation: Bilad Al Sham Media


Every Muslim has the right to use our publications with two conditions. Firstly, no alteration should be brought to the document. Secondly, it should be referred back to Bilad al Sham Media




Know that Tawhid is singling out Allah alone in worship and not associating anyone with Him.

The opposite of Tawhid is Shirk and the one who does not come with Tawhid has come with Shirk. Meaning he has directed Ibadah (worship) to other than Allah. [1] And Allah will not forgive this sin. The evidence is the words of the Rabb:

“إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ”

Meaning: “Indeed, Allah does not forgive Shirk (association with Him), but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.”

And he will abide in Hell forever and never enter Paradise. Evidence:

“مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ”

Meaning: “Indeed, he who does Shirk (associates others with Allah) – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.”

And all his good deeds will be wasted even if he was from the most righteous of worshippers. Allah said addressing the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam:

“لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ”

Meaning: “if you should do Shirk (associate [anything] with Allah), your deeds would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.”

So what about those lesser than him?

So understand O reader that there are three fundamentals, which is Wajib upon us all to have Iman in.

1)      That there is no equal to Allah

2)      That Allah is the One who Created the Universe, Arranges every matter, provides Rizq, brings the living out of the dead and the dead out of the living.

3)      For this reason, the One worthy of being worshiped is Allah alone. And it is not permissible to associate any partners with Him in worship.

The first is known as Tawhid Al Asma Wal Sifat. The second is known as Tawhid Al Rububiyya or Tawhid of Lordship. The third is known as Tawhid al Uluhiyya or Tawhid of being worshiped.[2] The evidence for these three is:

“رَّبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِهِ ۚ هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيًّا”

Meaning: “Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them – so worship Him and have patience in His worship. Do you know of any similarity to Him?””

The part of the Ayat which states: “of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them” is Tawhid Al Rububiyya or Tawhid of His Lordship.

The part of the Ayat which states: “so worship Him and have patience in His worship.” is Tawhid Al Uluhiyya or singling out Allah in being worshiped, while associating none besides Him. The command in the Ayat is to worship Him without any Shirk. Meaning: without associating anyone with Him. This is known from the fact that Messengers were sent and the conflict between them and their nations were about singling out Allah in worship. It was not necessarily about worshiping Him. They did not refuse to worship Allah. Rather what they refused was to single him out in worship, associating none besides Him.[3]

The part of the Ayat which states: “Do you know of any similarity to Him?” is Tawhid Al Asma Wal Sifat.

So when you have understood this, know that the Mushrikun of Makkah did Iqrar (affirmed) the singling of Allah in His Rububiyya (Lordship). But this did not make them Muslims. On the contrary, they were considered Kuffar (disbelievers) and their blood and wealth were made permissible for the Muslims, hence the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam fought them due to their Kufr.  The evidence that they did Iqrar (affirmed) the singling of Allah in His Rububiyya (Lordship) is:

“وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ۖ فَأَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ”

Meaning: “If you asked them, “Who created the heavens and earth and subjected the sun and the moon?” they would surely say, “Allah.” Then how are they deluded? (from singling Him out in Uluhiyya (for worship))”


“وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ۖ فَأَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ”

Meaning: “And if you asked them who created them, they would surely say, “Allah.” So how are they deluded? (from singling Him out in Uluhiyya (for worship))”


“قُل لِّمَنِ الْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهَا إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ * سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ ۚ قُلْ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ * قُلْ مَن رَّبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ السَّبْعِ وَرَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ * سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ ۚ قُلْ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ * قُلْ مَن بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ يُجِيرُ وَلَا يُجَارُ عَلَيْهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ * سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ ۚ قُلْ فَأَنَّىٰ تُسْحَرُونَ”

Meaning: “Say, [O Muhammad], “To whom belongs the earth and whoever is in it, if you should know?” They will say, “To Allah.” Say, “Then will you not remember?” Say, “Who is Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Great Throne?” They will say, “[They belong] to Allah.” Say, “Then will you not fear Him?” Say, “In whose hand is the realm of all things – and He protects while none can protect against Him – if you should know?” They will say, “[All belongs] to Allah.” Say, “Then how are you deluded?” (from singling Him out in Uluhiyya (for worship))”

“Then how are you deluded?” “Then will you not fear Him” and other Aayaat as such carry the meaning: “Why do you not single Him out for worship while you yourselves affirm that He is the One who created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in it? Why do you not affirm His Oneness in worship while the One who created all those is the One deserving of Worship?”

So know that Iqrar (affirming) the singling out of Allah in His Rububiyya (Lordship) was never enough for the Mushrikin of Makkah to become Muslims. And know that they are a people who affirmed this Tawhid from their hearts and not just on the tip of their tongues. As otherwise they would have been labeled as Munafiqun. And there was no need for Nifaq (hypocrisy) in the Mekki stage where the Muslims were weak in power. On the contrary, the disbelievers used to show their kufr outwardly. And the following is evidence that they had Iman of the Tawhid (singling out) of Allah in His Rububiyya (lordship).

“وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ”

Meaning: “And most of them do not have Iman in (the Rububiyya of) Allah except while they associate others with Him (in Uluhiyya/worship).”

So what is clear is that they did Iqrar (affirming) of Tawhid of Allah in His Rububiyya. And they even had Iman in it.  But this did no benefit for them. And the conflict which occurred between them and the sent Prophets were in singling out Allah in His Uluhiyya. Which is singling Him out in worship. Allah revealed that they said:

“أَجَعَلَ الْآلِهَةَ إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا ۖ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَشَيْءٌ عُجَابٌ”

Meaning: “Has he made the Ilahs [only] one Ilah? Indeed, this is a curious thing.””

Ilah is the one who is worshiped. And the Mushrikun are saying that negating the partners and singling out Allah for worship is a curious thing. And they never had any problem in singling Him out in His Rububiyya (Lordship). Rabb or Lord is the One who creates, the One who manages. This is when Rabb and Ilah come in the same context. If not, Rabb is even the One who is worshiped. And also the One who creates and manages.

And the scholars have said that Tawhid of Allah in Rububiyya is singling Him out in His actions. (His Sifaat such as descending to the lowest heaven in the last third of the night is not included in this.) And Tawhid of Allah in Uluhiyya is singling Him out in the actions of the slave. Such as praying, Dua, slaughtering, seeking legislation from His Shariah. If any of this is directed to other than Allah, the person becomes a Kafir. The evidence is:

“وَمَن يَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ لَا بُرْهَانَ لَهُ بِهِ فَإِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُ عِندَ رَبِّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْكَافِرُونَ”

Meaning: “And whoever worships besides Allah another Ilah for which he has no proof – then his account is only with his Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will not succeed. (Meaning such people are disbelievers).”

Now understand that obedience in disobedience to Allah is Shirk. If the one who obeys is a Muslim, he becomes a Kafir by this and all his righteous actions become worthless. And Allah will not forgive him. This is unless he repents before death.

Allah informed that obedience in disobedience to Him means taking Lords besides Him.

“اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ”

Meaning: “They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah”

What was narrated Sahih from the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wasallam prove that they did not do Ruku’u or Sujud to those scholars and monks. But they obeyed them when the scholars and monks made Halal what Allah made Haram and they obeyed when they made Haram what Allah made Halal. And this was worshiping them.

Here there is a Mas’alat. The Question is, does this have Tafsil to it or does every obedience in disobedience to Allah account to Kufr Akbar where the doer becomes Kafir by it? The Aqida of Ahlus-Sunnah is that it has Tafsil to it and the scholars such as Ibn Thaymiyya have clarified it.

As for the Tafsil, the one who obeys someone in disobedience to Allah in what is regarded as a sin becomes sinful by this. He does not become Kafir by it as long as he does not declare it Halal. For example, Shaythan beautifies fornication for him and he does it. His employer orders him to shave his beard and he does. His father tells him to buy cigarette for him and he does. All this is Haram obedience and the evidences that they are Haram are numerous. From among them: The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الله” Meaning: “There is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to Allah.”

The second case is obedience in Tashree’u (legislation) and Hukm. Meaning in declaring Halal and Haram. Directing this to other than Allah is Kufr. And they are included in the above mentioned Ayat of taking the obeyed as Lords besides Allah. Here the person becomes a Kafir by his obedience, regardless of whether he declares this Halal or not. Regardless of whatever belief he has in his heart, he becomes Kafir by this obedience. Allah said:

“وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ”

Meaning: “And if you were to obey them, you would indeed become Mushrikun.”


“إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ”

Meaning: “The Hukm is only for Allah”


“أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ”

Meaning: “Or have they Shuraka (partners) with Allah who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not ordained?”


“وَلَا يُشْرِكُ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَدًا”

Meaning: “and He makes none to share in His legislation.”

Here is another explanation to further our understanding. There is a (khaas) special obedience. For example, a Mufti or scholar gives a fatwa for you that it is permissible for you to commit fornication. You obey this fatwa due to your desires while you understand that the fatwa is wrong and that it is not permissible for you to commit this act. In this case you become sinful and not a Kafir. However if you consider this permissible, you become Kafir by this.

The second case is where a scholar or Mufti announces a fatwa generally for people, that it is Halal for them to commit fornication. Or a ruler or member of the parliament passes a law that it is allowed to commit fornication. In this case, the one who obeys these people through these laws becomes a Kafir by this. And this is the case even if he does no declare it permissible. Regardless of whatever belief he has, he becomes Kafir by this. This is because this comes under the chapter of obedience in Tashree’u which was mentioned before. What is meant here is not that a person becomes Kafir due to him committing fornication. Rather what is meant here is that obedience to these people and their laws or fatwas, respecting these laws, recognizing these laws or believing that these people have the right to issue such fatwas or legislate such laws is Kufr Akbar which expels the doer from the Religion.

So pay attention to these grave matters which the majority of the Ummah has become ignorant of.

And the scholars say that this Tafsil agrees with the numerously narrated words and statements of the Salaf. [4] And know that the Mushrikun of today are more evil than the Mushrikin of the past. As the Mushrikun of the past took their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah and the Mushrikun of the current day take the most wicked, ignorant and lowly pigs of the society and select them as rulers and members of the parliament in order to legislate for them the most despicable of legislations.

Here we end the chapter of Shirk in obedience. Now understand that there is Shirk in Mahabbat (love). Allah said:

“وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ”

Meaning: “And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as rivals [to Him] (in worship). They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more (than anything else).”

This also has Tafsil to it. For example someone loves his family to the extent that he would do Kufr and Shirk for their love. This love is Kufr Akbar. (The greater kufr) Take for example his wife is stricken with black magic, and since she asks for it, he would do the shirk of sacrificing something for the Jinn in order to ward off the black magic. Having such a love expels the person outside the fold of the Religion.

But the second case is where someone loves his family to the extent he would do Haram or leave a Wajib act for their love. Take for example he loves his children which moves him to buy things which are Haram in order to please them. Or he loves them to the extent he is prevented from the Wajib Jihad. This is Shirk Asqhar (The lesser shirk) according to many scholars. This does not expel him from the Religion, but this is graver than killing, fornication and stealing. As Shirk is the greatest of sins regardless of whether the shirk is greater shirk or lesser shirk. [5] But according to some scholars, this love does not reach any shirk. Rather it is a Haram form of love according to them.

Al-Allaama Ali al Khudhayr opines that the correct opinion is that it does reach Shirk Asghar (lesser shirk).

So know O reader that your affirming of Allah as the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth and that He manages all the affairs is never enough for you to be a Muslim. Rather negate every shirk and partner to Allah in His worship and worship Him alone. And stay steadfast upon this Ikhlas until death overtakes you. Otherwise you will be from amongst the losers. And how many a people died as disbelieving kuffar while they thought they were Muslims.

“الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا”

Meaning: “[They are] those whose efforts have been wasted in this worldly life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.””

وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم



Note: The original of this document was published by Bilad Al Sham Media in Dhivehi Language on 13th September 2013.



[1] The context here is in regards to the Tawhid and Shirk in Uluhiyya (in being worshiped). Shirk in Uluhiyya can be called as associating partners with Allah in Ibadah (worship) but since that meaning is wide, even lesser Shirk becomes included in it. (Refer to Al Waseet fi Sharh Awal Risalat Fi Majmu’at Al Tawhid of Sheikh Ali al Khudhayr – May Allah keep him steadfast)

[2]  Asma wal Sifat is the Asl and it was mentioned before Tawhid Al Rububiyya because Rububiyya itself is from the Sifat which is “Rabb”. And Uluhiyya was mentioned after Rububiyya because Uluhiyya is based on Rububiyya.

And another reason is that Tawhid Al Asma Wal Sifat and Tawhid Al Rububiyya is Tawhid Al-Ilmee (knowledge) and Uluhiyya is  Tawhid Al-Amalee (actions).  And Ilm (knowledge) precedes Amal (action).


[3] Allah revealed about Ibrahim alayhissalam: “قَالَ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَعْبُدُونَ * أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمُ الْأَقْدَمُونَ * فَإِنَّهُمْ عَدُوٌّ لِّي إِلَّا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ”. Meaning: “He said, “Then do you see what you have been worshipping, You and your ancient forefathers? Indeed, they are enemies to me, except the Lord of the worlds,” So this shows that they worshiped Allah. However their worship will become worthless and disregarded due to their Shirk (association of partners with Allah). This is clear from the following Ayat: “وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ” Meaning: “And you are not worshipers of whom I worship.” Meaning: Allah.

[4] (Refer to Al Waseet fi Sharh Awal Risalat Fi Majmu’at Al Tawhid of Sheikh Ali al Khudhayr – May Allah keep him steadfast)

[5]  Abdullah bin Mas’ud radiallahu anhu said: “لئن أحلف بالله كاذبا أحب إلي من أن أحلف بغيره صادقا” meaning: “That I swear by Allah a lie is better for me than I swear by other than Allah truthfully.” And false swearing is from the major sins and swearing by other than Allah is from the lesser shirk. But according to the Sahaba, this lesser shirk was more evil than the major sin of swearing in the name of Allah, a lie. The lesser shirk is called lesser shirk because the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam named it as such and after that, it is lesser in comparison to the greater shirk. Not that lesser shirk is light in evil by itself. Rather it is worse than the major sins such as killing and fornication as this has to do with the right of Allah. It is light only when in comparison to the greater shirk which expels the doer from the religion.

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