A Return to Tawheed

13 02 2010
The kalimah (word) of tawheed, ‘La ilaha ill-Allah” came to correct belief – not only that of the
ancient polytheists, but of all men up until the Day of Judgement. It testifies that there is no
divinity except Allah none other than Him and none along with Him. None is similar to Him, none
creates and sustains except Him, and none has the right to govern creation but Him. The concept
of tawheed necessarily overflows into all aspects of belief and worship into all aspects of
life.Whether he recognizes it or not, man is totally indebted to his Creator for his continuing
existence hour by hour, not to mention such blessings as his many possessions and abilities.
Knowing that Allah alone is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Provider, the Controller, the source of
all benefit and harm in whose hands is the Judgement and the final destination of men requires
through common sense and reason that He alone be worshipped.
Although the concept of worship (ibadah) has been gradually reduced in common usage to mean
little more than the performance of certain religious rites and rituals, the original and true
definition is comprehensive. It encompasses all actions and intentions motivated by a recognition
of greatness – that combination of love and fear, producing efforts to please the worshipped one
and to avoid his displeasure. An object of worship continually occupies the mind of the
worshipper and consequently governs his behavior, both consciously and unconsciously. When
applying the correct definition, it becomes clear that despite lip-service to “La ilaha ill-Allah,” one’s
object of worship could well be something other than Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
“Have you seen the one who takes as his god ins own desire, and [so]
Allah has left him astray because of knowledge?” [45:23 – Scholars have
said that the phrase “`ala `ilm” (because of knowledge) refers to Allah’s knowledge
of that servant and his preference for his own desires, or as well, to that servant’s
knowledge of the truth although he rejects it]
Those pursuers of falsehood in the form of political ideologies and national leaders, foreign customs,
wealth, fashion or various worldly enjoyments might assume that by bowing to Allah in prayer, they
worship Him alone. But Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) firmly corrected this
Once, ‘Adiyy bin Hatim entered while the Prophet was reciting a verse from the Qur’an:
“They took their scholars and monks as lords other than Allah and [also] the
Messiah, Son of Mary. And they were not ordered except to worship one God…” [9:31]
‘Adiyy (who had been a Christian), said, “O Messenger of Allah, they did not worship them.” The Prophet
(sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) replied, “Did they not tell them that the prohibited was lawful and that the
lawful was prohibited and they followed them in that?” When ‘Adiyy admitted, “Yes,” the Prophet stated,
“That was their worship of them.” [Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi]
Thus worship was defined as obedience – a fact that becomes evident from even a superficial study of the
Qur’an in which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) orders repeatedly:
“Obey Allah and the Messenger.” [3:32, 3:132, 4:59, 8:1, 8:64, 24:54, 47:33,
58:13 and 64:12. Many other verses, although worded differently, carry the same meaning.]
“Legislation is only for Allah. He has commanded that you not worship any
but Him. That is the right religion, but most of the people do not know.” [12:40]
Two types of shirk were common both before and after the prophethood of Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi
wa sallam). The first of these is the direction of acts of worship (especially supplication) to others besides
Allah while still claiming belief in Him. The Qur’an orders:
“And do not invoke besides Allah another god. There is no god but Him.” [12:40]
The other type of shirk is the willful adherence to laws and rulings other than His.
“Do you not consider those who claim to have believed in what was revealed to you and what was revealed before you? They wish to refer legislation to
taghoot [i.e. false objects of worship or those transgressors who usurp the
divine right of government] while they were commanded to reject it.” [4:60]
The loss of tawheed is sadly evident today in the acceptance of foreign philosophies and lifestyles,
political oppression, innovations in religion, and countless forms of disobedience. Allah (subhanahu wa
ta`ala) warns:
“Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord. And do not follow any patrons other than Him.”
“And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will lead you away from the path of Allah.” [6:116]
“And certainly do many lead [others] astray through their own desires without knowledge.” [6:119]”
And do not obey one whose heart We have made unaware of Our remembrance and who follows his desires and whose affair is excess [i.e.exceeding the limits of Allah].” [18:28]
Reform will be accomplished only when the majority of Muslims has returned to the true worship of Allah
and will no tolerate shirk. The greater jihad against tyranny and oppression everywhere on earth will
neither be accepted by Allah nor aided by Him until the participants are truly dedicated to His cause and
free of all other motivations. Jihad against the self and refinement of the soul are the first steps towards
jihad for Islam.
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…” [13:11]
The solution begins with the individual…in the soul.

The Prophet’s (saw) Sense of Humour

5 02 2010
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) is an example for the Muslim to follow in every aspect of life,
as it is mentioned in the by Allah the almighty in the Quran “In the Messenger of Allah is a good
example for you to follow.” [Quran Surah#33 Ayah #21]. Even in joking and having a good sense of
humor Rasulullah has set an example for us. It is reported that the Prophet was asked by his
companions: “You are joking with us.” He said, “But I never say anything but the truth.”
[Authentically reported in Sahih Bukhari]
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) used to joke, but he never said anything but the truth in his
jokes. The Sahabah took the same approach to humor. There are many delightful reports about the
jokes exchanged between the Prophet and the Sahabah. Among the stories related in the books of
hadith and sirah is the report that the Prophet used to joke with the small child of one of the Sahabah,
a boy called Abu ‘Umayr, who had a small bird he used to play with. One day he saw the child looking
sad, so he said, “Why do I see Abu ‘Umayr looking sad?” The Sahabah told him, “The nughar [a
small bird, like a sparrow – author] which he used to play with has died, O Messenger of Allah.”
The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) began to gently joke with the child, saying, “O Abu
Umayr, what happened to the nughayr?” [Nughayr: diminutive of nughar. – author. In Arabic, this
is a play on words, because of the rhyme between the boy’s name and that of the bird. – Translator.
This story was reported inHayat al-Sahabah, 3/149]
A man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) to ask him to give him a beast to ride. The
Prophet jokingly told him, “I will give you the offspring of a she-camel to ride.” He said, “O
Messenger of Allah , what will I do with the offspring of a she-camel?” The Prophet said: “Are
riding-camels born except from she-camels?” [Reported by Imaam Ahmad, Abu Dawud and
al-Tirmidhi, with a Sahih isnad.]
Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal reported fromAnas (radhiallahu `anhu) that there was a man from the
desert people whose name was Zahir. He used to bring gifts from the desert to the Prophet (sallallahu
alayhe wa sallam) , and in return the Prophet would provide him with whatever he needed when he
went out to fight. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said, “Zahir is our man of the desert,
and we are his town-dwellers.” The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam)loved him very much, and
he (Zahir) was an ugly man. One day the Prophet came to him whilst he was selling some goods. He
embraced him from behind. The man could not see him, so he said, “Let me go! Who is this?” Then
he turned around and recognized the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam), so he tried to move closer
to him once he knew who it was. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) started to say, “Who will
buy this slave?” Zahir said, “O Messenger of Allah , you will find meunsellable.” The Prophet
(sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said, “But in the sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) you are not
unsellable,” or he said, “But in the sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) you are valuable.”
An old woman came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allah,
pray to Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) that I will enter Paradise.” He said jokingly, “O Mother of
So-and-so, no old women will enter Paradise.” The old woman went away crying, so the Prophet
(sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said, “Tell her that she will not enter Paradise as an old woman, for
Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) says: (We have created [their Companions] of special creation, and
made them virgin-pure [and undefiled]) [Quran 56:35-36].” [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, it is hasan
because of the existence of corroborating reports.]
One of the ahadith that reflects the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) sense of humor and
enjoyment of fun is the report that Imaam Ahmad gives from ‘A’ishah who said: “I went out with the
Prophet on a journey. At that time I was a young girl and was quite slender. The Prophet told
the people, ‘Go on ahead,’ so they went ahead, then he said to me, ‘Come, let us have a race.’ So
I raced with him, and I won. He let the matter rest until I had gained weight. Later, I
accompanied him on another journey. He told the people, ‘Go on ahead,’ so they went ahead.
He said to me, ‘Come, let us have a race.’ So I raced with him, and he won. He began to laugh,
and said, ‘This is for that.”‘
The Sahabah saw nothing wrong with joking or having fun, as they saw the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe
wa sallam) , their leader and teacher, occasionally doing so. The many delightful stories about their
sense of humor reflect the easy-going nature of the first Islamic society, and how far removed it was
from narrow-mindedness and gloom.
In al-Adab al-Mufrad, Imaam Bukhari reports fromBakr ibn ‘Abdillah who said: “The Companions
of the Prophet used to throw melon-rinds at one another, but when the matter was serious, they
were the only true men.”
This is moderate, Islamically acceptable humor, which does not go beyond the bounds of truth, or
lessen the gravitas or manhood of a person. Rather, it serves its purpose of refreshing hearts and
An example of the Sahabah’s sense of humor, which made the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam)
laugh, is the report given by Imam Ahmad from Umm. Salamah (radhiallahu `anha). Abil Bakr
(radhiallahu `anhu) went to do business in Busra, and with him were Nu’ayman and Suwaybit ibn
Harmalah (radhiallahu `anhuma), both of whom had been present at Badr. Suwaybit was in charge of
food on the journey, and Nu’ayman said to him, “Feed me!” Suwaybit said, “Not until Abu Bakr
(radhiallahu `anhu) comes.” Nu’ayman was a fun-loving man with a sense of humor, so he went to
some people who had brought livestock with them, and said, “Will you buy a sturdy Arab slave
from me?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “He has a big mouth, and he may tell you that he is a free
man. If that means that you do not want to take him, then forget the matter, and do not cause
trouble for me with him.” They said, “No problem, we will buy him.” So they bought him for ten
young she-camels. Nu’ayman brought the animals back, and told the people: “There he is!” Suwaybit
said: “I am a free man!” They said, “He has already told us all about you,” and put a rope around
his neck and led him away. Then Abu Bakr came, and was told what had happened. He and his
companions went and returned the animals and took Suwaybit back. They told the Prophet (sallallahu
alayhe wa sallam) what had happened, and he and his Sahabah would laugh about the story for a year
A Bedouin came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam). He entered the mosque and left his
camel in the courtyard. Some of his Companions said to Nu’ayman ibn ‘Amr al-Ansari, who was
known as al-Nu’ayman: “If you slaughter it, we will eat it, because we want to have some meat,
and the Messenger of Allah will pay for it.” So al-Nu’ayman slaughtered it. Then the Bedouin came
out and saw his saddle, so he shouted, “They have slaughtered my camel, O Muhammad!” The
Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) came out and asked: “Who did this?” They said,
“Al-Nu’ayman.” So he went looking for him, and found him at the home of Duba’ah bint al-Zubayr
ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib (radhiallahu `anha), where he had hidden in a ditch and covered himself with
palm branches and leaves. A man pointed to where he was and said, loudly, “I have not seen him, O
Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) brought him out of the ditch, and his
face was dirty from where the leaves had fallen on him. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam)
asked him, “Why did you do that?” Al-Nu’ayman said: “The ones who told you where I was, O
Messenger of Allah, are the same ones who told me to do it.” The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa
sallam) began wiping his face and laughing, then he paid the price of the slaughtered camel. [See
Hayat As Sahabah, 3/154, 155]
There is no clearer indication than these and similar reports of the lightheartedness and sense of
humor that Islam wants its followers to have. These qualities will make a person good-natured and
likeable, which will enable him to win people’s hearts. No one needs such characteristics more than
the Muslim who seeks to call others to Islam.

Traps of Iblees-Ibnul qayyim al jawziyyah

1 02 2010
It is not possible to encompass one of Iblees’ evils, let alone all of them. Since Iblees’ evil is
of six types, Iblees remains behind the son of Adam until he gets him to do one or more of
these six evils.
Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If he gains this from the son of Adam, his moaning
is eased, and he rests from his ordeal with this man. Further, this is the first thing Iblees
wants from al-‘Abd (the worshipper). If Iblees gains this, he makes this person part of his
army, one of his soldiers, and he appoints him as a deputy or agent against other human
beings. Then, this person becomes one of the deputies or callers of Iblees.
If he despairs of enticing him with the first evil, and if this person is one of those for whom
it was written that he would be a Muslim in his mother’s womb, Iblees tries the SECOND
CLASS OF EVIL. THIS IS BID’AH (innovation). Iblees loves Bid’ah more than debauchery
and disobedience because the harm of Bid’ah is in the essence of the religion. Moreover, it is
an unrepentable sin and is against the call of the messengers and is a call to a message
different from the one conveyed by Ar-Rasool. Bid’ah is a gate to Kufr and Shirk. Therefore,
if Iblees gains the performance of Bid’ah from a person and makes him one of the people of
Bid’ah, he also becomes one of his agents and a caller of his.
If Iblees fails and is unable to trap Al-‘Abd at this class, and if he is one of those who were
granted by Allâh the gift of As-Sunnah and hatred of the people of Bid’ah and error, he
proceeds to the THIRD CLASS OF EVIL, which is the class of MAJOR SINS in their various
Iblees is very covetous of letting a person fall into major sin, especially if he is a scholar who
is followed. Iblees is covetous of that, so that he may repel people from him and spread his
sins and disobedience amongst the people. He uses some people as his agents to spread this
person’s sins under the false pretence that this will help them to get closer to Allâh. But in
fact this person is the deputy of Iblees without knowing it. For those who would like
abomination to be spread amongst the believers there is a great torment in this life and in
the Hereafter especially if they take charge of spreading about enormities, not out of advice,
but by obeying Iblees and being his agent. All this is to repel people from the Scholar and
from his benefit.
Furthermore, the sins of this person (scholar), even if they reach the sky, are less to Allâh
than the sins of those who would like to spread his sins about. The scholar’s sins are
wrongdoing to himself. If he seeks forgiveness from Allâh and repents, Allâh will accept his
repentance, and He will change his bad deeds to good deeds. However, the sin of those who
spread about abominations are doing wrong to the believers by looking for their mistakes
and by intending to expose them. Allâh is in close observation, and He knows about this
ambuscade. Nothing hidden in the chest or soul is hidden to Allâh.
If Iblees is unable to snare Al-‘Abd at this degree he moves him to the FOURTH CLASS, or
the MINOR SINS. These sins may ruin a person if they accumulate. That is why Ar-Rasool
sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, Be aware of the minor sins, because the simile of the
minor sin is like the people who went to a desert. Then he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
mentioned a Hadeeth the meaning of which is that every one of them brought a stick of
wood until they had kindled a huge fire (just as the minor sins add up little by little until
they become a major sin). The person continues taking the matter of minor sins easily until
he considers them inconsequential. Therefore, a person who commits major sins but fears
their effect is in a better condition than he is.
If the Al-‘Abd has prevented Iblees from trapping him at this level, he moves him to the fifth
gain him reward or punishment. However, the punishment of this level is caused by passing
the reward missed by being occupied with these deeds. If Al-‘Abd has kept Iblees from
succeeding at this level, and if he is careful about his time, being covetous with it, knows the
value of moments, and knows the value of what comes of comfort or torment, Iblees
transfers him to the sixth level. The SIXTH CLASS is to OCCUPY HIMWITH DEEDS OF
LESSER REWARD to keep virtue away from him and to prevent him from attaining the
reward of the favoured deed.
Therefore, he orders him to do a good action with less reward if that includes leaving a
better action. Very few people are aware of this. Because if a person feels a strong urge to
some kind of obedience, he does not doubt that it is true obedience and that he is getting
closer to Allâh. He never thinks that this call is from Iblees because he believes that Iblees
never calls one to do good. Therefore, he thinks that this call is from Allâh. Actually he is
excused because he never knew that Iblees would call one to seventy doors of good deeds
either to get him to one door of evil or to let a better deed than these seventy deeds pass
away from him.
This cannot be known except by a light from Allâh, a light he instils in the heart of Al-‘Abd.
The source of this type of knowledge is following the way of Ar-Rasool sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam and taking care of the levels of deeds with Allâh, the deeds of His favoured ones, the
deeds more pleasing to Him, and those more beneficial to Al-‘Abd, and deeds that have
more Naseehah (guidance) from Allâh, His Rasool, His Book, and His believing
worshippers. No one has this type of knowledge except the inheritors of Ar-Rasool
sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his deputies in the Ummah, and his successors on earth. In
addition, most of the creation is screened from this. This call does not come to their hearts.
Allâh gives His favour to whomever He wills from among His worshippers.
If Al-‘Abd prevents Iblees from trapping him at any of these six levels, and if it becomes
difficult for Iblees, he empowers his party of jinn and human beings with different kinds of
INNOVATOR, WARNING PEOPLE AGAINST HIM, and intending to weaken him and to
disturb his heart. Iblees, by using this method, tries to confuse this person’s thinking and
tries to PREVENT PEOPLE FROM BENEFITING FROM HIM. Therefore Iblees expends his
utmost effort to empower the defenders of falsehood, from human beings and from jinn,
against him. Then the believer is at war until death.Whenever he gives up, he is hurt or is
taken captive. Hence the believer is in Jihad until he meets with Allâh.