The Creed of the Four Imams ()

 

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 The Creed of the Four Imams

(Abu Hanifah, Malik, Ash-Shafi‘i, and Ibn Hanbal)

(May Allah Have Mercy upon Them)

Prepared by:

 A prominent group of students

Foreword by:

 Salah ibn Muhammad al-Budayr

Translation and Reviewing:

 Rowad Translation Center

Foreword by Shaykh Salaah al-Budayr

          All praise is due to Allah, Who ruled and excelled in ruling. He permitted things and prohibited others. He informed and taught. I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partner. He prepared the rules of the religion through His perfect Book, which is guidance for all the nations.

          And I testify that our Prophet, Muhammad, is His servant and Messenger who was sent to the worlds. He was sent to the Arabs and the non-Arabs with the religion of monotheism and a legislation which is gracious to the people who were commanded to follow it. The Prophet kept on calling by this legislation, and he called to it. He also defended the legislation with its proofs, and he shielded it with its incontrovertible evidences. May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him; his Companions, who followed that path; and those who follow the same path after them. To proceed:

          I have read this epistle, entitled "The Creed of the Four Imams, may Allah have mercy upon them," which was prepared by a number of students. I have found it in conformity with the sound creed. Its affirmation of the issues of creed adheres to the methodology of our pious predecessors, which is based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

          Because of the importance of the issues included in this epistle, I advise that it should be printed and published. I ask the Able Master to benefit everyone who reads it. May He give the best and most ample reward to those who prepared it. May Allah's peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and all his Companions.

The Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet's Mosque and judge of the General Court in Madinah.

Salaah ibn Muhammad al-Budayr

 The Authors' Introduction

          All praise is due to Allah, and may Allah's peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the chief of the Messengers, his family, and all his Companions. To proceed:

          This is a brief epistle on what is incumbent upon a person to know and believe concerning issues of Tawheed (the Oneness of Allah), the principles of the religion, and some issues pertaining to it which were extracted from the books of the four Imams:

          Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Ash-Shafi‘i, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and their followers, may Allah have mercy upon them, who convened on the creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa‘ah and did not differ upon it.

          These are books like:

·      Al-Fiqh al-Akbar by Imam Abu Hanifah (d. 150 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him;

·      Al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah by at-Tahaawi (d. 321 AH), and its commentary by the great scholar Ibn Abi al-‘Izz, the Hanafi (d. 792 AH);

·      the introduction to the epistle of Abu Zayd al-Qayrawaani, the Maliki (d. 386 AH);

·      Usool as-Sunnah by Ibn Abi Zamaneen, the Maliki (d. 399 AH);

·      At-Tamheed, a commentary on Al-Muwatta’ by ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, the Maliki (d. 463 AH);

·      Ar-Risaalah fee i‘tiqaad Ahl al-Hadith by As-Saabooni, the Shafi‘i (d. 499 AH);

·      Sharh as-Sunnah by Al-Muzani (d. 264 AH), a student of Ash-Shafi‘i';

·      Usool as-Sunnah by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 AH);

·      Kitaab as-Sunnah by Imam Ahmad's son (d. 290 AH);

·      Kitaab as-Sunnah by Al-Khallaal, the Hanbali (d. 311 AH);

·      Kitaab al-Bida‘ wa an-Nahy ‘anha by Ibn Waddaah al-Andalusi (d. 287 AH);

·      Kitaab al-Hawaadith wa al-Bida‘ by Abu Bakr at-Tartooshi, the Maliki (d. 520 AH);

·      Al-Baa‘ith ‘ala Inkaar al-Bida‘ wa al-Hawaadith by Abu Shaamah al-Maqdisi, the Shafi‘i (d. 665 AH);

          And other books of principles and beliefs which were authored by the Imams and their followers as a means of calling to the truth and safeguarding the Prophetic Tradition and the creed, and as a refutation of innovations, falsehoods, and superstitions.

          My Muslim brother, as long as you are following one of the Imams of these Madh-habs (schools of Islamic jurisprudence), then here is the creed of your Imam. So, as you follow him in rulings, follow him in creed as well.

          I have arranged this epistle in the form of questions and answers to facilitate conveying the information and its retention.

          We ask Allah to grant everyone the ability to accept the truth, have sincerity in it, and follow His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

          May Allah's peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions!

 Question (Q): Who is your Lord?

          Answer (A): Allah is my Lord, the Owner, the Creator, the One who plans, the Fashioner of forms, the One Who rears, the One Who guides His worshipers, and the One Who is responsible for their affairs. Nothing exists without His command. Nothing moves except with His permission and will

 Q: How did you come to know your Lord?

          A: I came to know Him by the natural instinct which He gave me in the form of knowing Him, and the natural affirmation of His presence, revering Him and fearing Him. I also came to know Him by looking at and pondering over His signs and creation, as He said, {And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon.} [Fussilat: 37]

          These great creations with this orderliness, precision, and beauty did not create themselves, and there must be a creator who created them from nothing. They are absolute proofs for the existence of the Creator who is Capable, Great, and All-Wise.

          The entire creation, except for the anomalous atheists, affirms their Creator, the King, the Nourisher, the Planner of their affairs. Allah's creations include the seven heavens, the seven earths, and the creatures therein whose number, reality, and conditions are unknown. None grants them sufficiency and provides them with sustenance except Allah, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence, the Creator, the Great. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rose over the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subservient by His command. Indeed, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.} [Al-A‘raaf: 54]

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 Q: What is your religion?

          A: My religion is Islam, which is submitting to Allah by tawheed (monotheism), complying with His commands by obedience, and disassociation from polytheism and its adherents. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam}.” [Aal ‘Imraan: 19]. And He also said, {And whoever desires other than Islam as a religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.} [Aal ‘Imraan: 85]

          Therefore, Allah does not accept any religion except His religion with which He sent our Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. This is because this religion has abrogated all the past legislations. Thus, anyone who follows a religion other than Islam is misguided from the truth, and in the Hereafter, he will be among the losers who will enter Hellfire, and wretched is the destination.

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 Q: What are the pillars of imaan (faith)?

          A: The pillars of imaan are six, which are: to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and the predestination; its good and bad is from Allah, the Exalted.

          The imaan of a person is not complete unless he believes in all these pillars in a manner indicated by Allah's Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. Whoever denies any of the pillars has gone out of the fold of imaan. The proof for that is Allah's statement, {Righteousness is not that you turn your faces towards the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the Prophets; gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; establishes prayer; and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been truthful, and those are the righteous.} [Al-Baqarah: 177] This was further supported by the statement of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, when he was asked about imaan, he answered, "It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and the predestination; its good and bad." [Muslim]

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 Q: What is belief in Allah, the Exalted?

          A: Belief in Allah is believing in, having certainty about, and acknowledging Allah's presence and His Oneness in Lordship, Divinity, and Names and Attributes.

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 Q: What is belief in the angels?

          A: It is believing in and averring their existence, qualities, abilities, assignments, and what they are commanded with, and that they are a noble and great creation whom Allah created from light. Allah, the Exalted, said, {They do not disobey Allah in what He commands them and they do what they are commanded.} [At-Tahreem: 6] They have two, three, four, and more wings. They are of a large number. No one but Allah knows their number.

          Allah entrusted them with great tasks. Some of them carry the Throne, others are responsible for wombs, and others are responsible for recording deeds and safeguarding Allah's servants. Some are the keepers of Paradise and some are the keepers of Hellfire, and others are assigned for other tasks. The best angel is Jibreel (Gabriel), peace be upon him. He was entrusted with the revelation that was sent to the Prophets.

          Therefore, we believe in the angels in general and in detail as we were informed by Allah in His Book and in the Sunnah of His messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. Whoever denies the angels and claims that their reality is other than what Allah, the Exalted, stated is committing an act of disbelief because of his denial of Allah's statements and the statements of the His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

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 Q: What is belief in the revealed books?

          A: It is to be certain that Allah, the Exalted, revealed books to His prophets and messengers, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon them. From these books, Allah mentioned in His Book (the Qur’an) the scriptures of Ibrahim (Abraham), the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms, and the Qur’an. Thus, He revealed the scriptures to Ibrahim, the Torah to Musa (Moses), the Gospel to ‘Isa (Jesus), and the Qur’an to Muhammad, the seal of His messengers, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon them.

          The best book is the Qur’an, which is Allah's Speech. He really spoke its words and its meaning is from Him. He let angel Gabriel, peace be upon him, listen to it, and commanded him to convey it to Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. Allah, the Exalted, said, {The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down.} [Ash-Shu‘araa’: 193] He also said, {Indeed, it is We Who have sent down to you [O Muhammad] the Qur’an progressively.} [Al-Insaan: 23], and He also said, {Then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah.} [At-Tawbah: 6 ]

          Allah, the Exalted, protected the Qur’an from distortion, addition, and subtraction. The Qur’an is preserved in the written form and in the hearts of the people (by memorization) till the time comes at which Allah will let all the believers die before the occurrence of the Hour at the end of time.

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 Q: What is belief in the prophets and the messengers?

          A: It is to firmly believe that they are humans, and they are the best of the children of Adam. Moreover, Allah, the Exalted, chose and selected them to convey His shariah (law) which He revealed to His slaves. They called His slaves to worship Him alone, He Who has no partner, and to dissociate themselves from polytheism and its adherents. Prophethood is based on choosing and selection of Allah, and it is not attained by striving, engaging in many acts of worship, righteousness, or intelligence. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Allah is Most Knowing of where He places His message.} [Al-An‘aam: 124]

          The first prophet was Adam, peace be upon him, and the first messenger was Nooh (Noah), peace be upon him. The final Prophet was the best Prophet, and he was Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, the Qurashi and the Haashimi, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

          Whoever denies one of the prophets has committed an act of disbelief, and whoever claims prophethood after Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, is a disbeliever who denies Allah's statement, {Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets.} [Al-Ahzaab: 40] Moreover, the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "There is no prophet after me.”

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 Q: What is belief in the Last Day?

          A: It is a firm belief, indubitable certainty, and affirmation of all what Allah has informed us about that they occur after death, like the questioning in the grave and the enjoyment or punishment therein; resurrection; the gathering of people for reckoning; that which will occur during the various stages of the Day of Judgment, like standing for a long time, the closeness of the sun such that it will be a mile away from the people, the hawd (basin), the Scale, the presentation of the Books of deeds to people, the extension of the siraat (bridge) over Hellfire, and other events and horrors of that great Day, till the entry of the people into Paradise or Hellfire as was explained in detail in Allah's Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

          Belief in the Last Day includes belief in the established signs of the Hour like the prevalence of strife; murder; earthquakes; eclipses; the emergence of the Dajjaal (Antichrist); the descent of ‘Isa (Jesus), peace be upon him; the emergence of Gog and Magog; the rise of the sun from its place of setting (the West); and other signs.

         All these events have been established in Allah's Book and the authentic narrations of His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, which are recorded in the sihaah (authentic Hadith collections), the sunan (topic-based Hadith collections), and the masaaneed (Hadith collections based on the first narrators).

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 Q: Is the punishment and enjoyment of the grave established by Allah's Book and the Sunnah?

          A: Yes. With regards to the people of Fir‘awn (the Pharaoh), Allah, the Exalted, said, {The Fire, they are exposed to it in the morning and the evening. And the Day when the Hour is established [it will be said], "Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment.} [Ghaafir: 46], and He said, {And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death), they smite their faces and their backs (saying), ‘Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire.’} [Al-Anfaal: 50], and He said, {Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in the worldly life and in the Hereafter...} [Ibrahim: 27]

          A long Hadith Qudsi narrated by Al-Baraa’, may Allah be pleased with him, states, {Then a caller will call from Heaven, ‘My servant has spoken the truth, so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him from Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise.’ So some of its breeze and fragrance will come to him, and a space will be made for him as far as the eye can see.}

          He also mentioned the death of the disbeliever, saying, {His spirit will be restored to his body, two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He will reply, ‘Alas, alas! I do not know.’ They will ask him, ‘What is your religion?’ He will reply, ‘Alas, alas! I do not know.’ They will ask, ‘Who was the man who was sent on a mission among you?’ He will reply, ‘Alas, alas! I do not know.’ Then a caller will call from Heaven, ‘He has lied, so spread a bed for him from Hell, clothe him from Hell, and open for him a door into Hell.’ Then some of its heat and pestilential wind will come to him, and his grave will be compressed, so that his ribs will be crushed together.}

          Another narration adds, {One who is blind and dumb will then be placed in charge of him, having a sledge-hammer such that if a mountain were struck with it, it would turn into dust. He will give him a blow with it which will be heard by everything between the east and the west, except men and jinn.} [Abu Dawood] Therefore, we were commanded to seek refuge from the punishment of the grave in every prayer.

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 Q: Will the believers see their Lord in the Hereafter?

          A: They will see their Lord in the Hereafter. Some of its proofs include Allah's statement, {[Some] faces will be radiant that Day looking at their Lord.} [Al-Qiyaamah: 22-23], and the statement of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, “Indeed, you will see your Lord.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

          There are numerous Hadiths, transmitted by many narrators, from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, which affirm that the believers will see their Exalted Lord. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and those who follow them in goodness had reached a consensus on this issue.

          Whoever denies that Allah will be seen has opposed Allah and His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and contradicted the way of the believers like the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and those who follow them in goodness.

          However, Allah cannot be seen in this world, because the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Indeed, you will not see your Lord until you die.” When Allah's Prophet Musa (Moses), peace be upon him, requested to see Allah in this world, his request was not granted, as seen in Allah's statement, {And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time, and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me [Yourself] that I may look at You.’ [Allah] said, ‘You will never see Me…’} [Al-A‘raaf: 143]

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 Q: What is belief in the pre-decree and predestination?

          A: It is a firm belief that everything occurs by Allah's pre-decree and predestination. Therefore, nothing occurs without His will. Allah created His slaves' actions, their good actions and bad ones. He created His slaves with the natural inclination to do good and accept the truth. Allah gave His slaves discerning brains, and He gave them the will to choose. He explained the truth to them, and He warned them against falsehood. Thus, He guided those whom He willed through His grace, and He led astray those whom He willed through His justice. He is the All-Wise, the All-Knowing, and the Most Merciful. He is not questioned of what He does, and His servants are questioned of what they do.

There are four stages of pre-decree as follows:

1.   The first stage: Belief in Allah's knowledge and that it encompasses everything. Therefore, Allah is aware of what happened, what will happen, and how what had not happened would have been if it had happened.

2.   The second stage: Belief that Allah wrote everything.

3.   The third stage: Belief that nothing happens except with Allah's will.

4.   The fourth stage: Belief that Allah created everything. He is the Creator of beings, actions, statements, movements, stillness, and qualities for everything in the celestial and terrestrial worlds. There are many proofs of this in Allah's Book and the Sunnah.

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 Q: Is man’s fate pre-destined, or does he have a free will?

          A: It cannot be said that man's fate is completely based on predestination or that he has complete free will. Both of these statements are wrong. Texts from the Qur’an and the Sunnah indicate that every human has a will and that he is the real doer of deeds. However, that is not beyond Allah's Knowledge and Will.

          This is indicated in the Qur’an, {For whoever wills among you to take a right course [he can]. And you do not will except what Allah wills, the Lord of the worlds.} [At-Takweer: 28-29], and Allah's statement, {Then whoever wills will remember it. And they will not remember except what Allah wills. He is deserving of fear and deserving for [granting] forgiveness.} [Al-Muddaththir: 55-56]

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 Q: Can faith (imaan) be valid without action?

          A: Faith without action is invalid. There must be actions because actions represent one pillar of faith while statement represents another pillar of faith. This is a consensus of the scholars, and they agreed that faith consists of statements and actions. The proof is as Allah says, {But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer having done righteous deeds - for them there will be the highest degrees [in paradise].} [Taa Ha: 75] Thus, Allah stipulated both faith and actions for admission into Paradise.

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 Q: What are the pillars of Islam?

          A: There are five pillars, and they are: testifying that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, fasting in Ramadan, giving zakah (alms), and pilgrimage to Allah's Sacred House in Mecca.

          The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him said, “Islam is based on five pillars: testifying that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, paying zakah, performing Hajj, and fasting in Ramadan." [Agreed upon]

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 Q: What is the meaning of testifying that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger?

          A: Testifying that none is worthy of worship except Allah means that none is rightfully worshiped except Allah. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And [remember, O Muhammad] when Abraham said to his father and his people, ‘Indeed, I am disassociated from that which you worship, except for He Who created me; and indeed, He will guide me.’ And he made it a word remaining among his descendants that they might return [to it].} [Az-Zukhruf: 26-28], and He also said, {That is because Allah is the Truth, and that what they call upon other than Him is falsehood, and because Allah is the Most High, the Grand.} [Luqmaan: 30]

          The meaning of testifying that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah is that we should have certainty and affirm that Muhammad is Allah's servant and Messenger, and that he is a servant and not to be worshiped. He is a Prophet, and not to be denied. He should be obeyed in what he commanded, and to be believed in what he informed us about, what he prohibited and reproached must be avoided, and Allah is not worshiped except through what he legislated.

          The right of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, upon his nation is to be revered, respected, loved, and completely followed at all times and as much as possible. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful.’} [Aal ‘Imraan: 31]

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 Q: What are the conditions of the statement: "None is worthy of worship except Allah?"

          A: The statement of tawheed (Monotheism) is not a mere word which is said without belief and carrying out what it necessitates and avoiding its nullifiers. Rather, it has seven conditions which were derived by the scholars through studying the proofs of the shariah. They recorded these conditions and provided proofs of them from Allah's Book and the Sunnah. These conditions are:

1.   Knowledge of the meaning of the statement of tawheed in terms of affirmation and negation. Knowing that Allah is One who has no partner, and that He alone deserves to be worshiped; knowing what is indicated by the testament of negating other gods besides Allah; and knowing what it necessitates, as well as its nullifiers, and that this negates ignorance. Allah, the Exalted, said, {So know [O Muhammad] that there is no deity except Allah.} [Muhammad: 19], and He said, {But only those who testify to the truth [can benefit], while they know.} [Az-Zukhruf: 86] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever dies while knowing that none is worthy of worship except Allah will enter Paradise.”

2.   Certainty: This is firm belief which negates doubt and uncertainty; that is, a definite belief in the heart which is established in it. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Indeed the believers are those who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then did not doubt but strived with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.} [Al-Hujuraat: 15] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever says, ‘I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that I (that is, the Prophet Muhammad) am the Messenger of Allah,’ and meets Allah without doubting these two principles will enter Paradise.” [Muslim]

3.   Sincerity which negates polytheism. This is through purifying worship and clearing it of any blemish relating to polytheism or showing off. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Verily, for Allah is the pure religion.} [Az-Zumar: 3], and He also said, {And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion.} [Al-Bayyinah: 5] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The happiest person to have my intercession on the Day of Judgment will be the one who said, ‘None has the right to be worshiped but Allah,’ sincerely from the bottom of his heart.” [Al-Bukhari]

4.   Love for this statement and what it indicates, and being happy with that; love for those who believe in this statement, and being allied with them; and hatred for what negates this statement, and disavowal of the disbelievers. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And [yet] among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah.} [Al-Baqarah: 165] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There are three qualities, anyone who is characterized by them will relish the sweetness of faith: to consider Allah and His Messenger dearer to oneself than everything else, to love a man for Allah's sake alone, and to hate returning to disbelief after Allah has rescued him therefrom as much as he hates being cast into Hell.” [Muslim]

5.   Truthfulness which negates lying. This is when the heart as well as the actions of the limbs tally with the tongue which pronounced the statement of tawheed. Thus, the limbs will affirm what the heart believed and engage in public and private acts of worship. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.} [Al-‘Ankaboot: 3], and He also said, {And the one who has brought the truth and [they who] believed in it - those are the righteous.} [Az-Zumar: 33] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever dies while testifying that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah believing that by his heart will enter Paradise.” [Ahmad]

6.   Submission by obedience to Allah, and worshiping Him alone, rendering the rights of worship, carrying out the commands, refraining from the prohibitions by being sincere to Allah, hoping for Allah's reward, and being afraid of His punishment. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him...} [Az-Zumar: 54], and He also said, {And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good - then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold...} [Luqmaan: 22]

7.   Acceptance which negates rejection, and that is through the heart's acceptance of the statement of tawheed, what it indicates, and what it necessitates. However, this statement is not accepted by people who are partisan and arrogant when they are invited to it. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Indeed they, when it was said to them, ‘There is no deity but Allah,’ were arrogant.} [As-Saaffaat: 25] So these people are not Muslims.

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 Q: Who is your Prophet?

          A: He is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Haashim ibn ‘Abd Manaaf. Allah, the Exalted, chose him from Quraysh, who are the best among the children of Isma‘il (Ishmael) ibn Ibrahim, peace be upon them. He was sent by Allah to mankind and the jinn. Allah revealed to him the Book (the Qur’an), and the wisdom (the Sunnah). Allah made him the best and most virtuous of the Prophets, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

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 Q: What is the first duty that Allah made compulsory for His servants?

          A: The first thing which Allah made compulsory for His servants is believing in Him, Exalted be He, and disbelieving in taaghoot (false gods) as Allah stated, {And We certainly sent into every nation a Messenger [saying:] ‘Worship Allah and avoid Taaghoot.’ And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers.} [An-Nahl: 36] The word “Taaghoot” refers to anyone (besides Allah) whom a servant exceeds bounds with, whether he is worshiped, followed, or obeyed.

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 Q: Why did Allah create you?

          A: Allah has clearly explained that, and He stated that He created mankind and the jinn for worshiping Him alone, without a partner. This is done through obeying Him by complying with what He commanded and leaving what He prohibited. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.} [Adh-Dhaariyaat: 56], and He also said, {Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him.} [An-Nisaa’: 36]

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 Q: What does worship mean?

          A: It is all the private and public statements and actions which are loved by Allah and please Him, and these are things which Allah has commanded us to believe in, to say them, or practice them, like fearing Him; loving Him, Exalted be He; seeking His help and assistance, offering Him prayer, and fasting.

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 Q: Is supplication part of worship?

          A: Indeed supplication is one of the greatest forms of worship. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.’ Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell contemptible.} [Ghaafir: 60] In a Hadith, the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said, “Supplication is worship.” [At-Tirmidhi] Due to the importance of supplication and its greatness in the religion, more than three hundred verses were revealed with regards to it in the Noble Qur’an. There are two types of supplications: the supplication of worship and the supplication of asking (for something from Allah). Both types of supplication are concomitant.

1.      The supplication of worship is to resort to Allah, the Exalted, for the occurrence of something required, alleviation of distress, or removal of adversity by sincerely worshiping Him alone. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. Then he called out within the darknesses, ‘There is no deity except You; Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.’ So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.} [Al-Anbiyaa: 87-88]

2.      The supplication of asking is requesting what benefits the supplicant, like bringing benefit or alleviation of harm. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Our Lord, indeed we have believed, so forgive us our sins and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.} [AalImraan: 16]

          The two types of supplication are the essence and the gist of worship. They are easy to seek and do, and they have the greatest status and effect. They are of the strongest means of alleviating distress and achieving what is required with Allah's permission.

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 Q: What are the conditions for acceptance of deeds by Allah, the Exalted?

          A: Allah does not accept deeds unless they fulfill two conditions:

          The first condition is that the deed should be done sincerely for Allah. The proof of this is Allah's statement, {And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion.} [Al-Bayyinah: 5], and He also said, {So whoever would hope for meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous deed and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.} [Al-Kahf: 110]

          The second condition is that the deed should be in line with the shariah which was brought by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. The proof of that is Allah's statement, {Say [O Muhammad]: If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you.} [Aal ‘Imraan: 31], and the Prophet's, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, statement, “He who does something contrary to our way (i.e. Islam) will have it rejected.” [Muslim] If an action does not comply with the guidance of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, it will not be accepted, even if the person who does it is sincere.

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 Q: Is good intention sufficient without action?

          A: No. There must be a combination of a good intention, which is doing the deed sincerely for Allah, and action according to the shariah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. The proof is Allah's statement, {So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous deed and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.} [Al-Kahf: 110] Thus, in the verse, Allah stipulated good intention for acceptance of deeds, and that the deeds should be righteous and in accordance with the shariah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

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 Q: What are the types of tawheed (Islamic monotheism)?

          A: There are three types of tawheed:

1-      The Oneness of Lordship: This is the definite belief that Allah is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Planner of the affairs of the entire creation. He has no partner and helper. This is ascribing Oneness to Allah through His actions. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Is there any creator other than Allah who provides for you from the heaven and earth? There is no deity except Him, so how are you deluded?} [Faatir: 3], and He also said, {Indeed, it is Allah Who is the [continual] Provider, the firm Possessor of strength.} [Adh-Dhaariyaat: 58], and He also said, {He arranges [each] matter from the heaven to the earth.} [As-Sajdah: 5], and Allah, the Exalted, also said, {Verily, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.} [Al-A‘raaf: 54]

2-      The Oneness of Allah in His names and attributes: This is believing that Allah has beautiful names and perfect attributes which are established in the Qur’an and the Sunnah without describing exactly how they are, and without comparison, distortion, or denial of His attributes, and (affirming) that nothing is similar to Him. Allah, the Exalted, said, {There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.} [Ash-Shoora: 11], and He said, {And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them.} [Al-A‘raaf: 180]

3-      The Oneness in divinity: This is ascribing oneness to Allah in worshiping Him alone without any partner. This is ascribing oneness to Allah through the acts of worship of Allah's servants. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion,} [Al-Bayyinah: 5], and He also said, {And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, ‘There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.’} [Al-Anbiyaa’: 25] This division of tawheed is for scholarly clarification. However, it is concomitant with the belief of a monotheist who follows Allah's Book and the Sunnah.

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 Q: What is the greatest sin by which Allah is disobeyed?

          A: It is polytheism. Allah, the Exalted, said, {They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary,’ while the Messiah has said, ‘O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not any helpers for the wrongdoers.} [Al-Maa’idah: 72], and He also said, {Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.} [An-Nisaa’: 48]

          The fact that Allah does not forgive polytheism proves that it is the greatest sin. This is explained by the statement of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, who was asked, “What is the greatest sin?" He replied, “To associate partners with Allah while it is He Who created you." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

         Polytheism is ascribing an equal and counterpart to Allah, like an angel, Prophet, ally, and so on, and believing that he has some qualities of lordship or some of its features, like the ability to create, own, and plan; or seeks closeness to him by supplicating him, having hope in him, fearing him, depending on him, and expecting goodness from him besides Allah or in association with Allah. Thus, some types of financial, public, or private acts of worship are done for him, which are all considered acts of polytheism.

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 Q: How many types of polytheism are there?

A: There are two types of polytheism:

1-   Major polytheism: This is rendering any act of worship for other than Allah. This involves acts of worship like relying on other than Allah, seeking assistance from the dead, slaughtering for other than Allah, making a vow for other than Allah, seeking help from other than Allah in a matter where only Allah, the Exalted, can help, like seeking help from absent people or the dead.         

          No one does such ignorant acts except the one who believes in the ability of those whom he is calling to respond or do what only Allah can do. Therefore, one will believe that a particular creature has some qualities of lordship. Thus, one will submit to him through worship, rely on him, supplicate him, and call to him asking for things which no creature can do. It is strange that help is sought from an incapable being who cannot harm or benefit himself and does not have power over death, life, or resurrection. Moreover, that being is incapable of averting harm from himself, so how can he save others from harm? This is similar to a drowning person who seeks help from another drowning person.

          It is strange how some of these people lack insight and reason. Hence, they engage in this polytheism, which is contrary to the shariah, reason, and is incompatible with the tangible nature.

2-      Minor polytheism: This is like slightly showing off, as was stated by the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, who said, “The thing which I fear most for you is minor polytheism." He was asked about it, and he said: "It is showing off good deeds.” [Muslim] It also includes swearing by other than Allah, as the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever swears by other than Allah has disbelieved or has committed polytheism." [At-Tirmidhi]

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 Q: How many types of disbelief are there?

          A: There are two types of disbelief:

1.   Major disbelief: This is what takes a person out of the fold of Islam. This is disbelief which negates a principle of the religion, like a person who blasphemes against Allah, His religion, or His Prophet; derides or mocks anything from the shariah or the religion; opposes a narration from Allah or His command or prohibition; denies what Allah informed His Prophet about or something which Allah made compulsory for His servants; or considers what Allah and His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, prohibited to be permissible. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say, ‘Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?’ Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief.} [At-Tawbah: 65-66]

2.   Minor disbelief: This is what has been called disbelief through proof of the shariah but is not major disbelief. It is called ingratitude disbelief or minor disbelief (and consists of actions) like fighting a Muslim, dissociation from lineage, wailing, and other similar traits from the jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period of ignorance). The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Two (things) which are tantamount to disbelief are found among people: slandering one's lineage and lamentation on the dead.” [Muslim] These actions do not take a person outside the fold of Islam. Nevertheless, they are major sins, and we seek refuge with Allah from them.

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 Q: How many types of hypocrisy are there?

          A: There are two types of hypocrisy: major and minor hypocrisy.

1-   Major hypocrisy is showing faith and concealing disbelief. Some of its most serious effects are: hating the religion of Islam and hating its victory, hating the Muslims, striving to fight them and corrupt their religion.

2-   Minor hypocrisy is engaging in deeds which are similar to those of the hypocrites but without concealing disbelief, like a person who always lies, breaks the promise, and cheats. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The signs of the hypocrite are three: whenever he speaks he tells a lie; whenever he promises he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted he betrays (proves to be dishonest).” [Al-Bukhari]

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 Q: What are the nullifiers of Islam?

          A: A nullifier is what invalidates and makes null and void. When it occurs to something, it invalidates it and makes it null and void, like the nullifiers of wudoo’ (ablution), if a person does one of them, his wudoo’ will become invalid and it will be incumbent upon him to repeat it. The nullifiers of Islam are similar to that. If a person commits one of them, his Islam will be invalidated and will become null and void, and the person who engages in them will become out of the fold of Islam.

          In the chapters of apostasy and the ruling of the apostate, scholars mentioned many types of nullifiers which take one out of the fold of Islam, and it becomes permissible to spill his blood, and usurp his wealth. The most dangerous, gravest, and most widespread nullifiers, which scholars also agreed upon, are ten:

1.         Polytheism, Allah, the Exalted, said, {Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.} [An-Nisaa’: 116] He also said, {Indeed, he who associates others with Allah, Allah has forbidden on him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not any helpers for the wrongdoers.} [Al-Maa’idah: 72]

          This includes supplicating other than Allah, seeking help and assistance from them, making vows to them, and slaughtering for them, like people who slaughter for the jinn, the graves, or for Allah's allies who are dead or alive in order to attain goodness or avert harm. These are ignorant people deceived by lies and doubts of the misguided imposters.

2.         A person who puts intermediaries between him and Allah and supplicates them, asks them for intercession, and relies on them for acquiring his needs and desires of this world and the Hereafter, has become a disbeliever according to the scholars' consensus. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say [O Muhammad:], ‘I only invoke my Lord and do not associate with Him anyone.’} [Al-Jinn: 20]

3.         Whoever does not consider the polytheists to be disbelievers, doubts their disbelief, or considers their methodology to be correct has committed disbelief. Allah, the Exalted, said, {The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the son of Allah;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the son of Allah.’ That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?} [At-Tawbah: 30]

          This is because being pleased with disbelief is disbelief. Moreover, belief in Islam is not valid without disbelieving in the false gods, while believing that any religion other than Islam is invalid and that it should be hated and disavowed, and that we should disassociate ourselves from its adherents and fight them as much as possible.

4.         Whoever believes that any guidance besides that of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, is better than the guidance of the Prophet or that a ruling other than that of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, is better than his, like the person who prefers the ruling of the despots and the human legislations and laws to the ruling of Allah and His Messenger, has become a disbeliever. Allah, the Exalted, said, {But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you [O Muhammad] judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.} [An-Nisaa: 65]

          Whoever gives precedence to the ways of the misguided religious leaders and their religious innovations over the authentic Sunnah, while knowing that it is the Prophetic Sunnah, or does any of the above mentioned things is a disbeliever according to the scholars' consensus.

5.         Whoever hates something which was brought by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, even if he acts according to it, has become a disbeliever. Allah, the Exalted, said, {That is because they disliked what Allah revealed, so He rendered worthless their deeds.} [Muhammad: 9]

6.         Whoever mocks anything in the religion of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, like some of the rulings of the shariah, its Sunnah or narrations, the reward which Allah has prepared for those who obey Him, or His punishment for the disobedient people as stated by His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, has become a disbeliever. The proof is Allah's statement, {Say, ‘Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?’ Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief.} [At-Tawbah: 65-66]

7.         Magic that is practiced by the means of the jinn and the devils, associating them as partners to Allah, and engaging in disbelief to please them. Magic includes turning people's hearts away from each other or making them attracted to each other, i.e. manipulating people's feelings and emotions. Whoever does this or is pleased with it has become a disbeliever. The proof is Allah's statement, {But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, ‘We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].’} [Al-Baqarah: 102]

8.         Supporting the disbelievers, cooperating with them, and helping them against the Muslims. The proof is Allah's statement, {And whoever is an ally to them among you - indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.} [Al-Maa’idah: 51]

9.         Whoever believes that some people are exempted from following the shariah of Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, as was the case with Al-Khidr, who was exempted from following the shariah of Musa, peace be upon him, is a disbeliever. This is because Allah, the Exalted, said, {And whoever desires to adopt a religion other than Islam - it will never be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.} [Aal ‘Imraan: 85]

10.     Turning away from Allah's religion, meaning that someone does not learn it nor acts according to it. The proof is Allah's statement, {And who is more unjust than one who is reminded of the verses of his Lord; then he turns away from them? Indeed We will take retribution from the criminals.} [As-Sajdah: 22] Turning away from Allah's religion means refraining from learning the essential religious principles without which one's Islam is invalid.

          After mentioning these nullifiers, it is appropriate to mention two important points, which are:

1-   These nullifiers are mentioned as a warning so that people may be wary of them. Indeed, the devils and their deceptive and misleading supporters lie in wait for the Muslims to take advantage of the heedlessness and ignorance of some of them, thus taking them away from the truth to falsehood and from the path of Paradise to Hellfire.

2-   Applying these nullifiers to reality is the responsibility of the well-versed scholars. They are the ones who know the proofs, the rulings, and the criteria for applying rulings on people, and not everyone is permitted to do that.

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 Q: Can a Muslim be adjudged to be from the people of Paradise or Hellfire?

          A: No one can be adjudged to be from the people of Paradise or Hellfire except someone regarding whom a text was revealed. However, it is hoped that the good will be rewarded and it is feared that the wrongdoer will be punished. We say that whoever dies upon Islamic faith will end up in Paradise, and whoever dies as a polytheist and disbeliever will be from the people of Hellfire, and what an evil place that is to settle in!

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 Q: Is a Muslim adjudged to be a disbeliever because of sinning?

          A: A Muslim is not adjudged to be a disbeliever because of committing sins and disobeying Allah, even if he commits major sins as long as these are not the ones which take him out of the fold of Islam as indicated by the texts of the shariah in Allah's Book and the Sunnah, and as stated by the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and the scholars. The person will be according to his faith, and he will be from the sinful adherents of tawheed as long as he does not fall into major disbelief, polytheism, or hypocrisy.

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 Q: Do slips of the tongue and bad words have an effect on tawheed? Do they cause the utterer to slip away from the straight path, or are they minor sins?

          A: The tongue is such a great matter. A word can make one enter Islam, and a word can take him out of Islam, we seek Allah's protection from that. The slips of the tongue and its errors differ. Some of these are words of disbelief which invalidate faith and annul deeds, like blaspheming Allah, or insulting the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, or words which describe revered and righteous people with attributes of Lordship; seeking help from them, attributing goodness and whatever happens to them to those righteous people. Some words involve praising them excessively and granting them a status above that of humans, swearing by them, mocking the shariah, and deriding its rulings. Other words show dissatisfaction with Allah's shariah rulings or with painful decree that includes worldly afflictions pertaining to the body, wealth, children, and so on.

          Major sins which harm faith and decrease it include backbiting and talebearing. Therefore, we should be extremely wary of them and safeguard our tongues from uttering words which contradict Allah's shariah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah while not giving it much importance, by which Allah will raise his degrees (of reward), and a slave (of Allah) may utter a word which displeases Allah without noticing its gravity, by which he will be thrown into Hellfire.” [Al-Bukhari]

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 Q: When do the actions of a believer cease?

          A: The deeds of the believer do not cease except with death. The proof is Allah's statement, {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [death].} [Al-Hijr: 99]

          The word "certainty" in this verse means death, as evidenced by the statement of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, regarding ‘Uthmaan ibn Mazh‘oon when he died, as the Prophet said, “As for ‘Uthmaan, by Allah, certainty has come to him.” [Al-Bukhari]

          Moreover, the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, did not stop being engaged in actions when he was alive. The meaning of the word "certainty" in this context does not mean a stage of faith at which a person stops doing good deeds or becomes exempted from doing good deeds once he attains it, as claimed by some deviants.

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 Q: Who controls the heavens, the earth, and what is in them?

          A: The One who controls the heavens, the earth, and what is in them is Allah alone, Who has no partner. There is no Absolute Owner besides Him. He has no partner, no helper, and no assistant. Glorified and Exalted be He. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say [O Muhammad], ‘Invoke those you claim [as deities] besides Allah.’ They do not possess an atom's weight [of ability] in the heavens or on the earth, and they do not have therein any partnership [with Him], nor is there any assistant from among them for Him.} [Saba': 22]

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 Q: What is the ruling on a person who believes that the universe is controlled by seven or four people called aqtaab, or that there are other people called awtaad and ghawth; to whom people turn besides Allah or with Allah?

          A: Whoever believes this, indeed he is a disbeliever according to the scholars' consensus because he believes in a partner with Allah in Lordship.

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 Q: Do the awliyaa’ (allies of Allah) know the Unseen and resurrect the dead?

          A: No one knows the Unseen except Allah, and no one resurrects the dead except Allah. The proof is Allah's statement, {And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much goodness (wealth), and no harm would have touched me.} [Al-A‘raaf: 188] Since the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, who is the best of creation, does not know the Unseen, then most likely those who are lower in status do not know the Unseen.

          The four Imams (jurisprudence scholars) reached a consensus that whoever believes that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, knows the Unseen or resurrects the dead is an apostate, because he has disbelieved in Allah, Who ordered His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, to say to mankind and the jinn, {Say [O Muhammad], ‘I do not tell you that I have the depositories [containing the provision] of Allah or that I know the Unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.’} [Al-An‘aam: 50] Allah, the Exalted, also said, {Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing and Well-Acquainted.} [Luqmaan: 34]

          Therefore, the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, does not know (of) the Unseen except what Allah revealed to him and taught him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, never claimed that he resurrected any of his Companions or any of his children who had died before him. So how could those who are of a lower status claim that?

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 Q: Does Allah's loyalty (wilaayah) belong to some believers exclusively?

          A: Everyone who believes in Allah and fears Him is a wali (ally) of Allah. The proof is Allah's statement, {Behold, for Allah's allies there will be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Those who believed and were fearing Allah.} [Yunus: 62-63]

          Therefore, Allah's alliance does not belong to some believers exclusively. However, the stages of His alliance differ. Piety means doing what Allah and His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, commanded and avoiding what Allah and His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, prohibited. Every believer has a share of Allah's loyalty depending on the degree of his faith and obedience.

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 Q: Allah's statement, "Behold, for Allah's allies there will be no fear, nor shall they grieve." [Yunus: 62] Does this mean that it is permissible to supplicate them?

          A: The verse does not mean that it is permissible to supplicate them, nor seek their help or their refuge. Rather, the verse explains their status, and that there will be no fear on them in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they grieve in the Hereafter. The verse implies a call to seek His loyalty through worshiping Allah alone and obeying His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, so as to attain the glad tidings in Allah's statement, {There will be no fear on them, nor will they grieve.} [Yunus: 62] Moreover, supplicating other than Allah is polytheism, as has been explained previously.

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 Q: Are people other than the prophets, such as Allah's allies, infallible from committing major and minor sins?

          A: Whoever is Allah's ally (wali), and not a Prophet, is not infallible from committing minor and major sins. A number of prominent walis and righteous people committed some errors, faults, and sins. However, they hasten to repent and turn to Allah, so He forgives them.

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 Q: Is Khidr, peace be upon him, alive?

          A: The correct opinion is that Al-Khidr is a Prophet of Allah. He died before the birth of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, because Allah, the Exalted, said, {And We did not grant to any man before you eternity [on earth]; so if you die - would they be eternal?} [Al-Anbiyaa’: 34] If he had been alive, he would have followed the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, because our Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, was sent to all mankind and the jinn. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say [O Muhammad]: O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all.} [Al-A‘raaf: 158] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Nobody present on the surface of the earth tonight will be living by the completion of one hundred years from this night.” [Al-Bukhari]

          This is a proof that Al-Khidr has died. Therefore, he does not hear the call of whoever calls him, nor does he guide the lost if he seeks his guidance. The narrations which are mentioned of his meeting with some people, sitting with them, and talking to them are blatant illusions and lies which cannot be accepted by those who have been given knowledge, reason, and insight by Allah.

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 Q: Do the dead hear or respond to those who supplicate them?

          A: The dead do not hear because Allah, the Exalted, said, {But you cannot make hear those who are in the graves.} [Faatir: 22], and He also said, {Indeed, you will not make the dead hear.} [An-Naml: 80], and He also said, {And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed. If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication; and if they heard, they would not respond to you. And on the Day of Resurrection they will deny your association. And none can inform you like [One] Acquainted [with all matters].} [Faatir: 13-14], and He also said, {And who is more astray than he who invokes besides Allah those who will not respond to him until the Day of Resurrection, and they are unaware of their invocation.} [Al-Ahqaaf: 5]

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 Q: What is it that is sometimes heard near the graves of some dead people who are revered by the ignorant?

          A: These are the voices of the devils and the jinn. They give the ignorant people an impression that these are the voices of the dead in their graves so that they may tempt them, confuse them in their religion, and lead them astray. The people in the graves do not hear, and they do not respond to those who supplicate them or call them. This is based on texts from the Noble Qur’an, in which Allah, the Exalted, said, {Indeed, you will not make the dead hear.} [An-Naml: 80], and He also said, {If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication.} [Faatir: 14], and He also said, {But you cannot make hear those in the graves.} [Faatir: 22]

          So, how can the dead answer them when they are in the world of the barzakh (interim life, after death and before resurrection) and they have no link with the people of this world? Allah, the Exalted, said, {And they are unaware of their invocation.} [Al-Ahqaaf: 5]

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 Q: Do the dead from among the Allah's awliyaa’ (allies) and others hear those who ask for their help or aid?

          A: They do not answer those who call them, nor can they answer those who supplicate them or seek their help. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed. If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication; and if they heard, they would not respond to you. And on the Day of Resurrection they will deny your association.} [Faatir: 13-14]

          It is such a great disappointment for those who were beguiled by the devils and the callers to misguidance who tempted them to supplicate the deceased and buried people from among the prophets, the awliyaa’, and the righteous. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And who is more astray than he who invokes besides Allah those who will not respond to him until the Day of Resurrection, and they are unaware of their invocation.} [Al-Ahqaaf: 5]

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 Q: What is the meaning of the word "alive" in Allah's statement: {And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision.} [Aal ‘Imraan: 169]?

          A: The meaning of "alive" in this verse is that they live a life of enjoyment in their graves which is not like the life of this world. This is because the souls of the martyrs are in a state of enjoyment in Paradise. This is why Allah, the Exalted, said, {They are alive with their Lord, receiving provision.} [Aal ‘Imraan: 169] They are in another abode which is different from their worldly life and conditions. They do not hear those who supplicate them, and they do not answer, as stated in the quoted verses. So, there is no contradiction between the verses. This is why the verse said, “receiving provision” and not “giving provision”.

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 Q: What is the ruling on slaughtering for other than Allah, seeking nearness to the one for whom the animal is sacrificed?

          A: That is a major polytheism, because Allah, the Exalted, said, {So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].} [Al-Kawthar: 2], and He also said, {Say, ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. And with this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.’} [Al-An‘aam: 162-163]

          The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah curses anyone who sacrifices an animal to other than Allah.” [Muslim]

The rule says: "Any act of worship which is done for Allah, if done for other than Allah is polytheism."

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 Q: What is the ruling on making a vow for other than Allah?

          A: It is major polytheism, because the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If anyone vows to obey Allah, let him obey Him, but if anyone vows to disobey Him, let him not disobey Him.” [Al-Bukhari]

          A vow is a verbal act of worship; financial or physical. It is making binding upon oneself what is not binding according to the shariah in the hope of attaining what is required, averting what is feared, or expressing gratitude for a blessing which has come or a calamity which has passed. It is an act of worship which should not be offered to other than Allah because Allah praised those who fulfill vows. Allah, the Exalted, said, {They are those who fulfill their vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread.} [Al-Insaan: 7]

          The rule says, “Any action whose doer is praised by Allah, the Exalted, is an act of worship, and offering any act of worship to other than Allah is polytheism.”

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 Q: Can we seek refuge in other than Allah?

          A: The answer will be clear by knowing the three types of seeking refuge, which are:

1.   Monotheistic seeking refuge which is an act of worship: This is seeking refuge in Allah from all what you fear. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say, 'I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak from the evil of that which He created.'} [Al-Falaq: 1-2], and He also said, {Say, 'I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind, the Sovereign of mankind, the God of mankind, from the evil of the retreating whisperer.'} [An-Naas: 1-4]

2.   Permissible seeking refuge: This is seeking refuge in someone who is alive, present, and capable of what he is being asked for (as well as seeking refuge in shariah-approved ways). The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "So he who finds refuge or shelter should utilize it." [Muslim]

3.   Polytheistic seeking refuge: This is seeking refuge in other than Allah in what none other than Allah is capable of. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And there were men from mankind who sought refuge in men from the jinn, so they increased them in burden.}  [Al-Jinn: 6]

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 Q: What do you say when you encamp somewhere?

          A: I say what I have been taught by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, who said, "Whosoever alights somewhere and says, 'A‘oodhu bikalimaat-illah at-taammaat min sharri maa khalaq (I seek refuge with the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what He has created),' nothing will harm him until he leaves that place." [Muslim]

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 Q: Is it permissible to seek help from other than Allah in issues which only Allah can bring good or avert harm?

          A: That is major polytheism, which invalidates deeds, takes one out of the fold of Islam, and causes permanent destruction for him if he falls into it and does not repent before death. This is because Allah, the Exalted, said, {Is He [not best] Who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil...?} [An-Naml: 62] This means that no one but Allah responds to him and no one but Allah removes evil. Therefore, Allah, the Exalted, rebuked those who seek help and relief from other than Him, so the reprimand came in a question format. Moreover, seeking help and aid from Allah is an act of worship. Allah, the Exalted, said, {[Remember] when you asked help of your Lord.} [Al-Anfaal: 9]

          Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Let me not find anyone of you coming on the Day of Judgment with a growling camel on his neck, appealing to me for help and saying, 'O Messenger of Allah, help me,' as I would say, 'I have no authority to help you. I conveyed Allah's message to you.' Let me not find anyone of you coming on the Day of Judgment with a neighing horse on his neck, appealing to me for help and saying, 'O Messenger of Allah, help me', as I would say, 'I have no authority to help you. I conveyed Allah's message to you.'" [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

          It is known that it is permissible for us to seek assistance from someone who is alive, present, visible, and is not absent. This applies to issues in which he can help. Seeking help from someone means asking for assistance from him in matters which are humanly possible, like the Companion of Musa, peace be upon him, who sought his assistance against their enemy. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And the one from his (Musa's) faction called for him to help him against the one from his enemy.} [Al-Qasas: 15] As for seeking assistance from someone who is absent either jinn or dead humans, scholars reached a consensus that this is invalid, prohibited, and constitutes polytheism.

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 Q: Is it permissible to be called with a name which shows servitude to other than Allah, like ‘Abd an-Nabi (the slave of the Prophet) or ‘Abd al-Husayn (the slave of Al-Husayn) and so on?

          A: It is not permissible, because scholars have reached a consensus that it is prohibited to be called with a name which shows servitude to other than Allah. Hence, it is compulsory to change such names, like ‘Abd an-Nabi (the servant of the Prophet) or 'Abd al-Ka‘bah (the servant of the Ka‘bah) and so on. The most beloved names to Allah are ‘Abdullah (Allah's servant) and ‘Abd ar-Rahman (the servant of the Most Merciful), as reported in the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, which states, "The most beloved of names to Allah are ‘Abdullah and ‘Abd ar-Rahman." [Muslim] Therefore, it is incumbent to change names which show servitude to other than Allah. This is applicable to living people who have names of that kind.

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 Q: What is the ruling on wearing a ring, a string around the hand or neck, or hanging it on an animal or a car and so on in order to prevent affliction by the evil eye, envy, a calamity, or evil, or to remove these things after their occurrence?

          A: This is polytheism, because:

1.   The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Whoever hangs an amulet has committed polytheism." [Musnad Ahmad]

2.   The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, also said, "No necklace of bowstring or anything else must be left on a camel's neck; it must be cut off." [Al-Bukhari]

3.   The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "If anyone ties his beard, or wears a string around his neck to ward off the evil eye, or cleanses himself with animal dung or bone, Muhammad has nothing to do with him." [Ahmad]

4.   The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, also said, "Spells, charms, and love-potions are polytheism." [Abu Dawood]

5.   The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Whoever wears an amulet, may Allah not fulfill his needs." [Sahih Ibn Hibbaan]

6.   A person who is attached to illusions and superstitions is loser. The Hadith states, "Whoever hang something (as an amulet) will be entrusted to it."

          Love potions: It refers to magic that is practiced to endear a man to his wife or cause separation between them. It is also made to cause hatred between lovers and relatives.

          Amulets: Something hung on children in order to prevent the evil eye and envy.

         Amulets were defined by Al-Mundhiri as beads which people used to hang, believing that they prevent afflictions from affecting them. This is ignorance and misguidance, because amulets are not a legislative or creating cause for that. This also includes wearing bracelets, pieces of cloth, and things which are believed to protect one from evil as well as hanging these things on an animal, a car, or a house.

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 Q: What does tabarruk (seeking blessing) mean?

          A: It is seeking blessing and goodness by doing certain things in the hope of attaining good and acquiring what one loves and desires.

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 Q: Is there one type of Tabarruk, or are there more?

          A: There are two types of Tabarruk:

1-      Permissible Tabarruk: It is shariah-approved and of benefit to the person who engages in it as indicated by Allah's Book and the Sunnah. It is not permissible to believe that something has blessing unless with proof from Allah's Book and the Sunnah. So there is no room for the intellect and istihsaan (juristic preference) in this regard.

          Therefore, the only way to know if something is blessed or contains a blessing is through a report from the Exalted Creator, the All-Wise, Blessed be He, or from His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. All blessing and goodness lie in following Allah's Book and the Sunnah. From these two sources, we know what is blessed and how we may attain blessing therefrom, like seeking blessing from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him; himself, and from what left his body like saliva and hair; and from what got into contact with his body like clothes. This is specific to the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.       

          Blessing is also found in what has been established to be associated with the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and to be part of him, like his hair and clothes. The superstitious people lie and claim that they have some of his hair and clothes. All this is done in order to manipulate the brains of some Muslims, corrupt their religious beliefs, and rob them of their wealth.

2-      Prohibited or impermissible Tabarruk: It leads to polytheism, such as Tabarruk with the righteous people and what is detached from them, Tabarruk with their graves by praying and supplicating there, and Tabarruk with the dust of their graves by believing that it is a remedy. This is similar to Tabarruk with, circumambulating, or hanging a piece of cloth on every spot, place, and stone which is thought to be virtuous, when it is known that there is no evidence which makes it permissible to kiss or rub it. This is only permissible with regard to the Black Stone and the Yemenite Corner at the Ka‘bah. It is prohibited to rub, kiss, or circumambulate anything else. It is major polytheism if someone believes that these things give blessing themselves. It is minor polytheism if one claims that these things are a cause of blessing.

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 Q: Is it permissible to follow up the relics of the righteous people and seeking Tabarruk with them and their relics, or is it a religious innovation and misguidance?

          A: This belief and practice is a religious innovation, because the Companions of our Prophet Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, are the most knowledgeable, the best, the most understanding, the most desirous of goodness, and the most knowing about the virtuous people of the ummah (Islamic community), yet they did not seek Tabarruk with the relics of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan, and ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them, and they did not follow up their relics though they were the best people in the ummah after the Prophets. This was because the Companions knew that Tabarruk was specific to the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

          ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, cut the tree under which the pledge of Ar-Ridwaan (satisfaction) was made because he feared that people might exceed the bounds with regard to it. Moreover, the pious predecessors were the most desirous of goodness, and if following up the relics of the righteous had been good, they would have preceded us in doing it.

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 Q: Is it permissible to seek Tabarruk with stones or dust?

          A: This is major polytheism. Abu Waaqid al-Laythi reported, "We set forth with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, to Hunayn, while we had recently abandoned disbelief. The polytheists had a tree, which they took as a place for worship, and upon which they used to hang their weapons. They called it "Dhaat Anwaat". We passed by this tree and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, make for us a "Dhaat Anwaat" just as they have one.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Allah is the Greatest! They are just beaten paths! By the One in whose Hand my soul is, you have just said what the Children of Israel said to Musa (Moses), {Take for us a god just as they have gods.' He said, 'Indeed, you are a people behaving ignorantly.} [Al-A‘raaf: 138]. Surely, you will follow the ways of those who were before you." [Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi]

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 Q: What is the ruling on taking an oath by other than Allah?

          A: It is not permissible to take an oath by other than Allah. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Whoever has to take an oath should swear by Allah or remain silent." [Al-Bukhari] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, prohibited taking an oath by other than Allah, as mentioned in a Hadith which states, "Do not swear by your fathers nor by the tawaaghit (idols, false gods)." [Muslim]

          Tawaaghit is the plural of Taaghoot (false god). The Prophet, may Allah's and blessings be upon him, classified this under polytheism, and he said, "Whoever swears by other than Allah has disbelieved or committed polytheism." The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Whoever swears by amaanah (honesty) is not one of us." [Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan, and Al-Haakim with an authentic chain of narration]

          Hence, the Muslim must beware of swearing by the Prophet, a wali (a righteous), or by honor, trust, the Ka‘bah, and other created things.

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 Q: Is it permissible to believe that the stars or the planets have an effect on the universe and people in terms of bringing benefit; granting success or happiness; or averting harm, adversities, and affliction?

          A: It is not permissible to believe that, because they have no effect at all in this regard. Moreover, the promoters of superstitions are not believed except by the feeble-minded and the followers of illusions. Believing that is part of polytheism, because the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, stated in a Qudsi Hadith, "Whoever says that it rained due to the blessing and the mercy of Allah believes in Me and disbelieves in the stars, and whoever says that it rained because of a particular star disbelieves in Me and believes in that star." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The people of the pre-Islamic period of Ignorance believed that the stars had an effect on rainfall.

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 Q: Is it permissible to believe that horoscopes, like Aquarius and other horoscopes, or planets and stars have an effect on what happens to a person in his life in terms of happiness and wretchedness? Is it possible to know the unseen through them?

          A: It is not permissible to believe that horoscopes, planets, and stars have an effect on what happens to humans in this life. Moreover, they do not make the future known, because knowledge of the Unseen is to Allah exclusively. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say: None in the heavens and earth knows the Unseen except Allah...} [An-Naml: 65]

          This is because Allah alone brings goodness and averts harm. Whoever believes that these things have an effect in disclosing the unseen things and they cause happiness or wretchedness for those who were born under that horoscope or during the time of the appearance of that planet, or believes that the stars have an effect on the happiness or wretchedness of someone; has indeed taken those things as partners with Allah in His rights and characteristics of Lordship. Whoever does that has committed disbelief. We seek Allah's refuge from that.

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 Q: Is it compulsory for us to rule according to what Allah, the Exalted, has revealed?

          A: It is compulsory for all the Muslims to rule according to what Allah has revealed because Allah, the Exalted, said, {And judge [O Muhammad] between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you. And if they turn away - then know that Allah only intends to afflict them with some of their sins. And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient.} [Al-Maa’idah: 49]

          Allah censured those who follow man-made laws, and He said, {Then is it the judgment of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgment for a people who are certain [in faith]?} [Al-Maa’idah: 50]

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 Q: What is intercession?

          A: Intercession is mediation, or using someone as an intermediary to acquire benefit or avert evil and harm.

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 Q: What are the types of intercession?

          A: There are three types of intercession:

1.   Established intercession: It is sought from Allah only. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Say: To Allah belongs [the right to allow] intercession entirely...} [Az-Zumar: 44] This intercession is for ensuring safety from the punishment of Hellfire and winning the bliss of Paradise. It has two conditions:

·      Permission for the intercessor to intercede, as stated by Allah, the Exalted, who said, {...Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission...} [Al-Baqarah: 255]

·      Allah's pleasure with the person for whom the intercession is made. Allah, the Exalted, said, {...and they cannot intercede except on behalf of one whom He approves...} [Al-Anbiyaa’: 28] Allah, the Exalted, combined these conditions in His saying, {And how many angels there are in the heavens whose intercession will not avail at all except [only] after Allah has permitted [it] to whom He wills and approves.} [An-Najm: 26]

        Therefore, whoever wants to obtain intercession should ask Allah, the Exalted, for it. He is its Owner and the One who permits it. It should not be asked from other than Allah, because the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "When you ask for something, ask Allah." [At-Tirmidhi]

          Thus, you should say, "O Allah! Let me be among those whom Your Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, will intercede for on the Day of Judgment."

2.   The negated intercession: It is sought from other than Allah in things which no one but Allah is capable of doing; which is polytheistic intercession.

3.   Worldly intercession between people: It is the intercession between people who are alive in this world in things which they are capable of doing and need from each other in their worldly needs. This is recommended in what is good and prohibited in what is evil, as stated by Allah, the Exalted, {Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a reward therefrom, and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a burden therefrom...} [An-Nisaa’: 85]

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 Q: Can intercession be sought from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him; the prophets; the righteous people; and the martyrs, given that they will be granted intercession on the Day of Judgment?

          A: Intercession is the ownership of Allah, the Exalted, as stated by Allah, the Exalted, {Say: To Allah belongs all intercession...} [Az-Zumar: 44] Therefore, we ask for intercession from its owner and the One who permits it; in obedience to His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, who said, "When you ask (for something), ask Allah." [At-Tirmidhi] Therefore, we say: O Allah, let us be among those whom your Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings and be upon him, will intercede for on the Day of Judgment.

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 Q: What is the ruling of someone who holds the dead as intercessors between him and Allah, the Exalted, in achieving his needs?

          A: This is major polytheism, because Allah, the Exalted, censured those who place intercessors between Him and them. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And they worship other than Allah that which neither harms them nor benefits them, and they say, 'These are our intercessors with Allah.' Say, 'Do you inform Allah of something He does not know in the heavens or on the earth?' Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.} [Yunus: 18]

          Allah described these people as polytheists as He said, {What they associate with Him.} Then Allah judged them to be disbelievers as He said, {...Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and [confirmed] disbeliever.} [Az-Zumar: 3] Then Allah mentioned what these people say about those whom they want to intercede for them as He said, {...And those who take protectors besides Him [say] We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position...} [Az-Zumar: 3]

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 Q: Allah's says, "... And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you [O Muhammad] and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful." [An-Nisaa’: 64] Does this statement of Allah mean that it is permissible to seek forgiveness through the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, even after his death?

          A: Indeed, seeking forgiveness through the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, was specific to his lifetime, and it is not applicable after his death. It has neither been established from the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, nor from the people who lived in the golden era of Islam through an authentic narration that these people sought forgiveness through the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, after his death.

          Moreover, when ‘A’ishah requested the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, to supplicate and seek forgiveness for her after she dies, but he said, "If that (your death) happens while I am still alive, I will seek forgiveness and invoke Allah for you." [Al-Bukhari]

          Therefore, the Hadith interprets the verse and indicates that seeking forgiveness through the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, was specific to his lifetime and is not valid after his death. Seeking forgiveness through him after his death, the spread of religious innovations, and the prevalence of ignorance; all occurred by some latter-day people after the end of the virtuous generations of Islam. Some people did that in contradiction to the methodology of the righteous predecessors who were well-versed in knowledge, the rightly-guided scholars from the Companions and those who followed them in goodness.

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 Q: What is the meaning of Allah's statement, "O you who believe, fear Allah and seek the means of nearness to Him..." [Al-Maa’idah: 35]?

        A: It means seeking nearness to Allah by obeying Him and following His Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. This is how Allah commanded us to seek closeness to Him. This is because seeking nearness to Allah is only done through permissible means, which were legislated by Allah and His Messenger in the form of fulfilling the obligations of tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and performing acts of obedience. Seeking nearness to Allah is not done by turning to the allies of Allah and the buried people. This is overturning the terms and calling things by other than their real names. It is but deception by devils from among the humans and the jinn to lead people astray from the path of guidance, which leads to Paradise.

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 Q: What is tawassul?

          A: The original meaning of tawassul is approaching. In the shariah, it is seeking nearness to Allah by obeying Him; worshiping Him; following His Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him; and doing all things which Allah loves and is pleased with.

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 Q: How many types of tawassul are there?

          A: Tawassul is of two types: permissible and prohibited.

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 Q: What is permissible tawassul?

1.   Tawassul to Allah by His Names. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them...} [Al-A‘raaf: 180] like in the statement of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, "O The Ever-Living, The Sustainer of Existence! I seek relief in Your Mercy." This is making tawassul to Allah through the attribute of mercy.

2.   Tawassul to Allah by doing sincere good deeds which conform to the Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. An example of this is a person who says, "O Allah, by my sincerity to You and my following of the Sunnah of Your Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, heal me and grant me sustenance." This type of tawassul also involves belief in Allah, the Exalted, and His Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Our Lord, indeed we have heard a caller calling to faith [saying,] 'Believe in your Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord, so forgive us our sins and remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous.} [Aal-‘Imraan: 193] After this tawassul, they supplicated Allah and said, {Our Lord, and grant us what You promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, You do not fail in [Your] promise.} [Aal-‘Imraan: 194}

          This is like the companions of the Rock, who made tawassul to Allah by their righteous deeds for Him to grant them relief from what had befallen them, as reported in the Hadith of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, which is found in the two sahihs. In that Hadith, the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, informed people about the story of the three who were trapped in a cave with a rock blocking the exit. They kept asking Allah by their righteous deeds to grant them relief, and Allah eventually granted them relief.

3.   Tawassul by the supplication of a righteous servant of Allah who is present and able to supplicate, like a person who asks a pious servant of Allah to supplicate for him, as happened with the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, who asked Al-‘Abbaas to supplicate Allah for rain. Moreover ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, asked Oways al-Qarni to supplicate for him. Similarly, the children of Ya‘qoob (Jacob), peace be upon him, asked him to supplicate Allah for them. Allah, the Exalted, said, {They said: "O our father, ask forgiveness for our sins; indeed, we have been sinners.} [Yusuf: 97]

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 Q: What is the prohibited tawassul?

          A: This type of tawassul is invalidated by the shariah, such as when someone makes tawassul by the deceased and seeks help and intercession from them. This tawassul is polytheistic according to the scholars' consensus, even if the one through whom the tawassul is made is a Prophet or a wali (righteous believer). Allah, the Exalted, said, {...And those who take protectors besides Him [say:] We only worship them that they may bring us closer to Allah in position...} [Az-Zumar: 3] Then Allah followed up this description by a ruling on these people. He said, {...Indeed, Allah will judge between them concerning that over which they differ. Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and [confirmed] disbeliever.} [Az-Zumar: 3]

          Thus, Allah ruled that these people are disbelievers and out of the fold of Islam. Moreover, the prohibited tawassul includes what the shariah kept silent about. This is because tawassul is an act of worship, and acts of worship are based on revealed texts. Therefore, prohibited tawassul includes tawassul by honor, beings, and so on, like the statement of some people: O Allah, we ask You by the honor of the Your beloved Prophet, or by the honor of the righteous people, or by the grave of so-and-so to forgive us. This was not legislated by Allah or His Prophet. Therefore, it is a religious innovation which must be avoided. This type of tawassul and the preceding one were not practiced by the pious predecessors from the Companions, the Taabi‘is (generation following that of the Companions), and the rightly-guided scholars, may Allah be pleased with all of them.

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 Q: What are the types of visiting graves for men?

          A: There are two types of visiting graves:

1.   Permissible visit: It is rewardable for the visitor for two reasons:

·      Reminding the Hereafter, because the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "I had formerly prohibited you from visiting the graves. Now you may visit them because they remind you of the Hereafter." [Muslim]

·      Greeting the deceased and supplicating for them. We say: "O dwellers of the graves from among the believers, peace be upon you." Therefore, both the visitor and the visited receive benefit.

2.   Prohibited visit: It is a sinful visit in which people supplicate at the dead people's graves or seek the dead people's intercession with Allah. This is a religious innovation which leads to polytheism. Moreover, seeking relief from the deceased, seeking intercession from them, and seeking help from them constitute major polytheism because Allah, the Exalted, said, {...That is Allah, your Lord; to Him belongs sovereignty. And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed. If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication; and if they heard, they would not respond to you. And on the Day of Resurrection they will deny your association. And none can inform you like [the one] Acquainted [with all matters.} [Faatir: 13-14]

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 Q: What should one say when visiting the graves?

         A: One should say what the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, taught his Companions. He taught them to say, "Assalamu ‘alaykum daar qawmin mu’mineen wa ataakum maa too‘adoon ghadan mu’ajjaloona wa inna inshaa Allahu bikum laahiqoon. (peace be upon you, O abode of the believers. What you have been promised has come to you. You are tarried till tomorrow, and certainly we shall follow you if Allah wills.)" [Muslim] Thereafter, one should supplicate for them and ask Allah to grant them mercy, forgiveness, high status, and other good supplications.

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 Q: Do we seek closeness to Allah by supplicating at the graves of pious people?

        A: Indeed, supplicating at the graves of the pious people is a religious innovation and a means to polytheism. ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that he saw a man supplicating Allah at the grave of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and he prohibited him and said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him said, 'Do not take my grave as a festival.'" [Ad-Diyaa’ al-Maqdisi, Al-Mukhtaarah: 428]

          The greatest grave is that which contains the purest and noblest body, the best of mankind, and the most honorable person at all, i.e. the grave of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. It has never been transmitted with an authentic chain of narration that any of the Companions used to go to the Prophet's grave and supplicate there. Likewise, those who followed them in goodness did not seek to supplicate at the graves of the Companions or the senior scholars of the ummah. Rather, this is a devilish tendency whereby the devil has beguiled the brains of some latter-day people, and they have deemed good what was detested, prohibited, and avoided by their pious predecessors who knew its evil and serious consequences. However, people of the latter days, who have less knowledge, reason, understanding, and virtue, have neglected that, and they have fallen into the trap of the devil, who has led them to consider religious innovations to be good, the thing that led them to the deep pit of polytheism.

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 Q: What is the meaning of extremism, and is it of different types?

          A: Extremism is exceeding the permissible limit by going beyond what Allah has commanded. Extremism is doing obligatory or permissible acts of worship excessively. Moreover, it involves leaving things deeming it to be an act of worship.

          One type of destructive extremism is extremism with regard to the Prophets and righteous people by giving them a status which is above their status, giving them above what they deserve in terms of love and respect, attributing qualities of divinity to them, or dedicating a form of worship to them, and being excessive in praising them, which leads to elevating them to the status of the deity.

          Part of extremism is worshiping Allah by permanently abstaining from permissible things which Allah, the Exalted, created for the benefit of people, like food and drink, and what people need like sleep and marriage.

          Extremism also involves adjudging Muslim believers to be disbelievers and what results from that, like dissociating themselves from them, forsaking them, fighting them, considering their honor, properties, and blood violable for them.

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 Q: Mention some of the shariah texts which warn against extremism.

        A: There are many proofs in Allah's Book and the Sunnah that prohibit extremism and warn against it, as in Allah's statement, {...and I am not of the pretentious.} [Saad: 86] Allah, the Exalted, prohibited the children of Israel from extremism in the religion. Allah, the Exalted, said, {...do not exceed the limits in your religion...} [An-Nisaa’: 171] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Avoid extremism, for indeed those who came before you were destroyed by extremism.” [Ahmad] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The extremists perished, the extremists perished, the extremists perished.” [Muslim]

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 Q: Is it permissible to circumambulate a place other than the Ka‘bah?

          A: It is not permissible to circumambulate any place other than the Ka‘bah because Allah, the Exalted, made it exclusive to the Ka‘bah, saying, {And circumambulate the ancient House.} [Al-Hajj: 29]. He did not permit us to circumambulate any other place. This is because circumambulation is an act of worship, and Allah warned us against inventing any act of worship. No act of worship should be performed except with an authentic proof from Allah's Book and the Sunnah. Inventing an act of worship without proof from the shariah is opposing Allah, and dedicating worship to other than Allah is polytheism which invalidates deeds and takes one out of the fold of Islam into disbelief, and we seek Allah's protection from that.

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 Q: Is it permissible to make a special journey to any place, out of glorification, other than the three mosques: the Grand Mosque of Mecca, the Prophetic Mosque in Madinah, and the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem?

          A: It is not permissible to set out on a special journey to any place, out of glorification and belief in its virtue, other than the three mosques, because the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not undertake a journey to visit any mosque but three: the Sacred Mosque (of Mecca), this Mosque of mine, and the Aqsa Mosque.” [Muslim]

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 Q: Are the following Hadiths authentic, or they are lies attributed to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him?

·   “If things become difficult for you, you should visit graves.”

·   “Whoever performs pilgrimage and does not visit me has forsaken me.”

·   “Whoever visits me and visits my father Ibrahim in the same year, I guarantee Paradise for him.”

·   “Whoever visits me after my death, it will be as if he had visited me when I was alive.”

·   “Whoever believes in something, it will benefit him.

·   “Make tawassul by my honor, for indeed my honor is great in the sight of Allah.”

·   “My servant, obey Me, and I will cause you to be among those who say to a thing: 'Be,' and it is.”

·   “Indeed, Allah created the creation from the light of His Prophet Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.”

          A: All these Hadiths are lies attributed to the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. They are circulated by the heretic innovators and grave worshippers. Only Allah is the One who says to a thing, “Be”, and it is. He has no partner; none is equivalent to Him, and none is similar to Him. Glorified and Exalted be He. No one can do that, and none in the creation has the capability to do so, even if they are Prophets or righteous believers. Allah, the Exalted, said, {His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.} [Yaa Seen: 82] He also said, {...Verily, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.} [Al-A‘raaf: 54] In this verse, Allah gave precedence to words which should be mentioned later to indicate limitation, which is the limitation of creating and management of affairs to Allah alone, Who has no partners.

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 Q: Is it permissible to bury the dead in mosques and to build mosques on graves?

          A: This is severely prohibited, a serious religious innovation, and one of the major ways which lead to polytheism. ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported, “During the last sickness of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, which he did not recover from, he said, ‘May Allah curse the Jews and Christians, they have turned the graves of their Prophets into mosques.’” ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Prophet was warning against what they did.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

          Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported, “Five days before his death, the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Indeed, those who preceded you used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, so you should not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that.’” [Muslim]

          It is not permissible to pray in mosques which are built on graves. Therefore, if a mosque is built upon a grave, it should be destroyed. However, if a mosque is built on a place which is not a grave and afterwards someone is buried therein, the mosque should not be destroyed, instead the grave should be opened, and the buried person should be transferred from the mosque to the public graveyard.

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 Q: What is the ruling on erecting structures over graves?

          A: Erecting structures over graves is a reprehensible religious innovation because it involves extremism in revering the buried person in that grave, and it is a means to polytheism. Hence, the structures which are erected over graves should be removed as a method of doing away with this innovation and blocking the means to polytheism. Muslim narrated in his Sahih on the authority of Abu al-Hayyaaj ibn Husayn that he reported, “Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said to me, ‘I will send you as I was sent by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. He said, ‘Do not leave an image without obliterating it or a raised grave without leveling it.’”

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 Q: Was the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, originally buried in the mosque?

          A: He was buried in ‘A’ishah's room, may Allah be pleased with her, and his grave was outside the mosque for eighty years. However, one of the Umayyad caliphs extended the Prophet's mosque and incorporated ‘A’ishah's room into it. The caliph did not heed the advice of the scholars of his time, who prohibited and warned against making the room part of the mosque. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, warned against building mosques over graves. He said, “Those who preceded you used to take the graves of their Prophets and righteous men as places of worship, so you should not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that.” [Muslim]

          The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, cursed those who take graves as mosques and put lamps on them, as reported in the Hadith which was transmitted by the authors of the sunan (collections of Hadith). However, what the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, feared for his ummah has occurred, and what he warned against has happened because of the prevalence of ignorance and falsifications of the superstitious and deviant religious leaders. Hence, people now seek closeness to Allah through means which oppose Him and contradict His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings upon him, like making and erecting graves in mosques, putting curtains on them, lighting the graves, circumambulating them, and putting boxes for vows on them. Thus, acts of polytheism and misguidance have become widespread in the name of loving the righteous people, revering them, and turning to Allah through them so that he may answer the supplication of the supplicants.

          All this is part of the legacy of the lost people of the past. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Indeed, you will follow the ways of those who came before you step by step, such that if they entered the mastigure's hole, you would also enter it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

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 Q: Is the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, alive in his grave, and does he go to some people during the celebration of his birthday in what is known as al-Hadrah (the presence), as believed by some people?

          A: The Four Imams, rather the whole ummah, have reached a consensus that the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, did not bury Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, until his soul had left his body, because it would have been illogical for them to bury him while he was still alive. Moreover, they appointed his successor, who led the people after him. Furthermore, his daughter Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, sought her inheritance from his estate. It has not been reported from the Companions, the Taabi’is (the followers of the Companions), or the scholars who followed them from the four Imams, that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, came to the people after his death and burial. Therefore, whoever claims that the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, comes out of his grave and goes to people is a charlatan and liar who has been manipulated by the devils, and he is fabricating falsehoods against Allah and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. How is that possible when Allah, the Exalted, said, {Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to disbelief]?...} [Aal ‘Imraan: 144] He also said, {Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die.} [Az-Zumar: 30] Therefore, Allah, the Exalted, linked the information about the death of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, with the death of the people so that it may be clear that his death was real, and it was a transfer from this abode to the abode of the barzakh (period between a person's death and his resurrection on the Day of Resurrection), from where people will depart only when they are going to the plains for reckoning and reward after resurrection and getting out of graves.

          An appropriate refutation of the ignorant charlatans who believe that the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, comes out of his grave is what was stated by Imam Al-Qurtubi al-Maliki (d. 656 H). He wrote in his book Al-Mufhim about the superstitious belief that the Prophet, may Allah' s peace and blessings be upon him, comes out of his grave. Then he said:

The invalidity of this proof is known by basic intellect, and this necessitates that the Prophet can only be seen in the form that he died in and that two people cannot see him at the same time in two different places. Moreover, this would mean that the Prophet is alive now, that he moves about in the markets and addresses people, and that they address him. This also necessitates that his body leaves his grave, and nothing will remain in his grave. This means that only the grave will be visited and that the greeting of peace is thus made to a person who is absent. This is because if that had been the case, it would have been possible for the Prophet to be seen in his real form outside his grave during the consecutive hours of the day and the night. These types of ignorance cannot be adhered to by a person with the least degree of intellect.

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 Q: What is bid‘ah (religious innovation)? What are the types of bid‘ah? What is the ruling of each type? Is there a good bid‘ah in Islam?

          A: Bid‘ah is what a person worships Allah without a proof from the shariah. There are two types of bid‘ah: bid‘ah which takes one out of the fold of Islam, like those who circumambulate the graves seeking nearness to the buried ones, and a bid‘ah which makes the person who engages in it sinful but does not take him out of the fold of Islam, like someone who celebrates the birthday of the Prophet or a righteous believer in a way that does not involve polytheism and disbelief. There is no good Bid‘ah in Islam, as evidenced by the statement of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, when he said, “Beware of newly invented matters (in the religion), for verily every newly invented matter (in the religion) is a Bid‘ah, and every Bid‘ah is misguidance.” Another narration adds, “And every misguidance will be in Hellfire." [Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i]

         The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, did not make any exception for Bid‘ah. bid‘ahs are prohibited, and those who engage in them are not rewarded, because they are an attempt to proffer an opinion against the Lawgiver and an addition into the religion after its completion and perfection. Bid‘ahs are rejected, as clear from the statement of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, “He who does something contrary to our way (i.e. Islam) will have it rejected.” [Muslim] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, also said, “He who innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Islam) which is not of it will have it rejected (by Allah).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

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 Q: What do you understand from the statement of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, "Whoever introduces a good Sunnah (a practice that is followed) will receive its reward and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it?"

          A: The statement, "Whoever introduces a good Sunnah” means an action that Islam has already brought but people forgot it or people are ignorant about. The one who does that will get a reward equivalent to that of those who follow him. The occasion of this Hadith was the Prophet's calling people to give charity to the poor who were begging.

          Moreover, the person who said, “Whoever introduces a good Sunnah” is the same person who said, “Every Bid‘ah is misguidance.” The source of a shariah-approved practice to be followed is Allah's book and the Sunnah of the Prophet, whereas a Bid‘ah neither has a proof from Allah's Book nor from the Sunnah. Rather, it is a mere istihsaan (preference for particular judgments in Islamic law over other possibilities) by people from the latter days.

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 Q: What do you understand from the statement of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, regarding the taraaweeh prayer (voluntary night prayer performed in congregation during Ramadan): "What a good Bid‘ah!" and the introduction of the second azan on Friday during the era of ‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him?

         A: Indeed, the statement of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, “What a good Bid‘ah!” refers to the linguistic meaning of the word, not its meaning in the shariah. This is because ‘Umar did not say these words except with regard to the taraaweeh prayer, which was made a Sunnah by the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. So his action was in line with that of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. Therefore, a revival of the action of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, is not a religious innovation. Rather, it is a renewal and reminder to people about what was left and forgotten, and it is a call to a shariah-approved practice which the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, called to and did.

          As for ‘Uthmaan's action; he was one of those whom the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, instructed us to follow in his ways along with the rest of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs when he said, “Adhere to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs.” This does not apply to people who are not from the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, because the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, restricted the Sunnah to himself and those four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and he did not mention other than them. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, severely warned against bid‘ahs and newly invented matters in the religion.

          An example of that is that Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, told those who were practicing a Bid‘ah when they were remembering Allah collectively in a certain newly-invented way while they were hoping for reward, “You have either surpassed Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and his Companions in knowledge, or you have unjustly engaged in Bid‘ah."

          When these people said to him, “We wanted goodness,” he replied, “Not everyone who wants goodness attains it.” [Sunan Ad-Daarimi]

          When ibn Mas‘ood sat with his companions in gatherings, he would frequently say, “Follow, and do not invent.” Moreover, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Every Bid‘ah is misguidance, even if people consider it to be good.”

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 Q: Is the celebration of the Prophet's birthday a Sunnah or a Bid‘ah?

         A: Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet is not legislated in Allah's Book or the Sunnah. Therefore, it is not supported by evidence from the shariah. It has neither been confirmed by any of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, nor any of the Four Imams was of the view that it is permissible. If it had been something good and an act of obedience, the pious predecessors would have preceded us in doing it.

        The people who celebrate the Prophet's birthday say that they do so to show love for him. However, love for Allah's Messenger is an individual obligation for every Muslim, and a Muslim's faith is not valid unless he loves the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. Love for the Prophet is expressed through obeying him, and not by celebrating his birthday.

          The first people to engage in this bid‘ah were the ‘Ubaydis, who were from the Baatiniyyah (esoteric) Sect. They were heretics who were called the Fatimids. They established this four centuries after the death of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. The people who celebrate the Prophet's birthday do that on Monday, which is the day of the Prophet's death.

          The truth is that celebrating the birthday of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, merely constitutes imitation of the Christians in their celebration of Jesus' birthday, peace be upon him. Allah, the Exalted, has granted us sufficiency apart from the bid‘ahs and religious inventions of the lost nations by giving us a complete, clear, pristine, and pure shariah, and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

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 Q: What is the ruling on learning magic or practicing it?

          A: It is not permissible to learn or teach magic. Practicing it is disbelief, because Allah, the Exalted, said, {And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, ‘We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].’ And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by the permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them while they knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have any share in the Hereafter...} [Al-Baqarah: 102]

          He also said, {...they believe in Al-Jibt (superstition) and At-Taaghoot (false objects of worship)...} [An-Nisaa’: 51]

         The word “Al-Jibt” is interpreted to mean magic. In the verse, Allah linked magic to “At-Taaghoot” (false deities). As believing in false deities is an act of disbelief, likewise, practicing magic is an act of disbelief. Therefore, one of the requirements of disbelieving in false deities is believing in the invalidity of magic, that it is an evil science which corrupts the worldly life and the Hereafter, which must be avoided, and we should dissociate ourselves from it and its people.

1-   Allah, the Exalted, said, “And from the evil of the blowers in the knots.} [Al-Falaq: 4]

2-   The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Avoid seven major and destructive sins,” and he mentioned magic among them.

3-   Another Hadith states, “Whoever ties a knot and blows in it has practiced magic; and whoever practices magic has committed Shirk (polytheism).” [An-Nasaa’i]

4-   The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, also said, “He is not one of us who practices augury [seeking omens in birds] or has it done for him; or who practices divination or has it done for him; or who practices witchcraft or has it done for him.” [Al-Bazzaar]

5-   The punishment of a magician is execution. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, wrote to his governors, “Kill every male and female magician.” [Al-Bukhari]

6-   Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, reported, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘The punishment of the magician is a strike of the sword.’” [At-Tirmidhi]

7-   Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, killed her slave who had bewitched her.

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 Q: Is what sorcerers do in the form of stabbing themselves and eating hard objects magic and sorcery, or is it a karaamah (supernatural ability/miracle)?

          A: What is done by the sorcerers from what has been mentioned is being done by the help and cooperation of the devils. Some of that involves sleight of hand and visual tricks that make people see what is not real, as the magicians did with Musa (Moses), peace be upon him, and the people who witnessed the incident, which was mentioned by Allah in the Qur’an. It appeared to Musa that the magicians' ropes were moving. However, in reality, these ropes were not moving. Allah, the Exalted, said, {...and suddenly their ropes and staffs seemed to him from their magic that they were moving [like snakes].} [Taa Haa: 66]

          If Aayat-ul-Kursi (Al-Baqarah: 255); the surahs of Al-Falaq, An-Naas, and Al-Faatihah; the last verses of Al-Baqarah; and other verses are recited to the magicians and sorcerers, their magic will be invalidated by Allah's leave, their falsehood and their fabrications will be exposed, and their lies will be exposed to people.

          Karaamah (miracle) is only granted to the righteous people who worship Allah alone and do not engage in religious innovations and superstitions. Karaamah is bringing goodness to a believer or averting evil from him. This does not mean that a particular believer is better than other believers. Karaamah should be hidden and not publicized. It should not be used as a means of earning a livelihood and cheating people.

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 Q: What is the ruling on going to a magician for treatment?

          A: It is not permissible to go to a male or female magician to ask and receive treatment from them because the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, prohibited that. The proof of its prohibition is when the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, was asked about seeking treatment for magic through magic, he said, “That is from the actions of the devil.” [Abu Dawood] It is not permissible to engage in any action of the devils, nor to benefit from it, and no goodness is expected from it.

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 Q: How to protect from magic before it occurs, and how can it be cured after it has occurred?

          A: Through adhering to supplicating Allah in the morning and in the evening, especially by saying, “Bismillah-il-ladhi laa yadurru ma‘a Ismihi shay’un fil-ardi wa laa fis-samaa’ wa huwa as-samee' al-‘aleem. (In the name of Allah, with whose name there is protection against every kind of harm in the earth or in the heaven, and He is the All-Hearing and the All-Knowing.)" three times in the morning and in the evening; and saying, “A‘oodhu bi kalimaatillahi at-taammaati min sharri maa khalaq. (I see protection in Allah's perfect words from the evil of whatever He has created.);” and seeking protection for the wife and the children by saying, “ﷻ‬‘eedhukum bi kalimaatillahi at-taammaati min kulli shaytaanin wa haammah wa min kulli ‘aynin laammah. (I seek refuge for you in Allah’s perfect words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.) as stated in the Hadith; as well as reciting Surat al-Ikhlaas, Surat al-Falaq, and Surat an-Naas three times in the morning and the evening; in addition to reciting Ayat al-Kursi and the two last verses from Surat al-Baqarah at night and eating seven dates in the morning.

          After the occurrence of magic, it is treated by reciting verses of the Qur’an directly upon the enchanted person, reciting the supplications which were reported in the Prophetic Sunnah, cupping, and destroying the things that were used in making the magic if discovered. If that is done, the magic will be invalidated and the bewitched person will be cured by the leave of Allah, the Exalted.

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 Q: Is it permissible to go to soothsayers, diviners, magicians, readers of cups and palms, and those who claim to know the future through astrology and knowledge of the horoscopes?

          A: Going to them, asking them, and listening to their lies are prohibited except for a capable scholar who wants to expose their lies, reveal their imposture, and disclose their false tales. It is obligatory to warn against everyone who claims to know the unseen and to warn against their trickery and deception of the simple-minded people. Disappointment is the reward of those who listen to their lies, vain talk, and guesses. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever goes to a soothsayer or diviner and believes in what he says has disbelieved in what has been revealed to Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.” [As-Sunan] The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, also said. “Whoever goes to a soothsayer and asks him about anything, his prayers will not be accepted for forty nights.” [Muslim]

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 Q: What do you say about the Hadith which states: “Learn the magic, but do not practice it.”?

          A: This Hadith is false and fabricated against the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. How can the Prophet prohibit magic and at the same time call people to learn it?

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 Q: Who are the best people after the prophets?

          A: The Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them. This was due to the fact that our Prophet Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, was the best of all Prophets.

        Therefore, his Companions were the best among the prophets' companions. The best of the Companions was Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The sun has not risen nor set over a person after the prophets and the messengers who is better than Abu Bakr.” After Abu Bakr comes ‘Umar, then ‘Uthmaan, then ‘Ali, and then the rest of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of entering Paradise.

           The Companions loved each other. Therefore, ‘Ali named his children after the caliphs who came before him. Thus, some of his children were called Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan. Those who say, “The Companions did not love the believers from the family of the Prophet, and the family of the Prophet did not love the Companions,” have lied. This is a fabrication by the enemies of the family of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

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 Q: What is our duty towards the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them? What is the ruling on reviling one of them?

          A: It is obligatory to love them, respect them, revere them, and ask Allah to be pleased with them all, and none of them is an exception. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhaajireen (the Immigrants) and the Ansaar (the Helpers) and those who followed them with good conduct - Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.} [At-Tawbah: 100] He also said, {Certainly, Allah was pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you [O Muhammad] under the tree...} [Al-Fat'h: 18] Allah, the Exalted, also said, {...But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]...} [Al-Hadeed: 10]

          It is incumbent to love the mothers of the believers and to respect them. It is prohibited to revile them because that is a major sin. Allah, the Exalted, said, {...and his wives are their [the believers'] mothers [as regards respect and marriage].} [Al-Ahzaab: 6]

          All the wives of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, are the mothers of the believers, because Allah did not exclude any of them. Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not revile my Companions; for if one of you contributed an amount of gold equivalent to (Mount) Uhud, it would not amount to as much as the mudd (0.75 L) of one of them, nor half of it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

       This high status that the Companions are granted is not surprising. They expended themselves and their properties to support Allah's religion. They fought their relatives as well as others who opposed the da’wah (call to Islam) of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. They emigrated leaving behind their families and countries for the sake of Allah. They are the reason for all the goodness and virtue which happen in the ummah until the Day of Judgment. The Companions have rewards equivalent to those of all the believers who came after them until Allah inherits the earth and those who are on it. There was no one like them in the previous nations, and there will be no one like them after them, may Allah be pleased with them, and may He make them pleased. Woe to the one who hates them, reviles them, criticizes them, or disparages any of them.

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 Q: What is the punishment for someone who reviles any of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, or reviles any of the mothers of the believers?

          A: His punishment is to be cursed and expulsion from Allah's mercy. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever reviles my Companions, upon him will be the curse of Allah, the angels, and the curse of all the people.” [At-Tabaraani]

         Thus, it is obligatory to severely censure the one who reviles any Companion or mother of the believers, may Allah be pleased with all of them. The ruler and the concerned bodies must seriously discipline and punish the one who does that.

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 Q: Is it permissible to have a view of Unity of Religions?

          A: This statement or belief is not permissible. This is one of the greatest forms of disbelief, and it is belying Allah and rejecting His ruling. Moreover, it considers disbelief, imaan, truth, and falsehood equal. How can a sane person doubt the invalidity of equating and combining Allah's religion and the religion of false gods? How can monotheism be combined with polytheism, and the truth be combined with falsehood? Islam is the truth, and other religions are falsehood.

          Allah completed His religion and perfected His favor. Allah, the Exalted, said, {...This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion...} [Al-Maa’idah: 3}

          Therefore, it is not permissible to remove anything from Islam, add to it, consider it equal to other religions of disbelief and false gods, or unite it with them. No sane Muslim believes that this is permissible. He who possess an atom of intellect and imaan will not strive for this. Allah, the Exalted, said, {And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.} [Aal ‘Imraan: 85]

         The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, “By the One in whose Hand the life of Muhammad is, none from amongst the Jews and the Christians who hears about me then dies without believing in what I have been sent with except that he shall be from the denizens of Hellfire.” [Muslim]

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 Q: What is the fruit of belief in Allah and His Oneness, and of being steadfast upon the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him?

          A: Imaan ensures the realization of all goodness in this world and in the Hereafter for an individual and the community as it opens up blessings from the heavens and the earth. Allah the Exalted said, {And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the Messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.} [Al-A‘raaf: 96]

         Likewise, the fulfillment of imaan (faith) leads to tranquility, peace of mind, and happiness. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Verily, by the remembrance of Allah hearts find rest.} [Ar-Ra‘d: 28]

          A believer who worships Allah alone and truly follows the Sunnah of His Prophet lives a good life. He will enjoy a peaceful mind and a serene heart. He will not be discontented and worried, and the devils will not control him by evil insinuations, intimidation, and sadness. He will not despair, nor will he be wretched in this life, as he will be happy in the gardens of delight in the Hereafter. Allah, the Exalted, said, {Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.} [An-Nahl: 97]

          Therefore, my Muslim brother and sister, strive to be among those who will attain these glad tidings, and be part of those who will get this divine, and generous promise.

  

 Conclusion

My dear brother and sister,

          All praise is due to Allah, who completed the religion for us; perfected His favor on us; guided us to the religion of Islam, the religion of the truth and monotheism; and happiness in this world and the Hereafter.

          My dear, it is important to strive to acquire religious knowledge, which is derived from Allah's Book and Sunnah of the Prophet, based on the understanding of the people whom Allah was pleased with and who were pleased with Him, so that we may be among those who worship Allah with understanding. We will then be safe from falling into doubts and misguiding temptations. Everyone is commanded to acquire knowledge, even if he has a high status.

          Your Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, was commanded by His Lord to equip himself with knowledge. Allah, the Exalted, said, {So know [O Muhammad] that there is no deity except Allah...} [Muhammad: 19]

          Allah guided the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, to ask for additional knowledge. Allah, the Exalted, said, {...and say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge.} [Taa Haa: 114]

          Therefore, O you who have been granted success, follow the guidance of your Prophet and leader, Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. Receive the glad tidings of goodness and elevation in both worlds. Allah, the Exalted, said, {...Allah will raise in ranks those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge...} [Al-Mujaadilah: 11]

      After learning, be among those who act according to what they have learned. Be diligent in spreading goodness and knowledge so that you will be among the righteous reformers and may attain the reward of calling people to goodness, and by doing so, you will also get a reward similar to that of those who positively respond to your call. After the obligatory acts of worship, nothing is better than spreading knowledge and calling to goodness.

          How great the effect of the callers to the truth upon the people is! By Allah's permission, they save people who have drowned in the darkness of ignorance, misguidance, and superstitions. They lead them to the path of peace, light, guidance, and Paradise. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.