Imaam al-Albani on Tawhid ul-Hakimiyyah
Source: Al-Muslimun no 639 (trans. Dawud Burbank)
Shaikh Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee was asked, "Our Shaikh, may Allaah bless you, the scholars of the Salaf, may Allaah have mercy upon them, mention that Tawheed is of three types: 'ar-Ruboobiyyah,' 'al-Uloohiyyah' and 'al-Asmaa was-Sifaat,' so is it correct for us to say that there is a fourth Tawheed that is 'Tawheedul-Haakimiyyah' or 'Tawheed of Judgement?' So he replied:
"'Al-Haakimiyyah' is a branch of the branches of Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah, and those who focus their attention upon this newly invented saying in the present age use it as a weapon not to teach the Muslims the Tawheed that all of the Prophets and Messengers came with, but rather as apolitical weapon. So if you wish I will establish for you what I have just said, even though this question has repeatedly been answered by me, many times - or if you wish we will continue upon our topic.
I have said in similar circumstances, as support for what I have just said, that usage of the word 'al-Haakimyyah' is part of the political da'wah that is particular to some of the parties present today; and I will mention here something that occurred between myself and someone who gave the khutbah in one of the mosques of Damascus. So on the day of Jumu'ah he gave a khutbah which was all about judgement/decree being for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. But this person made an error with regard to a matter of fiqh. So after he had finished the prayer I went forward to him and gave him 'salaam,' and said to him, 'O my brother, you did so and so, and that is contrary to the Sunnah.' So he said to me, 'I am a Hanafee, and the Hanafee madhhab says what I have done.' So I said, 'Subhaanallaah! You have given khutbah that judgement/decree is just for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, but you only use this word to attack those rulers whom you think are Unbelievers because they do not rule according to the Islamic Sharee'ah. But you have forgotten about yourselves - that Allaah's decree/judgement covers every Muslim. So why, when I say to you that the Messenger did so and so, why do you say, 'But my madhhab is such and such.' Then you have contradicted that which you call the people to.'
So if it were not for the fact that they use this saying as a tool for political propaganda of theirs, then we would say, 'This is our merchandise that has been returned to us.'
So the da'wah that we call the people to contains 'al-Haakimiyyah' and other than 'al-Haakimiyyah': Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah and Tawheed of worship - that which you concentrate upon enters within it. We are the ones who propagated what you mention whilst you are focusing upon 'al-Haakimiyyah,' the hadeeth of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan, that when the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa-sallam) recited this ayah to his noble Companions:
They (the Jews and the Christians) took the Rabbis and learned men as lords besides Allaah. Soorah at-Tawbah (9):31
then 'Adiyy ibn Haatim at-Taa'ee said, 'By Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah, we did not take them as lords besides Allaah.' So he said, 'When they made something lawful forbidden for you, had you not used to declare it forbidden; and when they made lawful something forbidden, had you not used to take it as being lawful?' He said, 'As for that, then it did used to happen.' He said, 'Then that is your taking them as lords besides Allaah.'
So we are the ones who propagated this hadeeth, and then it reached the others. Then they advanced one part of Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah or worship, with this innovated title for political aims.
So I do not see anything (wrong) in a terminology such as this if only they had not left it as mere propaganda without their acting as it requires. So it is, as I have just mentioned, a part of Tawheed of worship - but you will see them worshipping Allaah in whatever manner each of them feels like, and if it is said, as we have just mentioned in the incident of the man who gave the khutbah, 'that someone is acting contrary to the Sunnah,' or 'this is something contrary to the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa-sallam),' then he says, 'My madhhab is such and such.'
That judgement/decree is for Allaah alone is not just a proof against the Unbelievers and the mushriks, but also against anyone who transgresses against Allaah by contradicting what came from Allaah in His Book, and from His Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa-sallam) in his Sunnah. This is what I have as a reply to the likes of this question."
Taken from 'al-Muslimoon,' no. 639, 25th of Dhul-Hijjah 1417H which corresponds to Friday the 2nd of May 1997.