The Foundation of Al-Haneefiyyah, The Religion of Ibraaheem

Bismillaah

[Text from Imam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s “Four Rules Regarding Shirk”]

Know, may Allaah grant you the ability to obey Him, that the Haneefiyyah, the religion of Ibraaheem is that you worship Allaah alone, making the Religion sincere for only Him, as Allaah says:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

“And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”
[Surah Adh-Dhaariyaat: 56]

So when you come to realize that Allaah created you in order to worship Him, then know that worship is not called worship unless it is accompanied by Tawheed, just as prayer is not called that unless it is accompanied by (ritual) purity. So if Shirk (mixing partners) enters into one’s worship, it ruins it, just like impurity when it enters into the (ritual) purity.

So when you come to realize that Shirk – when mixed into one’s worship – spoils it, invalidates one’s actions, and makes the person who possesses it into one who will reside eternally in the Hellfire, you will know that the most important thing that is binding upon you is to gain knowledge of that, so that perhaps Allaah may absolve you from this trap, which is ascribing partners to Allaah (i.e. Shirk) about which Allaah said:

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

“Verily, Allaah does not forgive that partners be ascribed to Him in worship, but He forgives what is less than that to whom He wills.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 116]

This can be achieved by knowing Four Rules that Allaah has mentioned in His Book.

[Explanation]

Language:

Al-Haneefiyyah comes from Haneef, which is someone that turns away from Shirk while being firmly established upon Tawheed; ahbata (invalidates) nullifies; maa doona dhaalik (what is less than that) i.e. what is less than Shirk such as sins and so on.

Explanation:

The Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy on him, began by clarifying the foundation of AlHaneefiyyah, which is the upright religion of Ibraaheem. Its basis is found in what Allaah has stated, calling the people to follow Ibraaheem:

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ وَاتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا

“And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (i.e. himself) to Allaah, while being a good-doer, and follows the Religion of Ibraaheem as a Haneef (i.e. rejecting Shirk and affirming Tawheed)?” [Surah An-Nisaa: 125]

And Allaah says:

قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا مِّلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۚ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Truly my Lord has guided me to a Straight Path, and upright religion, the religion of Ibraaheem – Haneef – and he (i.e. Ibraaheem) was not from the polytheists.’” [Surah Al-An’aam: 161]

So its foundation is: Singling Allaah out in the worship and sincerity that is due to Him, as Allaah says:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

“And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”
[Surah AdhDhaariyaat: 56]

So Allaah did not create mankind except for them to worship Him. And it is not truthful to call worship by this name unless Tawheed accompanies it, since one of the conditions for its validity is that it (i.e. worship) must be done sincerely for Him alone. Similarly, it is not truthful to call prayer by this name unless (ritual) purity accompanies it, since it is a condition for its existence.

And if this is not so, then if a condition is absent this means that the thing that requires this condition will also be absent. Shirk entering and mixing into worship spoils and nullifies it, just as an impure occurrence (hadath) causes the (ritual) purity to be spoiled and nullified.

So when it becomes clear that Shirk spoils the worship once it mixes into it, causing its reward to be lost and it to return rejected to the one that performed it, as well as canceling out his deeds, as Allaah says:

وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

“Had you committed Shirk, we would have surely cancelled out your deeds and you would have indeed been one of the losers” [Surah Az-Zumar: 65]

and that the one who falls into this Shirk by committing it deserves eternity in the Hellfire, as Allaah says in His Book:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ

“And those who disbelieve and reject Our signs (i.e. verses), they are the inhabitants of the Hellfire, wherein they will reside forever – what an evil destination” [Surah At-Taghaabun: 10]

then at this point it will become clear that the most important thing that is obligated on the servant is that he know how to single Allaah out solely for worship and how to avoid Shirk.

By this, perhaps he may be set free from this satanic trap, which the Devil has set up in order to mislead the people away from their Lord and into committing Shirk with Allaah. This is the sin that Allaah does not forgive, as He says:

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

“Verily, Allaah does not forgive that partners be ascribed to Him in worship (i.e. Shirk), but He forgives what is less than that to whom He wills.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 116]

And this cannot be accomplished unless one knows the following four rules, which Allaah has mentioned in His Book.

Summary:

1. The foundation of the Religion of Ibraaheem is to make one’s worship sincerely for Allaah alone and not mix partners into His worship.

2. Shirk spoils one’s worship and causes a person’s good deeds to be invalidated. And the person that commits it will reside eternally in the Hellfire.

3. The most important thing that the servant (of Allaah) is obligated to learn is knowledge of Tawheed so that he may act on it, and knowledge of Shirk so that he may avoid it.

Examination:

1. What is the foundation of the Religion of Ibraaheem and what is the proof for it?

2. Explain the effect that Shirk has on worship and what it resembles. Give an example for it?

3. What is the most important thing the servant (of Allaah) is obligated to learn and know?

Extracted from: An Explanation of Shaykhul-Islaam Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s Four Rules Regarding Shirk, Al-Ibaanah book publishing [e-Book]

Related Links:

Book Study: Four Rules Regarding Shirk – Shaykh Muhammad bin AbdulWahhab

Tawheed & Shirk : https://abdurrahman.org/tawheed