Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lesson 03 – Part A
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:
وَهُوَ مَعْرِفَةُ اللهِ ، وَمَعْرِفَةُ نَبِيِّهِ
And it is knowledge and awareness of Allaah and knowledge of His Prophet5
His saying, “And it is knowledge and awareness of Allaah”: How does the servant come to have knowledge and awareness of his Lord? He knows of Him through His Signs and His created things, so from His Signs are the night and the day, and from those things which He has created are the sun and the moon, as will be explained later on inshaa’ Allaah.
He knows of Allaah by means of His Aayaat-ul-Kawneeyah (Signs within the creation) and His Aayaat-ul-Qur’aaneeyah (The aayahs of His Qur’aan). If he recites the Qur’aan, then He knows that Allaah the Perfect and Most High – He is the One who created the heavens and the earth and that He is the One who made subservient whatever is within the heavens and the earth, and that He is the One who gives life and gives death, and that He has full Ability over everything, and that He is Ar-Rahmaan the Extremely Merciful One, and Ar-Raheem the One Who bestows mercy. So the Qur’aan provides knowledge and awareness of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and that He is the One Who bestowed all favours upon us, and that He is the One who created us and gives us provision, so if you recite the Qur’aan, then you will know your Lord, the Perfect and Most High, by way of His Names and His Attributes and His Actions.
And if you look into the creation, then you will know and be aware of your Lord, the Perfect and Most High – that He is the One Who created this creation, and who made this creation subservient, and Who caused it to proceed by His Wisdom and His Knowledge – He the Perfect and Most High; this is knowledge of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.
His saying, “And knowledge of His Prophet”: he is Muhammad sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, because he was the one who conveyed the message from Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, he is the intermediary between us and Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, with regard to conveying the message, so therefore it is essential that you know him, you know who he is, and you know his lineage, and you know his city, and you know that which he sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam came with. That you know how the revelation first came to him, and how he established the call to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, in Makkah and in Al-Madeenah. That you know the life history of the Messenger sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam even if it is in abridged form.
The Messenger sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, he is Muhammad the son of ‘Abdullaah, the son of ‘Abdul-Muttalib, the son of Haashim, the son of ‘Abd-Manaaf, all the way to the end of the noble Prophetic lineage, which goes all the way back to Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam. And you know how he lived before he was raised as a Prophet, and how the revelation came to him from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, and what did he ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam do after his being raised as a Prophet – you know that through study of his seerah (of his life), and it is not befitting for the Muslim that he should be ignorant of the Messenger sallallaahu ’alaihi wasallam. For how can you follow a person when you do not have knowledge of him? This cannot be comprehended.
وَمَعْرِفَةُ دِينِ الإِسْلامِ
And knowledge of the religion of Islaam6
His saying, “Knowledge of the religion of Islaam”: which is the religion of this Messenger sallallaahu ’alaihi wasallam. Indeed, it is the religion of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, which He commanded His servants with, and which He commanded you to follow, and you are required to follow it, so you must have knowledge and awareness of this religion. And Islaam is the religion of all of the Messengers. All of the Messengers, their religion was Islaam, with the general meaning. So everyone who followed a Messenger from the Messengers, then he is a Muslim, one who submits in Islaam to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, one who submitted to Him and one who singled Him out with all worship – this is Islaam with the general meaning, that it is the religion of all the Messengers. So Islaam is:
الاستسلام لله بالتوحيد والانقياد له بالطاعة والخلوص من الشرك وأهله
“To submit to Allaah with tawheed, and to comply to Him with obedience, and remaining free of shirk and its people”
As for Islaam with the specific meaning, then it is that which Allaah sent His Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu’alaihiwasallam with, since after the sending of the Messenger sallallaahu’alaihiwasallam then there is no religion except for his religion ‘alaihissalaatuwassalaam. And Islaam is confined to following him sallallaahu’alaihiwasallam, so it is not possible for a Jew to now say, “I am a Muslim”, or a Christian to say, “I am a Muslim”, after the sending of the Prophet sallallaahu’alaihiwasallam, if he does not follow him. So Islaam, after the sending of the Prophet, is following him sallallaahu’alaihiwasallam. He the Most High said:
Say: If you people truly love Allaah, then follow Me, then Allaah will love you [3:31]
This is Islaam with its general meaning and with its specific meaning.
With the proofs.7
His saying, “With the proofs”: not due to taqleed (blind following), but rather with the proofs from the Qur’aan and from the Sunnah – this is knowledge.
Ibn ul-Qayyim said in Al-Kaafiyat-ush-Shaafiyah:
Knowledge is Allaah said, His Prophet said,
The Companions said – they are the possessors of knowledge and awareness
Knowledge is not that you foolishly raise up a disagreement
Between the Messenger and the opinion of so-and-so.
This is what is knowledge, knowledge is the knowledge contained in the Book and the Sunnah. As for the sayings of the ’ulemaa (the scholars), then they only explain and clarify the speech of Allaah and the speech of the Messenger sallallaahu’alaihiwasallam, and some of them may contain a mistake, and the proofs are not the speech of the ’ulemaa, rather the proofs are the aayahs of the Qur’aan and the Prophetic ahadeeth. As for the speech of scholars, then it explains and clarifies that, except it is not a proof in itself.
This is the first matter, and it is the foundation, the Shaikh rahimahullaah began with it because it is the foundation, and one should begin with ‘aqeedah (creed and belief), and with the foundation in learning, and in teaching, and in calling to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. ‘Aqeedah should be begun with, because it is the fundamental basis, and it is the foundation.
Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank