Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lesson 12
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
The Third Treatise :
Al-Haneefiyyah (The Straight and True Religion), the Religious Way Followed by Ibraaheem
The Definition of Al-Haneefiyyah
Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:
إنَّ الحنيفيةَ: مِلَّةُ إبراهيمَ
That Al-Haneefiyyah (The straight and true religion) the religious way followed by Ibraaheem13
: Shaykh Fawzan’s Explanation
His saying, “That Al-Haneefiyyah the religious way followed by Ibraaheem”: meaning that which is obligatory that you should know and be aware of is that Al-Haneefiyyah is the religious way of Ibraaheem, and Al-Hanf in the language means inclination.
So the meaning of Al-Haneefiyyah is the religious way which turns away from shirk towards tawheed. And Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam was a Haneef, a Muslim. Haneef meaning one who inclined away from shirk and turned away from it towards tawheed and making his religion purely and sincerely for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. He the Most High said:
إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِّلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Ibraaheem was an Ummah (a teacher of good, and a leader followed upon guidance), obedient to Allaah, Haneef (upright upon the true religion of Islaam), and he was not from those who associate others with Allaah [16:120]
So al-Haneef was one of the attributes of Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaam with the meaning that he turned away from shirk and inclined away from it totally in favour of tawheed, turning totally towards tawheed and making worship purely for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. Allaah the Most High said:
ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا
Then we revealed to you that you should follow the religious way of Ibraaheem the Haneef (the one who was upon the true religion, tawheed turning away from shirk). [16:123]
And He the One free of all imperfections said:
مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلَا نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَٰكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Ibraaheem was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but rather he was a Haneef, a Muslim, and he was not from those who associated others with Allaah [3:67]
These are the tremendous characteristics of Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaam, from them is that he was Haneef, and that his religious way is Haneefiyyah, and it is the religion which is purely and sincerely for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic which has no shirk in it. And Allaah commanded His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam that he should follow this religious way by His saying:
ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Then We revealed to you that you should follow the religious way of Ibraaheem who was Haneef, and he was not from those who associated others with Allaah. [16:123]
And we have been commanded likewise that we should follow the religious way of Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaam. He the Most High said:
هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ ۚ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
He has chosen you for His religion, and He has not placed any unbearable difficulty upon you in the religion. So follow the religious way of your forefather Ibraaheem. Allaah it is who has named you the Muslims [22:78]
And it was the religion of all of the Messengers.
However because of the fact that Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam is the most excellent one of the Prophets after our Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam because he encountered in the path of calling to tawheed such torment and trials as were not encountered by anyone else, and he had patience upon that. And because he was the father of the Prophets, because the Prophets who came after him, all of them were descendants of his ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam. So therefore Al-Haneefiyyah was the religious way of all of the Prophets and it is the call to tawheed and the prohibition of shirk this was the religious way of all of the Messengers. However because Ibraaheem took notable stances for this religious way, it was ascribed to him and for those who came after him. And the Prophets all of them after him, they were upon the religious way of Ibraaheem, and it is the religion of tawheed and ikhlaas making the religion purely and sincerely for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.
What is this religious way which our Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was commanded to follow, and which we have been ordered to follow? It is obligatory upon us that we should be aware of it, because the Muslim, it is obligatory that he should be aware of whatever Allaah has made obligatory upon him, so that he can comply with it, and in order that he will not violate it. It is not sufficient to merely ascribe oneself to it without awareness, it is not sufficient to ascribe oneself to Islaam when he does not know what it is, and he does not know what are those things which nullify Islaam, and what are the religious duties of Islaam and the rulings of Islaam, and it is not sufficient to merely ascribe yourself to the religious way of Ibraaheem and you do not know what it is, and if you are asked about it you say, “I don’t know”. This is not permissible, it is obligatory that you are well aware of it so that you can proceed upon it upon clear insight and so that you do not violate anything from it.
Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:
أنْ تعبدَ اللهَ وحدَهُ مخلصًا له الدِّين
Is that you worship Allaah alone, making the religion purely and sincerely for Him14
: Shaykh Fawzan’s Explanation
His saying, “Is that you worship Allaah alone, making the religion purely and sincerely for Him”: this is the religious way of Ibraaheem, that you worship Allaah making the religion purely and sincerely for Him. That you combine two matters: worship and making the worship purely for Allaah. So whoever worships Allaah but does not make the whole of religion purely for Him, then his worship will be nothing at all. So whoever worships Allaah and fasts and performs the Hajj (pilgrimage) and prays and performs ‘Umrah, and gives in voluntary charity and pays the Zakaat and does a great number of acts of obedience, however he does not do so making it purely and sincerely for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, either because he does that for show or for repute, or because he mixed his deeds with something from shirk, such as calling upon other that Allaah, and calling for aid upon other than Allaah, and slaughtering for other than Allaah, then this person will not be mukhlis one who is acting purely and sincerely for Allaah in his worship, rather he will be a mushrik, and he will not be upon the religious way of Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam.
Many of those who ascribe themselves to Islaam today fall into major shirk, into calling upon other than Allaah and worshipping the graves and the tombs and sacrificing for them and performing vows for them and making tawaaf around them and seeking blessing from them and calling for aid to the dead and other than that, and they say that they are Muslims. Those people do not know the religious way of Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam which their Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was upon, they do not know of it or they know of it but then contradict it knowingly, and Allaah’s refuge is sought, and this is even worse.
So the religious way of Ibraheem does not accept shirk in any form and whoever mixes his actions with shirk then he is not upon the religious way of Ibraaheem, even if he ascribes himself to it and claims that he is a Muslim. So what is obligatory is that you should have awareness of the religious way of Ibraaheem and that you act upon it and that you adhere to it by worshipping Allaah making the whole of the religion purely and sincerely for Him, that there is not in your worship anything from lesser shirk or greater shirk.
This is the religious way of Ibraaheem ‘alaihissalaam: Al-Haneefiyyah, which turns away from shirk totally and turns to tawheed totally, that you worship Allaah making the religion purely and sincerely for Him.
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
Listen to the Full Audio Series:
Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank