Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lesson 15 Part B
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
The Fourth Treatise: The Three Fundamental Principles Which it is Obligatory to Have Knowledge of.
The First Fundamental Principle: Knowledge and Awareness of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic
Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:
فَإِذَا قِيلَ لَكَ مَا هي الأُصُولُ الثلاثةُ التي تجبُ معرفتُها؟ فقُلْ معرِفةُ العبدِ رَبَّهُ، ودينَهُ، ونبيَّهُ محمدًا صلى الله عليه وسلم
So if it is said to you, “What are the three fundamental principles which must be known?”, then say, “The servant’s knowledge of his Lord, and his Religion, and his Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. 1
: Shaykh Fawzan’s Explanation:
His saying, “al-Usool (fundamental principles)”, this is the plural of asl which is that which something else is built upon. And the word far’ (branch or detail) is that which is built upon something else. Therefore these (matters) are called usool because other matters from the religion are built upon them. Therefore they are called usool because the matter of the religion is built upon them. And the whole of the religion pivots upon these three fundamentals.
His saying, معرِفةُ العبدِ رَبَّهُ “The servant’s knowledge of his Lord”: Rabbahu (his Lord) is in the accusative case because it is the object of ma’rifah (knowledge) because the verbal noun ma’rifah (knowledge) is attached to the active particle ‘abd (servant). And the verbal noun, if attached to something, acts in the manner of its verb according to the scholars of the Arabic grammar. So the verbal noun here is attached and acts in the manner of the verb.
His saying, “And his Religion and his Prophet”: This is joined – meaning: to the mansoob (accusative). These are the fundamentals of the religion in general, and their details will follow in the speech of the Shaykh rahimahullaah if Allaah wishes.
Why are these three fundamental principles specifically mentioned? Because they are the foundations of the religion of Islaam and because they are the matters about which the servant will be asked when he is placed in his grave. (This is) because the servant when he is placed in his grave and earth has been laid over him and the people have departed from him returning to their families, then two angels will come to him in the grave and his soul will be returned to his body and he will be given the life of the barzakh (transitional period between this life and the Hereafter); it is not a life like the life of this world. It is a life which Allaah knows best about. So they will make him sit up in his grave and they will say to him, “Who is your Lord and what is your religion and who is your prophet?”
So the believer will say, “My Lord is Allaah and my religion is Islaam and Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is my prophet.” So it will be said to him, “How did you know that?” So he will say, “I read the Book of Allaah so I understood it and I knew.” So then a caller will call out, “My servant has spoken the Truth.” So they will lay out for him a bed from Paradise and there will open for him a door to Paradise and his grave will be extended for him as far as the eye can see and the fragrance of Paradise and its gentle breeze will come upon him. So he will look to his living place in Paradise and he will say, “O my Lord, establish the Hour so that I can return to my family and my wealth.”
As for the doubter who lived upon misgivings and doubt and lack of certainty even if he claimed to be upon Islaam, if he had doubts and misgivings about the Religion of Allaah like the munaafiq (hypocrite) he will stutter. So when they say to him, “Who is your Lord?” He will say, “I don’t know.” And when they say, “What is your Religion?” He will say, “I don’t know.” And when it is said: “Who is your Prophet?” He will say, “I don’t know. Haah, haah, I don’t know, I heard the people saying something so I said it.
 Reported by al Bukhaaree in abridged from the hadeeth of Anas (1338) and Muslim (2870).
Meaning: that in the dunyaa (world) he would just say whatever the people said, without having eemaan – and Allaah’s refuge is sought. This hypocrite who outwardly displayed Islaam, whilst he did not believe it in his heart; rather he outwardly showed it to gain worldly benefits, so he said in the world, “My Lord is Allaah”, but he did not truly believe it; his heart denied it, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. He used to say, “My religion is Islaam”, but he did not have eemaan in Islaam; his heart denied it! He used to say, “My prophet is Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam”, but he did not truly believe in the messengership of Muhammad in his heart! Rather he said it upon his tongue only – this is the munaafiq (hypocrite). So it will be said to him: “You did not know and you did not read!” So he will be struck with an iron sledgehammer which will cause him to scream in such a manner that if men and jinn were to hear it, they would drop down dead. It will be heard by everything except for mankind; if he were to hear it he would drop down dead – meaning, he would die from terror. He will be crushed in his grave until his ribs cross over and a gate to the Fire will be opened for him and its fierce and poisonous wind will come upon him and its heat. And he will say, “O my Lord, do not establish the Hour!” This will be his life and his condition in the grave – and Allaah’s refuge is sought – because he did not give the correct answer.
And therefore a caller will call out, “My servant has lied”. So they will lay out for him a bed from the Fire and they will open for him a door to the Fire – and Allaah’s refuge is sought. So since these matters are this important it is obligatory upon us to learn them and to hold them as our creed and belief. And it is not sufficient just to learn them alone; rather we learn them and we hold them as our creed, and we have eemaan in them and we act upon them for as long as we live, hoping that Allaah makes us firm at the questioning in the grave. Allaah, the Most High, says:
يُثَبِّتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الظَّالِمِينَ ۚ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ
Allaah makes firm those who truly believe with the firm saying in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. And Allaah misguides the disbelieving wrongdoers. And Allaah does whatever He wishes. [14:27]
So these three fundamental principles have tremendous importance, and therefore the Shaykh focused upon them in this treatise and he clarified them so that we should study them and carefully examine them and so that we should hold them as our creed and belief and act upon them hoping that Allaah should make us and you firm with the firm saying in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.
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