Sharh-ul-Usool ath-Thalaathah : Lesson 48
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Rejecting at-Taaghoot, and Having Eemaan in Allaah
Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:
وافترضَ اللهُ على جميعِ العبادِ الكفرَ بالطاغوتِ والإيمانَ بالله
Allaah has made it obligatory upon all of the servants to reject at-taaghoot, and to have eemaan in Allaah.77
: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :
So the Shaykh rahimahullaah said, “And Allaah has made it obligatory upon all of the servants to reject at-taaghoot, and to have eemaan in Allaah…” Then he mentioned the definition of at-taaghoot.
The taaghoot has been mentioned by Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, in many aayaat. From them is His saying, He the Most High, in Soorat-ul-Baqarah:
فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ إِلَى الظُّلُمَاتِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
So whoever rejects at-taaghoot (everything which is worshipped besides Allaah) and believes truly in Allaah, then he has grasped the firmest handhold that will not break. And Allaah is All Hearing, All Knowing.
Allaah is the Guardian Lord of those who truly believe; He brings them out from darkness into light. And those who disbelieve, then their supporters are at-taaghoot; they take them out from the light into darkness. They are the inhabitants of the Fire; they will remain in it forever. [2:256-257]
And there occurs in Soorat-un-Nisaa His saying, He the Most High:
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا نَصِيبًا مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْجِبْتِ وَالطَّاغُوتِ وَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا هَٰؤُلَاءِ أَهْدَىٰ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا سَبِيلًا
Will you not consider those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in al jibt (the idols, soothsayers and sorcery) and in at-taaghoot. And they say to those who disbelieve that they are closer to the Truth than the believers. [4:51]
And this aayah is with regard to the Jews.
And He, the Perfect, said with regards to the hypocrites:
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُوا بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَحَاكَمُوا إِلَى الطَّاغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُوا أَن يَكْفُرُوا بِهِ
Will you not consider those who claim that they believe in that which came down to you and in that which came down before you, wishing to refer for judgment to at taaghoot? And they were commanded to reject it. [4:60]
And there occurs in Soorat-un-Nahl that He, the Majestic and Most High, said:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ
And We sent a Messenger to every nation commanding, “Worship Allaah alone and keep away from at taaghoot.” [16:36]
At-taaghoot is derived from at tughyaan and it is to exceed the due limit. So it is said in the (‘Arabic) language, ‘the water has taghaa’ when the water raises above its level.
He, the Most High, said:
إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَى الْمَاءُ حَمَلْنَاكُمْ فِي الْجَارِيَةِ
When the water taghaa (went beyond its limits) then We carried you in the Ark. [69:11]
قال ابنُ القيِّمِ رحمهُ اللهُ تعالى: معنى الطاغوت ما تجاوزَ بِهِ العبدُ حدَّهُ مِنْ معبودٍ، أو متبوعٍ، أو مطاع
Ibn ul Qayyim, rahimahullaah ta’aala, said:
“The meaning of At-taaghoot is anyone regarding whom the servant goes beyond the due bounds, whether it is someone worshipped or followed or obeyed.” 78
: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :
As for the meaning of at-taaghoot in the Legislation, then it is just as ibn ul Qayyim rahimahullaah mentioned, and the author quoted him here.
At-taaghoot – whoever the servant goes beyond the due limits regarding. The servant has a due limit because he is a servant; Allaah has given him bounds which it is obligatory that he should stop at. So if he goes beyond them, then he will be a taaghoot. So whoever goes beyond the limits set by Allaah for His servants and which He has commanded them not to exceed and not to come close to, then he is a taaghoot. So if he disobeys Allaah and goes beyond His limits and goes beyond the bounds, then he is called a taaghoot because he has gone beyond the limits and exceeded the limits laid down by Allaah.
So his saying:
“(At-Taaghoot) is anyone regarding whom the servant goes beyond the due bounds, whether it is someone worshipped or followed or obeyed”
This is the comprehensive definition for the taaghoot because Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, commanded that He alone be worshipped and that no partner be set up with Him. And He commanded that His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam should be followed and He commanded that He should be obeyed and that His Messenger should be obeyed with regard to that which He declared lawful and that which He declared forbidden. So whoever goes beyond this matter then he is a taaghoot.
Whoever exceeds the limit of worship which Allaah has made obligatory and which is particular to Him and which He has negated for anyone else besides Him, then (this person) worships anything else along with Allaah, then he is a taaghoot.
The mushrik (person of shirk) is a taaghoot because he has exceeded the limit with regards to worship, and has worshipped someone else along with Allaah. He has directed worship to other than the One who deserves it.
And likewise the one who is worshipped and is pleased with that (is a taaghoot). The person who is worshipped by the people and he is pleased with that and he establishes himself as a chief and as a leader upon that basis – such as Fir’awn (the Pharaoh) and an-Namrood and the shaykhs of the extreme Soofee paths, those who are worshipped by their followers and they are pleased with that, or who call the people to that, i.e. to worship them, as will follow – then this a taaghoot with regards to worship.
And his saying, “or followed”.
Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, commanded the whole of creation that they should follow Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. So it is not permissible for anyone to follow anyone else besides him ‘alaihissalaatu wassalaam. So whoever follows other than the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and claims that this is permissible, then he (this person) will be a taaghoot because he has followed someone other than the Messenger sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the one whom he was commanded to follow.
So following is specific to the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. As for other than him from the scholars and the callers then they are followed when they follow the way of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. So the one who is followed in truth is the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
As for those (other people) then they are just conveying the message, they are followed for the truth and upon whatever they conform to with regard to the following of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. And wherever they are contrary to what the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was upon, then it is not permissible to follow him.
An example of that is the shaykhs of the Soofee paths; their followers and their worshippers follow them upon other than obedience to the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
Indeed they say, “We have no need for the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) because we take from where the Messenger (sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) took from and we take knowledge directly from Allaah. The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) took from Allaah through an intermediary, via Jibreel whereas we take directly from Allaah.”
And they say, “You people narrate your religion from those who have died whereas we narrate our religion from Allaah, the Perfect and Most High” because they claim that their shaykhs have a connection with Allaah and that they take knowledge from Allaah directly. They have reached this level of transgression – and Allaah’s refuge is sought – this is their way.
There is no doubt that those people are the heads of the taaghoots – and Allaah’s refuge is sought – because there is no way to Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, except through following His Messenger sallallaahu‘alaihiwasallam.
He, the Most High, said:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ – قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ ۖ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْكَافِرِينَ
Say (O Muhammad), “If you truly love Allaah, then follow me, then Allaah will love you and will forgive you your sins. And Allaah forgives extensively and bestows mercy. Say, “Obey Allaah and the Messenger.” So if they turn away then Allaah does not love the disbelievers. [3:31-32]
So the person who follows other than the Messenger, this person is counted as a taaghoot. And likewise the person who calls people to follow him and says to the people, “I will bring you orders directly from Allaah” – this is the greatest one of the taaghoots in existence in the world. And Allaah’s refuge is sought.
His saying, “one who is obeyed…”
Obedience is to be for Allaah and for His Messenger regarding what he declares to be lawful and what he declares to be forbidden. He, the Most High, said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from amongst you. And if you dispute about anything, then refer it back to Allaah and to the Messenger, if you truly believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is what is best for you and is what is best in its consequences. [4:59]
So what is lawful is that which Allaah has made lawful; and that which is forbidden is that which Allaah has made forbidden. And it is not for anyone to share with Allaah in making things lawful or forbidden. And therefore Allaah passed the ruling upon those who declare things lawful or declare things forbidden or obeys one who does that – that such a person is a mushrik.
He, the Perfect and Most High, said:
فَكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِن كُنتُم بِآيَاتِهِ مُؤْمِنِينَ
وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلَّا مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۗ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُعْتَدِينَ
وَذَرُوا ظَاهِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَبَاطِنَهُ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْسِبُونَ الْإِثْمَ سَيُجْزَوْنَ بِمَا كَانُوا يَقْتَرِفُونَ
وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ ۗ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ
Eat from that which Allaah’s Name has been mentioned upon, if you truly believe in His Signs. And why would you not eat from that which Allaah’s Name been mentioned upon when He has made clear to you whatever has been made forbidden for you – except for that which you have a dire need of. And there are many who misguide with their desires without knowledge. Indeed your Lord knows best those who exceed the limits. And leave off outward and inward sins. Those who earn sin shall be recompensed for what they earned. And do not eat from that which Allaah’s Name is not mentioned upon, and it is sin.And the devils inspire their followers to dispute with you. And were you to obey them, then you would be people of shirk. [6:118-121]
This is because the people of Jaahiliyyah said, “Dead meat is lawful because Allaah, He is the One who slaughtered it. So it has more right to be lawful than that which you people sacrifice and slaughter.”
So Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, says (in these aayaat from Soorah al An’aam) (for us) do not eat except for that which has been slaughtered in the legislated manner and He made forbidden for you dead meat. Whereas those people say, “No, dead meat is permissible; it has more right to be lawful than that which has been slaughtered because it is you people who have slaughtered it whereas an animal which has died, then Allaah is the One who has slaughtered it.
And therefore He refuted the people of shirk and He said:
… وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ
Do not eat from that which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned upon. And it is sin…
Meaning: it is to exit from obedience to Allaah, the Perfect, the Mighty and Majestic.
And He said after it:
… وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ
And the devils inspire their allies…
They say, “Dead meat, it was slaughtered by Allaah whereas the animals that you people slaughter, you have slaughtered them. So how can you hold it as lawful that which you people sacrifice and you do not regard as lawful that which Allaah has sacrificed?!”
This is a false and futile argument.
And then He, the Most High, said:
وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ
And if you were to obey them, then you would be people of shirk.
Because this is shirk with regards to obedience. Declaring something lawful and declaring something forbidden is the right of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.
So it is not permissible for anyone to declare lawful or to declare forbidden from his own self, or to obey someone in declaring something lawful or something forbidden from his own self. And whoever does that then he is a taaghoot and he is obeying the taaghoots, those who declare things lawful and declare things forbidden besides Allaah.
This is the meaning of his saying: “Or one who is obeyed…” Meaning: obeyed in declaring things lawful and forbidden because declaring things lawful and declaring things forbidden is the right of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High; and the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was one who conveyed from Allaah that which He made lawful and that which He made forbidden.
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