Elucidation of Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah 3-4

Elucidation of Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah 3-4

Elucidation of Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah 3-4

3. There is nothing that can overwhelm Him.

This shows Allah 's full strength and power.


1) Allah (عز وجل) said:

  وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

"He is Able to do all things." [al-Ma'idah 5:120]

*Mentioned over 35 times

2) Allah (عز وجل) said:

وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّقْتَدِرًا

"Allah is able to do all things." [al-Kahf 18:45]

3) Allah (عز وجل) said:

  إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَلِيمًا قَدِيرًا 

"Verily, He is All-Knowing, All-Omnipotent." [Fatir 35:44]

Qadeer Means exaggeration and outmost peak in power and capability to do things. The Qudrah = Power of Allah (عز وجل) cannot be hindered by anything. If he wants something he says be and it's done. This is the proof that Allah (عز وجل) has all the power to do all things.

Some authors say (Allah (عز وجل) is able to do that which He wishes) they restrain it by the wish of Allah (عز وجل) . However, this is incorrect because Allah (عز وجل) did not restrict his qudrah, his power to do things by that which he wishes. For instance,

  وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَاءُ قَدِيرٌ

"And He is Able to gather them when He will." [ash-Shuraa 42:29]

It is specified by his will here because "gathering" necessitates a certain time in the future, and Allah (عز وجل) is capable of gathering the people of the sky and the earth at that time or anytime.

أَوَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَكَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً ۚ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعْجِزَهُ مِن شَيْءٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَلِيمًا قَدِيرًا

"Have they not traveled in the land, and seen what was the end of those before them, and they were superior to them in power? Allâh is not such that anything in the heavens or in the earth escapes Him. Verily, He is AllKnowing, AllOmnipotent." [Fatir 35:44]

وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا

"and He is never weary of preserving them." [Al-Baqarah 2:255]

Yaooduh means it is not difficult for him nor is it too much for him to maintain and preserve the sky and earth.


 Affirmation of Allah's Attributes 

When Allah (عز وجل) denies an attribute of himself, it is obligatory upon us to affirm the complete and total opposite to Allah (عز وجل). For example:

1. When Allah (عز وجل) says: "Nothing can overcome Allah."
Then, we have to affirm its opposite this meaning, Allah has full power.

2. When Allah (عز وجل) says:

وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَيِّ الْقَيُّومِ ۖ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ حَمَلَ ظُلْمًا 

"And (all) faces shall be humbled before (Allâh), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists."   [Ta-ha 20:111]

In this ayah Allah mentions He is al-hayy, an affirmation of himself, thus it is upon us to affirm that Allah does not die.

3. When Allah (عز وجل) says:

  وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا

"and your Lord treats no one with injustice." [Al-Kahf 18:49]

This proves Allah (عز وجل) gives complete justice.

4. When Allah (عز وجل) says:

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَأْتِينَا السَّاعَةُ ۖ قُلْ بَلَىٰ وَرَبِّي لَتَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ ۖ لَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا أَصْغَرُ مِن ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرُ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ 

"Those who disbelieve say: "The Hour will not come to us." Say: "Yes, by my Lord, it will come to you." (Allâh, He is) the AllKnower of the unseen, not even the weight of an atom (or a small ant) or less than that or greater, escapes from His Knowledge in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a Clear Book (al-Lawh al-Mahfûz)." [Saba' 34:3]

This proves Allah (عز وجل) has complete knowledge.

5. When Allah (عز وجل) says:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ 

"And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us." [Qaf 50:38]

This proves the full power of Allah (عز وجل).

6. When Allah (عز وجل) says:

لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ ۖ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ 

"No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle and Courteous, Well Acquainted with all things." [Al-An'am 6:103]

This shows Allah's supremacy and his majestic honor.


Those who Deny the attributes of Allah

Proving attributes to Allah (عز وجل) is dealt with in depth and detail in the Qur'an, while, the denial of attributes comes in general and not in detail.

However, the mentality of the proponents of Philosophy is the opposite of this. They say Allah (عز وجل) is not a body, not a shade, not a picture, not flesh, not blood, not color, not smell, not testable, not of coldness and hotness, not of height, not of width, he is not of directions, not of right, not of left, not of front, …etc

By denying the attributes of Allah's creation, they arrive at their false conclusion of "what Allah is." This is from falsehood for two reasons:

(1) because they are lowering Allah with His trivial creations, and to even place Allah in the same category of these attributes is an outright disrespect. This is the speech of the Mu'tazilah. The fact is, the absence of a certain quality does not indicated absolute perfection. A sincere heart would be able to distinguish why Allah does not specifically go into detail that for example, he is not an apple, simply because how could we even think for one second that Allah is that?

There was once a debate with a mu'tazilah and the scholar went on to say "your father is not tall, your father is not short, your father is not fat, your father is not skinny, and so on. The mu'tazilah became angry. The scholar said "Why do you become angry with this, yet you do not become angry when you do this to Allah?"

(2) The method in the Qur'an by which Allah describes Himself is such that He denied His attributes in general and specifically gave his attributes.

Again, the Mu'tazilah believe in the denial of attributes more than the affirmation of Allah's attributes and this is not the method of the Qur'an proven in what Allah (عز وجل) says:

 لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

"There is none like Him and He is all- hearing all- seeing." [ash-Shuraa 42:11]

In the ayah, Allah (عز وجل) gives both His attributes and a blanket denial of attributes. Thus, the path of Ahlus Sunnah is to believe what Allah (عز وجل) and his messenger ( صلى الله عليه و سلم) describe as attributes of Allah (عز وجل) and deny that which Allah (عز وجل) and His Messenger ( صلى الله عليه و سلم) denied.

Likewise, it is important to note that there are attributes of Allah (عز وجل) which we do not know. The proof is evident in the the words of the prophet ( صلى الله عليه و سلم) in his dua'a for anxiety and sorrow (hisnul muslim page 55, #116):

"Or you (Allah) have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with you.."

Therefore, the author made no mistake by saying nothing can overcome Allah because Allah (عز وجل) said in the Qur'an:

"Nothing at all can overcome Allah."

So, the author denied that Allah (عز وجل) can be overwhelmed and said it is because Allah (عز وجل) has full knowledge and full power.

Being overcome can be caused by both (a) lack of knowledge and (b) lack of power. Neither of these two exist with Allah because Allah (عز وجل) knows every element and every tiny particle of element.


  • A woman named Khadijah was going to have a baby. But the doctors claim that her baby was going to have just one kidney. They went to every doctor the last one telling them not to continue with the pregnancy. Khadijah gives birth and the baby has two kidneys.
  • A cat used to eat at a house. Then the owner of the house noticed that it began to enter the house and steal, he followed it, and discovered that it used to take it to another cat who was blind.
  • There was a dog who was treated at the vet. After leaving the vet, later on they heard a knock on the door and that dog had brought in another injured dog to be treated.
  • A slave was slapped by her master and the master told the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و سلم). The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و سلم) requested for her presence. He then asked her where Allah was and she pointed to the sky. The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و سلم) told the master to set her free because she was a believer and freeing her would be his only recompense.
  • There was going to be a volcanic eruption in an area called Juzr al-Kamer. Scientists and reporters went to see and cover the story. Muslims began to make dua'a. The scientists became curious as to what the Muslims were doing and they explained to him. He said it was impossible to escape the eruption because they know the expected date from their findings. When that day came, the eruption did not happen and the scientist went to the masjid and embraced Islam.
  • A man who could not have children once saw a blind man and he got out to help him. The blind man thanked him and asked him if he was married with children. The man said no and explained that for 7 years of married life, he and his wife could not have children. The blind man made dua'a and taught the man to say "rabbi hab le min ladunk rahmah." The man told the blind man that doctors were not able to help them and the blind man said "Allah ala kulli sha'in kadeer." He and his wife decided to turn to Allah. Later on, his wife became pregnant.
  • There was a woman by Badr al-Mashry (a street in madina) who was married 3 times having had no children. When she got married at 40 for the last time and turned to Allah, she became pregnant. At that age, even if women were fertile, there is a small chance of getting pregnant.


4. There is no god (ilah) other than Him.

This is Tawheed al-Ibadah (meaning, Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah)

Al-ibadah is a general term for everything Allah (عز وجل) loves of our words and actions apparent and internal. Everything Allah (عز وجل) is pleased with we do, fear and love of Allah (عز وجل), and everything Allah is displeased with we abandon.

  • This is the start of the message of the messengers.
  • This is the problem between the messengers and their people.
  • This is the tawheed that divided people to happiness or doom.
  • This is the tawheed that because of it we have heaven and hell.
  • This is why Allah sent messengers and books.
  • This is what mushrikoon denied.
  • This is what the people (ie. people of Nuh, of 'Aad, and of Thamud) disbelieved in their messengers for.

The people disbelieved when the Prophets told them of this tawheed. Thus, it is very important to worship Allah (عز وجل) with knowledge. Allah (عز وجل) told us of Himself so we know His rights upon us. Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah and Tawheed al-Asma' was Sifat are the tools, and Tawheed Uloohiyyah is the goal by declaring that Allah is the Creator, ar-Razzak (Provider).


- The Quraysh disbelieved in this Tawheed.

بَلْ عَجِبُوا أَن جَاءَهُم مُّنذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ هَٰذَا شَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ 

"Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner (Muhammad) from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: 'This is a strange thing!'" [Qaf 50:2]

Just as the Pharaoh denied this same tawheed to Musa (alayh salam):

قَالَ فَمَا بَالُ الْقُرُونِ الْأُولَىٰ 

"[Fir'aun (Pharaoh)] said: 'What about the generations of old?'" [Ta-Ha 20:51]

The Quraysh also responded to this tawheed in the same manner:

فَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن قَوْمِهِ مَا هَٰذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتَفَضَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَنزَلَ مَلَائِكَةً مَّا سَمِعْنَا بِهَٰذَا فِي آبَائِنَا الْأَوَّلِينَ 

"But the chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said: 'He is no more than a human being like you, he seeks to make himself superior to you. Had Allâh willed, He surely could have sent down angels; never did we hear such a thing among our fathers of old.'" [Al-Mu'minun 23:24]

The meaning of la ilah illa Allah is to be totally submissive to Allah (عز وجل) in our worship. The Quraysh knew the meaning of this but they rejected it.

- Then, came the proponents of philosophy and the grave worshippers.

They say la ilah illah Allah (عز وجل) but do not know what it truly means. Some even interpret it as tawheed ar-Rububiyyah.Imam Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab said in Kashf ash-Shubuhat,

"La ilaha illah Allah means no one is worthy of worship but Allah."

- This word takes shirk from Allah (عز وجل).

 No one is rightfully worshiped but Allah (عز وجل). Everyone other than him worshipped is not rightfully worshipped. 

- No creator but Allah (عز وجل).

Even the mushrikeen admitted this.
To say there is no one worshipped but Allah (عز وجل) is wrong.
There are many worshipped but Allah (عز وجل) is the only one worthy of worship.

- This is Tawheed Talab wal Qast.
What is Tawheed Talab wal Qast? Talab means seeking, while Qast means intending. Sometimes Qast is interchangeable with the word, Iradah. This tawheed pertains to intending one's actions for Allah, Ibadah. Now, when the scholars divided tawheed into categories at first, it was divided into two. Tawheed talab wal Qast, which consists solely of Tawheed al ibadah, and Ma'rifah wa ithabat which consisted of tawheed ar-Rububiyyah and tawheed al-Asma was-Sifat. Ma'rifah refers to knowledge, while ithbat refers to affirmation.
Hence, Tawheed al ibadah translates to Tawheed Talab wal Qast.

- This tawheed is evident all throughout the Qur'an.

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

"Say (O Muhammad): "O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allâh, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allâh. Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims."
[Aali Imran 3:64]

Ibn al-Qayyim said the whole Quran is tawheed because all the surahs discuss the rewards of people who follow tawheed and and the punishment of people who do not try to perfect or even follow tawheed.

- This is the reason Allah (عز وجل) created you for. So learn it and know it good. It is the reason for your happiness.

- It is to make Allah (عز وجل) one in our ibadah (worship), jihad, birwalidain (kindness to parents), dua'a, khawf (fear), raja (hope), estianah (seeking assistance), estighatha (seeking aid), tawaf (circumambulation)….etc

- Watch out from shirk!! Or this tawheed will be invalidated

- Kuffar, mushrikeen and munafikeen went astray in this tawheed.

- You need to know this tawheed and its opposite.

- The opposite of this tawheed is shirk and nifaq.
Having minor shirk and nifaq means our tawheed is DEFICIENT.
Having major shirk and nifaq takes one out of Islam.


What is Shirk?

Shirk is defined as others equal to Allah (عز وجل) in that which is especially for Allah (عز وجل) alone. To make other than Allah (عز وجل) equal to Allah (عز وجل) in Rububiyyah, Uloohiyyah, al-Asma was-Sifat then that is shirk akbar, a major shirk. Whatever is in the proof as shirk but not reached the level of shirk akbar then its small shirk.

Difference between shirk akbar (major) and shirk asghar (minor):

Shirk Akbar:

  • Shirk akbar is not forgiven by Allah (عز وجل) [if one dies on it without tawbah].
  • Shirk akbar takes one outside the fold of Islam.
  • Shirk akbar erases all deeds.
  • Shirk akbar causes the one who commits it to remain in hell eternally.

Shirk Asghar:

  • Shirk asghar is not included in this ayah:

    إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا 
    "Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allâh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin."
    [An-Nisa 4:48]

  • Shirk Asghar is like major sins under Allah (عز وجل) mashee'ah (will).
  • Shirk Asghar abolishes that deed not all deeds.
  • Shirk Asghar does not take one out of Islam.
  • Shirk Asghar does not place you in hell forever, it is like other sins.

The danger of committing shirk:

  1. Shirk is the biggest of all sins because Allah (عز وجل) will not forgive it for one who meets Allah (عز وجل) with it unlike other sins Allah (عز وجل) may forgive or punish.
  2. Shirk is biggest oppression and biggest evil.
    Its making other than Allah (عز وجل) equivalent to Allah (عز وجل).

    It is the act of placing our ibadah to other than Allah (عز وجل). Thus, it has degraded Allah (عز وجل) .

  3. Shirk is against purpose of creation.
    We were created to worship Allah (عز وجل) alone only and shirk goes against the purpose of creation. Hence this is the peak of rebelling against Allah's commands. The more one enters into shirk the closer his destruction, to the point that Judgment Day will not come with one saying Allah, Allah. This world will be doomed with no tawheed. As long as there is tawheed this world will remain. Allah (عز وجل) will take the souls of the good people before the end of time.

  4. Shirk is imitating the creation with the creator in matters that may harm you, bring benefit, fear, hope, dua'a, tawakul,…etc.
  5. Shirk is thinking evil of Allah (عز وجل).

Why do we Study Shirk?

Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said "People used to ask about the good and I used to ask about the bad, fearing to fall in it." These words explain why we need to know the shirk of these tawheeds i.e Shirk in Uluhiyyah, Rububiyyah, and al-Asma was-Sifat .

Ibrahim ( عليه السلام) said (in the Qur'an):

رَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ ۖ فَمَن تَبِعَنِي فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي ۖ وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ 

"O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoso follows me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeys me, - still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Ibrahim 14:36]

The Prophet Ibrahim was an ummah by himself , he was a mountain, an ummah against his people by destroying the statues.

Again, we study shirk in order to fear from committing it and to ask Allah for protection from it. The Prophet Ibrahim was hanifan, far from shirk and on tawheed and Allah (عز وجل) says about him:

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَٰذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَن نَّعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ 

"And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! Make safe this territory, and preserve me and my sons from serving idols (shirk)." [Ibrahim 14:35]

In this ayah who were his sons he is worried over? His sons Ishaq and Isma'il, who were messengers of Allah. They were messengers yet he feared shirk over them. This is how heavy we should take shirk to be, as generation after generation of messengers came from prophet Ibrahim (ie Ishaq, Yaqoob, Yusuf) yet he feared shirk over them.

Ibrahim Taimy said,

"Who can be secured of shirk after this verse!?!"

Umar ( رضي الله عنه ) said,

"Islam will be stripped layer by layer if we don't know Jahiliyyah (ie shirk and its consequences)."

The Sahabah who knew shirk and all its evil saw it in front of them thus they did not fall into it as we might be proned to do today because we do not see it as being apparent. An example today would be those who make tawaf around the graves.

Fear of shirk makes one closer to Allah (عز وجل), humble to Allah (عز وجل), beg to Allah (عز وجل), pray to Allah (عز وجل) , and so on.

Ibn Taymiyyah said,

"Shirk is two kinds, big and small, whoever gets rid of them will enter heaven and who ever dies in shirk akbar will be in hell. Whoever dies on ashgar with many good deeds, he will be heaven, if his sins are more then he will be in hell."

(Majmoo' al-Fatawa)


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