Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Answering The 4 Principles of Shirk



Last Updated: 25/Feb/2015



Answering
Ibn Abdul Wahab Najdi’s

4 Principles of Shirk


Answering The Four Principles

Introduction

Propagated in public domain among the Muslim populace by a small group of individuals who couch themselves as the sole authorities of Islam, is a book with English titles “The Four Principles” or “The Four Principles of Shirk”, authored by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab . This book is presented with the impression of it being a scholarly book on Islamic fundamentals.

But the reality of its content is otherwise, consisting of hollow half truths that is quite dangerously misleading and leading a number of innocent Muslims astray to the extent of causing the blood of Muslims to be violated.

A wave of new protestant sects have emerged with the name of Islam, during the worst periods of Islamic history, who have made and continue to make use of these twisted notions to brand the Muslim Ummah as being polytheists.

These protestant groups have broken the bounds that separated Muslims from polytheists in the process creating confusion and ambiguity on the fundamentals of Islam and opening the doors to Muslims not recognizing who a Muslim is. This has caused a number of ignorant Muslims to turn themselves against Muslims and also to stand in defiance of the Islamic tradition. They call upon Muslims to fight fellow Muslims and slanderously brand them as polytheists including their own parents who taught them Islam.

 A critical analysis of these so called “four principles” is briefly made in the following series with the intention that it provides enough beneficial information to the readers in tackling this menace, prevent innocent Muslims from being led astray and bring those who were misguided by it, back to the straight path of Islam.

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Answering MIAW’s 1st principle of Shirk

Muhammed bin Abdul Wahhab formulates his first principle as follows:
The first principle is that you know the kuffaar, whom the Messenger (s) fought, used to affirm that Allaah, the Most High, was the Creator and the Disposer of all the affairs but that did not enter them into Islaam and the proof is His, the Most High’s, saying, Say: Who provides for you from the sky and from the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs? They will say:”Allaah.” Say:”Will you not then be afraid of Allaah’s Punishment?”[Yunus 10:31]

Refutation:

This individual begins his work by first projecting the perception that the Meccan polytheists had actually acknowledged Allah’s oneness in Lordship.  A Wahhabist commentator to this book, by the name of “Muhammed bin Abdir Rahmaan al Khumayyis”, further explains this principle as such:

The first of these rules is: Knowing that the polytheists during the time of Allah’s Messenger, from the disbelievers of Makkah  and others, affirmed and acknowledged Allah’s Lordship (Ruboobiyyah), which is to single Allah out and make Him one with regard to His creating, administering and controlling of the universe. They did not ascribe partners to Him in these aspects.... 
However, they ascribed and mixed partners with Him in worship, so this acknowledgement was of no benefit to them.”

This rather simplistic but erroneous conclusion, on the belief of polytheists, is from the fundamental reasons why Muhammed bin Abdul Wahhab and his followers have remained floating in their misguidance. They formed these erroneous notions based on an ultra-literalistic half-eyed reading of these Quranic verses and concluded that Meccan polytheists had actually believed, in the oneness of Allah’s Lordship.

The verse in question here, uses a polemical form of questioning, where an argument is being made by basing it upon a certain premise which the opponents had acknowledged or admitted. By using that acknowledgement, a derived argument is being put forward against them for what they do not yet acknowledge, so that they come to agree on that too, or in order to prove that the initial acknowledgement they make is futile and void.

In this particular verse, the attributes of Lordship which the Meccan polytheists acknowledged regarding Allah is being used to counter against the heedlessness the polytheists had for Allah. The verse does not contain anything by which a person can conclude the polytheists believed in the oneness of Allah’s Lordship. That, the polytheists did indeed admit to the Lordship of Allah do not mean that they acknowledged the oneness of His Lordship without any sort of attribution of partners or share in His Lordship. It is from basic knowledge that the difference between a denier of God i.e., an atheist, from a polytheist is that the polytheist openly acknowledges the existence of God/Allah. Acknowledging Allah would by nature require acknowledging the attributes of Lordship to Allah. While the difference between a polytheist and monotheist is not in attributing Lordship to Allah but, in attributing oneness to His Lordship.

The Meccan polytheists did indeed ascribe partners in Allah’s Lordship [1], mainly in the form of attributing sons and daughters to Allah. An affirmation of offspring for Allah is by its nature, shirk in Lordship.  The shirk present in this is understood with ease if one reflects at his own self and his position with regards to his family. The son on account of his son-ship, obtains the attributes of his father. This therefore when attributed to Allah is shirk in Lordship as it implies that these alleged offspring’s has independent sovereign attributes like Allah. Furthermore, the father, in a house of family, is usually the creator, owner, controller, governor and provider of the house. Yet despite this, the son would have a partnership in the affairs of his father, such as in the ownership, control, providing and judgmental opinion/decision making, in the affairs of the father’s house. This is the kind of shirk the Meccan polytheists committed, with their attribution of offspring’s to Allah and this is shirk in Lordship. The Meccan polytheists were not in possession of tawhid in any real sense as falsely alleged by the Wahhabi ideologists.

The Christians too attribute Lordship to Allah, but despite that it’s clearly nonsensical and the height of ignorance for one to conclude that the Christians believed in the oneness of His Lordship. Shirk in Lordship committed by Christians was in the form of trinity and son-ship they ascribed to Allah. Similarly, the shirk in Hinduism, despite the Lordship they ascribe to a Supreme God, is in the form of considering all of creation to be the Supreme God Himself or by dividing the Supreme God into several gods and incarnate gods.

Further Quranic Refutation:

The Quran in fact, makes an argument against the partners, the polytheists ascribe to Allah’s Lordship:

[Quran 43:]

9 If you [Prophet] ask them, ‘Who created the heavens and earth?’ they are sure to say, ‘They were created by the Almighty, the All Knowing.’
10 It is He who smoothed out the earth for you and traced out routes on it for you to find your way,
11 who sends water down from the sky in due measure––We resurrect dead land with it, and likewise you will be resurrected from the grave––
12 who created every kind of thing, who gave you ships and animals to ride on
13 so that you may remember your Lord’s grace when you are seated on them and say, ‘Glory be to Him who has given us control over this; we could not have done it by ourselves.
14 Truly it is to our Lord that we are returning.’
15 Yet they assign some of His own servants to Him as offspring! Man is clearly ungrateful!

The format of argument made here is similar to the verse in question. But these verses by the end, makes reference to shirk of polytheists, which was in their taking the servants of Allah as offspring’s of Allah. There are a couple of points worth mentioning here:

(1) Allah rejects the ascription of son-ship to Him, yet instead ascribes them to be servants/slaves to Him. From this we see that, a fundamental difference between tawhid and shirk is the distinction between a slave and an offspring. The difference between a slave and an offspring is clearly in lordship, as the difference consists in their attributes, independence, providence, control, ownership, obedience and so forth. This also proves that the Meccan polytheists did not take these objects they worship as slaves of Allah, which therefore again constitutes their association of partners in Allah’s Lordship.

(2) The verses after relating the admission of polytheists, that Allah is the creator of the heavens and the earth, by the end opposes them for attributing offspring’s to Allah. The implication of this is that the attribution of offspring to Allah is contradictory to what they acknowledged at first i.e., Lordship of Allah. The verses would be revealed for purpose of exposing this contradiction.

But…, for theses verses to be effective, it has to be taken that polytheists ascribed these offspring’s as partners in Allah’s Lordship. If not, there would be no effective argument made by these verses, as there would be nothing else present in these verses that would oppose the ascription of an offspring to Allah. This would render the Quranic verse as pointless.

So, in order for these verses to be an argument against the attribution of offspring’s to Allah, it has to be understood that the polytheists did ascribe share in Allah’s Lordship to these offspring’s. And as such, the polytheists would be having contradictions in their belief, which Allah thereby refutes by way of argument. It is with such belief that they are showing ungratefulness. This is because, despite them acknowledging the heavens and earth as the creation of Allah, they then go onto ascribe offspring’s to Allah; which implies the sharing of Allah’s attributes of Lordship and Ownership, among these alleged offspring’s. This therefore would stand out as a contradiction in the statement and belief of the polytheists. The polytheists would be forced to abandon their belief in offspring’s, if they would want to maintain the validity of their initial acknowledgement of the Lordship to Allah.

The same format of argument is also found in the Quranic chapter Muminun, but shirk of the polytheists is made even more explicit here:

[Quran 23:]

84 Say [Prophet], ‘Who owns the earth and all who live in it, if you know [so much]?’
85 and they will reply, ‘God.’ Say, ‘Will you not take heed?’
86 Say, ‘Who is the Lord of the seven heavens? Who is the Lord of the Mighty Throne?’
87 and they will reply, ‘God.’ Say, ‘Will you not be mindful?’
88 Say, ‘Who holds control of everything in His hand? Who protects, while there is no protection against Him, if you know [so much]?’
89 and they will reply, ‘God.’ Say, ‘Then how can you be so deluded?’
90 The fact is, We brought them the truth and they are lying.
91God has never had a child. Nor is there any god beside Him– if there were, each god would have taken his creation aside and tried to overcome the others. May God be exalted above what they describe!
92 He knows what is not seen as well as what is seen; He is far above any partner they claim for Him.

In these verses, Quran initially argues “Will they not take heed?” ”Will you not be mindful?” This is because the polytheist, as we see in the verses prior it (23:81-83), denied that they will be resurrected. Quran is thereby using the attributes of Lordship they ascribe to Allah, to refute their rejection of resurrection, since, if they acknowledge the ownership, creation and control are with Allah then how could they question Allah’s ability to resurrect them? This is a type of shirk too [2], because it constitutes the denial of the attribute or power of Allah and thereby leads to the belief that someone other than the true Allah is Lord.

But the more relevant part of these verses just quoted, is the final conclusion of the argument, where Allah brings forth the truth of their belief and labels them as liars. The reason for calling them as liars, as per the verse, is because they attributed Allah with children. And this constitutes shirk in Allah’s Lordship. Furthermore, we see from the same passage of Chapter Muminun, the following verse {Nor is there any god beside Him– if there were, each god would have taken his creation aside and tried to overcome the others} [23:91]. The argument made in this verse is considered to be Qur’an’s greatest rational proof in establishing tawhid against the polytheists.

With the advent of the Wahhabist movement, it can now be considered as the greatest proof against the Wahhabiyyah in establishing the reality of tawhid. This is because, the verse presumably implies that the polytheists believed these partner gods had their own personal creations and had the power to fight and compete with other gods. Such a belief constitutes the attribution of Lordship to these partner gods and thereby a direct refutation of the creed of the Wahhabiyah.

Other forms of argument against polytheism made by these verses
Another type of argument that is made by such verses, is one that is directed against those polytheists who do not direct their worship to Allah. The polytheists did believe in the existence of a Supreme God (along with the several other subordinate gods which they attributed as partners), but what is peculiar in many of their belief structure is that this supreme God cannot be accessed directly but instead has to be accessed through the system of intermediary minor gods only.

The Hindu belief is an example of this whereby despite the acknowledgment of Brahma as the Supreme God, the Hindus barely devote any worship to Brahma. They would reason that Brahma cannot be accessed directly and that they have to instead choose various incarnate gods as the object of worship. This form of belief in the inaccessibility of the Supreme God exists in the layman form as well as in the garb of philosophical language, among various polytheist groups.

The Qur’an by these verses is questioning this false belief of theirs, that, despite them acknowledging Allah to be the Supreme Lord then why do they not worship Allah Himself and turn towards Him ?

Why do they instead devote worship to others besides Allah when in fact it is Allah who is firstly and mostly deserving of their worship ?

But this again does not mean that they acknowledged the oneness of His Lordship in any pure sense.

The Wahhabis quickly assume that just because Allah’s Lordship (Rububiyah) is used to argue for Allah’s right to be deserving of worship, then such would mean polytheists acknowledged His oneness in Lordship in pure form and that polytheists are mistaken only in the case of worship. 

But that is not really the case  when one understands the nature of polytheistic belief. Using Lordship as an argument does not necessitate admittance of oneness of His Lordship.

Rather Allah’s Lordship is being used, simply because such polytheists did not even believe in the need to worship Allah. They believed that it is enough to worship the partner gods and assumed that they would reach near to Allah by it and that it is not a requirement to worship Allah Himself. They acknowledge Allah as Lord in all this and yet they devote their worship and fear others besides Him and not Allah. This characteristic of polytheists of  not worshiping Allah, is being questioned by these verses.

A different point of attack against polytheism contained in these verses is in the sense that, as the polytheists acknowledge Allah as the exclusive Lord in some of these great matters, like the creation of the heavens and earth, then, it is Allah who is deserving of worship rather their other gods who do not have these exclusive matters. The exclusivity of these attributes for Allah requires worshiping Allah only. This again does not mean that polytheists believed in pure oneness of His Lordship because attributing a partner can be done through many other attributes of Lordship and not necessary that they have to attribute every single attribute of Allah to the partner gods too. There are multiple ways of committing shirk in Lordship.  Additionally, those partner gods are also being nullified as false gods because in the absence of such exclusive attributes, these gods loose their exaltedness and they are inferior or defective to even be considered as a true God worthy of worship, even though they might claim to attribute other divine attributes to it through other means of associations.

The other argument that is made by these verses is one that is against idolatry. When the polytheists acknowledge Allah’s Lordship over the heavens and the earth, then everything in the creation by nature would necessitate being a  slave of Allah. Therefore, their idols and whatever they associate from among the heavens and earth as partners to God, is forced to be taken as a created slave of Allah and not have any possibility of them being anymore claimed as partners to God. Therefore polytheism is being refuted by first making them acknowledge Allah as the Lord of the heavens and the earth and thereby this Lordship negating the possibility of anything else in creation being taken as lords.

These verses are also an attack against atheism in the sense that when the atheists are to be asked about these matters of the heavens and the earth, then they would be surely forced to admit the existence of Allah, and therefore they are then being asked to obey and fear Allah.
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Finally, note that the passage quoted from Chapter Yunus, concludes by saying that, it has been proven the polytheistsdo not believe”.  Therefore, tawhid and shirk is a question of belief and not mere outward actions divorced from belief.

The reason why the polytheists did not believe is because their belief was polluted by shirk and therefore does not constitute a real belief. 
Using the analogy of Muhammed ibn Abdul Whahab himself, just as “prayer is not regarded as prayer unless accompanied by purification” similarly, the belief in Allah is not regarded as belief in Allah unless accompanied by purification. The acknowledgement made by Meccan polytheists that Allah had the attributes of Lordship, is similar to the saying of the Christians or Hindus that God is one. Their saying is not considered as true belief because their belief is still impure with shirk. 

Therefore, true belief is when belief is purified from shirk. And it is this purification in belief that has been summarized beautifully in the Quranic chapter “Tawhid/Ikhlaas”, considered as 1/3rd of the Qur’an (thereby encompassing the meaning of 1/3 of the Qur’an):

[Quran 112:]

1 Say, ‘He is God the One,
2 God the eternal.
3 He begot no one nor was He begotten.
4 No one is comparable to Him.’

This is what constitutes the tawhid of Quran, and this is what missed the minds of those who follow the creedal innovations of Muhammed bin Abdul Wahab.

Conclusion:
This principle is factually flawed and cannot be categorized as a principle of shirk. That the polytheists ascribed to Allah the attributes of Lordship is irrelevant; as a polytheist would obviously by nature of having an open belief in a God, as opposed to atheism, acknowledge it. While the conclusion made from it of polytheists being believers in the oneness of His Lordship, is outright false as the polytheists did in reality attribute partners to Allah’s Lordship, mainly in the form of offspring’s.
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Notes:
[1] Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. 333/944) in his tafsir of verse 9:31, says :
[أو يقول: أفلا تتقون عبادة غيره دونه، وإشراك غيره في ألوهيته وربوبيته]
[2] On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Allah Almighty has said: The son of Adam denied Me and he had no right to do so. And he reviled Me and he had no right to do so. As for his denying Me, it is his saying: He will not remake me as He made me at first – and the initial creation [of him] is no easier for Me than remaking him. As for his reviling Me, it is his saying: Allah has taken to Himself a son, while I am the One, the Everlasting Refuge. I begot not nor was I begotten, and there is none comparable to Me. [Related by al-Bukhari and an-Nasa’i]
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Answering MIAW’s 2nd principle of Shirk

Muhammed bin Abdul Wahab then writes:
The second principle: That they (the mushrikeen) say: “We do not call upon and turn towards them except to seek nearness and intercession (with Allaah)”. So the proof against seeking nearness (through awliyaa) is His, saying, “And those who take awliyaa besides Him (say): “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah.” Verily, Allaah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allaah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.” [az-Zumar (39):3]
And the proof against intercession (through awliyaa) is His, the Most High’s saying,And they worship besides Allaah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allaah.” [Yunus 10:19]

Refutation:

The proofs invalidating this ambiguous “second principle” are the following:

1) He cites Quranic verses [39:3] and [10:19] as evidences against seeking nearness and intercession to Allah.  But those verses merely present the statement that polytheists “say” so and so. If the proof against seeking intercession is being ascertained by what polytheists “say”, then by this same standard of evidence, one has to also conclude that verses such as {Say [Prophet], ‘Who owns the earth and all who live in it, if you know [so much]?’ and they will reply, ‘God.’}[Quran 23:84-85], is a proof for Muslims to reject attributing Lordship to Allah, because even the polytheists also “say”, that Lordship is of Allah.

There is therefore no proof that can be necessarily obtained by this manner of inference.

2)  He cares not to explain, define or even highlight the word “worship”, despite the verses explicitly stating that the polytheists were worshiping entities besides Allah, to obtain nearness and intercession:

{…..‘We only worship them because they…….}[Quran 39:3]
{…..They worship alongside God things that….} [Quran 10:18]

This fundamental difference warrants the classification of the intercession polytheists were seeking to be conditional upon worshiping an entity besides Allah. Their intercession was polluted by shirk in worship.

The purification of intercession from polytheism is by devoting worship to Allah alone; as Allah’s says :{ there is no one that can intercede with Him, unless He has first given permission: this is God your Lord so worship Him.}[Quran 10:3]. These verses then cannot be a proof against intercession when no object besides Allah is being worshiped.

3) He explains not the nature of the object from which the polytheists were seeking intercession, despite the Quranic verse, that he himself related, mentioning right next to it: {God could have chosen any of His creation He willed for offspring, but He is far above this! He is the One, the Almighty.}[Quran 39:4].

This is proof that the polytheists were not seeking to attain nearness to Allah with the belief that they were merely His Prophets or devoted servants of Allah, but instead with the belief that they are gods who are partners to Allah, as Allah says: {….those they set up as gods besides God to bring them nearer to Him….} [Quran 46:28].  

The Quranic commentators too  have explained this verse [i.e. Quran 39:3] as a revelation against the tribal clans called Amir, Kinanat and Bani Salmat; further mentioning that these polytheists were a people who held onto the belief that the angels were daughters of Allah (See Imam Suyuti’s Durrul Manthur and Imam Razi’s Tafsirul Kabir).

 It is therefore not true that the polytheists were worshiping these objects with the mere belief of gaining nearness and intercession, and nothing else. These objects were on the contrary seen as Lords besides Allah in the form of offspring’s.

That, this belief was the fundamental reason for their worship, is proven in absolute terms from the Quranic verse: {Say [Prophet], ‘If the Lord of Mercy [truly] had offspring I would be the first to worship [them],  but–exalted be the Lord of the heavens and earth, the Lord of the Throne– He is far above their false descriptions.’ }[Quran 43:81-82]. In this verse, Allah has, by way of argument put the existence/non-existence of these alleged offspring’s to be the argumentative basis for acceptance and rejection of the validity of worshiping them. The essential reason for the worship the polytheists gave these objects, thereby, consists in their belief they are offspring’s of Allah.

They were seeking nearness and intercession through such partner gods.
The intercession is polluted with shirk in Lordship. The  purification of intercession from polytheism is therefore by rejecting the attribution of them as Lords or partners to God, as Allah had denied of them: {nor do We see those intercessors of yours that you claimed were partners of God} [Quran 6:94].

4) He makes no distinctions between intercessions that would constitute shirk and that which does not constitute shirk.

Examples where intercession constitutes shirk is when it is believed that an object could intercede to Allah as equivalent to a minister interceding by position of his power with the King or by overpowering Allah
or with the belief that Allah is incapable of rejecting the interceder,
or is in need and dependent on the interceder,
or because these intercessors have more knowledge than Allah and so forth.

While, the intercession a person with tawhid believes in, is that of a created slave with total servitude to his Master, interceding from his Master, which therefore can only occur by absolute permission and will of the Master.

But note that, it is not intercession by itself that does shirk. The occurring of shirk is when intercession is compounded with a belief that constitutes shirk, and this happens due to the attribution of divinity or lordship to the interceder, in one form or the other.

Such a belief would be shirk, irrespective of whether intercession is being practically sought or not, because, the essence of shirk was in their belief that attributed divinity to others besides Allah. This way of isolating the belief as the essence and foundation of an action, is something that does not pass the minds of the wahhabiyyah.
They instead bend focus towards mere superficial outward appearances of actions. As highlighted previously, shirk of the polytheists was in their belief, not mere action.

If intercession is shirk then the belief in intercession itself would be shirk and the outward actions would only be a secondary consequence of that belief.
This entails that, if seeking intercession from a servant of Allah, despite affirming knowingly the oneness of Allah, constitutes shirk; then the mere belief in obtaining intercession during the Day of Judgment (which is in fact an established creed of Sunni Muslims), would itself be shirk.

The outward consequential action or its time and place, cannot be held in isolation and made the distinguishing factor between tawhid and shirk.

5) He develops an incoherent classification of intercession, in the form of a “prohibited” and “permissible” intercession.

He says: And intercession is of two types: The prohibited intercession and the affirmed intercession. The prohibited intercession is that which is sought from other than Allaah concerning that which only Allaah is able to do. And the proof is His, the Most High’s, saying, “O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession.  And it is the disbelievers who are the Dhaalimun (wrong-doers, etc).” [al baqarah 2:254]

And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allaah while the intercessor is honoured with the intercession and the one interceded for is someone who deeds and speech are pleasing to Allaah, after He gives permission, as He, the Most High, said, “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission ?” [al baqarah 2:255]

a) Firstly, this classification of intercession into “sought from Allah” and “sought from other than Allah” is itself an innovation. Therefore, as per their own criteria, it has to be rejected as a misguidance leading to the hell fire. Furthermore, the verse quoted does not lend any support to this ambiguous classification.
b) As pointed out previously, tawhid and shirk is an issue of belief. But by this classification he diverts it into an isolated issue of outward actions, rather than a difference originating from internal belief.
c) He uses the verse {…before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession…} [2:254] as proof, for the prohibition of intercession. But interpretations such as that would cause the same verse to be even a proof against seeking friendship and bargain, from others besides Allah. Yet they wouldn’t dare make such a simplistic prohibition when it comes to these matters.
d) He ingeniously introduces into the first classification, a specific clause: “Allah alone is capable”. This clause has no proof whatsoever in the verse he quotes. By introducing this clause into the definition of prohibited intercession, he has, in a way, implied that others besides Allah are capable alongside Allah, when it comes to certain matters. This would be a case of attributing partners in Allah’s Power because of the division of His Power, and from that sense a real case of shirk.

If someone is to explain this as intending bestowed dependent capability, and not independent capability, then, in that case, this specific clause “that which Allah alone is capable”, would be an admission that intercession is permitted through that which the creation of Allah is capable of. The ability to worship Allah is a power endowed upon mankind, as it is the very purpose of creation, as Allah says: {I created jinn and mankind only to worship Me”} [51:56]. The clause then is forced to admit that intercession can be sought from the ability of a creation to worship Allah and beseech Allah for his intercession.  Furthermore, Allah provides His Messengers and friends limitlessly, of which includes miracles, as Allah says {God provides limitlessly for whoever He will.}[3:37]. Hence, the clause is also forced to admit that seeking from the miracles that have been provided by Allah is not prohibited.

If someone instead says, what is meant by this prohibited intercession is the absolute prohibition of seeking intercession from others besides Allah, then, this clause “in matters only Allah is capable”, would have to be rendered pointless. Moreover, this would also contradict the specific classification made right after it of a “permitted intercession”, because, an intercession by nature requires the existence of an intermediary between Allah and the person in need. The intermediary would thereby be necessarily sought in one way or the other.

e) The commentator to this book, Muhammed bin Abdir Rahman al Khumayyis provides an example where no one besides Allah is to be sought or made intermediary. He says: “As for the intercession that Allah has negated in his book then it is the intercession that is sought from other than Allah in matters that no one has control over except Allah, such as a person who seeks entrance into paradise from other than Allah, for example, or to be saved from the hellfire.”
Yet it is from the fundamental creedal established doctrine of Islam that the Muslim community would seek intercession from the Prophet in this very matter i.e. paradise and hell, during the Day of Judgment. This commentator has thereby invented personal legislation’s into Islam by declaring prohibited that which Allah permitted and honored the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) with.

f) The prohibition of seeking intercession directly from others besides Allah, would also be an open contradiction to the Quran, such as with the verse :{ The [brothers] said, ‘Father, ask God to forgive our sins– we were truly in the wrong.’ He replied, ‘I shall ask my Lord to forgive you: He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’} (Quran 12: 97-98).  With these self concocted definitions, he has implicated the Quran of teaching shirk. [1]

g) As for the definition he gives for “permitted intercession”, if what he meant by it, is to outwardly or directly seek from Allah only and not through His creation, then this would again be an actual case of shirk, that he has categorized as permitted.  Because Allah cannot be made an intermediary in the real sense of it. The permission to intercede could be sought from Allah and so can a person act as an interceder, but intercession cannot be sought from Allah, simply because Allah is not an intermediary. There certainly are different ways of outwardly seeking intercession from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and it is not limited to seeking his prayer to Allah. Greetings and blessings can be sent upon the Prophet, or the resting place of the Prophet can be visited, the love of the Prophet can be increased, or poetic couplets can be recited in honor and defense of the Prophet or even the testifying of Islam could be made with the added hope of obtaining intercession of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But none of that constitutes seeking Allah for intercession.

If someone says, what he meant by permitted intercession is only in the sense that the ultimate objective of intercession or ultimate hope of cause and effect or harm and benefit, is to be expected from Allah only; then there is no one in the Muslim community who believes other than this. He is with this, conjuring up imaginary accusations upon the Muslim Ummah. Moreover, this would also be a question of shirk in the Lordship of Allah, and hence would contradict the assertion made in the first principle that polytheists possessed belief in the oneness of Lordship.

h) Finally, if it said in apology that what he meant by such a classification is only to clarify to whom intercession benefits and to whom it does not benefit, then this would be an admission that it is not seeking intercession or nearness itself, that is prohibited. It would  be in accordance with the subjective state of the individuals that  beneficial and non-beneficial intercession is differentiated, irrespective of whether intercession is practically/outwardly sought or not.

Moreover, even though he mentions that intercession requires the permission of Allah, he leaves unexplained the criteria upon which Allah grants the power of intercession. The Quran has provided the criteria: {Those gods they invoke besides Him have no power of intercession, unlike those who bore witness to the truth and recognized it} [43:86]. Hence, bearing witness to the truth (of His Oneness) with recognition is the bounds Allah Himself has determined, for having the power of intercession. The criteria therefore to distinguish between a valid and invalid intercession, as per Quran, is in knowingly bearing witness to the Truth, which is an issue of internal belief rather than mere outward actions.

6)  The author of this principle in any case refrains from making an absolute prohibition of intercession and instead ambiguously recognizes the existence of a valid intercession. This implies that believing an object to be an intercessor is not by itself equivalent to shirk or enough to implicate one of taking the object as an ilaah besides Allah.
This would force the wahhabiyyuun to admit even more, because it would be absurd for one, to claim as valid the belief that an object is an intercessor yet accuse someone of shirk when one seeks intercession from this very attribute of intercessor.

It is equivalent to claiming that it is permissible to believe someone could be a doctor yet it is not permissible to seek from the attribute of doctor-ship that is being applied to the doctor.

Conclusion:
The principle is an incoherent assertion framed in a poorly phrased ambiguous manner containing nothing by which it could be qualified as a valid principle, let alone being a principle beneficial in understanding the fundamentals of shirk.
________
Notes:
[1] This invented logic that intercession cannot be sort from the interceder and instead only from Allah, is an inherent Wahhabi doctrine, although modern day Wahhabis don’t make it explicit.

The following quote is from an early senior Wahhabi grand sheikh, where he not just argues for this ridiculous doctrine of theirs but also applies it in objecting to the intercession on the Day of Judgement and thereby an indirect denial/attack on the great intercession in the hereafter, which is a fundamental doctrine of Ahlus Sunnah and denied by the early Muatazilites and Kharijites :
Sulayman ibn ‘Abd-Allah Aal al-Shaykh (1780–1818) while objecting to the Burda of Imam al-Busiri (May Allah have mercy on him), writes:
He asked him to intercede for him in the words: “undoubtedly your high position will enable you to help me when al-Kareem [Allah] takes the name of al-Muntaqim [the Avenger – i.e., on the Day of Resurrection].” This is what the mushrikoon sought from those whom they worshipped, relying on their high position and intercession before Allah, and this is shirk. Moreover, intercession cannot be granted except with the permission of Allah, so it makes no sense to seek it from anyone else. Allah is the One who gives permission to the intercessor to intercede; no intercessor can initiate his intercession. (…..)
This is a great contradiction and obvious shirk, because he is asking first and not doubting that his high position will enable him to help him, then he asks him to take him by the hand out of generosity and kindness, otherwise he will be doomed.
It may be said: How can you ask him first for intercession, then ask him to be kind to you?
If you say that intercession can only come after permission from Allah, then how can you call upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and ask him to intercede?
Why don’t you ask for intercession from the One under Whose authority all types of intercession come, the One Who is the Sovereign and Controller of heaven and earth, the One Who there is no intercession except after His permission. This renders invalid your seeking intercession from anyone other than Allah.
If you say: All I want is to seek his help by means of his high position and intercession, by the permission of Allah.
The response is: How can you ask him (the Prophet) to be generous to you and take you by the hand on the Day of Recompense, when this is contrary to the words of Allah, “And what will make you know what the Day of Recompense is?
18. Again, what will make you know what the Day of Recompense is?
19. (It will be) the Day when no person shall have power (to do anything) for another, and the Decision, that Day, will be (wholly) with Allaah” [al-Infitaar 82:17-19]?
How can belief in both this and that coexist in one heart?
If you say: I asked him to take me by the hand and be kind to me by virtue of his high status and intercession,
The response is: It comes back to seeking intercession from someone other than Allah, and that is the essence of shirk. End quote
[Tafseer al-‘Azeez al-Hameed fi Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed, 1/187-189]
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Answering MIAW’s 3rd principle of shirk

Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahab writes:
The third principle is that the Prophet (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) encountered people differing in their worship. Amongst them were people who worshipped the angels, some who worshipped the prophets and the righteous men and others who worshipped stones, trees, the sun and the moon. The Messenger of Allah (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) fought them and did not differentiate between them.
The proof is the saying of Allaah, the Most High, “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allaah) and all the deen is for Allaah (Alone).” [2:193]
And the proof that sun and the moon is the saying of the Most High, “And from among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon.”[41:37]
And the proof that the angels is the saying of the Most High, “Nor would he order you to take angels and Prophets for lords (gods).” [3:80]
And the proof that the prophets is the saying of the Most High: “And when Allaah will say “O Iesa ibn Maryam did you say unto men, ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allaah’.” He will say, “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right. Had I said such a thing I do not know what is in Yours, truly You are the All-Knower of all that is hidden.” [5:116]
And the proof that the righteous is the saying of the most high, “Those whom they call upon desire means of access to their Lord, as to which of them should be nearest and they hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment.” [17:57]
And the proof that stones and tress is His, the Most High’s saying, “Have you considered al-Laat and al-Uzza. And Manaat, the other third?” [53:19-20]

And the hadeeth of Abu Waaqid al Laythee (may allaah be pleased with him) who said: “We departed with the Prophet (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) to Hunain and we had recently left kufr. The muhrikeen used to have a tree which they used to devote themselves to and hang their weapons upon, they used to call it ‘Dhaat Anwaat’. We passed by a tree and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, appoint for us a Dhaat Anwaat like they have a Dhaat Anwat. He said, “ allaahu Akbar, allaahu akbar, allaahu akbar! By the One in whose Hand is my soul, these are the ways. The like of what you have said is what bani Israeel said to Musaa, “ Make for us a god as they have gods.” He said, “Verily you are an ignorant people.” [7:1387]

[reported by at trimidhi 2180 who said the hadeeth is Hasan saheeh, and Ahmad 5/218, Ibn Abi Aasim in As-sunnah 76, Ibn Hibban in his saheeh 6702 and it was authenticated by ibn hajr in al-isaabah 4/216.]

Refutation:

1) The intention behind inclusion of this odd principle seems to be because of the authors concern in responding to an argument that is at times raised against his accusation of polytheism upon Muslims. The argument accuses him of quoting verses revealed regarding the idolaters, and misapplying it upon Muslims who have nothing to do with idolatry. With the inclusion of this principle, he seems to be making the point that the objects the polytheists worshiped varied and was not merely restricted to idols.

This apologetic in any case though misses the point of the argument that is made against him.

The Quranic verses which makes mention of the senseless, powerless and unresponsive state of the stone idols of the polytheists, cannot be equated with living souls, as Allah says {…Not alike…..are the living and the dead….}[Quran 35:12] and also says{Do not say that those who are killed in God’s cause are dead; they are alive, though you do not realize it.} [Quran 2:154].  That the polytheist worshiped something other than idols is therefore irrelevant here, as the verses which he applies upon Muslims where revealed with a meaning specific to those real stone idols and not regarding conscious living beings.

Secondly, if someone is to say that there are other verses such as {Do not call upon anyone alongside Allah} [Quran 72:18], that would apply to all objects besides Allah and not restricted to stone idols, then this is only partly true. Such verses would apply to all objects, but only in context to the polytheists to whom this verse was revealed. The actions of the polytheists are merely an outcome and expression of their polytheistic belief. These verses therefore would apply only to those individuals who carry such polytheistic beliefs. The polytheist would not seize being a polytheist on mere account of a pause in their outward act of calling someone besides Allah. Their belief is the foundation of their actions. These verses cannot be applied upon an individual without taking into context the belief of the individual, which takes us to the next point;

2) He makes no mention of the belief, these polytheists held, regarding these various objects they worshiped, despite the Quran in clear terms implying that they took the prophets and angels as Lords [Quran 3:80], the Jinn’s as partners to God [Quran 6:100], Jesus as a son of God in a Trinitarian formula [Quran 4:171] and al-Laat, al-Uzza and Manaat as daughters of God [Quran 53:19-21].

3) Moreover, he gives no space to even define “worship”, even though the knowledge of its meaning is fundamental in making sense of this principle. It is incumbent on him to define what constitutes worship of an object or when an “act” would be considered as an “act of worship”.

Worship is linguistically defined or can be made synonym, to servitude, which is an act or state of being a slave. Its primary and significant aspect is obedience but broadens as, obedience with humbleness or humility. It also includes actions like love and fear, as is essential to servitude in humbleness and humility. This meaning is significant to understand, because, the essential linguistic meaning of worship is not some mere religious rituals or outward acts, as some people suppose.

Now clearly obedience does not necessitate worship, for Allah says {Obey God and the Messenger} [Quran 3:32] and the obedience of the messenger here does not constitute taking the messenger as an object of worship.

Similarly, Quran says: {If you fear high-handedness from your wives} [Quran 4:34],
yet the fear of wives high handedness here does not constitute taking the wife as an object of worship. Allah says :{ You [Prophet] cannot guide everyone you love….} [Quran 28:56],
yet the love, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had for them here, does not constitute worship of them. Allah says: {Those who turn for protection to God, His Messenger, and the believers [are God’s party]: God’s party is sure to triumph.}[Quran 5:56],
yet the protection sought from the Messenger and the believers does not constitute taking the Messenger or the believers as an object of worship. {If any of your slaves…..}[Quran 24:33],
yet the possession of slaves here does not entail the slaves are worshiping the owner of the slave. Therefore, none of this is what constitutes the essential meaning of worship.

The meaning of worship as servitude instead is the utmost or highest servitude. This utmost servitude can be seen to occur from the perspective of the subjective state as well as objective state [1].

The utmost servitude occurs subjectively when the subjective self believes in devoting his utmost or highest submission to the object. This subjective state of worship is essentially a belief and inward act. The outward actions are an outpouring or continuation of this belief.[2]  

Therefore shirk or the association of a partner in worship, in such a subjective state occurs only when the subjective self believes in giving an “equal” subjective servitude/submission to an object besides Allah. Hence, the obedience and love for the messenger of Allah does not constitute worship devoted to the messenger himself because the obedience and love that is given here is not with the belief of devoting an equal or greater or as a rival to Allah.

The ultimate servitude on the other hand occurs objectively when the object is believed to be attributed with divinity or Lordship in one form or the other. Because, when attributing the object with Divinity or Lordship, it also necessitates the belief that the subject is in ultimate servitude to that object, as a result of the Lordhood and Divinehood the object has over the subject. The act of “believing” is in and of itself an action(of the heart and mind), and it thereby constitutes an act of worship even if further outward acts of worship by the tongue and hands and legs may not have been done. By having this belief and knowledge and submitting to it, he establishes to whom his highest and utmost servitude is.

Therefore, worship whether objectively or subjectively is essentially founded and emerging from inner belief and not separate from them. The outward actions would entail worship when it is emerging from such inner belief. It is due to ignorance on part of these newly emergent protestant groups, in understanding the basic meaning of “worship”; that caused them to slander the Muslim Ummah of being polytheists.

This understanding is unlike the definition being innovated by the Wahhabiyyah, where worship is defined in ways like “seeking an object”. For worship is the ultimate servitude and submission to an object even linguistically, rather than mere seeking from an object. Worship is not based on the treatment of an object as some kind of a vending machine up in the clouds. Seeking Allah would indeed constitute worship but only when Allah is sought in worship, i.e., when Allah is sought with belief in ultimate servitude to Him. It is in this sense that invoking Allah constitutes the essence or core of worship (i.e., essence or core of ultimate servitude). The inconsistency in the Wahhabi understanding can be seen clearly in that the criteria which they apply to “seeking” or “invoking” they do not apply upon other acts of worship like humility, love, fear, obedience, reverence, etc and declare people as shirk for fearing, loving, obeying an object or someone besides Allah.

Conclusion: 
There is no real outstanding point made by this principle. Despite him claiming that the polytheists worshiped various objects he does not explain the belief they held regarding each of these objects. And furthermore despite claiming that they worshiped various objects, his principle lacks the essential definition of worship.
______
Notes:
[1] Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. 333/944) in his tafsir of the verse “You we worship” (Quran 1:5), says :
ثم قوله: { إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ } يتوجه وجهين:
أحدهما: إلى التوحيد، وكذا رُوِيَ عن ابن عباسرضي الله عنهماأنه قال: ” كُلُّ عبادةٍ في القرآنِ فهو توحيدٌ “.
والوجه الآخر: أن يكون على كل طاعة أن يعبد الله بها، وأصلها يرجع إلى واحد؛ لما على العبد أن يوحد اللهتعالىفي كل عبادة لا يُشرك فيها أحداً، بل يخلصها فيكون موحِّداً لله تعالى بالعبادة والدين جميعاً.
[2] Also note that this is not concerned with involuntary actions like fearing a lion or by attempting to somehow quantify emotions and then comparing the emotion quantitatively with some measured standards. Rather as mentioned above, it is an outcome of conscious belief and inward state.
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Answering MIAW’s 4th principle of shirk

Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahab writes:
The fourth principle is that the mushrikeen of our time are worse in their shirk than the mushrikeen who came before. This is because those who came before committed shirk during times of ease and made their worship purely for Allaah during times difficulty. However, the shirk of the mushrikeen of our time is continuous, during times of ease and difficulty. The proof is His, the Most High’s, saying, “And when they embark on a ship they invoke Allaah making their faith pure for Him only, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others.” [al-Ankaboot 29:65], so based upon this, the caller (one who supplicates) then he is actually a worshipper (by this supplication), and the evidence is His, the Most High’s saying, “And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?” [al ahqaf 46:5]

Refutation:

In this final principle, he begins by alleging that polytheists committed shirk only at times of ease. The Quranic verse he brings forth as proof is the action of polytheists at times of extreme difficulty, where they used to direct themselves only to Allah abandoning their stone idols.  The author interprets this action to mean that polytheists were actually monotheists at such difficult times. This absurd conclusion is a result of the falsehoods in his previous principles. This conclusion is implying that, a polytheist who leaves his idol for a moment and directs himself to Allah, becomes a monotheist at that specific moment. 

It requires no deep thinking to notice the absurdity of such a conclusion, for tawhid is not a mere switching from an idol to Allah. Rather it constitutes essentially the belief that “there is no god but Allah”. There has to first be an absolute negation of false gods and along with it proceeds then the affirmation of Allah as God.  A mere turning to Allah by an idolater does not make an idolater a monotheist unless it was preceded by negation of false gods. More importantly, any action dedicated to Allah, whether it consists of invoking at times of difficulty, an annual pilgrimage to the house of Allah or anything else, without this monotheistic belief, is rejected and deemed invalid.

The actions of polytheists at times of difficulty was a mere temporary abandonment of their stone idols, due to the practical non-beneficial state of their idols; and not because the polytheists suddenly turned monotheist, convinced that “there is no God but Allah” or all of a sudden realized the partner gods were not really gods. Therefore, their act of merely turning to Allah at those moments, which allegedly made them monotheists   according to Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab, cannot be considered as even valid in the first place, let alone make them a monotheist.

The author then alleges that this action of polytheists i.e., their invoking of Allah, constituted an act of worship of Him. By this argument he attempts to establish his case that, the mere outward act of invoking for help, constituted an act of worship. But such a claim is false, since as mentioned before, an action without purity in belief is in fact void.

The proof that the actions of polytheist did not constitute worship of Allah is the Quranic verse revealed against the unbelievers: {you do not worship what I worship…. you will never worship what I worship”}[Quran 109:3,5].  

Yet they were considered as worshiper of idols [Quran 109:2, 4]. That is, the invoking of polytheists of their idols were considered as worship of it, yet their invoke of Allah did not make them be considered as worshipers of Allah. Why this distinction ? This fact, that such actions of polytheists did not constitute worship, is an invalidation of these innovated principles and definitions that has reduced tawheed, shirk and worship to external practical actions without any connection with internal belief. If it were true then, the dedication of actions by polytheists for Allah, from their invoking at times of difficulty or their sacrifice, fasting or pilgrimage would have been considered as worship of Allah. But the Qur’an, on the contrary, and without any ambiguity, reveals that the polytheists never worshiped Allah, which therefore is proof that “worship” does not constitute of mere outward actions and has conditions more than that for being qualified as worship.

Furthermore, the fact that Allah says the Meccan polytheists worshiped idols and did not worship Allah as well as the fact the Quran was revealed to call Mushriks to worship Allah only, proves that the core meaning of worship is objective and not dependent on revelation or time-place. If the essential/core meaning of worship was just some kind of outward act or ritual that was dependent on revealed law determining it as worship, then the Mushirks who never received a divine law would have not even known the meaning worship and hence the message of the Quran would be meaningless to them. But instead the Mushirks well knew the meaning of worship and what the Prophet (peace be upn him) was calling them towards, and hence the meaning of worship and shirk was known and defined independent of revealed law, and their meaning cannot be reduced to mere outward bodily rituals or acts.

Now even if supposing for arguments sake that their principle is true, even then they need  to be consistent in their accusation. They would have to not just accuse Muslims of the near time but even slander the Qur’an and the prophetic narrations. A couple of examples from the Qur’an and hadith, which they have to reject, being:

The speech of Solomon (alaihi salaam) :{‘Counsellors, which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?’} [Quran 27:38], the speech of Jesus (alaihi salaam): {‘Who will help me in God’s cause?’} [Quran 3:52], the command of Allah: {“…if they seek help from you against persecution, it is your duty to assist them…”} [Quran 8:72], the general duty ordered by Allah:{“…help one another to do what is right and good; ….} [Quran 5:2],that Allah has kept invisible forces to aid the creation: {“God…. aided him with forces invisible to you”} [Quran 9:40], and the Quranic identity of “Allah’s party”: {“Those who turn for protection to God, His Messenger, and the believers [are God’s party]: God’s party is sure to triumph.”} [Quran 5:56].

In these verses, aid is being sought from creation, the providing of aid and help is proscribed as a duty of creation, existence of invisible forces of aid is recognized as existent and turning to some of Allah’s creation for protection is praised as being the act of “God’s party”.  All of this should be categorized as the essence of shirk, as per the innovated standards of the ideologist Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab.

Examples from the prophetic narrations is the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “If one of you becomes lost or if you need help, and you are in a place that has no other humans, then call out, “O servants of Allah, help me! (aghithuni, a’inuni)” three times, for indeed Allah has servants who are unseen.”and the saying: “Allah has creatures whom He created for the fulfillment of the needs of people, whom the people go to and seek out for their needs, and they are the secure (on Judgment Day) from the Wrath of Allah.”  Moreover, in the narration recorded in Sahih Bukhari (#3114), it is related that Hajarah running between Safa and Marwa in search of water, hears a voice and says: “O you whose voice you have made me hear! If there is a ghawth (helper) with you (then help me)!” and an angel appeared at the spring of Zamzam. All of such prophetic narrations should be declared as worse than Meccan polytheism, if one has to consistently follow this new creed.

An apologist might at this moment intervene, by saying, “shirk occurs when a creation is invoked for a matter that  “only Allah is capable“”. This final straw of argument, is in reality only an admission that,  the outward act of invoking or seeking a creation, is not what really constitutes shirk. Instead, shirk would be with the belief that a creation has a certain ability, that is in actuality a capability that belongs only to Allah. This goes back to saying that, shirk the polytheists committed consisted of shirk in Lordship itself, by associating an attribute of Allah to a creation. This last defense hence invalidates the prior principles of Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab. Their argument would be running around in circles. They start by arguing about polytheists affirming oneness in Lordship and yet they end their argument, after ducking and diving, into saying that shirk is in attributing Allah’s attributes to others besides Allah. Therefore, even if one actually concedes the first principle from these four principles, yet their argument would not follow, as they themselves would be contradicting and in opposition to their own first principle. Whether this allegation of theirs that, Muslims attribute creations with attributes that belong to Allah only, has any truth in it or not, is beyond the scope of this series of response, and besides, it was never raised as an argument by Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab himself.

Conclusion:
This final principle makes the absurd notion that, an idolater becomes a monotheist by a simple turning towards Allah for help. An attempt was also made to infer from this that, the mere outward action of the Mushriks on a ship was considered as a worship of Allah. But this attempt is totally contradicted by what is mentioned in Surah al-Kafirun that, Mushriks did not worship Allah, thereby invalidating all the false invented definitions of tawhid and worship.
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A Summary to Answering MIAW’s Four Principles

Muhammed bin Abdul Wahab’s principles can be summarized as follows:

1) The Meccan polytheists accepted the oneness of Allah’s Lordship and yet were considered as polytheists.
2) The polytheists argued that they worship others besides Allah only to seek nearness and intercession, yet they were considered as polytheists.
3) They worshiped variety of objects. Islam made no distinction with them and rejected all of them.
4) They sought Allah solely at times of extreme hardship yet went back to worshiping others at other times. Hence, the essence of shirk was in the worship of others besides Allah, and the worship here consisted of their seeking of objects besides Allah.
The jest of these principles comes down to saying that, the meaning of ilaah (in context to the polytheists) is an object that is sought. And the basic central meaning therefore of la illaaha illallah revealed against the polytheists was that “there is no object that is to be sought except Allah”.

And the refutation to this can be summarized that:

1) The Meccan polytheists did ascribe partners in Allah’s Lordship. This was the fundamental reason why they were not considered as a people of tawhid.
2) Although the polytheists worshiped these lords besides Allah, they argued that they were by it seeking only nearness and intercession to Allah. Here seeking intercession and nearness to Allah was not in and of itself shirk, but rather their taking them as lords and worship of them instead of Allah constituted shirk. The intercession they believed was one of lords interceding with other partners in lordship using their attributes of lordship, rather than attributes of servanthood of a slave of Allah.
3) That they worshiped various objects is irrelevant, as all these various objects were in essence taken as partners in Allah’s Lordship. Besides the meaning of worship as per Islam is the ultimate servitude given to them and not the new found definitions invented in past century.
4) Although they directed themselves to Allah abandoning their idols at extreme times yet that did not constitute as worship of Allah. Therefore, the mere seeking of an object was not enough to constitute worship and the new invented definitions are proved as false. It also proves that polytheists remained impure in their belief of Allah that caused their acts to not be counted as worship of Allah. The polytheists abandoned these idols only because they were useless stone objects at that point of time and not because they at sea affirmed only Allah is Lord and only Allah deserves to be worshiped.

Ilaah carries the meaning of lordship/divinity as well as it’s subjective derivative of giving ultimate servitude. The meaning of la illaaha illallah therefore is a combination of meaning originating from inner belief i.e., ‘there is no lord besides Allah” and hence “there is no object to be given ultimate servitude except Allah”. The interpretation of illaah instead as an “object that is sought” is a new found definition not found in the shariah nor sanctioned by Muslim scholarship, contradictory to shariah, and even close to blasphemy as it asserts prior acknowledgment of the existence of illaah’s besides Allah over which only Allah is to be chosen as illaah, while the Islamic testification starts by asserting that there is no ilaah besides Allah.
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The Four principles in light of end times tribulations:
The notions buttressed as principles within this book, constitute a form of satanic delusion to distort the fundamentals of Islam into a skewed, superficial and incoherent aspect, and by it cause the reality of tawhid and shirk to be covered up.

It rejects the Islamic tradition and replaces it with a new one that is in defiance of the Islamic tradition, which is a diversion from the straight path of Islam to the door of hell.
It opens the way for the enemies of Islam to attack the foundational doctrines of Islam.

It is of the end time’s dajjalic plots that has deluded the modern day khawarij, into making true Muslims appear as polytheists and vice versa, and in making the path to heaven appear as hell and vice versa. It turns God into a vending machine living in the clouds, paving the way for people with such creed to be easily receptacle in taking dajjal as god.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) foretold the appearance of these minor dajjals:
There will be towards the end of time, dajjals, liars who will say to you what neither you nor your forebears ever heard before. Beware of them lest they misguide you and bring you confusion.” [Sahih Muslim]
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There will be Dajjals and liars among my Community. They will tell you something new which neither you nor your forefathers have heard. Be on your guard against them and do not let them lead you astray.” [Musnad Ahmed]
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“… (there will be) some people calling at the gates of the (Hell) Fire, and whoever will respond to their call, will be thrown by them into the (Hell) Fire.” I said, “O Allah s Apostle! Will you describe them to us?” He said, “They will be from our own people and will speak our language.” I said, “What do you order me to do if such a state should take place in my life?” He said, “Stick to the group of Muslims and their Imam.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
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Some young and foolish people will come at the end of time who will speak from the best words of mankind, but their faith will not go beyond their throats. They will leave Islam like the arrow passes through gameKill them wherever you meet them. On the Day of Rising the one who kills them will have a reward for killing them.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
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 ‘There shall appear a group of people from my Umma in the direction of the east. They will recite the Qur’an but it will not pass their throats. Every time a generation of them appears it will be cut down…- until the Anti-Christ appears from their last remnants.’
[al-Musnad, al-Mustadrak, and others]
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 ‘every time a generation of them appears it will be cut down-this will occur over twenty times – until the Anti-Christ appears in their last remnant.’ [Sunan Ibn Majah]
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 Source Here
(Edited by ADHM)
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Even though Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH) invented the division of Tawhid into three, but Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1206 AH) took it to a completely new level.

Ibn Taymiyyah had understood what the real polytheists believed in as it becomes clear from this quote:
فهو سبحانه يبين أنه هو المستحق للعبادة دون ما يعبد من دونه وأنه لا مثل له . ويبين ما اختص به من صفات الكمال وانتفائها عما يعبد من دونه . ويبين أنه يتعالى عما يشركون وعما يقولون من إثبات الأولاد والشركاء له .

وقال : { قل لو كان معه آلهة كما يقولون إذا لابتغوا إلى ذي العرش سبيلا } وهم كانوا يقولون إنهم يشفعون لهم ويتقربون بهم .

لكن كانوا يثبتون الشفاعة بدون إذنه فيجعلون المخلوق يملك الشفاعة وهذا نوع من الشرك . فلهذا قال تعالى : { ولا يملك الذين يدعون من دونه الشفاعة } فالشفاعة لا يملكها أحد غير الله
Source: "Majmu' al-Fatawa" 16/121-122: Here

In the above qoute he mentions that the polytheists used to ascribe partners and children to Allah and that they believed in an intercession where the permission of Allah is not needed.

But MIAW had not understood what they believed and that's why he would  take the Ayat out of their context and make Takfir so easily. I mean this guy would even make Takfir for not agreeing with this Takfir.

Shaykh Sulayman bin 'Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1208/1210) has shown pretty well in his book "Al-Sawa'iq al-Ilahiyyah fil Radd 'ala al-Wahhabiyyah" (which was orginally only a letter and had most likely no special name) that his brother MIAW had misunderstood Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH).



quote

This is from the beginning of the book:

فنقول نعم كل هذا حق يجب الايمان به ولكن من اين لكم ان المسلم الذي يشهد ان لا اله الا الله وان محمدا عبده ورسوله اذا دعى غائباً او ميتاً او نذر له او ذبح لغير الله او تمسح بقبر او اخذ من ترابه ان هذا هو الشرك الاكبر الذي من فعله حبط عمله وحل ماله ودمه وانه الذي اراد الله سبحانه من هذه الاية وغيرها في القرآن فان قلتم فهمنا ذلك من الكتاب والسنة قلنا لا عبرة بمفهومكم ولا يجوزلكم ولا لمسلم الاخذ بمفهومكم فان الامة مجمعة كما تقدم ان الاستنباط مرتبة اهل الاجتهاد المطلق ومع هذا لو اجتمعت شروط الاجتهاد في رجل لم يجب على احد الاخذ بقوله دون نظر 

"So we say yes this true and we have to accept it and have faith in it but where did you get that the muslim, who testifies that there is no divinity but Allah and that Muhammad is his slave, when he calls an absent or a dead, or vows to him, or makes a sacrifice to other than Allah or takes some of his soil that this is the great shirk for which the perpretrator loses his deeds and his wealth and blood becomes permissible, and that this is what Allah meant by these verses and others in the quran. If you say that this from your understanding of the quran and sunna, we say there is nothing to be taken in account from your understanding and it is not permissible for you or for a muslim to take this understanding because the ummat has agreed as we have explained that drawing rules is one of the degrees of the mujtahid mutlaq, and even if you reached the level of ijtihad it is not obligatory for anyone to follow your position without verifiying it.


قال الشيخ تقي الدين من اوجب تقليد الامام بعينه دون نظر انه يستتاب فان تاب والا قتل انتهى وان قلتم اخذنا ذلك من كلام بعض اهل العلم كابن تيمية وابن القيم لانهم سموا ذلك شركاً (قلنا) هذا حق ونوافقكم على تقليد الشيخين ان هذا شرك ولكن هم لم يقولوا كما قلتم ان هذا شرك اكبر يخرج من الاسلام وتجري على كل بلد هذا فيها احكام اهل الردة بل من لم يكفرهم عندكم فهو كافر تجري عليه احكام اهل الردة ولكنهم رحمهم الله ذكروا ان هذا شرك وشددوا فيه ونهوا عنه ولكن ما قالوا كما قلتم ولا عشر معشاره ولكنكم اخذتم من قولهم ماجاز لكم دون غيره بل في كلامهم رحمهم الله مايدل على ان هذا الافاعيل شرك اصغر وعلى تقدير ان في بعض افراده ماهو شرك اكبر على حسب حال قائله ونيته فهم ذكروا في بعض مواضع من كلامهم ان هذا لا يكفر حتى تقوم عليه الحجة الذي يكفر تاركها كما يأتي في كلامهم ان شاء الله مفصلا ولكن المطلوب منكم هو الرجوع الى كلام اهل العلم

"Sheikh Taqi Al-Din (Shaykh Al-Islâm Ibn Taymiyya) said: Whoever renders obligatory the following of an Imam in particular without verification then he is asked to repent or else he is killed, end of his words. If you say that you took this from the speech of some people of knowledge like Ibn Taymiya and Ibn Al-Qayyim because they called this shirk, we say it is the truth and we agree with you in doing their taqlîd the two sheikhs and that this is shirk but they did not say as you did that is shirk akbar which expells from the religion of islam and for which a region is declared a region of apostasy when that sort of act takes place in their region. In fact, whoever doesn't make takfir of them, then he is a kafir for you and the rulings of apostasy apply to him! But they said this is shirk and they were hard on it, they forbade it but they did not say what you said nor one tenth of what you said. Rather there is in their speech what indicates that these actions are shirk asghar. Let's suppose that, among some individuals, it is shirk akbar then it depends on the situation and intention of the individual because they mentionned in some places of their satements that takfir is not made until the proof is established which expels the one who abandons the proof as will be shown, insha Allah, with details.
What is requested from you is that you return to the statements of the scholars.

--
Source: Here posted by Abu Sulayman
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IBN TAYMIYYA says:
POLYTHEISTS DID NOT WORSHIP ALLAH 

BUT IDOLS!

A core principle of the Wahhabi tawhid is that polytheists are believers in Allah just like Muslims and that they worshipped Allah just like Muslims, while the difference between polytheists and Muslims according to them was that polytheists performed certain actions (like seeking help and intercession) to others besides Allah.  We have extensively responded to all of this in our refutation of  the Wahhabi principles :

 ANSWERING THE 4 PRINCIPLES of Shrik

What we have here instead is Ibn Taymiyya himself refuting the Wahhabi principle.

Ibn Tamiyya in his Majmu Fatawa, while explaining the verses of the Quran {I do not worship what you worship}{Nor are you worshippers of what I worship}[109:3,4], writes:

أنهم لو عينوا الله بما ليس هو الله وقصدوا عبادة الله معتقدين أن هذا هو الله كالذين عبدوا العجل والذين عبدوا المسيح والذين يعبدون الدجال والذين يعبدون ما يعبدون من دنياهم وهواهم ومن عبد من هذه الأمة فهم عند نفوسهم إنما يعبدون الله لكن هذا المعبود الذي لهم ليس هو الله .
Rough translation: They took as Allah what is not Allah, and headed to worship Allah believing that it was Allah, like those who worshiped the calf and those who worship Christ and those who worship Dajjal, and those who worship the whims and worldly matters believing they were worshiping Allah, but these were in reality idols of theirs and not Allah.

and later says:  أنهم إذا وصفوا الله بما هو بريء منه كالصاحبة والولد والشريك وأنه فقير أو بخيل أو غير ذلك وعبدوه كذلك . فهو بريء من المعبود الذي لهؤلاء . فإن هذا ليس هو الله

Rough Translation: They described Allah with what He is innocent off like Him having a child and partner and that He was poor and stingy, and yet devoted worship (to what they considered as Allah).  Then He is innocent of their idols (they had formed in their mind through false beliefs regarding Allah).  This is not Allah.
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From above we can see that the polytheists did not believe in Allah and worship Allah, but rather what they understood as Allah were some idols they had invented and not what Muslims believed in.
The Wahhabis falsely imagine that when Mushriks make reference to “Allah” it is the same Allah that Muslims believe in, when in reality “Allah” is also a generic term in the Arabic language for “God”,  just as we know even Arab Christians use the term “Allah” yet their belief regarding Allah is not the same as the Islamic belief.






Meccan polytheists

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