BELIEF IN ALLAH
In the Islamic Sharee'ah, Aqeedah is the belief/faith in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and Predestination - its good and evil. These are called the Pillars of Eeman (faith).
Aqeedah is Tawqeefiyah (which means that) beliefs cannot be established except with a proof from the Islamic Sharee'ah (religious texts) ie, Quran (Book of Allah) and the Sunnah (Ahadeeth of the Prophet).
Faith/ Belief in Allah is the first pillar of Eeman. And the core of Islam is to believe in Allah (the God). It is to say: the phrase, "La illaha illallah” (there is no God worthy of worship except Allah). This is called as TAWHEED is an Arabic Language.
Allah Said: And your god(Ilah) is one God(Ilah). There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. Quran Surah Baqrah 2:163
Meaning of Belief in Allah: Faith or Belief (Eeman) in Allah comprisesfour things.
1. Eeman in the Existence of Allah
2. Eeman in the Rububiyah (Lordship) of Allah
3. Eeman in the Uluhiyyah (Worship) of Allah
4. Eeman in al-Asma was-Sifat (the Names and Attributes) of Allah
Belief in the Existence of Allah
The First Aspect: The belief in Allah’s existence. This is established by:
- Al‐Fitrah (the natural pure inclination towards the truth)
- Al‐Aql (reason and analysis),
- Ash‐Sharee’ah (revelation and scripture),
- Al‐Hiss (physical senses).
- The existence of Allah is something indicated by reason and by man's innate nature, let alone the large amount of shar’i evidence to that effect.
The evidence of man’s innate nature that Allah exists: every man has been created with an innate belief in his Creator without having to first think about it or be taught, and no one deviates from this innate nature except the one who has been exposed to misguiding influences. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no child who is not born in a state of fitrah (the natural inclination of man), but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian”; Sahih al-Bukhari, 1358 and Sahih Muslim, 2658
- The proof of al‐Aql (reason and analysis) concerning Allah’s existence is that the things that we find in past and present existence must have had a Creator and Originator,since they could not have created themselves, and they could not have come into existence by mere chance, accident or coincidence.
They couldn’t have been created by mere chance, accident or coincidence, because every new event must have its prior causes that made it occur. We also see this creation with its amazing and magnificent organization, harmony and cohesion, and with the interrelations between the causes and effects. All this makes it completely unbelievable.
If it is not possible for these things to have created themselves or to have come into existence by accident, then there must be One Who brought them into existence, namely Allah the Lord of the Worlds. Allah has mentioned this rational evidence and definitive proof in Soorat al-Toor, where He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators?” Quran Surah al-Toor 52:35
This universe runs in perfect order which cannot be interrupted. Its parts do not clash or collide into one another. "It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit." Quran Surah Ya-Sin 36: 40
They were not created without a Creator, and they did not create themselves, so their Creator must be Allah, may He be blessed and exalted. Hence when Jubayr ibn Mut’im heard the Messenger of Allah (S) reciting Soorat al-Toor, and he reached these verses (interpretation of the meaning): “Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief. Or are with them the treasures of your Lord? Or are they the tyrants with the authority to do as they like?” [al-Toor 52:35-37]. Jabeer was a mushrik at that time, and said: “My heart almost soared, and that was the first moment that faith entered my heart”. Sahih al-Bukhari Book 65, Hadith 4854
- The proof of ash‐Sharee’ah (revelation and scripture) concerning Allah’s existence is that all of the divinely revealed Scriptures confirm His existence. The laws and instructions that Allah revealed in these scriptures, which address the needs and affairs of His creation, are evidence that they came from an Omniscient and Sublime Sovereign Lord, who knows everything that is best for His creatures. The fact that our observations agree to the information about natural laws contained within them is an evidence that they are from a Lord Sovereign Supreme who is able to bring into being what he informed.
- The proofs of al‐Hiss (physical sense) concerning Allah’s existence are from two directions. The first is that we witness and see that Allah answers those who supplicate to Him and call out to Him in distress. This proves decisively that Allah exists. Allah said: And (remember) Nooh, when he cried (to us) aforetime; We listened to his supplication. Quran Surah al‐Anbiyaa’ 21:76
And Allah said:"(Remember) Ayub, when he cried to his Lord, "Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. So We answered his call. We removed the distress that was on him. We restored his family to him and the like thereof along with them as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us." Quran Surah al-Anbiya 21: 83-84
The second proof concerning sense perception is that the prophets of Allah brought various miracles that many people either witnessed directly or heard about (from reliable sources).
An example of one of these miracles is the sign that Allah gave to Prophet Musa. Allah ordered him to strike the sea with his stick and the sea parted into twelve dry sections with a mass of water like a mountain on the side of each section. Allah the Most Exalted says in the Qur’an: Then We inspired Musaa (saying): “Strike the sea with your stick.” And it parted, and each separated part (of the sea water) became like a huge, firm mass of a mountain. Quran Surah Al‐Shu'ara 26:63
A second example is from the miracles of Prophet ‘Eesa who was given the power by Allah to resurrect the dead in their graves back to life. Allah the Most Exalted informs us in the Qur’an that he (‘Eesaa) said: …and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s leave. Quran SurahAali ‘Imran 3:49
Belief in the Rububiyah (Lordship) of Allah
This is the meaning of Allah's Lordship (i.e., Allah is the Sole Creator, Owner and the One, in Control of all affairs). None of these benefit (or complete one's Faith in Allah's Lordship)without the other. Allah is the Creator,Whooriginated everything from non-existence. "The Originator of the heavens and the earth." Quran Surah al-Baqarah 2: 117
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the (Only) Originator of the heavens and the earth." Quran Surah Fatir 35: 1
To belief that He alone is the Rabb (Lord), with no partner or helper. The Lord (Rabb) is the One Who has the power of creation, dominion and control. There is no Creator except Allah, no Sovereign except Allah, no controller of affairs except Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Surely, His is the creation and commandment” Quran Surah al-A’raaf 7:54
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs?’ They will say: ‘Allah.’ Say: ‘Will you not then be afraid of Allah’s punishment (for setting up rivals in worship with Allah)?’” Quran Surah Yunus 10:31
“He manages and regulates (every) affair from the heavens to the earth; then it (affair) will go up to Him” Quran Surah al-Sajdah 32:5
“Such is Allah, your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmeer (the thin membrane over the date stone)” Quran Surah Faatir 35:13
He, who believes in this category of Tawheed (i.e., Rububiyah) only does not enter Islam and will not be saved from the Fire. The disbelievers for instance confessed the Oneness of Allah's Lordship but their acceptance did not enter them into Islam. Allah called them disbelievers (Mushrikeen) and ruled that they will burn in Fire forever despite their belief in the Lordship of Allah.
Therefore slave cannot be a Muwahhid (one who believes in Tawheed in the correct manner) by affirming Tawheed ar-Rububiyah alone - until he declares Tawheed al-Uluhiyah and establishes it.
Tawheed ar-Rububiyah necessitates Tawheed al-Uluhiyah i.e., he who declares Tawheed ar-Rububiyah and affirms that there is no Creator, Provider or Controller of the Universe except Allah - then he is required to proclaim Tawheed al-Uluhiyah – i.e., no one deserves any form of worship except Allah, none is to be invoked and sought help from except Allah, none is to be relied upon except Allah, none is to be offered sacrifices and avowed to except Allah and no worship is performed except for Allah alone.
Belief in Uluhiyyah (Worship) of Allah
Allah is the true ilah (the one who deserves to be worshiped). No one shares with Him this Right (of being worshiped) neither an Angel nor any Prophet. Therefore the call of all the Prophets from the first of them to the last of them was, "La ilaha illa Allah. (there is no ilah except Allah.)"
“We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We inspired him (saying), 'La ilaha illa Ana' (there is no ilah except Me), so worship Me (Alone)." Quran Surah al-Anbiya 21: 25] "Verily, We have sent among every nation, a Messenger (proclaiming), "Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid Taghoot (false deities)." Quran Surah an-Nahl 16: 36
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God — Allah), Laa Ilaaha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful” [al-Baqarah 2:163] and “Allah bears witness that Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All‑Mighty, the All-Wise” Quran Surah Aal ‘Imraan 3:18
Allah says, "I created not the jinn and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me." Quran Surah an-Zariyat 51: 56, 57
So, Tawheed al-Uluhiyyah or Ibadah was the call of all the Messengers who called their nations to worship Allah alone and it is this category of Tawheed which was the cause of dispute (between the Prophets and their nations) and it is for this category of Tawheed that the Messengers fought the Mushrikeen until they abandoned shirk and this is the meaning of La ilaha illallah because ilah means the deity and therefore we understand La ilaha illallah to mean there is no true deity (worthy of being worshiped) except Allah.
Belief in his Names and Attributes
The belief in Allah’s “Asmaa was Sifaat” (Names and Attributes). This is to affirm the names and attributes that Allah affirmed and described about Himself in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Messenger, in accordance to what best befits His Majesty and Exaltedness, without Tahreef, Ta’teel, Takyeefor Tamtheel.
the pious predecessors) affirmed the Names and Attributes of Allah in their obedience to what is mentioned in the Saying of Allah: “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be required for what they used to do” Quran Surah al-A’raaf 7:180. This ayath indicates that the Most Beautiful names belong to Allah. And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All‑Mighty, the All‑Wise” Quran Surah al-Rum 30:27. This ayath indicates that the attributes of perfection belong to Allah, because“the highest description” is the attribute of perfection.
These are two general ayath affirming two issues;
(i) The Names of Allah
(ii) The Attributes of Allah
With regard to the details of that, there is a great deal of information in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
And He said: There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All‐Hearer, the All Seer. Quran Surah ash‐Shooraa 42:11
This field of knowledge, i.e., the names and attributes of Allah, is one of the fields in which there has been a great deal of dispute and division among the ummah, and the ummah has split into various factions regarding the names and attributes of Allah. Our attitude towards these differences is that enjoined by Allah when He said (interpretation of the meaning): “(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day” Quran Surah al-Nisa’ 4:59
We refer this dispute to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), seeking guidance therein from the way in which the righteous predecessor, the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, understood these ayath and ahaadeeth, for they are the most knowledgeable of this ummah as to what Allah and His Messenger meant. ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood spoke the truth when he described the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by saying: “Whoever wants to follow a path, let him follow the path of one who has died, for there is no guarantee that the one who is still alive will not be tempted. Those are the companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the most pure in heart of this ummah and the most deep in knowledge, the least sophisticated and complicated, people whom Allah chose to establish His religion and accompany His Prophet. So acknowledge their rights and adhere to their guidance, for they are following true guidance”.
Everyone who deviates from the path of the pious predecessor in this matter is erring and going astray, and is following a path other than that of the believers, so he deserves the warning issued in the verse where Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell — what an evil destination!” Quran Surah al-Nisa’ 4:115. Allah has stipulated that in order to be correctly guided, we must believe what the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) believed, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “So if they believe in the like of that which you believe then they are rightly guided” Quran Surah al-Baqarah 2:137
But it should be noted that there are four things to be avoided, whoever falls into one of them has not attained true belief in the names and attributes of Allah as he is obliged to do. Belief in the names and attributes of Allah is not correct unless one avoids these four things, which are:
- Tahreef (distortion),
- Ta’teel (denial),
- Tamtheel (likening Allah to His creation) and
- Takyeef (asking or discussing how).
Hence we say that what is meant by belief in the names and attributes of Allah is “affirming the names and attributes which Allah has affirmed for Himself in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a manner that befits Him, without distorting or denying the meanings, or asking how, or likening Him to His creation”. There follows a brief explanation of these four things that are to be avoided:
1. Tahreef (distorting)
What is meant is changing the meaning of the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah from their true meaning, which means affirming that the most beautiful names and sublime attributes belong to Allah, to another meaning which was not intended by Allah or His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). For example: They distort the meaning of the Hand of Allah which is mentioned in many texts and say that it refers to His blessing or power.
2. Ta’teel (denying)
What is meant is denying the beautiful names and sublime attributes and saying that Allah does not possess them or some of them. Everyone who denies one of the names or attributes of Allah that are proven in the Qur’an or Sunnah does not truly believe in the names and attributes of Allah.
3. Tamtheel (likening Allah to His creation)
This means likening the attribute of Allah to the attribute of a human being, such as saying that Allah’s Hand is like a man’s hand, or that Allah hears as a man hears, or that Allah rose over the Throne like a man sitting on a chair… and so on. Undoubtedly likening the attributes of Allah to the attributes of His creation is wrong and false. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer” Quran Surah al-Shoora 42:11
4. Takyeef (discussing how)
This means discussing how the attributes of Allah are, whereby a person tries to imagine or put into words how the attributes of Allah are. This is definitely invalid, and man cannot know this. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “but they will never compass anything of His Knowledge” Quran Surah Ta-Ha 20:110. Whoever attains these four things believes truly in Allah.
Famous Incident of Malik (rahimahullah):
An example of this is the saying of Malik (rahimahullah) when he was asked (about the verse), "The Most Beneficent Istawa (rose over) the Throne." Quran Surah Ta-Ha 20: 5How does Allah Istawa (rise over thethrone)?
Imam Malik dropped his head due to the enormity of the question and in order to produce an appropriate reply until he was sweating. Then he raised his head and repliedwith his famous statement which is considered the scale of all the Attributes of Allah, "Istiwa is not unknown, its description is beyond our understanding, belief in it is obligatory, and questioning about it is an innovation."
So we say to every person who asks about the description of an Attribute of Allah, 'You are an innovator. Your job is to believe in that which has reached you and keep silent about that which you are not informed about.’
We ask Allah to make us steadfast in faith and cause us to die therein. And Allah knows best.
Belief in Last Day; Belief in Angels; Belief in Books; Belief in Messengers; Belief in Destiny; Aqeedah of Tawheed;
The Explanation of the Fundamentals of Islamic Belief By the Late Eminent Scholar, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Salih Al‐Uthaymeen, Translation by Abu Salman Diya ud‐Deen Eberle.