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Mankind’s First Obligation which Allah (Glory be to Him) obligated on the Son of Aadam is to reject the Taaghoot and believe in Allah (Glory be to Him). The proof for this is Allah (Glory be to Him) ’s saying in Qur’an: “And We have indeed sent to every nation a messenger (saying to his people): ‘Worship Allah alone and avoid the Taaghoot (false deities).” [Qur’an Surah Nahl: 16:36] [1]


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Linguistic meaning

The Arabic word Taghut means to "cross the limits, overstep boundaries," or "to rebel." 


Islamic meaning

In Islamic terminology, the word refers to idolatry or to worship anything except Allah (Glory be to Him) . Taghut also denotes one who exceed their limits. The first stage of error is fisq (I.e. disobeying Allah without denying that one should obey Him), the second is kufr, (i.e. rejection of the very idea that one should obey Allah). The last stage would be to rebel against Allah (Glory be to Him)  but also impose their rebellious will of Allah upon others, those who reach this stage are taghut.


General meaning

The word Taaghoot is general. So everything that is worshipped besides Allah (Glory be to Him) , while being pleased with this worship – whether it is something worshipped, someone followed, or someone obeyed in the absence of obedience to Allah (Glory be to Him)  and His Messenger, then that is considered Taaghoot. The Tawaagheet (pl. of Taaghoot) are many, but their heads are five:


The First:

The Devil who calls the people to worship other than Allah (Glory be to Him). The proof for this is Allah (Glory be to Him) ’s saying: “Did I not command you O children of Aadam, that you should not worship the Devil. Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.” [YaaSeen:36:60]


The Second:

The tyrannical and oppressive ruler who changes Allah (Glory be to Him)’s rulings. The proof for this is Allah (Glory be to Him)’s saying: “Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim to have faith in that which has been revealed to you, and that which was revealed before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot, when they have been ordered to reject them? But the Devil wishes to lead them far astray.” [Nisaa: 4:60]


The Third:

The one who judges by other than what Allah has revealed, and the proof for this is Allah’s saying: “And whoever does not judge by what Allah (Glory be to Him)  has revealed, then they are the disbelievers.” [Maa’idah: 5:44]


The Fourth:

The one who claims to have knowledge of the Unseen, apart from Allah (Glory be to Him) . The proof for this is Allah’s saying: “He alone is the All-Knower of the Unseen, and He does not disclose His Unseen matters to anyone. Except to a messenger whom He has chosen, and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him.” [Jinn: 72: 26-27]


And He says: “And with Him lie the keys to the Unseen, no one knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls except that He knows about it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything fresh or dry, but that it is written in a Clear Record.” [Ana’aam: 6:59]


The Fifth:

The one who is worshipped apart from Allah (Glory be to Him) , while being pleased with being worshipped. The proof for this is Allah (Glory be to Him) ’s saying: “And whoever amongst them says: ‘Verily, I am a Allah besides Him (Allah)’, then this person’s recompense will be the Hellfire. That is the way We recompense the wrongdoers.” [Anbiyaa: 21:29] [2]



"Do you not see how those given a share of the Scripture, [evidently] now believe in idols and evil powers? (Taghut) They say of the disbelievers, 'They are more rightly guided than the believers."  Qur'an.Surah Nisa 4:51


"Do you [Prophet] not see those who claim to believe in what has been sent down to you, and in what was sent down before you, yet still want to turn to unjust tyrantsb for judgement, although they have been ordered to reject them? Satan wants to lead them far astray." Qur'an.Surah Nisa 4:60


"The believers fight for Allah (Glory be to Him) 's cause, while those who reject faith fight for an unjust cause.cFight the allies of Satan: Satan's strategies are truly weak." Qur'an.Surah Nisa 4:76


"There is no compulsion in religion: true guidance has become distinct from error, so whoever rejects (taghut) falseAllah (Glory be to Him) s and believes in Allah (Glory be to Him)  has grasped the firmest hand-hold, one that will never break. Allah is all hearing, all knowing."Qur'an.Surah Nisa 4:256. [3]


The Meaning of Rejecting the Taaghoot and Believing in Allah (Glory be to Him)

As for the description of Rejecting the Taaghoot, then it is that you believe in the futility of worshipping other than Allah (Glory be to Him) , and that you abandon doing so and hate it, and that you reject and make enmity with those who do it. And as for the meaning of Believing in Allah (Glory be to Him), then it is that you believe that Allah (Glory be to Him) is the only true Allah (Glory be to Him)  who deserves to be worshipped alone, apart from everything else besides Him. And it is that you make all types of worship – every act - sincerely for Allah (Glory be to Him) alone, while negating and rejecting that from everything else that is worshipped besides Him. It also entails that you love and show friendship to the people of Ikhlaas (i.e. Islaam), while hating and showing enmity to the people of Shirk. This is the Religion of Ibraaheem, of which those who turn away from it only fool themselves. And this is the good example that Allah (Glory be to Him) informs us of in His saying: “There has indeed been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah (Glory be to Him). We have rejected you and there has commenced between us and you, enmity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allah (Glory be to Him) alone.’” [Mumtahanah: 4]


Disbelieving in the Taaghoot is a Condition for the Correctness of Faith

And know that man will never become a believer in Allah (Glory be to Him)  unless he rejects and disbelieves in the Taaghoot. The proof for this is Allah (Glory be to Him) ’s saying: “There is no compulsion in the Religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path. So whoever disbelieves in the Taaghoot and believes in Allah (Glory be to Him), then he has taken hold of the firmest handhold that will never break. And Allah (Glory be to Him) is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Baqarah: 2:256]


The “right path” here refers to the Religion of Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah (Glory be to Him) , while the “wrong path” refers to the Religion of Abu Jahl. The “firmest handhold” refers to the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah (Glory be to Him)  {Laa Ilaaha IllAllah (Glory be to Him) )). This testimony consists of a negation and an affirmation. It negates all types of worship from those worshipped besides Allah (Glory be to Him), while affirming all types of worship done for Allah (Glory be to Him)  alone, free from any partner. [4]


Basic message of Prophets

The basic message brought by all the Prophets. Allah (Glory be to Him)  says (interpretation of the meaning): “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Glory be to Him) (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghoot (all false deities, i.e. do not worship Taghoot besides Allah (Glory be to Him)).’ Then of them were some whom Allah (Glory be to Him)  guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth)” [al-Nahl 16:36] 


“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): Laa ilaaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I Allah (Glory be to Him) )], so worship Me (Alone and none else)” [al-Anbiya’ 21:25] [5]



[1] [2] [4]




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