Friday, October 30, 2009

An Explanation of Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah

An Explanation of Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah

AUTHOR:Shaikh 'Abdullaah bin Humayd
SOURCE:His treatise At-Tawheed (pg. 15-20)

From the upcoming E-Book "An Explanation of Tawheed" of Shaikh 'Abdullaah bin Humayd,rahimahullaah, [Died 1402H]

All praise be to the One who created (His) servants for the purpose of worshipping Him, and who commanded them to single Him out in worship and obedience. And I bear witness that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, and with no partner, whether in His Lordship (Ruboobiyyah) or the Servitude to Him (Uloohiyyah). And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, may Allaah send His peace and blessings on him, his family, his Companions, and whoever follows his path and adheres to his Call, until the Day of Recompense.

To proceed:

Before you is a small pamphlet, which explains the pure Salafee Creed, free from everything that has wrongly mixed into it from false concepts and innovations. It is the Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah according to the Salaf (predecessors) of this ummah, who consist of the Companions (Sahaabah), their Followers (Taabi’een) and those who came after them from the true scholars about whom the Muslims have unanimously agreed on as to their guidance and understanding.

Know that the Tawheed (Oneness of Allaah) that has been indicated in the Qur’aan, and the Sunnah, and which the Salaf of this ummah have unanimously agreed on, can be divided into three categories:

1. Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (Allaah's Oneness in Lordship)
2. Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (Allaah's Oneness in Worship)
3. Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (Allaah's Oneness in His Names and Attributes)

An Explanation of Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness in Lordship)

As for Allaah’s Oneness in Lordship, then the (Arab) polytheists whom the Prophet was sent to affirmed and acknowledged it, but it was not enough to enter them into Islaam. So they affirmed that Allaah was the only true Creator, Provider, Giver of Life and Death, and Administrator of all affairs in this world, which requires His Wisdom and Desire. However, this kind of affirmation is not enough to make a person become a Muslim. Allaah says: “Say: ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Or ‘Who owns the hearing and the sight?’ And ‘Who brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living?’ And ‘Who disposes of the affairs?’ They will say: ‘Allaah.’ Then say: ‘Will you not then be dutiful to Him?’” [Surah Yoonus: 31]

This means: “Will you not then single Him out in worship, whilst abandoning the worship of others besides Him?”

So Allaah’s statement: “Say: ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth’” means: “Who is the One who sends down rain water from the sky, thus causing the earth to open through His Ability and Will, and bear therewith grain, grapes, clover plants, olives, date palms, gardens packed with many trees, and fruits and herbage? Is it a god along with Allaah?” They will say: “It is Allaah.”

Allaah’s statement: “Or ‘Who owns the hearing and the sight?’” means: “The One who granted you this power of hearing and ability to see?” And if He wanted to, He would take that away and deprive them of it, as occurs in Allaah’s statement: “Say: It is He who created you and endowed you with hearing and seeing and hearts. Little thanks do you give.” [Surah Al-Mulk: 23]

And Allaah says: “Say (to the disbelievers): ‘Tell me if Allaah took away your hearing and your sight and sealed up your hearts, who is there – a god other than Allaah – that can restore them for you?” [Surah Al-An’aam: 46]

“And ‘Who brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living” through His great Ability and all-encompassing Grace.

“And ‘Who disposes of the affairs” means: “Who is the One in whose Hand lies the sovereignty over everything. And He protects all, while against Him there is no protector?” And He is the Administrator over all affairs, the Ruler of whom there is no end to His Rule. He is not to be questioned as to what He does, while they (i.e. the creation) will be questioned. “Everyone in the heavens and the earth asks (i.e. supplicates to) Him. Everyday He is engaged in some affair.” [Surah Ar-Rahmaan: 29]

So all of the dominion, whether in the heavens or in the earth or what lies between them, from angels, mankind and jinn, are all in need of Him, subservient to Him and humble themselves before Him.“They will say: ‘Allaah.’” This means they know and acknowledge that it is Allaah. “Then say: ‘Will you not then be dutiful to Him?’” meaning: “Will you not be afraid from Him that you are worshipping others besides Him based on your opinions and ignorance?”

Most of the times that Allaah presents an argument against the polytheists, He uses against them the fact that they acknowledge and affirm His Oneness in Lordship (Ruboobiyyah) over the fact that (in spite of this) they reject His Oneness in Worship (Uloohiyyah).

There are many ayaat that bear this same meaning:

Allaah says: “Say: To whom belongs the earth and whoever lies therein, if you truly know? They will say: It belongs to Allaah. Say: Will you not then remember? Say: Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the Great Throne? They will say: Allaah. Say: Will you not then fear Allaah? Say: Who is the One in whose Hand lies the sovereignty over everything. And He protects all, while against Him there is no protector, if you truly know? They will say: All that belongs to Allaah. Say: How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth?” [Surah Al-Mu’minoon: 84-89]

The hearts of human beings were innately designed and fashioned to accept and acknowledge Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah. So no one rejects it except for a few rare individuals from mankind Look at Pharaoh and how he said: “I am your lord, the most High.” [Surah An-Naazi’aat: 24] And: “I know not that you (his chiefs) have a god other than me.” [Surah Al-Qasas: 38]

But yet at the same time, he acknowledged the existence of the Creator and Originator of creation, as Allaah narrates the story about him in His saying: “And they (Pharaoh and his people) rejected them (signs given to Moosaa) wrongfully and arrogantly, even though their own selves were convinced by them.” [Surah An-Naml: 14]

And Allaah narrates what his Prophet Moosaa said to Pharaoh: “You indeed know that these signs have been sent down by none other than the Lord of the heavens and the earth.”[Surah Al-Israa: 102]

Published: July 5, 2004 | Modified: July 5, 2004

The Meaning of Taaghoot

The Meaning of Taaghoot

AUTHOR:Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab
SOURCE:His short treatise “Ma’anaa at-Taaghoot wa Ru’oos Anwaa’ihi"

Know, may Allaah have mercy on you, that the first thing Allaah obligated on the Son of Adam is to reject the Taaghoot and believe in Allaah. The proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “And We have indeed sent to every nation a messenger (saying to his people): ‘Worship Allaah alone and avoid the Taaghoot (false deities).” [Surah An-Nahl: 36]

As for the description of Rejecting the Taaghoot, then it is that you believe in the futility of worshipping other than Allaah, and that you abandon doing so and hate it, and that you reject and make enmity with does who do it. And as for the meaning of Believing in Allaah, then it is that you believe that Allaah is the only true God 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 Allaah 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 Allaah 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 Allaah. We have rejected you and there has commenced between us and you, enmity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allaah alone.’” [Surah Al-Mumtahanah: 4]

The word Taaghoot is general. So everything that is worshipped besides Allaah, while being pleased with this worship – whether it is something worshipped, someone followed, or someone obeyed in the absence of obedience to Allaah 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 Allaah. The proof for this is Allaah’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.” [Surah YaaSeen: 60]

The Second: The tyrannical and oppressive ruler who changes Allaah’s rulings. The proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim to believe 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.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 60]

The Third: The one who judges by other than what Allaah has revealed, and the proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “And whoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, then they are the disbelievers.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 44]

The Fourth: The one who claims to have knowledge of the Unseen, apart from Allaah. The proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “He alone is the All-Knower of the Unseen, and He does not disclose His Unseen matters to anyone.” [Surah Al-Jinn: 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.” [Surah Al-Ana’aam: 59]

The Fifth: The one who is worshipped apart from Allaah, while being pleased with being worshipped. The proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “And whoever amongst them says: ‘Verily, I am a God besides Him (Allaah)’, then this person’s recompense will be the Hellfire. That is the way we recompense the wrongdoers.” [Surah Al-Anbiyaa: 29]

And know that man will never become a believer in Allaah unless he rejects and disbelieves in the Taaghoot. The proof for this is Allaah’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 Allaah, then he has taken hold of the firmest handhold, that will never break. And Allaah is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 256]

The “right path” here refers to the Religion of Muhammad (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), 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 Allaah {Laa Ilaaha Illallaah). This testimony consists of a negation and an affirmation. It negates all types of worship from those worshipped besides Allaah, while affirming all types of worship done for Allaah alone, free from any partner.

The Nullifiers of Islaam

The Nullifiers of Islaam

AUTHOR:Imaam ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz

Know O Muslim brother that Allaah has obligated all of His servants to enter the fold of Islaam, to hold tightly onto it and to beware of those things that oppose it. And He sent His Prophet, Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), to call the people to that, informing us that whoever follows him is guided, whereas whoever turns away from him is astray. In many ayaat (verses) of the Qur’aan, He has warned us about the things that cause one to apostate as well as all the rest of the types of Shirk (polytheism) and Kufr (disbelief).

The scholars, may Allaah have mercy on them, have mentioned in their chapters on the “Ruling of the Apostate”, that a Muslim may apostate from his Religion through various types of Nullifiers (of Faith), which cause his life and wealth to become permissible (for taking) and which causes him to leave from the fold of Islaam.

And from the most dangerous amongst them and those that occur most often are ten nullifiers [1] that we will mention to you in the following lines, in a summarized manner, so that you may beware of them and warn others about them, hoping that Allaah will protect and safeguard us from them. We will also mention a few short clarifications after them.

First: Shirk (associating partners) in the worship of Allaah. Allaah says: “Verily, Allaah does not forgive that partners be associated with Him in worship (Shirk), but He forgives what is less than that to whom He wills.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 116]

And He says: “Verily, the one who mixes partners in worship with Allaah (Shirk), then Paradise has been made forbidden for him and his final abode will be the Hellfire. And the wrongdoers will not have any helpers (in Hell).” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 72]

What falls into this is supplicating and invoking the deceased, seeking assistance from them, as well as making oaths to them and offering sacrificial animals to them.

Second: Whoever places intermediaries between himself and Allaah, asking them to intercede on his behalf, and relying on them, has committed disbelief according to the unanimous agreement of the scholars.

Third: Whoever does not hold the polytheists to be disbelievers, or has doubts about their disbelief or considers their ways and beliefs to be correct, has committed disbelief.

Fourth: Whoever believes that some guidance other than that of the Prophet’s (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is more complete than his guidance and that someone else’s judgement is better than his judgement, such as those who prefer the judgement of the Tawaagheet (pl. of Taaghoot; false deities/religions) over his judgement, then he is a disbeliever.

Fifth: Whoever hates something that the Messenger came with, even though he may act on it, has disbelieved, based on Allaah’s saying: “That is because they disliked what Allaah sent down, so He nullified their (good) deeds.” [Surah Muhammad: 9]

Sixth: Whoever mocks or ridicules any part of the Messenger’s Religion or its rewards or punishments has committed an act of disbelief. The proof for this is Allaah’s statement: “Say: ‘Was it Allaah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuses, you have disbelieved after having had faith.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 65-66]

Seventh: Sorcery, which includes magic spells that causes a person to hate (sarf) [2] or love (‘atf) [3] someone/something. So whoever performs it or is pleased with it being done, has committed disbelief. The proof for this is Allaah’s statement: “And neither of these two (angels) would teach anyone until they had first said to them: ‘We are only a trial (for the people), so do not commit disbelief.’” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 102]

Eighth: Supporting and assisting the polytheists against the Muslims. The proof for this is Allaah’s statement: “And whoever amongst you takes them (i.e. the disbelievers) as allies and protectors then he is indeed from among them. Verily, Allaah does not guide a wrong-doing [4] people.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 51]

Ninth: Whoever believes that it is permitted for some people to be free of (implementing) the Sharee’ah (revealed laws) of Muhammad (i.e. Islaam), then he is a disbeliever, according to Allaah’s statement: “And whoever seeks a Religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted from him and in the Hereafter, he will be from among the losers.” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 85]

Tenth: Turning away from Allaah’s Religion, not learning it or implementing it (is an act of disbelief). The proof for this is Allaah’s saying: “And who does more wrong [5] than he who is reminded [6] of the ayaat (signs/verses) of his Lord, then turns away [7] from them. Verily, We shall extract retribution [8] from the criminals.” [Surah As-Sajdah: 22]

There is no difference, with regard to (committing any of) these nullifiers, between the one who jokes, the one who is serious or the one who does so out of fear. However, the one who commits them due to being coerced (is excused). All of these (ten) matters are from the gravest in danger and from those that most often occur. So the Muslim must beware of them and fear from these acts befalling him.

What falls into the Fourth Nullifier are those who believe that the man-made laws and constitutions that the people have legislated are better than the Sharee’ah (laws) of Islaam.

Or those who believe that it is not correct to implement the Laws of Islaam in the twentieth century.

Or that this is a cause for the backwardness of the Muslims.

Or that it is limited to only playing a part in the relationship between the servant and his Lord and that it should not interfere in the other affairs of life.

What also falls under this fourth category are those who hold that carrying out Allaah laws, such as cutting off the hand of a thief or stoning a guilty adulterer is not befitting for this modern era.

What also falls under this category are those who believe that it is permissible to rule by other than the Laws of Allaah (Sharee’ah) in matters of interactions, penal laws and so on, even if he doesn’t believe that it is better than ruling by the Sharee’ah. This is since by doing this, he will be making lawful that which Allaah has made forbidden, according to the unanimous consensus (Ijmaa’).

Anyone that makes lawful that which Allaah has prohibited from the matters that one is required to know by necessity, such as fornication, alcohol, interest and ruling by other than Allaah’s Laws, then he is a disbeliever according to the Ijmaa’ (unanimous consensus) of the Muslims.

We seek refuge in Allaah from those things that bring about His Anger and painful Punishment. May the peace and blessings be on the best of His creatures, Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).


[1] As mentioned by the Shaikh and Imaam, Muhammad bin 'Abdil-Wahhaab, and other scholars, may Allaah have mercy on all of them.
[2] Sarf: A Magic act done in order to turn a person away from what he desires, such as turning a man away from loving his wife to loving another.
[3] 'Atf: A Magic act done in order to turn a person towards something that he does not desire, using satanic methods (to achieve it).
[4] Dhaalimoon (wrong-doing people) here means the disbelievers.:
[5] Meaning: "There is no one that does more wrong…"
[6] Tadh-keer (Reminder) means: "Admonishing and drawing one's attention to something that must be called to mind."
[7] I'raad (turning away) means: "Refraining from and turning one's back on."
[8] Intiqaam (revenge/seeking retribution) means: "Responding with severity against something that had been done prior." 

Important Principles concerning Allaah's Names & Attributes

Important Principles concerning Allaah's Names & Attributes 

AUTHOR:Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen
SOURCE:Sharh Lum'atul-'Itiqaad (pg. 20-27)

Before entering into the core of this book, I would first like to introduce some important principles related to Allaah's Names and Attributes. [1]

The First Principle: What is obligatory from the texts of the Qur'aan and Sunnah regarding Allaah's Names and Attributes

With regard to the texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, it is obligatory (concerning Allaah's Names and Attributes) to leave their proofs and implications upon their literal meanings, without changing them. This is because Allaah revealed the Qur'aan in a plain Arabic language and the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to speak with the Arabic language. Therefore, it is obligatory to leave the implications of the words of Allaah and the words of the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) as they are, in that language. Also, changing it from its literal meaning is speaking about Allaah without knowledge and this is forbidden, due to the statement of Allaah:

"Say: 'The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are the great evil sins, whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge.'" [Surat-ul-A'araaf (7): 33]

An example of this principle is found in the statement of Allaah: "Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched." [Surat-ul-Maa'idah (5): 64]

Indeed, what is literally apparent from this ayah is that Allaah has two actual hands. Thus, affirming that is obligatory, due to this principle. So if someone were to say that the meaning of His hands is "power", then we must say to him that this is changing the word from its literal meaning. And saying this is not permissible, for it is speaking about Allaah without knowledge.

The Second Principle: Concerning Allaah's Names

There are several subdivisions included in this principle:

The first subdivision: All of Allaah's Names are the best

This means that they all possess the highest extent of goodness. This is since they are comprised of perfect attributes. There are no deficiencies to be found in them in any way whatsoever, for Allaah says: "To Him belong the best of Names." [Surah TaHa (20): 5-8]

An example of this is the name Ar-Rahmaan, which is one of the Names of Allaah, for it demonstrates a magnificent attribute - which is (His) vast mercy.

We know that Ad-Dahr (time) is not one of the Names of Allaah, for it does not possess a meaning that reaches the highest extent of goodness. As for the Prophet's (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement: "Do not curse time, for indeed, Allaah is Ad-Dahr (time)",[2] then its meaning is that He is the "Owner of time - the One who dispenses it". This change occurs based on the evidence found in his (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement in the second narration (of this hadeeth) in which Allaah said: "In My hand is the Command. I turn (in cycles) the night and the day." [3]

The Second Subdivision: The Names of Allaah are not confined to a fixed and definite number

This is based on the famous hadeeth: "I ask You, O Allaah, by every one of Your Names by which You have named Yourself or revealed in Your Book. Or (those which You have) taught to one of Your creatures or appropriated for Yourself in the knowledge of the Ghaib (Unseen) that is with You." [4]

Specifying and grasping whatever Allaah has appropriated for Himself in the knowledge of the Ghaib (Unseen) that is with Him, is impossible to attain.

The way to combine between this hadeeth and the other authentic hadeeth: "Verily, to Allaah belong ninety-nine names, (by which) whosoever takes account of them (i.e. memorizes, learns and supplicates by them), will enter Paradise" [5] s that the meaning of this (latter) hadeeth is:

"Verily, from among all the names of Allaah are ninety-nine names by which if someone takes account of them, he will enter Paradise."

It does not mean that Allaah's names are restricted to this number (of 99).

The equivalent of this would be if one were to say: "I have one hundred dollars which I have counted out for the purpose of giving in charity." This does not negate that he has other dollars in his possession, which he has counted out for a purpose other than charity.

The Third Subdivision: The Names of Allaah are not affirmed by the intellect - they can only be affirmed by Revelation

The Names of Allaah are based upon Revelation and as such, their affirmation is dependent upon what is reported in the revealed texts concerning them. Therefore, nothing can be added to them nor subtracted. This is because the intellect is not able to itself ascertain which names Allaah is most deserving of. So it is obligatory to depend upon the revealed texts for determining that. Also, naming Allaah with that which He did not name Himself or rejecting what He did name Himself with, is a crime against Him and a perpetration of His right. Thus, abiding by the proper etiquettes with regard to that is obligatory.

The Fourth Subdivision: The meaning of each of Allaah's Names applies to 1) Allaah Himself, 2) the attribute that such a Name implies, and 3) the effect of such an attribute, if it is transitive.

Faith in Allaah's names cannot be complete without affirming all of this.

An example of those names that are not transitive is the name Al-'Adheem (The Most Great). One's Faith is not complete until he believes that it is a name of Allaah whose meaning applies to Him Himself, as well as the attribute that it encompasses, which is His magnificence ('adhamah). An example of a name that is transitive is Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Merciful). One's Faith is not complete until he believes that it is a name of Allaah that applies to 1) Himself, 2) the attribute that it encompasses, which is his mercy, and 3) what results from that, which is that he grants mercy to whom He wills.

The Third Principle: Concerning Allaah's Attributes

There are also subdivisions included in this principle:

The First Subdivision: All of Allaah's Attributes are of the highest degree of perfection and praise possible. There is no deficiency found in them in any way whatsoever.

Some examples of these Attributes are: (His) living, knowledge, ability, hearing, seeing, wisdom, mercy, highness and other than these. This is based on His saying:

"And to Allaah belongs the highest description." [Surat-un-Nahl (16): 60]

It is also because the Lord is absolutely perfect; thus His Attributes must be perfect.

If an attribute is deficient and imperfect, then it is restricted from Him, such as death, ignorance, inability, deafness, blindness, and other than that. This is because Allaah will punish those who describe Him with deficiencies and He has freed Himself from all the defects that they attribute to Him. Also, it is not possible for the Lord (Rabb) to have a defect due to the incompatibility of deficiency with the aspect of Lordship (Rububiyyah).

If an attribute is perfect in one way and deficient in another way, then it is not affirmed for Allaah nor is it restricted from Him in the absolute sense. Rather, a distinction between the two cases must be made. Thus, it is affirmed for Allaah in the circumstances when it is perfect and it is not possible to affirm it for Him in the condition when it is deficient. Examples of this are planning (Makr), plotting (Kaid), deception (Khadaa') and so on. These three attributes are perfect when they are implemented as a response to their equals (being done by an opponent), since they indicate that the One who is doing it is not incapable of encountering His enemy with his same action. And it would be deficient in any other condition.

So it is affirmed for Allaah in the first condition and not in the second. Allaah says: "They (disbelievers) were planning and Allaah too was planning (i.e. makr). And Allaah is the best of those who plan." [Surat-ul-Anfaal (8): 30]

"Verily, they are but scheming a plot. And I too am scheming a plot (i.e. kaid)." [Surat-ut-Taariq (86): 15-16]

"Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allaah, but it is He who deceives (i.e. khadaa') them." [Surat-un-Nisaa (4): 142]

So if for instance, it is said: "Has Allaah attributed plotting to Himself?" Then do not say yes, and do not say no. Instead say: "He is plotting against those who are deserving of that, and Allaah knows best."

The Second Subdivision: The Attributes of Allaah can be divided into two categories: Those that are affirmed (Thubootiyyah) and those that are negated (Salbiyyah).

Thubootiyyah: consists of the attributes that Allaah has affirmed for Himself, such as living, knowledge and ability. Affirming these for Allaah in a manner befitting to Him is obligatory. This is because Allaah has affirmed them for Himself and He is the most knowledgeable concerning His Attributes.

Salbiyyah: consists of the attributes that Allaah has negated for Himself, such as injustice. Negating these from Allaah is obligatory because Allaah has negated them from Himself. However, it is obligatory to believe in affirming their most perfect opposites, for Allaah, since a negation is not complete until it consists of an affirmation.

An example of this is Allaah's statement: "And your Lord treats no one with injustice." [Surat-ul-Kahf (18): 49]

Thus, it is obligatory to negate injustice from Allaah, while affirming (the opposite) - which is justice - for Him, based on its most perfect perspective.

The Third Subdivision: The Affirmed Attributes (Thubootiyyah) can further be divided into two categories:

Dhaatiyyah (Attributes of His Essence): They are the attributes that do not cease nor will ever cease to be descriptive of Him, such as hearing and seeing.

Fi'aliyyah (Attributes of His Actions): They are the attributes that are connected to His Will (Mashee'ah). If He wills, He will do it and if He wills, He will not do it, such as rising over the Throne and (His) coming.

It is possible that an attribute could be both Dhaatiyyah and Fi'aliyyah, according to each of the two, such as Speech. In regards to the origin of the attribute, it is an attribute of His Essence (Dhaatiyyah) because Allaah never stopped nor will stop speaking. And in regards to the units of Speech that are put forth, it is an attribute of the action (Fi'aliyyah), since Speech is connected to His Will. He speaks as He wills, when he wills.

The Fourth Subdivision: Each Attribute of Allaah should bring three questions to mind.

The first question: Is it real (as opposed to figurative) and why?

The second question: Is it permissible to say how it is and why?

The third question: Is it comparable to the attributes of creation and why?

The answer to the first question: Yes, it is real, because the foundation of speech concerning this subject is based on actuality (as opposed to symbolism). This may not be abandoned, unless there is authentic evidence that restricts it.

The second answer: No, it is not permissible to describe how an attribute is, due to Allaah's statement: "But they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge." [Surah TaHa (20): 110]

Also, the intellects are not able to comprehend the nature of how Allaah's attributes are.

The third answer: It cannot be compared to the creation's attributes, due to Allaah's saying:

"There is nothing whatsoever like Him." [Surat-ush-Shooraa (42): 11]

And also Allaah is worthy of the utmost perfection, therefore it is impossible for Him to be compared to the creation, since that is something deficient and imperfect.

The difference between takyeef (saying how it is) and tamtheel (saying it is like such and such) is that tamtheel is to describe the manner of an attribute by restricting it to a certain example, whereas takyeef is describing the manner of an attribute without restricting it to a certain example.

An example of tamtheel is if someone were to say the hand of Allaah is like the hand of a human being.

An example of takyeef is to imagine that the Hand of Allaah has a specific nature that has no comparison found in the hands of created beings. This type of imagining is not permissible.

The Fourth Principle: What may be used to refute those who commit ta'teel (rejection of Allaah's Attributes).

The Mu'tilah (those who commit ta'teel) are the ones who reject anything from the Names and Attributes of Allaah and distort the texts from their literal meanings. They are also known as the ones who commit ta'weel (distorted interpretation). The fundamental principle by which we may refute them is to say that their statements:

1. Are in contradiction to what is literally apparent from the texts

2. Are in contradiction to the understanding of the Salaf

3. Do not have any authentic proof (to support them)

For some attributes, there may be a fourth perspective, or more than that.


[1] Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen has a great book on the subject of Allaah's Names and Attributes in which he states a number of important principles regarding this topic. We have provided a checking for it and it is called "Al-Qawaa'id Al-Muthlaa fee Sifaatillaahi wa Asmaa'ihi Al-Husnaa"(Ideal Principles concerning Allaah's Perfect Names and Attributes). It deserves to be studied and devoted special attention to. Hadeeth checking and footnotes were provided by Ashraf Ibn 'Abd-il-Maqsood [Dar Al-Istiqamah Printing]

[2] Saheeh Muslim: Book of Words from Good Manners (no. 2246) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah. Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in Al-Fath (10/565): "Ahmad has transmitted it from another path from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah with the wording: 'Do not curse time, for indeed Allaah has stated: 'I am Ad-Dahr (Time). The days and the nights belong to Me. I will renew them, vanquish them and bring forth kings after kings.' And its chain of narration is authentic."

A Point of Benefit:
The great scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Zaad Al-Ma'aad (2/355): "Anyone that curses time is lingering between two states of which there is no doubt that he is from one of them. Either he has cursed Allaah Himself or he has ascribed a partner to him (Shirk). For indeed, if he believes that Allaah is the only one that did that and he curses whomsoever did it, then he has cursed Allaah."

[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Tawheed (no. 7491) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Words from Good Manners (no. 2246) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah.

[4] Hadeeth Saheeh: This is a part from the hadeeth of Ibn Mas'ood (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) that has been reported by Ahmad (1/394, 452), Ibn Hibbaan (no. 2372 of the Mawaarid), and Al-Haakim (1/519). Al-Haafidh Ibn Al-Qayyim authenticated it in Shifaa-ul-'Aleel (pg. 274). And he (ra) went in detail, clarifying the importance and benefits of this hadeeth in his book Al-Fawaa'id (pg. 24-29). It was also authenticated by Shaikh Ahmad Shaakir (ra) in his notes to Al-Musnad (no. 3721), Al-Albaanee in As-Saheehah (no. 199) and Shu'aib Al-Arna'oot in his checking of Zaad Al-Ma'aad (4/198).

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Supplications (no. 6410) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Remembrance and Supplication (no. 2677) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu)

The Duties and Tasks of the Angels

The Duties and Tasks of the Angels

AUTHOR:Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan
SOURCE:His booklet: "Al-Eemaan bil-Malaa'ikah"

The angels have duties. Each of them has a duty that he is entrusted with, and he does not delay in carrying it out. Rather, he executes it acting on Allaah’s order and He doesn’t disobey Him. Allaah says: “(Hell) Over which are angels stern and severe who do not disobey the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded.” [Surah At-Tahreem: 6]

Some of their Duties: 
First: Those who take charge of the Hellfire. They are known as the Guardians of Hell, meaning, those entrusted with the Hellfire and with tormenting its inhabitants.

Second: Among them are angels that are entrusted with carrying the Throne of Allaah, as He says:“Those who carry the Throne (of Allaah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord and believe in Him. And they ask forgiveness for those who believe, (saying): ‘Our Lord! You encompass all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent.’”[Surah Ghaafir: 7]

And Allaah says: “And bearing the Throne of your Lord on that Day will be eight (angels).”[Surah Al-Haaqah: 17]

The Number of Angels who will Bear the Throne: 
The angels that will carry the Throne are four. Then on the Day of Judgement their number will increase to eight. The Throne of Allaah is the greatest of His creations, which will be carried on the Day of Judgement by eight angels. This shows that they are indeed mighty, since they will carry this magnificent Throne, which is the greatest and mightiest of Allaah’s creations. This indicates their power and their tremendous composures.

Third: Among them are those angels entrusted with revelation. Allaah says: “He sends down the angels with the Rooh (spirit/revelation) from His Command to whomever He wills from His servants, (saying): ‘Warn mankind that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Me, so be dutiful to Me.’” [Surah An-Nahl: 2]

The word Rooh (spirit) here means revelation. It is called Rooh because it is the revelation that brings life to the hearts, just as the rain brings life to the earth. In the same sense, it is the created Rooh (spirit) that brings life to the bodies of animals.

Rooh can also stand for the Qur’aan, as Allaah says: “And thus We have revealed to you (O Muhammad) a Rooh (i.e. Qur’aan) from Our Command.” [Surah Ash-Shooraa: 52]

Rooh here stands for the Qur’aan, since it is that which brings life to the hearts of the believers, just as the earth is brought to life by rain. Such is the case with the hearts of the believers – they are brought to life by way of the Qur’aan.

The word Rooh is also used to refer to Jibreel, who is the greatest, most honorable and virtuous of all the angels. He is the one who brought the Qur’aan down from Allaah to Muhammad, as Allaah says: “The trustworthy spirit (Jibreel) brought it (i.e. the Qur’aan) down – to your heart (O Muhammad) in order that you may be from the warners – in a plain Arabic language.”[Surah Ash-Shu’araa: 193-195]

So Jibreel brought the Qur’aan down to the heart of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), and he in turn conveyed it to his ummah. In another ayah, Allaah says: “Say: The holy spirit (Jibreel) brought it down from your Lord.” [Surah An-Nahl: 102]

This is referring to the angel Jibreel – he is the holy spirit.

The Attributes of Jibreel: 
Allaah has described Jibreel with great characteristics, as He says: “So verily, I swear by the planets that recede (disappear during the day and appear at night). And by the planets that move swiftly and hide themselves. And by the night as it departs. And by the dawn as it brightens. Verily, this is the Word (brought by) an honorable messenger (i.e. angel) – Possessing power and a high rank with the Lord of the Throne. Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens).” [Surah At-Takweer: 15-21]

The First Attribute: Power: Allaah says: “Possessing power and a high rank with the Lord of the Throne.” [Surah At-Takweer: 20] The “Lord of the Throne” here refers to Allaah.

The Second Attribute: Position: Allaah says: “Possessing power and a high rank with the Lord of the Throne.” [Surah At-Takweer: 20] This means that he possesses a high position in the sight of Allaah, which no one else has reached.

The Third Attribute: Obedience: All of the angels obey Jibreel by the Permission of Allaah.

The Fourth Attribute: Trustworthiness: This refers to the revelation, such that he doesn’t make additions or subtractions to it, but rather, He conveys it just the way that Allaah has revealed it to him.

The Prophet Muhammad’s Seeing Jibreel: 
Allaah says: “And your companion is not insane.” [Surah At-Takweer: 22] This is what the disbelievers claimed about him (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). “And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) in the clear horizon).” [Surah At-Takweer: 23] Muhammad (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saw Jibreel on the horizon twice.

The First Time: This was in the valley of Makkah. The Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) lifted his head and saw him in the sky and he had 600 wings. Each one of his wings blocked the horizon.

The Second Time: Allaah says: “And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) at a second descent – near the lote-tree of the utmost boundary.” [Surah An-Najm: 13-14] This occurred during the night in which the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) ascended to the heaven and saw him in his natural state.

These are the attributes of Jibreel. Allaah says: “Verily, this is the Word (brought by) an honorable messenger (i.e. angel).” [Surah At-Takweer: 19]

This means: Even though the Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah, it is ascribed to Jibreel here, since he is the one who conveyed it to Muhammad. So he is conveying from Allaah, for he dictated it to our messenger, Muhammad, conveying it from Allaah. However, it is the Speech of Allaah. Speech is only attributed to the one who states it originally, not to the one who says it conveying it from someone else. However, the Speech of Allaah has been attributed to Jibreel here from the perspective of his conveying it.

Fourth: There are angels entrusted with other duties: 1. Mikaa’eel: He is responsible for the raindrops that fall down from the sky. He moves them around and causes the rain to descend wherever Allaah commands.

2. Israafeel is responsible for blowing on the Trumpet. This will be at the time when Allaah wants to resurrect the creatures from their graves. The bodies will be brought forth from the graves and reassembled. Then the only thing remaining (to be integrated) will be the soul. It is at this point that Israafeel will blow on this horn, due to Allaah’s Command, and the souls will float to their respective bodies, which had come out and risen from their graves. Then they will walk to where Allaah orders them to go. Allaah says: “The Day when they will come out of the graves quickly as if they were racing to a goal.” [Surah Al-Ma’aarij: 43]

And Allaah says: “They will come forth with humbled eyes from (their) graves as if they were locusts spread about. Hastening towards the caller, the disbelievers will say: ‘This is a hard day.’” [Surah Al-Qamar: 7-8]

These are the three angles that are responsible for life. Jibreel is responsible for bringing the revelation, which brings life into the hearts. And Mikaa’eel is responsible for the raindrops, which bring life to the earth after its death. Israafeel is responsible for blowing on the trumpet, which will bring life to the bodies (on the Day of Resurrection). This is why when the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would get up for prayer at night, after saying the opening Takbeer, he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say in his opening supplication: “O Allaah! Lord of Jibreel, Mikaa’eel and Israafeel, Originator of the heavens and the earth…”

These are the greatest angels due to the magnitude of their duties.

Fifth: There are also angels that are put in charge of the fetuses in the mothers’ wombs. This has been reported in the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood (radyAllaahu 'anhu), in which he said: “The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) narrated to us – and he is the truthful one who is believed – saying: ‘Verily the creation of each of one of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then a morsel of flesh for a like period. Then the angel is sent to him and commanded with four matters – to write down his means of livelihood, his life span, his actions, and whether he will be happy or unhappy.’” Allaah sends this angel to him to carry out this great important task.

Sixth: There are angels that are in charge of taking the souls when their prescribed time is over. There is the Angel of Death (Malak-ul-Mawt) about whom Allaah says: “Say: ‘The Angel of Death, who is set over you, will take your souls.’” [Surah As-Sajdah: 11]

The Angel of Death has assistants that will aid him, as Allaah says: “Until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (i.e. the Angel of Death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty. Then they are returned to Allaah, their Master, the Just Lord.” [Surah Al-An’aam: 61-62] So taking the soul at the time of death is ascribed to the angels, to the Angel of Death and also to Allaah.

“It is Allaah who takes away the souls at the time of their death.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 42] Death is ascribed to Allaah here because He is the One who orders it to occur. It is ascribed to the angels because they are the ones who physically carry that out by gathering the soul and leading it out of the human’s body until it reaches his throat. And it is also ascribed to the Angel of Death - “Say: ‘The Angel of Death, who is set over you, will take your souls’” – because he is the one in charge of seizing the souls after they have been rounded up in the last stage (of death).

Seventh: There are also angels in charge of recording the deeds of the son of Aadam (i.e. humans), as occurs in the hadeeth: “You are constantly being frequented (in successive shifts) by angels at night and angels during the day.” Allaah says: “And verily, there are guardians (i.e. angels recording your deeds) over you – Honorable, recording (your deeds). They know all that you do.” [Surah Al-Infitaar: 10-12]

Every human being has two angels with him: 
Every human amongst us has two angels that are responsible over him – an angel on his right side recording his good deeds and another on his left side recording his bad deeds. Allaah says: “When the two receivers receive (i.e. record his deeds) from his right side and his left side, sitting. Not a word does he utter, except that there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” [Surah Qaaf: 17-18]

These guardian angels accompany a human being whether he is on a journey or sitting at home – they are next to him at all times under all conditions – during his prayer, while he is prostrating, etc. – they accompany him and do not leave him alone except under specific circumstances, such as when the person is relieving himself (in the bathroom). So these angels record his statements and his actions.

The angels record People’s Intentions and Objectives: 
It has been related that the angels also record a person’s intentions and inner objectives, which are located in the heart. Whatever he intends to do, they record it. This is why a person is rewarded for having good intention, since it is an action of the heart, while he is punished for evil intentions, since the intention is an action of the heart.

These angels are put in charge of recording a person’s deeds from the time that he reaches the age of puberty – the age of discernment – to the time when Allaah takes his soul in death. And they record against him everything that he does in his life – whether that is in the form of intentions, actions, statements, or other than that.

The Status of the Fajr and ‘Asr Prayers amidst the Other Prayers:
The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “You are constantly being frequented (in successive shifts) by angels at night and angels during the day. And they gather together during the ‘Asr Prayer and during the Fajr Prayer.” This is why these two prayers are the greatest of all prayers. Allaah says: “Verily, the recitation of the Qur’aan in the early dawn (i.e. Fajr Prayer) is witnessed (by the angels).” [Surah Al-Israa: 78] He is referring here to the Fajr Prayer, which the angels of the night and the angels of the day attend. They gather together to witness the Fajr prayer along with the Muslims and listen to the Qur’aan that is recited in prayer. They also gather together during the ‘Asr Prayer, where Allaah asks them, even though He is most knowledgeable of the answer: “In what state did you leave My servants?” The angels reply, saying: “We came to them while they were praying and we left them while they were praying.” This means that they descended while we were praying ‘Asr and they attended the prayer along with us. And then they rose back up (to the heavens) while we were praying Fajr.

Due to this, it has been determined that the ‘Asr Prayer is the “Middle Prayer” that Allaah has encouraged us about, where He says: “Guard strictly the (five daily) prayers, especially the middle prayer (i.e. ‘Asr).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 238] He means by this the ‘Asr prayer since that is the prayer that the (guardian) angels of the night and the angels of the day attend.

A Call to those who fall short: 
So where are those who hold back from attending the Fajr Prayer, sleeping (instead) in their beds and not witnessing this great event every night with the angels of the Most Merciful? This is such that these angels inform about these attendees (of the Fajr Prayer) while in the most highest of gatherings, saying: “We came to them while they were praying and we left them while they were praying.”

What benefit has this person who refrains from going to the Fajr Prayer and instead prefers sleep gained from his actions? And what benefit has this person who misses out on attending the ‘Asr Prayer, due to laziness, preferring sleep or some other deed, gained from his actions?

It is stated in the hadeeth that: “Whoever misses the ‘Asr Prayer, it is as if he lost his family and wealth.” And in another hadeeth it states: “…then he has nullified his actions.” This means that he has taken the prayer out of its proper time. So if he takes it out of its proper time, he has missed it.

Eight: There are also angels that are responsible for protecting humans from perils. A human being is prone to walk into dangers everyday. However, Allaah entrusts angels that guard and protect him from these dangers during his lifetime, which Allaah has ordained for him. This earth, which a human being walks upon everyday, contains many dangers. There are wild beasts, snakes, scorpions, not to mention transgressors from among humans – enemies and oppressors. However, Allaah has placed these angels around the human being. Allaah says: “He has those (angels) who constantly surround him – from before him and behind him, protecting him by the Command of Allaah.” [Surah Ar-Ra’ad: 11]

Therefore, so long as Allaah has decreed that this individual will be safe from harms, these angels will protect and guard him, and no human will be able to harm him. But if Allaah desires to bring an end to his appointed time, He removes them from him – one from before him and one from behind him.

“Verily, Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they (first) change the condition of themselves. And when Allaah desires a bad end for a people, there is no turning it back.” [Surah Ar-Ra’ad: 11] So if Allaah’s Divine Pre-Decree comes to pass and He desires to put an end to this person, the angels that constantly surround him withdraw themselves from him because they do not refrain from carrying out Allaah’s Command. These are the angels that constantly surround a person.

Ninth: There are also angels that have responsibilities in this universe that only Allaah has knowledge of. There are angels that are put in charge of the seas and angels put in charge of the days. There are angels responsible for the winds and angels put in charge of carrying out many other duties.

All of the events that occur in the universe and which constantly transpire within it on a daily basis are only by Allaah’s decreeing that. As for the angels, they carry out whatever tasks Allaah orders them to execute.

The Angels and their Attributes

The Angels and their Attributes

AUTHOR:Shaikh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan
SOURCE:The Introduction to his booklet: "Al-Eemaan bil-Malaa'ikah)

All praise is for Allaah, Lord of all that exists, and may the peace and blessings be upon our prophet, Muhammad, as well as upon his family and all of his Companions. To proceed:

Indeed, Eemaan (Faith) is a great matter, since it is the foundation upon which success in this life and the next rests on. So it is one of the most important levels of the Religion, for when the angel, Jibreel, came to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in the presence of his Companions, he asked him about Islaam, Eemaan, and Ihsaan, saying: “O Muhammad! Inform me about Islaam.” The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: “Islaam is to testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; to establish the prayer; to give the Zakaat; to fast in Ramadaan; and to perform the Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) if you are able to.” So he explained Islaam as being the implementation of these five pillars: (!) The two testimonies of Faith; (2) Establishing the Prayer; (3) Giving the Zakaat; (4) Fasting in Ramadaan; (5) Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah. So the angel Jibreel told him: “You have spoken the truth. Now inform me about Eemaan.” The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is to believe in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in Al-Qadar – the good of it and the bad of it.” So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained that Eemaan was to believe in these six things: Belief in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and Al-Qadar – the good of it and the bad of it.

Jibreel continued: “Inform me about Ihsaan.” So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded: “Ihsaan is to worship Allaah as if you see Him. But if you don’t see Him, then verily, He sees you.” So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) clarified that Ihsaan consists of one pillar, which is to worship Allaah as if you see Him. But if you don’t see Him, then verily, He sees you.

These are the three levels of the Religion: Islaam, then Eemaan, then Ihsaan. Each one of these levels has its own set of pillars.

A pillar is the part upon which something stands on. So the pillar of a house refers to the part upon which that house is established. So Eemaan (Faith) rests upon six of these pillars. If one of these pillars is missing, a person is no longer a believer, possessing Faith, since he lacks one of the pillars of Eemaan.

Therefore, Eemaan cannot be established except upon its pillars, just like a building cannot be established except upon its pillars. These six pillars (of Eemaan) are mentioned in the noble Qur’aan. Sometimes they are mentioned altogether and other times they are mentioned separately, as Allaah says: “But rather piety (birr) is he who believes in Allaah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 177] Allaah mentions five of the pillars of Eemaan in this ayah.

And He says: “The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what was revealed to him from his Lord and (so do) the believers – all of them believe in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. We do not differentiate between any of His Messengers.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 285]

He mentions four of these pillars here. And sometimes, He just mentions two of these pillars: Belief in Allaah and the Last Day, as He says: “Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians – whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 62]

He mentions two pillars in this ayah: Belief in Allaah and the last Day.

As for belief in Al-Qadar (Divine Pre-Decree), then that is mentioned in His statement: “Verily, We created everything with Qadar (Divine Pre-Decree).” [Surah Al-Qamar: 49]

And in His saying: “He has created everything, and assigned its Decree to it.” [Surah Al-Furqaan: 2]

The Meaning of Belief in the Angels:
The subject, which we are focusing on now, is the Belief in the Angels, which is one of the pillars of Eemaan. What Belief in the Angels entails is: Believing in their existence and believing in the duties that they carry out in the universe.

So the angels are one of Allaah’s creations, which He created for the purpose of worshipping Him and carrying out His orders in the universe. Allaah sends His angels in order to execute His Commands. So they are a creation from the world of the Unseen. We don’t see them, yet we believe in them with a firm resolution that doubt cannot penetrate. This is since Allaah has informed us about them, and likewise, His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has informed us about them in such a definitive manner that causes us to believe in them.

What were the Angels created From? 
The Angels were created from light, as is reported in a hadeeth that Allaah created the angels from light and He created the devils from fire and He created the humans from dirt. So the angels were created from light.

The Attributes of the Angels: 
The angels are one of Allaah’s creations from the world of the Unseen. No one knows how many in number they are, their manner of being or their natures except for Allaah.

From their Attributes: 
First: They are the greatest of Allaah’s armies. Allaah says: “And to Allaah belongs the armies of the heavens and the earth.” [Surah Al-Fat’h: 4] And whilst talking about the guardians of the Hellfire, He mentioned: “Over it are nineteen (angels).” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 30] And He says:“And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Hellfire, and We have not made their number (i.e. 19) except as a trial for those who disbelieve.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31]

So this means that there are nineteen angels guarding the Hellfire – they maintain it, guard it, kindle it and are entrusted with its affairs.

When one of the disbelievers heard of the number of angels that are guarding the Hellfire, he said, as if to mock their amount: “I will suffice you over them” – meaning if he enters the Hellfire, he will confront them, overpower them and get out of the Hellfire. He said this in order to mock and ridicule, so Allaah refuted them by saying: “And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Hellfire.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31] This means they will not be from among the humans.

So if this person claims that he is strong and that he is able to fight against a number of humans, he will not be able to fight against even one of the angels. Allaah says: “And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Hellfire.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31] This means: “We did not make them humans or jinn.”

“And We have not made their number (i.e. 19) except as a trial for those who disbelieve, in order that the people of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and the believers may increase in Faith, and so that no doubts may be left for the people of the Scripture and the believers, and so that those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) and the disbelievers may say: ‘What did Allaah intend by this example.’” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31]

So they lie and seek to belittle this number. How can this great Hellfire, which contains all of these creatures, only be maintained by nineteen? Allaah says: “And We have not made their number (i.e. 19) except as a trial for those who disbelieve.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31]

So no one knows the greatness of the angels and no one knows what Allaah has with Him from armies in the heavens and the earth except for Allaah. Neither these disbelievers nor anyone else knows.

Second: The angels have great physical composure, as Allaah mentioned this about them in His saying: “All praise is for Allaah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth – who made the angels messengers with wings – two or three or four.” [Surah Faatir: 1]

This means that there are some angels that have two wings, some that have three and some that have four. And there are some angels that have more wings than that, for the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw the angel Jibreel and he had 600 wings – each wing blocking the horizon. This is just one of the many angels that exist. Allaah described him as being mighty in power, as He says: “He (Muhammad) has been taught (this Qur’aan) by one mighty in power.” [Surah An-Najm: 5] He is referring to Jibreel. “Free from any defect, then he rose (and became stable).” [Surah An-Najm: 6] This means that he possesses strength and a beautiful appearance.

Third: The angels possess great power, by Allaah’s permission. What indicates their great strength is that if Allaah commands just one of them, then indeed he is able to let out an awful cry in the world, thus destroying the creation, as occurred with the people of Thamood, who were seized by a loud scream. Jibreel unleashed one powerful scream upon them: “Verily, We sent against them a single sayhah (awful cry), and they became like the dry straw of fences.” [Surah Al-Qamar: 31]

So their hearts ceased to function within their bodies and as a result they died and became like dry straw. It was from the custom of the Arabs that when they would settle in a place, they would gather sticks of wood and make fences to surround their sheep and cattle. These fences would eventually dry up and become pieces of straw. So in spite of Thamood’s power and might, they became like dried-up straws as a result of one loud cry from one of the angels.

Allaah also commanded Jibreel to raise up the towns of the people of Loot – and they were seven cities in which could be found humans, buildings, goods and animals. He carried them on one side of his wing and raised these cities until the (other) angels heard the barking of dogs and the crowing of roosters. Then he overturned them and Allaah caused the earth to swallow them up.

This is an example of the mighty power of the angels.

There is also the angel Israafeel, the angel that is entrusted with blowing the Trumpet. What is meant by the Trumpet is a horn that will gather the souls of the son of Aadam (i.e. humans), from the first of them to the last of them. Then Israafeel will blow one time on the Trumpet, and the souls will fly about due to this blow of the horn, going back to their bodies. This is known as the Blow of Resurrection (Nafkhat-ul-Ba’ath). Prior to this, he will strike the Blow of Destruction (Nafkhat-us-Sa’aq), so everyone that is in the heavens and in the earth will die except for he whom Allaah wills. Allaah says: “And the trumpet will be blown and all who are in the heavens and in the earth will swoon away except for he whom Allaah wills.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 68]

Swooning away means to die. Then he will blow on the Trumpet again, which is known as the Blow of Resurrection, “and behold, they will be standing, looking.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 68]

This is just one of Allaah’s angels, and this is just one of his duties, which Allaah has ordered him to carry out. So therefore, the angels are one of Allaah’s great creations. He created them so that they may worship Him and carry out His commands. Allaah says: “Rather, they are honorable slaves. They speak not until He has spoken, and they act on His Command. He knows what is before them and what is after them. and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of Him.” [Surah Al-Anbiyaa: 26-28]

This is a description of the angels.

Published: June 20, 2005 | Modified: June 20, 2005

Major Signs Before the Day of Judgement

Major Signs Before the Day of Judgement 

AUTHOR:Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen
SOURCE:Sharh Lumu'at-ul-'Itiqaad [pg. 105-110]

1. The Emergence of the Dajjaal - Linguistically, Dajjaal is derived from the word dajl, which means lying and impostering. Religiously, it refers to a man who is an imposter and who will appear during the Last Days, claiming lordship.

His emergence is established in the Sunnah as well as the Ijmaa' (consensus). The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Say: 'O Allaah, verily I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the Hellfire, and I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the grave, and I seek refuge in you from the trial of Maseeh Ad-Dajjaal. And I seek refuge in you from the trial of life and death." [1]

"The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would seek refuge from him during prayer" [2] and the Muslims have agreed upon his emergence.

His story: He will emerge from a road in an area between Shaam and 'Iraaq and will begin to call the people to worship him. A majority of the people that will follow him will be from the Jews, women and bedouins. Seventy-thousand Jews from Asfahaan (in present-day Iran) will follow him and he will travel throughout the entire earth, just as the wind blows rain in all directions, except for Makkah and Madeenah, for he will be prevented from entering them.

The length of his stay will be forty days. One day will be like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week and the rest of the days will be as normal. He is one-eyed (i.e. one eye is good and the other is defective) and between his two eyes will be written KA FA RA (i.e. kaafir or disbeliever). Only the believers will be able to read it. He will bring about great trials, some of which are that he will command the heavens and it will rain and he will command the earth and it will produce vegetation. He will have with him a Garden and a Fire. However, his garden will be a fire, and his fire will be a garden.

The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) warned of him by saying: "Whosoever hears of him, then let him distance himself from him. And whosoever has him reach him, then let him recite the opening verses of Surah Kahf upon him" - or - "...let him recite the opening verses of Surah Kahf." [3]

2. The Descent of 'Eesaa Ibn Maryam - The descent of 'Eesaa Ibn Maryam is established in the Qur'aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslims. Allaah says:

"And there is none of the People of the Scripture, except that he must believe in him ('Eesaa) before his death." [4]

This refers to the death of 'Eesaa which will occur after his descent, as has been interpreted by Abu Hurairah. The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "I swear by Allaah, 'Eesaa Ibn Maryam will indeed descend judging (mankind) with justice." This hadeeth is agreed upon. [5]

The Muslims have unanimously agreed upon his descent. He will descend by the white minaret in the east of Damascus, placing his hands upon the wings of two angels. Then it will not be possible for a disbeliever to perceive the scent of his breath, except that he will die. And his breath will extend as far his eyesight extends. He will search for the Dajjaal until he reaches him by the gate of Ludd, where he will kill him. He will break the cross and abolish the jizyah (taxation collected from subjected disbelievers). And the prostration (of worship) will be only one - for Allaah the Lord of the universe. He will also perform Hajj and 'Umrah. All of this is confirmed in Saheeh Muslim and some of it in both Saheehs. [6]

Imaam Ahmad and Abu Dawood reported that "'Eesaa will remain for forty years after killing the Dajjaal. Then he will die and the Muslims will pray the funeral prayer (Janaazah) over him." [7] Al-Bukhaaree mentioned in his At-Tareekh that he will be buried next to the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and Allaah knows best. [8]

3. The Emergence of Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj - These are two non-Arab names or (perhaps) they are Arab names derived from Ma'j which means riotous disruption or from Ajeej which means the setting ablaze and kindling of a fire. They are two nations from the tribe of Aadam that are currently in existence, based upon the evidences from the Qur'aan and Sunnah.

Allaah says concerning the story of Dhul-Qarnain: "Until when he reached between two mountains, he found before both of them, a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: 'O Dhul-Qarnain! Verily, Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute in order that you might erect a barrier between them and us?'" [9]

Also, the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "On the Day of Judgement Allaah will say: 'O Aadam, rise and extract the people of the Fire from your offspring.' Aadam will say: 'Who are the people of the Hellfire?' Allaah will say 'Out of every thousand, (take out) nine hundred and ninety-nine (persons). At that time, children will become hoary-headed and every pregnant female will drop her load (i.e. miscarriage). And you will see the people as if they were drunk, yet they will not be drunk. But Allaah's punishment will be severe." News of that distressed the companions severely, so they said: "O Messenger of Allaah, who amongst us will be that (one) man (out of a thousand)?" He (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Give the good tidings, for indeed from among you will be one and from Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj will be a thousand." [10]

Their emergence, which is one of the signs of the Hour, has not occurred before in the past. However, its first indications were present during the time of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). It is confirmed in the two Saheeh collections that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "'Today a hole has been opened in the barrier of Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj, like this', and he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) made a circle with his index finger and thumb." [11]

Thus, their emergence is established in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. Allaah says: "Until when Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj are let loose (from their barrier), and they swoop down from every mound. And the true promise (Day of Resurrection) shall draw near." [12]

The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Verily the Hour will never be established until you see ten signs before it." Then he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) mentioned: "The smoke, the Dajjaal, the Beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of 'Eesaa Ibn Maryam, Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj, three tremors (in which the earth will open and swallow those upon it) - one in the east, one in the west and one in the Arabian peninsula. And the last of them will be a fire that will come out from Yemen, which will drive the people to the (final) place of assembly." [13]

Their story is found in the hadeeth of An-Nuwaas Ibn Sam'aan (radyAllaahu ‘anhu). The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said concerning 'Eesaa Ibn Maryam, after the Dajjaal is killed: "It will be that way, when Allaah will reveal to 'Eesaa: 'I have brought forth certain servants of Mine, against whom none will be able to fight. So lead my servants safely to the Mount (Toor).' And then Allaah will send Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj and they will come swarming down from every slope. The first portion of them will pass by the lake of Tiberias and drink from what is in it. Then the last portion of them will pass by it and say: 'There was once water here.' They will continue traveling until they will stop at the mountain of Al-Khamar, which is the mount of Al-Bait-ul-Maqdis. Then they will say: 'We have killed those on earth, come, let us now kill those in the heavens.' So they will begin to throw their arrows toward the sky and Allaah will return their arrows back to them, smeared with blood. Then the Prophet of Allaah ('Eesaa) and his companions will be laid siege (so severely), to the extent that the head of an ox would be better to one of them than one hundred deenars is to one of you today. So the Prophet of Allaah 'Eesaa and his companions will supplicate to Allaah, and Allaah will send down upon them, insects which will set upon their (i.e. Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj) necks (biting at it). In the morning, they will perish, like one single person. The Prophet of Allaah 'Eesaa and his companions will then descend (from the Mount) to the ground and they will not find a place the size of a hand span, except that it would be filled with their putrefaction and stench. So the Prophet of Allaah 'Eesaa and his companions will beseech Allaah and He will send birds, whose necks look like that of bactrian camels, which will throw them (corpses of Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj) wherever Allaah wills." [14]

4. The Emergence of the Beast - Linguistically, the word Ad-Daabbah refers to every creature that moves about the earth. What it means here, is the Beast that Allaah will bring forth, close to the establishment of the Hour. Its emergence is confirmed in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. Allaah says:

"And when the word of torment is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth, a Beast for them, to speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our Ayaat." [Surat-un-Naml (27): 82]

And the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Verily the Hour will never be established until you see ten signs before it." And he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) mentioned from among them: "The Beast." [2Saheeh Muslim and its checking has been stated previously]

There is nothing mentioned in the Qur'aan or the authentic Sunnah that indicates the place from where this Beast will emerge or its description. These two have only been mentioned in ahaadeeth, of which there is speculation concerning their authenticity. What is apparent from the Qur'aan, however, is that it is a Beast that will warn mankind of the nearness of punishment and destruction, and Allaah knows best.

5. The Rising of the Sun from the West - The rising of the sun from the west is established in the Qur'aan and the authentic Sunnah. Allaah says:

"The Day that some of the signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do for a person to believe then, if he believed not before nor earned good (by doing good deeds), through his Faith." [Surat-ul-Ana'aam (6): 158]

The meaning of this (some of the signs) is the rising of the sun from the west, for the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the west. And when it rises and the people see it, they will all believe, and that will be when: 'No good will it do for a person to believe then, if he believed not before nor earned good (by doing good deeds), through his Faith.'[Surat-ul-Ana'aam (6): 158]" [15]


[1] Saheeh Muslim: Book of Masjids and Places of Prayer (no. 590) from the hadeeth of Ibn 'Abbaas (radyAllaahu ‘anhu). Checking of Hadeeth and Footnotes by Ashraf Ibn 'Abdul-Maqsood.

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of the Call to Prayer (no. 832) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Masjids and Places of Prayer (no. 589) from the hadeeth of 'Aa'ishah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa)). Also in this section is the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) found in Saheeh Muslim (no. 588).

[3] Refer to the hadeeth of An-Nuwaas Ibn Sam'aan (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) in Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2937).

[4] Surat-un-Nisaa (4): 159

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Business Transactions (no. 2222) and in the Book of Prophets (no. 3448). It is also found in Saheeh Muslim: Book of Faith (no. 155).

[6] Refer to the hadeeth of An-Nuwaas Ibn Sam’aan t in Saheeh Muslim (no. 2937). As for his saying:"He will break the cross and abolish the jizyah (taxation collected from subjected disbelievers). And the prostration (of worship) will be only one - for Allaah the Lord of the universe" then it is found in the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah t in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (no. 3448) and Saheeh Muslim (no. 155). And there occurs in both Saheehs: "...until the single prostration becomes better than the world and what is in it." However, the wording that the Shaikh (Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen) mentioned has been attributed by Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Al-Fath (6/492) to Ibn Mardaweeh. As for his saying: "He will perform Hajj and 'Umrah", then it is found in Saheeh Muslim: Book of Hajj (no. 1252) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu), that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "By He whose Hand my soul is in, (‘Eesaa) Ibn Maryam) will surely invoke Allaah’s name (i.e. Tahleel) in the valley of Rauhaa, making Hajj or ‘Umrah or a combination of the two."

[7] Hadeeth Saheeh: An authentic hadeeth reported by Ahmad (9259), Abu Dawood (4324), Ibn Hibbaan (8/277) and Al-Haakim (2/595) who authenticated it and Adh-Dhahabee agreed. It is also reported by Ibn Abee Shaibah (15/158) and Ibn Jareer (9/388) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah t. Ahmad Shaakir (ra) graded its chain saheeh in his notes to Al-Musnad.

[8] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in At-Taareekh-ul-Kabeer (1/263), At-Tirmidhee (3617) and Al-Aajuree in Ash-Sharee’ah (pg. 381) from the path of: ‘Uthmaan Ibn Ad-Dahhaak on Muhammad Ibn Yoosuf Ibn ‘Abdillaah Ibn Salaam on his father on the authority of his granfather who said that: "It is written in the Torah, the description of Muhammad and the description of ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam. And he will be buried with him." Al-Bukhaaree said: "This is not authentic in my opinion and should not be followed." At-Tirmidhee said: "This is a hasan ghareeb hadeeth." Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in Al-Fath (7/66): "And it is reported on her - meaning ‘Aa’ishah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa) - in a hadeeth that is not established, that she asked permission of the Prophet r, that if she were to outlive him, that she be buried alongside him. So he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And how can you do that when there is nothing in that place except for my grave and the graves of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam.’ And in the reports of Madeenah (Akhbaar-ul-Madeenah) from a weak source, it is reported that Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib (ra) said: ‘Verily, the three graves are in a section of ‘Aa’ishah’s house. And there is the place where the grave of ‘Eesaa Ibn Maryam is located.’"

[9] Surat-ul-Kahf (18): 93-94

[10] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Riqaaq (no. 6530) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Faith (no. 222) from the hadeeth of Abu Sa'’eed Al-Khudree (radyAllaahu ‘anhu). And the wording found in both of them is: "He will say: 'Take out the people of the Fire..." The wording found in Al-Bukhaaree (no. 6529) is:"Extract the People of the Hellfire from your offspring." This wording is very close to the wording mentioned by Shaikh Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen.

[11] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Afflictions (no. 7135) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2880) from the hadeeth of Zainab Bint Jahsh (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa).

[12] Surat-ul-Anbiyaa (21): 96-97

[13] Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2901) from the hadeeth of Hudhaifah Ibn Usaid Al-Ghifaaree (radyAllaahu ‘anhu).

[14] Saheeh Muslim: Book of Tribulations (no. 2937). Refer to An-Nawawee’s comments on the ghareeb hadeeth in Riyaad-us-Saaliheen (no. 1817)

[15] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: Book of Commentary on Surat-ul-Ana’aam (no. 4636) and Saheeh Muslim: Book of Faith (no. 157) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu)

Fundamentals of the Sunnah

Fundamentals of the Sunnah

Imaam Abu Bakr Al-Humaydee (Died 219H)
His treatise "Usool-us-Sunnah" [Sahab.Org]

Text of the Treatise:

Bishr bin Moosaa narrated to us, saying: Al-Humaydee narrated to us, saying:

[Faith in the Divine Pre-Decree]
1. The Sunnah, in our view, is that: A man believes in Al-Qadar (the Divine Pre-Decree) – the good and the evil, as well as the sweet and the bitter of it. And that a he knows that what befalls him from (Allaah’s) Decree will never miss him, and that what is not decreed for him will never befall him. And he must believe that all of this is an ordainment from Allaah.

[Faith is Speech and Action, and it Increases and Decreases]
2. Eemaan (Faith) is speech and action. It increases and decreases. And no statement will be of benefit unless it is accompanied by an action, neither will a statement or an action be of benefit without the intention, and neither a statement, action or the intention will be of benefit in the absence of (one abiding by) the Sunnah.

[Praise for the Companions]
3. Asking Allaah to bestow His mercy on all of the Companions of Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This is since Allaah said: “And those who came after them (i.e. after the Companions) say: ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who have preceded us in Faith. And do not put in our hearts any hatred for those who have believed. Our Lord, you are indeed full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hashr: 10]

One can never believe unless he asks Allaah’s forgiveness for them. So whoever reviles them or belittles them or even just one from among them, then he is not upon the Sunnah and he has no right to the (war) booty.[1] We have been informed about this by several sources that Maalik bin Anas (rahimahullaah) said: “Allaah has divided the war-booty amongst ‘the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their property…’ up to where He said: ‘…And those who came after them, say: ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers.’ [Surah Al-Hashr: 8-10] So whoever does not say this for them, he is not from those whom Allaah has given a portion of the war-booty to.”

[The Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah]
4. The Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah. I heard Sufyaan (bin ‘Uyainah) say: “The Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah. And whoever says that it is created, is an innovator. We did not hear anyone (from the Salaf) saying this.”

[The Statement of Sufyaan regarding Faith]
5. And I heard Sufyaan say: “Eemaan (Faith) is speech and action; it increases and decreases.”

So his brother, Ibraaheem bin ‘Uyainah, said to him: “O Abu Muhammad, we don’t hold that it decreases.” So Sufyaan became angry and said: “Be quiet, child.” - to the point that nothing else came out from him.

[The Believers will see their Lord on the Day of Judgement]
6. An affirmation that the believers will see Allaah after death.

[Confirming Allaah’s Attributes]
7. As for what is stated in the Qur’aan and the Hadeeth, such as: “The Jews say: ‘Allaah’s Hand is tied up.’ May their hands be tied up” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 64] and such as: “The heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand” [Surah Az-Zumar: 67] as well as whatever resembles that from the Qur’aan and the Hadeeth, we do not exceed beyond that nor do we interpret it. Rather, we stop at where the Qur’aan and the Sunnah stopped at, and we say: “The Most Merciful (Allaah) rose over His Throne.” [Surah TaHa: 5] Whoever claims something other than this is a Mu’attil (denier of Allaah’s Attributes), a Jahmee. [2]

[The Difference between Ahlus-Sunnah and the Khawaarij]
8. We do not say as the Khawaarij say: “Whoever commits a major sin has disbelieved.” We do not deem a Muslim to be a disbeliever due to any of the sins. Rather, disbelief (only) lies in the abandonment of the five (pillars of Islaam), about which Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Islaam is built upon five things: Testifying that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; (2) Establishing the Prayer; (3) Giving the Zakaat; (4) Fasting in Ramadaan; (5) and Making the Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Allaah’s house (Ka’bah).”

[When does the Proof become established on one who abandons all or some of the Pillars of Islaam?]
9. As for three of these pillars, then there is no difference between the one who abandons any of them. They are not saying the testimony of Faith, not praying and not fasting. This is because he is delaying part of these pillars from their proper times. And whoever makes them up after having neglected them intentionally from their proper times will not be rewarded.

And as for Zakaat, when one does not give it, it will be held against him, and count as a sin because of his holding it back.

As for Hajj, then whoever is obligated to go on it and has the means to perform it, then he must go. But it is not obligatory for him to perform it every year in the case that he has already performed it. When he performs the Hajj, he is considered as having performed it and he is not counted as a sinner if he delays it, as is the case with the person who is sinful by delaying the Zakaat. This is because Zakaat is a right of the needy Muslims, whom he has withheld it from. So if he performs the Hajj, then he has fulfilled its obligation. And if he dies, whilst he was present and able to perform the Hajj but didn’t do it, he will be asked to return to the worldly life (so he can perform it). His family members are obligated to perform the Hajj on his behalf, and we hope that if they do this, it will be counted as if he had performed it, in the same manner as if he had a debt, which was repaid after his death.

[This ends the treatise, all praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds] 


[1] Translator’s Note: This refers to the war booty achieved from the battle against the Jews of Banu An-Nadeer. Commencing from the sixth ayah of Surah Al-Hashr, Allaah clarifies who is entitled to this war booty, up until the tenth ayah, which mentions those who come after the Muhaajireen (emigrants) and the Ansaar (Muslim residents of Madeenah), i.e. the Companions. So whoever amongst “those who came after them” does not perform what is indicated in this ayah (10) of asking forgiveness for the Sahaabah, then he has no right to the war-booty.

[2] Translator’s Note: Imaam Ibn Al-‘Uthaimeen said about the Jahmiyyah: “They attribute themselves to Al-Jahm bin Safwaan who was killed by Saalim or Salim bin Ahwaz in the year 121H. Their views on the Attributes of Allaah consist of ta'teel (denial) and nafee (negation). Regarding Al-Qadar (Divine Pre-Decree), they hold the opinion that mankind is coerced to do deeds (al-jabr). Their view on Eemaan is that of Irjaa, which means that they believe Eemaan is merely the confirmation of the heart, and that statements and actions are not part of Eemaan. So according to them, someone who commits a major sin is a believer with complete Eemaan (i.e. Eemaan does not increase or decrease). So they are the Mu'atazilah, Jabariyyah and Murji’ah all in one and they are divided into many sects.” [Sharh Lum’at-ul-‘Itiqaad]

Those Entitled to Receive Zakaat

Those Entitled to Receive Zakaat
AUTHOR:Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen 
SOURCE:Fusool fis-Siyaam wat-Taraaweeh waz-Zakaat [E-Book]

Lesson Seven: Those who are entitled to receive the Zakaat

The people entitled to Zakaat are those places we can direct our Zakaat to. Allaah took charge of explaining for Himself what these places are, saying:

“The charity (Zakaat) is only for the poor, the needy, those employed to collect (the Zakaat), those whose hearts will be inclined (towards Islaam, by giving them Zakaat), for slaves, for those in debt, for (Jihaad in) the Cause of Allaah, and for the wayfarer (i.e. destitute traveler). It is an obligation imposed by Allaah, and Allaah is the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 60]

1. The Poor (Fuqaraa): They are those who are not able to support themselves with sufficient means, except for very little, which is less than half (a year). So if a person cannot find that which will support himself and his family for at least half a year, he is considered poor (faqeer) and he should be given what will suffice him and his family for a year.

2. The Needy (Masaakeen): They are those who are able to support themselves with sufficient means for half of the year or more, but not enough for the entire year. So they should receive support that will complete the year for them. If a person does not have any cash on him, but yet has some other source of income, such as a profession, a salary or investment profits that will support him financially, he should not be given Zakaat. This is based on the Prophet’s statement: “There is no share in it (i.e. the Zakaat) for a wealthy person or for a strong able-bodied person who can earn a living.”

3. Those employed to collect the Zakaat: They are the ones put in charge by the ruler of a country to collect the Zakaat from those who owe it, distribute it to those who are entitled to it, guard the funds and all other types of duties involved with the supervision of Zakaat. So they should be given a portion of the Zakaat in accordance with the work they put in, even if they may already be wealthy.

4. Those whose hearts will be inclined: This refers to tribal and clan leaders, who do not have strong Faith. They should be given Zakaat so as to strengthen their Faith, which will make them callers to Islaam and good role models. But what if a person is weak in his Islaam, and he is not from the leaders who are followed and obeyed, but rather from the common folk, should he be given some Zakaat in order to strengthen his Faith?

Some scholars hold that it should be given to him since benefiting one’s religion is better than benefiting one’s body. Look at the example of a poor person. He is given Zakaat in order to nourish his body. So nourishing someone’s heart with Faith is greater and of more benefit. However some scholars hold that he should not be given the Zakaat since the benefit of strengthening his Faith is a personal benefit that is specific to him alone.

5. Slaves: What falls under this is buying slaves using Zakaat funds in order to free them, as well as assisting in the liberation of Muslim war captives.

6. Those in debt: They are the ones who owe debts. This is on the condition that they do not possess that which will enable them to remove their debts. So these people should be given enough (Zakaat) that will relieve them of their debt, whether it is a small or large amount, even if they may be wealthy due to their livelihood. So in the case where there is a man who has some income that is enough for the livelihood of himself and his family, but he has some debt that he cannot repay, he may be given sufficient Zakaat that will remove his debt from him. However, it is not permissible for a person who is owed money by a poor person to cancel that person’s debt, intending to give his share of Zakaat by that.

The scholars have differed regarding the case where the one in debt is someone’s father or son. Can he be given Zakaat in order to remove his debt? The correct opinion is that it is permissible. It is permissible for a person who owes Zakaat to go to the creditor (person owed the debt) and pay him back the loan of the indebted without the latter being aware of it. This is on the condition that the person owing Zakaat knows that the indebted one is unable to repay his debt.

7. In the Cause of Allaah: This refers to Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah. So those who fight in Jihaad should be given a portion of the Zakaat that will suffice them for their Jihaad and enable them to buy the necessary tools for Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah.

What also falls under “the Cause of Allaah” is religious knowledge. So a student of Islamic knowledge should be given that which will enable him to seek knowledge, such as books and so on. This is unless he already has money of his own that will enable him to achieve that.

8. The Wayfarer: This refers to a traveler that has been cut off from his journey. So he should be given enough Zakaat that will enable him to return to his homeland.

These are the people who are entitled to receive Zakaat, the ones whom Allaah has mentioned in His Book and informed us that this is an obligation that He mandated, which stems from His knowledge and wisdom. And Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

It is not permissible to direct the Zakaat to any other place, such as towards building masaajid or fixing roads. This is because Allaah has told us those who are entitled to receive the Zakaat for the purpose of limiting them to just those mentioned. So this limitation indicates that we are to negate all other potential recipients that due not fall under this limitation.

If we were to reflect on those individuals that we may give Zakaat to, we would come to realize that among them are those who are in need of the Zakaat for personal use as well as those who are in need of it for the Muslims generally. So by this, we can see the extent of wisdom behind the requirement of Zakaat. And we would come to know that the wisdom behind Zakaat is to build a complete and upright society, as best as possible. And that Islaam does not disregard money or the benefits that can be generated from wealth, nor does it leave greedy and stingy souls to go about freely an unchecked with their stinginess and vain desires. On the contrary, it is the greatest guiding force towards the good and betterment of nations. And all praise is due to Allaah, Lord of the universe.