Tawheed First O Muslims – Shaykh Muhammad Nasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee

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Tawheed First O’ Muslims

Shaykh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee
Source: A Taped Lecture
Translated by Mu’tasim al-Hameedee

All praise is due to Allaah; we praise Him, seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of ourselves and the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allaah guides, there is none to misguide, and whomsoever Allaah allows to go astray, there is none to guide. I bear witness that none is worthy of worship except Allaah alone, having no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the slave and messenger of Allaah.

“O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared and die not except as Muslims.” (Soorat Aali ‘Imraan, 3:102)

”O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person and from him He created his wife and from them both he created many men and women and fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual rights and be dutiful to the wombs. Surly, Allaah is ever an All-Watcher over you.” (Soorat un-Nisaa’, 4:1)

”O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him and speak the truth, He will direct you to righteous deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allaah and His messenger has indeed attained a great achievement.” (Soorat ul-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

Tawheed First, O callers to Islaam

Question: O honourable Shaykh! You are, no doubt, aware of the dismal state of the Ummah with regards to the Deen. This wretched state is reflected by the ignorance of ‘aqeedah and matters related to it, splitting and differences in the existing methodologies, and negligence of spreading the call of Islaam – worldwide – according to the ‘aqeedah and manhaj of the First Generation with which the early generations had been rectified.
This state has without doubt created a sense of gheerah and a desire to address the problem and correct the situation. However, due to their differences in ‘aqeedah and manhaj, Muslims have differed in their approach to deal with this state. This can be seen in the presence of numerous Islaamic movements and groups that have been claiming reform for centuries. However, success was never written for them; on the contrary, these movements caused great fitan, ordeals and trials due to their methodologies and ‘aqeedah that contradict the commandments of the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and what he came with.
This created a big sense of confusion among the Muslims, especially the youth amongst them as to how to deal with this state of affairs. And as for the Muslim du’aat who are holding on to the manhaj of the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the way of the believers – which is the understanding of the Companions and their followers from amongst the scholars of Islaam – they are shouldering a great responsibility in dealing with this state or playing a part in rectifying it.
What is your advice to the followers of the aforementioned movements and groups?
What are the successful ways to solve this state of affairs?
How does a Muslim free himself from this responsibility in the sight of Allaah on the Day of Judgement?
The Answer: Attention Should First Be Directed To Tawheed As The Manhaj Of All The Prophets And Messengers
In addition to what was mentioned about the poor state of the Muslims, we say: This state is not as bad as that of the Arabs at the times of Jaahiliyyah when our Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent to them. This can be seen in following points:
The existence of the Message of Islaam among us
The completeness of this Message
The existence of the group that is established upon the truth, who act on it, and call the people to the correct form of Islaam in ‘aqeedah, worship, behaviour and methodology
However, it is obvious that the state of a great deal of the Muslim denominations today is similar to the state of the Arabs at the times of Jaahiliyyah.
In view of that, the remedy is the same. Just as the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) cured that early state of jaahiliyyah, the Muslim callers of today should use the same cure to remedy the poor understanding of the Meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah and to treat the painful state of affairs.
This meaning becomes clear when we reflect upon the statement of Allaah, the High and the Sublime:

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) you have a good example to follow…” (Soorat ul-Ahzaab, 33:21)

This means that our Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the best example to be followed in dealing with the problems which face the Muslims in this time as well as in all times. This necessitates that we start with that which the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) started with; that is, to set right what has become corrupt in terms of:
First: the beliefs of the Muslims;
Second: their acts of worship and
Third: their behaviour.
I do not intend with this classification and order to segregate these aspects and classify them according to their respective importance. My intention, however, is to point out that the Muslims should pay great attention to these aspects.
And when I say ‘Muslims’, I obviously mean the du’aat, rather I should say the scholars as – regrettably – the word ‘daa’ee’ is being used to refer to every Muslim regardless of the fact that his knowledge of the Deen is very peripheral. As a result, many started to consider themselves du’aat to Islaam. However, we should always bear in mind the principle that is well known not only to the scholars but also to those of sound mind:
One who has not got something, cannot give it
For example, we all know about a big group which comprises of millions of Muslims and as the word du’aat is mentioned, they are the only ones who come to mind. I mean Jamaa’at at-Tableegh. Nevertheless, the case of the vast majority of them is as Allaah says:

“Most of the people do not know.” (Soorat ul-Anbiyaa’, 21:7)

It is well known that in their approach to da’wah, they have completely turned their attention away from the first fundamental principle or the most important of all affairs which is: ‘Aqeedah, Worship and behaviour. They turned away from the type of reform that the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – indeed all Prophets – started with, which is explained in Allaah’s statement:

”We have certainly sent messengers to every nation, (saying) ‘Worship Allaah and abandon false deities’.” (Soorat un-Nahl, 16:36)

They (Jamaa’at at-tableegh) are not concerned with this fundamental principle and first pillar of the pillars of Islaam. It is the same principle that the first of the Messengers, Nooh kept calling to for approximately one thousand years.
It is well-known that unlike our religion, the previous revelations did not contain detailed rulings relating to acts of worship and dealings, whereas the revelation sent to our Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the last and seal for all revelation.
Nooh spent nine hundred and fifty years devoting his time and attention to calling to tawheed. Nevertheless, his people turned away from his call as Allaah says in his Book:

”And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwaa’, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq, nor Nasr (names of the idols).”
(Soorat Nooh, 71:23)

This indicates clearly that the most important affair to which the callers to ‘the True Message of Islaam’ should pay attention, is calling to Tawheed. This is the meaning of Allaah’s statement:

”So know that Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah)…” (Soorat Muhammad, 47:19)

This is how the Messenger’s Sunnah was with regards to actions and method of education:
As to his (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) action: there is no need for any investigation because clearly his actions and call in the Makkan period were restricted to calling his people to singling out Allaah with all worship without any partner.
As to education: This can be seen in the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik which is narrated in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim that when the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sent Mu’aad to Yemen, he said to him:
“Let the first thing you call them to be: to testify the there is none who truly deserves to be worshipped except Allaah alone. If they answer you in that…”
The hadeeth is well known inshaa’Allaah.
So, it is clear that the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded his Companions to start their da’wah with that which he himself started with, namely tawheed.
There is a big difference between the mushrik Arabs who fully understood everything that was said to them in their language and the majority of the Arab Muslims today who do not need to be invited to say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah because all of them say it, regardless of their madhaahib and methodologies. However, they direly need to understand what this Blessed Word stands for.
This is the substantial difference between the Arabs of today and the early Arabs who whenever Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) invited them to say: Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, they became arrogant as is clearly stated in the Qur’aan. But why would they become arrogant? Because they understood that this word meant that they should worship none but Allaah and not associate partners with him. Whereas, they worshipped other than Him; they called on other than Him, sought help from other than Him, made vows for other than Him, sought nearness by other than Him, slaughtered sacrifice for other than Him and referred to the judgement of other than Him etc.
These were the polytheistic means that they used to practice although they realised – due to their sound understanding of the Arabic language – that this Blessed Word necessitates that they give up and disassociate themselves from all these practices that conflict with the meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah.

The Vast Majority Of The Muslims Today Do Not Have A Sound Understanding Of The Meaning Of Laa Ilaaha Ill-Allaah:

As for the majority of the Muslims today, who testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allaah, they do not understand the meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah properly. Some even understand it the other way around. For example, someone wrote a treatise on the meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah but he explained it as: “There is no Rabb (Lord) but Allaah.” This is what the mushrikeen believed in and this is what they were upon. However, this belief was of no avail to them. Allaah said:

”And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say ‘Allaah’.”
(Soorat uz-Zukhruf, 43:87)

The mushrikeen believed that this universe had a Creator who has no partners. However, they associated partners along with Allaah in worship. So, they believed that the Lord of the universe is one, but believed that other things deserved to be worshipped as well. This is why Allaah rejected that belief, which he referred to as worshiping other than Him. He says:

”And those who take auliyaa’ (protectors and helpers) besides Him (say): ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah’.”
(Soorat uz-Zumar, 39:3)

The mushrikeen realised that saying “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” necessitates renouncing worshipping other than Allaah. As to the majority of the Muslims today, they have interpreted this word to mean: “there is no Lord (Rabb) but Allaah.”
Therefore, if the Muslim says “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” but worships others with Allaah, then he has the same ‘aqeedah as the mushrikeen although his outward manner suggests Islaam as he says: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah.”
This makes it obligatory on every single one of us – as du’aat to Islaam – to call to tawheed and establish hujjah (proof) on those who are ignorant of the meaning of “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” while falling into actions contradictory to it.
The case of the Muslims is unlike the case of the kuffaar. The kaafir refuses to say “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” so he is not a Muslim inwardly and outwardly. As to the majority of the Muslims today, then the following hadeeth applies to them:
“…if they say it (“Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”), then they have protected their blood and possessions as long as they observe its rights, and their account is for Allaah Ta’ala.”
I say – and I rarely say this word – that the state of the majority of the Muslims today is worse than that of the laymen Arabs at the times of the early jaahiliyyah with regards to understanding the meaning of the Blessed Word. The mushrikeen Arabs understood what it meant but did not believe in it; however, the majority of the Muslims today confess that in which they do not believe: They say: “Laa
ilaaha ill-Allaah” but do not really believe in its genuine meaning.
Henceforth, I believe that the first obligation on the true du’aat to Islaam is to focus on this Blessed Word, explaining its general meaning first then elucidating its conditions and requirements, the main of them being making all worship sincere for Allaah alone.
Indeed, Allaah – when He related that the mushrikeen said: “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah” – considered every act of worship directed to other than Him to be a negation of the Blessed Word: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah.”
This is the reason why I say today: There is no point in gathering the Muslims together while leaving them in misguidance, without making them understand this Blessed Word, as this does not benefit them in this life, let alone the next.
We are acquainted with the saying of the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

“Whoever dies while witnessing that there is none worthy of worship but Allaah sincerely from his heart, then Allaah will make his body forbidden for the Fire” and in another narration: “then he will enter Paradise.”

So, whoever says it with sincerity is guaranteed to enter Paradise even though this might take place after his being punished and tortured.
Consequently, one who believes correctly in the true meaning of this Blessed Word – even though he might be tortured due to his sins – will eventually end up in Paradise. On the other hand, one who confesses this Blessed Word by his tongue without having believed in its correct meaning by his heart, then this will be of no avail to him in the Hereafter. It may benefit him in this life as in protecting him from being killed in case the Muslims have power and authority, but in the Hereafter it will only benefit him if he has said this Word having firstly understood its meaning and secondly having believed in it. Indeed, understanding its meaning is insufficient without believing in it.
This is the point of which most people are heedless. That is, understanding the meaning of “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” does not necessarily mean believing in it. Both the correct understanding and belief in this Word must be combined in order for the person to be a believer.
Indeed, the people of the Book, the Jews and Christians knew that Muhammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was truthful and that he was a Messenger. However, despite this knowledge that they had, which Allaah has witnessed to by saying:

”They know him like they know their own sons…”
(Soorat ul-Baqarah, 2:146)

They know him (that he is a Messenger) as they know their own children this did not avail them from Allaah. Why? Because they did not believe in his Messengership. So, Eemaan is to be preceded by knowledge while knowledge by its own is of no benefit. Rather knowledge should be accompanied by Eemaan and submission. Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

“And have knowledge that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and seek for forgiveness of your sins.” (Soorat Muhammad, 47:19)

For that reason, if the Muslim says “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” with his tongue, he must second it with knowledge of its meaning. If he attains knowledge, acceptance and Eemaan, then he becomes one of those to whom the hadeeths I mentioned previously apply. One of these hadeeths is his (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying: “Whoever says: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”, it will benefit him one day…” meaning that this Blessed Word – if he understood its correct meaning it will save him from dwelling for ever in the Fire.
I repeat this that it may become established in your minds: A person might not have fulfilled its rights as in perfecting his good deeds and abstaining from sin; however, he has been free from falling into major shirk and has fulfilled the conditions that Eemaan necessitates which include inward and outward actions. His destiny will be in Allaah’s will. He may be entered into the Fire as a punishment for the sins he has committed or the obligations in which he has fallen short, then afterwards, this Word will save him. Or it may be the case where Allaah forgives him due to His favour and forgiveness. This is the meaning of his (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: “Whoever says: “Laa ilaaha ill- Allaah”, it will benefit him one day.”
On the other hand, he who says it with his tongue without understanding its correct meaning or with understanding its correct meaning but not believing in it, then his saying “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” does benefit him in this life if he is living in a Muslim state, but not in the Hereafter.
Therefore, it is important to focus on calling to tawheed in every society or Muslim community which aspires to that which the Islaamic groups aspire to, that is establishing the Muslim society and Islaamic State that will govern by that which Allaah has revealed.
These Islaamic groups will never attain this objective – that they agree upon and have tried hard to achieve – except by starting with that which the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) started with.
The Obligation Of Directing Attention To ‘Aqeedah Does Not Mean To Neglect The Rest Of The Sharee’ah, Such As Acts Of Worship, Behaviour, Dealings And Manners:
I notify again here that when I talk about the most important thing in da’wah, I do not mean to direct the callers to confine their da’wah to this Blessed Word and understanding its correct meaning. Allaah has indeed perfected His favour on us by completing the Deen. Therefore, the callers should uphold Islaam in its entirety.
When I say that the true callers to Islaam should direct their attention to explaining the correct ‘aqeedah derived from the Blessed Word “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”, this does not only mean to understand that there is none who truly deserves to be worshipped but Allaah. It also necessitates that the Muslim understands the acts of worship that he should offer to his Lord and that this worship should not be directed to other than Allaah. The understanding of the Blessed Word should always be accompanied by this detailed knowledge that
follows from it. It is good to provide some examples to illustrate this point.
Many Muslims, who have sound tawheed and direct no form of worship to other than Allaah, are heedless of a great deal of the correct beliefs that are mentioned in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Many of those Muslims come across aayaat and hadeeths that comprise a matter pertaining to ‘aqeedah; however, they are oblivious to it. Some of these matters may be from the perfection of Eemaan in Allaah. For example, the belief that Allaah is above His creation.
I know through experience that many from our Salafee muwahhideen brothers believe that Allaah is above His Throne without making tahreef or tashbeeh. However, when one of the Mu’tazilah, jahmiyyah, Matureediyyah or Ashaa’irah of our time, casts a doubt in their minds, which is based on the Dhaahir (external sense) of an aayah, they fall into confusion and are misguided away from it. Why?
Because they have not learned ‘aqeedah from all the aspects dealt with in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Therefore, when someone from the Mu’tazilah of our time says: Allaah says:

“Do you feel secure that He, Who is in (fee) the heaven…”
(Soorat ul-Mulk, 67:16) 1

and you (Salafees) say: Allaah is fee the heaven. This means you have declared that the One you worship is in a created place i.e. in the heaven. Eventually, the Muwahhid swallows this delusion and is deluded by it.

Showing that the majority of the Muslims lack the correct understanding of ‘aqeedah and its requirements:

My intention is to show that the ‘aqeedah of tawheed and its requirements are not clear even in the minds of many of those who believe in the Salafee ‘aqeedah, not to mention those who follow the Ash’ari, Matureedi or Jahmi ‘aqeedahs with regards to this point.
I mentioned this example to make it clear that the case is not as easy as many of those who agree with us in calling to the Book and Sunnah claim.
The reason is the difference that we mentioned between the jaahiliyyah of the early Arabs, who refused to say “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” because they understood its meaning, and between the majority of the Muslims today, who say this Blessed Word but do not understand its meaning. This genuine difference is manifest in this issue of ‘aqeedah i.e. Allaah is above His creation. This ‘aqeedah needs to be explained. It is not enough that the Muslim knows that:

“The Most Merciful rose (istawaa) over the Throne…” (Soorat Ta-Ha, 20:5)

and that:

“Show mercy to those on (fee) earth, the One Who is above (fee) the heaven will show mercy to you”,

but without knowing that the preposition “fee” in the aayah and the hadeeth is not circumstantial (does not mean: inside). 2 It is like the preposition in the aayah:

“Do you feel secure that He, Who is above (fee) the heaven…”
(Soorat ul-Mulk 67:16)

in this context ‘fee’ means (above/over). There are many proofs for that. One of which is the Saheeh hadeeth:
“Show mercy to those on (fee) earth, the One Who is above (fee) the heaven will show mercy to you.”
“Show mercy to those on earth” does not refer to the insects and worms inside the earth, but to the people and animals on its surface. The case is the same with his (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement:

“the One Who is above (fee) the heavens will show mercy to you.”

This knowledge is necessary to be acquired by those who have accepted the da’wah of the Truth.
There is another example that makes the point even clearer. It is the well known hadeeth of the slave girl. I will only mention the part that concerns us from it. When she was asked by Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

“Where is Allaah?” she replied: ” above (fee) the heavens.”

If you were to ask the major scholars of al-Azhar: Where is Allaah? They would say: Everywhere! Whereas the slave girl said: Above the heaven. And Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) consented to her answer. Why?
Because she answered according to her fitrah, as she lived in what we can call: A Salafee environment that was pure and free from all the pollution of any evil. She graduated from the school of the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), which was not exclusive to certain men and women. Rather, it was a school that included the whole society, men and women. This is why that slave girl knew the correct ‘aqeedah that is taken from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. On the other hand, many of those who claim to be knowledgeable of the Book and the Sunnah are ignorant of this ‘aqeedah to the extent that they do not know where their Lord is, although it is stated clearly in the Book and the Sunnah.
Today, if you ask this question – I do not say to a shepherd but – to a leader who is in charge of a nation or a group, he will be puzzled just as the majority of the people will be, except for those upon whom Allaah has bestowed His mercy.

Calling to the correct ‘aqeedah needs great and constant efforts:

Therefore, calling to tawheed and establishing it in the hearts of the people necessitates that we do not go over the aayaat without explaining them in detail as was the case with the First Generation. The First Generation understood the meanings of the aayaat easily without need for comprehensive explanation. Moreover, there was no misguidance or deviation that emanated from philosophy and Ilmul-kalaam to contradict the correct ‘aqeedah at their time. Our case today is completely different. Therefore, we should not think that calling to the correct ‘aqeedah is as easy as it was at the time of the First Generation.
I give an example to explain this point. The companions would receive the hadeeth directly from the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). The Tabi’een would take the hadeeth directly from the companions. This was the case with the First Three Generations. But the question that comes to mind is: Was there any thing called the science of hadeeth at that time? The answer is: No. Was there any thing called the science of jarh and ta’deel? Answer: No.
However, these two sciences are necessary for the student of knowledge today and are amongst the kifaa’ee obligations because they enable the scholars to know whether a hadeeth is authentic or not. So, it is no longer easy as it was at the time of the Companions. At their times knowledge was pure and the sources of knowledge were reliable.
We have to pay attention to this point and bear it in mind when we face problems that were nonexistent at the times of the early Muslims such as the deviations and pollution that afflicted the ‘aqeedah and so created doubts and misconceptions. These doubts and misconceptions were put forth by the people of bid’ah under different banners such as calling to the Book and the Sunnah only, as claimed by those who ascribe themselves to Ilmul-kalaam.
It would be beneficial to quote some of the authentic hadeeths that deal with this issue. He (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – upon mentioning the Ghurabaa’ (Strangers) – said: “For every one of them will be the reward of fifty.” They (the Companions) asked: “Fifty from us or them?” He (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “From you.” This is because of the severe ghurbah (estrangement) that Islaam is facing now.
There is no doubt that ghurbah at the time of the First Generation was between blatant shirk and pure unblemished tawheed; between explicit kufr and sincere Eemaan. However, the tawheed of the majority of the Muslims today is tainted.
Many of them direct acts of worship to other than Allaah, while claiming Eemaan. This point should be given priority in terms of attention paid when giving da’wah.
Also, it should not be said that we have to move to another stage other than tawheed and that is, the stage of political work!
We – as Arabs – should not take it for granted and say: “We are Arabs and the Qur’aan was revealed in our language.” The Arabs today have a poor understanding of their language which has kept them away from the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Islaam indeed is a call to the Truth. Let us presume that we – the Arabs – have a proper understanding of Islaam, still it is not obligatory on us to get involved in political work or to busy the people with politics. Instead, we should busy the people with understanding their Deen in terms of ‘aqeedah, worship, dealings and behaviour. I do not think that there is a people – made of millions – who have attained a correct understanding of Islaam in terms of: ‘aqeedah, worship and behaviour or has been raised on it.

The foundation for change is the methodology of Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah:

This is why we always stress and focus on the two important points that constitute the foundation for true change. These two points are: Tasfiyah (purification) and Tarbiyah (cultivation). They have to be combined together.
There has been some sort of Tasfiyah in one of the Islaamic countries in terms of ‘aqeedah, which is a great achievement to take place in a part of the Islaamic World. However, as to worship, it still needs to be freed from blind following of the madhhab and to come back to the authentic Sunnah.
I do not believe that one, two, ten or twenty individuals will be capable of carrying out the duty of Tasfiyah. Few individuals will never be enough to purify Islaam from every thing alien to it in terms of ‘aqeedah, worship and behaviour, and then cultivate the people on it in a correct and sound manner. Therefore, I say: Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah are nonexistent today.
Therefore, in a society that is not ruled by Sharee’ah, any political activity that takes place before achieving these two points will have destructive outcomes.
However, in an Islaamic society, advice should take the place of political activity. Advice can be given through mashoorah or other channels in accordance with Sharee’ah and should be free from defaming others. Advice indeed establishes the hujjah (truth) and frees the one who gives it from responsibility before Allaah.
Part of naseehah as well is to busy the people with that which benefits them such as rectifying their ‘aqeedah, worship, behaviour and dealings.
Some may think that we intend to achieve Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah in the whole Islaamic society! We do not even dream of this because it is impossible. Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

“And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah, but they will not cease to disagree.” (Soorat Hood, 11:118)

So, all should strive to attain sound understanding of Islaam and cultivate themselves, their families and those around them on it.
Who should get involved in political work and When?
Getting involved in political work is a waste of time, although we do not deny it. However, we believe in the logical sequence which is based on Sharee’ah. We start with ‘aqeedah, worship then behaviour; we set them right and cultivate ourselves and the others on them. Afterwards, the day will come when we enter the political phase according to its Islaamic concept.
Siyaasah means to look after the affairs of the Ummah. But who should look after the affairs of the Ummah? Is it for all and a sundry from those who establish a group or a party? Siyaasah is the duty of Waliyyul-Amr (the Ameer of the Muslims) who is given Bay’ah from the Muslims. He is the one who is obligated to have knowledge of politics, the state of affairs and how to manage them.
However, in case the Muslims are disunited as we are today, everyone who is in charge should have knowledge as much as his authority requires. We should not busy ourselves with matters that, even if we acquire full knowledge of them, will be pointless as we have no authority over them and do not have the decision over the Ummah. This is a waste of time.
Let us give an example: Is there any benefit in arousing the feelings of the Muslims towards the wars taking place against the Muslims in different Muslim lands, while we have no legitimate state of Jihaad conducted by a Muslim Ameer who has been given bay’ah by the Muslims?! There is no point in doing so. We do not say: It is not obligatory! However, it is not due yet. We have to busy ourselves, and those we call, with acquiring a correct understanding of Islaam and cultivating them on it.
On the other hand, preoccupying the Muslims with emotional arguments will divert them from understanding the da’wah that every Muslim should carry out, which includes rectifying the ‘aqeedah, worship and behaviour. All these aspects are from the ‘aynee obligations.
As to other aspects that are kifaa’ee obligations such as knowledge of current affairs and political work, then they should be undertaken by those in power who have the authority to implement it. Knowledge of these affairs should not be pursued by those who have no authority, who will busy the people with it and distract them from what is most important, i.e. the correct understanding of the Deen.
This is the true reality of the methodologies of the current Islaamic movements and parties. They have neglected teaching the Muslim youth around them the correct ‘aqeedah, worship and behaviour. Instead, they preoccupied themselves with political work and trying to enter parliaments that judge by other than that which Allaah has revealed. Hence they diverted themselves from the most important of affairs to the least important.
As to the part of the question regarding the way for the Muslim to free himself from responsibility before Allaah and the way he should contribute to changing this painful state of the Muslims, I say: Everyone is responsible according to his ability; the more knowledge a man has, the greater his burden of duties and vice versa.
I would like to draw attention to the fact that Allaah has perfected His Favour upon us by making His Book complete and making it a constitution for the believers. Allaah said:

”So, ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.”
(Soorat ul-Anbiyaa’, 21:7)

So, Allaah classified the Muslim society into two categories: People who have knowledge, and people who do not. And He entrusted each category with different obligations. He made it compulsory on those who do not have knowledge to ask the knowledgeable ones and ordered the latter to answer them. Therefore, obligations differ from one person to another. The scholar should call to the Truth according to his ability, while those who lack knowledge have to ask about matters of the Deen that concern them or those under their charge. If every person does everything he can, he has saved himself. Allaah says:

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope…” (Soorat ul-Baqarah, 2:286)

Unfortunately, we live in times of calamity the like of which have not befallen the Muslims, as the nations of kufr have called one another to fight them. The Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The nations will call one another to fight you just as people call one another to eat from a plate of food.” The Companions said: “Will that be because we will be small in number at that time, O Messenger of Allaah.” He (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No, you will be big in number, but you will be ghuthaa’ like the foam of a stream of water. And Allaah will take from the hearts of your enemies their fear of you and will place in your hearts wahn,” They said: “What is wahn, O Messenger of Allaah?” He (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Love of this life and hatred of death.”
Therefore, the obligation on the scholars is to strive with Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah by teaching the Muslims the correct Tawheed, sound ‘aqeedah, worship and behaviour, each according to his ability in the land in which he lives.
Today the Muslims are unable to fight the Jews as long as they are divided. They can not perform jihaad in this state. However, they have to follow every legitimate means they have to attain Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah.
In fact, we do not have the military power to make jihaad. Even if we had it, we could not use it as most of the Islaamic countries are – unfortunately – ruled by governments that do not agree with the Sharee’ah. Nevertheless, we are capable inshaa’Allaah of achieving these two great affairs that I mentioned earlier: Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah.

It is obligatory on every Muslim to abide by the rulings of Allaah in all affairs, according to his ability:

Therefore, every Muslim is obligated to do that which he is able to. Allaah does not burden a soul more that it can bear.
It is not true that establishing correct tawheed and worship necessitate that we establish Islaamic States in the countries that govern by other than that which Allaah has revealed, because the first thing that Allaah revealed is Tawheed.
There were circumstances in some eras where seclusion was considered better than mixing with the people. At these times a Muslim would seclude himself, worshipping his Lord. There are many hadeeth’s that refer to this case, although originally the Muslim should be as he (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said in the hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Umar:
“The believer who mixes with the people and endures their harm is better than the believer who does not mix with the people and does not endure their harm.”
Therefore, the Islaamic State is a means but not an end as such.
It is a great wonder that some du’aat busy themselves with what is beyond their control and neglect the things that are within their grasp, i.e. striving against ones desires. This is the very advice that was given to them by a Muslim daa’ee to his followers: “Establish the Islaamic State in your hearts, Allaah will establish it for you on your land.” However, we find that the majority of his followers do the opposite. They direct all their efforts in da’wah towards singling out Allaah with Haakimiyyah, or as they put it: “Haakimiyyah (ruling) is for Allaah”. There is no doubt that Haakimiyyah belongs to Allaah Alone without any partner.
However, those same du’aat blindly follow one of the four madhaahib, and when you introduce to him an authentic Sunnah, he says: It contradicts my madhhab! So, where is ruling by that which Allaah has revealed with regards to following the Sunnah?!
Some of these du’aat worship Allaah according to a Soofee method! Where is ruling by that which Allaah has revealed with regards to tawheed?! They ask the others to rule by that which Allaah has revealed, but forget themselves! It is very easy to establish the rulings of Allaah in your ‘aqeedah, worship, behaviour, your household, bringing up you children, and your day to day transactions. However, it is extremely difficult to remove that ruler who governs by other than that which Allaah has revealed. Why do they leave what is easy and endeavour to achieve what is beyond their reach. This suggests one of two possibilities: Either, there is great deficiency and defect in their Tarbiyah, or there is some sort of corruption in their ‘aqeedah that diverts them from that which is feasible to what is beyond their scope.
I believe that in these times one should busy himself with Tasfiyah, Tarbiyah and calling the people to correct ‘aqeedah and worship, each according to his ability. Allaah does not burden a person beyond his scope. All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of the worlds.

Terminology:

Salafee: The methodology of the Companions and those who follow their way and understanding.
Muwahhideen (singular: Muwahhid): Those who single out Allaah in worship.
Aayah (pl. aayaat): a verse in the Qur’aan. Originally means: a sign.
Sharee’ah: The Law that Allaah revealed to The Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Eemaan: Belief, faith and conviction. It constitutes conviction and certainty in, speech with the tongue, and actions of the limbs.
Hujjah: proof and evidence.
Mushrik (pl. Mushrikeen): Polythiest.
Rabb: Lord, Creator and Provider.
Madhhab: School of thought in Islaamic jurisprudence.
Nooh: Noah.
Da’wah: The Call to Islaam.
Daa’ee (pl. Du’aat): Caller to Islaam.
Jaahiliyyah: The times of ignorance prior to the Messengership of Muhammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Manhaj: Methodology.
Fitan (singular: Fitnah): Trials and ordeals. It can also mean a test through hardships or temptations.
First Generation: The generation of the Companions of the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
‘Aqeedah: Belief, doctrine or creed.
Deen: Religion or way of life.
Ummah: Nation.
Tawheed: Singling out Allaah with all worship. It falls into three categories:
Tawheed of Ruboobiyyah (Lordship), Tawheed of Uloohiyyah (worship) and Tawheed of al-Asmaa’ was Sifaat (the Names and Attributes of Allaah).
‘Allaamah: A great and well versed scholar.
Gheerah: The tendency to protect high values and principles accompanied with a sense of displeasure when they are violated.
Inshaa’Allaah: If Allaah wills.
‘Aynee (obligation): An obligation that is compulsory on every individual to perform.
Bay’ah: A covenant given from the people to their leader which implies their acceptance and pledge of obedience.
Bid’ah: A newly invented matter in the Deen.
Waliyyul- Amr: The ruler who is in charge of the Muslims.
Siyaasah: Leadership and taking care of the affairs of the people. It also means politics in the general sense.
Naseehah: Advice.
Mashoorah: Consulting the people of knowledge and understanding.
Tarbiyah: Teaching and cultivating the people.
Tasfiyah: Purifying Islaam from everything foreign to it.
Kufr: Disbelief.
‘Ilmul-kalaam: [explanation to be added]
Kifaa’ee (obligation): An obligation, which if carried out by some individuals in the society, the rest will be freed from carrying it out.
Jarh and ta’deel: The science of studying the affairs of the people who carry and relate knowledge in order to discern their trustworthiness.
Tabi’een: The generation who succeeded the Companions and followed their methodology.
Fitrah: The natural disposition of belief in Allaah, which every person is born with.
Dhaahir: The explicit sense of a text.
Ashaa’irah: One of the deviant Muslim sects.
Matureediyyah: One of the deviant Muslim sects.
Jahmiyyah: One of the deviant Muslim sects.
Mu’tazilah: One of the deviant Muslim sects.
Tashbeeh: Resembling Allaah’s attributes to His creations.
Tahreef: Twisting the meanings of the religious texts.
Haakimiyyah: The right to legislate and lay down laws. Recent deviant groups claim that it is a forth type of Tawheed although the scholars made it clear that it is part of Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah.


1 Editors Note: The word “in” is in red to show that this is not the correct understanding of the word “fee” as will – inshaa’Allaah, become apparent to the reader shortly.
2 Editors Note: The preposition (arab term: Harfu Jar) “fee” can mean inside or above/on. In the ayah and hadeeth mentioned by the Shaykh (Rahimahu ‘Llah) the preposition does not mean “inside” (arab term: Dharfiyyah) but means above.