Ahmad an-Najmee’s Kitaab at-Tawheed: Opening Chapter

“Ash-Sharh al-Moojaz al-Mumahhad li Tawheed al-Khaaliq al-Mumajjad alladhi allafahu Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad”

(The Concise, Simple and Straight-forward Explanation of the Tawheed of the Exalted Creator – which was Authored by the Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab)


This is an explanation of Kitaab at-Tawheed of Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab (d. 1206H, rahimahullaah) by ash-Shaikh al-Allaamah Ahmad b. Yahyaa an-Najmee (rahimahullaah).

Ash-Shaikh al-‘Allaamah, Ahmad b. Yahyaa an-Najmee (rahimahullaah) said:

All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all existence. May the prayers and salutations of peace be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers, that is our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and all of his Companions. To proceed:

O Allaah! O Teacher of Ibraaheem, teach me. O, the One who gave Sulaimaan understanding, give me understanding. O Allaah! Teach us that which will benefit us, and sustain with actions upon that which we have learned.

(The Opening Chapter)

Explanation of Kitaab at-Tawheed*

At-Tawheed is the verbal-noun of “wahhada” (to make something one or singular), “yuwahhidu”, “tawheedan”. And what is intended by it is the Tawheed of Allaah, meaning: To single Him out for worship alone, to the exclusion of anything besides Him. This is the result of the belief of the servant in the Oneness of Allaah in His Essence (Dhaat), His Names and Attributes, and His Qualities of Magnificence. Included here also is His absolute and sole right to worshipped (Uloohiyyah) by the creation. He is the One deserving of that because the servants single Him out out with their actions [of worship]. Allaah, the Most High, said:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him

[al-Israa: 23]

Knowing that worship is the underlying wisdom behind which Allaah created the Jinn and humankind – they were created for that purpose. Allaah, the Most High, stated:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

[Adh-Dhaariyaat: 56]

There are three domains of intelligent beings:

1. A world of beings that is totally good having no evil in them, and they are the Angels.

2. A world of beings that is totally evil having no good in them, and they are the Devils.

3. A world of beings that Allaah created with good and evil, and the good in them is more than their evil. And yet another world that He created with good and evil, but the evil in them is more than the good.

So it is the world of jinn and humankind that Allaah created with the capacity within them to do good and evil – and He created them to worship Him. As for the Devils (Shayaateen), then they are a category of Jinn, however they rebelled and all of them became evil. For this reason Allaah stated:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

[Adh-Dhaariyaat: 56]

 So the Shayateen are are a species of Jinn. Allaah created these two domains, humankind and jinn, for the purpose of worshipping Him, just as He stated in this verse. From them are those who actualise and fulfil this worship, and they are the believers – and from them are those who did not do so, rather they are the stubborn rejectors, arrogant and haughty – they are the disbelievers in their various categories.

It is sufficient for us to know that Allaah created us for worship and it is an obligation that we fulfil the purpose of our creation.

Worship (Ibaadah) is to be obedient, along with willing submissiveness, humility and humbleness, to Allaah, the One, the All-Powerful. A person feels a sense of need for his God (Ilaah) that he worships, so He worships him feeling in need of Him.

And when the nations that came before were overcome with ignorance, idleness, weakness, forgetful of their Lord, and they busied themselves with the this world and they became negligent of the Hereafter, then Allaah sent to them Messengers. Messengers to every nation in order to explain to them the purpose of their creation, and for what reason they were brought into existence. Allaah, the Majestic, stated:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ ۖ

And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taaghoot (false deities).”

[An-Nahl: 36]

He stated that He sent the Messengers to the servants commanding them to worship Allaah alone and to abandon the false deities (Taaghoot). This term “taaghoot” is derived from “tughyaan” (to transgress the bounds).

Ibnul-Qayyim (died, 752AH, rahimahullaah) stated:

“At-Taaghoot is every affair by way of which the servant transgresses the limits in what is worshipped, or followed, or obeyed.”

So whoever is worshipped along with Allaah, then he is worshipped without without a right; and whoever is followed, given precedence and put forward amongst the people that he be followed over and above following the commands of Allaah, then he is followed without a right; and whoever is obeyed so that obedience to Allaah is left in favour of obedience to him, then he is obeyed without a right. And this is the intent of the statement of Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullaah):

“At-Taaghoot is every affair by way of which the servant transgresses the limits in what is worshipped, or followed, or obeyed.”

The saying of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him

[al-Israa: 23]

The intent of, “Qadaa (He has decreed)” here is, “He has judged”, meaning: He, the Most High, has judged with a Shar’ee or Legislated judgement (referred to as: al-Qadaa ash-Shar’ee) that the people are not to worship except Him. As for the Universal Decree (al-Qadaa al-Kawnee), then this is different to the Qadaa already mentioned, i.e. different to al-Qadaa ash-Shar’ee. So Allaah decreed the existence of disbelief and polytheism from His Universal Decree and He forbade it in the Legislated Decree (the Qadaa Shar’ee). So it is this latter Decree that Allaah has stated in this verse, intending by that a command to worship Him – and this is in agreement with His saying:

إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ

Legislation is not but for Allah. He has commanded that you worship not except Him.

[Yoosuf: 40]

Meaning, that Allaah has commanded you with a Legislative (Sharee’ah) Commandment, that He alone be worshipped to the exclusion of others – and this is the Tawheed with which He sent all the Messengers.

He then said:

وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

..and good treatment to one’s parents.

[al-Israa: 23]

Meaning, be good to them because they were good to you, O servant of Allaah. Speech concerning good treatment to one’s parents and obedience to them comes after the command to establish the Tawheed of Allaah – that is because He, the Most High, is the Bestower of bounties and the Bestower of virtues – and the best of people in terms of being bountiful to you, after Allaah, are your parents who raised you and cultivated you. They bestowed upon you ease, and gave to you a residence in their warm embrace, and they became tired due to their taking care of you, and they would stay awake through the night so that you could rest.

There occurs in another verse in Sooratun-Nisaa:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him.

[an-Nisaa: 36]

So here, Allaah, the Most High, brings together the command to worship with the forbiddance of associating partners with Him in worship. His saying, “and associate nothing with Him.” In this is a forbiddance of Shirk, little or much, small or great. That is because in this verse, He mentions the forbidden affair in singular form, which makes the forbiddance all-encompassing (in Arabic language).

The saying of Allaah, the Most High:

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖوَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۖ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُم مِّنْ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ ۖوَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and give to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۖ وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۖ وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُوا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَىٰ ۖ وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ أَوْفُوا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember.

وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.

[al-An’aan: 151-153]

So these verses and other than them come successively with the command of Tahweed and the forbiddance of Shirk. And this is what all the Messengers were sent with, from the first of them: Nooh (‘alaihi salaam) till the last of them: Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam). So the ten prohibitions that are found here at the end of Sooratul-An’aam. The first of those prohibitions is to commit Shirk with Allaah. Shirk is something great because it makes entry into Paradise forbidden for the one who indulges in it. And it becomes incumbent upon such a person to be be cast in the Hellfire, to remain therein forever.

As for the saying of ‘Abdullaah b. Mas’ood [1]:

“Whoever wishes to look at the will of Muhammad upon which is his seal (or upon which he died), let him recite the saying of the Most High:

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئً

“Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him,”” until His saying:

وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا

“And this is My path, which is straight..”

So Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) stated that this is the legacy which Allaah commanded to be recited to the Ummah – and it begins with the forbidden of Shirk, and closes with the command to be steadfast upon the Straight Path. So it obligatory that we give this affair a great level of importance and concern – that we know it as it deserves to be known. This is due to the fact that Allaah put it at the beginning of the verse and prefaced it with the command “Say [O Muhammad]!”, then “I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you,” and then He, the Most High, mentioned the ten prohibitions – the first and most important being Shirk.

As for the hadeeth of Mu’aadh b. Jabal [2], then he said:

I was riding behind the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) on a donkey when he said to me: “O Mu’aadh, do you know the right of Allaah upon the servant and the right of the servant upon Allaah?” I replied: “Allaah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “The right of Allaah upon the servant is that he should worship Him alone, and not associate anything with Him in worship. And the right of the servant upon Allaah is that He will not punish the one who does not associate with Him any partner in worship.” I said, “O Messenger of Allaah! Should I not give this glad tiding to the people?” He replied, “Do not give them tidings, for they may solely rely upon that.” Collected in the two Saheehs.

In Summary: The right of Allaah upon the servant is that the servant is to worship Allaah, not associating anything in worship with Him – to single Him out with worship and to distance oneself from associating anything along with Him in worship. Then, if the servants actualises this matter and abandon all forms of Shirk, great and small, then their right upon Allaah, the Most Perfect and free of all imperfections, is that He will not punish them. So whoever dies whilst not committing Shirk with Allaah in any affair, then Allaah has promised that He will not punish him. Meaning here that He will not not punish such a person with the Fire prepared for the unbelievers and polytheists – He will not punish them in the Fire in which the people will remain eternally.

If a person was to die upon Tawheed, but he had committed major sins, then the Wisdom of Allaah requires that such a person be punished for that. So he is punished in a Fire other than the Fire of the polytheists, rather he is punished with the Fire of the people of Tawheed (the Muwahhideen). Then he is removed from it and entered into Paradise. The decision in this regard is with Allaah, as He is the Owner of the servants, and He governs them. We know that this right which Allaah has promised His servants, if they were to worship Him – then this is a right which He has made binding upon Himself, and He promised it to His servants – and no one else can compel Him with it. We say: Indeed this right is a right that Allaah has obligated upon Himself, and no one else can obligate it upon Him. Then He promised His servants to fulfil it, if they worship Him alone to the exclusion of others besides Him. And with Allaah lies success.

Translation with slight editing: Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Waahid.


* Note: I have not here included the text of the book Kitaabut-Tawheed of Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah), rather only the explanation of Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmee. I will, at a later stage, add the translation of the text (inshaa’Allaah), which at any rate is widely available in English. And in actuality, the explanation of Shaikh Ahmad includes nearly all of the text of Shaikh Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab’s work.

[1] Reported by at-Tirmidhee in “As-Sunan”, Book: Tafseer al-Qur’aan, with a slightly different wording. Tirmidhee said: “The hadeeth is hasan ghareeb” (i.e. The hadeeth is authentic with the fact that at some point or points in the chain there is only one narrator). Al-Albaanee declared it to be weak in “Da’eef al-Jaami'” saying, “It chain of narration is weak.”

[2] Reported by al-Bukhaaree in Kitaabul-Jihaad; Muslim in Kitaabul-Imaan, Chapter: The proof that the one who dies upon Tawheed with necessarily enter Jannah.

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