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Lesson 2: Where do we begin?
So we have stated in the first lesson that the message of the Prophet of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was, first and foremost, the call to Tawheed ―and that during the Makkan Period, which lasted 13 years, the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was commanded by Allah (the Most High) to call to Tawheed.
The overwhelming number of the Quranic chapters, (the Makkan Surahs) that were revealed to the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) before his migration to Madinah revolved around the affair and the subject matter of Tawheed, i.e. the obligation to worship of Allah alone―thus showing its great importance. As for the various obligations connected to the outward acts of worship, they were not revealed until after Tawheed was established and firmly rooted in the souls and hearts, and the correct Imān, the correct ‘Aqeedah, was solidified.
This is due to the fact that the outward acts of worship are not sound and correct except with a sound and correct Tawheed. These outward actions are not built except upon the foundation of Tawheed and the Qur’an makes clear that the first affair the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) called to, before anything else, was his call to the worship of Allah alone. This was the monotheistic call of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), the call to Tawheed.
It is for this purpose that Allah (the Most High) sent the Prophets and the Messengers, just as Allah stated:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ ۖ 16:36
“We sent to every nation a Messenger calling them to the worship of Allah and to abandon the worship of the false deities.” And His saying, the Most High,
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ – 21:25
“And we did not send before you, O Muhammed, a Messenger except that we inspired him to say that ‘there is none that has the right to be worshipped except Allah alone, so worship Allah.’” (Surah Al-Anbiyā: 25).
And every Prophet that was sent would say to his people and his nation,
وَإِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا ۗ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ – 7:65
“O, my people, worship Allah, for you have no deity worthy of worship beside him.” (Surah Al-A’rāf: 65).
This proves the great affair of Tawheed. It shows that this was the call and the purpose of the sending of all of the Messengers. They were to begin their call by inviting the people to the worship of Allah alone. And this is the same for those who follow the Messengers in every age, in every time and in every place — those who call to the rectification of the Ummah and call to the rectification of mankind, the first affair that they focus upon and give attention to is Tawheed.
That is because every call that is not established upon Tawheed is a call that is fruitless and futile and will not bear fruits. Any call that marginalizes Tawheed and puts Tawheed to one side and does not give it the attention it deserves is a call that will fail and will not achieve any beneficial results. This is something that is borne witness to and is well known in the annals of history and time. Every call that focuses upon Tawheed will be successful, by Allah’s permission, and will bear fruit and will succeed and benefit society and mankind―and this is well known throughout history and throughout time.
So, we do not ignore the plight of the Muslims at all. Indeed, we are grieved with the suffering of the Muslims―and we aid them, support them, we utilize every means of preventing harm and injury from coming to them ―they are our brothers and sisters. The Muslims are one body ―it is not easy for us to witness the killing of Muslims and to see them driven out of their lands. However, it is not sufficient that we merely shed tears, or even that we pretend to weep over the plight of the Muslims, or that we fill the earth with emotional speech and writings, with screams and wailing―this will not bring about the progress that is required. The correct cure for the plight of the Muslims is to, first of all, investigate the reasons that led to them receiving this torment and affliction that has been unleashed upon them and has caused their enemies to overpower and humiliate them.
That is the starting point and, through this, we will come to understand why the Muslims are being humiliated. It is by following the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and understanding the Qur’an and Sunnah as it should be understood that will allow those Muslims to exit the torment that they find themselves in. And that begins where the Prophets of Allah began, by establishing Tawheed.
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This series of articles are generally based on Al-Imām Ibn Al-Uthaimeen’s (rahimahullāh) works and “Duroos min al-Qur’ān Al-Kareem” of Al-‘Allāmah Sālih bin Fawzān bin ‘Abdillāh al-Fawzān (hafidhahullāh).