In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Mercy-giving.
The Tremendous Status of Monotheism in Islām & The Dangers of Opposing It.
By the Noble Scholar, the Shaikh, Sālih Ibn Fawzān Ibn ‘Abdillāh al-Fawzān, taken from his book, “Duroos minal-Qur’aanil-Kareem” (Daarul-‘Aasimah), pp. 5-11. Abridged and annotated for the English reader by Abū Khadeejah ‘Abdul-Wāhid Alam.
Verily all praise is due to Allāh. We praise Him, an we seek His aid and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allāh from the evils of ourselves, and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allāh guides there is none to misguide, and whomever He leads astray [due to a person seeking deviation], there is none to guide. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, alone and without associates, and I bear witness that Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) is His servant and Messenger.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.[Āli Imrān, 3:103]
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.[An-Nisā˙, 4:1]
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا
O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.[Al-Ahzāb 33:70-71]
Indeed, the most truth speech is the Speech of Allāh and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam). The most evil of affairs are those newly introduced [matters ascribed to Islām, for which there is no textual proof], for every newly introduced matter is a innovation (bid’ah) – every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in Hellfire.
1. The importance of monotheism (Tawheed) and the end result of turning away from it. 
It is said by some: “What is the matter with you people? You give so much concern to the affair of Tawheed and you speak so much about it? And yet you do not concern yourselves with the affairs of the Muslims in these times who are being killed, driven out of their lands, and being pursued by the non-Muslim states in every locale.”
So we respond knowing that Allāh is the one who grants success with the following:
Tawheed is the foundation upon which this upright monotheistic religion is built. So the attention that we give to it is in reality giving attention to the foundation. If we ponder over the Noble Qur˙ān , we find that it clarifies and explains the affair of Tawheed in totality – to the extent that there is not a Chapter (Soorah) in the Qur˙ān except that it makes reference to the affair of Tawheed.
The great Scholar Ibn al-Qayyim (died 752AH, rahimahullaah)  mentioned that the whole of the Qur˙ān revolves around the subject of Tawheed:
- Either it informs us regarding the beautiful Names of Allāh and His lofty Attributes, and this is termed as the Tawheed of affirming information regarding Him and that is the Tawheed of Lordship (Arabic: at-Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah);
- Or it commands with the worship of Allāh alone without associating partners along with Him, and it forbids from polytheism and idolatry, which is termed in Islāmic terminology as Shirk. So this is the Tawheed of singling out Allāh alone with one’s actions and requests, and is termed as the Tawheed of singling out Allāh alone as the sole Deity to be worshipped (in Arabic: Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah);
- Or it commands with obedience to Allāh (the Most High) and obedience to His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) and it forbids from disobedience to Allāh, the Most High, and His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam), and this is from the rights of Tawheed and its perfection.
- Or it informs us of that which Allāh has prepared for the Monotheists (Arabic: al-Muwahhidoon) of bliss, joys, success and salvation as well as aid and support in this life and next.
- It also contains news of the affairs of the polytheists, those who worship others besides Allāh. He informs us of their exemption from punishment in this world, and what has been prepared of eternal and everlasting punishment in the Hellfire.
So this is the recompense for the one who actualises Tawheed, and likewise the recompense for the one who is heedless of Tawheed.
Therefore, as is clear, the whole of the Qur˙ān revolves around the subject of Tawheed. If you were to scrutinise the Chapters of the Qur˙ān that were revealed in Mecca , you would find them predominantly dealing with the affair of Tawheed. That is because the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) remained in Mecca for thirteen years after receiving Revelation at the age of forty. He called continually for the establishment of Tawheed and warned from Shirk (polytheism). Most of the legislative commands, such as the paying of the Zakāt (obligatory charity to the poor), Fasting, Hajj, distinctions between the Halāl (permissible) and Harām (impermissible) deeds, as well as regulations pertaining to personal dealings and transactions were not revealed except after the Migration of the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) to Madinah. The only notable exception being the Daily Prayers (Salāh), which were obligated upon him in Mecca shortly before the Migration  on the Night of Mi’rāj wherein he was taken up into the Heavens .
The vast portion of the Soorahs that were revealed to the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) in the Meccan period dealt with the subject matter of Tawheed. And from the affairs that show the great importance of Tawheed is that the obligations and rulings were not revealed until after the affair of Tawheed was established, rooted in the souls, and thus the true Belief clarified and explained. And this is because the outward righteous actions are not sound except with sound Tawheed, and the righteous deeds are not established except upon the fundamental of Tawheed.
The Qur˙ān makes clear that all the Messengers of Allāh (alaihimus-salaam) began their calls with the invitation to Tawheed before anything else. Allāh (the Most High) stated:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ
And We certainly sent into every nation a Messenger, saying, “Worship Allāh and avoid the false deities.”[An-Nahl, 36]
And He, the Most High, said:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.”[Al-Anbiyaa, 25]
And every Prophet said to his people:
يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ
O my people! Worship Allāh for indeed you have no deity worthy of worship besides Him.[Hood, 84]
So this shows the affair of the Messengers in beginning their call with Tawheed.
Likewise is the case with the followers of the Messengers (‘alahimus-salaam) from those who invite to Islām and call for rectitude – the matter they focus upon and give the greatest concern to is Tahweed. And that is because every call that is not established upon Tawheed is fruitless and futile, and its goals will not be realised and desired result will not be achieved. Every call that marginalises Tawheed and does not give it the attention it deserves will result in failure – and this is something known and previously witnessed.
Indeed any call that focuses upon Tawheed, then it will succeed by the permission of Allāh and it will aid and benefit society as a whole – and this is something well-known in recorded history.
We are not heedless regarding the plight of the Muslims, rather we give it attention – we aid them, we try to prevent them from being harmed using every means possible. It is not easy upon us that the Muslims are being killed and driven out of their lands. However it is not sufficient that we weep or pretend to weep over the plight of the Muslims, and that we fill the earth with just talking and writing, and with wailing and screaming – this will not bring about progress.
The correct cure for the plight of the Muslims is to firstly investigate the reasons that led to this torment that has been unleashed upon the Muslims that has caused their enemies to humiliate them.
What is the Cause of this Humiliation that has been Unleashed upon the Muslims by their Enemies?
When we look at the Islamic World, we do not find the majority of those who ascribe themselves to Islām actually practising it, except for those whom Allāh has shown His Grace and Mercy. So many of these people are Muslim by name, and most of them hold false beliefs. They worship other than Allāh by devoting themselves to deceased “saints” and “holy men”, and they devote themselves graves and tombs. They do not establish the daily Prayers, they do not pay the Zakāh, they do not fast the month of Ramadān, and they do not do that which Allāh has obligated upon them – and from that that is being prepared in terms of strength to strive in battle against the Unbelievers for Allāh’s sake! So this is the state of many people who ascribe themselves to Islām: they have squandered their Religion, so Allāh (k) has left them to be wasted.
From the most important causes that have led the Muslims to be tormented is their neglect of Tawheed, and their falling into Major Shirk, which is to direct worship to other than Allāh (k). They do not forbid it or refute it – and it has reached the point that there are some Muslims who themselves do not partake in Shirk, yet they will not forbid it. So these are the most important reasons behind the torment and punishment being unleashed upon the Muslims.
And if they were only to hold fast to their Religion, establish their Tawheed and ‘Aqeedah upon the Book and Sunnah – and hold fast altogether to the Rope of Allāh and do not divide thereafter, then that which has befallen them would not have befell them. Allāh, the Most High, said:
وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ❂ الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ
And Allah will surely support those who support Him [by supporting His Religion]. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. Those who, if We give them authority in the land, will establish Prayer, give the Zakāh, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of all matters.[Al-Hajj, 40-41]
So he made clear that the Muslims will not attain the aid and support of Allāh unless they actualise these core elements which Allāh (the Most High) has stated in the verse, those being:
- The establishment of the Prayer
- The giving of Zakāh (legislated charity)
- Enjoining the good
- Forbidding the evil
So where is the fulfilment of these affairs amongst the Muslims of today? How many of the Muslims even pray their daily Salāh? Indeed, how many Muslims who profess Islām possess the correct ‘Aqeedah? Allāh, the Most High, said:
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
Allāh has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession of authority upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them therein their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, for they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.[An-Noor, 55]
However, there is a condition attached to this promise, Allāh stated:
يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا, “they worship Me, not associating anything with me..”
So Allāh has explained that this authority and this establishment will not be actualised unless this stated condition is met, and that is: that He, the Most High, alone is worshipped without any partners – and this is Tawheed. So these noble promises will not come about except for the one who actualises Tawheed by worshipping Allāh alone, without partners. The Prayer, the Zakāh, the Fasting and Hajj all enter into the worship of Allāh – and they are all acts of obedience.
Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic, did only say in this verse, “they worship Me”, rather He followed it up by adding, “they do not associate partners with Me in worship.” This is because of the fact that the worship of Allāh does not benefit a person if he is also worshipping others. Rather a person is obligated to abandon polytheism (i.e. Shirk) in all its various categories, forms and titles. And polytheism in Islamic terms is to “direct any aspect of worship to other than Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic.”
So it is in this verse we find the means that bring about salvation, security, aid and establishment of Islām: Rectification of the one’s belief and rectification of one’s deeds.
Footnotes: Monotheism in Islāmic terminology is known as Tawheed. It is to single out Allāh alone with all worship. He is the Creator of all that exists, the One True God besides whom none has the right to be worshipped in any way, form or manner. The details of Tawheed in Islām will be discussed later in this book.  The Qur˙ān is the Heavenly Scripture that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam). It is the final revelation that was sent to mankind. The Qur˙ān is the actual spoken words of the Creator, Allāh (the Most High). It is a must that every person reads this Book. It abrogates the scriptures that were sent to the Messengers before Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) such as the Torah that was revealed to Moses (‘alaihi salaam), the Gospels to Jesus (‘alaihi salaam) and the Psalms to David (‘alaihi salaam), may salutations of peace and security of Allāh be upon them all. All previous scriptures have been altered by the hands of men and much of the original message was changed, a fact not denied by Jewish or Christian scholars. The renowned Biblical scholar from the USA, Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, formerly the president of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature stated, “One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes, appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes.. they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture, they come to recognise that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don’t have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered.” See: Bart D. Ehrman, “Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible and Why We Don’t Know About Them”.  See “Madārij as-Sālikeen” of Imām Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, 3/468.  The life of the Messenger Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alahi wassallam) is marked by two distinct stages: The Meccan period, which is where he first received Qur˙anic Revelation, and it lasted thirteen years. This was followed by the migration of Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) along with his Companions to the city of Madinah. He lived in Madinah for ten years, and died there.  This is referred to as the Hijrah in Arabic, it is the event from which the Islamic calendar is dated. This is why the Islamic years are denoted by the term, ‘After Hijrah’ and abbreviated, ‘AH’.