The Characteristics of the Religion

Author: Shaikh-ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah

Source: Fathu Rabbal-Bariyyah bi Talkheesil-Hamawiyyah (pp.7-37)

Published: Saturday 8th August, 2015

The characteristics of the religion are two fundamentals:

  1. That we worship none but Allaah
  2. That we do not worship Him except with what He has legislated, we do not worship Him through innovations.

Allaah has said:

"So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord." [18:110]

This is the actualisation of the shahadataan, the declaration that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and the declaration that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.

The first (declaration) denotes that we worship none but Him. The second (declaration) denotes that Muhammad is His Messenger, who conveys from Him and thus, it is upon us to believe the information that he relates and to obey him.

He (i.e the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم)) showed us what to worship Allaah with and prohibited us from newly invented matters and explained that this was deviation.

Allaah said:

"Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allaah (i.e. follows Allaah's Religion of Islaamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin (i.e doer of good) then his reward is with his Lord, on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." [2:112]

Just as we are commanded to fear none but Allaah, have tawakkul on none but Him, to invoke none but Him, to seek assistance from Him alone and that our worship be for none but Allaah, likewise, we are also commanded to follow the messenger, obey him and emulate him. The lawful is that which he made lawful, the unlawful is that which he made unlawful and the Deen is that which he legislated (under the dictates of Allaah).

Allaah says:

"Would that they were contented with what Allaah and His Messenger (sal-Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) gave them and had said: 'Allaah is Sufficient for us. Allaah will give us of His Bounty, and (also) His Messenger (from alms, etc.). Indeed, it is Allaah we implore (to enrich us).'" [9:59]

Hence Allaah made (the issue of) bestowal to (both) Allaah and the Messenger, just as He said:

"And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)" [59:7]

(In contrast) Allaah made (the issue of) tawakkul upon him, Allaah alone, when He said:

"..Allaah is Sufficient for us" [9:59]

He did not say, "and His Messenger (is also sufficient)." Similarly, he said in description of the companions, May Allaah be please with them, in another ayah:

"Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said, 'Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.' But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: "Allaah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)." [3:173]

Similar to this is His saying:

"O Prophet (Muhammad sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam)! Allaah is Sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you." [8:64]

i.e Allaah is the one who suffices you and the believers who follow you. Allaah says further:

"Is not Allaah Sufficient for His slave?.." [39:36]

Allaah then said:

"They have purchased with the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allaah a little gain, and they hindered men from His Way; evil indeed is that which they used to do." [Surah at-Taubah (9):9]

Thus Allaah made the (issue of) bestowal for (both) Allaah and His Messenger. He first started with the mention that the Bounty is with Allaah. This is because bounty is in the hand of Allaah, He gives it to whom He chooses and Allaah is the possessor of great bounty. He has favour over the Messenger and the believers.

He said (relating what the true believers should say):

"..Indeed it is Allaah we implore to (enrich us)" [9:59]

Allaah made the (issue of) imploring, to Allaah alone, as in His saying:

"So when you have finished (your occupation), devote yourself for Allaah's worship. And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your) intentions and hopes." [Surah ash-Sharh (94):7-8]

The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) also said to Ibn Abbaas:

"If you ask, then ask Allaah and if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah."

The Qur'aan indicates to such a thing in many places.

Thus Allaah made worship, reverence and taqwaa for Him (exclusively) and He made obedience and love for (both) Allaah and His Messenger, as in the saying of Nooh:

"That you should worship Allaah (Alone), be dutiful to Him, and obey me" [Surah Nooh (71):3]

Likewise, His saying

"And whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم), fears Allaah, and keeps his duty (to Him), such are the successful ones." [Surah an-Noor (24):52]

There are other examples of this nature.

The Messengers were commanded with the worship of Allaah alone, to implore him, have tawakkul upon Him, be obedient to Him and to be obeyed. Shaytaan misguided the Christians amd those similar to them, they committed shirk with Allaah and disobeyed the Messenger. They took their priests, monks and Eesa Ibn Maryam as Lords besides Allaah. They supplicated to them. At the same time, they disobeyed their (i.e the Messengers) command sand opposed their example.

Allaah guided the believers, the sincere to Allaah, the people of the Straight Path, who knew the truth and followed it. They did not become of those who incurred the anger of Allaah nor the astray. They made their deen sincerely for Allaah, submitted their faces to Allaah, turned in repentance to Him, loved Him, feared Him, sought from Him, implored Him, entrusted their affairs to him and had tawakkul upon Him. They also obeyed His Messengers, exalted them, respected them, loved them, gave them walaa, followed them, observed their legacy and took guidance by their landmarks.

This is the deen of Islaam, with which Allaah sent the first and last of the Messengers. It is the only Deen that Allaah accepts from someone and it is the reality of worship of the Lord of the Worlds.

We ask Allaah, The Mighty. The Majestic, to keep us firm upon it, to perfect it (our adherence to it) for us, and that He causes us and the rest of our Muslim brethren to die upon it.

All praise is for Allaah alone and may Allaah extol and send peace upon our leader, Muhammad and his family.


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