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MuhammedAli

Clarifying Misconception; Illah Is The One, For Whom Thirteen Concepts Of Exclusivity Are Affirmed.

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Introduction:

This article will refference thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and it is strongly recommended that new readers familiarise with them, here. The capacity in which creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) performs actions and possesses attributes can be understood from thirteen concepts, which are unique to His creation, here.

Part 1 - What Prompted Me To Write This:

This is clarification of this common misconception which the Wahhabis have about Islamic belief as well as what brother Saeed Imtiaz wrote – presented in next section. Note basis of his misunderstanding is the same misconception commonly held by heretics but he has also managed to evolve it into extremely repugnant, serious allegation against Muslims. Secondly, I took part in a discussion on a forum called IslamicAwakening, subject titled, ‘What Is Ibadah?’, during which I realised that the opponents of Muslims did not understand actual position of Ahle Sunnat and all their objections and antagonism against Islamic teaching were based on lack of knowing what the teaching of Ahle Sunnat are. But the task of having to write the entire methodology was too much to ask at that junction of time hence it was not attempted. Note, this article and the two articles mentioned in the next section are part of material which could have resolved the hundred plus page discussion in, ‘What Is Ibadah?’ thread.

Part 2 - Request Of Help From Wahhabi Brother:

In the two articles, ‘Ilah-Determining Principles Indicate How …’ and ‘Refuting Khariji Ilah Determining Principles And Interpreting Them According ...’, you have basically stated, possessor of Zaati (i.e. personal) ,Qulli (i.e. absolute), Azli (i.e. eternal), … is an Ilah. You have comprehensively explained your position in article titled ‘Ilah-Determining Principles Indicate How…’, where in section 5.0, you have interpreted the first Ilah determining principle. In other words you believe god is one who is believed to possess Zaati, Qulli, Azli … Zaat and types of Sifaat (i.e. attributes), Afaal (i.e. actions). Therefore I have deduced your understanding is, to believe an idol possesses some, action or attribute independently of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is Shirk, and this was just a example. You will be aware that polytheists did not believe their gods had what you term [e.g.] Zaati, Qulli, Azli … actions, or attributes. In light of your belief, it could be said that you believe the polytheists did not believe in gods beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) because they did not believe in Zaati, Qulli, Haqiqi, Azli, principles for their idol gods. And as a result of these principles they were/are not guilty of polytheism, nor were polytheists. To put it bluntly, your principles absolve them of their Shirk and Kufr, and you are / would be guilty of Kufr for disbelieving in the Kufr/Shirk of Arab polytheists because it is emphatically stated in Quran. Please note, I do not and am not charging you with Kufr.

Part 3 - Polytheism Of Arab Polytheists And Principles Of Ahle Sunnat:

Islamicly, one does not have to believe that their, exalted created god being possesses all attributes, actions and his essences in meaning of thirteen concepts to be guilty of elevating a creation to status of a god. Just affirmation with tongue and attestation with heart that a creation is the God or a God from many, is enough to warrant major Shirk, because a creation has been elevated to status of an Ilah by believing a creature is Ilah. And Islamicly creation would be considered as, exalted to status of god, and Shirk would be warranted even if it is believed that this god was creation, was born in time, did not exist prior to creation of soul, and all his attributes, actions, and essence was created, and is dependent upon supreme Deity, and is limited, restricted, after becoming a god. Also if one believes a creation is worthy of worship (i.e. Mabud) then that creation has been elevated to status of god. It makes no difference, from Islamic perspective, to the belief of polytheist, if a polytheist believes their god possess all, some, single, or none of attributes, actions, and essence according to thirteen concept, he will remain polytheist. The only Ilah for whom these thirteen concepts are fundamental requirement is the One, the Only Ilah - Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). These thirteen concepts must be affirmed for essence, for all attributes and actions of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). And to disbelieve in them willfully even when they are part of ones knowledge is to reject Tawheed. Only allowance that can be made is for one who does not have knowledge of these thirteen concepts and has most basic knowledge of Tawheed – such as Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is One, without: mother, father, son, wife and He is eternal, all knowing, hearing, seeing, provider, sustainer etc. Alhasil, only Ilah for whom these thirteen concepts are fundamental requirement is Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). One only has to affirm Ilahiyyah (i.e. god-hood) for a creation with all, or some, or single, or none of thirteen concepts which are exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or affirm Ilahiyyah for a creation with all, or some of thirteen concepts which are for creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or affirm Ilahiyyah for creation in all, or some, or none of attributes and actions by combining thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) with thirteen concepts connected with creation – like the Christians combined both in doctrine of Trinity. In all three cases, according to Islamic teaching, creation has been exalted to status of an Ilah and major Shirk has occurred. In Sha Allah, in the next section the perspective of Ahle Sunnat as well as position of Ahle Sunnat will be explained in light of what is stated in this section.

Part 4 - The Basis Of Dispute And Basis Clarification:

Firstly, we Muslims believe thirteen concepts [which are exclusive for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala] are only fundamental in determining Ilahiyyah when there is no explicit, emphatic, direct affirmation of Ilahiyyah for a creation. And when there is explicit affirmation of Ilahiyyah for creation then thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or thirteen concepts according to which attributes/actions of creation are interpreted, do not absolve any from major Shirk. Only time these thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) come into play/action is when Shirk has to be inferred due to absence of explicit affirmation of Ilahiyyah for a creation. And note, Wahhabis s always have to infer Shirk from beliefs of Muslims because we do not attribute Ilahiyyah for a creation, explicitly, nor implicitly affirm Ilahiyyah for creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Hence discussion always turns into Wahhabis alleging; for holding so and so belief you have exalted a creation to status of an Ilah and on the basis of this you are guilty of polytheism. We respond saying, we differentiate between the belief for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) based on thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and believe in it such a fashion that there is obvious difference between the creation and the Creator. When they are refuted with arguments; we do not affirm any of these attributes and actions for Ambiyah and Awliyah of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) according to meaning of thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) but only believe their attributes/actions are according meaning of thirteen concepts of creation. Then the heretics argue, in that case even the polytheists of Arabian Peninsula were not polytheists according to your principles, they too affirmed for their idol/gods thirteen concepts according to which attributes/actions of creation are to be understood. Of course this is a misconception resulting from ignorance of what Ahle Sunnat actually believe. And as a result this misconception has taken hold amongst the proponent of Wahhabism; we Muslims believe an [exalted] Ilah is only for whom some/all of the thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are affirmed, but truth is far from them.

Part 5 - Contextual Perspective Of The Articles:

Firstly, note this article, ‘Ilah-Determining Principles Indicate How …’, was a written to explain the methodology of Ahle Sunnat employed in following article, ‘Refuting Khariji Ilah Determining Principles And ...’. The first article comprehensively indicates the concepts which would be required for a belief to warrant legitimate charge; Muslim has exalted a creation to status of god-hood, or has committed major Shirk, and to indicate the methodology employed in second article. Second article scripturally refutes the non-Islamic principles held by brother Zia Bashir, translated into English, here. And these principles are within frame of Khariji methodology of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. I strongly recommend that you read both articles, in same order which you find them linked. Secondly, contextually both these articles were written in an effort to explain position of Ahle Sunnat against allegations leveled by Zia Bashir. He accused the Muslims of elevating creations of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to status of gods and this is evident from each of his principle. His accusation could be based have been based upon two foundations, i) explicit affirmation of a Muslim that so and so is god, ii) or implicit, or deduced, or reasoned basis – by establishing we believe creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) does these actions on basis of thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Of course no Muslim would ever emphatically state that I believe so and so is god besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and remain Muslim. None from the Ahle Sunnat believes a creation such as a: prophet, saint, angel, is god besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Therefore he attempted to imply ‘our belief’ of god-hood of creation with his principles and attempted to impose his non-Islamic principles upon Muslims. It was explained, for Muslim to be guilty of elevating creation to status of god and be guilty of major Shirk, on basis of his principles. The Muslims must believe in his stated principles for a creation according to thirteen concepts which are exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and which we do not. If the beliefs mentioned in Zia Bashir’s principles are held for a creation in terms of Atahi (i.e. granted), Baaz (i.e. limited), Hadis (i.e. temporal) … then the creation is not elevated to status of god-hood nor major Shirk is not warranted, and this is true Islamic understanding in light of teaching of Tawheed and Shirk. In other words attempt was made to explain to him that according to understanding of Tawheed; if we the Muslims believed in his stated principle beliefs in the meaning which we the Muslims and he believes for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then creation is elevated to status of god-hood. Thirdly, in the article which you referenced the following was stated in section 3.0(i) To believe a creation is an Ilah-partner with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or the Ilah then the creation has been elevated to status of an Ilah-partner with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). (ii) To believe a creation has the right to be worshipped is to elevate the creation to status of an Ilah-partner with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). (iii) To worship a creation, with intention of worship, without believing one being worshipped is an Ilah, is taking the being to be an Ilah-partner with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).” From this it becomes clear; we, the Muslims, do not believe principles stated in section 5.0 are the only Ilah determining principles. Rather these thirteen and sixty-five more principles as well as three mentioned in section 3.0 are part of Islamic methodology of Ilah determining principles. In fact if all these principles are comprehensively and in totality are explored in light of ninety-nine names and attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then I am certain these principles would amount of thousand plus Ilah determining principles.

Part 6 - True Tawheed And True Shirk:

The thirteen concepts [such as Zaati, Qulli, Azli …] are from perspective of Islamic understanding of Tawheed and Shirk. We believe essence, attributes, actions of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are according to the mentioned principles and this is distinguishing feature of Islamic monotheism. Shirk is opposite of Tawheed hence true Shirk only is what is opposite of Tawheed. So fundamentally the belief and the philosophy of polytheists that their idols were god-partners of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is invalid because their belief x,y, and z are gods was based on invalid principles – limitations unbefitting true Ilah; dependency [upon true Ilah], coming to existence from non-existence, being exalted to status of god after being ordinary creation, [and much more …], and these concepts are against concept of  Tawheed, hence against concept of God-hood. To truly exalt their idols to status of God they needed to affirm for their x, y, and z idols Islamic principles of Tawheed - which they affirmed for their supreme Deity, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). These thirteen principles highlight that true Ilah is only Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Like you stated none of the polytheists of Arabia believed their idols were gods with these principles. Islamicly, and even in philosophy of polytheists their gods cannot be the Gods because they believed their gods are creation who were exalted to status of god-partners of Allah (subhnahu wa ta’ala). Polytheists did not contemplate over their belief of polytheism. Had they truly thought about what they believed about Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then they would have understood what truly Shirk was/is - opposite of what they believed for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). As a result they would have formulated a better form of polytheism - opposite of Tawheed, which of course would not have been any less Kufr/Shirk in Islam then what it already is. Note, Christians attempted to formulate their polytheistic doctrine of Trinity using some concepts of monotheism but even that did not fully comply with comprehensive monotheistic principles. Christians believe, the Father is God, the Son is God, Holy Spirit is God, not three persons/gods, but one person/god. The Father, the Son, Holy Spirit are all believed to be eternal, not three eternals but one eternal and it goes on. Alhasil, polytheism of Arabs was foolishness of worst type compared what they could have had - a bit more intelligent form of polytheism like of something which Christians attempted.

Part 7 - Polytheism Of Arab Polytheists According To Muslims:

After reading the preceding section it would be clear; according to Ahle Sunnat, Arabian polytheism [excluding Christians] was the worst type of polytheism. To postulate and attribute to Muslims the idea; we believe Arabian idol worshippers were not guilty of polytheism, is nothing but concoction of a mind which has not grasped Islamic methodology, which indicates routes leading to major Shirk.

Part 8 - Directly Responding To Saeed Imtiaz’s Email:

Your confusion results from single misconception and that is your understanding that we Muslims believe Ilah is only for whom thirteen exclusive concepts of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are affirmed. Second is the charge based on the misconception that methodology of Muslims absolves the polytheists from major Shirk and negates their belief in gods beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Firstly, you misunderstood the objective of section five because you did not associate it with the context of the discussion with brother Zia Bashir. Objective was to explain in the context of his principles, or his principles can only be valid Ilah determining principles and be valid basis for accusation of major Shirk against Muslims, if one holds to the beliefs stated in principles of Zia Bashir, in meaning of thirteen concepts which make the essence, attributes, actions of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) unique to Him. The article, refuting Khariji Ilah determining principles, was completely devoted to explanation of this position of Tawheed. Secondly, your second point is based on lack of knowledge regarding position of Ahle Sunnat. We do not believe Ilah is only one for whom one, or more, or all thirteen concepts, exclusive of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are affirmed. Rather we believe if Ilahiyyah is affirmed: with, or without thirteen concepts exclusive for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or with thirteen concepts according to which actions, attributes and essence are unique to creation, even then a creation has been exalted to status of an Ilah, and major Shirk is warranted. In part six and seven, it was demonstrated that according to understanding of Ahle Sunnat, polytheism of Arabs was worse kind of polytheism and this was established from the very same principles about which you alleged due to your misconception that methodology/principles of Muslims absolve the polytheists from major Shirk and negates their belief of many god partners of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Lastly, anyone who disbelieves in Kufr/Shirk of Arab polytheists is indeed guilty of major Kufr which invalidates ones belief in Islam but this does not apply to us because we do affirm; Arabs were polytheists and neither do our principle methodology vindicate them of Shirk.

Conclusion:

Fundamentally, an Ilah is anyone who is believed to be an Ilah by a person, or one who claims to be an Ilah, and this belief has home in the heart. An Ilah is appointed if one deems a creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to be worthy of worship along side Him or believes worship is exclusive for exalted creation. Thirteen concepts which determine exclusivity of essence, attributes, actions of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are not an essential requirement when Illahiyyah is explicitly affirmed for a creation nor are essential in context of Arabian polytheism. In context of Ilahiyyah of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or context of Tawheed of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) these thirteen concepts are essential for detailed understanding of Tawheed. As a Muslim it is imperative to believe Arabs of pre-Islamic era were polytheists due to worshipping idol as gods, and to disbelieve in this is Kufr, which invalidates ones belief in Islam.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

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