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Refuting The Claim Of Khawarij: Polytheists Believed In Tawheed Al Rububiyyah.

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Khawarij believe the polytheists in the pre-Islamic and during the life of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) believed in Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah (i.e. One-ness Of Lordship). Meaning they believe Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was the Only One Lord and beside Him there was no other Lord. Muslims believe polytheists were guilty of Shirk ar-Rububiyyah (i.e. polytheism in Lordship).

The Scholars Of Khawarij:

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab wrote: “That you know the Kuffaar who the Messenger fought used to affirm that Allah Ta’aala, was the Creator and the Disposer of all the affairs (i.e. Tawheed Al Rububiyyah) but that didn’t enter them into Islam and the proof is the saying of the Most High: ”Say: Who provides for you from the sky and from the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And Who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living? They will say: “Allah”. Say: Will you not then be afraid of Allah’s punishment (i.e.-for setting up partners with Allah)?” [Ref: Qawaid Al Arba, 1st Principle, by Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab] Khariji scholar Shaykh Salih Ibn Al Fawzan explains the underlined part as: “The disbelievers whom the Messenger fought affirmed Tawheed ar-Rububiyah (Oneness of Allah's Lordship), yet their affirmation of Tawheed ar-Rububiyah did not enter them into Islam and did not sanctify their blood or wealth.” [Ref: Explanation Of Four Fundamental Principles, by Shaykh Salih Ibn Al Fawzan, Page 30, Published by: QSEP] This reveals two facts i) Tawheed Al Rububiyyah according to Khawarij is; Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is Creator and Disposer of all affairs in the creation, ii) and it the disbelievers whom the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) fought affirmed this Tawheed. The grandson of Ibnul Wahhab in his commentary of Kitab at-Tawheed known as Fath Al Majeed states: "Specially if it is known that today the majority of scholars from different (muslim) countries do not know from tawhid except what mushriks (of Makkah) approved and they did not know the meaning of "al-ilahiyya" that "kalimatul-ikhlas" denied its attribution to anything other than Allah.” [Ref: Fath Al Majeed – Sharh Kitab At-Tawheed, Chapter (4) Fear Of Shirk, page 76] Here the Khariji Shaykh is pointing to what Shaykh Salih termed as Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah. In other words he has stated, majority of Muslim scholars of the world do not know Tawheed except the Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah, which was also agreed by the Mushrikeen of Makkah. Al-hasil, these Shuyukh of Khawarij agree that Mushrikeen of Makkah and Arabia in general believed in Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah.

The Position Of Khawarij:

Wahhabiyyah argue, the polytheists did not believe; their gods were providers, sustainser, creators, and destroyers.They believed all these are in control of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and their gods were not incharge of these duties.

The Islamic Understanding:

Islamicly to believe in Tawheed (i.e. One-ness) of Lordship, the fundamental prequisite is to believe in Wahdaniyyah (i.e. One-ness), and without believing in Wahdaniyyah of the Ilah (i.e. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala) it is impossible to believe in Tawheed of Lordship. One who believes others beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are gods cannot believe in Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah.
Ilahiyyah Is Inclusive Of Rububiyyah:

One who believes a creation is an Ilah beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Such person cannot be believer in Tawheed ar-Rububiyyah because Ilahiyyah does not exclude Rububiyyah but it is inclusive of it. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “Yet they have taken besides Him other gods (i.e. alihah) who created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither harm nor benefit for themselves, and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.” [Ref: 25:3] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) stated, polytheists took beside Him gods who have not created anything, neither do their gods have ability of harm/benefit, nor control over life or death. Implying they should have taken Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as their only God, who has created everything, and possesses the ability of harm/benefit, and is in full control of life and death. This reveals act of creating and managing affairs of creation are in control of an Ilah, and should be in control of one who is believed to be an Ilah. In another verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) stated: “Allah has not taken any son, nor has there ever been with Him any god. (Had there been gods or son-gods beside Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala) then each god would have taken what it created, and some of them would have sought to overcome others. Exalted is Allah above what they describe [concerning Him].” [Ref: 23:91] In this verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has indicated; God creates and if there were other gods beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then each god would have created a seperated universe for their creation and ruled over them as lords of their creation and some would have attempted to expand their rule over creation of other gods by defeating the lord god ruling over them. In these verses Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) indicated; Ilahiyyah is inclusive of Rububiyyah and not separate from it. Hence if one was to believe in an Ilah beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then he/she cannot be free from Shirk ar’Rububiyyah.

Refutation Of Khariji Understanding:

Suppose there is valid basis for belief of Khawarij; polytheists did not believe their gods as Lords and they believed Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as their sole Lord. Question needs to be asked, did they believe their gods have ability/capacity to do all in power of lord? And did they believe their gods have powers of lordship in limited and restricted sense? A man who is able bodied and is asked for help but does not help – do we negate the possession of the attribute, the capacity, the ability for him? Or do we affirm the ability is in him but he did not help or does not help? When the gods of polytheists were: men, angels, Jinn, then they have limited, restricted capacity of lordship and it cannot be denied. And when the gods of polytheists were deemed to be sons and daughters of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then how could the polytheists believe their gods do not have the capability of their father! Possessing ability of lordship but not employing it - for whatever reason - does not translate into not having ability of lordship. It is fundamental; the polytheists believe in their gods with capability of lordship and only foolish will deny it. Even if one does not worship the false deity just to believe another beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is worthy of worship (i.e. Ilah) is Shirk of Illahiyyah. In the similar manner, to believe a god beside Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has the capability of lordship is Shirk ar-Rububiyyah, even if one does believe their god does not perform the actions in category of lordship.

The Belief Of Polytheists About Their Gods:

Polytheists believed their gods have been given duties and each god performs duty assigned to the god by the supreme Deity. Arabis believed Al Uzza was goddess of fertility, Al-Lat was believed to be goddess of earth hence worshipped  for sake of good crop harvest, Al Manat was considered to be goddess of fate, god Wadd mentioned in Quran (71:23) was god of heaven/space. Point is polytheists believed each god had a role assigned to them and they acted according to their roles. Being assigned a role, a job, a duty, and carrying out this duty does not mean one is not able to do another. A taxi driver is just not only a taxi driver, he can be a excellent footballer, or cricket baller, or batsman, or martial artist. Similarly the polytheists believed, their gods have been assigned duties. Polytheists did not believe; gods do not possesses the capability of lordship. And as explained earlier, polytheists believing their gods have ability of lordship is enough to warrant Shirk of lordship.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Edited by MuhammedAli
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