Our noble brother, in this short reminder, makes reference to the famous and important work of Shaykh al-Islām Muḥammad ibn ͑Abd al-Wahhāb (raḥimahullāh), ‘Kitāb al-Tawḥīd’, drawing upon evidence from the Qur ͗ān and Sunnah.
Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta ͑ āla) informs us in His Noble Book,
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغۡفِرُ أَن يُشۡرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغۡفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٲلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُۚ وَمَن يُشۡرِكۡ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱفۡتَرَىٰٓ إِثۡمًا عَظِيمًا
“Verily, Allāh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allāh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.”
[Sūrah al-Nisāʾ, 4:48]
This verse indicates that if a person dies associating partners with Allāh, then he will reside in the Hellfire forever and Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta ͑āla) will never forgive him; and here a person might say to himself, ‘I am a Muslim, I say Lā ilāha illa Allāh, so, therefore, I will enter Paradise’, and we say yes, if you say Lā ilāha illa Allāh, you testify that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allāh, and do not associate partners with Allāh, then you will enter Paradise, but if you say Lā ilāha illa Allāh and you worship a stone or a tree, or you go to graveyards to seek intercession from the dead, or you go to the graveyard to seek aid from the dead if you say it a thousand times in one day, then by Allāh, it will not aid you until you leave off the action of shirk, meaning the association of others in worshipping Allāh.
There is an important point to be made here, and that is the true and correct meaning of Lā ilāha illa Allāh means ‘lā ma ͑ būda bi haqqin illā Allāh’, ‘Nothing has the right to be worshipped, in truth, but Allāh’, and it has conditions which must be fulfilled; so if one were to say Lā ilāha illa Allāh and act upon what it requests of him, and understands its meaning then when he dies, in shā ͗ Allāh he will be from the people of Paradise.
Sadly, there are many Muslims who still do not understand and implement the true and correct meaning of Lā ilāha illa Allāh, nor do they understand the need and importance of learning tawḥīd and shirk in order to save themselves and their family from the fire. They have thus fallen astray with regards to directing their acts of worship to other than Allāh thinking that they are achieving good, exerting themselves in actions and practices which are in opposition to the Sunnah; and there are many who have fallen prey to certain deviated and misguided groups such as the Barelwis1 and Tablīghī Jamāʿah,2 to mention a few, alongside other various Ṣūfī ṭarīqas which are riddled with shirk and misunderstandings with regards to the true understanding of tawḥīd. It is upon all Muslims to be vigilant with regard to their religion, and take the time to learn the correct ʿaqīdah in order to safeguard themselves from the deviated methodologies of the above mention sects, as well as others, and Allāh’s aid and assistance are sought.
1 The Message of Tawḥīd That the Prophets and Messengers Called To, the Nature of Shirk and the Contemporary Barelwi Sect – an Introduction