Al-Imām Muḥammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhāb (رحمه الله) said: “Know, may Allāh have mercy upon you, that seeking knowledge is obligatory, and is a cure for the hearts that are afflicted with sickness. And from the most important affairs incumbent upon you is knowledge of your Religion. This knowledge, and action upon it, is the cause for entry into Paradise whilst being ignorant of it and wasting it away is the cause of entry into the Fire. We seek refuge with Allāh for ourselves and for the Muslims from that.”1
The Four Affairs
Know, may Allāh have mercy upon you, that it is obligatory upon us to learn four affairs. Firstly: Knowledge, and that is to have knowledge of Allāh, His Prophet (ﷺ) and the religion of Islām with the proofs. Secondly: To act upon that knowledge. Thirdly: To invite others to that Fourthly: To bear patiently the harms encountered in that path.
The evidence for these points is in the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
In the name of Allāh, the Beneficent, The Merciful. By Time. 2 Indeed all of mankind is in loss except for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, and those who exhort one another with the truth and with patience. [al-ʿAsr, 103:1-4]
Imām Al-Shāfi‛ī (died 204AH) said: “Had Allāh not sent except this Sūrah as a proof upon His creation, it would surely have sufficed them.”
Imām Al-Bukhārī (died 256AH ) said: “Knowledge precedes both speech and action, and the proof for that is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
And know that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, and seek forgiveness for your sins. [Muḥammad, 47:19]
So Allāh began this verse with knowledge before speech and action.” 3
The Three Affairs
Know, may Allāh show you mercy, that Allāh has obligated upon every male and female Muslim to learn the following three affairs and act in accordance to them.
The first: To know that Allāh created us to worship Him, He provided for us, and did not leave us without a purpose. Rather, He sent to us a Messenger, whoever obeys him (ﷺ) enters Paradise and whoever disobeys him enters the Fire. The proof for this is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness over you just as We had sent to the Pharaoh a Messenger. But the Pharaoh disobeyed the Messenger, so We seized him with a severe punishment. [al-Muzammil, 73:15-16]
The second: That Allāh is not pleased that anyone should be taken as a partner alongside Him in worship, not an Angel that has been drawn close, nor a Prophet that was sent. The proof for this is in the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
The places of worship (the mosques) are only for Allāh, so do not invoke or supplicate to anyone else alongside Allāh. [al-Jinn, 72:18]
The third: It is not allowed for the one who obeys the Messenger (ﷺ) and singles out Allāh alone with worship to give allegiance to the one who opposes Allāh and His Messenger (ﷺ), even if it be the closest of relatives. The proof for this is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
You will not find a people who believe in Allāh and the Last Day having love for those who oppose Allāh and His Messenger, even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their kinsfolk. It is such believers upon whose hearts Allāh has inscribed true faith, and He has strengthened them with īmān, proofs and guidance from Himself. He shall enter them into the Gardens of Paradise under which rivers flow, and they will dwell therein forever. Allāh is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. They are the party of Allāh, and verily the party of Allāh are the successful. [al-Mujādilah, 58:22]
The True Upright Religion Of Ibrāhīm Was The Worship Of Allāh Alone
Know, may Allāh guide you to His obedience, that the true upright Religion of Ibrāhīm (عليه السلام) is that you are to worship Allāh alone, making the Religion purely and sincerely for Him. This is what Allāh has commanded all of the people with, and it was for this that He created them.
I did not create the jinn and humans except that they should worship Me. [al-Dhāriyāt, 51:56]
The meaning of, “worship Me” in this verse is that they are to single out Allāh alone with worship.
The greatest of all affairs that Allāh has commanded with is Tawḥīd , and that is to single out Allāh alone with worship―and the greatest of all the prohibitions that He has forbidden is Shirk, and that is to invoke and supplicate to others alongside Him (عزَّ وجلَّ). The proof for this is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
Worship Allāh alone and do not associate anything alongside Him in worship. [al-Nisāʾ, 4:36]
If it is said to you: “What are the three principles that every person is obligated to know?” Say in response: “A servant is obligated to know his Lord, his Religion and his Prophet, Muḥammad (ﷺ).”
The First Principle: Knowing The Lord (Ar-Rabb)
If it is said to you: “Who is your Lord?” Then say: “My Lord is Allāh who nurtured me, and He nurtured all of creation with His bounty. He is the One I worship, and there is none worthy of my worship other than Him.” The proof for this is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٢﴾
All praise is for Allāh, the Lord of all creation. [al-Fātiḥah, 1:2]
Everything other than Allāh is the creation, and I am one of the creation.
If it is said to you: “How did you come to know your Lord?” Say in response: “Through His signs and His creation. From His signs is the night and day, and the Sun and Moon. From His creation are the seven heavens and whatever is within them, and the seven Earths and whosoever is within them, and whatever is between the two of them.” The proof for this is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
And from His signs is the night and the day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the Sun, nor to the Moon. Pros- trate instead to Allāh, the One who created them, if you do truly worship Him. [Fuṣṣilat, 41:37]
The proof is also in the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
Indeed your Lord is Allāh who created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, and then ascended over His Throne. He causes the night to cover the day which follows in quick succession. The Sun, the Moon, the stars are all subject to His command. Certainly His alone is the creation and His is the command. Exalted is Allāh, the Lord of all creation. [al- Aʾrāf, 7:54]
The Lord (Ar-Rabb) is the One who is worshipped. The proof for this is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
O people, worship your Lord who created you and created all those who came before you, so that you may be among the pious. He who has made the earth a resting place and has made the sky a canopy. He sent down the rain from the sky, and with it, He brought out from the earth, crops and fruits as provision for you. So do not set up rivals alongside Allāh in worship whilst you know all this. [al-Baqarah, 2:21-22]
Ibn Kathīr (رحمه الله) said: “The Creator of all these things is the only One deserving of worship.” 4
The Types Of Worship That Allāh Has Commanded
The types of worship which Allāh has commanded such as Islām 5 (submission and obedience to Allāh), Imān 6 (belief, speech and action), Iḥsān 7 (striving to attain perfection in worship), and also supplication (duʿāʾ), fear (khawf), hope (rajā), trust and reliance (tawakkul), desire (raghbah), strong fear (rahbah), humble reverence (khushūʾ), awe (khashyah), turning in repentance (inābah), seeking aid (isti’ānah), seeking refuge (isti’ādhah), seeking to be rescued (istighāthah), sacrificing (dhabh), taking a vow (nadhr), and other than these from the various types of worship which Allāh has commanded―then all of them are for Allāh, the Most High, alone.
The proof for this is the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
Say O Prophet: ‘Truly, my Lord has guided me to a Straight Path, a right religion, the religion of Ibrāhīm of true Islāmic Monotheism and he was not of the polytheists.’ Say O Prophet: ‘My prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allāh, the Lord of creation.’ [al-Anʿām, 6:161-162]
And proof from the Sunnah is the saying of the Prophet (ﷺ): “The curse of Allāh is upon the one who sacrifices to other than Allāh.”11
The proof that taking a vow (nadhr) is for Allāh is in the saying of the Most High: