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  Purification Through Tawheed : Mankind's Greatest Need
Source: Al-Ibanah Magazine
Article ID : TAW010003  [50357]  
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Ibn Abil-'Izz (died 792 AH) - may God be pleased with him - said:

"Knowledge of Usool-ud-Deen (the fundamentals of the religion) is the most noble branch of knowledge, since the excellence of a certain type of knowledge depends upon what it is concerned with, and this is the greater Fiqh (understanding) , which is why lmaam Abu Haneefah (died 150AH) - may God be pleased with him - called that which he compiled concerning Usool-ud-Deen: "al-Fiqhul- Akbar" (The Greatest Fiqh). The need of the servants for this knowledge is greater than every other need; and it is the most necessary of all things for them, since there is no life for the hearts, nor any delight, nor any tranquillity, except through knowing their Lord, the One to be worshipped, their Creator - with His Names, His Attributes and His Actions, and that He - along with all that - is more beloved to the person than anything else. So man's striving is with regards to everything that will draw him nearer to God, to the exclusion of the creation.

However, it is impossible for the minds to come to know and understand all that in detail, so the Most Merciful, the Most Majestic - from His mercy, sent Messengers to teach that and call to it; and to give good news to those who accept their Call and to warn those who reject it. The key to their Call and the essence of their message was the servant's drawing closer to Almighty God - the Most Perfect - through His Names, Attributes and Actions, since all that the Messengers were ordered with is built upon this. This then is followed by two great principles: Firstly: Knowing the path that leads to Him and that is the Sharee'ah (Islamic Law and Way) which is comprised of His orders and prohibitions. Secondly: That those following the path know what lies in store for them, which is endless bliss. So the people who know God best are the ones who best follow the way to Him; and know best what lies at the end of the way."1

Firmness Upon the Deen (The Religion of Islam)

So, firmness upon the Deen of Almighty God, excellence in this world and salvation in the Hereafter is built upon two great matters: "Firstly: Knowledge of God and the beautiful Names and lofty Attributes that befit Him and His Actions - and this necessitates appreciation of His Majesty, honouring Him, fearing Him, being in awe of Him, loving Him, placing one's hopes in Him, placing reliance upon Him, being pleased with His decree and having patience with what He sends down as regards to hardships. Secondly: Knowledge of what He loves and is pleased with, and what He hates and angers Him - whether beliefs, sayings, outward or inward actions. So the one who has knowledge of this has to rush to fulfill that which Almighty God loves and is pleased with, and to avoid that which He hates and which angers Him.2

Sufyaan ibn 'Uyaynah (died 197H) - may God be pleased with him - said:

"There are three types of Scholars: one who knows God and knows God's commands; and one who knows God, but does not know His commands; and one who knows God's commands, but does not know God. And the most complete of them is the first - and that is the one who fears God and knows His rulings."3

The Essence of Islam

Explaining the essence of Islam and its main pillar, the Prophet - the peace and blessings of God be upon him - said: "Islam is built upon five (pillars): Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Almighty God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; establishing the Salaah (formal prayer), paying the Zakaah (charity tax), making Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House and fasting in Ramadaan. "4 In another narration: "Islam is built upon five (pillars): To worship God and to reject anything along with Him . . . "5 Also in another narration: "lslam is built upon five: The Tawheed of Almighty God . . . "6

Thus: "Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Almighty God", has the same meaning as: "To worship Almighty God and to reject anything along with Him", which has the same meaning as: "The Tawheed of Almighty God." So, it will be clear to the honourable reader that Tawheed is the essence of Islam, and it is the starting and ending point for all goodness and excellence.

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