Deen is sincerity

 The Deen is Sincerity

Ash-Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’dee’s Explanation of the Hadeeth:
“The Deen is Sincerity”
Translated by Aqeel Walker

On the authority of Tameem Ad-Daaree (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu-may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-may Allaah send blessing and peace upon him) said, “The religion is sincerity, the religion is sincerity, the religion is sincerity.” They said, “To whom O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “To Allaah, and His Book, and His Messenger, and the leaders of the Muslims, and their common folk.” (Reported by Muslim)

Be sincere to Allah

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-may Allaah send blessing and peace upon him) repeated this word (Naseehah – sincerity) showing the importance of the status (of it), and giving guidance to the Ummah (Muslim nation) that they should know with true knowledge that religion, all of it – its apparent aspects and its internal aspects – is contained in sincerity. And it (sincerity) is the complete establishment of these five rights.

So sincerity to Allaah is acknowledging the oneness of Allaah, and His uniqueness in His perfect attributes in a manner that no one shares with Him in them in any way whatsoever. It is also the establishment of His worship, both outwardly (with the actions) and inwardly (with the heart). And it is to turn to Him in every time with worship and servitude, and asking Him with hope and fear, along with repenting to Him and constantly asking His forgiveness. This is because the slave of Allaah will definitely have something of shortcomings regarding the obligations of Allaah, or commission of some of the forbidden things. Thus, with continuous repentance and constant seeking of forgiveness, the person’s deficiency is made up for, and his actions and speech are perfected.

In reference to sincerity to Allaah’s Book, then that is by memorizing it, and contemplating it, and learning its words and meanings, and striving to act according to it within oneself and with others.

Be sincere to Quran

In reference to sincerity to the Messenger, then it is by believing in him, loving him, and placing him in regards to love, before oneself, wealth and children. And it is following him in the fundamentals of the religion and its branches. And it is giving precedence to his speech over the speech of everyone else. It is also striving to follow his guidance and aiding his religion.

Be sincere to Messenger

In reference to sincerity to the leaders of the Muslims – and they are their authority figures, such as the Great Imaam (the Khaleefah), as well as the rulers (Umaraa’), and the judges, and all of those who have some form of authority, whether it be general or specific. Sincerity to them is in believing in their authority, and listening to them and obeying them, and encouraging the people to do so. It is also doing whatever one is able to do to give them proper direction (guidance) and alerting them to everything that would benefit them and benefit the people, and assist them to establish their obligation.

Be sincere to Leaders and common folk

In reference to sincerity to the common folk of the Muslims, then it is by loving for them what one would love for himself, and hating for them what one would hate for himself, and making effort in that regard according to one’s ability. For verily whoever loves something, he strives for it, and he makes effort in making it a reality and perfecting it.

So the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-may Allaah send blessing and peace upon him) explained sincerity with these five matters, which comprise the establishment of Allaah’s rights, the rights of His Book, the rights of His Messenger, and the rights of all of the Muslims with their different circumstances and statuses. And that contains the religion in its entirety. And nothing is left except that it is included within this comprehensive and all-inclusive statement. And Allaah knows best.

Explanation by Ash-Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee (may Allaah have mercy upon him)
Source: Bahjatu Quloob il-Abraar wa Qurratu ‘Uyoon il-Akhyaar fee Sharhi Jawaami’ il-Akhbaar, hadeeth number 3.
Translated by Aqeel Walker

Categories of Tawheed(oneness of Allah)

– Sami Zaatari

Tawheed is the essence of Islam, it is the core of Islam, it is what Islam stands for, and it is the reason why Allah created us. All prophets and messengers were sent with the message of Tawheed, the Quran itself is a book of Taweed, and those who have a firm and correct belief in Tawheed will indeed be the saved ones.

So therefore what is Tawheed, what does it mean, and how does someone correctly follow it? Well for starters you should know that Tawheed has been divided into three categories, and they are as follows:

Tawheed of Lordship (Rubbubiyah)

Tawheed of Worship (Ibaadah/Uluhiyyah)

Tawheed of Allah’s names and Attributes (Taweed ul-Asmaa was-Sifaat)

Each of the above categories are found within the Quran, they are not three categories simply based on someone’s desires or own thinking, rather the categories are all established within the Quran and the Sunnah.

One must not get confused about there being three categories, it does not mean that there are three Allah’s and so forth, rather the three categories are all connected to Allah, and each category is connected to the other, essentially all three categories fall within the term of Tawheed.

The reason why Tawheed has been divided into three categories by the scholars is simply to make things more simple and easier for the people, for when you break things down, it is always easier to follow, and easier to understand.

As the scholars of Islam-Qa mention:

From early times the scholars have categorized the rulings of sharee’ah. This has only been done to make it easier to understand the texts and rulings of sharee’ah, especially as time goes by and knowledge of Arabic language becomes weaker and the language gets mixed with foreign languages. The scholars thought it wise to set out principles, issues and categories to make it easier to understand. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is a good thing because it makes knowledge more accessible to the Muslims. Al-Shaafa’i set out the principles of fiqh and his categorization was well-received and was followed by the scholars of usool who wrote commentaries on what he said and added to it. This was done in all branches of Islamic knowledge such as tajweed (recitation of Qur’aan), Qur’aan and others, including Tawheed.

So let us now go into each category of Tawheed and what they mean, starting with Tawheed of Lordship:

The types of Tawheed are three:

Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah,

 Tawheed al-Ilaahiyyah and

 Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat.

Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah is singling out Allaah the Exalted with (the actions of) creation, providing sustenance, giving life, causing death, and all of the types of regulation and administration of the dominion of the heavens and earth, and (also) singling Him out, the Exalted, with (the right to) judgement and legislation and sending of the Messengers and revealing of Books. Allaah the Exalted said, “Verily, to Him belongs the creation and the command, blessed be Allaah, the Lord of the worlds” (al-A`raaf 7:54).

Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah is singling out Allaah with worship so that none besides Him is worshipped, so that none besides Him is called upon, so that no one is sought for rescue, or aid except Him. So that no one is sacrificed to or slaughtered for, or made an oath for, except Him. Allaah the Exalted said, “Say: My prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. This is what I have been commanded with and I am the first of those who submit (to him with Islaam and Tawheed)” (al-An’aam 6:162), and He said, “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” (al-Kawthar 108:2).

And Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat is describing Allaah the Most High and naming Him with whatever He described and named Himself with, and with whatever His Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) described and named Him with in the authentic narrations – and to affirm that for Allaah without resemblance (to the creation) or likening (to the creation), and without (false) interpretation (of any of that) or negation (of any of that). There is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. And may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.

What is Tawheed?


The Prophet (saws) said, “O Mu’adh! Do you know what Allah’s Right upon His slaves is?” I said, “Allah and His Apostle know best.” The Prophet (saws) said, “To worship Him (Allah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?” I replied, “Allah and His Apostle know best.” The Prophet (saws) said, “Not to punish them (if they do so).” (Sahih Bukhari)


The meaning of Tawheed and its categories:

Praise be to Allaah.  

Praise be to Allaah and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger and Chosen Prophet.

Tawheed in Arabic means attributing Oneness to Allaah and describing Him as being One and Unique, with no partner or peer in His Essence and Attributes.

The Arabs say waahid, ahad and waheed, all meaning one. Allaah is Waahid, meaning that He has no rivals or peers in any way. So Tawheed means knowing Allaah is One, with none like unto Him. Whoever does not acknowledge Allaah in these terms and does not describe Him as being One with no partner or associate does not believe in Tawheed.

With regard to the shar’i definition of Tawheed, it means believing in Allaah alone as God and Lord and attributing to Him alone all the attributes of Lordship and divinity.

It may be defined as follows: Believing that Allaah is One with no partner or associate in His Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) or names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat).

This word (Tawheed) and its derivatives are used with this meaning in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. For example:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Say, “He is Allah , [who is] One,

Allah , the Eternal Refuge.

He neither begets nor is born,

Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”

[al-Ikhlaas 112:1-4]

And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

[al-Baqarah 2:163]

They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

[al-Maa’idah 5:73]

And there are many similar verses.

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (7372) and Saheeh Muslim (19) it is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal to Yemen, he said to him: “You are going to people from among the People of the Book, so let the first thing to which you call them be belief in Allaah alone (Tawheed). If they accept that, then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them five prayers every day and night. If they pray then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them zakaah from their wealth to be taken from their rich and given to their poor. If they agree to that then take it from them but avoid the best of people’s wealth.”

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): belief that Allaah is One, establishing regular prayer, paying zakaah, fasting Ramadaan and Hajj.”

What is meant by Tawheed in all these texts is affirming the meaning of the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, which is the essence of the religion of Islam with which Allaah sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), based on the evidence of the words of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. In some versions of the hadeeth of Mu’aadh quoted above it says: “You will come to some people from among the People of the Book so when you come to them, call them to bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1492.

According to another version of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is based on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger…” Narrated by Muslim, 16.

This indicates that Tawheed is the essence of the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and that this is Islam with which Allaah sent His Prophet to the two races of mankind and the jinn, other than which Allaah will not accept any religion from anyone.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:19]

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

Once this is understood, it should be noted that the scholars have divided Tawheed into three categories, as follows:

Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of Divine Lordship), Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (Oneness of Divinity) and Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l-Sifaat (Oneness of the Divine Names and Attributes). 

Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of Divine Lordship): means believing in Allaah as One and Unique with regard to His actions such as creation, sovereignty, control, giving life and death, and so on.

There is a great deal of evidence to support this in the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

Whoever believes that there is any creator other than Allaah or any sovereign controlling this universe and disposing of its affairs other than Allaah has denied this aspect of Tawheed and disbelieved in Allaah.

The disbelievers of old accepted this aspect of Tawheed in general terms, although they differed with regard to some of its details. The evidence that they used to accept this is to be found in several verses of the Qur’aan such as the following (interpretation of the meaning):

If you asked them, “Who created the heavens and earth and subjected the sun and the moon?” they would surely say, ” Allah .” Then how are they deluded?

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:61]

And if you asked them, “Who sends down rain from the sky and gives life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness?” they would surely say ” Allah .” Say, “Praise to Allah “; but most of them do not reason.

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:63]

And if you asked them who created them, they would surely say, ” Allah .” So how are they deluded?

[al-Zukhruf 43:87]

In these verses Allaah states that the kuffaar affirm that He is the Creator, Sovereign and Controller, but despite that they do not worship Him alone (Tawheed of worship), which points to the graveness of their wrongdoing and lies, and the weakness of their reasoning. For if there is One Who is described in such terms, none should be worshipped except Him alone and none should be described as being one and unique except Him; may He be glorified above those that they associate with him.

So whoever affirms this Tawheed in the true sense must inevitably also affirm the Oneness of Allaah’s Divinity (Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah).

Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah means devoting all acts of worship, both inward and outward, in word and deed, to Allaah Alone, and not worshipping anything or anyone other than Allaah, no matter who he is. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment.

[al-Isra’ 17:23]

“Worship Allaah and join none with Him (in worship)”

[al-Nisa’ 4:36]

It may be described as devoting all one’s actions to Allaah alone.

It is called Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah because it is based on ta’alluh lillaah which is worship and devotion of Allaah accompanied by love and veneration.

It is also called Tawheed al-‘Ibaadah (oneness of worship) because it means that a person worships Allaah by doing that which He has commanded and avoiding that which He has forbidden.

It is also called Tawheed al-Talab wa’l-Qasd wa’l-Iraadah (Oneness of goal, purpose and will) because it means that a person does not seek anything except the Face of Allaah, so he worships Him sincerely.

This is the kind of Tawheed concerning which people went astray, which is why the Prophets were sent and the Books were revealed. This is the purpose for which the universe was created and laws were prescribed. Concerning this disputes arose between the Prophets and their peoples, so the stubborn were doomed and the believers were saved.

Whoever goes astray with regard to this Tawheed, such as devoting some of his worship to someone other than Allaah, has gone beyond the pale of Islam and drifted away from true belief. May Allaah protect us from that.

With regard to Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l-Sifaat (Oneness of the Divine Names and Attributes), this means affirming the names and attributes of Allaah and believing that there is none like unto Allaah in His names and attributes. This Tawheed is based on two principles:

1 – Affirmation: i.e., affirming that which Allaah has affirmed for Himself in His Book or that His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has affirmed of His beautiful names and sublime attributes in a manner that suits the Majesty and Greatness of Allaah, without distorting them, twisting their meanings, denying their reality or discussing how they are.

2 – Denial: i.e., denying that Allaah has any faults and denying any shortcomings that He has denied Himself. The evidence for that is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”

[al-Shoora 42:11]

So He has denied that He bears any resemblance to His creation, and affirmed that He has attributes of perfection in a manner that befits Him, may He be glorified.

Source:  al-Hujjah fi Bayaan al-Mahajjah, 1/305; Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah, 1/57  (

“al-Hujjah fi Bayaan al-Mahajjah” is a book written by Abul Qasim Isma`il Al-Asbahani (457- 535 H.)).