Wahhabi cultists claim that there are two, three or even four types of tawheed and further pass this of as compulsory knowledge that every common Muslim should know in order for their faith and testimony to be completely accepted. Wahhabis suggest that anybody who does not know these categories of tawheed does not know nor understand the true meaning of the kalimah and their testimony of faith is insufficient.
However, the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam, the Sahaabah and the first three generations radiy Allahu anhum ajma’een never gave any conditions upon accepting a person’s testimony of faith [kalimah], nor did they teach there are various categories of tawheed that one has to know before they can be truly accepted as a Muslim.
Once a person had said the kalimah, such a person would then be widely accepted as Muslim without any suspicion or third degree style cross examinations. So, the burning question which stares us in the face at this very point is where and when did this new teaching of the two, three or four categories of tawheed first appear?
The originator of this new creed concerning the divisions of tawheed is in fact Ibn Taymiyah, a 7th century Hanbali scholar who was the first to categorize and divide tawheed into two types.
His student Ibn al-Qayyum also promoted this teaching of two tawheeds, however Ibn Taymiyah’s other students such as Imaam Dhahabi and Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali did not follow in teaching tawheed according to the teachings and opinions of Ibn Taymiyah, they stuck to the original teaching of the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam, Sahaabah and the first three generations. radiy Allahu anhum ajma’een
The next in line to blindly follow Ibn Taymiyah was an 12th century [hijri calendar], unqualified self-proclaimed scholar, by the name of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab who appeared from the Najd region of Eastern ‘Arabia, who then passed this corrupt belief down to his sons and his grandsons. In Fath ul-Majeed, the commentary to Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab’s Kitaab ut-Tawheed, it is written:
“There are two types of tawheed, the first type of tawheed is the tawheed of knowledge and proving. [tawheed fi ma’rifah wal-ithbaat] and tawheed ur-Rabbubiyah wal-Asma was-Sifaat [the tawheed of Lordship, and Divine Attributes]. The second type of tawheed is the tawheed of demand and purpose [which is the tawheed of worship, tawheed al-Ilahiyyah wal-‘Ibaadah]. Fath ul-Majeed, English translation, p. 8, and Ar. P. 15
Tawheed was later categorized into three categories as seen in the book written by the Wahhabi scholar Bilal Phillips, in his Fundamentals of Tawheed, where he said:
“The three categories of tawheed are commonly referred to by the following titles: 1. Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah (lit. “Maintaining the Unity of Lordship”) 2. Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (lit. “Maintaining the Unity of Allaah’s Names and Attributes”) 3. Tawheed al-Ebaadah (lit. “Maintaining the Unity of Allaah’s worship).
See Bilal Phillips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, Chapter 1, The Categories of Tawheed, p. 11; also see the Dar us-Salaam translation of the Qur’an by Muhammad Muhsin Khan, and the discourse in the back about “Islamic monotheism” and the three types of tawheed.
More recently, some Wahhabis have argued that tawheed is divided into four categories, the forth being Tawheed ul-Hukmiyah, i.e. The Tawheed of Legislation, and all too often they use this forth category as a springboard to takfeer Muslims of the West for voting and adhering to US , UK and European laws. However, Wahhbis are in great dispute concerning this forth category of tawheed with Sa’udi scholars such as Saleh al-Fawzaan classifying this forth category as a misguided innovation [bid’at ud-dalaalah].
If some Wahhabis can see the sense of in seeing that the fourth category of tawheed al-hukmiyyah to be a misguided innovation, then why do they not apply the same logic for Ibn Taymiyah’s innovated two categories of tawheed, and the later introduced three categories of tawheed? Why do they not see sense in the fact that the division of tawheed is a new innovation that appeared only from the 7th century onwards?
Nowhere in the whole corpus of Islamic doctrine does the Holy Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam teach tawheed in such a fashion, nor did the Sahaabah, nor did anybody from amongst the first three generations. radiy Allahu anhum ajma’een Even the Wahhabi scholar Bilal Phillips admits in his Fundamentals of Tawheed that:
“The division of tawheed into its components was not done by the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam nor by his companions, as there was no necessity to analyze such a basic principle of faith in this fashion”
Bilal Phillips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, Chapter 1, The Categories of Tawheed, p. 11
Analyze his statement closely, as not only he explicitly admits that the divisions of tawheed was never taught by the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam nor his companions, but also he implies that the mushrikeen of Makkah were in better guidance than the Muslims of today when he said “there was no necessity to analyze such a basic principle of faith in this fashion”.
In other words the mushrikeen of Makkah did not need to be taught the so-called categories of tawheed. But yet the Muslims of today are so “misguided” that they “need” to be taught this so-called two, three or four divisions of tawheed in order to be true Muslim!
The implication that the Muslims of today are in greater misguidance than the mushrikeen of the Prophet’s time can be found further in Fath ul-Majeed, Sharh Kitaab ut-Tawheed where it is said that “those who do tawassul via the Prophets and the Righteous are in a depth of kufr much worser than the depth of kufr than that of the pagans of Makkah”. Fath ul-Majeed, Sharh Kitaab ut-Tawheed, p. 37 – 38
This understanding is seen further in chapter 18 of Kitaab ut-Tawheed where Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab argues that Abu Jahl knew and understood the kalimah [testimony of faith] better than Muslims who understand the principles and essentials of Islam. Fath ul-Majeed, Sharh Kitaab ut-Tawheed, p. 206
Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab demonstrates his understanding further in point no. 5 when he claims that “The disbelievers are more guided than the faithful believers” Fath ul-Majeed, Sharh Kitaab ut-Tawheed, p. 240
So not only does the Wahhabi scholar Bilal Phillips admit that the Prophet and his companions radiy Allahu anhum ajma’een never taught tawheed in such a fashion, but also he demonstrates the general Wahhabi opinion of other Muslims, that is, they, the accused are considered to be greater disbelievers even than that of the pagan mushrikeen, such as Abu Jahl, etc.
We have now clearly established the fact that the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam, nor the Sahaabah ever taught tawheed as being categorized into two, three, four or more categories, however what about the rest of the first three generations?
The teaching of two, three, or four tawheeds was unheard of to the four Imaams. It is a simple and known fact that the four Imaams has never categorized tawheed as such, neither did the great Imaams of ‘Aqeedah. Imaam Abu Hanifah never teaches there are three categories of tawheed in his text al-Fiqh ul-Akbar, nor does Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Usul us-Sunnah. Imaam Tahaawi does not explain tawheed as being three in his al-‘Aqeedah ut-Tahaawiyah, not did Imaam Barbahaari in his Sharh us-Sunnah, nor did ‘Abdul Qadir al-Jilaani in his al-Ghunyah, nor did Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen in his Lum’at ul-I’tiqaad, nor did Imaam Abdur Rahman Ibn al-Jawzi in his ‘Aqeedah texts, Talbees Iblees, etc. No scholar from the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in the first seven centuries of Islam ever taught that tawheed was divided into any type of categories.
Should there have been such a teaching of three categories of tawheed, the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam would have taught it and passed it down, the Sahaabah would have taught it and passed it down, the first three generations would have taught it and passed it down, and the mentioned Imaams would have mentioned it in their all important texts explaining the science of tawheed. However this Wahhabi teaching of two, three or four tawheeds is not mentioned once! The fact is tawheed is one and salvation is one! This is the teaching of the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam, the Sahaabah and the first three generations.
The teaching of one tawheed is clearly found in the following hadeeth where the Prophet simply called to the Oneness of Allah where the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam said:
“Islam is to testify that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” The famous hadeeth of Jibrael
The Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam further said:
“I am calling you to believe in Allah alone. Do you know what belief in Allah alone is? It is to testify that there is no deity but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”.
In another hadeeth the Holy Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam said
“I have been ordered to fight the people until they say there is no deity but Allah”
Furthermore, when the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal to the people of Yemen he said:
“Invite them to the witnessing that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. If they obey this, at that time tell them that they are obligated to pray five prayers within every twenty-four hours…”
These above mentioned Ahaadeeth demonstrate that the kalimah and its pronouncement is sufficient for one to be completely be upon the teaching of tawheed for they have accepted the Oneness of Allah by witnessing the testimony of faith. For if one was to say the kalimah, then his blood, life and property would be protected.
But yet Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab’s corrupt understanding of tawheed led him to plunder Muslims under the pretext they was committing the gravest sin shirk, and the analogy that Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab makes in his text Kashf ush-Shubuhaat is that it was made permissible by Abu Bakr to fight and kill those who denied the Zakah, and as Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab reasons “then what about those who commit the gravest sin shirk, which is a far greater crime than denying the Zakah?”
With this argument Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab claimed that the blood of the Muslims is permissible to spill, and the looting of their property is also permissible, plus the captivity of their women and children. This was all done under the pretext that the Muslims were committing major shirk and what theology promoted this ideology? The innovated divisions of tawheed first initiated by Ibn Taymiyah!
For this very reason the teaching that tawheed needs to be categorized as a necessity for Muslims to be true believers should be rejected. We must follow the Prophet, the Sahaabah and the first three generations that followed them in guidance, for they are perfect in their understanding and the knowledge of this deen, and the deen indeed was completed and perfected for us without any need for any need for any additions whatsoever. Allah clearly says in the Qur’an:
“This Day have I perfected your Religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam As your religion” – Surat ul-Maa’idah (5), ayah. 3
To even suggest that tawheed needs to be explained with further additions such as the three categories of tawheed is to say that the Prophet, the Sahaabah and the first three generations failed to explain tawheed properly to the people. To even hold such a belief is kufr and without any doubt the most classical scholars would deem such people out of the fold of Islam for even making such a suggestion that the Prophet, the Sahaabah and the first three generations did not know or teach tawheed properly.
To hammer this point home, let us look to Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen’s Lum’at ul-I’tiqaad at the line of reasoning used against an innovator who innovated the false belief that the Qur’an was created. That innovator was Ahmad bin Abu Dawud who was successfully refuted in front of the Khalifah at the hands of Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Adrami. The conversation went as follows:
Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Adrami said: “You have addressed the people with an innovation and have called them towards it, thereby promoting it, however, did the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali know of this affair, or did they not know of this affair? Ahmad bin Abu Dawud replied: “They did not know of this affair”. Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Adrami then said: “So you know something that they did not know?”Ahmad bin Abu Dawud said in reply: “Indeed I only say that they had to have known it” Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Adrami: “So it sufficed them yet they did not speak about it? Nor did they invite the people to believe in it, or were they not sufficed?” Ahmad bin Abu Dawud said: “No, but rather they was sufficed” Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Adrami: “So this matter that sufficed the Messenger of Allah sal allahu alayhi wasallam and his rightly guided Khulafah and yet it did not suffice you?”
The innovator Ahmad bin Abu Dawud was silenced by the reply of Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Adrami. In the very same way, using this very template of reasoning, the Wahhabis are also silenced as it is well known and proven that the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam, the Sahaabah and the first three generations never divided tawheed into categories. They did not know of this affair, they never spoke of any types of categories of tawheed, thus they never invited the people to believe in the two, three or four categories of tawheed and indeed their understanding of tawheed was perfect and sufficient for one to be a true believer.
The categorization of tawheed is also akin to the innovation in the belief that the Qur’an was created as both beliefs have led to great trials and tribulations where innocent Muslims have been either killed or persecuted. Such innovations in the creed are the most vilest type of innovation. The holy Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam warned us about innovations when he said:
“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e. the Islamic Creed] that is not a part of it, will have it rejected.”
This is the evidence that such beliefs as the Qur’an being created and the innovated categories of tawheed are rejected. Thus it is not a valid Islamic belief and the people who promote such a creed are out of the fold of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, being those who are from the Ahl ul-Bid’ah wal-Dalaalah.
The Holy Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam also said:
“Adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khulafah that come after me. Bite upon it with your molar teeth [nawaakhidh] and beware of newly invented matters [in creed, and actions] for certainly every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a misguidance”
This hadeeth is evidence that we are to bite unto the beliefs of the first three generations and whatever they passed down, the teachings they taught, and how they taught. We are warned about new beliefs and indeed such innovated beliefs have led to much misguidance and confusion amongst the Muslims. Therefore we must reject any new teaching. If the Prophet, the Sahaabah nor the first three generations did not teach such and such, then it should be outright rejected.
‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud said:
“Adhere [to the Sunnah] and do not innovate, indeed you have already been sufficed”
The great Sahaabi shows us that we have already been sufficed, and as such are in no need of any new teaching of tawheed as being two, three or four categories. What the first three generations passed down regarding the science of tawheed is sufficient.
‘Umar ibn ‘Abd ul-Aziz said [to the nearest meaning]:
“Stop where the people have stopped for they stopped out of knowledge, knowing full well that they could never penetrate such knowledge. Had they any such authority, then such knowledge would have been disclosed and unveiled for them, solely because they are the strongest by favour [with their Lord] and indeed they are the most reliable and authentic in their creed. Anything new in creedal matters that was recorded after them is simply concocted by those who are in direct opposition to the guidance of the early scholars of the Ahl us Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. They have desired another way other than the traditional path of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. Indeed, the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah has perfectly described the creed and has spoken about it sufficiently. Whatever exceeds them not from the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and whatever falls short is nothing but negligence, and as a result they have fallen short of the Ahl us-Sunnah. Likewise, those who overstepped them and went to the extreme have also exited the Ahl us-Sunnah. Whereas, the early generations, The Companions, the Tabi’een and the Tabi’ Tabi’een kept to the straight path, the path of guidance, the middle path which is between those who have fallen short and those who overstepped”
Indeed Ibn Taymiyah and all those who followed him in this innovated creed have overstepped the boundaries. Their teaching of tawheed is not from the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and does in fact oppose the original teaching of tawheed in which the Prophet and his Companions and the first three generations passed down to us in its pure and pristine form through valid scholarship without authentic isnaad.
As Sunni Muslims we have every right to reject this false creed, especially given the fact that 4th century Hanbali scholar Imaam al-Barbahaari deems one who even cross examines a Muslim about the science of tawheed as a Kharijite when he said “When you hear a man say “speak about tawheed and explain it to me, then know, he is a Kharijite or even a Mu’tazali” Thus, those Wahhabis who constantly badger people with questions about tawheed, and even asking about Allah’s Names and Attributes with intent to argue, “Where is Allah?” etc are from the Khawaarij and their creed must be rejected at all costs.
In conclusion, the additions of the Wahhabi Khawaarij cult concerning the categories of tawheed is a false belief that has only led to great trials and tribulations world-wide and has given birth to the takfeer and the killing and the taking of property of the Muslims under the pretext that such Muslims have violated one of the so called three categories of tawheed.
By claiming that those who perform tawassul through the Prophets and the righteous are committing major shirk by “calling unto them” and are then accused of calling unto others besides Allah, and by such act, Wahhabis claim their Islam has been negated, the Wahhabi Khawaarij have deemed such Muslims as apostates worthy of death, and they made it permissible to kill them, take their property and even take their wives and children into captivity.
The claim that those who perform tawassul through the Prophets and righteous by “calling unto them” violate what they deem as tawheed ul-Uluhiyyah does not hold true due to the fact that the act of calling unto the Prophets and righteous is not considered as an act of worship. We do not worship them to get closer to Allah as the mushrikeen claimed to worship stone statues under the pretext of drawing closer to Allah. There is no analogy with the believers who call upon Prophets and the righteous with those who call upon the stone statues that can never do any benefit or harm.
The folly in such a belief is that the Wahhabis claim that the pagan mushrikeen who worshipped others besides Allah were monotheists in regards to what they label as tawheed ul-Rabubiyah, as it is claimed the mushrikeen accepted Allah as their Rabb, however, as the Wahhabis claim, that the pagans of Makkah were mushrikeen in tawheed ul-Uluhiyyah because they did not single out Allah in worship. Yet the Ahl us-Sunnah position is, if you violate tawheed in any aspect, you violate it all. There is no way the mushrikeen can be on any form of tawheed whatsoever if he accepts another Lord besides Allah as such person has rejected the Lordship and Divinity of Allah. So in regards to the categorization of tawheed, it is not possible, as tawheed is one, salvation is one, and this is how the first three generations understood, taught and passed down the knowledge of tawheed. The Wahhabi creed concerning the divisions of tawheed is indeed a great innovation of misguidance and should be rejected as such by every Muslim.