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| Tauheed and Shirk |

Monotheism or Polytheism?
(Tawheed or Shirk?)

Tawheed: Belief in One God, Monotheism.
Shirk: Associating partners with God, Polytheism.
Aalim: Islamic Scholar, (pl: Ulema, spltv: Allama)
Hadeeth: Prophetic Narrations (pl: Ahadeeth).
Salaah: Prayer
Kufr: Disbelief
Kaafir: Disbeliever (pl:Kuffaar)
Aalam-e-Barzakh: Life in the grave, before Resurrection.
Hazrat: Respected personality.

This book is intended to protect Muslims from all misconceptions and misunderstandings prevalent in the Muslim community, regarding the belief in seeking assistance from great prophets and saints.

Allama Syed Ahmed Sa'eed Kaazmi Shah Saheb (Allah’s mercy be upon him) was a great scholar and a specialist in the field of Prophetic Traditions (Hadeeth) and Quranic exegesis (Tafseer), to which he made voluminous contributions. He earned the title of "Ghazali-e-Zamaan" or "Ghazali of the Era". In this treatise, he clearly distinguishes between "Shirk" and "Tawheed". He does so in a very simple manner, so that all Muslims are able to understand. This strategy of his is based on the principle of education and the acquisition of knowledge which is compulsory in the life of all Muslims, whether males or females.

The aim of the writer is not one of trivial argument and discussion based on hearsay: rather, it is to make the public aware and to educate them on practices followed by the first generation of Muslims - yet these practices are, unfortunately, mocked by a few "enlightened Modern-day" Muslims.

May Allah assist and guide those Muslims who are instrumental in producing this book and all those involved in the protection of the pristine faith of Islam. Aameen.

Allah - beginning with the name of - the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The Being (Self / Entity) of Almighty Allah is indeed only One. It is only those who are ignorant and persist in being ignorant need an explanation on how Almighty Allah is “One” and is actually present. Those who are Allah-conscious do not desire an explanation on this subject of Tawheed and Shirk. They in fact accept without questioning. There is a famous proverb in Arabic as follows: Al Ashyaa'u tu'rafa bi azdaadihi - "Objects are indeed understood by its opposites."

For example, peace can be understood and appreciated only by a person who has felt and experienced chaos. A person though who has not felt chaos, cannot appreciate peace. In the same manner, day cannot be understood if a person has not experienced night. Likewise, if a person has not comprehended misguidance how is it possible for him to understand guidance? Using this very principle, we may ask, if a person has not understood "Shirk" or Polytheism, how is it possible for him to appreciate or comprehend "Tawheed" or Monotheism? It is, therefore, only logical that after we have understood Shirk can we then understand Tawheed.

The Almighty Allah has in fact very clearly explained the belief of Shirk and Tawheed, thereby completely eradicating the concept of non-religion. It is very surprising that after explaining the differences in the concept of Tawheed and Shirk so clearly, there are still doubts in the minds of those whose sole duty it is to destroy the concept or fundamentals of unity that is found in Islam.

The meaning of "Tawheed" is to believe that there is no partner to Allah in His “Being” and / or in His “Attributes”. In other words, how great is the Being of Allah - we do not believe that there is another being like Him. If any person believes on the contrary, then his belief would constitute Shirk. We should remember that the attributes of Allah, among others, include the act of “listening”, “seeing” and possessing knowledge. If an individual believes that another possesses these attributes, he will be guilty of Shirk.

After we have understood the meaning of Tawheed, the natural question that arises is: if knowledge which is one of the attributes of Allah is ascribed for another individual, will this really mean that we are guilty of Shirk? We know that “listening” and “seeing” are also among the attributes of Allah. If we prove these very attributes for another individual, will we be guilty of Shirk? In the very same manner, the attribute of “living” is also among the attributes of Allah. If we ascribe this attribute for another individual will we again be guilty of Shirk?

No! Dear Muslim brothers and sisters: do not be deceived by those who hope to mislead you. You should remember that indeed Almighty Allah possesses the attribute of “living”, yet He has, also through His Mercy, bestowed upon His creation this very quality. The attribute of “living” which we relate to ourselves is not the same attribute of “living” as we relate to Allah. The difference is that His attribute of “living” is non-bestowed, while the attribute of “living” which we posses, is one which we have been bestowed with by Allah. The attribute of “living” which He has bestowed upon us is temporary and non-eternal, while His attribute of “living” is eternal and non-bestowed.
If this principle is applied to all qualities and attributes, then the question of Shirk will never arise. It is simple, yet, as we have mentioned earlier, those Muslims whose sole aim is to deprive Islam of its unity, peace and harmony, intentionally make it difficult so that the simple-minded Muslims become confused and misguided.

The answer to this is quite simple. If man has not been given power and authority, then what indeed is the difference between him and a stone? We know that Almighty Allah possesses power and authority. We also know that He has created these attributes within man. You may well ask: if both possess power and authority, then what is the difference? The answer to this is quite simple. If one applies the above principle, there is no doubt that Almighty Allah possesses power and authority, yet, although possessing these attributes, He is not subservient to anyone, neither have these attributes been given to Him by anyone. His slave, man, on the other hand, possesses these attributes of power and authority, yet, he is still subservient to Almighty Allah, and these attributes are not his, rather they have been bestowed upon him by Almighty Allah.

This very same principle as explained above can be applied to the question of “knowledge”, “seeing”, “listening”, and other attributes. Almighty Allah possesses these attributes and so does the slave. No one has given these qualities to Allah, whilst the slave, on the other hand, has been given these attributes by Almighty Allah. This is, in fact, one of the clear differences between Almighty Allah and His slave.

We understand that if an attribute which is conferred to any slave has been bestowed upon the slave by Almighty Allah, then this belief cannot be labeled as Shirk. For example, if we relate the quality of "hearing" to a slave, we must therefore believe that this attribute of "hearing" has been bestowed upon the slave by the Grace of Allah - then this belief cannot be termed Shirk.

At this point an important question arises. Applying the above principle, we ask, why is it that we condemn the idol worshippers who also believe that their idols have been given these amazing powers by Allah? Are they not using the very same principle, which we are applying?

The answer to this question is quite clear and simple. When the idolaters believed that their idols were a creation of Allah, they also should have believed that the slave is undoubtedly in bondage to the Creator. Without the Creator, the creation cannot come into being. They also should have believed and accepted that, as in life or in death, the slave is in need of the Creator. But, they refused to believe and accept this principle, that is, Allah's Authority.

They began to believe that although their idols were a creation, Almighty Allah had given the idols “Divinity” and total "God-head". They believed that after creating their idols, there was now no need for submission or duty towards Almighty Allah (Allah forbid!) because their idols could do whatever they wished, even if Almighty Allah had not commanded them to do a certain thing. The idolaters could not understand this very simple principle: that the creation can never to totally independent of Almighty Allah.

Indeed, Almighty Allah, through His Mercy, may bestow upon His slave whatever powers He wishes, yet He would not bestow “divinity”, which is permanent and independent - the attributes given to His slave are not permanent or even independent. The idolaters believed that because of the tremendous worship performed by the idols, "Laat" and "Manaat", Almighty Allah set them free to do as they pleased. Based on this belief, the idolaters believed that their idols have been given Divinity and God-head. Any person who believes that Almighty Allah has given any slave “God-head” and “Divinity”, has committed Shirk. There is no doubt in this. This is another difference between the Muslim and the idol worshipper. The Muslim believes that the servant of Allah will always remain a servant and can never become one possessing God-head and Divinity.


The Almighty Allah states in the Holy Quran: "Who is he that can intercede with Him, except by His command?" (Surah Baqarah: Verse 255)

From this Quranic injunction, an important fact is becoming apparent to us. Almighty Allah is quite clearly stating to us that not everyone will be given permission to intercede except those to whom He has given permission. It is also a warning to the idol worshippers, in that they should not believe and hold high esteem of their idols considering that their idols have never been given permission to intercede for their worshippers. This clearly proves that their idols are totally useless.

The beloved slaves of Allah, on the other hand, have been given permission to intercede. The first to intercede will be the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) as proven by many authentic sources. After him, other prophets, martyrs (Shuhada), saints, etc. Another important fact we must always bear in mind is that if the belief is that anyone can perform miracles without the permission of Allah, then this belief would be considered Shirk, whereas if a duty has been allocated, as will be discussed shortly, then this cannot be considered Shirk.

The Holy Quran is evidence of Prophet 'Isa (peace be upon him) explaining to his nation some of his amazing ...

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