Chapter 8: Whoever Seeks Blessings in Trees and Stones Or Other Such Things. Ahmad an-Najmi’s explanation of Kitāb At-Tawheed.

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The Concise, Simple and Straight-forward Explanation of the Tawheed of the Exalted Creator – which was Authored by the Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab
(“Ash-Sharh al-Moojaz al-Mumahhad li Tawheed al-Khaaliq al-Mumajjad alladhi allafahu Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad”)

This is an explanation of Kitaab at-Tawheed of Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab (d. 1206H, rahimahullaah) by ash-Shaikh al-Allaamah Ahmad b. Yahyaa an-Najmee (rahimahullaah).

So Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

Chapter 8: Whoever Seeks Blessings in Trees, Stones and Other Such Things

The statement of Allaah, the Most High:

“Have you seen al-Laat and al-`Uzzaa? And Manaat, the third of them? So is it for you [Idol-worshippers] the males and for Him the females? In that case, it is a division most unfair.” [An-Najm: 19-23]

On the authority of Abu Waaqid al-Laithee (radiyallaahu `anhu) who said: We went out with Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) to Hunayn, and we had only recently left unbelief [and become Muslims]. The polytheists has a Lote Tree where they would offer devotion and they would hand their weapons upon it – they called it Dhaat Anwaat. So we passed by a Lote Tree and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, make for us a Dhaat Anwaat, just as they have a Dhaat Anwaat.” So Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

“Allaahu Akbar! Allaah is the Greater! That is they ways of the people who came before you. By He in whose Hand is my soul, you have said just as the Children of Israel said to Moosaa (`alaihi salaam): ‘Make for us a god just like their gods. So Moosaa said: Indeed you are a people who are ignorant.’ (al-A’raaf: 138) You shall certainly follow the ways of those who came before you.” [1]

Important issue related to this chapter:

1. The explanation of the verse in Sooratun-Najm.

2. Awareness of the nature of the affair which they requested.

3. The fact that they did not carry out what they asked for.

4. The fact they intended to gain nearness to Allaah by this act because they thought He would love it.

5. If they were unaware of the ruling, then others are even more likely to be unaware.

6. That the Companions have with them rewards and the promise of forgiveness that other besides them do not have.

7. The Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) did not excuse them, rather he offered a rebuttal by saying: “Allaahu akbar! Verily it is the ways of those who came before you.” So he expressed the greatness of this affair by making these three points.

8. The major issue here, and that is the intent – and that is that he informed his Companions that their request is like the request of the Children of Israel when they said to Moosaa (`alaihis-salaam): “Make for us a god.”

9. That the negation or refusal of this request is from the meanings of “Laa ilaaha illallaah” (There is none worthy of worship except Allaah) – and this is alongside the fact that the affair was subtle and obscure from those particular Companions who were new to Islaam.

10. The Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) swore by Allaah upon issuing his fatwa, and would would not have done so except for a beneficial reason.

11. That Shirk can be Major or Minor because they did not apostate due to it.

12. His saying: “We had recently left disbelief and become Muslim” contains an indication that the other Companions besides them were not unaware of the ruling in this matter.

13. Saying, “Allaah akbar!” to express surprise is permitted – this is in opposition to those consider its utterance in such matters to be disliked.

14. Blocking the means that lead to evil.

15. A prohibition against resembling the people from the days of Jaahilyyah (Pre-Islaamic Ignorance).

16. Becoming angry whilst teaching.

17. The encompassing principle found in his (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) saying: “It is the ways of the people who came before you.”

18. This (the last point) is a sign from the signs of Prophethood due to the fact that affair occurred just as the Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) informed.

19. All of those affairs for which Allaah rebuked the Jews and Christians for in the Qur’aan also apply to us .

20. That it was established with the Sahaabah that the acts of worship were based upon the commands. It thus becomes a reminder regarding the questions in the grave. As for the question: “Who is your Lord?” Then its answer is clear. As for “who is your Prophet?” Then that is known by the fact that he informed them of the matters of the Unseen [which are not known to the creation except to a Prophet]. Concerning the question, “What is your Religion?” Then that is known from their saying, “Make for us a god.” (i.e. that i not Islaam).

21. The Sunnah of the People of Book is just as blameworthy as the Sunnah of the idol-worshippers [as they too worship other than the One True Lord, Allaah].

22. That a person who leaves the falsehood that his heart was accustomed to is not [completely] safe from there being some remnants of that custom remaining in his heart. This is due to their saying: “We had only recently disbelief.”

Explanation of this Chapter by Shaikh an-Najmee (rahimahullāh):

“Tabarruk” is to solicit or seek blessings from something. So whoever seeks blessings with something is actually claiming that object contains blessings. And “Barakah” is the increase of something, so due to it there is increase – in more than what is the norm. The natural inclination of a person rejects the notion that a particular object contains blessings – and it does not accept that – except if knowledge of that is reported from Allaah, the Most High (i.e. by revelation), just as the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

“Eat from a dish from one side, and do not eat from the middle, for indeed blessing descend in the middle.” [2]

The meaning of that is that blessings descend into it, so it gives increase to the food or water. Likewise if bismillaah (with the name of Allaah) is said before eating. So the food became plentiful in the time of the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) – and affair that was actually perceived, such as what happened with the young goat and the Saa` (four cupped handfuls) of barley of Jaabir (radiyallaahu `anhu), when he invited Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam). So he came along with the people of the Khandaq (those who participated in the battle of the Trench), and they numbered between fourteen or fifteen hundred people. They all ate from that one young goat and that one Saa` of barley. [3]

The point being that seeking blessing is not permitted and cannot be conceived except through a revealed text from Allaah by way of His Messenger.

The saying of Allaah, the Most High, “Have you not seen al-Laat and al-`Uzzaa?” Meaning: Have you not seen these gods which they have deified and ascribed to Allaah. So they ascribed to Him (the Most High) these female gods whilst they took for themselves [and preferred] males – and the virtue of the male over the female was known to them. So how could they make for their Lord a share that they themselves despised, that they would turn their noses up at in derision. Allaah, the Most High, stated:

“And when one of them (i.e. the polytheists of Quraish) is informed of the birth of a girl, his face becomes dark and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep her in humiliation or bury her in the ground? Without question, evil is what they they decide!” [an-Nahl 58-59]

So how is it that you turn your noses up in derision and despise at the female. yet you ascribe it to Allaah. Furthermore, you claim that the Angels are the daughters of Allaah. And had this division been made between two people, then it would have been an oppressive and described as an unjust division. So, therefore, how could you (polytheists) ascribe that to Allaah, the Most High – and to ascribe such a thing to Allaah is a mighty travesty and a scandal. Allaah, the Most High, stated:

“The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation – that they should attribute to the Most Merciful that He has taken a son! And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son. There is no one in the heavens and the earth except that he comes to the Most Merciful as a slave. Indeed He has enumerated them and counted them with a full counting.” [Maryam: 90-94]

In Conclusion:

Allaah is saying to them: How is it that you ascribe to Allaah females whilst you ascribe to yourselves females – and you turn you noses up in derision in ascribing females to yourselves? This not except an unjust division. [Indeed Allaah does not accept any partner being associated with Him, neither male nor female!]

As for the relationship between the verse and the chapter heading: Then al-`Uzzaa (feminine idol) was constructed around three trees, and al-Laat (another feminine idol) was upon a white rock. So they would seek blessings from these trees and rocks, so Allaah rebuked them for that and censured them. How could they abandon the true God whom they affirmed created them and then devote worship to other than Him and deify other than Him.

The saying of the Companion: “It (the tree) was called Dhaat Anwaat.” An-Nawt is something that is hung, and they would hang their swords from that tree, claiming that it would bless the swords and in turn that would aid them against their enemies due to the blessing that would pass over and give power to the weapons they hung up. And all of this is, of course, mere whimsical speculation and false claims. The Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

“Allaahu Akbar! Allaah is the Greater! That is they ways of the people who came before you. By He in whose Hand is my soul, you have said just as the Children of Israel said to Moosaa (`alaihi salaam): ‘Make for us a god just like their gods. So Moosaa said: Indeed you are a people who are ignorant.’ (al-A’raaf: 138) You shall certainly follow the ways of those who came before you.”

Points of benefit taken from this hadeeth:

1. A negation of what the Mushriks (polytheists) claim regarding this tree, i.e. that it is a blessing for their weapons. And by it they are aided against their enemies.

2. That this attachment is an attachment of the hearts to the tree before the attachment of the swords to it. And this is a denigration of Tawheed. For this reason the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said: “By He in whose Hand is my soul, you have said just as the Children of Israel said to Moosaa (`alaihi salaam): ‘Make for us a god just like their gods. So Moosaa said: Indeed you are a people who are ignorant.’

3. It is forbidden to imitate the unbelievers and the polytheists and one should distance himself from their false beliefs.

4. The Prophet taught them that this affair ascribes divinity to trees and stones, which of-course cannot benefit or harm.

5. If some of the noble Companions could seek this affair and fall into it, then it is even more likely that other than them could fall into it. [Though it is correct to assume that they had an excuse because they were newly converted]

6. That the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) did not give them the excuse of ignorance – rather he informed them that they had fallen into that which the Children of Israel fell into when they sought from Moses (`alaihis-salaam) to make for them a god like the god of polytheists.

7. The Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) stated that this Ummah will follow those who came before them – meaning: they will follow their ways and become distant from the Tawheed of Allaah.

8. The permissibility of taking an oath whilst issuing a Fatwa (a religious verdict).

9. The acts of worship are established upon Revelation, and the intellects of the people are not brought into the worship of Allaah.

10. Closing off all the avenues that lead to Shirk.