“The foundation of Polytheism (Shirk) is Ta’teel (Negation)” By Ibnul-Qayyim (d.752)

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Imām Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullāh) stated: “The source of shirk and its foundation that it returns back to is negation (ta’teel: التعطيل) – and it is of three categories:

  • Negation of the created thing of its Maker and Creator [wherein the creation denies its Creator] 
  • Negating the Maker [the Most Perfect, One who is free of all imperfections] of His perfection by negating His Names, His Attributes and His Actions.
  • Negation of conducting oneself with Him in a manner that is obligatory upon the servant from the true actualisation of Tawheed.”

Al-Jawāb al-Kāfī (p. 299)

Ta’teel in the usage of the scholars as it relates to the misguided sects, then it is: To negate the Attributes of Allāh, or to negate some of them from Him; or to explain them away (tahreef) from their apparent meanings in a manner that was never known to the Sahābah and those who followed them precisely. This tahreef is also a form of ta’teel because it results in the same thing: i.e. to negate the Attributes of Allah by explaining them away falsely. And that was never the methodology of the early Salaf. The innovators sometimes refer to their tahreef as ta’weel (interpretation) – and in reality it is ‘false interpretation’ they intend. Innovated groups such as the Ash’arees and Mātureedees resort to ta’weel; by which they intend tahreef and ta’teel!

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