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All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May Allah praise our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, and grant him peace and blessings―likewise, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly until the establishment of the Hour.
The Three Fundamentals of Islam and their Proofs By Shaikh al-Islām, Reviver of his age, Al-Mujaddid, Al-Imām, Muhammad Ibn ʿAbdul-WahhābDied: 1206AH (1792CE), may Allāh’s mercy be upon him. Translation by Abu Khadeejah ʿAbdul-Wāhid Alam.
The Purpose Behind This Treatise
All praise is due to Allāh, Lord of all creation. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and all those who follow him correctly until the Hour is established.
Imām Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d. 751H) said: “The two feet of a person who stands before Allāh on the Day of Resurrection will not move until he is asked regarding two matters: ‘What was it that you worshipped? And what was your response to the Messengers?’ The answer to the first question is by the actualisation of the words, ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allāh’ with knowledge, affirmation, and action. The answer to the second question is by the actualisation of the words, ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh’ with knowledge, affirmation, submission and obedience.” From these words it becomes clear the tremendous importance of the treatise before us whose subject matter is to single out Allāh alone in His Lordship and worship, and the tremendous importance and station of the Messenger Muhammad (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam), and that his is the example to be followed. Al-Imām Muhammad Ibn ʿAbdul-Wahhāb (died 1206 AH, may Allah’s mercy be upon him) compiled this treatise in a manner that is easy to understand and memorise, with each point being coupled with proof. It is divided into six headings each rooted in the two fundamentals highlighted by Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah’s mercy be upon him). These headings are:
1. The importance of seeking knowledge, and a clarification of the obligatory types of knowledge. This lays the foundation for the rest of the treatise.
2. The four matters that are incumbent upon every male and female Muslim: (i) to have knowledge, (ii) to act, (iii) to invite, and (iv) to be patient in bearing the harm that is encountered when inviting others to Islām.
3. The three matters of clarification: (i) the reason behind creation, (ii) He is not pleased that partners be associated with Him, and (iii) it is not permitted for a worshipper of Allāh and a follower of the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) to show religious allegiance to those who do not believe in Allāh, and the Revelation sent to the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam).
4. The true monotheistic religion of Ibrāhīm (ʿalaihis-salām) and what he came with. And that is the call of all the Messengers of Allāh (the Mighty and Majestic) and likewise, it was the call of the final Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam).
5. The three fundamentals: these are the questions that a person will be asked in his grave. This is the essence of the whole treatise and the purpose behind its compilation.
6. The meaning of the term tāghūt and enumerating its heads, and these are the false objects of worship and obedience. So, the purpose of this chapter is to clarify that which opposes the three fundamentals. And with this, the Shaikh seals his treatise. So, this treatise expounds important matters in simple terms that are suitable for the old, the young, the scholar, the layman, the student, the illiterate, the male, and the female. He explains that these foundations are the religion of the Prophet Ibrāhīm (ʿalaihis-salām) and the call of all the Messengers. And that the Messenger of Allāh (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) was not a novelty amongst the Messengers, rather he traversed the path of his brothers before him from the Messengers and Prophets, may Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon them all.