Allaah Al-Aziz Al-Hakim did not create the jinns and mankind except for Tawheed. As Allaah Ta’aala says in His Kitaab, “And I created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone).” [Soorah Az-Zariyat (51):56] And Ibn Abbas (radiyallaahu anhu) said that this Ayah means to single out Allaah in worship. Our purpose in this life is to establish Tawheed as this is the call of all the Messengers (alayhimus-salaatu was-salaam) whom Allaah Azza wa Jall has sent.
Allaah says in the Glorious Qur’aan, “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allaah (Alone) and keep away from Taghut (all false deities).” [Soorah An-Nahl (16):36] And Allaah says, “And We did not send any Messenger before you but We inspired him (saying): Laa ilaaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allaah)], so worship Me (Alone and None else).”[Soorah Al-Anbiyaa (21):25] And Allaah also says, “He sends down the angels with inspiration of His Command to whom of His slaves He pleases (saying): “Warn mankind that La ilaaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so fear Me (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds).” [Soorah An-Nahl (16):2]
The first thing Allaah inspired Prophet Musa (alayhi salaam) with was Tawheed. Allaah says, “And has there come to you the story of Mûsa (Moses)? When he saw a fire, he said to his family: "Wait! Verily, I have seen a fire, perhaps I can bring you some burning brand there from, or find some guidance at the fire." And when he came to it (the fire), he was called by name: "O Mûsa (Moses)! Verily! I am your Lord! So take off your shoes, you are in the sacred valley, Tuwa. "And I have chosen you. So listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily! I am Allaah! Laa ilaaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As¬Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) for My Remembrance.” [Soorah TaHa (20):9-14]
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) remained in Makkah for thirteen years, calling the people to Tawheed and forbidding them from shirk, before he ordered them with prayer, zakaah, fasting, and hajj and before he forbade them from usury, fornication and theft. And in Hadeeth from Amr ibn Abasah as-Sulamee (radiyallaahu anhu) who said, “During the times of ignorance I used to hold that the people were upon error and futility, and they used to worship idols, then I heard of a man in Makkah who received revelation. So I set out upon my riding beast and came to him. At that time he was hiding due to oppression of his people. So I behaved in a way that enabled me to gain access to him in Makkah which I did. So I said to him, ‘What are you? He replied, ‘I am a Prophet.’ So I said, ‘And what is a Prophet?’ He said, ‘Allaah has sent me as a Messenger.’ So I said, ‘And what is it that He has sent you with? He said, ‘I have been sent to order the joining of ties of relationship, to smash the idols, so that Allaah is worshipped alone and nothing at all is associated along with Him.” [Saheeh Muslim]
The heavens and the earth were also not created except for Tawheed, Allaah Ta'aala says, "Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) gods besides Allaah, then verily both would have been ruined. Glorified be Allaah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!" [Soorah Al-Anbiyaa (21): 22] And reflect upon the Ayat that illustrate how the heavens and the earth react when Tawheed is gone up against. Allaah Azza wa Jall says "And they say: "The Most Beneficent (Allaah) has begotten a son (or offspring or children). Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins, That they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Beneficent (Allaah). But it is not suitable for (the Majesty of) the Most Beneficent (Allaah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children). There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent (Allaah) as a slave." [Soorah Maryam (19):88-93]
Shaykh Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaykh mentions in his explanation of kashf ash-Shubuhaat, the following story:
Shaykh ul-Islaam Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab was with his students and after having completed the study of his book ‘Kitaab at-Tawheed’, he wished to start again the study of this book for the 3rd or 4th time.
His students said to him: “O Shaykh, we wish to study another book, a book of fiqh or hadeeth”.
The Shaykh replied: “Why (do you wish to study another book)?”
His students: “We have in fact understood Tawheed, we want to study another science.”
The Shaykh: “Wait, I shall give some thought to this”.
A few days later, the Shaykh came to the lesson with a troubled face. His students asked him the reason for it. The Shaykh explained that he’d come across something which angered him. His students asked what it was.
The Shaykh: “It has been related to me that the inhabitant of a house have sacrificed a rooster (for a Jinn) in front of their door. I have sent someone to confirm this affair”.
Some time later, his student asked him about the affair that he had mentioned.
The Shaykh replied: “In fact, the inhabitants of this house did not sacrifice for other than Allaah, but it was some who has fornicated with his mother”. Shocked, his students exclaimed: “We seek refuge with Allaah! He fornicated with his mother? We seek refuge with Allaah! He fornicated with his mother…”
After mentioning this story, Shaykh Saalih explained that Shaykh ul-Islaam told this story to show them that the statement “We understand Tawheed” is ignorance and is one of the greatest tricks of the Shaytaan. In fact, they have made greater a great sin [fornicating with one’s mother] than shirk which exits from Islaam. Indeed, their hearts were not angered when the shirk that exits from Islaam was mentioned. And this also happens today, when some ignorant people see great sins and are angered by them, but when they hear about Shirk al-Akbar, or see people committing shirk like sacrificing for other than Allaah, etc. this does not move their hearts. This proves their ignorance. It proves that they have not understood Tawheed.”
And a point that needs to be understood is that making Shirk with Allaah is more of a disgusting, more of a wretched, and more filthy an act than a man getting drunk and fornicating with his own mother. But when we hear of Muslims and non-Muslims making shirk with Allaah we react no differently than those students.
Jihaad itself was prescribed for the establishment of Tawheed and to purify the earth from the scourge of Shirk. Allaah Ta’aala says, “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allaah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allaah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zâlimûn (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.) [Soorah Al-Baqarah (2):193]
In Ibn Katheer’s Tafseer it states: “Since Jihaad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allaah indicated that these men are committing disbelief in Allaah, associating with Him (in worship) and hindering from His path, and this is much greater evil and more disastrous that killing. Abu Malik commented about what Allaah said: (And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) meaning what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing.” Abu Al-‘Aliyah, Mujahid, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi’ bin Anas said that what Allaah said: (And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing) means “Shirk is worse than killing.”
In a Hadeeth recorded in Saheeh Bukhaari narrated by Mu'adh bin Jabal (radiyallaahu anhu): The Prophet said, "O Mu'adh! Do you know what Allaah's Right upon His slaves is?" I said, "Allaah and His Messenger know best." The Prophet said, "To worship Him (Allaah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allaah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?" I replied, "Allaah and His Messenger know best." The Prophet said, "Not to punish them (if they do so)." From this we know that Tawheed is the right of Allaah upon His slaves and with Tawheed the servant will enter Jannah.
Ibnul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) said, "None who commits shirk with Allaah will enter into Jannah. The People of Tawheed will do so, because Tawheed is the key. The door shall not open for anyone without this key, or for anyone who comes with a key that lacks its teeth. The teeth of this key are Salah, Siyam, Zakaat, Hajj, and Jihaad. They enjoin justice upon people and prohibit wrong; they speak the truth and honour trusts; maintain family relations and treat parents well. Anyone who acquires the right key in this life, the key of Tawheed, and then gives its teeth by keeping Allaah's commandments, will come on the Day of Judgement to the door of Jannah with the only key that opens it." [Al-Wabil al-Sayyib min al-Kalim al-Tayyib]
Imaam Muslim reports from Jabir (radiyallaahu anhu) that Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever meets Allaah (on the Day of Judgement) not having associated anyone with Him (in worship), shall enter Paradise; and whoever meets Him having committed Shirk in any way will enter the Hell-Fire."
As Allaah says, "Whoever does shirk with Allaah, then indeed Paradise has become prohibited for him, and his abode will be in Hell." [Soorah Al-Maa’idah (5):72]
And Allaah Ta'aala says, "And it has indeed been revealed to you (O Muhammad), and to those (Allaah's Messengers) before you, that if you commit shirk, all of yours deeds will be destroyed, and you will be amongst the losers." [Soorah az-Zumar (39):65]
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (rahimahullaah) said, "So if you know that Allaah created you to worship Him, then know that 'worship' is not considered worship except with Tawheed, like the Salah is not an acceptable Salah except with purity (Taharah). So if shirk enters into worship, it is not accepted, just as impurity destroys purity if it enters into it. [Al-Qawa’id al-Arba'ah]
Fudayl ibn Iyad (rahimahullaah) said in reference to the Ayah of the Qur'aan: "That He may test you which of you is best in deeds." [Soorah Al-Mulk (67):2] and stated, "(This means the deeds that are done) correctly and with a sincere intention. If a deed is done sincerely, yet incorrectly, it will not be accepted, and likewise, if a deed is done correctly but insincerely, it will also be rejected. Only when a deed is done correctly and sincerely will it be accepted. And 'sincerity' means to perform a deed solely for the sake of Allaah, and 'correctly' means to perform it upon the Sunnah." [Jami al-Ulum]
In a Hadeeth Qudsi reported in Jami at-Tirmidhi on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik (radiyallaahu anhu) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying: "Allaah the Exalted has said: O son of Adam, I shall go on forgiving you as long as you call upon me and expect My forgiveness whatever your sins may be and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the lofty regions of the sky and were then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partners to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it."
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimahullaah) wrote in Jami al-Ulum wal-Hikam: "The gate to forgiveness is Tawheed. Allaah says, "Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases. [Soorah An-Nisaa (4):48] If a person committed as many sins as he could but he was a Muwwahid (a person upon Tawheed), Allaah will forgive his sins if He wills. If He wills, He will either forgive him or punish him for these sins, but he will not be eternally in Hell. When a person sticks to Tawheed, his heart will be full of the love of Allaah, His glorification, fear, trust in Him and hope for His pleasure. Once his heart is so, all his sins will be eliminated even if they had been numerous. They may be turned into good deeds, because Tawheed is the core of this life."
Allaah Azza wa Jall says, "And whoever commits shirk with Allaah, then it is as if he is falling from the skies, so the birds pluck [away his meat], or the winds blow him to a remote place." [Soorah Al-Hajj (22):31]
Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) commented on this Ayah saying: "So ponder over this example, and how precise it is in describing the state of he who commits shirk with Allaah, and places his hope with other than Him. In this example, it is as if He has drawn a comparison between the exaltedness, vastness and nobility to Tawheed....And He has compared between he who leaves Tawheed and Eemaan to one who falls from the skies to the lowest pits, where there is nothing but constriction and pain. And the birds that tear him to pieces and break his bones apart are the Shayateen, which Allaah sent upon him to agitate him, and to take him to his place of destruction. So every single Shaytan has a piece of his religion and heart, just like every bird has a piece of his bones and flesh. And the wind blows him to remote, desolate place, is his very desire, which is what carries him to throw himself to the lowest of all places, and fall from the skies." [Paraphrased from I'lam al-Muwaqi'in, 1/196]
Allaah Subhanahu wa Ta'aala says in Al-Qur'aan, "See you not how Allaah sets forth a parable? - A Kalimah Tayyibah (goodly word) as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). Giving its fruit at all times, by the Leave of its Lord and Allâh sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember. [Soorah Ibraaheem (14):24-25]
Alee bin Abi Talhah reported that Abdullah bin Abbas commented that Allaah's statement 'Kalimah Tayyibah' refers to testifying to 'Laa ilaaha illa Allaah. (as a goodly tree), refers to the believer, and that (whose root is firmly fixed), indicates that La ilaaha illa Allaah is firm in the believers' heart." A tree is the basis of life as it gives off oxygen for you to breathe just as the Kalimah is the basis of life for the believer. Allaah says, "Say: "Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists)." [Soorah Al-An’aam (6):162] when the roots of this tree are firmly established it is just as when Tawheed enters into the servant’s heart his faith can not be shaken in any way. And the Heart that does not pump Tawheed is a dead heart.
And Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said, “Strive today in implementing Tawheed, since there is nothing that will deliver you to Allaah except Tawheed. Also, be eager in fulfilling its rights, since there is nothing that can save you from the fire except Tawheed. [‘Kalimat ul-Iklaas’ p.54]