An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 8
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Okay, I’ll pick up from where I left off yesterday.
So, the question was why a murderer who applied tawheed would eventually enter Paradise but a kind, generous disbeliever (meaning he did not apply tawheed) would never enter Paradise.
This is an issue that many people cannot understand and I’ll tell you why. It’s because they look at it from their perspective – therefore murder seems worse than shirk.
However, one needs to ask what the worst sin is, in the SIGHT OF ALLAH. Then one can get the correct perspective.
[Looking at things from an incorrect perspective is another reason why many people give so much importance to good manners and so little importance to tawheed. Yes, good manners are important and they are a perfection of tawheed. However, they will not benefit a person who is not on tawheed.]
Okay, here are two examples that should help you to understand, insha-Allah:
a) The example of the maid
A woman hires a new maid and tells her that her first priority is to clean the house. She can do the cooking after that if she wishes to earn extra wages.
However, it is mandatory that she cleans the house – or she is fired.
The woman leaves and the maid decides that she is going to do some cooking.
Her employer comes back with a friend and sees that the house has not been cleaned.
However, the maid has cooked some food.
The employer’s friend tries some of the food and finds it utterly delicious.
However, the employer is really angry and tells the maid that she is fired. The friend looks shocked and tries to convince the employer not to fire the maid because her cooking is excellent.
“I didn’t hire her for the cooking. I hired her to clean the house!” says the employer.
“But her cooking is delicious”, insists the friend.
Now, tell me. Who is right? The employer or her friend?
Obviously, the employer is right because she made a condition with the maid that she had to clean the house first.
So what if the maid’s cooking was delicious? She wasn’t hired for this. However, if she had cleaned the house first and then cooked, she could have gotten more wages.
This is the example of the kind, generous disbelievers. They should have applied tawheed first (“”cleaned the house”) and then focused on being kind and gentle (“the cooking”). Instead they focused on the latter and ignored the former – although it is the reason for which they were created.
b) The example of the 4 employees
There are four employees working in a company.
Employee no. 1 is the best one. He does his work properly and on time. He treats his boss respectfully. In addition to this, he treats his colleagues well. Everyone loves and respects him.
Employee no. 2 is awful. He comes to work late and does not do the job that he was assigned to do. He treats his colleagues in a terrible manner and is rude to his boss. Nobody likes him. He has been warned but to no avail.
Employee no. 3 is a very nice person. He is always nice to his colleagues and goes out of his way to help them. They absolutely adore him. However, he does not bother to do the job that he was assigned to do. He does not listen to his boss and is rude to him. He was warned but he failed to listen.
Employee no. 4 is a miserable person. He, like Employee no. 2, is rude to his colleagues and they hate him. However, he does his work properly and on time. He is on acceptable terms with his boss and he does the job that he has been hired to do – not more, not less.
The boss evaluates all the employees.
He gives Employee No. 1 a promotion and a raise. Nobody says anything because everyone agrees with the decision.
He fires Employee No. 2. Nobody has any issues with this either.
He also decides to fire Employee No. 3 but keeps Employee No. 4 – much to the shock of the other employees.
They all go to the boss to ask him why he fired Employee No. 3 who was so wonderful and helpful to all of them but chose to keep Employee No. 4, who was always rude to them.
The boss explains: “Look, I didn’t hire Employee No. 3 to be nice to all of you. I hired him to do a job – and he doesn’t do it. Had he done his job and also been nice to all of you, that would have been great but he needed to do his job. Also, he wasn’t nice to me at all.”
“As for Employee No. 4, how can I fire him when he does his job? Yes, I wish he was nicer to you but I can’t fire him for bad manners. Also, he is okay in his dealings with me. I’ll keep him in the company but I won’t give him a promotion.”
Of course, this is just an example and to Allah belongs the Highest description.
Employee No. 1 is the one who fulfilled the rights of the Creator and that of creation. He is the cream of the crop. So this is the example of the Prophets (alaihimissalam) and their Companions (radiallahu anhum).
Employee No. 2 is the one who did not fulfill the rights of the Creator nor the rights of the Creation. This is the worst of the people like the Pharoah, Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl.
Employee No. 3 is the kind, generous disbeliever. He fulfilled the rights of creation but at the expense of fulfilling the rights of the Creator.
Employee No. 4 is the murderer who applied tawheed. He fulfilled the rights of the Creator but did not fulfill the rights of creation – and this is why he may have to be punished in the Hellfire, if Allah does not forgive him for those sins. However, he will eventually enter Paradise.
I hope that both examples were clear, insha-Allah.
7) We need to know the different types of shirk so that we can avoid them.
When we study shirk, only then will we truly understand what tawheed is and truly understand Allah’s rights over us and the magnificence of His Names and Attributes.
Why? Because a thing is known through its opposite. For example, we won’t know what hot is until we witness cold.
Many Muslims think that shirk just involves bowing to an idol or that they are protected from it by virtue of being Muslims.
Firstly, shirk has many different forms and some of them are very subtle.
Secondly, if the Muslims were safe from shirk, why has Allah given so many warnings about shirk in His Book? After all, the Quran is primarily a guide for the Muslims (and they are the ones who generally read it).
One book that I would recommend studying is Kitab At-Tawheed by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Abdil Wahhab* (of “wahhabi” fame).
[*Poor man. People just pick on him because he called to tawheed. They’ve dragged his name through mud. All of this without even bothering to read his books!]
What I really like about this book is that he has gathered the ayaat (verses) of the Quran, the ahadeeth, and the statements of the Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) by the topic which it pertains to.
One would really be surprised at how many types of shirk we can find mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah.
A warning: Don’t study tawheed as though it were a theoretical issue. It is not. We need to APPLY it in our daily lives.
Also, just because we know about an aspect of tawheed, it doesn’t mean that we are applying it. There is a big difference between knowing something and applying it.
So, we need to be sure to APPLY our knowledge, otherwise it will not help us.
9) He is the one to whom belong the Most Beautiful Names, through which is He called upon.
I guess I should have started the series with this one but it’s okay.
وَلِلَّـهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا
“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them.” [Surah Al-Araaf (7) : 180]
1) How many Names does Allah have?
Perhaps you’re referring to the following hadeeth:
أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ( إن لله تسعة وتسعين اسما ، مائة إلا واحدا ، من أحصاها دخل الجنة )
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows* them will go to Paradise.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 894]
[*The word in Arabic “Ahsaa” implies learning them and applying them.]
Yes, this hadeeth would imply that Allah has only 99 names. However, He doesn’t.
How do we know that? Due to the following hadeeth:
ما أصاب أحد قط هم ولا حزن فقال : ( اللهم إني عبدك ، وابن عبدك ، وابن أمتك ، ناصيتي بيدك ، ماض في حكمك ، عدل في قضاؤك ، أسألك بكل اسم هو لك سميت به نفسك ، أو أنزلته في كتابك ، أو علمته أحدا من خلقك ، أو استأثرت به في علم الغيب عندك ، أن تجعل القرآن ربيع قلبي ، ونور صدري ، وجلاء حزني ، وذهاب همي ) . إلا أذهب الله عز وجل همه ، وأبدله مكان حزنه فرحا . قالوا : يا رسول الله ! ينبغي لنا أن نتعلم هؤلاء الكلمات ؟ قال : أجل ! ينبغي لمن سمعهن أن يتعلمهن
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There is no one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says: (O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Quran the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety),’ but Allah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, should we learn this?” He said: “Of course; everyone who hears it should learn it.” [Sahih At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, Hadeeth No. 1822. Here are some of the other scholars who have authenticated this hadeeth.]
This hadeeth shows that there are Names of Allah which are part of the unseen and we do not know of them. This proves that Allah has MORE than 99 names.
What about those we know of? Are they ninety-nine in number? Isn’t there a famous list out there that supposedly mentions all these names?
Insha-Allah, I’ll talk about this in tomorrow’s post.
[Sorry, I don’t mean to leave you hanging but I need to sleep.]
PS. Okay, can somebody please critique the series for me? I hope you all understand that I write all of them on my own, on the same day that I post them. I have nobody to look over the posts so I really wouldn’t know how clear they are or whether you wanted something else.
PPS. From Day 10 onwards, I’ll be mentioning a few Names of Allah per post, insha-Allah.