This is also what the two pillars (Arkaan) of laa ilaaha illallaah dictate the pillars of the declaration of faith.
It has two pillars: The first pillar is the pillar of negation (nafee), whilst the second is the pillar of affirmation (ithbaat).
What is meant by negation is to negate divinity and worship (ilaahiyyah) for anything except Allaah, the Most High. What is meant by affirmation is to affirm divinity and worship only for Allaah the Most Perfect; for it is He alone that is the true Deity.
So whatever else is taken by the unbelievers as deities to be worshiped are in fact all false and futile:
“That is because Allaah is the true Deity to be worshiped, and whatever else they invoke besides Him is vain falsehood.” [Soorah al-Hajj 22:62].
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said: “The significance of laa ilaaha illaltaah in affirming divinity and worship for only Allaah is far greater than just saying that Allaah is an ilaah. This is because the saying that Allaah is an ilaah does not negate divinity and worship to other than Allaah. This is different to the saying: laa ilaaha illallaah; which obligates restricting divinity and worship to only Allaah. Likewise, those who explain al-Ilaah to mean:
The one who has the ability to create and originate (al-qaadir ‘alaalikhtiraa’) have, for sure, committed a grave error.
Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abdullaah said in his explanation to Kitaabut-Tawheed: “If it is said: The meaning of deity (ilaah) and divinity (ilaahiyyah) have been clarified, but what is the reply to those who say that the meaning of al-Ilaah is: The one who has the ability to create and originate; or other such similar expressions? Then the answer to this is from two angles: -
Firstly: That this saying is a newly-invented saying which none of the scholars, nor any of the leading linguists, have ever advocated; rather the words of the scholars and linguists agree with what we have previously mentioned. Therefore this view is false.
Secondly: Even if this is accepted, then it is only an explanation of what is essential for a true ilaah. Indeed, it is essential that the true ilaah be a Creator who is capable of creating and originating. If this is not the case, then that is not the true ilaah, even if he is called this. It certainly does not mean that whoever realises that ilaah means the one who is capable of creating and originating, that such a person has entered into Islaam (1).
No one has ever said this, since it would imply that the Arab unbelievers would have to be considered as Muslims (2)!
If some of the later scholars did intend this, then they are mistaken, and [this view] is refuted by both textual proofs and intellectual proofs.” (3).
1) The Shaykh said in Bayaan Haqeeqatut-Tawheed (p.19): “Some of them explain ilaah to mean: the One that has the ability to originate and create. So the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah in their view is: None has the ability to originate and create, except Allaah; and this is a serious error! For whoever explains [the kalimah] to mean just this, has not affirmed anything different than what the unbelievers already affirmed. They used to affirm that none has the ability to originate, nor to create, nor to provide and sustain, nor to give life, nor to cause death, except for Allaah - just as Allaah, the Exalted, mentions about them. Yet He did not declare them to be Muslims [because of this belief]. Yes, this meaning that is mentioned, enters into the [overall] meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah. However, it is not the main implication of this kalimah.” Also consult the explanation of Soorah al-Qasas; verse 70 by Imaam at-Tabaree in his Tafseer (20/102) and Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer (3/408).
2) The Shaykh, hafidhahullaah, explained this matter further in Mujmal ‘Aqeedatus-Salafis-Saalih (pp.10-12), where he said:
“The belief that Lordship and whatever it entails belongs solely to Allaah (tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah) is engrained in the very nature without ascribing any partner to Him in this; and this encompasses tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah. Indeed the Arab mushriks used to acknowledge tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah and that the Creator of the heavens and the earth was One.” Finally, Imaam at-Tabaree relates in Jaami’ul-Bayaan ‘an Ta’weelilQur’aan (13/50-51) that Ibn ‘Abbaas radiallaahu “anhu said: “If you ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they will reply: Allaah. Yet along with this, they still worshiped others besides Him.”
3) Tayseerul- ‘Azeezil-Hameed (pp.56-57).


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