Allamah Ibn Baaz: Letter to a conference held at Darul-Uloom Deoband
From `Abdul `Aziz Bin `Abdullah Ibn Baz to their excellencies my brothers who are participating in the conference. May Allah guide them to whatever pleases Him and help them to support His Din (religion), Amen.
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)
To commence, I would like to tell the participants in this conference that it would please me a lot if I could take part in this noble conference attended by many prominent scholars to share the celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Al-Jami`ah Al-Islamiyyah (Islamic university). However, due to my many commitments, I could not come to the conference in person but I deputized my two noble brothers: His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Qa'ud [Chairman of the Department of Da`wah (calling to Islam) abroad] and His Excellency Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Nasir Al-Baz, [the head of my office].
The two Shaykhs referred to above are to represent the general presidency of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta, Daw`ah, and Guidance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during this blessed meeting by the permission of Allah. I ask Allah (Glorified be He) to grant success to all the participants in this conference, to guide them to the straight path, and to make their efforts beneficial to Muslim peoples and countries.
At the same time, I think I have to say a brief and convenient word on this occasion to the participants in the conference:
All praise be to Allah Alone. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family, and Companions.
It is one of the graces that Allah (Exalted be He) bestows upon His believing slaves all over the world that He (Exalted be He) makes from amongst them a group of people who take particular care of their brothers, who are in charge of educational foundations and who are generally concerned about Da`wah (calling to Islam) all over the world. Such people allocate all their capabilities and exert great efforts to support both Islamic educational foundations and Da`wah. They repel all difficult obstacles to raise the flag of Islam.
My honorable brothers: It pleases me that notables amongst the believers specially their scholars gather at any place to discuss the problems that face Muslims and exchange views regarding ways of setting their affairs aright, solving their problems, reinforcing the affairs of knowledge and its people, supporting educational foundations and guiding them in the right direction, and facilitating the attainment of knowledge for whoever wills.
Thus, I enjoin you to fear Allah (Glorified be He) under all conditions, to be sincere to Him regarding all your actions, and to always be patient to spread knowledge and Da`wah in accordance with Allah's saying:
O you who believe! Be afraid of Allāh, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds). [Surah At-Tawbah, 9: 119]
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: O you who believe! Endure and be more patient (than your enemy), and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allāh, so that you may be successful.
The most important of all branches of knowledge is the proper `Aqidah (creed). It is the `Aqidah of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim main body), which is based on the Glorious Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah (whatever is reported from the trustworthy Prophet) and that was followed by the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) and those who followed them rightly. Aqidah has thus to be explained to students and they have to be warned against all that opposes it.
The proper `Aqidah is to believe in Tawhid-ul-Uluhiyyah (Oneness of Worship), Tawhid-ul-Rububiyyah (Oneness of Allah's Lordship), and Tawhid-ul-Asma' wal-Sifat (Oneness of Allah's Names and Attributes). It is to believe that Allah Alone (Glorified be He) is the One Who deserves to be worshiped apart from all His creatures. It is also to believe that Allah is the Only One Who has the Most Beautiful Names and Supreme Attributes; no one or thing is comparable to Him, equal to Him, or parallel to Him and that He (Exalted be He) is not like any of His creatures regarding any of His Attributes.
He (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. [ ]
The foregoing points have to be fully clarified to seekers of knowledge. It has to be made clear to them that giving Ta'wil (allegorical interpretation) to Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) and Hadith on the Attributes of Allah as was done by some sects that ascribed themselves to Islam, is an impermissible attitude that may neither be followed nor acknowledged. Rather, people have to be made aware of the invalidity of such a trend and the fact that it opposes the texts of the Qur'an, Sunnah, and Ijma` (consensus of scholars) of Salaf (righteous predecessors).
Similarly, many practices that take place in many Muslim countries such as excessively revering the dead, seeking their help, vowing for them, making Du`a' (supplication) to them instead of Allah (Exalted be He), calling for their intercession, and asking them to cure the sick, and so on, all contradict the declaration that La ilaha illa Allah (there is no deity but Allah) and the Prophet's call to worship Allah Alone and abandon worshiping any of His creatures.
He (Glorified and Exalted be He) thus says: And the mosques are for Allāh (Alone): so invoke not anyone along with Allāh. [Surah Al-Jinn, 72: 18]
Allah (Glorified be He) also says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Verily, my Salāt (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allāh, the Lord of the …Alamīn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). [Surah Al-An`am, 6: 162]
"He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." [Surah Al-An`am, 6: 163]
There are many other Ayahs to the same effect.
Some more examples are Allah's saying: So, call you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and the believers) upon (or invoke) Allāh making (your) worship pure for Him (Alone) (by worshipping none but Him and by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allāh‘s sake only and not to show off and not to set up rivals with Him in worship), however much the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allāh) may hate (it). [Surah Ghafir, 40: 14]
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: That is because Allāh - He is the Truth (the only True God of all that exists, Who has no partners or rivals with Him), and what they (the polytheists) invoke besides Him, it is Bātil (falsehood). And verily, Allāh - He is the Most High, the Most Great. [Surah Al-Hajj, 22: 62]
Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The right of Allah over His slaves is that they should worship Him and not associate anything with Him. He (peace be upon him) also said:"Whoever dies while still invoking a rival (in worship) to Allah, will enter Hell 'Fire'."
There are many renowned Hadith to the same effect. My point here is only to make a reminder of this great matter, to help one another to care for it, to cooperate perfectly to make people aware of it, and to warn them against different types of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) that Allah prohibits.
Afterwards, Muslims - specially seekers of knowledge - have to be advised to holdfast to the Sunnah and beware of Bid`ah (innovation in religion) as Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: "Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): "If you (really) love Allāh then follow me (i.e. accept Islāmic Monotheism, follow the Qur‘ān and the Sunnah), Allāh will love you and forgive you your sins. [Surah Al-`Imran, 3: 31]
He (Glorified be He) also says: "And the foremost to embrace Islām of the Muhājirūn (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansār (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhājirūn) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allāh is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him." [Surah At-Tawbah, 9: 100]
Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever innovates things in our Din that do not conform to it, will have them rejected. (Agreed upon by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
In addition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say in His Jumu`ah (Friday) sermon: "And then, the best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is that given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is error."
There are abundant renowned Ayahs and Hadith in this regard and abiding by all the foregoing helps to prove the soundness of a person's declaration that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
Another important thing that proves the soundness of one's Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) as well is giving advice to the authorities of Muslims all over the world and asking them to apply the rulings of Qur'an and Sunnah regarding every thing, to be pleased with their judgment, and to avoid all that opposes them for Allah (Glorified be He) says: "And whosoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed, such are the Kāfirūn (i.e. disbelievers of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allāh‘s Laws)." [Surah Al-Ma'idah, 5: 44]
Moreover, He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: "But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. " [Surah Al-Nisa', 4: 65]
It is worth mentioning in this conference that Muslims have to beware of destructive doctrines and false ideologies such as Communism, Al-Baha'yyah (Babism; an apostate sect which claims that its founder - Mirza Ali Muhammad is a Prophet), and Al-Qadyaniyyah (an apostate sect which denies that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last prophet and claims that Ghulam Ahmad Al-Qadayany is a prophet and messenger of Allah, or that he is 'Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary), or that the soul of Muhammad or 'Isa was reincarnated in him, so he assumed the status of a prophet) that found their ways into Muslim countries.
Even though the doctrines mentioned above oppose the proper `Aqidah and the purified Shari`ah (Islamic law), people who lack knowledge may be deceived by it and deluded by its propagators. Knowledgeable people have to clarify the truth and warn against such false ideologies to express their sincerity to Allah (Exalted be He) and His slaves, to forbid what displeases Him, and to fulfill the trust.
May Allah grant your conference success in all its decisions and recommendations! May Allah make it beneficial to Muslims and double your reward for it! I also ask Allah (Glorified be He) to set right the rulers and scholars of the Muslims all over the world, to guide them to apply the rulings of Shari`ah and to accept its judgments, and to beware of all that opposes it. Verily, Only Allah can respond to Du`a' and He is Able to do whatever He likes. As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.
President of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta', Daw`ah, and Guidance
Fatawa Ibn Baz >Volume 6>A speech in a conference held at Al-Jami`ah Al-Islamiyyah Darul Uloomin Deoband -India