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“We Already Understand Tawhid”

“We Already Understand Tawhid
Abu al-Hasan Malik al-Akhdar

IN HIS EXPLANATION OF Kashf al-Shubuhāt, Shaykh Salih Āli al-Shaykh – may Allah preserve him – relates what transpired between Shaykh al-Islam Muhammad b. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb – may Allah have Mercy upon him – and some of his students.  When the Shaykh finished teaching them Kitāb al-Tawhīd, he wanted to teach the book a second time. The students said, “O Shaykh, we prefer to study another text, in fiqh or hadīth.”

“Why is that?” he asked.

“Because,” they replied, “we already understand Tawhīd.”

The Shaykh told them that he would consider the matter. A few days later, the students came to his lesson and saw that something was bothering him.

“Some disturbing news has reached me,” he said.

“What is it?” they replied.

“It reached me that some people from Dirʿiyah sacrificed a rooster at the threshold of their new house before occupying it, letting the blood run down the door.  So, I sent someone to verify this and deal with it accordingly.”

The following day, the students asked the Shaykh if his emissary had sent word. He then informed them that something entirely different had taken place.

“What happened?” they asked.

“They did not sacrifice a rooster,” the Shaykh said. “Rather, a man committed an incestuous act with his mother.”

The students began to exclaim, “Refuge is sought with Allah! With his mother!”

The Shaykh then clarified that the ignorant person’s statement “I have understood Tawhīd” is from the greatest tricks of Shaytān. This is because, as Shaykh Salih Āli al-Shaykh explains, the students were more horrified at the news of an incestuous act, which is no doubt from the gravest of sins, than they were at an act of major Shirk, which is the worst of all sins, and that which removes a person from Islam. So, while they claimed to understand al-Tawhīd, they were unaware that those who sacrificed animals in this manner did so to draw closer to the Jinn and to repel their harm.  This is major Shirk, and had those students truly understood this, they would have been more appalled at the sacrifice of an animal for other than Allah.*


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