Refutations of Ibn Taymiyya’s Two Tawheeds
The (division of tawHeed into) Oneness of Godhead (tawHeed al-uloohiyya) and Oneness of Lordship (tawHeed al-ruboobiyya) was invented by Ibn Taymiyya who claimed that all Muslims among the (Ash`ari) theologians (al-mutakallimeen) worshipped other than Allah due to their ignorance of ‘tawHeed al-uloohiyya,’ and he claimed that they only knew, of tawHeed, the ‘tawHeed al-ruboobiyya’ which consists in affirming that Allah is the Creator of all things, and he claims that the polytheists (al-mushrikoon) admitted it also. He therefore declared all Muslims to be unbelievers (kaafir), and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab imitated him in this, and others imitated Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab in it.
The late savant al-Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zayni Dahlan (d. 1304 H) looked into this particular matter in a small section of his treatise ‘al-durar al-saniyya fi al-radd `ala al-wahhaabiyya’ [The Resplendent Pearls in Refuting the Wahhabis], and so did the savant al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Samnudi al-Mansuri (d. 1314 H) who spoke excellently in his book ‘sa`aadat al-daarayn fi al-radd `ala al-firqatayn al-wahhaabiyya wa al-zaahiriyya‘ [The Bliss of the Two Abodes in the Refutation of the Two Sects: Wahhabis and Zahiris], and the late savant al-Shaykh Salaama al-`Azzami (1376 H) also wrote valuable words about it in his book ‘al-baraaheen al-saaTi`a fi raddi ba`D al-bida` al-shaa’i`a’ [The Radiant Proofs in Refuting Some Widespread Innovations]…
I myself have looked at the words of Ibn Taymiyya on the subject of ‘tawHeed al-ruboobiyya’ and ‘tawHeed al-uloohiyya’ in four different places within his books, and I mention these words in their totality for the reader’s perusal, before turning to refute them.
1. ‘Fatawi‘ of Ibn Taymiyya vol. 1 p. 219
On the explanation of the Prophet’s (s) saying: “wa la yanfa`u dhal jaddi minka al-jadd” (3:27) [Riches and good fortune will not profit the possessor thereof with You]:
“He has shown in this saying two great principles (aSlayn `azeemayn): the first is ‘tawHeed al-ruboobiyya,’ and it is that there is no giver for what Allah has prevented, and there is no preventer for what He has given, and that He is the only one to be relied upon, and the only one to be asked from; the second principle is ‘tawHeed al-ilaahiyya,’ and it is the exposition of what benefits and what does not benefit, and that he who receives money or worldly status or leadership derives no benefit therefrom before Allah nor salvation from His punishment. For Allah the Exalted gives worldly status both to whom He loves and whom He does not love, while He does not grant belief (imaan) except to whom He loves…
” …’TawHeed al-ilaahiyya’ is that one worship Allah and not associate anyone nor anything in partnership to Him, and obey Him and His Messengers, and do what He likes and what He is pleased with. ‘TawHeed al-ruboobiyya’ entails what He has decreed and made to pass, even if it includes what He did not order nor made obligatory nor held pleasing to Him. The servant is ordered (also) to worship Allah and to do what He has been ordered, and this is ‘tawHeed al-ilaahiyya,’ and to seek forgiveness from Allah in relation to this, and this is tawHeed to Him, and thus he says: ” iyyaaka na`budu wa iyyaaka nasta`een ” [Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we ask for help].”
2. ‘Fatawa’ of Ibn Taymiyya vol. 2 p. 275
“What is intended here is the exposition of the absolute state of the servant to Allah, who worships Him and seeks His help and so acts with a view to Him and seeks His help (in doing so), and His saying ” iyyaka na`budu wa iyyaka nasta`een ” [Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we ask for help] substantiates (yuHaqqiq) ‘tawHeed al-uloohiyya’ and ‘tawheed al-rububiyya,‘ although Godhead (al-ilaahiyya) comprises (tataDamman) lordship (al-ruboobiyya), whereas lordship stands in need of (tastalzim) godhead. Therefore, even if one, when mentioned by itself, comprises the other (i.e. Godhead comprises Lordship), it is nevertheless not prevented from bearing a specific meaning unto itself when it is mentioned in contrast with the other.
“For example, in His saying: ‘qul a`oodhu bi rabb al-naas’ [Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind], He has reunited the two nouns (i.e. Godhead and Lordship), since the God (al-ilaah) is the object of worship that has a right to such worship (al-ma`bood al-ladhi yastaHiqqu an yu`bad) while the Lord (al-rabb) is the one who has authority over His servant (al-ladhi yurabbi `abdah).”
3. ‘Minhaj ahl al-sunna‘ of Ibn Taymiyya (Bulaaq: al-maTba`a al-kubra al-ameeriyya, 1321/1904) vol. 2 p. 62
“The (Ash`ari) theologians (al-mutakallimoon)… have fallen short of the knowledge of the rational proofs which Allah mentioned in His Book, so they strayed from them and went into different, innovated directions which, due to the falsehoods contained in them, they went out of some of the truth which they and other than them share in believing, and they entered into some of the innovated falsehoods, and they have taken out from tawHeed what belongs to it, for example, ‘tawheed al-ilaahiyya’ and the establishment of the literalness of Allah’s Names and Attributes. They did not know, of tawheed, other than the ‘tawheed al-rububiyya’ which consists in affirming that Allah is the Creator of all things, and this tawHeed was affirmed by those who associated partners to Allah (al-mushrikoon), about whom Allah said: “If thou shouldst ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth? They would answer: Allah“ (31:25), and He said: “Say: Who is Lord of the seven heavens, and Lord of the Tremendous Throne? They will say: Unto Allah all that belongeth”(23:6-87), and He said of them: “And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him“ (12:106). So does the group that is from the belief of the early generations (al-Taa’ifatu min al-salaf) say to them (the Ash`aris): Who has created the heavens and the earth? And they reply: Allah. And yet together with this they worship other than him (wa hum ma`a dhaalika ya`budoona ghayrah). For verily the tawHeed which Allah has ordered unto His servants is the ‘tawHeed al- uloohiyya’ which comprises the tawHeed al-ruboobiyya,‘ and is that they worship Allah and not attribute anything as partner to Him, in order that religion (deen) belong in totality to Allah.”
[Note: In the above quote Ibn Taymiyya equates idolaters and polytheists (mushrikoon) with Muslims, and he equates the Ash`ari scholars of kalaam, i.e. those who used rational discourse as a method of theological enquiry from al-Ash`ari (d. 324 H) to his own time (d. 728 H), the same as polytheists in belief (`aqeeda).]
4. ‘Risaalat ahl al-Suffa‘ of Ibn Taymiyya p. 34:
” ‘ TawHeed al-ruboobiyya ‘ by itself does not negate disbelief in Allah [kufr] and does not suffice.”
[Note: Here Ibn Taymiyya questions the tawheed of all Muslims indiscriminately.]
I say: Ibn Taymiyya has camouflaged the writings which he has inflicted upon the uneducated and their likes among the half-educated (al-mutafaqqiha) with a lot of sayings by the pious early generations (al-salaf al-SaaliH) and quotations from the Book and the Sunna, in order to further and promote his heretic tendencies (hawaah) in their market.
However, in the above words he has made his tendencies quite clear, and he did not connect them to anything in the Book nor the Sunna nor the Salaf. With Allah’s power and the success which He grants I shall repay him in his own currency but with a real and ample measure, the currency with which he has duped and deceived the simple-minded, and I shall provide the proofs with which to show that his words quoted in the above four places are false in thirty-two different ways.
Translated with permission from the Waqf Ikhlas 1993 offset reprint.
Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions
© 2016 As-Sunnah Foundation of America