Shaikh Abu Muhammad ‘Isaam al-Maqdisi

(Translated by Abu Muhammad al-Maleki. Qur’anic translations taken from Dr. Muhsin Khan’s The Noble Qur’an)

One should know that Allah is the Head and Origin of everything and every being. The firmest thing that Allah ordained for Adam’s son to learn and to do, before praying, paying Zakat, or any other act of worship, is to believe in the oneness of Allah and to avoid and disbelieve in any other deity (taaghoot). It was for this reason Allah created the creatures, sent the prophets, revealed the Books, and ordained the Jihad and martyrdom. Because of this, there is enmity between Al-Rahman’s followers and those of Satan, and because of this the Islamic nation and the right caliphate will be established. Allah said (which means):

“And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” (Surah adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:56)

That means to worship Allah alone. He also said:

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid (or keep away from) the Taaghoot (all false deities).” (Surah an-Nahl, 16:36)

This belief that there is no god but Allah (lit, none worthy of worship except Allah -ed.), is basic to Islam. No call, no jihad, no prayer, no fasting, no Zakat, no pilgrimage will be accepted without it. One can not be saved from Hell fire without believing in it, because it is the only handhold that Allah guaranteed His followers not to break. The other handholds of the religion will not be sufficient for safety from the hell fire without it. Allah said:

“Verily, the Right path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taaghoot and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:256)

Allah also said:

“Those who avoid the Taaghoot by not worshipping them, and turn to Allah in repentance; for them are glad tidings. So announce the good news to My slaves” (Surah az-Zumar, 39:17)

Behold how Allah talks about disbelief in deities before He talks about belief in Himself; such as when He began with the negation before the affirmation. Allah ordained monotheism with the words Laa ilaaha illaal-Laah (no god but Allah) which point to this great principle of the firmest handhold. Therefore, there is no sincere belief in Allah, without extreme denial of other deities.

The deities which one must disbelieve in and avoid worshipping, to follow the handhold of the firmest safety, are not only stones, idols, trees or graves that are worshipped through prostration or invocation or vows – it encompasses more than this. It contains everything worshipped who accepts to be worshipped except Allah, by any thing of the worship acts.

The deity is derived from tyranny, which is the exceeding of the limits by the created. Acts of worship include prostration, bowing down, invocation, making vows, and slaughtering . Obedience in legislation is also an act of worship. Allah said about the Christians:

“They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah”. (Surah at-Tawbah, 9:31)

Although they did not prostrate, or bow down to their priests, they followed them and agreed with them in the forbiddance of the licit and with the permission of the illicit. Allah therefore considered that as making them lords and gods, because the obedience in legislation is a worship, and must not be for any one except for Allah, since Allah is the only One who can enact legislation. Therefore any one who does that would be a polytheist.

As an evidence for that is the emulation which took place at the time of the Prophet between Al-Rahman’s followers and those of Satan over a dead goat . The polytheist people wanted to persuade the Muslims that there was no difference between the goat, which Muslims slaughter, and the goat which dies alone. They claimed that the dead goat was slaughtered by Allah. Therefore Allah descended His judgement and said:

“And if you obey them [by making al-Maytah (a dead animal) legal by eating it], then you would indeed have become Mushrikun (polytheists)” (Surah al-An’aam, 6:120) – The translator, Muhammad Muhsin Khan adds the following: “Because they (devils and their friends) made lawful to you to eat that which Allah has made unlawful to eat, and you obeyed them by considering it lawful to eat, and by doing so, you worshipped them, and to worship others besides Allah is polytheism.”

So the word ‘deity’ includes any one who makes himself a legislator with Allah, ruler or ruled, a representative in the parliament (the legislative authority), or the persons who select him, because he exceeded his limits. Man was created to be a servant of Allah and Allah ordered him to accept His legislation, but man rejected and exceeded the limits. He wanted to equate himself with Allah, and to participate in the legislation of Allah, which is not allowed to anyone except Allah. If any one exceeds the limits and does that, he makes himself a legislator god, and he will be one of the deity heads. His Islam and his monotheism will not be accepted, unless and until, he disbelieves in what he did and avoids it, and fights to get rid of its slaves and helpers.

Allah said

“And they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaitan wishes to lead them far astray.” (Surah an-Nisaa, 4:60)

Mujahid said : “The taaghoot is a Satan in the shape of a human whom people turn to for judgement and they follow him”.

Shaikh al-Islam lbn Taymiyyah said: “…for this reason the one who judges without referring to the Holy Book (Qur’an) is a taaghoot.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, Part 28, page 201.)

Ibn al-Qayyim said: “(A taaghoot is) every one who exceeded his limits (whether he is) worshipped, followed or obeyed. So, the taaghoot of any people is the one who they make as a judge besides Allah and His Prophet, or worship him except Allah, or follow him without taking any consideration of Allah, or obey him in a matter where they do not know it is an obedience for Allah”. He also said: “Whosever does not judge or turn to what the messengers of Allah brought for judgement is eventually following a (false) deity”. (E’laam Al- Muwaaqi’een, part 1, page 50.)

One of the worshipped deities nowadays, that every monotheist must disbelieve in and its followers, in order to follow the firmest handhold and to be saved from the Hell fire, are the transitory man made gods and godesses of the so called legislature. Allah said:

“Or have they partners with Allah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed? And had it not been for a decisive word (gone forth already), the matter would have been judged between them. And verily, for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers), there is a painful torment.” (Surah as-Shoora, 42:21)

People have followed these legislators and agreed to make the legislation as a right and characteristic for them, for their parliaments, and for their local, regional, and international ruling faculties. They showed that through their laws and constitutions, the facts of which are known to them.

Article (51) of the Kuwait constitution says “The legislative authority is led by the prince and the parliament council, according to the constitution”.

And the article (25) of the Jordanian constitution says “The legislative authority is in charge of the king and the parliament council” and article (86) of the Egyptian constitution says, “The parliament is posted to be in charge of the legislative authority.”

Therefore, they became gods to every one who obeyed and followed them, or agreed with them in this disbelief and polytheism, just as Allah said about the Christians, when they followed the priests and the anchorites (monks). The followers (and enforcers) of today’s democracy are worse and more impure, because the priests did that (i.e. what the above paragraph speaks of), but they did not claim to make it a law or a legal system, and they did not make constitutions or books. They also did not punish any one who did not accept or practice that. They also did not use it to adjust Allah’s Book as these taaghoots did.

If you come to understand this, you should know that the greatest step of adherence to this firmest handhold and the highest step of disbelief in this man-made deity is the apex of Islam