Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Correct Meaning of Haneefiyyah

The Correct Meaning of Haneefiyyah
AUTHOR: Shaikh 'Abdul-'Azeez Ar-Raajihee
SOURCE: Sharh Al-Qawaa'id al-Arba' (

In his commentary of Imaam Muhammad bin 'Abdil-Wahhaab's book al-Qawaa'id al-Arba', Shaikh 'Abdul-'Azeez Ar-Raajihee said:
The author states: “Know, may Allaah direct you to His obedience, that…” This means that you must have certainty and firm conviction since knowledge is a firm conviction of the mind. So “know” means to have certainty without any doubt or reservation. The author then goes on to supplicate for you again as He asks Allaah to guide you to obey Him. And this is from his sincerity.
Know, may Allaah direct you to His obedience, that the pure and upright religion of Ibraaheem (haneefiyyah) is that you worship Allaah alone, making the Religion sincere for only Him.” This is the meaning of haneefiyyah.
If someone were to ask you what haneefiyyah, i.e. the Religion of Ibraaheem, is, you should answer: “It is that you worship Allaah alone, making the Religion sincere for only Him.” This is the haneefiyyah that Allaah ordered our Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to follow when He said: “Then We sent the Revelation to you (O Muhammad) to: Follow the Religion of Ibraaheem, which was haneef (pure monotheism).” [Surah An-Nahl: 123]
What is haneefiyyah, the Religion of Ibraaheem? It is that you worship Allaah sincerely directing all your worship to Him alone. So haneefiyyah in fact means Tawheed and the Religion of Islaam. It is called haneefiyyah because its rood word comes from hanaf, which means to deflect, since Islaam means to deflect or turn away from Shirk. This is why the Religion of Islaam is called the deflected religion. It is divergent. So haneefiyyah means to diverge and deflect away from Shirk and innovation. However, in and of itself it means to be upright. So haneefiyyah also means to be firm and upright upon the truth while at the same time it means to be slanted in the sense that it is an inclination away from the religions of disbelief and innovation.
Haneefiyyah, the Religion of prophet Ibraaheem, means to worship alone, making all the worship sincerely for Him. So it means that you must perform worship whilst being sincere. There must be two things present: Worship and Sincerity. As for worship by itself, then no. If it were said: “Worship Allaah” and that’s it, it would not be sufficient since it is possible that a person could worship Allaah and then worship someone else along with Him. This is true about the polytheists who worship Allaah and worship others along with Him. This is not what haneefiyyah is since worship alone is not sufficient. There must be two things present: worship and sincerity. If you worship Allaah sincerely by making all of your worship to Him alone, this is what is meant by Laa Ilaaha IllaaAllaah. Laa Ilaaha IllaaAllaah (There is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah) signifies worship with sincerity. It consists of a negation and an affirmation. You are negating the worship of others besides Allaah while affirming it for Allaah alone.
Worshipping Allaah means that you seek nearness to Him through acts of worship and direct all your needs to Him. This should be done with complete sincerity, i.e. that you particularize only Allaah with this worship while negate any of that from being applied to others. This is the meaning of haneefiyyah, the Religion of Ibraaheem – that you worship Allaah by supplicating to Him and not supplicating to anyone else; that you worship Allaah by offering Him a sacrifice while not offering sacrifices to anyone else; that you worship Allaah by bowing to Him while not bowing to anyone else; that you worship Allaah by prostrating to Him while not prostrating to anyone else and that you worship Allaah by praying to Him while not praying to anyone else.
Prostrating to Allaah is considered worshipping Him while abstaining from prostrating to others is considered sincerity. So both these things must be present: Worship of Allaah and Sincerity.
The author then mentions Allaah’s statement: “And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me.” [Surah Adh-Dhaariyaat: 56]
Allaah has commanded all of His servants to abide by this haneefiyyah, which is the Religion of Ibraaheem and the reason for which Allaah created them. He created all of His creation to worship Him. So for what purpose were the Jinn and mankind created? It was for the purpose of Tawheed and Sincerity – to worship Allaah alone and make the Religion purely for His sake. This is the pure and upright Religion of Ibraaheem.
Published on: January 2, 2009


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