THE PRINCIPLE OF LOVE & DESIRE: A Belief System & ‍a Shari'ah are most important for every Religion.

Every Religion Must Have Two Things: A Belief System & ‍a Shari'ah

Every din, obedience, and muhabbah must have two things: The first is that the religion is beloved and obeyed, and this is the objec- tive and the intent. Secondly, the form of the actions of obedience and worship, and this is the path, the way, the shari'ah, the method- ology. As Fuḍayl bin 'Iyad said about Allah's saying:

لِیَبۡلُوَکُمۡ اَیُّکُمۡ اَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًا

That He may test you as to which of you is best indeed. [Surah Hud 11:7]

He said, "The most sincere and the most correct," so he was asked "O Abu 'Ali, what is the most sincere and correct?" He said, "If an action is done sincerely, but not correctly, it is not accepted. If an action is correct but not done with sincerity, it is not accepted. Only once the action is sincere and correct will it be accepted. It is sincere when it is for Allah alone, and it is correct when it conforms to the Sunnah."


In this way, the religion joins these two things: al-ma'bud (the one worshiped) and al-'ibadah (the worship). The one worshiped is the one true God and worship is obedience to Him and His Messenger this is the religion that is pleasing to Allah, just as He, the Most High, said:

 وَ رَضِیۡتُ لَکُمُ الۡاِسۡلَامَ دِیۡنًا

And I am pleased with Islam as your religion. [Surah al-Ma'idah 5:3]

It is the religion of the first and the last of the believers, and it is the only religion that Allah accepts, because anything else is corrupt and false, such as the person who worships someone who does not have the right to be worshiped (shirk), or a person who worships Him with a form of worship that is incorrect (bid'ah).

People Vary in Terms of Who & How They Worship

From the first to the last of the believers, they all differ concerning the ma'bud and ibadah. Allah possesses all the beautiful names and attributes, and He is the best of examples, and this ummah knows some of His names and attributes that other nations did not know, so they participated in His worship but they differed regarding which of His names and attributes they knew and with which they worshiped Him, and indeed, Allah raised the level of some above others. So this is how they vary in terms of the ma'bud, and their knowledge of the Day of Judgment also differs.

As for their differing in terms of ibadah and obedience in speech and action, then they also vary regarding that.

Indeed, He, the Most High, said:

 لِکُلٍّ جَعَلۡنَا مِنۡکُمۡ شِرۡعَۃً وَّ مِنۡهَاجًا

To each among you We have prescribed a law and a clear way. [Surah al-Ma'idah 5:48] 

And He, the Most High, said:

 ثُمَّ جَعَلۡنٰکَ عَلٰی شَرِیۡعَۃٍ مِّنَ الۡاَمۡرِ فَاتَّبِعۡهَا وَ لَا تَتَّبِعۡ اَهۡوَآءَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸

Then We have put you (O Muhammad) on a plain way of (Our) commandment. So follow you that (Islamic monotheism and its laws), and follow not the desires of those who know not. [Surah al-Jathiyah 45:18]

And He, the Most High, said:

لِکُلِّ اُمَّۃٍ جَعَلۡنَا مَنۡسَکًا هُمۡ نَاسِکُوۡهُ فَلَا یُنَازِعُنَّکَ فِی الۡاَمۡرِ وَ ادۡعُ اِلٰی رَبِّکَ ؕ اِنَّکَ لَعَلٰی هُدًی مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٍ ﴿۶۷

For every nation, We have ordained religious ceremo- nies that they must follow; so let them (pagans) not dispute with you on the matter, but invite them to your Lord. Verily! You (O Muhammad ) indeed are on the (true) straight guidance. [Surah al-Hajj 22:67]

And He, the Most High, said:

 وَ لِکُلِّ اُمَّۃٍ جَعَلۡنَا مَنۡسَکًا لِّیَذۡکُرُوا اسۡمَ اللّٰهِ عَلٰی مَا رَزَقَهُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَهِیۡمَۃِ الۡاَنۡعَامِ ؕ فَاِلٰـهُکُمۡ اِلٰهٌ وَّاحِدٌ فَلَهٗۤ اَسۡلِمُوۡا ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُخۡبِتِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۴

And for every nation, We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your ilah (god) is one Ilah, so you must submit to Him alone. And (O Muhammad) give glad tidings to the mukhbitin (those who obey Allah with humility from among the true believers of Islam). [Surah al-Hajj 22:34]

And He, the Most High, said:

 وَ لِکُلٍّ وِّجۡهَۃٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّیۡهَا فَاسۡتَبِقُوا الۡخَیۡرٰتِ ؕ؃ اَیۡنَ مَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا یَاۡتِ بِکُمُ اللّٰهُ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۴۸

For each [religious following] is a direction toward which it faces. So race to [all that is] good. Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you forth [for judgement] all together. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent. [Surah al-Baqarah 2:148]

Our shari'ah presents these two fundamental concepts (al-ma'bud and al-'ibadah) in a number of different ways: they are presented in all His beautiful names and attributes, and they are presented in the various forms of worship. The first concept includes His names and attributes related to the Day of Judgment and the promise or threat of the Hereafter.

These are the three fundamental principles: belief in Allah, belief in the Last Day, and performing righteous actions; these lead to happiness whatever the creed, as He, the Most High, said:

 اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ الَّذِیۡنَ هَادُوۡا وَ النَّصٰرٰی وَ الصّٰبِئِیۡنَ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰهِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمۡ اَجۡرُهُمۡ عِنۡدَ رَبِّهِمۡ ۪ۚ وَ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡهِمۡ وَ لَا هُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ ﴿۶۲

Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews, Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [Surah al-Baqarah 2:62]

The shari'ah is what the messengers brought and it is the fourth fundamental principle.

These four fundamental principles are intrinsically connected, so differing over some of their commands and prohibitions in these matters is the type of differing that the Book and the Sunnah admonishes.

He, the Most High, said:

وَ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اخۡتَلَفُوۡا فِی الۡکِتٰبِ لَفِیۡ شِقَاقٍۭ بَعِیۡدٍ

Those who differ over the Book are in extreme dissension. [Surah al-Baqarah 2:176]

He, the Most High, said:

 اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ فَرَّقُوۡا دِیۡنَهُمۡ وَ کَانُوۡا شِیَعًا لَّسۡتَ مِنۡهُمۡ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ

Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you (O Muhammad) have no concern with them in the least. [Surah al-An'am 6:159]

And He, the Most High, said:

 وَ لَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا کَالَّذِیۡنَ تَفَرَّقُوۡا وَ اخۡتَلَفُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الۡبَیِّنٰتُ ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۵

And be not like those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment. [Surah Ali 'Imran 3:105]

Because of this, the Prophet was angered when some of the Şahabah differed regarding the readings of the Qur'an. He said:

كِلاكُمَا مُحْسِنٌ.

Both of you are right.20

And he said:

إِنَّ الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مِنْهُ مَا تَيَسَّرَ.

The Qur'an has been revealed in seven different ways, so recite it in the way that is easier for you.21

He also became angry when they differed regarding the qadr and when they began to compare between seemingly opposing verses, which would lead to the affirmation of belief for some while negat- ing it for others.

This disunity and differing obligates shirk and contradicts the reality of tawhid, which is making the religion sincerely for Allāh, just as He, the Most High, said:

فَاَقِمۡ وَجۡهَکَ لِلدِّیۡنِ حَنِیۡفًا ؕ

So direct your face toward the religion, hanifan (sincerely). [Surah ar-Rum 30:30]

 مُنِیۡبِیۡنَ اِلَیۡهِ وَ اتَّقُوۡهُ وَ اَقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ لَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۱  مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ فَرَّقُوۡا دِیۡنَهُمۡ وَ کَانُوۡا شِیَعًا ؕ کُلُّ حِزۡبٍۭ بِمَا لَدَیۡهِمۡ فَرِحُوۡنَ ﴿۳۲

(Always) turning in repentance to Him (only), and fear Him and be dutiful to Him; and perform as-salah and be not of al-mushrikun (the disbeliev- ers in the oneness of Allah, polytheists, idolaters, etc.), of those who split up their religion (i.e., who left the true Islamic monotheism) and became sects, each sect rejoicing in what is with it. [Surah ar-Rum 30:31-32]

Hence, performing the religion sincerely and worshiping Allah alone without partners joins iman (faith) to everything Allah has commanded and informed us of.

Then He, the Most High, said: "And be not of al-mushrikun, those who split up their religion, and became sects," and that is because if the religion is for Allah alone, then iman and obedience is to everything that He revealed and sent the messengers with, and this combines every truth and every truth is gathered upon it.

In the hearts of the Sons of Adam, there is love and desire for what they worship, and that is a purification and rectification for their hearts and souls, just as they love and desire food and relationships, by which their lives are rectified. However, their need for worship- ing is greater than their need for nourishment, because if they don't have nourishment their bodies will be harmed, but without worship their souls will be ruined, and the souls can only be saved by worshiping Allah alone without partners. This is the fitrah upon which Allah created us all, as the Prophet said:

مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ إِلا يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَحِسَانِهِ .

Every child is born with the fitrah (natural inclination to worship none but Allah alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism, Christianity, or Zoroastrianism.22

And in Sahih Muslim from the hadith of 'Iyad bin Hammar, the Prophet said that Allah said:

إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ كُلَّهُمْ وَإِنَّهُمْ أَتَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِمْ وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُمْ وَأَمَرَتْهُمْ أَنْ يُشْرِكُوا بِي مَا لَمْ أُنْزِلْبِهِ سُلْطَانًا.

I have created My servants with a natural inclination to worship Allah, but it is the Shaytan who turns them away from the right religion, and he makes unlawful what has been declared lawful for them and he commands them to ascribe partners with Me, although he has no authority for that.

However, most of the shirk perpetrated by the Sons of Adam is by making up another deity to worship besides Allah, and there are many people who do this in different ways.

So every community from among mankind became in need of a religion of some sort due to these two reasons:

1) Their souls' need and inclination to worship the one whom they love and seek, because he can bring both benefit and harm.

2) The need to adhere to the things in society that are loved and needed and to protect oneself from harm.

This love is religious love, which is love of the religion to which one adheres, whether it is truth or falsehood, and love of anything that is connected to or leads to that religion.

20. Reported by al-Bukhari (3/120) from the hadith of Ibn Mas'ud, who said: "I heard a man reciting a verse (of the Qur'an) that I had heard the Prophet reciting differ- ently. So I caught hold of the man by the hand and took him to the Messenger of Allah and told him. I could see the anger in his face and he said, 'Both of you are right. Do not differ, because those who came before you differed and were destroyed.'" 
21 Reported by al-Bukhari from the hadith of 'Umar bin al-Khattab, who said: "I heard Hisham bin Hakim bin Hizam reciting Surah al-Furqan in a way different than my recitation. Allah's Messenger had taught it to me (in a different way). So, I was about to quarrel with him (during the prayer), but I waited till he finished; then I tied his garment round his neck and seized him by it and brought him to Allah's Messenger and said, 'I have heard him reciting Surah al-Furqan in a way different than the way you taught me.' The Prophet ordered me to release him and asked Hisham to recite it. When he recited it, Allah's Messenger said, 'It was revealed in this way.' He then asked me to recite it. When I recited it, he said, 'It was revealed in this way. The Qur'an has been revealed in seven different ways, so recite it in the way that is easier for you.
22. Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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