Delivered on 30 June 2016 by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider at the Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town

Verse 68 says:

وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلاَ يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ وَلاَ يَزْنُونَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا

And those who do not call with Allah any other god, and do not slay the soul which Allah has forbidden except for just cause, nor commit fornication, and whosoever does this shall find a requital of the sin.”

If the Servants of Rahman are supposed to be very special Servants of Allah who have such great attributes, how is it that they are said to have such a seemingly basic attribute like non committing shirk also as their attribute.

Almighty Allah is not necessarily speaking about shirk on its basic level in this verse like the the mushrikeen who bowed down to idols.

Rather, this attribute is associated with them as they are considered to be free from every layer of shirk that we know or can think of.


They do not commit shirk in any aspect of Tauheed, whether it is on the level of Tauheed of:

  • Essence of Allah (Zaad)
  • Siffat or Attributes of Allah
  • Rububiyyat or Lordship of Allah
  • Actions of Allah
  • Ubudiyya or Worship

Hadith of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) indicates that shirk can sometimes be so hidden and unnoticed like an ant moving past you without realising it happening.

But the Slaves of Rahman are PURE MONOTHEISTS (MUWAHHID) who have at the centre of their life and focus ONLY ALLAH.

Thus Imam Ali (a.s) says that:

“I have not seen a thing, except that I saw you Oh Allah before that thing, after that thing or with that thing.”

Imam Ali (a.s) is basically saying that he sees nothing except Allah, and that nothing exists in Reality other than Allah.

While we do exist, our existence is not real in its true sense. Real existence is Wajibul Wujud which is only for Allah.

Thus the verse says that they call none except Allah, as there is nothing else to call!

This Tauheed manifested in different places in the life of Imam Ali (a.s). In the Battle of Jamal someone disturbed Imam Ali (a.s) in the middle of the Battle to ask what is Tauheed. He replied “we are fighting for Tauheed”!

And then Imam Ali (a.s) went on to explain Tauheed to this man by saying there are 4 levels on which to understand the meaning of Tauheed.

On the first level he explains that:

“Allah is not numerical one” – as two comes after one – that type of one is not possible for Allah.

And then goes on to explain 3 more levels of Tauheed to this man.


Please note that the Battle of Jamal was not against mushrikeen who worhipped idols, but it was a battle against the materialists who were upset due to their state stipends being cut to bring equality for all.

These people were saying the kalimah, but spiritually were Mushrikeen as this world was more important to them than next world.

Prophets came to teach real Tauheed in its comprehensive form and that there is no authority other than Allah.

Imam Saadiq (a.s) said: “Bani Umayya allowed people to learn about Iman but did not allow them to learn about shirk”.

Because if they actually learnt about shirk, they would have learnt that living under rule of Bani Umayya was the biggest shirk!

Servants of Rahman are purified from all these levels of shirk which is discussed over 200 times in different verses in the Quran.

Unfortunately sometimes these great concepts are abused to divide this Ummah and declare each other Mushrikeen.


There are those who believe that Tauheed is their personal property and anyone who do not fit in their narrow definition of Tauheed are committing shirk and this even leads them to think that they can even kill people whom they declare to be mushrik.

And in their view, we Shia are on top of list of those they claim who commit bidah or kufr or shirk! We are considered to be the worst in each of these categories.

The tag of shirk is attached to Shia due to the of Tawassul. As they consider Tawassul to be shirk, and Shia believe in Tawassul, we are considered to be mushrikeen!


Tawassul basically comes from “waseelah” which refers to “a means of reaching somewhere”.

Like your car is a waseelah (means) to travel home. Tawassul then is to use that means to get somewhere.

In Islamic terminology, Tawassul refers to use an inbetween medium to get closer to Allah.

In the next post we will discuss issue of Tawassul further, Insha’Allah.

To be continued……