ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 751 AH) was a prominent medieval Islāmic scholar from Damascus, & a student of Shaykh al-Islām ibn Taymīyyah. In his book titled ad-Dā’i wa Dawā, also known as al-Jawāb al-Kāfi liman sa’ala ‘an-Dawā’i Shaafi, or in English The Disease and The Cure, he explains why we Muslims believe there is only one deity, and that only deity worthy of being worshipped is Allāh.
ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ begins with the ʾĀyah of The Qurʼān:
لَوۡ كَانَ فِيهِمَآ ءَالِهَةٌ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَاۚ فَسُبۡحَٰنَ ٱللَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَرۡشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
“Had there been within the heavens and the earth gods besides Allāh, they would both (the heavens and the earth) have been in ruin.“
– Sūrah al-’Anbiyā, ʾĀyah 22
ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then says: “He (Allāh) did not say: ‘they would become extinct’ or ‘they would both have not existed’ as He is able to maintain them despite a corruption within them, but they cannot remain in existence in this fashion or in a correct and upright manner. This correctness and uprightness can only be achieved if Allāh is the only One worshipped by them and all that they contain. If two gods ruled the creation, the orderliness of the creation would have been corrupted to the highest degree, as each of the two gods would rival the other, attempt to overcome the other and single oneself from the other. Polytheism is a deficiency that negates the possibility of having a right to worship, and a true deity would not settle to have a deficiency. If one of them were to overpower the other, he would assume the right to worship and it would be clear that the defeated one would not be a god. However, if neither one is able to overcome the other, this would necessitate that both of them are incapable and have a deficiency and would (both) not be a true deity. Thus, it is only right that there is One true deity above all that is worshipped in truth that is more powerful than all, ruling above all. Otherwise, each rival would attempt to claim a part of the creation and each would seek supremacy over the other. From that emerges the ruin of the heavens and the earth, as would be the case in the ruin of a country if it were ruled by two kings and the ruin of a wife if she had two husbands or a camel that lived amongst two stallions.
The rectification of the heavens and the earth and the uprightness and order of the creation in such a perfect manner is from the most obvious proofs that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh alone without any partners, to Him alone belongs complete sovereignty and praise, He is able to do all things and that every other thing that is worshipped besides Him from the lofty heavens by the Mighty Throne to the depths of the earth is worshipped in falsehood.“
ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then brings ʾĀyāt of The Qurʼān:
مَا ٱتَّخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِن وَلَدٖ وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُۥ مِنۡ إِلَٰهٍۚ إِذٗا لَّذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَٰهِۭ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلَا بَعۡضُهُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضٖۚ سُبۡحَٰنَ ٱللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
عَٰلِمِ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَٱلشَّهَٰدَةِ فَتَعَٰلَىٰ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُونَ
“Allāh has not taken any son, nor has there ever been with Him any deity, in which case each deity would have taken what is created, and some of them would have sought to overcome others. Exalted is Allāh above what they describe. He Knows the unseen and the witnessed, so high is He above what they Associate.“
– Sūrah ’al-Mu’minūn, ʾĀyāt 91-92
قُل لَّوۡ كَانَ مَعَهُۥٓ ءَالِهَةٞ كَمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذٗا لَّٱبۡتَغَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ ذِي ٱلۡعَرۡشِ سَبِيلٗا
“Say: (O Muḥammad ﷺ) ‘If there had been with Him other gods, as they say, then they would have sought a way to the Owner of the throne.’“
– Sūrah al-Isrāʼ, ʾĀyah 42
ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ explains the above ʾĀyah: “It has been mentioned that the meaning to this ʾĀyah is that they would have sought a way through rivaling one another and overcoming each other just as the kings do with one another.“
ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then continues with the previously mentioned ʾĀyah: “This is evident through the other ʾĀyah:
‘…and some of them would have sought to overcome others.‘
– Sūrah ’al-Mu’minūn, ʾĀyah 91
Our Shaykh (ibn Taymīyyah) stated: ‘The correct meaning is that they would have sought a way to Him by acts of obedience and worship, so how can you worship them besides Allāh because if they were, as you say, deities besides Allāh, they would have been subservient to Him?’“
ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then continues with the ʾĀyah of The Qurʼān:
أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ يَبۡتَغُونَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمُ ٱلۡوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمۡ أَقۡرَبُ وَيَرۡجُونَ رَحۡمَتَهُۥ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُۥٓۚ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحۡذُورٗا
“Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord, striving as to which is the nearest, and they hope for His Mercy and fear His punishment.“
– Sūrah al-Isrāʼ, ʾĀyah 57
ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ then says: “In meaning, it is as if He (Allāh) is saying that these beings that you worship besides Me are my servants just as you are My servants, they hope for My Mercy and fear My punishment. So why do you worship them besides Me?“
May Allāh have mercy upon ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya & grant him the highest ranks of Paradise for his efforts & contributions to the religion of Islām.
All praise is due to Allāh, may His peace & blessings be upon our final Prophet Muḥammad, his family, his companions, & all those who follow him in guidance.
ad-Dā’i wa Dawā (الداء والدواء) by ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyya | Pages 444-447
Ṣafīullāh Labīb ibn Salīm ʿAbd al-Malik
17th of Rabīʿ al-ʾAwwal 1443 – 23rd of October 2021