By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule sr.


1.0 ONE-NESS OF ALLAH, tauhid

1.1 Tauhid: The Islamic World-View

1.2 Tauhid Al Rububiyyat

1.3 Tauhid Al Uluhiyyat

1.4 Tauhid Al Asmau & Tauhid Al Sifat

1.5 Anti-Tauhid ‘Isms’


2.0 ‘Ubudiyyat

2.1 Concept Of Ubudiyyat

2.2. Fear

2.3 Obedience, Ta’at

2.4 Remembrance, Dhikr

2.5 Worship



3.1 The Religion Of Islam, Al Ddin Al Islami

3.2 Faith, Iman

3.3 Revelation, Wahy: Angels, Messengers, And Scriptures

3.4 The Last Day & After-Life

3.5 Pre-Destination, Qadar


4.0 PURIFICATION OF THE SELF, tazkiyat al nafs

4.1 personality, al nafs

4.2 tazkiyat: concept

4.3 tazkiyat: methodology

4.4 models of purity: the prophet and khulafa

4.5 models of purity: believers



5.1 The Enormities, Al Kabair

5.2 Classification Of Common Sins

5.3 Punishment, 'Iqaab

5.4 Repentance, Taubat

5.5 Forgiveness, Ghufran



UNIT 1.0




A. Nature of tauhid

B. Basic characteristics of tauhid

C. Proof of tauhid

D. Tauhid and success on earth and the hereafter

E. Tauhid: implications in daily life



A. Concept

B. Innate knowledge of tauhid al rububiyat

C. Lack of contradictions in creation

D. Harmony in the eco-system

E. Sustenance



A. Concept

B. Tauhid al ‘ibaadat

C. Rationale for tauhid al ibaadat

D. Shirk al ibaadat

E. Consequences of shirk



A. Asmaau  al llaah

B. Sifaat al llaah

C. Tauhid al asmau

D. Tauhid al sifaat

E. Clarification



A. The spectrum

B. Atheism:

C. Polytheism

D. Agnosticism:

E. Secularism, modernism, and post-modernism



Tauhid is oneness of the creator-God that implies oneness of the created universe. The testament of tauhid is 'there is no god but one God, la ilaha illa al llaahu, consists of a negation followed by an affirmation. Tauhid encapsulates the Islamic world-view and is the basis of Islamic culture and civilization. Tauhid is an intellectual challenge since the concept of one God above and beyond human and the whole universe is an intellectual and abstract reality that can be only grasped at the highest levels of intellectual competence. Tauhid provides an integrating framework for the whole universe in whose absence there would be irreconcilable contradictions. Tauhid is the basis for physical and social laws that govern science, technology and society. The perfection, order, and harmony of the universe and the human body are an empirical proof for oneness of the creator. Tauhid, as belief in one creator and sustainer gives purpose and a sense of direction to human civilization. Belief in tauhid guarantees eventual entry into paradise with a short stay in hell as punishment for un-forgiven major sins. Tauhid has implications for our daily life based on issuing from one creator: brotherhood and equality, physical laws of science and technology, social laws, economic organization, and political organization.



The concept of rububiyyat is the assertion that there is a creator and sustainer for the universe and all its contents. The creator cannot be created and has neither beginning nor end. The concept of auto-creation, existence without a creator, is untenable because it leads to the logical absurdity of an object 'existing' before it existed. Belief in the one-ness of the creator-God, tauhid al rububiyyat, is inborn. Any normal human being will innately and instinctively know that there is one creator for the universe. Tauhid al rububiyyat is a logical imperative. It is impossible for the harmonious and well-coordinated universe to have more than one creator. No two creators could agree so perfectly without any contradictions. Tauhid al rububiyat also explains the harmonious interactions in the eco system, the food chains and the food webs.



Tauhid al uluhiyyat implies worship of one God alone. Nothing else can be associated with Him in worship. The purpose of the creation of the universe is worship of God that is an expression of gratitude to the creator. All creations involuntarily worship God; it is only humans who sometimes disobey because they were given free will that is misused. Kufr, denial of God, is ungratefulness. Shirk, associating God with anything else in worship, is an unforgivable sin. Shirk is the cause of religious and social anarchy.



Part of the creed is belief in the names and attributes of God. They testify to and help humans understand the power and majesty of the creator. Denial of any one name or attribute nullifies iman. All the 99 names of Allah are mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah has several attributes, sifaat, mentioned in the Qur'an. Like names, the sifaat help the human understand the majesty of Allah. A Muslim must belief in all the sifaat. This includes testifying that they are Allah's attributes and His alone. The human should however not delve into the details of the mechanisms, kaifa, because those are above human intellect and understanding. The sifaat can be anatomical features, actions or functions, or potential for action, or states of being. The names of Allah are to be used for Him and Him alone. Humans cannot attribute any of the names to themselves. This includes prophets and the righteous. The sifaat are for Allah alone and no human or any other creation can have the same attributes. It is a crime to think that Allah’s attributes are similar to human attributes. It is also a crime to deny them.



Atheism is denial of the existence of God. Polytheism is associating anything with God or worshipping many gods. Polytheism can take the forms of henotheism, pantheism, dualism, etc. Agnosticism is ignoring the creator without actively or consciously denying Him. Secularism does not in essence deny God but confines Him and religion to a private sphere away from the public life of the community. Its latest manifestations are the concepts of humanism, modernity and post-modernity. Secularism arose as a reaction to the corruption of the Church and started a slow process of return to European pre-Christian religions. It called for the separation of the Church from the state. European colonial rule spread it to other countries.


UNIT 2.0






A. Divine enslavement, ‘ubidiyat al llaah

B. Human enslavement, ‘ubudiyat al riqq

C. Human liberation

D. Divine liberation

E. Implications of ‘ubudiyat


2.2. FEAR

A. Taqwa

B. Khashiyat

C. Khawf

D. Rahbat

E. Tadharu’u


1.2.3 OBEDIENCE, ta’at

A. Obedience of Allah

B. Obedience of the prophet

C. Obedience is practical manifestation of taqwa

D. Benefits and consequences of obedience

E. Ma’asiyat


1.2.4 REMEMBRANCE, dhikr

A. Definition

B. Nature of dhikr

C. Enjoining dhikr

D. Benefits of dhikr

E. Abandoning dhikr



A. Concepts of ibadat

B. Taharat and salat

C. Saum

D. Infaq

E. Hajj

F. Jihaad



All humans are slaves of Allah. A true slave of Allah is a slave only Allah and cannot accept any other master either is association with Allah or instead of Allah. Slaves to Allah alone are free persons in complete control of the self and are not under the control of other humans, the shaitan, or human passion. The Qur’an has described prophets, the jinn, and angels as slaves of Allah. Humans can only find true liberation is submitting as slaves to Allah. Whenever they seek liberation in any other way they only change the form of slavery; the outside and form change but the essence remains. Being a slave of Allah requires that the slave obey the master in what is enjoined and what is prohibited. It also requires that the slave worship the master. ‘Ibadat is for the master alone and nobody else can be associated with the master in worship.


2.2 FEAR

The Qur’an uses 5 terms to describe ‘fear’: taqwa, khashiyat, khawf, and rahbat, and tadahru’u. Fear in Qur’anic terminology is different from the linguistic meaning. Believers’ fear of Allah is combined with love for Him and hope for His rewards and mercy. Believers’ good behavior is not only out of fear of punishment but also to express gratitude to Allah for His bounties. Taqwa is the only true and invariable criterion of superiority among humans. Taqwa or its absence has a major impact on human action and behavior. At an individual level the practical manifestations of taqwa are: doing good, undertaking ‘ibadat, and avoiding bad actions. At a societal level the practical manifestations of taqwa are enjoining good and forbidding the bad. Among the consequences of taqwa are: love of Allah, success, victory, and good behavior. Taqwa is needed in all fields of endeavor. Taqwa is enjoined even in dealing with polytheists. The Qur’an condemns fear of humans instead of Allah. Staying on the right path, istiqamat, is a result of taqwa. Fear should be balanced by hope.


2.3 OBEDIENCE, ta’at

The Qur’an enjoins obedience of Allah and the Prophet but forbids obedience of shaitan. Ta’at is a practical expression of taqwa. The essence of obedience is fulfilling the injunctions of Allah. Ta’at leads to success and guidance. It is also associated with a lot of rewards. Disobedience, ma’asiyat, is the opposite of ta’at. It is either omission, neglect of prescribed duties, or commission, committing forbidden acts. Prophets and angels do not disobey Allah. Believers do not disobey Allah.


2.4 REMEMBRANCE, dhikr

Dhikr is essentially worship of the creator and carries the same meaning as ‘ibadat. It has however been misinterpreted as meaning specific formulas or supplications repeated a given number of times a day or on given occasions. Dhikr is all the time and in all of forms and is essentially full awareness that Allah is the creator who must be worshipped and remembered all the time. Dhikr is also constant awareness and remembrance of Allah’s bounties for humans. Dhikr is to be carried out as much as possible. Among the positive benefits of dhikr: rewards, protection from evil actions, patience, calmness, and success. Abandoning dhikr is condemned.



 ‘Ibadat is the purpose of creation and is a practical expression of taqwa. All human activities are ibadat if undertaken with the correct intention. All acts of ibadat are for Allah alone. There is no intermediary or intercessor between the human and Allah in ‘ibadat. Ibadat can be structured or non-structured. Structured ‘ibadat can be obligatory or non-obligatory. Acts of ibadat may be mental, physical, or verbal. Avoiding committing evil acts is ‘ibadat. Ibadat must be constant in all places, at all times, and in all circumstances. Allah rewards contemplating or performing acts of ibadat, obligatory and non-obligatory. There is punishment for neglecting obligatory acts but not the non-obligatory ones. There is no punishment for contemplation of a bad act that is eventually not carried out. All prescribed acts of ibadat have a social purpose. Salat and hajj are social gatherings. Zakat is a system of mutual social support that provides for everybody’s welfare. Fasting is a voluntary experience of hunger that makes the rich sensitive to the plight of the poor who cannot get enough food.


UNIT 3.0




3.1 THE RELIGION OF ISLAM, al ddin al islami

A. Religions of the world:

B. Concept of diin:

C. Fundamentals of the diin:

D. Basic characteristics of Ilam

E. Misunderstanding of Islam



A. Iman and Islam:

B. Pillars of iman:

C. Types and manifestations of iman:

D. Characteristics of believers:

E. Nullification of iman



A. Basic elements of the process of revelation

B. Angels

C. Messengers:

D. Revealed books

E. Companions:



A. Stages of  human life

B. Life in the grave, qabr:

C. The last day, yawm al akhirat

D. After-life:

E. Nature of the after-life


3.5 Qadar

A. Description

B. Will, iraadat, knowledge, ‘ilm, and power, qudrat

C. Human action

D. Causality and causal relations

E. Misunderstanding of qadar


3.1 ISLAM, al ddin al islami

The three fundamentals of the diin are: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan. Ihsan, the highest level of diin, is excellence and perfection. Islam is built on 5 pillars: shahadat, salat, zakat, saum, and hajj. Islam is the same religion of all prophets, universal, for all races and ethnicities, rational, and establishes civil, religious and spiritual equality of all humans. It is easy to practice, has no priesthood, and has no intercession. It is equilibrium and moderation shunning all forms of extremism. Islam is a practical religion combining faith and action. Spiritual purity is by virtuous acts and not persecuting the body. Islam is brotherhood, firm commitment, happiness, good deeds, success, and mutual advice. Islam is dynamic, reformative, and revivalist.



Iman has 6 pillars which are belief in Allah, the angels, the revelations, the messengers, the last day; and qadar. Iman manifests through action, it can be weak or strong. It can increase or decrease and disappears for the duration of a major sin. True believers have happiness and firmness. Iman is nullified by denial of tauhid al rububiyyat and tauhid al uluhiyyat, shirk, denial of Allah’s sifaat, and denial of messengers and their message.



Belief in revelation is belief in angels, messengers, and the scriptures. Angels have power/energy but have no physical form or divine attributes. They have no free will and cannot disobey. They convey messages to prophet and intervene in human actions as instructed by Allah. A prophet was raised in every nation. Some prophets are also messengers, nabi rusul. The religion of all the messengers is the same in essence and is Islam. Muhammad is the last prophet and messenger as well as the only universal messenger. Allah sent human messengers as human models. Prophets have no divine attributes but had miracles. The Qur’an is a scientific and intellectual miracle of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Messengers convey message, organize, lead, and nurture communities. Revealed books are an authority. Books before the Qur’an suffered from distortions and fabrications. The Qur'an comprises all the previous books. Its functions are are: clarification of aqidat, spiritual guidance, source of Law, source of information about past and future events. The Qur'an was revealed over a period of 23 years and was scrupulously protected from distortions being written down during the era of the prophet. Belief in the Qur'an in its entirety is part of iman. Rejection of any part of the Qur'an is apostasy, kufr. Belief in the integrity of all the companions is part of iman.



The human has to pass through 4 phases: non-existence, life on earth, life in the grave, and life in the hereafter. Islam does not accept the concept of re-incarnation. Each human has only one earthly life that ends on death. Death is a transitional event that occurs when the ruh is separated from the physical body. Only Allah knows ajal. Resurrection will be physiological and not metaphysical or spiritual. People will be gathered, hashr, their work record will be presented. Accounts of their deeds will be made. The balance or scale will be set up to weigh the good and the evil acts. Each will be judged according to their performance. Denial of the last day is unbelief. Life in jannat and jahannam will be physiological and will be eternal with no more death.



Belief in qadar, a cardinal principle of iman, is accepting both the good, and the bad of qadar. Humans have limited knowledge and cannot see the whole picture. What may appear to be good may turn out to be bad. What may appear to be bad may turn out to be good. All events are under Allah's qadar. His power and knowledge cover everything. The power, knowledge, and will of Allah have no bounds whereas those of humans are limited. Allah knows in advance how humans will use their free will. Each event has a cause; all causes are from Allah. According to the laws of causality that are part of sunan Allah, the cause is followed by the expected result except in situations of divine intervention as miracles. Tawakkul in relying on Allah after efforts based on the laws of causality. Tawaakul is condemned because it is giving up all effort. Both the disease and its treatment are part of Allah’s all-embracing qadar.


UNIT 4.0


PURIFICATION OF THE SELF, tazkiyat al nafs



4.1 PERSONALITY, al nafs

A. Description of personality

B. The nafs

C. Change of personality

D. Development of personality

E. Pollution of the personality



A. Tazkiyat in the qur'an

B. The first convenant, al 'ahad al awwal

C. Tazkiyat and personality

D. Tazkiyat is by allah

E. Human efforts toward tazkiyat



A. Preliminaries of purification of the nafs

B. Tazkiyat at the conceptual level

C. Tazkiyat by dhikr

D. Tazkiyat by physical acts of worship

E. Tazkiyat by giving, infaq:



A. The prophet

B. Abubakr. 

C. Omar ibn al Khattab

D. Othman bin Affan

E. Ali ibn Abi Talib



A. Traits of believers

B. Spiritual traits

Personal traits

C. Social traits

D. Ibadat traits



4.1 PERSONALITY, al nafs

Personality is the totality of behavior of an individual. People’s personalities differ. An individual has both positive and negative personality traits. The exceptionally good and strong personalities are rare. The essence of a person and personality is the nafs and not the physical body. A human being is born in a natural state of purity, fitrat al Islam. The potential to do good or bad exists at the beginning. It is the early environment that determines how those potentials are enhanced. The states of the nafs in increasing grades of perfection are: nafs ammarah, nafs lawamah, and nafs kamilat that manifests in 5 ways: nafs mulhamah; nafs qanu’ah, nafs mutma’inna, nafs radhiyah, and nafs mardhiyat. Besides the nafs, personality is determined by biological inheritance, the physical environment, the culture, socialization, group and unique individual experiences. Basic personality is established early in life and only minor modifications can be made to it in later life. This underlies the importance of education and training in childhood when personality is still malleable. Personality improves through spiritual and intellectual development. Personality can be polluted by diseases of the heart such as covetousness, passion, pride, evil, hiwa al nafs, and waswasat. These pollutants may have inner promptings within the human that are encouraged by external social influences.



Prophets were sent to ensure tazkiyat for humans. Tazkiyat is fulfillment and return to the first covenant between humans and Allah.  Tazkiyat, as a basis for development and improvement of personality, is a long, pro-active, and uphill task whose road map is the Qur’an.. Correct and firm ‘aqidat, ‘ibadat, avoiding the forbidden, generally being conscious of the creator, and constant meditation about creation are paths to tazkiyat that lead to development and improvement of personality, good character, good behavior, assertiveness, and self-confidence. Living in a righteous community is necessary to motivate and encourage tazkiyat. Islam is a practical religion. Achievement of purity is through action.



Tazkiyat is based on ikhlaas, sidq, istislam, and  tadharu'u. Tazkiyat is answering the call of Allah by sticking to the straight path, renouncing materialism, constant vigilance against shaitan. Tazkiyat can be achieved by dhikr, isti'adhat, istighfar, tasbiih, tahmiid, tahliil, dua, and physical ‘ibadat: salat, saum, and  infaq.



Prophets were sent as human models of tazkiyat whose practical life experiences showed that a human can overcome inner weaknesses and evil tendencies to succeed in attaining a high level of purity. The Prophet Muhammad lived an exemplary life so that the companions could see and emulate the best behavior. He had the best character and his character was the Qur’an. He lived a simple life. Abubakr was the best person after the Prophet. He was siddiq and his faith was so strong that it would outweigh the faith of the rest of the ummat. Omar comes after Abubakr in virtue. Omar was so strong that the shaitan feared to follow his path. He lived a simple and hard life away from luxuries. Othman was a generous and pious who was so modest that the angels were shy of him. Believers of all generations and all places have manifested noble traits of purity of personality than can be emulated. The Qur’an has described traits of believers because Allah wanted to put before all humanity a model that could be emulated. The believers have the following spiritual traits: believing Allah's signs, responding to the call of Allah, obedience of Allah, repentance, reform, surrender to Allah, commitment, reliance on Allah, and fear in the hearts. The believers have the following social traits: keeping away from lahw, keeping the private parts from sinning, keeping promises and trusts, humility, enjoining good, forbidding evil, attesting the truth, patience, kindness, forgiving when angry; undertaking jihad, and mutual consultation. They avoid the following evil acts: homicide, fornication, false witness, friendship for those who fight Allah and the Prophet, and committing major sins. The ‘ibadat traits of believers are: dua to Allah only, establishment, maintaining, and regularity of salat, khushu'u in salat; salat at night, giving zakat and sadaqat to the poor while being moderate in giving.

UNIT 5.0


SINNING & FORGIVENESS, al ithm & ghufran



5.1 THE ENORMITIES, al kabair

A. Concepts

B. Causes of sins

C. The seven enormities

D. The 70 enormities of imam al Dhahabi

E. The 442 enormities according to ibn Hajar al Haytami



A. Introduction

B. Sins of aqidat

C. Sins of the heart

D. Sins of the tongue

E. Transgression, dhulm


5.3 PUNISHMENT, 'iqaab

A. Punishment on earth

B. Individuals punished in the past

C. Communities punished in the past

D. Punishment in the contemporary period

E. Punishment in the hereafter


5.4 REPENTANCE, taubat

A. Acceptance of taubat

B. Virtues of taubat

C. Enjoining taubat

D. Accepted taubat

E. Process of taubat:


5.5 FORGIVENESS, ghufran

A. Forgiving instead of punishing

B. Scope of forgiveness

C. Seeking forgiveness

D. Reasons for forgiveness

E. Reasons for non-forgiveness



5.1 THE ENORMITIES, al kabair

The terms for sin are ithm, dhanb, sayi'at, fujuur, and  fahishat. The terms for good are tayyib, khair, or birr. The terms for evil are batil,  khabiith, and sharr. Good and evil can be absolute or relative. Human fitra can tell the difference between god and evil in most situations but there are gray areas that require guidance by revelation. Sinning can arise from inner tendency to evil, external promptings by shaitan, or an interaction between the two. Sins can be minor, saghair, or major enormities, kabair. The Prophet mentioned 7 major sins: shirk; sihr; qatl; riba; eating the orphan’s property, fleeing from the battle-field, and falsely accusing chaste women, qadhf al muhswanaat.  Imam Shams al Ddiin al Dhahabi (d. 748 AH) listed 70 major sins. Ibn Hajar al Haytami (d. 807H) published a longer list of 440 enormities. Common sins can be classified in groups based on the potential of preventing them: sins of ‘aqidat, sins of the heart, sins of the tongue, and the sin of oppression, dhulm. There are 3 basic sins of aqidat: kufr, shirk, and nifaaq. Sins of the heart are kibr, takabbur, ‘ujb, hiqd, hasad, ghurur, shahwat, suu’u al dhann, and sukhriyyah.  Sins of the tongue are ghaibat, namimat, kadhb, alqaab, laghw, lamz, and hamz. Dhulm is the sin of transgression and oppression. It is violating an individual in his person, his wealth, his rights, or his honor. Dhulm could be physical, psychological or rights violation. It could be directed at an individual, a group of individuals or the whole community. The term dhulm could also apply to situations in which there is transgression against the environment and irreversible destruction of the eco-system. There are cases in which dhulm is directed at the self, dhulm al nafs.


5.3 PUNISHMENT, 'iqaab

Sinners can be punished on earth or in the hereafter. Punishment on earth may be individual or communal. It may be direct or through the agency of other humans. Execution of legal punishments expiates further punishment in the hereafter. The Qur'an has told us stories of individuals and communities who were punished for their sins on earth such as Pharaoh, people of Yunus, People of Hud, people of Nuh, people of Salih, people of Lut, Banu Israil, and people of the elephant. Allah's communal punishments continue even today but people are not conscious of them. Civil wars, natural disasters, epidemic diseases are punishments for sins of some individuals in the community. Communal punishments do not distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. The innocent are punished for their failure to stand up to evil and stop it or migrating to another country. Sinners will be punished in the hereafter. The Qur’an has described the punishment of the hereafter as great, painful, severe, and demeaning.


5.4 REPENTANCE, taubat

Forgiveness follows taubat from sins. Allah is happy with the taubat of His servants. Allah will accept taubat from a human until the moment of death. Taubat can be accepted from the murtadd, and the murderer. Regret, nadam is a form of taubat. Taubat is a form of self-cleansing from evils that is followed by reform. Allah enjoins humans to repent. The Prophet used to make taubat many times a day. Acceptance of taubat will continue until the last day. Taubat nasuhat is one that is not followed by any additional sin. We can tell that taubat was accepted if the person desists and does not return to the sin. Taubat must be early. The person must give up the sin after taubat. Taubat must be accompanied by regret and remorse


5.5 FORGIVENESS, ghufran

It is Allah's mercy that there is forgiveness of sins. Allah can forgive instead of punishing. Allah's forgiveness is very wide in scope. All sins except shirk can be forgiven. Allah can also forgive transgression, dhulm. The time of forgiveness is the hereafter. Allah promised humans His forgiveness. However it is in His will to forgive or not forgive. Allah forgave prophets such as Adam, Ibrahim, Daud, Sulaiman, Muhammad, Musa, and Nuh. He also forgave many other normal humans. Humans are encouraged to hasten in seeking forgiveness. Forgiveness is sought from Allah only. It is He alone who can forgive. The following are reasons for getting forgiveness from Allah: iman, taqwah, taubah, jihad, khashiat, ta'at, afwu, & ‘amal salih. There three main reasons for withholding forgiveness are shirk, kufr, & nifaq

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. September 2001