Was There In The Time Of The Salaf Categorizing Tawheed Into Three?
Tawheed is defined as differentiating between The One with no beginning and between the one with a beginning. As for the one with a beginning, then that is the creation.
A question: Was there during the time of The Salaf, categorizing Tawheed into Tawheed of Lordship, Tawheed of Godhood, and Tawheed of The Names and Attributes?
The Answer: No. This heretical false categorization is not known to the Pious Predecessors (The Salaf As–sālih) and whoever attributes it to them then he is a severe liar. Even if he endeavored for all time he would not find that in the speech of the likes of Ash-shāfi^iyy and other than him among the Imām’s of the people of knowledge from the time of The Salaf, may Allāh raise their ranks.
Hence, this categorization is from the heresy of Ibn Taymiyah who died in the year 728 of The Hijrah, the one who attributes bodily attributes to Allāh. He is not from The Salaf, neither from their era nor from their creed due to his many perversions in the essentials of the creed and the branches. He is a creation that has been misguided by Allāh just as Ibn Hajar The Jurist said about him in The Fatāwā.
The evidence against them is in the Hadeeth of the questioning of the grave narrated by Abū Dāwoud and Ahmad and it contains “and two angels come to the believer and they sit him up and say to him: “Who is you Lord?” and so he replies: “My Lord is Allāh.” Hence, if the Tawheed of Lordship had been different from the Tawheed of Godhood then the question of the two angels would have been something else or the answer of the believer to the two angels would have been something else, and both of those scenarios are not narrated.
The Great Scholar The Shaykh Yousuf الدجوي deceased in the year 1948 (of the solar calendar) and he was among the biggest shaykhs of the Mālikiyy school in Egypt during his time and a member of The High Scholarly Council, said: “The statement of the followers of Ibn Taymiyah that Tawheed is divided into Tawheed of Lordship and Tawheed of Godhood is a categorization that is unknown to anyone prior to Ibn Taymiyah. The Messenger of Allāh, peace be upon him, never said to anyone who embraced Islam that there are two Tawheeds and that you would not be a muslim until you also believe in the Tawheed of Godhood, nor did he indicate that in any of his words, nor was that ever heard from any of The Salaf whom the so called salafiyyah falsely claim to follow in everything. There is no meaning to their categorization because the true God is the true Lord. The following is said to them: “Your statement and your categorization is rejected.
It is enough to refute those heretics by what is recited by every muslim in every rak^ah of his prayer everyday and it is when we say in Surah Al-Fātihah
الحمد لله رب العالمين
Which means All praise is due to Allāh The Lord of the universe. This verse is enough to refute them because the one who deserves all the praise, and that is Allāh, i.e, The One attributed with Godhood, is The Lord of the universe, i.e, The One who is attributed with Lordship which is that He is the true owner of everything. Therefore, The Tawheed of Godhood is The Tawheed of Lordship and there is no difference between them.
Among what proves that is also what Ibn Khālawayh deceased (370 H) mentioned in his book about the ‘I^rāb of The Fātihah, and he is among the famous linguist and grammarians, he, may Allāh have mercy upon him, said: “The function of the term “Lord” in the syntax is either as an adjective for “Allāh” or as a substitute for term “Allāh” in the verse
الحمد لله رب العالمين
Therefore, in both instances, The One attributed with Godhood is The One attributed with Lordship.
The memorizer of Hadeeth Ibn Hajar Al-^Asqalāniyy said in the explanation of the chapter of Tawheed of Saheeh Al-Bukhāriyy: “As for Ahlus-sunnah, then they have explained Tawheed to be negating similarity to the creation and negating atheism. Based on that, Abul Qāsim Al-Qushayriyy narrated that The Imām of the Sufis Al-Junayd said: “Tawheed is defined as differentiating between The One without a beginning and the one with a beginning.
Furthermore, The Tawheed of Godhood is included under The Tawheed of Lordship and that is proven by the fact that Allāh ordered an angel to convey the question “Am I not your Lord?” instead of “Am I not your God?”, therefore it sufficed them to profess the Tawheed of Lordship. It is known that whoever admits that Allāh is The Lord has certainly has admitted that Allāh is attributed with Godhood.