It is to turn to Allaah, the Most High, in obedience, and avoiding disobedience to Him, and its meaning is close to that of repentance (tawbah),  except that it is more subtle in meaning, and conveys the sense of dependance upon Allaah and fleeing for refuge to Him, and it cannot be except for Allaah, the Most High.

Islaam as prescribed and required of us in the Sharee’ah  and that is to submit to the laws and commandments of Allaah. This is because submission to Allaah, the Most High, is of two types:

(i) Submission of all the creation, which is to submit to whatever He has decreed should exist and occur in the creation about which the creation has no choice. So this is general and covers everyone in the heavens and the earth, the Believers and the unbelievers, the righteous and the wicked. No one can possibly disdain and depart from this.

The evidence for it is the Saying of Allaah, the Most High,

أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ

“And to Him everyone in the heavens and the earth submit, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him you will all be returned.” 

(Soorah Aal-‘Imraan (3):83)

(ii) Submission to the laws and prescriptions of Islam: and this is to submit in obedience. This is particular to those who are obedient to Allaah, the Messengers and those who follow them upon good. The evidences for this in the Quran are many, and from them is the Aayah  mentioned below :

وَأَنِـيبُواْ إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُواْ لَهُ

So turn, O you people, repentantly and obediently to your Lord, and submit obediently to Him”

(Soorah az-Zumar (39): 54)


Al-Isti’aanah means seeking aid and assistance, with regard to everyday matters which people are able to do, there is no harm in this because it is in co-operation upon righteousness and dutifulness to Allah. It is of various types:

(i) Appealing for aid and assistance from Allaah – this is an appeal for aid and assistance that comprises complete humility of the servant before his Lord, and to submit and entrust the affair to Him, and to be certain that He is fully sufficient for him. This is not to be except for Allaah, the Most High, alone, and the evidence is the Saying of Allaah, the Most High,

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

“O Allaah You alone we worship, and to You alone we appeal for aid.” 

(Soorah al-Faatihah (1):5)

The fact that this is to be for Allaah, the Most High, alone is shown by the fact that He mentions the word upon which the verb acts before the verb itself, and according to the principles of grammar of the Arabic language, in which the Qur’aan came down, bringing forward that which usually comes afterwards indicates restriction and particularisation. So directing this type to other than Allaah, the Most High, is shirk which takes a person out of the Religion.

(ii) Seeking the help of a person from the creation, in something which he is capable of helping in. Then this will be in accordance with the action in which help is sought. If it is a good action then it is permissible for the person to seek help upon it, and prescribed for a person to help in that, as Allaah, the Most High, says,

وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ آلْعِقَابِ

“Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa, but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment.” 

(Soorah al- Maa’idah (5):2)

If it is a sinful thing, then it is forbidden for the person doing it and for the one who assists, as Allaah, the Most High, says,

If it is something permissible, then it is allowed for the person to seek help and to be assisted, and the one who is helping may be rewarded for kind treatment and thus it becomes something prescribed for him as Allaah, the Most High says,

وَأَحْسِنُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And do good, indeed Allaah loves those who do good.” 

(Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 195)

(iii) Seeking the help of a person from the creation who is alive and present, except that it is something which he is incapable of, then this is futile and useless. For example that he seeks the help of a weak person in order to carry something very heavy.

(iv) Seeking the aid of any deceased person, or the aid of the living in a matter of the hidden and unseen, which they cannot reach. Then this is shirk  since it will only be done by a person who believes that those whose help he seeks have some hidden control over the creation.

(v) Seeking help by performing deeds that are beloved to Allaah, the Most High. This is something that is prescribed due to the Saying of Allaah, the Most High,

وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَوةِ

“And seek assistance through patience and Prayer.” 

(Soorah al-Baqarah (2):45)

The author, rahimahullaah,  uses as evidence for the first type the Saying of Allaah, the Most High,

“O Allaah You alone we worship, and to You alone we appeal for aid.” 

(Soorah al-Faatihah (1):5)

Related Links:

Introduction to Author – Imam Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahab

Al-Usool Ath-Thalatha


Audio in Urdu: Dr. Farhat Hashmi – Al-Usul al-Thalathah

Arabic Text: Download Book-Al-Usul Al-Thalaathah

Explanation of Usool Ath Thalatha by Shaykh Uthaymeen




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