Hidden Duality

أَللّهُمَّ اِنِّى أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ أَنْ اُشْرِكَ بِكَ شَيْئًا وَ أَنَا أَعْلَمُ وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا لَا أَعْلَمُ اِنَّكَ أَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ


Allaahumma innee a`oodhu bika anushrika bika shay’a wa ana-a`lamu wastaghfiruka limaa laa-a`lamu innaka l-`allaamul-ghuyooba.[1]


O Allah, I seek refuge in You from deliberately assigning partners to You. I ask for forgiveness for what I’ve done inadvertently. Indeed, You are the due knower of the unknown!


Hidden duality is the biggest danger for man. The reason why it’s called ‘hidden’ duality is because it is not an explicitly observable act of assigning partners to Allah, but rather an implicit thought-based association!

The verse “Do not turn to (assume the existence of) a god (exterior manifestations of power or your illusory self) besides Allah...”[2]evidently declares the gravity of associating partners to Allah even at the level of thought...

Islam necessitates that all actions are done genuinely and sincerely for the sake of Allah!

While doing something for the sake of Allah, if one assumes either a material or immaterial return from others, this expectation itself forms ‘duality’...

For example, if one stands for salat and rather than saying the takbir (Allahuakbar) genuinely to express the greatness of Allah, says it to imply something to the people around him, this is a hidden form of duality (shirq).

If one writes a book, not purely for the sake of Allah and to obey the Rasul’s command ‘spread knowledge’, but for the sake of making financial gain or to receive praise and compliments, this is also a hidden form of duality...

In short, ‘intention’ is like the bridge of ‘Sirat’; it is thinner than a hair and sharper than a knife!

Our thoughts and intentions should be purely and genuinely for Allah, without expecting anything in return from anyone. Otherwise, whatever we do with the slightest bit of expectation – from whoever it may be – there will inevitably be a hidden form of duality in it.

The saints and friends of Allah have stood by this reality with such sensitivity that they even believed the spiritual pleasure gained from salat should be abandoned.

Thus is the prayer the Rasul of Allah (saw) has taught us for protection against the calamities of hidden duality. I guess I don’t need to make further emphasis on the benefits of reading this after our five daily prayers.

[1] Musnad of Ahmad, al-Tabarani.

[2] Quran 28:88.

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