Tafseer of Ayah “They wish to go for judgment to the Taaghoot”

Question: What is the meaning of Al-Taaghoot in general? We would also like to know the interpretation of Ibn Katheer concerning the Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) mentioned in Soorah Al-Nisaa’: Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot (false judges) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaytaan (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray.We would like to know two things:

Firstly: What is the meaning of Al-Taaghoot in general? Is what is said by Ibn Katheer: “The Taaghoot of every people are those whom they refer to in judgment beside Allaah,” included in this meaning? Does the word Taaghoot comprise rulers and those who refer to them in judgment when they do not judge according to the Shar` (Law) of Allaah according to the interpretation of Ibn Katheer?

Secondly: What is the meaning of His saying: They wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) ? Some of them said that the “wish” here is a hidden act that nobody knows. Therefore, we cannot judge with Kufr (disbelief) for whoever goes for judgment (outside the Shar` of Allaah) except after realizing his inner intention which is inconceivable. Others said that the “wish” here means an explicit doing derived from the Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that means content and continuity in seeking judgment in this way. Which one is true?

Answer: Firstly, The general meaning of Taaghoot is what is worshipped instead of Allaah. This `Ibaadah (worship) may be Salaah (Prayer), Sawm (Fast), vowing, resorting for removing harm or bringing benefit,referring to him in judgment instead of Qur’aan and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) or any other thing that should be dedicated to Allaah Alone… read more here.

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