Is it allowed to say that "this person saved my life"?
And also "If it was not for him I would have been dead"?
Also "We won the match because of him"?
Are these statements contradicting to Tawhid because ALLAH'S name has to be used in them instead of People?
It says words to this effect in the Qur'an:
مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
The relevant Arabic word is أحيا (ʾaḥyā) which is usually translated to "save" in this context. It therefore seems reasonable to say someone "saved" someone else's life. And it's not hard to find examples of scholars using this language (e.g. save a Muslim's life IslamWeb).
More generally, nothing happens except by the will of Allah (Qur'an 6:17, 9:51, 57:22). Or as Islam Q&A put it: "Nothing happens in His Dominion except that which He wills". Nevertheless, verses such as
And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives
indicate that humans are capable of causing things to happen (albeit constrained by Allah's will). So it's normal to say "I did this", "you did this", "Prophet Muhammad did this", etc., in everyday conversation.
Wassalatu wassalamu a'la rasoolillah. A'ma ba'd.
The questioner here is asking about tawakkul/reliance on other than Allah i.e. upon the creation. The first two statements are in regards to a death and life situation whereas the third is really to do with the dunya (it could be in relation to football or something like that.)
Know, Tawkkul upon Allah is part of Tawheed and that it is possible to fall into Shirk due to our level of Tawakkul.
Know, the meaning of Tawakkul is comprised of three:
- honest reliance upon allah
- with trust in allah
- taking the means permissible
For Example Perhaps a student has a test and they fufil the first two conditions but they don't prepare this is not true Tawakkul
Know, there are types of Tawwakul
Shirk ul akbar
Shirk ul Asghar
Before I explain what how a person falls into any of these categories i shall explain what are the three categories I have mentioned.
What is the reality of shirk ul akbar (major shirk)?
- Believe that there is someone other than Allah who has power/control over the universe
- Believe it can bring you good
- Believe it can push away evil
e.g. The Ta’weez - you beleive this Ta'weez has power to bring good/push away evil
e.g. going to the grave and asking for a child - you believe that this thing has control over universe AND can bring good
e.g. asking your brother (even if he is alive) to make it rain - you believe he has power over the universe
What is the reality of shirk ul asghar (minor shirk)?
Anything that leads to shirk ul akbar
Making something that is not the means the means – not in the shariah
Example of Ta’weez – this time you don’t believe that it has any powers but you think it’s a means of getting closer to Allah however this is not legislated
Example of Tree: Ask Allah through the blessing of the tree to give you a child - that is, you know that Allah has all the power etc. but you ask Allah through this tree -this is not legislated
So, explaining the 3 categories...
Shirk ul Akbar is when...
1) Absolute reliance upon other than allah
2) Can avert you from evil
3) Hope from good from other than Allah
e.g. you have a ta'weez and you entrust all of your affairs to this and you belive it can avert all evil or it can bring you good and you hope from it good then this is Shirk ul Akbar
e.g. you have a boos and you entrust all of your affairs to your boss and believe he can avert all evil and can give all good this is Shirk ul Akbar
2) Shirk ul asgar
- Believe he is a means
- and NOT a source
- BUT show weakness/neediness
e.g. Your boss gives you your salary every month but you believe that if your boss doesnt give you your salary you will be in great loss/destroyed etc. This is Shirk ul Asghar
3) Ja’iz – permissible
- You have complete tawakkul in Allah
- DON'T show any neediness to the creation
e.g. this same worker has the belief that Allah is the provider and shows no neediness of the creation and believes that Allah will provide for him even if he loses his job etc This is permissible.
Now, based on the statements you have mentioned you must check the belief you hold for each of these statements.
the first two statements seem to fall into both types of Shirk. With the first statement you can fix it by saying, "this person saved my life by the permission of Allah" or "Alhamdulillah, this person was able to save my life" etc. Likewise the second.
Even the third statement can fall into that which is not permissible based on the person's BELIEF who uttered the statement.
Additonally, let me quickly write about the conditions of asking the creation because this is sub-related.
- Hayy (alive)
- Hadhir (present)
- Qadir (able)
- Sabab (they are only a means)
So, in regards to asking the creation, these four criteria must be fulfilled.
CAN we rely on the creation then? No, Tawwakul in ONLY for Allah we can however entrust in them.
e.g. The Prophet sallalahu alaihi wa sallam entrusted Ali radiallahu anhu to cut the remaining meat at one time of Hajj. Also, it is better to leave off asking the creation as it can lead to Shirk ul Asghar.
Hope that answered the question!
All good is from Allah and any evil/wrong I have said is from me and Shaytan.
It is more appropriate to thank Allah first, and then others. This is more appropriate in terms of Allah's control over the situation, over the one who helped you, over causing the situation in the first place out of His wisdom, and so on.
However, it is not shirk, unless you believe that it was another person who saved your life to the exclusion of divine help. Note that words are a part of faith (and in some circumstances can nullify faith), however actions of the body (physical actions) and actions of the heart (tawakkul/trust in Allah, love of Allah, etc) are also a part of faith. As a Muslim, no doubt within such situations, you would be praying and making dua to Allah alone within moments of such events, so the actions of your body and heart would be a proof that you thanked another only as a secondary helper, with the primary help being from Allah.
It is also important to realize that in Islam, we have words of remembrance to say during all occasions, and this constantly reinforces the reality of Allah's help and guidance and our need for that. The best therefore is to keep Allah at the forefront of all acts of thankfulness, and to thank others afterward.
And Allah knows best.