“O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allaah. But Allaah is Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise” [Faatir 35:15]
This aayah indicates that people are in need of their Lord in all their affairs, and for their very existence and survival, to benefit them and keep them safe from all evils. Allaah is the One Who bestows all that. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning),
“Allaah is He Who created you, then provided food for you, then will cause you to die, then (again) He will give you life (on the Day of Resurrection)” [al-Room 30:40]
“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allaah” [al-Nahl 16:53]
Allaah is free from any need of His slaves and to Him belongs all dominion and praise. His slave cannot benefit Him or harm Him. If all of them were to believe, that would not increase His dominion at all, and if they were all to disbelieve, that would not reduce His dominion at all. He is the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of the first and the last. He is the True God, besides Whom no other is deserving of worship. Everything else that is worshipped apart from Him is false. The meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah is, there is none who is rightfully worshipped apart from Allaah. This is the correct meaning. It does not mean that there is no creator apart from Allaah, or there is none who is able to meet all needs apart from Allaah. These are also implied in its meaning, for the True God is the Creator of all things, the One Who is Able to do all things. What this shaykh said, that the meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah is “none is capable of fulfilling needs except Allaah” – if he meant that this is part of the meaning, then this is correct; but if he said that this is what is meant by it, then this is false. If what is meant by this phrase is what the shaykh said, then why did the early mushrikeen refuse to say it when the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to them, “Say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah and you will prosper”? Because they affirmed that there was no creator besides Allaah, and they understood what was meant by this phrase, which is that there is none who is rightfully worshipped except Allaah. Allaah is the One Who is rightfully worshipped, and anything else that is worshipped apart from Him is false. This implies that the gods of the mushrikeen which they worship are false. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“That is because Allaah, He is the Truth, and that which they invoke besides Him is Al Baatil (falsehood, Satan and all other false deities); and that Allaah, He is the Most High, the Most Great” [Luqmaan 31:30]
Because the mushrikeen knew what it meant, and that it implied that their gods were false, they refused to say it, and they recommended one another to remain constant to their gods, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the disbelievers say: ‘This (Prophet Muhammad) is a sorcerer, a liar.
Has he made the aalihah (gods) (all) into One Ilaah (God — Allaah). Verily, this is a curious thing!’
And the leaders among them went about (saying): ‘Go on, and remain constant to your aalihah (gods)! Verily, this is a thing designed (against you)!’” [Saad 38:4]
Hence you may know that what many say, which goes against what your shaykh said concerning the meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, is what is correct.
What your shaykh said, ‘That we are in need of Allaah… ’ means that Allaah Alone is the One Who gives us life, and that is correct. But that is not the meaning of Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah. Rather what it means is that there is none who is rightfully worshipped except Allaah, as stated above. The True God is the One who deserves to be worshipped, and He is the One Who gives life and gives death, and He is Allaah, may He be exalted.
What your shaykh said, that ‘if a person could live … many people are against sufism’, if he meant that a person could do without food and drink constantly, this is a false notion, because there is no person who can do without food and drink constantly, not even the Prophets, let alone anyone else. His claim that a Sufi can live without food and drink, and that making dhikr enables him to do without that constantly, is false. If anyone among them makes such a claim, he is a liar. So do not be deceived by this shaykh, for he is either ignorant and misguided, or he is a liar and an imposter. Beware of him and his ilk. We ask Allaah to guide you and help you.