Understanding the term Taghut: What is the meaning of the term “Taghut”?
The scholars of Ahlul Sunnah wal Jamaa’h said, “Taghut includes everything which is worshiped other than Allah. And every leader of misguidance, everyone who calls to evil and beautifies it (is also a Taghut). It also includes every person who is set up by the people to judge between them with laws which are not in accordance with the Decision of Allah and His Messenger, and these are all laws of Jahiliyyah.
Taghut is therefore defined as – “Every entity, other than Allah, which has any type of ‘Ibadah directed at it.” This is the case for “non-thinking” entities which are worshiped, such as tombs, graves, trees, statues, cows, animals, fire, stars, zodiac, legislations other than the Shari’ah, etc.
And Taghut also includes the soothsayer, sorcerer; the caretakers of the idols, those who call to the worshipping of the buried people, and such people who narrate stories which misguide the ignorant people. And the base of all these types of Taghut is Shaytan- for he is the greatest Taghut.” [Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah” (2/301)]
Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan says in his explanation of Kitab At-Tawhid regarding the term Taghoot, “It means Shaytan, since he is the leader of all the Tawaghit- may Allāh curse him. It also refers to a sorcerer, fortuneteller, the ruler who governs with other than the Revelation of Allāh, and whoever tells people to follow him in other than obedience to Allah.” [I’ānat Al-Mustafīd Bi-Sharh Kitab At-Tawhid” (1/27)]
For further knowledge regarding the Taghoot, refer to the book “At-Taghoot” by Shaykh Abū Basir, and “Al-Īdhāh Wat-Tabyīn” of Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Hamūd Al-Khalidī (may Allah hasten his release from prison).
[Source: Footnotes of Book; Dalaail-fi-Hukm-Muwalat-Ahl-al-Ishraak by Imam Sulayman ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahaab (rh)]