Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) is the foundation of our religion that which everything else is built upon. In fact, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) spent 23 years of his mission focusing and calling his nation to the Oneness of Allah. If we truly understood, implemented and gave importance to Tawheed in the same manner as the Messenger (peace be upon him) did to his companions then we would find tremendous success and goodness within our lives. However, if we neglect this fundamental concept and abandon understanding it then that will only lead to failure and destruction in our lives. Therefore, the question arises: what is Tawheed?
Take a moment to learn about the most important aspect of our religion in an easy to read question and answer format.
Q. What does Tawheed mean?
A. Linguistically, Tawheed means oneness, and its religious meaning is to maintain the oneness of Allah in all aspects.
Q. How many categories is Tawheed divided into?
A. Tawheed is divided into three categories:
a. The Oneness of Allah in His Lordship (Tawheedur-Ruboobiyyah)
b. The Oneness of Allah in His Divinity (Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah)
c. The Oneness of Allah in His Names and Attributes (Tawheedul-Asmaa was-Sifaat)
Q.What is Tawheedur-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of Allah in His Lordship)?
A. It is the Tawheed of Allah in His actions such as creating and providing sustenance, and giving life or death, and supreme authority and planning. The meaning here is to believe that Allah the Glorified and Exalted is the Creator, and the Sustainer, and the Master, and the Governor, and the Planner of everything. None can change what He has predestined and none can alter His decision. From the proofs of Tawheedur-Ruboobiyyah is the statement of Allah the Exalted:
“Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He ascended above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, chasing it rapidly. And He created the Sun and the Moon and the Stars, which are subjected to His command. Indeed His is the creation and the command. Blessed is Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” [Surah al-A’raaf 7:54]
Indeed this category of Tawheed was accepted by the early polytheists, but this acceptance did not enter them into Islaam, due to the absence of its necessary requisite, and it is Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah. Allah the Exalted said:
“And if you ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they will say: They were created by the All-Mighty (al-’Azeez), the All-Knowing (al-’Aleem).” [Surah az-Zukhruf:9]
Allah the Exalted says:
“And if you ask them who created them, they will say: Allah. So how are they deluded?” [Surah az-Zukhruf:87]
The proofs concerning Lordship (ruboobiyyah) of the Creator – the Glorified and Exalted – cannot be counted, its textual and intellectual proofs are innumerable. The creation is proof of the existence of the creator and the product is proof of the existence of the producer. So the product does not bring itself into existence, rather it is undoubtedly Allah – the Glorified and Exalted – who brings things into existence. Allah the Exalted said:
“Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators?” [Surah at-Toor:35]
And Allah the Exalted says:
“And in the earth and in their own selves are signs for those who are certain. So will you not see? And in the skies is your sustenance and whatever you have been promised.” [Surah adh-Dhaariyaat:20-22]
And there are other evidences from the texts which show the completeness of His – the Blessed and Exalted – Power.
Q. What is Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah (Oneness of Allah in His Divinity and in establishing His worship)?
A. It is the Tawheed in the actions of the servants for which they were created and for the sake of which they exist, such as Prayer (salaah), and fasting (sawm), and sacrifice (dhabh), and taking oaths (nadhr), and seeking aid (istghaathah) and other than these from the types of worship. Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah means to make all of the various types of worship for Allah alone without any associate. So none besides Him, from His creation, is to be called upon, whether he be a successive king, or a sent prophet. So whoever makes something from these for other than Allah, then he is a pagan disbeliever, as Allah the Blessed and Exalted says:
“Say: Verily my Prayer and my Sacrifice, and my Living and my Dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He has no partners, and that is what I command you with, and I am the first of the Muslims.” [Surah al-An’aam:162-163]
And Allah the Exalted says:
“Whoever calls upon another deity besides Allah, then he has no proof for it. So verily his reckoning is only with His Lord. Verily the disbelievers shall not succeed.” [Surah al-Mu‘minoon:117]
Q. What is Tawheedul-Asmaa was-Sifaat (Oneness of Allah in His Names and Attributes)?
A. It is the Tawheed in believing in His Names and Attributes which He described Himself with in His Book, or that which He was described with by His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in His Sunnah. We affirm what came in the Book and the Sunnah with their wordings and meanings, without:
a. Alteration (tahreef) in the wordings
b. Nullification (ta’teel) in their meanings
c. Resembling (tashbeeh) His Attributes to those of the Creation
d. Asking how (takyeef) in regards to His Attributes
That is because Allah said,
لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَىۡءٌ۬ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ
“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah ash-Shuraa:11]
We rely only upon the Book and the Sunnah in their affirmation, not exceeding what is in the Qur’aan and Hadeeth, because the mater of the Attributes is restricted to what is found in the texts and is not left to the opinion of others.