The Importance of Tawheed
Overview Course (recommended)
Tawheed – Level II
The Importance of understanding Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism):
Islam has 5 pillars, Tawheed being the 1st pillar of Islam (the other 4 being: Salah, Zakah, Fasting and Hajj). This is the pillar that takes you from disbelief to belief. You cannot be a Muslim without fully understanding and implementing this pillar correctly. As an example, if a non-Muslim performs the prayer (of a Muslim), or Fast during the month of Ramadaan or performs Hajj; none of them will be of any value to him, as he does not believe correctly. In the same token, if a Muslim does not believe correctly (apply this pillar correctly), then even his or her prayer or Hajj is of no value. So you can see why it is of the utmost importance that you understand the principles of belief. You may find the word Tawheed written as Tauheed in some books.
The meaning of Tawheed:
Literally TAWHEED means: “To make something one, or to assert the oneness of something, or to call it one”, and it comes from the Arabic verb وحـد (wahhada) which means to unite, unify or consolidate. However what we are concerned about here is the technical or Islamic meaning of Tawheed which is: “To single out Allah Almighty alone for worship, love, and submissiveness to Him by complying to His commands and submitting to them”
The word Tawheed is not a term from the Qur’aan or Sunnah. However, it became the main term used to cover the aspects of belief in Allah; dating back to the time of ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him). Having said that, the entire Qur’aan is about Tawheed, its consequences and the reward for it.
The term Tawheed is used quite often by many sects in Islam. Everyone claims to have Tawheed. The only true Tawheed is that which was taught by the Prophet Muhammad (e) to his companions and which came down from them later.
A popular way of discussing Tawheed is to divide it into three categories:
- Tawheed-ar-Ruboobiyyah (lit. “Maintaining the Unity of Lordship”)
The is the belief in the Oneness of Allah concerning His actions, such as His being the sole Creator, Nourisher and Sustainer of all the creation.
- Tawheed-al-Uloohiyyah (Ibadah) (lit. “Maintaining the Unity of Allah’s worship”)
This means that all acts of worship must be directed toward Allah and Allah alone as He is the only One worthy of worship.
- Tawheed-al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (lit. “Maintaining the Unity of Allah’s names and attributes”)
This implies believing in all of the names and attributes of Allah as mentioned in the Qur’aan and ahadith, as being unique to Him and without negating them, distorting their meaning, understanding them in anthropomorphic (the act of giving human form or character to a god or animal) sense or interpreting them figuratively.
The division of Tawheed into its components was not done by the Prophet (e) nor his companions, as there was no necessity to analyze such a basic principle of faith in this fashion. However, the foundations of the components are all implied in the verses of the Qur’aan and in the explanatory statements of the Prophet (e) and his companions. This is covered in more detail in Level II, however below are some more details for each category:
1. Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (the oneness of Allah in his Lordship):
Ruboobiyyah is a term denoting the absolute sovereignty and kingship of Allah over the Heavens and the Earth and whatever is between them. The verb “rabba” and the noun “Rabb” roughly and wrongly translated as “Lord”, is derived from it, meaning “to nurture, to bring to fruition, to create and to bring together all the elements necessary for the existence and well being of something or someone”. It has these aspects to it: AL KHALQ الخلَق (creativity), ALMULK الملُك (possession) and ALAMR الأمر (administration / command). Allah says:
Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah is the belief that Allah alone is the Rabb who creates, and handle the affairs of His creation, and that He revive the dead, causes death and extend benefits and wards off evil. Nothing happened in creation except what He allows to happen. In recognition of this reality, Prophet Mohammad (e) used to often repeat “There is no movement nor power except by Allah’s will”
The basis or Daleel (evidence / proof) for this category of Tawheed can be found in many Qur’aanic verses. For example, Allah says:
Allah controls all that happens, good or bad. When we want to avoid some misfortune or get some good fortune, we should only turn to Him and seek His help. Yet some people are destroying this section of Tawheed by depending on created things that they call good luck charms to bring in good or to ward off evil. Believing in good-luck charms and amulets such as rabbit’s feet, wishbones, etc or in omens of bad luck is a grave sin that contradicts Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah.
New Words and Expressions
(e) It means – May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. This is always said or written after making reference to Prophet Muhammad. The Arabic transliteration: “Sallallahu alayhi wasallam”. Some books write ‘PBUH’ which stands for, peace be upon him. Others use ‘SAW’, which is short for the Arabic transliteration.
(2:45) Means, the reference in the Qur’aan: Surah (chapter 2), ayah (verse) 45. The surahs mentioned in this lesson are: al-A’raf; az-Zumar; al-An’am.
(Use your Qur’aan, and find the references listed in this lesson).
(Muslim) The scholar that related the saying (hadith) of the Prophet (e). This is normally found at the end of a hadith.
Ahadith Plural for hadith. The statements of the Prophet (e); i.e. his sayings, deeds, and approvals, etc..
Asmaa was Sifaat Category of Tawheed: Maintaining- Asmaa = names of Allah; Sifaat = Attributes of Allah.
Ay’at Verses from the Qur’aan. Ayah (singular).
Daleel Proof / evidence.
Hajj The 5th Pillar of Islam.
Ibadah The word used for all acts of worship.
Muhammad The last Prophet (e) sent by Allah.
Qur’aan The holy book from Allah revealed to Muhammad (e), that all Muslims must follow.
Rabb Lord, Owner (it is also one of the Names of Allah). Pronounced as Rubb
Ruboobiyyah Category of Tawheed: Maintaining the Unity of Lordship.
Salah The 2nd Pillar of Islam – Prayer.
Siyam The 4th Pillar of Islam – Fasting during the month of Ramadaan.