بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على رسوله المصطفى الأمين
وآ له وصحبه ومن أتبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين
In the name of Allah Most Beneficent Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah the Exalted and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions and all those who follow them and their way until the Day of Resurrection
The word Tauheed (توحيد ) [Tawheed, Tuhid, etc] Monotheism
The word Tauheed (توحيد )[transliterated Tawheed, Tuhid etc] is from the Arabic word
(وحّد – يوحّد – توحيداً )
which means to make one, to unify.
Thus to say ( يوحّد الله ) yuwahidu-llah, means to make Allah one in belief, in faith and in worship. It is also called Tauheed-ullah ( توحيد الله ) the oneness of Allah. Allah is of course only One: the important thing for us is to understand this basic truth, and to make Him as He really is and to worship as He deserves to be worshiped.
The Pagan Arabs were amazed that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, denied their many gods and idols, and they made fun of him about worshiping only One God saying:
( أجعل الآلهة إلها واحدا إن هذا لشيء عجاب )
“Has he made the gods to be only one God? Indeed, this is an amazing thing.”(38:5)
They recognized that only Allah was the Creator and Sustainer and Lord of the universe, yet they worshiped other gods along with Allah saying these lesser gods will be mediators between us and Allah, or fearing them and depending on them as if they had power to harm or to benefit them. This is the greatest sin of “Shirk” (شرك) : associating partners with Allah, idolatry, polytheism.
Imam Muslim reports in the Book of Prayer in the Chapter on the “Islam of Amr ibn Abasah” wherein he asks the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) ,
….فقلت: ما أنت؟ قال: أنا نبي. فقلت: و ما نبي؟ قال: أرسلني الله. فقلت: بأي شيء أرسلك ؟
قال أرسلني بصلة الأرحام وكسر الأوثان وأن يوحّد الله ولا يُشرك به شئ….
“….Who are you? He said: I am a Prophet (of Allah). I asked: Who is a Prophet? He said: I have been sent by Allah (as a Messenger). I asked: What is that with which you have been sent? He said: I have been sent with joining ties of relationship, breaking the idols, making Allah One (yuwahhidu = tauheed), and not associating with Him any other partners (shirk)….” until the end of the lengthy narration.
And in the famous hadeeth of Imam Muslim, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:
من وحد الله تعالى و كفر بما يعبد من دونه حرم ماله و دمه و حسابه على الله عز وجل
“Whoever makes Allah the Exalted to be One (wahhada Allah) and disbelieves in what is worshiped other than Him, will protect his blood and property, and his account will be with Allah.”
In a version of the famous hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, when the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, sent Mu’adh ibn Jabal may Allah be pleased with him, to Yemen., he commended him saying:
(إِنَّكَ تَأْتِي قَوْمَاً مِنْ أَهْلِ الكِتَابِ ، فَلْيَكُنْ أَوَّلُ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ شَهَادَةَ أَنْ لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوكَ لِذَلِكَ، فَأَعْلِمْهُمْ أَنَّ اللهَ افْتَرَضَ عَلَيْهِمْ خَمْسَ صَلَواتٍ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ، فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوكَ لِذَلِكَ: فَأَعْلِمْهُمْ أَنَّ اللهَ افْتَرَضَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُؤْخَذُ مِنْ أَغْنِيَائِهِمْ فَتُرَدُّ عَلَى فُقَرَائِهِمْ، فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوكَ لِذَلِكَ فَإِيَّاكَ وَكَرَائِمَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ ، وَاتَّقِ دَعْوَةَ المَظْلُومِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ اللهِ حِجَابٌ)
وفي روايات اخرى نجد الفاظ متقاربة المعنى: 1… فليكن أول ما تدعوهم إلى أن يوحدوا الله تعالى، فإذا عرفوا ذلك… 2…فليكن أول ما تدعوهم إليه عبادة الله عز وجل فإذا عرفوا الله فأخبرهم…3 …فادعهم إلى شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأني رسول الله، فإن هم أطاعوا لذلك فأعلمنهم…4 …فليكن أول ما تدعوهم إليه عبادة الله عز وجل، فإذا عرفوا الله فأخبرهم … 5…إلى أن يعبدوا الله….
[رواه البخارى (1395)، ومسـلم (31)، والنسائى (5/3)، وإبن ماجة (1783)، (1/568)، والدارمى (1662)، (1/318)، وأحمد (233/1)، و رواية التوحيد في البخارى (7372) و مسلم 79 ]
“When the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, sent Mu`adth to Yemen, he commended him: ‘You will come upon people of the Scripture, so let your first act be to call them to witness that there is no god except Allah if they obey you in this, inform them that Allah has made it a duty for them to offer prayer (Salat) five times a day. If they obey you in this, then inform them that Allah has laid upon them the duty of charity (Zakat) to be levied from their rich and distributed to their poor. If they obey you in this, then by careful not to take the best of their properties (as payment of Zakat), and safeguard yourself against the supplication of who has suffered injustice because there is no veil between his supplication and Allah.” [Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim and many others]
Thus we see that the word Tauheed is used for one version says
…فليكن أول ما تدعوهم إلى أن يوحدوا الله تعالى…
“…so let your first thing that you call them to is make Allah One…” (i.e. to actualize the ‘Tauheed’ of Allah in faith and worship). And in a version of al–Darqutni in his Sunan 5/316 it is reported
فَلْيَكُنْ أَوَّلَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ تَوْحِيدُ اللَّهِ
“…so let your first thing that you call them to is the Monotheism of Allah
And in the hadeeth of Imam Ahmad and at-Tirmidthi, verified as authentic, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:
يعذب ناس من أهل التوحيد فيطرحون في النار حتى يكونوا فيها حمما ثم تدركهم الرحمة فيخرجون و يطرحون على أبواب الجنة فيرش عليهم أهل الجنة الماء فينبتون كما ينبت الغثاء في حمالة السيل ثم يدخلون الجنة
“Some people of the people of monotheism (Ahl-at-Tauheed) will be punished, being placed in the hellfire until they are like burnt coal, then they will have the mercy reach them, then they will be taken out and placed at the doors of Paradise. The people of Paradise will (come and) spray upon them some water and they will sprout up like the seeds of sprouts after the rushing water of the rainfall, then they will enter Paradise.”
Tauheed ar-Rububiyyah (Oneness of Lordship) guides to Tauheed Al-Uluhiyyah [i.e. also called Tauheed al-Ibadah (Oneness of Allah’s Godhead: i.e Oneness of worshiping Allah)]
The call to Tauheed is the call and concentration of all the Prophets and Messengers, for as Allah Most Exalted said:
[( وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ) ]
“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad SAW) but We inspired him (saying): Lâ ilâha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allâh)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).” [Surah Anbiya, 21:25]
The nations of the past and many of the polytheists and idolaters (Mushrikeen) used to accept Tauheed al-Rububiyyah but reject Tauheed al-Uluhiyyah. In other words, they would acknowledge and admit that Allah is the Lord, Creator, Owner, Master, Sustainer, Giver of live and death, etc, yet they would worship their idols and take them as gods saying that they “INTERCEDE” for them.
Most of them did not say that there were two creators, but they were claimed gods along with Him, the and ask INTERCESSION as they said, “We do not worship them except to become nearer to Allah.” (Az-Zumar 39:3) By this they contradicted the ayah before it (which commanded not taking intercessors): “So worship Allah (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah’s sake only, and not to show off, and not to set up rivals with Him in worship.” (Az-Zumar 39:2)
These polytheists would worship Allah in times of distress and then their idols when they were secure, as Allah the Exalted said: said
( فإذا ركبوا في الفلك دعوا الله مخلصين له الدين فلما نجاهم إلى البر إذا هم يشركون )
“And when they ride in ships [in stormy seas] they address their prayers to God in complete sincerity, but when they reach the shore they relapse into idolatry [shirk: associating partners with Allah].” [Qur`an 29:65].
Tauheed is of three kinds, or divisions or classifications:
- Tauheed ar-Rububiyyah is the Oneness of Lordship. It pertains to Allah’s right as the Lord, and all that entails that He is the Creator, Master, Owner, Sustainer, etc.
- Tauheed Al-Uluhiyyah is the Oneness of Godhead pertaining to Allah’s right to be worshiped sincerely without any peers and partners.(Also called Tauheed al-Ibadah- Oneness of Worship),
- Tauheed al-Asmaa was-Sifat is the Oneness of Allah’s Names and Attributes – such as that He is ar-Rahman, ar-Raheem, al-Malik, etc.
These three are inseparable, and we find conclusive evidence for this understanding about the division of Tauheed in the Quran, for in al-Fatihah we find
( الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ)
“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds,”
which contains Allah’s right to Lordship (Rububiyyah), and then
( الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين )
“The Most Beneficent Gracious, The Most Merciful, King of the Day of Recompense (Judgment), ”
which contains Allah’s Names and Attributes; and then
(إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ )
“You alone we worship and You alone we seek for help”,
which contains Allah’s right to be worshiped exclusively and with full wholehearted sincerely .
And in Surat-an-Nas we find
(قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ )
“Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of Mankind”
which contains Allah’s right to Lordship, and then
(مَلِكِ النَّاسِ )
“King of Mankind,”
( إِلَهِ النَّاسِ)
“God of Mankind,”
which correspond to the Rububiyya, then the al-Asmaa was-Sifat, then the Uluhiyyah respectively.
Allah the Exalted said, in a verse in which He has all three kinds of “Tauheed”
((رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِهِ هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيًّا ))
“Lord of the heavens and the earth so worship Him (Alone), and be constant and patient in His worship: Do you know of any who is similar to Him?”
Here we have the words of Allah in one verse indicating, as follows,
“Lord of the heavens and the earth”, indicates Tauheed Rububiyyah;
“so worship Him (Alone) and be constant and patient in His worship”, indicates Tauheed Al-Uluhiyyah;
“Do you know of any who is similar to Him?”, indicates Tauheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat, and Allah knows best.
Some scholars have classified Tauheed into two categories: (1) Tauheed of knowledge and affirmation, which is the Tauheed pertaining to Allah’s Lordship and Sovereignty (over all creation), and His blessed Names and Attributes of perfection; and (2) Tauheed of intention and action, which is the Tauheed pertaining to Allah’s Divinity and the worship of Allah. This classification emphasizing the importance knowledge and action (ilm wa aml), and the necessary relationship between them in the religion of the servants of Allah.
The first classification in three categories emphasizes Allah’s Exhaled Sovereignty, Divinity, and Beautiful Names and Attributes. Tauheed al-Uloohiyah comes from the same root “ilah” which the word ilah (god) and Allah (God) are derived, emphasizing Godhead and His Divinity. Sometimes Tauheed al-Uloohiyah is called Tauheed al-Uboodiyah (worship) to emphasize that the servants of Allah all must worship and adore Him.
The two classifications of Tauheed are essentially two ways of looking at the same reality, for the categories help us to better understand how to better believe in and worship Allah the Exalted without distortions, innovations, and mistakes in our faith and worship.