Oct 12, 2012, 3:32 AM
QUESTION: WHAT IS ISLAMIC MONOTHEISM (TAWHID)?
Monotheism is the belief and worship of Allah (the One). There exist three (Major) Monotheistic religions in the world today Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. However, it is important to note that there are variations in the worship of "One God" in these three religions. Hence Islamic Monotheism greatly differs from Monotheism in other religions. This is because as Islamic scholars have agreed, Islamic monotheism entails three major aspects. It is these three aspects of Monotheism that set it apart from other Monotheistic religions. This is because it declares the Uniqueness and the Oneness of God in every level of Faith and belief.
The three aspects of Islamic Monotheism (Tawhid) are:
-Tawhid -ar- Rububiyyah (recognition of the One
-Tawhid -al- Uluhiyyah(acknowledgment of the One)
- Tawhid-al-Asma was- Sifat (recognition and acknowledgement of the uniqueness of His attributes and actions)
-AsTawhid means, "declaring God One" while Shirk means "associating partners with God", thus Tawhid means Monotheism whilst Shirk is polytheism or Idolatry. Each of these has different aspects of Tawhid has different types of Shirk Negating them and these will be discussed accordingly.
TAWHID -AR- RUBUBIYYAH: is the Oneness of the Lordship of Allah: This is to belief that God is Unique, One, that he is Lord of the Universe the Creator of all, the Sustainer etc. It is the belief that there is only one God and that is Allah. Thus, as I mentioned before one must be very careful, as there are Shirk that oppose / negate this belief. These are quite simply polytheism and atheism. These are very grievous beliefs that negate the oneness of Allah that must be avoided. Polytheism is the belief in the existence of many gods that create and sustain the universe and our existence. To illustrate this, Most of the time we hear "god of thunder", "god of rain" and as in some cultures the belief in the existence of our ancestors as watching over the world or intervening in life and our existence is also polytheism.
Atheism is also another that negates Tawhid-ar- Rububiyyah because it's the belief that there is no creator or sustainer at all. In this modern world atheism is rapidly becoming more and more the belief of people who claim to have studied the forms of existence through science and cannot see extraordinary hand of God in the creation of such. In simple terms "cant belief what cant be proven empirically". And as one cannot subject God to an empirical research, God does not exist.
TAWHID -AL- ULUHIYYAH: is Oneness in the worship of Allah. It is the confession in one's heart that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone. The meaning of this form of Tawhid is rest on the word WORSHIP (IBADAH). The belief in the Oneness of the worship of Allah carries the meaning that none except Allah must be worshiped, not Angels, Messengers, Prophets, saints, idols, the Sun, the Moon, Kings or any other kind of false deity, thus we must pray to none but Allah, invoke none but Allah, Ask for help from none (unseen) but Allah, Swear by none but Allah.
This is a very great challenge for many people who claim to be Muslims but either out of ignorance or intentionally, swear by others besides Allah. It is not uncommon to hear people everywhere swear using the name of one saint or another, or to belief the fact that one saint or Messenger, prophet e.t.c has to be worshiped just because of a deed done out of the ordinary.
The Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) used to say "I seek refuge (with you) by your 'Izzat (Honor, Power, and Glory), La ilaha Illa Anta, (none has the right to be worshiped but you), who does not die while jinns and the Human beings die". [9:480-O.B] narrated by Ibn Abbas.
This is clear manifestation from one who was sent by Allah to guide mankind, that none must be worshiped except Allah.
TAWHID-AL-ASMAT WAS - SIFAT: This is the third aspect of Tawhid; it entails the belief that the names and attributes of Allah cannot be possessed by any but Allah. Declaring God one in his names like AR- RAHMAN, AR-RAHIM, AL-AZIZ, AL-BARR e.t.c these names are for Allah only, for Allah is Absolute Good, Absolute Life, and Absolute Power e.t.c. The sense in this is that even if one wants to say that human beings possess these characters, it is only logical to know that our life is mixed with death, our power is mixed with incapability, and our goodness is mixed with badness.
The best names a Muslim could give his child are using the attributes of Allah preceded by the word Abdou (savant). To illustrate this, names like Abdouallah, Abdou Rahman. Abdou Rahim. Abdou karim could be used. This signifies your acknowledgement of the fact that we are just savants of Allah The Merciful, The Gracious e.t.c. However, most frequently we shorten these names and call our children Karim, or Rahman or Latif, which are names meant only for Allah. A kind of shirk that negates Tawhid-Al-Asma waSifat is the deification of Human beings and the Humanization of God.
If we take a look at the two aspects of Tawhid, i.e. Tawhid-Ar- Rububiyyah and Tawhid Al- Asma wa Sifat we would realize that they refer to our knowledge and understanding of God whilst Tawhid al Uluhiyyah refers to our motivation to worship.
In summary, we must not only worship God in prayers but we must seek to have the correct knowledge (Tawhid ar Rububiyyah), and correct understanding (Tawhid Al Asmat was Sifat) about God, In order to perfect our Monotheism.
Islamic Monotheism therefore is a complete way for mankind in every level of his relation to God. Let us bear in mind, (Ayaah 3:31) of the Quran:
"Say (O Muhammad PBUH to mankind), 'if you (really) love Allah then follow me [i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunna (legal ways of the prophet PBUH], Allah will love you and forgive you of your sin.
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