one finger tawheed

Explanation of TAWHEED (Islamic Monotheism)

Meaning of Tawheed

Tawheed is gotten from the Arabic word Wahhada (وَحَّدَ) which means ‘to unify’ or ‘make one’. In the technical usage of the shari’ah, Tawheed means worshipping Allãh alone without associating partners with Him. It is usually translated as Islamic monotheism. Tawheed is the direct and complete opposite of shirk (polytheism).

Importance of Tawheed

The importance of tawheed in the life of mankind cannot be over emphasized. Every human was born on the fitrah of tawheed. But on getting to this world they become corrupt by the evils that the devils among humans and the jinn beautify for them. Therefore, Tawheed is so important that Allãh made it a part of man so that he may not have excuse for his misguidance.

Out of His boundless mercy, Allãh did not abandon man after creating him to this world. Rather, He sent messengers and revealed books to the messengers primarily to call the people to tawheed. Preaching tawheed is the primary duty of the prophets and messengers (peace be upon them all). All other obligations such as good manners, solah (prayers), fasting etc. are secondary to the message of tawheed (Islamic monotheism).

۞And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allãh (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Tâghût besides Allãh) ۞

Tawheed is the ticket to paradise

Anyone who dies on any creed other than the pristine creed of Islamic monotheism should say bye-bye to every hope of not entering hell. That is because Tawheed is the essence of Islam and without it there is no Islam. Also, the pristine creed of Islamic monotheism is a requisite and condition for the entry of paradise. Anyone who dies on any other creed is undoubtedly going to hell.

Allãh the exalted says (Interpretation of the meaning):

۞Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you.۞ A brief enjoyment; then, their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.۞

Tawheed is the greatest good

No matter how great a deed may seem in the sight of men it is still subordinate to the reward of tawheed. Even if you give all your life and property in charity, the reward is not up to the reward you will get for actualizing your tawheed. In fact tawheed is a condition for every good to be counted as good.

Hadith of Ninety-Scrolls of Sins and One card of Tawheed

AbduLLaah bn ‘Amr reported that the messenger of Allaah (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) said:

A man from my nation will be called on the day of recompense in front of all the creations. Ninety nine scrolls will be spread for him, each scroll will extend as far as the eyes could see. Then Allaah the Glorified and exalted will say: “Do you deny any of these” He will say: “No, O Lord” He (Allaah) will say: “were My scribes unjust to you?” He will say: “No O Lord”. He (Allaah) will say: “do you have any excuse, do you have any good deed?” Then the man will be terrified and will say: “no” but Allaah will say: Of course, you have a good deed with us and surely there is no injustice today. So a card will that ‘there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and Muhammad is His servant messenger’ is written on will be brought out for him. The man will say: “O Lord, this card against these scrolls? He (Allaah) will say: Surely, you will not be wronged. So the scrolls will be placed in one side of the scale and the card in another side. The scrolls will float and the card will weigh.

Tawheed is the Reason why the heavens and the Earth Were Created:

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

۞It is Allãh Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allãh has power over all things, and that Allãh surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge۞

Tawheed is the reason Why You Were Created

Allãh the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

۞And I (Allãh) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone) ۞

It is however saddening that when calamity strikes a Muslim, the first of his assets he is willing to give in exchange for ‘a solution’ is tawheed. There is no doubt that any solution that requires you to part ways with your tawheed is a complication in disguise not a solution. We seek refuge with Allãh.

۞And they have taken (for worship) âliha (gods) besides Allãh, that they might give them honour, power and glory (and also protect them from Allãh’s Punishment etc.)۞ Nay, but they (the so-called Allãhs) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them (on the Day of Resurrection)۞

Aspects of Tawheed

There are three aspects of Tawheed:

  • Tawheedof Ruboobiyyah (Lordship)
  • Tawheedof Uloohiyyah (Worship)
  • Tawheedof Asmaa Wa Sifaat (Names and Attributes)

Tawheed of Lordship (Ruboobiyyah)

Tawheed of Lordship means that we acknowledge and believe that Allãh alone is the Lord of the worlds, He alone created the heavens, the earth and all what is in and between them. He alone sustains and provides for all that is in the heavens and the earth. This is the explanation of Tawheed Ruboobiyyah.

The Arab Polythesists do not Deny Roboobiyyah

Deviations in Tawheed Ruboobiyyah

Deviation in Ruboobiyyah is to believe that there is a person, thing or force responsible for the existence of this world or sustains a part or all of what is in the heavens and the earth. Irrespective of whether such a person is an angel, prophet or saint. Also irrespective of the status of such person, place or thing such as the prophet Muhammad (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) Ka’bah, city of Makkah etc. Associating the deeds of Allãh to any person, thing or force is tantamount to shirk in ruboobiyyah.

The Big Bang

An example of Shirk in the Ruboobiyyah of Allãh is to believe in the big bang theory. This is a theory formulated by some western scientists to explain the origin of the universe. According to national geographic website:

the Big Bang theory proponents suggest that some 10 billion to 20 billion years ago, a massive blast allowed all the universe’s known matter and energy- even space and time themselves- to spring from some ancient and unknown type of energy.

Of course, the believer knows the source of time, space and energy;

Such is Allãh, your Lord! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things

Destiny Re-Writers or Withholders

Another example is to believe that some people can rewrite one’s destiny or delay what has been decreed by Allãh. The Yoruba people say: “people can only delay destiny they can’t stop it” and the westerners say: “your destiny is in your hands”. These are clear statements of shirk because believing that Allãh alone has the right and power to divine decree is a fundamental aspect of Tawheed ruboobiyyah.

Legslation

One other form of shirk in Tawheed ruboobiyyah is to believe that a person or group of people have the right to legislate besides Allãh. The phrase “government of the people, by the people and for the people” has become an anthem recited by many more than they recite suratul fatihah. From primary school these words are dictated to little children like they are revealed from heaven.

As Muslims it is obligatory upon us to know, acknowledge and believe that Allãh alone has the supreme right to legislate. Any law, decree, rule or policy that contradicts the legislation of Allãh is a wrongdoing. Coupled with the facts that these laws are not based on acquiring good, peace and security for the people. Rather, they are based on acquiring worldly possessions and material benefits. That’s why the people who made these laws always bend it, revise it and even bypass it when it poses a threat to their material aims.

We ask Allãh for safety and protection from the wrongs of our time.

Tawheed of Worship (Uloohiyyah or Ibaadah)

It is to direct all our acts of worship to Allãh alone. Not associating partners with Him in any act of worship.

Anyone who gives an act of worship to anyone else besides Allãh has committed shirk. Irrespective of the rank of the person, thing or being; angel, prophet, saint, holy land, holy time etc. None has right to be worshipped besides Allãh; that is the meaning of laa ilaaha Illa Allãh, there is no deity worthy of worship except Allãh.

This because Allãh alone created the heavens and the earth, He alone provides for and sustains all that is in the heavens and the earth. Definitely He alone should be worshipped because the reason why we worship is because we love a deity for its mercy and grace upon us, we fear that the deity may afflict us with bad or evil if we disobey it or we hope for more blessings and good from the deity. These are the three foundations of worship; love, fear and hope.

Rationality of Tawheed and Irrationaility of Shirk:

Of course none has the right to be loved like Allãh because He alone created us, provides for us, and sustains us. The existence of all that is in the heavens and the earth is due to His mercy. Why should you love a person, thing, or being like Allãh? These beings or things were created by Allãh, the mercy of Allãh is the reason why they exist. If not for His mercy they wouldn’t exist let alone survive.

If you derive any benefit from a being or thing it is only a part of the abundant mercy and blessing of Allãh upon him/it.

The same applies to fear and hope. The dominion of the heavens and the earth belong to Allãh alone, so why should you fear any being or thing besides Allãh? Why should you hope for any good besides any being or thing besides Allãh.

If any being or thing harms you or benefits you it is only because Allãh has decreed it, therefore all is from Allãh alone. No one can grant good or avert evil if Allãh doesn’t permit him to do so.

If we understand the above, it will be easy for us to know why we should seek good and protection from Allãh alone.

Tell me! If you wanted to enter a mansion with a hundred doors, the keys to each door are shared among a hundred men but you know a single man that has a single key that can open all the doors. Not only that, he also has the power and right to change the padlocks at any time. Would you rather request for a hundred temporary keys from a hundred men or focus on one permanent key from one Supreme Being. This is the similitude of the polytheist who worships deities besides Allãh.

Now that we know that our acts of worship shouldn’t be directed to any other being besides Allãh or along with Allãh rather we should direct all acts of worship To Allãh alone without associating partners with Him, the next issue that comes to mind is: what is the definition and scope of worship?

Here is our enlightening discussion on the Concept of Worship.

Tawheed of Asmaa wa Sifaat (Names and attributes of Allãh).

This is the third and final aspect of Tawheed. It entails unifying Allãh in His names and attributes. Allãh should be called by and qualified with only names that He has named Himself and the attributes which He has used to describe Himself.

Allãh described His Exalted Self with many attributes and called Himself many names. He also referred to His attributes as the highest description:

For those who believe not in the Hereafter is an evil description, and for Allãh is the highest description. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

And He it is Who originates the creation, then will repeat it (after it has been perished), and this is easier for Him. His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

He also referred to His names as the best names:

  1. Say (O Muhammad): “Invoke Allãh or invoke the Most Beneficent (Allãh), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salât(prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.
  2. Allãh! Lâ ilâhla illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! To Him belong the Best Names.
  3. He is Allãh, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names . All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

Principles in Names and Attributes of Allaah

Belief in the names and attributes of Allãh entails a number of principles but we will mention the major ones and state the others as examples during our discussion.

All the names of Allãh are Most Beautiful:

This is because they contain the best of attributes. The names of Allãh are not just words that are pronounced, they are words that carry meanings. For example; Ar-Raheem carries the attribute of mercy, Al-Wahhaab means the one Bestower.

It is a great crime and ignorance to say that the names of Allãh are meaningless as some deviant ideologies say.

They all Refer to One Being but Carry Unique Meanings:

All the names of Allãh refer to no other being except Allãh but each of them carries a unique meaning. The benefit in knowing the different names of Allãh is that each name contains a unique attribute which is not contained in another. For example the name al-Hayy (the Ever Living) points to the attribute of immortality and eternity which is not found in the name Al-Khaaliq (the creator).

One benefit of this is that you are able to choose the most fitting name for your need when you are praying e.g. If what you need is protection you may say Ya Hafeedh (the Protector) protect me, if you are seeking sustenance you may say: “Ya Razzaaq or Yaa Ghaniyy or Yaa Wahhaab provide for me” and so on.

The names of Allãh are gotten from Revelations only:

The names of Allãh cannot be derived through analogy rather they are derived from explicit statements of the Quran and Sunnah. This is because we have never seen Allãh and there is nothing like Him. Therefore trying to fabricate names for Allãh is tantamount to saying what one has no knowledge of:

And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allãh).

The names of Allãh are more than ninety-nine:

This might shock you but it’s the fact according to evidences and pristine understanding. The evidence for this is the hadith of the messenger (commendations and peace of Allãh be upon him):

I beseech you by every name you bear; those which you named yourself, revealed in a book, taught a prophet or kept the knowledge of it to yourself…

As for the hadith that says:

“Allãh has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.”

This hadith does not say that the names of Allãh are only ninety nine. It only tells us that ninety-nine among the names of Allãh are as described above. Otherwise the hadith would have been: “The names of Allãh are ninety-nine…”

There is no authentic hadith that lists the ninety-nine names:

You most likely have come across a number of hadiths which list the ninety-nine names. Or at least you have seen wallpapers and designs which list them. The truth is that none of those hadiths is reliable. Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“Specification of them (i.e. the ninety-nine names) is not from the words of the prophet (commendations and peace of Allãh be upon)”

I know you might be shocked but I was also shocked the forst day I read it. Perhaps if we spend more of our time studying Islam we wouldn’t be this shock by an obvious fact.

Some Common Deviations Regarding the Names of Allãh

Deviations in the names and attributes of Allaah cannot be fully discussed in an article. That is because each of the deviant sects has its unique deviant opinion in this chapter. However, what you will be getting reading is a number of principles and examples which will serve as a universal criterion for you to identify deviations when you see them in the future.

Denying one, let alone all, of them

This could be through denying the name (e.g. saying Allãh is not Ar-Rahmaan The Merciful) or denying the attribute carried by the name (e.g. saying Allãh does not have mercy on His creatures) or denying both (e.g. saying Allãh is neither An-Noor nor does He possess light).

Likening His Names to the Names of His Creatures:

This is if a person likens the attribute carried by a name to the attribute of humans or any other creature of Allãh (e.g. Allãh is As-Samee’ meaning The All-Hearer). If a person says that Allãh hears just like we hears or thinks that some things can be hidden from the hearing of Allãh or too minute for Him to hear, then he has deviated from guidance and has erred clearly. Exalted be Allãh.

Calling Him names He didn’t call Himself

An example of that is how the Christians and Jews call Him ‘Father’ or ‘Lion of Judah’ and the philosophers call Him ‘the uncaused cause’ and the Sufis call Him ‘Huwa’ meaning ‘He’. These names are not only baseless but they also carry flawed attributes. Exalted be Allãh above what they say.

Giving names of Allãh to idols and vice versa:

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

Have you then considered Al-Lât, and Al-‘Uzza (two idols of the pagan Arabs)

And Manât (another idol of the pagan Arabs), the other third?

Some scholars of tafseer stated that the pagan Arabs derived Al-Laat, Al-‘Uzza and Manat from Allãh’s names; Allãh, Al-Azeez, Al-Mannaan respectively.

Imam Ibn Jereer Tabaree said:

“so also the polytheists gave their idols names of Allãh exalted is he and Holy are His names, So they formed Al-Lat from Allãh, Al-’Uzza from Al-Azeez and they claimed that they (the idols) are daughters of Allãh. Exalted be Allãh above what they say and fabricate.

A contemporary example is how the northern Christians use the words Allãh and Yesu (local pronunciation of the word Jesus) synonymously. We have only mentioned this so that Muslims will avoid falling into their misguidance.

Some principles in the attributes of Allãh:

All the attributes of Allãh are perfect and beautiful:

Allãh the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

…and for Allãh is the highest description…

Imam Ibn Katheer said regarding the above verse:

“Meaning: absolute perfection belongs to him”

There is nothing like Allaah

Nothing looks like Allaah, nothing is similar to Him. Anything that comes to your is only a mirror of what you have seen before. But you have never seen Allaah so you can’t describe him. If you see any person trying to describe how Allaah actually is, then know that such a person is either insane or absolutely ignorant.

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

So put not forward similitudes for God (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything). Truly! God knows and you know not.

Do you know of any who is similar to Him?

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.

Atributes are wider than Names:

This means that not every attribute can be used to derive a name for Allãh but every name can be be used to derive an attribute for Allãh. In another expression; all names carry attributes but not all attributes carry name.

This is because some attributes are praiseworthy in some instances but not praiseworthy in some instances. A good example is the attribute of anger. Anger is only good if done in the right condition and without transgression. Allãh has the attribute of anger but it is not right to name him the “Ever-angry” and so on.

Some attributes are affirmative while others are negative

Some attributes of Allãh are affirmative; they establish descriptions for Allãh e.g. attribute of sight and knowledge as we have in the Quran:

Truly, Allãh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

And fear Allãh and know that Allãh is All-Seer of what you do.

On the other hand, the negative attributes are descriptions of absence. They tell us what Allaah does not have. Examples of negative attributes include: saying Allaah has no wife, no son, cannot die, does not wrong or deal unjustly with His servant etc.

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

And certainly, God is never unjust to (His) slaves.

He begets not, nor was He begotten

God! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him… His Kursî extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them

The established attributes are descriptions of perfection while the negated ones are flawed descriptions.

Conclusion

All praise be to Allaah who has made the compilation of this treatise possible. I ask him to make it beneficial (in this world and the hereafter) for the writer, my dear readers and everyone who shares it.wheed is the primary duty of the prophets and messengers (peace be upon them all). All other obligations such as good manners, solah (prayers), fasting etc. are secondary to the message of tawheed (Islamic monotheism).

۞And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allãh (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Tâghût besides Allãh) ۞

Tawheed is the ticket to paradise

Anyone who dies on any creed other than the pristine creed of Islamic monotheism should say bye-bye to every hope of not entering hell. That is because Tawheed is the essence of Islam and without it there is no Islam. Also, the pristine creed of Islamic monotheism is a requisite and condition for the entry of paradise. Anyone who dies on any other creed is undoubtedly going to hell.

Allãh the exalted says (Interpretation of the meaning):

۞Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you.۞ A brief enjoyment; then, their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.۞

Tawheed is the greatest good

No matter how great a deed may seem in the sight of men it is still subordinate to the reward of tawheed. Even if you give all your life and property in charity, the reward is not up to the reward you will get for actualizing your tawheed. In fact tawheed is a condition for every good to be counted as good.

Hadith of Ninety-Scrolls of Sins and One card of Tawheed

AbduLLaah bn ‘Amr reported that the messenger of Allaah (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) said:

A man from my nation will be called on the day of recompense in front of all the creations. Ninety nine scrolls will be spread for him, each scroll will extend as far as the eyes could see. Then Allaah the Glorified and exalted will say: “Do you deny any of these” He will say: “No, O Lord” He (Allaah) will say: “were My scribes unjust to you?” He will say: “No O Lord”. He (Allaah) will say: “do you have any excuse, do you have any good deed?” Then the man will be terrified and will say: “no” but Allaah will say: Of course, you have a good deed with us and surely there is no injustice today. So a card will that ‘there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and Muhammad is His servant messenger’ is written on will be brought out for him. The man will say: “O Lord, this card against these scrolls? He (Allaah) will say: Surely, you will not be wronged. So the scrolls will be placed in one side of the scale and the card in another side. The scrolls will float and the card will weigh.

Tawheed is the Reason why the heavens and the Earth Were Created:

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

۞It is Allãh Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allãh has power over all things, and that Allãh surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge۞

Tawheed is the reason Why You Were Created

Allãh the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

۞And I (Allãh) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone) ۞

It is however saddening that when calamity strikes a Muslim, the first of his assets he is willing to give in exchange for ‘a solution’ is tawheed. There is no doubt that any solution that requires you to part ways with your tawheed is a complication in disguise not a solution. We seek refuge with Allãh.

۞And they have taken (for worship) âliha (gods) besides Allãh, that they might give them honour, power and glory (and also protect them from Allãh’s Punishment etc.)۞ Nay, but they (the so-called Allãhs) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them (on the Day of Resurrection)۞

Aspects of Tawheed

There are three aspects of Tawheed:

  • Tawheedof Ruboobiyyah (Lordship)
  • Tawheedof Uloohiyyah (Worship)
  • Tawheedof Asmaa Wa Sifaat (Names and Attributes)

Tawheed of Lordship (Ruboobiyyah)

Tawheed of Lordship means that we acknowledge and believe that Allãh alone is the Lord of the worlds, He alone created the heavens, the earth and all what is in and between them. He alone sustains and provides for all that is in the heavens and the earth. This is the explanation of Tawheed Ruboobiyyah.

The Arab Polythesists do not Deny Roboobiyyah

Deviations in Tawheed Ruboobiyyah

Deviation in Ruboobiyyah is to believe that there is a person, thing or force responsible for the existence of this world or sustains a part or all of what is in the heavens and the earth. Irrespective of whether such a person is an angel, prophet or saint. Also irrespective of the status of such person, place or thing such as the prophet Muhammad (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) Ka’bah, city of Makkah etc. Associating the deeds of Allãh to any person, thing or force is tantamount to shirk in ruboobiyyah.

The Big Bang

An example of Shirk in the Ruboobiyyah of Allãh is to believe in the big bang theory. This is a theory formulated by some western scientists to explain the origin of the universe. According to national geographic website:

the Big Bang theory proponents suggest that some 10 billion to 20 billion years ago, a massive blast allowed all the universe’s known matter and energy- even space and time themselves- to spring from some ancient and unknown type of energy.

Of course, the believer knows the source of time, space and energy;

Such is Allãh, your Lord! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things

Destiny Re-Writers or Withholders

Another example is to believe that some people can rewrite one’s destiny or delay what has been decreed by Allãh. The Yoruba people say: “people can only delay destiny they can’t stop it” and the westerners say: “your destiny is in your hands”. These are clear statements of shirk because believing that Allãh alone has the right and power to divine decree is a fundamental aspect of Tawheed ruboobiyyah.

Legslation

One other form of shirk in Tawheed ruboobiyyah is to believe that a person or group of people have the right to legislate besides Allãh. The phrase “government of the people, by the people and for the people” has become an anthem recited by many more than they recite suratul fatihah. From primary school these words are dictated to little children like they are revealed from heaven.

As Muslims it is obligatory upon us to know, acknowledge and believe that Allãh alone has the supreme right to legislate. Any law, decree, rule or policy that contradicts the legislation of Allãh is a wrongdoing. Coupled with the facts that these laws are not based on acquiring good, peace and security for the people. Rather, they are based on acquiring worldly possessions and material benefits. That’s why the people who made these laws always bend it, revise it and even bypass it when it poses a threat to their material aims.

We ask Allãh for safety and protection from the wrongs of our time.

Tawheed of Worship (Uloohiyyah or Ibaadah)

It is to direct all our acts of worship to Allãh alone. Not associating partners with Him in any act of worship.

Anyone who gives an act of worship to anyone else besides Allãh has committed shirk. Irrespective of the rank of the person, thing or being; angel, prophet, saint, holy land, holy time etc. None has right to be worshipped besides Allãh; that is the meaning of laa ilaaha Illa Allãh, there is no deity worthy of worship except Allãh.

This because Allãh alone created the heavens and the earth, He alone provides for and sustains all that is in the heavens and the earth. Definitely He alone should be worshipped because the reason why we worship is because we love a deity for its mercy and grace upon us, we fear that the deity may afflict us with bad or evil if we disobey it or we hope for more blessings and good from the deity. These are the three foundations of worship; love, fear and hope.

Rationality of Tawheed and Irrationaility of Shirk:

Of course none has the right to be loved like Allãh because He alone created us, provides for us, and sustains us. The existence of all that is in the heavens and the earth is due to His mercy. Why should you love a person, thing, or being like Allãh? These beings or things were created by Allãh, the mercy of Allãh is the reason why they exist. If not for His mercy they wouldn’t exist let alone survive.

If you derive any benefit from a being or thing it is only a part of the abundant mercy and blessing of Allãh upon him/it.

The same applies to fear and hope. The dominion of the heavens and the earth belong to Allãh alone, so why should you fear any being or thing besides Allãh? Why should you hope for any good besides any being or thing besides Allãh.

If any being or thing harms you or benefits you it is only because Allãh has decreed it, therefore all is from Allãh alone. No one can grant good or avert evil if Allãh doesn’t permit him to do so.

If we understand the above, it will be easy for us to know why we should seek good and protection from Allãh alone.

Tell me! If you wanted to enter a mansion with a hundred doors, the keys to each door are shared among a hundred men but you know a single man that has a single key that can open all the doors. Not only that, he also has the power and right to change the padlocks at any time. Would you rather request for a hundred temporary keys from a hundred men or focus on one permanent key from one Supreme Being. This is the similitude of the polytheist who worships deities besides Allãh.

Now that we know that our acts of worship shouldn’t be directed to any other being besides Allãh or along with Allãh rather we should direct all acts of worship To Allãh alone without associating partners with Him, the next issue that comes to mind is: what is the definition and scope of worship?

Here is our enlightening discussion on the Concept of Worship.

Tawheed of Asmaa wa Sifaat (Names and attributes of Allãh).

This is the third and final aspect of Tawheed. It entails unifying Allãh in His names and attributes. Allãh should be called by and qualified with only names that He has named Himself and the attributes which He has used to describe Himself.

Allãh described His Exalted Self with many attributes and called Himself many names. He also referred to His attributes as the highest description:

For those who believe not in the Hereafter is an evil description, and for Allãh is the highest description. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

And He it is Who originates the creation, then will repeat it (after it has been perished), and this is easier for Him. His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

He also referred to His names as the best names:

  1. Say (O Muhammad): “Invoke Allãh or invoke the Most Beneficent (Allãh), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salât(prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.
  2. Allãh! Lâ ilâhla illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! To Him belong the Best Names.
  3. He is Allãh, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names . All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

Principles in Names and Attributes of Allaah

Belief in the names and attributes of Allãh entails a number of principles but we will mention the major ones and state the others as examples during our discussion.

All the names of Allãh are Most Beautiful:

This is because they contain the best of attributes. The names of Allãh are not just words that are pronounced, they are words that carry meanings. For example; Ar-Raheem carries the attribute of mercy, Al-Wahhaab means the one Bestower.

It is a great crime and ignorance to say that the names of Allãh are meaningless as some deviant ideologies say.

They all Refer to One Being but Carry Unique Meanings:

All the names of Allãh refer to no other being except Allãh but each of them carries a unique meaning. The benefit in knowing the different names of Allãh is that each name contains a unique attribute which is not contained in another. For example the name al-Hayy (the Ever Living) points to the attribute of immortality and eternity which is not found in the name Al-Khaaliq (the creator).

One benefit of this is that you are able to choose the most fitting name for your need when you are praying e.g. If what you need is protection you may say Ya Hafeedh (the Protector) protect me, if you are seeking sustenance you may say: “Ya Razzaaq or Yaa Ghaniyy or Yaa Wahhaab provide for me” and so on.

The names of Allãh are gotten from Revelations only:

The names of Allãh cannot be derived through analogy rather they are derived from explicit statements of the Quran and Sunnah. This is because we have never seen Allãh and there is nothing like Him. Therefore trying to fabricate names for Allãh is tantamount to saying what one has no knowledge of:

And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allãh).

The names of Allãh are more than ninety-nine:

This might shock you but it’s the fact according to evidences and pristine understanding. The evidence for this is the hadith of the messenger (commendations and peace of Allãh be upon him):

I beseech you by every name you bear; those which you named yourself, revealed in a book, taught a prophet or kept the knowledge of it to yourself…

As for the hadith that says:

“Allãh has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.”

This hadith does not say that the names of Allãh are only ninety nine. It only tells us that ninety-nine among the names of Allãh are as described above. Otherwise the hadith would have been: “The names of Allãh are ninety-nine…”

There is no authentic hadith that lists the ninety-nine names:

You most likely have come across a number of hadiths which list the ninety-nine names. Or at least you have seen wallpapers and designs which list them. The truth is that none of those hadiths is reliable. Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“Specification of them (i.e. the ninety-nine names) is not from the words of the prophet (commendations and peace of Allãh be upon)”

I know you might be shocked but I was also shocked the forst day I read it. Perhaps if we spend more of our time studying Islam we wouldn’t be this shock by an obvious fact.

Some Common Deviations Regarding the Names of Allãh

Deviations in the names and attributes of Allaah cannot be fully discussed in an article. That is because each of the deviant sects has its unique deviant opinion in this chapter. However, what you will be getting reading is a number of principles and examples which will serve as a universal criterion for you to identify deviations when you see them in the future.

Denying one, let alone all, of them

This could be through denying the name (e.g. saying Allãh is not Ar-Rahmaan The Merciful) or denying the attribute carried by the name (e.g. saying Allãh does not have mercy on His creatures) or denying both (e.g. saying Allãh is neither An-Noor nor does He possess light).

Likening His Names to the Names of His Creatures:

This is if a person likens the attribute carried by a name to the attribute of humans or any other creature of Allãh (e.g. Allãh is As-Samee’ meaning The All-Hearer). If a person says that Allãh hears just like we hears or thinks that some things can be hidden from the hearing of Allãh or too minute for Him to hear, then he has deviated from guidance and has erred clearly. Exalted be Allãh.

Calling Him names He didn’t call Himself

An example of that is how the Christians and Jews call Him ‘Father’ or ‘Lion of Judah’ and the philosophers call Him ‘the uncaused cause’ and the Sufis call Him ‘Huwa’ meaning ‘He’. These names are not only baseless but they also carry flawed attributes. Exalted be Allãh above what they say.

Giving names of Allãh to idols and vice versa:

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

Have you then considered Al-Lât, and Al-‘Uzza (two idols of the pagan Arabs)

And Manât (another idol of the pagan Arabs), the other third?

Some scholars of tafseer stated that the pagan Arabs derived Al-Laat, Al-‘Uzza and Manat from Allãh’s names; Allãh, Al-Azeez, Al-Mannaan respectively.

Imam Ibn Jereer Tabaree said:

“so also the polytheists gave their idols names of Allãh exalted is he and Holy are His names, So they formed Al-Lat from Allãh, Al-’Uzza from Al-Azeez and they claimed that they (the idols) are daughters of Allãh. Exalted be Allãh above what they say and fabricate.

A contemporary example is how the northern Christians use the words Allãh and Yesu (local pronunciation of the word Jesus) synonymously. We have only mentioned this so that Muslims will avoid falling into their misguidance.

Some principles in the attributes of Allãh:

All the attributes of Allãh are perfect and beautiful:

Allãh the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

…and for Allãh is the highest description…

Imam Ibn Katheer said regarding the above verse:

“Meaning: absolute perfection belongs to him”

There is nothing like Allaah

Nothing looks like Allaah, nothing is similar to Him. Anything that comes to your is only a mirror of what you have seen before. But you have never seen Allaah so you can’t describe him. If you see any person trying to describe how Allaah actually is, then know that such a person is either insane or absolutely ignorant.

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

So put not forward similitudes for God (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything). Truly! God knows and you know not.

Do you know of any who is similar to Him?

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.

Atributes are wider than Names:

This means that not every attribute can be used to derive a name for Allãh but every name can be be used to derive an attribute for Allãh. In another expression; all names carry attributes but not all attributes carry name.

This is because some attributes are praiseworthy in some instances but not praiseworthy in some instances. A good example is the attribute of anger. Anger is only good if done in the right condition and without transgression. Allãh has the attribute of anger but it is not right to name him the “Ever-angry” and so on.

Some attributes are affirmative while others are negative

Some attributes of Allãh are affirmative; they establish descriptions for Allãh e.g. attribute of sight and knowledge as we have in the Quran:

Truly, Allãh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

And fear Allãh and know that Allãh is All-Seer of what you do.

On the other hand, the negative attributes are descriptions of absence. They tell us what Allaah does not have. Examples of negative attributes include: saying Allaah has no wife, no son, cannot die, does not wrong or deal unjustly with His servant etc.

Allaah the exalted says (interpretation of the meaning):

And certainly, God is never unjust to (His) slaves.

He begets not, nor was He begotten

God! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him… His Kursî extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them

The established attributes are descriptions of perfection while the negated ones are flawed descriptions.

Conclusion

All praise be to Allaah who has made the compilation of this treatise possible. I ask him to make it beneficial (in this world and the hereafter) for the writer, my dear readers and everyone who shares it.

7 Replies to “Explanation of TAWHEED (Islamic Monotheism)”

  1. References where not made in some parts. Like the statements of Shayk ul Islam in taymiyaah concerning the ninety names of Allah not being specifically mentioned by the prophet in an authentic Hadith. Please I would like that to be addressed

    1. Can’t really recollect ever coming across the sheikh’s statement. However, it is not far fetched because I found the words of Al-Imaam Ibn Katheer in which he said in his tafseer (2/269):

      What a group of memorisers hold on to is that the mention of the (ninety-nine) names in this (hadith) was inserted.

      Source: (pg 18, footnote) of Al-Qawaa’edul Muthlaa by Sheikh Ibnul Uthaymeen. Annotation of Ashraf bn Abdil-Maqsood bn Abdir-Raheem. Published by Maktabtus-Sunnah. Please revise the book for more details.
      If you have the reference of where sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah said so, we will be glad to get it from you. May Allaah bless you.

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