The term “Tawheed” refers to the “Oneness” of Allah, illustrating the concept of monotheism believed by Muslims. Tawheed has been classified into three different categories, namely:
- Tawheed Asma Was-Siffat
Let us look at the first category. Tawheed-ul-Rububiyyah refers to the belief that Allah is One and He has no partners or equals.
Tawheed-ul-Rububiyyah literally means “Maintaining the Unity of Lordship”.
This means Allah is the sole owner of everything in the heavens and the earth. He is the sole Creator, Nourisher and Sustainer of the Universe. Every single creation is under His sovereignty. Allah alone has the power to create life and cause death. Every single creature is under His control and can do anything only if He wills.
Allah says in the Quran,
“Verily, your Lord is Allah who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, chasing it rapidly, and the sun, the moon, and the stars are subjected to His command. Unquestionably, for Him is the creation and the command. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:45)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say often, “La Hawla Wa La Quwwata Illa Billah”, meaning, “There’s no power and might other than Allah”, reinstating the aspect of Tawheed-ul-Rububiyyah.
There are several verses in the Quran that talk about Tawheed-ul-Rububiyyah:
“Allah created all things and He is the One upon whom all things depend.” (Quran, 39:62)
“And no calamity strikes except by Allah’s permission. “ (Quran, 64:11)
“And Allah created you all and whatever you do.” (Quran, 37:96)
Therefore, we understand that everything happens according to the will of Allah.
For example, when a person experiences something happy and pleasant, it is solely because Allah willed it to be. Similarly, when a person goes through difficulties and hardships, it is because of Allah’s plan that was predestined for him/her to experience.
- Allah alone is in control:
When we understand that Allah is the One in control of our life’s affairs, we will find it a lot easier to deal with any kind of hardship or tests. A person with proper understanding of Tawheed al Rububiyyah will remind himself that Allah is in power, so we should seek His help and guidance under all circumstances.
This will make us less dependent on people and more dependent on Allah to fulfil all our needs. By doing so, not only does our Iman, Taqwa and Tawakkul upon Allah increase, but we also save ourselves from disappointments and heartbreaks that would occur when depending on people , who are also mere mortals just like us.
When we understand the concept of complete reliance and dependence upon Allah, and truly absorb the power and might that Allah possesses, we will know deep down that He can pour ease, blessings and contentment into our lives no matter how difficult things get or how dark the road ahead of us looks at the moment. This belief will help us deal with any trials or hardships that this dunya would throw at us.
- Protection from Satan:
This belief will also protect us from the whispers of Satan who tries to make us feel dejected, lonely and helpless when we are in a difficult position. A person with firm faith and belief in Allah’s dominion will know that nothing is impossible with Allah’s help and no matter how difficult the road seems now, ease is always around the corner for the one who believes in Allah’s dominion and sovereignty. This is a win-win situation for a believer.
- It’s already written for you – Qadr:
A person who believes in Tawheed-ul-Rububiyyah will not worry about his sustenance because he knows Allah will provide for him from places unknown as long as he strives to please Allah and continues putting in all the efforts necessary to achieve his goal.
The oneness of Lordship includes the belief in Divine Providence (Qadr), that all things happen by the decree of Allah. Allah alone has complete and uncontested power in the universe and everything occurs according to His will and wisdom. This will prevent man from believing in superstitions, like using amulets to protect himself from harm, etc. He knows that only Allah can protect him from any kind of harm or evil.
Tawheed-al-Uluhiyyah literally means “Oneness of Worship”.
Here, a Muslim dedicates all acts of worship to none other than Allah SWT alone. Therefore, when he makes Du`a’, he calls upon Allah alone (supplication). When he seeks refuge from all evil, He relies upon Allah alone to save him. In moments of fear and hopelessness, he directs all forms of `Ibadah (worship) to Allah alone and no one else.
You might wonder that when a man believes in the Oneness of Allah (Tawheed al Rububiyyah), he would automatically worship Allah alone and no one else. Unfortunately, many people know and believe that Allah is our Lord but will refuse to worship Him.
Allah mention about such people in the Quran where He says,
“Say, “Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Or who controls hearing and sight and who brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and who arranges [every] matter?” They will say, ” Allah,” so say, “Then will you not fear Him?” (Quran, 10:31)
“And if you asked them, “Who sends down rain from the sky and gives life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness?” they would surely say ” Allah .” Say, “Praise to Allah “; but most of them do not reason.” (Quran, 29”63)
The pagans of Makakh believed and knew that Allah alone is in power and in charge of the whole universe, yet, they persisted in worshiping idols and rejected the message of tawheed that was preached by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Therefore, having knowledge about tawheed is not sufficient. One must act upon this knowledge in order to be a true believer.
Tawheed al Uluhiyyah negates the need for intercessors or intermediaries.
Allah says in the Quran,
“Indeed, those you call upon besides Allah are servants like you. So call upon them and let them respond to you, if you should be truthful.” (Quran, 7:194)
In Islam, we have been given the greatest honor of appealing and praying to Allah directly by asking for His help and guidance under all circumstances, at any time of the day, without having to go through intermediaries, to get our Duas answered. Therefore, we must never reach out to other humans (alive or dead) to seek their help to get our Duas answered.
Allah says in the Quran,
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Quran, 2:186)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If you ask in prayer, ask only from Allah and when you seek help, seek only from Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
Tawheed Asma Wa Siffat
This means Maintaining the Unity of Allah’s Names and Attributes.
This is the third part of Tawheed, where we, as Muslims are expected to learn, understand and believe in all of Allah’s Names and Attributes. Allah has mentioned these Names and Attributes in the Quran and Sunnah. Therefore, if we want to build a stronger connection with Allah, we must strive to learn these Names and Attributes, and use them in our day-to-day lives, to get a better understanding of our Creator Allah SWT.
Allah says in the Quran,
“And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them.” (Qur’an, 7:180)
For example, when we learn that Allah’s Name is Al Wahhab (the Giver of gifts), we will understand that Allah is capable of gifting us anything our hearts desire as long as they are within the halal limits. This belief will help us strengthen our bond with our Creator because we know He is capable of giving us the “impossible” because nothing is impossible for Allah.
Similarly, when we learn about Allah’s Name Al Ghafoor (The Forgiver), we will know that no matter how much we’ve sinned, Allah’s doors of repentance are always open for us. No matter how big our sins are, when we sincerely repent to Alah, Al Ghafoor will forgive us and accept our repentance.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen says: “Belief in His Names and Attributes i.e., affirming the names and attributes which Allah has affirmed for Himself in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him) in a manner that befits Him, without distorting or denying the meanings, or asking how, or likening Him to His creation.”
Some conditions to follow while believing in Allah’s Names and Attributes:
- We know about Allah’s Names and Attributes only through His revelation :This means that we have to solely rely on the Quran and Sunnah to learn about Allah’s Names and Attributes. We cannot give Allah any Name or Attribute which He hasn’t mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah.
- Allah’s names and attributes are not limited to 99 : It is a usual misunderstanding that Allah has only 99 Names. This is in fact not true. There are more than 99 Names and Attributes of Allah. We only know the Names and Attributes which Allah has chosen to reveal to mankind. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us to make this Dua: “I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You…” [Ahmad]. This clearly indicates that Allah has more names and attributes than what He has revealed to us.
- Allah’s Names and Attributes are perfect and beautiful : There is no deficiency or limitation in Allah’s Attributes, because Allah is perfect, His Names are perfect, what they imply in our lives is perfect, and their Attributes are perfect, free from any imperfections of negativities.
“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who believe or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.”[al-A’raf 7:180]
Belief in the Names and Attributes of Allah SWT is not correct unless one avoids these things:
- Tahreef (distortion) : We must not change the true meaning of Allah’s Names and Attributes according to our whims and desires.
- Ta’teel (denial): We must completely believe in all of Allah’s Names and Attributes, therefore, we cannot pick and choose which attribute or name we wish to believe or follow.
- Tamtheel (likening Allah to His creation) : We must never compare Allah’s Names and Attributes to mankind or any other creation. Similarly, we must not give human attributes or descriptions to Allah.
- Takyeef (asking or discussing how): We must accept whatever information has been passed on to us without imagining the “how” and “why” of it.
Therefore, belief in Allah and directing all forms of worship towards Allah are key signs of a true believer. Using and understanding Allah’s Names and Attributes is essential in following Allah’s Commandments and practising His Deen. May Allah SWT allow us to worship Him in the best possible manner and protect us from going astray, Ameen.