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A Look At Islamic Monotheism
In the name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Verily, all praise is for Allaah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance, His guidance, and we ask Him for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of ourselves and the evils of our actions.
Whomsoever Allaah guides, there is no one that can lead him astray. And whomsoever is led astray, there is no one that can guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, and with no partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) is His slave and final messenger.
Let's take a look at this great word known as "Tawheed" (Islamic Monotheism). The word derives from the Arabic word wahada which linguistically means to unite, unify, or consolidate. However, when the term tawheed is used in reference to Allaah (tawheedullaah), it means realizing, and affirming Allaah's oneness in His existence as a Creator, Originator, and Master of over all creation including mankind. It is the belief that Allaah is One without partner, mother, father, sibling, or offspring.
Tawheed falls into three categories:
- Ruboobeeyah (Oneness in His Lordship) meaning Allaah is the only Lord and Ruler over all creation and their actions.
- Ulooheeyah' ibadaah (Oneness in His worship) meaning He alone to be worshipped and Exalted above his creation. Only He has the right to be worshipped.
- Asmaa wa Sifaat (Oneness of His names and attributes) these names and attributes are, purely for Allaah alone.
Tawheed the Foundation of Islam
So after taking a brief look at this great significant word, which is known to be the foundation and establishment of Islam. All of the islamic belief and teachings rest on Tawheed as their foundation.
Mankind has been struggling with the existence of a creator for centuries, especially belief in only One. With tawheed, it guides the believer in the Creator on the true, straight path of monotheism. This is pure monotheism(Tawheed), which is without corruption of paganistic, superstitious, philosophical, socialist, political influences, like the west allowed with Judaism and Christianity.
Tawheed as the true essence of Islam, forbids these corruptions whether in the early times of Islam or now. The basic religious teachings of monotheism did not start just with Islam it really was firmly introduced as a way to believe in ALLAAH (the One Creator in arabic) with Abraham (aka Ibrahim in arabic). Allaah the Exalted said:
"Verily Abraham (may peace be upon him) was indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allaah, unswervingly true in faith and he was not of those who ascribed partners to Allaah," ( Q Surah Nahl 16:120)
Abraham was known in Islam as a prophet besides being the father or patriarch of monotheism, and All of the well known Prophets taught Tawheed in their languages to their people. Unfortunately through the ages generally, few people responded to the call of the Prophets. The Prophets, whom nobody responded to, will come alone before Allaah (meaning on the day of judgement) . Even Ibrahim (Abraham) had very little followers, he was also known as Hanifan the pure in faith (tawheed), a believing nation on his own, free from the Shirk (ascribing partners with Allaah ie. polytheism) of his people.
The importance of Tawheed for the Muslim Ummah
As stated by one of the noble scholars of Islam in our times, Shaykh Muhammad Naasiruddeen al- Albaanee (may Allaah have mercy on him). From his book, "Tawheed First O Callers of Islam" he answered a question.
The Questioner says:
" Noble Shaykh, no doubt you know the bitter reality of the religious condition of the Ummah (Muslim community). There are differences in methodologies and negligence in most parts of the world with regard to the propagation of Islam based upon the original Aqeedah and the original methodology that was instrumental in making this Ummah righteous. This painful reality has certainly caused a sense of zealous concern in sincere people and a desire for change and correction of these shortcomings. However, they differ about the way to correct this reality because of their various schools of Aqeedah and methodologies, as you are aware Noble Shaykh. What are the beneficial and successful ways to remedy this situation?"
Shaykh al-Albaanee's (may Allaah have mercy upon him) answer:
"Regarding what was stated in the preceding question about the evil reality of the muslims, we say the following:
This painful reality is no more evil than the situation that the 'Arabs were in the time of Jaahiliyyah (time of ignorance)when the our Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings be upon him) was sent to them. In addition, we have the complete message amongst us and there exists a group of people who manifest what is true, who provide guidance, and call the people to the correct Islam in the area of belief, worship, character and methodology. There is no doubt that the situation of the 'Arabs at the time of Jaahiliyyah is similiar to many Muslim groups today.
Based upon that we say: The first medicine is the remedy, just as the Prophet (may the peace and blessings be upon him ) remedied the first Jaahiliyah, it is incumbent upon all the callers to Islam to utilize this remedy to cure the people's misunderstanding of Laa ilaaha illa Allaah,' (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah) and to use that same remedy to cure their painful reality. This is very clear when we reflect upon the saying of Allaah the Almighty:
"You have in the Messenger of ALLAAH the best example for he who hopes in ALLAAH and the Last Day and remembers ALLAAH much." [Surah Ahzaab (33): 21]
Therefore, the Messenger of Allaah (may the peace and blessings be upon him) is the best example to remedy the problems the Muslim world is experiencing in our era and in every moment of time. That necessitates from us that we begin where our Prophet (may the peace and blessings be upon him) began and that is the correction of deviation in the beliefs of the Muslims first, then secondly, correct their acts of worship and thirdly, their behavior."
So after hearing from such a scholar it is clear that the Muslims of today must adhere to the remedy and path that the Prophet (may the peace and blessings be upon him) laid out for us. We should start were he started of course Tawheed First! We as Muslims especially the callers (other scholars) to Islam, insha'Allaah should make it first and foremost an importance to teach, and guide the people upon tawheed first, so insha'Allaah the Muslim's implementation of Islam will be without corruption of shirk, superstition, deviance, or kufr. Tawheed is the true foundation of Islam which is firmly planted within the hearts and minds of many Muslims. So when you construct a building first the foundation must be constructed and then everything else. So this Is more important for Islam, being that tawheed is the foundation of Islam so this clarifies that Tawheed is truly first. May Allaah grant us the clear knowledge of it, and all its percepts ALLAAHUMA AMEEN!