Introduction: The Importance of Tawheed
The most important thing a person should focus on when studying ‘Aqeedah is Belief in Allah. If you spend your entire life studying the names, attributes, and actions of Allah, and die upon it, it will be sufficient for you to enter Paradise. Because the purpose behind our existence in life is to know Allah, and when we know Him, to accordingly worship Him.
1) Learning about Allah corrects the Tawheed of a person.
The true Muwwahid is the one who singles Allah out in His Actions. Allah has two kinds of actions:
1) Actions of Greatness – أفعال العظمة
His Might, Ability, Strength, Creation.
2) Actions of Ihsan -أفعال الإحسان – (All whatever Allah does of goodness to His creation)
His Mercy, Kindness, etc.
Because the Muwwahid knows Allah by His Actions, his Tawheed Al-Uloohiya is perfect. He does not direct any act of worship to other than Allah. He does not turn his heart to any of the creation.
The Muwwahid also knows Allah by His Perfect Attributes. He knows that there is no one who is perfect except Allah. He knows that he is incapable of managing his own life, and Allah is able to do everything. When he knows these facts about himself and his Creator, his Tawheed is perfected.
Thus, Tawheed requires strong knowledge. As your knowledge increases, your Tawheed will become perfect. As you learn about Allah, your deification of Allah will increase.
Most Muslims recite Ayat Al Kursiy day and night. But don’t know the meaning of His name, Al Qayoom.
This great Name means:
1) القائم بنفسه – Self subsisting
2) والمقيم لغيره – The One who subsists the rest of the Creation
Allah stands in need of no one, while the creation in its entirety are in need of Him.
There are different aspects of the قيومية of Allah. One is: قيومية الحفظ (How Allah protects us).
Allah did not give us responsibility over our hearts and stomachs. He is the One in charge of them. Yet when people talk about their body they say, “The blood flows, the heart beats, the stomach digests”, attributing the action to the organ, as if the organ has the ability to function by itself. This is weak attributing of the actions to Allah, which is weak Tawheed Ruboobiya. Accordingly, our acts of worship are very weak, and we do not give Allah His due right.
The right of Allah on His slaves is that we worship Him alone and no one else.
It was narrated that Mu’aadh bin Jabal said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ passed by me when I was riding a donkey, and said: ‘O Mu’aadh, do you know what Allah’s right over His slaves is and what His slaves’ right over Allah is?’ I said: ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said: ‘The right of Allah over His slaves is that they should worship Him and not associate anything with Him. And the right of the slaves over Allah, if they do that, is that He should not punish them.’”
The right of Allah upon us is great, and the slave will only give Allah His due right when he truly knows Him.
We are created with a sound فطرة (natural disposition) which accepts Tawheed and rejects Shirk. Because naturally, we love whoever does good to us, and direct our hearts and our attention to him. But the people of Shirk, instead of thanking Allah, thank someone else who has not done anything to them of favours. This goes against our natural disposition.
They attribute their false deities with the perfect attributes of Allah, therefore they love and magnify them, and accordingly worship them.
When we know He has perfect attributes and no one else, this makes us say لا اله الا الله from our hearts.
Those people who say these “gods” have these attributes do not have any proof for their claim. But we have proof to refute their claim.
Allah said in Surat Al Isra Verse 56 and 57:
قُلِ ادْعُوا الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِّن دُونِهِ فَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ كَشْفَ الضُّرِّ عَنكُمْ وَلَا تَحْوِيلًا
Say (O’ Muhammad ﷺ): “Call unto those besides Him whom you pretend [to be gods like angels, Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), etc.]. They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you nor even to shift it from you to another person.
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ ۚ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا
Those whom they call upon [like ‘Iesa (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angel, etc.] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah), as to which of them should be the nearest and they [‘Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angels, etc.] hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily, the Torment of your Lord is something to be afraid of!
Why are you then worshipping and calling them if they do not have the ability to remove distress from you?
Surat Yunus Verse 107:
وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ وَإِن يُرِدْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَلَا رَادَّ لِفَضْلِهِ ۚ يُصِيبُ بِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Allah says in Surah Fatir Verse 14:
إِن تَدْعُوهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُوا دُعَاءَكُمْ وَلَوْ سَمِعُوا مَا اسْتَجَابُوا لَكُمْ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكْفُرُونَ بِشِرْكِكُمْ ۚ وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثْلُ خَبِيرٍ
If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call, and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O’ Muhammadﷺ) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything).
No polytheist will be able to refute these evidences.
2) A person will not be kept firm answering the questions in the grave without it.
Who will be able to answer these three questions? Only the Muwwahid who really knew Allah in his life. The person, whom while alive in this world, uses his eyes, ears and heart to come closer to Allah. He hears the news about Allah’s Perfection from the Qur’an and Sunnah. He hears that Allah is الصمد، الغني, and sees the impact of Allah’s Attributes in his life and in the universe.
If he lives like this, he will die upon this, and when he is in his grave, he will easily say, “My Lord is Allah.”
The one who knows Allah with certainty (علم اليقين) will not fight for his رزق (provision) in the Dunya. He knows Allah is الرزاق and everything is a رزق from Allah.
For example, if you wanted to go for Hajj and tried, but Allah did not write it for you. He prevented this provision from you.
Thus, if you want to pass the test in your grave, you need to know Allah in detail. Allah teaches us about Himself in the Qur’an from Surah Al Fatihah till Surah An-Nas.
3) The Purpose behind Allah sending Messengers is to call people to Tawheed
Allah addresses the Prophet ﷺ many times in the Qur’an with “قل” (Say).
For example, in Surat Al-Falaq Verse 1:
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ
Say (O’ Muhammad ﷺ), He is Allah, (the) One.
And in Surat Saba Verse 36:
قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
Say (O’ Muhammad ﷺ): “Verily, my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men know not.
This is the message of the Messengers; to call the people to Tawheed – to Allah.
Surat Al-Anbya Verse 25:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We did not send any Messenger before you (O’ Muhammad ﷺ) but We inspired him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).
Allah sent every Messenger to call to لا اله الا الله and worship of Him alone. But there were people that took that messenger as a god instead of following the teachings of that messenger. They took the Prophet ﷺ as their Waseela, as the Sufis do.
Look at the defeat which occurred to the Muslims in the Battle of Hunayn. The companions were great in number and forces, but they were defeated. It is to tell you that it is not your force or numbers that grant you victory, but victory comes from Allah. This is the message of Allah to the people. But when the people are given blessings they become tempted and deceived by the means.
Allah says in Surat Al-Anfal Verse 17:
فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you (Muhammad ﷺ) threw not when you did throw but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Allah is the Owner of the Kingdom and He is Able to do Everything. So who should our hearts be attached to? Allah.
Surat Al-A’raf Verse 188:
قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ ۚ إِنْ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say (O Muhammad ﷺ): “I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.
If the Prophet ﷺ does not have the power to benefit or harm himself, how can he benefit you when you invoke him?
4) Tawheed is the basis of the acceptance of all deeds
Allah will not accept any deed no matter how big it is, unless it is based on Tawheed. If a person prays a lot, fasts, recites Qur’an but commits shirk, his deeds will not be accepted by Allah.
Surat Az-Zumar Verse 65:
وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad ﷺ), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.
As you increase in your Tawheed, the more your deeds will be accepted by Allah. The acceptance of your deeds are dependent on the strength of your Tawheed and belief in Allah.
Surat An-Nahl Verse 97:
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).
Surat An-Nisa Verse 124:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ مِن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ نَقِيرًا
And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date-stone), will be done to them.
“و هو مؤمن” (..While he is a believer…)
Belief in Allah = Tawheed
Tawheed is the cause for the multiplication of reward of the deed.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
” لاَ تَسُبُّوا أَصْحَابِي، فَلَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ أَنْفَقَ مِثْلَ أُحُدٍ ذَهَبًا مَا بَلَغَ مُدَّ أَحَدِهِمْ وَلاَ نَصِيفَهُ “
“Do not abuse my companions for if any one of you spent gold equal to Uhud (in Allah’s Cause) it would not be equal to a Mud or even a half Mud spent by one of them.” [Bukhari]
A mountain of gold we give in charity will not be equal to a handful of what the companions gave. Why? Because of the belief and Tawheed which was established in their heart, which we do not have much of. They surpassed us in their Tawheed. Their hearts were attached to Allah. When they gave charity they did not count how much would remain with them. They were not afraid of poverty. They would just give and forget themselves. This is due to the strong belief in their heart, thus their reward was great.