The Importance of Tawheed
Living upon Tawheed is very important because
- It is the first thing that we will be asked about in our graves
- It is the message of all the Messengers
- Good Deeds will not be accepted unless they are based on Tawheed.
In Surah 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).”
And in Surah 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.”
Allah set a condition: “و هو مؤمن” – He should be a believer, only then will Allah reward him.
Christians consider themselves believers as well.
But A Believer = A Monotheist.
الإيمان بالله (Belief in Allah) = توحيد الله
Of the evidence of this is Surah Ghafir Verse 10
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُنَادَوْنَ لَمَقْتُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ مِن مَّقْتِكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِذْ تُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى الْإِيمَانِ فَتَكْفُرُونَ
“Indeed, those who disbelieve will be addressed, “The hatred of Allah for you was [even] greater than your hatred of yourselves [this Day in Hell] when you were invited to faith, but you refused.”
In Verse 11,
قَالُوا رَبَّنَا أَمَتَّنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ وَأَحْيَيْتَنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ فَاعْتَرَفْنَا بِذُنُوبِنَا فَهَلْ إِلَىٰ خُرُوجٍ مِّن سَبِيلٍ
“They will say: “Our Lord! You have made us to die twice (i.e. we were dead in the loins of our fathers and dead after our deaths in this world), and You have given us life twice (i.e. life when we were born and life when we are Resurrected)! Now we confess our sins, then is there any way to get out (of the Fire)?”
But there will be no way to leave the Hellfire, because, as Allah says in Verse 12:
ذَٰلِكُم بِأَنَّهُ إِذَا دُعِيَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ كَفَرْتُمْ ۖ وَإِن يُشْرَكْ بِهِ تُؤْمِنُوا ۚ فَالْحُكْمُ لِلَّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْكَبِيرِ
“(It will be said): “This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked (in worship, etc.) you disbelieved, but when partners were joined to Him, you believed! So the judgement is only with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great!”
Connect Verse 10 with Verse 12
الإيمان بالله = توحيد الله
Their crime was that they did not worship and invoke Allah alone; they did not have Tawheed. Tawheed is what Belief in Allah is – and this is what will save us from the Hellfire. A believer is one who worships and invokes Allah alone.
So when Allah says, “و هو مؤمن” (And he is a Believer), He means “و هو موحد” (And he is a Muwwahid). Because even Christians claim that they are believers;
In the same Surah Ghafir Verse 84
فَلَمَّا رَأَوْا بَأْسَنَا قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ وَكَفَرْنَا بِمَا كُنَّا بِهِ مُشْرِكِينَ
“So when they saw Our punishment, they said: “We believe in Allah Alone and reject (all) that we used to associate with Him as (His) partners.”
But that belief will not benefit nor be accepted from them.
Belief which benefits is believing as a monotheist in this Dunya. Therefore, Allah says in Verse 85:
فَلَمْ يَكُ يَنفَعُهُمْ إِيمَانُهُمْ لَمَّا رَأَوْا بَأْسَنَا ۖ سُنَّتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي قَدْ خَلَتْ فِي عِبَادِهِ ۖ وَخَسِرَ هُنَالِكَ الْكَافِرُونَ
“Then their Faith (in Islamic Monotheism) could not avail them when they saw Our punishment. (Like) this has been the way of Allah in dealing with His slaves. And there the disbelievers lost utterly (when Our Torment covered them).”
Allah never leaves His slaves in disbelief, He sends those who will guide them to the right path, but they are the ones who turn away.
Instead of using the blessings of Allah to bring us closer to Allah, we get diverted by His blessings. Instead of loving Allah more and thanking Him alone for these blessings, we love these blessings more and forget about Allah – the One who bestowed the blessings upon us.
When someone is good to us, we love and get attached to that person, instead of thanking Allah for sending that person to us. Allah deserves this love and attachment from us. We are not speaking about natural love – but love that causes a person to magnify the other person, such that you may even commit sins for the sake of that person. This is love which is forbidden. If Allah gave you a blessing, thank Allah for it.
This does not mean you cannot thank people, you should thank them because the Prophet ﷺ said:
“He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.” [Abu Dawud #4811]
So you thank the person, acting upon the command of the Prophet ﷺ, while fully knowing in your heart that Allah is the One who sent that person to help you, to guide you, etc.
We should attribute favours to Allah alone. When signs come again and again from Allah, and you do not attribute it to Allah alone, it will diminish your faith.
Our companions in this world are a trial for us, especially if they are close to us. They either cause us to turn away from Allah or bring us closer to Him. Therefore the Prophet ﷺ said:
“A man is upon the religion of his friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” [Tirmithi #2378]
Our test in life is the test of our Tawheed – to whom is your heart attached to? When you accuse someone, why are you accusing them? Is it because she did not give you or help you? It is not her; it is Allah closing this gate from you. Therefore it is very important to know the Actions of Allah.
Surah Zumar Verse 45
وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ
“And when Allah Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust (from the Oneness of Allah and when those (whom they obey or worship) besides Him are mentioned, behold, they rejoice!”
Do not think this verse is limited to the Non-Muslims alone. Apply this to yourself: Someone was cured from a sickness and you ask her how she got cured. She says Allah; Ash-Shafi. If you were a believer, you would be satisfied with this answer. But many of us are not satisfied, we say: “But how?” We only accept when the person says they took such and such medicine or went to such and such doctor. We only rejoice when someone other than Allah is mentioned.
When you claim you are a believer, ask yourself how much you practice Tawheed in your life.
Surah Al-Isra’a Verse 46
وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا ۚ وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ وَحْدَهُ وَلَّوْا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهِمْ نُفُورًا
“And We have put coverings over their hearts lest, they should understand it (the Quran), and in their ears deafness. And when you make mention of your Lord Alone [La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) Islamic Monotheism ] in the Quran, they turn on their backs, fleeing in extreme dislikeness.”
The Meaning of الإيمان بالله / توحيد الله :
Tawheed consists of two parts:
1) Negation – النفي
2) Affirmation – الإثبات
E.g. You want to single Fatma out with success in an exam. You have to say: “No one succeeded except Fatma”. It should comprise of negation and affirmation, otherwise you did not single that person out in that attribute.
In the Qur’an, Allah mentioned many of His Actions.
Surah An-Najm Verse 43
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَىٰ
“And that it is He (Allah) Who makes (whom He wills) laugh, and makes (whom He wills) weep;”
The Interpretators said: “Allah is the One who brings the means of happiness and the means of grief.”
أضحك و أبكى are two actions of Allah. In order to single Allah out in them, when you are happy, for example, you would say, “No One brought the means of happiness for me except Allah”. You would know that it is not the materialistic means that brings happiness to the heart, it is Allah that brings happiness to the heart. Do not allow your heart to become attached to the means, thinking that children, marriage, and money, bring happiness. No one brings happiness except Allah.
In the Hadith Qudsi, Allah says:
“O My Slaves, all of you are hungry, except for those whom I feed. So seek food from Me, and I Will Feed you”
No One feeds us except Allah. Whenever we are hungry we immediately think of the refrigerator, ordering, cooking. We do not think that no one feeds us except Allah. If you bring your children up on this, it would be easy for them to attribute it to Allah.
“O My Slaves, all of you are naked, except for those whom I clothe. So seek clothing from Me, and I Will Clothe you.”
When we want to buy clothes, do we say that no one clothes us except Allah? Allah tells us to ask Him for clothes, but how many of us ask?
We need to strengthen our Tawheed – especially the negation part. When you go through the Qur’an and come across Actions of Allah, negate them from others and affirm them to Allah alone. We are weak in Tawheed Ruboobiya – أفعال الله (Actions of Allah) – thus our Tawheed Al-Uloohiyah is weak.
Allah’s Actions in the Qur’an are of two types:
1) Actions with which He Nurtures His Slaves with
E.g. رزق، سلَّط، خلق، Guidance, etc.
These are all Actions of Allah related to His Servants.
2) Actions which are particular to His Essence; It does not have a relation to His creation
E.g. استوى على العرش (Rising over the Throne) etc.
We should not invent Actions of Allah. We should attribute the Actions which Allah has attributed to Himself in the Qur’an.
E.g. People say “الله يخليك”. This is neither mentioned in the Qur’an or Sunnah. The intention is to mean, “May Allah keep (preserve) you” but even in the Arabic Language it means, “May Allah keep you away”.
We have to strengthen our Tawheed and talk about it. Nowadays the whole world is fighting against توحيد الله.