Apologies for taking so long 🙂 This is a very important and lengthy section, so it took me some time to do it. I have to read and reread…Also, I supplemented with my Aqeedah notes from Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s class.
This is the continuation of our An Nawawi series, one of the many parts of the hadith of Jibreel [Gabriel]. You can see the other parts here. The latest part – tauheed.
Belief in Allah (God), or tauheed, is the cornerstone of Islamic faith. All other Islamic beliefs revolve around belief in Allah. Therefore, a Muslim’s belief about Allah must be correct, or their whole faith may be ruined. The entire Qur’an is about tauheed, its consequences and the reward for it.
Linguistics and Categorization
Tauheed means “making something one” or “asserting oneness.”
The term is not from the Qur’an and Sunnah, but became the main term for discussing belief in Allah since the time of Ibn ‘Abbaas (a famous companion and a great scholar of Islam).
The scholars’ division into categories is simply for clarification and our understanding. There is nothing sacred about it. What is important are the concepts and beliefs. We will discuss two ways in which tauheed is properly categorized.
I. Tauheeed ar Ruboobiyah
The belief in the oneness of Allah concerning His actions such as His being the sole creator and the only One who nourishes and sustains the creation.
This is the belief that Allah is the one rabb (Lord). Rabb means the True and Complete Owner; the One who is obeyed; the One who nourishes and takes care of everything. [from Shaykh Yasir’s class]
This is basically the tauheed of Allah in His Actions.
II. Tauheed al Uloohiyyah
This means that all acts of worship must be directed toward Allah and Allah alone as He is the only one worthy and deserving of worship. This part of tauheed is the essence of the teachings of the Messengers and Prophets. The first part of tauheed is essential, but there is not much dispute over it (unless you count atheists).
Tauheed al Uloohiyyah is the tauheed of Allah in our actions. Meaning, that we direct all acts of worship to Him alone.
Tauheed Uloohiyyah comprises both actions of the heart and physical deeds. There is no real worship unless the heart is filled with love and glorification of Allah. Along with love for Allah, we must also have fear of Him and hope in Him. It is said about fear and hope —
They are like two wings of a bird. The believer flies towards Allah by his two wings of hope and fear. If they are balanced, he flies properly. If one of them is missing, he has a shortcoming. If they are both missing, the bird is on the edge of death.
In order for any deed to be accepted by Allah, it must be in accordance with this type of tauheed. Because if one is properly applying this type of tauheed, then it implies one is properly applying the other types. Some deeds of worship include prayer, du’aa`, fasting and hajj.
Let’s take a look at prayer and du’aa`. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
Supplication is the [essence of] worship.
Praying or supplicating towards someone shows trust and reliance of that entity. It demonstrates a need for that entity and trust in that entity’s knowledge, understanding and ability to fulfill one’s need. This kind of feeling in the heart (that is reflected in supplication) must be directed towards Allah alone.
III. Tauheed al Asmaa wa al-Sifaat
This implies believing in all of the names and attributes of Allah as mentioned in the Qur’an and authentic hadith, as being unique to Him, without negating them, stripping them of any meaning, distorting their meaning understanding them in an anthropomorphic sense or interpreting them figuratively. (Wasn’t that a mouthful! :D)
It is important to have a proper understanding of Allah’s names and attributes in order to know Him. If one knows Allah properly, then he/she would love Allah and turn to Him alone in worship. [I wish I knew of a good book in English that discussed Allah’s names and attributes. If anyone knows of any, please post here!]
The other way of dividing tauheed, into two categories, is into tauheed in theory (the theoretical and rational level) and tauheed in practice (how one relates to Allah and implements that belief in Allah). As we mentioned before, it is the understanding and implementation of these concepts that is important, not the technical wordy stuff 🙂 Some people may just understand this method better 🙂
I. Tauheed in Theory
1.) Tauheed al-Dhaat : the Oneness of Allah with respect to His being and essence, that He is separate and distinct from His creation
2.) Tauheed al-Sifaat : the Oneness of Allah with respect to His attributes, which are unique unto Him alone
3.) Tauheed al-Afaal : the Oneness of Allah with respect to His actions, being the sole Creator of the universe and the One who nourishes it
II. Tauheed in Practice
1.) Ifraad Allah bi-l-hukm : making Allah the only object of one’s ritual acts of worship. This one seems to be pretty self explanatory. See the above section an Tauheed al Uloohiyyah.
2.) Ifraad Allah bi-l-Hukm : submitting oneself only to the commands and revelation coming from Allah.
Ruling in accordance with what Allah has revealed is the same as singling Allah for obedience.
‘Adiyy ibn Haatim, a well known companion of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was a Christian before he came to Islam. Once, when he came to the Prophet with a silver cross around his neck, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited to him the ayah: “They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah.” (at-Tawbah, 31). ‘Adiyy told the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that they didn’t worship their rabbis and priests, to which the he replied, “Yes they did. They (rabbis and monks) prohibited the allowed for them (Christians and Jews).”
[Also, see the Story of Yusuf, the discussion of deen.]
3.) Ifraad Allah bi-l-Walaayah : submitting one’s loyalties and love to the commands and guidance of the revelation of Allah.
Every Muslim must realize that part of the essential meaning of the word ilaah (God) is the one who is adored, extolled and loved at heart.
The key behind this aspect is the proper and complete love for Allah and the pure and total worship of Allah. If a person truly and correctly loves Allah, Allah will be more beloved to him than anything else. He will love whatever Allah loves and despise whatever Allah despises. It is part of the testimony of faith that one opposes deviations from Allah’s guidance.
The author also discusses some incorrect beliefs, but for the sake of keeping things simple, I shall leave that out and simply finish by summarizing what the author concludes with:
The most knowledgable of Allah was the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was the best worshipper. So the best way to understand and submit to and serve Allah is the Prophet’s way. Nothing more, nothing less 🙂
InshaAllah I will try to finish up the discussion of this hadith in the next 3 posts 🙂