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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tawheed - its Importance in the Qur'aan

I begin with the Name of Allaah

Tawheed - its Importance in the Qur'aan

Ibn Abil--'Izz - may God have mercy on him - said: "So the Qur'an - all of it - is about Tawheed, its rights and its rewards; and about Shirk, its people and their punishments. Thus: "All praise belongs to God, Lord of the worlds."19 is Tawheed (of knowledge). "The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy" is Tawheed (of knowledge). "The Master of the Day of Judgement" is also Tawheed (of knowledge). "You alone do we worship and You alone do we seek aid and assistance from" is Tawheed (of action) . "Guide us to the Straight Path" concerns Tawheed and asking for guidance to the path of the people of Tawheed, (which is): "The Path of those whom You have favoured." "Not of those who have earned Your anger, nor of those who have gone astray" - those who have separated themselves from Tawheed."20 So Almighty God begins this soorah by first informing us about Himself - the Most Perfect (i.e. Tawheed of knowledge). Then after having knowledge of Almighty God - the Most High - God orders us with the Tawheed of action: "You alone do we worship."

Likewise just as "the great Qur'an opens with Tawheed it also I ends with it. So the Qur'an opens with Soorah al-Faatihah: "All praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds" and the great Qur'an ends with the Soorah: "Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind".21"22

Likewise, the greatest ayaah (verse) in the Qur'an is Ayatul-Kursee (the Verse of the Throne).33 Since this great aayah informs us - from start to finish - purely about Almighty God's Names, His Attributes and His Actions. So this further emphasizes the importance of the Tawheed of knowledge. Similarly, Soorah al-Ikhlaas - from start to finish - is concerned with the Tawheed of knowledge, whilst Soorah al-Kaafiroon is connected with the Tawheed of action.24 Indeed, the Prophet - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - said about a man who was reciting al-Kafiroon in the first rak'ah (unit of formal prayer): "This is a servant who believes in his Lord." Then the man recited al-Ikhlaas in the second, so he - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - said: "This is a servant who knows his Lord".25 The Prophet - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - said: "Say: He is God, the One" is equivalent to one third of the Qur'aan. And "Say: O disbelievers . . . " is equivalent to a quarter of the Qur'aan.26

What further demonstrates the importance of this Tawheed is the fact that the Prophet - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - "would begin his day with Tawheed (of knowledge and action), since he recited both Soorah al-Kafiroon and Soorah al-Ikhlaas in the two rak'aat (units of prayer) before Fajr (dawn prayer).27 And he would end the night by reciting both of these soorahs in his witr (final - literally "odd numbered") prayer.28"29

"Indeed, all of the Qur'an is about Tawheed."30 And Almighty God - the Mighty and Majestic - says: "A book We have sent down, full of blessings, that men may ponder over its messages; and those who possess understanding may take them to heart."31

Tawheed - its Importance from the Sunnah
And what proves the importance of Tawheed from the Sunnah is that the Chosen one - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - remained in Makkah thirteen years amongst the disbelievers, calling them to it, and saying to them: "Say: None has the right to be worshipped except Almighty God and thus be successful . . . ".32

The Messenger of God - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - said: "I have been sent close to the Hour, with the sword, so that none has the right to be worshipped except Almighty God alone, without any partner. My sustenance is beneath the shade of my spear. And humiliation and ignominy is for whosoever opposes my command. And whosoever resembles a people is from them."33"34

Similarly he would send his Companions to various communities ordering them with this Tawheed first - as was the case when he sent Mu'aadh ibn Jabal to Yeman, saying: "Indeed you are going to a people from the People of the Book, so let the Tawheed of God be the very first thing you call them to . . . "35

And just as the Prophet - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - started his Prophethood and teaching with the matter of Tawheed, then likewise he - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - mentioned "the matter of Tawheed during his final illness from which he - may the peace and blessings of God be upon him - died, when he said: "The curse of Almighty God be upon the Jews and the Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship."36"37

Clearing a Misconception
Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (died 728H) said: "The Tawheed with which the Messengers came with comprises of affirming that Divinity and worship belong to Almighty God alone, such that a person witnesses that none has the right to be worshipped except Almighty God, and that none is worshipped except Him, nor depended upon other than Him, nor are alliances or enemies made except for Him, nor is an action done except for Him. This affirmation also covers those Names and Attributes which Almighty God affirms for Himself, as God - the Most High - says: "And the God to be worshipped is only one God. None has the right to be worshipped except Him, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy."38 And God - the Most High - says: "Do not take two objects of worship. Indeed, Almighty God is the only Deity to be worshipped, so fear Him."30. And He - the Most High - says: "Whosoever calls upon (i.e. supplicates or prays to) other than God, for which he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Indeed the disbelievers will not be successful."40 Almighty God - the Most High - also says: "And ask those of our Messengers whom we sent before you: 'Did We ever appoint objects of worship besides the Most Merciful?'"41

And Almighty God informed us about every Prophet from amongst the Prophets that they called the people to the worship of God alone, having no partner, as He said: "Indeed there is an excellent example for you in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: 'Indeed we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Almighty God. We have rejected you, and there has arisen between us and you, hostility and hatred forever - until you believe in God alone."42 And God said about the mushriks (pagan idolaters): "When it is said to them: 'None has the right to be worshipped except Almighty God', they become arrogant. And they say: 'Are we to abandon those deities that we worship because of a mad poet?"43 And this occurs a lot in the Qur'an.

And what is meant by Tawheed is not merely Tawheed ar-Roobubiyyah - the belief that Almighty God alone is the Creator - which is what some of the people of Kalaam (speculative theology) and the Sufis think! So they think that if they affirm this type of Tawheed, along with its proofs, then they have affirmed the utmost limits of Tawheed and that if they bear witness to this and become absorbed in it, then they have absorbed themselves in the limits of Tawheed! However, this is not the case. Since even if a person agreed to those attributes which are befitting to the Lord, and declared Him free from everything He should be declared free from and affirmed that He alone is the creator of everything - then still such a person would not be a muwahid (a person of Tawheed) until along with this, he witnesses that the only Ilaah (i.e. object of worship) is Almighty God (Allah) - (i.e. none has the right to he worshipped except God alone) - affirming that Almighty God alone is the Ilaah deserving off all worship, adhering to this worship and associating no partners with Him. Also affirming that this Ilaah (object of worship) is He who is deified and worshipped and who deserves worship and it is not that Ilaah merely with the meaning: "The One who has the power to create and originate."44

So if an explainer (of the Qur'an) explains Ilaah to mean: "The One who has the power to create and originate" and believes that this is the most particular description of Ilaah and affirms this to be the limits of Tawheed - as is done by the people of Kalaam (speculative theology), and it is what they say from Abul-Hasan al-Ash'aree45 and his followers - then they do not know the true reality of the Tawheed with which Almighty God sent His Messengers, since the Arab mushriks (pagan idolaters) used to agree that Almighty God alone is the Creator of everything. Yet despite this, they were still mushriks, as God - the Most High - says: "Most people do not believe in God except that they commit shirk (i.e. associate others with Him in belief and worship).''46

A group from amongst the Salaf (the first three generations of Muslims) said: "If you ask them who created the Heavens and the earth, they will say: 'God' - yet along with this, they worshipped others besides Him."47

Almighty God - the Most High - said. "Say: 'Whose is the earth and all that is in it, if you do indeed know?' They will say: 'It belongs to God.' Say: 'Will you not then remember?' Say: 'Who is the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the great Throne?' They will say: 'God.' Say: 'Will you not then fear Him?"48 So not everyone who affirms that Almighty God is the Lord of everything and is its Creator, will be a worshipper of Him to the exclusion of everything else - calling upon Him alone, hoping in Him alone, having fear of Him alone, forming allegiance and enmity for Him, obeying His Messengers, ordering what He orders and forbidding what He forbade."49

In Conclusion
Shaykh 'Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (died 561H) said: "So it is upon you to fear God - the Mighty and Majestic - and not to fear anyone else except Him. Turn to God - the Mighty and Majestic - for your every need, and rely upon Him alone - the Most High - seeking that which you need from Him alone. Do not rely upon anyone other than Almighty God. And Tawheed - all is contained in Tawheed."

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