Tawheed: The Backbone of Islamic Belief
WHAT IS TAWHEED?
Literally Tawheed means to make something one or to call it one. In English when something is made one it is deemed to be unified. However, in Islaamic terminology Tawheed means to believe that Allaah is the one and only God. It is sometimes referred to as monotheism, however in the purest sense in that no other entity can in any way have the attributes or be equivalent or even in competition with Allaah. All acts of worship that a person does should be to Allaah or for Allaah Alone. For example, prayer should only be to Allaah, religious animal sacrifice should only be done in Allaah’s name, and fighting to establish and protect religion (Jihaad). Tawheed is therefore the central concept upon which all of Islaam rests.
IMPORTANCE AND BENEFITS OF TAWHEED:
Tawheed is the essence of Islaam and the mainspring of its strength. All other laws, beliefs and commands of Islaam stand firm on this foundation. Take it away, and there is nothing left of Islaam.
Tawheed is the call of all the prophets to their people.
Tawheed is the only reason for the world’s creation.
By declaring sincere belief in Tawheed, a disbeliever will become a Muslim. Conversely, a Muslim will become a disbeliever (kaafir) if he rejects any aspect of it.
By Tawheed we achieve salvation from Eternal punishment in the Hereafter, right guidance in this world, and forgiveness for sins. Allaah states in the Qur’aan:
The Prophet Muhammad said which means:
Whoever fulfills Tawheed will be admitted to the Garden (Al-Jannah) in the Hereafter. The Prophet Muhammad has stated:
It is the reason for solving peoples' sadness because true happiness will be achieved if persons realize Tawheed within their heart. They will also never feel psychologically enslaved even if physically captive.
It is the only reason for Allaah’s pleasure and rewards. In another aayah (verse) in the Qur’aan Allaah says:
Disbelief is nothing but a manifestation of shirk which is the opposite of Tawheed.
The acceptance of all of one’s religious deeds is based upon Tawheed. Allaah states:
Islaam is nothing if not an embodiment of the belief in Tawheed.
Tawheed prevents man from eternally remaining in the Hellfire. The Prophet Muhammad stated in an authentic report: Whoever dies and has so much as a mustard seed of faith in his heart shall enter Al-Jannah.
SOURCES OF ISLAAMIC 'AQEEDAH
The Qur’aan is the Revelation which Allaah sent down to His Apostle Muhammad and has been passed forth to us both in form and in content in an uninterrupted transmission. Meaning, it can be verified as coming from the lips of the Prophet Muhammad. It is the last scripture to be revealed to mankind. As the actual word of Allaah in its original form in the Arabic language it is the first and foremost source of Islaamic ‘aqeedah Allaah says:
Hadeeth in Arabic has the general meaning of speech whether pertaining to religion or not. Then it took a special sense (prophetic traditions), comprising all the Prophet Muhammad’s speech, deeds, or tacit decisions.
In this regard, the term hadeeth and sunnah are synonymous. The Prophet Muhammad being the fount from which both the Qur’aan and the sunnah spring was the best to explain what each and every person should believe about Allaah. The Prophet stated about himself: I am the most knowledgeable of Allaah amongst you and the most fearful of him. And he also stated: Every child is born on Al-Fitra (true faith of Islaamic Monotheism) but his parents convert him to Judaism, Christianity or Magianism.
[Taken from: Al-Haramain Foundation’s Monthly Online Magazine ]
* pbuh - Peace be upon him; It is a Muslim practise to convey prayers of peace whenever the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and other prophets is taken.