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Tawḥīd and Its Importance

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿUbayd ibn ʿAbdullāh al-Jābirī

Tawḥīd is the foundation of the religion and the principle upon which the religion is built so it is of utmost importance that one understands it and adheres to it, and one is able to refute the doubts of the groups that claim that the word ‘tawḥīd’ was never mentioned in the texts. (This phone lecture was translated by Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī).

Tawḥīd is the foundation of the religion and the principle that the religion is built upon so it is of utmost importance.

Linguistically, in the Arabic Language, tawḥīd means: To make something one, or gather different things together so they become one.

In the religion, it means: To single Allāh out with what He rightfully deserves; singling Him out in His Lordship; in all acts of worship; and in His Names and Attributes.

This is the tawḥīd that is highlighted in the book of Allāh, and the texts of the Sunnah confirm this. This is what the salaf were upon.

Doubt: There are some who claim that they call to Allāh and they bring this doubt saying that tawḥīd is not found in the text, only īmān. The origin of this doubt is from al-Jamaʿat al-tabligh, and it is also regurgitated by the ikwān al-Muslimīn. They use this to cause confusion in the people, leading them astray.

Response: The Ḥadīth reported by al-Bukhārī and Muslim on the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās. When the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) sent Muʿad ibn Jabal to Yemen, he told him, “I am sending you to the people of the Book. The first thing you call them to is that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah alone. Call them to tawhīd.” Therefore, the word ‘tawhīd’ is clearly found in the text.

There are many texts that establish tawhīd (they are mentioned in the lecture). One must remember that all of the astray groups were founded upon misguidance

Doubt: Tawḥīd was not known except from Muḥammad ibn ʿabd al-Waḥhāb (May Allāh have mercy on him).

Response: This is a repugnant statement.

Doubt: Tawḥīd has no categories.

Response: Tawḥīd is divided into three categories, and they are all connected to each other. The first person to mention the division of tawḥīd into categories was Abū Ḥanīfah and his student Abū Yūsuf.

The three types of tawḥīd are:

1. Tawḥīd al-Rubūbīyyah—singling out Allāh in His Lordship. Singling Him out in his actions, of which he has no partners. His action of creating and sustaining the universe and all that is in it. The first thing to know about this type of tawḥīd is that it was affirmed by the polytheists of Quraysh.

There are many proofs of this, among them:

The ayāh, “Say to them, O Muḥammad, who is it that sustains you, …, and they will say, surely it is Allāh.”

Allah said: “O mankind worship your lord, the one who created you and the ones before you and the one who sends water and from that water he gives fruits. So do not ascribe partners to Allāh.”

2. Tawḥīd al-ʿUlūhīyyah—it is singling out Allāh in worship; singling out Allāh with those actions that He has legislated that we worship Him with and those actions that bring us close to him such as duʿā, ṣalah, keeping the ties of kinship, etc. Allāh sent all the messengers and prophets with this tawḥīd. Their daʿwah was founded upon it

Allāh says, “And we did not send a Messenger before you, O Muḥammad, except that they commanded the people to worship Me alone.” The first thing that they called their nations to is to worship Allāh alone.

If the prophets and messengers had only said “Worship Allāh” there would not have been any dispute, but because they said worship Allāh alone, they were fought, ridiculed and mocked.

Allāh says, “I did not create the mankind and jinn except to worship me.” This shows the importance of tawḥīd.

It becomes clear from the Qurʾān that the foundation of the religion is built upon:

a. Daʿwah – calling to the worship of Allāh alone and declaring those who do not as disbelievers, and warning against shirk
b. All the prophets and messengers agreed upon one religion. none was sent with any religion except islam.

3. Tawḥīd al-Asmaʿa wa al-Ṣifāt– The oneness of Allāh in His Names and Attributes

So be mindful of the tawḥīd of Allāh, making all your acts of worship for Him alone.

Published: March 5, 2017
Edited: February 3, 2023


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