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The Entire Qurʾān Calls to Tawḥīd

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿUbayd al-Jābirī

A look into the two types of tawḥīd called upon by the messengers of Allāh and found throughout the Qurʾān.

Shaykh ʿUbayd al-Jābirī (d. 1443 AH) said:

Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz al-Ḥanafī said in his commentary on ‘al-ʿAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah:’ The tawḥīd that the Messengers of Allāh (عليهم السلام) invited to, and concerning which His books were revealed, are of two types:

1. Oneness in Confirmation and Recognition

As for the first, it is to confirm the reality behind the Lord, the Most High’s Existence, His Attributes, Actions, and Names. He possesses no likeness in all of these articles just as He and His Messenger () have related regarding Him. For the Qurʾān has eloquently highlighted this type of tawḥīd in the most flawless of ways. For example, at the start of Sūrah al-Ḥadīd, and Ṭā Há, the end of al-Ḥashr, the beginning of Sūrah al-Sajdah, the beginning of Āli-ʿImrān, Sūrah al-Ikhlāṣ in its entirety, and other than these chapters.

2. Oneness in Seeking and Intention

As for the second, it is the Oneness of seeking and intention. This pertains to, for example, Sūrah al-Kāfirūn and the verse:

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ

“Say (O Muḥammad ()): “ ‘O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you that we worship none but Allāh.”
(Āli-ʿImrān, 3:64)

In addition, the beginning of Sūrah al-Zumar and its end, the beginning, middle and latter parts of Sūrah Yūnus, the beginning of Sūrah al-Aʿrāf and its end as well as most of Sūrah al-Anʿām.

Most of the chapters of the Qurʾān comprise these two types of tawḥīd. Rather, all of them reference what pertains to them. This is because the Qurʾān either informs about Allāh, His Names, Attributes, and Actions—in which case it is in relation to the Oneness of recognition or informing concerning Him. Or the Qurʾān is calling its reader to the worship of Him alone and establishing His lack of partners, and abandoning that which is worshipped in His stead—which pertains to the Oneness of Seeking and Requests. Or the Qurʾān contains that which is an order, a prohibition, or an encouragement towards steadfastness in performing acts of obedience—this pertains to the rights of the aforementioned types of tawḥīd, encouraging with that which completes and perfects it. Or the Qurʾān relates the stories of the people who have proclaimed His Oneness, the series of events that have transpired with them in this dunyā, and their honourable standing in the hereafter—this is in reality the reward for their proclamation of tawḥīd. Or the Qurʾān relates the stories of the polytheists, the punishment they have received in this dunyā, or the punishment they will be made subject to in the hereafter—this is considered the punishment for the ones who have chosen to abandon tawḥīd. Thus, the Qurʾān in its entirety relates to tawḥīd; either it pertains to its rights, the reward of those who adopt it, or shirk, its people, and their punishment. So,

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“All the praises and thanks be to Allāh, the Lord of the ʿĀlamīn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).”

is tawḥīd.

الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

“The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.”

is tawḥīḍ.

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

“The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).”

is tawḥīd.

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

“You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).”

is tawḥīd.

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ‎ ‏ صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ

“Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace..”

is tawḥīd in the form of invocation that pertains to guidance to the path of the people of tawḥīd upon whom grace has been bestowed in the form of adherence to tawḥīd.

غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

“Not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.”
(Al-Fātiḥah, 1:1-7)

relates to those who have abandoned tawḥīd.


Source: Kunūz al-Qurʾān: 153-154

Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: April 15, 2023
Edited: April 17, 2023

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