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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

Tawheed: The First Pillar of Islam

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Tawheed: The First Pillar of Islam
“Tawheed, Islam’s first pillar, is the cornerstone of monotheism, asserting God’s unique and supreme qualities. It forms the basis of Islamic set of beliefs, emphasizing exclusive devotion to God.”

Tawheed‎‎

Tawheed is the first pillar of Islam, derived from the Arabic word “Wahid” meaning “one.” It refers to the belief in the oneness of Allah Almighty and is considered the most important and fundamental aspect of Islam. In Islamic theology, Tawheed is the belief that there is only one God, who is the creator and sustainer of everything in the universe. This belief is based on the concept of monotheism, which is the belief in the existence of one and only one God.

Read our blog on The Five Pillars of Islam: Key Beliefs and Practices.

Tawheed is not just a concept or a belief, but it is also a complete way of life for us. It is the foundation of all Islamic beliefs and practices, and it is considered the essence of the Muslim faith. As Muslims, we believe that everything in the universe, including ourselves, is created and sustained by the will of Allah (swt). Therefore, we believe that we should submit to His will and follow the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Declaration of Tawheed

The declaration of Tawheed, also known as the shahada or the testimony of faith is a fundamental statement that every Muslim must recite and believe to enter Islam.

Shahada

There is no true God (deity) but Allah (SWT); Muhammad (SAW) is the Messenger of Allah (SWT).

The shahada comprises two parts. The first part, “La ilaha illa Allah,” affirms the oneness and exclusivity of Allah Almighty’s worship, and the second part, “Muhammadur Rasool Allah,” affirms the Prophethood and guidance of Muhammad (PBUH). By reciting and accepting the shahada, as Muslims, we acknowledge that there is no god but Allah (SWT) and that Muhammad (PBUH) is His final messenger to humankind.

(Surah Al-Maidah, Verse 73)

Indeed are disbelievers those who say, ‘Indeed Allah is the third from amongst the three gods.’ And there is no god except the One God (Allah), and if they do not abstain from what they are saying; so, those amongst them who will die as disbelievers, a painful punishment will definitely reach them. (Surah Al-Maidah, Verse 73)

In the Holy Quran, the deeds of those who deny the theory of Tawheed are described as like being ashes which are blown away by the wind leaving no sign or trace behind whatever. In this regard, Allah Almighty says:

(Surah Ibrahim, Verse 18)

The state of those who disbelieve in their Lord is such that their deeds are like ash, upon which a strong blast of wind came on a stormy day; they got nothing from all that they earned; this is deep Misdirection. (Surah Ibrahim, Verse 18)

If you want to develop more Tawakkal, read our blog 9 Practical Steps to Practice Tawakkul in Daily Life.

The significance of Tawheed

The concept of Tawheed is one of the most important beliefs in the life of a Muslim. It refers to the belief that Allah Almighty is the only deity and there is no other except Him. This implies that a Muslim should worship only Allah (SWT), without any association of partners or rivals with Him. As Muslims, we should love and trust Allah (SWT) above everything, and have faith in Him in every situation.

( Surah Al-Mu'minun, Verse 91)

Allah did not take any child, nor is there any other god with Him; if it was so, each god would have taken away his creation, and each one would certainly seek advantage over the other. Purity is to Allah from those things which they fake. (Surah Al-Mu’minun, Verse 91)

In another place, Allah Almighty said:

(Surah An-Nahl, Verse 51)

And Allah has announced, ‘Do not take two gods. Indeed, He is the only One God; so, fear only Me.’ (Surah An-Nahl, Verse 51)

As Muslims, we should obey Allah’s commands and follow His laws, as revealed in the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We should respect and honour all the Prophets and Messengers sent by Allah Almighty, from Adam to Muhammad (PBUH), as they all preached the same message of Tawheed. Acknowledging and believing in all the articles of faith, such as angels, books, destiny, resurrection, and judgment, is also an essential part of Tawheed.

Our other blog discusses the Six Articles of Faith: Islamic Concept of Faith and Belief.

Tawheed is the most important concept of Islam, and it is what distinguishes a Muslim from a non-Muslim. It is the foundation of the Islamic faith, and it is what makes all other pillars valid and meaningful. Without Tawheed, there would be no Islam.

Narrated by Hazrat Abbas (RA):

When the Prophet (SAW) sent Mu`adh to Yemen, he said to him, “You are going to a nation from the people of the Scripture, so let the first thing to which you will invite them, be the Tauhid of Allah. If they learn that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers to be offered in one day and one night. And if they pray, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them Zakat of their properties and it is to be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor. And if they agree to that, then take from them Zakat but avoid the best property of the people.”

( Sahih al-Bukhari 7372)

Muslims perform five daily prayers, known as Salah or Salat, as a fundamental and obligatory practice.

The Categories of Tawheed

Tawheed can be categorized into three major categories based on how it relates to different aspects of Allah Almighty’s attributes and rights. These categories are:

Tawheed al-Asma wa al-Sifat (The Unity of Names and Attributes)

Tawheed al-Asma wa al-Sifat, also known as The Unity of Names and Attributes, is a fundamental belief in Islam. It emphasizes the notion that Allah (swt) possesses unmatchable and sublime names and attributes. We believe that Allah’s names and attributes are perfect and unique to Him alone, and no other being can share them.

Read our blog about The 99 Names of Allah: Al Asma ul Husna.

(Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat No 255)

Allah! There is no god worthy of worship except Him, the Ever-Living, All-Sustaining. Neither drowsiness nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who could possibly intercede with Him without His permission? He fully knows what is ahead of them and what is behind them, but no one can grasp any of His knowledge—except what He wills to reveal. His Seat encompasses the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of both does not tire Him. For He is the Most High, the Greatest. (Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat No 255)

(Surah Al-Imran Ayat No 2)

Allah! There is no god worthy of worship except Him—the Ever-Living, All-Sustaining. (Surah Al-Imran, 2)

(Surah Taha Ayat No 8)

Allah – there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names. (Surah Taha, 8)

Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (The Unity of Lordship)

Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah is an essential concept in Islam that emphasizes the uniqueness and absolute sovereignty of Allah Almighty. It refers to the Unity of Lordship and affirms that Allah (SWT) is the only Lord, Creator, and Sustainer of the universe. He is the sole Provider and Ruler of everything that exists in the universe, and there is no partner or helper in His dominion and power. Allah Almighty decrees whatever He wills, and nothing happens without His permission.

Surah Ibrahim Ayat No 10

They argued, “You are no more than humans like us! You only wish to turn us away from what our ancestors worshiped. So bring us some impressive proof. (Surah Ibrahim, 10)

(Surah al-Zukhruf, ayat no 9)

If you ask them ˹O Prophet˺ who created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say, “The Almighty, All-Knowing did.” (al-Zukhruf, 9)

(al-Isra,ayat no 102)

Moses replied, “You know well that none has sent these signs down except the Lord of the heavens and the earth as insights. And I really think that you, O Pharaoh, are doomed.” (al-Isra’, 102)

Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (The Unity of Worship)

Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah, meaning the Unity of Worship, is one of the three categories of Tawheed in Islamic belief. This category emphasizes that Allah (swt) is the only one deserving of worship and that all acts of worship should be directed towards Him alone. It includes various actions such as prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage, supplication, remembrance, obedience, love, fear, hope, and more. According to Islamic teachings, no one and nothing should be worshipped except Allah Almighty, as this would be considered polytheism or shirk. Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah is an essential concept in the Islamic faith and serves as a reminder to Muslims to always keep Allah (swt) at the centre of their worship and devotion.

(SURAH AR-RUM AYAT 33)

When people are touched with difficult, they cry out to their Lord, turning to Him alone. But as soon as He gives them a taste of His mercy, a group of them associates others with their Lord in worship. (SURAH AR-RUM AYAT 33)

(Surah As-Sajdah ayat no16)

They abandon their beds, calling their Lord with hope and fear, and donate from what We have provided for them. (Surah As-Sajdah-16)

(Surah Ghafir Ayat No 14)

So call upon Allah with sincere devotion, even to the dismay of the disbelievers. (Surah Ghafir, 14)

(Surah Ghafir Ayat No 60)

Your Lord has announced, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.” (Surah Ghafir, 60)

Conclusion

Tawheed the first pillar of Islam is the core concept of Islamic monotheism, which affirms the oneness and quality of God. It is the foundation of the Islamic faith and the basis of all Islamic teachings. It implies that nothing can be compared to God, nothing can be related with God, and nothing can be worshipped besides God. Tawheed also means that God is the only source of power, authority, and teaching for humanity. Tawheed is the ultimate goal of every Muslim, to achieve a sincere and complete submission to God alone.

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