By Rana Rais Khan – Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Hiba magazine
Tauheed literally means ‘unification’. It comes from the Arabic word ‘Wahada’ which means to unite, unify or consolidate.
Referring to Allah (swt), Tauheed is the belief that Allah (swt) is:
- One without partner in His dominion and His actions – Ruboobeeyah (Maintaining the Unity of Lordship). Allah (swt) created everything and sustains it too. Creations are not left to their own devices, unguided, but we are all under Allah’s (swt) Divine care.
- One without similitude in His essence and attributes – Asmaa was Sifaat (Maintaining the Unity of Allah’s (swt) Names and Attributes). Nobody is like Him. He is not weak, doesn’t need partners or children. His perfect attributes are innate.
- One without rival in His divinity and worship – Ulooheeyah Ebaadah (Maintaining the Unity of Allah’s Worship). Allah (swt) created everything to worship Him and submit to Him. The universe praises His Honour round the clock.
The above three overlap and are inseparable. The omission of any one of them can lead to ‘Shirk’ – associating partners with Allah (swt) which in Islamic terms is idolatry. Now assess your practical demonstration of Tauheed:
- Do you make Dua?
I will never forget the time I was in the labour room about to deliver my first baby. My only anchor were my prayers and the conviction that Allah (swt) will get me through it. There was another pregnant woman in the same painful state. The doctor advised her to pray for strength and show courage as everything was normal, but the poor soul just continued yelling. She was unable to invoke Allah (swt) in one of the toughest times.
We may believe that making Dua is natural but it isn’t. Some people have to make a conscious effort to invoke Allah (swt) until it becomes a norm. This inability to pray is a sign of weak understanding of Tauheed and it indicates arrogance of the Nafs too.
- Who do you praise?
We are generous with our praise for people, most regularly on the social media, but what about praising Allah (swt)? Nothing would reach us if it was not ordained by Allah (swt). He gives without prejudice to all, regardless of their gender, worship, loyalty, love, and sincerity. However, our praise centres around us or circumstances that have favoured us or some other creation, forgetting the real source of all our blessings-Allah (swt).
- Are you self-consumed?
In our daily lives, we thank those who have gifted or helped us. But when it comes to our own blessings, we believe that we deserve them. We mistakenly believe that we have ‘earned’ these blessings as a result of our worship or great fate and hard work. We admire our branded possessions, and collector’s items but seldom do we ponder over how we managed to acquire them. Behind the material world is Allah’s (swt) unseen world where millions of angels are carrying out His Divine commands by the second. A mere ‘Ma sha Allah’, is not enough to thank Allah’s (swt) bounties. Tauheed demands a heart filled with awe, submission and deep love for His favours.
- How often do you remember Allah (swt)?
Most of us think that the daily prayers we offer are enough to worship Allah (swt). We even have our favourite Surahs (often the shortest Surahs) that we recite regularly, not making much effort to beautify our prayer. The fact that this prayer is a meeting with Allah (swt) in this world before our death, rarely occurs to us.
Our incomplete understanding of Tauheed distracts us. We cannot detach ourselves from the world and hence our heart never remembers Allah (swt) consciously or lovingly, even while offering Salah.
- Do you have sufficient knowledge about Allah’s (swt) Divine attributes?
It doesn’t take long to introduce ourselves to someone. However Allah (swt) is so Exalted and Majestic that He has introduced Himself to us through the entire Quran. He has more than 99 names that enable us to understand His innate attributes and worship Him with devotion. But we must make the effort to read the Quran, understand His Names and then live mindfully of His Qualities.
- How do you respond to the Quran?
Quran is the dialogue of Allah (swt) that has a special and personalized impact on each reader according to his faith. Some find it tranquil, while some cry out of fear. Some fall into prostration due to its miracles, while others remain unaffected, reciting it heedlessly. A person whose Tauheed is firmly rooted in the heart experiences the Quran closely, searching for a keen insight to understand events as they unfold. He gains from the Quran what others are unable to- patience, gratefulness and the Pleasure of knowing Allah (swt).
- How do you participate in the gatherings/online classes of the Quran?
Some people find such gatherings boring. As a nation, most of us are not learners anymore. It may be possible for us to stay engaged with an exciting drama or movie, but we have lost the span of attention and patience one requires to discipline the soul and engage with our own thoughts for deeper thinking. The Quran teaches us to think and behave mindfully. A person with the correct understanding of Tauheed enjoys learning more about Allah (swt).
Most importantly, Islam is not a blind faith. Islam demands an alert mind, keen insight, and observation of all the signs that Allah (swt) has scattered inside and around humans to recognize the one true God.
Allah (swt) states in the Quran: “O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the free of need, the Praiseworthy.” (Al Faatir 55:15)
In another place Allah (swt) commands: “O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good – that you may succeed.” (Al Hajj 22:77)
Partially adapted from Fiqh ul Quloob, Kitab at Tauheed by Ibrahim At Tawejri, taught by Safiya Khan