Wealth, beauty, status, achievements, fun with friends – isn’t this the actual means of joy? It brings happiness and adrenalin rush just as a roller coaster ride does. But it’s short, fleeting and deceptive too. It is also weak and temporary, just as a spider’s web. Besides, humans need something more stable to hold on to when down in the doldrums.
Allah (swt) is the Protector of our hearts
During our life, doubts and desires cause darkness inside the heart. The knowledge about Tauheed is a beautiful and radiant light that penetrates our hearts as Noor from Allah (swt). It does not depend on any resource, other humans, circumstances, therapy, etc. Knowing and remembering who Allah (swt) is and what He is capable of can dispel the minor nuisances we experience daily or significant trials that crush us. They can drive away the dark clouds of sins hanging over us.
The power of Tauheed is so mighty that it burns down satanic desires and doubts. But if Tauheed is weak, the same doubts and desires take us to hellfire. Watch it!
Allah (swt) states: “And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom?…” (Al-Anam 6:122)
Depending upon our love for Allah (swt), the Noor of Kalimah-e-Tayyabah differs in every heart. Some carry it like a shining sun and some like a glowing moon. Some have it like a twinkling star, others like a bright torch. Some have this Noor as a lit-up lamp and others like a feeble and flickering lamp.
The stronger the Tauheed, the mightier the believer. Tauheed not only helps us overcome our troubles, develop coping skills and bounce back faster in this world but will be our companion on the Day of Judgement, the most horrifying day. But their light of Tauheed will accompany them left and right, running along. Allah (swt) says:
“On the day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right [it will be said]; your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally. That is what is the great attainment.” (Al Hadid 57:12)
What is Tauheed? It means ‘unification’ or making something one. It comes from the Arabic word ‘Wahada’, which means to unite, unify or consolidate. Most importantly, Islam is not a blind faith. It asks its believers or worshipers neither to meditate nor fall into a trance. On the contrary, 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: “Say, ‘Observe what is in the heavens and the earth.’ But of no avail will be signs or warners to a people who do not believe.” (Younus 10:101)
Referring to Allah (swt), Tauheed is the belief that Allah (swt) is:
- One without a partner in His dominion and actions – Ruboobiyah (Maintaining the Unity of Lordship). I have One God Who created me, cares for me regardless of my choices, nurtures me and guides me. He only gives, and I merely receive. He does not need me, but I cannot breathe without His Hukm. His mercy and bounty envelopes me. He created all that exists in the universe when nothing existed. Nobody can challenge His dominion, power and sovereignty. Allah states in the Quran: “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of Affairs.” (Az-Zumur 39:62)
- One without similitude in His essence and attributes – Asmaa was-Sifaat (Maintaining the Unity of Allah’s swt Names and attributes). Allah (swt) has graciously introduced Himself to humankind through the Quran and the Sunnah. His ninety-nine names depicting His innate characteristics reassure us of His power, knowledge, justice and wisdom. Allah (swt) is only as He and His Prophet (sa) have described Him. Allah (swt) cannot be attributed with qualities He has never described Himself by. He is not like any creation. He does not need any creation, is independent of all, and has no weakness. Allah says: “There is nothing like unto Him…” (Ash-Shura 42:11)
- One without rival in His divinity and worship – Uloohiyah Ibadah (Maintaining the Unity of Allah’s Worship). It is impossible to report to multiple bosses for a single task. Likewise, the greatest creation plan is only to worship and obey One true praise-worthy and mighty Lord. Imagine the chaos if we had to go to different deities for our needs. This aspect of Tauheed demands that there should be no intermediary between God and man. All forms of worship must only be directed to Allah (swt) alone as He has prescribed. Allah states: “Most of them believe not in Allah except while they associate others with Him.” (Yousuf 12:106)
The above three overlap and are inseparable. The omission of any of them can lead to ‘Shirk’ – associating partners with Allah (swt), which in Islamic terms is idolatry.
“This division of Tauheed into three aspects was not done by Prophet (sa) and the Companions. The need arose after Islam spread into Egypt, Byzantium, Persia and India. As converts embraced Islam, some of the remnants of their former belief polluted the understanding and practice of Tauheed. Also, many had accepted Islam outwardly, to destroy the religion secretly.” (Fundamentals of Tawheed by Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips)
The condition for Tauheed is to believe in the unseen (Ghaib). Allah (swt) states: “Alif Lam Meem. This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah. Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer and spend out of what We have provided for them.” (Al Baqarah 2:1-3)
How does Tauheed generate happiness?
Knowing Allah (swt) is the highest form of knowledge and the greatest source of happiness. It enables us to develop the correct worldview, a positive mindset and active behaviour. It corrects our expectations of ourselves and others. It prevents us from overreliance on any temporary and unreliable resource, like this world. It saves us from immense grief and facilitates us to recover from sadness when we love the world too much or experience losses.
Can you imagine the following opposites and understand your own space as a creation and slave of Allah (swt)?
Allah’s swt status Our position
Ar-Rahman – The Most Gracious We receive His Mercy from birth until we enter Jannah
Al-Hayy – The ever Living We were given life by Allah (swt) and cannot end it
Al-Qayyoom – The All Sustainer We will not live in this world forever and will die
Al-Awwal – The First We are but one of many of His creations
Al-Aakhir – The Last We will die when Allah (swt) Wills
As-Salaam – The source of peace We cannot bring peace to ourselves
Al-Mumin – The Granter of security We cannot secure ourselves or our belongings
Al-Kabeer – The Most Great We are small, weak and dependent for everything
And the list goes on …
Understanding the wide gap between Allah (swt) and our status is liberating. Our job as a creation is to make efforts per our role described in the Quran and Sunnah.
Every animate (humans, Jinn, animals, etc.) and inanimate (sun, stars, mountains, etc.) being is under Allah’s (swt) Supreme command. They cannot come to life, decide or even die on their leave. All praise Allah (swt) in the way Allah (swt) has taught them. For humans following three stages are what they go through during their lives:
- Amr – Allah’s Order:
These are either physical or spiritual commands by Allah (swt). Physical may include which seasons will come and impact someone, etc. Spiritual may be how someone will be guided towards Islam. Those who respond to Allah’s (swt) orders with complete submission and trust experience exultation. They become Ibad-ur-Rahman (slaves of the Merciful). Allah (swt) grants them repeated Taufiq of obedience, guides them through all times, accepts their faulty actions sincerely and rewards them in the world in the most surprising ways. Jannah too will be theirs in the Akhirah.
- Qada – Allah’s Destiny:
Everyone is under Allah’s (swt) command. Taqdeer is of two types. How does a Momin behave when his destiny plays out?
- Calamities and hardships
After realizing who Allah (swt) is, a Momin can exhibit three types of behaviours in response to the troubles destined his way. He can bear it with Sabr (patience), the minimum level. He can be pleased with it, relying upon Allah (swt), Who brings Khair out of Shar. Lastly, he can offer Shukr (gratitude) for his misery, trusting Allah’s (swt) Wisdom and Care for him and that it could have been worse.
- Sins and flaws
Allah (swt) created us for Jannah. But we are weak, imperfect and fall into sins repeatedly. What to do? When our fate makes us realize our dark sins, we should immediately repent and reform. This sign and opportunity is from Allah (swt) At-Tawwab, the Acceptor of Repentance. It is time to purify ourselves and elevate our ranks to receive better rewards from Allah (swt). He wants us to win against Satan’s evil tricks.
- Inam – Allah’s Bounties
From the time we come into existence, we are in Allah’s (swt) Divine Care, only receiving from Him. It’s impossible to enumerate His blessings upon us, but to name a few: life, health, food, shelter, companions, intelligence, and for the believers, Islam!
It is incumbent upon us to recognize the Giver and thank Him. When we constantly offer our gratitude to Allah (swt), we stay humbled and happy. Even when we receive what we never desired, we trust Allah’s (swt) choice.
When we are mindful of the three stages mentioned, the byproduct is peace, contentment, happiness and security. Allah states in the Quran: “Indeed, I have turned my face [i.e. self] toward He Who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.” (Al-Anam 6:79)