Islamic Monotheism (tauheed)

“Tauheed” meaning Islamic Monotheism. I begin this lecture by presenting a few definitions, which I feel are a pre-requisite to understanding the concept of tauheed through Surah Al Ikhlaas. All of us know the creed of muslim faith, or kalima of islam, which is

لآ اله الاّ الله
:لآ No
:اله God / Supreme Authority in the Universe, we will elaborte this word shortly
:الاّ Except
:الله The personal name of the being presiding over the designation of ilaha
لآ اله الاّ الله
There is no god except Allah.

This phrase has appeared in two places in the Quran, in Surah Saffaat, C37, V35, which says:
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
When it is said to them, “There is no god except Allah,” they certainly used to consider themselves great (to accept this).

And the second appearance is in Surah Muhammad, C47, V19
فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ
Then know that there is no god except Allah and seek protection for your sin and for the believing men and the believing women. And Allah knows your places of movement and your places of rest (homes).

Now let us see how the quran has defined the word ilaha in the following verses:
وَاتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً لَّا يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ لِأَنفُسِهِمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ مَوْتًا وَلَا حَيَاةً وَلَا نُشُورًا
And they have taken gods besides Him who do not create anything while they themselves are created, and they do not control (even) for themselves any harm or profit nor do they control death nor life, nor (do they have the power of) raising the dead (to life). Surah Al Furqan, C25 V3.

وَهُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاء إِلَهٌ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَهٌ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ
And He it is Who is the God in the sky and the God in the earth and He is the Wise, the Knowing. Surah Zukhruf, C43 V84.

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ –
Allah is He, besides Whom there is no god, Knower of the unseen and the seen, He is the Beneficent, The Merciful.
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ–
Allah is He, besides Whom there is no god, the King, the Holy, the Author of peace, the Granter of Security, the Guardian, the Mighty, the Compeller, the Possessor of greatness; glorified be Allah above what they associate as partners (with Him). Surah Al Hashr C59 Vs 22&23

إِنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَسِعَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا
Your God is only Allah, other than Whom there is no god, (His) knowledge extends over everything. Surah Taa Haa C20 V98

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاء وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
Allah, there is no god except Him, the Living, The Eternally existing; neither slumber takes hold of Him nor sleep; whatever is in the skies and whatever is in the earth is His. Who is there who can recommend to Him except by His permission? He knows that which is before them and that which is behind them, and they cannot encompass anything from His knowledge except that which He wills (to impart); His chair (power, jurisdiction) extends over the skies and the earth and it does not tire Him to preserve (monitor) them both, and He is the High, the Great. Surah Baqara, C2, V255

فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيمِ
So Highly Exalted is Allah the Real King, there is no god except Him, Lord of the honoured throne (of the universe). Surah Al mominoon, C23, V116

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا
Fosterer of the east and the west, there is no god except Him, so take Him as a Trustee. Surah Al Muzammil C73, V9

ذَلِكُمُ اللّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ
That is Allah your Fosterer, there is no god except Him, Creator of everything, so serve Him, and He is the Trustee over everything. Surah Al An’am C6 V103.

So ilaha, is a being or personality, who created us, who is the God in the skies and the earth, who can afflict us with Harm and bestow us with profits, who knows everything and who is everything else that has been described in the above verses. Believing that this designation is occupied by Allah (SWT) and His is the right to be worshipped and He is the owner of the day of Judgement, is Tauheed.

There is a Hadith of Rasoolullah SAWS recorded in Riyadhus Saliheen, C:183, Hadeeth # 1010 which is reported by Bukhari and was quoted by me after hamd and salam, which says
قال رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم): في قل هو الله احد: (والذي نفسي بيده؛ إنّها لتَعْدِلُ ثُلُثَ القرآن)
Abu Said Al Khudri RA reported about Surah Al Ikhlas: Rasoolullah SAWS said, By Him in Whose hand is my soul is, it is equivalent to one-third of the Quran.

This means that the concept of Tauheed is spread in 1/3rd of the Quran and which is concentrated in Surah Al Ikhlas C112 V1-4, so let us analyse this chapter of the Quran:
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
Say, “Allah is One.

The word ahad means Unique, so the translation would become, Say Allah is Unique; no one else is like Him. How is Allah SWT so unique, that no one is like Him? What are the qualities that Allah SWT possesses that he is so unique. He has the qualities of Ilaha (God) which makes him so unique, let us see how the Quran mentions this:

1-وَإِلَـهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ لاَّ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ
And your God is One God, there is no god except Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful Surah Baqara C2, V163

2-قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مُنذِرٌ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِلَّا اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ
Say, “I am only a warner and there is no god except Allah, the One, the Omnipotent, Surah Saad, C38 V65

3-يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ
O my two companions of the prison! Are different masters better or Allah, the One, the Omnipotent? Surah Yusuf C12, V39

The word Wahid has occurred in all the 3 verses quoted above, wahid and ahad are words from the same root, but have different sense. Ahad means one or unique, no one is like him; while wahid also means one, ie an indivisible whole possessing all his attributes at one and the same time, with no internal disagreement between any of his attributes.

اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ
Allah is He on Whom all depend

The word samad means, a person or being on whom all depend. This word has not occurred anywhere else in the Quran.

When can we say that we are dependent on someone for our needs? The answer is very simple, as given in Surah An Nas, C114, V3
1-إِلَهِ النَّاسِ
the God of mankind

This means that the person whom we are depending on should be capable of fulfilling our needs, so who is more powerful and capable of fulfilling anyone’s needs other than the God (Ilaha) of Mankind.

How else are we dependant on Allah (SWT)? The following verses of the Quran seem to answer this question:

2-هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاء لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

He it is Who gives you form in the wombs, as He wills, there is no god except Him, the Mighty, the Wise. Surah Al Imran, C3, V6

3-غَافِرِ الذَّنبِ وَقَابِلِ التَّوْبِ شَدِيدِ الْعِقَابِ ذِي الطَّوْلِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ إِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ
Protective Forgiver of sin and Accepter of repentance, Severe in requital, the Bountiful. There is no god except Him, towards Him is the destination. Surah Al Momin, C40, V3

4-قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ اللَّيْلَ سَرْمَدًا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَنْ إِلَهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِضِيَاء أَفَلَا تَسْمَعُونَ ~

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ النَّهَارَ سَرْمَدًا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَنْ إِلَهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِلَيْلٍ تَسْكُنُونَ فِيهِ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ

Say, “Do you consider, if Allah were to make the night everlasting on you till the day of resurrection, (then) who is the god other than Allah who could bring light to you? Will you not then hear?”
Say, “Do you consider, if Allah were to make the day everlasting on you till the day of resurrection, (then) who is the god other than Allah who could bring the night to you that you could rest therein ? Will you not then see? Surah Al Qasas C28, V71-72

We have to depend on Allah SWT for everything, if Allah makes either the day or the night everlasting, all our scientists together cannot do anything to avoid this, we have to depend on Allah SWT. Some of us have a concept that apart from Allah SWT , some human beings have the power to protect us. Beware! the Quran says:

5-هُنَالِكَ الْوَلَايَةُ لِلَّهِ الْحَقِّ هُوَ خَيْرٌ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ عُقْبًا
There : Protection is the right (only) of Allah, He is the Best Rewarder and the Best Requiter. Surah Kahf C18, V44

We have to depend on As Samad for our protection too.

Let us now analyse the next verse of Surah Ikhlas, which is:
لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
He does not beget and He is not begotten

The Quran elaborates this concept in the following verses:

1-بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ تَكُن لَّهُ صَاحِبَةٌ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ ~ ذَلِكُمُ اللّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ
Originator of the skies and the earth. How can He have a son when He has no consort (Wife / Mate / Partner)? And He created everything and He is the Knower of everything. That is Allah your Fosterer, there is no god except Him, Creator of everything, so serve Him, and He is the Trustee over everything. Surah Al Anam C6, V101-102

This verse clarifies both the aspects that He (Allah SWT) cannot have a son, as He has no opposite gender to Him and He was not born from someone as He is the creator of everything and the rest is creation. He has been living since eternity as is explained by the below verse:

2-اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ
Allah, there is no god except Him, the Living, the Eternally Existing. Surah Al Imran C3, V2

هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
He is the First and the Last and the Evident (Outer Most) and the Hidden (Inner Most) and He is the Knower of everything. Surah Al Hadid C57, V3

The above verses prove that Allah SWT is independant and His existence was not dependant on any relation like Father, Mother, Wife and Son.

وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
And there is no one equal to Him

How can there be any opposition to Allah SWT after knowing so much about Ilaha (God / Supreme Authority in the Universe), Ahad (He is Unique), & Samad (On whom all depend), etc. as is also confirmed through the following questions Quran asks:

أَمَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ حَدَائِقَ ذَاتَ بَهْجَةٍ مَّا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُنبِتُوا شَجَرَهَا أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ يَعْدِلُونَ

أَمَّن جَعَلَ الْأَرْضَ قَرَارًا وَجَعَلَ خِلَالَهَا أَنْهَارًا وَجَعَلَ لَهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ حَاجِزًا أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ وَيَجْعَلُكُمْ خُلَفَاء الْأَرْضِ أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ

أَمَّن يَهْدِيكُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَن يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

أَمَّن يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَمَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاء وَالْأَرْضِ أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

60. Who is it, Who has created the skies and the earth and sent down for you water from the sky? Then We cause to grow through it, beautiful gardens, it is not (possible) for you to cause the trees to grow therein. Is there a god with Allah? No, they are a people who equate (others with Allah).
61. Who is it, Who has made the earth a place for staying, and made rivers in the passages therein, and made mountains on it, and made a barrier between the two seas? Is there a god with Allah? No, the majority of them does not know.
62. Who is it, Who responds to the distressed when he prays to Him and removes the evil and makes you successors of the earth? Is there a god with Allah? Little is it that you mind.
63. Who is it, Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as good news before His mercy? Is there a god with Allah? Highly Exalted is Allah above that which they associate as partners (with Him).
64. Who is it, Who begins the creation then gets it reproduced, and Who provides you from the sky and the earth? Is there a god with Allah? Say, “Bring your proof if you are truthful.”
Surah Al Naml, C27 V60-64

The following verse throws more light on Tauheed (Islamic Monotheism):

مَا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ مِن وَلَدٍ وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُ مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِذًا لَّذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَهٍ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلَا بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

Allah has not taken any son nor is there any (other) god with Him, (had there been two or more gods, then) in that case, each god would have taken away that which he had created and some would have dominated over others, glorified be Allah above that which they describe, Surah Al Mominun C23, V91

Naturally, if there were more than one Ilaha (Supreme Authority in the Universe / gods), then certainly there would have been chaos in the whole universe.

Dear Friends, this was Surah Ikhlas (112th chapter of the Quran) in which Tauheed (Islamic Monotheism) was concentrated. If anyone claims to be Ilaha then compare him with these 4 verses, and based on the facts which I presented, I can challenge the claimer will not be able to pass a single test. How can anyone pass this test when Allah’s messenger SAWS himself is a witness that there is no god except Allah, as is mentioned in the following verse:

قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادةً قُلِ اللّهِ شَهِيدٌ بِيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ لأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللّهِ آلِهَةً أُخْرَى قُل لاَّ أَشْهَدُ قُلْ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنَّنِي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ
Say, “What thing is greater (as) witness?” Say, “Allah is Witness between me and you. And this Quran has been communicated to me, that with it, I should warn you and whomsoever it reaches. Do you really bear witness that there are other gods with Allah?” Say, “I do not bear witness.” Say, “He is only One God, and I am free from that which you associate as partners (with Allah).” Surah Al Anam C6, V19

I would like to end my talk with the following verse:

شَهِدَ اللّهُ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَالْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ الْعِلْمِ قَآئِمَاً بِالْقِسْطِ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

Allah bears witness that there is no god except Him and the angels and possessors of knowledge established on justice (too, that) there is no god except Him, the Mighty the Wise. Surah Al Imran C3, V18

What more does a soul want to believe in Allah SWT as the Only Ilaha (Supreme Authority in the Universe) after this.

Wa Akhirud dawana anil Hamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen.

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