Belief in Allah is the cornerstone of eemaan. All other forms of belief in Islam revolve around belief in Allah. It is, therefore, very important that a Muslim’s belief in Allah must be correct.
The Importance of the Correct Belief in Allah – The Tawheed
Tawheed means monotheism, the testimony to the Oneness of Allah, and it is of three types:
- Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyah (The belief that Allah is the Lord of all the creatures): He is the Creator, the Provider, the One who gives life, the One who takes it away and the One who disposes of all affairs. Therefore, there is no creator except Allah, as Allah the Almighty says, “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs.” (Quran, 39:62) There is no one who provides sustenance except Allah, as the Quran says, “And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.” (Quran, 11:6) There is no one who alone disposes of all the affairs except Allah the Almighty: “He arranges [each] matter from the heaven to the earth…” (Quran, 32:5) There is no one who causes death and gives life except Allah alone: “He gives life and causes death, and to Him you will be returned” (Quran, 10:56)
This kind of tawheed was declared by the disbelievers during the time of the Prophet (pbuh), but this declaration alone was not sufficient for them to be considered believers, as Allah the Almighty says about them, “And if you asked them, “Who created the heavens and earth?” they would surely say, ” Allah” (Quran, 31:25)
- Tawheed al-Uloohiyah (The belief that Allah the Almighty is the true God who alone deserves to be worshipped): therefore, all acts of worship, such as invocation, trust, fear and sacrifice, should be directed to Him alone. Thus, we should invoke none but Allah, rely on none except Allah, seek no one’s help except Allah’s help, and seek no one’s refuge but Allah’s refuge.
It is this type of tawheed with which Allah’s messengers, peace be upon them, came. Allah the Almighty says, “And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.” (Quran, 16:36) The taghoot here means all false deities that are worshipped besides the True God, Allah the Almighty.
This was the very type of tawheed which the disbelievers, past and present, reject. The disbelievers during the Prophet’s time scornfully said, as the Quran says about them, “Has he made the gods [only] one God? Indeed, this is a curious thing.” (Quran, 38:5)
- Tawheed al-Asmaa’ was-Sifaat (The belief that Allah the Almighty has the Most Beautiful Names and the Loftiest, Perfect Attributes): A Muslim believes in all Allah’s Names and Attributes with which Allah describes Himself or His Messenger described Him, without distorting their meanings, denying them completely, qualifying them or likening them to any of those of His creatures.
To clarify this, Allah the Almighty describes Himself in the Quran as Al-Hayy ‘the Ever Living’ (Quran, 2:255). Therefore, we should believe that Al-Hayy (the Ever Living) is one of Allah’s Names and also believe in the quality which is contained in this name, namely the perfect form of life which is neither preceded by non-existence nor followed by death.
Another example is the Name As-Samee’ (the All-Hearer). The Quran says, “There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Quran, 42:11) Similarly, we must believe that As-Samee’ is one of Allah’s Names and also believe that this is one of His qualities; namely; that He is able to hear in a manner that suits His Majesty, without likening this attribute to any of those of His creatures.