“He [the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)] said, ‘It is to believe in Allah'”
Belief in Allah (swt) is the cornerstone of the Islamic faith, and all of the other Islamic beliefs revolve around this. If our understanding of Allah (swt) and His attributes is incorrect, then the basis of our own faith may be jepordised. This is a matter of such fundamental importance that many Muslim scholars have described the correct belief in Allah, called Tauheed, in great detail.
Tauheed means ‘making something one’. It is not a term found in the Qur’an or the sunnah, it became the main term used to cover the aspects of belief in Allah from the time of ibn Abbas (r). Although there are some variations, the scholars have traditionally divided Tauheed into three distinct categories:
Tauheed al-Ruboobiyah – The belief in the Oneness of Allah concerning His Lordship. He alone is the Lord (al-Rabb), He is One, without partner, and He is the sole Creator and the only One who nourishes and Sustains the creation.
Tauheed al-Uloohiyah – This is the Oneness of Allah with respect to Him being the only One worthy of worship. All acts of worship must be directed toward Allah alone. We should not offer prayers or make supplications to anyone else such as saints, pirrs or sheikhs. By doing this, people show that they are putting their trust in a person to help deliver what they want, they are not putting their trust in Allah alone.
Tauheed al-Asmaa wa al-Sifaat – This is believing in all the names and attributes of Allah as mentioned in the Qur’an and authentic hadith. We must believe that they are unique to Him, without negating them, stripping them of any meaning, or distorting their meaning by interpreting them figuritavely. The more we know about Allah the more we love Him and turn to Him, understanding that He alone had power over all things.
Do we really know Allah (swt)? Could we list what has been revealed of His names and attributes? Let’s try and draw closer to Allah by reading about His names and attributes and calling on Him (swt) by them.