Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Definition and Categories of Tawheed

إن الحمد لله، و الصلاة و السلام على رسول الله و بعد

The Definition of Tawheed and its Categories:

The specific definition of at-Tawheed according to the 'Ulamaa' is:
إفراد الله بالعبادة
{ To single out Allaah in 'Ibaadah (worship) }

As for the more general definition, then it is the breakdown of Tawheed into 3 (or 2) categories that the 'Ulamaa' of the past used to clarify and teach the people the detailed facets of the Tawheed of Allaah - Tabaaraka wa Ta'aalaa. They are:

1) Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (The Oneness of Allaah in His Lordship), derived from Allaah's Name "Ar-Rabb" (The Lord). This is to single out Allaah in His actions: He alone is the Creator, Sustainer, the Giver of life and death, the One having controlling the affairs of all of His creation. So we single out Allaah in His actions.

2) Tawheed al-Asmaa' was-Sifaat (The Oneness of Allaah in regards to His Beautiful Names and Perfect Attributes). This is to single out Allaah with the those names and attributes that He has described Himself by in the Qur'aan or that the Messenger (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) has described Him by in the authentic Sunnah, without distorting them (tahreef), negating them (ta'teel), making comparisons between Allaah's attributes and those of the creation and vice versa) (tamtheel), and without asking how they are (takyeef). Rather we affirm them upon their apparent meanings, and we leave how they are and their true reality to Allaah.

  • Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and his student, Shaykhul-Islaam ath-Thaanee Ibnul-Qayyim explained these two categories together in one category, called Tawheed al-Ma'rifah wal-Ithbaat. Others called it Tawheed al-'Ilmee wal-Khabaree (the Tawheed related to knowledge and information about Allaah).

3) Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (The Oneness of Allaah in His right to be worshipped), derived from Allaah's Name "Al-Ilaah" (The One who is worshipped). This is to single out Allaah with our actions. So we fast, pray, hope in, fear, place our trust and dependance upon, and call upon Allaah Alone, without any partner. So all of our actions, whether they be actions of the tongue, limbs or heart are directed to Allaah Alone. And it was for this category of at-Tawheed that Allaah sent the Prophets and Messengers and sent down the divinely-revealed books, and that the disbelieving peoples of the past were destroyed due to their worship of other than Allaah Alone.

  • Shaykhul-Islaam and Ibnul-Qayyim described this category as Tawheed at-Talib wal-Qasd. Others from amongst the 'Ulamaa' called it Tawheed al-'Amalee (the Tawheed of Action)

All of these categories are found in the Qur'aan itself. In fact Soorah al-Faatihah, from its beginning to its end, is all three of these categories.
و الحمد لله رب العالمين