Tawheed in Islam is very important as it means that believing in one lord and no one else. It is attributing oneness to Allah and describing him as being one and unique as he has no partner in his essence and attributes. However if one doesn’t believe in this then he is going against Tawheed and will be classed as not a true Muslim. Believing that Allah is one with no partner or associate in his lordship is known as Tawheed ruboobiyyah.
If any disagrees with this statement then they are going against Allah’s word which are written in the Quran as he states “ Say he is Allah, the One and only”. This verse clearly shows that Allah is one as he has written it him in the Quran for Muslims, no one should join partners with him nor should they believe in anyone besides him, this is known as shirk. Shirk in linguistic meaning is associating partnership, sharing with someone or associating something with someone however in Islam it refers to associating partners with Allah.
There are two type of shirk which are:
1. Shirk Akbar – Major Shirk
2. Shirk Asgar – Minor Shirk
Major shirk in Islam means when an individual ascribe partners with Allah such as saying that he has a son or a family. This can be with his Lordship, divinity or his names and attribute. Allah has told the Muslims in the Quran that he does not forgive anyone who ascribes partners with him in any way, as he states “ Verily! Allah forgives not setting up partners with Him, but He forgives whom He wills sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.” (2: 48). Shirk is classed as worst sin in Islam. Shirk can be also loving someone as they should be loving Allah, and fearing as they should be fearing Allah, or relying upon him, calling upon him, dreading him, hoping in him and having awe of him, trusting in him, or obeying him in disobedience to Allah, or following him in what displeases Allah etc.
This type of shirk may sometimes believe that someone else apart from Allah created this universe, maybe gives life and death or having a belief that someone else should be worshipped besides Allah. Whoever believes that then his final abode will be in hellfire as it is stated clearly in the Quran by Allah’s words, “ Verily, whosoever sets up partners with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode.” (5: 72). Even the Prophet of Allah mentioned in a Hadith that Shirk is never forgiven as he says “ The greatest sins are polytheism etc” (Muslim).
The second type of Shirk in Islam is the minor shirk which is everything that will lead an individual to major shirk such as adorning something or believing in fortune telling. Minor shirk has been described by Prophet Muhammad as “ Shirk in the Muslim nation is more inconspicuous than the creeping of the black ant on a black rock in the pitch darkness of the night.” This saying of Prophet explains to the Muslims in a metaphorical way that minor shirk is what will lead the Muslims to major shirk unknowingly.
Prophet also said that he feared minor shirk more then any sin as it was the cause of everything. Whoever swears to someone else other then Allah also commits the act of shirk and Kufr (disbelief). Minor shirk can also take the form of actions such as believing in fortune telling and wearing amulets. We as Muslims know this because Prophet said whoever goes towards fortune-teller and believes in his story, his prays will not be accepted for forty days.
Tawheed is very important in Islam because it is the pillar which Islam is built upon, as it is the first thing invited to and preached to for thirteen years. “ say, none has the right to be worshipped…” when an individual believes in Tawheed they have to believe in the three aspects of tawheed which are Ruboobiyah- in his lordship, Uloohiyyah- in his worship and finally Asma was sifaat believing in his Names and Attributes. Tawheed is a condition for an action to be accepted, because for a deed to be accepted it requires two conditions. Which is the intention which is purely for Allah and in accordance with the sharee’ah of Prophet Muhammad.
The three categories of Tawheed in Islam that are very important to abide by which are Tawheed Ruboobeeyah which means maintaining the oneness of Lordship that is, affirming that Allah is one, without partners in his power, as Allah states in the Quran “ And no calamity strikes except by Allah’s permission.” This means that without Allah’s permission no one can do anything. Second one is Tawheed al-Asmaa’ was-Sifaat which means maintaining the unity of Allah’s Names and Attributes that is, affirming that they are incomparable and unique as Allah says in the Quran for Muslims that “ There is nothing like him.” This means that Allah’s attributes are different to his mankind. And lastly it’s Tawheed Uloohiyyah which is affirming that Allah is alone in his right to be worshipped, as it says in the Quran “ I did not create the jinn and mankind except for my worship.”
Surah Ikhlas is a one of the important chapter from the holy Quran as it declares the oneness of Allah and absolute nature of divine essences. This concept is presented in the first verse it says “ He is Allah, the One and Only” moreover the second verse that Allah is Eternal, i. e., He is beyond the bounds of time and space which is “ Allah, the Eternal, Absolute” The third verse describes that Allah does not give birth or was given birth to as it says “ He begetteth not nor is He begotten” and the last verse declares that Allah is beyond comparison which is “ And there is none like unto Him”. Surah Ikhlas directly supports the first declaration shahadah of Islam: “ There is no god but Allah”. In this context, Islam is based on belief in one God which is monotheism.
There are many Muslims that still depend on pious people that they believe have similar qualities to God. They put their whole trust in them and act upon what they tell them to do rather then following the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad. They might start to wear amulets as they might believe that these things will protect them from harm and guide them the right path. However all this is wrong as we know that from the words of the Prophet, as he says wearing amulets is an act of Shirk (polytheism). Other Muslims put the Prophet on a higher level than Allah and see him as their God rather than Allah; they give excessive praise to the Prophet.
Shirk is the major sin in Islam because it involves associating others along with Allah in worship, his lordship or in his attributes. Being thankful to other than Allah for all the good which he has given us, or to say that He has an equal or one who is similar to him, shirk can also involve rejecting the Messengers’ of Allah since the Messengers of Allah call against shirk and whoever associates partners with Allah will never enter paradise as Allah says in the Quran “ Indeed they do blaspheme those who say that Allah is Jesus, the son of Mary, but Jesus said “ O children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord”. Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him heaven and the fire will be his abode”. (5: 72)
There are many dangers of Shirk such as it wipes away an individuals good deeds, Muslims know this because it says in the Quran “ But if they were to join others with Allah in worship, all that they used to do would be of no benefit to them.” (6: 88) It also leads to eternal punishment in the hellfire and takes a person out of the fold of Islam as it says “ Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him heaven and the fire will be his abode”.
When someone commits Shirk they are going against the belief in Tawheed which is the foundation of ones faith. Islam has 7 articles of faith among others the most important one is believe in Allah as the only one God. The principle of oneness in Allah was planted since Adam and Eve continued to Nuh, Abraham and up to the final Prophet Muhammad.
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