Islam is the complete code of life prescribed by Allah, the Lord of the universe, to be practiced in the way of His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). It regulates all aspects of life from birth to death. And its following will be rewarded by an eternal blissful abode after death, that is, the Heaven.
However, the basic structure of Islam is based on five pillars, namely Imaan (Faith), Salah (Obligatory Prayers), Zakah (Obligatory Charity), Sawm (Obligatory Fasting), and Hajj (Obligatory Pilgrimage). The first Pillar requires a person to believe in a few articles of Faith. Those are (1) Oneness of Allah (Tawheed), (2) Prophethood of all prophets (Peace be upon them), in particular Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) being the last and universal Prophet, (3) Angels, (4) all Divine Books, (5) Resurrection and Day of Judgment, and (6) Destiny (Jahangir 2017 p. 85). Today, we would reflect partially upon the first article of Faith, i.e., Tawheed.
The essence of Tawheed is that The Ever-Living and Ever-Lasting Being, Allah, is The Creator and Sustainer of all things with all-comprehensive Names and Attributes and hence absolutely deserves worship from His creations. From this statement, we may discern three components of Tawheed:
- Tawheed of Lordship (Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah)
- Tawheed of Names and Attributes (Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat)
- Tawheed of Worship (Tawheed al-‘Ibaadah)
The first two components are the Knowledge aspect of Tawheed and the third is the Action or Worship aspect of Tawheed (Jahangir 2017; Jahangir 2002).
Now, the rest of the paper will reflect upon the first component of Tawheed.
Tawheed of Lordship
Here “Lordship” (Ruboobeeyah) includes the sole power of Allah to create, sustain, maintain and control everything in the universe. No one else has any share with Him in this respect. He is the Creator and everything else is the created (Jahangir 2017 and Philips n.d.).
The Qur’an and Sunnah speak extensively of His omnipotence. For example, the Qur’an starts with praising Allah as the Lord of the worlds (Qur’an 1:1), which may include the worlds of angels, men, jins, animals, birds, flies, and things we may or may not know of. These created worlds testify the fact of His Lordship. Allah calls upon the humans to ponder over the creation of the animals, heavens, mountains, and the earth (Qur’an 88:17-20). Here, among from the myriads of signs of His being the Creator, we may cite a few below:
Allah has created the heavens and the earth (Qur’an 16:3) and adorned the heavens with stars (Qur’an 37:6). He has created everything in pairs (Qur’an 51:49) like the heavens and the earth, the day and the night, the sun and the moon, the land and the sea, light and darkness, faith and disbelief, life and death, fortune and misfortune, Hell and Heaven, etc. (Ibn Kathir 2019).
He created man from sperm-drop (Qur’an 16:4) and made relations between them by blood and by marriage (Qur’an 25:54). Allah created husband and wife relationships so that they can live in rest and peace. He has also created love and compassion between them (Qur’an 7:189; 30:21). He has created the nations of Jinns from fire free from smoke (Qur’an 55:15). Allah has created every living creature from water, some of whom walk on the belly, some on two feet, and some on four (Qur’an 24:45). He has created the grazing livestock from which humans reap benefits (Qur’an 16:5). Besides, He has created so many things that we do not know (Qur’an 16:8) nor can we count up (Qur’an 16:18). In His creation, there is no fault (Qur’an 67:3). He can create whatever He likes (Qur’an 24:45).
After creation, Allah is maintaining and controlling everything in the universe. He directs (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth (Qur’an 32:5). He merges the night into the day and the day into the night (Qur’an 35:13). If He perpetuated the night for us until the Last Day of the world, who could bring us light? None but He (Qur’an 28:71).
Allah brings the living out of the dead and the dead out of the living (Qur’an 30:19). He takes our souls for the night when we are in sleep and raises us up from sleep for the day (Qur’an 6:60). He grants power and kingdom to anyone He wills and takes the same away from whomsoever He wants (Qur’an 3:26). He gives honour to whomever He wants and humiliates whomsoever He pleases (Qur’an 3:60).
Allah makes people strong and again turns them weak (Qur’an 30:54). He makes them laugh and again makes them weep (Qur’an 53:43). He shows the lightening, makes the heavy clouds, sends thunderbolts (Qur’an 12-13), rain (Qur’an 30:48), and gives life to the earth after its lifelessness (being dry up) (Qur’an 57:17). Every living and non-living being is in His total control, such as the heavens and the earth (Qur’an 35:41), and the living creatures (Qur’an 11:56).
Thus He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever in between (Qur’an 19:65). He has total dominance and power over everything (Qur’an 48:11). Nobody can go beyond the limits of the heavens and the earth without His authority. Wherever he/she goes with Allah’s sanction, that is the kingdom of His (Qur’an 55:33). Nothing can happen without His leave. Even a single leaf does not fall without His knowledge (Qur’an 6:59). Nor does any calamity strike except by His permission (Qur’an 64:11). Thus whatever He wants must happen. Nobody can bring any change to His decision or action. In this connection, the Prophet’s (PBUH) following direction is instructive:
“Be aware that if the whole of mankind gathered together in order to do something to help you, they would only be able to do something for you which Allah had already written for you. Likewise, if the whole of mankind gathered together to harm you, they would only be able to do something to harm you which Allah had already written to happen to you.” (cited in Philips n.d. )
To conclude, Allah is the Only and Absolutely Only Creator and Lord of the whole creation without any parallel to Him. His kingdom and power rein over everywhere and everything. He is above any need. Rather everything in the heavens and the earth is in need of Him. He shines in Splendour every day (Qur’an 55:29).
The Holy Qur’an
Ibn Kathir, Imaduddin (2019), Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Bengali translation by Hafez Munir Uddin Ahnad), 7th vol. London: Qur’an Academy.
Jahangir, Khondokar Abdullah (2017), Qur’an-Sunnaher Aloke Islami Aqida (in Bangla) (Islamic Creed in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Jhenidah: As-Sunnah Publications.
Jahangir, Khondokar Abdullah (2002), Imam Abu Haneefah’s Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar: The (Bengali) Translation and Explanation. Jhenidah: As-Sunnah Publications.
Philips, Abu Ameenah Bilal (n.d.), The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) at https://www.cia.gov/library/abbottabad-compound/84/84575EAC059788C5E8DFA51FEF117E4A_The%20Fundamentals%20of%20Tawheed.pdf retrieved on 11 September 2020.