Archive for the ‘Shirk and Monotheism’ Category

Tawheed (montheism)

The term is derived from the three consonants root w-h-d, which serves as the vehicle for the basic concept of ‘oneness,’ or ‘unity,” along with the closely related ideas of ‘singularity’ and ‘uniqueness.’ These root letters are clearly apparent in the numerical adjective wahid [one]. In the words of the Qur`an:

Your God is surely One.
(37:4) inna Ilaaha-kum-la-Wahid

The term Tawheed demands a lengthier translation, namely: “the realization-and-affirmation-of-Oneness. The Unity of God, the Divine Unity, Unity in its most profound sense. Allah is The Real, The Absolute. Allah is One in His Essence, His Attributes and His Acts. Before the existence of the universe there was nothing but The Creator.

The Qur`an declares that “Nothing is like Him” (42:11). Allah is omniscient and all-powerful. All of Allah’s attributes belong to Him exclusively. He is the first and there is no last but His oneness. He is the First without anything before Him. He is the Last without anything after Him. The end is with Him alone, and He is the End. He is All-Existing: with him there is no end. Allah is now as He was before. He is Eternal.

Tawheed can be viewed from the perspectives of:

    • Tawheed al-Rububiyah – Unity of Lordship
    • Tawheed al- Uluhiyah – Unity of Worship
    • Tawheed al- Asma wa Sifaat – Unity of His Names and His Attributes
    • Tawheed al Itabaa – Unity in the following the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him

Tawheed undoubtedly is the central theme and message of the Qur`an, the Book of Allah and it is repeated in many other verses.

The Arabs in Mecca and later the Jews in Medina inquired from Allah’s Rasul (SAW), who is Allah? Allah revealed in Surah Ikhlas (S: 112) as follows:

In the name Of Allah, The most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Say, Allah is One,
Allah The Everlasting, The Eternal,
He has not given birth and was not born,
And no one is comparable to Him

In another verse, Surah (chapter) 24:35, an image of spiritual discernment of Allah is mentioned,

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth………..  Light upon Light! And Allah guides to His Light whom He will.

These verses confirm the Unitary belief, which is the mainspring of Islam and the core of The Qur`an.

Further, only in total acquiescence in Allah’s good pleasure, renunciation of one’s own will, and surrender to His will and guidance is Tawheed made perfect. Allah’s absolute unity is the beginning and the end of the spiritual life for Muslims.

The Unity of Allah is a magnificent and a beautiful concept, and Muslims reaffirm their adherence to it many times a day. To acknowledge the fact of the “affirmation-of-Oneness” renew your faith by frequent invocation of  La ilaha illa llah [there is non worthy of worship accept Allah] will be the means to eradicate Shirk [polytheism].

It is a powerful and effective concept for focusing and organising one’s worldview and epitomising a religious and psychological orientation and authentically expressive of an important facet of the spirit of Islam.

Shirk – Polytheism

The opposite of Tawhid is expressed by the Arabic term Shirk (polytheism), derived from the root Sh-r-k which conveys the notion of “sharing” or “partnerships.” The word Sharik (plural shurakaa) means “partner” or “associate.” It encompasses far more than the more blatant forms of idolatry and denial of Allah’s Unity. The term Shirk means associating partners with Allah, and the related term mushrik is applied to someone guilty of such polytheistic association.

Forms of Shirk:

Major Shirk Includes

  • Shirk ad Du’a – invoking or supplicating to a false deity besides Allah
  • Shirk al-Niyah wa Iraada wal Qasd – having the intention and determination to deliberately worship a deity other then Allah.
  • Shirk at- Ta’a – obeying any created being against the command of Allah.
  • Shirk al-Muhabbah – loving a created being or an object more than Allah
  • Hidden Shirk as:Shirk al- khafi means the hidden, or covert, association of partners with Allah, the One and Only God. This is an insidious form of Shirk.

Minor forms of Shirk as:

Shirk ar- reacarrying out religious acts for worldly gain, e.g. showing off.Shirk at- Tasmee – swearing by other then Allah.Allah says in the Noble Qur`an that Shirk is the greatest sin. (S 31: 14)He also says that He will forgive all other sins if He wishes, except Shirk (S 4: 49)Muslims must understand the term Shirk (polytheism) and be conceptually and practically clear that it is diametrically opposed to, Tawheed, the affirmation to the Oneness of Allah.