The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Monotheism) ―Part 8: Deviation from the required Tawheed

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Lesson 8: Deviation from the required Tawheed

We have discussed those who go to excesses by adding to the categories of Tawheed and, similarly, those who are negligent and reduce the categories. The excessive one is the one who adds more to the categories of Tawheed than what is present in the Qur’an ―and the negligent one restricts the categories of Tawheed, by decreasing them and claiming that Tawheed Ar-Rubbūbiyyah is the only category of Tawheed and he rejects the other categories.

The one who falls short neglects the most important category of Tawheed, the most required category, and that is Tawheed Al-Ulūhiyyah which the Tawheed of singling out Allah alone as the sole deity worthy of worship. As for Tawheed Ar-Rubūbiyyah, then all of mankind who follow a religion affirm Tawheed Ar-Rubūbiyyah for Allah. No one denies that Allah (the Most High) is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Giver of Life and death except a few individuals who oppose virtually the whole of humanity ―and they only reject the Creator out of pride, haughtiness and obstinance, whilst recognising the truth of His Lordship internally. The Jews, Christians and idol-worshippers all affirm that Allāh (Almighty God) is the sole Lord and Creator.

So, all of mankind affirm that Allāh (God Almighty) is Al-Khāliq, Al-Rāziq, Al-Muhyee, Al-Mumeet, Al-Mudabbir, i.e that He is the Creator, the Sustainer and Provider, the Giver of Life, the Bringer of death and the Controller of all creation. However, this is not the category of Tawheed that is the most sought-after. This category is affirmed by virtually everyone, the Christians and the idolators but its realisation does not lead them to worship Allāh alone, because they worship other gods and objects alongside Him.

The fact that Allah is the Lord of Creation necessitates that He alone should be worshipped to the exclusion of all else besides Him, and that is what is referred to as “the Tawheed of worship” —it is the Tawheed with which the Messengers were sent. So the Christians believe that Allah created them and gave them life yet they direct worship to the Prophet Jesus, his mother and the saints —and that is polytheism, not monotheism.

We mentioned those who go to excesses and, because of their political inclinations, they want to target the affair of rulership and leadership and gain access to the thrones. They say that there is an additional category of Tawheed known as Tawheed al-Hākimiyyah, the Tawheed of singling out Allah alone for judgment.  Shaykh Al-Albani (rahimahullah) and others mentioned this addition of the category of Tawheed al-Hākimiyyah came from the direction of the Khawarij of this era who wish to incite rebellion among the Ummah.

The intent of introducing this additional, fourth category of Tawheed, was not except to advance the cause of the Khawārij extremists and the political activists (the harakiyyoon) who wish to radicalise the Muslim youth and to declare the Muslim rulers to be apostates ―to confront the leaders and to foment revolution in the Muslim lands. And to a large degree, they managed to achieve their goal alongside the death of tens and thousands of Muslims.

Returning back to the subject of this lesson, and that is the category of Tawheed which is required from mankind is Tawheed Al-Ulūhiyyah. It is for this reason that all of the Messengers began their call to their respective nations with this, and this is why Allah commanded each one to proclaim, “Oh my people, worship Allah alone, for you have no deity worthy of worship other than Him.” This was the call of the Prophets and the Messengers, just as the Qur’an has stated in numerous places. That is because the Tawheed of ‘Ibādah, which is the Tawheed of singling out Allah alone with worship, is the Tawheed that is concealed from the people by the devils among Jinn and mankind. They conceal this category of Tawheed with the deliberate intent of misguiding mankind.

As for Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah, the Tawheed of Allah’s Lordship, which is to single out Allah with His actions, then it is something present, established and rooted in the souls, and not denied. So, limiting oneself to this category of Tawheed, i.e. to Allah’s Lordship and sufficing with it is not enough to bring about salvation from the Fire ―and it alone does not enter him into the category of being from the true-believing worshippers of Allah. That is because the true believers affirm the Rubūbiyyah (Lordship) and along with that they establish Tawheed al-Ulūhiyyah which is to single out Allah alone with worship. And the devils from among mankind and jinn wish to hide it from the people and disguise it.

It was for this purpose that the Messenger of Allah, Muhammed (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) battled and fought with the unbelieving tribe of Quraish. They affirmed that Allah is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Provider, the Controller, the Giver of life, the Giver of death. They affirmed that for Allah ―yet the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) fought them because they rejected the worship of the One Lord, they tried to kill him and wipe out the message of Islam and the Muslims. And it was because of this that Allah made permissible fighting against them such that their blood was shed. And this conflict continued until the Tawheed Al-Ulūhiyyah and Ibādah (worship) solely for Allah was established amongst them. 

The idolators persecuted the Muslims, punishing them, torturing and killing them. Eventually, the Muslims were forced to leave their lands and properties and settle in Madinah. As a result, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “I have been commanded to fight the polytheists up until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped except for Allāh ―and if they testify to that, then protected from me is their blood and their wealth except that which is for a right of Allāh, and their account is with Allah” (Bukhari and Muslim) 

So this is proof that the greatest affair demanded from mankind is Tawheed Al-‘IbādahSo, the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not say, “I have been commanded to fight the people up until they affirm that Allah is the Creator, the Provider, the Giver of life and death.”  ―he did not say that. Instead, he (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Up until they say that there is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah.” That is because they already affirmed that Allah is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Giver of life and Death ―they already affirmed these actions for Allah, but they would not single Him out with actions, statements and supplications of worship directed solely to Him to the exclusion of other gods and deities.

So, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was commanded to call the people, to convince them, to convey to them and invite them to bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship in truth except for the One true God, and He is Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic.

Benefit from Shaikh Al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah:

Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullāh) categorised Tawheed into two categories as follows:

1. Tawheed Al-Ma’rifah wal-Ithbāt (To single out Allah with knowledge of Him and affirmation of His Names and Attributes) —so this category includes Tawheed Ar-Rubbūbiyyah (Lordship) and Tawheed Al-Asmā was-Sifāt (Names and Attributes).

2. Tawheed Al-Qasd wat-Talab (To single out Allah with one’s intent and actions, and with seeking and asking) — so this category is the Tawheed Al-‘Ibādah or Al-Ulūhiyyah (to single Him out as the sole deity worship of worship).

Benefit from Al-Imām Ibn Bāz

Question: What are the categories of Tawheed and the definitions of each one of them?

Answer: The types of Tawheed are three: Tawheed Ar-Rubbūbiyyah, Tawheed Al-Ilāhiyyah and Tawheed Al-Asmā was-Sifāt.

Tawheed Ar-Rubbūbiyyah is singling out Allah the Exalted with (the actions of) creation, providing sustenance, giving life, causing death, and all of the types of regulation and administration of the dominion of the heavens and earth, and (also) singling Him out, the Exalted, with (the right to) judgement and legislation and sending of the Messengers and revealing of Books. Allaah the Exalted said, “Verily, to Him belongs the creation and the command, blessed be Allaah, the Lord of the worlds.” (al-A`raaf 7:54).

Tawheed Al-Ulūhiyyah is singling out Allah with worship so that none besides Him is worshipped so that none besides Him is called upon, so that no one is sought for rescue or aid except Him. So that no one is sacrificed to or slaughtered for, or made an oath for, except Him. Allaah the Exalted said, “Say: My prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. This is what I have been commanded with and I am the first of those who submit (to him with Islam and Tawheed)” (al-An’ām 6:162), and He said, “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” (al-Kawthar 108:2).

And Tawheed al-Asmā was-Sifāt is describing Allāh the Most High and naming Him with whatever He described and named Himself with, and with whatever His Messenger (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) described and named Him with, in the authentic narrations – and to affirm that for Allah without resemblance (to the creation) or likening (to the creation), and without (false) interpretation (of any of that) or negation (of any of that). There is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. And may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts:
Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Bin Bāz
Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin Ghudayaan
Shaykh ‘Abdullaah bin Qu’ood
Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzāq al-Afeefi
Fatāwā al-Lajnah ad-Dā’imah, Vol 1 page 20-21, Fatwa No. 8943, compiled by Shaykh Ahmad ad-Duwaish (This fatwa was translated by Abu ‘Iyād Amjad Rafiq on

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