By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
18 June 2020
Monotheism or Tawheed is the essence of Islam. Tawheed means oneness of God. It is a fundamental doctrine of Islam referring to the oneness of God in all its meanings. Thus, the declaration that ‘there is no God but only one God’ is called Tawheed. God is not an abstract concept. He exists by Himself. He is a living and powerful God with perfect attributes. God alone is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe including human beings. There is no one worthy of worship other than God. No act in the nature of worship is lawful unless directed towards God. He is the one who fulfils our needs. He is always near us; He cares for us and we owe our existence to Him alone. There is nothing remotely like Him. The Quran thus enjoins us:
Say, He is God, the one, God the Absolute. He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like Him. The Quran (112: 1-4)
It is God alone who is behind the functioning of the entire universe. The following verse from the Quran very clearly states the concept of God:
God there is no deity save Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belong whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows all that is before them and all that is behind them. They can grasp only that part of His knowledge which He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; and their upholding does not weary Him. He is the Sublime, the Almighty One! (2: 255)
Monotheism is to believe in the fact that all power lies in the hand of one God alone. He is the only possessor of all powers. Nothing can rival Him as a source of power or love. In Islam, no mediating power of any kind exists between the Creator and His creation.
Belief in Tawheed makes a person humble and modest instead of being proud and arrogant. This is because belief in one Great God implies that man is His humble servant and that modesty alone befits him. Believers know that they must submit to God, on whom they depend entirely. Submission to one God results in individual freedom and dignity, for, all human beings become equal and all deserve our respect.
Further belief in one Creator gives a sense of oneness with all creation. It gives the believers confidence; for, they trust in God and believe that nothing can happen unless God wills it. Life and death are entirely in His hands. They remain content because they believe that power, wealth and success come from God alone. He gives them to whom He wants and takes them away from whom He wants. Tawheed thus brings about a unique blend of submission to God with human dignity and freedom.
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