Tawheed: The essence of Islam

Literally Tawheed means to make something one or to call it one. In English when something is made one it is deemed to be unified. However, in Islamic terminology Tawheed means to believe that Allah is the one and only God. It is sometimes referred to as monotheism, however in the purest sense in that no other entity can in any way have the attributes or be equivalent or even in competition with Allah.All acts of worship that a person does should be to Allah or for Allah Alone. For example, prayer should only be to Allah, religious animal sacrifice should only be done in Allah’s name, and fighting to establish and protect religion (Jihaad). Tawheed is therefore the central concept upon which all of Islam rests.


Tawheed is the essence of Islam and the mainspring of its strength. All other laws, beliefs and commands of Islam stand firm on this foundation. Take it away, and there is nothing left of Islam.

Tawheed is the call of all the prophets to their people. And verily We have sent among every nation a Messenger proclaiming Worship Allah Alone and avoid all false deities. (Qur’an 16:36)

Tawheed is the only reason for the world’s creation. And I created not the Jinns and Men except that they should worship Me. (Qur’an 51:56) By declaring sincere belief in Tawheed, a disbeliever will become a Muslim. Conversely, a Muslim will become a disbeliever (kaafir) if he rejects any aspect of it.

By Tawheed we achieve salvation from Eternal punishment in the Hereafter, right guidance in this world, and forgiveness for sins. Allah states in the Qur’an: Verily Allah does not forgive associating partners with Him (shirk) however He forgives all other sins as He pleases. (Qur’an 4:48). The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: The worshipper’s right on Allah is that He will not punish those who worship none besides Him [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Whoever fulfils Tawheed will be admitted to the Garden (Al-Jannah) in the Hereafter. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has stated: Verily Allah has promised that whosoever does not commit shirk shall enter Al-Jannah (the Garden in the Heaven). [Al-Bukhari)]

It is the reason for solving peoples’ sadness because true happiness will be achieved if persons realise Tawheed within their heart. They will also never feel psychologically enslaved even if physically captive.

It is the only reason for Allah’s pleasure and rewards. In another aayah (verse) in the Qur’an Allah says: If you reject faith then know that Allah is in no need of you and He does not accept disbelief from His slaves. (Qur’an 39:7)

Disbelief is nothing but a manifestation of shirk which is the opposite of Tawheed. The acceptance of all of one’s religious deeds is based upon Tawheed. Allah states: Whoever accepts a religion other than Islam it shall be rejected by Allah and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Qur’an 3:85).

Islam is nothing if not an embodiment of the belief in Tawheed. Tawheed prevents man from eternally remaining in the Hellfire. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) stated in an authentic report: Whoever dies and has so much as a mustard seed of faith in his heart shall enter Al-Jannah.


(A) Oneness of the Lordship of Allah; Tawheed ar Ruboobiyyath : To believe that there is only one Lord for all the universe, Who is the Creator, Organizer, Planner, Sustainer and the Giver of security, etc., and that is Allah.

(B) Oneness of the Worship of Allah; Tawheed al Uloohiyyath : To believe that none has the right to be worshipped (e.g.praying, invoking, asking for help from the unseen, swearing, offering sacrifice, giving charity, fasting, pilgrimage) but Allah.

(C) Oneness of the Names and the Qualities of Allah; Tawheed al Asma was Sifat : To believe that :

(i) We must not name or quality Allah except with what He or His Messenger (s) has named or qualified Him.

(ii) None can be named or qualified with the Names or Qualifications of Allah; e.g. Al Kareem.

(iii) We must believe in all the qualities of Allah which Allah has stated in His Book (the Qur’an) or mentioned through His Messenger (Muhammad [s]) without changing their meaning or ignoring them completely or twisting the meanings or likening them (giving resemblance) to any of the created things, e.g. Allah is prevent over His Throne as mentioned in the Qur’an (V 20:5) :-

The Most Gracious (Allah) rose over the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty)’, over the seventh heaven; and He comes down over the first (nearest) heaven to us on the day of ‘Arafah’ (Hajj, i.e. the 9th of Dul Hijja), and also during the last third part of the night as mentioned by the Prophet (s), but He is with us by His Knowledge, not His Personal-Self (it is not as some people think that Allah is present everywhere—here, there and even inside the breasts of men).

Also Allah says: ‘There is nothing like unto Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer’ (V. 42:11). This holy Verse proves the quality of hearing and the quality of sight for Allah without likening them (or giving resemblance) to any of the created things and likewise He also says : ‘To one whom I have created with Both My Hands’ (V.38:75); and He also says: ‘The Hand of Allah is over their hands’ (V.48:10).

This confirms two Hands for Allah, but there is no similarity for them. This is the belief of all true believers, and was the belief of all the Prophets of Allah, from Nooh, Ibrahim, Moosa and Eesa (a) till the last of the Prophets, Muhammad (s).

These three aspects of Tawheed are included in the meaning of Laa ilaaha illallaah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).

It is also essential to follow Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad (s) and it is a part of Tawheed al Uloohiyyah.

This is included in the meaning, ‘I testify that Muhammad (s) is Allah’s Messenger.’ and this means, ‘None has the right to be followed after Allah’s Book (the Qur’an), but Allah’s Messenger (s).’.

Allah says: ‘And whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)’ (V.59:7). And also Allah says: "Say [O Muhammad (s) to mankind], “If you (really) love Allah then follow me [i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an ansdthe Sunnah (legal ways of Prophet (s)], Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins” (V. 3:31).