ASURU MASHWARA: THAWHEED
Acceptance of our Creator’s oneness is a basic tenet of our Islam. The three aspects of what makes for Thawheed is to be taken together. The Rubbubiyya, the Uloohiyya, and Asma wa Sifa are the three concepts that explains this main principle of Thawheed which forms the basis of Eeman or “Belief” in the practice of Islam.
These principles point to the oneness of Allah in his Lordship, and His ownership of the universal dominion; that He is the only object of worship because this creation came into being as a singular performance with no helper or companion as co-creator or maintainer for this creation; and that His beautiful names (Asma-ul- Husna) are for describing His attributes and His alone and we cannot use them for naming ourselves without the prefix of “Abdu” which means the “servant of”. This indicates that while Allah’s SWA attributes provide us with a glimpse of the beautiful values we need to emulate in our lives, we cannot ever become the embodiment of these because humans are always fallible and imperfect. It is Allah SWA that these fully describe. We can neither act out this essence nor fathom their profoundness.
Thawheed, which is the bedrock of Eaman in Islam is the affirmation - “there is no deity except Allah that deserves worship” – that puts one into the fold of Islam. This phrase encompasses the power and magnificence of the Creator, and that it is to Him and Him alone we worship. It is He who bestows on us all blessings and the wherewithal for us to survive in this world and that He will judge us on the day of reckoning.
Our life on this earth also attests to this ‘oneness’ in the way life is organized and lived. The physical environment and the fabric of society both demonstrate this oneness in the interconnectedness of everything that happens within these. Thus, Thawheed is not just an abstract concept that merely explains the lordship and power of Allah SWA and his unique and supreme attributes but links the maintenance of this “oneness” in the arrangement He has established in the organization of life within us and around us.
For example, if we care to contemplate and understand the world around us, we see the wholeness of everything that we interact with daily. The nature around us is the ecology of activities that explain the connection that everything in existence has between them. We exist in constant interaction with the plant and animal life around us. We breathe the oxygen that vegetation produces and the vegetation gets the benefit of the carbon dioxide we breathe out for their sustenance. The water cycle is a self-contained entity that keeps on providing us with the life giving liquid. The ocean too is an entity that sustains itself by the myriad activities that go within it. Our body too in its elements is the body of everything else. Our body made up of the base chemicals of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, calcium etc. are also the content of other living things. Therefore we see the commonality in everything. This is the oneness that is akin to the Thawheed of Allah SWA Himself. The evidence is there for us to witness in our surroundings.
When we look at our social life too, this is evident. At the level of animals and insects, this is shown by how everything lives in packs and colonies. The ants, and the bees are specifically mentioned in the Quran too in their respective chapters from which we can derive these contemplative lessons. For us humans also, we reap comfort and joy from the oneness we have in family, the community, and even nations. This is Thawheed in our existential world. Our nature is that we feel a sense of closeness or an attraction to the comfort and security that these groups engender in us. And while there is the disruptive force of division, this is the opposite of being natural. Thus in division we find anxiety, discomfort, stress, conflict and disruption. Thus here too we find that Thawheed , the idea of oneness is what the human nature gravitates towards and division and disruption is what we despise. The comfort of our mother’s lap is also what we struggle to have because we have been removed from the comfort of the womb which was the oneness with our mother.