Belief in the Unity and Oneness of Allah -Tauhid 1s the first and main principle of the Islamic faith. It means that Allah is the Supreme Being, the Creator, Sustainer and Master of the universe, the Highest Authority and exclusively worthy of worship. The first Surah of the Holy Quran begins with the words:
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“Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds.” (1:2)
Tauhid is the belief in Allah with all His powers. Allah is All-knowing, All wise, and All-powerful. He is and will always be. He has no beginning and no end. He is the First and the Last. He has no parents or son. He has no partners of any sort in His attributes, power, work and dominion. The Quran says: “No son has He begotten, nor has He a partner in His dominion.” (25:2)
The Quran has laid the greatest emphasis on Allah’s absolute Unity and Oneness. The concept has been summed up in Surah Ikhlas of the Holy Quran, which says:
“Say He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.” (112:1-4)
At another place, we are told:
Allah! There is no god but He the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal (2:255)
And again: “There is nothing whatever like unto Him and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).” (42:11)
Islam emphatically proclaims that Allah, the Creator is not bound by any of the limitations of human beings or of anything else He has created. He has no body, nor form, no physical attributes, nor characteristics. He is the Originator and Fashioner of the universe with its vast and perfect svstem, the One Who sustains it and keeps it functioning according to His laws and plans.
Allah is beyond anything which the mind or senses of man can grasp O comprehend or imagine. He 1s above having any similarity to any of creations for He alone is the Creator and everything else is created by Him.
He alone is Divine and no other human being or any other creature can share His Divinity or His unique attributes. Allah is always concerned and involved with every single part of His creation. All His creations exist and fulfill their functions by his command and will, For his concern is not only in creating, but also in sustaining and providing for his creatures, in guiding, regulating and maintaining them.
The vast universe with its flawless system clearly indicates that there is one Creator and one Controller. The sun, the moon, the galaxy and the whole universe obey the laws of the Supreme Authority. There is complete harmony and everything is set perfectly in the system. There is no flaw and no need for improvement in it. Had there been more than one creator and controller, there would have been chaos. and confusion, the Quran says:
“If there were in the heavens and the earth other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both.”
But there is no conflict and disorder in the universe. This perfect order and combination is the proof of the presence of one powerful Creator and Regulator.
Allah has created everything in the earth and heavens for the service of mankind. When a person surrenders himself to Allah’s commands, he gains superiority over all other creatures in the universe.
Tauhid shapes and regulates the entire course of a Muslim’s life. A believer in Tauhid is sure that Allah knows and sees everything, so he is restrained from committing a sin even secretly in the darkness of the night, because of his firm conviction that Allah sees everything all the time.
A person who truly and whole heartedly believes that Allah alone is the Master of the universe, the sole Authority and Law-giver and he himself is a humble servant before Him, will not obey or give his devotion or allegiance to other deities besides Allah. He would reject them all and submit himself to Allah alone and strive with all his might and energies against serving any deities other than Allah.
Associating partners with Allah is called Shirk. Shirk is the worship of idols. and offering prayers and supplications to anyone, dead or living, believing that they hold the same attributes in a lesser degree than Him. Thus, the belief that Allah is not Sovereign or Independent and Sole Dispenser of affairs of the world and that other deities can 1ıntercede with Him is Shirk. To implore any other being besides Allah to grant any wishes or answer prayers is also Shirk.
The Quran considers Shirk to be an unpardonable sin. It says: “Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a Sin most heinous indeed.”(4: 48)
Man has been created as lord of creation and everything in nature has been placed under his control. By worshipping other beings besides Allah man debases himself. The Quran says:
“Shall I seek for you a god other than the (true) God, when it is Allah Who hath endowed you with gifts above the nations. ” (7:140)
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said:
“Shirk is the greatest of al sins”