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The Arabic word ‘Tawheed or Tauheed’is generally translated in English as Monotheism. The term is derived from the three consonants root w-h-d, which serves as the vehicle for the basic concept of ‘oneness,’ or ‘unity,” along with the closely related ideas of ‘singularity’ and ‘uniqueness.’ These root letters are clearly apparent in the numerical adjective wahid [one]. In the words of the Qur`an:inna Ilaaha-kum-la-Wahid”, Verily, your Ilah (God) is indeed One (i.e. Allah).Qur’an.Surah Saffath 37:4


Table of Contents


Based on the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah, Tawheed can be classified as:

  • Tawheed al-Rububiyah              – Unity of Lordship
  • Tawheed al- Uluhiyah                 – Unity of Worship
  • Tawheed al- Asma wa Sifaat   – Unity of His Names and His Attributes


These three aspects form the basis for the categories into which the Science of Tawheed has been Islamically divided as mentioned in Qur’an.Surah Maryam 19:65. These three categories are inseparable to such a degree that whoever omits any one aspect has failed to complete the requirements of Tawheed. The omission of any of the above mentioned aspects of Tawheed is not acceptable in the sight of Allah at any cost.



Monotheism forms the basis of Islam, one cannot enter into Islam without proclaiming that he believes in one Creator, who is unique and who is the Sustainer and Maintainer of everything that exists. He has the Divine power and nothing happens without His will.


Allah (Glory be to Him)is one without partners, children, or associates. He is the Most Merciful, the Most Wise, and the Most Just. He hears all things, sees all things and knows all. He is the only one who is worthy to be worshipped. [1]


Concept of Tawheed in Islam

When we Muslims ask Christians that “Where is the word TRINITY or the root word for the concept of TRINITY mentioned in the Bible?” Many modern day Christians today in return are asking about the existence of the word Tawheed or the root word of Tawheed in Islamic scriptures.


The Islamic scriptures include Al-Qur’an and Sahih Ahadith.

  1. Anyone can easily find the root word of Tawheed that is Ahadun in Qur’an. Surah Ikhlas 112:1.
  2. Anyone can easily find the word Tawheed, in the authentic sayings of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم as mentioned in Daraqutni. (5/2034 sunan Daraqutni) and Sahih Al Bhukari (Vol 9:469). [2]
  3. Anyone can easily find the word Tawheed in the authentic sayings of the companions of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, as mentioned in Tafseer Ibn Kathir during the interpretation of Qur’an Surah Adh-Dariyat 51:56, the Arabic word ‘Liyabudun’ interpreted by Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with Him) as ‘Yuwahhidun’.
  4. Muhadissin (Compiler of the Ahadith) like Imam Bhukari (May Allah have Mercy upon him) also used the word Tawheed in Sahih Al-Bhukari as the Book of Tawheed.



Qur’an.Surah.Al-Ikhlas Surah No. 112 defines monotheism in the best way. It answers the most fundamental question, who should we worship and who can qualify to be God.


The surah is articulated in the Qur’an in this way (translation of the meanings): “Say, He is Allah, (Who is) One. Allah, the self-sufficient. He did neither beget and nor is He begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him.”


God bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge. Qur’an.Surah A’le Imran 3:18.


You shall know that: “ There is no other god beside God, and ask forgiveness of your sins and the sins of all believing men and women. God is fully aware of your decisions and your ultimate destiny.” Qur’an.Surah Muhammad 47:19


Say, “God has proclaimed the truth: you shall follow Abraham’s religion- monotheism. He never was an idolater.” Qur’an.Surah A’le Imran 3:95


“Keep yourself devoted to the religion of monotheism; you shall not practice idol worship.” Qur’an Surah Yunus 10:105


Prophet Muhammad- The Best Example

Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is proved to have been the best example for humankind, Qur’an.Surah 33:21. In his entire lifetime, there is no instance which says that he called people for anything else other than worshipping one God. He admonished idols, condemned people from idol-worshipping and showed them one true path to eternal success.


3 categories

Brief description of precisely what each one means:

1. Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyah ("Maintaining the Unity of Allah's Lordship")

This is to have the knowledge and firm belief that Allah (Glory be to Him) alone is the ‘Rabb’ of all the worlds. This means that He alone is the Creator, that He brought everything into existence alone, and that He sustains and controls the whole of creation - which include things like giving life, taking life, sending down the rain, making the sun rise and set, sustenance etc. In fact everything related to the working of the whole of creation, then that is under the sole control of Allah (Glory be to Him). He owns of everything and He alone created it. He is responsible for everything that happens. You can see how some of Allah’s names are linked to his Ruboobiyah eg. al-Khaaliq (the Creator), ar-Razzaaq (the Sustainer), an-Naafi’ (the One who causes benefit), ad-Daarr (the One who causes Harm), ash-Shaafee (the Healer), al-Muhyee (the One who gives life), al-Mumeet (the One who causes death) etc.


2. Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat ("Maintaining the Unity of Allah's Names and Attributes")

This is to have the knowledge of Allah's (Glory be to Him) Names and Attributes. To have belief and conviction in what He has described Himself with and the Names Has has mentioned in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم  in the Sunnah. We have to believe them in the right way, as we have been commanded, as did by the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (May Allah be pleased with them All). We have to believe in His Attributes in such a way so that it does not nullify the Tawheed of Allah (Glory be to Him).


3. Tawheed al-Ibadah or Uloohiyyah("Maintaining the Unity of Allah's Worship")

This is to worship Allah (Glory be to Him) alone in ones inward and outward actions. Allah (Glory be to Him)has informed us of all the actions that He loves and is pleased whether they are inward actions (i.e. of the heart) or whether they are outward actions (i.e. of the tongue and limbs). So this aspect of Tawheed is to do with knowing and acting upon everything that Allah (Glory be to Him) has commanded and refraining from everything that He has forbidden. Allah (Glory be to Him) has also explained everything that constitutes Shirk (such as fortune-telling, wearing talismans etc.). So a part of perfecting this aspect of Tawheed, is knowing what actions constitute Tawheed and what actions constitute Shirk.


Three Categories of Tawheed in One ayath

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said: "And Allaah has gathered these three divisions in His - the Most High's- saying:

"Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, (i.e Ruboobiyyah)

So worship Him alone and be constant and patient in His worship (i.e Uloohiyyah)

Do you know of any who is similar to Him? (i.e. Asmaa was-Sifaat) " [Quran 19:65]"



The followers of Islam, Muslims should hold on to the concept of monotheism at all times and situations. A firm faith in His uniqueness, and His divinity would help in establishing this fact within ourselves. Whether in good times or in extremely bad situations, one should have faith only in God, the Creator ie, Allah (Glory be to Him). Out of ignorance, one should never go astray and worship created beings or associate partners with Allah (Glory be to Him). [3]



Allah (Glory be to Him) is All-Just and All-Wise. He created us and wants us to know about Him and worship Him alone. He doesn’t leave us without guidance. This is the part of His Mercy. He, Most Exalted, sent Messengers and Prophets to convey a single message of Tawheed: man must submit to the Will of His Creator that is Allah (Glory be to Him) and worship none but Him. This is the essence of Islam. It is the same message of Tawheed conveyed by Adam, Ibraheem (Abraham), Musa (Moses), ‘Eesa (Jesus) {Peace be upon them all} and finally by Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم to mankind until the Day of Resurrection. [4]



[1] [4]



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