Islamic College of Canberra
ﺑﺴﻢ ﺍﷲ ﺍﻟﺮﲪﻦ ﺍﻟﺮﺣﻴﻢ
Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles
Class Notes – Term 2, Week 4
... ﻭﻣﻌﻨﻰ َﻳﻌﺒﺪﻭﻥ ُﻳﻮ ﱢﺪﻭﻥ. ﻭﹶﺃﻋﻈﻢ ﻣﺎ ﹶﺃﻣﺮ ﺍﷲ ﹺﺑﻪ ﺍﻟﱠﻮﺣﻴﺪ ﻭﻫﻮ ﹺﺇﻓﺮﺍﺩ ﺍﷲ ﹺﺑﺎﻟﻌﺒﺎﺩﺓ
ِ َ َِ ِ ُ َ َ َ َْ ُْ ُ ِ َﺣ ُ ِ َ ْ ﹶ ُ َ َ َ ُ ِ ﺘ ْ ِ ُ َ ُ َ ﹾ
... and the meaning of worship (‘ibaadah) here is to single Allah out with all worship
(tawheed). And the greatest of all that Allah has commanded is tawheed which is to single out
Allah with all worship.
The meaning of ibaadah in the verse of Surat Ad‐Dhariyaat quoted by the Sheikh is tawheed (i.e.
true worship made purely for the sake of Allah).
In our previous lesson we discussed the general and specific meaning of ibaadah and that it falls
into two types.
Tawheed in the language (i.e. literally) is a noun derived from the word ﻳﻮ ﱢﺪ ,ﻭ ﱠﺪwhich means
َ ُ َﺣ َﺣ
he unified something and made it one.
When the term tawheed is used in reference to Allah (tawheedullah) it means maintaining Allah’s
unity in all of mans actions (i.e. acts of worship).
Thus the meaning of ﺍﷲ
ﻻ ﺍﻟﻪ ﺍﻻis ,ﻻ ﻣَﻌُﻮﺩ ﺑﹺﺤﻖ ﺇﹺﻻ ﺍﷲmeaning that there is no deity worthy of
ﺒ َ ﹴ
true worship except Allah (swt).
Tawheed cannot be realised except through denial (nafy) and affirmation (ithbaat). Denial of
tawheed for everything other than what it is meant for, and affirmation of it for Allah (swt) alone.
Thus we say the shahadah has two fundamental pillars and without them the statement of faith is
not correct until they are fulfilled; i.e. a person’s tawheed is not complete unless he bears witness
that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah (swt), so he denies the right to be
worshipped for everything besides Allah (swt) and he affirms that for Allah (swt) alone.
The Sheikh (ra) gives a more technical (istilaah) meaning of tawheed: “Tawheed is to single out
Allah with all worship” meaning you worship Allah (swt) alone and do not worship anything along
with him. Rather you single Him out with all worship, out of love, veneration, longing and awe.
The three categories of tawheed
There is a more general definition of tawheed which is: “Singling out Allah (swt) with all that is
particular to Him”.
Thus according to this definition, tawheed is divided into three categories which are commonly
referred to by the following titles:
– َﺗﻮﺣﻴﺪ ﺍﻷﺳﻤَﺎﺀ ﻭﺍﻟ ﱢﻔﹶﺎﺕTawheed of Allah’s divine Names and Attributes. This is that Allah (swt)
ِ ِ ُ َْ ِ ﺼ
is singled out with whatever names and attributes He has affirmed for Himself, and denying
whatever he has denied for Himself without tahreef, ta3teel, takyeef and tashbeeh.
This category of tawheed can be explained further as follows:
o Allah (swt) must be referred to according to how He and His Prophet (saw) have described
Him without explaining away and giving them meanings other than their obvious
meanings. For example Allah (swt) describes anger as one of His attributes. It is incorrect
to say that His anger is like human anger as this is a sign of weakness in man. We accept
what Allah (swt) has described about Himself with the qualification “There is nothing like
Him” [Ash‐Shura; 42:11]. When attributes are used in reference to Allah (swt) they are
taken in the absolute sense free from human deficiencies.
o We must refer to Allah (swt) as He has referred to Himself without giving Him any new
names and attributes. For example, Allah (swt) cannot be given the name Al‐Ghadib, even
though he has stated that He has the attribute of Ghadab (anger), because neither Allah
(swt) nor His Messenger (saw) used this name.
o Allah (swt) must be referred to without giving Him attributes of His creation. For example
the Bible and Torah claim that Allah (swt) created the universe in six days then rested on
the seventh. It is man who tires after heavy work and needs to recuperate, not Allah (swt)!
o Man cannot be given the attributes of Allah (swt). For example most Shi’ite sects have
given their Imams divine attributes of infallibility, knowledge of the past, the future and
the unseen. In doing so they set up rivals who share Allah’s unique attributes and who in
fact become gods besides Allah (swt)!
o Allah’s names in the definitive form cannot be given to His creation unless preceded with
‘abd’ (slave or servant). Some of the divine names in their indefinite form like ra’oof (full
of pity) raheem (full of mercy) are allowable as Allah (swt) has used some of them to
describe the Prophet (saw).
– َﻮﺣِﻴ ُ ﺍ ُﻟﻮﻫﱠﺔTawheed of worship, and this is to single out Allah (swt) with all worship, such
ﺗ ﺪ ﻷ ِﻴ
that a person does not take anyone besides Allah (swt) as an object of worship.
The first two types of tawheed are not sufficient to fulfil the Islamic requirement of tawheed.
They must be accompanied by this type of tawheed.
This is clarified by Allah (swt) referring to the Mushrikoon at the time of the Prophet (saw):
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And most of them believe not In Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him [i.e. they are
Mushrikûn – polytheists. [Yusuf; 12:106]
Thus the Kuffar knew of Allah’s sovereignty, dominion and power, yet this did not stop them from
worshipping other Gods besides Allah (swt).
Thus the most important aspect of tawheed is that of ibaadah. All forms of worship must be
directed to Allah (swt) because He alone deserves worship and He alone can grant benefit to man
as a result of his worship (e.g. through dua).
The term ibaadah means total obedience to Allah (swt) and belief that Allah is considered the
ultimate lawgiver. Thus the implementation of secular governance or legal systems constitutes