What does Tawhid (Oneness of God) mean?
Oneness of God means "believing in the non-existence of any god except Allah;" "reciting the statement La ilaha illallah-There is no god but Allah."
Oneness immediately reminds us of the statement "la ilaha illallah." This is called the statement of oneness and means that there is no real god to worship except Allah.
Various comparisons have been made for this world of existence. One of them is "the palace of the universe." Therefore, oneness is to know the sultan of this palace as only one and not attributing any partners to Him.
The roof and floor of the palace of the universe cannot belong to different beings. The rugs, lamps, and other furniture of this palace cannot have been brought from another world and then assembled here. Everything in the palace, and the most important of all, every guest, is born in this palace. Let us look at a flower: From the earth to the sun, everything has a share in it. And let us examine the human body: Elements, which are the basic stones of this palace, are present in it, too.
Mountains are established over plains like armchairs, by not being brought from another place, but rising within the plain. Fruits are attached to branches, by not being imported from another land, but coming out of the tree.
The young is on the lap of its mother; it has not been brought from another land; it grows up in her womb. The sun is a lamp of this palace; it has not been purchased from another place but created together with the heavens.
In this world, innumerable beings are united and between them bounds are set and this world of creatures is given the shape of a palace. People reflecting this way recite the word of oneness and know this palace to be the property and creature of God only.
While the statement of oneness means there is no real god to worship except Allah, the name Allah encompasses all of the divine names; so, it also bears such meanings as "There is no Giver of life except Allah; there is no Creator except Allah; there is no Possessor except Allah." Thus in this oneness are hidden onenesses as many as divine names.
Some scholars divide oneness into two as oneness based on knowledge and oneness based on deeds. According to this classification, to know that Allah is one and that all of the onenesses in the universe show His oneness is oneness based on knowledge. Oneness based on deeds is the domination of this belief of oneness fully in man's realm of deeds.
The verse,“Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nastain” (Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek) of the chapter of al-Fatiha teaches us oneness based on deeds. We turn only to the direction that You want; we stand in respect only in Your presence; we bow down and prostrate only before You. We think about only the things that You consent to and we love only those that You consent to.
A person who worships Allah only is freed from the abasement of worshipping wrong deities; a person who seeks Allah's help only is freed from pursuing causes and from being the slave of events. He takes refuge in his Lord with full reliance. This is both a lofty joy and a superior power.
Besides, the way to become a perfect believer is through perfection in both oneness based on knowledge and oneness based on deeds.
Oneness is not limited to them only. Oneness of attributes, names and deeds is also in question. They can be summarized as follows:
The oneness of deeds: "To know that causes have no effects on the creation of things and their management", "to believe that the sole creator is Allah alone."
The oneness of attributes: "to know that such qualities as knowledge, power, will that are attached to the creatures are also the creatures of Allah and not to attribute them independent entity.
The oneness of Being: "To know all the creatures as non-existent in comparison to His Being and Presence."
Giving life and death, bestowing remedy, leading to the right path, providing food are each separate deeds. These nearly infinite deeds depend on the same attributes. These attributes are "life, knowledge, power, hearing, sight, will, speech and creation." So the oneness of deeds is to know that all the eternal deeds that function in the world of creation come from these divine attributes. And to ascribe these attributes to just one Entity is the oneness of being.
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