Kitab at-Tawheed – Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah: Introduction to Worship Tawheed [Ep. 3]
Last time we talked about Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah, the Tawheed of Lordship. The second type of Tawheed is Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah, and this is the Tawheed of Worship. It is called Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah because we attribute it to Allah. It is also called Tawheed al-‘Ibadah because it is attributed to the forms of worship and to worshiping Allah the Almighty. It can also be called Tawheed al-Qasd wa at-Talab wa al-Iradah. This form of Tawheed is one of the highest and most important forms of Tawheed. It is to worship Allah ‘azza wa jal alone with all types of ‘Ibadah, whether it is verbal or through actions, whether it is concealed/exposed or apparent to everyone. Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah is to completely deny and to reject offering any type of worship to other than Allah ‘azza wa jal. Allah says:
“And your Lord has decreed that you must not worship except Him.”
[Surat al-Isra (17): verse 23]
It can also be defined as worshiping Allah ‘azza wa jal with the actions of his servants. So Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah or the Lordship Tawheed is worshiping Allah ‘azza wa jal through His actions as Him being the Creator, the Giver of life and death, the Facilitator of all things, the Provider, etc. While Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah or the Tawheed of Worship is worshiping Allah ‘azza wa jal with our own deeds and actions; and this is the type of Tawheed that the error has occurred in and the one in which the defects and the problems took place. This is why Allah has sent the Prophets and the Messengers, peace be upon them, so that they would clarify this to their people and bring them back from darkness to the light. And through this form of Tawheed, those who followed the Messengers were successful and those who didn’t, failed and went to Hell. Allah ‘azza wa jal says:
“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Mohammad salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) but We inspired him saying, ‘None has the right to worshiped but I (Allah), so worship Me (alone and none else).'”
[Surat al-Anbiya’ (21): verse 25]
So it is clear from this that only Allah is worthy of being worshiped. Allah ‘azza wa jal also said:
“That is because Allah, He is the Truth, and that which they invoke besides Him is al-Baatil (falsehood, Satan and all other false deities); and that Allah, He is the Most High, the Most Great.”
[Surat Luqman (31): verse 30]
This form of Tawheed is indeed one of the greatest forms of Tawheed. And it is in this form of Tawheed that the deviation in the Ummah of the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam took place.
Now when we say Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah, to what are we referring? The sky is the limit. For instance:
- If you pray, this has to be to Allah.
- If you prostrate or bow, it has to be only to Allah.
- If you have trust, it has to be only in Allah.
- If you have fear, you have to fear only Allah.
- If you have hope, you have to have hope only in Allah.
- When you seek cure for your children, your heart should be connected with Allah, knowing that only He can cure them.
- When you want something and you want it real bad, your heart has to be connected with Allah, knowing that only Allah can bring you benefit.
- When you fear something and you want to seek refuge, you seek refuge in Allah ‘azza wa jal because you know that only Allah the Almighty has the power to give you refuge from what You fear and what you worry about, etc.
Hence, we find that these types of worship can be verbal, or through actions of our bodies, or they can be by the heart. All of this is what the book of at-Tawheed revolves around. And this is where you find a lot of the Muslims falling into blatant shirk: they worship other then Allah, they go to darghas, grave yards and you find them worshiping the dead. Look at what the sects and cults are saying: “Ya Hussain!” or “Ya ‘Ali!” They are calling upon them, asking them for benefit, and seeking refuge with them from evil. The dead cannot even benefit themselves, let alone to you and me!
So when you see people committing even the slightest form of shirk, it is still shirk. We have the Minor Shirk, for example, when people say, “Last quarter, I managed to fulfill my targets and increase the profit by 25% and reduce expenditure by 50% and I managed to do this and I managed to do that.” When you attribute all what you have done to yourself, neglecting Allah ‘azza wa jal, even if it is only verbally and not by your heart, but verbally you did not acknowledge Allah’s Grace over you, this is considered to be part of the Minor Shirk that the Scholars have warned us of.
The Quotations from the Qur’an in this Article are a rough translation of the meanings of the original text!