What is Tawheed?


You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

[Qur'aan 1:5]


You recite this Verse seventeen times every day. This is Tawheed in Islaam. You worship only Allaah. You ask only Allaah. Do you not see how the Verse uses the same format for worshiping Allaah alone as it does for asking Him alone? In both cases the verb comes after the object.


يا من هذه الصفات صفاته؛ نخصك وحدك بالعبادة والاستعانة، فنعبدك ولا نعبد غيرك، ونستعين بك ولا نستعين بغيرك



O He to whom belong these Sifaat [characteristics, the ones mentioned in the Verses prior to this one] we specify you alone for worship and asking for help. We worship only You and we do not worship anyone other than You. And we ask You for help and we do not ask anyone else for help. 


وتقديم المفعولين لنعبد ونستعين وذلك للاختصاص، لأنه – سبحانه وتعالى – وحده له العبادة، لذا لم يقل نعبدك ونستعينك، لأنها لا تدل على التخصيص بالعبادة لله – تعالى -، إما قول: إياك نعبد فتعني تخصيص العبادة لله – تعالى – وحده، وكذلك في الاستعانة.



Na'budu means we worship. Ka in Arabic means You. It would be written, under normal circumstances, as Na'buduka. We worship You. Instead, the Ka has been attached to 'iyyaa and placed before the verb to emphasize that it is Allaah alone whom we worship as worshiping anyone else means one has committed shirk and is out of the fold of Islaam.


The same structure has been used for asking help. Nasta'iin has been placed after and the object You [i.e. object of the verb to ask help] has been placed before it. The same structure to indicate that it is Allaah alone whom we ask for help.


وقَرَنَ العبادة بالاستعانة ليدل على أن الإنسان لا يستطيع أن يقوم بعبادة الله إلا بإعانة الله له وتوفيقه، فهو إذن شعار وإعلان أن الإنسان لا يستطيع أن يعمل شيئاً إلا بعون الله، وهو إقرار بعجز الإنسان عن القيام بالعبادات، وعن حمل الأمانة الثقيلة إذا لم يعنه الله – تعالى – على ذلك، فالاستعانة بالله علاج لغرور الإنسان وكبريائه عن الاستعانة بالله، واعتراف الإنسان بضعفه.



Worship and asking for help have been joined together [as can be seen by the presence of the conjunction and] to show that a person is incapable to worship Allaah unless Allaah helps him and gives him Tawfeeq. When we recite this Verse we are accepting the fact that we are incapable of doing anything except by the Help of Allaah.


It is an attestation to how weak we are without the Help of Allaah. The attestation and repetition of it keeps us from becoming arrogant and makes us realize our weakness.


It is only Allaah who is to be worshiped. It is only Allaah who is to be asked for help. Even our very worship is only possible with the Help and Permission of Allaah.


Tawheed in Hadith


Read the advice the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) gave to Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him):


Ibn 'Abbaas narrated:

"I was behind the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) one day when he said: 'O boy! I will teach you a statement: Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you.

When you ask, ask Allah, and when you seek aid, seek Allah's aid.

Know that if the entire creation were to gather together to do something to benefit you- you would never get any benefit except that Allah had written for you. And if they were to gather to do something to harm you- you would never be harmed except that Allah had written for you. The pens are lifted and the pages are dried.'"

Arabic of Hadith

عن أبي العباس عبد الله بن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال : كنت خلف النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما ، فقال : ( يا غلام ، إني أُعلمك كلمات : احفظ الله يحفظك ، احفظ الله تجده تجاهك ، إذا سأَلت فاسأَل الله ، وإذا استعنت فاستعن بالله ، واعلم أن الأُمة لو اجتمعت على أَن ينفعـوك بشيء ، لم ينفعوك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله لك ، وإن اجتمعوا على أن يضروك بشيء ، لم يضروك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله عليك، رفعت الأقلام وجفت الصحف ) رواه الترمذي وقال : حديث حسن صحيح .

[Jaami' Al-Tirmidhi Hadith No. 2516]


Tawheed teaches you to ask only Allaah


To realize that it is only Allaah who can help you is part of Tawheed. You are to only ask Allaah for help.


No one can help you unless Allaah allows them to help you. No one can take you out of trouble, unless Allah allows them to. No one can remove any trouble you face, unless Allaah allows them to.


Rather, everything in the Heavens and Earth can join forces to attempt to benefit you, but Allaah does not allow it, they cannot benefit you. Everything in the Heavens and Earth can unite to attempt to harm you, but if Allaah has chosen to protect you, they cannot harm you. So, turn only to Allaah at times of grief and when you need help. Ask only Him.



Tawheed teaches you 'Ikhlaas [sincerity]


Your deeds will not be accepted unless they are done only for the sake of Allaah. Allaah only accepts that which is good and done for only Him. If you do bad deeds, they will be used against you. If you do good deeds but for the wrong reasons such as money, fame, power, etc., they will be rejected.


Good deeds are to be done only for Allaah.


Central to the idea of the Oneness of Allaah [Tawheed] is that everything is done only for Allaah. You love people for the sake of Allaah alone. You hate people for the sake of Allaah alone.


You love Allaah. When you love someone, he/she is the center of your world. Allaah is to be at the center of your world. Everything you do revolves around Pleasing Him alone. No one else matters.


You worship Allaah. You are nice to people for Allaah. You ask only Allaah. You rely upon only Allaah. You eat only so that you have enough energy to worship Allaah. You avoid sins only for Allaah. You help the poor only for Allaah. You take care of the orphan only for Allaah. You love others for Allaah. You hate the enemies of Allaah for Allaah.

It is all about Allaah, the One who made you. The One who Owns you. The One who provides you with all the best things you have.

It is all about Allaah and Allaah alone.



Tawheed teaches you to look at Allaah and not the means


Allaah has created means to reach goals. But those means in themselves are useless.


A killer cannot kill and a savior cannot save unless Allaah wills and permits.


Do you not read what Allaah says in the Qur'aan?


They said, "Burn him and support your gods – if you are to act."


Allah said, "O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham."

[21: 69]

And they intended for him harm, but We made them the greatest losers.



The fire could not burn Abraham. Fire is a means to burn. But it can only burn when Allaah allows it. When He Wills, it becomes coolness as it did for Abraham, the Khaleel [friend] and Messenger of Allaah.


Do you not know that one needs a  man and woman to procreate? A child is born of a father and mother. They are the means to bring a soul into this physical world.


But Allaah is not limited by means. He makes the means. He can choose to act without them.



Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was.



Adam (peace be upon him) was born without a mother and father. Jesus (peace be upon him) was born without a father.


This is Allaah, your Lord and mine. He does what He Wills. He is capable of doing anything He Wills. He needs not means. So, look to Allaah. Do not look to the means. Ask Allaah, and He will make for you means you never even imagined.


[To be continued…]