Categories of Tawheed(oneness of Allah)

– Sami Zaatari

Tawheed is the essence of Islam, it is the core of Islam, it is what Islam stands for, and it is the reason why Allah created us. All prophets and messengers were sent with the message of Tawheed, the Quran itself is a book of Taweed, and those who have a firm and correct belief in Tawheed will indeed be the saved ones.

So therefore what is Tawheed, what does it mean, and how does someone correctly follow it? Well for starters you should know that Tawheed has been divided into three categories, and they are as follows:

Tawheed of Lordship (Rubbubiyah)

Tawheed of Worship (Ibaadah/Uluhiyyah)

Tawheed of Allah’s names and Attributes (Taweed ul-Asmaa was-Sifaat)

Each of the above categories are found within the Quran, they are not three categories simply based on someone’s desires or own thinking, rather the categories are all established within the Quran and the Sunnah.

One must not get confused about there being three categories, it does not mean that there are three Allah’s and so forth, rather the three categories are all connected to Allah, and each category is connected to the other, essentially all three categories fall within the term of Tawheed.

The reason why Tawheed has been divided into three categories by the scholars is simply to make things more simple and easier for the people, for when you break things down, it is always easier to follow, and easier to understand.

As the scholars of Islam-Qa mention:

From early times the scholars have categorized the rulings of sharee’ah. This has only been done to make it easier to understand the texts and rulings of sharee’ah, especially as time goes by and knowledge of Arabic language becomes weaker and the language gets mixed with foreign languages. The scholars thought it wise to set out principles, issues and categories to make it easier to understand. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is a good thing because it makes knowledge more accessible to the Muslims. Al-Shaafa’i set out the principles of fiqh and his categorization was well-received and was followed by the scholars of usool who wrote commentaries on what he said and added to it. This was done in all branches of Islamic knowledge such as tajweed (recitation of Qur’aan), Qur’aan and others, including Tawheed.

So let us now go into each category of Tawheed and what they mean, starting with Tawheed of Lordship:

The types of Tawheed are three:

Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah,

 Tawheed al-Ilaahiyyah and

 Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat.

Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah is singling out Allaah the Exalted with (the actions of) creation, providing sustenance, giving life, causing death, and all of the types of regulation and administration of the dominion of the heavens and earth, and (also) singling Him out, the Exalted, with (the right to) judgement and legislation and sending of the Messengers and revealing of Books. Allaah the Exalted said, “Verily, to Him belongs the creation and the command, blessed be Allaah, the Lord of the worlds” (al-A`raaf 7:54).

Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah is singling out Allaah with worship so that none besides Him is worshipped, so that none besides Him is called upon, so that no one is sought for rescue, or aid except Him. So that no one is sacrificed to or slaughtered for, or made an oath for, except Him. Allaah the Exalted said, “Say: My prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. This is what I have been commanded with and I am the first of those who submit (to him with Islaam and Tawheed)” (al-An’aam 6:162), and He said, “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” (al-Kawthar 108:2).

And Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat is describing Allaah the Most High and naming Him with whatever He described and named Himself with, and with whatever His Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) described and named Him with in the authentic narrations – and to affirm that for Allaah without resemblance (to the creation) or likening (to the creation), and without (false) interpretation (of any of that) or negation (of any of that). There is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. And may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.