“With the help of Allah, we say about our belief in Tawhid (Oneness of Allah): Allah is one and He has no partner.”
Imam At-Tahawi (D239-321A.H) The Creed.
The Author says: “With the help of Allah we…” ‘we’ indicates Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaah, “say about our belief in Tawhid (Oneness of Allah): Allah is one and He has no partner.”
Creed and Tawhid have the same meaning ,regardless of whether it is called creed or Tawhid, or faith. it is one meaning with different names.
The author says: “..with the help of Allah..” This is an expression of submission and supplication to Allah, and a denouncement of one’s own ability and strength. A person should not ascribe deeds to his own self, but should instead say that it is “ with Allah’s help”, “ by Allah’s will” or “by Allah’s Might” that a deed is performed. This is the manner of the learned ones, may Allah have mercy on them.
“Allah is one and He has no partner.” This is Tawhid. He is one in His Lordship, One in His Worship, and One in His Names and Attributes.
“Tawhid” is literally the infinitive form of ‘to take as one’. In Islam , Tawhid is to single out Allah with worship and to leave the worship of anything else. There are three parts of Tawhid, as derived from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah (way/path) of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad peace be upon him. This is what has been adopted in the doctrine of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaah; so if someone were to add a fourth or a fifth part, it would be an addition from their own accord, because the scholars divided Tawhid into three parts from the Quran and the Sunnah. All of the verses of the Quran and hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) concerning faith do not depart from these three parts.
The first part: Tawhid al-Rububiyah (Oneness of Lordship), this is to take Allah as one in His actions, such as creating, providing, giving life, bringing death, and handling the affairs of the universe. There is no lord besides Him, He is the Lord of the worlds.
The second part: Tawhid al-Uluhiyah (Oneness of Worship), worshipping Allah; by loving Him, fearing Him and having hope in Him; as well as obeying His commands and leaving what He has forbidden. So, it is for someone to single Allah out with the acts of worship that Allah has sanctioned for them.
The third part: Tawhid al-Asma was-Sifat (Oneness of Names and Attributes). It is to affirm the Names and Attributes that Allah has affirmed for Himself and that His Messenger Muhammad affirmed for Him, and to assert that Allah is transcendent above all of the flaws and imperfections that He has denied and that His Messenger denied.
All the the verses that talk about the acts of Allah have to do with Tawhid al-Rububiyah (Oneness of Lordship) and all of the verses (in the Quran) that talk about commands, and advocate worship have to do with Tawhid al-Uluhiyah (oneness of Worship), and all of the verses that talk about the Names and Attributes of Allah the Almighty have to do with Tawhid al-asma was-Sifat (Oneness of the Names and Attributes).
The one that we will focus on is the Oneness of worship, because the branch of Tawhid is what the Messengers preached and the reason the Quran was revealed, and jihad in the path of Allah has been prescribed for its sake, so that nothing would be worshipped besides Allah alone, and the worship of anything else besides Him would be left.
As regards to the Oneness of Lordship, which includes the Oneness of the Names and Attributes, no one denied it. Allah the Almighty mentions in many verses and He mentioned that the disbelievers acknowledge that Allah is the Creator and Provider, He who gives life , He who brings death, and He who has control; the disbelievers did not go against this. A person does not accept Islam through the acceptance of al-Rububiyah (Oneness in Lordship) alone, because the Prophet fought against people who acknowledged Tawhid al-Rububiyah; he declared their blood and wealth as lawful. If Oneness of Lordship sufficed, the Messenger would not have fought them. In fact, there would be no need for the Messengers to be sent. This indicates that what is intended and desired is Tawhid al-Uluhiyah (Oneness of Worship).
Oneness of Lordship, however, is evidence and a sign for the Oneness of Worship. Therefore, when Allah commands that He be worshipped, He mentions that He created the heavens and earth and handles the affairs of His creatures as a proof for the oneness of His worship and to present a compelling argument against the disbelievers, idolators and those who acknowledge the lordship of Allah but deny His worship. When the Prophet commanded them to say Non has the right to be worshipped but Allah’, they said:
“Has he made the gods (only) one God? Indeed, this is a curious thing.” [Quran 38:5]
Allah the Almighty also says:
“And when Allah is mentioned alone, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion, but when those [worshipped] other than Him are mentioned, immediately they rejoice.” [Quran 39:45]
Allah also says:
“Indeed they, when it was said to them,’There is no deity but Allah,’ were arrogant, and were saying, ’ Are we to leave our gods for a mad poet?’ [Quran 37: 35-36]
Here, they do not want Tawhid al-Uluhiyah (Oneness of Worship) but rather multiple gods and that each person worships what he or she wants (following ones lusts and desires included). This has to be known, because the members of the deviant sects, new and old, focus on Tawhid al-Rububiyah.According to their viewpoint, if someone acknowledges that Allah is the Creator and Provider, he is considered a Muslim. Also, their declarations of faith are written according to this. Everyone who professes the doctrines of kalam (theological rhetoric) only discusses Tawhid al-Rububiyah and the evidence for it.
This is not enough, but rather Tawhid al-Uluhiyah (Oneness of Worship) is needed. Allah says:
“And We certainly sent unto every nation a messenger, saying ‘Worship Allah and avoid Taghut (anything followed obeyed or worshipped besides Allah).” [Quran 16-36]
They commanded people to worship Allah, which is Tawhid al-Uluhiyah.
“And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, ‘There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” [Quran 21:25]
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him.” [Quran 4;36]
All of these verses command and preach the oneness of worship and all of the Messengers preached and enjoined it upon their people and they forbade them from idolatry. This is what is required and what is ultimately meant by Tawhid (The Oneness of Allah). As regards to the oneness of Allah’s Names and Attributes, it has been denied by heretics such as the Jahmites, the Mutazilites, and the Asharites. to varying extents.
Commentary by: Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzaan