The Oneness of Allah


Author Image

Posted By Ml Usaamah Ahmed

The first of the five that Islām is built upon is the testimony of faith, as found to be narrated by ‘Umar RA in both Bukhārī and Muslim.

سَمِعْت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم يَقُولُ: " بُنِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ: شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ

(Umar RA narrates:) ‘I heard the Messenger of Allāh saying: ‘Islam has been built on five: testifying that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh […]’’.

From this narration it can be ascertained that the first step to become a Mu’min – believer – is ensuring one’s beliefs are correct.

In fact, in Islām, recognising the monotheistic nature of Allāh is second to none. As Muslims, firstly it is mandatory upon us to believe in Allāh which entails that we acknowledge that He is one and has no partners. As Allāh states:

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ

‘Know, then, that verily there is no deity save Allāh’.

Here Allāh is ordering us to recognise his oneness and to seek knowledge regarding it. This is known as (Islamic) creed or doctrine or in Arabic: ‘Aqīdah.

In this series, in shā’ allāh, we will discuss matters pertaining to this subject. In this post we will elaborate on the first point from the canonical book in which the erudite theologian I. Tahāwī codified creed: Al-‘Aqīdah at-Tahāwiyyah.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعالى وَاحِدٌ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ (1)

Verily, Allāh, the exalted, is one and has no associates.’

With regards to the basic oneness of Allāh, one must hold a firm conviction that Allāh has no partners. This clearly means that no auxiliary Gods accompany Him in his sovereignty. He alone is in control of the whole universe as He says in the Qur’ān:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ

‘Hallowed be He in whose control the dominion rests’.

Once Allāh is recognised as the sole deity, it then must follow that no being can be similar or bear any resemblance to Him. He is, as He states in the Qur’ān, free of any likeness to creation:

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ

‘There is nothing like unto Him’.

One may argue that Allah is attributed with qualities that we humans share, as is the case with our sight and hearing. Does this not contradict with the notion of his uniqueness? The response is that yes, we humans also see and hear, however:
- Our sight and hearing are through a means yet Allāh does not need a means to see and hear
- Our sight and hearing are limited whereas Allāh’s is utterly perfect and limitless
In this manner one would concur that something limited can never be comparable to something limitless. Allah is attributed with qualities of complete ‘kamāl’ (perfection). This renders Him pure from any deficiencies and faults.

This is also evidenced by the word ‘subhana’ used by Allāh to describe Himself numerous times in the Qur’ān, which simplistically means ‘pure’. How then, is Allāh pure? He is pure from each and every deficiency. What does this then implicate? This will be discussed in the forthcoming posts in shā’ allāh.

Please write or email in with any queries.