Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Meaning of Tawheed and Its Types

This article includes:
1– The Meaning of Tawheed
2– The Types of Tawheed
            2.1– Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah
            2.2– Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah
            2.3– Tawheed al-Asmaa wa’l Sifaat
            2.4– The Permissibility of this Division
            2.5– The Connection between these Divisions


Linguistically, the word Tawheed comes from Wahhada Yuwahhidu and it means “to unify or single out etc”

Tawheed in Arabic means attributing oneness to Allaah and describing Him as being One and Unique, with no partner or peer in His Essence and Attributes.  

The Arabs say waahid, ahad and waheed, all meaning one. Allaah is Waahid, meaning that He has no rivals or peers in any way. So Tawheed means knowing Allaah is One, with none like unto Him. Whoever does not acknowledge Allaah in these terms and does not describe Him as being One with no partner or associate does not believe in Tawheed. 

With regard to the shara’ee definition of Tawheed, it means believing in Allaah alone as God and Lord and attributing to Him alone all the attributes of Lordship and divinity.  

It may be defined as follows: Believing that Allaah is One with no partner or associate in His Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) or names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat). 


The Scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah have varied in the articulation of the types of Tawheed, but despite the variation in wording, they all are agreed upon its derivative. Perhaps the reason behind this variation is because these divisions are extracted from a thorough examination of the scriptures, and no exact wording of it has been mentioned by the texts. And that is why there are Scholars ([1]) who divided the Tawheed into three types:

1-    Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (The belief that Allaah alone is the Lord and Creator of every Creation)
2-    Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (The belief that Allaah alone is the deserving of all types of worship) &
3-    Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat

And among the later Scholars, some added one more division to these previous three and named it:

4-    Tawheed al-Ittibaa or Tawheed al-Haakimiyyah (The belief that Allaah alone deserves to be obeyed or He alone is to be considered the legislator and commander of all affairs)

However, it should be noted that this type, in actuality, falls under Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah, for indeed the worship of any kind is not accepted but with two conditions:

1-    Ikhlaas (Sincerity) &
2-    Ittibaa (Obedience)

As Allaah says:

فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

“So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work, and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone” ([2])

And among the Scholars, there are some who divided the Tawheed into two categories, and this is prevalent more in the speech of early People of Knowledge because they combined Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah with Tawheed Al-Asmaa was-Sifaat and that is in accordance with the view that they both together constitute having the knowledge of Allaah and His awareness and so they combined both together due to that, whereas, Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah is focused towards committing actions for the sake of Allaah.  

The division of Tawheed into three categories is preferable with regard to its relevance to Tawheed, and the division of Tawheed into two categories is preferable with regard to what necessitates a Muwahhid.

Hence, among the Ulama who divided the Tawheed into two categories, said ([3]):

1-    The first category is: Tawheed al-Ma’rifah wal Ithbaat:

And they intended by it the two: Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah and Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat and they named it “Tawheed al-Ma’rifah” that is because the Ma’rifah (awareness) of Allaah is all about awareness of His Names, His Attributes, and His actions.

And “Al-Ithbaat (affirming)” referred to affirming what Allaah had affirmed for Himself from the Asmaa (names), Sifaat (attributes), and Af’aal (actions).

2-    And the second category: Tawheed al-Qasd wal Talab (Tawheed of object and aim):

And they intended by it the Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and they named it as such because a worshipper aims all his heart, tongue, and organs, towards the worship for Allaah alone in love and fear and he seeks the face of Allaah and His pleasure.

And some Ulama have divided the Tawheed into the following two categories ([4]):

1-    The first category: Tawheed al-Ilmi al-Khabri:

And they intended by it the Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah and Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat. And they named it “Tawheed al-Ilmi (Tawheed of knowledge)” because it deals with the awareness of Allaah hence, Ilmi means “Ilm of Allaah”.

And “Al-Khabri”, because it is restricted to the Khabr (report) i.e. The Book and the Sunnah

2-    The second category: Tawheed al-Iraadi al-Talabi (Tawheed of willfulness and aim)

And this refers to Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and they named it ‘Tawheed al-Iraadi’ because in Ibaadaat, a servant has an Iraadah (will) whether to establish it or not, and ‘Talabi (pursuit)’ because the servant seeks with those Ibaadaat the face of Allaah and His pleasure.

Some other Scholars have divided the Tawheed into the following two categories ([5]):

1-    The first category: Tawheed al-Qawli (Tawheed of Speech)

This refers to Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah and Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat and they named it ‘Tawheed al-Qawli’ because it is the opposite of Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah which denotes towards Amal (actions) in Tawheed, and as for this types then it is restricted only to the speech and knowledge.

2-    The second category: Tawheed al-Amali (Tawheed of Actions)

And this refers to Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and it is named ‘Tawheed al-Amali’ because it includes the actions of the heart, the actions of the tongue, and the actions of the organs which all together constitute the actions of Tawheed. Hence the tawheed has two aspects: one aspect is affirmation and knowledge, and the other is obedience and action.

Some Scholars also divided Tawheed into the following two categories:

1-    The first category: Tawheed as-Siyaadah (Tawheed of Sovereignty)

This is meant to be Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah and Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat and it is named as such because the oneness of Allaah in His actions, His names, and His attributes necessitates His absolute sovereignty.

2-    And the second category: Tawheed al-Ibaadah (Tawheed of Worship)

This refers to Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and the reason behind its names is apparent which requires no further explanation.

[See, Mu’taqad Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah fi Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat by Muhammad bin Khaleefah (P. 37)]


Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah refers to having the firm belief that Allaah alone is the Lord and Sovereign of all things, He has no associate, He is the only Creator, He is the Absolute Planner and Governor of the Universe, He is the Creator of all People, He is the One who gives them sustenance, life, and death; and to have Eemaan (belief) in Allaah’s Will, His Decree (Al-Qadaa wal Qadr), and His oneness in His Dhaat.

To summarize all this, it is: The oneness of Allaah in His actions.

The Shara’ee proofs for the obligation of having the belief in Allaah’s Ruboobiyyah (Lordship) have been established as in the sayings of Allaah:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“[All] praise is [due] to Allaah, Lord of the worlds” ([6])

أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allaah, Lord of the worlds” ([7])

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً

“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth” ([8])

إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ

“Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength” ([9])

This is the type of Tawheed which even the Kuffaar of Quraysh and other nations and religions did not dispute in, as they all believed that the Creator of the Universe is Allaah alone. Allaah the Exalted the Most High says about them:

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ

“And if you asked them, ‘Who created the heavens and the earth?’ they would surely say, ‘Allaah’” ([10])

And He says:

قُل لِّمَنِ الأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهَا إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ قُلْ أَفَلا تَذَكَّرُونَ قُلْ مَن رَّبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ السَّبْعِ وَرَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ قُلْ أَفَلا تَتَّقُونَ قُلْ مَن بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ يُجِيرُ وَلا يُجَارُ عَلَيْهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ قُلْ فَأَنَّى تُسْحَرُونَ بَلْ أَتَيْنَاهُم بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ

“Say [O Muhammad], ‘To whom belongs the earth and whoever is in it if you should know?’ They will say, ‘To Allaah.’ Say, ‘Then will you not remember?’ Say, ‘Who is Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Great Throne?’ They will say, ‘[They belong] to Allaah.’ Say, ‘Then will you not fear Him?’ Say, ‘In whose hand is the realm of all things - and He protects while none can protect against Him - if you should know?’ They will say, ‘[All belongs] to Allaah.’ Say, ‘Then how are you deluded?’ Rather, We have brought them the truth, and indeed they are liars.” ([11])

And that is because the hearts of the people are naturally inclined towards the Ruboobiyyah of Allaah (May He be glorified and exalted). And that is why the one who merely believes in this type cannot be called a Muwahhid until he also holds firm to the second type of Tawheed which is Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah.

[See, Al-Wajeez fi Aqeedah as-Salaf as-Saalih by Abdul Hameed al-Athari (P. 55)]


This refers to the singling out of Allaah with the actions of the worshippers and it is also called “Tawheed al-Ibaadah”. Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah means, having a firm belief that Allaah – Exalted is He, the Most High – is: The True God and there is no god besides Him, and every other Ma’bood (the one that is worshipped) is Baatil (false). And it is to single out Allaah the Most High with worship, submission, absolute obedience, not to associate any partners with Him, not to do any thing from the Ibaadah (worship) whatsoever for anyone other than Him such as Salaah (Prayer), Siyaam (Fasting), Zakaah (Charity), Hajj (Pilgrimage), Du’aa (Supplication), Isti’aanah (seeking help), Nazr (vow), Zabah (sacrifice), Tawakkul (reliance), Khawf (fear), Rajaa (hope), Hubb (love), and other forms of outward or inward worships, and to worship Him with ultimate love, fear, and hope altogether. Worshipping Allaah with only part of those aspects is a form of astray.

Allaah the Most High said:

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

“You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)” ([12])

And He said:

وَمَنْ يَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهاً آخَرَ لا بُرْهَانَ لَهُ بِهِ فَإِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ إِنَّهُ لا يُفْلِحُ الْكَافِرُونَ

“And whoever invokes besides Allah another deity for which he has no proof - then his account is only with his Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will not succeed” ([13])

It is Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah that all the Messengers of Allaah called the people towards, and its rejection by the previous nations caused their destruction. It is the foremost in religion and the last most, it is its inward and the outward, and it is the very first call of the Messengers and the very last of them. It is due to this that the Messengers were sent, Books were revealed, and it is the distinguishing element between a Mu’min (Believer) and a Kaafir (Non-Believer), and between the People of Paradise and the People of Fire.

And it is the meaning of Allaah’s saying, “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah (There is no deity but Allaah)”

Allaah the most high said:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ

“And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, ‘There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.’” ([14])

[See, Al-Wajeez fi Aqeedah as-Salaf as-Saalih by Abdul Hameed al-Athar (P. 56)]


This refers to the firm belief that Allaah the mighty and sublime has beautiful names and lofty attributes. He is described with all the perfect attributes and He is free from all the faults and shortcomings; unique is He from the entire universe.

The Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah know their Lord with His attributes that are mentioned in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and they describe their Lord what their Lord has described Himself with, and what His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has described Him with. They do not alter the words from their position nor do they deny His names and verses. They affirm for Allaah what Allaah has affirmed for Himself without making its Tamtheel (resemblance), Takyeef (discussing how), Ta’teel (denial), and Tahreef (alteration). And their principle in all these is the saying of Allaah:

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing” ([15])

And His saying,

وَلِلَّهِ الأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing” ([16])

And the Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah do not specify a condition (kayfiyyah) of the Sifaat of Allaah the mighty the most high because He did not inform us about their condition and that is because no one is more knowledgeable of Allaah the glorified than Allaah Himself. Allaah says:

قُلْ أَأَنْتُمْ أَعْلَمُ أَمْ اللَّهُ

Say, ‘Are you more knowing or is Allaah?’” ([17])

And Allaah the most High says:

فَلا تَضْرِبُوا لِلَّهِ الأَمْثَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لا تَعْلَمُونَ

“So do not assert similarities to Allaah. Indeed, Allah knows and you do not know” ([18])

And there is none more knowledgeable of Allaah than His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) concerning whom Allaah the exalted said:

وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنْ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

“And he does not speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed” ([19])

[See, al-Wajeez fi Aqeedah as-Salaf as-Saalih by Abdul Hameed al-Athar (P. 60)]


Ash-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah Muhammad al-Ameen ash-Shanqeeti rahimahullah said in ‘Azwaa ul-Bayaan’ (3/410):

"وقد دل استقراء القرآن العظيم على أن توحيد الله ينقسم إلى ثلاثة أقسام:
الأول: توحيده في ربوبيته.
الثاني: توحيده جل وعلا في عبوديته.
النوع الثالث: توحيده جل وعلا في أسمائه وصفاته"

“The thorough examination of the Glorious Qur’aan denotes that the Tawheed of Allaah is divided into three types:
First: His Tawheed (oneness) in His Ruboobiyyah (Lordship).
Second: His Tawheed in His worship.
Third: His Tawheed in His names and attributes”

Ash-Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd rahimahullah said:

هذا التقسيم الاستقرائي لدى متقدمي علماء السلف أشار إليه ابن منده وابن جرير الطبري وغيرهما وقرره شيخا الإسلام ابن تيمية وابن القيم، وقرره الزبيدي في تاج العروس، وشيخنا الشنقيطي في (أضواء البيان) وآخرين رحم الله الجميع، وهو استقراء تام لنصوص الشرع، وهو مطرد لدى أهل كل فن، كما في استقراء النحاة كلام العرب إلى اسم وفعل وحرف، والعرب لم تفه بهذا، ولم يعتب على النحاة في ذلك عاتب، وهكذا من أنواع الاستقراء

This division is derived from analysis/study (from the texts of Qur’aan) according to the early Scholars of Salaf; Ibn Mandah, Ibn Jareer at-Tabari, and others have pointed towards it. It is also attested to by Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim, and also by az-Zubaydee in Taaj ul-Uroos, and our Shaykh Ash-Shanqeeti in Azwaa ul-Bayaan and others (may Allaah have mercy on them all) and it is a result of a thorough examination of the Shara’ee texts and it is prevalent among the experts of all fields, just as the grammarians, after thorough examination, have divided the speech of Arab into Ism (Noun), Fi’l (Verb), and Harf (Particle) and the Arabs did not take it seriously due to that, nor did anyone admonished the grammarians concerning that. This is (only) from the from of an analysis” ([20])

Ash-Shaykh Al-‘Allaamah Saalih al-Munajjid hafidhahullah said:

أولا :
لابد أن نعلم أن القاعدة تقول " لا مشاحة في الاصطلاح " ، وهذه قاعدة معروفة عند الفقهاء والأصوليين .
قال ابن القيم -رحمه الله- :
والاصطلاحات لامشاحة فيها إذا لم تتضمن مفسدة . " مدارج السالكين " ( 3 / 306 ) .
ومعنى لا مشاحة أي لا تنازع .
ثانيا :
إن للعلماء من قديم الزمان تقسيمات للأحكام الشرعية ، وهذا التقسيم إنما هو للتيسير وتسهيل الفهم للنصوص والأحكام الشرعية وخصوصا مع تأخر الزمان وضعف المعرفة باللغة العربية واختلاط اللسان العربي بالأعجمي .
فرأى العلماء أن وضع قواعد ومسائل وتقسيمات لتسهيل وتيسير الفهم لا مشاحة فيه بل ذلك من الأمور المستحسنة لما يترتب عليه من تقريب العلم للمسلمين ، فهذا الشافعي واضع علم الأصول في الفقه الإسلامي وقد لاقت تقسيماته قبولا حسنا وعليه درج الأصوليون مع إضافات وتعقب على ما ذكره ، وهكذا جميع العلوم الشرعية كعلم التجويد وتقسيماته وترتيباته وعلوم القرآن وغيرها ومنها علم التوحيد .
We must understand the principle which says that there is nothing wrong with using new terminology. This principle is well-known among the Fuqaha’ and scholars of Usool. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 
‘There is nothing wrong with new concepts and new words, unless there is something bad about them.’
Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 3/306 
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-Shaafi’ee 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.” ([21])

This division has been prevalent since the beginning of the authorship and compilation of the masaail of Aqeedah and from the proofs that denote to that, are some of the texts that have been mentioned by the Salaf in its explanation:

The first occurrence: From Imaam Abu Abdullah Ubaydullah bin Muhammad bin Battah al-Ukburi (D. 387) rahimahullah when he said in his book “Al-Ibaanah” that:

أن أصل الإيمان بالله الذي يجب على الخلق اعتقاده في إثبات الإيمان به ثلاثة أشياء:
أحدها: أن يعتقد العبد ربانيته ليكون بذلك مباينا لمذاهب أهل التعطيل الذين لا يثبتون صانعا.
والثاني: أن يعتقد وحدانيته ليكون مباينا بذلك مذاهب أهل الشرك الذين أقروا بالصانع وأشركوا معه في العبادة غيره.
والثالث: أن يعتقده موصوفا بالصفات التي لا يجوز إلا أن يكون موصوفا بها من العلم والقدرة والحكمة وسائر ما وصف به نفسه في كتابه ..

“The foundation of Eemaan in Allaah, which is obligatory upon the creation to believe therein, rests on believing in three things:

One: For the servant to believe in His Lordship, in order to distinguish himself from the negators, those who do not believe in a creator.

Two: To believe in his oneness, in order to distinguish himself from the people of Shirk, those who believe in The Creator, yet associated partners unto Him in worship

Three: To believe in Him having Attributes that He must be described with, such as knowledge, power, wisdom, and the rest of the attributes He described Himself with in His Book… This is because we find that Allah Ta’ala addressed His servants by calling them to believe in each of the three and to have faith therein” ([22])

This speech of Ibn Battah is explicit in that the Eemaan in Allaah and His Tawheed is based on these three matters; hence, he named the first as “I’tiqaad ar-Rabbaaniyyah (Belief in Allaah’s Lordship)”, the second “I’tiqaad al-Wahdaaniyyah (Belief in Allaah’s oneness)”, and the third “I’tiqaad Al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (Belief in his Names and lofty Attributes which necessitate the perfectness of Allaah the sublime the most high)”.

The second proof of occurrence is from Al-Imaam al-Haafidh Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishaaq bin Yahya bin Mandah rahimahullah (D. 395) when he named the chapters in his beneficial book “Kitaab at-Tawheed”, he divided the tawheed into three categories. From the names of his chapters, include:

ذكر ما وصف الله عز وجل به نفسه ودل على وحدانيته عز وجل وأنه أحد صمد لم يلد ولم يولد ولم يكن له كفوا أحد

“Mention of what Allaah the exalted and majestic described Himself with, and indicates towards his oneness, and that He is alone, the eternal refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent”


ذكر معرفة بدء الخلق

“Mentioning the awareness of the beginning of creation”


ذكر معرفة أسماء الله عز وجل الحسنة التي تسمى بها وأظهرها لعباده للمعرفة والدعاء والذكر

“Mention of the awareness of Allaah’s beautiful names which He Himself names and made them apparent to His slaves for awareness, du’aa, and Dhikr”

And he has many other chapters like these, so whoever wants to read them should read his book mentioned above.

That is why the Muhaqqiq of this book, Doctor Ali al-Faqeehi, has described the book and its topics of discussions, with his saying:

"قسم المؤلف التوحيد إلى أربعة أقسام حيث جعل أسماء الله الحسنى قسما مستقلا ثم أتبعها بالصفات، وأقسام التوحيد الذي ذكرها هي:
الوحدانية في الربوبية.
توحيد الألوهية وهو تحقيق شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله.
توحيد أسماء الله الحسنى.

“The author has divided the Tawheed into four categories wherein he made the beautiful names of Allaah as one separate category, then he followed it with His Sifaat (attributes) and made it a separate category. The categories of tawheed that he mentioned are as follows:
Oneness (Tawheed) in Allaah’s Lordship
Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and it is the outcome of the testimony that there is no deity but Allaah
Tawheed of Allaah’s Beautiful names &
Tawheed of Allaah’s Attributes” ([23]) ([24])

Further on, these two Imaams have a precedence of Imaam ul-A’immah Abu Bakr bin Khuzaymah rahimahullah (D. 311) in a book of his completely dedicated to Tawheed and affirmation of Allaah’s attributes named “Kitaab at-Tawheed wa Ithbaat Sifaat ar-Rabb Azza-wa-Jall”.

And they all are preceded by Al-Imaam Muhammad bin Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaari rahimahullah (D. 259) in the authorship of Kitaab at-Tawheed in refutation of the Jahmiyyah under his book “Al-Jaami as-Saheeh” famous as “Saheeh al-Imaam Bukhaari”.

[See, Qawaa’id fi Bayaan Haqeeqat al-Eemaan Ind Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah by Aadil ash-Shaykhaani (P. 97)]

Ash-Shaykh al-Allaamah Ibn Baaz rahimahullah was asked about the permissibility of this division of tawheed, so he replied:

الحمد لله
فهذا التقسيم مأخوذ من الاستقراء والتأمل . لأن العلماء لما استقرءوا ما جاءت به النصوص من كتاب الله وسنة رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم ظهر لهم هذا ، وزاد بعضهم نوعا رابعا هو توحيد المتابعة ، وهذا كله بالاستقراء .
فلا شك أن من تدبر القرآن الكريم وجد فيه آيات تأمر بإخلاص العبادة لله وحده ، وهذا هو توحيد الألوهية ، ووجد آيات تدل على أن الله هو الخلاق وأنه الرزاق وأنه مدبر الأمور ، وهذا هو توحيد الربوبية الذي أقر به المشركون ولم يدخلهم في الإسلام ، كما يجد آيات أخرى تدل على أن له الأسماء الحسنى والصفات العلى ، وأنه لا شبيه له ولا كفو له ، وهذا هو توحيد الأسماء والصفات الذي أنكره المبتدعة من الجهمية والمعتزلة والمشبهة ، ومن سلك سبيلهم .
ويجد آيات تدل على وجوب اتباع الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم ورفض ما خالف شرعه ، وهذا هو توحيد المتابعة ، فهذا التقسيم قد علم بالاستقراء وتتبع الآيات ودراسة السنة ، ومن ذلك قول الله سبحانه :( إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ )( الفاتحة : 4 )
وقوله عز وجل :( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ) ( البقرة :21 ) 
وقوله جل وتعالى:( وَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ )( البقرة : 163 )
وقوله سبحانه :(وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (56) مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُمْ مِنْ رِزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ يُطْعِمُونِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ (57)( الذاريات :56 ، 57)
وقوله سبحانه :(إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ أَلا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ )( الأعراف :54 ) .
وقال سبحانه :( لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ )( الشورى :11)
وقال عز وجل :( قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ (1) اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ (2)لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ (3)وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ (4) ( الإخلاص ).
وقال جل شأنه:( قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ) ( آل عمران :31 ).
وقال سبحانه :( قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْهِ مَا حُمِّلَ وَعَلَيْكُمْ مَا حُمِّلْتُمْ وَإِنْ تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلا الْبَلاغُ الْمُبِينُ )( النور :54 ) والآيات الدالة على ما ذكر من التقسيم كثيرة .
ومن الأحاديث : قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في حديث معاذ رضي الله عنه المتفق على صحته(خ/ 2856، م/ 30) : " حق الله على العباد أن يعبدوه ولا يشركوا به شيئا " 
وقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام :" من مات وهو يدعو من دون الله ندا دخل النار " رواه البخاري ( 4497) ومسلم ( 92).
وقوله لجبريل عليه السلام لما سأله عن الإسلام قال : "( أن تعبد الله ولا تشرك به شيئا وتقيم الصلاة المكتوبة وتؤدي الزكاة المفروضة .. الحديث " متفق عليه (خ/ 50، م/ 9).
وقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : " من أطاعني فقد أطاع الله ومن عصاني فقد عصا الله " متفق على صحته (خ/ 2957 ، م/ 1835 ).
وقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام : " كل أمتي يدخلون الجنة إلا من أبى قيل يا رسول الله ومن يأبى؟ قال من أطاعني دخل الجنة ومن عصاني فقد أبى " رواه البخاري في صحيحه (7280) والأحاديث في هذا الباب كثيرة .
قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية رحمه الله :" الإله هو المعبود المطاع فإن الإله هو المألوه ، والمألوه هو الذي يستحق أن يعبد ، وكونه يستحق أن يعبد هو بما اتصف به من الصفات التي تستلزم أن يكون هو المحبوب غاية الحب المخضوع له غاية الخضوع " .
وقال :" فإن الإله هو المحبوب المعبود الذي تألهه القلوب بحبها وتخضع له وتذل له وتخافه وترجوه وتنيب إليه في شدائدها وتدعوه في مهماتها وتتوكل عليه في مصالحها وتلجأ إليه وتطمئن بذكره وتسكن إلى حبه ، وليس ذلك إلا لله وحده ، ولهذا كانت لا إله إلا الله أصدق الكلام ، وكان أهلها أهل الله وحزبه ، والمنكرون لها أعداءه وأهل غضبه ونقمته ، فإذا صحت صح بها كل مسألة وحال وذوق ، وإذا لم يصححها العبد فالفساد لازم له في علومه وأعماله " .
نسأل الله أن يوفق المسلمين جميعا من حكام ومحكومين للفقه في دينه والثبات عليه والنصح لله ولعباده ، والحذر مما يخالف ذلك ، إنه ولي ذلك والقادر عليه ، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه أجمعين .

“This division is taken from study and analysis. When the scholars analyzed the texts of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), this became clear to them. Some of them added a fourth category, which is Tawheed al-Mutaaba’ah (oneness of following). All of that is derived from study and analysis. 
Undoubtedly the one who ponders the meanings of the Qur’aan will find that it contains verses which enjoin devoting worship sincerely to Allaah alone. This is Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (Oneness of the Divine Nature). And he will find verses which indicate that Allaah is the Creator and the Provider; that He is in control of all things. This is Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (oneness of the Divine Lordship), which the Mushrikoon affirmed, but that did not make them Muslims. He will also find other verses which indicate that Allaah has the Most Beautiful Names and the most sublime Attributes and that He has no equal or peer. This is Tawheed al-Asmaa wa’l-Sifaat (Oneness of the Divine Names and Attributes), which was denied by the innovators such as the Jahmiyyah, Mu’tazilah, anthropomorphists and those who followed in their footsteps. 
There are verses which indicate that it is obligatory to follow the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and to reject whatever goes against his laws. This is Tawheed al-Mutaaba’ah (Oneness of Following). This categorization is known from study and analysis of the relevant aayahs and the Sunnah. For example, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)”
[Al-Faatihah 1:5] 

“O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allaah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
[Al-Baqarah 2:21] 

“And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God — Allaah), Laa Ilaaha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful” [al-Baqarah 2:163] 

“And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).
I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e. feed themselves or My creatures).
Verily, Allaah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong”
[Al-Dhaariyaat 51:56-58] 

“Indeed, your Lord is Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawa) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!”
[Al-A’raaf 7:54] 

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer”
[al-Shoora 42:11] 

“Say (O Muhammad): “He is Allaah, (the) One.
 Allaah-us-Samad [Allaah — the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].
He begets not, nor was He begotten.
And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him”
[Al-Ikhlaas 112:1-4] 

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): If you (really) love Allaah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:31] 

“Say: “Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allaah’s Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way)”
[Al-Noor 24:54] 

And there are many aayahs which point towards this categorization. 
In the ahaadeeth: 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, according to the hadeeth of Mu’aadh whose authenticity is agreed upon (al-Bukhaari, 2856; Muslim, 30): 

“It is the right of Allaah upon His slaves that they should worship Him and not associate anything with Him.” 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies invoking anything other than Allaah as a rival to Allaah will enter Hell.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4497; Muslim, 92). 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Jibreel (peace be upon him), when he asked him about Islam: “It means to worship Allaah and not associate anything with Him, to pray the prescribed prayers, to pay the obligatory zakaah…” (Agreed upon; al-Bukhaari, 50; Muslim, 9). 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever obeys me obeys Allaah, and whoever disobeys me disobeys Allaah.” (Agreed upon; al-Bukhaari, 2957; Muslim, 1835)

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “All of my ummah will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allaah, who are those who refuse?” He said, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys me has refused.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, 7280)
And there are many similar ahaadeeth. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “God is the One Who is worshipped and obeyed. God is the One Who is loved, and the One Who is loved is the One Who deserves to be worshipped. The reason why He deserves to be worshipped is because of His Attributes which imply that He is the Most Beloved to Whom the utmost submission is due.” 

And he said: “God is the One Who is loved and worshipped, Whom hearts love, to Whom they submit, before Whom they humble themselves, Whom they fear and hope, to Whom they turn at times of difficulty, calling upon Him with regard to their concerns, putting their trust in Him with regard to their interests, seeking refuge in Him, finding tranquility in the remembrance of Him and peace of mind in love for Him. That is only for Allaah, therefore the phrase Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (there is no god except Allaah) is the most truthful of speech. Those who believe this are the people of Allaah and His party, and those who deny it are His enemies who are subject to His wrath and vengeance. If a person gets this right his entire situation will be good, and if he fails to achieve this then his knowledge and actions will inevitably be corrupt.” 

We ask Allaah to help all the Muslims, rulers and ruled alike, to understand His religion, to adhere steadfastly to it, to be sincere towards Allaah and His slaves and to beware of that which Allaah has forbidden, for He is Able to do that.  May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions” ([25]).


These divisions altogether form the Eemaan (Belief) of Allaah which we call “Tawheed”. Hence, one of these divisions, on its own, cannot complete the Tawheed, until all the three types of Tawheed are combined together. They are all joined and correlated with each other, each of whom completes the other, and it is not possible to suffice one from the other. Therefore, Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah would not benefit without Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah and Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah would not be correct and firm without Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah; and likewise, the Tawheed of Allaah in His Ruboobiyyah and His Uloohiyyah would not stand alone without the Tawheed of Allaah in His names and His attributes. With that, deviation and negligence from any one of these forms would be a deviation from the Tawheed in its entirety. As Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd said:

فمعرفة الله لا تكون بدون عبادته، والعبادة لا تكون بدون معرفة الله، فهما متلازمان

“Thus the awareness of Allaah is not possible without His worship, and worship is not possible without the awareness of Allaah, so both are interrelated.” ([26])

Hence, Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah necessitates Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah.
And Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah implies Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah.
And Tawheed al-Asmaa wa’l Sifaat is included in both forms.

Meaning: The one who attests to Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah and knows that Allaah is the Rabb (Lord) and He has no associates in His Ruboobiyyah (Lordship), then it necessitates that He also attests to the uniqueness of Allaah alone with Ibaadah (worship); because it is not correct that a person worships but the One who is the Lord, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Planner. As long as all these are for Allaah alone, it necessitates that He be worshipped alone.

That is why, the Qur’aan al-Kareem has followed the method of mentioning the verses of Ruboobiyyah along with the verses of Da’wah (call) to Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah, such as the following saying of Allaah:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا للهِ أَنْدَادًا وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous – [He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him]” ([27])

And as for Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah then it entails Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah because the one who worships Allaah and does no associate any partners with Him, then it necessitates and implies that he believes Allaah to be His Lord and Sovereign besides whom, there is no Lord.

And this matter is observed by a Muwahhid in himself that he singles out Allaah for Ibaadah (worship) and does not set any of that for other than Allaah, it is only for the purpose of his attestation to Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah and that there is no Rabb (Lord), nor Maalik (Sovereign), nor governor other than Allaah alone.

And as for Tawheed al-Asmaa wa’l Sifaat then it is included in both forms together and that is because it is established upon the uniqueness of Allaah with all His Beautiful names and attributes which are not befitting except for Allaah and among these are names like: Ar-Rabb (The Lord) – Al-Khaaliq (The Creator) – Ar-Raaziq (The Sustainer) – Al-Malik (The Sovereign), and these relate to Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah.

And among the names are: Allaah – Al-Ghafoor (The Forgiving) – Ar-Raheem (The Merciful) – Al-Tawwaab (The Superbly Relenting), and these relate to Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah. ([28])


The Qur’aan in its entirety is a call to Tawheed.

Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah said:

“Each Soorah (Chapter) of the Qur’aan implies the Tawheed; rather we say that every single verse in the Qur’aan is an implication to Tawheed, attests to it, and calls towards it.

For indeed the Qur’aan includes:

1-    Either a report about Allaah, His names, His attributes, and His actions, which is Tawheed al-Ilmi al-Khabri,
2-    Or a call to the worship of Allaah alone without any associates and the falsehood of all that is worshipped besides Him, which is Tawheed al-Iraadi al-Talabi (Tawheed of willfulness and aim),
3-    Or a command, and prohibition, and obligation of His obedience in His command and prohibition, which is the right of Tawheed and that which completes it,
4-    Or a report about the blessings of Allaah for the People of His Tawheed and His Obedience, and what He did with them in the world, and what He blessed them with in the hereafter, and that is the reward of His Tawheed,
5-    Or a report about the People of Shirk, what He afflicted them with in the world from the punishments, and what He prepared for them from the punishments (of the hereafter), which is a report about those who neglected the command of His Tawheed.

Hence the entire Qur’aan talks about Tawheed, its rights, its rewards, and the matter of Shirk, those who do it, and their punishments.” End Quote of Ibn al-Qayyim ([29])

[See, Mu’taqad Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah fi Tawheed al-Asmaa wa’l Sifaat by Muhammad bin Khaleefah al-Tameemi (P. 40)]

[1] - [See, Tareeq al-Hijratayn (P. 30), Sharh at-Tahaawiyyah (P. 76), Lawaami al-Anwaar by Al-Safaareeni (1/128), and Tayseer al-Azeez al-Hameed (P. 17-19)]
[2] - [Soorah al-Kahf (18:110)]
[3] - [Among those who mentioned this is Ibn al-Qayyim in his book ‘Madaarij as-Saalikeen’ (3/449)]
[4] - [Among those who mentioned this is Ibn al-Qayyim in his book ‘Al-Madaarij as-Saalikeen’ (3/450) and Ibn Taymiyyah in As-Safdiyyah (2/228)]
[5] - [Among those who mentioned this is Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, see Majmoo al-Fataawa (1/367)]
[6] - [Soorah al-Faatihah (1:2)]
[7] - [Soorah al-A’raaf (7:54)]
[8] - [Soorah al-Baqarah (2:29)]
[9] - [Soorah adh-Dhaariyaat (51:58)]
[10] - [Soorah Luqmaan (31:25)]
[11] - [Soorah al-Mu’minoon (23:84-90)]
[12] - [Soorah al-Faatihah (1:5)]
[13] - [Soorah al-Mu’minoon (23:117)]
[14] - [Soorah al-Anbiyaa (21:25)]
[15] - [Soorah ash-Shoora (42:11)]
[16] - [Soorah al-A’raaf (7:180)]
[17] - [Soorah al-Baqarah (2:140)]
[18] - [Soorah al-Nahl (16:74)]
[19] - [Soorah an-Najm (53:3-4)]
[20] - [Al-Tahdheer min Mukhtasiraat as-Saabooni fi’t-Tafseer by Allaamah Bakr Abu Zayd (133 footnote # 2)]
[21] - [, Fatwa # 10262]
[22] - [Al-Ibaanah (2/172-173), translation borrowed]
[23] - [Al-Tawheed by Ibn Mandah (1/33) Tahqeeq Ali bin Naasir al-Faqeehi, Pub. Al-Jaami’ah al-Islaamiyah, Madinah]
[24] - [For details in this issue, see: “Al-Qawl as-Sadeed fir-Radd Ala man Ankara Taqseem at-Tawheed” by Abdur Razzaaq al-Badr, Pub. Daar Ibn Affan]
[25] - [Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), 6/215]
[26] - [Tahdheeb Ahl al-Eemaan (1/140)]
[27] - [Soorah al-Baqarah (2:21-22)]
[28] - [See, al-Kawaashif al-Jaliyyah An Ma’aani al-Waasitiyyah by Shaykh Abdul Azeez as-Salmaan (P. 421-422)]
[29] - [Madaarij as-Saalikeen (3/449-450)]

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