Dear brothers and sisters, we have discussed this topic before and the oneness of Allah SWT is a foundation of our belief. However, in today’s reminder, the topic is expanded further into three sections.
The first is how the Oneness of Allah SWT is in relation to the one who is worshipped, the second is the meaning of Allah in that who sustains and finally it is on the attributes of Allah SWT which are mentioned in the Quran.
The first part is in relation to one who must be worshipped. The imam mentioned the 21st ayat of Sura Baqara which is translated to say:
O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous –
Dear brothers and sisters, if we analyse the first point then we are being told that through worship of Allah SWT we will become righteous.
Could it be that one can demonstrate righteousness in any other way? Of course this is possible. After all, we live in a society where the majority do not worship Allah SWT. And yet they show examples of righteous behaviour.
So what can we learn from this ayat? One of the lessons here is that the definition of what is righteous or what is deemed as good behaviour comes also from Allah SWT, the Creator and not the creation.
When we take the Creator and what He defines as righteous then we not only demonstrate we are worshipping Him but we are also contributing to a stable society and way of living.
For example, if tomorrow the act of stealing became lawful. The media, teachers, neighbours, friends etc all started saying stealing is absolutely fine. On top of that those who steal began to be praised by the media and revered in our society and those who didn’t steal were picked on for being backward. How would be react?
It’s a silly example but its deliberately stated to demonstrate that to put the definition of what is right, what is good in the hands of the creation is submitting to our nafs, our desires and would only lead to examples like this one which would make our society chaotic.
It makes logical sense that only the Creator can ever set the guidelines on what is right and wrong. It is only through following His commandments that we become righteous and good. And by doing so we not only function as He made us to function but we demonstrate worship of Him by following his commandments.
Second point made by the imam was of Allah SWT being one who sustains. The imam mentioned the following ayat 95 from Sura Al-Anam which is translated to say:
Indeed, Allah is the cleaver of grain and date seeds. He brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living. That is Allah ; so how are you deluded?
Dear brothers and sisters, if we analyse this ayat it is warning us of a delusion. An incorrect way of thinking. And what is that incorrect mindset? It is the belief that we are in charge of our sustinence. That our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is independent of our Creator.
It seems like a simple point. After all, we here are all believers and so why could this point be relevant in today’s reminder?
It is about the practical application of this point. An example here is if one of us loses their job. We can become sad, despondent and depressed at our misfortune. This is an example of failing to rely on He who is in charge of our sustinence. We ought to use this opportunity to thank Allah SWT for our change in fortune as we ought to have faith that something better will come from this change in direction in our lives.
Another reaction to this example is the opposite behaviour. Those of us who take a job loss and plan to bounce back. Obviously this is a good reaction in theory, they brush up on their CV, start applying for new jobs etc. However, they focus their effort on the physical act of reacting to the situation. They fail to recognise that even all this positive behaviour will only manifest into a change of fortune with the permission of Allah and so they miss out on this important point.
Dear brothers and sisters, each day we are given examples in our lives of reasons to thank Allah SWT and to recognise that He is the sustainer. Let’s not forget this, regardless of how we react and thus avoid the warning of delusion mentioned earlier.
Thirdly, the oneness of Allah SWT is about the 99 names or attributes of Allah SWT. But why do we have 99 attributes?
To answer this question we need to ask ourselves, how is one introduced to someone they don’t know? For example, if I am introduced to someone for the first time, they may say my name and then say this Adeel, he is half-decent at talking in front of people. What is that doing to the other person? It’s giving them a picture of me before I have even had a chance to say hello. It’s allowing their mind to paint a picture of me and understand the kind of person I am.
Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t see Allah SWT. Not in this life. But by having 99 attributes, it is allowing us to create a complete picture of who our He is. For most of us, we can’t even list 99 characteristics to describe ourselves but in the Quran, Allah SWT is listing 99 attributes of Himself. This is so there is no ambiguity in our minds as to who our He is. By understanding them all, we paint in ourselves a perfect picture that eliminates the need to see Him. With these attributes we know exactly who Allah SWT is.
And alongside knowing the 99 names, we can then use the one that is applicable to us when talking to Him. Whether it is Al-Wali which means the protecting friend when we are feeling vulnerable to Al-Razzaq which means the sustainer when we are having money problems, there is a name or attribute for all our problems and needs.
Dear brothers and sisters, today’s reminder on Tawheed or the Oneness of Allah is focused on us opening our eyes to the blessings we have in our lives. Lets not overlook the fact that all that we have, have had and will have comes from He who is worthy of our everlasting thanks and our everlasting praise.