The Goal of Life
Author: Abdullah (Student of Ma’had Ali Al-Imam Asy-Syafii Jember)
All praises be to Allah. Peace and prayer of Allah be upon His messenger, his family, and people who follow him.
Dear readers, may Allah the Exalted always guide us and bestow upon us His light so that we’ll be able to obey Him.
Verily, our worldly life is something temporary, far from eternity. Allah the Glorified and Exalted decreed, which can be translated as, “Every being shall taste death, then it is to Us that you shall be sent back.” (chapter. Al-Ankabut/The spider: 57) and “To Him is your return. This is Allah’s promise that will certainly come true.” (chapter Yunus: 4).
And our existence in this world is not for vain, nor useless or goalless. We are created not just to live and breathe, and enjoy it till the day we pass away, then die as people whose deed will not be counted. No!! Allah the High and Almighty declared, which can be translated as, ” Does man think that he will be left alone, unquestioned? ” (chapter Al-Qiyamah/The Last Day:36). and ” Did you imagine that We created you without any purpose, and that you will not be brought back to Us?” (Chapter Al-Mukminun/The Believers : 115).
Indeed, we are here and live in this world, to accomplish a noble goal, a great goal, to bear the pure divine task. The task and goal is to perform righteous deed, and the primary deed, most important of all deeds, is Tawheed; that is, making Allah The Exalted as the Only One to be worshipped. Allah the Glorified and Exalted declared, which can be translated as, “I created the jinn and humans for nothing else but that they may serve Me; ” (Chapter Adz-Dzaariyat: 56).
Sheikh Muhammad At Tamimi in his book “Al-Ushul Ats-Tsalatsah”, commented about the interpretation of the last part of that verse, “The meaning of “Worshipping is tawheed”. He also said, “The greatest of Allah’s order is tawheed; that is, making Allah the Exalted The One by worshipping Him alone, whereas His main prohibition is shirk; that is, worshipping other than Allah the Exalted together with Him. The indication that supports his words here is Allah’s verse, ” Serve Allah and ascribe no partner to Him.” (Chapter An-Nisaa/The Women: 36)”.
The scholars defined worship as follow: “Worship is a term that encompasses everything that Allah loves and pleases of, in the form of word and deed, the outer and the inner of it.”
Definition of Tawheed
Now lets talk and discuss a little about the meaning of tawheed.
In Arabic, the word tawheed is the root for word “Wahhada – Yuwahhidu – Tawheedan” which means making something the one.
Whereas in religious terminology, tawheed means : believing in the Oneness of Allah The Exalted in His acts, worshipping Him alone sincerely, establishing for Him the Most beautiful names and the noblest of attributes, and purifying Him from all weakness, flaws an disgrace. This is the true and correct meaning of tawheed according the Ahl sunnah wal jama’a.
Tawheed also means sincerity; that is by worshipping Allah the Exalted alone with utmost sincerity. Therefore, the sentence of sincerity, “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah” is also known as the sentence of tawheed.
The Urgency of Tawheed
To know exactly the urgency of a thing, we can measure the its beneficial value. Likewise, by identifying its rank and virtue, that thing will appear more valuable, precious and felt very important
Allah the Exalted has explained about tawheed in His great book, also His prophet in his noble sunnah, in forms of his saying and real practice. Imam Ibn Qoyyim al Jauziya -may Allah have mercy on him- explained: “Indeed, every verse of the Qur’an sometimes contains news about Allah; His name and attribute, and His act and words. This is what called as Tawheed Ilmi Khobari (of knowledge and news). Sometimes it contains persuasion/enjoin to worship Allah alone, Who has no partner, and to abandon all deities aside from Him. This is called Tawheed Irodi Tholabi. And sometimes it contains order and prohibition (of Allah) and obligation to obey Him in those order and prohibition. This is the right and perfecter of tawheed. And sometimes it contains glad tidings of ennoblement of people with tawheed, of good reward that they’ll receive in this world and high rank in the Hereafter. This is the reward of tawheed. And the Qur’an also explains about condition of people who commit shirk, the kind of punishment that will afflict them in this world and the torment they have to endure in the Hereafter. This is the punishment for those who do not believe in the Oneness of Allah and realize it.” (See: Fathul Majid).
The Prestige of Tawheed
Below are brief explanations about the prestige of tawheed together with its indications from the Qur’an and the Hadith:
- Tawheed is the task and mission of the enjoinment of all prophets. Allah the Exalted decreed, which can be translated as, “We raised a Messenger in every community (to tell them): “Serve Allah and shun the Evil One.” (Chapter An Nahl/The Bee:36)
- Tawheed is the first of Allah’s orders that is written inside of the Qur’an, and it is directed to all human being without exception. Allah the Exalted decreed in chapter Al Baqara/The Cow:21, which can be translated as, “O mankind, serve your Lord Who has created you as well as those before you; do so that you are saved. ” (Chapter Al Baqarah/The Cow:21)
- The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- began his enjoinment with tawheed, as revealed in his life history. He enjoined people to believe and realize the Oneness of Allah in Mecca for 13 hears, after he was appointed as messenger. Allah the Exalted decreed, which can be translated as, “O you enveloped in your cloak (Muhammad)!(1). Arise, and warn(2), and magnify the glory of your Lord(3),” (Al-Muddatstsir/The Cloaked one: 1-3).
Sheikh Muhammad At Tamimi -may Allah have mercy on him- mentioned the interpretation of the second and third verse, “The meaning of “Arise and warn” is (for the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him) to warn people (to free themselves) of shirk. (And the meaning of) magnify the glory of your Lord” is glorify Him by believing and realizing His Oneness.”
- The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- also ordered his companion to begin their enjoinment with tawheed, as his order to Mu’adz bin Jabal when he sent him to Yemen as a preacher. He said, “Verily, you’ll come to the people of Scriptures, thus, let the first thing that you enjoin is the testimony of Laa ilaaha illallaah (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah) (the sentence of tawheed).” In another narration it is said, ” (is the enjoinment) for them to worship Allah alone.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).
- Allah the Exalted created jinn and men to worship Him. Allah the Exalted decreed, which can be translated as, “I created the jinn and humans for nothing else but that they may serve Me; ” (QS. Adz-Dzaariyat: 56)
- And to realize this goal, Allah the Almighty sent His messenger and descended Books. He declared, which can be translated as, “Never did We send any Messenger before you to whom We did not reveal: “There is no god but Me. So serve Me alone.”” (QS.Al-Anbiya: 25). And His decree, “(O Prophet), it is We Who have revealed this Book to you with Truth. So serve only Allah, consecrating your devotion to Him.” (QS. Az-Zumar:2)
- Tawheed is the right of Allah over His slaves. The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, which can be translated as, “The right of Allah over His slaves is that they worship Him alone, and do not set any rivals to Him.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).
- And tawheed is one of the two requirements that should be fulfilled so that Allah the Exalted accepts one’s deed. He decreed, which can be translated as, “(Tell them clearly that) it was revealed to you and to all Prophets before you: “If you associate any others with Allah in His Divinity, your works will surely come to naught and you will certainly be among the losers.”” (QS.Az-Zumar: 65)
The Virtues of Tawheed
Among the virtues of tawheed achieved by those who realize it, according to indications from the Qur’an and hadith are:
- By realizing tawheed and distancing himself from shirk, a person will obtain Allah’s forgiveness. He decreed, which can be translated as, “Surely Allah does not forgive that a partner be ascribed to Him, although He forgives any other sins for whomever He wills.” (QS. An-Nisa: 48)
- Allah the Exalted promises people who realize tawheed and distance himself from shirk to get power on them in the land, firmness in religion, and security. Allah the Almighty decreed, which can be translated as, “Allah has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deeds that He will surely bestow power on them in the land even as He bestowed power on those that preceded them, and that He will firmly establish their religion which He has been pleased to choose for them, and He will replace with security the state of fear that they are in. Let them serve Me and associate none with Me in My Divinity. Whoso thereafter engages in unbelief, such indeed are the ungodly.” (QS.An-Nur: 55)
- One who realizes tawheed and distance himself from shirk is a person who’ll get Allah’s guidance. He decreed, which can be translated as, “Those who believe and did not tarnish their faith with wrongdoing for them there is security, and it is they who have been guided to the right way.” (QS. Al-An’am: 82)
- Tawheed is the reason a person could enter the Paradise. The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, which can be translated as, “Whoever dies whereas he knows (he knows and practice his knowledge) about “Laa ilaaha illallaah” (that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) will certainly enter the Paradise.” (Narrated by Muslim).
- One who realizes tawheed will earn true fortunes in this world and later in the Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, which can be translated as, ” O mankind, say “Laa ilaaha illallaah” (and practice its demands), surely, you’ll be fortunate.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Thabrani).
- Tawheed could prevent one who practices it from entering the Hell, or live forever in it. The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, which can be translated as, “Indeed, Allah forbids (prevents) a person who says “Laa ilaaha illallaah”, wishing for Allah’s face sincerely to enter the Hell. “(Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).
Finally, we hope so that Allah the Exalted gathers us among His slaves who believe in His Oneness, and gives us strength to distance ourselves, our family, and our society from shirk.
Peace and prayer of Allah be upon our prophet Muhammad, his family, and all of his companions. Wassalaamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Even all of the verses inside the Qur’an is about tawheed, its demands, and reward for its doer. It also speaks about shirk, its doers, and their punishment.
- The sentence of tawheed is the first phrase that bring a disbeliever into Islam.
The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, which can be translated as, “I was ordered to fight mankind, until they testify “Laa ilaaha illalllaah” (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and (testify that) Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).
Likewise, the sentence of tawheed is the last phrase thar could bring one who utters it to enter the Paradise. The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, which can be translated as, ” Whoever ends his life with “Laa ilaaha illallaah”, will enter the Paradise.” (Narrated by Abu Daud)
The Kinds of Tawheed
Based on its meaning that we’ve explained before, tawheed is divided into three kinds, namely:
- Tawheed Rububiyya
- Tawheed Uluhiyya
- Tawheed Asma wa shifat (names and attributes)
By Allah’s permission, we’ll bring up the explanation about these kinds of tawheed in next month editions. Just wait for it.
The Scholars said that when tawheed is mentioned without relating it to another word, it means tawheed in worshipping Allah, or shortened as tawheed uluhiyya