بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ * الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ * الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ * مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ * إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ * اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ * صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ
In the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Especially Merciful
All praise is due to Allaah Lord of all creation.
The Extremely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
Master of the Day of Recompense.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us upon the straight path.
The path of those whom you have favoured, not those who have earned your anger nor those who have gone astray.
[Surah al-Fatihah 1-7]
Surah Al-Fatihah is the greatest Surah in the Quran, as indicated by the hadith of Abu Saeed ibn Mu’allaa, reported by Al-Bukhari (4474). It includes the three types of tawhid: Tawhid ar-Rububiyyah, Tawhid al-Uluhiyyah, and Tawhid al-Asmaa was-Sifaat.
Tawhid ar-Rububiyyah refers to the uniqueness of Allah the Most High in terms of His actions, such as creating, providing, giving life and death and other actions. The overall meaning is that Allaah is alone in His actions, he has no partner in creating the creation or in giving them life and death.
Tawhid al Uluhiyyah is that people single out Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, with their acts of worship; such as supplication, fear, hope, trust, seeking help, seeking deliverance, sacrifice and so on. Indeed, it is a must that they make these purely for Allah, not ascribing any partner with Him in their worship. So therefore, as there is no Creator except for Allah, and no-one who gives life and death except Allaah, then it is only fitting that Allaah alone is the One who deserves all worship.
Tawhid al-Asmaa was-Sifat is affirmation of the Names and Qualities which Allah affirmed for Himself or which His messenger affirmed for Him, while avoiding any distortion, misinterpretation, or negation of their meanings. One also must avoid trying to enquire about their precise nature and comparing them to the creation, as Allah said:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
There is nothing like Him, and He is the Hearer, the Seer
[Surah ash-Shura 11]
This noble verse provides a clear basis for the approach of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (the unified followers of the Prophetic Sunnah) regarding Allaah’s Qualities – which is to affirm them while negating any deficiency. So Allaah’s statement:
وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
and He is the Hearer, the Seer
is affirmation of the names “The Hearer” (as-Sami’) and “The Seer” (al-Basir), indicating Allah has the qualities of hearing and seeing. In His statement:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ
There is nothing like Him
is an indication of the absence of resemblance between His characteristics and the characteristics of His creation. He, the Perfect and Most High has hearing unlike the hearing of the creation, and sight unlike their sight.
In fact the first verse of this great Surah includes all three types of Tawhid. As for Tawhid Al Uluhiyyah, then the verse:
All praise is due to Allah
indicates this because the slaves praising their Lord is their worship Him and praising Him, and this is from their actions.
As for Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah then it is in His Most High’s words:
Lord of all creation
so he, the Perfect and Most High, is the Rabb (Lord) of everything, its Creator and Owner, as Allah, the Mighty and Majestic said:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ * الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَنْدَادًا وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
O mankind, worship your Lord, Who created you and those before you in order that you may fear (Him and worship Him alone). Who has appointed the earth as a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and brought, from the sky, water and brought forth thereby fruits as a provision for you. And do not set up rivals to Allah while you know (better).
[Surah al-Baqarah 21-22].
And as for Tawhid Al-Asmaa wa As-Sifat then this verse contains two of Allaah’s Names and they are His majestic (main) name in His statement:
and ar-Rabb in His statement:
Lord of the worlds
In this verse ar-Rabb is mentioned linked to something (i.e. that Allaah is the Lord of the worlds), whereas in Surah YaSin it is mentioned without being linked to something, in His statement
سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِّن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ
‘Peace’, a word from the Lord, Most Merciful
[Surah YaSin 58]
And al-‘Alamun is everyone besides Allah. Allah the Perfect and Most High in Himself and His Names and his Qualities: He is the Creator and all everything besides him is the creation. Allah said regarding Musa (Moses) and Firaun (Pharaoh):
قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَا رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ * قَالَ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ۖ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُوقِنِينَ
Firaun (Pharaoh) said: And what is the Lord of the worlds?
Musa (Moses) said: Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if only you had faith!
[Surah ash-Shu’araa 23-24]
And ar-Rahmaan and ar-Raheem are two of Allaah’s Names which indicate one of His qualities which is Mercy. ar-Rahmaan is a Name which may only be used for Allaah. Raheem is mentioned in the Qur’an applied to someone else. Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said regarding His Messenger Muhammad ﷺ:
لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ
There has certainly come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. He is distressed by anything which may cause you to suffer. He is deeply concerned for you and (Rauf ur Raheem) full of kindness and mercy towards the believers
[Surah at-Tawbah 128]
Ibn Kathir said in his book of tafseer when explaining the statement ‘bismillaah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Raheem‘:
“The point is that some of His the Most High’s Names can be used to name others and some must only be used exclusively for Him, such as: Allah, ar-Rahmaan, al-Khaliq, ar-Raaziq and so on.”
مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
Master of the Day of Recompense
indicates Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah i.e. that Allaah the Perfect and Most High is the Lord and Master of everything. He possesses the heavens and earth and all that is between them. He is the Master of this world and the next. Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said:
لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
To Allah belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them, and He is able to do all things.
[Surah al-Ma’idah 120]
And He said:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Blessed is He in whose hand is the dominion and He is able to do all things
[Surah al-Mulk 1]
And He said:
قُلْ مَنْ بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ يُجِيرُ وَلَا يُجَارُ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ * سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ ۚ قُلْ فَأَنَّىٰ تُسْحَرُونَ
Say: In whose hand is the dominion over all things and He protects while against Him there is no protection, if you should know?
They will say ‘To Allaah’. Say ‘Then how are you so deluded’
[Surah al-Mu’minun 88 – 89]
The Day of Judgement is the day of recompense and accounting, and He is called the Master of the Day of Judgement, even though He is the Master of this world and the Hereafter, because on that day all will be humbled to the Lord of the worlds. This is in contrast to this world, where you will find people who transgress and are arrogant, in fact, you will find one who might say: “I am your Lord the Most High” and “O chiefs, I do not know of a god for you other than me”.
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
shows Tawhid al Uluhiyah, and placing the object of both verbs before the subject indicates restriction – i.e. that worship is only for Allah, and that asking for help in issues which only Allah can help with is only for Allah. The first sentence shows that the Muslim performs worship purely for the face of Allah while conforming to the Sunnah (practice) of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. The second sentence shows that the Muslim should not ask anyone for help in their religious or worldly issues except for Allah the Mighty and Majestic.
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
Guide us upon the straight path
indicates Tawhid al Uluhiya and it is a du’a (supplication). Supplication is from the types of worship. Allah said:
وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدً
And that the places of worship are for Allah alone so do not supplicate to anyone along with Allah
[Surah al-Jinn 18]
This supplication comprises the greatest need which the slave has, which is that he be guided to the straight path, so that he may come out from the various forms of darkness to the light and so that he may be successful and happy in this life and the next. The slave needs this guidance more than he requires food and drink because food and drink are provision for a temporary life whereas guidance to the straight path is provision for an everlasting permanent life. This supplication also includes requesting that you continue to be firm upon guidance which you have already received, and that you ask to be guided further. Allah the Mighty and Majestic said:
وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ
While as for those guided aright, He increases them in guidance, and bestows upon them their piety.
[Surah Muhammad 17]
And He said about the companions of the cave:
إِنَّهُمْ فِتْيَةٌ آمَنُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ وَزِدْنَاهُمْ هُدًى
Indeed they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.
[Surah al-Kahf 13]
And He said:
وَيَزِيدُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا هُدًى
And Allah increases those who were guided in guidance.
[Surah Maryam 76]