Let us board “the ship of Tawheed” at the beginning of the new year and sail safely from this world of trials and temptations to the eternal world of ultimate bliss and enjoyment. May Allah guide and assist us to achieve this goal with sincerity and we undertake this task solely for the pleasure of Allah, the Almighty.

Let us build this ship and move away from the destructive waves of polytheism and innovations by putting up the sails of ‘Kalimatus Ikhlas’. We are well aware of the story of Prophet Nuh and his ship. It was indeed the ‘ship of Tawheed’ and by the will of Allah, it reached its destination with success. To build and board this ship we all have to ask ourselves; why are we here? What is the purpose of our life? What will be our destination? The answer should be as follows: And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should worship Me. (Qur’an, 51:56)

Here the word ‘worship’ means to single out Allah in each and every aspect of life. As for the specific meaning of worship, Sheik Al Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Worship is a comprehensive term covering whatever Allah loves and is pleased with, both words and actions, the apparent or the hidden; such as love, hope, fear, dependence, seeking refuge, having awe, prayer, fasting, zakah and other duties prescribed by Islam.”

May Allah have mercy on us to enrich our knowledge. Let us conduct a brief study of our esteemed and beloved Prophet’s (peace be upon him) life in Makkah. In the first 13 years of his prophethood, we know that he was busy expounding the essentials of monotheism and eradicating the scourge of polytheism. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) prepared the Sahabiyat (companions) for migration. Their hearts migrated from worldly riches and they desired for the sought world of the hereafter and strove for the pleasure of Allah, The All-Glorious. This led to building strong ties with Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). They coveted Jannah and continuously sought escape from the torments of the hellfire.

What is the first obligation and prohibition that Allah has prescribed for mankind?
The first obligation is to single out Allah in all worship, and the first prohibition is not to associate anything with Him as it is clear from many of the verses from the Noble Qur’an. “And your Lord has commanded that you shall not worship (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. (Qur’an, 17:23) Allah has stated the prohibitions and the obligations with “none has the right to be worshipped but Allah” as is obvious from the verses below. “And worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbor of (your) kin and the alien neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful. (Qur’an, 4:36)

Say, “Come I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you (remember) that you do not associate anything with Him and show kindness to your parents and do not kill your children for (fear of) poverty. We provide for you and for them and do not draw nigh to indecencies, those of them which are apparent and those which are concealed, and do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for the requirements of justice; this He has enjoined you with that you may understand.” (Qur’an, 6:151)

What is the right of Allah upon His slaves and what is the right of the slaves upon Allah?
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “O Muadh! Do you know what Allah’s right is upon His slave ?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “They worship Him (Allah) Alone and do not associate any partner in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He will not punish them (if they did so).” [Bukhari]

This shows the tremendous importance of the Tawheed (monotheism), and the wisdom behind the creation of the jinn and mankind. It is to worship Allah alone and reject all objects of worship besides Him. May Allah enable us to sail on this ship with guidance and success.

Let us set sail in “the ship of Tawheed” with our family and friends and attain security and guidance from Allah as He the Exalted says: It is those who believe in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone and confuse not their belief with Zulm wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah, for them (only) there is security and they are the guided. (Qur’an, 6:82)

It is Allah’s promise that the one who actualizes Tawheed and keeps his belief clear from the many shades of polytheism for him there will be complete security in five things; his religion, mind, health, wealth and offspring.

Not believing in Tawheed will result in a loss of security and guidance, the greatest loss a person can ever suffer. Even the Prophets were constantly reminded of Tawheed as Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “ When Musa [Moses] said: “O my Rabb, teach me something by which I can remember You and supplicate to You.” Allah answered: “say, O Musa La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped).” Musa said: “O, my Rabb, all Your slaves say this.” Allah said: “O, Musa, if the seven heavens and all of their inhabitants besides Me, and the seven earths were in a pan (of a scale) and La ilaha illallah was in (another) pan La ilaha illallah would outweigh them.” (Al-Hakim)

This means that if the sins of the slaves of Allah reached the weight of the seven heavens along with all its inhabitants besides Him, and the weight of the earth, the statement La ilaha illallah would outweigh the weight of the sins. This is the greatest virtue of Tawheed and it is only for those in whose heart it is planted firmly with a strong belief and complete faith. He should be a sincere believer and should have no doubts relating to it. He should understand its value, seek pleasure in it and love its meaning. He must also not associate anything with Him in worship and that is when his heart will be strong and pure with the statement of Tawheed. The mere uttering of it enlightens him, and gives him peace apart from washing away his sins.

The Messenger of Allah said,” Allah says: O, son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins filling the earth, then you meet Me without associating anything in worship with Me, I would come to you with its (the earth’s) full of forgiveness.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

Now, why is it that the statement of Tawheed outweighs everything except Allah, the Highest? It is because the statement with its conditions has great value and virtue that no man or Jinn can imagine. The statement singles out Allah, the Highest, in a unique way. It contains negation of worship to anyone besides Him and affirmation of worship solely for Him. The pure essence of singling out can only be obtained through negation and affirmation. To ponder upon is the fact that if Prophets were in need of reminders then how is it that we are ignorant of such a great matter and to top it all most of us don’t even strive toward learning it.

Nowadays many of ignorant Muslims claim that one who utters the Kalimatul Ikhlas will enter paradise. Merely uttering the Kalima will not lead to the peace and blessings of paradise. One has to say the Kalima wholeheartedly, observe the five pillars of Islam, adhere to the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and read the Qur’an. Only then that he will be granted bounties and favors from Allah, the Highest. However, if he says the statement of Tawheed, but does not abstain from Shirk he will not be entitled to the promise mentioned in the Hadith above.

Thus, one’s heart must be filled with Allah’s greatness, praise, glory, magnificence, honor, and love. When it is totally suffused with these attributes of Allah, The Supreme, will forgive him and make the fire forbidden for him that is without any punishment.

For indeed Allah has forbidden hell for those people who say: “There is nothing worthy of being worshipped but Allah, thereby seeking the pleasure of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

May Allah, The All-Forgiving forgive us and admit us to paradise without reckoning, so that we may also be a part of His abundant favors, blessings and mercy.

-By Farzana Qamar