Where does the Division of Tawheed into 3 kinds come from?
It is said that tawheed (monotheism, believing in Oneness of Allah) is divided into three kinds (rububiyya, uluhiyya, and asma’ wa shifat). Who did that division? And in what book, volume, and page?
Tawheed is divided into three kinds (the rububiyya, uluhiyya, and asma’ wa shifat) based on a comprehensive study over indications that exist in the Qur’an and the sunnah, as the scholars of Arabic grammar (or nahwu) divided a word in Arabic language into three categories; the ism, fi’l, and harf, based on their comprehensive studies over the words that exist in Arabic language. (Refer to the book: “At-Tahdzir min Mukhtasharat Muhammad Ash-Shabuny fii At-Tafsir” by Sheikh Bakr Abu Zaid page 30, published by Darur Rayah- Riyadh )
Among the indications of tawheed rububiyya (believing that Allah is The Only One Who created the whole universe, distributes the sustenances, and regulates all universe) are:
(اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ)(الزمر:62)
“Allah is the Creator of everything; He is the Guardian over everything.”(Qs. 39: 62)
And Allah’s decree:
وَمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ) (هود:6
“There is not a single moving creature on earth except that Allah is responsible for providing its sustenance. He knows where it dwells and where it will permanently rest. All this is recorded in a Clear Book.” (Qs. 11:6)
And Allah’s decree:
(قُلْ مَنْ يَرْزُقُكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَمَّنْ يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَمَنْ يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَمَنْ يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللَّهُ فَقُلْ أَفَلا تَتَّقُونَ) (يونس:31
“Ask them: “Who provides you with sustenance out of the heavens and the earth? Who holds mastery over your hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who governs all affairs of the Universe?” They will surely say: “Allah.” Tell them: “Will you, then, not shun (going against reality)?” (Qs. 10:31)
As for the indications of tawheed uluhiyya (believing that Allah is The Only One who has the right to be worshipped) are:
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ.الفاتحة:5
“You alone do we worship and You alone do we turn to for help.” (Qs. 1:5)
And His decree:
قُلِ اللَّهَ أَعْبُدُ مُخْلِصاً لَهُ دِينِي.الزمر:14
“Say: “Allah alone shall I serve, consecrating my devotion to Him.”(Qs. 39:14)
And His decree:
قُلْ أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ تَأْمُرُونِّي أَعْبُدُ أَيُّهَا الْجَاهِلُونَ.الزمر:64
“(O Prophet), say: “Ignorant people! Do you bid me to serve any other beside Allah?”(Qs. 39:64)
And among the indications of tawheed asma’ wa shifat (believing that Allah is The Only One Who has the best of names and noblest of attributes):
قُلِ ادْعُوا اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمَنَ أَيّاً مَا تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى.الاسراء: من الآية110
“Say to them (O Prophet!): “Call upon Him as Allah or call upon Him as al-Rahman; call Him by whichever name you will, all His names are beautiful. ”
And His decree:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ.الشورى: من الآية11
“Naught in the universe is like Him. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.”(QS. 42:11)
And His decree:
وَلِلَّهِ الْمَثَلُ الْأَعْلَى وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ.النحل: من الآية60
“whereas Allah’s are the most excellent attributes. He is the Most Mighty, the Most Wise.” (Qs. 16:60)
And all three of these kinds of tawheed is found in one of Allah’s verse:
رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِهِ هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيّاً .مريم:65
“He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is in between. Serve Him, then, and be constant in serving Him. Do you know anyone that might be His compeer?”(Qs. 19:65)
The tawheed rububiyya is included in His decree: :
رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا
“He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is in between”
And tawheed uluhiyya in His decree:
فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِهِ
“Serve Him, then, and be constant in serving Him”.
As for tawheed asma’ wa shifat, it is in His decree:
هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيّاً
“Do you know anyone that might be His compeer?”
Here we included several among the scholars who stated about this division, either explicitly or implicitly.
- Imam Abu Ja’far Ath-Thahawy (died year 321 H), in the opening of his book, “Al-Aqidah Ath-Thahawiyyah”. He said,
نقول في توحيد الله معتقدين بتوفيق الله إن الله واحد لا شريك له ، و لا شيء مثله ، و لا شيء يعجزه ، و لا إله غيره
“We said that in monotheism of Allah, by believing that Allah is The Only One, he has no partner, and nothing resembles Him, and nothing could weaken Him, and none has the right to be worshipped but Him.”
His saying, “Nothing resembles Him”: It is included in tawheed Asma’ wa shifat.
His saying: “Nothing could weaken Him.”: It is included in tawheed rububiyya.
His saying: “And none has the right to be worshipped but Him.”: It is included in tawheed uluhiyya.
- Ibn Abi Zaid Al-Qairawany Al-Maliky (died year 386 H), in the opening of his book, “Ar-Risalah Al-Fiqhiyyah” page 75 (published by Darul Gharb Al-Islamy). He said,
من ذلك : الإيمان بالقلب و النطق باللسان بأن الله إله واحد لا إله غيره ، و لا شبيه له و لا نظير، … ، خالقا لكل شيء ، ألا هو رب العباد و رب أعمالهم والمقدر لحركاتهم و آجالهم
“Among those are: Believing with heart and uttering it verbally, that Allah is The Only One to be worshipped, none has the right to be worshipped but Him, nothing that resembles Him, and there is no match for Him.”
Creator of everything, know that He is The Creator of His slaves and The Creator of their deeds, and The One that foreordain their movements and deaths.”
His saying, “Allah is The Only One to be worshipped, none has the right to be worshipped but Him” : It is included in tawheed uluhiyya.
His saying, “nothing that resembles Him, and there is no match for Him.” It is included in tawheed Asma’ wa Shifat.
His saying, “Creator of everything, know that He is The Creator of His slaves and The Creator of their deeds, and The One that foreordain their movements and deaths.” It is included in tawheed rububiyya.
- Ibn Baththah Al-’Akbary (died year 387 H), in his book “Al-Ibanah ‘an Syariatil Firqatin Najiyyah wa Mujanabatil Firaq Al-Madzmumah” (5 / 475)
“And that is because the core of faith in Allah of which the creatures must believe in, in establishing the faith in Him are 3:
Firstly: It is suggested for a slave to believe in the rabbaniyya of Allah (Allah’s power) so that he could differentiate himself from the way of the atheists who disbelieve in the existence of The Creator.
Secondly: It is suggested for a slave to believe in wahdaniyya of Allah (the Oneness of Allah in worship) so that he could differentiate himself from the way of the polytheists who acknowledge the existence of The Creator of the universe then they associate Him with other than Him.
Thirdly: It is suggested for a slave to believe that He has attributes that are suitable with Him, such as knowledge, power, wisdom, and other attributes that He has defined in His book.
- Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Al-Walid Ath-Thurthusyi (died year 520 H), in the opening of his book, “Sirajul Muluk (1/1),”, he said,
وأشهد له بالربوبية والوحدانية. وبما شهد به لنفسه من الأسماء الحسنى. والصفات العلى. والنعت الأوفى
“And I testify to His rububiyya and His uluhiyya, and to everything that He testifies to for Himself, of the best of names and the highest and most perfect of attributes.”
- Al Qurthuby (died year 671 H), in his book of tafseer (1/102), upon interpreting the word “Allah” in chapter Al Fatihah:
فالله اسم للموجود الحق الجامع لصفات الإلهية، المنعوت بنعوت الربوبية، المنفرد بالوجود الحقيقي، لا إله إلا هو سبحانه.
“Thus “Allah” is the name of something that truly exist, that unites in Him the attributes of ilahiyya (attributes of something that deserves to be worshipped), that has the attributes of rububiyya (attributes os something powerful), that is alone with His true existence, none has the right to be worshipped but Him.”
- Sheikh Muhammad Al-Amin Asy-Syinqithy (died year 1393 H) in his book, “Adhwaul Bayan” (3/111-112), upon interpreting the verse:
إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْراً كَبِيراً) (الاسراء:9)
- Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdillah Ibn Baz, among his saying about it is as included in his book, “Kaifa Nuhaqqiqu At-Tauhid” (page 18-28).
- Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shaleh Al-Utsaimin, among his saying about it is as mentioned in his work “Fatawa Arkanil Islam” (page 9-17)
- Sheikh Abdul Muhsin bin Hamd Al-’Abbad Al-Badr (a lecturer in the Prophet’s mosque), among his saying about it is as mentioned in the prologue of his comments for the book “Tathhir ul I’tiqad ‘an Adranil Ilhad” by Ash Shan’any and the book “Syarhush Shudur fi Tahrim Raf’il Qubur” by Asy-Syaukany (page 12-20).
- Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ar-Rasyid, in his book ” At-Tanbihat As-Saniyyah ‘ala Al-Aqidah Al-Wasithiyyah” (page 14)
- Sheikh Abdurrazaq bin Abdul Muhsin Al-Badr, in his book “Al-Mukhtashar Al-Mufid fi Bayani Dalaili Aqsamit Tauhid”. This book is a rebuttal for those who denied the division of tawheed.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by: Ustadz Abdullah Roy, MA
Article of www.WhatisQuran.com