Uttering the Shahadah is the first pillar of Islam. Tawheed, which means belief in Allah, is the first article of faith. The Prophet (PBUH) said in a Hadith that Islam was based on five pillars. (Sahih Muslim) The first pillar is to testify that there is no God but Allah. The second pillar is the five daily prayers. The third pillar is the obligatory charity, i.e., Zakat. The fourth pillar is to fast during the month of Ramadan. The fifth pillar is to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the Kaabah.
Tawheed is the core of all things Islam. A person must believe in this to be Muslim, first and foremost. If one does not recognize the oneness of Allah, then he cannot be a Muslim. A Muslim must express the Shahada. Muslims do this during the five daily prayers, where during jalsa (sitting position), we say, “Ash hadu an laa ilaaha illAllah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah.” This means “I bear witness that there no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
A Muslim must understand the deep meaning of Tawheed. Accepting Allah as the One and Only God means that we accept our obligations toward Him. When we know Tawheed, then we focus on listening to Allah’s commands. That brings us closer to Him, which should be the ultimate aim of every Muslim.
On the other hand, we must also know the massive implications of not realizing Tawheed. Allah says in Surah an-Nisa that He does not forgive the association of partners with Him, but forgives everything besides that. If we understand the gravity of disobeying Allah, then we will always try out best to obey His teachings to the fullest.
Tawheed increases our tolerance
Correct belief about Allah improves our lives in a myriad of ways. We learn that piety is the only thing that humans can hold in high stead. This is our only way to attain success in Allah’s eyes. Hence, we can not be superior to anyone else due to things such as ethnicity and skin color. All these things are immaterial. Any form of bigotry and racism are unacceptable.
Allah says in Surah al-Hujurat that he created and made us into nations and tribes so that we may know each other. The only measure of righteousness is nobility.
Morals and bravery are developed
Allah has given us a lengthy list of commands. When we listen to Him and obey Him, then we increase our share of good deeds. As a result, we also increase our number of evil deeds. We always remain conscious of Allah in all situations because He is the One and Only Lord. He knows what we do both in public and in private. When we are always aware of Him and fear Him, then we refrain from committing evil deeds. It is also stated in Hadith that good manners cause piety.
Another admirable quality that Tawheed develops is bravery. The earliest generations of Muslims were the ones who had the most robust faith in Muslim history. They were the companions of the Prophet (PBUH). With their strong faith was a belief that martyrdom was acceptable if it furthered Allah’s cause. They were completely reliant on Allah, and Allah helped them to attain victory over the disbelievers.
Tawheed = freedom
Acceptance of Allah as the One and Only God frees a Muslim from the world. A Muslim with strong faith does not have to always worry about worldly matters. Of course, Muslims still must live the life of this world, but they will have peace of mind that all sustenance comes from Allah alone. So, Muslims are freed from all the expectations of this Dunya. A common problem nowadays is that Muslims are often focused on copying the West. They use the West as a benchmark of success. This is, unfortunately, usually indicative of week emaan/faith.
It also gives us dignity
This is closely related to the previous point. If we know that Allah controls the universe, and nothing happens without His will, we understand that we need to rely on Him alone. No one can compare with the Almighty. Thus, no one can harm or benefit us without His consent and permission.
Allah says in Surah Hud that he has already ordained the provision of every creature on the planet. He is aware of all things, and He has it clearly planned out. Hence, we do not need to be reliant on other people. They do not directly benefit or harm us. People are just a way for us to attain whatever Allah has written for us. We never need to bow down to anyone or beg anyone but Allah. He is the best of all helpers.
Tawheed enables us to have a content outlook
Allah says in Surah al-Baqarah that sometimes we may hate things, despite them being good for us, and vice versa. This is because we have only a bit of knowledge. We do not have a broad perspective of our lives. Allah has complete knowledge, thus Allahu ‘Alam (Allah knows best).
When we look at life from this point of view, we understand that we can’t always have it our way. Sometimes what we may think of as a negative may be a positive. Hence, we develop contentment and see the bigger picture.
It also enables us to have positivity
Once again, this point is closely related to the last one. When we don’t always know what is best for us or not, we learn to be positive about the future. Once we let go of materialism and just focus on doing what we can do what we do best, we can leave the rest in Allah’s hands. A person with strong belief in Tawheed says alhamdulillah in all situations.
Allah says in Surah al-‘Ankabut that He will test the believers. Hardships are thus meant to be from Allah and are a test for us. Hence, we must never despair, and we must always fight. Allah also says in Surah al-Baqarah that he will never overburden us with more than we can bear.
Tawheed reduces bad qualities, uplifts good ones
When we genuinely realize Tawheed and understand our insignificance in the world overall, our arrogance is diminished. We know that we are entirely reliant on Allah and sustenance from Him. If he doesn’t help us, we have nothing. Hence, we become humble during our day to day lives.
Allah tells us in Surah Luqman that he does not like people who are boastful and deluded. He tells us not to walk proudly. Correct belief in Tawheed thus develops our humility.
Allah tells believers in Surah aal-Imraan that they should persevere in the face of hardships. This develops determination among Muslims. We are always empowered to try our utmost in all situations. Setbacks should not discourage us because we have the determination to power on in adverse circumstances.
It shows us the way to live a peaceful life
This is the side effect of being content with life. When we are not always wishing for more or wondering why this happened or why that didn’t happen, we gain peace. We don’t need to be worried about things that are out of our control. We focus on what is in our hands, which provides us with peace. Similarly, a strong belief in Tawheed means that we don’t sin or engage in deceit. The only thing that will help us in life is to struggle in the way of Allah. Hence, we live life by the rules, which gives us peace.
Tawheed makes the world a better place
Allah says in Surah adh-Dhariyat that He created man and jinns to worship him. According to early scholars, Tawheed is the noblest branch of knowledge. It is the crux of Islam and, thus, the most important thing for Muslims concerning Allah. It helps us to develop several commendable qualities. These qualities improve the quality of our lives here and in the hereafter.
Improved human beings result in improved communities that result in a better world. Allah says in Surah aal-Imraan that a nation will rise, inviting people to good and encouraging the good while forbidding the evil. Humans are very adaptable. The more people believe and act upon Tawheed, the more this attitude is likely to spread among other humans.
Tawheed has manifold benefits in all aspects of our lives. Proper implementation of it helps us get nearer to Allah. Consequently, we rise in stature in the eyes of the Almighty.
Muslims must realize the importance of having faith. Additionally, we should also know that we should always strive to improve our faith. Faith is not static. It goes through different stages, and it may increase or decrease. We should always try to make sure that it is increasing. The stronger our belief in Tawheed, the more likely we will do well in this life and the next.