The Essence of Islâm

Posted on February 21, 2014

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Explaining the essence of Islâm and its main pillar, the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said:
“Islâm is built upon five:
Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh,
establishing the Salâh,
paying the Zakâh,
making pilgrimage to the House
and fasting in Ramadhân.”
[Related by al-Bukhârî (1/49) and Muslim (no. 16) from ’Abdullâh ibn ’Umar – radiallâhu ’anhu.]

In another narration:
“Islâm is built upon five:
To worship Allâh and to reject anything along with Him … ”
[Related by Muslim (no.20)]

Also in another narration:
“Islâm is built upon five: The Tawhîd of Allâh … ”
[Related by Muslim (no.19)]

Thus:
“Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh,” has the same meaning as: “To worship Allâh and to reject anything along with Him,”
which has the same meaning as: “The Tawhîd of Allâh,”

So, it will be clear to the honourable reader that Tawhîd is the essence of Islâm, and it is the starting and ending point for all goodness and excellence.

Linguistically Tawhîd means:
“To make something one, or to assert the oneness of something.”
[Lisân ul-’Arab (3/450) of Ibn Mandhûr and also al-Hujjah fî Bayânil-Mahajjah (1/305) of Abûl-Qâsim al-Asbahânî]

However, what we are concerned with here is the Sharî’ah or technical meaning ofTawhîd which is:
“To single out Allâh alone for worship.”
[Ad-Dururus-Sunniyyah (1/48) of Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmân ibn Hasan]

Al-Bayjowrî – rahimahullâh – said:
“It is to single-out al-Ma’bûd (the One to be worshipped – i.e. Allâh) with worship, along with belief and affirmation in the oneness and uniqueness of His Dhât (Essence), Sifât(Attributes) and Actions.”
[Jawharah at-Tawhîd (p. 10)]

Shaykh al-Ghunaymân – hafidhahullâh – said:
“It is to single Him out with worship, with love, lowliness and submissiveness to Him, by complying with His commands and submitting to them.”
[Sharh Kitâbut-Tawhîd min Sahîhil-Bukhârî (1/38)]

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