03 Nov Tawhid (God’s Oneness).Part2
Implications of Tawhid
Monotheists, those who believe in Tawhid, cannot be narrow-minded.
•Their belief in One God, Creator of the heavens and Earth, Master of the east and the west, and Sustainer of the universe, leads them to view everything as belonging to the same Lord, to Whom they belong as well. Thus they consider nothing as alien. Their sympathy, love, and service are not confined to any particular race, color, or group, and they come to understand the Prophetic saying: “O servants of God, be brethren!”
Monotheism produces the highest degree of self-respect and self-esteem in people.
Monotheists know that only God has true power, can benefit or harm them, fulfill their needs, cause them to die, or wield authority and influence.
•This conviction makes them indifferent to and independent and fearless of all powers other than those of God. They never bow in homage to any of God’s creatures.
Monotheists, although humble and mild, never abase themselves by bowing before anyone or anything except God.
•They never aim at any advantage by their worship, even if that advange is Paradise. They seek only to please God and obtain His approval.
Monotheists, although naturally weak and powerless as human beings, become powerful enough through their Lord’s Power to resist the whole world.
•They are virtuous and altruistic, for their purpose is to gain God’s approval by working for His good pleasure. Boisterous pride of power and wealth can have no room in their hearts, for they know that whatever they possess is bestowed by God, and that God can take away as easily as He can give.
Monotheists know that the only way to success and salvation is to acquire a pure soul and righteous behavior.
•They have perfect faith in God, Who is above all need, related to none, absolutely just, and without partner in His exercise of Divine Power. Given this belief, they understand that they can succeed only through right living and just action, for no influence or underhanded activity can save them from ruin.
•However, some believe that someone has atoned for their sins; and others assert that they are God’s favorites and thus immune to punishment. Still others believe that their idols or saints will intercede with God on their behalf, and so make offerings to their deities in the belief that such bribes give them a license to do whatever they want. Such false beliefs keep them entangled in sin and evil, and their dependence on such deities cause them to neglect their need for spiritual purification and for living pure and good lives.
Monotheists do not become hopeless and disappointed.
•Their firm faith in God, Master of all treasures of Earth and the heavens, and Possessor of limitless grace and bounty and infinite power, imparts to their hearts extraordinary consolation, fills it with satisfaction, and keeps it filled with hope. In this world they might meet with rejection at all doors, nothing might serve their ends, and all means might desert them. But faith in and dependence on God, which never leave them, give them the strength to go on struggling. Such a profound confidence can come only from belief in the One God. Such a belief produces great determination, patient perseverance, and trust in God. When they decide to devote their resources to fulfilling the Divine Commands to secure God’s good pleasure and approval, they are sure that they have the Lord of the Universe’s support and backing.
Many polytheists and atheists, on the other hand, usually have small hearts and depend on limited powers. Thus their troubles and the resulting despair soon overwhelm them and, frequently, they commit suicide. Professor Joad’s testimony is explicit on this point:
For the first time in history there is coming to maturity a generation of men and women [in the West of the 1950s] who have no religion, and feel no need for one. They are content to ignore it. Also they are very unhappy, the suicide rate is abnormally high. (Phillip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, 6th ed. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1956), 129.)
As opposed to this, a non-Muslim historian who is not sympathetic to Islam, writes the following about Tawhid:
In this uncompromising monotheism, with its simple, enthusiastic faith in the supreme rule of a transcendental being, lies the chief strength of Islam. Its adherents enjoy a consciousness of contentment and resignation unknown among followers of most creeds. Suicide is rare in Muslim lands. (The Present and Future of Religion, quoted by Sir Arnold Lunn, And Yet So New (London: Sheed and Ward, 1958), 228).