Islamic Perspectives

Unity or Oneness of God

Unity or Oneness of God is a concept dealing with the belief in only one God and the worship and service to Him without associating any partner to Him. It is considered the basic belief of Islam. But a large section of humankind belonging to other religions also believes in the unity of God. For example, people professing Judaism, Sikhism, Ahmadism and Vaishnavism also believe in the unity of God. Moreover, some people say that there is a Supreme Being called God Who is The Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of the universe. They say, we believe in Him for our redemption in the Hereafter. Will these people belonging to other religions than Islam attain redemption in the Hereafter?

Islam is the only religion in the world that deals with the idea of prophethood. The prophet is called “Nabi” or “Rasool” in Arabic. The word ‘’Nabi’’ is derived from the root “naba’’’ meaning oracle or message. Hence the prophet is a man who receives the messages of God and delivers them to the people faithfully so as to teach people how to believe in one God and worship and serve Him alone.

Allah sent many prophets with Holy Books (divine law) right from the first prophet Adam to the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) so as to teach and guide their respective peoples how to believe in Allah and worship and serve Him in accordance with the teachings of those holy Books brought by them for their success in both the worlds, this and the Hereafter. This is called “’Ibadat’’ (worship and service to Allah) in Islam for which Allah has created the humankind (Qur’an 51:56).

It is the matter of regret that the holy Books revealed prior to the advent of Prophet Muhammad were distorted, transmuted and adulterated by the enemies of religion as stated in the Holy Qur’an (2:79, 3:78 and 5:66), resulting in the loss of their original texts. Now these holy Books cannot be found in their original texts and languages but in their translated and revised versions. Hence, Allah has rescinded and replaced them by the Holy Qur’an as the last and final guidance for the mankind revealed to the last and final prophet, Muhammad. Allah has also assured the protection of the text of the holy Qur’an against corruption and distortion (Qur’an 15:9, 56:77-78). There are numerous persons (huffaz) in the world who memorize the Holy Qur’an and preserve it in their hearts since early Islam to this day. No scripture except the Holy Qur’an is fully memorized and preserved in the human heart. In fact it is the “Living Miracle’’ of the holy Qur’an. Consequently, the holy Qur’an still exists in its original text as it was revealed and will continue to exist in its original form till the Day of Resurrection, Insha Allah!

However, Islam teaches that now people are obligated to accept the unity of God based on the teachings of the holy Qur’an so as to believe in One God and to worship and serve Him alone for their redemption in the Hereafter. This is called the faith or religion of Islam. When a man thus believes in the unity, or oneness, of God, he is required to declare his faith (Iman): “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet’’. This signifies that he believes in Allah and worships and serves Him alone according to the divine law (Qur’an) revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Conversely, if a person believes in the unity of God not based on the holy Qur’an but on the distorted earlier holy Books or on man-made laws, it would be considered kufr (disbelief) making him/her disqualified for redemption in the Hereafter. As such the holy Qur’an denies and rejects all other religions and announces “The religion in the sight of Allah is only Islam. If anyone seeks a religion other than Islam, Allah will not accept it from him and he will be a loser in the Hereafter (3:19, 85). On several occasions, the Prophet said: “Those who know me as the Prophet of Allah but deny  my teaching, will surely be consigned to the Hell-fire in the Hereafter”.

It would be reasonable on the part of Muslims to use the word “Tawhid” (oneness of Allah) instead of the Unity of God because the word God is not equivalent to the word Allah in Islam. God is one of the attributes of Allah meaning the Lord (Elaah). When we declare: “There is no God but Allah”, we mean we believe that there is no Lord worthy of worship except Allah. In fact, the Being with absolute Lordship over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them is called “Allah” in Islam. So the word God with capital “G” refers to the Lord, one of the attributes of Allah but not the word Allah itself.      M. Abdus Samad, Gauripur, Dhubri (Assam)