Transcribed by Editorial Staff
As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with the New Muslim Bites. And this is the second session.
And today we are going to be talking about “belief in the one God, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)”.
Now, when I first became Muslim one of the things that really surprised me was when I realised that Allah is the same as God and God is Allah and that actually Christian people call God Allah not God.
Allah is the correct name to use when we’re referring to God and the reason being is because in the Arabic language it’s totally unique. You can’t say goddess like you can say goddess in English but you can’t make the word Allah into a feminine tense. You can’t make it into a plural tense so it’s a totally unique word.
Now, when the belief in the one God that when belief in Allah is manifested in a word called “Tawheed”. Tawheed basically is an Arabic word which means unification or asserting oneness. So, Tawheed basically means believing in the Oneness of Allah.
Now, one of the questions that comes up a lot especially for new Muslims is: “where is Allah?”
Now, there’s a very simple answer to this and it’s very clear in the Quran and in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is in fact above his creation. He is above his throne. And this is related in Surah (70:3-4), surah (35:10). And also there is a hadith or many hadith but one particular one that says that Rasul Allah (Allah’s Messenger) (salla Allahu ‘alaihee wa sallam) says as part of this hadith:
He who is above the Heavens (fi al-samaa) which means the heavens will be Merciful to you.
So, these are sort of things because sometimes people misunderstand and people say that Allah is everywhere. Allah is not everywhere. Allah is All-Knowing. Allah is aware of everything, everything we do, everything we say, everything we think. He is so close to us but physically he is above His Throne in heaven.
Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas (Pure Sincerity)
Now one surah in the Quran which is usually one of the first ones that we learn is Surat Al-Ikhlas.
112:1 Qul huwa Allahu ahad (Say, “He (is) Allah, the One)
112: 2 Allah-u ṣ-ṣamad (Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute)
112: 3 Lam yalid walam yūlad (He begets not nor is He begotten)
So, in other words he doesn’t have a mother and father and he doesn’t have offspring, that sons and daughters.
112:4 Walam yakun lahu kufuwan aḥad (And there is nothing like Allah)
So, we can’t imagine what Allah looks like. We shouldn’t imagine what Allah looks like. However, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives us a description of his attributes and there are 99 names that describe these. One of them for example is Al-Rahman, the Merciful.
Now, Tawheed like we were talking about before is split into three different areas:
The first area is Tawheed Al-Rububiyah (the Unity of Allah’s Lordship)
The second area is Tawheed Al-Asmaa wal Sifat which means the unity of Allah’s names and attributes. That basically means that we are not allowed to give a false attribute to Allah or add names to Allah’s names.
So, for example and we couldn’t describe Allah like in the Bible. Allah is described as creating the heavens in the earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. Resting is a human attribute. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) doesn’t feel any fatigue or need a rest. Allah is not a human. Allah created humans. He doesn’t have these needs like we have.
And the third area is Tawheed Al-‘Ibadah. Al-‘Ibadah means the unity of worship. So, Tawheed (the Unity) Al-“Ibadah (of Worship)
Now, this is where we put our belief in the one God into action and that means that we avoid all Shirk. Shirk is a word that means when we associate something with Allah. So, for example (shirk is) when somebody worships another god other than Allah even if they believe in Allah but then they worship another god. So, for example that the Christians will say that in ’Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him) is the son of God. This is a shirk in Islam. This is something that is that is not allowed. And so we avoid all this.
The Purpose of Creation
In the Quran in surah (51:56) Allah says that he created us all with the purpose of worshipping Him. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about that in future sessions.
So, that’s the end of this little short mini session. I hope that it’s been helpful. The next session moving on is I’m going to talk a little bit about Shirk, the different types of shirk and how we can avoid committing Shirk. so (In sha’a Allah) I’ll speak to you next time.
Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
Peace be to you all!
Session 1: The Meaning of Shahada in Four Minutes