Tawheed is the very basis of a Muslim's belief in Almighty Allah.
Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam spent 13 long years in Makkah Al Mukarramah teaching the Arabs to come to understand that there is no other God save for Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala!
To attest that there is only One God, is enough to achieve a status as a Muslim back then when Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam started preaching to the Qureishi Arabs in Makkah!
We read about how Saiyidina Bilal, an Ethiopian African slave was tortured by his Qureishi Arab master when he refused to apostate from being a Muslim! A heavy rock was placed atop his suffering chest whilst he was practically roasted over burning coals!
Bilal, the African slave was so steadfast in his Tawheed towards Allah and he was resolute in his faith that no matter that his skin was being cooked and his body fluids dripping on to the burning coals, he kept his faith towards attesting that there is none other worthy of worship except Allah, God Almighty!
Just picture the scenario in your minds, brothers and sisters! In the scorching blistering desert heat, was Bilal , the first African slave put to the roast in the most vicious torture by his Qureishi Arab master for becoming a Muslim!
Saiyidina Bilal persevered by uttering 'Ahad! Ahad!Ahad!' meaning 'One! One! One!' the attestment that there is only One God! The bastion of Tawheed!
One God! Not 3 in 1, not by the dozens or the hundreds, or zillions!
Hakikat al Tawheed! Attesting that There is Only One God! 'Qul hu wallah hu Ahad!' Say there is only One God!
That is enough to make one as a Muslim. That is the symbol of Tawheed! Only One God!
Sometimes, when I meet people in the mosque areas , I will ask them as to how many Gods they believe in?
Most of them will reply,"One"!
I will then tell them , ' You are already half a Muslim!' They will usually be taken by surprise and ask me 'how come?'
I will relate to them that to be a Muslim, one comes to understand and make the proclamation that ' There is no other God but Allah!' In Arabic, the Shahadah is 'La ila ha ill lall laah!'
To complete the attestment of Faith is to then accept and proclaim that Muhammad is the (Final) Messenger of Allah! In Arabic , 'Muhammad dar Rasul lull laah!'
That's it! Alhamdulillah! When a man or a woman, a boy or a girl attests to that There is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the (final) Messenger of Allah, he or she is now a Muslim in the truest sense!
Bilal, the African slave , remained firm in his Tawheed towards Allah!
He was saved from further torture by Saiyidina Abu Bakar As Siddiq who paid Bilal's owner his price and freed Saiyidina Bilal from bondage!
Saiyidina Bilal from being a lowly slave when bonded to the Kaffirs of the Qureishi Arabs of Makkah, rose into prominence as being the first ever Muezzin in Islam!
His stature as a highly respected Companion of the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam soared above the Heavens and is recorded in posterity when the Greatest Messenger of God after completing his 'Israk and Mikraj' @ The Night Journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and was taken up to the Highest Heavens by the Archangel Jibreel Alaihis Salam, and returned back down to Earth asked Saiyidina Bilal as to what Ibaadah he practiced the most?
Saiyidina Bilal was perplexed and replied that he did just what the Prophet SAW had taught him and the others.
When pressed to explain further, Saiyidina Bilal explained that as long as he could remember, he had always offered 2 raqa'ats of additional 'wudhu' prayers each and everytime he took ablution!
The Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam then told Bilal that when the Prophet was up above in the Heavens, the sound of Bilal's footsteps preceded the Prophet!
Imagine! From being a slave who was tortured by his Master just for becoming a Muslim, having his body roasted before an open fire and had a large rock pressing down his chest, yet because Saiyidina Bilal remained resolute and steadfast in his attestment of Tawheed to Allah, he was rewarded beyond his wildest dreams to be there in Jannahtul Firdaus in spirit before his demise here on Earth!
Such is Islam! It does not differentiate between the Arab and the African! It does not discriminate anyone based upon one's skin color or according to the lineage of one's family!
In the Final Sermon of the Prophet, the immortal words of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam reminds us to this day to not differentiate between races and social standings!
Excerpt from the Khutba al Wida :
"All Mankind is from Adam and Eve, An Arab has no superiority over a Non Arab nor does a Non Arab has any superiority over an Arab;
In addition, a White has no superiority over a Black nor has a Black any superiority over a White except by piety and good actions.
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to another Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one Brotherhood."
When mankind starts to differentiate between themselves based on skin color, social standing and lineage, the prince and the pauper, the king and the commoner, the Sayyid and the average brother, the plague of Shirik slowly creeps in and will be key to Jahannam for those who commit the greatest sin of association with the Majesty of Allah!
Shirik is the surefire way to go to Hell, so to speak!
The Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam went out of his way to ensure that his Ummah do not fall prey to committing Shirik!
Avoid over glorifying any humanbeing! The Prophet SAW kept reminding his Ummah to not go overboard in glorifying him!
Said the Prophet: " Do not over glorify me as the Nasaara glorify ibnu Maryam ( Eesa Al Masih Alaihi Salam @ Jesus Christ peace be upon him! If you want to mention me , call me as the Servant of God and His Messenger!"
The Prophet further said," It is forbidden for you to ask for anything in my name but ask for help in the Name of Allah , Most Powerful Most High!"
Avoid praising mankind with praises that are excessive and out of the norms!
Do know that Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam vehemently forbade his Ummah from praising anyone excessively whereas in his times, the Arabs were known for their habits of overpraising amongst themselves!
Once , one of His Companions praised another man in the presence of the Prophet SAW excessively!
Immediately the Prophet SAW admonished him with these words : "Woe betide thee for you have just broken the neck of the one whom you overpraised!"
Hadith related by Abu Daud from Abdurrahman bin Abu Bakrah.
So, according to the Prophet SAW, the one who was praised excessively had his neck broken till he was helpless! The Prophet repeated it thrice! Why did the Blessed Messenger say so?
The reason is that the one who gets praised excessively will usually turn proud and arrogant, his nostrils will start to flare, chest heave with pride and self adulation, his walk turns haughty!
As a result, he starts to look at others with contempt, he starts to feel that everyone else is not important and insignificant; everyone else looks petty and common; he is the only one who is grand and supreme, he's the only one who's important and right!
His ego will start to over inflate and soon he turns into the vilest being on earth by his insolence and his bigheadedness!
He will demand respect from everyone and expect everyone to kowtow to him!
Whatever he says or decides goes! No objection from anyone will he entertain and he will start thinking that he is perfect and always right no matter that everyone else says he's wrong!
Last but not least he will start thinking that he is the Lord Almighty and Most Majestic whereas True God Almighty will soon seem to be so small to his point of view and no longer important in his life!
Thus , the one who is overly praised ends up committing Shirik and he will remain eternally in Hellfire!
Hence the Prophet said : " Cursed be you , cursed be he whom you have praised!"
Said the Prophet SAW : " If you come across anyone who is fond of praising others excessively, throw you dust upon their face!"
This Hadith is related by Muslim and Tarmizi and Ibnu Majah from Miqdaad Ibnul Aswad.
The reason why the Prophet forbade excessive and over praising of anyone including his holy self is to avoid self glorification to seep in to the hearts and souls of the one's being praised!
Satan blows into the hearts of those getting praised that they are super special, they are the best there is amongst the others , etcetera. This inflated egos will cause the ones getting so pumped up to forget their true selfs and arrogance creeps in.
Enmity and envy will result and relations strained and even get to the breaking point! Troubles start and relationships suffer. Mayhem and discord breaks out and society goes into turmoil! All arising from excessive praise and over glorification!
The result is that the essense of Tawheed and Belief in God Most Almighty gets weakened, distracted and destroyed in the process of self adulation as a result of being praised excessively!
This is the reasons why the Holy Messenger asked the Ummah to not over praise, over adulate and over respect any mortal being to the stage where it might cause the individual to lose their humbleness and start their way to destruction and get drawn to the gates of Hellfire by committing Shirik!
to be continued.