Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah (swt)
By: Dr. Amir parviz parsa

The purpose of this article is to discuss the uniqueness of Allah (swt) and the significance of this notion in Islam.

In Surah 31 (Luqman), verse 13, Luqman The Wise, while Instructing his son tells him:

وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ
“O my son! Join not in worship others with God: for false
worship is indeed the highest for, pf wrong-doing (Oppression).”

Placing any partner for God Almighty or believing in any Associate/partner for Him is called “Shirk شرك” in Arabic. The religion of Islam is very much based on “Towheed” or belief in the Oneness of God, in His Uniqueness, in His individuality, with no partner and no associates for Him. There is nothing like unto Him, in the heavens and earth or in any other place.

In another part of the Holy Quran it is mentioned that God forgives every sin with repentance except “Shirk” (Verse 48 of Chapter 4). Those who believe in partners for God or believe in multiple gods, are considered “Unclean (Najis نجس )” See Verse 28, Chapter 9 of the Holy Quran and Paradise is forbidden for them.

Despite the great respect that Allah (swt) recommends to the children to have for their parents, the children are specifically instructed NOT to submit to their parents, if the parents strive to join, in worship, partners with Allah, the children are expected and commanded to disobey them (verse 15 of Surah 31) on this.

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to Me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did–

I. In what follows, are some of the verses of the Quran which emphatically command belief in the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah. The key phrase for us is: “God! There is no god but He”:

1. Verse 255 of Surah 2.

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ…..
Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Everliving, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; ……

2. Verse 6 of Surah 3.

هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاء لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He likes; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise

3. Verse 18 of Surah 3.

شَهِدَ اللّهُ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَالْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ الْعِلْمِ قَآئِمَاً بِالْقِسْطِ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Allah bears witness that there is no god but He, and (so do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge, maintaining His creation with justice; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise.

4. Verse 62 of Surah 3.

إِنَّ هَـذَا لَهُوَ الْقَصَصُ الْحَقُّ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَإِنَّ اللّهَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Most surely this is the true explanation, and there is no god but Allah; and most surely Allah– He is the Mighty, the Wise.

5. Verse 171 of Surah 4.

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لاَ تَغْلُواْ فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقِّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ فَآمِنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ ثَلاَثَةٌ انتَهُواْ خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ إِنَّمَا اللّهُ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَات وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ وَكِيلاً
O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only a messenger of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His messengers, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one Allah; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.

6. Verses 19 of Surah 6.

قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادةً قُلِ اللّهِ شَهِيدٌ بِيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ لأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللّهِ آلِهَةً أُخْرَى قُل لاَّ أَشْهَدُ قُلْ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنَّنِي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ
Say: What thing is the weightiest in testimony? Say: Allah is witness between you and me; and this Quran has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches. Do you really bear witness that there are other gods with Allah? Say: I do not bear witness. Say: He is only one Allah, and surely I am clear of that which you set up (with Him).

7. Verse 31 of Surah 9.

اتَّخَذُواْ أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا أُمِرُواْ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُواْ إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).

8. Verses 129 of Surah 9.

فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).

The common denominator between all of these verses is the notion of “Oneness, and Uniqueness of God”. The same notion is also mentioned in different words, but with the very same concept, at the end of Surah 59: Hashr.

II. In verse 9 of Surah 27 Allah (swt) tells Prophet Moses:

يَا مُوسَى إِنَّهُ أَنَا اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
“O Moses! Verily, I am God, The Exalted in Might,The Wise”

III. Chapter 112 of the Holy Quran, which is recited frequently In the prayers of Muslims says:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
“Say: He is God, The One and Only; God, The Eternal, Absolute;
He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none Like unto Him”

 IV. There is also a Hadith quoting Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), that essentially says: “Say, There is no God but Allah, and you will Prosper”
One of the followers of the prophet is quoted to have asked him, does that mean that if anyone confesses to the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah, he will go to Paradise? The Prophet is quoted to have said yes, but I don’t want to overly emphasize it, he said, for the fear that believers may abandon their Daily prayers, or take it lightly.

V. The two confessions that are traditionally expected to convert one into Islam are: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his Messenger”. Note that confessing to the Oneness of God is the prerequisite of becoming faithful.

VI. The Knowledgeable Husein Tabatabaee, one of the great scholars of the Holy Quran mentions in his Interpretation of the 4th verse of Surah 112 that when it is said : “And there is none like Unto Him”, it is meant to emphasize the concepts of Allah’s Oneness, Uniqueness, no partnership, and nothing similar to Him. That is why words such as “ Ahad”, “ Wahid”, “Fard”, Binazeer, in Persian,are used to describe Him.

VII. Even in the very first Surah of the Holy Quran, which is an integral part and parcel of the 17 rakat obligatory prayers of every Muslim, they would confess: “Thee do we worship and Thine aid do we seek” implying that we should believe in no other Deity and that aid is to be asked from God Almighty alone and that nothing other than Allah (swt) is worthy of being worshipped. Allah Himself offers a logical reason for His Oneness by saying: if there were more than One God, they might differ in their opinions, and mischief can happen as a result of such differences in the order of Universes.

VIII : Verse 26 of Surah 27 informs us of the fact that:

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
“God! There is no god but He! Lord of the Throne Supreme!”

IX. There are more than a hundred different verses of the Quran that mention there is only One God.
One can easily conclude, upon pondering on all of these verses the following conclusions:

  1. There is no God but Allah (swt).
  2. He is Unique and without any resemblance to anyone or anything else.
  3. He is The One and Only God.
  4. He has no partners nor any associates. Any belief in the deity of any
    other entity is Shirk, a great Oppression, and Falsehood. And it must be avoided.
  5. Belief in Him and His Authority is an integral portion of any Muslim’s beliefs .
  6. There is nothing like unto Him.
  7. No one can really explain the “Essence” of His being fully, thoroughly, adequately, and correctly. We only know that He is not “matter” but “Lateef”. It is only with His Spirit granted to us that we are “alive”.
  8. The Holy Quran gives us some of His Characteristics and features/names; yet, no one can really describe what He is.
  9. We also know that everything that there is in the heavens and earth or anywhere else such as under the grounds, deep in the seas and oceans is under His Command; and that nothing and no one in all the galaxies can ever escape His Dominion/dominance.
  10. He is the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, and the Kindest of all His Creation, and has written upon Himself to be kind, Merciful, and very Compassionate.

Ask yourself ,after you get to know him, what is your mission in this life, and why are you here on the planet earth and for what?
May he guide us all to understand Him in our heart, adore and worship him
most sincerely/devotedly/and wholeheartedly. Amen.