Tawhid as a World Outlook

God's Unification

Tawhid as a world outlook implies the unity, coherence, and harmony between all parts of the universe. Since the...

Tawhid as a World Outlook

Tawhid as a world outlook implies the unity, coherence, and harmony between all parts of the universe. Since the system of creation is one, and everything in it is related to the same origin and source, there being no multiplicity of gods or creators, every constituent of the world is a part of the same whole, and all parts constitute one unity; they are parts of a single whole, and hence have the same orientation; ....Thou seest not in the creation of the All‑Merciful any incongruity....﴿(67:3)

And: What, have they not meditated about their own selves? God created not the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is between them, save with the truth and for a stated term....﴿(30:8)

According to this outlook, the universe is a dynamic system like a caravan in which all the travelers are linked together in the manner of big and small parts of a machine, working together towards the same purpose and aim. The function and meaning of every part is according to the position it occupies in this organic whole. In its dynamic evolu­tionary course, every part fulfils its share in the system of mutual relationships. Every part helps in the proper functioning of other parts and is essential, too, in itself. Any kind of failure, stoppage or devia­tion in the functioning of any of the parts is sufficient to retard, or throw out of harmony, the whole system. Accordingly, an intricate system of profound interrelationships unites all the parts.

Tawhid also implies existence of purpose in the creation; every­thing is based upon carefully organized co‑ordination, and a calculated order. There is `soul' and meaning in every individual part, as it is the work of a wise creator. There is, therefore, purpose and meaning to the entire universe, a meaning and purpose which is perceptible in some of its parts: We created not the heaven and the earth and whatsoever is between them in play﴿. (21:16)

In short, the whole affair is not at all a meaningless and absurd phenomenon; rather it is like a machine designed and set into operation for some definite purpose and use. We may ask as to what that purpose is, but not as to its wherefore. Like a meaningful poem, whose theme may be understood by giving it some thought, one can discover that purpose by thought and reflection; it is not an `idiot's tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'

Besides, Tawhid also implies submission of all creatures in the universe to God; nothing in this collection is self‑willed and resistant to His will. The laws governing the world, and everything that comes under the jurisdiction of these laws, are in complete submission to Divine will and command. Therefore, the existence of laws in Nature by no means negates the presence of God as its Sustainer and Source: None is there in the heavens and the earth but he comes to the All‑Merciful as a servant.﴿ (19:93)

And: ....Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth; all obey His will﴿(2:116)

And also: They esteem not God as He hath the right to be esteemed. The earth shall be His handful on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens shall be rolled in His right hand. Glory be to Him. High be He exalted above that they associate!﴿ (39:67)

* Al-Tawhid and Its Social Implications by Sayyid 'Ali Khamene'i. Translated from the Persian by (late) Mahliqa Qara'i. This article has been translated from Persian booklet which appeared under the title "Ruh-e tawhid: nafy-e `ubudiyyat-e ghayr-e khuda". The author is the present president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Published by: al Tawhid Islamic Journal. Vol. I, No. 3. Qum, The Islamic Republic of Iran.

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