Lesson 7: Monotheism Part 2

Monotheism is the most basic principle of Islam. Based upon this, it is not simply a mental exercise and conclusion. Monotheism relates to all dimensions of human existence. It transforms the human being and the world. In all dimensions of our existence, insight, inclinations and actions, it plays an essential role.

Monotheism itself has multiple dimensions which are summarized in the testimony, 'there is no god but God.'

First: Oneness in Creation. That is, all of the world with all of its continuances and its single system which rules through the laws of nature and holds each phenomenon as its particular proof. Each phenomenon is a continuous truth but dependent upon the existence of the Absolute One, having knowledge, awareness, power and Absolute justice. The world is not empty and absurd but rather it is goal-oriented based upon that which the Creator determines who then gave human beings insight, wisdom, awareness and will-power. The responsibility of acting as His vice-gerent upon the earth was given to the human being.

Second: Oneness in obedience. That is, there is nothing other than God worthy of Absolute obedience. Obedience without questioning is special to God. Islam announces that it will war with all leaders or rulers who try to have absolute obedience to them.

Third: Oneness in worship. That is, no person or creature other than God who is Absolute Perfection, the Source of all Good and Beauty is worthy of worshipping. This principle also plays the important role of negating all of the temples and places of idol worship. Muslims who follow this principle must be in continual struggle with all of these who rebel against God's commands, all Pharaohs, Shah of Shahs and all satanic forces for it is these people and forces which seek to make human beings their Slaves and enslave people to themselves and try to have human beings bow before them. Based upon this dimension of monotheism, human beings are freed from any kind of bondage. That is, Muslims must also struggle against being enslaved by their own passions and desires and worshipping desires and ego-centeredness. This is the greater struggle (jihad al-akbar) and the fighting against the selfhood of the self.

Fourth: Oneness in Lordship. That is, no one but God is the Lord or Nourisher and Master of another. Only He is capable of Lordship.

Fifth: Oneness in power.

Sixth: Oneness in devotion. ("Praise belongs to God.") Taking the other principles of social, psychological, ethical roles of monotheism into consideration in the building of an ideal society and the ideal human, being becomes clear.

Based upon monotheism, all human beings, rather all creatures, are the created of the One God. All are only His servants. All superficial benefits and superiorities which exist in human society lose their color before monotheism and are negated.

The psychological examples of monotheism are also worthy of study. It consists of a monotheist blessed with faith in God and who has among the particularities and particular psychological conditions, the sense of responsibilities, commitment, endless hope and understanding of the self in relation to the world of existence, tireless efforts and love in reaching the ideals and beliefs, self-sacrifices and the giving to others of something which you yourself need, goal-oriented etc.

We have realized that God is the Source of existence. Whatever we have is from Him. He is Perfect and Absolute, a Being without needs and limitations. All the world of being which has a relative and imperfect existence stem from that Absolute and Perfect Source.

All goodness, beauty and perfection come from His existence. All lacks, insufficiencies and imperfections are from His non-being. We can conclude that God is the Source of life Who has Absolute Existence, Who is Eternal. Thus all goodness, perfections and beauty in an unlimited and endless sense stem from His Being. They reach other creatures through Him. He has no imperfection, insufficiency or ugliness because ever imperfection is from non-being or not having which does not exist in Absolute Beauty.

Yes. Knowledge, awareness, consciousness, power, life, wisdom, justice, creation and forgiveness are all from Him. God Who is the Absolute and Source of all Existence has Absolute Knowledge, Power, Life, Wisdom and Justice and Endless Grace. All ignorance, lack of power and injustice comes from His non-being and all are imperfect. The Divine is far from any of these insufficiencies and uglinesses.

The first group are called the Permanent Qualities of God and the, second, Privative Qualities of God.

Summary of the Lesson

1. Monotheism is not simply a mental exercise but rather a belief and an inner tendency which contains all of the existence of the human being in its various dimensions.

2. The monotheist human being finds oneness in all of creation, in obedience, in worship and finds an insight whereby the only conclusion is an Absolute truth which is the Source for all existence, perfection, beauty then turns to no other but God and submits to no other power.

Questions to ask yourself

1. What are the various dimensions of monotheism? What effect does a monotheistic insight have upon the behavior of a monotheist?

2. List the psychological results of monotheism.

3. What do you know about God's Qualities?