The Monotheism and Exaggeration in the Matter of Unity of Existence (Wahdat Al-Wujud), By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Collected & Compiled By: Mufti Umar Badakhshani

The Monotheism or Oneness of Allah (Tawheed)

Two meanings of oneness of Allah or monotheism (Tawheed) have been proved from the legislator of law of Shari’ah i.e., Rasulullah (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) لا معبود الا الله

1. No one is worth worshipping except Allah: لا مقصود الا الله

2. No one is the purpose (of worship) except Allah .

First meaning is quite clear. Allah Ta’ala says in Qur’an:

يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ

“O my companions of the prison! (I ask you): Are many lords differing among themselves better, or Allah, the One, Supreme and Irresistible?

مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Whatever ye worship apart from Him is nothing but names which ye have named-ye and your fathers-for which Allah hath sent down No authority: the Command is for none but Allah: He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but Most men understand not..  (1 2: 40)

Ailah Ta’ala says:

وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ

“And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being True (in faith); to establish regular Prayer; and to practice regular Charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight. ” (98:5)

Holy Qur’an is full of such verses and this is the Tawheed, by its deficiency or loss one becomes Kafir or Mushrik (polytheist) and has to stay in hell forever. This is never forgiven. Allah Ta’ala says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ

“Allah forgives not (the sin of( joining other gods with Him: but He forgives whom He pleased other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, hath strayed far, far away (from the right). ” (4:116)

The proof of the second meaning is like this that Rasulullah (Salallahu Alaihi Wa sallam) described hypocrisy (Riya) as Shirke-Asghar (Infidelity of smaller degree). It is obvious that in hypocrisy things other than Allah are not being worshipped but they are the purpose of the worship.

(For example a person is not offering Salat regularly but when he sees somebody else, he starts offering Salat just to impress him that he is regularly offering Salat. This is hypocrisy In this situation though he worships Allah in Salat but his intention is not to please Allah but somebody else). When anything else other than Allah is made the purpose of worship, it is called Shirk, then Tawheed which is the opposite of Shirk, will mean that the worship should be done solely for the sake of Allah (only to please Allah ) and there should not be slightest intention to please anybody else by one’s worship. This is the meaning of:لا مقصود الا الله

“No one is the purpose of worship except Allah”.

Now we quote that Hadith in which Hypocrisy has been labeled as Shirk. It is narrated from Mehmood-Bin-Lubaid (RA) that Rasulullah (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

“Most dangerous thing, of which I am afraid about you, is Shirk-e-Asghar (smaller degree of Infidelity or polytheism). People asked as to what was Shirk-e-Asghar? Rasulullah (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

“Hypocrisy (Riya) is the Shirk-e-Asghar.” (It has been narrated by Ahmad).

There are so many other Ahadith in this regard, quoted in Tafseer e Mazhari at the end of commentry of Sura Al-Kahaf. We are not quoting them here.

Ikhlas (Sincerity) is lost if this second meaning of Tawheed: لا موجود الا الله

is not achieved, on the basis of which (i.e., not having Ikhlas) one will deserve punishment but will not stay in Hell eternally.

In nutshell, we can say that Tawheed means that we should not only worship Allah but the purpose of our worship should also be only to please Allah . If we have the first thing and not the second, we are liable to be punished in Aakhirah.


In this terminology of sofi sect, there is third meaning of Tawheed as well: لا موجود الا الله

“No one is existing except Allah.”

This is called unity of existence (Wahdatul Wujud). To prove this meaning from Qur’an and Hadith is useless and wastage of time. It is sufficient to describe this in such a way that it does not contradict Qur’an and Hadith. This has become a problem these days. Since the issue is very delicate and the basis of its proof is only on Zoaq (spiritual taste) and Kashf (divine manifestation), so it is very difficult to get the proper words to express this thing and secondly whatever little or more interpretation is possible, it needs spiritual taste or Zoaq, congeniality with divine manifestation or Kashf and great depth in religious knowledge so that one can understand it.

These days one gets extremely pained to see the most of the so called claimants of Wahdatul Wujud of today, They have neither knowledge nor the spiritual fervor. Their job is just vainful talk of pseudo mystics without bothering to understand that these heretic and atheistic words which they are talking about will deprive one of his Iman. Neither they understand that other people who will follow them blindly will also start claiming the same, and will lose their Iman, whatever, little they will be having, they will stop offering Salat and observing fasts, thinking that they have become god, then what for Salat and Saum-Allah forbid.

Unity of existence of Allah (Wahdatul Wujud) never meant this, in fact it is a state understood by only those who experience it. It should neither be uttered purposely by tongue nor can other people understand it.

When this ecstasy dominates a person, his condition states:

بس کہ دَر جان فگار و چشم بیدارم توئی           ہرچہ پیدا می شود از درد پندرام توئی
سمایا ہے جب سے تو آنکھوں میں میری          جدھر دیکھتا ہوں ادھر تو ہی تو ہے

Accommodated as you are in my eyes. Wherever I see, there only you and you.

Sometimes this state remains permanent and sometimes it vanishes, Insha Allah at some other time, we will discuss this issue in some detail, here I stop with this sincere advice that for Allah’s sake have mercy at your own life and at the Muslim Ummah and do not indulge in excessive exaggerations about this issue.

To be very safe one should not believe it with certainty even after Kashf because there always remains a chance to err so far as the Kashf is concerned. One should remain busy with that thing which is needed and that is servitude. One should forget all talks with no substance.

کارکن کار، بگذر از گفتار        قدم باید اندر طریقت نہ دم

Go on working. Forget talking!

کہ اصلے ندارد دمے بے قدم

Deeds not strength matters in mystic way. Strength does not come without deeds!

All virtues are really proven for Allah and in the creatures they are temporary by His gift and protection. The real existence belongs to Allah and this is one (unity of existence) and if by extreme real light ‘salik’ sees nothing, this is unity of Divine manifestation. This is a difference of words, end result is the same. There are poems on these, some of them should not be followed.

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