Attesting to the Oneness of Existence
“Lord of the heavens and of the earth, and all between them, and Lord of every point at the Rising of the sun.”
Holy Qur’an, (37:5)
The Holy Qur’an repeatedly tells us of Oneness, of Unity:
“And your God is One God. There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” Holy Qur’an, (2:163)
Over 1400 years ago the Prophet of Islam declared: “Whoever cognizes the true self has cognized God.” The true self is not the changing cellular system, the social conditioning, nor the mental and emotional states that are constantly in a state of flux and change. The Lord of the believers, Hazrat Ali (pbuh) has said: “Tawheed (Unity) is cognized through elimination of the impurities and excessive attributes.”
The true self is the stable reality, the true personality of each human being. In Islam, the true self, or the “I,” is equated with the Divine. This is why Islam proclaims the Oneness of Existence. The expression of union or oneness expressed in the proclamation of faith in Islam is:
“There is no other but God”
It is through submission that the state of oneness is attained. This means that the will of the individual is dissolved in the will of the Absolute, whereby the boundaries of individuation and limitation are demolished. This is the state of total freedom and love which has been amplified in the writing of the Sufi masters.
In his truthfulness, the believer attests to the oneness of God by witnessing the Truth. Attestation (shahadat) is not only verbal, but the believer’s body, mind, and heart –his entire being- must resonate with the presence of one God.
“We are closer to him than (his own) jugular vein.” Holy Qur’an, (50:16)
All Muslims affirm the unity of God (Tawheed) as the first and foremost principle of the faith, followed by that of Divine guidance through God’s chosen messengers, of whom Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last. The attestation of the absolute unity and transcendence of God and of His choice of Muhammad (pbuh) as His Messenger constitutes the shahadat, the profession of faith, and the basic creed of all Muslims.
- Molana Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha, Sufism The Reality of Religion (M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi Publications®, Washington D.C., 2000) p.14
- Houston Smith, World’s Religions (Harper San Francisco, 1986) p.146