The Categories of Tawheed
From his book Duroos min Al-Qur'aan Al-Kareem (p.12-14)
[ In the Name of Allaah, the All-Merciful, may His Salaah and Salaam be upon His final Messenger, and upon all his family members and companions, and those who follow his way, to proceed... ]
Tawheed has three categories understood directly from Allaah's Book. This division of tawheed is not from someone's opinion, nor is it merely a traditional way to explain tawheed. It is a division that is taken directly from Allaah's Book.
The first category is tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah, which means "to single out Allaah in understanding His Actions," like His creating, providing, bringing of life and death, and keeping order in all affairs. A person understands that Allaah alone is the Creator, the Provider, the Ever-Living One in charge of all affairs.
The second category is tawheed al-uloohiyyah, which means "to single out Allaah within the actions of the servant." This includes all actions that draw them closer to Allaah, Glorified and Exalted, like:
Du'aa' - supplication
Khowf - fear
Rajaa' - hope
Rahbah - awe
Ragbah - longing
Tawakkul - trust
Isti'aanah - seeking general assistance
Istighaathah - seeking assistance in emergencies
Thabh - slaughtering
Nathr - taking oaths
All forms of worship must be strictly for Allaah alone, and nothing can be done for other than Him. This is what is called tawheed al-'ebaadah, or tawheed al-uloohiyyah, and it is the tawheed that is put into practice as the servant singles out Allaah in everything He has requested, with an intention for Him alone, in all acts of obedience.
The third category is tawheed al-asmaa' was-sifaat, which means "to believe in every Name and Attribute that Allaah affirmed for Himself, or those that His Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) affirmed for Him.
These three categories are understood directly from Allaah's Book. Every verse that mentions Allaah's Actions, like creating, providing, bringing life and death, and controlling affairs, is describing tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah. This is quite frequent in the Qur'aan. Allaah says :
( Say: 'Who owns the earth and all that is on it, if you truly have knowledge?' They will say: 'Allaah.' Say: 'Then won't you be reminded?' Say: 'Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Great Throne?' They will say: 'Allaah.' Say: 'Then won't you have taqwaa?' Say: 'In whose Hands are the treasures of everything, and He protects while there is no protector against Him, if you truly have knowledge?' They will say: 'Allaah.' Say: 'How then are you deluded from the truth?' )
Allaah also says :
( Say: 'Who is it that provides for you from the heavens and the earth?' Or 'who possesses hearing and sight and brings forth the living from the dead, and the dead from the living? And who is in control of the affairs?' They will say: 'Allaah.' Say: 'So then won't you have taqwaa?' )
Similarly, every verse that mentions the creation of the heavens and the earth or other created things is about tawheed ar-ruboobiyyah.
Every verse mentioning worship, whether it be a command to worship Allaah or a prohibition of shirk, is about tawheed al-uloohiyyah.
Every verse mentioning something about Allaah's Names or Attributes is about tawheed al-asmaa' was-sifaat.
All of these categories are found in Allaah's Book, and this is what led the scholars to say, "Tawheed is three categories: uloohiyyah, ruboobiyyah, and al-asmaa' was-sifaat." They did not invent this division on their own, rather it is something directly from Allaah's Book. I will elaborate on this later, in shaa' Allaah. 
 the meaning of Soorah Al-Mu'minoon (23):84-89
 the meaning of Soorah Yoonus (10):31
 see Part Seven of this series
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