Lesson Two: The Oneness and Uniqueness - A Basic introduction to Tawhid (Monotheism) - Part1

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

The Principles of Religion for Children

 

The “Principles of Religion” course has been collected and edited by volunteer experts and teachers in the Mohammad (PBUH) Scientific and Cultural Foundation Office for Kids and Teens (Khaane Koodak va Nojavan in Farsi). This course is appropriate for children between the ages of 8-12. The course aims to help students gain basic knowledge on Shia Islam, including beliefs and doctrine.

The course literature differs as the age group of students changes (e.g., eight years-old when compared to twelve years-old) allowing teaching attitudes and course structure to match with the students capacity for learning while the course objectives and learning outcomes remain the same.

  


Lesson Two: The Oneness and Uniqueness
A Basic introduction to Tawhid (Monotheism) - Part1
    

Zahra Moradi, Zahra Entezar Kheyr and Sara Entezar Kheyr

Translated by: Shamsi Nasiri

Edited by: Marzie Salehi and Ali Mansouri


      

Instructive Note: Continue the recitation of Surah al-Tawhid

   

Content:

In the previous lesson, we discussed the Principles of Religion. We explained that just like a tree has roots, branches and fruits, Islam has also roots, branches and fruits.

{As a reminder of the concepts from the previous lesson, the teacher will ask the students the following questions while drawing a tree on the board. Then, the teacher will write "Usool al-Deen", "Furoo al-Deen", and "good morals" respectively next to the roots, branches and fruits of the tree.}

  • What are the roots of the tree of Islam?   Usool al-Deen
  • What are the branches of the tree of Islam? Furoo al-Deen
  • What are the fruits of the Islam tree? Good Morals

   

{The teacher will continue :}

Well done!

Now, let’s label roots with the list of Usool al-Deen which we learned during last session.

   

{At this point, the students will call out the Usool al-Deen to help their teacher complete the list of all five, written next to the roots.

After finishing, teacher will continue :}

   

Today, we are going to explain Tawhid. What does Tawhid mean?

Tawhid meansthe belief in the Oneness and Unity of God. Tawhid declares that there is only one God.

So what does this mean? What does the "Oneness and Unity of God” mean? It means:

First, we do not have multiple gods. Only one God exists, and we only worship this one God.

Secondly, God is unique! This means that there is nothing like or similar to God. For example, if we want to say someone is very perfect and unique, we say "You're exceptional, you are unique; Nobody is like you!" When we say God is only one, we mean that we only, and only, have one God. We also mean God is absolutely unique. Nothing else, nobody else, is even similar to God!

All of you have learned Surah al-Tawhid. In Surah al-Tawhid, we read:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim)

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ(Qul Hu wal-laahu Ahad) This means : “Say: He is Allah the One and only God”. Allah is Ahad.

{The teacher will write "Ahad" on the board; and then, will continue :}

What do we read next?    

اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ (Allah us Samad) This means: God is “Samad”

{Again, the teacher will write "Samad" on the board and will continue :}

What does “Samad” mean? The word “Samad” means a lot of different things, which you can learn Insha’Allah as you grow up. Here, we are going to explain only one of the meanings of Samad.

Samad means that God is eternally enduring and impenetrable. No thing or person can find a way to Him. Imperfections, mistakes, drowsiness, weariness, hunger, thirst, weakness, sickness, old age, and death have no way to Him.[1] Thus, there is no way to govern or overcome God.

Next follows:

«لَمْ يَلِدْ وَ لَمْ يُولَدْ»(Lam yalid wa lam yoolad). This means God begets not and is not begotten. In other words, God has never had a child, and was never born. God does not have a mother, father, or child.

Next, we read «وَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُواً أَحَد»(Wa lam yakun lahoo Kufuwan Ahad). This means nor is there anything or anyone like God Not only God is only One, and not multiple, but also there is no one like God in any aspect. Nothing is similar or equivalent to God; this is what we mean by unity and uniqueness!

In conclusion, One of our Usool al-Deen (Principles of Religion) is "Tawhid". Tawhid means God is the One and Only and that there is no equivalent to God. He has no mother or father; no defect, disability, weakness, or disease. Believing in such a God is one of the Principles of our religion. Remember, belief in Tawhid is like the roots for the tree of our religion. Anyone who does not have a strong belief in Tawhid, no matter how much they pray, fast, and do other Islamic actions, will eventually lose their religion Just like rotten roots will cause a mighty tree to fall!

   

{The teacher will continue with a question and will explain the answer, as below :}

Today we also learned some of the names of God. What are those names? Those names are Allah, Ahad, and Samad.

My dear children! God has 100 names, which are called “Asma’ al-Husna”. In the Arabic language, “Asma” is the plural of “name” and “Husna” means “nice and beautiful”. Put together “Asma’ al-Husna” means the most beautiful and nice names that belong to God, so we can call on God by them. Among the 100 names, “Allah” is the most complete one in terms of its meaning. Each of other names has a specific meaning and pays attention to a particular characteristic of God. For example, the name “Ahad” means Unity and Oneness, and “Samad” tells us that God is free from any degradation, deficiency, defect, or disability.

{The teacher will write the words “Ahad” and “Samad” on board. At the same time, they will explain the meanings of the words and continue as below :}

Another name of God is “Rahman” which means generous.

The name of Allah stands for all the names. On the other words, all other 99 names of God, together, are represented in the name of “Allah”.

During the next session, we will learn some of the other names from Asma’ al-Husna.

   

My dear children! Let’s now recite Surah al-Tawhid together and go through its meanings.

   

{The teacher shouldwrite each verse and its meaning while giving the explanation.}

«بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم»

In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

«قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ»

Say: He is Allah the One and Only God

«اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ»

God is Eternal. There is no way (such as defect, disability, sleep, fatigue, hunger, thirst, weakness, or illness) to overcome or rule over God or for God to fade away

«لَمْ يَلِدْ وَ لَمْ يُولَدْ»

                God begets not and is not begotten. God does not give birth, and was not born. God is free from having a child, mother, or father.

«وَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُواً أَحَد»

nor is there like to God in any aspect. There is no similarity or equality to God.

   

Well done everybody!

Surah al-Tawhid is so important that by reciting it three times, God will give us a reward equivalent to reciting the whole Quran! Thus, if you can recite it every night before bed, it would be great! While you recite, please pay attention to the meanings of the Surah.

 


[1]Imam Hussain (AS) says:

«الصمد الذی لَا جَوْفَ لَهُ وَ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي قَدِ انْتَهَى سُؤْدُدُهُ وَ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَا يَأْكُلُ وَ لَا يَشْرَبُ وَ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَا يَنَامُ وَ الصَّمَدُ الدَّائِمُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَزَلْ وَ لَا يَزَال»

which means “Samad” is the One that is Free from Defects. “Samad” is the One Who has the highest levels of honesty, greatness and mastery. “Samad” is the One Who does not eat and drink. “Samad” is the One Who does not sleep. “Samad” is the One Who is eternal and does not fade away.

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