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Tawheed ( Arabic توحيد, DMG tauḥīd  'Belief in the unity (and uniqueness) (of God)') is a fundamental concept of Islam and means “belief in the unity of God ”, derived from the verbوحّد / waḥḥada  / 'unite, unify' and corresponds to the term monotheism .


Tawheed means to declare God ( Arabic : Allah ) as the one, to profess to believe in the unity of God. This confession testifies that there are no other gods besides God, that he was neither begotten nor created. The expression (like waḥḥada) does not appear in the Qur'an, but simplicity (a ,ad, sura 112) and uniqueness is ascribed to Allah (ilāh un wāḥid, 13 references; lā ilāha illā huwa, 29 references and equivalent expressions). Sura 112 ( al-Ichlas ) formulates: "Say: He is God, one and only (Allahu ahad) ... He neither conceived nor was he conceived ..." This sura is also called Surat at-tawhīd . The first words of the Islamic Creed ( Shahada ) are: "There is no God but the only God ...". These are also known as "Words of Tawheed".

The statement from sura 16 , 51: "And God said: Do not take two gods!" Is directed against dualists . With the words “And don't say: three”, sura 4 , 171 combats the Christian belief in the Trinity . Later Islamic theology understands divine unity almost without exception in opposition to the Christian Trinity . In terms of religious studies, Jews , Christians and Muslims are clearly monotheists.


The plural term muwahhidun ( Arabic موحد; literally "confessors of tawheed" (term used by the monotheists par excellence) is used as a self-designation by some Islamic / Islamist groups such as the Wahhabis . It is also the name of the Berber dynasty of the Almohads , al-muwahhidun  /الموحّدون / al-muwaḥḥidūn , who made the doctrine of the oneness of God their religious-political program.

In addition, the term tauhīd is often used in a more specific sense in Sufism . To attain “unity with God” - the dissolution of one's own will into God's will and the abandonment of one's own ego - is there the real goal of life. To get there, it takes a great effort ( jihad ) as a struggle against one's own inner being, the so-called "lower ego" ( an-nafs al-ammara ). The highest level is the “pure I” ( an-nafs as-safiya ), which can only be reached by a few Sufis.

Muslims generally refer to themselves as followers of Tawheed ( ahl at-tauḥīd ); the Mu'tazila identified itself as ahl at-tauḥīd wal-'adl أهل التوحيد والعدل / ahlu ʾt-tauḥīd wa-ʾl-ʿadl  / 'Confessors of the oneness of God and of justice'.


  • Daniel Gimaret: La doctrine d'al-Ashʿarī. Paris 1990.
  • Daniel Gimaret: Art. Tawḥīd , in: The Encyclopaedia of Islam , 2nd ed., Brill, Leiden, Vol. 10, p. 389.
  • Abū Mansūr al-Māturīdī : Kitāb at-tauhīd (Book on Monotheism). Ed. F. Kholeif, Beirut 1970; frequent new editions

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gimaret, EI2, lc