Please name the branches of Monotheism and what is the Shia opinion on it?

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WE BELIEVE that MONOTHEISM, (TOWHID) has many branches among which four are the most important ones:- A- THE UNITY OF ESSENCE By that we mean: His absolute Holy Essence is one, indivisible, and no one is similar or like unto him. B- THE UNITY OF HIS ATTRIBUTES By that we mean:- knowledge, power, Eternality (EVERLASTING and PRE-EXISTENCE) and all other qualities and attributes of Him are in His Essence and are exactly the very self of His Essence. This is contrary to His creatures whose qualities are different to that of their bodies, and from each other too. This is a critical point and is to be thought upon with minute care. C- THE UNITY OF HIS ACTION (ACT) By that we mean that any action, movement, or effect, throughout the existence, have their causes in His will. In other word everything depends on Him. “Allah is the creator of all things, and He is the GAURDIAN and Disposer of all affairs.” (The Holy Quran - S39: 62) “To Him belongs the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlarges and restricts the sustenance to whom He wills, for He knows all things well.” (The Holy Quran - S42: 12) Yes! In this world, nothing is effective but Allah. But this does not mean that we are forced in all respects, and all that happens is inevitable; on the contrary, we all have free will in our decisions. “We showed man the way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” (The Holy Quran - S76: 3) “Man can have nothing except that which he strives for, and the results of his striving will soon be seen.” (The Holy Quran - S53: 39) Such verses in the holy QURAN, will clearly show that man has free will, and that we may refer man's deeds and acts to God without any reduction in his responsibilities for what he does. God wills that we do what we do, in freedom and by free will, so that He may examine us and lead us forward in the way of perfection, which could be attained through free will and serving the LORD. Anything done by force majeure is neither a sign of good not bad. Had We not free will, the missions of the prophets would be futile, and the holy books sent down could mean nothing, and the reward and punishments of the doomsday would be unjust. These are what we understand from the teachings of our Emams, for they say: “It is neither FREE WILL, nor FORCE MAJEURE, but something medium and in-between.” D- THE UNITY OF WORSHIP By that we mean; God is the only Being that deserves, and is worthy of being worshipped. No one is to be worshipped but Allah. This branch of Monotheism is one of the most important one among the other branches. The prophets have all laid great stress on the unity of worship. “They are enjoined to worship none but Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true in faith, and attend to their prayer, and to pay the alm taxes. (TITHS) That is the religion: right and straight.” (The Holy Quran - S98: 5) To pass over the road to perfection, One has to go deeper in monotheism, and to withdraw his affections from everything and all, but Allah, his Merciful Lord. He has to seek Him and look for Him everywhere and think of nothing but Allah. Whatever keep man busy other than Allah, it is an idol for him. WE BELIEVE that the branches of monotheism are not restricted to the four as mentioned above. We also know other branches of less importance and yet very important.: such as the UNITY OF OWNERSHIP: “Know you not that to Allah alone belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth?” (The Holy Quran - S5: 43) and also such as the UNITY OF SOVEREIGNTY, that only God has the supreme power and authority over all, and upon everything. “If any one does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the unbelievers.”


Ref: Our Belief (a brief description of Islam: Shiite believe); Ayt. Makarem Shirazi; Translated by: Monir Shafiei

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