As for Allaah’s Oneness in Lordship, then the (Arab) polytheists whom the Prophet was sent to affirmed and acknowledged it, but it was not enough to enter them into Islaam. So they affirmed that Allaah was the only true Creator, Provider, Giver of Life and Death, and Administrator of all affairs in this world, which requires His Wisdom and Desire. However, this kind of affirmation is not enough to make a person become a Muslim. Allaah says: “Say: ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Or ‘Who owns the hearing and the sight?’ And ‘Who brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living?’ And ‘Who disposes of the affairs?’ They will say: ‘Allaah.’ Then say: ‘Will you not then be dutiful to Him?’” [Surah Yoonus: 31]This means: “Will you not then single Him out in worship, whilst abandoning the worship of others besides Him?”
So Allaah’s statement: “Say: ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth’” means: “Who is the One who sends down rain water from the sky, thus causing the earth to open through His Ability and Will, and bear therewith grain, grapes, clover plants, olives, date palms, gardens packed with many trees, and fruits and herbage? Is it a god along with Allaah?” They will say: “It is Allaah.”
Allaah’s statement: “Or ‘Who owns the hearing and the sight?’” means: “The One who granted you this power of hearing and ability to see?” And if He wanted to, He would take that away and deprive them of it, as occurs in Allaah’s statement: “Say: It is He who created you and endowed you with hearing and seeing and hearts. Little thanks do you give.” [Surah Al-Mulk: 23]
And Allaah says: “Say (to the disbelievers): ‘Tell me if Allaah took away your hearing and your sight and sealed up your hearts, who is there – a god other than Allaah – that can restore them for you?” [Surah Al-An’aam: 46]
“And ‘Who brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living” through His great Ability and all-encompassing Grace.
“And ‘Who disposes of the affairs” means: “Who is the One in whose Hand lies the sovereignty over everything. And He protects all, while against Him there is no protector?” And He is the Administrator over all affairs, the Ruler of whom there is no end to His Rule. He is not to be questioned as to what He does, while they (i.e. the creation) will be questioned. “Everyone in the heavens and the earth asks (i.e. supplicates to) Him. Everyday He is engaged in some affair.” [Surah Ar-Rahmaan: 29]
So all of the dominion, whether in the heavens or in the earth or what lies between them, from angels, mankind and jinn, are all in need of Him, subservient to Him and humble themselves before Him. “They will say: ‘Allaah.’” This means they know and acknowledge that it is Allaah. “Then say: ‘Will you not then be dutiful to Him?’” meaning: “Will you not be afraid from Him that you are worshipping others besides Him based on your opinions and ignorance?”
Most of the times that Allaah presents an argument against the polytheists, He uses against them the fact that they acknowledge and affirm His Oneness in Lordship (Ruboobiyyah) over the fact that (in spite of this) they reject His Oneness in Worship (Uloohiyyah).
There are many ayaat that bear this same meaning:
Allaah says: “Say: To whom belongs the earth and whoever lies therein, if you truly know? They will say: It belongs to Allaah. Say: Will you not then remember? Say: Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the Great Throne? They will say: Allaah. Say: Will you not then fear Allaah? Say: Who is the One in whose Hand lies the sovereignty over everything. And He protects all, while against Him there is no protector, if you truly know? They will say: All that belongs to Allaah. Say: How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth?” [Surah Al-Mu’minoon: 84-89]
The hearts of human beings were innately designed and fashioned to accept and acknowledge Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah. So no one rejects it except for a few rare individuals from mankind Look at Pharaoh and how he said: “I am your lord, the most High.” [Surah An-Naazi’aat: 24] And: “I know not that you (his chiefs) have a god other than me.” [Surah Al-Qasas: 38]
But yet at the same time, he acknowledged the existence of the Creator and Originator of creation, as Allaah narrates the story about him in His saying: “And they (Pharaoh and his people) rejected them (signs given to Moosaa) wrongfully and arrogantly, even though their own selves were convinced by them.” [Surah An-Naml: 14]
And Allaah narrates what his Prophet Moosaa said to Pharaoh: “You indeed know that these signs have been sent down by none other than the Lord of the heavens and the earth.” [Surah Al-Israa: 102]
- Shaykh ‘Abdullah Bin Humayd’s Treatise on At-Tawheed; Source: Al-Ibaanah