According to peacetv, “The true Unity of God, the affirmation of which is demanded by God and upon which salvation depends, is to believe that God in His Being is free from every associate, whether it is an idol or a human being, or the sun or moon or one’s ego, or one’s cunning or deceit; and to conceive of no one as possessing power in opposition to Him, nor to accept anyone as sustainer, nor to hold any-one as bestowing honour or disgrace, nor to consider anyone as helper or assistant; and to confine one’s love to Him and one’s worship to Him and one’s humility to Him and one’s hopes to Him and one’s fear to Him. No Unity can be complete without the following three types of particularisation.
First, there is the Unity of Being, that is to say, to conceive the whole universe as nonexistent in contrast with Him and to consider it mortal and lacking reality. Secondly, the Unity of attributes, that is to say, that Rububiyyat [Lordship] and Godhead are confined to His Being and that all others who appear as sustainers or benefactors are only a part of the system set up by His hand. Thirdly, the Unity of love and sincerity and devotion; that is to say, not to consider anyone as an associate of God in the matter of love and worship and to be entirely lost in Him.
Associating others with God takes many forms and is called idolatry. There is the obvious idolatry in which Hindus, Christians, Jews and other idol worshippers indulge, in which a man or stone or lifeless things or faculties or fictitious deities are worshipped as God. Though this form of idolatry is still current in the world, yet this is the age of light and education, and reason is beginning to abhor this form of idolatry. It is true that some people subscribe to these as part of their national religion, yet at heart they are beginning to be repelled by them. But there is another type of idolatry, which is spreading secretly like poison and it is greatly on the increase in this age and that is that there is no trust in and dependence upon God Almighty. We do not say, nor is it part of our faith, that means should be discarded altogether.
For God Almighty has Himself urged the use of means and if means are not used to the extent to which they are necessary, this would be to dishonour human faculties and to defame the grand action of God Almighty in bestowing them. If means are discarded altogether, it would mean that all faculties which God Almighty has bestowed upon man should be left idle and should not be put to any use, which would amount to condemning God’s action as vain and useless and therefore a great sin. Therefore, we do not at all mean, nor is it part of our religion, that means should be discarded altogether. The use of means up to the proper limit is necessary. Means are needed for the hereafter also. To carry out the commandments of God Almighty and to avoid vice and to carry out good works is all undertaken so that we should be at ease in this world and the next. Thus righteous conduct is a substitute for means. God has not forbidden use of means for the fulfilling of worldly needs. A public servant should discharge his duties, a cultivator of land should occupy himself with agricultural operations, a labourer should perform his labour so that all of them should be able to discharge the obligations that they owe to their family and children and other relations and to their own selves. All this is right up to the proper limit and is not forbidden; but when, transcending that limit, a person places all his trust in the means, that becomes idolatry which casts a person far away from his true purpose. For instance, if a person says that had it not been for a certain factor, he would have died of hunger, or that if had it not been for a certain property or an occupation, he would have been in bad shape, or if it had not been for a certain friend, he would have been in trouble, this would be displeasing to God. He would not approve that a person should rely so much upon property, or other means or friends that he should stray far away from God Almighty…
The Prophets [peace and blessings of Allah be on them] teach that there should be no conflict between Unity and material means and that each should keep to its proper place and that the end should be Unity. They desire to teach man that all honour and all comfort and all fulfilment comes from God.
If anything else is set up in opposition to Him there would be a conflict in two opposites in which one would be destroyed. The Unity of God must always prevail.
Means should be used but should not be deified. Belief in Unity gives birth to the love of God Almighty, as one realizes that all benefit and loss is in His hands, that He is the true Benefactor and that every particle proceeds from Him without the intervention of anyone else.
When a person achieves this holy condition, he is known as a believer in the Unity of God. One condition of belief in Unity is that man should not worship stones, or human beings, or anything else, and should express disgust and abhorrence against deifying them; the second condition is that no undue importance should be attached to material means. The third condition is that one’s ego and its purposes should also be excluded and negatived. Very often a person has in mind his own qualities and power and imagines that he has achieved certain good with his own power and he depends so much upon his power that he attributes everything to it. Real faith in the Unity of God is achieved when a person negatives his own powers also.”