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Tawheed (or tauhid) is often oversimplified and presented as meaning just the belief in One God, but it is much more than that. A person who believes in tawheed can also be a follower of another religion or be completely non-religious. This is quite a surprising fact even for Muslims who have not studied or thought about this, but it is true because there exists a rising trend of people that do not associate themselves with an organized religion or a specific God but they believe in a creator, a God that they describe as being one God and being a 'higher power' having power and dominion over all creation. Their beliefs of this 'higher power' reflect upon an innate or inbuilt instinct (fitrah) of the human psyche that is clearly a subconscious expression that God built into the hearts of all humans when He created them. So God programmed this instinct into humans so that they may know him; As Allah puts it:
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[30.30] Then set your face upright for religion in the right state -- the nature (fitrah) made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know.
We are all born Muslims as it is part of our fitrah to be Muslims. We are born with the belief in tawheed but it is our upbringing that influences our eventual beliefs about God and His nature. The aim of every man and woman is that they should return to this original understanding of tawheed but additionally follow a path (religion) that complements and supports the instinct to follow God as our sole Lord and Master. Many religions contradict tawheed so they leave the human soul in a cramped and uncomfortable state, but Islam sets it free. As the common saying goes: 'The truth will set you free'.
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