ONE: The Obligation of Devoting Oneself to Allah Totally and the Prohibition of Following Desires
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.
(From the book, Salus-Suyoof wal-Asinnah ‘alā Ahlil-Hawa wa Ad’iyā is-Sunnah, of Shaikh Abdullah ibn Salfeeq Adh-Dhafeeri with an introduction by Al-‘Allāmah Rabee’ ibn Hādi al-Madkhali published, 2003 CE – 1423 AH)
Allah created the creation for His worship alone, without any associates along with Him. Allah stated in clarification of this mighty foundation:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ – 51:56
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” Worship of Allah is the establishment of Tawheed, Ikhlās (sincere worship), and to devote oneself to Him entirely. That means that one is to act upon His commands and keep away from His prohibitions (nawāhi).
So, the worship of Allah also means to submit to His commandments. Allah (the Most High) stated:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا – 4:65
“But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and they submit in [full, willing] submission.” And Allah (the Most High) said:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ – 6:162
لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ۖ وَبِذَٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ – 6:163
“Say, ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.'” And He (the Most High) stated:
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ – 1:5
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ – 1:6
“It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path.”
A person will never truly attain the ‘uboodiyyah (servitude and worship) of Allah until he devotes himself to Allah entirely, and wholly yields to His commandments. Allah, the Most High, stated:
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا – 33:36
“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [after that] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.”
The Hāfidh, Muhaddith, Faqeeh, the trustworthy scholar, Shaikh Sulaimān ibn Abdillāh ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullāh) stated: “The worship of Allah is obedience to Him through acting upon what He has commanded and staying away from the prohibitions. That is the reality of the religion of Islam because the meaning of Islam is to submit oneself to Allah (istislām), and that encompasses complete submission and the utmost humility (dhil) and submissiveness (khushoo’) to Allah.” (Tayseer Al-‘Azeez Al-Hameed, p. 76)
He also stated, “The actualisation of Tawheed is to know it; be acquainted with its reality and to establish it with knowledge and action. The true measure of that is the inclination of the soul to Allah with love (mahabbah), fear (khawf), turning in repentance (inābah), trust and reliance (tawakkul), sincerity (ikhlās), awe (haibah), veneration of His greatness (ta’dheem) and worship. In summary that a person should not have anything in his heart [giving predecence] to anything other than Allah. He should not desire that which Allah has forbidden, and he must not hate what Allah has commanded. And that is the reality and actualisation of the utterance of the testimony, lā ilāha illallāh (the is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah). The term ilāh (deity) refers that which is deified as a god (ma’looh) and is worshipped (ma’bood). How beautiful is the saying of Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullāh):
For the One [Allah] – be one (worshipping Him alone) and in one (following the path of the Sunnah),
And intended by that is the path of the Truth and Imān.
This is the reality of the two testimonies of faith. And the one who establishes himself upon the two testimonies, from this aspect, will be from the 70,000 who shall enter Jannah (Paradise) without accounting and punishment.”
Shaikhul-Islam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullāh) stated in Kitāb At-Tawheed: Chapter: The call to testify that nothing is deserving of worship in truth except Allah. Allah (the Exalted) said:
قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ – 12:108
“Say, “This is my way; I invite to Allah with sure knowledge, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah, and I am not of those who associate others with Him.” Then Shaikhul-Islām stated in his second important issue of the chapter: “To stress the importance of sincerity because many people who supposedly call to the truth merely call to themselves.” (Fathul-Majeed, p. 101)
So, both sincerity and complete devotion to Allah are a must. The sincerity of a person does not benefit him unless it agrees (i.e. his beliefs and deeds) agree with the guidance of Al-Mustafā, the chosen Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and that one abandons the following of desires. Allah, the Most High, stated:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا – 18:110
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” And Allah stated:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ – 67:1
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ – 67:2
“Blessed is He in whose Hand is the dominion, and He is able to do all things. He who has created death and life that He may test you to see which of you is best in actions. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” The best in actions means the most sincere and the most correct in following the Sunnah (akhlasahu wa aswabahu).