The Four Principles of You (Alone) We Worship


Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

From his book ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’ Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

The Four Principles

(You (Alone) we worship) is built upon four principles which comprise conviction in what Allaah and His Messenger love and are pleased with from the statements of the tongue and the heart and from the actions of the heart and the limbs

Uboodiyaah (servitude to Allaah) is a comprehensive title for these four levels. So, the real people of (You (Alone) we worship) are the people of these four levels. Regarding the statement of the heart, it is the belief in what Allaah (Subhanahu) informed of about His Self, His Names and His Attributes, His Actions, His Angels and the meeting with Him; as was revealed upon the tongues of His Messengers. As for the statement of the tongue, it is information of Allaah and His Names and Attributes….etc. Calling to and defending that, clarifying the falsity of Bida’ -which opposes Allaah – establishing His remembrance and conveying His commands.

Actions of the heart include having love for Him, reliance upon Him, turning repentantly to Him, fear of Him and hope in Him, making the Deen sincerely for Him, having patience upon His commands and prohibitions and upon what He has decreed, being pleased with that and with Him.

Also, having obedience to Allaah and loyalty to Him, having submission for Him and humility and being subservient to him, having serenity with Him as well as other actions of the hearts whose obligation is greater than that of the actions of the limbs and whose recommended actions are more beloved to Allaah than the recommended actions of the limbs. Actions of the limbs without the actions of the hearts are either lacking in or are of little benefit.
As for the actions of the limbs then they are like prayer and striving, moving one’s feet to Jumu’ah and the congregational prayer, helping the weak one and being good to the creation etc.

So, (You (Alone) we worship) is adhering to these four rulings and accepting them and [ You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). ] Is requesting help upon these principles and having the capability to perform them. (Guide us to the Straight Way) consists of knowing these two matters (You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). ) in detail, the guidance to establish them and to have the methodology of the path of the righteous in seeking Allaah with these principles.

The Da’wah of the Prophets
All of the Messengers did indeed invite to ( You (Alone) we worship and You (Alone) we ask for help [for each and everything].) Indeed all of them invited to the Tawheed of Allaah and to having sincerity of worship for Him, from the first of them to the last of them. Nooh (alayhi sallam) said to his people: ( ‘Worship Allaah! You have no other Ilah (God) but Him.’ al-‘Araaf: 59 )

Just as Hood, Salih, Shuaib (alayhimus-salaam) and Ibraheem (alayhi sallam) said.

Allaah Ta’ala said:
(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allaah (Alone) and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allaah).’ Nahl: 36)

And He said:
(And We did not send any Messenger before you except that We inspired him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allaah)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).’ Anbiyaa: 25)

And Allaah Ta’ala said:
(O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Taiyibat [all kinds of Halal foods], and do righteous deeds. Verily! I am Well-Acquainted with what you do. And verily! This, your religion (of Islaamic Monotheism) is one religion, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me. Muminoon: 51-52)

The Characteristic of Uboodiyaah
Allaah Ta’ala made al-Uboodiyaah (servitude to Allaah) a characteristic of the most perfect of His creation and as such made them close to Him.

And He said:
(The Messiah will never be proud and reject to be a slave of Allaah, nor the Angels who are near (to Allaah). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself. Nisa’:172)

And He said:
( Surely, those who are with your Lord (Angels) are never too proud to perform acts of worship to Him, but they glorify His Praise and prostrate before Him. Ara’af: 206)

And this explains there being a complete stop in the saying of Allaah in Soorah Anbiyaa ( To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth. ) Stop here then resume reading from ( And those who are near Him (i.e. the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of His worship). They (i.e. the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so). Anbiyaa: 19-20 )

These are two complete separate sentences, i.e. indeed to Allaah belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth as a slave and Angel. Then resumed with another sentence, He said: ( And those who are near Him (i.e. the angels) are not too proud to worship Him ) i.e. that the Angels who are there are not too proud to worship Him such that they do not worship him haughtily with rejection, nor would they scorn or reject worshipping Him, nor are they (too) arrogant to worship, nor do they tire so that they become heedless of it, nor do they cease. Rather, their worship of Allaah and their distancing Him from imperfection is the same as breathing is to the son of Adam.

So, the first is the characteristic of the slaves of Allaah with regards to Allaah’s Ruboobeeyah (Lordship) and the second is the characteristic with regards to the slaves of Allaah’s Ilaaheeyah (Worship).

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:
( And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allaah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness. Furqan: 63) to the end of the Soorah.

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:
(A spring wherefrom the slaves of Allaah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly. Insaan: 6)

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:
(and remember Our slave Daawood. Saad: 17)

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:

(And remember Our slave Ayoob. Saad: 41)

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:
(And remember Our slaves, Ibrahim, Ishaaq, and Ya’qoob. Saad: 45)

Allaah said about Sulayman:
( How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)! Saad: 30)

Allaah said about the Messiah:
( He [‘Iesa] was no more than a slave. We granted Our Favour to him. Zukhruf: 59)
So Allaah made ‘Isa’s -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- goal to be Uboodeeyah (servitude to Allaah) and not Ilaaheeyah (being worshipped), unlike what his enemies, the Christians have done. Allaah describes the noblest of His creation and the highest of them to Him with the status of Uboodeeyah (servitude to Allaah), which is the noblest of ranks.

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:
(And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him) Baqarah: 23)

Allaah (Tabaraka wa Ta’ala) said:
(Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion (of right and wrong, i.e. this Qur’aan) to His slave (Muhammad) Furqan: 1)

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:
(All the praises and thanks be to Allaah, Who has sent down to His slave (Muhammad) the Book (the Qur’aan) Kahf: 1) So Allaah spoke about His slave with Uboodeeyah in regards to the revelation of the Book (Qur’aan) to him and likewise in regards to the challenge of bringing something similar to the Qur’aan.

Allaah said:

([It has been revealed to me that] When the slave of Allaah (Muhammad) stood up supplicating to (his Lord Allaah) in prayer to Him they (the Jinns) made around him a dense crowd as if sticking one over the other (in order to listen to the Prophet’s recitation). Jinn: 19) So Allaah mentions him with Uboodeeyah in the matter of giving Dawa’ to Allaah.

And Allaah said:
( Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allaah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] Who took His slave for a journey by night. Isra’: 1) So Allaah mentions him with Uboodeeyah in the matter of the night journey.

In the Saheeh on the authority of the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) that he said: ‘Do not over praise me like the Christians over praised the son of Maryam. Indeed I am a slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’ And in the hadeeth: ‘I am a slave. I eat what a slave eats and sit like a slave sits.’ And in the Saheeh of Bukhari on the authority of Abdullaah bin ‘Amr who said: ‘I read the description of Muhammad (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) in the Torah: Muhammad the Messenger of Allaah, My slave, My messenger, I named him al-Muttawakil, he does not have evil manners nor is he hard-hearted. He was not one to raise his voice to compete in market places, he will not respond to evil with an evil, but he will pardon and forgive.’

Allaah (Subhanahu) gave absolute glad-tidings and signs for His worshippers, where He said:
(So announce the good news to My slaves, those who listen to the Word [good advice La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah) and Islaamic Monotheism, etc.] and follow the best thereof (i.e. worship Allaah Alone, repent to Him and avoid Taghut, etc.) Zumar: 17-18)

Allaah provided them with absolute security.

Allaah (Ta’ala ) said:
([It will be said to the true believers of Islaamic Monotheism]: My worshippers! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve, (You) who believed in Our Ayaat and were Muslims (i.e. who submit totally to Allaah’s Will and believe in the Oneness of Allaah – Islaamic Monotheism). Zukhruf: 68-69)

Shaytaan had his authority over Allaah’s slaves, specifically, cut short and he placed his authority over the one who aligned himself with him and associated partners with Allaah.

Allaah (Ta’ala) said:
( ‘Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghawîn (Mushrikun and those who go astray, etc.). Hijr: 42)

And He (Ta’ala) said:
(Verily! He has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allaah). His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan) and those who join partners with Him (Allaah) [i.e. those who are Mushrikun – polytheists]. Nahl: 99-100)

The Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) made Ihsaan (perfection of worship) of Uboodeeyah (servitude to Allaah) the highest level of the Deen. He said in the hadeeth of Jibraeel – when Jibraeel asked the Messenger about Ihsaan – ‘Worship Allaah as if you see Him, and if you do not see Him, then know that He sees you.’
Taken from ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’ vol 1 p.120

( And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allaah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing. And those who say: ‘Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.’ Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to dwell. And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes). And those who invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such life as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; Except those who repent and believe (in Islaamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds, then verily, he repents towards Allaah with true repentance. And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity. And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat. And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun” (pious) Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect. Abiding therein; excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to dwell. Say: ‘My Lord pays attention to you only because of your invocation to Him. But now you have indeed denied (Him). So the torment will be yours for ever (inseparable permanent punishment).’ Furqan: 63-77)

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