Al-'Ubudiyyah: Being a True Slave of Allah
"The heart is inherently dependent on Allah in two ways: from the point of view of worship, which is the ultimate goal, and from the point of view of seeking His help and relying upon Him, which are the means to that end. The heart cannot be sound, or succeed, or find joy, or be happy, or feel pleasure, or be good, or be at peace, or find tranquility, except by worshipping its Lord, loving Him and returning to Him. Even if it attains all that it can enjoy of created things, it will not feel at peace or find tranquility, because it has an inherent need for its Lord, for He is the focus of its worship, love and seeking, and this is the only way to attain joy, happiness, pleasure, peace and tranquility …
…For if a person is helped to attain what he loves, seeks, desires and wants, but he does not worship Allah, he will never achieve anything but sorrow, regret and suffering. He can never be free of the pain and hardship of this life except through loving Allah sincerely, so that Allah becomes his ultimate desire and he loves Him for what He is, and he loves anyone or anything else only for His sake, and he does not love anything for its own except Allah. If he does not achieve this (level of love), he has not properly understood the true meaning of " or of or of loving Allah. There is something lacking in his and , and he will suffer pain, regret and anguish accordingly."" or of
The highest degree of love is (total enthrallment). The lowest degree is (attachment), when the heart is attached to the beloved: then comes (infatuation), when the heart is poured out: then (passion), when love never leaves the heart: then (ardent love), and finally . When we say that a person is enthraled, as it were, by Allah, it means that he worships Allah, because enthrallment is like enslavement to the beloved.
When a person submits to another even though he dislikes him, this is not worship or enslavement: when he loves someone but is not subservient to him, as a man might love his child or friend, this is not worship or enslavement either. Either of them alone is not enough when it comes to worshipping Allah. Allah must be more important than all else. Nothing is deserving of complete love and submission except Allah. Love for anything other then Allah is corrupt love, and veneration of anything except Allah is false veneration. Allah says:
Love, like obedience, should only be for Allah and His Messenger, and for the sake of earning Allah's pleasure:
It is also for Allah and His Messenger to give:
Worship () and the things that are connected to it, such as complete trust and fear, and so on, can only be for Allah alone, as He says:
If only they had been content with what Allah and His Messenger gave them, and had said:
That would have been the right course. So it is it is for Allah and His Messenger to give, as He said:
It is only Allah Who is sufficient for us, as He says:
The last ayah means sufficient for you and those who follow you of the believers, is Allah. Anyone who thinks that it means Allah and the believers with Him are sufficient for you is making a grave mistake. Allah also says:
In conclusion, therefore, we may say that slave () means the one who is enslaved by Allah and who submits and humbles himself to Him.
(t) Nasir ud-Deen al-Khattab