By Shaykh ul –Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah as-Salafi -Rahimullaah-
From his book ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
Shaykh ul –Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah as-Salafi -Rahimullaah- said:
‘Allaah’s slave cannot implement <<You (Alone) we worship>> except with two great principles.
One of which is following the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
The second is Ikhlaas (sincerity) for the One worshipped.
This is then implementing <<You (Alone) we worship>>
The people are divided into four categories in relation to these two principles.
The first of which is the people who have Ikhlaas for the One worshipped and for following the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. They are, in reality, the people of << You (Alone) we worship>>
So all their actions are for Allaah, their sayings are for Allaah, their giving and their prohibiting are for Allaah, their loving is for Allaah and their hating is for Allaah. Their apparent dealings and hidden dealings are for Allaah’s Face Alone.
They do not want reward from the people for this or thanks, nor do they desire position with them, nor do they request praise or status in their hearts or escape from their criticisms.
Rather they hold the people at the same status as those who are in graves. They do not possess any harm or benefit for them, neither life or death, nor the Day of Resurrection.
So, action done for the sake of the people, desiring refuge and status among them and hoping for harm and benefit from them, never emanates from the one who knows the people, but rather itemanates from the one who is ignorant of their affairs and one who is ignorant of his Lord.
The one who knows the people places them according to their status. So whoever knows Allaah, then he makes his actions and sayings sincerely for Allaah, he obeys Him and prohibits for Him,loves for Him and hates for Him.
A person does not deal with any thing from the creation, to the exclusion of Allaah, except due to his ignorance of Allaah and his ignorance of the creation. Otherwise, if he knew Allaah and knew the people, he would prefer his dealing with Allaah to his dealing with the people.
Likewise, all his actions and worship should be in agreement with the command of Allaah and with what Allaah loves and is pleased with.
These are the only actions which Allaah accepts from the one who performs them.
Due to this, He tries His worshippers with life and death.
Allaah –Ta’ala – said:
<< Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. >> [Mulk: 2]
He made whatever is on the earth as beautification for it so He could test which of them is the best in action.
Fudayl bin ‘Aayaad said: ‘A good action is one that is sincere and correct.’
They said: ‘O Abu ‘Alee which one is sincere and correct?’
He answered: ‘If the action is sincere but is not correct, then it will not be accepted and if it is correct but not sincere it will not be accepted, until it is sincere and correct.’
Khaalis (sincere) is that which is for Allaah.
Sawaab (correct) is that which is according to the Sunnah.
This is what is mentioned in the saying of Allaah –Ta’ala-:
<< 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.’ >> [Khaf: 110]
And in His saying:
<< And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allaah (i.e. follows Allaah’s Religion of Islaamic Monotheism); and he is a good-doer. >> [Nisa: 125]
So Allaah does not accept actions except those that are sincerely for His Face, following His command. Anything other than these are rejected and returned to the one who performs them– even though he is in a great need of their being accepted – them being scattered in all directions.
In the Saheeh, from the hadeeth of ‘Aeysha, on the authority of the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam–: ‘Every action which we have not commanded then it is rejected.’
Every action without a precedent does not increase the one performing it except in distance from Allaah.
Indeed Allaah –Ta’ala – is surely worshipped according to His commands and not by opinions and desires.
The second category is the one who neither has Ikhlaas nor does he follow. His action is then not in accordance with the Sharia’ nor is it sincerely for the one worshipped, such as actions which are beautified for the people, those who show off hypocritically by other than what Allaah and His Messenger legislated.
These people are the most evil of creation, they are the most hated to Allaah –Azza wa Jal. They have a greater share in the saying of Allaah:
<< Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about), and love to be praised for what they have not done,- think not you that they are rescued from the torment, and for them is a painful torment.>>
They rejoice in what they have been given of Bida’, misguidance andShirk and they love being praised for falsely following the Sunnah and Ikhlaas.
There are many of this type – from those who ascribe themselves to knowledge, poverty and worship – from those who deviated away from the Sirat al-Mustaqeem (straight way).
Indeed they perform Bida’ and misguidance, they show off – boasting about their actions, loving to be praised for that which they have not done of Ittiba (following the Messenger), Ikhlaas (sincerity) and Ilm (knowledge). They are the people who have Allaah’s Anger upon them and are the people of misguidance.
The third category is he who is sincere in his actions, however he is not upon path of following the command, just like the ignorant worshippers and those who ascribe themselves to paths of Zuhudand poverty.
Everyone who worships Allaah without following Allaah’s command, believing that his act of worship is a form of drawing closer to Allaah, then his condition is like this. Such as the one who thinks that listening to whistling and the clapping of hands is a form of drawing closer to Allaah or that being in isolation – which necessitates leaving the Jummah prayer and the congregational prayer – is a form of drawing closer to Allaah.
Or the one who thinks that continuous fasting, day and night, is a form of drawing closer to Allaah or fasting the day which all the people refrain from fasting is a form of drawing closer to Allaah or other similar examples.
The fourth category is when his actions follow Allaah’s command, but they are for other than Allaah, such as obedience to those who hypocritically show off or like a man who fights to show off, or fanatically or for bravery or performs Hajj so it can be said that he performs Hajj or reads Qur’aan so it can be said that he recites Qur’aan.
Outwardly, the actions of these people are righteous actions which have been commanded, however they are not righteous and so they will not be accepted.
<< And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allaah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform prayer and give the Zakaat: and that is the right religion >>[al-Bayyinah: 5]
So everyone has been ordered not to worship other than Allaah except by what He has commanded, having Ikhlaas for Him in worship and these are the people of
<<You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything) >>’
Taken from ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’ Volume 1, p.104-106