Worship and Servitude is of Two Categories – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]


Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lesson 20 Part B
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

[Souncloud Audio Link

Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said: 

The Types of the Worship which Allaah has Commanded, and the Proof for Each Type 

قالَ ابنُ كثيرٍ رحمَهُ اللهُ تعالى: الخالقُ لهذهِ الأشياءِ هو المستحقُّ للعبادةِ. وأنواعُ العبادةِ التي أَمَرَ اللهُ بها: مثلُ الإسلامِ، والإيمانِ، والإحسان

Ibn Katheer rahimahullaah ta’aalaa said, “the creator of these things He is the One Who deserves worship.” And all the types of worship which Allaah has commanded such as Al-Islaam, and Al-Eemaan and Al-Ihsaan. 10

[10]: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

The shaikh having explained that the Lord, He is the One Who deserves to be worshipped, and having used His saying He the Most High:

O mankind, single out your Lord with all worship, He Who created you and those who came before you so that you may be dutiful to Him, seeking to avoid His anger and His punishment. [2:22]

as a proof for this, then he used as evidence the speech of Ibn Katheer rahimahullaah in his explanation of the aayah, and he wanted to make clear the types of worship and the proofs for each type. So worship in the language it means: humbling oneself and submission. And from it is the saying, “tareequn mu‘abbad”, a well-trodden road, meaning trodden down through being walked frequently upon.

And worship and servitude is of two categories:

The first category is: servitude which is general to the whole of the creation. All of them are slaves of Allaah, the believer and the disbeliever, the evil-doer and the Hypocrite, all of them are slaves to Allaah, meaning that they are under His control and His overwhelming power, and that it is obligatory upon them to worship Him, He the Perfect and Most High. This servitude is general to the whole of the creation, their believers and their disbelievers, all of them are called slaves of Allaah, meaning that they are creatures created by Him in submission to Him, no-one from them can escape His grasp and His sovereignty, just as He the Most High said:

All those in the heavens and the earth will come to the Most Merciful on the Day of Resurrection as a slave. [19:93]

This covers everyone who is heavens and the earth, the believer and the disbeliever, all of them will come on the Day of Resurrection in submission to Allaah the Perfect and Most High. None of them has any share along with Allaah the Perfect and Most High in His sovereignty.

The second category is: worship and servitude particular to the believers just as He the Most High said:

And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth in humility [25:63]

He the Most High said:

You have no authority over my servants [15:42]

Satan said:

Except for your chosen servants from them [15:40]

This is particular servitude, and it is the servitude of obedience and of drawing closer to Allaah by means of tawheed.

And worship in the legislation, the scholars have differed with regards to its definition, meaning they have differed with regard to the wordings which they use to define it, but the meaning is one. So from them were those who say, “Worship is the utmost humble submission, along with the utmost love”, as was said by Ibn-ul-Qayyim in An-Nooniyyah:

And worship of the Most Merciful One is to have the utmost love of Him,

                        Along with humble submission of his servant, they are the two pivots 

So therefore he defined it as being having the utmost love along with having the utmost humble submission.

And from them are those who say, “Worship is: that which is commanded in the revealed legislation, not on account of its being something conforming to custom nor something necessitated by the intellect”.

Because worship is tawqeefiyyah (can only be affirmed with texts), it is not established through the intellect nor through customs rather it is only established through the legislation, and this is a correct definition.

However the fully comprehensive and exclusive definition is that which Shaikh-ul-Islaam ibn Taymeeyah rahimahullaah defined it with in his saying:

“Worship is a comprehensive term covering everything which Allaah loves from sayings and actions, the outward and the inward”

This is the comprehensive exclusive definition, it is that worship is a noun covering everything which Allaah has commanded, so doing whatever Allaah has commanded in obedience to Allaah, and leaving whatever Allaah has forbidden in obedience to Allaah, this is worship, and its types cannot be enumerated, its types are many, everything which Allaah has commanded is worship, and everything that Allah has forbidden, then leaving that thing is worship, whether it is something outward on the limbs or something inward in the hearts it is worship, because worship can be upon the tongue and it can be within the heart and it can upon the limbs.

It can be upon the tongue such as saying, “Subhaan Allaah”, and remembrance of Allaah and saying, “Laa ilaaha ill Allaah”, and stating the two declarations of faith, all the legislated statements of the tongue from the remembrance of Allaah are worship.

And likewise, everything which is within the heart, from that which draws a person closer to Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, then it is worship, such as al-khawf (fear) and ar-rajaa (hope) and al-khashyah (awe) and ar-raghbah (fervent desire) and ar-rahbah (dread) and at-tawakkul (trust and reliance) and al-inaabah (turning repentantly) and al-isti‘aanah (seeking aid) all of these are actions of the heart. Turning for refuge to Allaah with the heart, and having khashyah (awe) of Allaah and fearing Him and having fervent desire for him and having hubb (love) of Him, He the Perfect and making one’s actions purely and sincerely for Him and having intention which is true and sincere for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, everything within the hearts from these types is worship.

And likewise worship can be upon the limbs such as the rukoo‘ (bowing in the prayer) and the sujood (prostration) and jihaad in Allaah’s cause and striving jihaad with one’s person and al-hijrah (migration), all of these are acts of worship of the body and fasting is an act of worship of the body, it is apparent on the limbs.

So therefore worship can be upon the tongue, and in the heart and upon the limbs. Then worship is divided into acts of worship performed bodily (badaniyyah) and acts of worship performed through the giving of wealth (maaliyyah).

So bodily acts of worship, they are the three types which we have said, they can be upon the tongue and upon the limbs and in the heart.

And it can be acts of worship performed through the giving of wealth, such as giving the zakaat, and such as spending in Allaah’s cause and it is spending in jihaad. Allaah the Most High said:

That they strive in Allaah’s cause with their wealth and their persons [9:20]

He gave precedence to the wealth before the persons, so jihaad by means of wealth is an act of worship involving the giving of wealth. And Hajj (the pilgrimage) is composed of an act of worship involving the body and an act of worship involving giving of wealth. So carrying out the rites: the tawaaf and the sa‘ee and the ramy-ul-jimaar (the casting pebbles) and standing in ‘Arafah and spending the night in Muzdalifah, these are acts of worship involving the body. And as for the spending (on your Hajj), then it is an act of worship involving giving wealth, because Hajj requires spending.

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by  Daawood  Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series:
Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank

Book Study Resources – Three Fundamental Principles

Related Links:


%d bloggers like this: