Details Regarding the Understanding Worship

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Details Regarding the Understanding Worship

        بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Excerpts from the ‘Jurisprudence of Worship’
By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Uthaymeen رحمه الله تعالى

Oh, Noble Shaykh, with worship is there an understanding possible for us to know, and is there with it (worship) a general understanding and a specific understanding?

The response:
Yes, the understanding of it (worship) is general as I have mentioned previously (see ‘The Purpose of the Creation of Mankind’ for further elaboration) for verily it (worship) is servitude to Allāh عز وجل with love and glorification with doing that which He has ordered and staying away from that which He has forbidden, upon the manner that it has come with His legislation. This is the general understanding.

And the specific understand, I refer to it’s explanation – Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said: It (worship) is a comprehensive word which incorporates everything that Allāh loves and that pleases Him from statements and inward and outward actions. Such as: fear, apprehension, reliance in Allāh in all affairs, prayer, charity, fasting and other than that from the legislated matters in Islām.

Subsequently, if you intend with the meaning of specific understanding and general with what is mentioned by some scholars; from that (which they have mentioned), verily worship is either universal worship or legislative worship: meaning, that mankind verily is subservient to Allāh سبحانه وتعالى with universal subservience and legislative subservience, for universal servitude is general, it encompasses the believer and disbeliever and pious and sinful.

Allāh said:

إِنْ كُلُّ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا آتِي الرَّحْمَٰنِ عَبْدًا¹

There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent (Allāh) as a slave.²

Therefore, everything in the heavens and the Earth is a subordinate to Allāh سبحانه وتعالى universally, it is not possible ever to oppose Allāh or contradict in that which He wills سبحانه وتعالى with His Universal Will.

As for specific worship, it is legislative worship, fearful subservience to Allāh تعالى legislatively. And this is specific to the believers in Allāh سبحانه وتعالى those upright upon His orders. Subsequently of this category there is that which is of even greater specificity, and of even greater specificity on top that (category as well).

As for the greater specificity, like the worship of Messengers peace be upon them, an example of this is His saying تعالي:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ³
Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion (of right and wrong, i.e. this Quran) to His slave (Muhammad, Peace be upon him)⁴

And His saying:
وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا⁵
And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Quran) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him)⁶

And His saying:
وَاذْكُرْ عِبَادَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ⁷
And remember Our slaves, Ibrahim (Abraham), Ishaq (Isaac), and Ya’qub (Jacob)⁸
And other than that from the attributes of the Messengers (Peace be upon all of them) with servitude (to Allāh).

¹Al-Quran – [Surah Maryam Ayat 93]
²Noble Quran – Mushin Khan and Taqi-ud Din al-Hilal – [Surah Maryam Ayat 93]
³Al-Quran – [Surah Al-Furqan- Ayat 1]
⁴Noble Quran – Mushin Khan and Taqi-ud Din al-Hilal – [Surah Al-Furqan- Ayat 1]
⁵Al-Quran – [Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 23]
⁶Noble Quran – Mushin Khan and Taqi-ud Din al-Hilal – [Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 23]
⁷Al-Quran – [Surah Sad- Ayat 45]
⁸Noble Quran – Mushin Khan and Taqi-ud Din al-Hilal – [Surah Sad- Ayat 45]

Translated by: Abu Uwāis Muhammad Abdullahi Elmi