The Meaning of al-'Uboodiyyah (worship) - Shaykh Fawzan


Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan mentioned:


The word al-'Ibaadah (worship) is a great term which has a lofty meaning. And it is the wisdom and purpose which Allah created the creation for. As Allah says;


{وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ} [الذاريات : 56]


"And I did not create man and jinn except to worship me"


Therefore Allah only created the creation (man and jinn) to worship Him and not ascribed any partners with Him. And He gave them the provision they need in order to assist them with this. The first call or command (to man) in the Quran is the statement of Allah:


{يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ (21) الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (22)} [البقرة : 21-22]


"21 ) O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous -( 22 ) Worship [He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him]"


This is the first call in the Quran from Allah to all man. And He did not specify any one over another. All human beings are commanded with the worship of Allah and no one is exempt from this; not a messenger, prophet, a righteous person, an awliyaa or even a common person. Every person is being address with this call, Muslim and non-Muslim.


يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ

O Mankind


This ( O Mankind) is a general wording including all people. Therefore every person is a servant or worshipper of Allah, either a by a servitude that one is compelled (1) under or a servitude one does by choice. As Allah says:


{إِن كُلُّ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا آتِي الرَّحْمَٰنِ عَبْدًا} [مريم : 93]


There is no one in the heavens and earth except that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant.


This is the case along with their different classes, makeup and types. No one is exempt from from this servitude to Allah. Because He is the One who created them and provided for them and He is deserving of their worship without any one other than Him such as the one who has not created or provided for (anything or anyone). Since worship has this great status, then it is a must to have knowledge of what is worship, because it is not for anyone to worship Allah with what he thinks or deems good."


Source: Sharh Risaalatu al-'Uboodiyyah of Ibn Taymiiayh pages: 9-10


(1) Shaykh Uthaymeen mentioned regarding the verse:


"There is no one in the heavens and earth except that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant." Maryam:93. (This means that) 'everything in the heavens and the earth is submissive under His will.' Shaykh Uthaymeen also mentioned that these being compelled will not be rewarded because they submit while they want or do not. So they may become sick, poor, lose their love ones while they do not want this, rather they are forced.'


Source: Fiqh al-Ibaadaat pages 13-14


Translated by Abu Anas Atif Hasan