God the Exalted said in the Noble Quran,
“And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve (or worship) Me.” (51:56)
The best and high rank or title a person could possess is to be solely the servant of God.
And a person cannot become a true servant of Allah ﷻ unless he is freed from the bondage or the slavery to all creations of God.
This means freedom from all that man could desire or consider other than God, and to be in such state of servanthood to Allah ﷻ is the reason why man and jinn has been created by God, the Exalted.
In sha Allah in our Abdullah series we will try to uplift some of the common barriers that block the Son of Adam to be a true servant of God the Exalted.
Each work of art should know its Artisan
The first step in becoming Abdullah is to know who is Allah and what it means to be his Abd.
The great ascetic Al Junaid al-Baghdadi (RA) said in this regard:
“The first act of wisdom required of the servant of God is that each work of art should know its artisan and that each originated thing should know how it came to be. This allows one to distinguish the Creator from His creatures and the Eternal from the originated thing. As a result, the servant of God submits to His call and acknowledges the necessity of obedience toward Him. If, however, one does not know one’s owner, one cannot attribute ownership to whom it rightfully belongs.”
Who is Allah?
The blessed Asma’ (names) of Allah Ta’ala are infinite as are his sifaat (qualities). The greatest name of God is Allah, and the meanings of this unique name can be found in Surah Al Ikhlas which has been revealed after some pagan idolaters asked the glory of humanity ﷺ:
“Oh Muhammad! Tell us the genealogy of Your Lord!”(Ahmad).
In the Surah Al Ikhlass (known as ‘The Sincerity’ or ‘Purity’ or ‘Pure Monotheism’), Allah ﷻ has said:
- Ayat 1) قُلْ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ “Say! He is God, the One!
Allah is One, the soul Creator and Sustainer of all creations which we are not fully aware of. There is no partnership with Him in every sense, whether it concerns His Self, Attributes or His Deeds.
- Ayat 2) ٱللَّهُ ٱلصَّمَدُ “The Eternally Besought of all!
Allah does as He wills and no one can question. No one is equal to Him and no one is like Him. As-Samad includes all the noble Names and the most exalted Attributes which belong exclusively to Allah ﷻ only.
- Ayat 3) ٌ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ “He does not beget, nor is He begotten.”
Nothing came out of Him nor did He come out of anything. Negation of father and son which is an implication of Him being in no need and that all is in need of Him
- Ayat 4) وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُۥ كُفُوًا أَحَد “And there is nothing comparable to Him.”
He has no equal, Allah ta ala is not like anyone nor is anyone is like Him. “There is not anything like Him (whatsoever), and He is The Ever-Hearing, The Ever-Beholding.” (42:11)
What are His rights?
The rights of Allah are in Tawheed, to believe in Him, in his Oneness, to worship Him alone and not to commit shirk (join partners) in His worship. Dhu’l-Nun al-Misri (RA), a Muslim saint of the third generation after The Prophet ﷺ said concerning Tawheed or God’s oneness that:
“To understand that God’s power in all things [exists] without mixing, that He crafted them without any implements, that His act [of creation] is the cause of everything that He has crafted, that His act [of creation] had no cause; that neither in the skies above nor on the Earth below is there any planner but God and that whatever you may imagine by your fantasy, God is different from it.”
In reality, when we say “There is no God but Allah” we should unequivocally believe that Allah ﷻ is the ultimate source of everything and He alone is the Cause of all causes and the only one deserving to be worshipped.
Thus, worshipping the sun and Allah, or worshipping ourselves and Allah, worshipping society, culture, fashion as well as Allah would amount to committing shirk in relation to Allah the Almighty.
It is for that reason we learn that we must train ourselves to become the Abd’ of Allah and not the Abd of these worldly objects, and The Messenger of God – may God bless and greet him – declared:
“A plague be on the slaves of dirhams, a plague be on the slaves of dinars; a plague be on the wearers of embroidered garments!”
What is the meaning of Abd’ and Abdullah?
Abd literally means servant or slave and can also mean subordinate and worshiper.
Therefore, the one who is a slave to Allah is referred as ‘Abdullah’ which is the male Arabic term عبد الله and امة الله Amatullah is the female Arabic term given to the female servant of Allah.
Al Qushayri (RA) reported in his Risala the following meanings of servanthood (‘ubudiyya):
“Servanthood is giving up your personal choice in favour of what has been foreordained for you by divine decrees.”
“Servanthood is freeing yourself from your power and might, and recognizing the grants and blessings that He bestows upon you.”
“Servanthood is embracing whatever God has commanded for you and departing from what He has prohibited for you.”
In the present and future lessons in this series we will generically refer to the worshipper of Allah in the male term of Abdullah however the context equally applies to the female worshipper- Amatullah.
Abd and Allah ﷻ
Arabic: Abd’ and Allah ﷻ = Abd’Allah (Abdullah)
English: Servant of Allah
So, today we have explored a very deep topic which is the introduction to the extrapolation of the term ‘Abdullah’. We have dissected each of the words and discovered what makes an Abd’ and who is Allah ﷻ.
In the later blogs in this series we will identify different Abd’s, i.e. servants. We will analyse who WE are truly Abd’ (servant) to?
WHO or even WHAT are we enslaved to….
Inshallah, at Prophetic Path you will find a great work to become the Abd and servant of Allah ﷻ with deep love and sincerity. It is a path to be experienced and tasted not just to be learnt.