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The Foundations of Ibadah
  The Obligation of Ibadah Upon the Creation
Author: Abu Iyad as-Salafi
Source: The Book of Worship
Article ID : IBD010001  [17137]  
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Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) says: "Allaah, the One free from all imperfections, the Exalted, created the heart for man that he may know things by it, just as he has created the eyes that he may see things by them and the ears that he may hear things by them and likewise [He created] all the various limbs for a specific purpose"[16]

The hearts were created to know Allaah, become acquainted with Him, love Him, fear Him, develop a nearness and attachment to Him and become satisfied with Him. Also, to reflect, understand and receive admonition and guidance by the Books and Messengers sent by Allaah Azzawajall.

{Allaah sends down the most excellent of speech, a Book, its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skins and their hearts soften to the Remembrance of Allaah. That is the Guidance of Allaah. He guides therewith whom He pleases and whomever Allaah sends astray, for him there is no guide}[17]

{Indeed there is within that a Remembrance for whoever has a heart and lends an ear while he is a witness}[18]

{Indeed in the Remembrance of Allaah do hearts find satisfaction}[19]

"The ears carry words which contain 'knowledge' to the heart" [20] and therefore have been made the carriers of the knowledge which is contained in sounds/words to the heart. Allaah the Exalted said:

{Indeed there are signs within that for a people who listen}[21]

{Will they then not listen}[22]

{That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear (person) may (hear) and understand it.}[23]

Likewise, the eyes have been made the carriers of the knowledge which is obtained by sight and observation to the heart. Allaah the Exalted said:

{Have they not observed the things Allaah has created?}[24]

{And We bring forth from it produce from which their cattle and their own selves do eat. Do they then not see}[25]

{And within your own souls, will you not observe?}[26]

{Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who came before them?}[27]

{The One Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: "Can you see any rifts?" Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in state of humiliation worn out}[28]

Knowledge and Reflection

And thus, the heart accesses knowledge by these two routes (sight and hearing) and the heart "is in reality the place of knowledge"[29], reflection and understanding.

{Do they not travel through the earth that they may have hearts with which they understand}[30]

{Do they not carefully reflect over the Qur'aan or are there locks upon their hearts}[31]

{They have hearts with which they do not understand}[32]

The eyes provide the heart with knowledge of Allaah's handiwork, craftsmanship, skill, His signs and wonders to mankind and the deserted ruins of the previous nations. The ears provide the heart with the knowledge of what Allaah has rehearsed to them about Himself (His Names and Attributes) and from among His verses, what He has enjoined upon them, forbidden them, what He has warned them with (Hellfire), what He has promised them with (Paradise), knowledge of the examples He has set forth for mankind and of how He has dealt with the nations gone by.

Once the heart receives this knowledge it reflects and cogitates with it so that the Tawheed of Allaah Azzawajall, His absolute ownership over the Universe, and His right to be worshipped alone becomes apparent to it just like the daylight to the eyes.

Ibn al-Qayyim says: "The signs (handiwork) of Allaah which are observed give testimony to the truthfulness of the Aayaat of Allaah which are heard"[33]. The Exalted says:

{Soon will We show them Our Signs in their own souls and in the furthest horizons until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth}[34]

Meaning that: "We shall show them from Our Aayaat (signs) which they observe, witness (and which they hear about) by the faculties which We have bestowed upon them so that it becomes evident to them that that this Book (and the verses and signs contained therein) which We have revealed to them and which they read and recite is nothing but the manifest truth".

Consequently, the servant of Allaah is made to realise the truth. Also his insignificance, helplessness and the Grandeur and Might of Allaah the Exalted; and therefore his absolute dependance upon Allaah Azzawajall for guidance and assistance in all his affairs till his matter has been decided (i.e. entry into Paradise or Hellfire).

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