In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You [Alone] we worship, and You [Alone] we ask for help [for each and everything].

[إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ  – You (Alone) we worship]: This statement actualises (or establishes) the meaning of [لَا إله إلا الله – There is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah] because its meaning is built upon two affairs- negation and affirmation. Negating all types of worship [devoted] to other gods besides Allaah (The Most High) and affirming that all legislated types of worship (i.e. in the Sharee’ah) are to be directed to the Lord of the Heavens and the earth (i.e. Allaah) alone. The meaning of the statement [إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ – You (Alone) we worship] has been affirmed (or established) in detail in other Aayaat, such as the statement of Allaah: [يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ – O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you]; so Allaah made that clear (i.e. affirmation that He alone has the right to be worshipped) in His statement, [اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ – Worship your Lord], and at the end of the Ayah He negated (worship directed to others besides Him) in His statement [فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَنْدَادًا وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ  – Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped)] [Al-Baqarah 21-22]

Likewise Allaah’s statement: [وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ – And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah)]. So Allaah made it clear (i.e. that He alone has the right to be worshipped) in His statement [اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ  – Worship Allah (Alone)] and He negated worship directed at others in His statement [وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ – avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah)] [An-Nahl Ayah 36]

Likewise Allaah’s statement:

فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انْفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. [2:256]

He negated (worship directed at others) in His statement: [فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوت – Whoever disbelieves in Taghut] and He affirmed (that worship should be directed to Him alone) in His statement [وَيُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ – and believes in Allah]

Likewise Allaah’s statement:

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّنِي بَرَاءٌ مِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ

إِلَّا الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي

And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said to his father and his people: “Verily, I am innocent of what you worship, Except Him (i.e. I worship none but Allah Alone) Who did create me… [Az-Zukhruf Aayaat 26-27]

And likewise Allaah’s statement:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ

And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We inspired him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).” [Al-Anbiyaa Ayah 25]

And likewise Allaah’s statement:

وَاسْأَلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ مِنْ رُسُلِنَا أَجَعَلْنَا مِنْ دُونِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ آلِهَةً

يُعْبَدُونَ

And ask (O Muhammad) those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: “Did We ever appoint aliha (gods) to be worshipped besides the Most Beneficent (Allah)?”[Az-Zukhruf Ayah 45]   And other Aayaat besides the above…. [Ref 1]

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said, “I used to hear Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] saying many times that the statement ‘You alone we worship (O Allaah)’  repels Riyaa and the statement ‘And You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)’ repels pride’’. [Ref 2]

Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said:

[إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ  – You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)]: This statement is about sincerity in worship and seeking aid and assistance (from Allaah). [إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ   – You (Alone) we worship] means ‘I sincerely direct my worship to You (O Allaah) and I do not worship other than You’. [وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ – and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)] means ‘I sincerely (single You out) in seeking aid and assistance, and I do not seek aid and assistance from anyone other than You (O Allaah).’ [Ref 1]

Also the statement [إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ   – You (Alone) we worship] is a disavowal of Shirk, and the statement [وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ – and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything] is a declaration that there is no power nor might except with Allah.

Also the statement [إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ – You (Alone) we worship] is an actualisation of the statement ‘There is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah’, and the statement [وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ – and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything] is an actualisation of the statement ‘There is no power nor might except with Allah’.

Also the statement [إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ   – You (Alone) we worship] embodies freedom from Shirk and Riyaa, and the statement [وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ – and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything] embodies freedom from Self-amazement and pride. [Ref 3]

 


[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘Tafseerul Qur’aan Bil-Qur’aan Min Adwaa Al-Bayaan’ pages 32-33. Daar Hady An-Nabawiy’. paraphrased]:

[Ref 2: Source: Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah’ Vol 1. Page 41]

[Ref 3: Sharh Ad-Duroos Al-Muhimmah Li-Aammatil Ummah’ page15. Paraphrased]

Abu Talhah [Daawud Burbank (rahimahullaah)]:

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