Our Duty Concerning What Allah Has Commanded Us With By Imam Muhammad ibn Abdulwahab

Authentic Islamic Knowledge

Our Duty Concerning What Allah Has Commanded Us With By Imam Muhammad ibn Abdulwahab

6 min read

When Allah commands us with something, there are 7 obligatory matters which we should implement in regards to that command.

1. Knowledge of the command

Knowledge of the command is the first matter that needs to be considered because knowledge precedes speech and action and this is what came in the Quran and Sunnah.

Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I have left you with two matters which will never lead you astray, as long as you hold to them: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Prophet.”

Muwatta of Imam Malik 1661

مما قالوا العلماء: ينبغي على كل مسلم ان يكون له حظ من العلم في كل يوم

And from what the scholars mention is that every Muslim should have a portion of knowledge that they learn every day. And their evidence for this is the du’a The Prophet ﷺ used to make after Fajr:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمًا نَافِعًا، وَرِزْقًا طَيِّبًا، وَعَمَلاً مُتَقَبَّلاً
“O Allah, I ask You for beneficial knowledge, goodly provision and acceptable deeds”

Ibn Majah 925

This dua itself has combined all the goals a Muslim should have in his daily life. Anything that will benefit you will fall into one of these 3 matters:

  1. Beneficial Knowledge
  2. Goodly provision (I.e. that which is halal)
  3. Acceptable deeds (I.e. not rejected)

The fact that the Prophet ﷺ began first with asking Allah for beneficial knowledge shows us that this is the most important goal in our day and most worthy of our time and, without this we will not be able to attain the other two.

2. Loving that which Allah has commanded us with

The second matter is محبة: Having love for what Allah has commanded us with and that we monitor and warn ourselves from feeling any sort of hate arise in our hearts. This is because Allah doesn’t command us except with that which is in our benefit and is full of goodness.

So therefore it’s important that we love good for ourselves by loving that what Allah has commanded us with like Salah, fasting, zakat, Tawheed and all other commands. Then the shaykh mentions a beautiful dua to achieve this:

“اللَّهمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ حُبَّكَ، وَحُبَّ مَنْ يُحِبُّكَ، وَالعمَل الَّذِي يُبَلِّغُني حُبَّكَ”

“Oh Allah I ask You for Your love and the love of those who love You, and for the action that will cause me to attain Your love”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3490

And if your heart contains love for that acting upon that which Allah has commanded you with, then the limbs will follow in implementing this like the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.”

Sahih Bukhari 52

3. Being determined in implementing the command

Being determined in implementing the command is the next step. Similar to the second point this is also something in the heart. So after having knowledge of the command and loving it one should feel determined to implement this command.

The Shaykh then also mentions another beautiful du’a for this:

“اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الثَّبَاتَ فِي الأَمْرِ وَالْعَزِيمَةِ عَلَى الرُّشْدِ”

“O Allah, I ask You for steadfastness in all my affairs and determination in following the right path”

Sunnan Al Nasa’i 1304

This is also an important step because many of us when we might have knowledge of something like a Sunnah to implement, we do not act upon this knowledge due to a lack of determination. Let’s make this du’a a part of our life and May Allah keep us steadfast.

4. Acting upon the command

Acting upon the command, and this is self explanatory the Shaykh didn’t mention much but I’ll mention a line of poetry regarding the dangers of not acting upon knowledge

وعالم بعلمه لم يعملن *** معذب من قبل عباد الوثن
A scholar who does not act upon his knowledge,
is punished before the idol worshippers are

Az-Zubd p4. by Ar-Ramli (884H).

5. That the action should be sincere and correct upon the Sunnah

That the action should be sincere and correct upon the Sunnah are two conditions for the acceptance of any good deed that a Muslim does.

  1. Sincerely for the sake of Allah
  2. According to the Sunnah

قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَا۠ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَٰحِدٌ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِۦ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَـٰلِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِۦٓ أَحَدًۢا

Say (O Muhammad SAW): “I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”

Al-Kahf, Ayah 110

فَلۡیَعۡمَلۡ عَمَلࣰا صَـٰلِحࣰا

This part is a proof for doing actions according to the Sunnah

وَلَا یُشۡرِكۡ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِۦۤ أَحَدَۢا

This part is the proof for Ikhlas (sincerity) solely for Allah

ٱلَّذِی خَلَقَ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ وَٱلۡحَیَوٰةَ لِیَبۡلُوَكُمۡ أَیُّكُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلࣰاۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِیزُ ٱلۡغَفُورُ

Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving;

Al-Mulk, Ayah 2

Fudayl bin ‘Iyad said regarding Allah’s statement: “لِیَبۡلُوَكُمۡ أَیُّكُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلࣰ”

That the best of actions are اخلصه وأصوبه (the most sincere and correct according to the Sunnah)

يا ابى علي “ما اخلصه وأصوبه؟”
قال: “إن العمل اذا كان خالصا ولم يكن صوابا لم يقبل، وإذا كان صوابا ولم يكون خالصا لم يقبل، حتا يكون خالصًا صوابًا. والخالص ما كان لله والصواب ما كان على السنة”

Someone said “Oh Abu Ali (Fudayl) what does اخلصه وأصوبه mean?” He replied: If an action is sincere and not correct it will not be accepted and vice versa, until it’s both sincere and correct (صوابًا). And what is sincere is that which is done for Allah [alone] and correct according to the Sunnah”

6. Being aware of the things that might nullify the deed.

One should pay a lot of attention to this as you do not want to be someone who done a lot of deeds and on the day of judgement you realise a lot of them are void due a nullifier. The greatest thing that could nullify your deeds is shirk as Allah says:

وَلَقَدۡ أُوحِیَ إِلَیۡكَ وَإِلَى ٱلَّذِینَ مِن قَبۡلِكَ لَىِٕنۡ أَشۡرَكۡتَ لَیَحۡبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِینَ

And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.”

بَلِ ٱللَّهَ فَٱعۡبُدۡ وَكُن مِّنَ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِینَ

Nay! But worship Allah (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful.

Az-Zumar, 65-66

قال الحسن البصري: “المؤمن جمع بين احسان ومخافة، والمنافق جمع بين اساءة وأمن

Hasan al-Basri رحمه الله said: “No one fears hypocrisy but a believer. No one feels safe from hypocrisy but a hypocrite.”

al-Jawāb al-Kāfī 1/42

So the believer should do his utmost best in doing righteous actions and at the same time he should have the fear of the action being rejected from them.

7. Being consistent upon implementing this deed.

Being consistent upon implementing this deed. And the believer should exhaust himself on being consistent upon these actions up until death. And then the shaykh mentions some ayat from the Quran as proof for this:

یُثَبِّتُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوا۟ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ ٱلثَّابِتِ فِی ٱلۡحَیَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡیَا وَفِی ٱلۡـَٔاخِرَةِۖ وَیُضِلُّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِینَۚ وَیَفۡعَلُ ٱللَّهُ مَا یَشَاۤءُ

Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause to go astray those who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), and Allah does what He wills.

Ibrahim, Ayah 27

And the only way you’ll able to achieve this consistency is by asking Allah to keep you steadfast because Allah is the one who grants success and then strive.

وَٱلَّذِینَ جَـٰهَدُوا۟ فِینَا لَنَهۡدِیَنَّهُمۡ سُبُلَنَاۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِینَ

As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers).”

Al-Ankabut, Ayah 69

And Allah commands us to worship him until we die:

وَٱعۡبُدۡ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ یَأۡتِیَكَ ٱلۡیَقِینُ

And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).

Al-Hijr, Ayah 99

یَـٰۤأَیُّهَا ٱلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِۦ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ

O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.

Aal-E-Imran, Ayah 102

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