The Wisdom Behind Al-Istianah

The wisdom behind having “You Alone we worship” precede “You Alone we ask for help” is that the worship is intended for Allah while the help is intended for the salve. Allah is the One to be worshipped and He is the One from whom help is to be sought. “You Alone we worship” is so the slave declares that he devotes to Him all his worship, including good deeds performed with sincerity meaning that they are intended for His Sake only, and the beneficial knowledge that the person acquires by which he comes to know and love Him sincerely and truthfully. To be worshipped is Allah’s right upon His slave and seeking His Help includes asking His assistance in all his affairs. Every act of worship that is not facilitated by Allah and which is not intended sincerely and truthfully for His sake one shall be rendered null and void. And any attempt of asking help from anyone other than Allah shall lead to nothing but humiliation and failure.

You should contemplate all the beneficial knowledge derived from this ayah, which shall safeguard, protect and maintain the pristine state of the slave’s servitude to Allah from all deficiencies and harm. It is an evident demonstration of pure and true servitude to Allah.

You also need to reflect upon how the entire message of the Qur’an revolves around the meanings contained in this ayah, and not only that but also the purpose behind creation, the essence of religious commandments and prohibitions, of divine reward and retribution, and of this world life and the Hereafter. And reflect upon how these verses mention the greatest of all objectives (i.e. worship) and the most perfect means (seeking His Help), and the compelling usage of the second-person narrative “You” in stead of the third person pronoun “Him”. Actually an entire volume could be directed to this particular topic as it were, but I do not wish to divert from the main theme of this chapter, otherwise I would have elaborated on it further.

Inner Dimensions of the Prayer by Ibn Qayyim AL-Jawziyyah Pages 43-44