You Alone We Worship

After having praised Allah, the servant proceeds to acknowledge his servitude and dire need of his Lord, Exalted is He. “You Alone we worship.” This verse exemplifies tawhid and points to the actualisation of the meaning of la ilaha illaAllah, there is none worthy of worship except for Allah, for its meaning is comprised of two matters: negation and affirmation.

The negation aspect, contained in the words la ilaha, means to relinquish every single object of worship besides Allah in all actions of worship. The affirmation aspect, contained in the words illaAllah, means to single out the Lord of the heavens and the earth Alone for all matters of worship in the way that has been legislated by the Shariah.

The negation of la ilaha illaAllah is shown by placing the object of worship first in the verse such that it reads “You Alone…” It is established in the rules of the Arabic language that placing the object first in a sentence is one of the ways of confining the meaning of the verb to the object alone.

The affirmation part of the kalima is shown in His saying, “we worship”.

Allah, Exalted is He, has explained this meaning, which is alluded to here, in detail elsewhere, “O Mankind! Worship your Lord who created you” (al-Baqarah 2:21) expounding the affirmation aspect with the words, “worship your Lord” and the negation aspect at the end of this noble verse with His words, “So do not set up rivals with Allah while you know” (al-Baqarah 2:22) He, Exalted is He, also says, “We have indeed sent a Messenger to every people saying: worship Allah and leave all that is worshipped besides Him” (an-Nahl 16:36) expounding the affirmation with His words, “worship Allah” and the negation with His words, “and leave all that is worshipped besides Allah.” 

“And whosoever rejects all that is worshipped besides Allah and believes in Allah has held onto the most trustworthy handhold.” (al-Baqarah 2:256) expounding the negation with His words, “whosoever rejects all that is worshipped besides Allah” and the affirmation with His words “and believes in Allah”.

“And when Abraham said to his father and his people: Indeed I am free of what you worship except He who created me.” (az-Zukhruf 43: 26-27) “And We did not send a messenger before you except that We revealed to him: there is none worthy of worship but Me, so worship Me.” (al-Anbiya 21:25) “Ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides Allah?” (az-Zukhruf 43:45)

The Spiritual Cure: An Explanation of Surah Al-Fatihah prepared and translated by Abu Rumaysah Pages 111-114