Allah is the name of the only true God, the one whom the believers worship with full sincerity and devotion, giving their hearts and their
worship to no other.
Allah tells us: “Say: Truly, my worship, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner. This I am commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (unto Him).” [Sûrah al-An`âm: 162-163]
The statement by which a person enters into Islam is “There is no God but Allah.” By making this declaration, we profess Allah’s lordship over all Creation as well as His exclusive right to be worshipped. We then turn all of our strengths – those of the mind, the heart, and the body – to glorifying and praising Him.
Our bodies, and the atoms that make them up, already glorify their Creator, whether we acknowledge it or not. However, we are given the choice when it comes to our minds, our hearts, and our deeds. We can willingly turn to Allah and embrace the message that he sent to us with His messenger, or we can remain heedless.
We as human beings are blessed with a natural inclination to recognize our Creator and to worship Him. We instinctively feel the need to do so. Therefore, when we worship our Lord, we are in harmony with our own natures and with the rest of Creation.
As for someone who worships something other than the Creator, that person is taken by the tides of worldly existence and his soul is torn by it. In ancient times, polytheism was generally expressed through the worship of stones and trees. The hearts and passions of the people would turn to these inert material things with their problems and hopes. This can still be seen openly today in some remote places. Indeed, it is amazing to find an educated person, a professor of microbiology or astronomy, or someone of great intellectual probity in other aspects of life, bowing his or her head to some stone statue of human manufacture, where written at its base we read: “made in 1910”!
This is just one extreme expression of devotion that people can be subject to if they neglect the worship of Allah. There are many other ways people can succumb to the world if their hearts are not devoted to the Creator. Some people fall victim to their personal desires and self-aggrandizement. Some give themselves over to material wealth, enslaving themselves to the almighty dollar. Some people give themselves over to their occupations or to attaining social status. Others revere those who wield political power.
There are many forms of devotion by which people lose themselves and stray from the guidance of Allah. All of these lead to anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction with life. Allah says: “Allah puts forth a parable: a man belonging to many partners at variance with each other, and another man belonging entirely to one master: are those two equal in comparison? Praise be to Allah! But most of them have no knowledge.” [Sûrah al-Zumar: 29]
Today, we even find something called “Satan worship”, with adherents primarily in Europe, America, and other western countries. They have their own symbols, rites and rituals to unite them, and they build their religious beliefs and practices upon selfishness and carnal desire to the exclusion of everything else. These ideas have even penetrated into the Muslim world, capturing the imaginations of some adolescents who get together and toy with the Satanic rites and symbols.
Allah tells us: “Did I not enjoin on you, O you Children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan; for he is to you an avowed enemy? And that you should worship Me? That is the right path.” [Sûrah Yâsîn: 60-61]
The heart can find no peace, no true pleasure or contentment, unless its Creator alone is its object of devotion, its focus of desire, and its most beloved. Every living thing besides Allah – whether human or animal, angel or jinn – is dependent upon Allah. It needs to attain what benefits it and avoid what harms it. Therefore, it needs to understand benefit and harm. It needs to know what it needs and desires. Then it needs to know what it must rely on to attain what it needs.
Truly, Allah alone is the one who should be supplicated and longed for. It is His pleasure we should seek. He is the one who we should seek to attain what we aspire to. To turn in worship to anything else or pin our hopes upon created things will only lead us to disappointment and harm.
Only Allah can truly avail us. Everything in Creation is His. He can bring us to what benefits us in His creation. Everything that we dislike or fear in the world is also nothing other than His creation, and only through Him do we have the means to avoid what harms us.
Allah’s Messenger knew his Lord better than anyone else. He used to beseech Allah in supplication saying: “O Allah! I seek refuge with Your pleasure from Your wrath, with Your pardon from Your punishment. I seek refuge with You from You. I cannot encompass your praise. You are as You have praised Yourself.” [Sahîh Muslim (751)]
He also said in supplication to his Lord before going to sleep: “O Allah, I have submitted myself to You and have entrusted to You my affairs, and I have taken refuge in You, in both hope and fear of You. There is no refuge or sanctuary from You except with You. O Allah! I believe in Your Book which You have revealed and Your Prophet whom You have sent.”
He then said: “If you die in on this night of yours, then you will be on the natural faith. Make these words the last thing that you utter.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (247) and Sahîh Muslim (2710)]
Allah is our refuge and our sanctuary. Everything in existence exists only by His will. Everything we might hope for or fear is also His creation. So we must seek refuge with Him in everything. He is worthy of all our praise, and He is above all praise.