How Does Recognizing Allah’s Perfection Lead to Love and Servitude?

Answered by Shaykh Irshad Sedick 

Question

I was reading an internet article on “Why does God ask people to worship Him?” and they quoted Ibn al-Qayyim, saying that “…complete servitude is a by-product of complete love, and complete love is a by-product of the beloved’s perceived perfection…” I’m confused by this statement and its connection with the fitra.

Is it saying that we have a constitution for loving perfection? What is perfection here? How does this connect to the rational Ashari arguments for Allah’s existence?

Answer

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

Recognizing the magnificence or perfection in Allah’s Creation causes the recognizer to be in awe of the Creator. Since His Creation is so perfect and majestic, what must His True Grandeur and Majesty be like? The Quran frequently calls upon believers to look into the signs of the heavens, the earth, and within themselves to witness the majesty of Allah’s creation.

Allah says: “Blessed is He in whose hand is the dominion, and He is over all things competent [He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deeds – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving [And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So, return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks? Then return [your] vision twice again. [Your] vision will return to you humbled while it is fatigued.” [Quran 67:1-4]

To draw an imperfect example, and to Allah belongs only the best of examples, people generally consider the genius of a brand or company based on the sophistication of its products. No human invention comes remotely close to Allah’s creation, and thus, the Creator is far beyond our comprehension.

Link to Rational Arguments

The rational Ash’ari proofs for Allah’s existence are founded in Sacred Text. Al-Tasalsul, for example, is the rational exercise of perceiving that everything in Creation has an originator, but that eventually there must be a being with no Originator because the chain of originators cannot go on ad infinitum.  The nature of this primordial Originator must be perfection since it manifested the existence of every subsequent creation in a perfect system.

Allah says: “Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain. Or have they the depositories [containing the provision] of your Lord? Or are they the controllers [of them]? Or have they a stairway [into the heaven] upon which they listen? Then let their listener produce a clear authority. Or has He daughters while you have sons? Or do you, [O Muhammad], ask of them a payment, so they are by debt burdened down? Or have they [knowledge of] the unseen, so they write [it] down? Or do they intend a plan? But those who disbelieve – they are the object of a plan. Or have they a deity other than Allah? Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.” [Quran 52:35-43]

I pray that this is beneficial, and Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others. He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town. Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.