Another beautiful name of Allah which we normally don’t recognize as a “name” is Al-ilaah… But the fact is that it is a most significant name of Allah through which we can truly recognize His Majesty and status.
In Arabic the word ilaah means someone who is worshipped. And when you add the prefix of “Al” then it means “The ultimate and the one and Only being which is worthy of worship”.
Al-ilaah can only be someone who is completely perfect in knowledge, power, compassion and wisdom. And these are only the attributes of Allah. Therefore Allah has told us in His Book… (2:163)
وَإِلَـهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ لاَّ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ
And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
It is Allah’s mercy on us that He has put in us the love for completion and the love for perfection… because it makes us love Allah above all other things. But this can happen only when we accept that no other being can be perfect and complete except Allah. Only Allah is the one who is perfect in his own self. Which means that he does not need any other thing to make him complete… As opposed to this the creation no matter how perfect it might appear must have some deficiency or the other. This is the reason for all our disappointments and sorrows. Because we get deceived by appearances and we think our beloved people to be free from flaws… but when their flaws become apparent it makes us miserable and restless…
It is in human nature that we need to truly love and trust some being which is greater than us. We need some nucleus around which our life must revolve. Some higher purpose… which satisfies our need to be completely bow down before it… and to seek its support at all times.
And you will see that no other being or object has the magnificence or power to satisfy this need of ours… that is why the declaration of La ilaaha illallah is the first and foremost requirement of our faith.
The name Al-ilaah reminds us of our very purpose of existence… which is to worship Allah. Our hearts will find peace and tranquillity only when we fulfil this purpose.
To worship Allah does not mean just to fulfil some physical and verbal exercises rather it must involve our hearts… in complete humbleness and complete love. All our life must revolve around this need to please our Lord above all other things. So that even a morsel of food that goes in your mouth or a sip of water that you drink, reminds you of Allah… makes your heart pleased with gratitude and love… and delights you when you have conviction that even this simple little act will raise you in nearness to Allah and be a cause of reward in the hereafter… that is how every step of your way is an act of worship.
The spirit of worship is obedience. So beware of arrogance or self righteousness that causes you to pick and choose.
Also beware that worship should not cause you to be pleased with yourself… rather you should be concerned whether Allah is pleased with you or not. Beware that your own “self” should not become your ilaah…
Because only Allah is Al-ilaah… and worship is due only to Him and no one else…
The beautiful name Al-ilaah is the key word in many duas but my all time favourite is that which Prophet Yonus (a.s.) made in the depths of anxiety and misery while he was trapped in the belly of a fish… It makes me so hopeful that if Allah could release His Prophet from such a calamity then the same words can save us from our troubles too… provided we utter these words with consciousness, humbleness and genuine guilt for our mistakes:
فَنَادَى فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
And he called out within the darknesses, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers”
So call on Al-ilaah with all your heart and rely only on Him to bring peace and tranquillity in your life… For Him should be our utmost love and devotion and complete obedience… because there is no one worthy of this status except Him… because He is Al-ilaah…