THE verse: “You alone do we worship.” (Qur’an, 1:5) is built on four principles:
1. Saying of the heart
It is i’tiqad (belief) in what Allah informed about His Self; concerning His Names, His Attributes, His Actions, His Angels, and all that He revealed upon His Messenger (peace be upon him).
2. Saying of the tongue
It is to inform and convey (what Allah has revealed), to call to it, defend it, to explain the false innovations which oppose it, to establish its remembrance and to convey what it orders.
3. Action of the heart
Love for (Allah), reliance upon Him, repenting to Him, having fear and hope in Him, making the religion purely and sincerely for Him, having patience in what He orders and prohibits, having patience with what He decrees and being pleased with it are some examples. These are connected with the action of limbs. In fact actions of limbs without the heart is of little benefit, if any benefit at all.
4. Action of the limbs
Such as salah and jihad, attending the jumuah (Friday prayers), aiding those who are (needy) and displaying kindness to the creation.
So Al-’Ubudiyyah (servitude to Allah) is a comprehensive term for all these four stages. The one who actualizes them has indeed actualized: “You alone do we worship.”
– Madarij-us-Salikin (1/100-101)