’Abd [Lit. ‘slave’]. Mankind and Jinn are ‘Ibaad (singl.‘abd) of Allaah meaning they surrender to Allaah’s Universal Pre-decree, none is able to escape His Pre-ordainment, because they are a Creation of His. So, whether believers or non-believers in Allaah, they are, in the general sense, slaves [‘Ibaad] of Allaah.
He, the Exalted, said:
“There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto Ar- Rahmaan (the One Whose Mercy encompasses everything) as a slave.” [Qur’aan, soorat Maryam (19): 93].
The believer, however, who devotes his worship to Allaah alone, is distinguished as being a “slave-worshipper” to Allaah. In this sense, the term ‘Abd is specific as being the “slaveworshipper” of Allaah.
The slave (‘Abd) of Allaah, who obeys Allaah, is a “worshipping slave.” In the general sense, he is part of the creation and thus he is also a “submissive slave.” The Kaafir, however, is a “submissive ‘Abd” in the general sense only. The believing slaves fulfill the exclusive meaning of the ‘Uboodiyyah. And the‘Uboodiyyah of the Messengers (‘alayhimus- Salaam: May Allaah protect them from all kinds of evil) is the very special slavery to Allaah, Most High. None can compete with the Messengers’ degree of ‘Uboodiyyah to Allaah.
Posted from: Fiqhul ‘Ibaadaat Understanding Worship
By Sh. Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullah)
Rendered into English By Dr. Saleh As-Saleh