Imām Ibn al-Qayyim [d. 751 AH] said:
From among mankind are those whose implemented actions are encompassing [of all forms of worship], traversing the path towards Allāh in every valley, utilising every path before them in their attempt to reach Him. They have made the various forms of His worship the object of their heart’s longing, the apple of their eye. They have taken [His worship] as their leader. They follow it wherever it takes them, participating with every group [specialising in a form of worship]. Wherever you find worship occurring, you will find them. If it is [the dissemination of] knowledge, you find them with its people. If it is jihād, you find them in the lines of those striving in Allāh’s cause. If it is ṣalāh, you find them with the submissive. If it is remembrance of Allāh, you find them with those in remembrance. If it is engaging in righteousness and benefitting [those in need], you find them in the crowd of good-doers. [If it is] love [of Allāh], mindfulness of His acquaintance [with the actions of His slaves], and seeking forgiveness from Allāh, you find them in the ranks of those who love [Allāh] and engage in perpetual repentance. Their dīn is that of true worship, even if its participants are few. They turn towards it wherever they are able to do so.
If it is said to them: What do you desire from your actions?
They will say: I wish only to implement the orders of my Lord, whatever and whenever they may be. What it brings will come to pass, whatever its ramifications are [for me] shall occur, whether you join or abandon me. I have no desire save for its implementation, to engage in the performing of it while remaining mindful of His watch over me whilst I do so. To remain steadfast in my attachment to it with my heart, body, soul and innermost thoughts. I have surrendered all commodities to its purchaser awaiting only the attainment of its price:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ
‘Indeed, Allāh has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise.’
Such is the truly effectual slave’s excursion towards his Lord. The meaning of effectual here is the one whose heart remains attached to Him the way one engrossed in complete love is attached to his beloved. Such that he is consoled by Him in place of every other desired thing. There remains nothing in his heart save for the love of Allāh, His order, and seeking closeness to Him. Any slave that traverses such a path will find his Lord showing compassion towards him, bringing him closer to Him, choosing him among His creation. Moreover, He will hold his heart unto Himself, leading it in all its affairs whether it be related to religion or worldly life. He will take on its rearing, in a better and more complete way than a compassionate father rears his son. For, the Exalted is the Sustainer of existence [al-Qayyūm], the sustainer of all His creation in all affairs, whether they be from among the obedient or disobedient. Thus, how would His sustenance be towards the ones among them who love Him, that take Him as their leader, who favour Him above all else, and are pleased with Him as their beloved Lord, the Disposer of their affairs, the One who grants them victory, their Aider, and Guider?!
For if the veil was lifted regarding [the avenues of] His kindness, the righteousness He has shown towards His creation and what He has created for them from what is known to them and unknown, their hearts would overflow with love and longing towards Him, falling out of utter gratefulness. Rather, the hearts [of mankind] have been shielded from such acknowledgement through obsession with the world of false desires and erroneous attachment to cause and effect [alone; i.e. worldly affairs]. Thus, they have been cut off from true satisfaction, such is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing. Otherwise, can a heart that has tasted the sweetness of knowing and loving Allāh rely on or seek tranquillity from other than Him? Such a thing is impossible.
Source: Al-Mujmūʿ al-Qayyim: 617-618
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī