The Meaning of Belief in Allah’s Lordship
This means to firmly believe that Allah ﷻ is the Lord, the Creator, the Sustainer and the provider of everything; that He is the one who gives life and causes death; that He is the only one who can do harm and good; that all power of decision rests with Him; that in His hand is all good; that He has power over everything; and that He has no partner whatsoever in doing all this.
Belief in Allah’s Lordship therefore requires a Muslim to believe that:
Allah is the only creator of everything in the universe, as the Qur’an states, “Allah is the Creator of everything.” (Soorat Az-Zumar, 39:62) Man’s creativity merely involves such processes as transforming something from one state into another, assembling and building; it does not involve originating creation, creating something out of nothing or bringing it to life after death
He is the only One who provides sustenance to His creation and no one else can do so, as the Qur’an states, “There is no creature on the earth which is not dependent upon Allah for its provision.” (Soorat Hood, 11:6)
He is the master and owner of everything “The kingdom of the heavens and the earth and everything in them belongs to Allah.” (Soorat Al-Maa’idah, 5:120)
He is the sole ruler who regulates all affairs of the universe: “He directs the whole affair from heaven to earth.” (Soorat As-Sajdah, 32:5) Man’s management of his worldly affairs is rather limited and depends on whatever material is at his disposal. Besides, in so doing, he can either meet with success or experience failure. However, Allah’s regulation of the affairs of the universe is comprehensive and is bound to be effectual, for there is nothing that would otherwise thwart it in any way, as the Qur’an states, “Both creation and command belong to Him. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Soorat Al-A‛raaf, 7:54
The Arab Polytheists at the Time of the prophet ﷺ Believed in Allah’s Lordship
The Arab polytheists at the time of the prophet ﷺ affirmed Allah’s Lordship; they believed that He is the creator, the master and disposer of all affairs, but such affirmation alone was not sufficient for them to be admitted into the fold of Islam. As the Qur’an states, “If you asked them, ‘Who created the heavens and the earth?’ they would say, ‘Allah!’ Say: ‘Praise be to Allah!’ But most of them do not know.” (Soorat Luqmaan, 31:25)
Indeed, affirmation that Allah is the Lord of all the worlds, that He is the master and sustainer entails that all acts of worship must be directed to Him alone, without taking any partners whatsoever with Him in worship.
It would be ludicrous to affirm that Allah is the creator of everything, the disposal of all affairs and the one who gives life and causes death and then we direct an act of worship to other than Him. Indeed, doing so is a tremendous wrong and the worst of all sins, as the Qur’an states, “When Luqmaan said to his son, counselling him, ‘My son, do not associate anything with Allah. Associating others with Him is a terrible wrong.’” (Soorat Luqmaan, 31:13)
When the prophet ﷺ was asked about the greatest sin in the sight of Allah, he replied, “To set up a rival to Allah in worship though He alone created you.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 4207; Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 86)
Belief in Allah’s Lordship Sets the Heart at Rest
When one firmly acknowledges that none of Allah’s creation can challenge His decree, being the creator and king of all mankind who decrees whatever He deems wise for them, who is their only creator, sustainer and disposer of all affairs, whom nothing as small as an atom moves or settles except with His decree, one’s heart becomes attached to Almighty Allah, asking none but Him, relying on Him in all worldly matters and dealing with all the ups and downs of life calmly and confidently, with determination and perseverance. For once we have done what we can possibly do to achieve a worldly goal and have prayed to Allah for assistance, we have actually done our duty. In this way, we become contented, as we do not covet what others may have, fully aware that all power of decision rests with Allah who creates whatever He wills and chooses for mankind whatever is best for them.