What is the greatest action that brings one closer to Allah?
Tawhīd, worshiping Allah alone. For in the Sahīh that;
أن أعرابيًا أتي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: يا رسول الله دلني على عمل إذا عملته، دخلت الجنة. قال: ”تعبد الله ولا تشرك به شيئًا، وتقيم الصلاة، وتؤتي الزكاة……الحديث
A Bedouin came to the Prophet ﷺ and said: “O Messenger of Allah! Direct me to an action that if I do it I will enter Jannah.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Worship Allah, and don’t associate anything with Him, establish the Salat, pay the Zakat”…the Hadith. [Agreed Upon]
And in the Hadith of Mu’ādh, and it is an authentic Hadith;
That when a man asked this question it was said;
لقد سألت عن عظيم، وإنه ليسير على من يسره الله تعالى عليه: تعبد الله لا تشرك به شيئًا، وتقيم الصلاة، وتؤتي الزكاة
“You have asked me about a matter of great importance, but verily it is easy for one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah, associate nothing with Him in worship, offer As-Salat (the prayer), pay the Zakat… and he mentioned the rest of the Hadith, and then he said;
ألا أخبرك برأس الأمر وعموده وذِروة سنامه” قلت” بلى يا رسول الله، قال: رأس الأمر الإسلام، وعموده الصلاة، وذِروة سنامه الجهاد” ثم قال: “ألا أخبرك بملاك ذلك كله؟” قلت: بلى يا رسول الله، فأخذ بلسانه قال: ”كف عليك هذا” قلت: يا رسول الله وإنا لمؤاخذون بما نتكلم به؟ فقال: ثكلتك أمك! وهل يُكب الناس في النار على وجوههم إلا حصائد ألسنتهم؟”
“Shall I tell you of the root of the matter, its pillar and its highest point?” I replied: “Yes! Certainly, O Prophet of Allah.” He said, “The root of this matter (foundation) is Islam, its pillar (mainstay is) As-Salat (the prayer) and its highest point is Jihad (fighting in the Cause of Allah).”
Then he asked, “Shall I tell you of that which holds all these things?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” So he took hold of his tongue and said, “Keep this in control.” I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Shall we really be accounted for what we talk about?” He replied, “May your mother lose you! Will the people be thrown on their faces into the Hell except on account of their tongues?”
So the greatest action that brings one closer to Allah is the Tawhid of Allah, and the proofs of that are many.
Answered by: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him
Translated by: Abū ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi