In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Sad Bin Abee Waqqaas narrated that the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’The invocation of my brother Dhun-Noon:[لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ – none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) are You (above all that evil) they associate with You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers]; there is no one who faces hardship and supplicates with it, except that Allaah will relief him of his hardship.’’
[Saheeh Al-Jaami 3383]
Few Reminders from the Above Hadeeth
Look at the great distress which befell Yoonus [alayhis-salaam]?! The whale swallowed him and went to the bottom of the sea. He was in the belly of the whale and at the bottom of the sea – a great distress indeed. Therefore, there was nothing else for him to do at the time except to keep on repeating that supplication, whilst he was engulfed in darkness – the darkness in the whale’s belly, the darkness in the sea and the darkness of the night, and trapped at the bottom of the sea. He repeated this supplication, so Allaah commanded the whale to take him out. Yoonus [alayhis-salaamn] made this supplication whilst having a strong reliance upon Allaah and knew that deliverance from such a distress is in Allaah’s hand.
This supplication comprises of four affairs:
1: [Tawheed: (لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنتَ)-None has the right to be worshipped except You (O Allaah)]. This is singling out Allaah in worship.
2: [ سُبْحَانَكَ – Glorified (and Exalted) are You (above all that evil) they associate with You]; meaning: I declare that You (O Allaah) are free from everything that does not befit Your Majesty. I declare that You (O Allaah) are free from all deficiencies and defects, and I declare that You (O Allaah) are free from all that which the enemies of the Messengers attribute to You. Allaah [The Most High] said:
[سُبۡحَـٰنَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ ٱلۡعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ – Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! (37:180)]
3: [إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ – Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers]. This is an acknowledgement of one’s wrongdoing and shortcomings.
4: [Servitude to Allaah]: An acknowledgement that you are a slave of Allaah and that you cannot do without Allaah in the twinkling of an eye.
Therefore, a person should turn to Allaah in all circumstances – when faced with pain, hardship, calamity etc.
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Indeed, remembrance of Allaah and drawing close to Him through righteous deeds and statements cannot be accepted by Allaah unless the worshipper fulfils them based on three Pillars, and they are: Love, fear and hope.These three pillars are the pillars of servitude of the heart and no act of worship is accepted except through them. Allaah [جلّ وعلا] is to be worshipped out of love of Him, hoping for His reward and fearing His punishment. Allaah [The Blessed and Most High] mentioned these pillars of worship in Surah Al-Faatihah which is the best Surah of the Qur’aan.
Love as a pillar of worship is found in statement [الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ – All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)]. That is because Allaah is the Bestower of all favours (or blessings) and the Bestower of blessings (or favours) is loved in accordance with the favours (or blessings) He bestows, and [الْحَمْدُ] is to praise alongside having love for the one who is praised. Hope as a pillar of worship is found in the statement [الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ -The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful]. That is because the believer hopes for Allaah’s Mercy and desires its attainment. Fear as a pillar of worship is found in the statement [مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين -The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)]. [يَوْمِ الدِّين – The Day of Recompense] is the day of reckoning.
Then the statement [إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ – You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)] follows thereafter, which means: O our Lord! We worship You based on those aforementioned pillars- love, hope and fear. These are the three pillars upon which[إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ is established. They have also been mentioned in Surah Al-Israa Ayah 57:
[أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ يَبۡتَغُونَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمُ ٱلۡوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّہُمۡ أَقۡرَبُ وَيَرۡجُونَ رَحۡمَتَهُ ۥ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ ۥۤۚ إِنَّ عَذَابَ -Those whom they call upon [like ‘Iesa (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angel, etc.] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah), as to which of them should be the nearest and they [‘Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angels, etc.] hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment].
In the above Ayah, the statement ”desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah)” means seeking to get close to Allaah through love and doing what He loves. Then Allaah stated, ”(They) hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment”. Therefore in this Ayah, love, fear and hope are mentioned, and likewise stated in Surah Al-Anbiyaa:
Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.
Therefore, a slave (i.e. the one who worships Allaah alone) must combine these three pillars [love, fear and hope] in his (or her) acts of worship and remembrance of Allaah. It is not permissible to worship Allaah with only one of them without the others, such as worshipping Allaah with love alone without fear and hope, or worshipping Allaah with hope alone, or worshipping Allaah with fear alone. And due to this, some of the scholars said, ”Whoever worships Allaah with love alone is a Zindeeq (i.e. such as the extreme soofees etc); and whoever worships Allaah with fear alone is a Harooree (i.e. from the Khaarij), and whoever worships Allaah with hope alone is a Murji, and whoever worships Allaah with love, fear and hope is a believer and person of Tawheed. [End-Ref 1]
We should know that fear of Allah should be combined with love and hope, so that fear does not become a cause of giving up hope in Allaah’s Mercy. A believer should have both fear of Allaah and hope in Allaah’s Mercy, so that fear alone does not lead him to give up hope in Allaah’s mercy, nor will hope alone make feel secure from Allaah’s plan. That is because giving up hope in Allaah’s Mercy and feeling secure from Allaah’s plan are two affairs that negate perfect Tawheed. Allaah [The Most High] said:
“And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray. [15:56]
Ismaa’eel Ibn Raafi (rahimahullaah) said, ”Feeling secure from Allaah’s plan is when the slave is persistent in committing sin, whilst hoping for Allaah’s forgiveness’’.
The Scholars (rahimahumullaah) say, ”Despair is to distance oneself from having hope for relief and losing hope in that, and it is the opposite of feeling secure from Allaah’s plan. Both these two affairs are a great sin. It is neither permissible for a believer to adhere to fear alone, and thus despairs of Allaah’s Mercy, nor should he adhere to hope alone, and thus feels secure from Allaah’s punishment; rather he should have fear and hope – fearful due to his sins, performs acts of obedience to Allaah and hopes for Allaah’s Mercy, just as Allaah [The Most High] stated:
Those whom they call upon [like ‘Iesa (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angel, etc.] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah), as to which of them should be the nearest and they [‘Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angels, etc.] hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily, the Torment of your Lord is something to be afraid of! [17:57]
When fear of Allaah and hope in Allaah are combined, it urges a slave (i.e. a worshipper of Allaah) to perform deeds and utilise the beneficial means to that; for indeed alongside having hope in Allaah’s Mercy, he performs acts of obedience and hopes for reward; and by way of fear, he abandons disobedience due to being fearful of Allaah’s punishment. But if he despairs of Allaah’s Mercy, he may stop performing righteous deeds, and if he feels secure from Allaah’s punishment, he is pushed towards acts of disobedience. [Ref 2]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
The knowledge of Sound Creed and Fundamental Principles of Tawheed
This is the noblest of all the affairs of knowledge without exception. It is the most virtuous and perfect.By way of it, the hearts are established upon sound creed, and manners are purified and made to flourish. And by way of it, deeds are corrected and made perfect. The subject matter of this affair is based on the following:
Studying what is obligatory to affirm for Allaah regarding His perfect Attributes and lofty descriptions, and that which prevents and makes it impossible for Him to be described with deficient and blameworthy attributes, or making similarities to Him with others.
[Studying] that which establishes the fact that Allaah [alone] brought about all the things in the existence and that He does whatever He wills-whatever He wishes will take place and whatever he does not wish cannot take place.
Likewise, studying what is obligatory regarding belief in the Messengers, their qualities and the rights due to them, and what is forbidden with regards to violation of such rights.
Belief in the Books revealed to the Messengers and in that which Allaah has stated about Himself, and that which His Messengers stated regarding the events of the past and the future.
Belief in the last day, recompense, reward and punishment, the paradise and hell fire, and that which is stated and connected to these affairs.
These are the general affairs of this lofty affair of knowledge. Indeed the Qur’aan has explained these affairs with a profound explanation and clarified it in a manner that is not equal to [its explanation and clarification in] the other revealed books. There is no fundamental affair except that the Qur’aan has explained it.
[Fat-hul Raheem Al-Malikil Allaam Fee Ilmil Aqaa-id Wat-Tawheed Wal-Akhlaaq Wal-Ahkaam of Imaam Sadi (rahimahullaah). Page: 7. Abridged and slightly paraphrased]
And know that, among you there is the Messenger of Allah. If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter, you would surely be in trouble, but Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger) hateful to you. These! They are the rightly guided ones, (This is) a Grace from Allah and His Favour. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. [Soorah al-Hujuraat: Ayah 7-8]
Your love for Imaan, desire for it and its beautification in your hearts is not from yourselves; rather it is Allaah who placed it in your hearts. He is the one who made it preferable and pleasing to you; therefore do not put yourself before My [i.e. I (Allaah)] Messenger-neither speak until he speaks nor act until he commands you. The one (i.e. Allaah) who made you love Imaan is the most knowledgeable concerning what is of benefit for His slaves than yourselves. And had it not been the Tawfeeq of Allaah upon you, your souls would not have yielded to Imaan. Imaan would not have been (acquired) through your consultation and bestowed from yourselves, nor would you have given it precedence because your souls are unable and weak to (do that), and cannot reach it…. [For further details, See ‘Madaarij As-Saalikeen 1/414—415]
Narrated Anas Bin Maalik (radiyallaahu-anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) stated about this ayah: [هُوَ أَهْلُ التَّقْوَىٰ وَأَهْلُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ – He (Allah) is the One deserving that mankind should be afraid of, and He is the One Who forgives (sins) (74:56)] that Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) said: ‘’I am worthy of being feared, so whoever fears me and does not associate another Ilaah (i.e. god or anything taken as an object of worship) with Me (in worship), then I am worthy of forgiving him.’’ [Reported by Imaam Tirmidhee; Number: 3328 and declared Hasan Li-Ghayrihee by Imaam Albaani in ‘Dhilaal Al-Jannah Fee Takhreej As-Sunnah (969)]
The Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said:
‘Indeed Allaah is Pure and He does not accept, except that which is pure’
Shaikh Saaleh Al Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) commented on this hadith saying:
In this hadith he (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) described Allaah (The Exalted] that Allaah (Glorified Be He and Free Is He from all imperfections, faults and weaknesses) is Pure. Allaah is pure, meaning: Allah is free from all imperfections and deficiencies. He is Pure in His Essence, in His Names and Attributes, and in His Commandments and Prohibitions. Allaah is Pure in every aspect and imperfection cannot reach Him. And for that reason Allaah does not accept actions, statements and intentions except that which is pure. He does not accept filthy statements, actions and intentions. Allaah does not accept except the pure, as Allaah (The Most High) said:
Allaah does not accept, except good speech and good actions. As for filthy speech, then indeed Allaah rejects and hates it, such as lies, backbiting, tale carrying, abuse, false speech and false testimony, and all filthy statements, (such as) shirk and kufr. All of this is filthy speech and does not ascend to Allaah, and they are not accepted.
The ruling on the statement of a woman who, whilst standing up, says: Yaa Rasoolal-laah (O Messenger of Allaah!) or a similar (statement)
A Muslim testifies that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) is the Messenger of Allaah; but when standing up or sitting down, he/she says, ‘’Yaa Rasoolal-laah (O Messenger of Allaah!) or Yaa Abal Qaasim (O Abu Qaasim!), or Yaa Abdal Qaadir (O Abdul Qaadir!), or what similar to these statements of Al-Isti’aanah (i.e. seeking aid and assistance). What is the ruling on this?
A person calling (i.e. invoking) the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) or other than him, such as Abdul Qaadir Al-Jaylaani or Ahmad At-Tijaani, when standing up or sitting down, and seeking assistance in that (action), or what is similar to this, in order to receive a benefit or repel harm, is a type of Shirk Akbar that was widespread during the Pre-Islamic era of ignorance. So Allaah (The Most High) sent His Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) to put an end to it; save the people from it; guide the people to single out Allaah in worship and in supplication. That is because Al-Isti’aanah (seeking aid and assistance) is an act of worship and whoever performs it for other than Allaah is a Mushrik. 
Allaah (The Most High) has directed and taught His slaves to say:
[إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ -You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)] [1:5]
Allaah (The Most High) said: وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا
And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah. [72:18]
Allaah (The Most High) has clarified that He (alone) controls harm and benefit; He alone removes harm and bestows blessings; He alone is the one who bestows good upon His slaves and preserves it for them. None can deny that which Allaah gives and none can bestow that which Allaah withholds. None can prevent what He has decreed and He is able to do all things. Allaah (The Most High) said:
“And invoke not besides Allah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers). ” And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [10:106-107]
He merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night are added to the hours of the day), and He merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the day are added to the hours of the night). And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmir (the thin membrane over the date-stone). If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call, and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything). [35:13-14]
And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become enemies for them and will deny their worshipping. [46:5-6]
And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allah, any other ilah (god), of whom he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely! Al-Kafirun (the disbelievers in Allah and in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, pagans, idolaters, etc.) will not be successful. [23:117]
In these verses Allaah (The Most High) says that it is disbelief and polytheism to invoke others besides Him. He informed (us) that there is none more astray than the one who invokes others besides Him.
The Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said to Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu-anhuma): [إذا سألت فاسأل الله واذا استعنت فاستعن بالله– If you ask (i.e. supplicate), then ask Allaah. And if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah] [Saheeh Al-Jaami 7957]
The Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) also said: [الدعاء هو العبادة] [Supplication is an (act) of worship] [Saheeh Al-Jaami 3407]
”Not for you (O Muhammad), but for Allah) is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to (pardons) them or punishes them; verily, they are the Zalimun (polytheists, disobedients, and wrong-doers, etc.) [3:128]
Narrated Sahl (radiyallaahu-anhu) that he was asked about the wound of the Prophet on the day (of the battle) of Ubud. He said, “The face of the Prophet was wounded and one of his front teeth was broken and the helmet over his head was smashed. Fatima washed off the blood while ‘All held water. When she saw that bleeding was increasing, she burnt a mat (of date-palm leaves) till it turned into ashes and she filled the wound with those ashes and thus the bleeding ceased. [Saahih Bukhaari. Vol 4. Number: 2911]
It is reported in the Saheeh that one of the Prophet’s teeth was broken and his head was injured (during the battle of Uhud), so he began to wipe the blood away from it, saying: How can a people be successful who cut the face of their Prophet and break his teeth, whilst supplicating to Allaah. So Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) revealed the Ayah: [لَيۡسَ لَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡأَمۡرِ شَىۡءٌ-Not for you (O Muhammad), but for Allah) is the decision] [Source: Zaad Al-Ma-aad 3/205-206]
A person has to (direct) his intention to Allaah in seeking knowledge-being sincere to Allaah and neither desiring (سمعة i.e. his intention should not be the desire to be heard) nor (رياء i.e. his intention should not be the desire to be seen); neither seeking fame nor a worldly goal from the worldly goals. Whoever directs his intention (sincerely) to Allaah, then Allaah will grant him success and reward him based on that. That is because (seeking) knowledge is worship; rather it is from the greatest (affairs of worship).
Deeds do not (receive) reward, except when carried out for the Sake of Allaah (The Most High) and in accordance with the way of the Messenger of Allaah (sallal laahu alayhi wasallam). Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) stated:
[إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّٱلَّذِينَ هُم مُّحۡسِنُونَ– Truly, Allah is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him), and those who are Muhsinun(good-doers)] 16:128
The greatest affair of Taqwah (fear of Allaah) is to sincerely direct one’s intention to Allaah. And besides (the fact that) the one who shows off in seeking knowledge is a loser in the worldly life, he is (also threatened with) punishment in the afterlife, just as it has been (narrated about) those three people who will be thrown in the hell fire on their faces, and amongst them will be a man who sought knowledge so that he is called a scholar and it was said. 
[Source: Ar-Rakaa’iz Al-Ashar Lit-Tahseel Al-Ilm pages: 11-12. Some parts slightly paraphrased]
 Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu-anhu) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) saying: Indeed, the first of the people who will be judged on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died a martyr (in battle). He will be brought forth and (Allaah) will make known to him His Favours and he will acknowledge them. (Allah) will say: And what did you do with them? He will say: I fought for your (sake) until I died a martyr. He will say: You have lied; rather you fought so that it might be said (about you): He is brave and it has been said. Then it will be commanded that he dragged on his face until he is cast into Hell-Fire. (The second person) will be a man who studied (religious) knowledge and taught it, and he used to recite the Qur’an. He will be brought forth and (Allaah) will make known to him His Favours and he will acknowledge them. (Allah) will say: And what did you do with (such favours)? He will say: I studied (religious) knowledge and taught it and I recited the Qur’an for Your sake. He will say: You have lied; rather you studied (religious) knowledge so that it might be said (about you): He is learned; and you recited the Qur’an so that it might be said (about you): He is a reciter. And it has been said. Then it will be commanded that he be dragged on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. (The third person) will be man whom Allah enriched and to whom He gave all kinds of wealth. He will be brought forth and Allah will make known to him His Favours and he will acknowledge them. (Allah) will say: And what did you do with them? He will say: I left no way in which You like that (wealth) should be spent, except that I spent for Your sake. He will say: You have lied; rather you did so that it might be said (about you): He is generous, and it has been said. Then it will be commanded that he be dragged on his face until he is cast into Hell-Fire.”[Muslim. Number 1905]
Read more about ‘Riyaa and Sum’ah’ in this link: http://www.sahab.net/forums/?showtopic=25251
“O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible? You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not.” [12:39-40]
[يَـٰصَٮٰحِبَىِ ٱلسِّجۡنِ ءَأَرۡبَابٌ۬ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيۡرٌ أَمِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡوَٲحِدُ ٱلۡقَهَّار- O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible?] Meaning: Lords that are deprived of the ability to act and are weak-neither able to benefit nor harm; neither able to give nor withhold. And they are various types, (such as) trees, stones, angels and dead people and other than them of those various objects of worship that are taken as objects of worship by the polytheists. Are those objects of worship better or Allaah? [Allaah]–The only One Who has Attributes of absolute perfection; ٱلۡوَٲحِدُ The one singled out in His Essence, His Attributes and Actions, and He has no partner in any of that.
[ٱلۡقَهَّارُ] The Irresistible- the one to whom everything has submitted due to his absolute subjugation of everything and His absolute dominion over everything–whatever He wills takes place and whatever He does not will cannot take place; (and) مَّا مِن دَآبَّةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ ءَاخِذُۢ بِنَاصِيَتِہَآۚ– There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock.
It is known that the one whose affair and description is as such is superior to (those) different gods, which are mere names–neither do they possess perfection nor actions. So because of this [Allaah (The Most High) said that Yusuf (alayhis-salaam) said to them]:
[مَا تَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ إِلَّآ أَسۡمَآءً۬ سَمَّيۡتُمُوهَآ أَنتُمۡ وَءَابَآؤُڪُم— You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers]; Meaning: You gave them names and called them gods, whilst they are nothing. They have no attribute of Uloohiyyah (i.e. attributes of absolute perfection-free from all deficiencies, weakness etc) and [مَّآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ بِہَا مِن سُلۡطَـٰنٍ] – for which Allah has sent down no authority; rather Allaah has sent down authority in prohibiting them (i.e. worship of these things) and clarified its falsity.
And if Allaah did not send down any authority for it, then neither can it be a (sound) path nor a means (of worship), nor does it have any proof. That is because to Allaah (alone) belongs the judgement and He is the one who gives commands and prohibitions. And He (alone) is the One Who legislate the divine laws and rulings, and He is the one that commanded you أَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُۚ ذَٲلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلۡقَيِّمُ– That you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion]; Meaning: The straight religion that leads to every good and the other religions besides it are not upright; rather they are crooked and will lead to every evil.
[وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَڪۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ –But most men know not] the reality of affairs, even though the distinction between worshipping Allaah alone and associating partners with him in worship is a clear and manifest affair (i.e. there is no doubt about the falsity of worshipping others and the absolute proof that Allaah alone has the right to be worship). However due to many people not possessing knowledge of this affair, they fall into shirk.
[Slightly paraphrased…For Further details see Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan]