The Hadith contains four parables which are:
1- The example of the one who associates partner with Allah (Glory be to Him) is like a slave eats from the money of his master and inhabits in his master's house, but pays what he earns to other than his master. Indeed, no one is pleased to have such a slave, so how would be the case when Allah (Glory be to Him) creates man in the best and most beautiful image, provides him abundant sustenance, and lodges him in His Earth then that person worships other than Him?! Let us think about the meaning of the Hadith: "The first is to worship Allah and associate none with Him in worship. This example is like a man bought a slave out of pure gold or silver, but that slave worked and the money he earned was given to other than his master, who would like that his slave is like that one? Allah (Glory be to Him) created you and provided you sustenance, so worship Him and associate none with Him in worship."
Imam Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) explained this Hadith in his book: "Al Wabil As-Sayyib min Al Kalim At-Tayyib" in details, therefore it is better to mention it here in full: Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave example of a believer and the one who associates others with Allah in worship: The believer is like a slave works in his master's house and fulfills the duties imposed on him by his master. However, the one who associates someone with Allah in worship is like a slave works in his master's house and after his work, he gave the money and benefited other than his master. Likewise the polytheist who works for other than Allah in the land of Allah (Glory be to Him) and draws near to the enemy of Allah (Glory be to Him) through the favors and bounties of Allah. It is well-known if a person has a slave like that one, he will consider him the worst slave he has, be upset of him, and would hate him even though he is a creature like him and both are living in the favor of others (i.e., Allah). So, how would be the case if we apply this to the Lord of the worlds who is the only Giver of all bounties and favors which a servant enjoys?! No one gives bounties except He, no one turns away misdeeds but He, and He alone is the One who creates, shows mercy, manages things, provides sustenance, grants health, and fulfill the needs. After counting these favors and bounties, how would a person equates between Allah and others in love, fear, invocation, oath, vow, and dealings?! How come a person loves others as or more than Him, or fears or invokes others as or more than Him? Moreover, their conditions, sayings, and deeds witness that they love the living and the dead, fear them, invoke them, deal with them, ask for their contentment, and escape from their displeasure more than they love, fear, invoke, and escape the displeasure of Allah; these are the acts of polytheism that Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) does not forgive. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: "Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allâh (in worship), he has indeed invented a tremendous sin." [Surat An-Nisa': 116]. (1)
2- The example of fasting is like a man who applies perfume from the best kinds and when he walks among people, they smell his good odor. This is the text of the Hadith: “I command you with fasting, the likeness of that is like a man who has a bundle of musk among a group of people where all of them can find the smell of musk." This similitude is like the Prophet's saying: "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk." (2)
Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) compared the fasting person to the bundle of musk because it is hidden underneath the clothes which is the habit of the carrier of musk. Likewise the one who observes fasting hides his fast from people, and their senses cannot perceive it. The one who observes fasting is the one whose organs abstain from committing sins, his tongue stops lying, obscenity, and false accusations to others, his stomach abstains from food and drink, and his private parts abstain from fornication. When he speaks, he does not utter a thing that may invalidate his fasting and when he acts, he does not do an act that may invalidate his fasting. Hence, his words come out beneficial as well as his acts, and in that case it will be like an odor which the people who are in the company of a perfume carrier smell. Likewise, those who sit with a fasting person will benefit from his company and do not find therein falsity, lying, immorality, or oppression." (3)
(1) Al Wabil As-Sayyib min Al Kalim At-Tayyib of Ibn Al Qayyim, p. 46-47.
(2) Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. (1894).
(3) Al Wabil As-Sayyib min Al Kalim At-Tayyib of Ibn Al Qayyim, p. 61.