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Articles


Worship is the Road to Allah

Author : Dr. Safwan Odaybat

Date Added : 13-02-2023


 

There is no doubt that drawing nearer to Allah can`t be accomplished except through acts of worship that He has legislated and this can`t be known save through the revelation sent down on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Allah said to him (Prophet Mohammad): "And thus have We, by Our Command, sent inspiration to thee: thou knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith; but We have made the (Qur’an) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our servants as We will; and verily thou dost guide (men) to the Straight Way,- The Way of God, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Behold (how) all affairs tend towards God!" {Al-Zukhruf/52-53}.

 

Worship is Allah`s Right over His slaves. He, The Almighty Says {What means}: "O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness; Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto God when ye know (the truth)." {Al-Baqarah/21-22}.

 

Allah The Almighty is Addressing all the people (Adore your Guardian-Lord) since all of you are His slaves and He alone is Your Lord, so if you deny that, then think: Who created you from nothing? Who transferred you from the phase of nothingness to the phase of existence? The answer is (Almighty Allah). Therefore, worship Your Lord because He is Your Lord (who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness). Even after He created you, you are still in need for Him. Rather, you are still and will always be in need for Him, His Teaching, His Provisions and Mercy. This is why He Says (What means): (Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance). If you need Allah this much, then (set not up rivals unto God when ye know (the truth)). {Adapted from the book [Drawing Closer to Allah: Virtue, Methods and Ranks] by Sheikh Abdullah Siraj Uldin, pp.13-14}.

 

Worshipping Allah is the essence of slavery and a slave must worship his/her Lord for in this lies pride and dignity. Humbling oneself to Allah is an act of pride and dignity and if one isn`t a slave of Allah, then he/she is a slave of other than Allah; namely wealth, desire, power or people. Therefore, one must be a slave of none but Allah alone.

 

What is the meaning of worship? Worship is performing what Allah Commanded in terms of sayings and actions while observing slavery to The Lord of The Worlds. Worship is a set of sayings and actions a slave performs out of love and lowering him/herself before Allah and drawing closer to Him.

 

This last condition sets the difference between acts of honoring and sayings of glorifying and between acts and sayings of worship to The Lord of The Worlds.

Angels bow down Before Allah in worship. He The Almighty Says {What means}: "Those who are near to Thy Lord, disdain not to do Him worship: They celebrate His praises, and bow down before Him." {Al-`Araf/206}.

 

And they bowed down before Adam to honor him. Allah Says {What means}: "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." {Al-Hijr/29}.

 

In Islam, it is prohibited to prostrate before other than Allah since the Prophet (PBUH) said: "If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I would have ordered a woman to prostrate herself before her husband." For more details in this regard, kindly refer to {Sunnan Al-Baihaqi: Chapter on the Greatness of Husband`s Right over his Wife}.

 

In brief, worshipping Allah, The Exalted rests on three principles:

 

First: Worship of heart, i.e. having firm belief that there is no God Worthy of Worship except Allah and there is no Lord but Him.

 

Second: Worship of acts, i.e. performing acts of worship Enjoined By Allah such as establishing prayer, giving Zakah, fasting Ramadan, performing Hajj, in addition to other obligatory and voluntary acts of worship.

 

Third: Verbal worship, i.e. performing acts legislated by Almighty Allah such as recitations, supplications and remembrance Of Allah as stated in {"Drawing Closer to Allah: Virtue, Methods and Ranks" by Sheikh Abdullah Siraj Uldin, pp.19-20}.

 

Two conditions must be met in order for worship to be accepted:

 

First: It is purely for the sake of Allah and this condition applies to worship of heart through having firm belief and testifying that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah. This purifies one`s heart and intentions from Riyaa` (Showing-off of good deeds/Being hypocrite), hidden Shirk (Polytheism) and pleasing other than Allah.

 

Second: Imitation, i.e. worshipping Allah through what He legislated. Therefore, beware not to perform an act that has no origin in Islam and consequently become an innovator. This condition applies to practical and verbal worship.

 

Worship has great effects on a Muslim`s life. Prayer refines self since Allah Says {What means}: "Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds." {Al-Ankabot/45}. Zakah purifies a Muslim and teaches him/her to love that which is good and beneficial to others. Fasting is forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure From Allah towards a Muslim. Hajj illuminates a Muslim`s heart and settles his/her relationship With Allah, and the same goes for the rest of the acts of worship.

 

There are two methods to draw closer to Allah:

 

First: Through prescribed acts of worship. This is an obligation and loved by Almighty Allah (And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him). This includes prescribed acts of worship, practical, moral and verbal commands, and things that must be deserted because they are forbidden.

 

Second: Through Nawafil (prayers or doing extra deeds besides obligatory acts of devotion). They are called as such because they bring to a person a lot of good things that none knows but Allah.

 

Abu Hurayra (May Allah Be Pleased with him) narrated: "Allah The Exalted Has Said, on the tongue of His Messenger (PBUH), (What means): "I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him." {Related by Al-Bukhari / Modesty chapter}.

 

This Hadith summarizes great meanings in little words. Before addressing methods that draw a Muslim closer to Allah, He The Most Exalted, Said (What means): "I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine). If this is the case, then nothing will avail such a person (One who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Allah)."

 

Accordingly, the first step in drawing closer to Allah is not declaring war against a pious worshipper of His. Pious worshippers of Allah are hidden amongst His creatures. According to the general concept of guardianship, every Muslim is a pious worshipper Of Allah.

 

Therefore, one should have good thoughts concerning every Muslim and avoid harming him/her. At that point, Allah Will not Declare war against you; rather, He Will Bless you with peace and tranquility, so you will worship Him with high moral and try to draw closer to Him eagerly. 

 

And all perfect praise be to Allah The Lord of The Worlds. May His Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

 

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