The concept of worship in Islam is an important part of the Islamic faith. Worship includes acts of devotion, prayer, and remembrance of Allah Almighty. This can be done through personal prayers or by participating in community services such as Friday prayers at mosques or fundraising for charity projects. The Holy Qur’an describes three categories of people who will receive blessings on Judgment Day: those who were righteous during their lifetime; those who were merciful toward others; and those who helped others with good deeds before they died. So, the definition of worship in Islam includes all righteous deeds along with devotion, prayer, and remembrance of Allah SWT.
What does Worship Mean in Islam?
Worship (Ibadah) comes from the Arabic word Abd (عباد) which means obedience, servitude, etc. So, Worship means enslaving. In Islamic terminology, worship is the act of obeying the rules of Allah in all activities of daily life. Worship in Islam means every good deed one does or says following the Islamic law intending to please Allah the merciful. The concept of Worship in Islam includes rituals and beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of one’s fellow human beings.
Worship in Islam consists of many different aspects from prayer to fasting during Ramadan to performing good deeds, but it all comes down to one thing: connecting with God through our actions or words intending to please Him. Although the concept of worship in Islam is commonly considered to mean performing ritualist acts like prayers, fasting, charity, etc. the traditional definition of worship in Islam includes almost everything in any individual’s activities for the pleasure of the Almighty Allah. So, our eating, working, speaking, or sleeping may also be part of worship if it is for the satisfaction of the Almighty and according to certain rules. That’s why the Quran says:
“Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.” [Al-An’ am: 162]
The Principle of Worship in Islam
The principle of worship in Islam is commonly based on Qur’an and Sunnah. No one can know how Allah prefers His servitude and worship through any means other than the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the messenger Muhammad Saw. So, there is no room for innovation or contrived methods in worship. Because how will Allah be pleased and satisfied with worship, Allah has fully informed His servants through the Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet SAW. Therefore, complete adherence to the Qur’an and Sunnah is the principle of worship in Islam.
“Whoever performs such worship without our guidance, it will be considered as abdication.” (Muslim, Hadith No: 4590)
The Purpose of Worship in Islam
The purpose of worship in Islam is only to gain the pleasure of Allah. That’s why, if any other purpose is achieved through worship, it will never be considered worship. Every good deed is a part of worship. As such, if a good deed is done for any purpose other than the pleasure of Allah, to express one’s dignity, it loses its significance in the court of Allah. So, the purpose of worship and every good deed should be to please Allah. There is no room for self-interest or pride in the work done to please Allah. The arrival of Mankind on this earth is not merely meaningless. Allah, the Almighty has a purpose behind the creation of Mankind. And that is that people will worship Him.
“Whatever the heavens and the earth are in between, I have not created them for a (mere) play.” -Surah Ambiya:16
“I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me” – Adh-Dhaaruyat: 56
Importance of Worship in Islam
The concept of worship in Islam informs us about the importance and significance of worship. Adoration is the measure of slavery. Those who are best in devotion are the best servants of Allah. Through worship, the servant attains closeness to his creator and establishes a strong connection with Him. Since the great Lord created mankind only for His worship, through worship the servant fulfills his responsibility to his creator. Worship is the only way to gain the pleasure of Allah Almighty and obtain His grace. And it is through the grace of the Almighty God that we attain happiness, peace, and prosperity in this worldly life and liberation and ultimate success in the hereafter. Through worship, the servant acknowledges the gratitude for his Lord’s blessings. therefore, worship in Islam is a way of remembering God. Therefore, the importance of worship in the entire life of a servant is immense.
Worship is Our Responsibility
Since Allah the Almighty has created us, our life and death are in His will. He is our Lord and we are His slaves. So, our job is to obey his order and worship Him alone. Since we were created to worship Allah the almighty, it is our responsibility to worship Him. In the Quran, Allah says:
“And worship your Lord until you die” (Surah al-Hijr: 99).
Worship is the Pillar of Islam
As we know the first and foremost condition of Islam is to declare the monotheism of Allah. so, worshiping Allah is the first and foremost thing in Islam. The main purpose of a Muslim is to worship Allah, the Almighty. The great ideals of Islam contain several fundamental Ibadat, these are the pillars of Islam. Testifying to the oneness of Allah, establishing prayer, fasting, paying zakat, performing Hajj if one is able, etc. are the pillars of Islam. And these actions are undoubtedly included in worship. Therefore, worship is the pillar of Islam.
Worship is the Pillar of Faith in Islam
A believer knows very well the purpose of his earthly life. He is also aware of the results of good or bad actions in life. Hence, he is always loyal and grateful to his Lord and devotes himself to Him to gain his pleasure and mercy. So, worshipping God is a central part of the Islamic faith. Belief is never fulfilled without worship. Because we cannot become a complete Muslim only if we believe in the articles of belief (fundamentals) of Islam. Rather, we need to act according to our faith. Therefore, the better the believer, the better person can submit himself before Allah as a worshiper.
Worship in Islam is Only for Allah
Allah is the only creator, sustainer, and controller of everything in the Universe. There is no partner in his sovereignty. There is no other entity equal to Allah and There is no god worthy of worship except Him. So, worship should be done only for Him. This is why worshiping any entity other than Allah is strictly prohibited and considered an unforgivable crime in Islam. In fact, the person who does such kind of sin is considered a polytheist. Allah says-
“And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him alone.” -Al Bayyinah: 05
Worship is a Way to Connect with Allah in Islam
Worship is an important way that the servants connect with their creator. In this way, we can show Him gratitude for His blessings and attain nearness to our Lord. It is also a way to show love for Him by thanking Him for everything He has given us. Through this, we earn the grace of our great Lord and pray to Him for our worldly and hereafter success.
“Remember Me; I will remember you. And thank Me, and never be ungrateful.” -Al Baqarah: 152
Worship in Islam is a Way to Hereafter Liberation
The main and only purpose of worship is to gain the pleasure of Allah Almighty. And God’s pleasure bestows upon us His grace. And by receiving His grace and mercy, we hope for eternal salvation. So, the concept of worship in Islam determines the way of salvation for us in the hereafter.
“And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort (worship) due for it, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, thanked, and rewarded by Allah.” Al-Israa: 19
The Conditions of Worship in Islam
Pure faith free from polytheism, disbelief, and hypocrisy is a prerequisite for acceptance of worship. The worship of one who does not have faith is not acceptable to Allah Almighty. In the Holy Qur’an, it is stated,
“Surely Islam is the only (chosen) religion before Allah” (Surah Al-Imran: 19)
Ikhlas is the name of doing all the work in the hope of Allah’s pleasure only. If there is even the slightest combination of any intention other than the pleasure of Allah, that worship will not be accepted by Allah. Our Prophet SAW said,
‘Of the things I fear for my ummah, the most dangerous is associating partners with Allah. Of course, I do not mean that they worship the sun, the moon, or idols; Rather, they will act for the pleasure of others other than Allah and commit secret sins.’ (Ibn Majah: 4205)
Being free from Shirk
Shirk destroys all good deeds. Do not engage in any form of shirk. The deed of a person associated with a shirk is not accepted. In this context, Allah Ta’ala says,
“It has been revealed to you and those before you that if you associate partners with Allah, your deeds will be fruitless and you will be among the losers.” (Surah Zumar, verse 65)
Following the Qur’an-Sunnah
In order for deeds to be accepted, it is necessary to imitate and follow the Prophet (PBUH). It is not accepted if a person worships in a fabricated or heretical way. Worship must be performed according to the instructions, customs, and teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW. If any worship is not performed in the way he taught and practiced, then no matter how sincere and sincere it is, it will not be accepted in the court of Allah or will not get any reward. In this regard, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever performs such worship without our guidance, it will be considered as abdication.” (Muslim, Hadith No: 4590)
The worshiper must be halal-subsisting. The worship of a person who eats haram is not accepted in the court of Allah. Because the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said,
‘That meat (body) will not go to Paradise, which is produced from Haram (food). Hell is suitable for it.’ (Sahih Ibn Hibban: 1723, Tirmidhi: 614)
Innovation in Worship in Islam
The concept of worship in Islam is very clear and definite. And therefore, the addition of innovation in worship is prohibited. Any act which is not justified by the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW is regarded as worship and performing it is prohibited and condemned in Islamic Sariah. So, this means that it is not lawful for any creature to worship that which is not proven in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. The Prophet (PBUH) said
“A person who did something. But I have no permission for that work, it is rejected.” Bukhari Ha/2499.
The concept of worship in Islam makes a believer loyal and devoted to his Lord. The principle of worship encourages us to acquire knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW. As a result, we can properly understand its importance and significance. Above all, we can lead our lives in the way of the great Lord to attain His satisfaction. Through worship, we can fill ourselves with the grace and mercy of Almighty Allah and attain peace in worldly life and freedom in the hereafter. May Allah grant us Tawfiq to fulfill the responsibilities of servitude to Him. (Ameen)
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