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“Worship” an all inclusive term in Islam

[ August 05, 2016 ]

Worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure of the Almighty Allah. This, of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of one's fellow human-beings. Islam looks at the individual as a whole.

The concept of worship in Islam is a comprehensive concept that includes all the positive activities of the individual. This of course is in agre

The worshiper is required to submit himself completely to Allah, as this verse of Holy Quran reads "Say (O Muhammad) my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death belong to Allah; He has no partner and I am ordered to be among those who submit, i.e.; Muslims." (6:162, 163).The natural result of this submission is that all one's activities should conform to the instructions of the one to whom the person is submitting. Islam, being a way of life, requires that its followers model their life according to its teachings in every aspect, religious or otherwise. This might sound strange to some people who think of religion as a personal relation between the individual and God, having no impact on one's activities outside rituals. As a matter of fact Islam does not think much of mere rituals when they are performed mechanically and have no influence on one's inner life. The holy Quran addresses the believers and their neighbors from among the People of the Book who were arguing with them about the change of the direction of Qibla in the following verse: "It is not righteousness that you turn your faces toward the East or the West, but righteous is the one who believes in Almighty Allah , the day of judgment, the angels and the Book ( Holy Quaran) and the Prophets, and gives beloved money to relatives and the orphans , the needy and for the ransoming of captives and who observe prayers and pay the poor-due; and those who fulfill their promises when they have made one, and the patient in poverty and affliction and the steadfast in the times of war; it is those who have proved truthful and it is those who are the God-fearing." (2:177). The deeds in the above verse are the deeds of righteousness and they are only a part of worship in Islam . The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told us about faith, which is the basis of worship in Islam , that it "is made up of sixty and some branches; the highest of which is the belief in the Oneness of the Almighty Allah, i.e., there is no God but the Almighty Allah and the lowest in the scale of worship is removing obstacles and dirt from people's way." Decent work is considered in Islam a type of worship.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "Whoever finds himself at the nightfall tired of his work, the Almighty Allah will forgive his sins." Seeking knowledge is one of the highest types of worship. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told his companions that "seeking knowledge is a religious duty on every muslim." In another saying he said: "Seeking knowledge for one hour is better than praying for seventy years." Social courtesy and cooperation are part of worship when done for the sake of the Almighty Allah as the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told us: "Receiving your friend with a smile is a type of charity, helping a person to load his animal is a charity and putting some water in your neighbor's bucket is a charity." The concept of worship in Islam is a comprehensive concept that includes all the positive activities of the individual. This of course is in agreement with the all inclusive nature of Islam as a way of life. It regulates human life on all levels: individual, social, economic, political and spiritual. That is why Islam provides guidance to the smallest details of one's life on all these levels. There is always the permanent supervisor, who knows everything, namely, the Almighty Allah.