Thursday 1st of December 2022
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The visage of worship [‘ibādah]

The visage of worship [‘ibādah]

?     Worship [‘ibādah] and servitude [‘ubūdiyyah] brought the Messenger of Allah () to ascension [mi‘rāj]:


﴾ الأقْصَى الْمَسْجِدِ اِلَى الْحَرامِ الْمَسْجِدِ مِنَ لَيْلاً بِعَبْدِهِ أسْرى الَّذي سُبْحَانَ ﴿


Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship.”[1]


?     Worship paves the ground for the descent of angels:


﴾ عَبْدِنَا عَلَىٰ نَزَّلْنَا ﴿


“We have sent down (the revelation through angels) to Our servant.”[2]


?     Worship causes the supplication of man to be granted, for prayer is the covenant of God[3] and whoever fulfills the covenant of God, God in turn will also fulfill his covenant:


﴾ أَوْفُوا بِعَهْدي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ ﴿


“And fulfill My covenant that I may fulfill your covenant.”[4]


?     The person who does not worship God is more abject than stones and other inanimate objects, for the Qur’an reveals:


﴾ وَ إِنَّ مِنْها لَما يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللّهِ ﴿


“And indeed there are some of them (stones) that fall for the fear of Allah.”[5]


This is while some people do not submit to the Fountainhead and Creator of the universe.


?     Worship is the symbol of the will power and the personality of man. The person who is in the midst of his own desires and instincts, if he would wish and decide to move toward God, that act is valuable. If not, the angels who have no desire [shahwah] and wrath [ghaab] are perpetually in the state of worship.

?     Worship makes the most unknown person on the earth the most renowned person in heaven.

?     Worship links the small island of man to the Spring of existence.

?     Worship means to take a glance at all of existence from above.

?     Worship means the blossoming of the dormant, mystical and spiritual faculties in man’s being.

?     Worship is a value acquired by man through resolution and will power. It is different from value attained because of family status or because of innate talents which are inborn and not acquired by choice.

?     Worship is the renewal of allegiance to God and the new fostering of spiritual life.

?     Worship is the barrier to sin and the extinguisher of its effects. It is remembrance and consciousness of God that prevents man from committing sin, and not man’s knowledge of the sin.

?     Worship is filling the vessel of the soul with the remembrance of God, which if it is filled with other than Him, is an act of injustice to the essence of humanity.

?     Worship is so valuable for the earthly ground in that entrance to this sacred ground without ritual purity is not permissible, such as entrance to the mosque, the Ka‘bah and Quds.

?     Worship and servitude to God is itself a value even if our supplications and requests are not granted.

?     Worship is expressed both in the state of happiness and sadness. When God gives the glad tidings of Kawthar to His Prophet (), He exhorts him to pray:  


﴾ فَصَلّ ِ لِرَبِّكَ إِنّا أَعْطَيْناكَ الْكَوْثَرَ ﴿


“Indeed We have given you abundance. So pray to your Lord.”[6]


God also enjoins prayer in facing difficulties and painful events:


﴾ وَالصَّلَوٰةِ بِالصَّبْرِ وَاسْتَعِينُوا ﴿


“And take recourse in patience and prayer.”[7]

Prayers that relieve difficulty

Whenever we encounter difficulty or want to ask for something, Islam enjoins us to pray to God particularly for the removal of our difficulty or the granting of our request. At this point, it is appropriate to mention one example of these prayers:

[1] Sūrah al-Isrā 17:1.

[2] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:23.

[3] Sūrah Yā Sīn 36:60-61:

أَ لَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يا بَني آدَمَ أَنْ لا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبينٌ ﴿

﴾ وَ أَنِ اعْبُدُوني هذا صِراطٌ مُسْتَقيمٌ

“Did I not exhort you, O children of Adam, saying, ‘Do not worship Satan. He is indeed your manifest enemy. Worship Me. That is the straight path’?”

[4] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:40.

[5] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:74.

[6] Sūrah al-Kawthar 108:1-2.

[7] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:45.

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