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ISL201 Islamic Studies Assignment No 2 Solution and Discussion Fall 2012 Due Date:17-01-2013

SEMESTER FALL 2012
ISLAMIC STUDIES (ISL 201)
ASSIGNMENT NO. 02
DUE DATE: 17TH JANUARY 2013
MARKS: 30
ASSIGNMENT:
Concept of Worship
Allah (SWT) is our creator and He knows better about our purpose of creation. In His Holy book
Quran e Majeed; He (SWT) guides us about our purpose of creation by saying:
﴿الذاريات : ٥٦ ﴾ وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الجِْ  ن وَالْإِنسَ إِلا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
"And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me".
So, it is proven that the basic purpose of our creation is to worship Allah (SWT).
On the other hand, when we go through the lives of Muslims; not only the common
Muslims but also the lives of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and His companions (R.A), they seem
to be involved in worldly affairs in addition to “Ibadah”. They spent most of their time in
relation with humans as parents, spouse, neighbours, and friends. They are also
involved in different professions for earning their livelihood.
You are required to:
1. Explain the true concept of Worship.
2. Narrate the actions and deeds which are included in Worship.
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1. Explain the true concept of Worship.

The word used by the Holy Qur'an for the worship is "Ibadah" which has a much wider sense than "worship". In English, the word "worship" normally indicates to some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one's reverence to his Creator. But the word "ibadah' is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah's commands and to seek His pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature are included in the word of ‘ `ibadah’  like earning one's livelihood through halal (permissible) means and in order to fulfill one's obligations towards his dependants.

"I am God, there is no other God but Me. You shall worship Me and observe the 'Salat' (Contact Prayer) to commemorate Me" 20:14

These sacred words, which speak of Worship and Prayer independently, indicate that these two acts are not the same. If the act of worship was primarily an act of prayer and nothing else, God would not say "worship Me" AND "observe the salat". The word AND indicates that there is more to worship than just praying.

While as the Contact Prayer is a specific ritual decreed for specific times of the day, the act of Worship on the other hand is an uninterrupted state of the mind, body and soul. It is an exalted spiritual level of existence and invaluable nourishment for our souls. Without the act of Worship, consecrated exclusively to God alone, one is unable to attain true happiness. Our physical bodies, by merely submitting to God's will, are in a perpetual state of worship. All our body organs and tissues are ordained to function in a meticulous pre-ordained manner designed by God and over which we have no control whatsoever. They are in a ceaseless state of submission to the will of God. However, our souls are given the freedom of choice. If our souls choose the same route as our ordained bodies, harmony will be struck between body and soul, the reward of which will be true happiness. On the other hand if our souls are rebellious, unappreciative or egoistic and elect not to worship God, we will never attain true happiness no matter how much material fortune we may posses.

The Quran, being a fully detailed book, provides the believers with the answer to the questions: Whom should we worship? Whom should we not worship? and, how should we worship?

Most believers will be quite offended by the first question. They will say 'Of course we worship God!' However, the Quran indicates that the human being worships what or whoever occupies his mind most of the time.

Worship is an indispensable part of all religions. It is motivated in each religion by different objectives, assumes different forms and is performed under different set of rules.

In some religions worship is a means to develop in man the attitude of harshness and isolation from life. In these religions , Ibadah or worship , seeks to develop a mentality which makes the enjoyment of the pleasures of this world as hateful and sinful thing. There are also other religions which designate certain places for the sake of worship and prohibit its performance at any other place. There are also religions where worship can be performed only under the leadership of the ordained priests or monks. Therefore, people may perform worship under the leadership of priests and only at the place devoted for it.

As Muslims, we say every time we pray while reciting Al-Fatiha " You alone we worship . Our Salah is part of our Ibadah to Allah. Ibadah according to Islam , is a mean for the purification of man’s soul and his practical life of sin and wickedness.

In Islam, the concept of worship is related to its fundamental view that the true foundations of a good life are soundness of belief and thinking, purity of soul, and righteousness of action.

Through Tawheed, or the belief in the oneness of God , Islam seeks to cleanse human intellect of the filth of idolatry and superstitious conceptions.

Islam fights against idolatry and polytheism in whichever forms and to whatever extent they may be found. For example, Islam does not permit the performance of Salah in front of a tomb, nor does it permit a person to swear in the name of anyone except Allah.

When Caliph Omar saw that some Muslims began to sanctify the tree under which the Companions had pledged to lay down their lives in the way of Allah on the occasion of Hudaybiyah, he had it cut down because he feared that the sanctification of that tree might corrupt the beliefs of the people.

Worship in Islam has distinctive characteristic features which are as follows:

Freedom from Intermediaries

First of all, Islam has liberated "worship" from the bondage of intermediaries between man and his Creator. Islam seeks to create a direct link between man and his Lord. There is no need to the intercession of any intermediaries.

Religious scholars in Islam are not intermediaries between man and God nor they are considered to be entitled to accept or reject acts of worship on behalf of God. They are equal to ordinary human beings in the sight of God.

Rather, they have been burdened with the additional duty of providing knowledge to those who lack knowledge. They will be deemed guilty if they hold knowledge back from those who seek it.

The Islamic Shariah does not impose the domination of religious scholars on the rest of the people. The function and the duty of Allah said to the Prophet:

"Remind them , for you are but to make them remember, you are not at all dominant over them." 88/21.22 "

The Prophet also said to his own daughter Fatima: O Fatima , daughter of Muhammad: I shall be of no help to you before Allah.

This shows that all human beings stand on a footing of complete equality before God.

Not confined to specific place

Secondly, Islam not only liberated man’s Ibadah from the bondage of intermediaries; it also liberated it from confinement to specific places. Islam regards every pure place as good enough for the performance of worship whether the place is one’s home, office, in an airplane, the board of a vessel, or a mosque.

The Prophet has expressed this idea beautifully when he said:

"The whole earth has been rendered for me a mosque-pure and clean."

All Embracing View

Thirdly, Islam has considerably widened the scope of worship.

It is not confined to specific prayers and litanies or chants which are to be performed on particular occasions.

Islam considers every virtuous action which has been sincerely performed and with the view to carry out the commandments of Allah and in order to seek His Pleasure , an act or worship which will be rewarded. Eating , drinking, sleeping and enjoyment of innocent recreation and even those worldly actions which satisfy man’s physical needs and sensuous pleasures become acts of worship provided they are performed with true religious motives.

It is an act of worship to strengthen one’s body by providing it with proper nourishment and care.

The Prophet said in this regard : "A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a believer who is weak."

In other words, the actions which are part of worldly life could be turned into acts of devotion and worship simply by pure motives and sincere intention to obey Allah and please Him.

Thus, it is possible that a man should advance spiritually even while he is fully enjoying the pleasures of worldly life. The reason is that during all this enjoyment his heart is directed to Allah.

His actions are righteous, his intentions are pure. This will enable him to remain perpetually in the state of submission, obedience and devotion to Allah even during his working pursuits --- and that is the very essence of worship.

Why is it that the scope of worship is so wide in Islam?

There is a profound wisdom and a important reason for this.

Islam wants man’s heart to remain in perpetual closeness with his Lord .Islam wants man also to observe constant vigilance over his desires so that his life may become a source of his welfare in the life to come as the Quran says :

"Seek with the wealth which Allah has bestowed on you, the Home of Hereafter , and forget not your portion of this world." 28/77

Good intentions prevent man from forgetting Allah. They change acts of habit into acts of worship. Good intentions create a world of difference in human life . There are people who eat and drink and satisfy their desires and enjoy the pleasures of life.

Their actions are motivated only by the gratification of animal desires There are also other people who satisfy their desires and enjoy the pleasures of life , but the actions of those people are motivated by noble intentions. The motive behind all their actions is to live in compliance with the Will of God.

The difference between the two groups is obviously so great. While one is always mindful of God and remembers Him , the other is altogether negligent . It is this that makes the former a pious, worshipful being, and the latter a heedless, self indulgent animal. About this kind if people the Quran says:

"Those who disbelieve , enjoy this world and eat as the cattle eat And the Fire will be their abode (habitation)." 47/12

Islam seeks to elevate humanity to a place which befits its dignity and status. This is the Islamic philosophy of worship.

We all know that there are specific rituals and obligatory acts of

worship in Islam such as Salah, Zakah , Siyam and Hajj. We also know that Islam has widened the scope of worship to include every virtuous action which is sincerely performed in compliance with the commandments of Allah and in order to seek his pleasure. However, this concept is sometimes used as a pretext to support the erroneous view that the obligatory rituals of worship can be dispensed with , or that they are not very important.

For example , one may say that the code of dress for Muslim women , as specified in the Quran and the Sunnah, is not obligatory or important as long a woman dresses decently.

The truth is quite contrary to this. The specific obligatory rituals are the chief means for strengthening our attachments with Allah. It is absolutely misconceived view to imagine that true faith does not consist of specific rituals , and that the basis of true faith is merely purity of heart, goodness of intention and soundness of conduct.

This represents misrepresentation of Islamic teachings. The intention to do good alone does not mark off the true men of faith from the rest. Religion, after all, has an external aspect in the same way as it has an internal aspect. This attitude of deliberate disregard of ritual obligations is destructive of the very foundations of religion. For if that viewpoint to be adopted, every one, even those who are in fact opposed to religion could claim to be the best of all worshipers.

The real purpose of Islam in declaring that Ibadah embraces the total life of man is to make faith play a practical and effective role in reforming human life, in developing in man an attitude of dignified patience and strength in the face of hardships and difficulties and in creating in him the urge to strive for supremacy of good and termination of evil.

Islam is opposed to those defeatist and isolationist philosophies which are based on world-renunciation, on resignation from the resources of life, on withdrawal from the life of action and struggle, on sheer stagnation and decadence.

These things have nothing to do with Islam. They are the symbols of defeatism and escape from the struggle of life. For life requires strength, material resources and active habits .

The Qur'ânic Concept of Worship
Have you not pondered that it is Allâh Whose praises celebrate those who are in the heavens and on the earth, and (so do) the birds on the wings. Each one of them knows his own (way of) prayer and glorification (according to his or its own faculties). And Allâh knows well what they do. And to Allâh belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and to Allâh shall all eventually return.(24:41-42) 

The seven heavens, the earth and all those inhabiting them extol His glory. In fact, there is not even a single thing but glorifies Him with His true and perfect praise, but you do not understand their glorification. Verily, Most Forbearing is He, Great Protector. (17:44) 

Have you not considered that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and (also) the sun, the moon and the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of mankind make obeisance (sajada) to Allâh? (22:18)

When we make use of our power of reflection (Quwwat al-Fikr) and profess that He is Incomparable and that He stands High above any similarity with His creatures, we are full of bewilderment (Hayrat) and this bewilderment inspires in us a desire and urge for worship. Accordingly, the worship is inherent to the created things and there is no need for it to be prescribed.

We are like lutes once held by God.
Being away from His warm body
Fully explains this constant yearning (Hafiz)

Worship is also His decree that cannot be denied. Allâh says, "We have prescribed certain rites of worship for every people" (22:34) and has made it clear that whichsoever way you turn your face, there you will find His "Face" and His attention (2:115). So He is in every direction, each direction represents a particular doctrine and belief regarding Him. "Cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques are the places where Allâh's name is being mentioned" (22:40). Thus He is worshipped in every object of worship and in every place of worship, no matter to what religious grouping one belongs.

All people know and imagine their Deity according to their capacity and aptitude (2:148) and in cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques it is basically He and His name is being mentioned (22:40). Thus one who goes to worship in a church, temple, cloister, synagogue or a mosque, believes and worships a Deity he has in his mind, which he has created and which fits into his belief (2:148). But it is often so that the object of worship, which the people think to be right, is poor in form, it is mostly an image in the form of a created thing by God, a star, the sun, an animal or a human being (cf.: 35:13-15). When al-Junaid, the great Islamic mystic, was asked about the gnosis of God he said: "The colour of the water is the same as that of its container".

There I bow my head 
At the feet of every creature.
This is the constant submission and homage
Of kissing God all over
Only there I prostrate myself
Before the beauty of every form
When I bring my heart to an object
I always hear the Friend say,
"Hafiz! I am here" (Hafiz)

Atheists think that they do not believe in any god. God says:

They have taken their own low desires as their deity (25:43; 45:23).

Accordingly it is their own low desires that are worshipped by them when they concentrate all their efforts to achieve worldy things. They live a life devoted to satisfying their animal instincts. The deity they worship, is obviously not the Lord of the worlds but their money, their fame or social recognition, their flag, their hero, their king, their president, their pet, their woman or any of the other created things.

“They pursue the glamour of this life, and their hearts are unmindful of the remembrance of their Lord” (18:28).

The Holy Qur’ân tells of such:

Have you considered the case of him who has taken his own low desires for his god, and whom Allâh has forsaken and adjudged as lost on the basis of (His infinite) knowledge, whose ears and heart He has sealed and whose eyes He has covered with a veil? Who then will guide him after Allâh (has condemned him for his being given to evil ways)? Will you then pay no heed? (These are the people) who say, ‘We have only this our present life (to live) (45:23-24)

Allâh says in His words:

Relate to them the news of him to whom We gave Our commandments but he withdrew himself there from, then satan followed him (in his pursuit of worldly efforts and looking for satisfaction of his wild animal like instincts), with the result that he became one of those led astray (and became a pervert). We would have exalted him (in ranks) thereby (- by means of these Our commandments) if he willed, but he remained inclined to (the material things of) this world and followed his low desires. His case therefore is like that of a dog, if you bear down upon it, it lolls its tongue out or if you leave it alone, it still lolls out its tongue. Such is the case with the people who cry lies to Our commandments; (they do not give up their evil ways whether you warn them or not). So narrate to them the account (of the people of old) that they may reflect. Sad is the case of the people who cry lies to Our commandments and it is their own selves that they have wronged. Those alone are rightly guided to whom Allâh shows guidance, but whom He adjudges to be astray and leaves them in error, it is these who are the losers. (7:175-178). 

They have taken their rabbis and priests as their Lord (9:31).

The three instincts love, worship and imitation bring our latent faculties to progress and perfection if we can develop them. We are by nature attracted by things that please us in some way. Perfection of beauty and perfection of beneficence ripen into love and adoration. It assumes the form of worship when accompanied by certain gesticulations such as bowing and prostration and saying words of praise and attributes and beautiful names of Allâh. We are then led to imitate the Being having perfection of beauty and perfection of beneficence. If a being contains excellencies of perfect beauty and perfect beneficence the heart melts and yearns with fervent devotion to imitate that beauty.

The instinct of adoration and worship of Allâh has been placed in the nature of human beings for higher ends, but it misses its object when it is confined only to mere bowing down and prostration and counting and repeating the names of God on a rosary or singing in churches for mere show. All who profess to love God, love only the images they themselves have constructed in their minds. In reality they profess God's similarity with His creatures. The knowledge of Him demands that they profess His Incomparability.

He is Wonderful and Primary Originator of the heavens and the earth! How (and whence) can there be a son for Him, when He has no consort? He has created all things and He has perfect knowledge of everything. Such is Allâh, your Lord! There is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of Worship but He, the Creator of all things; therefore worship Him, for He is the Disposer of all affairs. (6:101-102)

Allâh has decreed:

"I have created the Jinn (-creation that is hidden) and the people to worship Me" (51:56)

Therefore it is best to fulfil God's right and His decree. If we fulfil His wish as He desires, His special favour (Rahmîmiyyat) guides us to the right path and He will make us attain our wish. If we worship Him we do so for our own good (17:7). We ourselves are the recipient of the profit of worship. The worship restrains from indecency, abominable things and loathsome deeds and from all that runs counter to reason and moral and from it we obtain inspiration for good deeds (29:45). By doing so we are in fact “glorifying the coming man who has to be evolved from our inner selves.” In reciting the attributes of perfection, we keep before us a sacred cast in which we have to mould our character.

"He has decreed that you should not worship any but Him” (17:23).

The Holy Prophet of Islam said that through worship and implicit obedience to our Lord, Allâh becomes our limb and joints (Bukhârî). By deification we attain the highest morals which we will find when we study the Holy attributes of perfection.

Divine glorification and worship of God do not mean the singing of hymns. That is but a lip gratitude which would not please even an average person. To please God is really to work out our own evolution and to bring to realization what our Creator has placed in us. In this lies our whole success and our worship of God. The worship of God means to fulfil the requirement of His names. It is impossible to think of a better system and guide of morals then that carved on the lives by the said attributes. The concept of His attributes has much to do with the mould of our character and civilization. Albert Ellis flatly states “Religion is neurosis” and Alva Edison writes, “It is a damned fake, all bunk,” similarly C. L. Martin says, “What are we to do with religion? Simply throw it out as a useless historic curiosity.” But if we need some type of consistent, coherent value system that will give us a sense of order, structure and purpose in life, and we certainly need a set of principles, (Dr. Clarence L. Martin, “God is a Verb”, 1989, p. 1), then bring us a coherent value system and mode of character better than what the Holy Qur'an tells us in the following words:

“Assume the attributes of Allâh, and who is fairer and better than Allâh in attribution? We are His worshippers ever” (2:138)

Let the moralists and religious minded persons on one side and the people of culture and progress on the other contemplate on these attributes and see if they can find a better code of life.

The object of these names and attributes is not to glorify Allâh by repeating them on a rosary, for Allâh is far above such needs and does not want such service, but by adopting in our daily lives these attributes we are doing the best service possible to our own selves. In adoring such attributes we are reminded of the ways which will make us too an object of adoration. To glorify Allâh is to edify ourselves, as human beings are capable of soaring to the highest of the high. Even the angels of Allâh that move all the potentialities of nature by His will, will become the human being’s ministers and prostrate before him (2:34). If he makes this acquisition and behaves according to the attributes of Allâh, then and only then, can he go higher than the angels and reach the Divine precinct and boundaries of Divinity and reach the highest pinnacle of civilization, culture, piety, and purity. The recital of certain sacred words and names is not an act of worship. True worship consists in submission to His laws, His ways, and His attributes. If we wish to live as good citizens under the government of the Lord and in the Kingdom of heaven and get true success and happiness in this world and the Hereafter, we must look for these attributes.

Morality in Islam consists in reflecting these Divine attributes. A Muslim says his Prayers (Salât) five times a day and the verses of al-Fâtihah which he recites in each of his Prayer several times should remind him of those Divine moulds in which he has to cast his daily life. He is expected to act like Rabb, Rahmân, Rahîm and Mâlik in his relations to others, at each step of his life. He must be loving, gracious and look after the needs of others, whether they deserve it or not. His help must go to others automatically without their request or desert (Rahmân), and if they serve him in any way, his reward to them should be more than that rather many fold (Rahîm). He must practice forgiveness in his daily dealings (Mâlik). In short, high morality consists in the reflection of Divine morals. Thus the best religious service and worship, according to Islam, consists of acting in conformity with the requirements of the Divine Names and attributes. If the worship of a deity produces no moral effect on our life, it need not be pursued. We know nothing of God except through His ways of work in nature. Hence our worship of Him should find its real manifestation in our following His ways in our life. Our prayer or other forms of adoration should serve as a reminder of that Great Truth. True worship consists in submission to His laws, His ways, His limits and bounds and His attributes.

The Holy Qur'ân has placed some of the excellent attributes of Allâh before us to aid us in building up our moral fabric. But He is in no case an anthropomorphic Deity, and He is not fashioned after the human form and endowed with human passions. Human beings did not ascribe morals to their Deity but He has planted His own morals in human beings. The concept of God has much to do with the moulding of human character. The eintire Qur'ân is basically a commentary of the names of God taught to Adam (2:31). All the laws and regulations given in the Holy Book, when pursued, make our life in accordance with the requirements of these attributes. To be virtuous is to lead such a life. To walk humbly with God (31:19) means to imbue ourselves with His Divine attributes. Everything which goes against the demands of these attributes is sin and making our lives according to them is vile. If the Holy Qur'ân relates events of some great men, it is only an illustration of such lives of people who acted according to these attributes (31:12-19). As Allâh is the Creator of the whole Qur'ân and everything moves around it and worship consists in submission to His laws, His ways, and His attributes mentioned to us in His Book.

In short, belief in Allâh and in His attributes when rendered into action in our daily lives will bring us and our civilization to its climax. But a mere lip confession is less meritorious even than the different forms which polytheism has adopted. It is useless to sing hymns at the top of our voice if we are not leading and do not lead Godly lives. Allâh does not stand in need of any adoration from us. If our worship of Him lies only in bringing offerings and sacrifices to His altar and in the recital of His names and praises and thanks to Him, it is neither credible to God nor profitable to us. He is then only another fetish in the world of religions. Allâh is and should stand above such things. He needs no praise from us.

He who follows the right way follows it to his own good and he who goes astray, surely, he goes astray to his own loss. And no soul that bears the burden shall bear the burden of another (soul) (17:15)

Therefore, Allâh needs no worship, nor does He require any praise or thanksgiving from us (31:12). The Holy Qur'ân is very explicit on this point. It says that our extolling or praising Allâh does not contribute to His Glory nor does blasphemy and disobedience detract at all from His grandeur and dignity. Our prayers to Him should consist of such expressions as may help us to work out our own power and ability, given by Him, to our best advantage and moulding of good character. Therefore if the worship of a deity produces no moral effect on our individual and collective lives, and does not bring out all that is noble and good in us, it need not be pursued. But if, on the other hand, our worship of Him inspires us and His attributes inspire us to follow His ways as they are to be observed, ways and attributes that work out the best of civilization on righteous lines, it ought to be part and parcel of our lives.

Keep on remembering your Lord in your mind with humility and awe and in a voice not loud, in the morning and in the evening, and do not be of the heedless. Those who are near to their Lord (and feel His nearness and presence) do not wax too proud to worship Him, but they glorify Him and prostrate themselves in obedience to Him (7:205-206).

The Holy Prophet said: "God says, 'I am companion of him who remembers Me'. Remembrance is a discourse, and whosoever remembers, sits with God and God is with him. 
Hafiz once said:

At some point your relationship with God
Will become like this: Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city road
There will not be any more "Leaving" (Hafiz)
Who is more erring than the one who leaving aside the guidance from Allâh follows his own low desires (28:50).

Concept of Worship in Islam

 

The concept of worship in Islam is misunderstood by many people including some Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean performing ritualistic acts such as prayers, fasting, charity, etc. This limited understanding of worship is only one part Or the

meaning Or worship in Islam. That is why the traditional definition Or worship in Islam is a

comprehensive definition that includes almost everything in any individual's activities. The

definition goes something like this: "Worship is an all inclusive term for all that God loves of external and internal sayings and actions of a person." In other words, worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure Or Allah. This, of course, include spirituals 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. He is required to submit himself completely to Allah, as the Qur�an instructed the prophet Muhammad to do: "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." 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 Qur�an 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 he

who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the

angels and the Book and the prophets, and gives

his beloved money to the relatives and the

orphans and the needy and for the ransoming Of

the captives and who observes prayer and pays

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 time 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. The prophet told us about faith, which is the basis of worship, that it "is made up of sixty and some branches: the highest of which is the belief in the Oneness of Allah, i.e., there is no God but 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 said: "Whoever finds himself at the nightfall tired of his work, God will forgive his sins." Seeking knowledge is one of the highest types of worship. The prophet 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 Allah as the prophet 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."

 

It is worth noting that even performing one's duties is considered a sort of worship. I he prophet told us that whatever one spends for his family is a type of

charity: he will be rewarded for it if he acquires it through legal means. Kindness to the members of one's family is an act of worship as when one puts a piece of food in his spouse's mouth as the prophet informed us. Not only this but even the acts we enjoy doing very much. when they are performed according to the instructions of the prophet, they are considered as acts of worship. The prophet told his companions that they will be rewarded even for having sexual intercourse with their wives. The companions were astonished and asked: "How are we going to be rewarded for doing something we enjoy very much?" The prophet asked them: "suppose you satisfy your desires illegally, don't you think that you will be punished for that?�' They replied, "yes." "So" he said. ' by satisfying it legally with your wives you are rewarded for it." This means they are acts of worship.

 

Thus Islam does not consider sex a dirty thing that one should avoid. It is dirty and sin only when it is satisfied outside marital life.

 

It is clear, from the previous discussion that 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 the human life on all levels: the individual, the social, the economic, the political and the spiritual. That is why Islam provides guidance to the smallest details of one's life on all these levels. Thus following these details is following Islamic instructions in that specific area. It is a very encouraging element when one realizes that all his activities are considered by God as acts of worship. This should lead The individual lo seek Allah's pleasure in his actions and always try to do them in the best possible manner whether he is watched by his superiors or he is alone. There is always the permanent supervisor, who knows everything namely. Allah.

 

Discussing The non-ritual worship in Islam first does not mean under evaluating the importance or the ritual ones. Actually ritual worships, if performed in true spirit, elevate man morally and spiritually and enable him to carry on his activities in all walks of life according to the Guidance of God. Among ritual worships, Salah (ritual prayer) occupies the key position for two reasons. Firstly, it is the distinctive mark of a believer. Secondly, it prevents an individual from all sorts of abominations and vices by providing him chances of direct communion with his Creator five times a day, wherein he renews his covenant with God and seeks His guidance again

and again "You alone we worship and to You alone we turn for help. Guide us to the straight path" (i:4-5). Actually Salah is the first practical manifestation of Faith and also the foremost of the basic conditions for the success of the believers:

successful indeed are the believers who are

humble in their prayers. (23:1-2)

 

The same fact has been emphasized by the prophet (PBUH) in a different way. He says:

 

�Those who offer their Salah with great care and

punctuality, will find it a light, a proof of their

Faith and cause of their salvation on the Day

of Judgment.�

 

After Salah Zakah (poor-due) is an important pillar of Islam. In the Qur�an Salah and Zakah mostly have been mentioned together. Like Salah, Zakah is a manifestation of faith that affirms that God IS The sole owner of everything in the universe, and what men hold is a trust in their hand over which (God made them trustees to discharge it as He has laid down:

 

Believe in Allah and His messenger and spend of

hat over which He made you trustees (57:7)

 

In this respect Zakah is an act of devotion which, like prayer, brings the believer nearer to his Lord.

 

Apart from this, Zakah is a means of redistribution of wealth in a way that reduces differences between classes and groups. It makes a fair contribution to social stability. By purging the soul of the rich from selfishness and the soul of the poor from envy and resentment against society, it stops up the channels leading to class hatred and makes it possible for the springs of brotherhood and solidarity to gush forth. Such stability is not merely based on the personal

feelings of the rich: it stands on a firmly established right which, if the rich denied it, would be exacted by force, if necessary.

 

Siyam (fasting during the day time of the month of Ram) is anothepillar of Islam. The main function of fasting is to make the Muslim pure from "within" as other aspects of Shariah make him pure from "without." By such purity he responds to what is true and good and shuns what is false and evil. This is what we can perceive in the Quranic Verse:

"O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as

it was prescribed for those before you, that you may

gain piety." (2:183)

In an authentic tradition, the prophet reported Allah as saying: "He suspends eating, drinking, and gratification of his sexual passion for My sake." Thus his reward is going to be

according to God's great bounty.

 

 

Fasting, then, awakens the conscience of the individual and gives it scope for exercise in a joint experience for all society at the same time, thus adding further strength to each individual.

Moreover, fasting offers a compulsory rest to the over-worked human machine for the duration of

one full month. Similarly fasting reminds an individual of those who are deprived of life necessities throughout the year or throughout life. It makes him realize the suffering of others, the less fortunate brothers in Islam, and thus promotes in him a sense of sympathy and kindness to them.

 

Lastly, we come to Al-Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of God in Makka). This very important pillar of Islam, manifests a unique unity, dispelling all kinds of differences. Muslims from all corners of the world, wearing the same dress, respond to the call of Hajj in one voice and language: LABBAIK ALLA H U M MA LABBAI K ( Here I am at your service O Lord!). In Hajj there is an exercise of strict self- discipline and control where not only sacred things are revered. but even the life of plants and birds is made inviolable so that everything lives in safety:

"And he that venerates the sacred things of God, it shall be better for him with his Lord "(22:31)), "And he that venerates the way marks of God, it surely is from devotion of the heart." (22:32)

 

Pilgrimage gives an opportunity to all Muslims from all groups, classes, organizations, and

governments from all over the Muslim world to meet annually in a great congress. The time and venue of this congress has been set by their one God. Invitation to attend is open to every Muslim. No one has the power to bar anyone. Every Muslim who attends is guaranteed full safety and freedom as long as he himself does not violate its safety.

 

Thus, worship in Islam, whether ritual or non-ritual, trains the individual in such a way that he loves his Creator most and thereby gains an unyielding will and spirit to wipe out all evil and oppression from the human society and make the word of God dominant in the world.

very nice sir

Excellent work sir. God bless you.    I've also the same solution for that assignment. But that discussion is pretty awesome. 

Explain the true concept of Worship.
The word used by the Holy Qur’an for the worship is “Ibadah” which has a much wider sense than “worship”. In English, the word “worship” normally indicates to some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one’s reverence to his Creator. But the word “ibadah’ is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah’s commands and to seek His pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature are included in the word of ‘ `ibadah’ like earning one’s livelihood through halal (permissible) means and in order to fulfill one’s obligations towards his dependants.
“I am God, there is no other God but Me. You shall worship Me and observe the ‘Salat’ (Contact Prayer) to commemorate Me” 20:14
These sacred words, which speak of Worship and Prayer independently, indicate that these two acts are not the same. If the act of worship was primarily an act of prayer and nothing else, God would not say “worship Me” AND “observe the salat”. The word AND indicates that there is more to worship than just praying.
While as the Contact Prayer is a specific ritual decreed for specific times of the day, the act of Worship on the other hand is an uninterrupted state of the mind, body and soul. It is an exalted spiritual level of existence and invaluable nourishment for our souls. Without the act of Worship, consecrated exclusively to God alone, one is unable to attain true happiness. Our physical bodies, by merely submitting to God’s will, are in a perpetual state of worship. All our body organs and tissues are ordained to function in a meticulous pre-ordained manner designed by God and over which we have no control whatsoever. They are in a ceaseless state of submission to the will of God. However, our souls are given the freedom of choice. If our souls choose the same route as our ordained bodies, harmony will be struck between body and soul, the reward of which will be true happiness. On the other hand if our souls are rebellious, unappreciative or egoistic and elect not to worship God, we will never attain true happiness no matter how much material fortune we may posses.
The Quran, being a fully detailed book, provides the believers with the answer to the questions: Whom should we worship? Whom should we not worship? and, how should we worship?
Most believers will be quite offended by the first question. They will say ‘Of course we worship God!’ However, the Quran indicates that the human being worships what or whoever occupies his mind most of the time.
The instinct of adoration and worship of Allâh has been placed in the nature of human beings for higher ends, but it misses its object when it is confined only to mere bowing down and prostration and counting and repeating the names of God on a rosary or singing in churches for mere show. All who profess to love God, love only the images they themselves have constructed in their minds. In reality they profess God’s similarity with His creatures. The knowledge of Him demands that they profess His Incomparability.
He is Wonderful and Primary Originator of the heavens and the earth! How (and whence) can there be a son for Him, when He has no consort? He has created all things and He has perfect knowledge of everything. Such is Allâh, your Lord! There is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of Worship but He, the Creator of all things; therefore worship Him, for He is the Disposer of all affairs. (6:101-102)
Allâh has decreed:
“I have created the Jinn (-creation that is hidden) and the people to worship Me” (51:56)
Therefore it is best to fulfil God’s right and His decree. If we fulfil His wish as He desires, His special favour (Rahmîmiyyat) guides us to the right path and He will make us attain our wish. If we worship Him we do so for our own good (17:7). We ourselves are the recipient of the profit of worship. The worship restrains from indecency, abominable things and loathsome deeds and from all that runs counter to reason and moral and from it we obtain inspiration for good deeds (29:45). By doing so we are in fact “glorifying the coming man who has to be evolved from our inner selves.” In reciting the attributes of perfection, we keep before us a sacred cast in which we have to mould our character.
“He has decreed that you should not worship any but Him” (17:23).
The Holy Prophet of Islam said that through worship and implicit obedience to our Lord, Allâh becomes our limb and joints (Bukhârî). By deification we attain the highest morals which we will find when we study the Holy attributes of perfection.

Divine glorification and worship of God do not mean the singing of hymns. That is but a lip gratitude which would not please even an average person. To please God is really to work out our own evolution and to bring to realization what our Creator has placed in us. In this lies our whole success and our worship of God. The worship of God means to fulfil the requirement of His names. It is impossible to think of a better system and guide of morals then that carved on the lives by the said attributes. The concept of His attributes has much to do with the mould of our character and civilization. Albert Ellis flatly states “Religion is neurosis” and Alva Edison writes, “It is a damned fake, all bunk,” similarly C. L. Martin says, “What are we to do with religion? Simply throw it out as a useless historic curiosity.” But if we need some type of consistent, coherent value system that will give us a sense of order, structureand purpose in life, and we certainly need a set of principles, (Dr. Clarence L. Martin, “God is a Verb”, 1989, p. 1), then bring us a coherent value system and mode of character better than what the Holy Qur’an tells us in the following words:
“Assume the attributes of Allâh, and who is fairer and better than Allâh in attribution? We are His worshippers ever” (2:138)
Let the moralists and religious minded persons on one side and the people of culture and progress on the other contemplate on these attributes and see if they can find a better code of life.

2. Narrate the actions and deeds which are included in Worship.

Concept of Worship in Islam

The concept of worship in Islam is misunderstood by many people including some Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean performing ritualistic acts such as prayers, fasting, charity, etc. This limited understanding of worship is only one part Or the
meaning Or worship in Islam. That is why the traditional definition Or worship in Islam is a
comprehensive definition that includes almost everything in any individual’s activities. The
definition goes something like this: “Worship is an all inclusive term for all that God loves of external and internal sayings and actions of a person.” In other words, worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure Or Allah. This, of course, include spirituals 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. He is required to submit himself completely to Allah, as the Qur�an instructed the prophet Muhammad to do: “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.” 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 Qur�an 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 he
who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the
angels and the Book and the prophets, and gives
his beloved money to the relatives and the
orphans and the needy and for the ransoming Of
the captives and who observes prayer and pays
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 time 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. The prophet told us about faith, which is the basis of worship, that it “is made up of sixty and some branches: the highest of which is the belief in the Oneness of Allah, i.e., there is no God but 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 said: “Whoever finds himself at the nightfall tired of his work, God will forgive his sins.” Seeking knowledge is one of the highest types of worship. The prophet 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 Allah as the prophet 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.”

It is worth noting that even performing one’s duties is considered a sort of worship. I he prophet told us that whatever one spends for his family is a type of
charity: he will be rewarded for it if he acquires it through legal means. Kindness to the members of one’s family is an act of worship as when one puts a piece of food in his spouse’s mouth as the prophet informed us. Not only this but even the acts we enjoy doing very much. when they are performed according to the instructions of the prophet, they are considered as acts of worship. The prophet told his companions that they will be rewarded even for having sexual intercourse with their wives. The companions were astonished and asked: “How are we going to be rewarded for doing something we enjoy very much?” The prophet asked them: “suppose you satisfy your desires illegally, don’t you think that you will be punished for that?�’ They replied, “yes.” “So” he said. ‘ by satisfying it legally with your wives you are rewarded for it.” This means they are acts of worship.

Thus Islam does not consider sex a dirty thing that one should avoid. It is dirty and sin only when it is satisfied outside marital life.

It is clear, from the previous discussion that 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 the human life on all levels: the individual, the social, the economic, the political and the spiritual. That is why Islam provides guidance to the smallest details of one’s life on all these levels. Thus following these details is following Islamic instructions in that specific area. It is a very encouraging element when one realizes that all his activities are considered by God as acts of worship. This should lead The individual lo seek Allah’s pleasure in his actions and always try to do them in the best possible manner whether he is watched by his superiors or he is alone. There is always the permanent supervisor, who knows everything namely. Allah.

Discussing The non-ritual worship in Islam first does not mean under evaluating the importance or the ritual ones. Actually ritual worships, if performed in true spirit, elevate man morally and spiritually and enable him to carry on his activities in all walks of life according to the Guidance of God. Among ritual worships, Salah (ritual prayer) occupies the key position for two reasons. Firstly, it is the distinctive mark of a believer. Secondly, it prevents an individual from all sorts of abominations and vices by providing him chances of direct communion with his Creator five times a day, wherein he renews his covenant with God and seeks His guidance again
and again “You alone we worship and to You alone we turn for help. Guide us to the straight path” (i:4-5). Actually Salah is the first practical manifestation of Faith and also the foremost of the basic conditions for the success of the believers:
successful indeed are the believers who are
humble in their prayers. (23:1-2)

The same fact has been emphasized by the prophet (PBUH) in a different way. He says:

�Those who offer their Salah with great care and
punctuality, will find it a light, a proof of their
Faith and cause of their salvation on the Day
of Judgment.�

After Salah Zakah (poor-due) is an important pillar of Islam. In the Qur�an Salah and Zakah mostly have been mentioned together. Like Salah, Zakah is a manifestation of faith that affirms that God IS The sole owner of everything in the universe, and what men hold is a trust in their hand over which (God made them trustees to discharge it as He has laid down:

Believe in Allah and His messenger and spend of
hat over which He made you trustees (57:7)

In this respect Zakah is an act of devotion which, like prayer, brings the believer nearer to his Lord.

Apart from this, Zakah is a means of redistribution of wealth in a way that reduces differences between classes and groups. It makes a fair contribution to social stability. By purging the soul of the rich from selfishness and the soul of the poor from envy and resentment against society, it stops up the channels leading to class hatred and makes it possible for the springs of brotherhood and solidarity to gush forth. Such stability is not merely based on the personal
feelings of the rich: it stands on a firmly established right which, if the rich denied it, would be exacted by force, if necessary.

Siyam (fasting during the day time of the month of Ram) is anothepillar of Islam. The main function of fasting is to make the Muslim pure from “within” as other aspects of Shariah make him pure from “without.” By such purity he responds to what is true and good and shuns what is false and evil. This is what we can perceive in the Quranic Verse:
“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as
it was prescribed for those before you, that you may
gain piety.” (2:183)
In an authentic tradition, the prophet reported Allah as saying: “He suspends eating, drinking, and gratification of his sexual passion for My sake.” Thus his reward is going to be
according to God’s great bounty.

Fasting, then, awakens the conscience of the individual and gives it scope for exercise in a joint experience for all society at the same time, thus adding further strength to each individual.
Moreover, fasting offers a compulsory rest to the over-worked human machine for the duration of
one full month. Similarly fasting reminds an individual of those who are deprived of life necessities throughout the year or throughout life. It makes him realize the suffering of others, the less fortunate brothers in Islam, and thus promotes in him a sense of sympathy and kindness to them.

Lastly, we come to Al-Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of God in Makka). This very important pillar of Islam, manifests a unique unity, dispelling all kinds of differences. Muslims from all corners of the world, wearing the same dress, respond to the call of Hajj in one voice and language: LABBAIK ALLA H U M MA LABBAI K ( Here I am at your service O Lord!). In Hajj there is an exercise of strict self- discipline and control where not only sacred things are revered. but even the life of plants and birds is made inviolable so that everything lives in safety:
“And he that venerates the sacred things of God, it shall be better for him with his Lord “(22:31)), “And he that venerates the way marks of God, it surely is from devotion of the heart.” (22:32)

Pilgrimage gives an opportunity to all Muslims from all groups, classes, organizations, and
governments from all over the Muslim world to meet annually in a great congress. The time and venue of this congress has been set by their one God. Invitation to attend is open to every Muslim. No one has the power to bar anyone. Every Muslim who attends is guaranteed full safety and freedom as long as he himself does not violate its safety.

Thus, worship in Islam, whether ritual or non-ritual, trains the individual in such a way that he loves his Creator most and thereby gains an unyielding will and spirit to wipe out all evil and oppression from the human society and make the word of God dominant in the world.

The Qur'ânic Concept of Worship

Have you not pondered that it is Allâh Whose praises celebrate those who are in the heavens and on the earth, and (so do) the birds on the wings. Each one of them knows his own (way of) prayer and glorification (according to his or its own faculties). And Allâh knows well what they do. And to Allâh belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and to Allâh shall all eventually return.(24:41-42)

The seven heavens, the earth and all those inhabiting them extol His glory. In fact, there is not even a single thing but glorifies Him with His true and perfect praise, but you do not understand their glorification. Verily, Most Forbearing is He, Great Protector. (17:44)

Have you not considered that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and (also) the sun, the moon and the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of mankind make obeisance (sajada) to Allâh? (22:18)
When we make use of our power of reflection (Quwwat al-Fikr) and profess that He is Incomparable and that He stands High above any similarity with His creatures, we are full of bewilderment (Hayrat) and this bewilderment inspires in us a desire and urge for worship. Accordingly, the worship is inherent to the created things and there is no need for it to be prescribed.

We are like lutes once held by God.
Being away from His warm body
Fully explains this constant yearning (Hafiz)
Worship is also His decree that cannot be denied. Allâh says, "We have prescribed certain rites of worship for every people" (22:34) and has made it clear that whichsoever way you turn your face, there you will find His "Face" and His attention (2:115). So He is in every direction, each direction represents a particular doctrine and belief regarding Him. "Cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques are the places where Allâh's name is being mentioned" (22:40). Thus He is worshipped in every object of worship and in every place of worship, no matter to what religious grouping one belongs.

All people know and imagine their Deity according to their capacity and aptitude (2:148) and in cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques it is basically He and His name is being mentioned (22:40). Thus one who goes to worship in a church, temple, cloister, synagogue or a mosque, believes and worships a Deity he has in his mind, which he has created and which fits into his belief (2:148). But it is often so that the object of worship, which the people think to be right, is poor in form, it is mostly an image in the form of a created thing by God, a star, the sun, an animal or a human being (cf.: 35:13-15). When al-Junaid, the great Islamic mystic, was asked about the gnosis of God he said: "The colour of the water is the same as that of its container".

There I bow my head 
At the feet of every creature.
This is the constant submission and homage
Of kissing God all over
Only there I prostrate myself
Before the beauty of every form
When I bring my heart to an object
I always hear the Friend say,
"Hafiz! I am here" (Hafiz)
Atheists think that they do not believe in any god. God says:


They have taken their own low desires as their deity (25:43; 45:23).
Accordingly it is their own low desires that are worshipped by them when they concentrate all their efforts to achieve worldy things. They live a life devoted to satisfying their animal instincts. The deity they worship, is obviously not the Lord of the worlds but their money, their fame or social recognition, their flag, their hero, their king, their president, their pet, their woman or any of the other created things.


“They pursue the glamour of this life, and their hearts are unmindful of the remembrance of their Lord” (18:28).
The Holy Qur’ân tells of such:


Have you considered the case of him who has taken his own low desires for his god, and whom Allâh has forsaken and adjudged as lost on the basis of (His infinite) knowledge, whose ears and heart He has sealed and whose eyes He has covered with a veil? Who then will guide him after Allâh (has condemned him for his being given to evil ways)? Will you then pay no heed? (These are the people) who say, ‘We have only this our present life (to live) (45:23-24)
Allâh says in His words:


Relate to them the news of him to whom We gave Our commandments but he withdrew himself there from, then satan followed him (in his pursuit of worldly efforts and looking for satisfaction of his wild animal like instincts), with the result that he became one of those led astray (and became a pervert). We would have exalted him (in ranks) thereby (- by means of these Our commandments) if he willed, but he remained inclined to (the material things of) this world and followed his low desires. His case therefore is like that of a dog, if you bear down upon it, it lolls its tongue out or if you leave it alone, it still lolls out its tongue. Such is the case with the people who cry lies to Our commandments; (they do not give up their evil ways whether you warn them or not). So narrate to them the account (of the people of old) that they may reflect. Sad is the case of the people who cry lies to Our commandments and it is their own selves that they have wronged. Those alone are rightly guided to whom Allâh shows guidance, but whom He adjudges to be astray and leaves them in error, it is these who are the losers. (7:175-178).

They have taken their rabbis and priests as their Lord (9:31).
The three instincts love, worship and imitation bring our latent faculties to progress and perfection if we can develop them. We are by nature attracted by things that please us in some way. Perfection of beauty and perfection of beneficence ripen into love and adoration. It assumes the form of worship when accompanied by certain gesticulations such as bowing and prostration and saying words of praise and attributes and beautiful names of Allâh. We are then led to imitate the Being having perfection of beauty and perfection of beneficence. If a being contains excellencies of perfect beauty and perfect beneficence the heart melts and yearns with fervent devotion to imitate that beauty.

The instinct of adoration and worship of Allâh has been placed in the nature of human beings for higher ends, but it misses its object when it is confined only to mere bowing down and prostration and counting and repeating the names of God on a rosary or singing in churches for mere show. All who profess to love God, love only the images they themselves have constructed in their minds. In reality they profess God's similarity with His creatures. The knowledge of Him demands that they profess His Incomparability.


He is Wonderful and Primary Originator of the heavens and the earth! How (and whence) can there be a son for Him, when He has no consort? He has created all things and He has perfect knowledge of everything. Such is Allâh, your Lord! There is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of Worship but He, the Creator of all things; therefore worship Him, for He is the Disposer of all affairs. (6:101-102)
Allâh has decreed:


"I have created the Jinn (-creation that is hidden) and the people to worship Me" (51:56)
Therefore it is best to fulfil God's right and His decree. If we fulfil His wish as He desires, His special favour (Rahmîmiyyat) guides us to the right path and He will make us attain our wish. If we worship Him we do so for our own good (17:7). We ourselves are the recipient of the profit of worship. The worship restrains from indecency, abominable things and loathsome deeds and from all that runs counter to reason and moral and from it we obtain inspiration for good deeds (29:45). By doing so we are in fact “glorifying the coming man who has to be evolved from our inner selves.” In reciting the attributes of perfection, we keep before us a sacred cast in which we have to mould our character.


"He has decreed that you should not worship any but Him” (17:23).
The Holy Prophet of Islam said that through worship and implicit obedience to our Lord, Allâh becomes our limb and joints (Bukhârî). By deification we attain the highest morals which we will find when we study the Holy attributes of perfection.

Divine glorification and worship of God do not mean the singing of hymns. That is but a lip gratitude which would not please even an average person. To please God is really to work out our own evolution and to bring to realization what our Creator has placed in us. In this lies our whole success and our worship of God. The worship of God means to fulfil the requirement of His names. It is impossible to think of a better system and guide of morals then that carved on the lives by the said attributes. The concept of His attributes has much to do with the mould of our character and civilization. Albert Ellis flatly states “Religion is neurosis” and Alva Edison writes, “It is a damned fake, all bunk,” similarly C. L. Martin says, “What are we to do with religion? Simply throw it out as a useless historic curiosity.” But if we need some type of consistent, coherent value system that will give us a sense of order, structure and purpose in life, and we certainly need a set of principles, (Dr. Clarence L. Martin, “God is a Verb”, 1989, p. 1), then bring us a coherent value system and mode of character better than what the Holy Qur'an tells us in the following words:


“Assume the attributes of Allâh, and who is fairer and better than Allâh in attribution? We are His worshippers ever” (2:138)
Let the moralists and religious minded persons on one side and the people of culture and progress on the other contemplate on these attributes and see if they can find a better code of life.

The object of these names and attributes is not to glorify Allâh by repeating them on a rosary, for Allâh is far above such needs and does not want such service, but by adopting in our daily lives these attributes we are doing the best service possible to our own selves. In adoring such attributes we are reminded of the ways which will make us too an object of adoration. To glorify Allâh is to edify ourselves, as human beings are capable of soaring to the highest of the high. Even the angels of Allâh that move all the potentialities of nature by His will, will become the human being’s ministers and prostrate before him (2:34). If he makes this acquisition and behaves according to the attributes of Allâh, then and only then, can he go higher than the angels and reach the Divine precinct and boundaries of Divinity and reach the highest pinnacle of civilization, culture, piety, and purity. The recital of certain sacred words and names is not an act of worship. True worship consists in submission to His laws, His ways, and His attributes. If we wish to live as good citizens under the government of the Lord and in the Kingdom of heaven and get true success and happiness in this world and the Hereafter, we must look for these attributes.

Morality in Islam consists in reflecting these Divine attributes. A Muslim says his Prayers (Salât) five times a day and the verses of al-Fâtihah which he recites in each of his Prayer several times should remind him of those Divine moulds in which he has to cast his daily life. He is expected to act like Rabb, Rahmân, Rahîm and Mâlik in his relations to others, at each step of his life. He must be loving, gracious and look after the needs of others, whether they deserve it or not. His help must go to others automatically without their request or desert (Rahmân), and if they serve him in any way, his reward to them should be more than that rather many fold (Rahîm). He must practice forgiveness in his daily dealings (Mâlik). In short, high morality consists in the reflection of Divine morals. Thus the best religious service and worship, according to Islam, consists of acting in conformity with the requirements of the Divine Names and attributes. If the worship of a deity produces no moral effect on our life, it need not be pursued. We know nothing of God except through His ways of work in nature. Hence our worship of Him should find its real manifestation in our following His ways in our life. Our prayer or other forms of adoration should serve as a reminder of that Great Truth. True worship consists in submission to His laws, His ways, His limits and bounds and His attributes.

The Holy Qur'ân has placed some of the excellent attributes of Allâh before us to aid us in building up our moral fabric. But He is in no case an anthropomorphic Deity, and He is not fashioned after the human form and endowed with human passions. Human beings did not ascribe morals to their Deity but He has planted His own morals in human beings. The concept of God has much to do with the moulding of human character. The eintire Qur'ân is basically a commentary of the names of God taught to Adam (2:31). All the laws and regulations given in the Holy Book, when pursued, make our life in accordance with the requirements of these attributes. To be virtuous is to lead such a life. To walk humbly with God (31:19) means to imbue ourselves with His Divine attributes. Everything which goes against the demands of these attributes is sin and making our lives according to them is vile. If the Holy Qur'ân relates events of some great men, it is only an illustration of such lives of people who acted according to these attributes (31:12-19). As Allâh is the Creator of the whole Qur'ân and everything moves around it and worship consists in submission to His laws, His ways, and His attributes mentioned to us in His Book.

In short, belief in Allâh and in His attributes when rendered into action in our daily lives will bring us and our civilization to its climax. But a mere lip confession is less meritorious even than the different forms which polytheism has adopted. It is useless to sing hymns at the top of our voice if we are not leading and do not lead Godly lives. Allâh does not stand in need of any adoration from us. If our worship of Him lies only in bringing offerings and sacrifices to His altar and in the recital of His names and praises and thanks to Him, it is neither credible to God nor profitable to us. He is then only another fetish in the world of religions. Allâh is and should stand above such things. He needs no praise from us.


He who follows the right way follows it to his own good and he who goes astray, surely, he goes astray to his own loss. And no soul that bears the burden shall bear the burden of another (soul) (17:15)
Therefore, Allâh needs no worship, nor does He require any praise or thanksgiving from us (31:12). The Holy Qur'ân is very explicit on this point. It says that our extolling or praising Allâh does not contribute to His Glory nor does blasphemy and disobedience detract at all from His grandeur and dignity. Our prayers to Him should consist of such expressions as may help us to work out our own power and ability, given by Him, to our best advantage and moulding of good character. Therefore if the worship of a deity produces no moral effect on our individual and collective lives, and does not bring out all that is noble and good in us, it need not be pursued. But if, on the other hand, our worship of Him inspires us and His attributes inspire us to follow His ways as they are to be observed, ways and attributes that work out the best of civilization on righteous lines, it ought to be part and parcel of our lives.


Keep on remembering your Lord in your mind with humility and awe and in a voice not loud, in the morning and in the evening, and do not be of the heedless. Those who are near to their Lord (and feel His nearness and presence) do not wax too proud to worship Him, but they glorify Him and prostrate themselves in obedience to Him (7:205-206).
The Holy Prophet said: "God says, 'I am companion of him who remembers Me'. Remembrance is a discourse, and whosoever remembers, sits with God and God is with him. 
Hafiz once said:
At some point your relationship with God
Will become like this: Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city road
There will not be any more "Leaving" (Hafiz)

Who is more erring than the one who leaving aside the guidance from Allâh follows his own low desires (28:50).



THE CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF WORSHIP 
AS PROPOUNDED BY ISLAM 
(An analytical study) 
Dr. Tahira Basharat *


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Our beloved Prophet,may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him Said

''A good word is charity. Every step taken on the way to performing prayers is charity. Removing an obstacle from the road is charity.'' The same can be said for eating,sleeping,and working as well as traits of Allah character,such as truthfulness,honesty,generosity,courage,and humbleness. These can become worship through sincere intention and deliberate obedience to Allah. To meet this objective following condition must be met:

1:The action must be lawful in and of itself. If the action is something prohibited,its perpetrator deserves punishment. The prophet said

''God is Pure and good, and he accepts only what is pure and good''

2: He who deceives us is not one of us''

''O you who believe,do not let your wealth and children distract you from the remembrance of Allah''

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