the purpose of worship in islam
the purpose of worship in islam
Date:Fri, 17 Oct 2008 15:55:54 +0100
I hope you don=92t mind receiving my letter. It is short but full of
The Purpose of Worship In Islam
Worship provides the believers with many benefits that contribute to
both their spiritual and worldly well-being. Some of the most
significant of these benefits are as follows:
1. Enrichment and development of the soul: The human body needs
material resources for its existence, like food, drink, and a means of
reproduction. As for the soul, its needs cannot be fulfilled except
through nearness to Allah by means of faith and obedience, which can
only be achieved through worship.
Allah must be worshipped in times of hardship and times of prosperity.
We truly know how your heart is distressed by what they say. So
celebrate the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate
themselves and worship your Lord until the sure hour (of death).
When the help of Allah and the victory comes and you see the people
entering into the religion of Allah in crowds, then glorify the
praises of your Lord and seek His forgiveness. Verily He is Most
2. Realization of human freedom: Worship liberates the human being
from subjugation to anything besides Allah and prevents a person from
surrendering his or her will to false gods. This is true freedom that
brings about security and contentment. Submission to Allah is a great
source of strength. Allah says:
If anyone seeks might, then all might is with Allah.
3. Preparation for the life to come: Allah says, quoting Moses (peace
be upon him):
O my people, this worldly life is but a provision, while the Hereafter
is the eternal abode.
The worldly life is a time of trial. The substance of this trial is
the worship of Allah in fulfillment of His commandments. Allah says:
(It is Allah) who created death and life to try you as to who is best
4. Social reform: We find that worship, in its most comprehensive
meaning, embodies every possible means of individual and social
reform. This is because every individual and collective endeavor can
enter into the domain of worship. Islam has prescribed certain
obligations on the societal =96 as opposed to the individual =96 level.
This takes societal needs into consideration. Allah says:
Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous deeds
that he will give them authority in the Earth as He has done for those
who came before and that He will establish their religion that He
wants to replace their fear with security. They may worship Me and not
associate partners with Me.
The advent of Islam brought about great reforms in the domain of
worship. Islam came at a time when there were many forms of worship in
the world. Some of these were remnants of the previous divinely
revealed scriptures. Others were completely man-made. Even those acts
of worship that were of divine origin had been corrupted, altered, and
removed from their proper contexts.
Some religions exaggerated the importance of formalism and mindless
ritual. Others went to extremes to free themselves of all notions of
form and order. Some religions went to extremes that made worship a
harmful and painful thing. Some of them also demanded monasticism from
their adherents. Other religions went to extremes in indulgence, often
completely abandoning religious obligations altogether.
Islam came to correct and reform these excessive tendencies, while
establishing principles of its own. It provided principles to bring
about reform and to safeguard worship. The most important of these
principles is that no one deserves to be worshipped except for Allah.
The first thing that Islam came with was the concept of monotheism.
Bearing witness to monotheism is how a person enters into the fold of
Islam and is considered to be a believer. The testimony is as follows:
=93There is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.=94
These words are a testimony that there is no one worthy of worship
except for Allah. In this way, Islam negates every possible
manifestation of polytheism.
Allah addresses His Messenger (peace be upon him) with the following
It has been revealed to you and to those who came before you: If you
commit polytheism, your deeds will be naught and you will be among the
We can see how the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited anything
that could lead the people to polytheism or to their falling into
excessiveness in their belief. He made it clear that he was merely a
slave of Allah and His Messenger. He said: =93Do not praise me
excessively the way that the Christians praised Jesus the son of Mary.
I am only Allah=92s slave and Messenger, so say that I am His slave and
He also said: =93None should seek help through me. Help should be sought
from Allah alone.=94
Near the time of his death, he would repeatedly say: =93Allah=92s wrath
became severe towards those people who turned the graves of their
Prophets into places of worship.=94
He also said: =93Whoever takes an oath in other than Allah=92s name has
fallen into polytheism.=94
He said: =93Allah has cursed those who offer sacrifices to other than
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