By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam
15 June 2021
'Worship' and the ‘Concept of Worship' Seem To Be One of the Most Misunderstood Idiom of the World Today
1. By worshipping the creator, mankind excels in spiritualism that guides him to the righteous path.
2. Worshipping does not benefit God but the worshipper.
3. Some of us proudly exhibit our worshipping identity on our foreheads that exhibit ‘closeness to God’ to the common man.
4. The human being needs to worship God not to seek worldly gains but as a gesture of accepting His innumerable compassionate considerations that he is living with.
'Worshipping' and the concept of 'Worship' seem to be one of the most misunderstood idioms of the world today. Mankind has misinterpreted the concept of:
"It is I alone who am to be worshipped and served with love" (Bhagavad Gita)
“I did not create the jinn and humans except that they may worship Me.” (Surah Adh-Dhariyat: 56)
‘Would that man pray all day, for a prayer never loses its value?’ Talmud, Berakot, 1.1
If the poorest of mankind come here once for worship, I will surely grant their hearts’ desire. —Oracle of Itsukushima
The Creator of the universe, with whatever name we call Him asks human being to worship Him not for his benefit but for a human life that consists of peace, tranquillity and a phenomenon of development. By worshipping the creator, mankind excels in spiritualism that guides him to the righteous path. Worshipping does not benefit God but the worshipper. The human being is like a student in the classroom studying to get success in life. God is our teacher. Religious epics are our books. The teacher sometimes when the students get haywire, behaves rudely but when the student strides on the right path, he gets his teacher’s love, affection and rewards. Ultimately it is the student that achieves great heights of success, not the teacher. A human being, therefore, worships the Creator for their benefit, not Him.
Worshipping is remembering Allah, the Creator of this universe. And for remembering Him one does not require to visit a place of worship, like a Mosque, a Temple, a Gurudwara, a Shrine, a Synagogue, a Cathedral, a Church or any other religious place because He resides in everything He has created. The Creator is present in everything we feel and see from our naked eyes in the atmosphere and on the earth. If a man says, ‘O’ God, what a wonderful bird it is, ‘what a scientific invention it is, ‘how cool and refreshing is the atmosphere’ etc., it is remembering God and thanking Him for everything that He has created. This is worship. There is no dearth of occasions and opportunities when a man can ‘thank’ God but he does not do it. The human being, it looks has forgotten his ‘self’ also as God lives within his ‘self’ as well that is why he never thanks God for His niceties (نعمت) that he carries in his persona.
The spiritual leaders of all the religious paths say that materialistic gains are nothing but an eyewash. The wealth accumulated by deceiving the Creator with false worship brings devastation and misfortune, nothing else. Thus, if mankind visits places of worship in pursuance of materialistic gains, he is rather asking for God’s wrath in form of His blessings.
All of us do worship our Creator in one form or the other for various obvious reasons. Some of us worship out of the customary habit that we have got in our blood through our ancestors, and some because we have accustomed ourselves to the teachings of our spiritual or religious guides. Some of us proudly exhibit our worshipping identity on our foreheads that exhibit ‘closeness to God’ to the common man who in return falls prey to their deceptive designs. This is a form of worship our Creator does not need because He knows it is more of a show-off than being thankful for His goodwill gestures.
The human being, therefore, needs to worship God not to seek worldly gains but as a gesture of accepting His innumerable compassionate considerations that he is living with. Materialistic gains are always in the pipeline if one wins God’s approval of his humility and obedience.
The human being can earn a divine life hereafter and an envious earthly life by simply devoting his life to the service of His creation and visiting the places of worship to ‘thank Him’ for guiding him to the righteous path.
Allah the Most Gracious resides in the smile of a child, in the huts of poor, in the attendance of a sick person, in charity for the destitute not in the places of worship.
Consider the following teachings and sayings of the holy divine books, the revelations of Allah the Most Gracious and the sayings of the prophets, priests, sages and holy men.
According to Puranas, with devotion you can awaken the divine power which is hidden in any object. (Photo courtesy: hinduwebsite.com)
Worshipping in Hinduism is Devotional Love
Worshipping God is nothing but a devotional love exhibited towards him in a portrayal of thankfulness. Nothing comes except humility and devotion between God and human being. Hinduism considers various parts of nature as a god besides Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
"Those who worship other gods, actually worship me in an improper way" (Krishna said in Gita)
“If one offers to me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, I delightfully partake of that article offered with love by my devotee in pure consciousness. (Bhagavad Gita 9.26)”
“Therefore, giving up attachment, perform actions as a matter of duty, for by working without being attached to the fruits, one attains the Supreme. (Bhagavad Gita 3.19)”
“In this world, there is nothing as purifying as divine knowledge. One who has attained purity of mind through the prolonged practice of Yoga, receives such knowledge within the heart, in due course of time. (Bhagavad Gita 4.38)”
Lord of Creation! No one other than Thee pervades all these that have come into being. May that be ours for which our prayers rise, may we be masters of many treasures! (Rig Veda, 10.121.10)
Most humbly we bow to You, O Supreme Lord. At Your command moves the mighty wheel of time. You are eternal, and beyond eternity. (Atharva Veda)
The one who loves all intensely begins perceiving in all living beings a part of himself. He becomes a lover of all, a part and parcel of the Universal Joy. He flows with the stream of happiness and is enriched by each soul. (Yajur Veda)
The human body is the temple of God. One who kindles the light of awareness within gets true light. The sacred flame of your inner shrine is constantly bright. The experience of unity is the fulfilment of human endeavours. The mysteries of life are revealed. (Rig Veda)
Of everything, he is the inmost Self. He is the truth; he is the Self supreme. (Chandogya Upanishad)
Meditating on the lotus of your heart, in the centre is untainted; the exquisitely pure, clear, and sorrowless; the inconceivable; the unmanifest, of infinite form; blissful, tranquil, immortal; the womb of Brahma. (Kaivalyopanishad)
Those in whose hearts OM reverberates Unceasingly are indeed blessed And deeply loved as one who is the Self. The all-knowing Self was never born, Nor will it die. Beyond cause and effect, This Self is eternal and immutable. When the body dies, the Self does not die. (Katha Upanishad)
The whole mantram AUM Indivisible, interdependent, Goes on reverberating in the mind. Established in this cosmic vibration, The sage goes beyond fear, decay, and death To enter into infinite peace. (Prashna Upanishad)
(Photo courtesy: Quran for Kids)
Worship in Islam is Submission to the Will of Allah
The submission to the will of Allah, the Almighty and accepting His Oneness along with all the prophets and the Holy Books is the salient feature of worship in Islam. Worship is all the external actions and inner feelings of a man to earn the pleasure of Allah, the Most Gracious. All that matters is that human being (مخلوق) is in constant remembrance of his Creator (خالق) and has faith in the kindness of Allah.
Successful indeed are the Believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers.” [Al-Qur'an 23:1-2]
“Whoever honours the sacred Rites of Allah, for him it is good in the sight of his Lord...” (Al-Qur'an 22:30)
And serve Me alone: this is the Straight Way? (Surah Ya-Sin - 61) - Abul Ala Maududi
And indeed We sent to every nation a Noble Messenger (proclaiming) that “Worship Allah and beware of the devil”; therefore Allah guided some of them, and error proved true upon some of them; therefore travel in the land and see what sort of fate befell the deniers! (Surah An-Nahl Verse 36) - Ahmed Raza Khan
If you show ingratitude, surely, Allâh is Independent of you (He does not require your thanks). Yet He does not approve of His people to be ungrateful. (Indeed it is for your own sake that) He approves of you being grateful. And no soul that bears a burden can bear the burden (of the sins) of another. Behold! to your Lord shall you all return so that He will inform you of all that you have been doing. He knows full well (even) the innermost secrets of the hearts. (Az-Zumar: 7) - Amatul Rahman Omar
Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo! good deeds annul ill deeds. This is a reminder for the mindful. (Ayah Hud: 114) - Pickthal
“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and give Zakat, (obligatory annual charity), to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.” (Al-Qur'an 2:177)
Prophetic Traditions on Worship
“Those who offer their Salah with great care and punctuality, will find it a light, a proof of their faith and cause for their salvation on the Day of Judgment.” (Prophet Muhammad Pbuh)
Imam Sajjad has clarified the Prophet’s desire and enthusiasm for worship as such:
“The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would stand on the tips of his toes, then God revealed the following verse, ‘Ta Ha, We have not revealed the Qur’an to you for you to experience great discomfort’3 (Quran 20:1).” (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 16, p. 264.)
‘Aishah (RA)' said: “The Messenger of God would be speaking to us and we would be speaking to him until the time for prayer would set in, and then it was as if he did not know us and we did not know him.”
It has also been narrated that: One night, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) was in the home of one of his wives (Umm Salamah). After a little of the night had passed, Umm Salamah saw that the Messenger of God was not in bed. She got up and went looking for him. All of a sudden she noticed that he was standing next to the room with his hands raised, his eyes full of tears and he was saying the following; “O God, don’t take away the good you have given me. O God, don’t please my enemies and those who are jealous of me. O God, don’t allow their evil from which you saved me to come back. O God, don’t leave me to myself, even for one moment.”
At this point, Umm Salamah began crying. The Prophet said, “Why are you crying, Umm Salamah?”
She said, “May my father and mother be your sacrifice, why shouldn’t I cry? Even though you have such a high station and the fact that God has forgiven your past and future sins, you talk to God in this way (it is more appropriate for us to fear God and to cry in His presence).”
The Prophet said, “How can I be safe when God left Prophet Jonas (peace be upon him) to himself for only a moment when that which afflicted him took place.” (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 6, p. 218.)
Alqamah reported: I asked Aisha, “O mother of the believers, how were the deeds of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him? Did he designate anything for certain days?” Aisha said, “No. The Prophet would perform deeds regularly, and who among you is capable of doing as he did?” Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6466, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 783
Worship is Sikhism
There is only one air, earth and only one light of the God in each being. (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Page 96)
The glories are in the Lord’s hand. He blesses those with whom He is pleased. (Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Page 934)
Everyone says that the Lord is one, but each one is engrossed in ego and pride. (Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Page 930)
We are men of but one breath and know not the appointed time and moment of our departure (from this world). (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Page 660)
The praising of His Name is the highest of all practices. It has uplifted many a human soul. It slakes the desire of a restless mind. It imparts an all-seeing vision. (Guru Arjan)
“Recognise all mankind whether Hindu or Muslims, as one. The same Lord is the Creator and Nourisher of all; Recognise no distinction among them. The monastery and the mosque are the same; So are the Hindu worship and the Muslim prayer. Men are all one.” (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
The fool indulges in sensual pleasures which in the end lead to pain. An easy and sinful life is the cause of diseases. (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
Neither do I call myself good nor do I see anyone bad. (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
In this life our actions are the ink and mind the paper, We inscribe on it the two writings of good and evil. (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
A Sikh should wake up in the ambrosial hours (three hours before the dawn), take a bath and, concentrating his/her thoughts on One Immortal Being, repeat the name Waheguru (Wondrous Destroyer of darkness). (Reht Maryada (Sikh code of conduct), chapter 3)
All the above mentioned Quranic Ayat, Hadees traditions verses of the religious scriptures point to the necessity of worshipping in the form of loving, taking care and practising pluralistic ethos in the society for the betterment of human rights and obligations towards them. The secret of durable peace and prosperity of humanity is hidden in the service to fellow human beings. This is real worship. This is the real way of attaining God’s mercies and blessings.
The world should centre its attention on the attainment of peace and tranquillity on planet earth rather than providing an umbrella of sectarianism and religiophobic hatred that is ruling the roost at the moment.
And Allah Knows the Best.
Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.
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