- Worship is the ultimate expression of love
- Worship involves a combination of veneration, adoration, submission, and humility
- Worship is used to draw near to Allah ﷻ
- Worship involves loyalty, commitment, and obedience regarding commands and prohibitions.
So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fiṭrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct way of life, but most of the people do not know. (Qur’an 30:30)
Say: Do you worship other than Allah what cannot benefit you at all and what cannot harm you? (Qur’an 21:66)
And they worship beside Allah what cannot harm them nor benefit them (Qur’an 10:18)
And they worship what does not benefit them or harm them (Qur’an 25:55).
Do you not see that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the animals and most of humanity prostrate to Allah? (Qur’an 22:18)
The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them glorify Him. And there is not a thing that exists except that it exalts [Allah] with His praise, but you do not understand their way of exaltation. (Qur’an 17:44)
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Verily, Allah is pleased with a servant who praises him when he eats, or praises him when he drinks.”
Some of the companions came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and they said, “O Messenger of Allah, the rich have taken all the rewards. They pray as we pray, they fast as we fast, and they give charity from their extra wealth.” The Prophet said, “Has not Allah made for you ways to give charity? In every glorification of Allah is charity, in every declaration of His greatness is charity, in every praise of Him is charity, in every declaration of His Oneness is charity, enjoining good is charity and forbidding evil is charity, and in a man’s intimate relations with his wife is charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for one who satisfies his passions?” The Prophet said, “You see that if he were to satisfy his passions with the unlawful, it would be a burden of sin upon him? Likewise, if he were to satisfy himself with the lawful, he will have a reward.”
Both demand the affirmation of the spiritual self in man, with this difference only that Islam, recognizing the contact of the ideal with the real, says ‘yes’ to the world of matter and points the way to master it with a view to discover a basis for a realistic regulation of life.
As for the one who feared the position of his Lord and restrains his desires, then indeed paradise will be his refuge. (Qur’an 79:40)
Verily the hypocrites try to deceive Allah but He is the One that deceives them. When they stand to pray ṣalāh, they stand with laziness so that people can see them and they do not remember Allah except a little. (Qur’an 4:142)
They are the ones that call out, searching for the nearest path to their Guardian Lord, hoping in His Mercy and fearing His punishment. No doubt the punishment of your Guardian Lord is something to seriously dread. (Qur’an 17:57)
The heart in its journey to Allah is like a bird. Love is the head while fear and hope are the two wings. When the head and both wings are sound, then the bird can take flight. If the head is removed, the bird is dead. If one of the wings is missing, then it is easy prey for every predator.
The lover is in the ocean of happiness and is never separated from it until the point he is drowning in this ocean. And just as a person who has drowned cannot be separated from the water, the lover cannot be separated from his happiness...The delight of love in this world is a small preview of the pleasures of paradise in the next world, and it is the paradise of this world. The happiness of the lover is continuous even if he is struck with waves of pain from time to time. If those preoccupied with other than God knew what the people of love possessed, their hearts would break with regret.
No one can define love with a definition more clear than itself...And no one can describe love with a description more clear than love itself. Humanity is only capable of speaking about its causes, means, signs, indicators, consequences, and rulings. Their definitions only revolve around the above six.
Love and desire are the root of hatred and anger, and its cause...The act of hatred in the world is only done when something opposes the beloved. If there was not something that was loved, there would be no hatred. Hatred and anger of human beings is from what opposes and goes against the beloved.
And from among humankind are those who take partners beside Allah, loving them with a love that is only due to Allah. And those who believe have even stronger love for Allah. (Qur’an 2:165)
This is because at the end of all your aspirations in this world is the eventuality of grief—either your ambitions are taken away from you or you are forced to give up your goals. There is no escape from these two ends except in striving towards God.
Wretched is the slave of gold, silver, fine clothes, and garments. If he is given he is pleased, but if he is not given he is displeased.
Have you not seen that Allah has made an example of the good word like a good tree? Its roots are firmly grounded and its branches tower to the sky. (Qur’an 14:24)
Anas bin Mālik narrates that a man said, “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ shall I tie it (the camel) and rely upon Allah ﷻ or should I leave it loose and rely upon Allah ﷻ?” He said, “Tie it and rely upon Allah.”
ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb narrates, I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: “If you all depend on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with full bellies at dusk.”
Abū Saʿīd al-Khuḍrī narrates that The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no Muslim that calls out to Allah ﷻ with a prayer that does not contain any wrong or breaking of familial ties except Allah ﷻ gives him one of three. Either what he asked for is hastened to him, or it is saved for the hereafter, or a calamity of similar magnitude is diverted from him.”
Abū Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷻ said, “Call upon Allah ﷻ while being certain of being answered, and know that Allah ﷻ does not respond to a supplication from the heart of one heedless and occupied.”
I searched for a common goal amongst humankind, to which all would agree to strive for excellence. I have not found anything other than the vanquishing of anxiety.
And if Allah ﷻ were to take humanity to account based on their oppression, He would not leave upon the earth a single creature. (Qur’an 16:61)
Balancing love, hope, and fear
Fuḍayl ibn ʿIyāḍ (d. 187 AH) said, “Indeed, if deeds are sincere and incorrect, they will not be accepted. If deeds are correct and insincere, they will not be accepted, but rather they are only accepted if they are both sincere and correct. Sincere means they are done for Allah alone and correct means they are done according to the Sunnah.”
Abū Dharr narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷻ said, “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn, or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.”
Say: My prayers, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are all for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, He has no partners, and that is what I have been commanded to and I am the first of those who submit. (Qur’an 6:162)