Learning our Deen (Islam)

November 6, 2008

The Agreed Upon Types of Tawassul

Filed under: Beginner, Ibadah - worship — Tags: , , , — Um Abdullah M. @ 7:14 pm

The types of tawassul that are permissible, with no dispute amongst the scholars, are:

1. Tawassul through the beautiful Names and exalted Attributes:

Allah said – translation of the meaning-  And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allâh, so call on Him by them. [Al A’raf (6):180]

Examples of this type of tawassul are found in the Quran and Sunnah:

  • Allah said, “And he said: ‘My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.’” [An Naml (27): 19]
  • The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) entered the mosque and saw a man who had finished his prayer, and was reciting the tashahhud saying:
    O Allah, I ask You, O Allaah, the One, the Single, the Self Sufficient Master Who needs none, but all have need of (Him), Who does not beget, nor was He begotten, nor is there any like Him…, that You forgive me my sins, indeed You are the Most forgiving, the Most Merciful’. ” [Sunan Abu Dawud : Book 3 Hadith 980]
  • The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
    Whoever becomes greatly troubled or saddened and says: ‘ O Allaah I am Your slave, son of Your male slave and female slave. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your judgement is continually operative upon me. Your sentence concerning me is just. I ask You by every name which is Yours, with which You named Yourself, taught to anyone from Your creation, or sent down in Your Book, or which You kept to Yourself in the knowledge of the Hidden with You, that You make the Qur’aan the spring of my heart, the light of my chest, the removal of my sadness and of my anxiety’ then Allaah will remove his anxiety and sorrow and replace it with joy…” [Musnad Ahmad; Ahmad Shakir said: Sahih 5\267]


2. Tawassul through the supplicator’s own good deeds.

Examples in the Quran and Sunnah:

  • “Those who say: ‘Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire.’” [Al Imran (3):16]
  • Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth (i.e. Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh – none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh).” [Al Imran (3): 53]
  • The Prophet –sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- said, “While three persons were walking, rain began to fall and they had to enter a cave in a mountain. A big rock rolled over and blocked the mouth of the cave. They said to each other, ‘Invoke Allah with the best deed you have performed (so Allah might remove the rock)’. One of them said, ‘O Allah! My parents were old and I used to go out for grazing (my animals). On my return I would milk (the animals) and take the milk in a vessel to my parents to drink. After they had drunk from it, I would give it to my children, family and wife. One day I was delayed and on my return I found my parents sleeping, and I disliked to wake them up. The children were crying at my feet (because of hunger). That state of affairs continued till it was dawn. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, then please remove this rock so that we may see the sky.’ So, the rock was moved a bit. The second said, ‘O Allah! You know that I was in love with a cousin of mine, like the deepest love a man may have for a woman, and she told me that I would not get my desire fulfilled unless I paid her one-hundred Dinars (gold pieces). So, I struggled for it till I gathered the desired amount, and when I sat in between her legs, she told me to be afraid of Allah, and asked me not to deflower her except rightfully (by marriage). So, I got up and left her. O Allah! If You regard that I did if for Your sake, kindly remove this rock.’ So, two-thirds of the rock was removed. Then the third man said, ‘O Allah! No doubt You know that once I employed a worker for one Faraq (three Sa’s) of millet, and when I wanted to pay him, he refused to take it, so I sowed it and from its yield I bought cows and a shepherd. After a time that man came and demanded his money. I said to him: Go to those cows and the shepherd and take them for they are for you. He asked me whether I was joking with him. I told him that I was not joking with him, and all that belonged to him. O Allah! If You regard that I did it sincerely for Your sake, then please remove the rock.’ So, the rock was removed completely from the mouth of the cave.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)
  • Another example is: “O Allah I ask you by my love for your Prophet …..”;  Because loving the Messenger of Allah is a good deed.


3. Tawassul by the supplication of a righteous living person, by asking them to make dua for you.

If a Muslim falls into great difficulty or a great misfortune befalls him, and he knows that he has been very negligent with regard to Allaah, the Blessed and Most High’s, rights upon him, so he wishes to use a strong means of drawing nearer to Allaah. So he goes to a man whom he believes to be righteous and asks him to supplicate to his Lord for him that He (Allaah) should relieve his distress and remove what had befallen him.

Examples from the Sunnah and the actions of the Sahabah (companions of the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)

  • Anas b. Malik reported that a person entered the mosque through the door situated on theside of Daral-Qada’ during Friday (prayer) and the messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was delivering the sermon while standing. He came and stood in front of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: “Messenger of Allah, the camels died and the passages were blocked; so supplicate Allah to send down rain upon us.”The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) raised his hands and then said: (O Allah, send down rain upon us; O Allah, send dowp rain upon us; O Allah, send down rain upon us.)
    Anas said:
    By Allah, we did not see any cloud or any patch of it, and there was neither any house or building standing between us and the (hillock) Sal’a. There appeared a cloud in the shape of a shield from behind it, and as it (came high) in the sky it spread and then there was a downpour of rain. By Allah, we did not see the sun throughout the week. Then (that very man) came on the coming Friday through the same door when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was standing and delivering the sermon. He stood in front of him and said: “Messenger of Allah, our animals died and the passages blocked. Supplicate Allah to stop the rain for us. ”

    The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) again raised his hands and said: (O Allah, let it (rain) fall in our suburbs and not on us, O Allah (send it down) on the hillocks and small mountains and the river-beds and at places where trees grow.)
    The rain stopped, and as we stepped out we were walking in sun- shine. He (the narrator) said to Sharik: I asked Anas b. Malik if he was the same man. He said: I do not know. [ Sahih Muslim: Book 4: Hadith 1955]

  • Narrated Anas: Whenever drought threatened them, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, used to ask Al-Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib to invoke Allah for rain. He used to say, “O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain. O Allah ! Bless us with rain.” And so it would rain.

Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani –rahimahu Allah- said :

“And az-Zubair bin Bakkar showed in the ansab the description of the duaa of al-Abbas in this incident and the time in which that happened.
He narrated with his isnad that al Abbas, when Umar did istisqa’ through him, said: ” “O Allah, truly no tribulation descends except because of sin, nor is lifted except with repentence. The people have turned to you by means of me because of my position in relation to your prophet, and here are our hands [raised up] towards you – despite our sins – and our forelocks in repentence, so send down water for us.” Whereupon the sky let down water as thick as ropes.”

Then he said:

And we benefit, from the story of Al Abbas, the recommendation (istihbab) of seeking intercession by the pious and the family of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.” [Fath al Bari]


Salim bin ‘Amer Al Khaba’iri reported: That the sky withheld all its rain, so Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and the people of Damascus went out to pray for rain. So when Mu’awiyah sat upon the minbar he said: ‘Where is Yazid ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashi?’ So the people called him and he came stepping between the people. Then Mu’aawiyah commanded him and he ascended the minbar and sat at his feet. Then
Mu’awiyah said: “O Allaah we are today asking the best and most noble amongst us to supplicate to You for us, O Allaah today we put Yazeed ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashee forward to supplicate to You for us,” “O Yazeed raise up your hands to Allaah.” So he raised up his hands and the people raised up their hands. Then very quickly rain-clouds like a large shield came quickly from the west, and the wind blew and it rained so profusely that people could hardly reach their houses.
[Sharh Usool I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah by Al Lalika’i]; Ibn Hajar al Asqalani said: “Abu Zur’ah Ad-Dimashqi and Ya’qub bin Sufyan narrated in their tarikh, with a sahih chain, through Salim bin ‘Amer ….” [al Isabah fi Tameez As Sahabah]


The Meaning of Tawassul and Wasilah (Link)



The Meaning of Tawassul and Waseelah

Filed under: Beginner, General, Ibadah - worship, Quran, tafsir — Tags: , , , , , — Um Abdullah M. @ 5:20 pm


 The word Tawassul comes from the word “Al Wasila

Definition of Al Wasila

Al-Khalil bin Ahmad (100-170 H.) said in “al Ayn”:

Wassaltu to my Lord Wasilatan, means: I did a deed that by which I drew near to Him. And I did tawassul to someone by a book or a relative, means that I sought means of approach to him by it.

Labeed said:

‘I see that the people do not know the value of their affair,
where as every religious person seeks to draw nearer to Allaah.’

Isma’il bin Hammad al Jawhari (d. 393 H.) said in “As-Sihah fi Al-Lughah”:

Al Wasila: That by which one draws near to another”.



Al wasilah ” by this meaning is found in the Quran:

O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek al wasilah to Him. (5:35)

Its tafsir (interpretation) :

Tafsir Imam At-Tabari (d. 310 H.) He says: and seek nearness to Him by performing the acts that please Him.

Tafsir “Bahr al Uloom” by Abul Layth As-Simirqandi (d. 375 H.) It means: seek nearness and virtue by the good deeds.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (d. 774 H.) : Ibn `Abbas said that Wasilah means `the means of approach’.
Mujahid, Abu Wa’il, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Abdullah bin Kathir, As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and others gave the same meaning for Wasilah.

Qatadah said that the ayah means, “Seek the means of approach to Him by obeying Him and performing the acts that please Him.”

And there is no disagreement amongst the mufassireen on what those Imams said.



Thus the general meaning of Tawassul is to seek nearness to Allah through performing good deeds.
As for the specific meaning of Tawassul, it is to hope for and seek the answering of one’s duaa (supplication).


The Agreed Upon Types of Tawassul



March 31, 2008

Al Ihsan – A Must Read

Filed under: Beginner, Ibadah - worship, Tazkiyah — Um Abdullah M. @ 4:04 pm

Al Ihsan

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-`Uthaymeen (rahimahu Allah)

Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam

© 1997 al-Hidaayah

Al-Ihsaan is the opposite of behaving badly, and it means that a person strives to do what is good and to repel harmful things. So he strives to benefit the servants of Allaah through his wealth, position, knowledge and his person. So as for the case of doing good with ones wealth, then he spends and gives in charity, and pays the zakaat, and the best of the types of doing good through wealth is the zakaat since it is one of the pillars of Islaam, and one of its great foundations. A person’s Islaam will not be complete without it. It is the charity most loved by Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and that is followed by that which it is obligatory upon a person to spend upon his wife, mother, father, children, brothers, children of his brothers, sisters, paternal uncles, paternal aunts, maternal aunts, and so on. Then by charity given to the poor and to the rest of those deserving of charity – such as students of knowledge for example.

As for the case of doing good by means of ones position, then it is that people are found in different levels. Some of them have status with someone in authority and so strive to benefit the people by means of his position. So if a man comes to him and requests that he should intercede for him with the one in authority then he does so, either to repel some harm from him or to attain some good for him, As for doing good by means of his knowledge, then it is that he strives to pass on his knowledge to Allaah’s servants, in open and private gatherings and assemblies. Even if people sit socially, to drink coffee, then it pertains to good and fine behaviour that he should teach the people. Even if you are in a public gathering it is from what is good that you teach the people. However wisdom is to be used in this matter. So you should not weary the people making it a habit that every single time you sit in a gathering you admonish and address the people, since the Prophet used to give them admonition now and then, and not too frequently. This is because the souls become weary and bored. When they become bored they become languid and weak and may even come to dislike what is good merely because of the frequency with which the per son stands and addresses them.

As for seeking to benefit the people with ones person, then the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “… that you help a man to mount and ride his riding beast, or you lift up his luggage on to it for him, is a charity [Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. Transl. 4/90-94/no. 161) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/483-484/ no. 2204)].

So you help this man to carry his luggage, or you guide him to the correct road to take and so on, all of this pertains to ihsaan. So this is with regard to striving to do good to the servants of Allaah.

As for ihsaan in the worship of Allaah, then it is that you worship Allaah as if you were seeing Him, as the Prophet ( said. So worship done in this way, that a person worships his Lord as if he were actually seeing Him is worship that is accompanied by yearning and seeking. So a person will find that his soul encourages him upon worship done in this way, since he is yearning for the one he loves. Therefore he worships Him as if he were seeing Him, and he directs his heart to Him and turns to Him and seeks to draw near to Him, He the One free of all imperfections and the Most High.

Then even though you do not see Him, then He certainly sees you.” This part shows worship done whilst fleeing and fearing, and is therefore the second level of ihsaan. So if you do not worship Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, as if you are seeing Him and seeking Him and your soul is encouraging you towards Him, then worship Him keeping in mind that He sees you. So you will then worship Him as one who fears Him and seeks to flee from His retribution and punishment.

This level is held by those having knowledge of these affairs to be lower than the first level. Worship of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, is, as Ibn al-Qayyim, rahimahullaah, said: ‘Worship of the Most Merciful is utmost love of Him, along with the worshippers submission and humility, they are its two pillars.’

So worship is built upon these two matters: utmost love, and utmost humility and submission. Love causes one to desire and seek, and humility causes one to fear and flee. This is ihsaan in the worship of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. If a person worships Allaah in this manner, then he will become one who is pure and sincere in his worship of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. He will not desire with his worship that he is seen by the people, or heard of, nor will he desire their praise. It will be the same to him whether the people notice him or do not notice him.

He will worship with ihsan in every condition. Indeed part of the completion of purity and sincerity of worship (al-ikhlaas) is that a person should seek not to be seen by the people when he worships, and that his worship should be a secret between him and his Lord. That is unless there is some benefit for the Muslims or for Islaam in his performing it openly, for example if he is a person who is followed and taken as an example and he wishes to manifest his worship to the people so that they should take it as an example to follow; or that he manifests his worship so that his companions, friends and associates should follow his example, then this is good. This benefit which he takes account of may be more excellent and greater than the benefit of keeping it hidden. Therefore, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has praised those who spend of their wealth in charity secretly and openly. So whenever performing it secretly is better and more beneficial for the heart, and causes one to be more humble and submissive, and to turn to Allaah more attentively, then they give in secret. But when performing it openly produces benefit for Islaam, due to manifestation of its prescribed practices, and will mean that the people follow this persons example, then they do this openly. The Believer looks to what is most appropriate. So whatever is most appropriate and most beneficial in worship, then it will be what is most complete and most excellent.

July 28, 2007

Pillars of the Correct Ubudiyah (servitude)

Filed under: Beginner, Ibadah - worship — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:34 pm

Pillars of the Correct Ubudiyah

Ibadah centers around three pillars; love, fear and hope. Verily, Ibadah comprises of all these; love with humbleness, fear with hope. Allah says describing His believing slaves, ‘whom He will love and they will love Him.’ [Soorah al-Maida (5):54] and, ‘But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else).’ [Soorah al-Baqarah (2):165] He said describing His Messengers and Prophets, ‘Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.’ [Soorah al-Ambiya (21): 90]

Some of the Salaf have said, ‘He, who worships Allah with love alone is a Zindeeq (heretic). He, who worships Allah with hope alone, is a Murjee, and he, who worships Him with fear alone, is a Hurooree (meaning from the Khawarij). He, who worships Allah with love, fear and hope, is a Mumin Muwahhid. Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned this is his essay, ‘al-Ubodiyah,’ and he also said, ‘Thus, the Deen of Allah is worship, obedience and submission to Him. As for Ibadah, its original meaning also denotes lowliness and submission. One says, ‘a pathway that is mu’abbad,’ i.e. it has become smoothed out because of being treaded upon. However, the Ibadah that has been enjoined (upon us) encompasses the meaning of submission along with the meaning of love. It embodies the utmost degree of submission to Allah through utmost degree of love to Him… One who submits to a person whilst possessing hatred for him is not an aabid (worshipper) of him and if he was to love someone and at the same time does not submit to him, he is likewise not an aabid of him, as is the case of a man who loves his child and friend. Consequently, only one of the two (qualities) is not sufficient as far as the Ibadah of Allah is concerned. Rather, it is necessary that Allah be the most beloved above all else to the abd (the slave) and that he holds Allah to be the greatest of all. Indeed, none other than Allah deserves total love and submission….’ [end quote] [See, Majmoo at-Tawheed an-Najdiyah, p.549]

These are the pillars of al-Ubudiyah.  Al-Allamah Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said in Nuniyyah:

‘Worship of Allah is utmost love for Him,
along with the worshipper’s submission,
these are the two axis (Qutban), upon which the orbit of Ibadah revolves.
And it does not revolve until the axis are established,
And that which causes it to turn is the command of the Messenger,
Not desires, soul or Shaytan.’

He (rahimahullah) likened the revolution of worship to be upon love and submission for the beloved, i.e. Allah, to the revolution of a celestial body upon its axis. And he mentioned that the revolution of worship is by the command of the Messenger and what he has ordered, and not desire, and what the soul orders him or the Shaytan,  because this is not worship. So, what the Messenger has ordered revolves the orbit of worship,  not innovations,  desires or blind-following of the forefathers.

Misunderstandings in defining al-Ibadah (worship)

Filed under: Beginner, Ibadah - worship — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:25 pm

Ibadah is Tawqeefiyah:  Meaning nothing can be legislated concerning it except with a proof from the Book and the Sunnah and that which is not legislated by Allah is considered a rejected innovation as the Messenger of Allah (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) said, ‘Whoever performs an action that is not ordered by us is rejected.‘ [Agreed upon] meaning the action is rejected and not accepted, rather it is written as a sin because it is disobedience and not obedience. The correct Manhaj of performing the legislated worships is moderation between being easy and lazy and harshness and extremism. Allah says to His Messenger, ‘So stand you firm and straight as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you, and transgress not (Allah’s legal limits).’ [Soorah Hud (11): 112]  In this noble verse, the correct Manhaj to perform worship has been mentioned, which is to adhere to moderation, without negligence or extremism, according to the legislation, ‘as you are commanded.’ Then he reinforced this by His Saying, ‘and transgress not (Allah’s legal limits).’  Transgression is to go beyond bounds due to harshness and stubbornness and this is exaggeration.  When the Messenger of Allah (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) found out that three Companions, who considered their deeds insignificant, such that one of them said, ‘I will fast and not break my fast.’ And another said, ‘I will pray and not sleep.’ And the third said, ‘I will not marry women.’ The Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) said, ‘As for me then I fast and break my fast and I marry women, so whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.’ [Agreed upon]
 There are two differing groups of people regarding the issue of beliefs:

The first group fell short in their understanding of Ibadah and became lenient in performing it until they cancelled out many forms of worship, and reduced the meaning of worship to certain actions, and some rituals that are performed in the mosques. According to them worship does not stretch over the house, office, workshop, streets, neither in their dealings, politics, in seeking judgment to their dispute, nor in any other aspect of life.
Yes, the mosque has a virtue, and it is obligatory to perform five daily prayers in it, but worship envelopes all aspects of a Muslim’s life – inside the mosque and outside it.

The second group overstressed in implementing worship to the extent of exaggeration; they raised the Mustahabb (recommended) actions to the level of Wajib (obligatory), and prohibited some Mubah (permissible actions), and declared deviant and mistaken those people, who disagreed with their Manhaj (way) and proved their understanding to be incorrect.And the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) and the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter

Al-Ibadah (worship in Islam) : Its Meaning and what it comprises

Filed under: Beginner, Ibadah - worship — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:21 pm

Meaning of al-Ibadah: The basic meaning of al-Ibadah is humility and submission. In the Sharee’ah, it has numerous definitions, but their meaning is one. From them are;
– It is to worship Allah in conformity to what He has ordered upon the tongues of His Messenger.
– It is utmost submission with utmost love for Allah.
– A more general meaning of al-Ibadah is that it is a comprehensive term for everything that Allah loves and is pleased with from speech and actions inwardly and outwardly.

Worship is categorized as worship of the heart, tongue and limbs. Fear, hope, love, reliance, desire, reverence are worships of the heart. Tasbeeh, Tahleel, Takbeer, thanking Him by the tongue and heart are worships of the heart and tongue. Salaat, Zakaat, Hajj are worships of the limbs and heart. There are many other worships of the heart, tongue and limbs.

It is for the purpose of Ibadah that Allah brought into existence all the creation. Allah says, ‘And I (Allah) created not the jinn and humans except they should worship Me (Alone). I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e. feed themselves or My creatures). Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.’ [Soorah adh-Dhariyat (51): 56]

Allah informs us (in this verse) that the wisdom behind creating the Jinn and humans is that they establish His worship. However, Allah is not in need of their worship, but they are in need of Him due to their penury before Him, so they (ought to) worship Him in compliance with His Sharee’ah.
So, he, who does not worship Allah is arrogant.
He, who worships Him and others with Him is a Mushrik (one, who associates partners with Allah).
He, who worships Him by other than what He has legislated is a Mubtadi (an innovator).
And He, who worships Him with that which He has legislated is a Mumin (believer) and Muwahhid (one who establishes Tawheed in its correct manner).

Forms of Ibadah and what it Comprises
Ibadah has many forms, and it includes all forms of outward obedience of the tongue and the limbs and inward obedience of the heart, like remembrance of Allah, Tasbeeh, Tahleel, reciting the Qur’aan, Salaat, Zakaat, Siyam, Hajj, commanding the good and forbidding the evil, doing good to the relatives, orphans, poor and travelers. Similarly, love of Allah and His Messenger, fear of Allah and returning to him, sincerity in the Deen, (Sabr) being patient with His Rule and (Radaa) being pleased with His Decree, (Tawakkul) reliance upon Him, (Rajaa) hope in His Mercy, (Khauf) fear from His punishment (are worships of the heart). Thus, Ibadah includes all the actions of a Mumin (believer), if he intends to worship Allah with them or that which aids this purpose, even his habit (qualify to come under worshipping Allah) if he intends to worship Allah with them, like sleep, food, drink, buying and selling, seeking provision and marriage. Thus, all actions if accompanied by a good intention, develop into worship and worship is thus, not limited to the known rituals.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter


July 2, 2007

The Concept of Worship in Islam (2)

Filed under: Ibadah - worship, Intermediate — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:34 pm

By Amjad Ibn Muhammad Rafiq.
The University of Essex Islamic Society
The Messenger of God, peace be upon him, said: “The right of God upon His servants is that they should worship Him (alone) and not associate anything with Him” [Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim].

Almighty God created us that we may worship Him alone and not associate anything with Him. God has said: “I did not create Jinn and Men except that they may worship me” [Qur’an 51:56]. So what is this worship, what are its types and conditions and how should it be performed?

Worship is a collective term for everything which God loves and is pleased with from among the words and actions, such as supplication, prayer and having patience. Almighty God says (in the Qur’an): “Say: Verily my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are all for God the Lord of the Worlds” [Qur’an 6:162], and the Prophet, peace be upon him, said “God the Exalted said: My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by me than the obligatory actions which I have imposed upon him” [Reported by Bukhaaree].

The types of worship are many and include supplication, fear, hope, reliance, love of obedience to God, hatred of disobedience to Him, remorse, repentance, seeking aid from Him, vowing, sacrificing, bowing, prostrating and other things beside these.

Thus the first thing which a Muslim acknowledges is that he has been created for worship and must know of its form and types. The second thing the Muslim should realize is that a necessary condition of worship is sincerity. Almighty God the Exalted said: “So whoever hopes for the meeting with His Lord let him work deeds of righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of His Lord” [Qur’an 18:110], and the Messenger, peace be upon him, said: “Indeed God does not look at your faces nor your wealth but He looks at your hearts and your actions.” Also there is the Hadeeth Qudsee where the Messenger, peace be upon him, said that God said: “I am so Self-Sufficient that I am in no need of having partners. Thus, whoever does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine, will have that action rejected by Me to him whom he associated with Me” [Reported by Muslim].

Another vital condition of worship is that it is correct and therefore acceptable to God. Our Worship of God should be as He and His Messenger, peace be upon him, have commanded us. Almighty God says: “O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger and do not let your actions become nullified” [Qur’an 47:33], and the Messenger, peace be upon him, has said: “Whoever does an action which we have not commanded will have it rejected” [Reported by Muslim]. And he, peace be upon him, also said: “Whoever does an action in a way different from ours will have it rejected” [Reported by Abu Daawood – Saheeh].

Fudayl ibn Ayyaad, a taabi’ee (i.e. a member of the second generation of Muslims), said regarding the verse: ” . . . that He may test you, which of you is best in deeds . . . ” [Qur’an 11:7], “The most sincere and the most correct“, so those who were around him said: “And what is the most sincere and the most correct?” He replied: “Action, if it is correct but not sincere will not be accepted and action, if it is sincere but not correct will not be accepted until it is both sincere and correct. Sincere means that nothing but the Face of God is sought and correct means that it is in conformity with the Sunnah.”

So these are two necessary conditions for our worship to be acceptable to God. God has also commanded us: “So call upon Him (out of) Fear and Hope” [Qur’an 6:56], and the Messenger, peace be upon him, used to supplicate: “I ask God for Paradise and I seek refuge in Him from the Fire”. [Reported by Abu Daawood – Saheeh].

A fourth point is that our worship should be in between hoping for God’s Mercy and reward and fearing His punishment. Some of the Salaf (i.e. pious predecessors of the first three generations of Muslims) used to say: “Whoever worships God with Love only is indeed a Zindeeq (i.e. a heretic) and whoever worships Him with Hope only is indeed a Murji’ (i.e. one who believes that sins impart no harm to a persons faith) and whoever worships Him with Fear only is indeed a Harooree (i.e. one of those believe that sins take a person out of Islam), but whoever worships Him with Love, Fear and Hope is indeed a believing Muwahhid (i.e. one who believes and actualizes the Unity (Tawheed) of God).

Another characteristic of our worship is being aware of the presence of God, that His knowledge is with us and He sees and hears us. This point is called Ihsaan – purity. Almighty God says: “The One Who sees you when you stand up for the prayer and when you move amongst those who prostrate themselves” [Qur’an 26:218], and also in the hadeeth of Gabriel (Arabic: Jibreel) when he said to the Messenger, peace be upon him: Ihsaan is that you worship God as if you see Him and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you” [Reported by Muslim].

So these are five points concerning our worship, namely:
1. Acknowledgement that it is the purpose of our existence;
2. Extreme sincerity in fulfilling that purpose;
3. Correctness of our worship by conducting it in the manner of the Sunnah of the Messenger, peace be upon him;
4. Worshipping God by combining Love, Fear and Hope;
5. Accompanying all of that with Ihsaan – a keen awareness of God. The example of the one who learns these five points concerning the worship of his Lord and builds all of his actions upon them and the one who does not and is careless about his worship is like the example God has given: “Which then is best? He who lays the foundation of his house upon Taqwa (i.e. God-consciousness) and His Good Pleasure, or he who lays the foundation of his house upon an undetermined brink of a precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbles down with him into the Fire of Hell?” [Qur’an 9:108].

So respected Brothers and Sisters, let’s not be careless and make our actions vain like Almighty God has mentioned regarding some people: “And We shall turn to whatever actions they did and turn them into scattered dust” [Qur’an 25:23], but rather let us become cautious and send something foreword for the Day of Judgement, the Day when we will be in great need for good actions – that is our sincere and correct worship.

The Concept of Worship in Islam (1)

Filed under: Beginner, Ibadah - worship — Um Abdullah M. @ 6:30 pm

The Concept of Worship in Islam

The concept of worship in Islam differs from that found in other religions, and is therefore subject to misunderstanding. In general,worship is understood to mean the observance of certain rituals: praying, fasting, giving charity, and other “good” works. In Islam, however, worship is much more-it is one’s entire life. As many Muslim scholars have said: “Worship is an all-inclusive term for those internal and external sayings and actions of a person that are pleasing to Allah.”

In other words, worship is that which is done in obedience to Allah’s will, which obviously includes rituals but goes far beyond to the realms of ones beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to one’s society and fellow human beings. Islam looks at the individual as a whole. He is required to submit 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 beamong those who submit, i.e.; Muslims.

The natural result of this submission is that one’s activities should conform to the instructions of the one to whom the person is submitting-Allah. Islam requires that its followers conduct every aspect of their lives according to its teachings. This might sound strange to those who view religion as apersonal relation between the individual and God and as having no impact on those activities that are not connected specifically with any religious rituals.The Prophet taught his followers that Islam is far more than a private personal matter. Islam attaches no value to rituals that are performed mechanically and have no influence on one’s inner life.The Qur’an dealt with this issue when it addressed Muslims, as well as local Jews and Christians, during the dispute that arose when theprayer direction was changed from Jerusalem to the Ka’bah in Makkah: It is not righteousness that you turn your faces toward the Eastor the West, but righteous is he who believes in Allah and theLast Day and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets, andgives his beloved money to the relatives and the orphans andthe needy And over 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 inpoverty and affliction and the steadfast in time of war; it isthose who have proved truthful and it is those who are the God-fearing. (2:177)

The deeds mentioned in the above verse are indications that a person is righteous. But they are only a part of worship. Faith, according to the Prophet, is the basis of worship and “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 thes cale of worship is removing obstacles and dirt from people’s way

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