Every Act is Worship
To read the previous part: Click Here
In the Islamic system, each and every human act can be transformed into an act of worship. However, for that to be acceptable to Allah, each act must fulfill two basic conditions:
First, the act must be done sincerely for the pleasure of Allah and not for the recognition and praise of human beings. The believer also has to be conscious of Allah while doing the deed to ensure that it is not something forbidden by Allah or the last Messenger (SAW).
In order to facilitate this transformation of mundane (ordinary) deeds into worship, Allah instructed the last Prophet (SAW) to prescribe short prayers to be said even before the simplest acts. The shortest prayer which may be used for any circumstance is: Bismillah (in the name of Allah).
Second, the act must be done in accordance with the Prophetic way, because Prophets were guided by Allah. What they taught were divinely revealed truths, and only those who followed their way and accepted the truths would inherit eternal life in paradise.
Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood related that one day Prophet Muhammad (SAW) drew a line in the dust for them and said, “ this is Allah’s path.” He then drew several lines (branching off) to the right and to the left and said, “these are the paths of misguidance on each of which is a devil inviting people to follow it.” (Ahmed)
He (SAW) then recited the verse:
"And that, this is My path, straight, so follow it and do not follow other ways which will part you from His way. That He directs you with, that you may guard (against evil)." (6:153)
The only acceptable way to worship Allah is according to the way of the Prophets. That being the case, innovation in religious affairs is the worst of all evils.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was reported to have said, “The worst of all affairs is innovation in religion, for every religious innovation is a cursed, misleading innovation leading to the hell fire.” (An-Nasai)
The Prophet (SAW) was also reported by is wife, As’ishah, to have said, “He who innovates something in this matter of ours, that is not of it, will have it rejected.” (Bukhari)
The general rule to follow in order to avoid innovation in religion, follow any worship that is
a. Proven by the Qur’an
b. Supported by an authentic hadith.
We do certain deeds thinking it is good because our parents or grandparents, etc did it. But ultimately such deeds which are innovated are simply rejected by Allah.
Abdullah reported that he asked Allah’s Messenger(SAW) which sin is the gravest in Allah’s sight and He replied, “to give Allah a partner, even though he created you.” (Bukhari)
Worshipping others besides Allah, is the only unforgivable sin Allah stated:
"Allah certainly does not forgive associating of partners with Him (polytheism), and He protectively forgives (any sin) other than that, to whom He wills; and one who associates partners with Allah (a polytheist), he indeed fabricates a great sin." (4:48)
The greatest example of associating partners with Allah is going to the Dargah’s. Those people who go to the Dargah’s are not following the creator, but they are following the creator’s (Allah) creation.
They start loving, trusting them more than Allah.
LOVE OF ALLAH
Shirk also occurs when human beings love, trust or fear the creation more than Allah and the last revelation, Allah said:
"And among human beings are those who take (objects) besides Allah, (as His) equals, they love them as they should have loved Allah, but those who believe are strongest in love for Allah. Oh! Those who are unjust will realize when they see the punishment, that power is wholly Allah's and that Allah is severe in punishment." (2:165)
However, only Allah deserves a complete human emotional commitment, for it is He alone who should be loved and feared over all creation.
Anas ibn Maalik narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever possesses the following three characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith: he who loves Allah and His Messenger above all else; he who loves another human being for Allah’s sake alone; and he who hates to return to disbelief after Allah has rescued him as he hates to be thrown into fire.” (Muslim)
All the reasons for which humans love other humans or love other created beings are reasons to love Allah more than his creation. Humans love life and success dislike death and failure. Since Allah is the ultimate source of life and success, HE deserves the full love and devotion of mankind. Humans also love those who benefit them and help them when they are in need. Since all benefit and help come from Allah, He should be loved above all else.
"And He gives you everything which you ask from Him and if you count Allah’s favours you will not be able to compute them. Man is certainly unjust, ungrateful." (14:34)
Say, "If you love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and protectively forgive you your sins and Allah is Protectively Forgiving, Merciful." (3:31)
The love of Allah should also be expressed in the love of those whom Allah loves.
Allah says :
“Surely Allah will bestow love (in the hearts of the believers for) those who believe and do righteous deeds.” (19:96)
Aboo Hurairah also related that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said the following in this regard, “if Allah loves a servant He informs angel Gabriel that He loves so- and –so and tells him to love him, so Gabriel loves him. Then Gabriel calls out to the inhabitants of the heavens: “Allah loves so-and-so, therefore love him.” So the inhabitants of heaven love him. Then he is granted the love of the people of earth.” (Sahih al Bukhari)
Our parents, siblings, children, life partner, friends, etc whom we love more are all provided by Allah. We love them more because we can see them and cannot see Allah. But we can see Allah by
a. His blessings
b. His bounties
c. His mercy
So we should love Allah more than anyone else.
PRAYERS: Prayers should only be directed to Allah alone, for only He can answer prayers. He is accessible as long as He is called upon sincerely.
"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them); I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me; let them also with a will listen to My call and believe in Me; that they may walk in the right way." (2:186)
The Prophet (SAW) emphasized this point, saying, “If you ask in prayer, ask only Allah, and if you seek help, seek it only from Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
Thus, prayer to human beings or through human beings, dead or living, is a form of shirk.
"Those whom you pray to, besides Allah, are certainly servants like you, so pray to them then let them respond to you if you are truthful." (7:194)
Likewise, any Muslim who prays to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) commits shirk. Consequently, Allah commanded the Prophet (SAW) to inform his followers as follows, as stated in the Quran:
Say, "I have no power to benefit or harm myself, (I have nothing) except that which Allah wills; and had I known the un seen I would have had abundance of good and evil would not have (even) touched me. I am but a warner and a conveyer of good news to people who believe." (7:188)
Aboo Hurairah reported that when the verse “And warn your family (consisting) of close relatives” (26:214), was revealed to the Prophet (SAW), he said the following to his relatives: "O people of Quraysh, secure deliverance from Allah (by doing good deeds), for I cannot avail you at all against Allah." (Bukhari)
To read the next part: Click Here