Allah (swt) said:
“Ibadah” is a word that includes everything that Allah loves and is pleased with, from apparent or hidden, whether it be words or deeds. This then includes prayers, zakat, fasting, speaking truth, keeping promise, treating one’s parent with kindness, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, striving in jihad, helping poor or orphans etc.” summarized from Ibn Taymiyah’s reply3 .
The word “Ibadah1” (usually translated as worship) means “total obedience and submission to Allah’s commands”. Thus, everything we do is for the sake of Allah and to earn His pleasure by fulfilling His commands. قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ - 6:162 Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds”.
Allah (swt2) also asserted that we hold on to His Deen, – إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ فَاعْبُدِ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّينَ - 39:2 “Verily We have sent down to you (O' Muhammad) Book, with Truth; therefore, make your Deen exclusive for Allah, and give your Ibadah to Him alone”. He (swt) also mentioned that it is His exclusive right as the Creator that His creation submits to Him alone. أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ - 39:3 “Hark! Deen pertains exclusively to Him (and Him alone)…”, meaning that He should be obeyed and worshiped sincerely and exclusively.
Hence, the purpose of our life is to please Allah (swt) through “Ibadah” and by following His Deen, to achieve success in this life and in here after. It is thus important to fully comprehend word “Ibadah” and its association with word “Deen”.
i. Ibadah (worship) is also an ultimate goal of creation of Allah (swt), which is defined in verse:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ – 51:56 “And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).”
ii. Ibadah (worship) of Allah - this is the message that all Prophets brought to us:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الطَّاغُوتَ - 16:36 “And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], "Worship Allah and avoid taghut."
It is only suitable to the Creator that when He created us, He himself defines how we live and how spent our live on this earth. Thus, Allah (swt) send us down his Deen through his Messengers to follow in order for us to achieve the purpose of our creations, i.e. the “Ibadah”
iii. Ibadah (worship) of Allah – this is what Allah (swt) demanded us to do:
إِنَّ هَذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ - “Indeed this, your nation, is one nation, and I am your Lord, so worship Me”.
أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ. – “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.”
إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ – 12:40 “Legislation is not but for Allah. He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct Deen, but most of the people do not know.”
iv. Ibadah (worship) of Allah – is exclusively what Allah’s asked us. He asked us to follow this Deen and do not follow any other Deen. Following Allah’s Deen alone will establish true Ibadah.
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ - 3:19 Indeed, the Deen in the sight of Allah is Islam
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ - 3:85 And whoever desires other than Islam as Deen – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.
v. Ibadah (worship) of Allah – must be done until dead takes us over:
وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ. – 15:99 “And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).
اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ – 3:102 “… Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in state of Islam”.
Thus, we established clearly that our ultimate objective in this world is to make “Ibadah” to Allah.
اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ - 3:51 “Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path.”
The word “ibadah” عبادة …
The word “ibadah” عبادة is derived from “A’bada ” عَبَدَ . The closest meaning of A’bada is slave or servant. Thus, the word Ibadah means be slave (of Allah), similar to a slave whose job is to obey his master.
- Firstly, the slave is to accept Allah as his master, that this is the Master who give him sustenance, who protects him, who gave him life, thus he should be faithful to his Master
- Secondly, the slave is obedient to his master. Accept His commands and always be ready to serve the master, and he must not accept any other commands in opposition to his master.
- Thirdly, the slave honor and respect his master. If the master calls him, he be present, and he conduct and behaves in front of the master in a manner suitable to His majesty.
In short, the purpose of our creation really is that Human and Jinn:
- Faithful to Allah: be faithful to Allah (swt), and they are not faithful to anyone who opposes Allah (swt).
- Obey Allah’s Rule: That they obey Allah’s commands and order, and they do obey any other’s order against it.
- Worship Allah Alone: That they worship Allah alone, and they do not worship any one else.
The conclusion is أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ - 12:40 “that you worship none except Him (Allah)”. This is the essence of teaching of all Messengers that came to give us Allah’s message.
2. (swt) is abbreviation commonly used for “Subanahu wa ta’la – سبحانه و تعالى” Most Exalted and the High. See verse: “ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ 6:100 Exalted is He and high above what they describe”