Concept of Worship in Islam

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The Concept of worship in Islam
The concept of worship in Islam is misunderstood by many people, including some Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean performing ritualistic acts such as prayers fasting, charity, etc. This limited understanding of worship is only one part of the meaning of worship in Islam. The true definition includes almost everything in any individual's activities. It goes something like this, "Worship is an all inclusive term for all external and internal sayings and actions of a person that God loves." In other words, worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure of
Allah. This of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of one's fellow human beings.
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Islam looks at the individual as a whole. He is required to submit himself completely to Allah as the Qur-an instructed the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) 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 be among those who submit, (i.e. Muslims).” (Qur-an, 6:162-163)
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The natural result of this submission is that all one's activities should conform to the instructions of the One to whom the person is submitting. Islam, being a way of life, requires that its followers model their lives according to its teachings in every aspect, religious or otherwise. This might sound strange to some people who think of religion as a personal relationship between the individual and God, having no impact on one's activities outside rituals.

As a matter of fact, Islam does not think much of mere rituals when they are performed mechanically and have by no influence on one's inner life. The Qur-an addressed the believers and their neighbors from among the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) who were arguing with them about the change of the direction of the Qibla (the direction faced in prayers) in the following verse:

"It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East or the West, but righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets, and gives his money out of love for Him to relatives and orphans, the needy, way farers, beggars and for the ransoming of slaves, who observes prayer and pays the poor-due, and who fulfils his promises when he has made them, and the patient in poverty and affliction and the steadfast in time of war, it is those who have proved truthful and it is those who are the God-fearing." (Qur-an, 2:177)
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The deeds in the above verse are deeds of righteousness and they are only a part of worship. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) told us that: "Faith (which is the basis of worship) is made up of sixty or so branches: the highest of which is belief in the Oneness of Allah (i.e., there is no god but Allah) and the lowest on the scale of worship is removing one obstacles and dirt from people's way." Click for AUDIO
Decent work is considered in Islam a type of worship. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said:

"No one has eaten better food than that obtained through the hard labor of his hands. The Prophet David
(Peace Be Upon Him) used to earn his living through his own labor. "Seeking knowledge is one of the highest types of worship. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) told his companions that "seeking Knowledge is a (religious)
duty on every Muslim. "In another saying he said: "A person who follows path for acquiring knowledge, Allah will make easy the passage to Paradise for Him. "Social courtesy and cooperation are part of worship when done for the sake of Allah, as the prophet told us: "Receiving your friend with a smile is a type of charity and putting some water in your neighbor’s bucket is a charity."
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It is worth noting that even performing one's own duties is considered a sort of worship. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) told us that whatever one spends for his family is a type of charity; he will be rewarded for it if he acquired it through legal means. Kindness to the members of one's family is an act of worship, as when one puts a piece of food in his spouse's mouth as the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) informed us. Click for AUDIO

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