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Characteristics of Right and Proper Worship

The right and proper worship is that which is performed in accordance with the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Hadrat Fudhail Bin Ayadh was asked about the meaning of this verse of the holy Quran:

لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ (الملك : 2)

(Translation of meaning) [“So that He tries who amongst you is the best in deed” (Al-Mulk :)]. He explained that the best deed is one which is performed solemnly and properly. The people asked: What is meant by “solemnly and properly”? He replied that solemnly means that it should be meant purely for Allah without any co-partner and properly means that it should be in conformity with the practice of the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) without mixing any innovation (bid’ah) with it.

  1. 2. One characteristic of right and proper worship is that it should be performed on the basis of sincerity [ikhlaas]. Sincerity is the soul of all worship and is the real standard and the first condition of the acceptance of the deeds. Allah has declared:

 وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذَلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ   (البينة: 5)

(Translation of meaning) [“And they were not commanded except that they worship Allah making their faith pure for Him as devotees” (Al-Bayyinah: 5).

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) declared that the deeds depend upon intentions. Everybody gets what he intends for. If somebody migrates for Allah and His messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then his migration (hijrah)) is for Allah and His messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). But if one migrates to make material gains or marry with a woman then his migration is for what he intended for (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).

We must, therefore, purify our hearts of vanity and hypocrisy and avoid the least semblances of shirk.

فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُوا لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً وَلا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَداً (الكهف :110)

(Translation of meaning) [“So if any one desires an audience with his Creator so he must perform good deeds and not take a co-partner with God in his worship of Him” (Al-Kahf: 110)].

Blessed are those who attain perfect sincerity. May Allah make us emulate such persons. We must engage in worship of Allah abundantly. Abundance of worship is a medium of seeking the love of Allah. It is through this way that we can gain nearness to Allah. It is interlinked with our faith. We must continuously strive to keep our faith blooming. It is the source of all blessings. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Among the favourite deeds before Allah is one which is done consistently even though it were a minor deed (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).

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