The third lesson
The right of Allah (Glory be to Him) (3)
Unification of worship (2)
Praise be to Allah Who commanded us with worshiping Him, exhorted us to obey Him, and to keep away from disobeying Him. May peace and blessings be upon the best of mankind, the chosen Prophet, upon his family, upon the Companions and those who follow them righteously, and those who adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Dear Muslim brother, we still continue our talk about the right of Allah (Glory be to Him) on His servants. In the previous two lessons we knew that of the rights of Allah (Glory be to Him) is: the unification of divinity and worship; meaning that: The unification of Allah (Glory be to Him) in regard to the actions of His Creatures and directing those actions to Allah (Glory be to Him) alone. We also mentioned that the acts of worship are of four types as follows:
1- Acts of worship that are attached to heart.
2- Verbal acts of worship that are attached to the tongue.
3- Practical acts of worship that are performed by body organs.
4- Financial acts of worship that are attached to funds.
We have mentioned examples for the first type because it is most important such as: affection, fear, and hope.
In this lesson, we shall mention —with the willing of Allah— more examples of this type along with some examples of other types:
From the examples of heart-based acts of worship is sincerity which means: a servant intends to direct his actions and sayings for the sake of Allah and seeking His Pleasure without pursuit any of worldly matters, such as dissimulation and suchlike, because the acceptance of actions is based on sincerity and following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah (Exalted be He) says: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)." Allah (Glory be to him) says: “Allah (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah's sake only." The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:"The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."
One of the most important acts of worship that is related to the heart is: A person should devote his intention to Allah (Glory be to Him) in all his actions and sayings because sincerity is the cause for happiness, misery, reward, and punishment. Two persons may do one act in the form and shape and their difficulty is the same, but one of them is rewarded for his action and the other is not or he might be punished for it because of the difference in intentions. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, (far away from Allah's Mercy). * And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allah's Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allah "Islamic Monotheism)" then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (thanked and rewarded by Allah).
Of the acts of worship that is related to the heart is: “Gratitude.” The meaning of gratitude is not only gratitude with the tongue, but gratitude with the heart which its impact shows up on the tongue and the organs. So, its effect on the tongue would be by thanking Allah and admitting His Favors, and with the organs by compliance and obedience. Allah (Exalted be He) says: “And be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me." Imam Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: “Acknowledgement is based on five regulations: 1- Submission of the grateful to the one who is thanked. 2- His love to Him. 3- His acknowledgement with His Favors. 4- Praising Him with these favors. 5- Not to use the favor in things that He hates.”
As for the second type of the acts of worship, it is the verbal acts of worship: which are done by the tongue whether they are done along with an act or not; and they are so many; of which:
1- Invocation: which is of two types:
A- Invocation and praise: which is to mention Allah (may he be praised and glorified) with His Beautiful Name without asking for anything: Only praising Allah with the best praise that He deserves, such as: “O Allah, the Living, the Eternal Being, the Ever-Innovating of heavens and the earth, O Possessor of Majesty and Honor. O Allah! for you is all praise because You are the Lord of heavens and the earth and what is in between. You have all praise for You are the Eternal Being of heavens, the earth, and what is in between. You have all praise because You are the light of the heavens and the earth and what is between…” among other supplications; and this kind of supplication is a pure act of worship.
B- And the second type is: Supplication for a demand or request where a person asks his Lord to fulfill a request in this world or in the hereafter or asks Him to remove harm either in this world or in the Hereafter. Allah (Exalted be He) says commanding people with this supplication: “Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors. * And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope. Surely, Allah's Mercy is (ever) near to the good-doers." And Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright."
It is well-known that such an invocation should be accompanied by some conditions as it is permissible to do its desirable acts and proprieties in order to be acceptable in the sight of Allah (Glory be to Him), such as showing sincerity, subservience, submission, and showing reverence before Allah (Glory be to Him) as well as earning food and drink lawfully, non-aggression, persistence in demanding your need, and not to feel boredom or rushing the answer; among others.
Of the most important examples of verbal acts of worship are: Mentioning Allah (Glory be to Him), the reality of recalling Allah in the hearts of those who mention Him by any form authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) or mentioned in the Qur'an.
Dhikr (mentioning Allah) is the best act of worship, but it is rather the objective of all acts of worship they were not ordained but to mention the name of Allah (Exalted be He). Allah (Exalted be He) says about Salah: “And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance." Allah (Glory be to him) says: “and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed) and the remembering (praising) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater."
Mentioning is the opposite of forgetfulness and inattention. Allah (Exalted be He) says commanding with His Dhikr: “Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying), I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me." And He warned the neglectful by saying:
"And be not like those who forgot Allah (i.e. became disobedient to Allah), and He caused them to forget their ownselves, (let them to forget to do righteous deeds). Those are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah)." It was reported in the authentic divine Hadith: “I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running."
It is worth mentioning that Dhikr is of two types: absolute and confined.
The absolute is Dhikr that a person mentions without being confined to time, place, or condition.
As for the confined Dhikr, it is confined to time, place, and condition: such as the morning and the afternoon Dhikr, Dhikr for entering and getting out of home, and entering and getting out of Masjid (mosque), along with other kinds of Dhikr that is mentioned in the books of Dhikr.
The third type is the physical acts of worship: which is performed by one's body and they are many. Of their best and most important is: Salah which is the second pillar of Islam. This act of worship is stressed by Allah to be performed. He ordained people to keep along with its conditions, pillars, and obligations, and warned against neglecting it or performing it after its due time.
Of which also: Fasting, Hajj (pilgrimage) and `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage), including their rites such as Tawaf (circumambulation around the Ka`bah) and going between As-Safa and Al Marwah, standing at `Arafah, spending the night at Muzdalifah, throwing the pebbles shaving, shortening, offering the sacrificial animals, among others. Of these acts also is: Jihad (struggle) and the efforts it demands in fighting the enemies of Allah, in addition to the acts of worship that are related to the body or to part of it.
Allah (Exalted be He) commanded His Servants with acts of worship relate to monies, such as the obligatory and voluntary charities, sacrificial animals and vows, in addition to other acts of worship.
Dear Muslim brother, when a Muslim remembers these obligatory acts of worship, he should reckon himself again whether he performs these acts of worship properly or not in order to meet Allah (may He be praised and glorified) without neglecting any of them. Self-accountability is a great chance to renew this great monotheism which includes these various acts of worship. It is better for a truthful Muslim to renew his faith and his relationship with his Lord by refining one's heart of filth and any disturbance that may affect this relation. I ask Allah (Exalted be He) to strengthen our faith, accept it, and make us from the successful ones who can benefit from times in mentioning, thanking, and worshiping Him properly for He is All-Listening, All Responding and He is the one whose aid is to be implored.