The Purpose of Worship

Posted on September 2, 2010


Worship provides the believers with many benefits that contribute to both their spiritual and worldly well-being. Some of the most significant of these benefits are as follows:

1. Enrichment and development of the soul: The human being is formed from matter. The human body needs material resources for its existence, like food, drink, and a means of reproduction. As for the soul, its needs cannot be fulfilled except through nearness to Allah by means of faith and obedience. This can only be achieved through worship. Allah must be worshipped in times of hardship and times of prosperity. Allah says:

“We truly know how your heart is distressed by what they say. So celebrate the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves and worship your Lord until the sure hour (of death).”

Allah says:

“When the help of Allah and the victory comes and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in crowds, then glorify the praises of your Lord and seek His forgiveness. Verily He is Most Forgiving.”

2. Realization of human freedom: Worship liberates the human being from subjugation to anything besides Allah. Worship keeps a person from surrendering his or her will to false gods. This gives a person absolute freedom from everything besides the power of Allah. This produces a sense of security and contentment in the heart towards Allah. The person understands the true value of things and feels liberated from everything. Thus, the source of all strength is submission to Allah. Allah says:

“If anyone seeks might, then all might is with Allah.”

3. Examination of the believer in preparation for the life to come: Allah says, quoting Mûsâ (Moses, peace be upon him):

“O my people, this worldly life is but a provision, while the Hereafter is the eternal abode.”

The worldly life is a time of trial. The substance of this trial is the worship of Allah in fulfillment of His commandments. Allah says:

“(Allah is) Who created death and life to try you as to who is best in deeds.”

4. Social reform: We find that worship, in it most comprehensive understanding, embodies every possible means of individual and social reform. This is because every individual and collective endeavor can enter into the domain of worship. Islam has prescribed certain obligations on the societal – as opposed to the individual – level. This takes societal needs into consideration. Allah says:

“Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous deeds that he will give them authority in the Earth as He has done for those who came before and that He will establish their religion that He wants to replace their fear with security. They may worship Me and not associate partners with Me.”

Posted in: Islamic Articles