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Fatawa from America / What is worship, and what is the meaning of the statement of the Prophet (peace be up

What is worship, and what is the meaning of the statement of the Prophet (peace be up

publish date : 2014-04-04 | Views : 3260
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What is worship, and what is the meaning of the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the qudsi hadith, “The most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave continues drawing nearer to Me by performing voluntary deeds until I love him. Once I love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his leg with which he walks”? ما هي العبادة؟ وما معنى قول النبي في الحديث القدسي ويده التي يبطش بها؟

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.

As to what follows:

In response to your question, we say, and with Allah Almighty lies all success:

 Worship is a term that is all inclusive of everything that Allah Almighty loves and is pleased with of external and internal sayings and actions. So praying, fasting, giving zakat, going for Hajj, reciting dhikr such as tasbeeh, seeking forgiveness, reciting Qur’an, etc, are all acts of worship. Similarly, hoping, trusting upon, turning in repentance, loving, fearing, making du`a, appealing for aid and asking for help, are all heart-related acts of worship through which Allah, the Exalted, is worshiped. There is no doubt that the winner in this deal is the slave, as it is through worship that happiness of this world and the next is acquired. As for Allah, the Exalted and Almighty, He is needless of our worship. Allah Almighty said:

 “O mankind, it is you who stand in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” [Fatir 35:15]

Also, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in a qudsi hadith, “O My slaves, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, nor will you attain benefitting Me so as to benefit Me. O My slaves, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any man of you, that would not increase My domain a thing. O My slaves, were the first of you, and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any man of you, that would not decrease My domain in a thing.” [Muslim]

 However, due to Allah’s perfection in His excellence toward His slaves, His generosity toward them, and His love to bring them benefit and ward off harm from them, He loves for His slaves to worship Him, know Him, love Him, obey Him and fear Him. So we know from this that Allah’s command for us to worship Him is merely for our own reformation and happiness, and to Allah belongs all praise.


As for the hadith of which you asked about its meaning, the hadith is in Sahih Bukhari and its meaning is clear, praise be to Allah. That is that Allah Almighty informs His slaves that the most beloved of that which they draw nearer to Him with is what He has enjoined upon them and made obligatory for them. Then the slave who seeks the pleasure of Allah Almighty continues to draw nearer to Him with voluntary deeds, i.e. non-obligatory acts of worship after having sustained the obligatory acts, until Allah Almighty loves him. Once he reaches this great rank, which is Allah loving him, He directs him, guides him and encompasses him in His care. It is then that his hearing, his seeing, his walking and his striking all end up being with the help and guidance of Allah Almighty. Thus, all of his movements are for Allah, the Exalted, out of sincerity, following correct guidance and asking for His help:

“It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” [Al-Fatihah 1:5]

If he were to ask Allah He would answer him, and if he were to seek His refuge He would grant him refuge. That is the bounty of Allah, the Exalted, which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

So the meaning of, “I become his hearing and his seeing,” is that, “I direct him in that,” such that he doesn’t hear other than what Allah is pleased with, he doesn’t see other than what Allah is pleased with, and he doesn’t walk to nor strike other than what Allah is pleased with. Thus, all of his actions are for the sake of Allah, out of sincerity and seeking His reward, and with Allah’s help and guidance in carrying out His commands and refraining from His prohibitions.

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