ebadat
Author :
Jul 15, 2024
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Ebadat - Worship

 

To understand Tawheed more clearly we have to understand what is meant by Ebadat (worship). It is not difficult to understand obedience; it is to obey His orders, whatever the orders are. But to understand Ebadat we have to go a bit deeper. The very first thing to do is to understand the meaning of the Ayat 56 in Sura Dhariyat where Allah says "I have not created the Jinn (invisible beings) and men to any end other than that they may worship (Ebadat) Me." Before going into the subject I must state here that I shall omit the matter of the Jinn totally as I have no knowledge about it, and shall deal only with the human being, the Man. Since Allah has said in His Qur'an about the Jinn, I believe in its existence, but I have no further knowledge about them than that Jinns are made of fire and I do not need it either. I am too pre-occupied with the very serious matter of the Mankind and the Ummah in particular, its fall, its disgrace and the present despicable state of it to think about the Jinn. So I am discussing only about us, the Mankind.


If you want a definition of Ebadat then I can put it like this: Ebadat is to do that work for which a thing is created, manufactured. The Sun completes its worship by radiating heat and light for which it has been created, fire worships by burning, water by wetting, electricity by lighting bulbs, by running all electrical appliances, earth by producing plants, crops etc. etc. These are their worship their 'ebadat', to achieve what they are created for. These are created by Allah, and the same thing is applicable to things manufactured by Man. You put the switch on and the bulb lights up, and by this it is worship, doing the job it is manufactured for; you drive your car and go places, the car is doing the job it had been manufactured for and is serving. That means that to worship is to serve, to serve is to worship.

 

It is very significant that after creating Adam (a.s) and blowing into him from His own soul, Allah ordered all the Malayeks (Angels) to perform Sajda i.e. to prostrate themselves before Adam (a.s).63 This is a very remarkable matter, because to prostrate before someone other than Allah necessarily means worshipping him. And Allah, who is so uncompromising about His own sovereignty ordered all Malayeks (Angels) trillions upon trillions of them, to prostate themselves i.e. worship not Him but somebody else, i.e. Adam (a.s). In Islam it is strictly prohibited to prostate (Sajda) before anybody, anything except only Allah, not even His Messengers, as prostrating before anybody means worshipping him and it is Sherk (Polysheism) and Kufr (Disbelief) to worship any other than Allah. So what does it mean to prostrate before Adam (a.s)?


The reason of Allah's ordering the Malayek (Angels) is that He has created the Malayeks (Angels) for serving not Him, but His special, most honored creation Man and serving means worshipping. He says in His Qur'an, "I have subjected everything to Man for his service. (And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him."64 He has even mentioned particular things He has created for the service of His most honored creation, the Man. In Qur'an He says He has put the Sun and the moon and the sea at the service of Man i.e. to worship him.65


Now, if Ebadat, worship is service, then how do we, Mankind worship, serve Him for which He has created us?66 The answer lies in the word He used when He wanted to create Adam (a.s), the Man. He used the word Khalifah67 which means a vicegerent, a representative, an agent. A vicegerent, a representative, an agent, of necessity, must have some authority and power of the person who appoints the agent, without which his appointment is pointless. He must have a power of Attorney to perform works on behalf of the person who gives the appointment. This Allah did by blowing into Adam (a.s) i.e. Mankind from His soul,68 and that empowered Man with all the attributes, powers, qualities and authorities of the Donor albeit in infinitesimal quantity. Vicegerents, representatives are always provided with power and authority to perform duties which the donor would have performed himself had he not appointed his agent.


So what is the job we Mankind is supposed, expected to do on His behalf in this world? To do that is serving Him i.e. worshipping Him. What is His work? Do not forget He said "on the earth"69 when He informed the Malayekes (Angels) His intention to Create Adam (a.s.) i.e. Mankind. That means He said I do my work in the whole of the vast creation but I will put somebody else to do what I do, My vicegerent "on the earth" as an exception and hence I have empowered him by blowing into him from My soul, My power of Attorney. Now, what is that work that He does?
The one of the main works He does is He governs, rules, administrates His stupendous creation, the universe by the laws and regulations He has set, enacted Himself. To do that on the earth on His behalf is the Ebadat, the worshipping, the service which Adam (a.s) i.e. Mankind has been created for.70 Those who do not perform this Ebadat, are not performing the main Ebadat for which Mankind have been created, however loudly they proclaim their Iman, establish Salah (prescribed prayers), pay Zakah (prescribed taxes), perform Hajj (prescribed Pilgrimage) and keep Saom (restrain themselves) besides all others pious acts. As I have already stated that a vicegerent's, representative's duty is to do what the Master would have done Himself had he not appointed his vicegerent and that would be the service, the Ebadat, the worship, and that, in this case is to govern, administrate the affairs of Mankind in this world by the laws, rules, regulations enacted by Allah. To establish prescribed prayers, to pay taxes, to perform Hajj or fasting is not the main Ebadat as Allah does not establish prayers, does not pay taxes, does not perform pilgrimage or fast. To do these is to obey Him, as He has ordered these acts and He has ordered to do these and many others things because these are necessary for the main Ebadat i.e. to govern, administrate on His behalf.


The very first duty of a vicegerent is to proclaim that he would obey none except him whose vicegerent he is; without this proclamation, announcement he cannot become a vicegerent, a representative, an agent. That is why the Kalema (word) is La Elaha illa Allah i.e. there is none to be obeyed other than Allah. Then the vicegerent starts the service (Ebadat) for which he is created and that is to do what the Creator would have done Himself had He not created the vicegerent, and that is to govern the affairs of Mankind with the laws, rules and regulation enacted, formed by the Creator. This service is the worship for which Mankind has been created71 and the vicegerent does this service because he has been ordered to do so72 by Him whose representative he is.


If I have been able to convey my ideas correctly, then it should be clear to my readers that Allah has created the Angels for serving i.e. worship Mankind, not Himself, as He does not need the service of the Angels, He is Samad, He who needs nothing, absolutely nothing, is free of all wants. He does not need the air, the fire, the water, the electricity, the sun or the moon etc. which are all Angels, and that is why He ordered the Angels i.e. all the natural forces to prostate themselves before Adam, eventually the Mankind, i.e. to worship, serve the Mankind, not Him. So it boils down to the fact that the Malayeks, the natural forces are created to serve i.e. worship Man; and Man (and the Jinn) have been created to serve i.e. worship Allah. We, Mankind are Ma'bud (to be worshipped) of Malayeks and Allah is our, Mankind's Ma'bud. The only difference is that while the Malayeks are serving, worshipping Mankind as ordered by Allah which has started from the Sajda (prostration) by the Malayeks (Angels) by His order.73 They are in Sajda even now and will remain so till the Last Day. That is they are continually and ceaselessly serving Mankind as ordered by Him and will keep on serving till the Last Day.


Here it is to be noted that the Malayeks obeyed Allah's order i.e. submitted to His sovereignty (Wahdanyah) and started serving mankind each of them in a different way as ordered by Allah. They obey Him but do not serve Him, because He doesn't need any service from anything, anybody.


Now the question arises, why and how would mankind worship or serve Him? Allah has sent mankind to this earth with power of attorney to govern and administrate themselves by the system He has given to Man, the way He would have done Himself had He not appointed him as His Khalifah (vicegerent). To do it properly is to serve (worship) Him. For example, when you appoint a lawyer to fight a case in a court of law on your behalf, you give him a power of attorney. When he fights this case in the court he is serving you. This is the Ebadat that He demands from His Khalifah, agent, representative, vice-gerent, the Mankind.


Throughout its history Mankind periodically has slipped from the Guidance from Allah through His Messengers, the Seratul Mustaqim (the Straight Path), and awed by the power and might of the natural forces have started to worship these. Deviated from the Aqidah (Concept) of Tawheed (the sovereignty of Allah) they saw that they could not survive without the light, heat of the Sun, so started worshipping it; they saw that they could not live without air, so since air did not have a form, they gave it an imaginary one in stone or wood and started worshipping it. This they did with all the natural forces. Thus were born the gods and goddesses, in reality the natural forces, when in fact Man started worshipping their servants. The idolator Hindu, standing half submerged in the Ganges and with folded hands worshipping the sun does not understand that what he is worshipping is actually his servant which has been created by the great Creator of the Universe for serving, worshipping him.
My identifying the Angels with idolators' gods and goddesses will perhaps be objected to and opposed even by English reading people as it had raised a storm of protests among the Alims and Molla's when I wrote this in my book "E Islam Islam e Noy" (This Elsam in not Islam At All) in Bangla. The Alems' and Mollas' idea of Malayeks is same as the Christians, a being with wings who fly around with missions entrusted to them by Allah. They think the Angels are above Mankind. In the old days people were incapable of grasping a concept different or more scientific than that and that perception (Aqidah) is prevailing today. Though, I think, what I have written about the Malayeks (Angels) and the gods and goddesses being the same thing should be convincing for the western educated people, whose mind are more open, broader and enlightened than the narrow minded Alims and Mollas and the Christian clergy. I am putting down two main points for their observation.


1.The number:-


The number of gods and goddesses in all idol worshipping religions is huge. In Hindu religion74 the number of them is 330 million. In Christianity which is not fully idolatry but believes in the Angels the number of these Angels is also taken to be in the millions. According to Reverend Albertus Magnus of thirteenth century the correct number of the Angels is 339 million 920 thousand and four, about 70 million more than the idol, i.e. Angel worshipping Hindus. The last four of the reverend's account seem to be the four main Angels, (Gabriel, Michel, Uriel, Raphael) In Shinto religion the number of the gods and goddesses are minimum 8 million. Islam has surpassed all other religions (Deen) in the matter of the number of the Angels. Writes the Encyclopedia of Islam in Bengali  the number of the Malayeks (Angels) is beyond the figures of Arithmetic.75 When the Messenger of Allah went to Meraj (Ascension to heaven, to Allah) he visited the Baitul Ma'mur Mosque where thousands of Malayeks were entering it through a door and after performing Salah (prayer) going out of another. Being asked by the Messenger of Allah about their number, Jibrael (Gabriel) answered that whose who once prayed there will not get another chance (though the process of it has started from the time of the creation and will continue till the end of the time).


2.Performance:


The sphere of action of both the Malayeks (Angels) and the gods and goddesses are same. In the idolator's religion each god and goddesses is believed to be in charge of a certain natural force and has been named accordingly. In Hindu religion they have tried to name as many natural forces as they could think of with a name of a god or a goddess, like fire, air, water, earth, sun, moon etc. and hence ran into millions as there are no ends to the natural forces. So did the Greco-romans, choosing names for every natural force they could think of like Hindu gods or goddesses-for fire, air, water, sea, sun and moon and so on.


In Islam there are Malayeks for different natural forces, like air, fire, water and so on, though unlike the idolatrous religion does not make gods and goddesses out of then. But the very commitment of the natural forces to Angels makes it clear that Angels and natural forces are the same thing. For example the Angel Mikail is entrusted with the management and control of the climate, weather and hence the vegetation on the earth. The number of the Angels and the gods and goddesses and the kind of works entrusted to them make it clear that these are the same thing and these are made to serve i.e. worship us, the Mankind and that has been ensured by Allah by His order to perform Sajda (prostrate themselves) to Adam (a.s) at the very beginning of the creation and the Angels, trillions upon trillions of them have prostrated themselves before Mankind and have not raised their heads and will not, till the last man walks on earth.


***

So, now we can see clearly the difference between worshipping and obeying. The present day Aqidah or concept prevailing all over the Muslim world of the Kalema La Elaha illa Allah is proclaimation that Allah is one and He has no partner. If this meaning of the Kalema is correct then it is enough for being a Mo'men to believe that Allah is alone, is one and has no partner. This belief does not bind the Mo'men to obey the orders of that one Allah. Then Allah remains in the heavens as an inert idle entity with no activities. Then why should mankind worship Him? If you say we worship Him because he has ordered us to do so,76 then you are admitting that order comes first and then worshipping by obeying His order. And that is what the Kalema is-there is none to be obeyed other than Allah.


To make this subject clearer let us go back to the time of creation of Man for a short while. It is widely known that prior to the creation of Adam (a.s) the Eblis worshipped Allah so to the extent that there was hardly any rival in the creation, so much so that he being a Jinn, was raised to the rank of the Malayeks due to his worshipping. It is a very interesting fact that in spite of being absolutely uncompromising in the matter of sherq, saying in the Qur'an that, "I shall forgive whom I please but it is a promise from Me that I shall never forgive sherq,77 He ordered His innumerable Malayeks to prostate themselves before Adam i.e. worship him, a clear act of sherq. All Malayeks obeyed except the Eblis who disobeyed. Eblis' tremendous amount of worshipping was wasted, he was called a Rajim (rejected), Qafer (disbeliever), cursed by Allah and thrown out of His presence all because of a single act of disobedience; all his Ebadats were turned into dust, just because he became disobedient, he didn't obey the Lord, Allah. The innumerable Malayeks prostrated themselves before Adam (a.s) made out of clay and committed an apparent act of sherq just because they were ordered to do so, and they obeyed their Lord. Here we see the clear distinction of obeying and worshipping. The obedience is much more important than worshipping. It should be understood that Eblis was not a disbeliever (Kafer) in Allah, not a polytheist (Moshrek), nor a hypocrite (Munafeq), he openly declared his disobedience to Allah, but by just disobeying a single order he became a Faseq (disobedient), and became Kafer (disbeliever), Zalem (wrong-doer) and was cursed.
That Allah is one, has no partner, is Almighty, is not only believed by the Eblis, it is in his knowledge, because he has seen Allah and talked with Him. No human being can have a stronger a faith about the existence and oneness of Allah as the Eblis. So if the Kalema is belief in the existence and oneness of Allah, then who can be a stronger believer in the Kalema than the Eblis? So there is no doubt that the meaning of the Kalema La Elaha illa Allah is neither belief in the oneness of Allah, nor in worshipping Him but in the belief that-there is none to be obeyed other than Allah.
This misunderstanding of the kalema is the main reason of the misguidance of this populace which claims and believes themselves to be Mo'men and Muslims, and the consequent result of the present day pitiable, despicable humiliating condition.


Unless and until this populace reverts back to the real meaning of the kalema, its pitiable state will keep worsening.


What has been the result of changing the meaning of Elah (He who is to be obeyed) into Ma'bud (He who is to be worshipped) is that, today this 1.6 billion strong populace is extremely busy with all sorts of worshipping the Fard (most obligatory), Wajeb (obligatory), Sunnah (the things that the Messenger of Allah used to do), Nafl (not obligatory), Mustahab (good works) etc. But disobeying Allah in their collective lives rejecting His laws, penal codes, economic policy and system, political and social system and replacing them with those things from Jews and Christians and enacting themselves. The populace is unable to understand that by doing so it has become disbeliever (Kafer), wrong-doer (Zalem) and disobedient (Faseq),78 all the attributes applicable to the Eblis. Moreover, this populace has posses two more attributes than the Eblis; these are polytheism and hypocrisy. The Eblis never committed sherq and hypocrisy. This populace commits sherq by obeying Allah in their personal lives and disobeying in the collective lives, and commits hypocrisy by proclaiming La Elaha illa Allah i.e. the sovereignty of Allah by mouth, going to mosques for prayers, paying Zakah, performing Hajj and fasting in the month of Ramadan and many other pious acts but having faith in different forms of cracies, isms in heart and conducting their collective affairs by those. That is why this populace is cursed by Allah.


Once there was nothing except the Face of Allah (Wajhu). And again everything will vanish except the face of Allah, the Mighty,79 so there was only His face before the creation. This face is His very existence which contains all His attributes. Of all the attributes and powers only His Uluhiyah (the being who is to be obeyed) and His power of seeing and hearing were active. Rest all the attributes were latent. For example, before this creation He was not Ma'bud (he who is to be worshipped) because there was none to worship Him, He was not Rabb (Sustainer) as there was nothing to sustain, He was not Creator as there was nothing that He created, He was not Razzak (provider of earthly needs) as there was none to provide for, He was not Rahman (Merciful) as there was nothing to bestow mercy on, He was not Hafez (Protector) as there was nothing to protect, He was not Malek (Possessor) as there was nothing to posses. In short He had no attribute except being the Elah (He who orders with infinite might, power, infinite knowledge, infinite mercy, infinite everything that His attributes indicates). He was All-knowing, All-seeing and All-hearing. Then He created this vast creation by ordering Kunn--Be and everything came into existence including the Malayek and He became the Creator, the Sustainer, the Rahman, the Hafez, the Malek etc. Everything in this stupendous creation is a malayek (angel); the sea, the air, the fire, the electricity, the sun, the moon, the star, the river, the mountain, trees, the animals all the natural forces are Malayeks. But Allah was not Ma'bud yet. That is why the number of Malayeks is uncountable and innumerable. He was not Ma'bud because none of these creations worshipped Him i.e. they did not serve Him. Because He is Samad, He does not need anybody's service. This is proved by the Qur'an where Allah says, "I want to place My vicegerent on earth." In reply to it all the Malayeks said, Will You place therein those who will make mischief and shed blood, - while we glorify You with praises and sanctify You." He (Allâh) said: "I know that which you do not know."80 Here they did not say, are we not enough for your worship i.e. for your service? Instead they said, are we not enough for Hamd and Tasbih? So it is clear that they did not worshipped Allah, they did Hamd and Tasbih only. Secondly, in another Ayat Allah says, "I have not created the Jinn (invisible beings) and men to any end other than that they may worship (Ebadat) Me." Here He did not include the Malayek. He mentioned only Man and Jinn as His worshipper (Ebad). When He created Jinn He became Ma'bud. Though He became Ma'bud of the Jinn, Jinn was not His Khalifah and nor did He blow His soul into the Jinn. Unlike the Malayek who have no free-will the Jinn was given free-will i.e. to obey or not to obey Allah's orders. The differences we find between Mankind, the Jinns and the Malayek are:

1)Man has been appointed Allah's Khalifah on earth with free-will to obey or not to obey Allah's orders and has been entrusted with power of attorney by way of blowing from His own soul,
2)Jinn has not been appointed His Khalifah on earth and hence He has not blown from His soul into the Jinn, but was given free-will i.e. to obey or not to obey Allah's orders,
3)Malayeks, the natural forces of the creation are not appointed Khalifah, nor had Allah blown from His soul into them, or have they been given any free will.


After creating Adam (as) He blew into him from His soul which made Adam a being having all the attributes of Allah in Him. Then He ordered all the Malayeks to prostrate before Adam which means that the whole creation was ordered to serve Adam i.e. to worship him. All the Malayeks obeying Allah's order and prostrated themselves before Adam and by doing so made themselves servants (Ebad) of Adam and Adam their Ma'bud. And since then they have not raised their heads and will remain so till the last human being will remain on earth. The Eblis who had free will disobeyed Allah's order and did not prostrate himself before Adam due to egotism for being made of fire and not of mud like Adam.81 Allah due to this disobedience and arrogance which made him a Kafer (rejecter), Allah expelled (Rajim) him from His Presence.


So it is now clear that before creation He was Ma'bud of none, but He was Elah, whose order was all-prevailing. He became Ma'bud only after creating the Jinn and then Mankind. So Kalema cannot consist of something which is not eternal. Allah was and is and will be Elah (He who is to be obeyed) eternally, but He became Mabud' only after creating Jinn and Mankind and will not remain Ma'bud after the Qeyamat. So the Kalema cannot entail Ma'bud, which is temporary and not eternal. But His attribute of the Elah is eternal. So the Kalema must be La Elaha illa Allah (There is none to be obeyed other than Allah) and not "La Ma'bud illa Allah (There is none to be worshipped other than Allah).


If I have been able to make my point clear to the readers it should be understood that performing sajdah (prostrating) means worshipping which means serving. By ordering Malayeks to prostrate themselves before Adam (as.) Allah put all of them i.e. all the natural forces to his service. Hence mankind is Ma'bud of the Malayeks and Allah is the Ma'bud of mankind.

 

ENDNOTES

63Sura Jathya, Ayat- 13
64He has made the night and the day, and the sun and the moon subservient to you; the stars also serve you by His leave (Qur’an: Sura Nahl-12), It is He who has subjected to you the oceans, so that you may eat of its fresh fish and bring up from it ornaments with which to adorn your persons. And you see the ships ploughing their course through it. (Qur’an: Sura Nahl-14)
65And I have not created the Jinn (invisible beings) and men to any end other than that they may worship (Ebadat) Me. (Qur’an: Sura Dhariyat-56)
66When your Lord said to the Angels: I am placing on the earth one that shall be My Khalifah (Qur’an: Sura Baqarah-30)
67And when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down before him in prostration. (Qur’an-Al Hijr-29)
68When your Lord said to the Angels: I am placing on the earth one that shall be My Khalifah. (Qur’an: Sura Baqarah-30)
69And I have not created the invisible beings (Jinn) and men to any end other than that they may worship (Ebadat) Me. (Qur’an: Sura Dhariyat-56)
70And I have not created the invisible beings (Jinn) and men to any end other than that they may worship (Ebadat ) Me. Qur’an: Sura Dhariyat-56
71There is no Elah except Allah- so worship Him. Qur’an: Sura Ambia-25
72Your Lord said to the Angels: ‘......kneel down and prostrate yourselves before him’. All the Angels prostrated themselves. Qur’an: Al Hijr-29-30

73In reality, there exists no religion by the name of ‘Hindu’; there is no mention of this term in the Baed of Veda, Uponishad, Geeta or Puran. In all probability, it is a derivation of the word ‘Indus’ or ‘Sindhu’ and can be traced back to the Asia Minor of Turkey in particular. The actual name of the religion practiced in this subcontinent is ‘Sanatan’ meaning ‘Ever-lasting, Eternal’ identical to the Qur’an’s name of the Din-ul-Qaiyemah, ever-lasting, true-religion e.g. Tawheed. Sura Room, Ayat 43, Sura Baiyenat, Ayat 5, Sura Yusuf, Ayat 40.
74Islami Encyclopedia- Bengali, Islamic Foundation, Vol. 18, P 275
75Al Qur’an, Sura Ambia-25, Sura jumar-11
76Al Qur’an, Sura Nesa-48, 116
77Al Qur’an, Sura Mayedah-44,45,47
78Al Qur’an, Sura Ar Rahman-26-27
79The Quran, Sura Baqarah, Ayat 30
80The Qur’an, Sura Saad-76
81Verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a messenger. (Qur’an, Surah Nahal, Ayat-36). And there never was a nation but a Warner had passed among them. (Qur’an, Surah Fatir, Ayat-24)
 

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