“And We have indeed sent to every nation a Messenger (saying to his people): ‘Worship Allaah alone and avoid the Taaghoot (false deities).’” [Soorah an-Nahl: 36.]
Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’aan: “So know that Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)…” (EMQ Muhammad, 47: 19)
Worship in Islam has so many facets that it is difficult to describe them all in words. The most general meaning of worship in Islam is inclusive of everything which is pleasing to God, whether they deal with issues of belief, or deeds of the body. It may include everything a person perceives, thinks, intends, feels, says and does. It also refers to everything that God requires, external, internal or interactive. This includes rituals as well as beliefs, work, social activities, and personal behavior, as human being is a whole, such that every part affects every other.
Worship may be classified into two types:
1) Specific Beliefs, feelings and visible acts of devotion paid in homage to God which He has commanded.
2) All other acts of goodness generally encouraged in the life of a Muslim.
The definition goes something like this:
“Worship is an all inclusive term for all that God loves of external and internal sayings and actions of a person.”
In other words, worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah. This, of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of one’s fellow human-beings. Islam looks at the individual as a whole. He is required to submit himself completely to Allah, as the Quran instructed the Prophet Muhammad to do:
“Say (O Muhammad) my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death belong to Allah; He has no partner and I am ordered to be among those who submit, i.e.; Muslims.” (6:162, 163)
The natural result of this submission is that all one’s activities should conform to the instructions of the one to whom the person is submitting. Islam, being a way of life, requires that its followers model their life according to its teachings in every aspect, religious or other wise.
In Islam, worship is the very purpose of our existence. God declares in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, “I did not create … mankind except to worship Me” (51:56). Muslims worship God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, out of love and submission. They believe that He is the One God (Allahin Arabic) who is completely unique and only He deserves to be worshipped.
Worshipping God is a comprehensive concept within Islam. Along with traditional rituals, such as praying and fasting, it also consists of any lawful action a person does with God-consciousness and in the hopes of earning reward from Almighty God. Therefore, devoting oneself to God in Islam does not require a person to enter a place of worship nor embrace monasticism. Rather, fulfilling this purpose of life is an active daily pursuit from the Islamic perspective. Hence, a Muslim can be engaged in worship throughout the day, be it at home, work or anywhere else.