Friday, August 19, 2011

Worship is love and veneration; it is not burdensome and difficult


What is the wisdom behind there being no rest period from worship for men, as there is for women? For example, we fast in Ramadan but when our period comes, we break the fast; we pray but when our period comes or when we are bleeding following childbirth (nifaas), we do not pray.

Praise be to Allaah.

Worship is not so burdensome and difficult that the Muslim
needs to have a rest from it. Rather it is an act of love and veneration
of Allah, may He be exalted. What motivates one to do it is sincere love
of Allah and great longing for Him; the Muslim humbles himself in worship
before his Lord, calling upon Him, conversing with Him, turning to Him,
putting his hope in His mercy, seeking His grace and bounty and nearness
to Him. The one who is like this will not ask to be let off this worship;
he will only ask for more opportunities for worship and obedience. He will
be like the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) who used to
say: “Let us find comfort in it -- i.e., in prayer -- O Bilaal.” 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: There is no
doubt that perfect servitude to Allah is part of perfect love, and perfect
love is connected to the perfection of the Beloved in and of Himself, for
Allah, may He be glorified, is completely and absolutely perfect in all
aspects, and could not possibly have any imperfections whatsoever. For one
who is like this, nothing can be dearer to people’s hearts than Him; so long
as their basic nature and reason are sound, it is inevitable that He will be
the dearest of all things to their hearts. Undoubtedly love of Him leads to
submission and obedience to Him, seeking His pleasure, doing one’s utmost in
worship of Him and turning to Him. This is the best and strongest motive to
do acts of worship. Even if there were no commands and prohibitions, no
reward and punishment, one would do one’s best and devote one’s heart to the
true God. Therefore one of the salaf said: Loving Him motivates me in such a
way that is even stronger than His commands. And ‘Umar said concerning
Suhayb: Even if he did not fear Allah, he would not disobey Him… 

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) used to stand (in prayer) until his feet became swollen. It was said to
him: Do you do this even though your past and future sins have been
forgiven? He said: “Should I not be a thankful slave?” 

Allah is worshipped and praised and loved because He deserves
that; indeed, what He deserves of worship from His slaves is something that
is beyond their ability and willpower, and their minds cannot envisage it.
No one among His creation can worship Him as He truly deserves to be
worshipped, and no one can love and praise Him as He deserves. Hence the
best, most perfect of His creation, the most knowledgeable of Him, the one
who was most beloved to Him and most obedient to Him said: “I cannot praise
You enough.” And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said that his
actions were not enough for him to be saved, as he said: “No one will be
saved because of his actions.” They said: Not even you, O Messenger of
Allah? He said: “Not even me, unless Allah encompasses me in His mercy and
grace.” May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him the number of what
He has created in the heavens, the number of what He has created on earth,
the number of what is between them, and the number of what He is the Creator
of. According to the well known marfoo‘ hadeeth, there are some of His
angels who have been prostrating to Allah and have never lifted their heads
since they were created, and there are some who are bowing and have never
lifted their heads from bowing since they were created, (and they will
remain like that) until the Day of Resurrection, and on the Day of
Resurrection they will say: Glory be to You, we did not worship You as You
deserve to be worshipped. End quote. 

Miftaah Daar al-Sa‘aadah,

See also the answer to question no.

And Allah knows best.

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