HOW TO WORSHIP ALLAH?
Salam Alaykum everyone!
So far, we have discussed the importance of our relationship with Allah and ways of strengthening our relationship with Him, no matter what stage. Today, we aim to focus on one of the techniques that consolidates our bonding - that is worship.
Why do we need to worship?
Is worship prayer?
Do animals, birds and plants worship Allah?
I do not know how to pray, is it too late?
Too many resources online and offline, how do I know which one to follow?
I do know how to pray but I just don't see the point of praying?
I do pray but I don't know why?
I pray but I do not know how to make wudhu?
I don't have time to pray.
These are examples of common questions, feelings and perceptions that people undergo in today's day and time. Worshiping Allah itself is a course and I aim to discuss it simply for everyone to contemplate, understand and remind.
So...what is worship?
Worship means the submission to Allah and the Arabic term for it is Ibadah. It is performing the five pillars of Islam and acts of goodness for His sake with love.
The five pillars of Islam are the fundamental beliefs that structure our lives into practice:
(1) Shahadah "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God"
(2) Prayer (salah)
(3) alms (zakat)
(4) Fasting (sawm) during the month of Ramadan.
(5) Performing Hajj (pilgrimage).
The chemical bonding between the purpose of our existence and worship itself has strong intramolecular forces because Allah (The Most High) said:
“And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”
[Quran, 51 : 56]
The beauty of worship is indescribable. It is felt and experienced.
We tend to make an effort and strive to do good, what better is than making the same effort or even more when praying to Allah?
“Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides”
Why should we worship Allah?
Allah is asking us to worship and the reasoning behind this can be found in Surah Baqarah.
Three key points can be found in verse 21, Allah says:
"O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous"
1) "He is our Lord (Rabb)" - He is worthy of worship.
2) "He created you and those before you"- He created everything and we should show gratefulness and contentment.
3) "So that we become righteous" This refers to achieving taqwa (piety) which makes our mission purposeful to help ourselves, families and community itself.
Later on, in verse 24 and 25 in the same Surah, Allah has given us two eternal consequences where one hand we need to strive and motivate to go to Jannah and the other hand, to protect us from Hell-fire as the fourth reason:
"But if you do not - and you will never be able to - then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers. And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, "This is what we were provided with before." And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally."
[Quran, 2: 24 - 25]
Therefore everyone, worshiping Allah is a form of remembering Allah, controlling our desires and keeping away from sins. Every time we perform ablution it is cleansing to spiritually uplift us.
There is also an element of time management where we need to pray at the prescribed times.
When praying in congregation, it creates clarity that we are all striving for a purpose and promotes unity just as experiencing in Friday Prayers and Hajj wherein the latter there is a sign of equality regardless of status and race.
Did you know that making dua (supplication) is also worship?
When we ask Allah for help. Guidance. Success. Forgiveness. Good health. Protection from evil and illness within depths of our hearts.
When we thank Him for the blessings He has provided.
Every muscle and bone you move is because of Him.
The shelter over your head.
The food on your table.
The teachers, books and technology that surrounds us to enrich our learning.
Please thank Him.
The knowledge you have would not have been provided without Him. His intervention. His invention of a brain to think. His invention of the eyes to visualize and discover. His invention of an ear to listen to those who are more knowledgeable than us.
Worshiping Allah energizes your physical, mental and spiritual health.
Al-Noman ibn Bashir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Dua is worship.” Then he recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.’ Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.” [Ghaafir 40:60].
[Ahmad and al-Bukhari]
Your heart must speak, close your eyes if you need to, develop that bonding and relying on Him alone making dua.
Why the heart?
The heart is the door to your soul - once your mind, heart and soul are interconnected well, the goodness will flow in our actions.
Our heart can hold love and also fear.
The heart may pump blood but within a spiritual context, we should remember Him to develop a sound heart.
Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“In the body is a piece of flesh that if it is healthy, the whole body is healthy, and if it is corrupted, the whole body becomes corrupted. It is the heart.” [Al-Bukhari]
How to pray?
In order for us to pray, we need to make the intention to make ablution (Wudhu) so we are purified before performing the prayer at the prescribed times.
There are so many resources online and offline and one tends to not know whom to follow. Rest assured. With all due respect, it is not your "favourite" shaykh, it is not your "favourite" influencer/blogger, it is not your "favourite" mosque, its not even your family nor friends. Its simply two things:
It has been reported by Malik (may Allah have mercy upon him) that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) who said:
“I have left you with two matters which will never lead you astray, as long as you hold to them: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Prophet.”
I, once upon a time, was in that loop of what resources to read and who to follow. I listened to people of knowledge, researched, and Allah sent people along my way to help me. I also had people who judged me easily but what kept me going was striving hard to learn, adapt and share.
The questions I asked myself at that time is the same question I am going to ask you.
What is it that you want in life?
What are your mission and vision?
Once you define these terms in your life, you can then place the jigsaw pieces into its position.
One of my teachers told me one day, Hafsa, please be careful with some hadiths on websites, and the advice she gave me, is the same I give to you too.
She advised me to utilise this website for authenticity as it is regulated.
Islam Q and A.
Therefore, not every website you find on the internet is authentic.
There are a few websites I recommend you visit to learn how to pray and make wudhu and I ams sure there are others too mashaAllah!
Al Kauthar Institute - they have organised a on-demand course with audio lessons on how to pray and there is a free e-book where you can listen within your own time and learn.
iERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy)
You may not be a new Muslim, but you are developing a new YOU.
Do not regret that you didn't pray, it is better to make the intention to learn and pray now than never at all.
Take it steady.
A human did not walk straight away, it had to crawl and eventually learn how to walk.
Similarly, take it steady start with one and once it is a routine, increase the number until you get a habit of praying.
5 prayers per day are nothing especially when Allah has given us countless blessings and even more, when we thank Him.
At times we become lazy, become too busy to perform our prayers because we listen to the waswasah (whispers from the Shaytan).
....Only YOU can stop the Shaytan from controlling you.
Why ruin your relationship with your Lord over a devil?
Is it really worth it?
Allah says in the Quran:
“Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salah. So, will you not then abstain?”
Did you know that originally we were supposed to pray 50 times but Muhammad (peace be upon him) pleaded to Allah to reduce it on the night of Miraj?
So imagine praying 50 times a day whilst doing all your aims and duties throughout the day?
Allah is Merciful.
Abu Dharr narrated that Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“The roof of my house was split open when I was in Makkah, and Jibril (peace be upon him) came down and split open my chest and washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a golden vessel filled with wisdom and faith and poured it into my chest, then he sealed it. Then he took me by the hand and ascended with me into the lowest heaven. When I reached the lowest heaven Jibril said to the gatekeeper, ‘Open up!’ He said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘Jibril.’ He said, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ He said, ‘Yes, Muhammad (peace be upon him) is with me.’ He said, ‘Has his mission begun?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ And when it was opened we went up into the lowest heaven. Then Allah enjoined upon my ummah fifty prayers, and I came back until I passed by Musa who said, ‘What has Allah enjoined upon your ummah?’ I said, ‘He has enjoined fifty prayers.’ He said, ‘Go back to your Lord, for your ummah will not be able to bear that.’ So I went back and He reduced it. Then I came back to Musa and said, ‘He has reduced it.’ He said, ‘Go back to your Lord, for your ummah will not be able to bear that.’ So I went back and He reduced it further. Then I came back to Musa and said, ‘He has reduced it further.’ He said, ‘Go back to your Lord, for your ummah will not be able to bear that.’ So I went back and He said, ‘(The prayers) are five but (the reward) is fifty. The Sentence that comes from Me cannot be changed [Quran, 50:29].’ Then I went back to Musa and he said, ‘Go back to your Lord.’ But I said, ‘I feel shy before my Lord.’…”
How do animals and birds pray? I have never seen them make sujood?
Allah has created everything to serve us (humanity) whilst we serve Him.
"It was He who created all that is on the earth for you, then turned to the sky and made the seven heavens; it is He who has knowledge of all things. " [Quran, 2:29]
However, we all collectively worship Allah by being who they are. However, they won't be tested like us, and we will be accounted for the way we treat them and all human nature around us.
A seed can grow into a plant and provide us with vegetables, fruits and herbs. Trees can also shade us from the sun. The ability to produce food using photosynthesis is a form of worship.
"Do you not realise that everything in the heavens and earth prostrates/submits to Allah: the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, and the animals? So do many human beings, though for many others punishment is well deserved. Anyone disgraced by Allah will have no one to honour him: Allah does whatever He wills. " [Quran. 22:18]
Have you ever heard a bird tweet in the morning and evening?
Just like how Allah mentioned:
“glorify your Lord morning and evening.”
“See you not that it is God Whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds with wings outspread. Each knows its own prayer and praise.” [Quran, 24:41]
Ultimately, worshiping Allah is not only about prayer but other acts of worship and it can strengthen the chemical bonding between us and Allah. Next week inshaAllah, we will cover our last sub-topic where we will discuss about repentance and how it influences our relationship with Allah. We will also release Topic 2 schedule inshaAllah.
Hope you are all well.
Last week, we had an introductory session into our new project titled ‘Chemical Bonding’ where we discussed different examples of chemical bonding and how it relates to real-life relationships. We also discussed the importance of Allah (The Most High)
Today, by His Grace, we are going to build upon this by discussing how we can strengthen our relationship with Allah (The Most High). To some, these are key reminders, but to others, this may be the first time.
We spend our time, energy and commitment trying to strengthen our relationship with people and resolve matters but how many of you ever thought of utilizing the same momentum with the Almighty? who created me and you?
I am going to keep it simple and aim to divide the article into different forms of relationships with Allah and how we can strengthen our relationship with the Almighty in each scenario.
Please feel and know that you matter to Allah and He loves you. He loves us. He has mentioned two forms of love in the Quran: ‘Huub’ and ‘Rahmah’ (Mercy).
Allah has mercy upon all of His creation and He is the Al-Rahman (Most Merciful). He states:
“And decree for us in this world [that which is] good and [also] in the Hereafter; indeed, we have turned back to You." [ Allah ] said, "My punishment - I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things." So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses”
[Quran, 7: 156]
Huub is the love given by Allah (The Most High) to those who obey Him.
“Say, "If you love Allah, then follow Allah will love you and He will forgive for you your sins. And Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
"I have a weak chemical bonding with Allah, what shall I do to help myself?"
Please think positive.
I am here to push you forward and help you especially
when you may not know where to start.
Just like with any goals/objectives in a day, you make an
intention, sometimes you fulfill it, and sometimes you change your plan and postpone it for another day.
Please set mini-goals and say to yourself:
“I want to be the new me”
“ I need Allah to forgive me and I want to be a better
Please write it down.
Say it out loud.
Please reflect on the following questions:
Why were you even created?
What is the probability of me living for 100+ years? What is going to happen after ‘YOLO’
You Only Live Once.
It may take a trial or calamity such as an illness,
accident, problem or maybe you just wanted to be happy and found it in His Mercy.
Take it steady.
For instance, Hydrogen bonding is a weak form of
chemical bonding but in the Periodic table, you will discover that when the Group 4 elements is bound with hydrogen, the boiling points increases due to the intermolecular forces more so because of the Van der Waals attraction that become bigger, requiring more energy to break.
However, we do not want the bond to break but to remain.
Please surround yourself with family and friends that strengthen you and encourage you to complete your mini-goals. This is key.
This is not to say you should break ties with people who
weaken your bond with Allah, please still present care and respect but just reflect, renew your intention and have a reliance on Allah (The Most
Forgive your mistakes. Forgive anyone whether close or far, forgive them for your peace of mind. This is because you are mature enough to believe in doing good. It is a form of a renaissance.
When you remember each moment, please show gratitude by saying ‘Alhamdulilah’ or ‘All praise to Allah’.
When you remember each moment you regret, please say ‘Astaghfirullah' ‘I seek forgiveness from Allah’
When you see or remember something that hurt you, say ‘Allahu Akbar’ ‘God is Great’. Nothing is bigger than Him.
The intensity of that chemical bonding depends on
you because He is there always but where are YOU?
Just believe in yourself and believe in Him.
There is no deity but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah
Please realise that you may not see Him but He sees you and is always willing to help you.
Therefore, it is all in our hands,
minds and hearts to know what we want and what we define as the ultimate salvation.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
All my followers will enter Paradise except those who
refuse” The Companions said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Who will refuse?” He said,
“Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me is the one who
refuses (to enter it)." [Bukhari]
Next week, we will discuss more so on how we can worship
Allah, is prayer the only form of worship? How to find reliable resources on how to make ablution and pray.
My relationship with Allah is like a slinky; sometimes it is tight and compressed then I fall in the trap of the shaytan and undergo rarefaction; my bond weakens.
yOur paths to seek Mercy from Allah was at different time points and the aim is to get back on track.
Do you think your chemical bonding with Allah is stable?
Do you pray on time or do you delay the prayer?
Too many trials, and I think why me?
Losing focus or discouraged?
This form of relationship can be compared to water. Water has hydrogen bonds and despite it is good for us and has various properties that support life and matter. It has a polar structure where it is partially positive via hydrogen (consistency) and has a partially negative charge via oxygen (lack of consistency).
As much as we love and fear Allah, we need to be hopeful of His Mercy. Turn back to Him. Repent sincerely. Start again, Change your batteries, re-install new ones to function. Move forward, renew our intentions and purpose of life.
To make our relationship stronger with the Almighty, we need to undertake purification (Taharah) of our inner hearts, minds and souls and then the outer body through performing good, forbidding evil, ablution and look after ourselves.
Performing wudhu (ablution) even before going to bed prepares you mentally, physically and positively.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
"Cleanliness is half of faith and Alhamdulilah (all praise and gratitude is for Allah alone) fills the scale, and SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulilah fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light, and charity is proof (of one's faith) and endurance is a brightness and the Holy Qur'an is a proof on your behalf or against you. All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves."
Once our heart is sound, we will have an element of gratitude and contentment. We must realise that the more we become attracted to the materialistic world, the less our hearts recognize the relationship with the Almighty.
How can we keep our heart sound?
The first thing Angel Jibrail (may Allah have mercy upon him) asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to say is “Read”.
If you do not read, listen or ask, how will you know and understand?
We must strive to strengthen our relationship with Allah through communication via duas (supplication) and prayer, not when we need or want something, but in all scenarios.
Allah communicates with us all via the Quran.
Please try to set a mini-goal of reading Quran 10 minutes a day and contemplate. Overtime you will notice that the duration will increase over time.
Please strengthen yourself by reading more about the Prophets, the Companions of the Prophets and how much they endured just for simply passing the message of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said
"Recite the Holy Quran as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement"
Please understand and contemplate what Allah is telling you.
Each salah (prayer) we initiate with Surah Al Fatihah ‘The Opening’ where we ask Allah for guidance on His straight path.
When we make sujood (prostration), we need to try and speak with Allah.
Please practice and make an effort.
Whenever you intend to do something or think something bad, we need to seek refuge.
“I take refuge in Allah from the evil devil.”
The Shaytan believed in Allah but due to his pride and not performing Allah’s command on bowing to Prophet Adam (peace be upon him), this is how evil arose in humanity.
“And [mention] when We said to the angles, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He said, "Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?"
[ Quran, 17:61]
Therefore, we need to always be humble with good character, for even if we conduct the five pillars of Islam, we still need to respect others regardless of religion. Thus, Allah is Al-Sabboor (Most Patient), meaning His love and mercy is so great, He still waits for our repentance and strengthening our relationship with Him. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said
"Indeed, Allah is happier with the repentance of His servant than any one of you is with finding his lost riding camel [the only mean of survival for the people in the dessert at the time."
]Bukhari and Muslim]
My relationship with Allah is good; I am looking for ways of consistency.
No matter how strong we grow in faith, we must maintain this covalent bond shared with Allah and remain consistent.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), said that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.”
We must continue to work hard, perform voluntary fasts such as The Blessed days, Mondays and Thursdays, remember Allah, lift others, recover and grow.
Abu Hurayrah reported that Prophet (May Allah bless him) would fast Monday and Thursday.
He was asked about that and he said: “The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: “leave them for later.”
"And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways, and Allah is most surely with the doers of good."
[Quran, 29 : 69]
The aim is not to become a perfect Muslim but a striving Muslim whose aim is to increase in goodness from a simple smile to supporting many.
Ibn Abbas said
"Everything that happens is by the way of Al Qadr even when you place your hands upon your cheek"
[Khalk Afaal Al Ibad by Al Bukhari, 96]
TOPIC 1: The Importance of Allah
The first topic of the Chemical Bonding series is Allah (The Most High) where today we will discuss its importance.
How is your relationship with Allah?
Do you feel your connection?
Has it developed stronger during the COVID-19 lockdown?Is it close?
If not, please ask yourself why not?
What you need to understand is that Allah (The Most High) loves me and he loves YOU. Yes, you! He does not ask whether you black, white or brown. What he cares about is our Taqwa (piety). This can be reflected upon the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) where he stated:
"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black, nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action."
Our Creator is just waiting for YOU to be closer to him.
Abu Dharr (may Allah have mercy upon him) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Allah Almighty says: Whoever comes with a good deed will have the reward of ten like it and even more. Whoever comes with an evil deed will be recompensed for one evil deed like it or he will be forgiven. Whoever draws close to me by the length of a hand, I will draw close to him by the length of an arm. Whoever draws close to me by the length of an arm, I will draw close to him by the length of a fathom. Whoever comes to me walking, I will come to him running. Whoever meets me with enough sins to fill the earth, not associating any idols with me, I will meet him with as much forgiveness.” [Sahih Muslim]
Thus, it is YOU who distance yourself from Allah (The Most High) like how we currently doing with the two-metre rule with each other.
Allah (The Most High) has given us continuous blessings yet why do we not call out His name?
“Then He set him right and breathed into him of His spirit and gave you ears, eyes and heart. What a little gratitude you acknowledge?”
[Quran, Surah Al-Sajdah, 32:9]
The heart does not distance from Allah (The Most High) overnight. It is a process where it initiates by performing sins, being lazy in praying, ego and being attached to worldly desires. It is like pulling bad weeds from a soil that can affect the nearby plants.
Reset yourself, my friend.
Find your purpose. You have to start from somewhere and that is with yourself. Search for the shell in the sand. The pearl in the oyster.
“And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves.”
[Quran, Surah Al-Hashr, 59:19]
Let us not forget Allah and weaken our bond for His presence in our lives is vital and can be described as the function of water for a plant to grow, petrol/diesel for a car to move. A foundation of a building. Without Allah, our life has no value.
Have Tawakkul (Reliance on Allah ) and fear Him.
"O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.”
[Quran, Surah Tawbah, 9:119]
The difference between the bonding with Allah (The Most High) and that of humankind, is that you can share and express with Allah just like a covalent bond and He is always willing to listen when you call out His name between the chambers of your heart and openly without getting tired.
He is Al-Samee3 (All-Hearing).
He is Al-Alim (All-Knowing).
He is Al-Baseer (All-Seeing).
“If My servants ask you (O Muhammad) about Me; (tell them that) I am very close, answering the caller (who invokes Me).” [Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:186]
Ask yourself, is it not an honour for being the servant of the Almighty Allah (The Most High)?
The beautiful thing about the chemical bonding with Allah (The Most High) is that no matter what relationship you have with Allah, He is always willing to forgive you.
“extends His hands during the day so that the sinners of the night may repent, and extends His hands during the night so that the sinners of the day may repent.” Let us answer the call of the One who “descends during the last third of each night to the lower heaven, and says: ‘Is there anyone who calls on Me that I may respond to him? Is there anyone who asks Me that I may give unto him? Is there anyone who requests My Forgiveness that I may forgive him?”
Next Sunday, if Allah wills, we will look at ways on how we can strengthen our bond with Al-Wadud (The Loving) and keep our hearts alive, not just by lowering our cholesterol levels but spiritual nourishment. We need to season our relationship with Allah like how we season our food for better taste.