Friday Khutbah (5th March 2005) delivered by Shaykh Muhammad TaherDISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translater and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from Allah.
Today’s khutba is about why we worship Allah. The Sheikh mentioned five points:
To proceed, …
A question which may cross the mind of any Muslim, is ‘why do we worship Allah (swt)? Why has Allah made worshipping and obeying Him obligatory upon us, when He is utterly exalted above needing our prayers, our Zakat, and all of our actions? What is the aim in obliging us to worship Him? Does any benefit return to Him from our worshipping Him, or from our piety before Him, or from our submitting to His orders and prohibitions?
Or does the benefit return to us? If so, what is the reality of this benefit? Or is the aim simply that Allah commands and our obligation is to obey Him?
The answer to all of these questions is that Allah does not benefit from the worship of he who worships Him, nor is Allah injured by the deviation of he who turns away from the way of Allah and His obedience, and follows his own wants. And this is the first point – that there is no impact upon Allah if we do or do not worship Him.
The Holy Qur’an alerted us when it mentioned Prophet Suleiman, who said:
“This is by the Grace of my Lord, to test if I am grateful or ungrateful! And whosoever is grateful, it is only for the good of his own self, and whosoever is ungrateful, indeed Allah is All-Sufficient, and Bountiful”. (Surah Al-Naml, 40)
Allah the Exalted says: “O mankind! It is you who stand in need of Allah. As for Allah, He is All-Sufficient, and Glorious”.
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah says:
‘O my servants, you could never attain my harm and so harm me, nor attain gain my benefit and so benefit me. O my servants, if the first and last of mankind and the jinn were as pious as the most pious of you, it would not increase my Kingdom anything. O my servants, if the first and the last of mankind and the jinn were as evil as the most evil of you, it would not decrease my Kingdom anything. O my servants, if the first and last of mankind and the jinn stood together in one place and asked of me, and I were to give to each of you his desire, it would not decrease what I have, any more than the sea is decreased when a needle is dipped into it. O my servants, it is nothing but your needs that I reckon for you and recompense you for, so let he who finds good praise Allah, and he who finds other than it, he has no one to blame but himself.’ (Narrated by Muslim).
2. Effect of worshipping Allah on our hearts and souls
So why, with this All-Sufficiency, did Allah the Exalted charge us with His worship and obedience?
If you knew the effect of worship upon you, and the benefit for you in this, you would be certain that you are the sole beneficiary. If your heart could know the taste of worship, and your soul savour its aroma, you would know that you take a joyous blessing that nothing of the life of this world could surpass. Unfortunately there are few in this day and age that do appreciate the effect that their obedience and worship of Allah has on their hearts and souls! Few who savour the sweetness of intimacy and nearness to Allah the Exalted!
This is because people are busy with the life of this world, and their hearts are filled with the love of this world and its comforts and pleasures!
So how can these wonderful meanings and effects - that the pious Believers who came before us knew - find their way to our hearts and souls?
O Muslim! Worship is sustenance for your soul! For a human being is not only a body searching for the fruits of the earth. Your reality is that you have been honoured above the rest of the earth by the soul that Allah the Exalted breathed into your body. This soul finds its life and its purity by Allah’s deliverance, the Mighty, the Sublime; by the worship of Allah. For worship is what gives the soul its sustenance and growth. For you are composed of interlinked traits: instincts and wants, intellect and desire, body and soul.
If your heart were to become covered by the effects of heedlessness, and the corrosion of rebellion and doubt, and then you were to be afflicted by trials and hardships, you would cleanse this corrosion, and renew the true meaning of your worship. You would see your heart calling out ‘O Allah! My Lord!’ So swiftly can a person return to their Lord, and implore Him, and prostrate before Him. “Misguidance is that which you call upon besides Him.” “Call upon Allah, sincere to Him in worship.”
3. Investment for the life to come
The life which you lead, whether it is short or long, is not the goal, nor with this life is your end. It is nothing but a stage of a journey to another world, to the life that is without end. We were created for eternity, and we are only travelling from one world to another, from the transitory world to the world of permanence.
‘And life is nothing but a journey, which leads us From the abode of the temporal to the abode of the unending.’
Allah says ‘’Indeed, the home of the Hereafter, that is the True Life, if only they knew.’ (Surah Al-‘Ankabut)
Nothing will aid you in the next life except your worship and obedience to Allah in this life. You are working to earn for tomorrow, sowing your seed that you may reap it tomorrow, and all that you do now you will be recompensed for it tomorrow. So take from your worldly life for your hereafter.
4. Logical right of a Creator to merit worship by His Creation
O Muslim! Above all of the previously mentioned points concerning why we worship Allah is that worship is the right of Allah over His bondsmen. For it is related from Mu’adh bin Jabal:
‘I was following the Prophet (SAW) on a donkey, and he said to me ‘Ya Mu’adh, do you know Allah’s right over His bondsmen?’ I said ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘Allah’s right upon His bondsmen is that they worship Him and not associate any partner with Him.’
O mankind, you were once non-existent, and then you were created. Out of the darkness of oblivion you entered the light of being. You were created as a human being, honoured and in the best of forms, shaped in the best of images. He taught you speech, gave you intellect, the power to choose and subdued the remainder of creation for you so that you could work and live in it. And the earth was made for you a bedspread out. And the sky a firm ceiling. And the sun a lamp, spreading out light and heat. And the moon a light. And the seas, for ships to run with your provisions, and the pure water which falls from the sky for you to drink, water your plants and livestock……
Do you see who has done all of this for you? As for us, we have not created ourselves or even created an atom of what is around us. So who is the possessor of omnipotent knowledge, and extensive wisdom, and supreme power, and unshakable will? Who was it who meticulously designed the universe and arranged it with wisdom and excellence? The one who created the human and beautified his creation, and subdued for him all that is in the heavens and the earth, and showered blessings upon him, outwardly and inwardly.
It was Allah - our natural inclinations bear witness to His Lordship, and the enlightened intellects have testified to His Existence, Perfection, and Oneness.
So it is not strange that this Gracious Creator ‘who perfected every thing in His creation’ should merit our worship, our supplication, our standing before Him in humility and submission, and that He deserves to be remembered and thanked. It is not unusual that Allah should have over us the right of worship solely for His sake; rather it would be unusual and blameworthy if the matter were any other way. If we were to worship other than Allah, and deliver a right to other than its rightful recipient, or that we should imagine ourselves free and independent of Allah and so forsake His worship: this would be truly reprehensible.
5. The Return upon fulfilling Allah’s right to be worshipped
And so what is our right over Allah, the Exalted if we worship Him and undertake our obligations to Him? The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to Mu’adh:
‘And do you know the right of Allah’s bondsmen over [Allah] if they do (worship Him and refrain from associating partners with Him)? Mu’adh said ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He replied: ‘Not to punish them’. Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, and in another narration ‘to enter them into Paradise).
O Allah, we ask for Your Pleasure and Your Paradise, and we seek refuge with you from your Anger and the Fire…
‘O mankind! Worship your Lord, Who created you and those before you so that you might be of the pious, Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you.’ (Surah Al-Baqarah, 21-22)
Let us renew the meaning of our worship for Allah, every time we prostrate and bow, every time we stand in prayer. Let us realise the magnitude of Allah’s favour upon us, upon our bodies and our families and our children, and in our lives and all that is around us. And know that you are in need of Allah, and Allah is All Sufficient, and Glorified. Allah says:
‘And I did not create the Jinn, nor Mankind except that they should worship Me. I require neither provision from them nor do I wish that they should nourish Me. Verily, Allah is the Provider, the Possessor of Power, the Mighty.’ (adh-Dhariyat 51:56-58)
Teach these meanings to your sons and your daughters, let them know the blessings of Allah upon them, teach them the Love of Allah the Exalted; For He Alone is the Creator, the Provider, He alone deserves worship… Help them to worship Allah willingly, out of Love for Him.
And May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His Noble Prophet, the Prophet Muhammad.
And let our last call be ‘All Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.’