By Shaykh Dr Abdul Moghees Mustafa Baseer
Last year, I took a delegation of ten scholars from the UK to Morocco, to the Basiriya Zawiya for a two-week training on Fatwa writing, Dr Abdul Moghees was our generous host and teacher. I’ve translated this from one of his books, Only For My Worship.
This is a terse theological explanation of the purpose and meaning of human life, which is simply to worship the Creator. This is our Islamic philosophy of life. It highlights that the failure to understand this makes us excessively worldly, narrow-minded and blinkered. Consequently, we live a poor life. The Majestic Quran asserts that you can have a flourishing life only if Allah is the centre stage of your life, then every action is worship.
Allah Created Us for His Worship
My late father asked me to answer a question posed by his Italian disciple, Umar Frigoadriano, a pious man. The question he asked was, can you please explain the meaning of the verses: “I created the Jinns and the humans only for worship. I don’t expect sustenance from them, nor can they feed me. Allah is the Sustainer, the Powerful, the Strong” (Ad-Dhariyat: 56-57).
These verses are short but have deep meanings, therein lies the secret of our existence. Several difficulties are faced by weak minds, as doubts arise in their minds. However, those who recognise their Lord, remember Him day and night, are convinced by the Quran, and its meaning and in their dealings with their Creator, they don’t face any difficulties. Allah made it necessary for humans to realise their status of servanthood, a mighty and precious position. The Messenger (peace be upon him) is addressed as ‘the worshipping servant of his Lord’ since he loves Him, was chosen by Him, and was blessed by Him. Imam Busiri (d.1294) expressed it poetically when he wrote. “When the hearts are eager to receive guidance, the limbs are ready to go”.
Comments from Quran
In these verses Allah explained the purpose of creating the Jinn and humankind, to worship Him. The disbelievers rejected the message of the Messenger (peace be upon him) and did not worship the Creator, so Allah said, “I created the Jinns and the humans to worship me”. To recognise me, not because I need them, “I have been ordered to worship one God, there is no god but Allah, the glorified from all shirk” (Tawbah: 31). The Almighty Lord said, “I was a hidden treasure and wished to be recognised, so I created the creation so, they may know me. I made their hearts and minds conscious of my presence, to show my power and wisdom”.
Nearness and Awareness
Worship leads to the realisation and recognition of the Divine, the Marifah, and Gnosis. This awakens the desire to achieve nearness and awareness of the truth. Worship literally means humility, modesty and obedience. According to the Ahl-sunnah, worship is recognition, realisation and sincerity towards the Creator. So they accept me for worship happily or reluctantly. So, the believer believes willingly whilst the disbeliever feels burdened by his Lord’s commands. An example to illustrate this meaning is that of a cow, sometimes it’s used for ploughing i.e. capable of it. But some will not be used for ploughing. So, it’s not necessary that all humans will fulfil their original purpose of worshipping Allah.
Allah created for himself humans so they may worship Him in a specific way. Allah created the servant and provided all that is required to live on earth. Dr Ramadan al-Buti (d.2020) said, “your efforts for the guaranteed and your failure to make efforts for what is required of you is evidence of you turning a blind eye”. Some of us are engaged wholeheartedly and committed to our task. Whilst others have turned away from the task assigned to them.
Allah doesn’t benefit from their worship, nor is He protected from harm. Allah has no need of the creation, He is independent, the Absolute Sustainer, the Giver, who feeds His creation and provides for their needs. He is the Powerful, the Strong and the Almighty. It is our duty to carry out what we were created to do.
To sum up, Allah created us, the creation, to worship Him, not to associate anyone with Him. So, anyone who associates anyone with Him will be punished (to be continued insha-Allah).