Worship

Worship in Islam is a term which generally denotes obedience to the commands of Allah, whether those commands be related to speech, deeds, or beliefs. Creedal acts of worship are called the ‘Articles of Faith’, explained in the following pages.

  1. Belief in Allah

Belief in Allah entails that Allah is One and Unique in the following aspects:

[1] Allah is One and Unique in His Lordship: This means that one must attest that Allah exists, and that He is the Creator of this universe, its Owner and its Proprietor and the One Who disposes of all its affairs. He is the One Who causes all things in existence to occur; nothing comes into existence except if He wills it. Allah (SWT) says:

 Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all that exists! [7:54]

Allah has clarified that He is the only Creator, and that it is impossible that there be another Creator with Him. He (SWT) says:

No son (or offspring or children) did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him; (if there had been many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Far removed is Allah from every imperfection! [23:91] [2] Allah is One and Unique in His Right to Worship: This means that one must certainly attest that Allah is the only true god, Who deserves to be worshipped, and all acts must be dedicated to Him alone. One should not rely upon anyone besides Him, nor should a person supplicate to anyone besides Him. A person should only invoke Allah to relieve some harm or fulfill some need. Allah (SWT) says:

And We did not send any Messenger before you [O Muhammad (ﷺ)] but We inspired him [saying]: none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah), so worship Me (Alone and

none else). [21:25] [3] Allah is One and Unique in His Names and Attributes: This means that one must believe in the uniqueness of Allah’s Names and Attributes, and that he is only attributed with the best and most lofty of Names and Attributes, and that He is far removed from every imperfection. Allah (SWT) says:

And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names.[7:180]

We believe and affirm with what Allah has described Himself in addition to what His Messenger (ﷺ)attributed to Him, all without drawing similarity or parallels between the attributes of Allah and those of His creatures, and without suspending, distorting, or denying the meaning of His names and attributes. Allah (SWT) says:

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. [42:11]

  1. Belief in the Angels

This is to believe in the existence of another life form called angels. No one knows their exact number except Allah Himself. They obey Him, fulfill His commands, and guard over the universe and the creatures that dwell within. They carry out specific orders of Allah, from administration, observation, guarding and protecting the universe, as well as its creatures, all according to Allah’s Will and Order. Allah (SWT) says:

 And by those Angels who arrange to do the Commands of their Lord. [79:5]

 Allah (SWT) also says:

And those [angels] who distribute [provisions, rain, and other blessings] by [Allah’s] Command. [51:4]

The angels were created from light. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

 “The angels were created from light, the Jinn were created from a smokeless flame of fire, and Adam was created from what was described to you (in the Qur’an: black dry clay).” [Muslim]

The Angels are from the unseen world. Although they were created from light, they cannot be seen. Allah (SWT) has however given them the ability to change their appearance in order to be seen and witnessed. Allah informs us that the angel Gabriel (AS) came to Mary in the form of a human, a fact also mentioned in the Bible. Allah (SWT) says:

She placed a screen [to screen herself] from them; then We sent to her a Spirit from us (Gabriel and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects. She said: ‘Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah.’ (The Angel) said: `I am only a Messenger from your Lord, [to announce] to you the gift of a righteous son.’) [19:17]

The Prophet (ﷺ) saw Gabriel (AS)in the true form Allah created him. He had six hundred wings, and he had blocked the horizon due to his size.

The angels have wings; some have two wings, others have three, while others have more than that. Allah (SWT) says:

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the [only] Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings, two or three and four. He increases in creation what He wills. Verily, Allah is Able to do all things. [35:1]

 As for their other physical attributes, Allah has not informed us of them. Allah has however, specifically informed us of some of their task and roles.

The angels constantly worship Allah, obey Him, and praise Him. Allah (SWT) says:

They (i.e. the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, [and] they never slacken [to do so]. [21:20]

 Allah (SWT) created them to worship and obey Him. Allah (SWT) says:

The Messiah (Jesus ) will never be so proud to reject being a slave to Allah, nor [will] the angels who are near [to Allah]. [4:172]

The angels act as emissaries between Allah and His messengers amongst mankind. Allah (SWT) says:

Which the trustworthy Spirit (Gabriel) has brought down. Upon your heart [O Muhammad (ﷺ)] that you may be [one] of the warners. In a plain Arabic language. [26:193-195]

Allah created them to carry out different tasks with which He commands them: They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded. [16:50]

The angels are not the children of Allah; but they must be respected and loved. Allah (SWT) says:

And they say: ‘The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a child [from the angels].’ Far removed is He from every imperfection! They (the angels), are but honored slaves. They speak not until He has spoken, and [then] they act on His Command.) [21:26-27]

The angels are not partners, associates, or rivals with Allah. Allah (SWT) says:

Nor would He order you to take angels and Prophets for gods. Would He order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to Allah’s Will? [3:80]

Allah informs us of the names and tasks of some of the Angels. Gabriel (AS) was given the task of revelation. Allah (SWT) says:

Which the trustworthy Spirit (Gabriel) has brought down. Upon your heart [O Muhammad(ﷺ)] that you may be [one] of the Warners. [26:193-4]

 Michael (AS) has been assigned the task of rain and vegetation. Allah (SWT) says:

Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael-then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers. [2:96]

The Angel of Death is the Angel given the task of collecting peoples’ souls at the time of death. Allah (SWT) says:

Say: ‘The Angel of Death who is set over you will take your souls, then you shall be brought back to your Lord. [32:11]

Israafeel is the angel who was given the task to blow the trumpet on the Day of Resurrection. Allah (SWT) says:

Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another. [23:101]

 Malik is the Keeper of Hellfire. Allah (SWT) says:

And they will cry: ‘O Malik! Let your Lord make an end of us.’ He will say: ‘Verily, you shall abide forever.’[43:77]

 The Zaabaaniyah are the angels who are given the task of punishing the inhabitants of Hellfire. Allah (SWT) says:

Then, let him call upon his council [of helpers], We will call the guards of Hell [to deal with him]! [96:17-8]

Every human has been assigned two angels; one who records his good deeds, and the other who records his sins. Allah (SWT) says:

[Remember!] That the two receivers (Recording Angels) receive, one sitting on the right and one on the left [to note his or her actions]. Not a word does he [or she] utter, but there is a watcher by him ready [to record it].[50:17]

Ridhwaan is the Keeper of Paradise and there are other angels who are charged with protecting humans. There are many more and each has been assigned a specific task. Some have beet; mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, while others have not, but we must believe in them all.

The Benefits of Belief in the Angels

Through belief in the angels, we may benefit in the following ways:

[1] We come to know the Magnificence of Allah (SWT), His ability, and His All-Encompassing Knowledge and Will, for indeed the magnificence of His creation is a proof of the magnificence of the Creator.

[2] When a Muslim feels that there are angels closely watching what he is saying and doing, and that everything he does is either for him or held against him, he is keen to perform righteous deeds and abstain from sins, whether he is alone or in public.

[3] One is saved from fables and superstitions held by those who have incorrect beliefs in regard to the Unseen world.

[4] One comes to know the Mercy which Allah shows to His righteous slaves.

To be continued…

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