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Does God Need Our Worship?

Questioner

Zainy

Reply Date

Mar 14, 2017

Question

Assalaamu Alaikum, If Allah is free of all wants, why does He ask us to worship Him? Why does He send us to Paradise and Hell?

Consultant

Answer


Salam Zainy,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your interesting questions.

Since Allah has created us as free beings and endowed us with reason and curiosity, we are able to raise questions like, “why does Allah ask us to worship Him?”

And Allah the Merciful will forgive us for trying to find answers to such questions, seeking His guidance.

Allah has also said:

{To Allah belong all things in heaven and earth: verily Allah is He (that is) free of all wants, worthy of all praise.} (Luqman 31:26)

This verse tells us that Allah has no needs; that He is completely independent and free. So, it was not out of any necessity on His part that He created human beings and asked them to worship Him.

And yet He created them, because He is the Creator par excellence. And it is part of His creative plan that He created beings who can understand and appreciate His creative power, along with countless insensate beings and inanimate things.

Allah on His own chose to be Merciful, Bounteous, Loving, and Forgiving. And all these are qualities that require that there be beings who should receive His mercy, His bounty, His love, and His forgiveness.

Maybe that is why He created such beings; who out of their gratitude to Him are asked to willingly, and not out of compulsion, worship Him. This was never a need on the part of Allah.

Nor can any of His creation provide Him or help Him with anything. As all beings came into existence out of Allah’s own will and whatever they possess by way of ability or power — and indeed their very existence — was given to them by Allah the Almighty Himself.

About our complete powerlessness apart from Allah’s guidance and help, and about Allah’s complete freedom from any reliance on any being, the Prophet has said:

If the whole of mankind gathered to do something to help us, they could not help in anything which Allah had not already written for us. And if the whole of mankind gathered together to harm us, then they would not be able to harm with anything which Allah had not already written for us. (At-Tirmidhi)

In fact, the reason why Allah created us is answered by Allah Himself in the Quran:

{He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days—and His Throne was over the waters—that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct […]} (Hud 11:7)

And again,

{He Who created death and life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.} (Al-Mulk 67:2)

From the above verses, we can understand that the purpose of creation, as well as the test He puts to us in this world, is that Allah wants to reward those who are good in motives and actions, and punish those who follow the evil one.

So, the picture is clear. Allah does not benefit from our good deeds. It is we ourselves who benefit.

Likewise, Allah is not harmed in any way by our wicked ways. It is we ourselves who face the consequences of our actions.

Allah says in the Quran what means:

{Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit: who goes astray does so to his own loss: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent an apostle (to give warning).} (Al-Israa’ 17: 15)

And Allah knows best.

I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.

Salam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Spiritual Benefits of Prayer

Can Prayer Postures Really Bring us Closer to God?

Prayer is Not Only a Ritual




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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