This is a summary of the main points raised in this video by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi from his 2017 Ramadan series, Pearls of the Quran.
What are the 4 main reasons for us to worship Allah?
In verse 21 of Surat Al-Baqarah, Allah (SWT) says:
O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous (2:21)
This verse, verse 21, is the first commandment in the Quran.
It is the first time, chronologically in the Quran, that Allah tells you to do something.
And it’s not just to us, but all mankind: Worship your Lord.
Today’s reflection is about what is worship and why do we worship Allah.
It is this commandment that Allah has explicitly mentioned in the Quran He has created us for. Allah (SWT) says in verse (51:56)
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
This is the primary and only purpose of our creation.
That is why Allah sent the Prophets and revealed the Books.
That is why we exist.
And in this Surah, Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah alludes to 4 reasons why we should worship Him.
1- O mankind, worship your Lord (Rabb)
So we worship Allah because He is our Rabb.
What is a Rabb?
A Rabb is a being that is characterized by every single characteristic of perfection, of majesty, of glory.
A Rabb is the Lord, the Creator…
So we worship Allah because He is worthy of worship…
He is so perfect, so majestic, so beautiful that He is worthy of mankind and the creation humbling themselves to Him…
2- Who created you and those before you
The second reason is we worship Allah because He has blessed us with life…
The least we can do is to thank Allah by worshiping Him.
Allah (SWT) says:
Rather, worship [only] Allah and be among the grateful. (39:66)
This is the second reason, but it is not the primary reason…
Allah (SWT) is worthy of worship because of who He is, not because of what He has done to me.
3- That you may become righteous
This is the third reason, so that you may all achieve God-consciousness and taqwa.
So worshiping Allah brings about a tangible benefit to us: we achieve taqwa.
What happens when we achieve taqwa?
Our lives become meaningful.
We have a purpose-driven life.
If we don’t have taqwa, we are like animals.
If we don’t have taqwa, we don’t have a purpose for living.
So when we worship Allah, our lives become stable and meaningful, also our families, our societies.
There is law and order.
When the civilization has taqwa, you gain peace, law and order…
4- Heaven and Hell
The fourth reason is mentioned in following verses (24 & 25):
… fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers (2:24)
And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow… (2:25)
That comes at the end.
It is not our primary motivation.
We do not worship Allah primarily for entering Heaven and being safe from Hell.
This is a secondary reason, but it is not the primary reason.
Yes indeed, when we worship Allah, He will bless us in this world and in the next.
And that blessing is the greatest blessing, which is Jannah.
And it is a motivation. We are weak, we need the carrot and the stick, we need the motivation, that is Jannah, and we need the fear factor, and that is Hell.
It is there, and it is on the list.
So we worship Allah for these four reasons:
He is worthy of being worshiped, regardless of anything else.
We worship Allah because He has created us, because He has blessed us with our lives, with our wealth, with our families, with everything that we have.
We worship Allah because worship brings taqwa, and taqwa brings everything to this life: meaning, stability, values, everything comes from taqwa.
And last but not least, we worship Allah because in His worship we will gain His pleasure, and that is Jannah, and abstain of His punishment, and that is Jahannam.