- The essence of worship is doing what Allah loves and is pleased with. When we love someone, we want to do what they love.
- When our Beloved is The Most Affectionate, The King, Provider & Controller of the entire universe, then doing what He loves is in our own holistic benefit in this life and the next.
- Learn what Allah loves, and then follow it.
- Follow the Messenger’s Sunnah and what he instructed
Bism Allah, In the Name of Allah, all praise is due to Allah and may the peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah.
This is a great question that opens the doors of love and sincerity towards Allah in all our deeds, which is the purpose of our creation.
The Essence of Worship: Seeking Allah’s Love & Pleasure
Allah Almighty told us in the Quran:
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51: 56)
Scholars define “worship” as “a comprehensive term covering everything that Allah loves and is pleased with – whether saying or actions, outward and inward.”
So, the essence of worship is doing what Allah loves and is pleased with. When we love someone, we want to do what they love.
And when our Beloved is The Most Affectionate, The King, Provider & Controller of the entire universe who is The All-Knowing, All-Wise, then doing what He loves is in our own holistic benefit in this life and the next.
5 Sincere Deeds of Love for Allah
- Learn what Allah loves, and then follow it. Allah Almighty says in a Hadith Qudsi:
“And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nafil (supererogatory) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.’ ” [Al-Bukhari]
- Check your heart and intentions regularly before and during every action to make sure what you’re doing is done out of pure love and sincerity to Allah. If it isn’t, then re-orient your intention and dedicate your good deeds for Allah’s Sake, seeking His pleasure, closeness, and rewards.
- Follow the Messenger’s Sunnah and what he instructed because Allah said: “Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 3: 31)
- Learn about the Names & Attributes of Allah, because they’ll deepen your love for Allah and desire to please Him more than anything and anyone else.
- Prioritize following what Allah loves and is pleased with, even at a personal sacrifice, knowing that there is never any loss in following what Allah loves as He’s the Owner, Sustainer, and Controller of this life and the next.
True Story: Power of Deeds Done with Sincere Love to Allah
The Prophet narrated a story of 3 men whose good deeds were done out of true love for Allah, and how this saved them when a major tribulation has befallen them.
Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with them) narrated that: He heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying:
“Three men, amongst those who came before you, set out until night came and they reached a cave, so they entered it. A rock fell down from the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave. They said: ‘Nothing will save you from this unless you supplicate to Allah by virtue of a righteous deed you have done.’ Thereupon, one of them said: ‘O Allah! I had parents who were old, and I used to offer them milk before any of my children or slaves. One day, I went far away in search of grazing and could not come back until they had slept. When I milked as usual and brought the drink I found them both asleep. I hated to disturb them and also disliked to give milk to my children before them. My children were crying out of hunger at my feet but I awaited with the bowl in my hand for them to wake up. When they awoke at dawn, they drank milk. O, Allah! If I did so to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress caused by the rock‘. The rock moved slightly but they were unable to escape.
The Story of The Second One
The next said: ‘O Allah! I had a cousin whom I loved more than anyone else (in another version he said: as a man can love a woman). I wanted to have sexual intercourse with her but she refused. Hard-pressed in a year of famine, she approached me. I gave her one hundred and twenty dinars on condition that she would yield herself to me. She agreed and when we got together (for sexual intercourse), she said: Fear Allah and do not break the seal unlawfully. I moved away from her in spite of the fact that I loved her most passionately; and I let her keep the money I had given her. O, Allah! If I did that to seek Your Pleasure, then, remove the distress in which we are.‘ The rock moved aside a bit further but they were still unable to get out.
The Story of The Third One
The third one said: ‘O Allah! I hired some laborers and paid them their wages except one of them departed without taking his due. I invested his money in business and the business prospered greatly. After a long time, he came to me and said: O slave of Allah! Pay me my dues. I said: All that you see is yours – camels, cattle, goats… He said: O slave of Allah! Do not mock at me. I assured him that I was not joking. So he took all the things and went away. He spared nothing. O, Allah! If I did so seeking Your Pleasure, then relieve us of our distress.’ The rock slipped aside and they got out walking freely“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
This story shows the power of doing deeds purely and sincerely for the sake of Allah, even at the expense of one’s self-interest.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
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