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Can Reading Be an Act of Worship?

15 December, 2016
Q Can reading, even reading texts that aren't necessarily religious texts, be considered an act of worship or devotion to God?


Asalamu Alaikum, 

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:


Aisha Khaja: Dr. Shabir, the question today is: can learning and especially reading a book–not necessarily religious–be considered an act of worship in Islam?

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Dr. Shabir Ally: Someone would say, yes, if they define worship in a very broad manner, meaning anything that serves God in some way, either directly or indirectly. But a more strict definition of worship, involving acts that people characterize usually as worship, then we would say, no.

But, at the same time, I would say that I would encourage Muslims to read widely. Read both the Muslim literature and also literature written by non-Muslims, especially nonfiction materials that will educate us in a wide variety of fields.

We need to have a broader understanding. And all of that, is actually directly in the service of God. And of course, during the month of Ramadan now, we want to focus on the Quran itself as a book revealed especially during this month.

But at other times, definitely, we should be reading other books as well.

I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch. 

Walaikum Asalam.

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

Optional Worship: Lovers’ Way to God

Spiritualize Your Life of Worship

Worship & Remembrance: Why it Matters

Huge Reward for Small Acts: Why?