Short Answer: A Muslim knows that he or she is blessed with the insight that God loves to be worshipped and obeyed by His creation, not because of any need, but because He loves to see the benefit His creatures obtain from it.
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My Quest For Peace: How I Found My True Call in Worshipping Allah
From the point of view of Islam, God is the Creator who has no needs, period. It is humans who are in need of God. God is perfect and free of all imperfections.
Those who think that God asks for worship in order to fulfill a need are unconsciously echoing the concept of anthropomorphism (namely the attribution of human characteristics to God). Such people imagine that divine commandments come out of God’s need like that of humans to fill a void or deficiency.
But to believe that God acts on the basis of such motives is patently wrong, particularly because God is the Perfect Creator and Sovereign Master and Owner of everything in the universe.
Worship from the Islamic point of view
And it is noteworthy that worship from the Islamic point of view involves the complete surrender of the soul, heart, and body. It is a state of the human soul as well as the human consciousness that emanates from the realization of God’s perfection and absolute power as the Original Source and Ultimate Judge of His creation.
Therefore worshipping Allah is necessary, rather crucial for humans, because this entire world and the next belong to Him, and because He will judge in perfect justice on the Last Day, and reward the righteous beyond measure.
“(All) praise is (due) to Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and to Him belongs [all] praise in the Hereafter. And He is the Wise, the Acquainted” (Quran 34:1).
“It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like of them. [His] command descends among them so you may know that Allah is over all things competent and that Allah has encompassed all things in knowledge” (Quran 65:12).
Spiritual beings living in physical bodies
The reality is that we are spiritual beings living in physical bodies, who need both spiritual and physical nutrition to thrive. Worship gives us spiritual nourishment which is essential for our spiritual existence. The Prophet said,
“The difference between the one who remembers his Lord (God) and the one who does not remember his Lord is the difference between the living and the dead.”
Numerous verses in the Quran underscore the fact that Allah Almighty does not gain anything through being worshipped, but rather He is the Gracious Giver to doers of good and evil alike. Indeed the disbelievers’ rejection of Him does not harm Him the least, just as the faith of the believers does not benefit Him in any way:
“Certainly Allah is free of need, Praiseworthy” (Quran 14:8).
To say that God selfishly demands worship or devotion is neither sensible nor logical. Rather, it results from a concept of God as a weak being, who needs outside help and support. This sure is blasphemy.
How worship benefits us
A Muslim knows that he or she is blessed with the insight that God loves to be worshipped and obeyed by His creation, not because of any need, but because He loves to see the benefit His creatures obtain from it.
The foregoing means: Allah’s Guidance in the Quran is for the good of His servants; not that He is going to derive any particular benefit from it as we humans might in our ignorance imagine. Because, everything (including whatever we supposedly can do or possess) is His, and His alone.
Allah is not so weak as to be troubled by any deficiency or shortcoming to need our effort in any form. Allah the All-Merciful Has prepared His Paradise for us and guides us as to how to attain it, out of His love for us; and He has prepared His Hell and warns us how to avoid it, out of His love for us.
In a well-known hadith, the Prophet narrated Allah’s saying:
“O My servants, even if the first amongst you and the last amongst you and even the whole of the human race of yours, and that of jinns even, become (equally) God-conscious like the heart of a single person amongst you, nothing would add to My Power. O My servants, even if the first amongst you and the last amongst you and the whole human race of yours and that of the Jinns too in unison become the most wicked (all beating) like the heart of a single person, it would cause no loss to My Power….” (Muslim – Book 32, Hadith Number 6246)
And Allah states in His Noble Quran:
“Whoever chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and whoever goes astray, goes but astray to his own hurt..” (Quran 17:15)
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archive)
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