Meaning and Necessity of Worship

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يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

People, worship your Lord who created you and those who lived before you, so that you may become pious. (2:21)


Worship is nothing but doing the commands of Allah and refraining from what He forbids” is the definition of Imam an-Nursi. In another part of Risale-i Nur, he defines worship in this way: Worship is a prostration of the servant in bewilderment and love in the presence of Perfect Lordship and Self-Sufficient Omnipotence and Divine Mercy by realising his own impotence and poorness in Divine presence. Imam an-Nursi explains worship and servanthood by the reality of impotence and poorness then he takes our attention to Lordship of Allah (SWT) and His Omnipotence who is not in need of anything. By showing Divine Mercy of the One who deserves to be worshipped, he expresses prostrating in the presence of Allah (SWT) in bewilderment and love as worship. (The Words, 26)


Imam an-Nursi gives us a new perspective by dividing worship into two as positive and negative. Positive worships are the usual ones such as prayer, fasting etc. Negative worships are diseases, calamities etc. which make man feel his impotence and weakness. Therefore, he directs towards the One who created him and invoke Him and perform sincere worship. There are authentic narrations showing the fact that a life full of diseases becomes worship on the condition of not complaining from Allah (SWT). Welcoming diseases and calamities by patience and thankfulness constitutes negative worship. (The Flashes, 212)


The earth and everything in it are the servants of mankind, says Imam an-Nursi. Mankind is supposed to be servant of their Creator. We also need to be grateful for those bounties. Gratitude is only fulfilled by worship. “Worship is gratitude, gratitude is for the Giver of bounties. So, it is compulsory to be grateful to the One who gives bounties. “ says

Imam an-Nursi. (The Signs of Miracoluesness, 145)


وَمَا خلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَ ا نْالِْسَ اِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُ و نَ

I only created man and jinn to worship Me. (Az-Zariyat, 56)

It is clear from the verse above that wisdom and purpose of the creation of human being is worship. Iradah will), one of the four main features of human spirit, is only perfected and fulfils purpose of its creation by worship. (The Letters, 470) Similarly, the fitrah (nature) and the jihazat-i manawiyya (spiritual tools) of the human approve that he is created for worship. It is because of the fact that human becomes commander and sultan of living beings only by worship. (The Signs of Miracoluesness, 149) He is responsible for worship in three different aspects; His heart is responsible with submission and subjection, his mind is responsible with belief and unity and his body is responsible with good deeds and worship. (The Signs of Miracoluesness,148). All- Powerful encourages people to worship with his greatness. That Omnipotence makes heavens and earth obedient to us. Therefore, we ought to show our competence to these kinds of blessings by worship.


“The spirit of worship is ikhlas (sincerity)” says Imam an-Nursi. It is a known fact that body has no function without spirit as worship not for Divine pleasure has no function or benefit whatsoever. In this sense, sincerity is doing worship just because it is ordered. If any other wisdom or benefit is accepted as primary reason to worship, that worship is invalid and has no benefit. Benefits and wisdom can only be secondary reason not primary reason. Worship is only related to Divine pleasure and Divine commandment whereas fruits of worship are related to hereafter.


The reason behind severe threatening of the Qur’an about not doing worship is about preserving the rights of creation. The one who leaves worship attacks the rights of all beings as he will not be able to realise their worship unless he worships. Even he denies it. In order to preserve their rights, non-worshippers are being severely threatened. Moreover, non-worshipper harms his own soul which is property

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of Allah (SWT). (The Flashes, 201). Furthermore, he acts against Divine wisdom thus he deserves severe threatening and punishment.


a) Avoiding condescending and submitting to other things. Worshipper knows that the One whom he worships is the owner of everything and nothing can harm him if Allah does not allow. Being aware of this, he never condescends or submits to others.

b) Reinforcing creed “The only thing which reinforces and stabilises creed and belief is nothing but worship.” Says Imam an-Nursi. Creed matters which are related to conscience and heart should be trained and reinforced otherwise they will get weaker. Current situation of Muslims is an example for that. Turning minds to the All- Wise is only possible with worship.

The one who leaves worship cannot be mindful of Allah (SWT).

c) Worship provides bliss of this world and hereafter. Although worship is a small burden for human body, it nourishes our soul and heart. Therefore, we begin to live a paradise like life in this world. In terms of the hereafter, it protects us from hellfire. It is a known fact that being free from hell is a great bliss for human. The only way to go to the paradise and being away from hell is adorning our lives with worship. In short, bliss of this world lies in worship and being a soldier for Allah (SWT). Thus, we should always say عَلَي الْطَاعَةِ وَالْتَوْفِيقِ اَلْحَمْدُ لَّهِل (Praise be to Allah for obedience to Him and success) Let me finish my article with another part from Risale-i Nur. It is worship which expands high spirit of mankind and boosts his skills and fulfils his purposes and broadens his horizons and controls his emotions and reinforces his inward and outward organs and cleanses his soul from disbelief and makes him reach the predestined perfection level. The highest relation between servant and his Lord is nothing but worship. Moreover, that relation is the utmost level of human perfection. (The Signs of Miraculuosness, 134)