When we see the incredible displays of skill of one of our sporting heroes, or when we observe great deeds of courage, or when we hear a motivational speech, we are obliged to praise what we experience. We defend. We applaud. We give a standing ovation. We are moved, inspired, encouraged, exalted and oppressed by what we experience. We never forget those moments in our lives. Just think about the last time you experienced that moment and how your reaction to the compliment was the only fair and necessary reaction.
Now we are going to draw our attention to our universe; We live in this incredible universe. We hope, love, seek justice and believe in the ultimate value of human life. We pray, feel, reflect and discover. We live in a vast universe with billions of stars, galaxies and planets. The universe contains sensitive beings that have a unique flow of consciousness. We have an immaterial mind that interacts with the physical world. The universe has laws and a precise arrangement that, if different, would have prevented the emergence of conscious life. We feel – deep down – the malevolence of evil and the justice of good.
In our universe, we have animals and insects, like the ant that can support its own body weight many times, and the seeds that can germinate from the heat of the fire. We live on a planet with thousands of languages and millions of species. We live in a universe where the human mind can discover weapons that can wipe out the Earth, and produces ideas that can prevent these weapons from firing. We live in a universe that, if one of its innumerable atoms is divided, can release immense amounts of energy. We live on a planet that, if hearts are united, can bring peace to the world.
However, some of us are not forced to give God – who created the entire universe and everything within it – a standing ovation; Stand, glorify Him and praise Him. We cannot thank the creator of each moment, each situation and interaction. We are deceived, deluded and forgotten about God, the one who created us:
“O human, what made you negligent in relation to your Lord, the Most Great”
[Holy Quran 82: 6]
God is really excellent, he is the greatest. He is worthy of our love, obedience and acts of worship. If you already understood why, here are three fundamental reasons.
God’s right to be worshiped is a necessary fact of His existence.
The best place to start is to understand who God is. God, by definition, is the one who is entitled to our worship; it is a necessary fact of existence itself. The Quran repeatedly highlights this fact about God,
“” For sure, I am Allah; there is no god but me; then, worship Me and fulfill prayer in remembrance of Me. ” [Holy Quran 20:14]
As God, by definition, is the only Being whose right is our worship, so all of our acts of worship should be directed to Him alone.
God is exclusively one without partners. In the Islamic tradition , we are aware that He is perfect, as perfect as perfect can be. He has all the perfect names and attributes to the highest degree possible. God is described as ‘The Loving One’, and that means that His love is the most perfect love and His love is the greatest love possible. It is for these names and attributes that God is to be worshiped.
We always praise people for their kindness, knowledge and wisdom. However, God’s goodness, knowledge and wisdom are as high as possible without deficiency or failure. Therefore, He is worthy of the most extensive form of praise and praising God is a form of worship. God is also the only one entitled to our supplications and prayers. He knows best what is good for us, and He also wants what is good for us. Such a Being with these attributes must be prayed and asked for. God is worthy of our worship because there is something about God that does so. He is the Being with the most perfect names and attributes.
An important point about worshiping God is that it is His right, even though we cannot receive any comfort. If we want to live a life full of suffering, God must still be worshiped. Worshiping God is not dependent on some kind of reciprocal relationship; He gives us life, and we worship him in return. Do not misunderstand what is being said here, God calls us with many blessings (as discussed below); however, He is worshiped because of who He is and not necessarily because of how He decides – through His unlimited wisdom – to distribute His generosity.
God created and sustains everything
God created everything; He continually sustains the entire cosmos and provides us with his generosity. The Holy Quran continually repeats this reality in many ways, which evokes a sense of gratitude and admiration in the heart of the listener or reader:
“He was the One who created everything for you when it exists on earth …” [Holy Quran 2:29]
“You have been assigned partners who cannot create anything, since they are created themselves.” [Holy Quran 7: 191]
“O humans! Remember Allah’s grace towards you. Is there a creator other than Allah, who gives you sustenance from heaven and earth? There is no god but Him. So how do you distance yourself from Him? ” [Holy Quran 35: 3]
Therefore, everything we use in our daily lives and all the essential things we need to survive are all due to God. It follows that all thanks are yours. Since God created everything that exists, He is the owner and master of everything, including us. Therefore, we should have a feeling of admiration and gratitude towards him. Since God is our Master, we must be His servants. To deny this is not just to reject reality, but it is the height of ingratitude, arrogance and ignorance.
As God created us, our very existence depends solely on Him.
“How can you deny Allah, while He gave you life when you were dead? Then it will make you die; then you will give life; and finally, you will be returned to Him. ” [Holy Quran 2:28]
Não somos auto-suficientes, mesmo que alguns de nós estejam iludidos ao pensar que somos. Se vivemos uma vida de luxo e facilidade ou pobreza e dificuldades, somos dependentes de Deus. Nada neste universo é possível sem Ele e tudo o que acontece é devido à Sua vontade. Nosso sucesso na vida e as grandes coisas que podemos ter alcançado são, em última análise, por causa de Deus. Ele criou as causas no universo que usamos para alcançar o sucesso, e se Ele não for nosso sucesso, nunca aconteceu. Compreender a nossa última dependência de Deus deve evocar uma imensa sensação de gratidão e humildade em nossos corações. Humilhando-nos diante de Deus e agradecendo a Ele é uma forma de adoração. Uma das maiores barreiras à orientação divina e a misericórdia é a ilusão da auto-suficiência, que é, em última instância, baseada no ego e na arrogância. O Sagrado Alcorão deixa este ponto claro:
“What! In truth, a man transgresses when he sees himself as rich. ” [Holy Quran 96: 6-7]
“And as for those who are miserly and do not need the help of Allah, and disprove the most beautiful truth, we will make it easier for them to access the difficult path, and their wealth will be of no avail when they are abyssed. Certainly, guidance is ours. ” [Holy Quran 92: 8-12]
God offers us countless favors
“And he gave you everything that you asked of Him. And if you count Allah’s graces, you will not be able to list them. Certainly, the human being is unjust, ungrateful. ”
[Holy Quran 14:34]
We should be eternally grateful to God that we could never thank Him for His blessings. Take the heart, for example. The human heart beats about 100,000 times a day, which is approximately 35,000,000 times a year. If we were to live to the age of 75, the number of heartbeats would reach 2,625,000,000. How many of us have counted that number of heartbeats? Nobody ever did.
To be able to count this many times, you would have to start counting each heartbeat from the day you were born. It would also mean not being able to live a normal life, as you would always tell every time your heart starts a new beat. However, every heartbeat is precious to us. Any of us would sacrifice a mountain of gold to ensure that our hearts function properly to keep us alive. However, we forget and deny the One who created our hearts and enabled them to function. This example forces us to conclude that we must thank God, and gratitude is a form of worship. The above discussion only refers to the heartbeat, so imagine the gratitude that we must express to all the other blessings that God has given us. In this perspective, anything other than a heartbeat is a bonus. God has given us favors that we cannot list, and if we could count them, we would have to thank Him for being able to do that too. To conclude, lovingly worship God and patiently submit our will to Him in order to fulfill the purpose of our existence.