God is not to be ‘Worshiped’

First and foremost: the word ‘worship’ is not found anywhere in the Reading. Again, the religionists have twisted the meaning of a simple word in the book.

The essence of the Book is that all humans need to lead a righteous way of life according to the prescribed covenants by upholding their commitments and keeping them pure. No one can fulfil these commitments through acts of worship or ritual prayer. A person should observe his commitments through the individual act of consenting towards the providence of His master.

Wama qolaq-tul jin-ni wal-ain-sa il-laa li-ya’budun. (51:56)

And I did not create the jinn and the humans except for serving Me. (51:56)

In one sentence, the Reading has explained our purpose here on earth. We are created to serve, not to worship. We have been created in the grand design to serve by deeds (and not merely by thoughts or words). The misrepresentation of the word serve (ta’budu) to mean worship has had a dire effect on the Islamic landscape.

The words serve1 and worship have different meanings in the context of this discussion. The former signifies serving God by doing good deeds in keeping with what we know to be His laws. The latter is a concentrated feeling of respect or admiration and love for the dead idols or icons and is demonstrated through rituals, pilgrimages, and the singing of hymns, etc. The word ‘serve’ ta’budu or ya’budun is derived from the word ‘abd which means servant (and not worship). All humans are servants of God. Therefore they have to serve and consented themselves (sujud) to Him alone. There are several derivatives from the word ‘abd (servant). For example, the following verse is in reference to Jesus the son of Mary and the assigned energies (mala-ika)2 closest to God.

Laiyas-tabkifu masih’u ai-yakuna a’bdan lil-lah wa-lal-malaikatu muqor-robun. Waman yas-tankifu ‘an-‘ibada-tihi was-yastakbir fa-sayah shuru-hum ilai-hi jami’an. (4:172)

Never will the Messiah disdain being a servant (a’bdan) of God nor will the assigned energies. Those who disdain serving (ibada-tihi) Him and are arrogant, surely He will gather them to Him, all of them. (4:172)

The Messiah was pure but he was not disdainful of being a servant to God. It is the duty of a servant to serve his master. The duty of a believer is to serve God by upholding the commitments and not to ‘worship’ Him in the sense of bowing and scraping. It would seem strange for any household to have a platoon of servants worshipping their employer. Where would be the logic in it?

As servants we are expected to look towards Him and praise Him like the rest of His creations in the heavens and the earth.

O mankind, you are the ones in need towards God, and God, He is the affluent the praised. (35:15)

He does not need our petty sacrifices of food or self-imposed pilgrimages. He does not need our presence in Mecca. In fact He does not need our promises. If we have pledged a promise, it is our duty to fulfil that promise for our own good. He wants us to put His words into action. A servant has to observe his commitments or he become useless.

Of course, one can argue that God does not need our service either. This is true. It is we who benefit from being true in our service to Him. By these means, we justify the responsibility of free choice granted us and grow to our full potential. We become fully what we were meant to be. We become true to our truest nature. This is God’s will, and it is for our good.

Similarly, there are energies that are specially assigned making them close to God and they also serve their master. The word ‘abdan in this verse means servant. The same verse also uses another derivative i.e. ibada-tihi to mean doing service for Him. The Messiah and the assigned energies did not worship God. They were too busy doing His work and serving Him.

We can also find a similar derivative from the root word ‘abd in the Reading which means serving and not worship:

Wa-nah-nu lahu a’bidun (2:138)

And Him are we serving (2:138)

Was-alman arsalna min qoblika min-rosulina aj’alna min-dunir-rohman ali-hatan ya’budun. (43: 45)

And ask those whom We have sent from before you among the messengers if We have set other than the Merciful as gods for them to be served. (43: 45)

Simply put, all service is through deeds. The world is full of good intentions but intentions alone are not enough.

The seven verses in the introductory surah3 of the Reading are recited by the followers of the Arab religion during each of their five ‘mandatory’ daily prayers. The religionists deceived them by ascribing the word na’budu (serve) in 1:5 to mean worship. This word is derived from the root ‘abd which means servant. Instead of declaring to God that they will serve Him alone without associating Him with anything, they say they ‘worship’ Him. God has never commanded anyone to worship Him.

The essence of the first part Al Fatihah is that God’s attributes encompass His dominion over the deen of everything in existence in the heavens and the earth. He is the absolute ruler of the orderly system in this world and in the Hereafter. The first four verses say, ‘With the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to God the Lord of the Universe, the Most Compassionate and the Merciful. The Ruler of the day of the order‘. And then, as servants to our Lord we pledge that we will uphold our covenant to serve him from what we are about to read from His guidance – a guidance which says at the outset of the very next chapter, ‘This Book is infallible, a guidance for the observant who believe in the unseen, and they uphold their commitments……

1:5 should properly be read as:

Eiya-ka-na’budu wa-eiya kanas-ta’ain. (1:5)

You alone we serve and You alone we ask for help. (1:5)

This is followed by:

Guide us in the straight path, a path of those whom you blessed, and not of those who deserve wrath, or those who strayed. (1:6-7)

Here, the request is to seek His help in guiding us on the straight path that He had blessed. Logically, the only way God guides His servants is through His revealed Scriptures; certainly not through the performing of ritual prayer. Instead of translating their services into practical acts according to what He has ordained in His Book, the religionists offer only lip-service by repeating: ‘You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help‘ seventeen times per day (the five daily rituals consist of 2, 4, 4, 3, 4 units in each ritual prayer at dawn, midday, afternoon, evening and night).

These verses clearly say we declare that we will serve Him alone, put our trust in Him to seek His mercy and blessings to guide us to the right path in His deen. God is the only one who can guide His servants to the straight path. No one else can do this, not even the prophets:

You cannot guide those you love. God is the one who guides whomever He wills because He is the only one who is fully aware of those who deserve the guidance. (28:56)

There is no such thing as ‘holy people’ who can guide another to the straight path. These so-called holy people will ultimately themselves become idols to their followers.

God is the Lord of those who believe. He leads them out of the darkness into light. While those who disbelieve, their lords are the idols. They lead them out of the light into darkness. They have deserved the Fire as their eternal retribution. (2:257)

The Reading is telling us that the ‘holy men’ will take people out of the light into darkness and lead their followers into hell-fire. None of us can escape from these ‘holy men’ as long as he belongs to a religion.

Upon a critical reading of the Reading it becomes clear that we cannot ‘butter up’ our Master – the one who gave us this life – by worshipping Him through rituals. There is no barter system involving the performance of rituals. We receive the guidance from God through His mercy – mercy to which we are not entitled. In order to qualify we are simply required to serve God by fulfilling our covenant with Him. That is the contract with Him, and is binding upon us until we breathe our last. There is not a single verse in the Reading commanding humans to worship the Creator.


1 Collin Cobuild: Serve something such as a company, community or your country, you work for it in order to benefit it.

2 The word mala-ika is derived from the root MLK which means functional power or unseen energies at work. There is no such thing as angels floating around the space. Religionists borrowed the description of the Bible to promote this wrong idea. Malik is one who is in power and Mulk is the Supreme Power that rules – an attribute to God.

3 Al-Fatihah, the first surah of the Qur’an.

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34 Responses

  1. Hello!

    I’m Interested in your argument.

    I heard that people in Makka before Islam had been worshiping statues. Is that true? or they’ve been serving them?

  2. Hi Azab,

    I was not a witness to what the Arabs were doing before the Quran was revealed but according to the Quran God questioned them about Allat, Al Uzza and Manat, the third one.

    Aidid Safar

  3. But, if you could find some proof in Quran that Arabs before Islam have been ‘worshiping’ statues, which are made of mountain rocks, then this will support your argument.

    In other words, this will make it logical to conclude that stone worshiping in Makka today is an extension to stone worshiping before Islam, and therefore, it has nothing to do with Islam.

  4. Unless Allat, AlUzza and Manat were made of high quality composite.

  5. Dear Brother,

    I am very happy God has lead me through his providence to find your site. Like you, I find in the Quran the same condemnations as you do regarding ritualism, legalism and all the other priestly abuses that mollahs and so-called scholars have introduced over the centuries into islamic practice.

    I am not sure, however, that I share your view completely regarding the meaning of the word ‘worship’ and what obligations we truly have towards God in that respect. But maybe it is only a misunderstanding of words. I fully share your view that we ought to scrutinize the text of the Quran in order to find the true meaning of the words we find therein as it was originally meant and not as tradition has distorted it.

    For a start, I agree that the Quran condems ‘worship’ if we understand this word to mean ‘ritualism’.

    However, It also seems to me that the Quran enjoins us to glorifiy God and that this activity of glorifying him is part of the service (the meaning, as you rightly point out, of “ta’budu”) we owe him. Let me quote a few verses:

    7:206 Those at your Lord are never too proud to serve Him; they glorify Him and submit to Him.

    20:33 That we may glorify you frequently

    22:37 […] that you may show your gratitude by glorifying God for guiding you.

    33:42 You shall glorify him day and night.

    9:112 They [the believers] are those who repent, who serve, who praise, who meditate, […]

    29:16 […] You shall serve God and reverence Him. […]

    32:15 […] They glorify and praise their Lord without any arrogance.

    I read these verses as enjoining us to devote a part of our life (which is all in the service of God if we are believers) to the activity of praising and glorifying God.

    Now the question is, what does this activity consist in exactly?

  6. Assalamualaikum Wr Wb.

    This is just my humble opinion.

    By mentioning Allah’s name in every of our action and speech is glorifying Him.For example in saying Bismillah, Masha Allah or a sinple Insya Allah or Subhanallaha in everyday life is indeed gloryfying Him.

    Insya allah

  7. The Quran encourages unity not uniformity.

    “We have decreed for you the same way of life that was decreed for Noah, and what was transmitted herein, and also what was decreed to Abraham, Moses and Jesus. You shall uphold the only way of life (i.e peacefulness) and do not be divided. However it is simply too difficult for the idol worshipers to accept what you advocate. God is the One who brings towards Him whomever He wills, and He guides towards Himself those who return”. (42:13) “The only way of life by God is peacefulness” (3:19)

    Live a way of life of peacefulness is a form of glorifcation of the creator. Being sincere and truthful, honoring our parents and be kind to others, or commit ourselves to His guidance and keep them pure (aqi-mus-solla-ta-wa-tuz-zakka) is another form of glorification.

    “Do you not see that God is glorified by everyone in the heavens and earth? Even the birds in their flight each of them knows their commitment and glorification. God is fully aware of what you do.”

    There are many ways of remembering God and this can be done while we are standing up, walking, sitting down or lying on our sides – one of them is by looking at His signs in our own surroundings (3:190-194) – including all the marvels and the various beautiful color of plants and flowers He has created for us. We can also remember God each time when it rains to appreciate His bounty from the sky. God’s signs is all over us even in the deep oceans. But the greatest method of remembering God (zikril-lah-hi-akhbar) is to commit oneself by deeds to the values written in His book (29:45) and that will keep us away from doing the wrong things.

    Since we are the ones who need Him it is our obligation to be appreciative and to seek His blessings and Mercy. There are many examples of doing our prayers (D’oa) a form of our personal communication with the Creator if we look into the Quran – including at a time when we realize we had made a simple mistake. Adam and his wife said, “Our Lord, we have wronged our souls and unless you forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be among the losers”.

    Or each time we are approached with some bad ideas or become compulsive of doing some petty bad stuff we should seek refuge in Him by speaking to Him sincerely to remove all the negative ideas (satan) away from us.

    If we can have all the above as a state of awareness through both ends of the day and part of the night we need not allocate any specific time to be with our God to glorify, pray (d’oa), or remembering Him – He is with us all the time.

  8. Мне кажется очень полезная штука.

  9. Как там у вас с погодой? Давно не писали

  10. Salam

    You say God is not to be worshipped but what abut these verses, 24:58, 17:78, 2:238 etc. They talk abut the times we have to pray to God. What do u think??

    peace, Sam

  11. The word worship is not found on any of the three verses. I advise you to read the book before making any comment. If you believe the word “Sol-laa” means ritual prayer or worship like the rest of the so-called Muslims then there is no more argument between us. Thank you.

    Aidid Safar.

  12. Hi Aidid, refreshing thinking. Some of the things you said addressed the questions that I had when I was very2 young during my religious class.

    I seek further clarification, you mentioned above “He does not need our petty sacrifices of food ” but in 5:3 “Restricted to you are the meat from the animals that die of themselves, blood, decaying meat, and food dedicated to other than God”.

    If we can’t eat food dedicated to other than God, doesn’t it imply that there are food dedicated to God?

    Could it be the cow/lamb sacrifice that we made in the name of Allah & the meat is then distributed to the poor be considered as “food dedicated to God”?

    Appreciate your thoughts.

  13. Hi Khalid, please refer to the Quran Chapter 6 Verse 118-119. Thank you.

  14. Got it. Thanks Aidid.

    Geez now I have a different set of problem.. Are we suppose to take this literally 6:118-119? Meaning, if the butcher forgot to say Bismillah .. we can’t eat the chicken/meat?

    In this modern era where we buy our meat from Tesco, how to ensure that when they slaughtered the animals they mentioned Allah’s name? Is this where the religious certification of “Halal” meat can be useful?

    Appreciate your thoughts.

  15. Khalid, read the verse properly. Do you see anything about butchers in the verse. Or, are you trying to be funny in my blog?

  16. In my Quran translation (not English), it stated that 6:118 (mind you I’m translating this from my language to English) “Eat the animals that Allah’s name is mentioned when slaughtered, if you are a believer”.

    In my case since I don’t slaughter my own meat, I have to rely on others (the butchers). I’m not trying to be funny. That’s why I ask whether we shd take this literally.

    What is your understanding of this verse? If you don’t mind sharing?

  17. In the Arabic tongue revealed by God the word slaughter is not in 6:118.

    It is (Fa ku-luu mim-maa- Zu-ki-ras-mul-lah alai-hee – In kun-tum-bi-aya-tihi-muk-minin).

    Fa-ku-luu = Thus, eat
    mim-maa = from what
    Zu-ki-ra = mention
    Is-mu = name
    Allah = God
    Alai-hi = Over it
    In-kun-tum = if you are
    Bi-ayat-ti-hi = with His revelations
    Muk-mi-nin = as believers

    Please tell me which Arabic word in that verse refers to slaughter?

    Khalid, your religious belief is not found in the Quran. It is dictated to by other gods beside the One God.

    In 5:4 it says those who believe in God are permitted to eat the animals caught by their trained dogs. If you are among those who believe in the One God – how did your “four legged” butchers slaughter your food and mention God’s name on your behalf?

  18. Aidid, I’m not an Arabic speaker.. so I have to learn the Quran via a translation to my language. Based on your response, obviously something is wrong with my translation!!

    So I search for a proper English translation below.

    Yusuf Ali translation
    6:118 So eat of (meats) on which God’s name hath been pronounced, if ye have faith in His signs.

    Shakir translation:
    Therefore eat of that on which Allah’s name has been mentioned if you are believers in His communications.

    You’re right.. there are no slaughter being mentioned at all in the above translations…

    My God, all these while we were conditioned to eat only slaughtered animals according to “Islamic” way of slaughter.. which means if I were to go to Australia, I cannot eat chicken there coz it was not slaughtered accordingly. Are these all lies?

  19. i dont understand ya mean we dont need pray??

  20. You are not alone Sir.

  21. so serve God and doing righteousness and glorify and remember God day and night?

  22. Please read the Quran properly before you put the question to me. Thank you.

  23. okay

  24. Nice article. Congratulations.

    Most of the Quran translations in English language are hadis infested and dont come up to definition of translation. It is our duty to understand the message carefully by discarding unnecessary explanations within brackets there.

  25. Peace Aidid,

    Please would you let me know if you completed your translation of the Koran and if yes, where is it available.

    Thanks,

    Dawn.

  26. Peace Dawn, if the translation is complete you would have seen it on this blog and my website.

  27. Peace.

    Look, I am watching and reading your book from youtube, and confirming it from the Quran, I think you are in the right way my friend, just some things, because the Quran that I read has other words than what you write in your book. I would like to see your opinion or somebodys else about prayers for example.

    And, I will read it till the end, but to fully understand the way you have translated, we would need to have you translation, because if God willing you really have found the true meaning, then why not share it with the others? Because in your book, it should go through all the parts that are related with prayers, and charity, and if there is prayers, then where to turn your face.

    For example the sura where Muhammad is asked to turn his face to another place, then after that put his place towards the old place wihich is with my understanding Jerusalem. How do you see this?

    I hope you or someone else has patience to answer this, even though I haven’t yet watched this completely. But if I had knew Arabic, I would put my translation to the people, because I believe some things that contradicts are changed, and as God says, Quran doesn’t contradict, so it isn’t God’s words.

    Below you see some ayats I have taken, which words are best suited, if they really aren’t meant to be salat fajr and isha as they are mentioned in every translations? I for example at the moment am with the 3 time prayer, but not sure anymore, after reading this book, but then when I come back to these ayats, I am sure we should pray and recite those moments the Quran.

    Thanks in advance!

    Now we come to the time of prayer Quran mentions three periods of time in conjunction with Salaat prayer. In other words, the Quran qualifies the word “Salaat” by three different temporal words: (1) Salaat-al Fajr (Morning Prayer), (2) Salaat-al Esha (Evening Prayer), (3) Salaat-al Wusta (Middle/Noon Prayer). The Morning Prayer (24:58) and Evening Prayer (24:58) should be observed at both ends of the day, that is, early part of the night (11:114) and the Middle Prayer (2:238).
    [35:29-30] “Surely, those who recite the book of God, observe the Contact Prayers and are charitable both discreetly and openly can hope for an investment that never loses. He will recompense them generously and will multiply His blessings upon them. He is Forgiving, Appreciative.

    Open 29:45 ٱتْلُ مَآ أُوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ ۖ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلْفَحْشَآءِ وَٱلْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ ٱللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ ﴿٤٥﴾ You shall recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture, and observe the Salat (Contact Prayers), for the Salat prohibits evil and vice. But the remembrance of God is the most important objective. God is aware of all that you do.”
    Open 2:43 وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱرْكَعُوا۟ مَعَ ٱلرَّ ٰكِعِينَ ﴿٤٣﴾You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and bow down with those who bow down.

  28. PS.

    I haven’t yet read it fully, but energies? Instead of Angels?

    Every translation says, And they have given to angels womens names, they do not know. God willing I put the right ayat.

    Chrstians and all have put womens names to angels, s ohow they are energies? Of course this doesn’t affect my journey to paradise, is it a energy or angel, but then, we have to belieb in God, his prophets, book and angels. So, how the translation goes?

    Have all gotten wrong? Even though, these days they put angels womens names, and in the Quran, God willing I recite this correct, that God has put angels to surround the fire, and has put them 3-4 or even 5 wings, but they don’t know.

    I hope somenoe or the one who wrote this book and made the translation, could explain this. Don’t bash me, if I haven’t yet read the book, and the translations, but I am searching the truth and the peace that is requeired in this world for the hereafter.

    I hope you be kind, and explain this, and it really would help others, if your translation would be available, don’t get it, why you hide it, if it’s not complete, I understand, but it should be if you have translated the suras and ayats into the meanings.

    peace.

  29. I just read, some patrs you explained about the isha and fajr, That was eye-opening.

    One thing is very hard for all of us, that we have translations that differ from yours, and many are under the rubble of traditional translations, so there has to be some translation (for non-arabic speakers) to make a start to dig out the true islam.

    That’s why, we should need to read it fully in your translation, to understand, that does your translation contradict and to make a decision about which to follow.

    It is said, in the Quran, to bring the truth. So if you really have the truth, why hide it? I believe you are int osomething.

    I for example when I pray/started thinking about not, I never, prayed to a stone, I always referred to Allah, and stopped mentioning dead peoples names or prophets names in there. So my devotion was to him. Standing, bowing and prostrating. I need to know your translation about those, where Allah says to his Angels/energies, prostrate and they didn’t.

    That’s why we need a translaiton like yours. you are hiding it, so you are hiding the truth if God willing it’s the truth.

    peace.

  30. God is to be obeyed

    On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 2:42 AM, Mental Bondage In The Name Of God wrote:

    > ** > Kukka commented: “I just read, some patrs you explained about the isha > and fajr, That was eye-opening. One thing is very hard for all of us, that > we have translations that differ from yours, and many are under the rubble > of traditional translations, so there has to be s” >

  31. Dear Aidid
    I have translated MENTAL BONDAGE IN THE NAME OF GOD into my language (Italian). I think you could add the Italian version to the English and French ones, get in touch with me! God bless you :)

  32. Thank you Sara. I will get my webmaster to add the Italian translation to my website and also on this page.

  33. I can’t help but say your article makes so much sense. In the heap of nonsense spread by Muslims scholars you have presented a original piece of research… May Allah rewards you fully for your great insights.

  34. Dear Aidid,
    When am I going to hear from you again?

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