Channel: Hamza Tzortzis
God makes it very clear that the purpose of our lives is to worship Him, “And I did not create the jinn (spirit world) and mankind except to worship Me.” The concept of worship in the Islamic tradition is profound. Worship entails that we must know, love and obey God, as well as single out and dedicate all acts of worship to Him alone. If we want to know, love and obey something other than God the most, including direct acts of worship (like ultimate gratitude) to something other than Him, then that is our object of worship. In this sense, human beings, including those who do not believe in God, cannot not worship. However, many misdirect their worship to things other than God; something this essay aims to address.
Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim, Al hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu. Brothers and sisters and friends. Today I want to talk about why good, why Allah is worthy of worship. This is an extremely important topic and very close to my heart. Because when I started to study this, it really changed my understanding of myself, of my relations with other people, and significantly, my relationship with the one that created me, God, Allah subhanho, wa Taala. glorified, is he?
And it's a very important topic, because according to the Islamic spiritual tradition, worshiping God is our raison d'etre. It's our reason for being, it's our reason for existence. Now, what does worship mean? Because words are vehicles to meaning. And sometimes, we may use the same words but have different meanings or the connotations attached to it. It's very important for us to clarify what we mean by worship, because some people may think it's okay, we're going to church on Sunday, once a week. No, worship is a profound, deep concept in the Islamic spiritual tradition. Worship entails the following things, number one, to know good to know Allah. Number two, to love Allah.
Number three, to obey Allah, and within that entails humility, being humble before the divine, and number four, to direct and single out all acts of worship to God alone. And you are directing the internal acts of worship, that acts of the heart, and the external acts of worship, like the acts of the limbs. So to worship God is a very comprehensive concept in the Islamic spiritual tradition. It means to know God, to love God, to obey God, and that entails being humbled before the divine. And it means to single out all our acts of worship to God alone, our internal acts of worship, and our external acts of worship.
Now, why I want to do is take you through this kind of spiritual journey, and maybe existential journey to make you understand, what does it mean to know Allah? And when we focus on knowing Allah, it would basically provide us the key to open the door, to answer the question, why is Allah Why is God worthy of worship. And then I want to give you around six or seven arguments that are based on the Quran, and our spiritual tradition, in order for you to see worship in a totally different way. So the first thing, knowing Allah knowing God, now when we're talking about knowing Allah, we're really talking about affirming God's oneness, affirming the oneness of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And
this is known in the Islamic tradition, as tell heed, affirming oneness. And there are different aspects to affirming the oneness of Allah, the oneness of the Divine.
The first one is we affirm the oneness of his creativity, we affirm the oneness of his creative power. This means that Allah that God is the only unique creator, sustainer, maintainer, and owner and Master of everything that exists. This is what it means that we affirm that Allah is the only unique creator, sustainer, maintainer, owner fashioner, Master of everything that exists. Now, anyone who believes that these descriptions of God can be shared by any creative thing, they have deified that thing, and this in the Islamic tradition is known as shook, which can be loosely translated as associating partners with God, and associating partners with God is the grievous sin,
you have closed the door to God's divine mercy and guidance. And if you die in that state, then you are eligible for eternal destruction.
However, if people do [???], they do associate partners with God, and they repent and mend their ways. And they open the door to God's mercy and forgiveness, then they will be forgiven, God willing. So anyone who attributes these descriptions to anything other than God has de FIDE that thing, and they have committed should have which is associating partners with God.
Which is the most grievous sin. The second aspect I want to talk about is the oneness of Gods names and attributes, the oneness of Allah's names and attributes. There's a few things you need to understand here. Firstly, we affirm that God has names and attributes. For example, Allah describes himself in the Quran, he says he is a ramen, he is the intensely merciful. He is a Rahim he is the specially merciful, he is a whoo dude he is the loving, he is Al Hakim, the Wise he is Aleem the knowing he is Alibaba. He is the source of our goodness, his Latif, he is the subtle, and so on and so forth. So we affirm God's names and attributes. However, we also affirm that transcendent nature.
The Quran, says, Lisa, Kenneth Lee, there is nothing like God, there is nothing like him. He is unique, he is transcendent. So from this point of view, we affirm Gods names and attributes, and we affirm their transcendent nature. Significantly, when it comes to Gods names and attributes. We also affirm that they are perfect without any deficiency and flaw. In actual fact, we believe they are maximally perfect, this means that they are to the highest degree possible without any deficiency, and without any flaw, and they are transcendent. This is God's names and attributes. So when we say God is algebra dude, coming from the Arabic word would which means a loving that is giving. We
believe God's love is the highest form of love. It's a maximally perfect, it's to the highest degree possible. And it's transcendent. Now, the one who compares these names and attributes to creation, they have committed humanization. And this is also shook, which is associating partners with God, which is the grievous sin so I must repeat, the one who compares these names and attributes to creation has committed humanization. So for example, if we say, oh, God is loving, just like Mohsen, right, then that's going to be a major problem, because what you've done, you've humanized gods and Gods names and attributes. Although to understand the oneness of his names and attributes, you have
to affirm that they are transcendent, and maximally perfect. The minute that you compare them with anything in creation, you have diminished them from that point of view, and the Islamic spiritual tradition teaches us that this is should this is associating partners with the divine also, the one who compares any created thing to God has committed deification and that is also shook associate in public partners with God. For example, if I said that my sin is loving, just like God, Moxon is loving just like God, then we have the same problem we have with deified Mohsen, okay. And both of these things that I just spoke about in terms of comparing the names and attributes to creation, and
comparing a create thing to God, both of those things, should associate partners with the divine.
The final aspect of God's oneness I want to focus on is the oneness of his divinity, the oneness of his divinity, which is something that we're going to be focusing on in the rest of today's lecture.
the oneness of God's divinity of Allah's divinity basically means that Allah is the only being worthy of worship. Allah is the only object worthy of worship is the only date worthy of worship. And interestingly, the name a law, according to some Arabic linguist says, say that it comes from the words Allah Allah, which means the Deity, the object of worship. So we believe that God is the only one that is worthy of our utmost obedience, love, prayers, extensive praise, ultimate gratitude, and he's the only deity worthy of worship and all acts of worship must be singled out and directed to him alone. And these acts of worship include the actions of the heart, and the actions
of the limbs now, and this is very important, someone who directs acts of worship to other than Allah, and the one who seeks reward from other than Allah, in terms of acts of worship, has associate a partner with him has committed shook as we said, which is the grievous, grievous sin. So I think now we're ready to talk about well, why is God worthy of worship? Why dedicate our acts of worship to God alone, and I want to talk about six or seven arguments which can be found in the Islamic spiritual spiritual tradition, and many of them can be found in the Quran.
Point number one.
Reason number one,
God is worthy of worship by virtue of
He is, let me repeat in a different way. God's right to worship is a necessary fact of his existence.
This is the main reason, one of the main reason but it's the first reason I'm going to give you why Allah is worthy of worship. Allah is worthy of worship by virtue of who he is, and not necessarily by virtue of the fact that he's decided to give us anything in this life.
Allah says in the Quran in chapter 20, verse 14, indeed, I am God, I am Allah, there is no deity except me. So worship Me and establish prayer for my remembrance. So Allah is telling us in the Quran, that He is worthy of worship because of who he is. And not only and not necessarily because he's decided to give us anything in this world. Let me give you some full experiments or some examples. Think about, for example, your favorite poet, think about maybe Rumi. Apparently, Rumi said to the nearest effect, that lovers, they don't really fall in love. They were already in love before they met. Wow, isn't that amazing? Or a cabal, the poet of the East he said this one
frustration, the frustration to God, this one frustration that you find so difficult frees you from 1000 frustrations. Wow. You know, because 70 to the divine, breaks the shackles to the servitude to the ephemeral nature of the world, materialism and just the ego.
Now you hearing this, you're probably thinking, Wow, that's amazing. Exactly. Maybe you stood up and gave a standing ovation. Or you said Bravo. Something happened in your heart. When you listen to your favorite poet, you are compelled to give give praise to those poets by virtue of their poetic attributes.
Let me give you another example. Take for example, your favorite wrestler. If you're a wrestler that submits his opponent, would you do? You may stand you may scream you say, Wow, brilliant, amazing. Bravo, clap. The point is you are praising that wrestler by virtue of his wrestling attributes, his wrestling skills. We do this with soccer with football, right? When we see our favorite football player like Messi or Ronaldo, and they do some amazing skill and they score a great goal. You're like, wow, that was amazing. Why did you react that way? because something is compelled in your heart to give you praise
to Messi or Ronaldo by virtue of their football skills. Now, interestingly, all of these examples I've given you only these examples I have given you, they don't directly benefit you in any way, in any major way. But yet you still give them praise by virtue of who they are, by virtue of their attributes. So if it's true, that you do this, and these things, they don't have perfect attributes. These things are deficient and flawed in some way. Then what does it mean about praising Allah, whose names and attributes are maximally perfect with no deficiency and no flow? It means he deserves the most extensive form of praise of Allah says in the Quran in the first chapter surah, Al
Fatiha, the chapter, the opening, Allah says, Allah hamdu Lillahi Rabbil aalameen. All perfect praise, extensive Praise and Gratitude belongs to the Lord of everything that exists not because he has given something to us, yes, we should praise Him and thank him for that. But from this point of view, he deserves extensive praise by virtue of who he is. Just look at the universe brothers and sisters and friends. It's an interplay of Divine Names and attributes.
This, the mathematical structures in the universe, the fact that we have rational minds, that can perform rational insights that we have inner subjective conscious experiences, the fact that we're conscious that we kind of have this inner subjective conscious experience known as phenomenal experience. We could have this, but apparently comes from dead non conscious physical processes. The point is, we live in an amazing universe and it's a it's a manifestation, interplay of God's divine names and attributes.
And Gods names and attributes are perfect. They have no deficiency or flaw. They are maximally perfect to the highest degree possible and they're transcendent.
So who can if we can praise
poets, soccer players, football players wrestlers, by virtue because of the nature of their attributes, the attribute of being a good wrestler or good poet or a great poet or a good football player, even though
They are contingent, they're dependent. They're not perfect. They have deficiency and flaw, then what does it mean about praising the divine, praising Allah? That's why Muslims we say, Allahu Akbar, right? Allah is greater.
So Allah is worthy of worship by virtue of who he is. Now, before I go into the second point is very important for everyone to understand, especially as Muslims, especially those people who want to become Muslim, and they want to understand worship properly, that we do not have a transactional relationship with God. We many of us have a transactional relationship with the divine as if we're both peers, right? Good give you something you like. You give him some worship. This is not the Islamic spiritual tradition. First and foremost, we're not peers with the divine, He created us He is our Rob our master, our Lord, our loving Lord, we are His servants and slaves.
He is our master, and we are His servant, and his slave. So from this point of view, there is no peer here. And what's very important to understand is that if we understand this point, that Allah is worthy of worship, God is worthy of worship because of who he is, and not necessarily what he has given us, then even if we don't get what we want a light still worthy of worship. In actual fact, if the whole universe were to worship Him, it would not increase in His Majesty and bounty. If the whole universe were to not worship Him, it will not decrease in His Majesty and bounty, such as Allah, such as God, He is worthy of worship because of who he is. And not necessarily, you know,
because he will, because he's given us anything. So we shouldn't have a transactional relationship with the divine. From that point of view, yes, he deserves thanks and gratitude, which is that which are forms of worship, because of the things that he's given us. But it's not primarily because of that, well, that's not the only reason, because we could end up with the crumbs of the universe, but he still deserves extensive praise. So loads worthy of worship because of who he is. He deserves extensive praise. And that is a form of worship. Second point.
God has created us and sustains everything. Allah says in chapter 35, verse three, all mankind, remember the favor of God upon you? Is there any creator other than God, who provides for you from the heaven and earth? There is no data except him? So how are you deluded? So let's zoom in on this point.
Allies worthy of worship because He created us, okay? What does that mean? Well listen to this very carefully.
God gives us something, every moment of our existence, that we don't earn, own or deserve.
Gates, priceless. Let me repeat, God gives us something at every moment of our existence that we don't earn or deserve by it's priceless. And this thing is this conscious moment, and the next conscious moment and every conscious moment of our existence. Life is a priceless gift. If I were to say to you, you have 10 minutes left to live, but to get another 10 days, you have to give me all of your wealth, you will give me all of your wealth. It's a priceless gift. And we receive it freely at every moment of our existence. And we don't earn it, own it or deserve it, we can't even create a fly.
So if that's the case, we receive something that is priceless, for free, but we don't earn or deserve, how should it make us feel?
For every conscious moment,
for every conscious moment for life and the potential to use this life,
we must be ultimately grateful because we receive something free, that is priceless, at every moment of our existence that we don't earn on or necessarily deserve.
And having utmost gratitude, ultimate gratitude towards the divine is an act of worship, just like we mentioned previously, we must give him extensive praise. That's a act of worship, and ultimate gratitude is also an act of worship.
Also, we have to understand here that since allies are creating sustains everything, and we are dependent on him alone, allies Allegheny, he is the independent, the free, the rich, if you like, and we are dependent on him.
Think about when we were born, we couldn't lift our necks, we couldn't feed ourselves, we could even wipe our own pusteria we were dependent on others, and all those things are ultimately dependent on the divine, even our existence today. Our existence today, the fact that we breathe and we can eat
Then we can do so many things. Because there is a system is in place, there are other people that are contributing to the system. We are all connected in some amazing way. And all of these things are ultimately connected to, and dependent on the divine from that point of view because he maintains and sustains them. So we must truly understand that not only must we have ultimate gratitude towards the divine, because he gives us something that is priceless, that's free, that we don't necessarily earn on and deserve. But also we must understand that we are ultimately dependent on him because everything depends on him, including me and you.
The third point,
Allah is worthy of worship, because he provides us with innumerable favors,
favors blessings, we cannot individually count, we cannot enumerate. Allah says in the Quran in chapter 14, verse 34. And if you trying to count the favors of God of Allah, you could not enumerate them, indeed, mankind is generally most unjust and ungrateful. Think about this, think about the following thought experiment. Because when I was thinking about this verse, I wanted to give an example, that can resonate with any type of person, irrespective of their level of well being.
And I think I found it.
It's the heartbeat.
We already spoke about the priceless nature of life. The heartbeat is one of the biological physical causes that's in place to keep us alive. If we don't have a heartbeat, we don't have life.
We want to have a heartbeat, we don't have existence.
I want you to think about this.
Try and count, enumerate individually, all of the heartbeats you've had in a lifetime so far.
Try it 1234. Continue. It is actually logically and practically impossible. Because for the first two or three years, you have a backlog because you don't know how to count. When you're sleeping, you have a backlog, because you can't count when you're sleeping. The point here is you cannot individually enumerate and count
the heartbeats you've had in a lifetime. Imagine trying to be grateful for each one of those heartbeats. Every time you have a heartbeat, you say, Thank you, Allah, thank you, good. Alhamdulillah, which means all praise and gratitude belong to God. Imagine doing that after every heartbeat, it's actually practically impossible.
And we spoke about the prices nature of life.
You know, if you had only 1000 heartbeats left, and I said to you, I'll give you another million heartbeats. Only if you give me all of your wealth, you would give me all of your wealth.
But yet, brothers and sisters and friends, we can't even enumerate our heartbeats. We can't even individually count the heartbeats we've had in a lifetime.
And that's one blessing.
Imagine anything else, apart from a heartbeat. That's why I say to my family, anything above a heartbeat is a bonus. If we truly internalize this, we'll be in a state of spiritual and existential contentment will be content. Because we realize deep down in our hearts that we can be grateful for these basic things like a heartbeat, imagine everything else. It's all about perspective. So the fourth reason why Allah is worthy of worship is self love.
Okay, you may be thinking, What's going on here? Well, let me explain.
If you love yourself, you must love God, you must love Allah. This is what we're seeing here. This is one of the reasons why Allah is worthy of worship and loving Allah is an expression and manifestation of worship.
Now, what I'm talking about here is not the type of self love that you think is egotistical, or, you know, a sign of a narcissist know, the self love I'm talking about is a mature self love. It's the type of self love that you would read in the book of Erich Fromm, when he wrote the art of loving. And he says that self love is essentially wanting good for yourself. And this is also echoed by Al ghazali, the 11th century theologian in his magnum opus, and in his 36th book of his magnum opus, where he talks about love into intimacy and contentment with the divine. And he talks about that, you know, you should want good for yourself, right? And this is an expression of, of self love. And
what's interesting here is that you need to really understand that if you don't love yourself, how can you love anybody else? Think about this, because the closest thing to you, is you and if you can't relate to yourself in a way that you want goodness for yourself, then how can you truly want goodness and by extension, true
love anybody else. And that's why those people who manifest evil and they hate others. It's because they don't really love who they are.
So the argument here is if you love yourself, you must love Allah, you must love God. Why? Well, Al ghazali makes an argument. He basically says, You must have a life you truly love yourself, because who created you, who created the physical causes in the universe that you use to manipulate and you, you know, use and manipulate in order to embrace pleasure and run away from pain you use to embrace goodness, and to run away from evil. It is online is that, who is the source of loving of love Allah, Who is the source of goodness, Allah.
So if you truly want good for yourself, which is self love, then you have to love Allah, because he's the source of love and the source of goodness and he's the one who created the physical causes that you use in the universe to run away from pain, and play, embrace pleasure. So if you truly love yourself, you must love Allah.
And if you don't, then you just besotted with your fleshy appetites as Al ghazali said, he says, In the 36 book of his magnum opus, that he had the revival of the religious sciences. He says, Whoever is so besotted by his fleshy appetites as to lack this love neglects his Lord and creator, he possesses no authentic knowledge of Him, His gaze is limited to his cravings, and two things of sense.
The fifth reason why alone is worthy of worship, which is connected to the fourth reason is that Allah is loving, and His love is the most purest form of love. In the Islamic tradition, a law's name is alpha dude coming from the word word, which means a loving that is giving. And it's not only a loving, that is giving base, a type of love, that wants to convince you to love him, will do anything in order for you to love him to, essentially. So it's very important for you to understand this, this type of love is a very powerful love.
And it's the most purest form of love.
It's the most purest form of love. Why am I saying this? Well think about this. What is the greatest amount of manifestation of love in the world, the greatest manifestation of love in the world is really a mother's love. Don't get me wrong, some mothers can be very evil. We've seen this human beings can be very bad and evil, we know this. But generally speaking, when we think about the greatest form of love, a sacrificial type of love, we're thinking about a mother's love. And mother's love can be the most greatest form of love that we experience. However, a mother's love is contingent, meaning it is limited from the point of view, that it is dependent on her need to love.
She loves because it completes her. She loves because she needs to love and her love is not maximally perfect. She may love all of her 10 children in such an amazing way. But she may not love for example, you know, someone else's children. The point here is her love is limited in some way. It's flawed in some way. And it is contingent, it's not pure, from the point of view, because she needs to love it completes her. However, with Allah, His love is the most purest form of love. Because he doesn't mean to love He is alleghany meaning the independent, the free, the rich, his love doesn't complete him in any way. But yeah, he loves, he gains nothing by loving yet he loves
it's the most purest form of love, because we know His love is to the highest degree possible without any deficiency without any flaw. This is Allah. He doesn't need to love. He doesn't complete him. He benefits nothing from loving yet he loves imagine how pure that love is. Think about this brothers and sisters and friends, you might know someone comes into your room right now and they can be described as the most loving being that has ever walked on this planet. What's gonna happen to your heart? something's gonna happen. You need to be compelled to want to taste some of that love. Embrace some of that love, know why that human being loves that way experienced some some of that
or by greater reason rather, if God's love is the most purest form of love,
then surely, we should want to love the divine and loving the divine is an act of worship.
And how do we love the divine what Allah told us in the Quran in chapter three, verse 31, and he speaks to the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam upon him the peace he says, say, oh Mohammed say
if you love God
Then follow me. So God will love you, and forgive your sins and God is Forgiving and Merciful. So Allah says this, say, and he's referring to the Prophet Mohammed upon him the peace. If you love a life you love God, then follow me, meaning follow Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam. So God will love you and forgive your sins, and God is forgiving, and merciful.
So the point here is,
God is worthy of our love, because he is the loving and His love is the most purest form of love. It's not dependent on anything. He gains nothing by loving yet he loves and His love is maximally perfect to the highest degree possible. So we should be compelled to on to love Allah. Just like if we were to understand that someone that walks past, you know, our house or enters, you know, our classroom or someone that we experienced, someone says that this person has the greatest form of human love that you can ever imagine. something's going to happen in your heart to try and experience some of that love. By greater reason. God's love transcends that type of love. It's the
highest form of love is pure and perfect, without any deficiency and without any flaw.
So from this point of view, we should be compelled to love the divine and loving the divine loving Allah is a form of worship.
The sixth reason why Allah is worthy of worship.
Worship is part of who we are. Allah says in the Quran in chapter 51, verse 36, I did not so Allah is saying here, I did not create the jinn the spirit world, nor mankind, except to worship me except to worship Allah. So our purpose in life is to worship the divine we are already mentioned that to worship Allah is to know a lot to love a lot to obey Allah, and to direct all acts of worship to Allah alone. And we've been created with this innate disposition to worship the divine. Because think about it, brothers and sisters, don't we want to know something? At some point in our lives? Don't we want to love something at some point in our lives? Don't we obey and refer to things at
some point in our lives? Don't we
direct our acts of worship, like gratitude towards something in our lives? Of course we do. And that's what worship really means. So if there is something that you always want to know the most, at one point in your life, there was something that you wanted to know the most, at some point in your life, or there is something that you went to that you wanted to love the most at some point in your life, or that you did love the most, at some point in your life, if there was something that you obeyed the most at some point in your life, or referred to the most, at some point in your life. And if there was something that you showed ultimate gratitude towards the most at some point in your
life, and that was your object of worship, from that point of view? And isn't it interesting that humans are doing that all the time, it's as if this kind of, we have an innate drive to worship something from this perspective. So we've been created with this kind of innate disposition and what's very interesting in the Islamic spiritual tradition, which I'll talk about another time, but just briefly summarize that we believe that every human being every human being is born in a state of fitrah fitrah coming from the Arabic trilateral stem, Fatah, which you have words like photron, and Fatah who, that something has been created within us. And that thing within us has forms of
knowledge. There's basic forms of knowledge within our fitrah within our innate disposition, number one, that a lot of good is a reality. And number two, that He's worthy of praise, right, which is an act of worship. But what happens over time based on the authentic tradition, that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam told us that every child is born in this state of fitrah, this innate disposition, but his parents essentially changed him. And that's I'm just paraphrasing the prophetic tradition that can be found in Sahih Muslim in the authentic narrations of Muslim. Now, what's very important here that we have to understand is that we have this innate disposition, it has forms of
knowledge, I call it proton knowledge or primary knowledge. And that knowledge is that allies of reality that He's worthy of praise. But over time, the fitrah gets clouded. Right, the fitrah gets clouded.
And it covers the fitrah. So we can't manifest right, what's natural to us, which is worshipping alone, we end up worshiping something else we have misdirected worship.
So that's why it's the role of Muslims. You know, just to reach out to our brothers and sisters in humanity to help them unclouded the innate disposition so they can really reconnect with the divine soul
The sixth reason why Allah is worthy of worship is because of who we are. It is us, we are linked to the divine by virtue of the fact that he created us and He created us with an innate disposition to acknowledge Him and to praise him.
So the seventh reason why Allah is worthy of worship, is that Allah is worthy of worship because He is worthy of our obedience. And obeying God is a form of worship. Allah says in the Quran in chapter three, verse 132, and obey God and the Prophet so that you may be given mercy.
Now, the profit is mentioned here, Sal, Allahu Allah, who has appointed VPS. Because we know in the Islamic spiritual tradition, that we obey the Prophet, because obeying the Prophet is obeying God because God told us to obey the Prophet. So the point here is, God says in chapter three, verse 13132, to obey Allah to obey God. And we mentioned previously, the obedience to Allah is a form of worship. And you may be thinking, isn't this a bit backward? A bit medieval, you know, obey God? Isn't this like, you know, going back to the 14th? century? No, of obedience to the divine is the peak of reason. obedience to the divine, is
the highest expression of your cognitive faculties? Why am I saying this? Think about it. Don't we obey and refer to things all the time? When we go to a doctor, and we speak to the doctor, and we give them our symptoms? They give us some medication? Do we question the doctor in any particular way? Do we say oh, you know, your, your seven to 10 years of studies is a load of rubbish, I'm not going to take it seriously. When you go to the pharmacy to collect your, your your medicine, you start questioning the molecular structure of the compounds?
Of course not. You obey them, you refer to them by virtue of their authority, because of the medical background experience in all of these things.
So it's a cop out to say, Oh, you shouldn't obey God, why? No, we will be authorities all the time. What about when I go on a plane? Right? I don't really like turbulence these days. And when the pilot says, ladies and gentlemen, oh, no, the pilot, but they're the person. I don't know what you call them these days as a hostess, right? When she says, you know,
ladies and gentlemen, please sit down, we're going to be experiencing some turbulence, sit down and fasten your seat belt. Now, what do I do? Do I listen to the air hostess and sit down and fasten my seatbelt? Or do I just ignore her and start doing the moonwalk on the aisle? Of course not. I obey her authority, because they know about the plane they know about turbulence and other signs of turbulence. They know all of this stuff, I don't really know. Well, I don't know as much as they do. So I refer to the authority I obey them, right? We do this all the time, in almost nearly every sphere of our lives. So why is it okay to obey lesser authorities but not the ultimate authority?
Why is it okay to obey? Less authority is like a medical practitioner, and an airhostess, or a pilot, but it's not a key to obey God, who's the ultimate authority.
Let's not forget who God is. He knows everything. He has the totality of wisdom and knowledge, Allah is Al Hakim, he is the wise, he's alene. He is the knowing Allah, God has the picture, we just have a pixel, if we have a pixel, we have a pixel a understanding of reality. And God from his total knowledge is telling us we must do something that we must obey by virtue of who God is. Now, obviously, you don't suspend your reason. his thumb doesn't teach us to do this. Because when we read and look at God's commands, we have to understand well, what is God telling us? Right? Obviously, there's a nuance to this. However, in the grand cosmic scheme of things, when God
commands something, it is irrational, to not obey God's commands, we can embed a pilot, a an air hostess or medical practitioner, but you're saying now we shouldn't obey God.
And it's not backwards to do so. Because it's rational to obey those less authorities.
It is even more rational to obey God because he's the ultimate authority. He has the totality of wisdom and knowledge. We don't.
And this is interesting because it echoes
Western epistemology, which is a study of knowledge. Concerning testimony. There's a field in epistemology called the epistemology of testimony, and there are discussions on believing in the face of others. And to cut long story short, you know, we always refer to this as of others. And we take testimony to be fundamental knowledge, not just us.
Because we can't know everything, just like Dr. Elizabeth fricker. She basically said that given that her limitations are parametric she, she has to refer to the authority of others because you won't know everything. So, when it comes to knowledge, it's not just about direct touch and feel and experience, you have to refer to the authority of somebody else. This is well known in western epistemology concerning testimony. Now,
on this point, which is very, very interesting, I remember how to debate with Professor Lawrence Krauss and we were talking about testimony. And he had this metaphysical presupposition that, you know, all knowledge or truth comes from basically experience from my remember, you'd have to go check, the debate was about I think, five years ago, Now, obviously, a lot and we changed, we were on a journey, we will grow for sure. But the point here is, I remember this point, because it's very interesting. And I was like, No, there are other sources of knowledge and he almost sniggered at me, or laughed at me from I remember. And I said it was testimony. And then he was like, are you serious
kind of thing? And I was like, yeah. I said, Do you believe in evolution? He's like, Yeah, I do the science. And I said, Well, have you done all the experiments yourself? Do you know all the science? Have you done all the sciences, of course, though, it's such a, it's such a massive, it's such a massive kind of body of knowledge now that you can't do everything yourself. Right? So you have to rely on the testimony or the say so of others, even if they claim that it's repeatable and testable, and it has been repeated, that's still testimonial knowledge, because you haven't repeated it yourself. Okay. And
actually, he's elaborate on something for you just to get the fundamental nature of testimony just to highlight this point even further. You know, Professor Cody, he wrote a book called testimony in 1992. And he spoke about that testimony is fundamental. And he quotes David Hume, because David Hume, as you know, is the Scottish skeptic. And he was a bit skeptical about testimony, although he did say that testimony is useful, but we only take it seriously because it's in line with our collective experiences. Now, Professor Cody's saying no testing is not only useful, it's a fundamental source of knowledge. And he basically counters Hume by basically saying to him hold on a
second, if testing is only useful, because it's in line with our collective experiences, then how do you know what our collective experiences are, you would only know our collective experiences, if you asked other people, because you can't experience collective experiences. Because you're not a collective, you're an individual. And if you only rely on yourself, to gain knowledge, through your experience, you have very limited knowledge. So Professor Cody here, he's actually he actually shows that testimonial knowledge is fundamental. You can't run away from it.
Don't get me wrong, testimonial knowledge can be wrong, inaccurate, but to so can improve our knowledge, our understanding of the empirical world could be wrong as well. Right. And if you studied the philosophy of science and, and philosophy in general, you'll understand that, you know, the way we see things can basically be skewed because of prior theories, right? This is good theory relatedness. But you can investigate that for yourself. The point here, I'm just trying to raise that testimony is a fundamental source of knowledge. And, you know, go to relevant references for you to understand that, if that's the case, we have to refer to the testimony of others. Now, what
about the testament of the Divine? Right? Who is the ultimate authority?
Anyway, To cut a long story short on the seventh reason why our lives worthy of worship, Allah is worthy of worship, because he's wherever obedience, if you can obey and refer to lesser authorities, then we must necessarily so obey the ultimate authority. Allah subhanho wa Taala. And interestingly, you know, when God commands something, and we must obey Him, His commands are no arbitrary. His commands are derivative of his will, of his nature of his will, and his work doesn't contradict his nature. So his commands are a manifestation of his will and his role doesn't contradict his nature and what is God's nature? He is Al Hakim, he is the wise he is an elbow dude, the loving of man, the
Merciful, I leave the knowing.
So really, Only a fool would disobey God. Right? So now we finished the seven reasons why Allah is worthy of worship. Let's talk about why does God need us to worship Him? That's a that's an objection. Right? You hear that all the time. All right. You say life is all about worshiping God, to know him to love him to obey Him and to be humbled before the divine and to direct all acts of worship to God alone. Fair enough. But does God need us to worship Him? Is that very needy? No, of course not. God doesn't need anything. He requires no completion. He's independent and free of any need. removed we said earlier, our last name one of his names is Allegheny. The integration
pendent, the free, the free of any need. Everything depends on him. Allah depends on nothing.
So it's not the case that Allah created us because of the need.
He doesn't need anything. But rather, He created us to worship Him because it's good for us. Through his wisdom and mercy, He created us this way to worship Him, and worshiping Allah is good for us. Another question would follow is, well, why did God create us to worship Him in the first place? Well, the first point you need to understand here is, well, if you can't find an answer, say hypothetically you can't get an answer. It doesn't affect the fact that a lie is worthy of worship, simple.
And it's one of those questions that you just don't know how to answer. But it's not an undercutting defeater, if you like, not having an answer doesn't defeat the fact that a light is worthy of worship. That's the point and need to be practical here. You're never going to get all the answers anyway, have some epistemic humility. Remember, it's only God who has perfect knowledge and wisdom, he has the picture, we have the pixel, there are some things that's going to be outside of your pixelated understanding of reality. And it could be this, the fact that you're trying to go into the depths of God's wisdom and knowledge. You can't do that, by virtue of who you are, you're limited
and contingent, and God's knowledge is
total, and perfect.
So it could be the case that God hasn't revealed to you the fact why He created us to worship Him in the first place. And that is part of God's wisdom and knowledge that we can access because we're just limited, we can only access God's wisdom and knowledge, from the point of view of Revelation, what he's revealed to us.
it doesn't really affect the fact that God is actually worthy of worship. And think about it, if we are here to worship God, and to and worshiping God will elevate us in rank and virtue to the point that we will experience divine eternal love and bliss and paradise, then that's what you should do. You shouldn't allow that question to undermine that, because that question doesn't really undermine it. This is a question that you may not be may or may not be able to answer. And not answering, it doesn't affect that or any shape or form.
The second way of addressing this question, which I think is very interesting, is to think about who God is, remember, God's names and attributes
are going to manifest themselves. And Gods names and attributes are maximally perfect, to the highest degree possible.
So take, for example, an artist and artists will probably manifest his attribute of artistic ability, right? For a greater reason. God is a barber, he is the source of all goodness, he is our man, he is the merciful, so he will manifest His mercy, and he will manifest His goodness. Now I'm not saying necessarily So, right.
But let's be practical here. God is merciful. God is the source of all goodness, he's our right man, he's Albert. And he will manifest His names and attributes into reality into our reality.
So from this point of view, I would argue that He created us to worship Him, because it's a manifestation of who he is. Allah is the Most Merciful alized, the source of all goodness.
And worshiping God is one of the highest forms of goodness.
And when we do this, we will attain God's mercy. So we'll create it for that will create for his mercy. And this whole story of us being on this earth to worship the divine is an expression and manifestation of God's names and attributes.
For example, Allah says in the Quran in chapter 11, verse 118, if your Lord had pleased, he would have made all people a single community, but they continue to have the differences except those on whom your Lord has mercy, for He created them to be this way.
Now, another thing to understand is that if a lie is about the source of our goodness, then surely isn't the best story ever told.
That we were sent down as human beings on earth, with freewill to choose between worshipping God doing good or not worshiping God and doing evil
and those who worship God and do good and you know, we're still weak but those who repent which is goodnesses Well, those who repent and do good and worship God, they get elevated to
a high virtuous degree of you know, being righteous and the righteous
Are those eligible for mercy go to Paradise forever to experience divine love and bliss? Isn't that one of the most amazing stories ever told?
Isn't this one of the greatest stories ever told? Isn't this the best story ever told? If that's the case, then this is a manifestation of who God is because God is a borrower, he is the source of all goodness. And this is the greatest story ever told. This is a good story. It's the best story.
So it just makes sense that we are actually living out this story because it's a manifestation of who God is.
Finally, brothers and sisters and friends,
you have to understand something very important here that everybody worships. Everybody worships, even if they're an atheist, even if the divine deny, everybody worships even if they deny of law. Why am I saying this? Because we what we said about worship, it means to know Allah to love a law to be allowed to direct all acts of worship to Allah law.
Now, the logic of this is, knowing something the most loving something that most obeying some of the most, and
expressing acts of worship to something the most, in this case, ultimate gratitude. If you're not doing this to Allah, you're doing it to something else anyway. Because there's always something in your life at one point
that you wanted to know the most, or that you love the most, that you will have been to the most or referring to the most, or you were expressing utmost gratitude towards the most, that was your object of worship. So all human beings worship even if they deny the divine.
And this reminds me of very powerful verse in the Quranic Chapter 39, verse 29, or Allah says, God puts forward this illustration, can a man who has several partners for his masters, of which they're at odds with each other, be considered equal to a man devoted wholly to one master, All praise belongs to God, though most of them do not know. This is an interesting illustration to tell us look, if you don't worship Allah, then you're going to be like a slave, a servant to many masters, and they're all arguing. But if you worship Allah, the One who truly has affection fee, who truly knows what's best for you,
then that will free you from the shackles of, you know, these other forms of slavery, that you have all these many masters that are currently your boss, your teacher pressure, your ideology, this that the other right.
So everybody worships from that point of view. So it's as if a lot of mankind have misdirected worship, you know, Muslims through compassion and intelligence should take that misdirected worship and direct them to the one who is worthy of worship, which is a loss of who and that is Allah subhanho wa Taala, the Lord of everything that exists. And let me end with a quote from Martin Martin links. In his book, ancient beliefs and modern superstitions. He's summarizing really well what I think I'm trying to say here, he says, equipped as he is, by his very nature for worship, man cannot not worship and if his outlook is cut off from the spiritual plane, he will find a god to
worship at some lower level, thus endowing something relative with what belongs only to the absolute. Hence, the existence today have so many words to conjure with, like to conjure with like freedom, equality, literacy, science, civilization, words, at the utterance of which a multitude of souls full prostrate in sub mental adoration. The superstitions of freedom and equality are not merely the results, but also partly of the causes of the general disorder, for each in its own way is a revolt against hierarchy. And they are all the more pernicious for being provisions of the two of the highest impulses. In mad
corrupt you up to me Pessina, the corruption of the best is corruption at its worst, but restore the ancient order. And the two idols in question would evaporate from the plane of this world, leaving legitimate earthly aspirations for freedom and equality room to brief, to take the place once more transformed at the very summit of hierarchy. The desire for freedom is, above all, the desire for God, absolute freedom being an essential aspect of divinity. Now, to be honest, this quote probably doesn't relate to why mentioned but it was interesting. Nevertheless, however, brothers or sisters, we all worship from the point of view that we want to know something the most at some point, love
something the most, we obey something the most, and we refer to something the most, and we direct acts of worship, like gratitude and praise towards things the most at some point in our lives.
That should be a law.
That should be a line that doesn't mean we can't love things want to know things. Of course, not both of our outcomes.
Be, it should be Allah and human beings that don't do that we should help them to realize why Allah is should be known why Allah should be loved, why Allah should be obeyed, and why Allah should be worshipped from the point of view that we direct all our internal and external acts of worship to him alone. And this was the message of all of the prophets. They came here to teach us who they should worship, and
we should worship Allah. May Allah bless you all for listening