What is consciousness in worship and its importance?

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What is consciousness in worship and its importance?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Shu’ur (consciousness) is used in the sense of feeling, being aware of the things around, being able to observe one’s own acts objectively and to have will in Arabic.

When a conscious person drinks a glass of water, eats a morsel of bread, he does them on behalf of his spirituality and gains thawabs. A conscious person does even the simplest worldly deeds under the surveillance of Allah peacefully and does things with good manners. 

Allah created man so that he would worship Allah.

"O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness." (al-Baqara, 2/21)

As a matter of fact, people are ordered to worship Allah in the verse above; besides it is stated that the purpose of the creation of man is worshipping. (adh-Dhariyat, 51/56)

"Say (to the Rejecters): "My Lord is not uneasy because of you if ye call not on Him:" (al-Furqan, 25/77)

It is stated in the verse above that Allah values only those who worship and obey Him.

When worship is mentioned, only acts of worship like prayers, fasting, zakah and hajj that are performed at certain times should not be understood.

In its widest sense, worship means to do good deeds that Allah loves and to avoid thoughts, words and deeds that Allah forbids and does not like with the intention of attaining the love and consent of Allah. 

Worship means (for a slave) to devote his life to Allah, to adhere to Him with his being and to seek His consent in all of his deeds. Intention is very important for it. For, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Actions are dependent upon their intentions." (see Bukhari, Iman, 42; Muslim, Imarah, 155)

If a Muslim utters all his words and does all his deeds and acts with a sincere intention, he will spend his whole life worshipping. His working in order to make his living legitimately, his eating, drinking, sleeping and resting in order to be strong enough to worship are also regarded as worshipping. For, all of his life is regarded as worshipping.

In our religion, the scope of worship is quite wide and the ways of gaining thawabs are made very easy. For instance, even to pick a stone on the way so that it will not harm others is regarded as an act of worship. (Bukhari, Jihad, 128)

"Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity (sadaqah), commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you." (Tirmidhi, Birr, 36)

“What people and animals eat from a tree that a Muslim planted is charity (sadaqah) for him.”(Muslim, Musaqat, 7)

Besides, it is stated that the sins of a person who gave water to a dog that was about to die by drawing water from a well were forgiven. (see Bukhari, Musaqat, 9)

A Muslim has to spend his day and night, winter and summer, youth and old age, in short, his whole life in the consciousness and joy of worshipping.

For, we do not know when, at what age and doing what death will come. In that case, it is necessary to have the consciousness of worshipping until death comes. As a matter of fact, Allah states the following:

"And serve thy Lord until there come unto thee the Hour that is Certain!" (al-Hijr, 15/99)

It is emphasized that acts of worship, which are our debt to Allah and a sign of thanking for the endless boons He has given to us, are not limited to certain times but that they have to be performed continuously and that every moment of life has to be transformed into acts of worship.

Hz. Prophet (pbuh) indicated the importance of continuity in worship as follows: "The acts most pleasing to Allah are those which are done continuously even if they are small." (Muslim, Musafirin, 218)

Then, we have to beautify every moment of our lives with worship and be ready as if we will die any moment; we have to provide provisions for the eternal journey by doing righteous deeds acting upon the following order: "And take a provision (With you) for the journey." (al-Baqara, 2/197)

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