What does the concept of slavery (servitude) mean in Islam? What does to serve (worship) Allah mean?

The Details of the Question
What does the concept of slavery (servitude) mean in Islam? What does to serve (worship) Allah mean?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Servitude is a deed that organizes the relationship between man and the Creator, Allah. Therefore, the fact that Allah is the Creator and that man is created are emphasized in the first verses that were revealed:

“Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created― Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood.”(al-Alaq, 96/1-2).

The Quran attracts attention to this relationship in the first verse which calls man to worship:

“O ye people! adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you..”(al-Baqara, 2/21).

It is understood from the verse above that worshipping is a duty of the creation (nature) of man, an expression of thanks to the Creator, and a holy deed serving to realize the purpose of spiritual and bodily mechanisms.

Now we will present the reality of servitude, which we tried to outline in a few items:

Servitude is done in two ways:The first one is the servitude done in the absence of the Creator without addressing Him; the second one is the servitude done addressing Him.

1. The Servitude done in the absence of the Creator can be summarized as follows:

a. Servitude: To confirm the greatness of Allah and to applaud His art by looking at the wonderful deeds of the Creator seen all over the universe like creating, administering, arranging and designing.

b.Servitude: To see the beautiful arts which are the reflections of God's beautiful names, to talk about them and to show them to one another in order to take lessons from them.

c. Servitude: To evaluate the essence of the beautiful names of Allah, all of which are spiritual treasures, with one's mind and appreciate them with the heart.

d. Servitude: To perceive, think and meditate the pages of the universe as a book written by the pen of power and wisdom of Allah.

e.Servitude: To look at the wonderful arts, fine embroideries and decorated designs seen all over the universe, to watch the spiritual beauty and perfection of the Creator there and to know Him closely, to love and respect Him.

2. The servitude in the presence of the Creator addressing Him can be summarized as follows:

a. Servitude: To know that one is always in the presence of Allah and to act accordingly. To reach the doer through the deed and to reach the artist through the art.

b. Servitude: To understand that the Creator wants to be known by displaying His wonderful and miraculous arts; and to answer this request by belief.

c. Servitude: To understand that Allah, who is ar-Rahim (the All-Compassionate), wants to be loved since He Displays His products of His mercy as a reflection of His endless mercy by fulfilling this request of Allah; to allocate his love to Him and to try to make himself loved by Him by worshipping Him.

d. Servitude:  To understand that Allah, who is generous, grants people endless material and spiritual bounties and addresses people's material and spiritual sense organs, wants to give pleasure to palates and minds; in return for them, to present his praise and thanks to Him with his deeds, words and attitudes and even with all of his atoms if he can.

e. Servitude: To say,“Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahuakbar”  to praise Allah's attributes of  jalal (majesty) and jamal (beauty), whose reflections are seen everywhere from atoms to galaxies; to stand, to bow down and to prostate in His presence.  

In addition, servitude is divided into two as worshipping and serving: fasting, performing prayers, hajj, zakah are forms of worshipping; to produce all kinds of technology that makes life easy is also regarded as worship. For instance, to produce cars, to build ships, to construct roads and bridges, to establish factories that produce various technological products are also regarded as worship.  It is definitely necessary to aim to attain the consent of Allah and to be sincere if one wants his worship to be significant.

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