By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha
The essential rights towards God (Exalted be He) are to worship Him Alone and not to set up rivals or partners with Him, nor to attribute any sons or daughters to Him.
The eternal truth of all existence is that “la ilaha illa Allah” (there is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah), meaning that there is no so-called “god” or deity worthy of worship and absolute obedience. This is the Testimony of Faith of a Muslim that involves the following requirements:
– Allah alone deserves to be worshiped and obeyed in an absolute sense. None has the right to be worshiped along with or besides Him. All statements, acts and hidden intentions must agree with what the Almighty has designated. All actions of man must be performed for the pleasure of the Almighty.
Allah states in the Qur’an:
And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, (i.e. believe in My Oneness) (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship (i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness) they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (Ghafir 40:60)
– A Muslim is required to believe in the “Names and Attributes” that Allah has given Himself, or those attributed to Him through revelation by His Prophet and Messenger (peace be upon him).
No one may attribute any name or quality by speculation to Allah that neither Allah nor His Prophet and Messenger have attributed to Him. He must not offer any undue explanation or similitude or to express an opinion concerning these Names and Attributes of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:
There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Ash-Shura 42:11)
– Man must submit himself to Allah in faith with total and sincere belief, declaring with his tongue, accepting with his heart and showing with his actions the truth of the statement that Allah states in the Qur’an:
So know that La ilaha illa-Allah (none has the right to be worshiped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sins of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes). (Muhammad 47:19)
– Human beings are obligated to give full and total submission to the will of Allah. This is based on the instruction of the verse:
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error. (Al-Ahzab 33:36)
– A Muslim must have pure love of Allah as well as His Prophet and Messenger (peace be upon him). This love should dominate the love of other beings and his own self in times of conflict and contradiction. Allah says:
Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight…are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are the rebellious, disobedient to Allah. (At-Tawbah 9:24)
– Man must worship Allah only in the manner and form legislated by Allah through his Messenger and Prophet. It is not allowed to invent an act of worship through speculation and then ascribe it to the true religion. All the worship should be in line with the revealed religion of Islam. For example to offer the salah (prayer).
One of the fruits of offering and maintaining such prayer is that it helps to enjoin good and stop all evil acts:
Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’an), and perform the prayer. Verily, the prayer prevents from al-fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and al-munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering of Allah is the greatest indeed. And Allah knows what you do. (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)
The payment of zakah (obligatory charity) to the destitute and needy generates self-purification and elimination of miserliness and niggardliness, as well as alleviating the pains and trials of the less fortunate. Allah says:
He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification. And who has (in mind) no favor from anyone to be paid back. Except to seek the countenance of his Lord, the Most High. He surely will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise). (Al-Layl 92:18-21)
Observing sawm (fasting) enables man to have better control and self-discipline over temptations and passions. Man becomes more conscious of the sense of piety and God-fearing, and the needs of the poor and less fortunate:
O you who believe! Observing as-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become the pious. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)
Hajj (pilgrimage) has many benefits, as Allah states:
That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor who have a very hard time. (Al-Hajj 22:28)
The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”.