Personal effects on the individual

The effects of worship on deeds and behaviour1

The effects of worship on deeds and behaviour: Personal effects on the individual

Tahara (purification):

Tahara is a result of Tawheed of Allah as Tawheed motivates a Mu&"men to be in a state of Tahara more than anything else. Tahara is, therefore, loved by Allah. He (mighty and majestic is He) says: &"Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves&" (Al-Baqarah: 222).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"Purity is half of Iman&" (Narrated by Muslim).

&"Purity is half of Iman&" (Narrated by Muslim).

Tahara is half of Iman since it is one of its most important aspects. Allah loves all types of Tahara, which are

1-Moral Tahara (purification):

This means to purify the soul from the effect of sins, wrongdoings and shirk through sincere repentance, and purifying the heart from the filth of shirk, doubts, envy, jealousy, malice and pride. This purification can only take place by being sincere to Allah, loving what is good, being patient, humble, and honest, and seeking the face Allah (mighty and majestic is He) in all one’s deeds .

2-Physical Tahara :

This means to remove dirt and ritual impurities:

a- Removing dirt: This is done by removing impurities, with clean fresh water, from clothes and from the body, and the like.

b- Removing ritual impurities: This is done by making wudu&" (ablution), ghusl (major ritual Tahara) or tayammum (dry Tahara) in order to perform Salah and recite the Qur&"an, or to make Tawaf (circumambulation) around the holy Ka&"bah, or other acts of worship.

The relation between Tawheed and Salah (prayer):

Tawheed is reflected clearly in Salah, which is derived from the Arabic word &"sillah&" which means connection. Salah is, therefore, a connection between the slave and his Lord and an act in which the slave demonstrates his obedience, love, subservience and submission to his Lord. Consequently, Salah is the greatest of the pillars of Islam after uttering the two Shahadas (i.e. There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger - La illaha illallahu, Mohamadon rasoulollah). It is the main pillar of Islam and makes one have more certitude. When performing Salah, a person feels tranquil and also has a feeling of joy in his soul and of safety in his heart. Salah prevents a person from doing wrong and is a way of having one’s minor sins erased.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, &"The Salah (prayer) is a light&" (Narrated by al-Baihaqi).

Salah is a ritual that includes certain movements performed at certain intervals of the day. It begins by saying the Takbeer (Allah is the Greatest - Allahu Akbar) and raising of the hands, and ends with the Tasleem (may the peace of Allah and His Mercy be upon you - Assalamu &"alaikom warahmatullah).

He who abandons Salah because he does not believe that it is an obligation, is one who belies Allah and His Prophet and does not believe in the Qur&"an. This contradicts the very root of Iman. As for he who believes that it is obligatory, but abandons performing it out of laziness, he has exposed himself to great danger and a severe punishment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"Verily, between a man and disbelief and paganism is the abandonment of Salah (prayer)&" (Narrated by Muslim).

Some scholars are of the opinion that it is Kufr (disbelief) to abandon Salah due to being lazy, but not the highest level of Kufr. It is, therefore, either a type of Kufr that takes a person completely out of Islam, or it is the most major sin.

Salah has many great effects on the Mu’min, which include:

1-It prohibits immorality and doing wrong. The Most Merciful says: &"Recite (O Muhammad) what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do&" (Al-&"Ankabût: 45).

2-It is the best of deeds after the two Shahadas. &"Abdullah Ibn Mas&"ood narrated: &"I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): &"Which deed is the most virtuous (one)?&" He said: &"Salat at the beginning of its time.&" I asked him: &"What is after that, O Messenger of Allah?&" He said: &"Being dutiful to one&"s parents.&" I said: &"What is after that (O Messenger of Allah)?&" He said: &"Jihad in the Way of Allah’&" (Narrated by Muslim).

It is the greatest deed through which a slave draws nearer to Allah.

3-Salah washes away sins. It was narrated by Jaber ibn &"Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"The five daily Salat (prayers) are like a great river running by your door in which you take a bath five times a day&" (Narrated by Muslim).

4-Salah is a light to its performer in this world and in the Hereafter: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said the following about Salah: &"Whoever keeps on performing prayers (in its due time), it will be a light, a proof and redemption for him on the Day of Judgement. Otherwise, he will be assembled with Pharaoh, Qarun, Haman and ‘Ubai ibn Khalaf ” (Narrated by Ahmad).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"Salah is light&" (Narrated by al-Baihaqi).

5-Salah is a reason that Allah raises a Mu&"men to higher degrees and erases his sins. It is narrated by Thawban the servant of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that the Prophet said to him: &"Make frequent prostrations before Allah (in Salah), for you will not make one prostration without being raised a degree and having a sin removed because of it&" (Narrated by Muslim).

6-Salah is an act of worship which, more than any other act, makes its performer be in the company of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Jannah, as the Hadeeth narrated by Rabe&"a ibn Ka&"b Al-Aslamy (may Allah be pleased with him) states: &"I used to sleep at the Prophet&"s house and bring him his water for ablution and his needs. He once said to me: &"Ask (for anything).&" I said: &"O Messenger of Allah! I ask (you to intercede for me with your Lord so) that I be your companion in Paradise.&" He said: &"Is there anything else?&" I said: &"Only that.&" He said: &"Then help me (in interceding) for you by performing many prostrations&"” (Narrated by Muslim).

It serves as a connection between the Supreme, Powerful Allah and the weak slave, through which the weak becomes strong with the power of Allah (mighty and majestic is He), always remembering Him and attaching his heart to Him. This is the most important objective of Salah. Allah says: &"…and establish prayer for My remembrance&" (Tâ-Hâ: 14).

Zakat (a certain obligatory proportion of wealth paid annually by the Muslim to the poor):

It is a word that denotes growth and cleansing. The purity of the soul of the slave who has Tawheed urges him to give a part of his wealth so as to cleanse it. Zakat is a right that is obligatory upon all Mu&"meneen who have a certain amount of wealth, and it is to be paid from their wealth to the poor and those who are similar in status to achieve the satisfaction of Allah, cleanse the soul, and a give charity to the needy.

Paying Zakat cleanses the soul, the wealth and also the society, and stimulates its growth.

Zakat is of utmost importance in Islam. The wisdom of its legislation clearly indicates its importance, and the person who contemplates over this legislation will see the importance of this significant pillar and its great effects, which include:

1-Cleansing the human soul from stinginess, tightfistedness, greed and avarice.

2-Supporting the poor and filling the needs of the needy, the impoverished and the disadvantaged.

3-Establishing public interests upon which the nation&"s life and happiness depend.

4-Not increasing the amount of wealth of the rich and the merchants, so as not to limit wealth to a certain group of people or to allow money to circulate only amongst the rich.

5-Zakat renders the Muslim community a single family in which those who have sufficient money are sympathetic to those who are less fortunate.

6-Zakat removes that which is in the souls of anger, resentment, envy and hatred towards the rich for the livelihood with which Allah has blessed them.

7-Zakat is a barrier that prevents the occurrence of financial crimes, such as robberies, lootings and the like.

8-It is a means of making wealth grow in value, and not decrease.

Qur&"anic texts and those from the Sunnah clearly indicate that Zakat is obligatory. The Prophet (peace be upon him) pointed out that Zakat is one of the great pillars of Islam, and that it is the third pillar of this religion. Allah says: &"Establish prayer and pay Zakah and bow with those who bow (in worship and obedience)&" (Al-Baqarah: 43).

Allah the Exalted also says: &"Establish prayer and give Zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is All-Seeing&" (Al-Baqarah: 110).

In the famous Hadeeth of Angel Jibreel, the Prophet said: &"Islam implies that you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, establish prayer, pay Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the (House) if you are financially solvent enough (to bear the expense of) the journey&" (Narrated by Muslim).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Islam has been built on five (pillars): Testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Salah (prayer), paying the Zakat (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadan.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari).

Such texts clearly indicate that Zakat is one of the great and indispensable pillars and foundations of Islam.

As-Sawm (Fasting):

Allah has made As-Sawm an obligation upon the Muslim and one of the pillars of Islam aswell. As-Sawm is to abstain - with the intention of worshipping Allah - from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn until sunset. Allah says: &"Eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread (of night), and then complete the fast until the sunset&" (Al-Baqarah: 187).

Iman settling in the heart of the slave of Allah and the slave&"s Tawheed make the person fulfill what Allah has decreed upon him (of prayer, zakat, fasting etc.). Allah says: &"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous–&" (Al-Baqarah: 183).

The Mu&"men who has Tawheed feels delight when fasting, and hastens to perform it as best as he can. Allah says the following in a Hadeeth Qudsi: &"Every deed of the son of Adam is for himself, except fasting; it is for me and I will give the reward for it&" (Narrated by al-Bukhari).

As-Sawm is like a school that teaches one how to build Iman in the soul.

The results of As-Sawm on the slave of Allah are many, and they include:

1-It is a special bond between the slave and his Creator the Exalted in which there is an element of sincere self-control in the conscience of the Mu&"men, for there is absolutely no place in it for hypocrisy. As-Sawm makes the person aware that Allah is constantly observing him and also makes him have a feeling of reverance towards Him in his heart, both of which are noble aims and honourable goals.

2-As-Sawm develops a sense of order, unity, and a love of justice and equality in the Muslim Ummah (nation). It generates the feeling of mercy and the manners of beneficence in the Mu&"meneen. It also protects the society from evils and corruption.

3-It causes the Muslim to feel and sense his brother&"s pains, thus urging him to be generous and benevolent with the poor and needy, thereby fostering love and brotherhood amongst the Muslims.

4-It is considered a means of practicing self-control, accepting responsibilities, and becoming perseverant.

5-As-Sawn is a safeguard for a Muslim against committing sins and also an act of worship for which he is abundantly rewarded. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"Fasting is a shield (screen or shelter). Hence, the person observing fast should avoid sexual relations with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently. And if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice: &"I am fasting.’&" Then the Prophet added: &"By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person): &"He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I shall reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times’&" (Narrated by al-Bukhari).

Hajj (piligrimage to Mecca):

Tawheed appears clearly in Hajj, which is an act of worship that increases Tawheed in the heart of the Mu&"men and makes him become beautified with the perfect level of of Iman. In Hajj, a pilgrim announces Tawheed from the very beginning of his journey: &"Labayka Allahuma labayk. Labayka la shareeka Laka labayk&" (“O Allah, here I am responding to your call, here I am. Here I am, I witness that You have no partner, here I am&"). He continues announcing Tawheed until he returns home as sinless as a newborn baby and in a pure state of Tawheed. Hajj refers to travelling to Makkah at the time designated for that (in the month of Dhul-Hijja) with the intention of performing the acts of Hajj according to the instructions in the Qur&"an and in the way the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed his Hajj. It is an obligatory act of worship, as mentioned in the Qu&"ran and the Hadeeth and also the consensus of Muslim scholars.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, &"Going round the House (the Ka&"bah), running between as-Safa and al-Marwa and the throwing of the jamarat (stoning) are meant for the remembrance of Allah&" (Narrated by Ahmad).

The results of Hajj on the life of a Mu&"men include:

1-A reason for the expiation of sins. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"Are you not aware of the fact that Islam wipes out all the previous (misdeeds)? And verily migration wipes out all the previous (misdeeds), and the pilgrimage wipes out all the (previous) misdeeds&" (Narrated by Muslim).

2-Performing Hajj is a way of obeying Allah&"s commands. A pilgrim leaves his family and children, and puts on ihram [a piece of cloth that covers only certain parts of the body (for males only)] and announces Tawheed to his Lord, all of this just to obey Allah’s commands. This is why it is the highest example of perfect obedience.

3-Hajj is a way of attaining Allah&"s pleasure and entering Jannah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"…and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e. one that is accepted) is nothing but Jannah&" (Agreed upon)

4-Hajj is a physical demonstration of justice and equality among the people when they all stand together united at one place on Mount &"Arafat without any difference at all between any of them according to any worldy consideration; the only difference between them being due to their piety and their level of Tawheed.

5-In Hajj there is an emphasis on the principle of acquaintance and cooperation. Hajj strengthens the bonds between people; and consultations and exchange of opinions take place which lead to the progress of the Ummah and raises its position as a leader.

6-Hajj calls for Tawheed and sincerity. This reflects on the Mu&"men&"s entire life: so he does not ascribe any of Allah’s characteristics and rights on His slaves to others but Allah, neither does he supplicate to anyone except Allah.