The Purpose of Life

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Why are we here? What should we be doing with our lives? Such are the endless queries emanating from a universal question, ‘what is the purpose of our lives’? Across humanity, across the ages and across religions, the answer to this question has been a journey many have found exigent to conclude. Whilst some endeavour to provide answers, for many, such answers still fail to render contentment. Nevertheless, for over two billion of the world’s population, contentment to this question is found in the religion of Islam. The Quran, a scripture in which Islam establishes as a direct revelation from God, consists of a verse that is unambiguous in responding to the purpose of life. ‘…And I (God) created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone)’.[1] Subsequent to this verse, this composition will endeavour to expound the Islamic perspective on the purpose of life, what it entails and how this philosophy affects the lives of Muslims who adhere to it.

 

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Is there a Meaning to Life?

In essence, the term “purpose” is defined as ‘the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists’[2]. Furthermore, the term “meaning” can be understood as something having a purpose; therefore the phrases ‘meaning of life’ and ‘purpose of life’ share parallel connotations.[3]

Whilst pondering on what the purpose of life may be, the question arises as to what the significance of such an answer would be. Why is it that people consume themselves with such a phenomenal question? For many, it is presumed that there is no such answer so it is therefore futile for one to seek an answer. Nevertheless, whilst people continue on in their lives, this questions remains in their thoughts. Interesting studies in the field of psychology found that determining and understanding a meaning to life had a positive link with well-being. Studies indicated that people who acknowledged high meaning in their lives considered their lives to be ‘significant, purposeful, and comprehensible’ and such people were also found to have higher indications of ‘satisfaction, optimism, self-esteem and positive affect’.[4] The concept of “meaning of life” within mainstream psychology has been defined as ‘… the cognizance of order, coherence and purpose in one’s existence, the pursuit and attainment of worthwhile goals, and an accompanying sense of fulfilment.’[5] Intriguingly, evidences provided from studies concluded that there exists a strong relationship between psychological well-being and meaning in life.[6] Steger and Frazier explicate that ‘people need to feel that their lives matter, are understandable, and have a purpose or mission’.[7] Consequently, this necessity of self-perceived significance leads many towards religions; which in most cases are the sources for providing meaning, direction and purpose in life.[8]

 

Such can be said for those who adhere to the teachings of Islam. Whilst numerous people around the world seek to find meaning and purpose in their lives, for the adherents of Islam – otherwise known as “Muslims”; their religion has provided for them an explicit purpose to fulfil: ‘And I (Allah) created not the jinns[9] and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone)’[10]. It is apparent that this verse is elucidating that the sole purpose for which God (Allah) created humans was for the sake of worshipping Him. From the perspective of one outside of Islam to be reading this for the first time, it would be reasonable to consider this verse unmerited on a universal scale. However, from the Islamic perspective, this verse is consistent with the Islamic notion of “Fitrah” – an innate consciousness of God, in which every person is essentially born with a natural belief in God.[11] The prophet Muhammad ﷺ is recorded in the hadith (transmitted traditions) books of al-Bukhari and Muslim as saying:

“Each child is born in a state of “fitrah”, but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have you noticed any (young animal) mutilated before you mutilate them?”[12]

The Quran speaks of a covenant that took place between the human race and God:

  • And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this.”

  • Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?”[13]

The prophet Muhammad ﷺ explained that this assembly took place on the day known as “Arafaat” – the 9th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar, in which all the descendants of Adam from the beginning of time till the end of the world were gathered to bear witness that God alone was their Lord.[14] It is therefore implicit, from the Islamic perspective, that the belief and worship of the One God is essentially a universally innate aspect of every human being.

 

Before we endeavour to expound the meaning of the Quranic verse 51:65 regarding worship, it may be beneficial to clarify as to what exactly “jinns” are in comparison to humans according to the Islamic perspective.

 

Jinn

The jinn are essentially a creation of God made from a smokeless flame of fire that were created and existed before humans – who were created from sounding clay . The Quran states:

  • ‘And indeed, We created man from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.’[15]

Ibn Aqeel explained that the jinn are named as such ‘because they conceal themselves from people’s sight’[16], which is confirmed by the Quranic verse which states:

  • Verily, he (the Shaytaan) and Qabiluhu (his soldiers from the jinns or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them.[17]

Similarly to humans, the jinn have been created with free will, reside on earth and are considered to live similar lives in a sense of living, getting married and being of various religions.[18] Essentially, it is due to this “free will” that has been given to both jinns and humans that the Quranic verse regarding the purpose of creation has been directed at both beings.

 

What is Worship?

What exactly do we mean when we use the term worship? According the professor Macintosh, worship is in essence, connected to prayer, and is therefore defined according to the understanding and practise of prayer.[19] The Encyclopaedia Britannica broadly defines worship as:

…The response, often associated with religious behaviour and a general feature of almost all religions, to the appearance of that which is accepted as holy—that is, to a sacred power or being. Characteristic modes of response to the holy include cultic acts of all kinds: ritual drama, prayers of many sorts, dancing, ecstatic speech, veneration of various persons and objects, sermons, silent meditation, and sacred music and song. Also included in worship are acts of private response: spoken or unspoken prayers, silence, the assumption of particular postures, ritual acts and gestures, and individual acts of veneration of persons or objects.[20]

Whilst there are various interpretations and simplistic definitions regarding what worship entails, Islamic theology expounds a profound interpretation to what worship necessitates within the Islamic creed.

However, before delving into the details of what worship in Islam involves, it is necessary to understand the concept of God – considering it is the foundation of the entire religion; to enable the comprehension of the Islamic perception of worship.

 

“Tawhid” – The Unity if God

Within the Islamic creed exists a term which essentially elucidates the concept of God and differentiates the Islamic belief of God from all other religions. The term “Tawhid” is explained by Dr Philips as ‘literally…“Unification” (making something one) or “asserting oneness”, and it comes from the Arabic verb wahhada which itself means to unite, unify or consolidate.’ He further explicates that when used in reference to God (i.e. “Tawhidullah”), the term is in essence necessitating the realisation and ‘maintaining of Allah’s unity in all of man’s actions which directly or indirectly relate to Him’.[21] Whilst other religions such as Christianity and Judaism classify themselves as monotheistic religions, Prothero distinguishes the Islamic form of monotheism as ‘harder’. He asserts that ‘God is, for Muslims, absolutely and totally transcendent – far beyond all human conceptions of Him.’[22] Armstrong affirms that ‘the perception of God’s uniqueness was the basis of the morality of the Koran’ and that ‘Muslims must realise that al-Lah is the ultimate and unique reality’.[23] As the Quran explicitly states:

Say (O Muhammad): “He is Allah, (the) One.

Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).

He begets not, nor was He begotten;

And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.[24]

 

Traditionally, for the purpose of comprehending the requirements of Tawhid, Islamic scholars divided Tawhid into three categories:

  1. Tawhid ar-Rabubiyah – ‘literally “Maintaining the unity of Lordship” – that is, affirming Allah is one, without partners in His sovereignty’.

Coinciding with the Quranic verses:

  • All the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).[25]

 

  • Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things.[26]

 

  • “…While Allah has created you and what you make!”[27]

 

  1. Tawhid al-Asma was-Sifat – ‘literally “Maintaining the unity of Allah’s Names and Attributes” – that is, affirming that they are incomparable and unique’.

Coinciding with the verses:

  • There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.[28]

 

  • He is Allah, than Whom there is La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He) the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen (open). He is the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

    He is Allah than Whom there is La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He) the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory is to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him.

    He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.[29]

 

  1. Tawhid al-Ibadah – ‘literally “Maintaining the unity of Allah’s worship” – that is, affirming that Allah is alone in His right to be worshipped’.[30]

Coinciding with the verses:

  • And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).”[31]

 

  • Say (O Muhammad): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.”[32]

The third category of Tawhid is primarily the aspect of Islamic creed that we require in expounding the significance behind the verse ‘…And I (God) created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone)’[33].

 

 

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Worship – Servitude with Love

When asked precisely what “worship” in Islam entails, the eminent 13th century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah replied:

Ibaadah (worship) is a comprehensive term that encompasses everything that Allah loves and is pleased with, of both statements and actions, (both) the apparent and hidden’.[34]

Indeed, the concept of worship in Islam comprises of aspects neglected by most people’s comprehension of “worship”. Ibn Taymiyyah elucidates in his essay regarding worship and servitude that:

…the ‘Ibaadah that has been enjoined (upon us) encompasses the meaning of submission along with the meaning of love. It embodies the utmost degree of submission to Allah through the utmost degree of love of Him.

… One who submits to a person whilst possessing hatred for him is not an ‘aabid (i.e. worshipper) of him and (in contrast) if he was to love someone and at the same time does not submit to him, he is likewise not an ‘aabid of him…

Consequently, only one of the two (qualities) is not sufficient as far as the ‘ibaadah of Allah is concerned. Rather, it is necessary that Allah be the most beloved above all else to the ‘abd (servant) and that he holds Allah to be the greatest of all. Indeed, None other than Allah deserves total love and submission.[35]

It may seem bizarre as to how love would be interrelated with the concept of worship. As mentioned earlier, some define worship as merely confined to and apparent through physical actions. Manifestly, Islamic creed has integrated love as an integral aspect of worship, as exemplified by Prothero, that “shirk” (polytheism) – being the opposite of “tawhid”, can be to ‘take money, power, or nation as your ultimate concern’.[36] The Quran states:

And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more (than anything else).[37]

The early prominent scholars of Islam provided various explications regarding the concept of worship. Such was the distinguished student of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, who stated that ‘worship is observed by the heart, the tongue and the organs.’ Ibn Kathir, the renowned scholar for his commentary of the Quran, stated that:

To worship Allah is to obey Him, i.e. to do what one is ordered and avoid what he is prohibited from doing. This is the essence of the religion of Islam because Islam means to submit to Allah the Almighty with complete servility, obedience and humility.[38]

Ibn Taymiyyah elaborates that:

Hence, prayer; zakaah; fasting; hajj; being truthful in speech; fulfilling one’s trust; kindness towards parents; maintaining relations with kin; fulfilling pledges; commanding the good, forbidding the evil; jihad against the disbelievers and the hypocrites; being beneficent towards the neighbour, the orphan, the poor person, the traveller and the owned human or animal; supplication; remembrance (of Allah); recitation (of the Quran) and the like of such, are all types of worship.[39]

 

Nevertheless, whilst the Islamic perspective of worship may appear comprehendible and therefore simply accomplished, much of humanity, even within the Muslim world find difficulty acknowledging this creed of worship. Various sects of Islam such as some “Sufi” (mystic) orders deem the essence of tawhid to merely be the realisation and confession of Allah being the Creator, i.e. “Tawhid ar-Rububiyah”. This understanding of God – the defining of God to merely the unity of His Lordship; has been a common belief amongst humanity since the early civilisations till this current era. There a numerous verses in the Quran which directly confront this form of belief.[40] Of which are:

  • And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.[41]

 

  • Say: “Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein? If you know!”

They will say: “It is Allah’s!” Say: “Will you not then remember?”

Say: “Who is (the) Lord of the seven heavens, and (the) Lord of the Great Throne?”

They will say: “Allah.” Say: “Will you not then fear Allah (believe in His Oneness, obey Him, believe in the Resurrection and Recompense for each and every good or bad deed).”

Say “In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything (i.e. treasures of each and everything)? And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector, (i.e. if Allah saves anyone none can punish or harm him, and if Allah punishes or harms anyone none can save him), if you know.”

They will say: “(All that belongs) to Allah.” Say: “How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth?”[42]

The very last verses mentioned were revealed to the prophet Muhammad as a direct refutation to the polytheists that existed around him. At that time, such people were not considered merely polytheists, disbelievers or idolaters because they rejected the creed of Tawhid. In essence, they acknowledged Tawhid ar-Rububiyah (the unity of God’s Lordship), but rejected Tawhid al-Ibadah (the unity of God’s worship). For that reason, God explained in the Quran that if you were to ask them who created the heavens and earth they would declare it was Allah, but despite their understanding of this, they insisted in worshipping others alongside Allah.[43]

 

It is therefore inherent that worship within Islamic theology is primarily, not limited to merely acknowledging the unity of God’s existence, but exemplifying this acknowledgement through one’s heart, tongue and limbs. An example of such perplexity in creed would be in the case of a Christian. A Christian would never consider themselves as a polytheist despite their supplicating to Jesus or Mary alongside God the “father”, due to their belief that monotheism is merely confined to acknowledging that there exists only One God.[44] God states in Quran, regarding such conduct:

  • And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him![45]

 

  • Have they taken others as intercessors besides Allah? Say: “Even if they have power over nothing whatsoever and have no intelligence?”

Say: “To Allah belongs all intercession. His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then to Him you shall be brought back.”[46]

 

To be regarded as a Muslim, it is required that a person believes and testifies with the declaration of faith: ‘lā ʾilāha ʾillà l-Lāh, Muḥammadur rasūlu l-Lāh’ (There is no god but Allah alone and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). More literally, this phrase is actually declaring that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone due to the word “ilah” being used. The term “ilah” refers to that which worship is given to, whilst not being regarded as one that creates. It is therefore vital to believe that worship must be directed to God (Allah) alone, as opposed to the notion that the declaration is to merely recognise Allah as they only god.[47]

 

Accordingly, we should now be able to grasp what the Quranic verse ‘…And I (God) created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone)’ entails. It is evident that with this verse, God is demanding from His creation that, not only do they acknowledge the “fitrah” (natural inclination to believe in God), but that they devote their lives to seeking His pleasure, obeying His commands and abstaining from His prohibitions. As the Quran states, ‘And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.’[48] However, according to the Islamic creed, it is crucial to recognise that whilst God commands His creation to worship Him, He is not actually in need of their worship, nor does it benefit or decrease what He has. Dr Philips asserts that on the contrary, it is humans who are actually in need of worshipping God.[49] Moreover, whilst it may come as a surprise and seem incongruous to make such a suggestion, as we discussed earlier, according to studies in psychology, results indicated that determining some form of meaning in life was distinctly a means in attaining well-being.[50] Nevertheless, there remains a portion of humanity that find such a concept of “purpose” problematic. Albeit, even as Islam provides an answer to the question regarding the purpose of life, the universal question of ‘why do bad things happen’ arises. Uncertainty remains, as to why humans are living in this world to worship God rather than worshipping God wherever He is.

 

There are various topics within Islamic theology that require discussion to attempt to determine the reasons as to why this world and the people within it exist. Briefly, for the purpose of elucidation, I will mention the imperative points that require attention.

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The Hereafter

It is a fundamental principle of creed for every Muslim to believe that there is a life after death –known as the “Hereafter”. It is a pillar and thus a condition of faith to believe in the “Day of Judgement” or otherwise known as the “Last Day”.[51] The Quran consists of numerous verses and terms regarding the Day of Judgement, some of which are:

  • It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allah, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans…[52]

 

  • The Day when they will (all) come out, nothing of them will be hidden from Allah. Whose is the kingdom this Day? (Allah Himself will reply to His Question): It is Allah’s the One, the Irresistible!

This Day shall every person be recompensed for what he earned. No injustice (shall be done to anybody). Truly, Allah is Swift in reckoning.

And warn them (O Muhammad) of the Day that is drawing near (i.e. the Day of Resurrection), when the hearts will be choking the throats, and they can neither return them (hearts) to their chests nor can they throw them out. There will be no friend, nor an intercessor for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), who could be given heed to.[53]

 

Islamic theology maintains a belief in both a “Paradise” and a “Hell-Fire” as final destinations for eternity. “Hell-Fire” is elucidated as an abode of punishment and anguish destined for those who oppose God by any means.[54] The Quran states:

  • Then, for him who Tagha (transgressed all bounds, in disbelief, oppression and evil deeds of disobedience to Allah).

And preferred the life of this world (by following his evil desires and lusts),

Verily, his abode will be Hell-fire…[55]

  • This is so! And for the Taghun (transgressors, disobedient to Allah and His Messenger – disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, criminals, etc.), will be an evil final return (Fire),

Hell! Where they will burn, and worst (indeed) is that place to rest![56]

As for “Paradise”, it is elucidated as an abode of tranquillity and delight that is beyond imagination, destined for those who earned the pleasure of God.[57] The Quran states:

  • Allah has promised to the believers -men and women, – Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of ‘Adn (Eden Paradise). But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success.[58]

 

  • And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.”[59]

 

 

The Life of This World

There are various verses in the Quran which are explicit in responding to the question as to why life on earth exits, such as:

  • (It is He) Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving…[60]

  • Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.[61]

 

As for the reason as to why the universe and everything within it exists:

  • Allah is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down water (rain) from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command; and He has made rivers (also) to be of service to you.

And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you.[62]

 

The Quran, without incongruity and ambiguity, enlightens its audience, that the life of this world is essentially a testing ground designed to determine who is best in deeds and is therefore the most worthy of eternal paradise, or eternal punishment. The Universe is hence, an arena established to merely be at service for life to exist.[63] The Quran also elucidates a vital point so as to avoid perplexity, enabling its audience to appreciate the wisdom behind such a test:

  • Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.

And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).[64]

 

Contentment in Good and Bad

2119c71abea5a660c03efc6677aa2e0cIn conclusion, this composition endeavoured to expound the Islamic perspective regarding the universal question, ‘what is the purpose of life’? Taking into consideration, the fact that Islam holds the creationist view regarding the evolution of life; we looked towards the Quran to determine what Islam acknowledges the purpose of creation to be. Hence, was the explication of the Quranic verse, ‘…And I (God) created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone)’. This thesis elucidated that in essence, the purpose of life in Islam was therefore, to worship God alone. In elaboration, we established that the concept of “worship” in Islamic theology is quite vast, that it may be simply summarised as anything that pleases God and is reflected through the heart, tongue and limbs. In conjunction with the understanding of the purpose of creation, this essay responded to the question as to why life on earth exists and why negative things occur in the world. This essay provided Quranic verses which were clear in recognising that essentially, life on earth has been created to test people according to their deeds and truthfulness in regards to their belief and worship of God. Good and bad things occur to test and determine the strength and genuineness on a person’s faith. Thus, the Quran states, ‘…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.’[65] So how does this purpose and philosophy affect the lives of Muslims who adhere to it? I consider the answer to be found in a hadith of the prophet Muhammad ﷺ recorded in Sahih Muslim:

“Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shown resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.”[66]

 

~Khushoo`

 

 

 

 

References:

  1. al-Ashqar, Umar Sulaiman, ‘al-Jannah wa an-Naar In the Light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah’, Kalamullah, (N.D), < http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Al-Jannah-Wa-Naar-Dr-Umar-Sulaiman-Al-Ashqar.pdf> [Accessed 27 October 2012].
  1. ‘Abdus-Salam, al-Imam al-‘Izz bin, ‘Trials and Tribulations: Wisdom and Benefits’, Kalamullah, (N.D), < http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Al-Jannah-Wa-Naar-Dr-Umar-Sulaiman-Al-Ashqar.pdf> [Accessed 27 October 2012].
  1. Abu Khalid, Ibrahim, ‘Positivism: The Right Mentality’, Kalamullah, (N.D) http://www.kalamullah.com/youth06.html [Accessed 27 October 2012]
  1. Al-Ashqar, Umar S., The World of the Jinn and Devils in the Light of the Quran and Sunnah, (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2003).
  1. Armstrong, Karen, A History of God, (London: Vintage, 1999).
  1. Burns, Jim. ‘Do I pray to Jesus or God?’, Campus Life, 64 (2) (September-October 2005).
  1. Encyclopædia Britannica, ‘worship’, Encyclopædia Britannica Online http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/649187/worship [accessed 27 October 2012]
  1. Ibn Hasan Al Ash-Sheikh, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman, Divine Triumph: Explanatory Notes on the Book of Tawheed, (El-Mansoura: Dar Al-Manarah, 2001).
  1. Jamil Zino, Muhammad bin, Islamic Creed Based on Quran and Sunna, (Jeddah: Dar Al-Khair, N.D).
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  1. Macintosha, Douglas C., ‘What Is Worship?’, Religious Education: The official journal of the Religious Education Association, 25 (10), (2006), 944-946
  1. Oxford Dictionaries Online http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/purpose [accessed 27 October 2012].
  1. Philips, Abu Ameenah Bilal, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2005).
  1. Philips, Ameenah Bilal, The Purpose of Creation, (Riyadh: Dar Al Fatah, 1997).
  1. Prothero, Stephen, God is Not One, (Victoria: Black Inc., 2011).
  1. Quran: Dar-us-Salam Publications, ‘Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Quran’ < http://www.dar-us-salam.com/TheNobleQuran/index.html> [Accessed 27 October 2012]
  1. Steger, Michael F. and Patricia Frazier, ‘Meaning in Life: One Link in the Chain From Religiousness to Well-Being’, Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(4), (2005), 574–582
  1. Taymiyyah, Ibn, Ibn Taymiyyah’s essay on Servitude, (Birmingham: Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution, 1999).
  1. Zika, Sheryl and Kerry Chamberlain, ‘On the Relationship between Meaning in Life and Psychological Well-being, British Journal of Psychology, 83, (1992), 133-145

 

 

 

Footnotes

[1] Quran 51:56.

[2] Oxford Dictionaries Online http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/purpose [accessed 27 October 2012].

[3] Ibid.

[4] Cited in Michael F. Steger and Patricia Frazier, ‘Meaning in Life: One Link in the Chain From Religiousness to Well-Being’, Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(4), (2005), 574–582 (p. 575).

[5] Cited in Sheryl Zika and Kerry Chamberlain, ‘On the Relationship between Meaning in Life and Psychological Well-being’, British Journal of Psychology, 83, (1992), 133-145 (p. 133).

[6] Zika and Chamberlain, p. 135.

[7] Steger and Frazier p. 575.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Invisible beings which will be explained further on in the essay

[10] Quran 51:56.

[11] Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2005), p.65.

[12] Cited in Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2005), p.65.

[13] Quran 7:172-173.

[14] Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Purpose of Creation, (Riyadh: Dar Al Fatah, 1997), p. 27.

[15] Quran 15:26-27

[16] Cited in Umar S. Al-Ashqar, The World of the Jinn and Devils in the Light of the Quran and Sunnah, (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2003), p. 19.

[17] Quran 7:27

[18] Al-Ashqar, p. 34-40.

[19] Douglas C. Macintosha, ‘What Is Worship?’, Religious Education: The official journal of the Religious Education Association, 25 (10), (2006), 944-946

[20] Encyclopædia Britannica, ‘worship’, Encyclopædia Britannica Online http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/649187/worship [accessed 27 October 2012]

 

[21] Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2005), p.17.

[22] Stephen Prothero, God is Not One, (Victoria: Black Inc., 2011), p. 36.

[23] Karen Armstrong, A History of God, (London: Vintage, 1999), p. 179.

[24] Quran 112:1-4.

[25] Quran 1:2.

[26] Quran 39:62.

[27] Quran 37:96.

[28] Quran 42:11.

[29] Quran 59:22-24.

[30] Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2005), p.18.

[31] Quran 16:36.

[32] Quran 3:64.

[33] Quran 51:56.

[34] Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Taymiyyah’s essay on Servitude, (Birmingham: Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution, 1999), p. 29.

 

[35] Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 37-38.

[36] Prothero, p. 37.

[37] Quran 2:165

[38] Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ibn Hasan Al Ash-Sheikh, Divine Triumph: Explanatory Notes on the Book of Tawheed, (El-Mansoura: Dar Al-Manarah, 2001), p. 13.

[39] Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 29.

[40] Ibn Hasan Al Ash-Sheikh, p. 11.

[41] Quran 12:106

[42] Quran 23:84-89

[43] Ibn Kathir, ‘Tafsir Ibn Kathir’, Quran Tafsir (N.D) < http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php> [Accessed 27 October 2012].

[44] Jim Burns, ‘Do I pray to Jesus or God?’, Campus Life, 64 (2) (September-October 2005), p. 12

[45] Quran 10:18.

[46] Quran 39:43-44.

[47] Ibn Hasan Al Ash-Sheikh, p. 11.

[48] Quran 17:23

[49] Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Purpose of Creation, (Riyadh: Dar Al Fatah, 1997), p. 28.

[50] Zika and Chamberlain, p. 133

[51] Muhammad bin Jamil Zino, Islamic Creed Based on Quran and Sunna, (Jeddah: Dar Al-Khair, N.D), p. 9.

[52] Quran 2:177.

[53] Quran 40:16-18.

[54] Dr. Umar Sulaiman al-Ashqar, ‘al-Jannah wa an-Naar In the Light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah’, Kalamullah, (N.D), < http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Al-Jannah-Wa-Naar-Dr-Umar-Sulaiman-Al-Ashqar.pdf> [Accessed 27 October 2012].

[55] Quran 79:37-39.

[56] Quran 38:55-56.

[57] Dr. Umar Sulaiman al-Ashqar, ‘al-Jannah wa an-Naar In the Light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah’, Kalamullah, (N.D), < http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Al-Jannah-Wa-Naar-Dr-Umar-Sulaiman-Al-Ashqar.pdf> [Accessed 27 October 2012].

 

[58] Quran 9:72.

[59] Quran 39:73.

[60] Quran 67:2.

[61] Quran 21:35.

[62] Quran 14:32-33.

[63] al-Imam al-‘Izz bin ‘Abdus-Salam, ‘Trials and Tribulations: Wisdom and Benefits’, Kalamullah, (N.D), < http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Al-Jannah-Wa-Naar-Dr-Umar-Sulaiman-Al-Ashqar.pdf> [Accessed 27 October 2012].

[64] Quran 29:2-3.

[65] Quran 2:216.

[66] Cited in Ibrahim Abu Khalid, ‘Positivism: The Right Mentality’, Kalamullah, (N.D) http://www.kalamullah.com/youth06.html [Accessed 27 October 2012]

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