Who do Muslims worship?
Praise be to Allaah
Before answering, we would like to express our appreciation for your interest, at such a young age, in the religion of Islam. May Allaah open the door for you to find much blessing through your asking this question, and decree for you guidance such as you have never thought of. Allaah [the Arabic name for the One True God – Translator] says in the Qur’aan [the Holy Book of Islam] (interpretation of the meaning):
“This is the Guidance of Allaah with which He guides whomsoever He will of His slaves…” [al-An’aam 6:88]
“And whomsoever Allaah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam…” [al-An’aam 6:125]
With regard to this important question – who do the Muslims worship? – the answer is to be found in the Holy Qur’aan, which is the Scripture of Islam, and in the words of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who received Revelation from his Lord.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“In the name of Allaah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All praises and thanks be to Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful, the Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e., the Day of Resurrection). You (Alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help (for each and every thing).” [al-Faatihah 1:1-5]
“O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allaah), Who has created you and those before you so that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious).” [al-Baqarah 2:21]
“Such is Allaah, your Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone), and He is the Wakeel (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian) over all things.” [al-An’aam 6:102]
“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.” [al-Isra’ 17:23]
Muslims worship Allaah [the One True God] whom all the Prophets worshipped. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya’qoob [Jacob]? When he said unto his sons, ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said, ‘We shall worship your God, the God of your fathers, Ibraaheem [Abraham], Ismaa’eel [Ishmael] and Is-haaq [Isaac], One God, and to Him we submit (in Islam).” [al-Baqarah 2:133]
The Muslims worship Allaah and call others who follow different religions to worship Allaah Alone, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“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 Allaah, and we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allaah.’ Then, if they turn away, say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:64]
It is Allaah Alone Whom Nooh [Noah] (peace be upon him) called his people to worship, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Indeed, We sent Nooh [Noah] to his people and he said: ‘O my people! Worship Allaah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!’” [al-A’raaf 7:59]
It is Allaah Alone whom the Messiah [Jesus] (peace be upon him) called people to worship, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Surely they have disbelieved who say: ‘Allaah is the Messiah [Jesus] son of Maryam [Mary].’ But the Messiah said: ‘O Children of Israel! Worship Allaah, my Lord and your Lord.’ Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.” [al-Maa’idah 5:73]
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (remember) when Allaah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa [Jesus], son of Maryam [Mary]! Did you say unto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allaah?’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours. You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen.
Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allaah) did command me to say: “Worship Allaah, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.’” [al-Maa’idah 5:116-117]
When Allaah spoke to His Prophet Moosa [Moses] (peace be upon him), He said (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, I am Allaah! None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me, and perform al-Salaah [prayer] for My Remembrance.” [Ta-Ha 20:14]
Allaah commanded His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as follows (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say [O Muhammad]: ‘O mankind! If you are in doubt as to my religion (Islam), then (know that) I will never worship those whom you worship, besides Allaah. But I worship Allaah Who causes you to die, I am commanded to be one of the believers.” [Yoonus 10:104]
It is Him Alone, with no partner or associate, Whom the angels worship and do not worship anyone or anything besides Him, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth. And those who are near Him (i.e., the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of His worship).” [al-Anbiya’ 21:19]
Everything that is worshipped instead of Allaah can neither bring benefit nor cause harm, it can neither create nor provide. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad, to mankind); ‘How do you worship besides Allaah something which has no power either to harm or to benefit you? But it is Allaah Who is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.’” [al-Maa’idah 5:76]
“You worship besides Allaah only idols, and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allaah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allaah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back.” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:17]
Having explained this, we must complete the topic by asking: why should we worship Allaah Alone with no partner or associate? The answer is as follows:
Firstly: because there is nothing and nobody else in the universe that deserves to be worshipped, for Allaah is the Creator and Sustainer, Who has created the universe out of nothing and has bestowed so many blessings upon us. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So glorify Allaah, when you come up to the evening [i.e., offer the Maghrib (sunset) and ‘Isha’ (night) prayers], and when you enter the morning [I.e., offer the Fajr (morning) prayers].
And His is all the praise and thanks in the heavens and the earth, and (glorify Him) in the afternoon [i.e., offer ‘Asr (mid-afternoon) prayer] and when you come up to the time when the day begins to decline [i.e., offer the Zuhr (mid-day) prayer].
He brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living. And He revives the earth after its death, and thus shall you be brought out (resurrected).
And among His Signs is this, that He created you (Adam) from dust, and then [Hawwa (Eve) from Adam’s rib, then his offspring from the semen, and], - behold you are human beings scattered!
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.
And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Verily in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge.
And among His Signs is the sleep that you take by night and by day, and your seeking of His Bounty. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who listen.
And among His Signs is that He shows you the lightning, by way of fear and hope, and He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and therewith revives the earth after its death. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who understand.
And among His Signs is that the heaven and the earth stand by His Command, then afterwards when He will call you by a single call, behold, you will come out from the earth (ie., from your graves, for reckoning and recompense).
To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are obedient to Him.
And He it is Who originates the creation, then will repeat it (after it has perished), and this is easier for Him. His is the highest description (i.e., none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [al-Room 30: 17-27]
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Is not He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you water (rain) from the sky, whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight? It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees. Is there any god with Allaah? Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)!
Is not he (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water). Is there any god with Allaah? Nay, but most of them know not.
Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when He calls Him, and Who removes the evil, generations after generations. Is there any god with Allaah? Little is it that you remember!
Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy (rain)? Is there any god with Allaah? High Exalted be Allaah above all that they associate as partners (to Him)!
Is not He (better than your so-called gods) Who originates creation, and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from heaven and earth? Is there any god with Allaah? Say: ‘bring forth your proofs, if you are truthful’
Say: ‘None on the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allaah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.’”
So is there anyone or anything besides Allaah that deserves to be worshipped?
Secondly: Allaah did not create us except to worship Him, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone).” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]
Thirdly: No one will be saved on the Day of Resurrection except those who used to worship Allaah truly and sincerely. After death Allaah will resurrect His slaves and call them to account, rewarding or punishing them according to their deeds. No one will be saved on that day except for those who used to worship Allaah Alone. The rest will be gathered into a Hell, a terrible fate! The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), was asked by his Companions: “Will we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?” He told them:
“Do you doubt that you can see the sun and the moon when the sky is clear?” We [his Companions] said, “No.” He said, “Then you should not doubt that you will see your Lord on that Day, you will see Him as you see them (the sun and moon).” Then he said, “A caller will call out, ‘Let every people go to that which they used to worship.’ So the worshippers of the cross will go with their cross, the worshippers of idols will go with their idols and the worshippers of every god will go with their gods, until there will be left those who used to worship Allaah, whether they were righteous or otherwise, and a few of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians]. Then Hell will be brought and shown to them as if it is a mirage. It will be said to the Jews, ‘What did you used to worship?’ They will say, ‘We used to worship ‘Uzayr, the son of God.’ It will be said, ‘You have lied. Allaah does not have a wife or son. What do you want?’ They will say, ‘We want something to drink.’ It will be said to them, ‘Drink!’ and they will fall into Hell. Then it will be said to the Christians, ‘What did you used to worship?’ They will say, ‘We used to worship the Messiah, the son of God.’ It will be said, ‘You have lied. Allaah does not have a wife or son. What do you want?’ They will say, ‘We want something to drink.’ It will be said to them, ‘Drink!’ and they will fall into Hell. Then there will be left those who used to worship Allaah, whether they were righteous or otherwise. It will be said to them, ‘What are you waiting for? All the people have gone.’ They will say, ‘We have separated from them and we need Him more today. We heard a caller saying that every people should follow that which they used to worship, so we are waiting for our Lord.’ He will say, ‘Al-Jabbaar [the Compeller, i.e., Allaah] will come…’ And He will say, ‘I am your Lord.’ They will say, ‘You are our Lord,’ but none will speak to Him except the Prophets… then every believer will prostrate to Him.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 6886). These believers are the people of Paradise on whom shall be no fear neither shall they grieve, and they will dwell therein forever.
We hope that this matter has now become clear. In conclusion we can say nothing except that which Allaah has said (interpretation of the meaning):
“Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his own self. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss…” [al-Isra’ 17:15]
Peace be upon him who follows the guidance.