Prayer & Worship

Understanding Islam – Abul Al\’a Maududi


The earlier discussion has made it clear that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has enjoined us to believe in five articles of Faith:

  1. Belief in one God. Who has absolutely no associate with Him in His divinity.

  2. Belief in God\’s Angels.

  3. Belief in God\’s Books, and in the Holy Qur\’an as His Last Book.

  4. Belief in God\’s Prophet, and in Muhammad (God\’s blessing be upon him) as His Last and Final Messenger.

  5. Belief in life after death. 

These five articles make up the bedrock of Islam. One who believes in them enters the Muslim community. But by a mere verbal profession alone, one does not become a complete Muslim. To become a complete Muslim, one has to fully carry out in practice the instruction given by Muhammad (peace be upon him) as ordained by God. For belief in God makes practical obedience to Him incumbent; and it is obedience to God which constitutes the religion of alone is your God, and this means that He is your Creator, and you are His creature; that He is your Master, and you are His slave that He is your Ruler, and you are His subject. After having acknowledged Him as your Master and Ruler, if you refuse to obey Him you are a rebel on your own admission. Along with faith in God you believe that the Qur\’an is God\’s Book. This means that you have admitted all the contents of the Qur\’an to be from God. Thus, it become your bounden duty to accept and obey whatever is contained in it. Along with that you have admitted Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be God\’s Messenger, which means that you have admitted that each and every one of his orders and prohibitions are from God. After this admission obedience to him become your duty. Therefore, you will be a full-fledged Muslim only when your practice is consistent with your profession otherwise your Islam will remain incomplete.

Now let us see what code of conduct Muhammad (peace be upon him) has taught as ordained by God Al-mighty. The first and foremost things in this respect are the \’Ibadat\’ the Primary Duties which must be observed by each and every person professing to belong to the Muslim community. 


\’Ibadat\’ is an Arabic word derived from \’Abd\’ (a slave) and it means submission. It portrays that Allah is your Master and you are His slave and whatever a slave does in obedience to and for the pleasure of his Master is \’Ibadat. The Islamic concept of \’Ibadat\’ is very wide. If you free your speech from filth, falsehood, malice, and abuse and speak the truth and talk goodly things and do all these only because God has so ordained to do, they constitute \’Ibadat, however secular they may look in semblance. If you obey the law of God in letter and spirit in your commercial and economic affairs and abide by it in your dealings with your parents’ relatives’ friend and all those who come in contact with you verily all these activities of yours are \’Ibadat. If you help the poor and the destitute give food to the hungry and serve the ailing and the afflicted persons and do all this not for any personal gain of yours but only to seek the pleasure of God, they are nothing short of \’Ibadat. Even your economic activities the activities you undertake to earn your living and to feed your dependents are \’Ibadat if you remain honest and truthful in them and observe the law of God. In short all your activities and your entire life are \’Ibadat if they are in accordance with the law of God and your heart is filled with His fear and your ultimate objective in undertaking all these activities is to seek the pleasure of God. Thus, whenever you do good or avoid evil for fear of God, in whatever sphere of life and field of activity you are discharging your Islamic obligations. This is the true significance of \’Ibadat, viz. Total submission to the pleasure of Allah, the molding into the patterns of Islam one\’s entire life, leaving out not even the most insignificant part thereof. To help achieve this aim a set of formal \’Ibadat (worships) has been constituted which serves as a course of training. The more assiduously we follow the training, the better equipped practices. The \’Ibadat are thus the pillars on which the edifice of Islam rests.

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