Prelude

Balancing Worship: Between Secrets and Revelation

243-244

Every year, the Holy Month of Rajab visits us bringing along with it the good tidings of the season of light which is crowned by the Month of Allah – the Holy Month of Ramadan – concluding a course in worship and liberation from the narrow materialistic chains. This season ends with release from Hellfire for those who rightfully performed the obligation of fasting and praying.

Eyes stare, and souls are motivated wiping away the dust of negligence before ushering in a course in fasting and praying, while supplicating for Allah Al Mighty and asking for the needs and demands for this world and the Hereafter.

Now if someone wants to know the stance of Islam from these seasons and these worships, he finds himself between two crossroads, puzzled among statements from which contradiction is sensed.

One is lost between two groups of narrations. Some narrations urge collective works of worship and frequenting mosques and sticking to group work, highlighting that the supplication of a group of forty believers guarantees the answer to prayers.

Other narrations call for privacy in worship, condemning overt work as a source of mistrust. Still, a third type of narrations calls for competing in being known for piety and showing loathe for having others more pious in the country.

Now, is there any contradiction in that?

Contradiction can’t be unless the source of the narrations is one; but here the frameworks in which the different narrations are found are not similar. In fact, every narration highlights a benefit and asks for founding the circumstances that go with it.

It is indispensable to create a milieu of obedience amidst the believing society that encourages the heart of the old and in which the young grow. This milieu embraces the comers to the garden of obedience and closeness to Allah Al Mighty and teaches them the pillars of worship and adhering to it. It wipes from them the dust of materialism with spiritual breezes that blow from these acts of worship. Thus the believer leaves the cocoon of selfishness to taste the sweet flavor of uniting and harmonizing with the group. It unites between the bodies in the squares of mosques; perhaps that would be reflected harmony among hearts and true social communication. Thus the group takes the initiative to inspect after the absent; hence, the sick are visited, the dead are bid farewell to their last abode, the aggrieved are helped, and the agonized are relieved.

Now if man tries to increase his connection with Allah Al Mighty in a way that specializes him from the group, his pursue won’t be correct unless its goal is to get closer to Allah – a background that it best found in solitude and its accompanying sense of warmth and loyalty in finding solace solely in Allah Al Mighty. But if man seeks to be famous for that, his act would foretell backgrounds that do not go with the chastity of finding solace solely in Allah Al Mighty. In fact, the rule is crystal clear: Try to see one face that suffices you from needing to see other faces.

Thus any attempt to meet others instead of Allah Al Mighty with this appearance makes one’s loyalty suspicious.

This is as far as worship is concerned; as for piety – good behavior and evading guilt and bad behavior – it is a must to be famous for that, as piety must be the general appearance, and it is indispensable to be the main characteristic of the believing society as a whole. It must be the role model to be followed by the youth in their conduct. It binds the hearts of the pious people and entertains them in their journey. It, likewise, deters those who tend to deviate and makes this tendency of theirs seem resentful to them.

As such equilibrium in the religious conduct is achieved: collective obligations give a one and only one color: obedience to Allah Al Mighty, private worship that guarantees faithfulness in getting closer to Allah Al Mighty, and fame in piety that gives value to the sacred good conduct which is the general appearance of the believing society.

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