Understanding Islam: Actions in Islam

Understanding Islam : Muhajid Navarra

We live in a world where values especially spiritual are being overwhelmed by the modern man’s need to live the good life that he could boast on social media. Consumerism or materialism has become the modern man’s religion where you could find one religiously following the latest trends in tech and gadgets and other material things just to make himself accepted by others.

God and religion may be talked about casually especially when bad things happen or upon uttering words of condolences to a bereaved colleague or during the town fiesta but no longer becomes the center of one’s existence as things were back then despite us Filipinos being considered as having one of the world’s more religious cultures.

Most of us may even have reserved some form of belief in God so as not to go all-out atheist for self- preserving reasons like, what if there a God and I did not believe in Him. Or his belief maybe situation based at best when one remembers God only in the time of need.

One of the reasons for this widespread belief or lack thereof especially among the youth is that in most religions, acts of worship are being given low importance by being made voluntary. When you think of it, going to church, praying the rosary and all the others are voluntary and one may do it or simply not do it and one will not really feel remorse for his absence or lack of performance of some acts of worship.

In Islam, things are different. In fact, it is one of the things that Islam is being criticized for. For being too dogmatic or too imposing upon its members. Islam has an entirely rigid system of classifying the Muslims’ actions which are not only clear and well-defined but also gives the Muslim the choice to prioritize. Actions in Islam are divided into two, acts of worship and daily dealings. Acts of worship may be further divided into two main categories, the obligatory and the voluntary.

Acts of worship in Islam are those that are done with the sole intention of worshipping Allah such as the five daily prayers, fasting in Ramadhan and the performance of Hajj. Islamic scholars have defined acts of worship as, ‘Anything that Allah loves and likes from the speech or actions that may be seen or unseen.

Acts of worship have been made known to us by Allah and we could not simply do any act of worship if it is not ordered by Allah in the Quran or ordered by Prophet Muhammad. We could not simply invent our own act of worship because such will be considered a religious innovation and is therefore blasphemous in Islam. Examples of religious innovations that are rampant among Muslims are the celebrations of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and other Non-Muslim celebrations. Celebrations are considered as acts of worship in Islam because it is something that is being done on a regular basis every year.

Acts of worship should also be done with due sincerity to Allah that we do it for the purpose of pleasing.

Allah alone and gain rewards from Him and not just to show off our piety or gain some material benefit from such actions. Much of the acts of worship are obligatory and Muslims are taught from a young age of the punishments in this world and the Hereafter if such religious requirements or obligations are not met. Obligatory acts of worship are rewarded if performed.

Acts of worship may also pertain to the actions of the tongue or the body. Worship by the tongue is by praising Allah and the recitation of prayers and remembrances of Allah throughout the day while the rest are acts of worship that are done by the body. Acts of worship may also be seen or visible to the others such as prayers and acts of charity or may be hidden such as the worship of the heart. Worship of the heart is done by having the correct feeling or mindset in one’s relationship with Allah. Reliance upon Allah, sincerity and the fear of disobeying Allah are three acts of worship that reside in the heart. There is no way that a Muslim could make other people see or describe to them how much reliance or fear of Allah he has. Only Allah knows of such.

The other type of actions are the voluntary ones which are rewarded if done but does not warrant any punishment for not having been done. Examples of voluntary acts of worship is giving charity aside from the obligatory charity upon the rich Muslims. There are also voluntary forms of prayers and we may say that each obligatory act of worship has a voluntary counterpart. One of the reasons for the legislation of the voluntary acts of worship is to give the Muslim the chance to fill in any shortcomings he may have on the performance of obligatory deeds.

Daily dealings is another type of actions that are done ordinarily beyond the acts of worship such as taking a bath, going to the grocery, and others. But In Islam, an ordinary or regular action may even be considered as an act of worship if they are done for the purpose of pleasing Allah. An example of which is going to sleep in order to wake up in the early morning for the dawn prayer which may make such sleep be rewarded fully as an act of worship. Daily dealings are actions that do not really require intention but would not hurt if done for the pleasure of Allah with due sincerity as it is always nice to have such intention in order to make ourselves aware that Allah is watching our actions.

Being god-conscious in our daily dealings is also a way of avoiding sinning such as cheating, stealing or doing injustice to others as these actions may ultimately be judged according to our intentions and the impact it had on other peoples’ lives. For more information about Islam please visit our Facebook page: Hasanah Media Agency.