In the context of religion, any act that brings about the satisfaction of Allah (SWT) and causes the nearness of the salve towards Him is known as an act of worship. Are all the acts of worship similar in terms of their value?

The acts of worship are indisputable of different kinds. Some of the acts are joyful and pleasant in nature, besides the fact that they can be acts of worship and obedience of Allah (SWT), such as eating, sleeping, and performing marriage.

Some other acts are not desirable in nature or driven by the instinct, yet approved logically and common among wise people, examples of which including seeking knowledge and helping the poor. Such acts, when performed as an act of worship and done with the intention of gaining the satisfaction of Allah (SWT), can combine the two aspects of obedience (Divine approval) as well as wisdom (logic approval). 

Some other acts are not desirable in nature or driven by the instinct, yet approved logically and common among wise people, examples of which including seeking knowledge and helping the poor. Such acts, when performed as an act of worship and done with the intention of gaining the satisfaction of Allah (SWT), can combine the two aspects of obedience (Divine approval) as well as wisdom (logic approval).

These two types of acts are acts of worship; however, nobody can be absolutely certain that his intention for performing such acts is only and only for the sake of Allah (SWT), or rather the intention of obeying Allah (SWT) is overruled by his wisdom or desires.

Nevertheless, besides these two types of acts, sometimes Allah (SWT) orders His slaves to do acts which are neither joyful nor wisely beneficial; such acts are favorable neither by one’s desires nor logic.

A research in the history reveals that Allah (SWT) has sometimes prescribed such actions for specific nations. For example, when the army of children of Israel, who were marching towards a battle in the way of Allah (SWT) under the command of Saul (Talut), reached a river, they were ordered not to drink from that river, even though they were extremely exhausted and thirsty(1).

Another example is a group of fishermen among the children of Israel who lived on a seashore. They were ordered by Allah (SWT) to refrain from fishing on Saturdays. However, with the order of Allah (SWT), lots of fish used to appear near the surface every Saturday, yet disappeared until the next Saturday (2).

We all know that the merciful Lord (SWT) does not want to put His slaves in difficulty, neither wished to deprive them from his blessings. So what is His purpose for making such orders?

By examining the verses of the Holy Quran, it would become clear that the purpose of Allah (SWT) for such orders is to evaluate the obedience of mankind, and to reveal whether what they claim in terms of obedience of Allah on their tongues matches their action.

Everyone gets married and seeks knowledge; most of the people help the poor; however, as long as desires and fame are involved, it is not easy to distinguish between one who acts based on desires from one who is truly submissive to Allah (SWT) and prefers His orders over any other benefits.

When a test is difficult and confusing, it provides the opportunity to increase the level of sincerity and submission and gain proximity towards the Lord through fighting the carnal desires and controlling the worldly measures of logic.

Many years ago, the merciful Lord (SWT) put His two sincere servants, Abraham and Ishmael (PBUT), into an extremely difficult test. These tests are such that neither one’s desires nor logic is able to handle it. In these cases, it is only the love for the Creator and affection towards the Lord that can save one from slipping into the valley of destruction and rescue him from the trap of doubt and hesitation.

We Muslims revive the memory of that glorious incident, which was the manifestation of true submission and ultimate obedience, every year by the order of Allah (SWT); we commemorate the day which Allah (SWT) has declared as Eid(4), because a day on which the flag of the Satan is taken down and the flag of the Beneficent (SWT) is raised is worthy of celebration.

(The above is a selection taken from “Hajj, the plan for perfection”, by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Zia’Abadi (with some additions))

The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims and Monotheists, especially you dear friend, upon Eid al-Adha, the day of hoisting the flag of obedience on the base of humanity.

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Footnotes:

1-    The Holy Quran (2, 249)

2-    The Holy Quran (7, 163)

3-    The issue of testing human beings is referred to in the phrases “Allah will test you” and “thus did We test them” in these two verses.

4-     In the prayer of Eid al-Adha, we recite:” I ask You in the name of this day which You have ordained as a day of Eid for Muslims…”