Have you ever thought about an employee who works for company A but never does any tasks assigned by the employer? He or she instead voluntarily work for company B, C, D, and so on; which did not hire him and nor ordered him to do the tasks for them. We all can easily understand how his boss’s reaction.
As Allah created all in the universe without help of anyone, so He requires us to worship none excepts Him. He wants men and jinn to bow down to Him alone. He also commanded us to ask for help and sustenance only to Him. And He wants the servants to worship Him in the way He had chosen. Such God’s will is called tauhid uluhiyyah or monotheism.
The consequence of tauhid uluhiyyah is that a servant is not allowed to pray, fast, sacrifice, beg for sustenance, ask for help, and various other forms of worship except to Allah. This is in accordance with His word that we read at least 17 times a day,
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَ إِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِيْنُ
“Only unto thee we worship and only unto thee we ask for help.” (Surah Al-Faatihah: 5)
Let us recall the cause that Surah al-Lahab was sent. At the time, the Messenger of Allah call the inhabitants of Makkah to gathered at Shafa Hill. When they have gathered and are ready to listen, he asks, “What do you think if I told you that in the morning or afternoon the enemy will come to you? Are you going to trust me? “They replied,” Yes, “. He said: “I will warn you of a very painful punishment.” Abu Lahab said, “Is this for you to gather us? Cursed you! “Allah then sent down surah Al-Lahab’s.
The question is why Abu Lahab had to denounce his own nephew? Did not the Messenger of Allah warn the Quraysh of a grievous punishment? Did not the Quraysh recognize Allah as the Lord of the universe? The answer is that before the period of propagation in public, the Quraysh have understood the essence of his propagation, that is to worhsip Allah alone. The Messenger of Allah invites the Quraysh to say لا إله إلا الله but in fact they refused and stay away from him. People’s views on him changed drastically. From Al-Amin or the noble to accusations like madmen, sorcerers, or poets.
If the word Illah can easily interpreted as God, why should the Quraysh not stay away, hurt, and drive out the Messenger and his followers. Instead they are reluctant to accept the Prophet’s invitation because they understands correctly what the word Illah means, something that is worshiped with great love and glorification. Of course the Prophet’s invitation was stange to the Quraysh and other Arab tribes, for the doctrine of worshiping idols had become the habit of their father, grandfather, and their predecessors. Allah tells of their aversion in the letter of Shad verse 5,
أجعل الآلهة إلها واحدا إن هذا لشيء عجاب
“Has he (Muhammad) made the gods (all) into one God (Allah)? Truly this is a wonderful thing!“
Why did they stunned? Because they believed that it is not right asking Allah without the idol as media. According to the their beliefs, abandoning idolatry meant to leave something that could make them closer to Allah,
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى
“It is not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? But does who take the protectors other than Allah (say) “We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah.” Truly Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But Allah does not guide such as are false and ungrateful.” (Surah Az-Zumar: 3)
The method of worship which blessed by Allah
We are well-presumed that every Muslim has a good intention to draw closer to Allah. Such good intentions must be appreciated for showing a person’s love for their Creator. However, we should not forget the two important things that guarantee our worship are acceptanced. Those two things are:
Sincere or volunteer everything for Allah. Anyone who worships with the intention of gaining people attention, will see that their worship in vain. There are many arguments in the Qur’an and the hadiths of the Prophet who explain about sincerity. Among them are Surat Al-An’am verses 162-163,
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ. لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“Say “Truly my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, The Cherisher of the world. No partner has He: this is i am commanded, and i am the first of those who bow to His will.”
2. Following the example of the Messenger of Allah
Prophet Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, so understand more about the message of Allah than him? So, would it be appropriate for a Muslim to follow the way he taught? The propositions for following his examples are numerous, one of which is the letter of Al-Hashr verse 7,
وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوه وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا واتقوا الله إن الله شديد العقاب
“What Allah has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the township, -belongs to Allah- to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; in order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in Punishment.”