The Meaning of Worship and Submission in Islam
  • Question:

    What is the meaning of worship (ibada) and of submission (islam)? A friend who I believe is close to accepting islam asked me this, but I was not able to respond correctly.

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    May Allah guide your friend to accepting Islam, and reward you for your aiding in this process.

    Worship (ibada) refers to our efforts of devotion towards the Divine, such as daily ritual prayer (salat), fasting in Ramadan (sawm), yearly almsgiving to the poor (zakat), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). It also includes one’s (optional) daily routine of litanies, such as reading the Qur’an, supplication, etc.

    Submission (islam) basically refers to the entire religion, which is called ‘islam’ since all of it is an expression of one’s submission to Allah.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
    Executive Director, SeekersGuidance & SeekersHub Toronto

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