Friday Focus: Service and worship of God

…it has varied forms, single goal

Dr. Javid Iqbal
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 22 2018 11:00PM | Updated Date: Feb 22 2018 11:00PM

Serving God, worshipping Him—Ibadah is formed of root words--Ain, Bae, Daal (Abd). The etymology of the word is wide--service in its diverse forms. For the faithful serving God, worshipping Him implies a single goal--treading the straight path (Sirat-al-Mustaqim). In Holy Quran, the derivatives of Ain, Bae, Daal (Abd) find mention in 274 places in various versions of service and worship. It starts with the very first Surah:

‘’In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful, Praise be to Allah Lord of the Worlds, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement. It is You we worship and upon You we call for help. Guide us to the straight path, the path of those You have blessed, not of those against whom there is anger/who have earned Your wrath, nor of those who are misguided/who have lost their way’’ [1] 

It is You we worship (Iyaka Na’budu) the affirmation of worship and service forms a part of the very first Surah—Surah Al’Fatiha. Guidance to straight path (Sirat-al-Mustaqim) is noted as the purpose of worship, and avoidance of path of the faithless—who have lost their way.

Etymologically diverging forms of the same root word-- Ain, Bae, Daal (Abd) are noted below:

‘’Say, O disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what you worship, nor do I serve what you serve, nor do you serve what I serve. You have your way, I have my way’’ [109]

In the Surah quoted above, it manifests as La Abudu (I do not worship) Ma Ta buduna (what you worship) Wa La Antum Abiduna (nor do you worship) Ma A’budu (what I worship) Wa La Ana Abidun (nor do I serve) Ma Abadttum (what you serve) Wa La Antum Abiduna (nor do you serve) Ma A’budu (what I serve).

You have your way (Lakum Dinakum) I have my way (Wa Liya Deen). Deen may mean religion, in its wider sense, it is the way of life. It translates to the fact that there may be no compulsion in following one path or the other; there could be parting of ways. For the faithful however praying to One and Only God and serving Him is mandatory, on that no compromise could be contemplated.