7

If my interpretation of the ultimate purpose of human existence according to the Qur-aan is correct, humanity exists to glorify the existence of God.

“I have created the jinn and humankind only for My worship.” (Quran 51:56).

This outlines humanity's purpose as a device to glorify God.

But if God is a perfect being, why does he desire to be glorified? Normally, this characteristic would be associated with a being that is insecure or narcissistic, which are not to my understanding perfect traits.

4
+50

First of all, I need to clarify that narcissism is a bad trait in humans precisely because no human deserves absolute praise like a narcissist praises himself. It is not inherently a bad thing, just like pride. Pride is arrogance (which is bad) when the person being proud is wrongly or excessively proud of himself. Allah can never be considered wrongly proud or narcissistic because he always deserves the praise as he is Perfect.

Allah does not need to be worshiped. Humans have to worship Allah because he deserves it. We obey our mothers because of how much they have done for us. Even more so, Allah. He has given us everything. Our Life, our mind, our eyes, our ears, and the list goes on forever.

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا خَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِّمَّا عَمِلَتْ أَيْدِينَا أَنْعَامًا فَهُمْ لَهَا مَالِكُونَ - 36:71

Do they not see that We have created for them from what Our hands have made grazing livestock, and [then] they are their owners?

وَذَلَّلْنَاهَا لَهُمْ فَمِنْهَا رَكُوبُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا يَأْكُلُونَ - 36:72

And We have tamed them for them, so some of them they ride, and some of them they eat.

وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مَنَافِعُ وَمَشَارِبُ ۖ أَفَلَا يَشْكُرُونَ - 36:73

And for them therein are [other] benefits and drinks, so will they not be grateful?

Here Allah is only using the example of livestock of which me make many uses, including meat and drink. And He ends with the question: "So will they not be grateful?". So, it is clear that one of the primary reasons we must worship Allah is to be grateful.

Now, on to the question about Allah desiring to be worshiped. Maybe he does, maybe he does not. I have not found any reason to believe either. But, it is important to keep in mind that Allah does not need to be worshiped because Allah is The Self Sufficient. He needs no one.

It is also important to note that there are angels already in existence who praise Allah all the time. So, although humans and jinns have the sole purpose to worship Allah, Allah created them apart from angels so that they have free will. As in, they can choose to disobey Allah on Earth.

This hadith may answer your question:

“If you were not to commit sins, Allah would sweep you out of existence and would replace you by other people who would commit sins, and then would ask forgiveness from Allah.” (Muslim, Tawbah, 9, 10, 11)

As this hadith, says Allah keeps humans in existence because they commit sins and then can ask forgiveness for it.

As this shows, Allah does not necessarily desire to glorified, but he does like to forgive. That is an important aspect of it. Angels already exist to glorify Allah, but humans are there because Allah likes to forgive genuine people. Since, humans have free will we have a tendency to deviate from our purpose which the angels don't have as they don't make mistakes.

In conclusion, there is no reason to say Allah desires to be glorified, but rather he deserves it and it is our inherent responsibility to be grateful for what he has given us. But, Allah does like to forgive. Like and Desire are different than need. Since, he is Perfect, he, by definition, cannot be considered narcissistic, because he does deserve everything. And Allah knows best.

  • jazakallah khair.. – Abdul Salam Feb 27 '18 at 3:53
  • Why the downvote? – The Z Mar 26 '18 at 12:51
4

First of all your interpretation starts from the wrong perspective as you add to Allah human attributes and judge HIM as you may judge a human. While Allah says:

... There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (42:11)

Logic tells us ex falso quodlibet from a wrong assumption we may conclude anything (truth or falsehood).

Note that the asha'rites (and others too) in their creed consider that the unique nature and attributes of God cannot be understood fully by human reasoning and the senses. And they consider HIS attribute of universal independence as one of the most important necessary attributes of Allah. This means Allah doesn't need us nor our help nor any of his creation to be, while on the other hand we need and depend on Him:

I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. (51:57) Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength. (51:58)

He could easily replace us by others:

  • But if you disbelieve - then to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And ever is Allah Free of need and Praiseworthy. (4:131)
  • ... And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people; then they will not be the likes of you. (47:38)

This hadith (qudsi) expresses a lot about Allahs universal independence and HIS guidance:

My servants, I have made oppression unlawful for Me and unlawful for you, so do not commit oppression against one another.
My servants, all of you are liable to err except one whom I guide on the right path, so seek right guidance from Me so that I should direct you to the right path.
O My servants, all of you are hungry (needy) except one whom I feed, so beg food from Me, so that I may give that to you.
O My servants, all of you are naked (need clothes) except one whom I provide garments, so beg clothes from Me, so that I should clothe you.
O My servants, you commit error night and day and I am there to pardon your sins, so beg pardon from Me so that I should grant you pardon.
O My servants, you can neither do Me any harm nor can you do Me any good.
O My servants, even if the first amongst you and the last amongst you and even the whole of human race of yours, and that of jinns even, become (equal in) God-conscious like the heart of a single person amongst you, nothing would add to My Power.
O My servants, even if the first amongst you and the last amongst you and the whole human race of yours and that of the Jinns too in unison become the most wicked (all beating) like the heart of a single person, it would cause no loss to My Power.
O My servants, even if the first amongst you and the last amongst you and the whole human race of yours and that of jinns also all stand in one plain ground and you ask Me and I confer upon every person what he asks for, it would not. in any way, cause any loss to Me (even less) than that which is caused to the ocean by dipping the needle in it.
My servants, these for you I shall reward you for thern, so he who deeds of yours which I am recording finds good should praise Allah and he who does not find that should not blame anyone but his ownself.
Sa'id said that when Abu Idris Khaulini narrated this hadith he knelt upon his knees. (Sahih Muslim)

They (asha'rites -and most if not all Muslims too-) also consider HIM as being different from HIS creation without a similitude (in attributes, acts or entity), which is based on (42:11) and excludes even the possibility of HIM having any attribute similar to narcissism, which is a human attribute. This is also an other essential and necessary of attribute of Allah in their creed.

One of the reasons Allah want -I'd rather say invites- us to worship him for is to find guidance -one could say that worshiping Allah itself is a guidance from Allah- as it gets us closer to HIM and therefore further from any possible punishment:

And say, "The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve." Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place. (18:29)

This verse means that the truth is from Allah, so either he gives us guidance and we will or may worship and glorify him -in a more or less adequate way, as the level of faith differs- or we will disbelieve (or refuse to accept it) -even if guidance is given- and therefore will have to face the outcome of our choice or refusal.

Therefore worship is the main right of Allah upon us, while our right is to be saved from Jahannam if we do so, as described in the sunnah:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "O Mu`adh! Do you know what Allah's Right upon His slaves is?" I said, "Allah and His Apostle know best." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "To worship Him (Allah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know best." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Not to punish them (if they do so).
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and other hadith collections)

Fulfilling rights IMO is anything but narcissistic nor does it show any kind of insecurity.

And the quran in opposite is full of evidences showing that this worship is rather a benefit for humans than for Allah. And that among the ways Allahs provides us HIS guidance are sending messengers, prophets and giving us HIS revelation.

So basically worshiping Allah is a guidance from Allah and help and benefit for us.

Also relevant:
How do i know my Ramadan is accepted?
Why is "doing righteous deeds" not a pillar of Islam?

  • 3
    "So why should he want us to worship HIM, if it doesn't matter to HIM? Worshiping a deity is something one could say is absolutely normal and expected from any "believer" of this deity." This is just as much as saying deities are narcissistic by definition, not an explanation how it isn't narcissistic. "Fulfilling rights IMO is anything but narcissistic nor does it show any kind of insecurity." Rights are a matter of adjudicating whose needs will be enforced with which means, so they are somewhat inherently about a lack of power to satisfy ones needs independently. – G. Bach Feb 20 '18 at 20:42
0

Given the philosophical nature of your question, you will find numerous opinions held by numerous scholars on why Allah (swt) is to be glorified. Some would say that it is His divine right to be praised, some would say that it is to show that even creations who have free will and have never seen Him still choose to praise and glorify Him, etc.

They said, "Are you amazed at the decree of Allah ? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy and All-Glorious." حميد مجيد (11:73)

It is part of Allah’s attributes to be praised and glorified. It’s not something that he “desires” (the way you think) - it is part of His divine nature to be glorified and praised.

Therefore people are commanded to glorify/praise Allah because that’s part of who He is. The ones who desire to know Allah, worship and draw close to Him, they praise/glorify Him, and those who choose to disbelieve and whatnot do as they wish. It’s not as complicated as it may seem.

For example: it is part of a leopards’ nature to have spots. In the same vein, it is part of Allah to be glorified.

And Allah swt knows best.

  • Is it the part of Allah's nature to be glorified? – Abdul Salam Feb 17 '18 at 6:22
  • It’s part of His attributes. Allah is the One who is All-Glorified. – Shadi Feb 17 '18 at 7:28
  • Can u plz tell me the difference between Allah's attributes and nature with some examples? – Abdul Salam Feb 17 '18 at 7:38
0

There are two issues which create the problem your question addresses. The first is that, in posing the question this way, one is discussing Allah as if He is a creature. Not only is Allah the Creator, entirely distinct from myriad creatures, but there is nothing at all similar to Him. If you think about this more deeply, and it sounds like you could, you will discover that to “know” Allah requires some seriously abstract thinking.

Think of Allah as having no similars, as distinguished from the Christian idea of humans being created “in His image,” which is usually thought of as meaning “similar to Him.” In fact, this mistranslation leads to the mistake; God by any name has no similitude and the distinction between Creator and created/ creation is a core truth. The original Gospel text would have been what means He created humans “in the image He wanted” or as He likes, as the Quran is in the same “line” of all previous divine revelations, making it clear as below.

The Quran puts it this way:

Holy Quran 24:45 ------------------ وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَ كُلَّ دَابَّةٍ مِّن مَّاءٍ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ بَطْنِهِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ رِجْلَيْنِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ أَرْبَعٍ ۚ يَخْلُقُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

And Allah created every animal on earth, from water; so among them is a kind that moves upon its belly; and among them is a kind that moves upon two legs; and among them a kind that moves upon four legs; Allah creates whatever He wills; indeed Allah is Able to do all things.

The expression “whatever He wills” could also be understood “whatever He wants.” The Creator’s will and wants are one.

So the question takes the idea of God as a kind of “glorious” person-like being, which is how most people think of God. “Person-like” beings would have personalities, and with them, psychologies. But Allah (God) is, in Islam and true monotheism, decisively not personlike at all, and the ideas of psychology cannot and do not apply to Him. In fact, as I say “Him” I’m reminded that Allah has no gender either. Remember: in no way similar to anything in creation.

He must be all-powerful, eternal with no beginning or end (no manger story with shepherds and kings, no crucifixion-torture-demise, nothing even close), encompassing all things, Almighty, All-Merciful (the true meaning of Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem, as well as the sonically matching yang/ yin concepts), and creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. And we, the heavens, and the earth and everything in between, are His creatures. But those endowed with higher intellect, such as humans, are given free will, and as such, our worship is a matter of choice, albeit one with great consequence. To glorify Allah, in our case, must be coming freely from ourselves as a result of realizing the import of who Allah is. So it is not something Allah “needs” or “wants” in the creaturely sense of desire. Rather it is evidence we offer to Him of our true and actual devotion to Him. It is for our benefit, not His.

Holy Quran 29:6 ------------------ وَمَن جَاهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَاهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

And whoever strives in Allah's cause, strives only for his own benefit; indeed Allah is Independent of the entire creation.

It should be noted that although Allah is “independent” of the entire creation — by definition — this does not mean “disconnected.” Indeed, the meaning of salat is from the root connection — the word for “get in touch with” or “contact” by phone or other means comes from the same root. But the “connection” here is in a class by itself, a form of worship which is daily, continuous, having time/space perimeters, and in which the Quran is read.

These perimeters are also for our benefit. But we seem to have trouble thinking of Allah in His own terms. We read the Quran oblivious to its message and ask “Why does He want to be glorified and praised?” Where in the Quran does He say he wants anything at all from us? Nowhere. Stating that He created humankind to worship Him does not imply a “need” — His stated purpose is for our benefit, not His. It is simply the nature of Supreme Power, Creator, to be worshipped. In fact, such worship is the supreme fulfillment of our heart’s desire. But you can only understand this when you use your mind/ intelligence/ intellect to try and grasp the full meaning of His message. You have to aim towards Him with your thoughts, itself a beginning act of faith.

The intellect is our guide to understanding what is His “straight path.” All earthly paths are uneven, which is the nature of physical existence, to be without straight lines. A straight line is an abstract concept. Think about that when you read about “al-siratt al-mustaqeem” in al-Fatiha. The “straight path” to Allah is an understanding and direction without mental turbulences or misdirections. The Quran is “kitab al-mubeen” or the “perspicuous book,” the book that is clear and evident and without hidden messages or occult directives. The needle on a compass points to a very specific and clear direction. An example of “straight” here.

Because the very nature of Supreme Power is singularity, the One with no similars or equals, no power-sharing whatsoever.

Which brings us to the second issue with your question, translation issues, first in this case, the word “glorify.” In English the word implies to “make greater.” “Praise” is a little different, more like expressed recognition of great worth in another — but it too is used to mean “buttering up,” heaping possibly false compliments on someone who may or may not deserve them. People praise those in power to gain possible influence, a touch of that power. But Allah does not want, need, or like flattery or even its spirit in discourse. What Allah wants and wills is that human beings, of their own free will, recognize there is a chasm of difference between Creator and creation, and that to be Allah’s servants/ worshippers (the word ‘abd as used in the Quran usually means “worshipper” not merely “servant”) means we seek to connect with Him and His will above all others. That means we would strive for the greater good and have courage to stand against the tide of corruption and cruelty around us.

The difference between “worshipper” and “servant” needs clarification as well: we are by nature ’abaad or worshippers, in need of a direction and something to be devoted to. And so if we do not worship Allah, we will worship something else. But Allah as Creator is unlike anything else, and really nothing/ no one could be more worthy of worship. But it has to come from us by our own conscious and informed choice. He wants us to know whom we are worshipping, because it is in our best interest.

So in this case worship must come out of our own free will, not imposed. This is a critical difference. If it is not from the heart, He doesn’t want it. If it is grudging and if the whole abstract idea of Creator and God is something we don’t want to hear about, then this is not Islam. Rather than being a demand that we glorify God, said praise and glorifying is something we desire and will to do by ourselves after realizing by our minds the truth of what He said in His revelations. It is the natural outpouring of response from someone who finally realized the Truth about Allah. It is an emotionally powerful thing. It is enlightening and uplifting. It the fulfillment of our very creation, made greater and more daunting at the same time by free will. Here the idea of narcissism is absurd and demeaning. But one must first understand who Allah is and who we are in relationship to Him to even see that.

0

Great question!

Why do athletes go the gym every day? Because they want to stay in shape.

Why do need to constantly be reminded of things? Because we forget things. I don't mean that we literally forget that pride or jealousy is bad, rather we need to purify ourselves so we can better self-reflect

Why do we constantly need have discussions about judgement day and serving Allah? Because we have a nafs and there is also Satan. They constantly surround us and sometimes we give up and commit sins.

How do we counter this? How do we fight this back?

الا بذکر الله تطمئن القلوب

OK fair enough...but why do I need to pray 5 times a day?

Because the more you get physical the better it affects you. It ingrains better with your soul.

Imagine you've lost your child, at every moment you build her image in your head...that's good. Now imagine you hear her voice...that's better, now imagine you can see their video...it's great, but the best is if you can physically touch her.

Same concept for us when we pray or worship God. When we kneel or prostrate before him, we get closer (far better than how we get closer to him when we are just sitting in the car thinking about him) to him while we also become more humble. A person who is humble before God, will see that he is nothing (Prophet Muhammad actually saw himself the poorest of all before Allah (unlike the Pharoah who saw himself the highest before all existence)) and become more humble before other people.

Last but not least worship doesn't mean just kneeling and prostrating, it also means being a good person and making the right decisions e.g. helping an orphan, neighbor, distant kin, elderly people, etc. In doing that you're serving Allah by serving others. Generally activities like praying have 2 purposes. First to purify our souls. Second once we are purified we can do more good things for other people (a murderer is less likely to help orphans or his neighbors)

Summary

Because we are forgetful beings we need constant attention.

By constantly getting closer and becoming more humble we actually become a better person ourselves. Somewhat similar to how a pupil gets better when he gets closer to his loving master. The more distant he is from his master the less he is protected and the less he learns.

-1

Because if you don't worship Allah and Allah alone you will tend to cherish, worship, and devote your life to false deities and false flags. Examples: Money, material gain, nationalism, tribe worship, race worship, worldly competition, self-worship, ancestor worship, progeny worship, sex and lust worship, etc.

If you don’t fill your heart and mind with the spirit of your creator and sustainer, their are infinite variety of false gods to fill the void. Allah explains in the Quran that those who worship false deities and devote their lives to them are doomed.

Quran 59:23 Subahan Allahi 'ala mmaa Yooshrikun

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.