The concept of worship (Ibadah) in Islam is misunderstood by lots of people including several Muslims. Worship is generally taken to mean performing ritualistic acts such as prayers (Namaz), fasting (Roza), charity (zakat), etc. This limited understanding of worship (Ibadah) is only one part of the meaning of worship (Ibadah) in Islam. That is why the traditional definition of worship in Islam is a complete definition that includes almost the whole thing in any individual’s activities.
In other words, worship is everything a person says or does for the pleasure of ALLAH Almighty. This, of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, and personal contributions to the wellbeing of one’s fellow human-beings. Islam looks at the individual as an entire. He is required to submit himself completely to ALLAH Almighty, as the Holy Quran instructed the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to do:
Verse 6:162 and 163 of Holy Quran,
Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for ALLAH, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.”
As a matter of fact Islam does not think much of simple rituals when they are performed mechanically and have no influence on one’s internal life.
Verse 2:177 of Holy Quran,
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in ALLAH, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveller, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfil their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.
The deeds in the above verse (Ayat) are the deeds of righteousness and they are just a part of worship. It is value noting that even performing one’s responsibilities is considered a kind of worship. Kindness to members of one’s family is an act of worship (Ibadah) as when a person puts a piece of food in his spouse’s mouth. It is clear, from the preceding discussion that the concept of worship (Ibadah) in Islam is a comprehensive concept that includes all the positive activities of a person.
It regulates human life on all levels: individual, economic, social, political and spiritual. That is why Islam provides direction to the smallest details of one’s life on all levels. Thus following these details is following Islamic instructions in that exact area. It is a very encouraging element when one realizes that all his activities are considered by ALLAH Almighty as acts of worship.
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Masjid e Nabawi is one of the largest Mosques in the world. It was originally built by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) himself. It is the second mosque built in Islamic history. It is the second sacred place in Islam after Masjid ul Haram Makah.
Origin of Masjid e Nabawi
Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) migrated to Madina in 622 C.E. It was a great reception by the inhabitants of Madina. Everyone wished that Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) would stay at their home. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) answered politely that “This camel Qaswa is commanded by Allah, where ever it stops, that will be my home. The camel stopped at a place owned by two orphan brothers Sahl and Suhail. The land had some resting spot for cattle, some place was used for drying dates and other end was used as burial ground. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) alighted and said, “This is the home”. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) refused to take the land as gift and purchased it.
Construction of Masjid e Nabawi
After purchasing the land the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) cleared the land by cutting trees and digging up the graves. Then he gave instructions to his followers to construct Masjid on the acquired land. The construction of the Mosque started immediately. The building was, made with bricks of stones and clay. The roof was made with palm branches and trunks were used as pillars. Small stones were used to make floor and prevent it from mud and dust. It measured around 100ft x 116.9ft. The height was 11.8 ft. At the back of the Mosque a shaded area named as Suffah was built for poor companions to spend their night. Two huts were built for the wives of Holy Prophet Hazrat Aisha and Hazrat Sauda (May Allah be pleased with them). The construction of the Mosque completed in seven months. The Mosque served as a religious school, community centre, court and lock up for prisoners. In 624 C.E when the Qibla was changed the Mosque was re orientated to the south.
Expansion of Masjid e Nabawi
Masjid e Nabawi was re built in the life of holy prophet (peace be upon him). After seven years at the time of Fatah Khyber when large number of Muslims visited to worship the capacity for their accommodation was lacking. Hazrat Usman (may Allah be pleased with him) paid for the land for extension that made the land 50 x 50 meters and height was extended to 3.5 meters.
Masjid e Nabawi in the light of Hadith
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: “Whoever performs forty Salah in my Masjid, not missing one Salah in the Masjid, for him is granted exemption from the fire of Hell, and exemption from punishment and he shall remain free of hypocrisy.” [Ahmad]
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: “One Salah offered in my Masjid is superior to one thousand Salahs offered in other Masjid except Masjid al-Haram (Makkah al-Mukarramah).” [Bukhari]
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