Sheikh Muhammad Muhammad Sâlim `Abd al-Wadûd
Among the Sufis, there are those who claim that the highest level of worship is where a person worships Allah because Allah is worthy of being worshipped, and for no other reason. The second level, they say, is where a person worships Allah to be among His devotees. The lowest level is where a person worships Allah hoping for His reward and fearing His wrath.
When we look at what Allah says in the Qur’ân and what His Messenger (peace be upon him) has taught us un the Sunnah, we find that all three of these levels of devotion are desired of the worshiper at all times.
We should worship Allah seeking nearness to Him in love and devotion. At the same time, Allah loves us to hope for His blessings and rewards. He wants us to fear His punishment. All of this is, indeed, worship, and should accompany our outward acts of devotion.
Allah says: “They seek a means of nearness to their Lord – even those who are nearest: they hope for His mercy and fear His wrath: for the wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 57]
“Their limbs do forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord, in fear and hope: and they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them.” [Sûrah al-Sajdah: 16]
Our devotions should indeed be a joy, an expression of our love for Allah.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Prayer has been made the delight of my eyes.” [Sûrah al-Nasâ’î (3940)]
When he wanted to tell Bilâl to make the call to prayer, he said: “Give us our relaxation in prayer.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (4985)]
All of these texts tell us that we should cultivate in our hearts a rich mix of virtuous feelings and noble aspirations when we approach the worship of Allah. The fuller our hearts are, the greater the act of worship will be.
We should have a sense of duty when offering our obligatory worship, we should desire nearness to Allah, and we should take pleasure in the remembrance of our Lord.
May Allah grant us success in attaining His pleasure.
Source: Islam Today