There is no room for individual Parastish in Deen
In every religion there are some set patterns of worship that are stipulated. It is through these rites and rituals that God is worshiped.
Usually this worship is concerned with certain acts and rituals that have no bearing with the world. These rituals can be performed at any place and any society whatsoever. There is no worldly expectation regarding these rites as it is thought that these are primarily concerned with afterlife and it is the hereafter which will be improved by the rites. For these rites and rituals the word Parastish has occurred which encompasses all types of acts of worship. The fact of the matter is that religion depends on parastish for its sustenance and this has no bearing on worldly life. At the time of Quranic revelation the belief in parastish was widespread and Ebadat was thought to be another form of worship. What can be a greater proof for Quran’s divine origin as it changed the entire face of religion. Every man is bound in his time and space. To rise above his environment and think above the ideas of his day is beyond him. As the Quran is divine revelation, it rose above its time and changed the very concept of religion. It gave the concept of Deen and uprooted the idea of worship on its basis. To follow every divine order is Ebadat according to Quran. And every Ebadat carries the status of a Hukm or order. To the Quran Ebadat is not concerned with mere worship only but it encompasses one’s entire life.
For Ebadut it is mandatory to be obedient to the social order that it has presented. Allah says:
O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. ” 4:59
The above verse makes it clear that the condition for belief in hereafter is to refer all disputes to Allah and His messenger. It is obvious that through the orders of Allah and His messenger the matter would be resolved. This verse is a clear proof for the establishment of an Islamic social order. Belief in hereafter and Allah will not be complete unless an Islamic social order for issuing Quranic laws takes place. It is after the establishment of an Islamic social order that belief on Allah and hereafter becomes complete.
During the first era of Islam this was how things were. Deen was established in its true form and orders of Allah and His messenger were obeyed. It is quite unfortunate that the social disintegrated and the concept of Deen became oblivious from our sights. But now due to the exigencies of our age and through the efforts of Tolu e Islam movement the concept of Deen is once more under contemplation. After the first era, no one gave the correct understanding of Deen. Tolu e Islam raised the concept with such might that even our clergy got convinced of it. Now even our Ulema are seen raising their b
Voice for Deen although the concept is against their faith. We should recall that the religious parties had opposed the creation of Pakistan. Because to them an Islamic social order wasn’t necessary.
Today our clergy are their successors. In our Dars-E-Nizami, the books of Ahadith and Tafseer that are taught are from the perspective of religion. They do not have any conceptual basis of Deen. Due to Tolu-E-Islam’s call our scholars have also started to talk about Deen, however their understanding of Deen is still rooted as a private faith. This leaves them in a strange situation. At one point they exhort to Deen Islam, but on the other hand they remain glued to a religion concerned with private worship and personal salvation. They make a distinction between Ibadat and Muamalat i.e. between acts of worship and matters pertaining to day to day affairs. They include only some rites in acts of worship and do not include muamalat in Ibadat although the pristine Quranic concept of Ibadat is that there is no separation of the world and hereafter. All worldly tasks done in the light of Divine inspiration is included in Ibadat. However this concept has been promoted uniquely by Tolu-E-Islam, as our Ulema are still clinging to a personal and private faith. In support of this belief of Tolu-E-Islam namely that there is no separation of worldly and spiritual in Deen, we present the following verses:
(1) “[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.” (22:41)
In the above verse, five things, i.e. to establish Salat, to give Zakat, to order Al Maruf and to prohibit Al Munkar, and to decide all matters according to Allah’s laws are cited. Our Ulema consider only Iqamat-E-Salat and Etaa-E-Zakat as religious orders but overlook the rest. However we should note that the Quran has kept all five in one row. And fulfilling all five orders requires Tamakun fil Ard i.e. Rule in the land. Thus it is clear that all five are within Ebadat of Allah.
(2) “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. ” (9:71)
In the above verse too Amr bil Maruf and Nahy an al Munkar are on the same row as Salat and Zakat making it clear that the status of these orders is the same as that of obedience to Allah and His messenger. Therefore to obey these commands is within the purview of Ebadut.
The Quran does not distinguish the importance of either establishment of Salat and giving Zakat to that of obedience to Allah and His messenger.
(3) “And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend.” (42:38)
To respond to Allah, to establish Salat, to determine affairs by mutual consultation and to spend of the sustenance provided by Allah are all mentioned together indicating there is separation between the affairs of world and hereafter. If Salat is Ebadut then the remaining orders are also Ebadut as they are cited together and carry the same weight.
To term Salat as Ebadat but to exclude shoora from it would be to negatively infer from the verse. In this verse obedience to each and every order of Allah is Ebadut.
(4) “..Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (5:8)
Here to do justice has been termed as nearer to Taqwa which is the climax of Ebadut. We known from this verse that to do justice is part of Ebadut.
(5) “And speak good with people and establish Salah and give Zakat.” (2:83)
Here in this verse, to speak kindly with people is connected with Salat and Zakat, thus all three are of the same degree of importance. If Salat and Zalat are Ibaadat, then so is speaking nicely with people.
(6) “Have you not seen those who were told to restrain their hands (from fighting) but to establish Salat and give Zakat.” (4:77)
In this verse some people who were ardent to fight in the cause of Allah were told to be patient and to establish Salat and give Zakat. It is obvious that the order to restrain or engage in fighting is given on the same degree of importance as the order for Salat and Zakat. Thus if Salat and Zakat are Ebadaat then so is fighting in the way of Allah.
(7) “So establish Salah and give Zakat and whatever good you send for yourselves you will find it with Allah.” (2:110)
Here by adding good deeds with Salat and Zakat all are included in Ebadut. Doing good is Ebadat like Salat and Zakat.
(8) “Surely those who believe and do deeds of improvement, and establish Salat and give Zakat, for them is the reward with their Lord, there is no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.” (2:277)
In this verse too Amal-E-Salih are equated with Salat and Zakat. To fulfil all righteous deeds comes within Ebadat. In these verses we cannot separate Ebadat and Muamalat.
(9) “Those who establish Salat and spend out of what We have provided to them.” (8:3)
In this verse to spend on others from one’s income is cited next to Salat.
(10) “So establish Salat and give Zakat and hold fast to Allah, He is the best protector and the best helper.” (22:78)
Here the commentators have interpreted holding fast to Allah as being attached with Quranic laws.
To be obedient to all types of laws of Allah is Ebadat just like Salat and Zakat are.
(11) “And establish Salat and give Zakat and obey the messenger that you may have mercy.” (24:56)
Here we can see that obedience to the messenger is connected with Salat and Zakat. How is it then possible the Salat and Zakat are Ebadut but obeying the Rasul is not?
The result of obeying all three orders i.e. of Salat, Zakat and Rasul is that Rahmah or mercy is bestowed on the believers.
(12) “And recite that which is inspired to you from the Book, and establish Salat.” (29:45)
It is obvious from this verse that recitation of Quran is of same importance as Salat and following orders for both is Ibadat.
(13) “Turn to Him, Take guard from Him, and establish Salat and be not from the isolators. From those who break up their Deen and have become sects.” (30:31-32)
Here, turning to Allah, Taqwa, Salat and to abstain from sectarianism are all listed as Ibadat.
(14) “O My son establish Salat, order righteousness and prohibit wrongdoing, and be patient over what befalls you.” (31:17)
According to this verse, to establish Salat, to give Zakat to enjoin righteousness and to abstain from wrong and to be patient and persevering is all part of Ebadat.
There are numerous other Quranic verses from which it is clear that along with Salat and Zakat, to be obedient to various Quranic orders is all within the domain of Ebadut. We have established from these verses that Ebadat is to always remain subservient to the laws of Allah at all times and it is not merely worship or Parastish.
It should also be understood that Quranic laws are enforced through an Islamic government. Obedience to only such constitutes Ibadat. For example if the government of India were to legislate any such law, then obedience to Indian government is not Ebadat because it is not an Islamic government. To be obedient to the laws prevailing in a country is the duty of every citizen. To obey such a secular government does not give reward from Allah. But to violate them could incur sin. It is stated in Quran that one should not enter people’s homes without permission.
In every government this order is obeyed.
But to follow this order in every government does not necessarily give Sawab. It will give Sawab only when followed by an Islamic authority and its violation will become a sin.
In this manner the citizen of an Islamic government is engaged in Ebadut from morning till nightfall and refrains from their violation by his own self. It is stated in Quran that you should prepare all kinds of power to scare your enemy and Allah’s enemy. Secular governments too prepare strength and force but in an Islamic government it provides stability to one’s inner self and results in Sawab. Like this every soldier prepares himself to acquire more force. If we contain Ebadat then we get docile people affected by Parastish like Tablighis or Sufis but if we put it in its true perspective of obedience to Quranic orders then we get strength and power.
The era of late General Zia ul Haq was quite religious and under him Army officials became occupied in Salat and Tasbih. At that the famous Scholar Allama Ihsan Elahi Zaheer commented that of the Generals because occupied in Tasbeeh then the borders will have to be guarded by the Ulema.
If the Deen is before the Generals then they would enjoy engage in Ebadut of Allah and do Tasbih for its sake and provide strength and power to Army.
Today the oppression by Israeli forces against the Palestinians is unbearable. It causes us grief and sorrow. To see the oppressed children truly tears the heart apart. If Ebadat meant worship then we should be in such helplessness forever. But if Ebadat entails becoming strong and powerful to defend the weak then ceremonial righteousness has no room.
Due to the weakness of Muslims we would like to present a few verses:
(1) Quran has said that non believers will never become friends of believers. United States and Soviet Union had strong enmity and eventually USA managed to divide Soviet Union. However it still supports Israel and does not care for enmity with the Muslims. Today Israel is the cause of division and blood shed in the world. It has been established for the sole reason to make the Muslims weak.
It’s creation was specific to divide Muslims and that’s why it was created among the Arabs otherwise America would have easily accommodated the Jewish population in one of its states.
The U.S. aim was not to please the Jews which had a global population of twenty million. It’s aim was to make the Muslims weak. That’s why Israel was created right in the middle of all the Muslim states.
(2) Similarly Russia forcibly occupied Muslim states in central Asia and tried to eliminate Islam in them. After the breakup of the Soviet Union all Muslim states under its rule got independent except Ingushtia, Dagestan and Chechnya. Although Chechens fought hard, Putin kept his grip on power.
(3) Russia invaded Afghanistan without any valid cause and engaged in bloodshed there.
(4) Regarding Kashmir, we all are aware what the occupied Indian forces are doing their in terms of daily oppression of innocent Kashmiris.
(5) Recently Algerian elections were won by an Islamic party but their government was toppled by a military coup aided by the French and the Americans.
(6) Somalia gained peace after a long period of bloodshed. However as those who gained power were inclined to Islam they were removed by the help of neighbouring countries and the region is still in a state of civil war.
(7) Philippines too are facing an insurgency with Islamist separatists in the Islands of Mindanao. The Island was conquered by the Spanish and when they left after 350 years of rule the region had a Muslim majority.
But in 1898 America fought against Spain and captured the territory. Since.that time the Muslims of the region are being targeted. Outsiders were brought in to convert the majority into a minority and now the Muslims are at odds with the majority Muslim population.
The only way out if this state of ignominy among Muslims is to widen their understanding of Ebadat from that of mere worship too that which even includes acquisition of force and power.
Along with military power Muslims need to become strong economically, socially and politically.
They should have unity among themselves and not division.
The difference between Parastish and Ebadat is that the former is individual and private, while the latter is collective and public. The connection with with God is through a central authority which enforces the divine laws.
Here as we reach the end, it is expedient to clarify a point. We usually consider Ebadat as Allah’s right and not the right of servants of Allah but such a distinction is not valid according to Quran.
This is something similar to the Christian concept of “To render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to render to God what belongs to God.”
According to Quran, to resolve the problems of mankind is Deen and Ebadat of Allah. All Huqooq Allah are in fact also Huqooq Al Ibaad because laws of Allah are meant to solve problems of mankind.