The Meaning of Worship and Submission in Islam

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: What is the meaning of worship (ibada) and of submission (islam)? A friend who I believe is close to accepting islam asked me this, but I was not able to respond correctly.


Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states. May God guide your friend to accepting Islam, and reward you for your aiding in this process.

Worship (ibada) refers to our efforts of devotion towards the Divine, such as daily ritual prayer (salat), fasting in Ramadan (sawm), yearly almsgiving to the poor (zakat), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). It also includes one’s (optional) daily routine of litanies, such as reading the Qur’an, supplication, etc.

Submission (islam) basically refers to the entire religion, which is called ‘islam’ since all of it is an expression of one’s submission to God Almighty.

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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