On Sunday 18th Feb, as part of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) nationwide #VisitMyMosque initiative, iERA were invited to the Hockwell Ring Mosque in Luton to deliver a short presentation and answer questions from attendees of their open day.
The open day was well attended and the presentation was delivered by iERA CEO Hamza Tzortzis. He spoke passionately about why God deserves our worship. He explained that worship means to know, love, obey and single all acts of worship to God alone. After explaining why God deserves our worship Hamza explained that everyone worships, even if they don’t believe in God. People always want to know, love, obey and be grateful to something or something the most. This can include their nation, themselves, a celebrity or even a political ideology. So from this perspective, everyone worships something. In other words, many people have misdirected worship. However, it is our job as Muslims to show people why they should worship the One that is worthy of it; God.
Essentially, if we are not worshipping God, we are still worshipping something else. This can be our own egos and desires, or ephemeral things like material possessions. In the Islamic tradition, worshipping God defines who we are, as it is part of our nature. If we forget God and start to worship things that are not worthy of worship, we will slowly forget our own selves: “And be not like those who forgot God, so He made them forget themselves.”
Our understanding of who we are is dependent on our relationship with God, which is shaped by our servitude and worship. In this sense, when we worship God we are freed from submission to other ‘gods’, whether ourselves or things that we own or desire.
The Qur’an presents us with a profound analogy: “God puts forward this illustration: can a man who has for his masters’ several partners at odds with each other be considered equal to a man devoted wholly to one master? All praise belongs to God, though most of them do not know.”
God is essentially telling us that if we do not worship God, we end up worshipping something else. These things enslave us and they become our masters. The Qur’anic analogy is teaching us that without God, we have many ‘masters’ and they all want something from us. They are all ‘at odds with each other’, and we end up in a state of misery, confusion and unhappiness. However, God, who knows everything, including our own selves, and who has more mercy than anyone else, is telling us that He is our master and that only by worshipping Him alone will we truly free ourselves from the shackles of the things we have taken as replacements for Him.