Questions and Answers on Islamic Jurisprudence:
Wisdom and Purposes
Question 46: What is the meaning of “perfect worship”?
Answer 46: This means “to worship God as if you were seeing Him; as you cannot see Him, He sees you”, as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) related. It is a high degree of emotional feeling to the Muslim when dealing with God as if he were seeing Him before his own eyes in terms of ability, greatness, authority and power, mercy, assistance and generosity. One who feels these divine qualities and other ones in all his conditions, will be whole-heartedly sincere and good in all his acts, behavior, manners, and will not be affected by his materialistic and personal interests and benefits. When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was asked by `Uqbah bin Nafi’ about the perfect manners, he said, “O `Uqbah, visit those who refrained from visiting you, be kind to whoever deprived you, and do not harm those who have harmed you.” This kind of honesty makes the self of the Muslim pure, immaculate privately and publicly, whether one is alone or with others, in times of prevention and bounty, in loyalty, and in integrity—indeed, in all matters, small and big, it is a self that believes in God and attached to Him while looking at him all the time. If man’s eye may sleep sometimes, it believes, nevertheless that God’s eye does not sleep and continues to see him, that is perfect worship (ihsan).