Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I January 18, 2015
According to the Quran, worship of God controls one's character. The Quran says: "Surely prayer restrains one from indecency and evil" (29:45). This Quranic verse gives us a very important aspect of worship. It presents the true picture of the worship of God. Worship is not a spiritless ritual. Worship is a living act. A worshipper recites verses of the Quran during his prayer. These verses tell him about the dos and donts of his daily life. They tell him what the secret of success is and how one can obtain salvation in the world hereafter. It means ibadat, or worship, makes a worshipper very conscious about his daily behaviour and his social conduct — from his family life to other walks of life. After performing the prayer, when the worshipper returns to society, he is a man with a difference. For example, in his worship, the worshipper repeatedly says, "Allah-o-Akbar" which means, "Only God is great, greatness is only for God Almighty". This saying inculcates the spirit of modesty in the worshipper. At the end of this worship, he addresses all of mankind by saying, "As-salaam-walekum-wa-rehmatullah" (Peace and blessings be upon you).
A believer who worships every day and imbibes within himself this spirit from his worship is bound to become a person, who is very cautious in his behaviour. He would live a life of modesty. He would live with the spirit of peace towards all mankind. This Quranic verse gives us a criterion to judge the veracity of worship of every individual. If one's worship qualifies this criterion, then it is worship in the true sense of the word. Those whose worship does not fulfil this criterion, it is merely a spiritless ritual.
According to the Quran, worship is the ticket to Paradise. But, this ticket will be granted by God Almighty only to those persons who qualify the criterion given in the above verse of the Quran.