Patience and Prayer
Ibadat (worship) means those acts outlined in the Shariah so that the spiritual aspect of man is made to prevail over his material aspect. Such ways of worship are prescribed to bring man psychologically closer to God. In Islam, four practices are essential and complementary aspects of ibadat (worship): namaz (prayer), sawm (fasting), hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca) and zakat (alms-giving). These four forms of worship symbolise the nature of the extended worship required of human beings throughout their lives. Namaz (Salah), for instance, conditions human beings in modesty—a quality that gives a proper religious hue to all spheres of human existence. Similarly, fasting inculcates patience, a virtue without which there can be no peace on earth. Zakat is no less necessary, a gesture of well-wishing for humanity. While affording spiritual benefit to the individual, Hajj aims to unite all of God’s servants under the banner of His religion. Each category of obligatory worship has a form and a spirit, just as the human being has a body and a soul—the one being inseparable from the other. The essence of each of these separate rites of Islamic worship is their spirit rather than their form.

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