What is Ibadah?

Imam Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Dahlawi writes while defining (‘ibadah) worship,

“Worship means to prostrate, or to circumambulate, or recite/call his name with the intention of taqarrub (seeking closeness), or to slaughter animal in his name, or to call oneself a bandah (‘abd – slave) of someone. Any ignorant Muslim who will do such with the inhabitants of the grave, he will become kafir and fall outside the fold of Islam.” (Fatawa ‘Azizi, 1:45)

پرستش آنست كه سجده كند يا طواف نهايند يا نام اورا بطريق تقرب وردسازد يا ذبح جانور بنام او كند
يا خودرا بنده فلانى بگويد وهرآنكه ازمسلمان جاهل با اهل قبور ايں چيزها بعمل آرد
فى الفور كافر مى گردد وازمسلمانى مى برآيد

So the following fall under ‘ibadah (worship):

1. To perform sajdah to the creation;

2. To perform tawaf around the graves;

3. To call the inhabitants of the graves or to recite their names to seek their taqarrub;

4. To slaughter animals in someone’s name;

5. Or to call oneself a bandah [‘abd] of any creation, like ‘Abd al-Mustafa, ‘Abd al-Husain, etc.


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