Reflexively, many of us who believe would answer: God.
However, when you look at the etymology of the word and its meaning, and contrast it to the way many of us behave towards people or material things in this world, we may discover otherwise.
Origin of the word worship: Old English – ‘worthiness, acknowledgment of worth’ (see worth, -ship).
Meaning of worship: adoration or devotion comparable to religious homage, shown toward a person or principle.
In other words, what or who we give worth to, or give more value to over others, including God, is the object of our worship.
Think about what or who preoccupies your mind, thoughts, etc.
Think about what or who motivates you to action or inaction, emotion or apathy, etc.
Think about what or who you seek attention from, validation from, purpose from, etc.
If you’re being honest with yourself and listed anything or anyone other than God, then THAT is what you deem worthy—that is what you worship.
Ideas can also be worshipped, by the way. Many people attach themselves to an idea, goal, dream, ideology, etc., and that becomes their primary focus in life.
And this is why when we feel the heaviness of the dunya upon our hearts despite our claims of faith, despite our ritual actions, despite the identities we proudly profess, we must go to the root…to the “heart” of the matter and examine what or who it is we truly worship.
And we must know that if it’s anything or anyone other than God, then we will continue to be tested until we come to the realization that there is NO ONE and NOTHING worthy of worship other than Allah ﷻ, the rightful Owner of all of our souls and hearts. The One whom we should direct our full focus and attention to. The One who is deserving of our devotion and love above all else…
Not our ego
Not our spouse (or ideal of a spouse)
Not our children
Not our parents
Not our siblings
Not our friends
Not our jobs
Not our bank accounts
Not our credit cards
Not our homes
Not our clothing & jewellery
Not our positions
Not our degrees
Not our titles
Not our followers
Not our ambitions
Not our desires
Not our appetites
Not our bodies
May Allah ﷻ guide us, forgive us, and never turn away from us. May we NEVER worship anyone or anything other than the One who created us, brought us into existence, sustains us, blesses us with innumerable blessings, and to whom we will all be returned eventually. Amin Ya Rabb! <3
For over 20 years I've had the honour of serving the Muslim communities in the greater Bay Area and Orange County/LA areas as an organizer, teacher, spiritual counselor, mentor, and mental health advocate. Seven years after launching Mental Health for Muslims with Dr. Nafisa Sekandari, I am now teaching classes once a month at Ta'leef for women, as well as offering workshops and other talks to Islamic schools and masajids for the greater community. I continue to write regularly on Facebook and for other publications and have many exciting projects to look forward to ahead! http://hosaimojaddidi.com/