The cognition of Allah [God] automatically influences the entire personality, spirit, morals and the conduct of man. This influence is proportional to the degree of his faith. The stronger the faith of a man the more intense the influence of the cognition of Allah on him.
The effect of the cognition of Allah on man has many degrees and stages, and according to their variation human perfection and man’s proximity to Allah varies. These degrees are called the degrees of fidelity and earnestness.
As stated earlier, when we turn to Allah and worship Him, we show that He alone deserves obedience and we absolutely submit ourselves to Him. This kind of worship and the expression of total submission is not permissible in respect of anyone except Allah. As for the question how far we are earnest in our total submission to Allah and non-submission to any other being, that depends on our faith. Evidently all are not alike from the viewpoint of fidelity and earnestness.
Some people make such a progress that inwardly and outwardly they are controlled only by the commandments of Allah. No personal desires can swerve them this side or that side, nor can any human being bring them under his absolute control. They allow their desires to operate only in accordance with the pleasure of Allah. Obviously to seek the pleasure of Allah is the only way to attain perfection. Such people obey their parents, their teachers etc. for the sake of Allah and only within the limits allowed by Him. Some go even a step further. Their sole love is Allah. They love His creatures for being His signs and mementos. A few go even further from this stage also. They do not see anything except Him and regard everything else as His manifestation. They find Him in everything…
For a worshipper his worship is a real contract by the conditions of which he has to abide in his life. This contract has two main conditions. The first is freedom from the obedience of everyone and everything else including his own desires, and the second is a complete submission to the commandments of Allah and their unqualified acceptance.
For a worshipper the correct way of worship is the basis of his education and spiritual development. It is a systematic instruction in liberal-mindedness, self-sacrifice, love of Allah, love of humanity, association with the right-thinking people, virtuousness and service to mankind.
by A. Murtada Mutahhari