By Sikandar Azam
There are diverse types of people in the world. The Qur’ān categorises them into only three types. The first category is of believers, who believe in God, His Book and His Messenger ﷺ and act according to His teachings. The second category of people is of those who, due to various reasons, choose not to accept God and reject His Message or set other beings or objects as partners in the Divinity of God; the Qur’ān calls them kafir, i.e. those who cover the truth or reject it. And, the third category comprises those whose wisdom allows them to sail on two boats: to believers, they say they too are believers; and to the kafirs, they say that they are actually with them. But the Qur’ān addresses people in general irrespective of their belonging to this or that category, thus providing them with ample opportunities, one after another, to enjoy the Divine bounties.
The Qur’ān (2:21) says: “O mankind, serve your Lord Who has created you as well as those before you; do so that you are saved (from false beliefs and unrighteous conduct in this life, and from the punishment of God in the Hereafter).” The Book of God exhorts mankind to serve only Him, arguing that this would be befitting for man because God is the Creator of him as well of those who lived earlier.
Why should man serve God alone? The Qur’ān means to say that this is inevitable to serve God alone so that he may be saved. It means that if he serves God alone, he would be saved from going astray, from the various false ideas and beliefs that man has created (and not given by God) to suit their whims and inconsistencies, from any difficulty in treading the path of truth straightforwardly in the guidance of Divine teachings; and, to cap it all, from the torments of the Hell. And, having been saved from the torments of the Hell is the real success that man aspires for. Only then God will bless him with high place in the Paradise. This is the highest reward man will be blessed with.
It is through the worship of God alone that people can attain the honourable status of believing in, and fearing none other than God during their stay on earth and thus reap the ultimate success in the Hereafter. For, their worship of God fulfils a definite purpose, namely to make man God-fearing and thus submissive because God alone is the Creator, and He alone is to be worshipped.