performed with both conscience and mind and heart and body, worship raises man to the dignity of which he is worthy and to his appointed perfection. It is a subtle, elevated relation, an illustrious lofty connection between the bondsman and the One Worshipped. This relation constitutes the utmost degree of human perfection.
Sincerity in worship is this, that it is performed only because it is commanded, although it comprises numerous instances of wisdom [and benefits]. Each of these may be a reason (‘illa) for performing worship, but sincerity makes it imperative that the [true] reason be the command to perform it. If the wisdom or benefit is made the reason, the worship is null and void, but if it merely encourages the person to perform the worship, it is permissible.
When those addressed hear the words “O you people! worship..,” they ask through the tongue of disposition: “Why and for what reason? What is the wisdom in it? Why should we? And what for?” You learnt the wisdom in the introduction above; concerning the reason (‘illa), the Qur’an replies with proof of the Maker and His unity with the words: “Your Lord and Sustainer who created you...” Then with the verse: “If you are in doubt about what We have revealed,”(2:23) it proves prophethood.
Explaining Certain Points [arising from] This Verse
Consider this: a proof (burhān) is [in the form of] either the argument from material cause to material effect (limmī), or the argument from effect to cause (innī). This latter is sounder, and it is either based on contingency (imkānī), that is, the argument that since contingent beings are equal in respect of being and non-being there must be [a Necessary Being] to choose this (al-murajjiḥ); or it is based on createdness (ḥudūthī); that is, the argument that since there is constant change and renewal in beings, there must be One to give them existence (al-mūjid). Each of the above proofs is in respect of either the essences of things or their attributes, and in respect of either the giving of existence or the continuation of it. And all of them are either the proof that things are given existence out of nothing (dalīl ikhtirā‘ī) or the proof of divine providence (dalīl ‘ināyatī). The present verse alludes to all these types of proof. Included here is [only] a summary of them, for we have explained them in detail in another book.1
Nursi, Muhâkemat, 107 ff.