(Part No. 1; Page No. 755)
`Ibadah is to obey Allah, carry out His commands, abstain from what He prohibits, obey the commands of the Prophet (peace be upon him), follow his example in the good deeds he did, regard as lawful what He considers to be lawful and to regard as unlawful what He decreed to be unlawful. This should be out of hope for His reward and out of fear of His punishment. Allah says:
They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allâh (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allâh), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilâh (God - Allâh) Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)."
It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) kissed and touched Al-Hajar Al-Aswad during his Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka`bah) out of obedience to Allah. The Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) followed the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard out of obedience to Allah in carrying out the rites. They did not do so to glorify Al-Hajar Al-Aswad without legislation from Allah. Therefore,
`Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said his famous saying: "By Allah I know that you are but a stone that brings no benefit and causes no harm. Had it not been that I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) kissing you, I would not have kissed you." Consequently, kissing and touching Al-Hajar Al-Aswad in Tawaf is one of the rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage) and an act of `Ibadah, and likewise Tawaf whether in Hajj or 'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) and directing one's face towards
Al-Bayt-ul-Haram (the Sacred House, another name for the Ka`bah) in Salah (Prayer) and Du`a'. A person is not allowed to turn their face or back towards Ka`bah while urinating or defecating. All these are acts of `Ibadah and obedience to Allah (Exalted be He) by following His command and abstaining from what He prohibits. Muslims do not do this by their own free will. Moreover, the Sujud (Prostration) of the angels to Adam (peace be upon him) was an act of `Ibadah to Allah and obedience to His command to do so. (Part No. 1; Page No. 756) The angels did not do so as an act of `Ibadah to Adam. When Iblis (Satan) refused to make Sujud for Adam, Allah was angry and cursed him. All these acts of `Ibadah were not to use Al-Hajar Al-Aswad,
Al-Bayt-ul-Haram and Adam (peace be upon him) as a means to drive us closer to Allah in position. They are all but to obey Allah in His legislation and to follow His commands. This is different from the `Ibadah of Kafirs (disbelievers) to idols. They do so out of their free will in order to satiate their desires without guidance from Allah. However, Allah prohibits doing so for them and threatens them with painful chastisement for it. He (Exalted be He) sent His messengers to get rid of these idols and to fight those who offer `Ibadah to anyone other than Allah to bring them closer to Allah in position. Thus, how can we compare what Allah commands to what He prohibits! How far is the relationship between this and that. It is similar to one thing and its opposite.Exalted be your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. Peace be upon the Messengers. Praise be to The Lord of the worlds.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.