Who Do Muslims Worship?
The submission of man to his Creator is the essence of Islam. The word "Islam" literally means, "to submit" or "to surrender." The real question one should ask is: "submit and surrender" to whom? Muslims submit and surrender their will and desires to the will and the laws of the Creator. This is what "Islam" truly means. By referring to, The Creator", Muslims are talking about "Allah."
Allah is the Creator of all that is in the heavens and the earth. In Islam, Allah is the True and Only Creator, and only he deserves to be worshipped. Nothing else is worthy of worship; not stones, statues, crosses, the sun, the moon, stars, temples, animals, Prophets (from any religion), messengers, saints, priests, movie stars, musicians, athletes, or religious scholars. All of those are created beings, and are not worthy of worship in Islam. In fact, doing that is to associate partners with Allah, and it is the only sin that would never be forgiven on the Day of Judgment.
Allah is the Arabic word for God. This is the way all Arab Jews, Christians and Muslims call God. Allah is the person-al name of God, which He gave to Himself in the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the last and final revelation from Allah to mankind, that Allah gave to Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, through the Angel Gabriel. The name "Allah" is unique. It has no feminine or masculine form unlike 'god' or 'goddess'). It also has no plural form (unlike 'gods' and goddesses'). The name "Allah" simply means 'The One and Only True God."
The name "Allah" was not a name invented by the Arabs. It has been the name of God since the beginning of time. In the Torah, we can easily find the name that God gave Himself, "Elah", or in some cases, "Eloh" (Elohim - [im] being a form of respect in the Hebrew language). It was also used in the Aramaic language, which was the language spoken by our beloved Prophet Jesus, alayhes salam.
The Creator, Allah, has perfect attributes. He is the First; there was none before Him, and He is the Last. Allah is the Everliving; everything will end in death, except Him. He is the Protecting Friend and to Him is the Final Return, where everything will be dealt with and judged in the Most Perfect and Just way. Muslims are confident of the Just and Perfect Judgment of Allah, The Creator, because He tells us repeatedly in the Qur'an that He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, and perfectly just.
Allah also tells us in the Qur'an, that He does not beget, nor is He begotten. Begetting offspring, eating and sleeping are all characteristics of created things. Compare this, for example, to the Biblical ideas of God resting on the seventh day of creation, and begetting a son.
Muslims believe that Allah does not have the characteristics of people, animals or any created things. Muslims also believe that Allah is All- Powerful and able to do-all things, He merely says to it "Be" and it is. Such as the case of the miraculous birth of Prophet Jesus, alayhes salam, and when Allah created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.
The most important point about Islamic worship is to understand that Muslims worship One God only. This pure and simple message of Islam has remained unchanged since the first man walked on earth. From the Prophet Moses, alayhes salam, calling out to his people, "Hear 'O Israel.-The Lord our God is One" [Deuteronomy 6:4 (English-KJV)]; to Prophet Jesus, alayhes salam, teaching and reprimanding his disciples, "Why does thou callest me good? There is none good but one, that is, God" [Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19 (English-KJV)J; to the last messenger of monotheism who came with the final revelation from God proclaiming, "Your God is One God, there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful" [2:163].
Allah, The One. This is whom over one-billion Muslims across the world pray to five times each day.
The declaration of faith for one who wants to embrace Islam is:"Ashadu Alla Ilaha Illallah waashhadu anna Muhammadan rasoolullah", which means when translated to English: "There is nothing worthy of worship but Allah; alone, and Muhammad is His Messenger."
Extracted from Al-Jumuah Magazine