The person who has renounced naturalism and accepted belief in God said, “All praise be to God; I no longer have any doubts concerning God’s existence and Oneness, but still I have a few questions.”
The first question
We hear many people who are idle in performing the daily Prayers ask: What need does God Almighty have for our worship? Why in the Qur’an does He severely reprimand those who do not worship and threaten them with such a terrible punishment as Hell? How does it behoove the moderate, mild, and balanced style of the Qur’an to display such severity in the face of an insignificant fault?
The answer: Truly, God Almighty has no need at all for your worship, nor indeed for anything else. But you need to worship, for in truth you are spiritually ill. We have indicated in many parts of the Risale-i Nur that worship is a cure for many spiritual wounds of humanity. If a patient responds to a compassionate doctor who insists that he should take the medicines prescribed for his illness, saying, “What need do you have for the medicine? Why are you insisting in this way?”, you can understand how foolish this would be.
As for the severe threats of the Qur’an against the non-fulfillment of the duty of worship with terrible punishments, it is like this: In order to protect his subjects’ rights, a monarch punishes an ordinary man to the extent that he violates those rights. Likewise, one who does not worship, including in particular the Prayer, is seriously violating the rights of the creatures who are like subjects of the Absolute Sovereign of eternity. For the perfection of creatures displays itself through glorification and other kinds of worship manifested by their relationship with the Maker. One who does not worship does not, indeed cannot, see their worship, and even denies it. By reducing the creatures from their position of each being a missive of the Eternally Besought-of-All and a mirror to His Names by reason of their worship to the degree of being insignificant, inanimate, meaningless, aimless, and randomly existent things, this person has insulted them, and denies their perfections.
Indeed, everyone sees the universe in their own mirror. God Almighty has created humanity as a measure and scale for the universe. He has given each person a particular, private world out of the universe. The particular world of each person takes on the color of his or her heart. For example, a desperate, weeping person sees creatures as weeping and in despair, while a cheerful, optimistic one sees them as also cheerful and smiling. One who worships God Almighty in a serious, reflective manner can discern to certain degree the actual worship and glorifications of creatures, while a person who does not worship, due to either heedlessness or denial, thinks of creatures in a manner devoid of any truth and completely contrary to their actual perfections, and thus violates their rights.
Furthermore, no one is their own creator and owner; everyone is a servant of God Almighty. Therefore, those who do not perform the prescribed Prayers, defeated by their carnal, evil-commanding soul, wrong themselves, although they are servants of their Master and Owner. So, their Owner makes severe threats in order to protect His servant’s rights against the evil commanding soul, and to restore them. In addition, one who does not worship, which is God’s purpose for His creation or the ultimate reason for a person’s existence, is transgressing the Divine Will and Wisdom, and therefore deserves punishment.
In short, those who do not worship both wrong themselves, the servants of God Almighty owned by Him, and wrong and transgress the rights of creatures that arise from the perfections they share as worshipping servants of God. Just as unbelief is an insult to creatures, so too is the non-fulfillment of the duty of worship a denial of the perfections shared by creatures. Likewise, it is a transgression against Divine Wisdom and this deserves severe threats and punishment. It is in order to express this truth that the Qur’an of miraculous expression has chosen the severe style under discussion, which, in complete conformity with eloquence, corresponds to the requirements of the situation.