I want you to understand the word ‘Ibadah’ in Arabic or ‘Uboodiyyah’ the Masdar. It includes two things: If I translate them as one of those two things it’s incomplete, it’s a limitation of English as opposed to classical arabic. Classical arabic combines many concepts at the same time, and so if we just look at a partial translation or partial meaning of the concept, there’s confusion left in the mind. The two terms that completely or comprehensively cover all aspects of ‘Ibadah’ or ‘Uboodiyyah’ are two things. Those are worship and slavery. There are two terms: worship and slavery. A lot of times we either take worship or we take slavery but there are two separate things in English, but they’re combined in Arabic into the word ‘Ibadah’ and ‘Uboodiyyah’. لَآ أَعۡبُدُ مَا تَعۡبُدُونَ So when the messenger says He does’t just mean I will not worship also I will not be enslaved to, I will not become a slave of. Very briefly I’ll remind you of the difference between worship and slavery. When Maghrib happened, we worshipped Allah, when Isya comes up, we will worship Allah, but in between the prayes, what are we? Slaves of Allah. When you’re sleeping you are not worshipping, but you are still a slave. When you wake up, when you’re driving to work, brushing your teeth, eating your breakfast, you know, parking your car Even if you’re not reciting Quran or you’re not doing an act of worship, but you are still what? A slave. In other words: Worship is specific acts. The act of fasting, the act of praying, the act of making Hajj, the act of reciting Quran, the act of giving Sadaqa – These are acts of worship. But a slave is a slave all the time – whether he does those acts or not. This concept is very powerful. It means we are to live according to what Allah- how Allah wants us to live not just in Jummah during the Khutbah, and when the Salah is going on we are enslaved to Allah in between the prayers, too. Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah. ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ٱلۡوُسۡطَىٰ some commentary says it’s between the prayers – be connected to Allah, too. You know what happens a lot of times? People worship Allah, but they still don’t act like his slave. Somebody owns a liquor store, comes to the Salah for five times. He worships Allah, but he’s clearly not acting like what? A slave. He is not obeying Allah. And sometimes because we have these partial English definitions, you know what happens? We feel, we think to ourselves ‘Hey, at least I worship Him.’ ‘At least I worship Him, so my job is done.’ No! You worshipped him, but you are still not a عبد of Allah. Worship is one part, slavery is the other – Ibadah includes both. Now the Arabs, they had two problems. There are two problems. They refuse to worship Allah But you know what the bigger problem is? They refuse to be Allahs slaves. There are two problems in this Surah. We have to make those problems distinct. The problem: When they refuse to bow down only to Allah and get rid of all the idols What is that a problem of? Worship or slavery? That’s a problem of worship. But when they refuse to give the orphan, when they refuse to not kill the baby girl, when they refuse to not feed the poor, when they refuse to not give justice, when they refuse to kill without having right to do so, when they abuse the slave, when they do all of these things, what are they refusing to do? They’re refusing to act like Allahs slaves. Being Allahs slave includes you worship him and you act like a slave. Two things. So know understand the Ayah. لَآ أَعۡبُدُ مَا تَعۡبُدُونَ لَآ أَعۡبُدُ – I will not be enslaved to and I will not worship what you have been worshipping. Now we have to understand, Allah – In this Ayah the messenger is being told to talk about what they worship and what they are slaves of. So what is it that they worship? And what is it that they’re slaves of? They are worshippers of idols, false gods. And they are slaves of their own desires. 2 things – they worship the idols and they are slaves of their own selves, their own Hawaa, their own Nafs. And the messenger says I refuse to worship your idols, and I refuse to be enslaved to my own desires. I refuse both of those things. I Am not, I’m never going to. Now, they, the Mushrikoon, say he’s been rejecting our religion for a decade now almost Let’s give him a compromise. Maybe the future – Makkah has become pretty tense. You know, always this confrontation between the muslims and the Kuffar. Let’ make a compromise. Life will become better. Well, we’re willing to accept your religion for a year and you accept our religion the next year And then we’ll come back to yours the next year and we’ll all share. You know, in other words We all share Islam for a season the we will all share Shirk for a season. And if we compromise, things will get better There won’t be any tension in Makkah anymore. So our future will be better. لَآ أَعۡبُدُ according to most grammarians the ‘La’ on the Mudariq actually – More than present, illustrates the future. In other words the messenger says don’t have your hopes up. I am not going to, it’s never going to happen. I will never – if you’re thinking the future is going to be softer on you I will never worship and I will refuse to be enslaved to whatever you worship and you are enslaved to. That is never going to happen. Get that out of your head.