Reflection No. 104 on Q 20:14 – Foundations of Faith

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي
Innanee Anallaahu laa ilaaha ilaa ana. Fa`budnee, wa-aqimis-salaati lidhikree.

Surely I am Allah, there is no god but Me, therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance. Surat Taha (No.20), Ayat 14

As part of the first revelation received by Nabi Musa (a), the above verse encapsulates the vital stages of the foundations of faith and actions of the believer.
Surely I am Allah – an introduction to the Almighty being.
There is no god but Me – an understanding of Tawheed, the absolute Oneness of God. This is the foundation of all beliefs.
so worship Me – once faith in One God has been established, the ensuing action is worship.
keep up prayer for My remembrance  –  the most important of all worship is Salaat.

Salaat can be established sincerely and exclusively for Allah when the heart has gone through the awareness that Allah exists and that there is no-one else worthy of worship except Him. This recognition of One God sets the stage for worship that is focused and enthusiastic. Without this prior awakening, it is difficult to worship Him as He deserves. To add life to our Salaat, we must first awaken the heart to the recognition of God, albeit limited according to human comprehension.

The salaat of a believer is performed with the full conviction that God is worthy of it, and deserves our sincere worship. It stems from an understanding of the points outlined in the verse above. Thus it is not a burden that has to be done because it is an order of Allah, but a privilege stemming from the honor of knowing that there is a God. This knowledge is one of the four blessings that we should thank Allah for every day, according to Mafatihul Jinan; Praise be to Allah who made Himself known to me, and did not leave me blind of heart[1]. Human beings have been elevated and ennobled through knowing Allah, and to appreciate that is to appreciate your Salaat.

Tafsir Namune, Aytaullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed).
Tafsire Noor – Aghae Muhsin Qarati