“O you people, worship…” (Baqara, 2:21)
First of all, we must say that “we worship because our Creator tells us so.”
We all know that there is great profit and happiness in worship, and there is great loss and ruin in not performing the worships. Every Muslim can tell this from personal experience.
Worship is not performed to demand new rewards, it is actually a duty charged to us in return of the things we received in advance. In other words, we do not have a right to say “I perform my worships, so I will get the rewards in return;” because, we have received our rewards beforehand.
Allah gave us existence and life (and all the required things along with them: sustenance, foods, stomach, and appetite.) It would not even be possible for us to know what it means to exist or what it is to be human if Allah had not created us. What is more He did not create us as an animal or a plant. But He gave us the humanity and many material and immaterial bounties along with it (senses, feelings, emotions).
That’s not all! Allah gave us Islam and belief, which bring us many benefits, pleasures, and happiness. And He gave us knowledge and love of Him which is a great feeling and raises us to high levels of belief. If man finds Him, what does he lose? If man loses Him, what can he find?
So, we have received our rewards in advance, and we are charged with worship. And this is really an easy, pleasurable, bountiful, and a light duty.
So what is the essence of the worship? It is, first of all, to be in complete thankfulness. It is to be aware of our faults and sins, to see our defects, to realize our weakness and poverty, and then to prostrate in love and awe before our Creator.
When we perform worship we proclaim that our Lord is free of all defects and exalted above the false ideas.
We devout ourselves to Him, place our trust in Him, see our flaws, and seek His forgiveness through our worships.
It is to proclaim Allahu akbar (Allah is the greatest) realizing our weaknesses and needs, and the poverty and helplessness of all creatures.
May Allah make us among the sincere worshippers of Him, and see that there is no one or nothing to be glorified other than Him.