Mr. Mohammad Asad Khan's Presentation at the Conference
02 December 2023
Mr. Mohammad Asad Khan's Presentation at the Conference

For those interested, the videos and abstracts of the English session of the conference are uploaded:

*Presentation Title: Dimensions of Worship as Revealed in Ḥajj: Explorations in Islamic Thought and Quranic Tafāsīr

*Presenter: Mohammad Asad Khan (M. Phil., Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India)

Presentation Video


In this paper, I intend to show the tension between two notions of ‘ibādah [ عبادة] (worship) in Islam and an attempt at resolving it. There is a central core meaning of ‘ibādah in the Qur’an. I will analyse various classical tafāseer (Qur'anic exegetical texts) (both sunni and shi‘i) of the Qur’an to show how this meaning emerges and also possibly few texts of Islamic philosophy. This meaning is manifested through primarily two modes; jalāl [جلال] (majestic or lordly) and jamāl [جمال] (aesthetic or lover mode). I argue that these modes are primarily manifested in two ritual worships ie. ṣalāh [صلوة] (Islamic ritual prayer) and ḥajj [حج](Islamic ritual pilgrimage) . This brings out some tension in our concept of ‘ibādah and this duality needs to be resolved. Ṣalāh is primarily associated with a ‘royal’ or ‘jalālī’ worship and ḥajj is associated with ‘ecstatic’ or ‘jamālī’ (loosely translated). I argue that this apparent tension leads us to a dynamic within the Islamic philosophy of worship that reveals to us the true nature of worship and helps us appreciate a holistic view of what worship means in Islam. The paper also explores how remembrance, enactment, imitation of holy personages (like Ibrahīm [ابراهيم] and Isma‘īl [اسماعيل] ‘alaihimussalam), and obedience etc are integral parts of ḥajj worship and align with tawḥīd (Islamic monotheism). I will also try to incorporate elements of western philosophy of worship in my paper.