Dear all, and peace,
I would like to share an idea I had about the difference between 'worship' and 'service'. I will explain by painting a mental picture, sort of an analogy.Disclaimer
I'm sharing this only because I think that some people might enjoy the example. I'm not trying to show or prove some theory, and I have no particular reasons, evidence or other things to validate it. I'm not basing it on any particular verses from the quran, although I believe the concept of 'service' as I see it is supported by the quran.
I also realize that there can be many different interpretations of the word 'worship', but as I aim to show my idea of the difference between two concepts, the words I use to represent these concepts are not the important thing. The difference of the concepts is the important thing.
So here it goes, in a nut shell...
Imagine yourself as a transmitter who can send out, or project, a beam of 'something'. This 'something' emanates from you and is caused by your intention, attention and action. Perhaps you wish to visualize it as a green laser beam.
In the case of worship, you have a concept in your mind of a deity at which you direct words of praise and ritual acts. I would like to liken this with you sending your green laser beam - your beam of 'something' - up trough the sky into space, away and out of sight.... gone. After your session of worship, there is no apparent result or effect, apart from perhaps as a temporary emotional state within you.
In the case of service, you also emit the green laser beam of 'something', but this time you direct it not into space but rather straight into the biosphere, the "sociosphere". You aim it on your surroundings and society. Instead of disappearing into space, it will now hit for example your fellow human beings. The result is that the beam will now cause an effect. It will hit and interact with what it hits. This interaction may express itself as charity, a helping hand, teaching others, or any other constructive event. After your session of service, you have actually caused something to happen, in a very practical way. This is what makes 'service' poles apart from 'worship'.
(Even if you in the concept of 'service' includes your personal studies and work on yourself for improvement, it would still, in a secondary step, affect the surrounding through your now improved actions.)
When one sees it like this, there is a world of difference between 'worship' and 'service'. The difference is between 'useless' and 'useful', 'empty' and 'purposeful'. Naturally, this idea of mine stems from the whole discussion about the worshiping of or serving Allah, and how one can and should go about doing this.
Part of this topic is also that we do not serve Allah for any other reason than our own benefit, as Allah has no needs. This part about us growing and benefiting from our 'service' is however another discussion, and my analogy above does not touch upon that.
Perhaps I have stimulated someone's imagination...