Adoration is to Contemplate upon God a Great Deal
The first moral we meet as we read the words of Imam Reza (A.S.) is his statement: "It is not adoration to perform the fast or the prayers a great deal; adoration is to contemplate upon God a great deal." What the Imam (A.S.) meant from such a definition of what adoration in its deep context is all about is his correction of the general attitude towards a rite such as the fast or the daily prayers, saying that prayers are not merely the prescribed movements accompanying quotations relevant particularly to prayers, nor is the fast merely the abstention from eating and drinking and such things. These particular movements and this performance are nothing more than the outer frame of the picture, while the adoration is the context which lies beyond the picture. What Imam Reza (A.S.) aims at by making this statement is making us aware of the reality from which we have to set out in performing the rite we are supposed to perform, and to distance us from the stagnation of the empty routine which causes us to lose the greatly spiritual meanings the rites we perform are intended to help us live. So, what is adoration, after all?
Imam Reza (A.S.) says that it is a great deal of contemplation upon the Almighty. It is not a great deal of fasting or prayers which do not go beyond the particular movements and timings as a routine action an individual has become accustomed to be doing during certain times away from the deep context of belief. Such is not adoration, for how many are those who perform their prayers and uphold their fast and at the same time commit the greatest of sins and perform various kinds of immoralities, yielding to wishes and desires, without being able towards them to take control of themselves, without trying to give authority over them to the deterring power of iman in order to avoid slipping into the paths of misguidance? The prayers of such individuals and their fast are nothing more than movements and performances which have lost their sense of wisdom and spiritual integrity.
Abundant contemplation upon the Will of God is by itself a form of worship and, at the same time, a starting point of every adoration and ritual. When someone feels harmony while contemplating upon the cosmos and its Creator, and the particles of life and their secrets filling the general existence of the cosmos, he cannot avoid feeling how small he is before this great Power which created this system in such perfection, determined its rules with such precision and exactness; and when he, through his power of reason, feels that the Power of the Great Creator surrounds this cosmos, that everything in existence is overwhelmed by its Authority and Might, without any avenue through which one may escape from the center of the Power controlling it..., then he cannot help feeling a deep belief in the perfecting Creator, and a genuine awe before the manifestations of such Greatness.
When man considers the bounties God has bestowed upon him which can never be exhausted while satisfying his continuous needs, and His absolute ability to deprive him of them any moment He wishes, without the existence of any power that would forbid Him from doing so, he would surely then thank Him sincerely and be grateful to Him, distancing himself from the hated elements of disbelief.
When man realizes the wisdom behind his own creation and the end awaiting him that will take him to another life so that the doers of good will be rewarded for their good deeds and the doers of evil will be punished for their evil, he cannot help considering what secures his salvation while doing what he does, and feeling angry at whatever displeases God. The feeling one develops of all of this and the comprehension of all of this is by itself a form of adoration because this feeling is the conscientious path which takes man to knowledge, and knowledge is the foundation of belief. At the same time, such comprehension gives adoration the vast spiritual meaning for which it was decreed.