Aʿ'budū Allah , translated to English as worship Allah is not the correct clear translation , also the book known as Tafasser Al-Qura'n/ explanation of the Quran used and explain this word wrongly to the people , they mostly explain and read the imperative verb " Aʿ'budū اعبدوا " as worship mean pray , mean bow down and prostrate and glorify Allah and call upon him , while they are only a part from the whole meaning of " Aʿ'budū اعبدوا "
The Quran distinguish clearly between the verbs bow down/ Ar'kaʿū اركعوا , prostrate/ As'judū اسجدوا and the verb Aʿ'budū اعبدوا .
22 - 77 : يا ايها الذين امنوا اركعوا واسجدوا واعبدوا ربكم وافعلوا الخير لعلكم تفلحون
22 - 77 : O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and Aʿ'budū اعبدوا your Rabb and do good - that you may succeed.
bow down اركعوا is fallen down into your knee and not bowing in 90 degree angle while you are still standing up , to read the movement of " َAr'kaʿū اركعوا " read the following :
38 - 24
قال لقد ظلمك بسؤال نعجتك الى نعاجه وان كثيرا من الخلطاء ليبغي بعضهم على بعض الا الذين امنوا وعملوا الصالحات وقليل ما هم وظن داوود انما فتناه فاستغفر ربه وخر راكعا واناب
38 -24 : [Dāwūd] said, "He has certainly wronged you in demanding your ewe [in addition] to his ewes. And indeed, many associates oppress one another, except for those who believe and do righteous deeds - and few are they." And Dāwūd became certain that We had tried him, and he asked forgiveness of his Rabb and fell down bowing and turned in repentance [to Allah].
16 - 26 : قد مكر الذين من قبلهم فاتى الله بنيانهم من القواعد فخر عليهم السقف من فوقهم واتاهم العذاب من حيث لا يشعرون
16 - 26 : Those before them had already plotted, but Allah came at their building from the foundations, so the roof fell upon them from above them, and the punishment came to them from where they did not perceive.
does the roof moved down for 90 degree or does he fell down to the ground , certinly "fell /kharra خر" mean fallout into the ground , so when Dāwūd fell down bowing he fallout into the ground into his knee , he did not do the 90 degree inclination and then stand up he fell down straight away.
prostrate/ As'judū اسجدوا is the inclination of the upper body from up to down , the movement of "Prostrates/ S'jud السجود" can be done after bowing down into your knee or while standing up :
2 - 58 : واذ قلنا ادخلوا هذه القرية فكلوا منها حيث شئتم رغدا وادخلوا الباب سجدا وقولوا حطة نغفر لكم خطاياكم وسنزيد المحسنين
2 - 58 : And [recall] when We said, "Enter this city and eat from it wherever you will in [ease and] abundance, and enter the gate ( while you are) prostrating and say, 'Relieve us of our burdens.' We will [then] forgive your sins for you, and We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward]."
how come they enter the gate while prostrating , according to the Tafasser book explanation they should enter while they are rubbing their forehead with the ground , entering a gate while you are prostrating would simply mean inclining you upper body down , its the same movement known wrongly as "Bowing َR'kaʿū الركوع "
same as we saw previously about "Bowing down / Rukkaʿa ركعا" in many verses the word "Prostrating / S'jada سجدا" come after the movement of "fell /kharra خر" , witch mean that the the imperative verb prostrate/ As'judū اسجدوا mean fallout into the ground , and then incline the upper body down to the ground , the quran explain this movement clearly by the following description :
16 - 48 : او لم يروا الى ما خلق الله من شيء يتفيا ظلاله عن اليمين والشمائل سجدا لله وهم داخرون
16 - 48 : Have they not observed all things that Allah hath created, how their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly?
The movement of prostration is the same as the movement of the shadow of an abject .
17 - 107 : قل امنوا به او لا تؤمنوا ان الذين اوتوا العلم من قبله اذا يتلى عليهم يخرون للاذقان سجدا
17 - 107 Say, "Believe in it or do not believe. Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it - when it is recited upon them, they fall to their chins in prostration
So simply fall to their chins in prostrating mean inclining to the angle where the chin is down to the ground , there is no mentioning that t(he forehead should touch the ground , the verse 48 - 29 was wrongly explained :
محمد رسول الله والذين معه اشداء على الكفار رحماء بينهم تراهم ركعا سجدا يبتغون فضلا من الله ورضوانا سيماهم في وجوههم من اثر السجود ذلك مثلهم في التوراة ومثلهم في الانجيل كزرع اخرج شطاه فازره فاستغلظ فاستوى على سوقه يعجب الزراع ليغيظ بهم الكفار وعد الله الذين امنوا وعملوا الصالحات منهم مغفرة واجرا عظيما
48 - 29 Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating , seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Taourat. And their description in the Anjil is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.
There is diffrence between " on / fi في " and "Above /Aʿala على" , " on / fi في " something mean withing , inside through etc , "Above /Aʿala على" mean on the top of , something you can see and touche above something you can see and touch . the expression find in verse 48 - 29 Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration is from the first meaning , the mark that are on their faces from prostration is on all the face as you can remark not a black dot in the forehead , if the meaning was about signaling a dot mark in the forehead the Quran would use the word "Above /Aʿala على" instead of " on / fi في " , so simply the mark that is on the face as a trace from prostration is due to the long concentration / fixation while the believers are in state of "prostration/ السجود َAl-sujud"
39 - 9 : امن هو قانت اناء الليل ساجدا وقائما يحذر الاخرة ويرجو رحمة ربه قل هل يستوي الذين يعلمون والذين لا يعلمون انما يتذكر اولوا الالباب
39 - 9 Is one who is "Qanet قانت / fixed" during periods of the night, prostrating and standing , fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, ? Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.
so the mark on the faces is due to the trace caused by long period where the believers are fixed / concentrated while prostrating and is not due to the forehead touching the ground.
I highly signal that both action / movement bow down اركعوا and prostrate/ As'judū اسجدوا has no value or meaning without the reasoning and the action of the heart / القلب , when the believers used to prostrate when they heard the verses of the Quran its because their heart repent to it its a sign movement of submitting to Allah , they acknowledge and uphold the meaning and they accepted it upon them wither as a information about the unseen or as structures or command decreed-ed above them , so the point is that bow down اركعوا and prostrate/ As'judū اسجدوا are not a blind movement and this is why there is no counting while doing them as counting is simply against and disturbing the concept of "Fixed state /َ Al-Qonout القنوت " and "concentration / Al-Khouchoaâ الخشوع " both concept are recommended to be achieved .
So what does Aʿ'budū اعبدوا stand for :
First i would say that there is no English verb to correctly translate the verb Aʿ'budū اعبدوا to it , the close translation would be To serve by following the recommended instructions , Aʿ'budū Allah اعبدوا الله simply mean serve Allah by following and upholding what he has sent down to you , this is clearly understood from the verse :
36 - 60/61
الَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَن لّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِين وَأَنْ اعْبُدُونِي هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيم
Did I not charge you, O ye sons of Adam, that ye Serve/Follow not the Chaitan ( Satan / devil )- Lo! he is your clear enemy -
And that you Serve Me / Follow Me? This is a straight path
the verse asked the believers to Aʿ'budū Allah / Serve/Follow Allah اعبدوا الله and it show them how by saying : This is a straight path .
What the "this is" in 36-61 is pointing to and what is the straight path , we have to look at the verse 6-153 and 6-126 :
6-153 : وان هذا صراطي مستقيما فاتبعوه ولا تتبعوا السبل فتفرق بكم عن سبيله ذلكم وصاكم به لعلكم تتقون
6-153 : And this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.
6-126 : وَهَذَا صِرَاطُ رَبِّكَ مُسْتَقِيمًا قَدْ فَصَّلْنَا الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَذَّكَّرُونَ
6-126 : And this is the path of your Lord, [leading] straight. We have detailed the verses for a people who remember.
6-155وهذا كتاب انزلناه مبارك فاتبعوه واتقوا لعلكم ترحمون
6-155 And this is a scripture We have sent it down [which is] blessed, so follow it and do right that you may receive mercy.
Aʿ'budū Allah / Serve/Follow Allah اعبدوا الله is following his straight path witch is the scripture anyone who is upholding any command ,statement , instruction from the scripture and activating it in the social life or his own life he is about He is Serve/Following Allah / Yaʿ'budū Allah / يعبد الله , from this understanding the command bow down/ Ar'kaʿū اركعوا , prostrate/ As'judū اسجدوا become only a part from the major command Aʿ'budū Allah / Serve/Follow Allah اعبدوا الله witch include all the commands statements and instructions find in the scripture.
This understanding will be much clearer by knowing what we do not to follow/ serve :
16 - 36 ولقد بعثنا في كل امة رسولا ان اعبدوا الله واجتنبوا الطاغوت فمنهم من هدى الله ومنهم من حقت عليه الضلالة فسيروا في الارض فانظروا كيف كان عاقبة المكذبين
16 - 36 And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Serve / Follow Allah and shun Al-Taghut ( corrupted political leaders , president , governors , kings , emperors , transgressors , corrupted Constitution , laws , legislation...etc ) . Then some of them (there were) whom Allah guided, and some of them (there were) upon whom error had just hold. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for the deniers!
39 - 17 والذين اجتنبوا الطاغوت ان يعبدوها وانابوا الى الله لهم البشرى فبشر عباد
39 - 17 But those who have avoided Taghut ( corrupted political leaders , president , governors , kings , emperors , transgressors , corrupted Constitution , laws , legislation...etc ), lest they serve / follow it, and turned back to Allah - for them are good tidings. So give good tidings to My servants.
4 - 60 : الم تر الى الذين يزعمون انهم امنوا بما انزل اليك وما انزل من قبلك يريدون ان يتحاكموا الى الطاغوت وقد امروا ان يكفروا به ويريد الشيطان ان يضلهم ضلالا بعيدا
4 - 60 : Have you not seen those who claim to have believed in what was revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you? They wish to refer legislation to Taghut ( corrupted political leaders , president , governors , kings , emperors , transgressors , corrupted Constitution , laws , legislation...etc ), while they were commanded to reject it; and Chaitan / Satan wishes to lead them far astray.
Aʿ'budū Allah / Serve/Follow Allah اعبدوا الله in the contrary recommend rejecting Taghut , mean rejecting serving and following all ( corrupted political leaders , president , governors , kings , emperors , transgressors , corrupted Constitution , corrupted laws , corrupted legislation , corrupted corporations...etc )
so the famous verse 51-56 become clear :
51-56 : وما خلقت الجن والانس الا ليعبدون
51-56 : And I did not create the jinn and Inss ( both are mankind) except to Serve/follow Me.
One more major thing to add is that they wrongly associate only mosques with Aʿ'budū Allah / Serve/Follow Allah اعبدوا الله whereas the places where to Aʿ'budū Allah / Serve/Follow Allah اعبدوا الله to be activated are Tribunals , Parliament , Government chambers , states chambers , what is done today in tribunals and parliament used to be done in the past at " Al-masajed / المساجد Mosques" where the name of Allah ( proclaiming his authority ) is mentioned , the name of Allah is mentioned doesn't mean reciting his name but it mean that the judgement the rules the instructions the legislation all is to be pronounced under his authority that's mean that only the judgement ,the rules , the laws , the instructions , the legislation that Allah has confirmed in the scripture is to be used under his name( proclaiming his authority ) , and the judgement is announced under Allah's name the believers prostrate . the place where to announce laws , judgement , legislation is the same place where prostration is to be done. there is nothing in the system of Allah called mosque and then tribunal and parliament etc , in today's life you will find in many tribunals in the world the judgement or laws is pronounced under the name of the king of the country or the governor or in the name of the republic etc.
so this is the correct understanding of the verse 2:114 and
ومن اظلم ممن منع مساجد الله ان يذكر فيها اسمه وسعى في خرابها اولئك ما كان لهم ان يدخلوها الا خائفين لهم في الدنيا خزي ولهم في الاخرة عذاب عظيم
2-114 : And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allah ( proclaiming his authority ) from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction. It is not for them to enter them except in fear. For them in this world is disgrace, and they will have in the Hereafter a great punishment.
22-40 : الذين اخرجوا من ديارهم بغير حق الا ان يقولوا ربنا الله ولولا دفع الله الناس بعضهم ببعض لهدمت صوامع وبيع وصلوات ومساجد يذكر فيها اسم الله كثيرا ولينصرن الله من ينصره ان الله لقوي عزيز
22-40 : those who have been evicted from their homes without right - only because they say, "Our Rabb is Allah." And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah ( proclaiming his authority ) is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.
Mentioning the name of Allah upon the livestock is simply acknowledging the authorization from Allah to kill the animal , so mentioning Allah's name upon them mean they have the authorization from Allah to kill them as it's not a simple thing at all to kill an animal.
5-4 : يسالونك ماذا احل لهم قل احل لكم الطيبات وما علمتم من الجوارح مكلبين تعلمونهن مما علمكم الله فكلوا مما امسكن عليكم واذكروا اسم الله عليه واتقوا الله ان الله سريع الحساب
They ask you, [O Muhammad], what has been made lawful for them. Say, "Lawful for you are [all] good foods and [game caught by] what you have trained of hunting animals which you train as Allah has taught you. So eat of what they catch for you, and mention the name of Allah upon it ( proclaiming the authorization from Allah ) , and fear Allah." Indeed, Allah is swift in account.