We need to move away from the idea that there is such a thing as an ‘act of worship’. Take the daily prayer, for example. What are we doing when we are not performing the prescribed prayer? Are we in some kind of neutral position? When we brush our teeth or wash the car or paint the walls, how do we see those acts? Are they ‘worldly acts’, which is how some people describe them? Are they spiritually ‘neutral’? When we are not praying, or fasting, or giving charitably, or making pilgrimage, what are we doing? Are we worshiping only when we are doing those so-called ‘acts of worship’?
There is no notion of an ‘act of worship’ in Islam. Since the Creator is manifesting Himself constantly, from moment to moment, He expects a response from us that is in line with His continuous self-revelation. He calls upon us to know Him, to love Him and to submit to Him constantly. He calls on us to act in His name, and for His sake, at all times – and not only at times when we are praying, fasting or giving charitably. He calls for constant awareness, constant vigilance, constant self-study, constant reflection – regardless of what we’re actually doing.
Belief does not entail ‘acts of worship’. Belief entails acting worshipfully. At all times.