Say: "I am commanded to worship Allah, making my religion sincerely His." (Surat az-Zumar: 11)
Once having grasped the extent of Allah's infinite might, to forget His existence and remain heedless is merely to delude oneself. What Allah demands from human beings is that they seek to earn His good pleasure as their sole priority in life.
Since it is Allah Who created man, provided him his sustenance and all other such blessings, and Who promised him eternal life in the , it would be an act of ingratitude for man to seek the pleasure of others, or the gratification of his own self, as his primary aim. The punishment for such ungratefulness is eternal hellfire.
There are two choices a man can make; he can either found his life on Allah's good pleasure, and thus earn the reward of His Paradise, or choose the path that leads to Hell. A third option is not available for him. This is clearly expressed in the following verse:
Who is better: someone who founds his building on fear of Allah and His good pleasure, or someone who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice so that it collapses with him into the Fire of Hell? Allah does not love wrongdoers. (Surat at-Tawba: 109)
Those values praised in the Qur'an are those founded on purely that which achieves Allah's pleasure. For example, self-sacrifice, which is pleasing to Allah, is valid only if the person does not expect anything for it in return, but rather only to attain Allah's good pleasure. It is related in the Qur'an that believers conduct themselves correctly only to seek Allah's countenance:
They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives: "We feed you only out of desire for the Face of Allah. We do not want any repayment from you or any thanks." (Surat al-Insan: 8-9)
Allah's Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also stated in a hadith that Allah's Pleasure must always be held above man's pleasure:
Whoever seeks Allah's Pleasure at the expense of men's displeasure, will win Allah's Pleasure and Allah will cause men to be pleased with him. And whoever seeks to please men at the expense of Allah's Displeasure, will win the Displeasure of Allah and Allah will cause men to be displeased with him. (narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Saheeh)
The greatest honor and gratification man can ever attain is Allah's good pleasure. Allah makes His servants pleased with Him through the multitude of blessings He bestows on them. In a verse of the Qur'an, the reward for believers who are pleased with Allah, and with whom Allah is pleased, is related as follows:
Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Eden with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. That is for those who fear their Lord. (Surat al-Bayyina: 8)
Allah's good pleasure is not only earned solely by performing certain acts of worship at definite times. Allah's good pleasure is also earned by conducting oneself correctly throughout one's lifetime. The following verse informs us that a believer's entire life must be oriented towards a single goal:
Say: "My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat al-An'am: 162)