Thursday, 17 November 2011

SUBMIT, or else!

I am sometimes overwhelmed with a great dread when I look at the Ummah. I have worked in educating Muslims, young and old. And there are so many I can find who can recite verse after verse, quote narration after narration, and talk on scholars opinions for hours. But, so many of them lack the one true quality that will make it all worth while. What is it? .... 

Just to illustrate, let us consider a verse I am particulary enamored with lately.

God says what means, " He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Wisdom. And verily, they had been before in manifest error." [ AlJumu'ah 62: 2 ]

The word used here for reciting is 'yatlu'. Its construct as a noun would be 'tilaawah', a very familiar term to those accustomed to listening to Qur'aan. Now, this term is invariably translated as 'reciting', but I will attempt to show how that is a very limited meaning.

Elsewhere in the Qur'aan, God seeks to explain what 'tilaawah' is. He says, what means, "Those to whom We gave the Book recite it as it should be recited they are the ones who believe therein. And whoso disbelieve in it, those are they who are the losers." (AlBaqarah 2: 121) Now again the word used for recite is from the form of 'tilaawah'. As the verse indicates, these fortunate people 'recite it as it should be recited'. What does this mean?

If we look into the commentary of Ibn Katheer, we find some very interesting explanation. The Prophet (God's prayers and peace be upon him) is recorded as saying, ". . . follow it as it should be followed . . ." (AlQurtubee). Now, admittedly, this narration has a weak chain, but AlQurtubee states that its meaning is sound. In support of this, Ibn Katheer quotes more than one Companion who said exactly the same thing in explaining this verse. The word our Prophet (God's prayers and peace be upon him) used was 'Ittiba`'. If we look into this word a little we find some illuminating things.

'Ittiba`' means adherence to and compliance with something. The root of the word carries the additional meaning of being subordinate to something. So this is the way we should approach the Qur'aan. We should adhere to it, comply with it, and be subordinate to it; ACTING on its commandments, and BELIEVING in its ambiguous texts, as AlHassan AlBasree said.


This quality should be nutured in all of us, young and old, first. With this submission in place, a little or a lot of knowledge will not matter as much. You will submit to whatever you learn readily. As God indicated in the verse we quoted at the beginning, this was the FIRST stage of the Prophet's (God's peace and blessings be upon him) mission. Yet we seem to be missing this in so many of our lives and much of our world. Through this submission, we are exalted. Consider what Imaam Malik recorded one of the Companions, "Sadaqah does not decrease property, and God only increases a slave in worth for his restraint, and no slave is humble but that God raises him."

So it is by this that honor is found. By being humble (for God's sake) and submitting ourselves WILLILNGLY to God, in this is our success. Consider the very name of our Way of Life, AlIslaam. It is derived from a word that connotes submission. Everywhere you look in our Way of Life you will find it, so why do we run from it?

I have written this not to show case my knowledge, for how could I show what I do not have, or to advise the Ummah (alone). By far, I am in need of this advice as much and even more than most of you. So please, take it as a serious attempt at trying to fulfill my obligations of advising the Muslims, myself included.

"The Way of Life is giving good counsel".

Article written by : Sa'eed R. Purcell, USA

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