Islam, June 1993
COMPLETE SUBMISSION TO ALLAH
"Who could have better words than one who invites to the Path of Allah?" says Qur'an. Allah loves the truth. Hence, a Muslim scholar insists on telling the truth "even if he were expelled from nine villages for telling the truth." His mother, his children, his grandchildren, his relatives or his neighbors may get angry at him for telling the truth, yet he continues to tell the truth, to advise patience and thankfulness, and to ordain justice.
How could a person be angry at a scholar? When a person deviates from the straight path and insists on his deviation, he can be angry at a scholar for telling the truth.
A Muslim, literally, is a person who submits himself to Allah. A Muslim declares, "I submit myself to the Will of Allah. I will do everything He ordained. I will follow His commands regardless of whether I like it or not. I will follow His straight path even if it costs me my comfort."
A true Muslim would never say, "I am there with Muslims when there is pleasure, but count me out when there is displeasure or hardship." That does not go hand in hand with the meaning of Muslim. That is not submission. Bargaining or negotiation has no place in submission to Allah.
"Friendship lasts with compliance," said our late teacher. "When a friend asks a friend, 'Let's go,' a true friend would not say 'To where?' He would comply with his friend's request." A trust exists between friends and it must be kept. The question, "To where?" implies that the so-called friend would comply with the request if the answer pleases him. The requesting friend might have a problem or some work to be completed. The friendship might be needed at that moment. It would not be proper to impair the trust. "Eat when you see food and run away when you see work" principle does not get along with friendship.
How should the submission to Allah be? The companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to come to him and pledge allegiance saying: "O Prophet of Allah! I pledge allegiance to you; I have held your hand and joined your nation. I follow you. I am at your service." Sometimes our beloved Prophet (pbuh) would ask: "Will you keep your pledge even if it were to cost you your life?" One day a companion came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: "O Prophet of Allah! I pledge allegiance to you; I am at your service. I will follow your commands. However, I have a condition. I have a large family and my ten camels supply just enough milk for us. Please don't ask for zakat from me. Remove the Zakat responsibility from me. Also, please exclude me from jihad. I am a cowardly, fearful person. I will keep my pledge as long as you do not ask for zakat or jihad."
The Prophet (pbuh) held the companion's hand and asked repeatedly: "How could Islam be without zakat and jihad?" Upon this, the companion reflected and said, "I shall keep my pledge, O Prophet of Allah! I will give anything you ask of me, my camels, my belongings, my food, even my life. I will keep my pledge under any circumstances."
This is the true Islam; that is the true submission. Today, many people, unfortunately, take Islam less serious than the salt shaken on food. They consider Islam as "salt, pepper, garniture, sauce, or ketchup on food." They enjoy the pleasures and comforts of the 20th century, and once in a blue moon, when the lightning strikes, thunder roars or the fear of death befalls, they get closer to Islam. They would say, "What would happen to me in the hereafter? I'd better come close to Islam. I need just a little from Islam, not much!" Is earning paradise this easy? One has to go through tests on his wealth, life, intelligence, thoughts, intentions, and feelings. Allah does not leave a person "alone" after the person declares "I believe." Life is a test, and everybody is tested on everything. Everybody will experience many difficulties and calamities. One has to be strong as a fortress and not fooled by Satan. Saying "No!" to Satan, one has to continue to be a truthful servant of Allah. Allah wants truthful and loyal servants.
On a day when money, relatives and friends have no effect, Allah wants a pure, healthy heart, a truthful, loyal servant. He wants complete submission. It is very difficult to find such people even in countries where 99% of the population is Muslim. Their number is very small.
How many people are there who completely submit to the Will of Allah? Very few, indeed. Once such a servant, a dervish, was accused with spying and sentenced to die. He was just a traveller going different parts of the world. His hands tied, he was brought to the executioner. The dervish was to lose his head.
The fear of death would make a person in that situation be confused and lose control. The dervish turned to himself -- not to anybody else -- and said: "O my carnal soul! You would talk about complete submission to Allah and claim that you were content with your destiny; you would accept good and bad anything coming from Allah without raising an objection. Now these people are making a mistake that will cost you your life. Here is a real test for you. Are you going to accept your destiny? It is destiny but you will definitely lose your head. Are you still content?"
He checks his soul to see if he would get a response as "No way! I was going to live longer and observe my children's wedding. I was going to be over one hundred years old." Despite the fact that most people have a desire to live longer and plans for future, his soul was content: "Everybody will taste the death eventually, and I will do it today. May Allah not part us from a complete belief."
With no fear of death, the dervish was taken to the place of execution. Just before the execution, somebody from the spectators stepped forward and said: "Stop! You are making a mistake. You will commit an injustice if you kill this innocent man. We know him well; he is a good person." Thus, he was saved.
He used to say, "I was glad nor for escaping the death but for my sincerity and complete submission." In a life and death situation, his carnal soul had not rebelled and kept its submission. This is the true submission. Are there many such people? Very very few, indeed. If there were many such people, the Muslim countries would not be in a sad situation, and the world would be different.
May Allah correct us with His grace and blessings!