May 1997: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

God is the Ultimate Judge

Continued from page 1

In the Quran, verse 5:48 states, “For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rights. Had God willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness.” Thus God did not make all of humankind one congregation but gave us differences so that we may choose and have a choice in the way we lead our lives. When given a choice it is important to make the choice that you feel is right for yourself, because in the Hereafter we will be our own judges, as stated in verses 75:14-15: “The human being will be his own judge. No excuses will be accepted.” Thus we see that you should judge others in the manner you would want to be judged yourself. Judging people based on their dress, their religion, or appearances rather than their individual beliefs and actions is prejudice, and is not condoned by the Quran.

The Jews said, “The Christians have no basis,” while the Christians said, “The Jews have no basis.” Yet both of them read the scripture. Such are the utterances of those who possess no knowledge. God will judge them on the Day of Resurrection, regarding their disputes. (2:113)

Islam is not a black and white religion whereby people are either free of sin, or condemned to go to Hell. There is an in-between, there is repentance, and there is God who is Most Gracious, Most Merciful, and who knows our fate. Let us not try to play God’s role and condemn and judge people based on what we do not know.

I stated earlier that God put differences among the people of the earth so that we may choose the way we lead our lives. I would like you to imagine a world in which there were no choices. A sort of Muslim nation whereby they raised no pigs, alcohol was not available, men and women were isolated from one another, no weapons were made, and the people were forced to pray five times a day to God. Now, the people in this scenario were leading a righteous life but had no choice in the matter. For if they wanted to sin or deviate they did not have the means.

Now imagine a country like America where people have easy access to alcohol and drugs; cult religions and idols are plentiful, sex and violence are glorified and easily accessible. If someone is able to lead a righteous life in this atmosphere they are showing much greater strength and will than a person in the other scenario. This is because in America we have a choice. Every day we try to choose the right thing to do and God willing we do it.

In each scenario the person’s actions are that of a righteous submitter, but what really matters is the intent and understanding the person has of his or her actions. We need to understand and follow our religion for ourselves and not for fear of parents or other people’s opinions. To do so would defeat the purpose. The only thing we could possibly fear would be God, and if we make our decisions to the best of our ability then we should have nothing to fear.

In conclusion I would like to pass on some advice I learned at a human relations program in which I was a counselor. This program included people of all different races, religions, and backgrounds. As you can imagine,

there was much disagreement when we were asked to present our religious beliefs to the group. However, there were no problems because we were taught to AGREE TO DISAGREE. This is a priceless piece of advice because it means you don’t have to prove the other person wrong, but rather you can present your beliefs and listen to their beliefs and both parties walk away with new knowledge gained and a choice. A choice to maintain one’s own beliefs or follow the others. As I stated earlier, choice is a good thing.

I feel that if we apply this to our own community we will be better able to understand one another, less likely to offend one another, and God willing we all make the right choice.

Say, “If I go astray, I go astray because of my own shortcomings. And if I am guided, it is because of my Lord’s inspiration. He is Hearer, Near.” (34:50)

I do not claim that I possess the treasures of God, nor do I know the future, nor do I claim to be an angel. Nor do I say to those despised by your eyes that God will not bestow any blessings upon them. God knows best what is in their innermost thoughts. (If I did this,) I would be a transgressor. (11:31)

O you who believe, you should worry only about your own necks. If the others go astray, they cannot hurt you, as long as you are guided. To God is your ultimate destiny, all of you, then He will inform you of everything you had done. (5:105)

Ali Parnian