October 1998: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

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is mentioned in the light of discussions about the direction in prayer (qiblah), the different rites of laws of Abrahamic congregations, the Hajj pilgrimage, and even in the discussion about dress code, among others. These provide the sincere seeker a better perspective and a fuller understanding of the meaning.

The Changing and Restoring of the Qiblah

The fools among the people would say, “Why did they change the direction of their Qiblah?” Say, “To God belongs the east and the west; He guides whoever wills in a straight path.” (2:142)

This verse opens the discussion on the changing of the qiblah during prophet Muhammad’s time as a test for the people, and actually hints at the answer. The verses that follow explain why the prayer direction was changed and restored back to the Sacred Masjid in Mecca. However, 2:148 sums up the heart of the matter, the true qiblah:

Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness... (2:148)

One Religion, Different Rites and Laws

The only religion approved by God is “Submission.” (3:19)

Anyone who accepts other than Submission as his religion, it will not be accepted from him... (3:85)

Islam (Submission) is not a name; it is a description: “Total submission to God—worshipping God, and devoting the worship absolutely to Him alone.” Anyone who

meets this criterion is a submitter. Thus one can be a submitter Jew, a submitter Christian, a submitter Muslim, or even a submitter anonymous. What is required from them, according to the Quran, is righteousness. [What they call or consider themselves becomes irrelevant; what they do in relation to God’s commandments is important.]

For each congregation, we have decreed a set of rites that they must uphold... (22:67)

...For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. 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… (5:48)

Provisions for the Hajj Pilgrimage

Hajj pilgrimage, as detailed in the Quran, is the only commandment that is conditional upon one’s ability. As with all religious duties in Submission, Hajj was decreed through Abraham (22:26-27), but only for those who can afford it (3:97). Pilgrims from all over the world converge in Mecca, and with it comes the chance to buy and sell goods as a way to help finance the journey. Indeed, seeking God’s provision through commerce during Hajj is allowed in 2:198. But the following verse makes it clear what the best provision is:

Hajj shall be observed in the specified months... As you prepare your provisions for the journey, the best provision is righteousness. (2:197)

The next verse explains one of rituals in Hajj pilgrimage:

The animal offerings are among the

rites decreed by God for your own good... Neither their meat, nor their blood reaches God. What reaches Him is your righteousness... (22:36-37)

Finally, on the subject of Hajj, here is a question to the Arabs:

Have you considered the watering of the pilgrims and caring for the Sacred Masjid a substitute for believing in God and the Last Day, and striving in the cause of God? They are not equal in the sight of God. God does not guide the wicked people. (9:19)

Dress Code

This must be one of the hottest topics of discussion in traditional “Islamic” countries in the Middle East and throughout the world. In many of these countries, women are literally “buried alive” under piles upon piles of garments that cover everything, from face to toe. Known as the “Muslim” dress code, it is actually based more on tradition and prejudice than religion.

This dress code is an idolatrous practice because people falsely claim that it comes from God when in fact it was invented by their religious scholars—just as the case with dietary prohibitions mentioned previously. Nowhere in the Quran does God command the women to cover their heads or faces. The clear commandment in the Quran is for women to cover their chests (24:31). More importantly, the motivating idea, directed to both men and women, is given just prior to this commandment:

Tell the believing men that they shall subdue their eyes, and to maintain their chastity... And tell the believing women to subdue their eyes, and maintain their chastity... (24:30-31)

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