April 2003: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3

God’s Message

Cont’d from page 2

So God is the only one who guides people. No one can do any guiding unless it is in accordance with God’s will. Yet God has a system for guiding people. He sends His messengers and prophets as guiding teachers with inspirations from Him to deliver His message: to teach people the rites of the religion, to establish the truth, and to get rid of the falsehood. Those who follow the truth from their Lord are the guided ones. Unfortunately, those who scorn God’s revelations, and are consequently sent astray by God, can never find a guiding teacher (18:17).

The information contained in the appendices and footnotes in the translation of the Quran by Dr. Khalifa is no more than the explanation of the verses, and the miracle of the Quran through his research. Dr. Khalifa himself stated in the appendices that he did not bring anything new. All the information he brought up was already in the Quran. This is a blessing from God for those who appreciate it since it has been made readily available to us.

There is nothing wrong in reading the footnotes, appendices or any other religious publications for that matter, as long as we don’t lose our perspective where the real source of guidance is coming from and where the real source of information is. It is not what we read, hear or watch to get more insight about our faith, but it is what we do with that information and how we apply it to our lives in a manner pleasing to God.

If we form an opinion based on what we read or hear outside of the scripture, we should not expect others to follow it by forcing the issue.

God has detailed what we need to know in the Quran. Anything beyond that is left up to us and to draw our conclusions. However, if other people’s opinions end up being different than ours, we have to respect them. If we think people are arriving at wrong conclusions, we need to be able to discuss with them amicably. If these opinions do not have serious ramification on the rites of our faith and our submission to God, they should be left alone, and not be made an issue. We are all responsible for saving our necks. We are supposed to enjoin each other to do the right things without forcing others to comply with our understandings.

Idol Worship

We learn from the Quran that idol worship is an unforgivable sin if it is maintained until death (4:48). Idol worship is a gross injustice to the Almighty (31:13). We also learn that idol worship is not limited only to the worship of idols or statues. It may come in different forms, and can be very subtle. There are many examples in the Quran. We could easily idolize money, business, family, children, or any other loved ones. Our ego may become an idol. If we give priority to anything over God, and we feel that anything or anybody beside God can benefit or harm us, we fall into idol worship. So idol worship is not something to be taken lightly (30:31). It is a very serious offense. It is one of the ways Satan derails us from the straight path of God.

There is no doubt that there will be people who will fall into idol worship one way or another, through idolization of the messengers and saintly people, through idolization of their opinion, or through worshiping their ego. The community has to deal with them if God

exposes their case. However, we have to be very careful not jumping to conclusions, calling names or making generalized and all-inclusive statements to put down others. Often people are sincere and may take corrective actions when reminded amicably of their wrong. God tells us to remind each other, perhaps the reminder will benefit (87:9).

Although we are part of the larger submitter community, we are not all alike in terms of our faith in God and how we go about putting what we believe into practice. The disagreements or the differences we might have in understanding certain matters should not distract us from the path of worshipping God alone. When the disagreements happen, we should try to listen to each other, rather than fight. We should also know when it is time to say “peace” when the discussions are exhausted. We should remember not to fall into Satan’s trap of wronging our souls. We all know that unfair accusations and suspicions towards other submitters are gross sins (49:12). None of us wants our souls subject to such sins to satisfy our egos. Ultimately everyone is responsible to God for his or her own neck (5:105). Furthermore, unless God has mercy on us and protects us, there is no guarantee that we may not be following our own opinions, or the opinions of the scholars, thus falling into the very idol worship we despise in others, without perceiving (18:103-104).


Therefore, continue on the path you have been enjoined to follow, together with those who repented with you, and do not transgress. He is Seer of everything you do. [11:112]