December 2003: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

Act of Submitting

Cont’d from page 1

In fact many a time, these things appear perfectly justified when I am actually doing them, but on reflection I find that they are in violation of God’s commandments. The simple things that God tells us, —like no backbiting, no suspicion, no ridiculing others (49:11-13), resorting to the nicest possible response (41:33-35) and debating in the nicest manner—are often the ones I find myself having a hard time upholding. Most of the time, this is because I have forgotten to keep pleasing God as my guideline for action. For instance, sometimes in discussing religious matters with people, I feel that the other person is inflexible and I am wasting my time trying to explain things to him/her. What is forgotten is the possibility:

a) My position on the issue may be wrong and, just as I may feel that the other person is being irrational, he/she too may feel the same way about me. Therefore one must seek refuge in God, and try and grasp what the other person is saying.

b) Even if I am right, if I have truly dedicated all forms of striving to God, then no time spent in God’s cause is ‘wasted’. It is part of one’s striving and fulfilling of duties.

Another thing I forget is—that I have no right to lose my temper, no matter how unreasonable I perceive the other person to be. Losing my temper immediately disqualifies me as a submitter (since it is a clear case of Objecting, rather than Submitting to God). In context of the above points, let us focus on the words of 41:33-35.


Who can utter better words than one who invites to GOD, works righteousness, and says, “I am one of the submitters”? (41:33)
Not equal is the good response and the bad response. You shall resort to the nicest possible responses. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy, may become your best friend. None can attain this except those who steadfastly persevere. None can attain this except those who are extremely fortunate. (41:34-35)

God commands us to resort to the nicest possible response. A response so nice that even a person who used to be an enemy is won over in friendship. God also tells us that this is not easy. But we have to try.

At times I find that when I talk about some Quranic matter and disagree with the other person, I become disagreeable as well. The latter is unacceptable to God. Especially when debating with submitters. God goes to the extent of saying that even when we debate with non-submitters we must do so in the nicest possible manner (16:125, 29:46). So with submitters we should try to be even ‘nicer’. We should keep in mind that Satan is always trying to divide us and drive a wedge between us. God tells us that in the following verse.

Tell my servants to treat each other in the best possible manner, for the devil will always try to drive a wedge among them. Surely, the devil is man’s most ardent enemy. (17:53)

Sometimes what may start off as a small difference could widen into a rift that is too big for us to bridge. This is just what Satan wants. Once we are divided, we are much easier prey for him. That is why, possibly, God exhorts us in the Quran to be

united (3:200, 61:4, 3:102-105, 49:10-11, etc.).

Unity is a command, and as per 59:10 we should not harbor any hatred towards any submitter. We are brethren and members of one big family. This is God’s design and wisdom. Possibly since individually we may not be strong enough (4:28), God strengthens us with each other. When we are together it is much easier for us to maintain our submission.

God tells us that the believing men and women are allies of one another (9:71) and that they should consult one another (42:38). He exhorts us to be with the believers (18:28) and to help one another to stay away from sin (103:3, 90:17, 5:79).

You shall force yourself to be with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking Him alone. Do not turn your eyes away from them, seeking the vanities of this world….(18:28)

Even the Friday Congregational Prayer can be an opportunity for us to learn from one another. Thus it is very important for us to try and be good and nice to each other, possibly more for our own benefit than for anyone else’s.

Our goal in all of this is to submit to God Alone, and to do the things that please Him.

Faiz C.

Indeed, those who submit themselves absolutely to GOD alone, while leading a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. (2:112)