Competing in Righteousness
Cont’d from page 2
Competing with other believers is one of these tools as it enables us to observe them, and wisely look up to the good role models from among them, trying to follow their examples. Ego is an evil intruder which will divert this effort towards self recognition and an urge to do better than others. Once this is sensed, we must declare war against our ego and lean towards the divine and healthy spirit of competing in righteousness.
[3:133] You should eagerly race towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise whose width encompasses the heavens and the earth; it awaits the righteous,
[3:134] who give to charity during the good times, as well as the bad times. They are suppressors of anger, and pardoners of the people. GOD loves the charitable.
[3:135] If they fall in sin or wrong their souls, they remember GOD and ask forgiveness for their sins - and who forgives the sins except GOD - and they do not persist in sins, knowingly.
[3:136] Their recompense is forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens with flowing streams; they abide therein forever. What a blessed reward for the workers!
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[27:19] …My Lord, direct me to be appreciative of the blessings You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Admit me by Your mercy into the company of Your righteous servants.
[26:83-5] My Lord, grant me wisdom, and include me with the righteous. Let the example I set for the future generations be a good one. Make me one of the inheritors of the blissful Paradise.
The 24th annual conference of the United Submitters International was held in Sacramento, California on July 31-August 2, 2009, with nearly 300 submitters attending. It is always such a joy to come together each year for the purpose of commemorating God, sharing ideas, and looking to the future of spreading the message. The focus of this year’s conference was appreciation of God’s blessings.
One of our brothers from Sacramento, Thomas, gave the khutba. He reminded us that we need to be appreciative and to keep imploring God for His guidance. [3:8] Our Lord, let not our hearts waver, now that You have guided us. Shower us with Your mercy; You are the Grantor. We also need to be forgiving of others as God is forgiving of us. [42:43] Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character.
Abdullah welcomed submitters from near and far with the example of Abraham who was kind and caring of everyone. This teaches us to be appreciative of our brothers and sisters around the world and give space to allow people to grow. We need to reflect on our own works and not worry about what others are doing. It’s our relationship with God that matters, and our prayer is [2:201] …“Our Lord, grant us righteousness in this world, and righteousness in the Hereafter, and spare us the retribution of Hell.”
Several first time attendees then told how they came to submission, bringing their enthusiasm to energize everyone. All of them had inspirational stories of their journey into the worship of God alone, and how finding
true submission has made their lives so much better.
The zikr (meditation on God) Friday and Saturday evenings was beautiful as always. Meauvell, Parivash, Parisa, and several others led the group in musical commemoration of God.
Everyone’s voices blending together to praise and worship God was awe-inspiring.
The talks were informative, fun, heartwarming and inspirational. There were many new ideas on ways to improve our submission and come closer to God. Youthful speakers inspired us all with their sincere, uncluttered and clear understanding of God. They are the future, praise God. So many things that we can learn from each other. The sharing of thoughts and ideas helps us all to grow in submission.
All too soon it was Sunday noon, time to hug and say our goodbyes. We thank God for bringing us all together for a wonderful union. May God bless the conference organizers and the Sacramento community for their hard work in making this conference such a success. The weather was specially wonderful for us by God’s grace and the location was excellent. The Holiday Inn is located in downtown Sacramento with easy walks to the Capitol, a nice shopping mall and Old Sacramento.
God willing, next year’s conference will be held in Tucson. The date is yet to be fixed, but we will keep everyone informed. May God bless everyone with a wonderful year. God willing, we will all be able to get together in 2010 for another memorable weekend of commemoration of God.
[15:98-9] You shall sing the praises of your Lord, and be with the prostrators. And worship your Lord, in order to attain certainty.