To read or not to read, That is the question… or is it?
Often new submitters ask if they should read the subtitles, footnotes and appendices in Dr. Rashad Khalifa’s translation of the Quran. Depending on whom they ask they will get different answers.
In some Quran study groups this has become quite an issue, with different Submitters taking different stances. Some say that they must not be read because they are not in the original Arabic Quran, while others say they must be read because they are the teaching of the Messenger of the Covenant. In a few situations perhaps even rules have been made.
But I would like to suggest that to read or not to read is not really the question. Rather it is: Why we are trying to tell how others they should be following Submission? (May God forgive me, I have done it too, so I am speaking to myself as well.)
In my personal understanding true Islam, Submission, is not an organized religion. To me there is no religious hierarchy but rather each of us is individually responsible to God alone. We stand before Him absolutely on our own. So to me each of us must make our own decisions; it is our neck. Of course we are encouraged to consult with one another:
[42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity).
However, this is different from our trying to make rules that others must follow. When we are consulted we should of course give our understanding while recognizing that indeed others have an equal right to their understanding.
[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped
the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
I personally find wonderful information, knowledge and wisdom in Dr. Khalifa’s words, both written and spoken and captured on tape. But they are not a source of religious law. God tells us clearly that the scripture is the only such source:
Quran: Fully Detailed*
[6:114] Shall I seek other than GOD as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?* Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt.
*6:113-115 Upholding any source beside the Quran reflects disbelief in the Quran (Appendix 18).
Nor are they a source of guidance:
Quran, the Whole Quran, and Nothing But the Quran
[6:19] Say, "Whose testimony is the greatest?" Say, "GOD's. He is the witness between me and you that this Quran* has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches. Indeed, you bear witness that there are other gods* beside GOD." Say, "I do not testify as you do; there is only one god, and I disown your idolatry."
*6:19 This verse proclaims the Quran as the only source of religious guidance. Those who uphold additional sources, such as Hadith & Sunna (lies attributed to the Prophet), are defined as idolators.
These are my thoughts, but I must respect those who have a different opinion. After all, God is guiding each of us individually.
[64:11] Nothing happens to you except in accordance with GOD's will. Anyone who believes in GOD, He will guide his heart. GOD is fully aware of all things.
One of the great joys of Submission is the diversity we are blessed with in our community. We come from different nationalities and different religious, cultural, educational and family
backgrounds. And yet we form the bricks in one wall. And the fact that each brick is a slightly different shape makes us stronger, like walls of mortar-less natural stones whose shapes are so perfectly fitted together that they are still standing thousands of years later.
What a gift. Praise God. May He continue to make our wall a strong and resilient one!
* * * * *
Submission is not just a name of a religion; rather it describes one’s devotion to God alone. Submission is a religion whereby one recognizes God’s absolute authority, and reaches a conviction that God alone possesses all power; no other entity possesses any power that is independent of Him. The natural result of such a realization is to devote one’s life and one’s worship absolutely to God alone. This is the First Commandment in all the scriptures, including the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Final Testament (The Quran).
Hear , O Israel! The Lord our God is One God!
Therefore you shall adore the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Mark 12:29-30, Quran 3:18)
Who is a Submitter?
A Submitter can be defined as a person who submits to the will of God. The state of Submission, which can only take place between the person and God Almighty, is considered to
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