A South African Muslimah's Blog

Constructing Identity: Loud Whispers, Lasting Echoes

Peaceful Submission – Islam July 7, 2015

“Indeed the way with Allah is submission” (3:9)

Thinking about what it means to be peaceful and to live in its counterpart – submission.

In my readings – Submission before God is to surrender yourself to His Mercy by following what is expected of a believer – this was exlempified by Nabi Ebrahim (as) and his son Isma’eel (as) when they were tested with the sacrifice,

“And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead
We called to him, “Oh Ebrahim you have fulfilled the vision’. Indeed, We thus reward those who do good.” (37:103-105)

Nabi Ebrahim (as), through his perfect submission was able to face the fires of this world unaffected – even in the midst of trials, he was given peace,

“We said: ‘Oh fire, be coolness and peace for Ebrahim’.” (21:69)

Submission is also to admit to our own weaknesses, to yield without hesitation to truth when it reveals itself – as Bilqees (as) did, when the reality of Allah became apparent to her and she joined forces with Nabi Sulayman (as)

“She said: “Oh my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do submit with Sulayman to the Lord of the Worlds.” (27:44)

Peace is intrinsically linked to submission,

“And whoever submits his face to Allah while practicing excellence, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of matters.” (31:22)

To me, this orientating of ‘the face’ to Islam is connected to identity – we navigate mutliple identities : ethnic, gendered, religious, national, political, professional etc. I believe this verse articulates a spiritual identity for Muslims – we must be inwardly at peace with the Divine Will so we can live and spread peace in the world.

Peaceful submission must transcend our greetings – it is an attitude, a lifestyle, a constant striving to reconcile …

“Oh you who have believed, enter into submission completely … ” (2:208)

“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace” (25:63)

Peace is Divine, it is an attribute of Allah (59:23), a state of Paradise – Dar as-Salaam (6:127) – and it is from the very sacred Words of Allah

“Peace! – a word from a Lord Most Merciful!” (36:58)

Ramadan is a time when seek Peace, more-so in the last ten nights when we search for Laylat al-Qadr, a night of immense Peace in which we pray for our destiny and seek nearness to Allah, not co-incidental then, that it is the night described as,

“Peace, it is until the emergence of dawn” (97:5)

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