July 2009: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Rajab 1430

Volume 25 No 7

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

Answers Without Questions

I found a dollar on the sidewalk the other day. I immediately picked it up and shoved it into my pocket. Then a strange sensation overtook me. I felt as though the dollar were burning in my pocket. I told myself, "No, this is a gift from God. It should not be burning." But I could not get rid of the feeling, so I stuffed it into the tithe box at the masjid as soon as I got there, thus relieving myself of my burden.

If I were to argue that my feelings were from God and that I believed my actions were dictated by my true, godly self, my words would not be taken well by most people. Some would say I had a guilt complex; others would say I overreacted to something trivial. I later told my fiancée about it. To my surprise, she had once had an identical experience. I concluded that, though I had asked no questions, I was given an answer. I did not argue with it.

When I look to my feelings to assist in my judgment, I may act on some latent guilt acquired during childhood, or I may act in a purely godly way, consistent with my true nature. By seeking the clarity of vision that comes from worshiping God alone, I

gruadually learn to accept myself as the beautiful, godly creature that God created (95:4). By coming to grips with the truth of my existence, I learn to let go of any past guilt that may have obscured my sight. When l am on the straight path, I can understand things that perhaps I could not argue so well were I to debate them with words.

This is indeed a bold assertion to make before those who find themselves unable to let go of the crutches of half-worship —those to whom the sight of the word "Allah" alone in a masjid or the sound of a shahadah in which the only name mentioned is "Allah" is frightening. But, in the same way in which God has made the Quran accessible to all, God has also given us all equally the capacity to know right from wrong. When I read the Quran, my heart heals (10:57), and my ability to judge all things correctly becomes ever sharper.

When, therefore, the inevitable arguments assail me and the inescapable pressure of being alone in my reverence for God alone rails against my grip on reality, let me remind myself, first, that to give in means to follow other people, instead of God, no

matter how I look at it. Second, that God will most assuredly answer my questions, though in all likelihood not through the mouths of those who wish to see me yield. And, third, I will make mistakes in my quest for pure worship, but by no means does this mean that God will forsake me (Sura 93).
It takes a lot of inner strength to go it alone the way most of us do. We can find that strength by holding fast to the Quran and our worship of God alone, and by keeping in touch with each other.

Perhaps, if many of us often find ourselves in debates that do little more than tax out vitality, we ought instead to leave those who seek debate with a question and then depart. ("What would the Prophet have said if he had called the adhan himself?" "Did God bless Bukhari with a capacity with which only angels had previously been endowed?")

If the goal of the disputant is to seek truth, he will do so and leave us alone. If it is not, he will not, and at this point we should leave him alone. Confident silence may thenceforth be most eloquent.

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