sixth call: enter perfectly in islam
“o you who believe! enter perfectly in islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of shaitan (satan). verily! he is to you a plain enemy. then if you slide back after the clear signs (prophet muhammad and this qur’an, and islam) have come to you, then know that allah is all-mighty, all-wise.” (al-baqarah: 208-209)
almighty allah calls the believers to enter perfectly in islam by following all its legislations and commandments and avoiding its prohibitions. he (awj)1 guides them that believers have to unite and combine not to separate and divide.
ibn abbas said: “enter perfectly in islam” means embrace islam fully. then, allah commands them to abandon what satan tells them to do, because he orders them to commit evil and profanity. he directs his followers, through his temptations and orders, to be among the residents of hellfire. this is why he is considered a plain enemy to humans because he is eager to lead them to their doom.
if you go astray and slide back to error by not committing to the straight path that allah (swt)2 calls you to, namely islam, and if you follow the footsteps of satan which is the path of division and conflict even after you have seen clearly that the path of allah is the path of righteousness, then be sure that allah is the all-mighty whose punishment is the most severe. no one can flee from his revenge, no one can overcome him. he is the all-wise in all rulings, judgments and verdicts.
it is a call to believers in the name of belief because it is their favorite description that differentiates and distinguishes them; it is the quality that links them to their caller, allah (awj). it is a call to those who believe to embrace islam perfectly.
the first concept of this call is to give up totally to allah; the believers have to submit to allah concerning everything, all their matters whether big or small. it is a complete submission embodying all their thoughts, feelings, intentions, deeds, inclinations and hopes. all of their matters yield to allah, his commandments and his rulings.
it is not the forced submission; it is the assured content certain submission. they surrender to the hand that leads them to righteousness, guidance and fairness. they are confident that this is the right path and the straight destination in the present life and the hereafter.
this call addressed to the believers reflects that there were some souls hesitant to follow absolute obedience secretly and publically. it is a natural thing to have hesitant souls in a society along with the assured content souls. it is a call at every time and everywhere to the believers to submit solely to allah and to get rid of any hesitation or slowness in following the teachings of islam. their inner thoughts, desires and feelings should agree with what allah wants for them and what the prophet (pbuh) leads them to without fluctuation, wavering or second thoughts.
when the muslim responds to this call, he enters into a world of peacefulness, serenity, security, confidence and assurance. it is a world of contentment and stability as there would be no more confusion or worry, and no more distraction or obscurity because they will have peace with the self and the consciousness, with the mind and logic, with people and the living and also with all that exist and created. it is a peace in the intention, a peace encompassing society and life, a peace on earth and in the sky.
the first fruit of this peace is the soundness of the heart by having the right belief in allah. this heart will have a clear simple understanding and comprehension of the creator by believing that he is one. the muslim seeks one direction that pacifies his heart, he will not go astray, he will not be confused by many aimless directions, he will not be chased by a god here or a god there as it was the case at the time jahiliyah3 and paganism. allah is the one and only true god. the qur’an says: "say, 'he is allah, the only one, allah, the everlasting sovereign (the self-sufficient master, whom all creatures need, he neither eats nor drinks). he has not begotten and has not been begotten, and to him none could be co-equal.'" (al-ikhlas or at-tauhid: 1-4) there is no deity worthy of worship except allah. allah is the creator, all muslims seek and turn to him with confidence, assurance, peacefulness, submission and clarity.
allah is the almighty, the omnipotent, the superb vanquisher and the ever-powerful. if the muslim submits to him, then he is submitting to the only right power in the universe. this is way he is assured, calm and secured against any false power. the muslim who submits to allah will no longer be afraid of anyone or worried about anything. he is worshipping the almighty, the ever-powerful, the all-wise and the superb vanquisher. he no longer fears of missing anything or wishing anything from a person or a group that actually cannot deprive or give him. this is why we should be mindful of allah, because he is the propitious and the afflicter. abdullah ibn abbas (ra)4 said: one day, i was behind the prophet (peace be upon him) so he said to me: “o young man, i am going to teach you some words. be mindful of allah, and he will protect you. be mindful of allah, and you will find him facing you. if you ask, then ask of allah. if you seek aid, then seek aid in allah. know that if the entire ummah were to gather in order to benefit you with something, they could not benefit you with anything except with that which allah has written for you. and if the entire ummah were to gather in order to harm you with something, they could not harm you with anything except with what allah has written against you. the pen has been lifted and the pages have dried.”[at-tirmidhi - stated as hadith hasan sahih]
allah is the just and the ever-wise. his might and power is a guarantee against oppression, inclination and cheapness. he is not like pagan gods and goddesses that have needs and desires. thus, by submitting to allah, the muslim seeks an abode valiant support and he will get justice, care and security.
allah is the all-merciful, the ever-merciful, the ever-affectionate, the ever-forbearing and the superb bestower. he is the forgiver of (every) guilty (deed), and the accepter of penance, strict in punishment, the owner of ampleness; there is no god except he; to him is the destiny. is not he (most charitable) who answers the constrained person when he invokes him, and lifts off odious (happenings) and makes you successors of the earth? in the custody of allah, the muslim is safe, secured and protected. under his patronage, the muslim is safe, successful, forgiven and pardoned when he commits a sin if he repents.
the muslim learns the names and attributes of his lord through islam. in each of them, he would find what touches his heart, comforts his spirit and gives him certainty, protection, compassion, mercy, honor, dignity, stability and peace. thus, peace fills the heart of the muslim due to having the right recognition of the relationship between the servant and the lord, between the lord and the universe and between the universe and the human. allah has created this universe in righteousness; he has created everything in perfect proportion and wisdom. humans are created for a purpose and with intention not randomly. he is prepared for all universal conditions set for his existence; all what exists on earth is arranged for him. humans are honored by the creator, because they are his creations and successors. allah has made humans ready for this succession, he has made the universe suitable for humans’ existence and they enjoy what they see around them in the universe especially when they seek almighty allah with du’a (supplication). humans are always invited to contemplate over what they see around them on earth and above them in the sky to enjoy, think and consider. the human is called to sympathize and feel for everything and everyone in this big existence filled with friends (people) who are also invited like him to learn and appreciate what surrounds them, and above all to believe in the lord for perfecting the creation of this universe.
islam teaches believers to take care of every creation even if it is a small plant, islam encourages him and informs him that he is rewarded if he waters it, looks after it and cleans it. indeed, it is a great religion that fills spirits with peace and helps them embrace the whole existence in harmony because islam spreads security, forbearance, love and peace.
believing in the day of judgment, the hereafter and that we are accountable for our deeds also play a basic role in spreading peace on the soul of the believer and his world. it eliminates any anxiety, spite and despair. the final reckoning is not to be held on this earth, the just reward is not in this life, the creator only knows when will the final judgment is going to be applied where we will have ultimate justice, no one can escape this day. believers will not regret any righteousness or jihad they performed and strived for in anticipation for the reward at that final day, even if they are not rewarded on earth, they know for sure that they will be greatly rewarded much more than they might have expected at the final day. no worries about the reward, if the believer doesn’t get enough of it in the present world, according to the worldly measures. he will be paid back according to the scale of allah. no despair for the believer, if he finds that fortunes are divided the way that he didn’t expect in this short journey. justice is coming and is to be applied. indeed allah has set a measure for all things, no injustice will there be that day, for allah is swift in taking account and allah wills no injustice for (his) servants.
believing in the day of judgment and the hereafter is also a barrier against the fierce mad struggle in which all values, morals and sanctities are stepped on. in the afterlife there is bestowal, enjoyment and compensation for everything the person might have missed in life. this belief gives the person a sense of peace in the competition of life. it calms down racers when they know for sure that the only chance available for them is not in this short lifetime.
when the believer is certain that the only and ultimate goal of human existence is to worship the creator, yes, this is the aim of the creation, to worship the lord, he will have an alert consciousness and strong feelings. this belief will increase his activity, recharge his energy and purify his heart. he will want to worship through his good deeds and he will worship through paying charity and helping the needy. he wants to be a successor on earth to apply the method of allah (awj). he will never betray or act immorally, he will never oppress or transgress and he will never commit profanity or meanness.
the true believer will never hasten results, lose his way or challenge fate. he knows that he will reach his goal through pure intention and hard work within his capacity. he will have no fear, greed or worry, because he is in constant worship in each and every step of his life. he fulfills the aim of his existence through worship and ascends higher degrees through obedience to his lord.
the feeling of the believer that he is living according to the decree of allah by obeying allah to fulfill the will of allah will fill his soul with assurance, peace and stability. he will move forward without curiosity, worry or resentment when he faces difficulties and tribulations. he will never give up or despair in receiving the glad tidings and ease after hardships and afflictions. he will never fear of losing reward or goals and this is why he will feel peaceful. when he fights, he will fight the enemies of allah in the path of allah to raise the word of allah. he will never fight for personal gain, inclination or a worldly desire.
through belief, the believer will feel that he is living according to the law of allah in this universe, the law of allah is his law, there will be no conflict or dispute and no aimless efforts or wasted deeds. all the powers of the universe agree with the believer in obeying allah, they follow the same light that the believer follows, they all direct towards allah and the believer also directs to allah with them. it is a state of complete harmony.
religious obligations of islam are a natural disposition and they are prescribed to correct any crookedness. islam does not overburden and does not ignore the nature of humans. islam does not overlook any kind of power in humans, it releases his powers to build and develop. it does not forget any of his physical or spiritual needs; islam satisfies all of those needs in ease, forbearance and prosperity. this is why, the believer does not feel worried or bewildered towards religious obligations; he fulfills them and goes his way towards allah in serenity and peace.
if the society follows such divine method and adheres to the system set by this beautiful religion to protect the soul, dignity and money, accordingly peacefulness will prevail. the ideal muslim society is a loving, coherent, united, connected, combined and coordinated one. such ideal society lived under the umbrella of islam in the best and purest form for some time, and then it was revived later along history, even though the degree of its purity differs from time to time, yet it is considered better than any society at the time of jahiliyah in the past or the future. jahiliyah contaminates societies with sick ideologies and twisted systems.
the muslim society is connected through one core, namely belief, in which all races, nations, colors and languages dissolve into one. all the classifications that do not represent the essence of humans vanish if we stick to belief.
such society listens to almighty allah when he says in the qur’an (what can be translated as): “surely the believers are only brothers” (surat al-hujurat: 10), and same society sees his image in the hadith of the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him): "the believers in their love, mercy and feelings for each other are like one body, if one part feels pain, all the other parts feel pain by fever and sleeplessness." (bukhari hadith no. 5665 & muslim hadith no. 2586)
some of the manners of the ideal muslim society are:
* “and when you are greeted with a greeting, then greet a fairer one than it, or give it back again; surely allah has been ever-reckoner over everything. (an-nisa: 86)
* “and do not turn your cheek away haughtily from mankind, and do not walk in the earth merrily. surely allah does not love everyone (who is) always conceited, (and) constantly boastful.” (luqman: 18)
* “and not equal are the fair deed and the odious deed. repel with that which is fairest; then, only then, he between whom and you there is enmity will be as if he were an intimate constant patron.” (fussilat: 34)
* “o you who have believed, let not any people scoff at (another) people who may be more charitable than they; neither let women scoff (other) women who may be more charitable (i.e., better) than they. and do not defame one another, (literally: do not defame yourselves) nor revile one another by nicknames. miserable is the name, evident immorality, after belief! and whoever does not repent, then those are they who are the unjust. (al-hujurat (the apartments): 11)
* “and spy not, neither backbite one another. would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? you would hate it (so hate backbiting). and fear allah. verily, allah is the one who accepts repentance, most merciful.” (al-hujurat (the apartments): 12)
some of the guarantees of the ideal muslim society are:
* “o you who have believed, in case an immoral (person) comes to you with a tiding, then (ascertain) the evidence, for that you may afflict a people in ignorance, (and) then you become remorseful for what you have performed.” (al-hujurat (the apartments): 6)
* “o you who have believed, avoid much surmise; surely some surmise is a vice. and do not spy on each other, (literally: some of you on some others)” (al-hujurat (the apartments): 12)
* “o you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your houses until you (first) announce your presence (i.e., make yourself known and ask permission) and salute the family thereof; that is more charitable for you that possibly you would be mindful. (an-nour: 27)
* “the whole of a muslim is inviolable for another muslim: his blood, his property, and his honor.” [sahih muslim]
it is a clean pure chaste society in which no obscenity, temptation, seduction, boastfulness or spying exists. in such society, there is no intrusion into privacies, no running after illicit relationships and no sprees of sex or rage like how it is the case in jahiliyah (ignorant) societies. it is a society ruled by divine guidance when it listens to almighty allah in the qur’an:
* “surely the ones who love that (the) obscenity should be widespread among the ones who have believed, (they) will have a painful torment in the present (life) (literally: the lowly “life”, i.e., the life of this world) and the hereafter; and allah knows, and you do not know.” (an-nur (the light): 19).
* “the female fornicator and the male fornicator, (the arabic zaniyah and zani refer to those who commit either fornication or adultery. by a comparison of this verse to other and to hadîths., it is it is understood that this verse refers to fornicators, i.e., unmarried people committing illegal sexual intercourse) then lash each one of them a hundred lashes, and let not compassion for them (both) take (hold of) you in the religion of allah, in case you believe in allah and the last day; and let a section of the believers witness their (the torment of the two of them) torment.” (an-nur: 2)
* “and the ones who throw (accusations) upon (women) in wedlock, (and) thereafter they do not come up with four witnesses, then lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept any testimony of theirs at all; and those are they (who are) immoral.” (an-nur: 4)
* “say to the (male) believers, that they cast down their beholdings, (i.e., “modestly” cast down their eyes) and preserve their private parts; that is more cleansing for them. surely allah is ever-cognizant of whatever they work out. and say to the female believers to cast down their beholdings, and preserve their private parts, and not display their adornment except such as is outward, and let them fix (literally: strike) closely their veils over their bosoms, and not display their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or what their right hands possess, or (male) followers, men without desire (literally: without being endowed with “sexual” desire) or young children who have not yet attained knowledge of women’s privacies, and they should not strike their legs (i.e., stamp their feet) so that whatever adornment they hide may be known. and repent to allah altogether, (o) you believers, that possibly you would prosper.” (an-nur: 30-31)
it is a society which addresses the wives of the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) who were the purest women in the purest society at the purest time saying to them:
* “o wives of the prophet, you are not as any other women. in case you act piously, then do not be too subdued of speech, so that he in whose heart is sickness may long for (too much expectation of you); and speak beneficent words. and reside in your homes, and do not flaunt your finery as was the flaunting of finery in the earliest (times) of ignorance, and keep up the prayer, and bring the zakat, (pat the poor-dues) and obey allah and his messenger. surely allah wills only to put away indeed from you abomination, population of the home, and to purify you a thorough purification.” (al-ahzab: 32-33)
in such pure society that abides by the teachings of islam, the wife will feel safe and trustful towards her husband, the husband will feel safe and trustful towards his wife, people will feel safe about their dignities and honors and everybody will feel safe about their nerves and hearts. the eyes will not cast on seductions and eyes will not lead hearts to sins. on the other hand, ignorant societies suffer from disloyalty among couples, inner suppressed desires, diseases of the spirit and anxiousness. on the other hand, a true muslim society lives securely and quietly encompassed by tranquility, purity and trust.
the true muslim society guarantees a job for each healthy person, a livelihood for the disabled and a good wife for those who seek chastity and a family. it is a society that considers all tenants of a neighborhood responsible if someone dies in their area out of hunger, some muslim scholars set a religious ruling that the tenants should pay diyya5 in this case.
the true muslim society is a society where the freedom, dignity, honor and fortunes of people are protected by legislation after it was first guaranteed according to the divine guidance. no one is guilty based on doubts, no one is spied on, no one breaks into another’s house and no one gets killed in vain because qisas6 is applied, no one loses his money because of theft or confiscation because hudud7 are applied.
the true muslim society is a society built on consultation, advice and cooperation. it is established on equality and firm justice, everybody in the society would feel that his right is protected relying on the law of allah, not on the will of a governor, the inclination of an entourage or on the connection or relationship with powerful men.
at the end, it is the only society among human communities in which humans are not submissive to other humans, but all of them, whether governors or governed, submit to allah and his sharia, fulfill his commandments and avoid his prohibitions. thus, they all stand on equal footing before allah (awj), the lord of the worlds and the fairest of judges, in security, safety and certainty that they will have their rights.
these are some of the meanings of the divine call “o you who believe! enter perfectly in islam…” the verse calls all muslims to submit to allah in peace, perfectly and totally. all their existence and entity are to allah, they all return to allah in obedience, compliance and surrender.
this state of faith and peacefulness is not realized or appreciated except by those who tasted the state of distraction, confusion or worry. only those who know how anxiousness can overpower souls will realize the greatness of such blessing, namely peacefulness of the soul. this is can be seen in societies that do not know islam, or the societies that used to know it but they are no more heedful of the religion as they reversed to jahiliyah. these societies are confused even though some of them have the highest levels of prosperity, advancement and well-being. they have all what it takes to be called developed according to worldly measures.
sweden is one of these anxious societies; it is a european country that is considered one of the most advanced countries in the world. the share of each citizen from the national income is about five hundred pounds per year, each of them receives health insurance and gets free treatment in hospitals, all stages of education are free, benefits and loans are given to diligent students and the government gives three hundred pounds to each couple planning to get married to help them build their new life. yet, what happens if there is such prosperity and well-being with hearts void of belief and submission to allah? they are threatened by extinction and their numbers are decreasing rapidly because young people lack the desire to marry and procreate, even if they get married, most marriages do not survive ending with divorce. this is due to aimless relationships, casual sex and pursue of seductions not stability in marriage. the new generations deviate so they drink alcohol and use drugs to fill the void they have in their souls because of lack of faith and peacefulness of the heart. diseases, insanities and abnormalities are eating thousands of weak spirits leading to suicide. the same applies to america and it is even worse in russia.
it is the suffering that each heart void of faith has to face. this agonized heart does not taste peacefulness and submission to allah. this is why the qur’an tells them to enter perfectly in islam to enjoy peace, safety, comfort and stability: “o you who believe! enter perfectly in islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of shaitan (satan). verily! he is to you a plain enemy.” here, allah calls believers to enter islam perfectly, and warns them against pursuing the footsteps of satan by listening to his insinuations and temptations. there are only two ways, whether to enter islam perfectly and completely or to follow satan. it is guidance or delusion, islam or jahiliyah, the road to allah or the road to satan, the guidance of allah or the seduction of satan. firmness and decisiveness is mostly needed in this situation, the muslim has to determine where he stands, hesitation, confusion or wavering is not accepted at all in choosing these two roads. it is either the road to safety or the road to loss.
roads are not many, the muslim does not have many alternations or options, and so there is no confusion in what to choose. it either to enter islam perfectly by submitting himself and his matters to the leadership of allah and his sharia, or to go astray stripped of any belief, method or sharia which is the road of satan. there is no compromise or meeting in the middle, no so and so solution and no patchy plan by combining some from here and some from there. there is only right and wrong, guidance and loss, islam and jahiliyah and finally there is only two methods, the method of allah and the seduction of satan. allah calls believers to enter islam totally and perfectly and warns them against following the footsteps of satan. he (awj) stimulates their feelings and raises their awareness about the animosity of satan towards them, this clear evident animosity should never be forgot or neglected. neglect will never occur if the heart is faithful, alert and on guard. allah frightens them of the result of sliding back after they have seen and believed in the clear signs of belief in him: “then if you slide back after the clear signs (prophet muhammad and this qur’an, and islam) have come to you, then know that allah is all-mighty, all-wise.” reminding them that allah is “all-mighty” points to the might, power, predominance and triumph of allah. they will face the power of allah if they disobey him. while, reminding them that allah is “all-wise” points to the fact that what allah almighty has chosen for them is goodness and what he has banned them from is evil, they will lose if they do not follow his commandments and avoid his prohibitions. the commentary involves both a warning and admonition in this regard.
(1) awj: aza-wa-jal [glorified and sublime be he].
(2) swt: subhanahu wa ta'ala [glorified and exalted be he]
(3) jahiliyah: in islam, the period preceding the revelation of the qur'an to the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him).
(4) ra: radya allah anhu/anha [may allah be pleased with him/her].
(5) diyya: (plural: diyyat) is compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. in arabic, the word means both blood money and ransom.
(6) qisas is an islamic term meaning "retaliation, retribution"; it follows the principle of an eye for an eye, or lex talionis. in the case of murder, it means the right of the heirs of a murder victim to demand execution of the murderer.
(7) hudud (literal meaning "limit", or "restriction") is the word often used in islamic literature for the bounds of acceptable behavior and the punishments for serious crimes. in islamic law or sharia, hudud usually refers to the class of punishments that are fixed for certain that include crimes such as theft, fornication and consumption of alcohol.