بسم لله الرحمان الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful. Verily, all praise is due to Allah. We praise him, seek his help and ask for his forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in our own souls and from our sinful deeds. Whoever Allah guides, no one can mislead, and whoever Allah allows to stray, no one can guide. I bear witness that that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, without partners. And, I bear witness that Muhammad (sws), is the slave and messenger of Allah.
Recitation of last five verses of Surah Al An'am
" Say, Truly, my lord has guided me to a straight path, a right religion, the religion of Abraham, and he was not of those who associated partners with Allah.
Say, Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the lord of the worlds, and all that exists.
He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.
Say, shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while he is the lord of all things? no person earns any sin except against himself, and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then to your lord is your return, so he will tell you that wherein you have disputed.
And it is He who has made you generation after generation, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that he may try you in that which He has bestowed on you. Surely, your lord is swift in retribution, and certainly He is oft-forgiving, most merciful."
In my journey through this life, since my acceptance of Islam, I have hardly come across another passage of the Qur'an that hit me quite so hard as these verses. These verses are the last of Surah Al An'am, the sixth chapter of the Qur'an. According to a tradition of Ibn Abbas, the whole of the Surah was revealed at one sitting at Makkah. Asma, a daughter of Yazid and a first cousin of Hadrat Mu'az-bin Jabl, says, "During the revelation of this Surah, the Holy Prophet was riding on a she-camel and I was holding her nose-string. The she-camel began to feel the weight so heavily that it seemed as if her bones would break under it. "We also learn from other traditions that the Holy Prophet dictated the whole of the Surah the same
night that it was revealed.
These particular verses sung out to me as I read them. These verses, in essence, sum up what it is to be a Muslim. In another surah, al ikhlaas, Allah (swt) illustrates to us the entire essence of exactly who He is, and how we, not only as Muslims, but as human beings should see our mighty creator.
Recite Surah Al Ikhlaas
" Say, He is Allah, The ONE.
The eternal, the absolute
He does not beget, nor is he begotten
And there is none comparable to him.
But, in these verses, the last five verses of Surah An'am, Allah (swt) in some of the most glorious and most profound language ever to befall the eyes and ears of man, illustrates to us exactly what it means to be a Muslim, or one who fully and completely submits to Allah, the most high and exalted.
"Say truly my lord has guided me to a straight path, a right religion, the religion of Abraham haneefa, and he was not of the those who associate partners with Allah". Alhamdulillah, all praise be to Allah, this first verse of this passage, shows us firstly that "Islam" was not a religion that started with Muhammad (sws). "Islam" or the willful and complete submission to almighty Allah, is the original religion. The deen ul fitra, the "native deen". The native deen of all humanity. We ask our non-Muslim friends, what religion was Adam? What religion was Noah, or Lut? And, what RELIGION was ABRAHAM? Were they Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus? These religions didn't exist in their day! So, of what religion were they? They were servants and messengers of the one true God. They submitted their will to almighty God and to no one and nothing else. This is the definition of "Muslim". They were Muslims. Did you know that Islam is the only major religion, who's name is not based on a person, place, or thing? Christianity, comes from "Christ", which means Messiah or "Messeeh" in Arabic. That's why in Arabic we refer to Christians as "messeehi". Judaism comes from the place where they came from, Judah. It also refers to the tribe of Judah. Buddhism comes from the title given to their prophet, which means " the enlightened one". Zoroastrianism refers to their prophet. Islam, on the other hand, isn't any person, place, or thing. It is a "verb", meaning to submit. That means that anyone who fully and completely submits their will to that of God's, they are performing "Islam", and would be known in Arabic as a "Mu Islam", or "Muslim". Even if they never even heard of the Qur'an or the prophet Muhammad (sws), if they recognized that there is only one God with no partners, and did everything in their power to submit to his will, and subject their lives to whatever they have of God's teachings, they are making "Islam". Haneefa; this means the pure worship of God, and only God, or tawheed. This verse illustrates that they only way to view "Islam" is as complete and utter submission to Allah (swt). It is not a cultural thing, or something you do just because your parents, relatives and neighbors do it. It's not just something you do to show off or gain recognition with. To declare oneself a Muslim doesn't mean that you follow in the footsteps of the Saudi royal family, or of the Arabs, or of the Pakistanis, or the Ottomans. It means to declare that you follow in the footsteps of Adam, and Noah, and Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, and Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. And, this verse also means giving thanks to Allah for his guidance. "man yahadillahu falla mudhilallah, wa man yudhlil falla hadiallah", "Whoever Allah guides, no one can misguide, and whoever Allah allows to go astray, no one can guide." Be thankful to Allah that he allowed you to be guided to this deen, the religion of righteousness, and pray that he never lets you go astray.
Recite second half of Al Fatiha.
“Guide us down the straight path, the path of those on whom you have bestowed they grace, not those who earn your anger, nor those who go astray”
"Say, Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the lord of the worlds."
Every day we should think this. Every day this should cross our minds that everything we do in this life, we do for Allah. To seek Allah's favor. Our prayers; all the countless prayers any one of us have performed in our lifetimes don't mean anything if they are not for Allah. All the sacrifices we make. Sacrifices of our time, our money, our health, our freedom, the animals we slaughter. All of it means nothing if it's not done for Allah. Our very lives, the fact that we rise from bed in the morning is for Allah. And, the fact that someday we will rise for the last time, is also for Allah. This verse reminds us, as so many do, that death is a reality that no one will avoid. So we must ensure that when that day does come, that we die in no other state than in a pure state of submission to Allah, and that the name of Allah be the last thing from our lips.
Our whole lives are centered around Allah (swt). This is the fundamental concept of life as a Muslim. It is why we bow and prostrate ourselves in prayer five or more times day. It is why we fast, during the month of Ramadan. It is why we make Hajj and Umrah. It is why we pay zakat and sadaqah. It's most certainly not because Allah "needs" us to. Allah (swt) is not in "need" of anything. But these things are for our benefit. To purify our minds and hearts, and to discipline our body's and souls, and to prove ourselves worthy of Allah's grace and mercy. A Muslim is a person who is in a constant state of God consciousness. Someone who recognizes Allah's lordship, tawheed ul rububiyya, in all that they encounter. All of the wonders of our world; the Earth, the sky, the oceans and seas, and the universe and all the tremendous and wondrous things and creatures that fill it, all bow in submission to Allah (swt). We as Allah's vice generates on Earth, are no different. We as Muslims recognize that, and it is why all that we are, and all that we do, our prayers, our sacrifices, our lives and deaths are all for Allah.
"He has no partner. And, of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of those who submit to Allah."
In this verse, the prophet Muhammad (sws) was instructed to repeat, "I am the first of those who submit to Allah". Now this doesn't literally mean he was the first person to be a Muslim, because that's most certainly not true. Rather, what is meant here, is that a true believer, should hasten, or hurry to submission to Allah. One should not delay, or procrastinate in submitting themselves to Allah (swt). Once a matter in the deen of Islam has been made clear and proven to a believer, they implement it in their life immediately. They do not question Allah's wisdom. Just as the sahabah immediately smashed their jugs of wine when the prohibition of alcohol came. Right and left people smashed their jugs of wine, so much that the streets of Medina ran red with wine. Or when the order for women to draw their jalabeeb, or hijab, over them, and to cover their ornaments. When this verse from the Qur'an came, the women used anything they could, even ripping some other garments, to cover themselves in response to the revelation. This was true faith and devotion to Allah (swt). So hasten to the will of your lord. Heed his warning of hellfire, and always strive to be the first to submit to his command.
Qulu Qawli Haatha
"Say, Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the lord of all things? No person earns any sin except against himself, and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then to your lord is your return, so he will tell you that wherein you have disputed."
Some Christians, make the mistake of calling Isa, lord, or rabb. Their reason for this lies in the theology of what is called original sin. This is the idea that because Adam (as) sinned and fell from Eden, all of his descendants will carry the stain of that sin and that only the sacrifice of Isa, wa 'auodhoo billah, would atone for that. Many other faiths also have awlihaa that they see as intercessors for the same reason. This ayah from the holy Qur'an, refutes that. "Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, when he is the lord of all creation?" The message of this is clear; worship the creator not the created. There is no intermediary between Allah and his servants. And as for the original sin concept, " No person earns any sin except against himself, and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another". We do not inherit the sins of our forefathers. We are born pure, in a pure state of Islam, or submission to Allah (swt). It is only as we grow older that we are taught to be either a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, or an atheist, and it is only when we reach puberty that our sins are counted for us. No one can bear the burdens of anyone else. This is our creed and a mercy from Allah.
"And it is He who has made you generations after generations, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that He may try you in that which He has bestowed upon you. Surely, your lord is swift in retribution, and certainly He is oft-forgiving, most merciful."
And lastly, Allah (swt) illustrates to us the miracle of humanity. Generation after generation, for tens of thousands of years. Mighty civilizations have risen and fallen. Many great men and women who illuminate our histories have come and gone, while many more whom we will never know of have also come and gone. From Egypt to China, from Mayans and Aztecs to the Celts and Druids. The Franks, The Cherokee, The Hebrews, The Romans, The Persians, The Arabs, The Hindis, The Normans, The Aboriginals, and many more. From every corner of the Earth, humanity has grown and developed a vast array of cultures and tongues. But, despite all of our differences of language, culture, color and ethnicity, we are all slaves and servants of Allah (swt). We belong to the same lord. We share a common father in Adam (as).
These five ayahs of the Qur'an, these holy words of Allah (swt), illustrate what it truly means to be one who submits to Allah, one who heeds the warning of our beloved prophet Muhammad (sws), and one who hastens to the call of , "La illaha illa Allah, Muhammadun Rasool Allah", "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God".