“وَاَنِيۡبُوۡۤا اِلٰى رَبِّكُمۡ”
وَاَنِيۡبُوۡۤا اِلٰى رَبِّكُمۡ وَاَسۡلِمُوۡا لَهٗ مِنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ يَّاۡتِيَكُمُ الۡعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنۡصَرُوۡنَ
“So turn in repentance to your Lord. And submit yourselves to Him willingly-before there comes to you the torment of God’s Judgment.”
Surat Al-Zumar, Verse 54
(Translation by Ahmad Zaki Hammad)
In our last conversation, we reflected upon the verses of Allahﷻ in Surat Al-An’am. In those verses, Allahﷻ mentions to us that for whomever he wills, he will expand their chest for them in submission to Him, whereas for those whom he does not will, Allahﷻ constricts their chest severely to the point that they feel trapped. These people will feel so constricted with their chests so tight that they feel as if they are climbing up the sky that is never ending. “Indeed, Allahﷻ places a curse on those who choose to disbelieve in him.”
However, that very descriptive feeling that Allahﷻ describes to us brings forth some very important questions: what kind of people does Allahﷻ guide and how do we attain this inner peace that He mentions?
To address the first question, who does Allahﷻ guide? As simple as it may sound, Allahﷻ guides those who completely submit to Him. He guides His servants who completely submit to His will. Allahﷻ says in Surat Al-Zumar, “My slaves, those who have gone over the limits against their own selves.” Those who have engaged in sin. “Don’t be depressed or be pessimistic. Don’t lose hope in the mercy of Allahﷻ.” The word “قَنَطَ” in Arabic means to lose hope, to look at only the negatives, and to not see the bright side of anything. It is this kind of bad attitude, never seeing the positives: I am applying but I don’t think I am going to get into the school, I don’t think I am going to get the job, I don’t think I am going to get the scholarship. Allahﷻ says that “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” Only the evil wrongdoers are the only people that lose hope in Allahﷻ mercy.
The big thing to remember here is sin. We hear these ayat and think that Allahﷻ is never going to forgive us. We all sin. We should all know the hadith that states, “Every son of Adam is a sinner.” What is important is that we recognize these sins and engage in an act of repentance to our Lord because: “Surely Allah forgives all sins.”
Now that we have an understanding of whom Allahﷻ guides, we ask: How do we attain this inner peace? How do we achieve this feeling of complete serenity and stress relief? Allahﷻ continues and says, “Turn back to Allahﷻ spiritually.” It’s like you have not been talking to Allahﷻ. You have been ignoring Him. He wasn’t in your company. Could you imagine that you are sitting next to someone for hours without talking to them and you know who they are? How awkward and disrespectful that is. Allahﷻ is always in your company, and He is just waiting for you to call upon Him. Allahﷻ says now to turn yourself back to Him and show some respect. The word “وَاَسۡلِمُوۡا لَهٗ” means to completely give yourself up to Him.
My Muslim brothers and sisters, the answer is very clear. In order for us to be gifted with the guidance and peace of Allahﷻ, we must recognize our mistakes, admit our dependence on Allahﷻ, and completely submit to His will through repentance. I ask Allahﷻ to forgive us for our sins and make us among those who receive these gifts of guidance and peace. Allahumma Ameen.
By Ahmad Salah