Being Submitters (Muslimeen in Arabic) we must possess certain traits to be believers in God that are requirements to reflect that our appropriate belief is established in our hearts as the mere utterance or show off (how we dress up, what we eat or how we talk etc.) does not mean anything to Him or bring any benefit for our soul. It might be very helpful for us if we can always keep in mind that we cannot hide anything from Him as He is the Knower of all secrets and declarations (13:9), He is watching over us (4:1) and He is always Near and Responsive (11:61).
By definition, anyone who submits to the will of God is a Submitter (Muslim in Arabic). Thus, submitting to God is our minimum requirement that drives us to achieve righteousness through establishing appropriate and firm belief in our hearts to deserve recompense from God upon returning to Him facing judgment, which is inevitable (51:6).
Monotheism is the natural instinct placed into people by God (30:30), and anyone belongs to any ethnic group (faith), i. e., Atheism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Baha’ism, Islam and so on until the age of forty is Muslim (46:15) as God overlooks his past sins if he repents and reforms, and leads a righteous life when he attains the age of forty (46:16). God is the Most Merciful and He has given opportunity to everyone to redeem his sins, and has made him responsible upon giving enough time to make decision about his spiritual life and to get into the faith designed by Him (3:19, 3:83, 3:85) following very simple process as stated below in the Quran:
[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the Sabians; anyone who (1) believes in God, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Sabians, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in God and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
The first element to spell out the above definition of a submitter is the belief in God. The meaning of the word, “Belief” (Iman in Arabic) is more complex than what most of us think. It is the unshakable conviction that something exists whether it is physical or mental, seen or unseen, agreed upon by others or not. The Quran teaches us that those who truly believe in God offer much more than flat acknowledgment of God’s existence. They demonstrate fully what it takes and how it feels to be a believer (Mu’men in Arabic) in God.
[49:14] The Arabs said, “We have believed.” Do not say you believe but you shall say, “We have submitted” while the faith do not yet enter in your hearts. And if you obey God and His messenger, He will not deprive you of any your deeds. Indeed, God has been Forgiving, Merciful.
[49:15] The believers are only those who have believed in God and His messenger, then they do not doubt and have strived with their money and their lives in God’s path. Those are they who are the truthful ones.
Traits of Believer
Here are certain traits of the believers mentioned in the Quran that God wants to see in every believer of Him to be eligible for His mercy and forgiveness:
- They do not just believe in the Hereafter but they are absolutely certain and more concern about it to be their real (eternal) life:
[2:4] And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain.
[29:64] This worldly life is no more than vanity and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew.
[11:15] Those who pursue this worldly life and its material vanities, we will pay them for their works in this life, without the least reduction.
- They believe in all the scriptures that are sent down by God to guide humanity and make no distinction among any of His messengers::
[2:136] Say, “We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.”
[2:285] The messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and so did the believers. They believe in God, His angels, His scripture, and His messengers: “We make no distinction among any of His messengers.” They say, “We hear, and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny.”
[3:84] Say, “We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs, and in what was given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.”
[4:152] As for those who believe in God and His messengers, and make no distinction among them, He will grant them their recompense. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
- They are those who are humbles during their Contact Prayer:
[23:1] Certainly, have succeeded the believers;
[23:2] Those who are humbles during their Contact Prayer (salaatihim).
[70:23] Those who are constant at their Contact Prayer (salaatihim).
- They give obligatory charity (Zakat) to the recipients on priority basis from their wealth recognizing the known portion (right) of the poor and the needy in their wealth:
[23:4] And those who are doers for the obligatory charity (lilzakati).
[70:24] And those – in their wealth there is a known right,
[70:25] For the poor and the needy.
[2:215] They ask you (prophet) what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you have spent of good is for the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien.” And whatever you do of good is indeed, God is Knower of it.
- They maintain their chastity and have sex only with their spouses as adultery is a gross sin and an evil behavior:
[23:5] And they maintain their chastity.
[23:6] Only with their spouses, or those who are rightfully theirs, do they have sexual relations; they are not to be blamed.
[17:32] You shall not commit adultery; it is a gross sin, and an evil behavior.
- They avoid gross sins and vice, stand up for their rights when gross injustice befalls them:
[42:37] They avoid gross sins and vice, and when angered they forgive.
[42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights.
- They do not bear false witness and avoid vain talk:
[25:72] They do not bear false witness. When they encounter vain talk, they ignore it.
[23:3] And they avoid vain talk.
- They never behave like a deaf, dumb and blind when they are reminded with their Lord’s revelations:
[25:73] Those who, when have been reminded with their Lord’s revelations, do not fall upon them deaf and blind.
[2:18] Deaf, dumb, and blind that they will not return
- They are trustworthy while they fulfill their pledge to God:
[70:32] And the believers keep their word; they are trustworthy.
[13:20] They are the ones who fulfill their pledge to GOD , and do not violate the covenant.
[13:21] They join what GOD has commanded to be joined, reverence their Lord, and fear the dreadfulreckoning.
- They steadfastly persevere in seeking God through observing Salat and giving to charity:
[13:22] They steadfastly persevere in seeking their Lord, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), spend from our provisions to them secretly and publicly, and counter evil with good. These have deserved the best abode.
[8:3] Those who observe the Contact Prayer (al-salata), and out of which we have provided them, they spend.
[42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity).
- They have love, respect and honor for God in their hearts to raise them at higher status with Him:
[8:2] The believers are only those, when has been mentioned God has feared their hearts, and when has been recited His revelations to them, has increased them in faith, and upon their Lord they put trust.
[8:4] Those – they are the true believers. For them there are high ranks with their Lord, and forgiveness and an honorable provision.
[13:28] They are the ones whose hearts rejoice in remembering GOD. Absolutely, by remembering GOD, the hearts rejoice.
- They worry about the Hourto save them from it as the Day would be so terrible for the guilty that even a nursing mother will discard her infant and a pregnant woman will abort her fetus:
[21:49] The ones who reverence their Lord, even when alone in their privacy, and they worry about the Hour.
[22:2] The day you witness it, even a nursing mother will discard her infant, and a pregnant woman will abort her fetus. You will see the people staggering, as if they are intoxicated, even though they are not intoxicated. This is because, God’s retribution is so awesome.
[30:12] On the Day when the Hour comes to pass, the guilty will be shocked.
- They trust in their Lord and follow His word (Quran) given to them that is enough and everything for their successful return to Him:
[29:59] They are the ones who steadfastly persevere, and trust in their Lord.
[31:27] If all the trees on earth were made into pens, and the ocean supplied the ink, augmented by seven more oceans, the words of God would not run out. God is Almighty, Most Wise.
[18:109] Say, “If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply.”
- They fast in the entire month of Ramadan in honor of the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr in Arabic) to purify their souls and express their appreciation to God for the light (Quran) He had sent:
[2:183] O you who believed, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation.
[2:185] Ramadan which is a month, has been revealed in it the Quran as a guidance for the people, clear proofs of the guidance and the statute book. So whoever among you has witnessed the month, then he should fast in it, and whoever has been ill or on a journey then the prescribed number from other days. God wishes ease for you and He does not wish hardship for you, and that you may complete the prescribed number, and that you may glorify God through which He has guided you and that you may appreciate.
- They examine all words, then follow the best ones which confirm what we are supposed to believe and practice should conform to His teaching and laws:
[39:18] They are the ones who examine all words, then follow the best. These are the ones whom GOD has guided; these are the ones who possess intelligence.
[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.
- They repent, worship and praise, bow and prostrate, advocate righteousness but forbid evils, and keepers of God’s laws:
[9:112] They are the repenters, the worshipers, the praisers, the meditators, the bowing and prostrating, the advocators of righteousness and forbidders of evil, and the keepers of GOD’s laws. Give good news to such believers.
Belief (or Iman in Arabic) simply refers to concept or idea that drives us to go ahead with our objectives. In material life, if we cannot meet objective, we can change or modify or even we can restart it. But in spiritual life, when we see that the concept what we had did not work for us, we are already in Hell and there is no exit from it (2:81, 2:167). Thus, for the spiritual life, the concept (belief) requires to be as clear as it should be since there is no place for any gray area in it but unfortunately, there are many (misconceptions). We often hear that God is the Most Merciful and He will forgive us on the Day of Judgment if either our conceptions or our practices are not as perfect they should be, is a Satanic trick that confuses us so that we fail to return to God for lack of clear concept as well as imperfect practices of our religious rites as given. We can confirm it just to reflect on Satan’s declaration to dupe us all except a few (17:62-63). Thus, the concept has a direct relationship with the practice, and the more we can make clear our concept, the more we can perfect our practice of religious rites as given by God for our salvation.
However, God is the Most Merciful as He has placed the natural instinct of monotheism into people (30:30). God is the Most Merciful as He has given us simple process to be Submitter that drives us to achieve righteousness through establishing appropriate and firm belief in our hearts to deserve recompense from Him. God is the Most Merciful as He has taught us every details in the scripture (Quran) to have clear concept so that we can reach our destination without being lost or we would not have to say, “Oh, I wish I prepared for my (eternal) life” (89:24). God is the Most Merciful as He forgives us if we repent and reform, and lead a righteous life, even after committing gross and unforgiveable sins (25:71) before death comes to us (4:18, 40:66). God is the Most Merciful as He wants us all to return to Him upon passing the test given by Him (2:38). Hence, there is no chance of God’s forgiveness on the Day of Judgment if we fail to meet certain conditions as set by Him. Moreover, He will establish scales of justice on the Day of Judgment so that no soul suffers the least injustice (21:47). Now it is our responsibility to reflect on the traits of believers as defined in His guidance and mercy (7:52, 12:111, 16:64, 45:20), and establish firm belief in our hearts, and devote ourselves with all what He has given us, i. e., our wealth (money) and lives in the cause of God to return there where we all came from through our birth (Heaven) when our interim period ends here:
[6:162] Say, “Surely, my Contact Prayers (Salat), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted to God, Lord of the universe.
[11:23] Indeed, those who believed and have done the righteous deeds, and have humbled to their Lord, those are dwellers of Paradise; they will be abiding therein forever.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.