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Choosing God

Choosing God

Issue 77 February 2011

I have experienced a lot of reactions from people when they found out that I became a Muslim. Confusion, happiness, incredulity, joy, outrage; but the reaction that I am most uncomfortable with is when a Muslim says to me, “You chose to be a Muslim. You are better than I am.”

 I do not accept the idea of me being “better” in faith than someone else is. That’s really for God to decide. I know my own imperfections, and as I mull over them I know also that I cannot even console myself with “I try my best”. I know that my “best” can be better than it is currently. We should not judge another’s relationship with God – either to think theirs is better or worse than our own. Our duty is to our own relationship with The Divine.

 “There is no compulsion in religion,” as the Qur’an loftily reminds us in surah Baqarah, thus everyone must make their own free choice to self-surrender their lives to God, or not. Even if we can trace our lineage back to the Prophet himself, we as an individual have to decide whether we are going to merely accept some inherited identities from our parents or whether we are going to actively own the faith for ourselves - intellectually, morally and spiritually. We cannot inherit faith; it is something that has to come to our own hearts – through our own efforts and God’s grace.

Our daily lives are a constant distraction from God. Endless to-do lists, jobs, money, homes, studies, people, all compete for our attention. Most of us are surrounded by others, and in many ways we live our lives with and through them. Our parents, siblings, cousins and other family members shape our early life. Teachers and first friends shape the next few years. Marital relationships and children take up our adulthood, and then work and social colleagues too. All of these people can be a conduit to our life choices - for better or for worse. Yet we will stand alone before God one Day, and thus we have to learn to be alone with God in this world too.

 Being alone with God is not always easy. There is the mischief of the whisperer who whispers into the hearts of mankind (Qur’an 114:5) in order to distract us, and then there is self-realisation and awareness of our own weaknesses. This can be a painful experience, but we cannot hide from them if we are true to ourselves.

 We are never out of God’s presence. The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we happy to be in His presence? God is always there, but do we want to re-orientate our life’s compass and move towards Him? Do we want Him in our lives? Or is His presence a hindrance to all the other things we want to do, and which we think will give us pleasure?

God has promised in a hadith Qudsi, “He who draws close to Me a hand’s span, I will draw close to him an arm’s length. And whoever draws near Me an arm’s length, I will draw near him a fathom’s length. And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that, provided he does not worship something with Me.” Thus, any small move towards God will bring Him close; even our sins are not a barrier to His engagement in our life for He has promised to provide forgiveness.

 The only barrier is our decision. But it is not a once in a lifetime decision. We have to keep choosing God. Every day that we are alive, we have the opportunity to make a conscious decision to let the Creator of the universe be a central part of our day, or not.

 As such, the fact I chose Islam does not seem to be very remarkable to me. We all have to choose, and I continue to choose Islam on a daily basis.

 Once we make that choice, and once we draw near to God through worship then, as the hadith Qudsi promises, “I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks,” because our life then becomes orientated towards Him.


To read more editorials by Sarah click here

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Hassan Mohideen

8 Dec 12, 02:00

Well said Editor, we are out of contact with some1 who's so near to us. he who gives the impulses of Judgment between what is right and wrong residing in our inner consciousness despite which we act in our own desired way. This then becomes reflected back as right or wrong in our own heart. The wrongdoing never dies down from your heart thereby we experience the hell. This is the hell. Yes, he who becomes mingle with him & attain the annihilation reflecting his perfect image of Noor Muhammad, Allah becomes the hearing through which he hears, seeing with which he sees, hand with which he strikes & so on. This is the attainment to a true human being which he refers to as his Khaleefa.

Well, he is within us not elsewhere and no one can be perfect but the perfection & completeness was the incomparable Muhammed Salllalahu Alaihiwasallam. None can be compared against him, nor can anyone / anything be perfect in this universe. He is the one and only perfect & complete maniestation of Allah

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6 May 11, 20:19

moslems were low profile and high spirituallly followers

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12 Apr 11, 22:42

I was not sure here if you meant that you were no better
than a fellow Muslim or a wider thought that you are no
better than say a Christian or a Hindu or indeed anyone? I
know the Qu'ran says that Muslims are the best if all people
but I cannot ever hold to that what to me seems an arrogant
statement. I agree that time with God is essential but faith is
worked out in living whether it be washing up or praying,
God must be in it all and for me one is not better than the

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Ahmed Shafi

28 Jan 11, 20:32

Some Points I would like emphasize on:

= Only God knows about our secrets and the covered part of us. That is a great murcy upon us to be uncovered.

= Being close to God is simple and easy . Are we getting closer to Him and happy to be with Him?

= Our sins are the misleading points that Satan can use to divert us more and more by whispering that sins are real barriers which can forbid us to be cloes to God. And that is dangerous trick which can distroy us now and thereafter.

Thank you.

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