The Language of Love

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured Values: Love, Spirituality Views: 6634
6634

"O Allah! You are my servant and I am Your Lord!"

 Astaghfirullah (May God forgive me)! What a terrible statement! Indeed, if someone deliberately makes such a statement, it would be a grave sin, a blasphemy. Fact of the matter is that Allah is our Lord and we are his servants, and there cannot be an identity or honor for us that is higher than this. God can choose any one, any group, any species to serve him and his cause. But those of us who believe and submit to God have been identified by our Benevolent Rabb (creator, sustainer, nourisher, evolver) as his servants. Then, what is the significance of an otherwise blasphemous statement as mentioned above?

Well, there is a both serious and lighter side to it. The serious side is related to the fact that under extreme and desperate circumstances human beings tend to do extraordinary, exceptional, uncommon - or, put it another way, crazy - things. During moments of shock, suffering, agony, and frustration, we tend to do things that otherwise we generally do not. Quite similarly, at moments of true and profound joy, relief, deliverance, achievement, success, once again, we often lose control of ourselves.

Just look at the reactions people show at extremely profound negative or positive moments. Quite often, this is natural - just like when we cry or moan due to pain or shock, or when we laugh at funny things or show ecstasy at joyous situations.

But, that is human behavior. Happiness and sadness, joy and sorrow, ecstasy and depression - all these are various states of human emotion. What about our Benevolent Rabb - God, who describes himself as ar-Rahmanir Rahim (the Most Kind, the Most Gracious), al-Gafoorur Rahim (the Most Forgiving, the Most Gracious)? Does he care? Is he sensitive? Do we really matter to him?

Developing a proper understanding of this issue requires recognizing an essential dimension of Islam: balance. There are certain verses in the Quran and narrations from the Prophet that seems to give an impression that we hardly matter. "O my servants, you will not attain harming me so as to harm me, and you will not attain benefiting me so as to benefit me. O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase my kingdom in anything. O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease my kingdom in anything. ..." (Forty Hadith Qudsi, #17)

From statements such as the above one might get the feeling that we really are inconsequential to God. But in light of the reality this would be the fitting message for those who with pride and haughtiness deny, reject or ignore the Truth and live according to their whims without recognizing any sense of relationship with or accountability before him. 

Then, there is the other side of the story. We do matter to God, and indeed, a great deal. God did not create us as perfect beings so that we won't commit any mistake, error or sin. We should try our best not to do so. However, if we ever err, the remedy is as simple as a sincere repentance - an act that makes God indescribably delighted. How happy God really can be? Well, who can illustrate it better than his messenger himself?

The Prophet  said: "God is more pleased with the repentance of a servant as he turns towards him for repentance than this that one amongst you is upon the camel in a waterless desert and there is upon (that camel) his provision of food and drink also and it is lost by him, and he having lost all hope (to get that) lies down in the shadow and is disappointed about his camel and there he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of his nose string and then out of boundless joy says: O Allah! You are my servant and I am Your Lord. He commits this mistake out of extreme delight." (Sahih Muslim, Vol. #4, #6618)

Notice that God is "more" pleased than this ecstatic servant. Now, do we matter to God? Does he care about us? You can draw your own conclusion. My feeling is that he does. A great deal!

Now what about the blasphemous statement? People who might not appreciate the context of a statement, they might like to have the head of such person committing blasphemy chopped. Those who understand the context might appreciate that loving relationship is not merely guided by rigid laws and rules. Beyond the appropriate and beneficial realm of laws and rules, there is a realm of love and affection, where sincere mistakes can be natural and parties to it understand each other quite well. Just as the Prophet did and clarified it that the person who made that statement did so out of extreme delight. And, God is more ecstatic at our repentance than that person who out of extreme delight made such an otherwise blasphemous statement. What a beautiful illustration of the fact that we do matter to God and he does care!

It is in this context the Hadith "God said, 'I am to my servant as he THINKS of Me'" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9: #596) needs to be understood. Does this mean that we should not care about fulfilling our role as his servants? Not at all. This is a two-way relationship. God is still the Master of the Day of Judgment! "When my servants asks you concerning me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the calls (da'wah) of every supplicant when he calls on me: Let them also, with a will, listen to my call, and believe in me, that they may walk in the right path."   Quran 2:186

The author, Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq, is Head of Centre for Islamic Finance at Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF).

You can visit his blog at: http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm


  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured  Values: Love, Spirituality
Views: 6634

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Older Comments:
FAQIR FROM USA said:
I am not sure why you should start with such a negative sentence. Even an athiest would not start a sentence like this. I think you will not understand why I am upset with your beginning of the story. I can only tell you that you were far from love of Allah. May Allah forgive you and give guidance to you to understand why you should love Him.
May Allah protect us from Shaitan and save us from hellfire
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SAMSAM FROM U.S said:
As Saalamu Alikun author of this article
I have to admit the first sentence almost gave me a heart attack but then I kept reading and saw where you were going with it. Overall, I'd say well done.
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YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Alhamdulillah! It took a few minutes before I was to finally realize that the terrible statement, as indicated by the author, was not, "Astaghfirullah (May God forgive me)," but rather, "O Allah! You are my servant and I am Your Lord!"

How funny - I came pretty close to actually shouting, "Heresy!" (Astaghfirullah!!)

Jazak Allah wa jazak Allahu khair - now I can see why so many other readers seemed to enjoy the article.

As-Salaamu Alaikum
--Yahya Bergum
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MUSTAPHA KADER FROM SOUTH AFRICA said:
MARSHA ALLAH FOR A BEAUTIFUL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE ISLAM SITE. IT TEACHES ME MUCH.SALAAMS.
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MOHD SAJID FROM INDIA said:
Assalam alaikum, wonderful to be the member of greatest islamic site. I had been recieving regular information with respect to islam which is much more useful.
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SYED SHAHABUDDIN FROM INDIA said:
i am extremely delighted whenever i vist this website.Infact i have made a habit to see it daily and read some good articles.it serves the holy cause of propagation of Islam.Preaching Islam in this way is more appealing than discussions.
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IMRAN UR REHMAN FROM PAKISTAN said:
asalam o alaikum : i love this site very much b/c it give many things to learn so thanks for the article
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MUHAMMAD IBN LAMIN CHAM FROM THE GAMBIA said:
Iam very much impressed and feel much happier whenever a word of God is spoken to the fellow human being to know who is their creature and is the only one to be worship.
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MARYAM HUSSAIN FROM ENGLAND said:
i always look forward recieving your articles they are intrersting informative and i always forward them to other brothers and sisters so far thats 79 including my friends and cousind all muslims keep up the good work
jazakallah khair
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U.AMINA.S FROM U.S.A. said:
Your Islamic articles bring out the answers to our daily lives & our conflits within. Truely grateful to Allah'Subhan'Va'Talla for people like you who guide us thro' our lifes.
Best be your's & May Allah(SVT) bless you all there!
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ZAINABOU FROM U.S. said:
May Allah's peace and blessings be with you,
Thank you so much for this wonderful talk regarding Allah's concern and love for us. Reading your article made me want to weep and give thanks to Allah. Thanks
Zainabou
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AFTAB FROM SINGAPORE said:
I learnt a lot from this excellent article. may Allah reward the writer & all people connected with Islamic City, Amin!
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FARTUUN FROM ENGLAND said:
I'm wring regarding the text 'the language of love' I don't agree that astaghfirullah is a terrible statement. We are humans and make mistakes and then ask for forgiveness.Astagfirullah is way we show god that we regred our sins without it there is no shorter way of pleading.
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HASSAN FROM U.A.E said:
i guess this is the last period of the world in which we are.coz all the signs which our prophet has told is getting true 1by 1 ,so we should ask allah to forgive us and we should tu try o makr and improve our iman as he 1st question in kabar(grave)will be of iman.
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MASCHIR FROM INDONESIA said:
May God forgive us
About the wrong sentence ,I am sure Allah will forgive us due to not our intent to write that in purpose,May God bless us all the Muslim in the world.
Regards, from Indonesia
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NUR FROM MALAYSIA said:
Good articel. Give me more information and someting to read. Keep up good work. Bring more technologies to Islam .Insyaa Allah. May Allah Bless All of Us.
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ABDUL GANIYU AL-HASSAN FROM NIGERIA said:
Asalam Alaikun,
What if I say I am so ashame to be a muslim, what if I say I can't say it to people's face that I worship Allah? Does that condemn me as a true muslim? Well, all those words or phrase are words that best describe what I really want to say. Is believing in Allah a way of saving one's soul? No, if I am ask cause I have never seen any one that has got as much beleive in Allah to live a low keyed live. Not in terms of Riches or things that glitter but of Life generally.
The beleive people have about Satanic things is far higher than that of God's. I browsed a website where I feel so ashame and was dumb founded cause I have no words to say. I beleive I am remaining as a muslim cause the Christian are stronger in beleive than the muslims. If a pastor could ask the members of the church to stand up on their legs, raise their hands above their head and pray for hours then believe me brothers, he's a god. He's a god cause he control things. How many amongst muslims can sit down and read the think about God that way?...Non!!!. In the Synagogue(I mean the Church), the set people free from their sorrows and help them in terms of needs. But in the Islamdom, how many people can pool their resources together to help another carry on. In the Islamdom, how many people care about the other..All we think about is being strong and always preparing for WAR against body and not soul. My fellow muslims, I will be very grateful and glad if you can visit this site and go through where they said that Islam is the religion of those that worship the moon... Where does Allah generate from? Why is the Quran not translated and why is it not recited in English whenever we perform Salat?

Click on the link below to get to the website.

http://www.chick.com

Anyone that visits the site and have any answer to the questions and can tell the differences between gods and God can mail me.
[email protected] or

1,Oyeshile Street,
Alaba-Oro,
Alaba-Suru,
Lago
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ELSAYED KANDIL FROM AUSTRALIA said:
Suggest adding a button "Contact us" on the main page/menu
I lost my login and password and could not ask for you to resend them to me except by using the "Comment" facility.
Jazakum Allah khayran
Elsayed
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TAHIR FROM PAKISTAN said:
Greetings,an excellent article.But we should not act like the simpleton who offered two rakats of voluntary prayer and then sat down thinking that God will send revelation upon him since he has performed such a pious deed.Indeed repentance and supplication are indestructable weappons in the hand of the meek and humble.wassallan.
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MARY HASAN FROM USA said:
It would be nice to see more quotes from Quran when talking about God's forgiveness, love and mercy.
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NURAINI FROM MALAYSIA said:
i don't usually cry at most things, but this article managed to tease some tears. i love Allah, and it makes me teary when i read about how He loves us. :P
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BUSHRA FROM INDIA said:
The artical was very nice and have forwared to my friends also.
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SYED SHAHABUDDIN FROM INDIA said:
It is a very good article indeed.We believe that God does care for his servants.The entire universe is created to serve this servant.As the verse in quran says that "Insan and jin were created only for worship".worship without love is just custom or habit.The main thing is how to develop with God.One way is remeberance of God for heart because we remember those whom we love.If we see in our human relationship,there are certain relationship wherein love is natural or by birth like son or daughter with his or her mother and father.There is a close cotact or touch or we can say relationship where love blossoms.But in case of God, how that kind of contact or relationship be established.A servant has not seen Him nor lives physically with his lord.Another example, i can quote of love is between to young couple. married or unmarried.If someone falls in live with the other,there is always some kind of contact or attachment between them.In case of Servant and God, how that kind of relationship be established or created.I am trying to say that if amy man or woman can see God, then only love can develop.Worship can be done because God has created insan and blessed with so many wonderful things, his own existence or the universe for his sustenance.But to love God,without seeing or experiencing his presence is a big question.Remeberance also comes for those whom we love and miss them.we will not remember a person whom we have not been in love or some kind of contact.In quran there is a verse"remember(zikr) me and I will remember you.Grom various ahadees, it is clear that God loves his creatures.we can get the answer from the life of prophet, how to develop love with God.This is the area where sprituality or roohaniath comes into picture.Sufism does guide us in this path.There are many mysteries which human brain can not comprehend.Unless we develop our souls or spirits, we will not be able to understand the works of God and His will.Love is a feeling.We can only taste it.
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DENISE MAJIED FROM UNITED STATES - QUEENS NEW YORK said:

This was so touching and poetic to my heart.

Thank you so much for this article.

Peace
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TIJANI APALARA FROM NIGERIA said:
Allah really loves us but little do we think.He cares for us but little do we realised that. He opens His hand everyday and night for Him to forgive us our sins but little do we welcome this. He loves us more than the way a mother loves her child but little do we consider Him. What else do we want from Him? May Allah give us the Taofik the be able to love Him and serve Him better.
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ZEENAT ISMAIL FROM TANZANIA said:
The article brought tears to my eyes - perhaps in realisation of the truth. I love such thought provoking articles and i believe our youths need to read such material in order to "get the feel of Islam - the unique way of life"
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HANNAHZARAH AVARRASCHILD FROM U.S.A. said:
I like your concept of God. I have always felt that the God who brought me into existance knows that I am weak, imperfect and tempermental and knows that on occasion I will blow it. I also believe that God loves me enought to wait until I calm down and apologize. That doesn't me that I shouldn't try but neither should I think that somehow I am going to be perfect all of a sudden.

As far as who is the servant in the relationship, I don't care for those who seem to think that God is some kind of santa clause there to meet all their needs no matter what they feel that they are nor do I think that I am wise enought to tell the originator of all things, who sees and knows all things how to run things. That would be the height of conceit.

Peace and blessings,
Hannah
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SABRINA FROM SRI LANKA said:
Thank you for the beautiful article. From my personal experience I can definitely say that not only does Allah s.w.t. care about me but He is also my closest Friend and Companion and my constant Guide, Protector and Source of Inspiration when I need it. I am always mindful of His divine presence and have felt this way since I was a child. So yes, God definitely cares about us.
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ZOHRA FROM AFGHANISTAN said:
According to Islam God unlike man DO't have gender so we may refer to God "Almaity" insted of "He".
Thanks
Zohra
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J. IRIBARREN FROM CANADA said:
Salaam Alaikum.
Thank you for striving so hard to explore the wisdom of Islam for and with the wider community. I and many others, surely, always look forward to receiving your postings. This last mailing, however, may have benefitted from the inclusion of the statement-in-question at its start. Though I consider myself of fair intelligence (al-hamduLillah), it was not until I clicked over to the full version of this article, that I understood what statement was being criticized as being blasphemous in nature. In fact, prior to switching over, I was feeling first, appalled, and then simply puzzled as to how anyone could call the statement, "Astaghfirullah," blaphemous. It was quite an upsetting opening, though ultimately, the point of the article was well understood and well taken. Anyway, just thought I might share, for the purpose of future reference. May Allah, S.W.T., bless you, have mercy on you, and keep you well for your efforts. InShaAllah, keep up the great work.
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KHAIR BEGUM FROM USA said:
its a very beautiful article! indeed.
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IRFAN FROM USA said:
I really liked it. it was a great article to read about God.

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LOUBNA NASSER FROM U.S. said:
I HAVE READ YOUR ARTICLE "THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE" THAT WAS POSTED AT ISLAMICITY WEB SIT. I THINK THAT YOU HAVE MADE AN EXCELLENT DISTINGUISHING LINE BETWEEN THOSE WHO ARE TRUE MUSLIMS AND THOSE WHO USE ISLAM TO FULLFILL THEIR EGOS AND DESIRES. THOSE WHO TRUELY UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE OF THE QURAN KNOW THAT IT IS MORE THAN A SET OF LAWS AND RULES MEANT FOR PUNISHMENT AND REWARD. IT IS MORE LIKE A VEHICLE THAT TAKES INDIVIDUALS FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT. THE DARKEST INNER SIDES OF HUMAN NATURE BEING NATURE OF GREED, SELFISHNESS, AND INSTINCTS (WHICH IS BASICALLY THE ANIMAL LEVEL) IS TRANSFORMED TO THE UPPER LEVEL OF HUMAN NATURE. THIS IS THE REASON WHY THOSE WHO ARE TRUE MUSLIMS ARE AT THE PEAK OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION.
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MAKA ALI FROM KENYA said:
nd may Allah (s.w.t.)guide all of us and protect all of us from going astray. inshallah.
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LAYYAH FROM UK said:
According to the 'Love' statement, God (SWT) has created us all, from insects to the sun we are his clay and dust made humans he loves us all very much indeed. Life is a challenge for us in all due respect the way i see percieve this life is for ALLAHMIA to differentiate the hipocrites and the lLoyal he wants our attention and Love aswell u no, just like all us humans.
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NABEEL FROM CANADA said:
Your article was very interesting and informative for myself. It made me realize how important it is to understand context and the depth of our Islamic tradition. May Allah bless us with more insightful articles from such brothers.
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SEYID AHMAD ABEDIYEH FROM USA said:
Dear Dr. Farooq:

May Almighty Allah bless you for your words of wisdom so eloquently depicted in your recent article on the Islamic Bulletin entitled: "O Allah! You are my servant and I am Your Lord!": The Language of Love .

The World needs to be enlightened through the Prism of Islam and through the wisdom of gifted scholars like you, so that mankind can appreciate and love God's creation more. After all, every thing that exists in the Universe, including us human beings are God's creation, so there should be Peace, Love and Harmony amongst all, while every particle of our physical and spiritual existence permeates this love in multi directions and serves God Almighty.
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ALI ALIM FROM U.K. said:
assalaamun alaikum,

Thank you brother for an open-minded approach to the mutual relationship between every man and his god. I enjoyed your article.

wassalam
Ali
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MOHAMAD BASHAR ARAFAT FROM USA said:
Assalmu alaikum

I hope we see much articles like this one. Thank you very much.

I look forward to see graduates of Islamic divinity Schools wright in that subject also to Islamicity, not anoly who are majoring in Economics. It is unfortunate that if some one want to speak about that will be lablesd right a way as suffi.

If we want to present our religinon to others, this a very nice start.

Many Thank,


Mohamad Bashar Arafat
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