By Mounir Ibrahim
"O you who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan for he is your sworn enemy." (Qur'an 2 : 208).
This is a call from Allah to the believers to submit totally to Islam and to leave no part of their lives ruled by anything other than Islam. Many of us fall to respond to this call. When it comes to applying Islam to our lives, we become selective. Those parts of our Deen which do not impede our already established way of life are most welcome. We may even claim that those are the most important aspects of Islam! But for those other parts whose application requires a greater effort, we may find a twisted interpretation that will relieve us from their application.
Allah has warned us against such behavior. He said, "So is it only part of the body that you believe in, while you reject the rest? The reward of those among you who behave like this is disgrace in this life and on the day of judgment, they shall be consigned to the most grievous punishment." (Qur'an 2 : 85)
The prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam has always called people to embrace this Deen fully and totally. When a delegation from the tribe of Thaqif came to the prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, their leader said: "Will you sign a peace treaty with us so that we can go back home?" The prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "Only if you embrace Islam. If you don't, there is no peace between you and me." Their leader said: "But what about extra-martial sex? Our people travel a lot and we cannot do without it!" The prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "It is unlawful. Allah said: "And come not near adultery, for it is an indecent deed and an evil way." (Qur'an 17 : 32). Their leader said: "What about the interest on the money we lend?" The prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "It is unlawful." They said: "But all of our revenues come from interests." The prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "Take back only what which you gave." Allah says: "O you who believe! Fear Allah and give up of what remains of your demand for usury, if you are indeed believers. If you do not, take notice of war from Allah and his messenger. But if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly and you shall not be dealt with unjustly." (Qur'an 2 : 278-279). So they said: "What about wine? We make it from our own grapes and we can not do without it!" The prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "Allah has made it unlawful." And he recited: "O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling , are abomination of the shaytan's handiwork: so avoid such abomination that you may prosper." (Qur'an 5 : 90).
After the delegation announced their Islam, they asked the prophet to leave the idol they used to worship and not to destroy it until three years. The reason behind their request was that their people would not be scared away from Islam. But the prophet refused. They asked that he leaves it for one year. But he again refused. A month, they said! He still refused. They asked to be exempt from destroying it themselves and he accepted. (Related by Ahmad 3/34).
The time has come for today's muslims to renounce their idols, to listen to what Allah and his messenger tell them about Islam instead of seeking in the holy book a confirmation of their already established convictions.
The time has come to submit to Allah. And to submit totally.