The Key To Success: Give Self Totally To God
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
"And who is better in religion than one
who submits his whole self to God, and
is a doer of good, and follows the order
of Abraham, the upright in faith"
When we read the above verse from the Qur'an, we learn an important lesson for people of faith. We must realize that if we give our self wholly to God, He will befriend us. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has also taught that if anyone will give himself totally to God and love Him with all of his heart, God would then become his defender. His actions and his soul would then be protected by God as though God was the one committing those acts. Whatever he does with his hands or with any other part of his body or his soul, God will be with him. His deeds will become prosperous and successful.
To love God totally is the answer for us. We find that Prophet Abraham held nothing back from God. He gave himself totally to God. You probably have heard the story of how he offered the life of his son, Ishmael to God in sacrifice because he saw in a vision that God required this of him. However, as the Qur'an tells us, "It is not the blood that reaches God, but your goodness (your sincerity) that reaches Him."
God did not want a blood sacrifice This is not only the Qur'an, but the scriptures before it said the same thing. The Bible says that it is obedience and not blood sacrifice that God wants. Once Abraham carried out in his heart what God wanted, God showed him that his willingness was enough. By having this willingness, Abraham perfected his faith. Abraham perfected his faith because he denied nothing to God. Whatever God required of him, he gave willingly. Thus the verse says, "And who is better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God and is a doer of Good."
There are some people who say, "Oh, I want to be so much in accord with God that my will becomes God's Will, that my spirit becomes one with God's Spirit." But these people then leave the society to accomplish that. We cannot be really holy and be contributing nothing to the good life of human beings. If we are holy, but off alone somewhere in a closet or in a cave, that kind of holiness is not accepted in Al-Islam. So in surrendering himself totally to God, in doing good, and in following the order of Abraham, man becomes in accord with God's Will.
We see then that it is not enough just to do good. We must also follow the order of Abraham which was the order of sacrifice and goodness for the sake of pleasing God. You can do good, but your goodness may not be to please God; it might be vain or selfish. Abraham showed that he was a servant of God because he did nothing for selfish motives or for personal gain. Whatever he did, it was for the sake of others.
According to the history of Abraham, he engaged in business, but he did not make himself a burden on the people He didn't ask the people to support him or his business. His business was a support for the people who were in his environment This is the character of Abraham, the upright in faith. If scripture says that God took Abraham for a friend, and we want God to be our friend, then these are the conditions: first, commit yourself totally to God, Second, be a doer of good. Let your goodness be seen benefiting people and follow Abraham in his inclination which was to please God.
God tells us in the Qur'an that we are to be in the fore-front of those doing good, and not behind others. We don't want to be just even with others in this. You may say, "Oh, I just want to be equal to the average person." You should not want to be average. You should want to be foremost. Anyone who wants to be second or third is not following the spirit of what God asks of us. Foremost is the Word of God. Keep His Word in front of you at all times. Make His Pleasure your main objective in life, and make everything else conform to that objective. This should be our concern. If the concern to please God incorporates and overrides all other concerns, then it makes all other concerns successful. And if you have that kind of attitude, God says that you are a sure success.
If we follow the Word of God, have faith in Him and give ourselves totally to Him, He will kindle the right spirit in our hearts. And as long as we burn with that desire, and with that spirit, we will be successful.