Islamic Character Personal Development Reflections Spiritual Purification Worship

An Exercise in Submission

2100627902_33f22986cc_bIn the moments that I actually force myself to reflect on our surroundings I notice one consistent characteristic in the creation of al-Kaliq (the Creator): absolute serenity. When you cut out the drone of cars on the freeway, the airplanes overhead, the construction vehicles, the horns, the beeps, and the limitless sounds of modern day life, everything is so peaceful and calm.  Whether it be the birds, the insects, the trees, the water or the animals – they all combine to produce a kind of unchallenged tranquility and harmony.

This serenity is absent in our everyday lives. We live life stressed; constantly worrying about what everyone else thinks of us, how to make a billion dollars, how to marry someone attractive…and we start to live in the image of people. We start to live our lives as others expect of us, rather than by what actually makes us happy. This seems so contradictory to the tranquility of wildlife.

Once while in the midst of Allah’s creation, I was reciting some verses from Surat ali-`Imran and I came across the following verse:


“So is it other than the religion of Allah they desire, while to Him have submitted [all] those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned?” (Qur’an, 3:83).

How amazing and incredibly true! We seek other than the way of al-Hadi (the Guide) when we run after our desires and the material world. We exchange the endless bounties of al-Razzaq (the Provider) in this life and the next for temporal fame and material gain. In our arrogance we chart out the way we think is best to attain happiness, but end up failing. Even after seeing so many people who have it all yet still are not happy, we still run after the same things. When was the last time we did something because we knew that someone would think of us highly because of it? When was the last time we sold out our friends, family or even our honor and dignity for a grade or some pennies? When was the last time we gave preference to someone over Rabbana (our Lord) at the time of salah (prayer)?

The nature we see around us has submitted itself to the One, the Creator, in all of its complexities and intricacies, and as a result lives in absolute harmony. Imagine the peace of soul and mind when you become detached from the wants and desires of others, only seeking His pleasure. Imagine the serenity that can be found in not chasing after our desires as is championed by this society. Imagine simply living the most perfect life possible in this world. This is exactly the reality of the creation around us and the tranquility and harmony that are manifested are proof of its success.

But wait – isn’t the human being the best creation of Allah? I wonder what we could accomplish if we actually do exactly as He tells us…

About the author

Omar Zarka

Omar Zarka

Omar Zarka was born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Irvine, where he was involved with the Muslim Student Union. Omar is married and received a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles.


  • As Salamu Alaikum,

    MashAllah what a great reminder. If everyone follows this belief on a daily basis, they will be successful.

    Very touched, jazakum Allahu Khayer

  • Salaam shaykh I know this is completely unrelated, but I was wondering whether or not it was permissible to physically salute the Prophet, peace be upon him, with our hand? As in lift our right hand to our forehead.

  • Jazak Allahu Khayr for this reminder. Truly are those successful who read, understand and follow Allah(swt)’s road to success through the Quran. May Allah(swt) grant us the light of the Quran . Ameen.

  • Asalamu aleikum,
    MashaAllah, this is such a true description of life and a reminder for all to reflect and stay focus on our goal!
    BarakAllahu fik

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