Module 1, Lesson 1
In Progress

Who are You?

December 9, 2020

Who are You?

Men and women in this vast world may be divided into four groups: non-believers, deviating Muslims, superficial Muslims and believers.

1. Non-believer: The non-believer is one who denies or conceals the Truth. He is confined to his own self. He feeds upon his own desires. And he is incapable of looking beyond himself to witness the richer glory of the cosmos and the Creator. He has denied himself the joy of adopting high ideals and imbibing divine qualities; he thinks of nothing but eating, drinking and enjoying whatever he can. Of him, the Qur’an says:

Those who reject God take their comfort in this life and eat even as the cattle eat, and the fire is their habitation (47:12).

2. Deviating Muslim: Because he was born in a Muslim family the label of Muslim is attached to him which connects him with Islam. He transgresses all limits, falls prey to his lust and degenerates to sheer wickedness. About such a person the Almighty declares:

The Evil one has got the better of them, so he has made them forget God’s remembrance. They are the party of the Evil one. Truly, it is the party of the Evil one which shall be the loser (58:19).             

3. Superficial Muslim: He says his prayers regularly, recites the Qur’an aloud and defends Islam fanatically, yet he has no depth. He is undoubtedly nearer to the Truth, but he has not attained the full Truth. He performs religious duties mechanically, but his heart is not in them. The following Qur’anic warning is most apt for him:

Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts, in all humility, should engage in remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed and that they should not become like those to whom was given Revelation previously, but the waiting period seemed too long for them and their hearts grow hard (57:16).

4. Believer: In contrast to all three is the mu’min or true believer. He is the happiest on earth. For while others are enthralled by the outward brilliance of the material aspects of life, he refuses to be a slave to the baser instincts of man or be ensnared by worldly pursuits: he resists them. His heart is infused with divine qualities. He submits himself sincerely to the whispering reality in his spirit. He exerts himself to the utmost to submerge his whole being in the divine spark within him. It is for him and him alone that God declares:

Whoever submits his whole self to Allah and is a doer of good; he has grasped, indeed, the most trustworthy handhold; and with Allah rests the end of all affairs (31:22).

Your Choice

It is now up to you to choose for yourself! You know yourself better than anyone else. Can you find out `Who you are from among these types?’ and `Whom do you prefer from among them?’ It is for you to reflect and decide. The Qur’an declares:

And each one has a goal to which he turns: so vie with one another in good works. Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you all together, for Allah is able to do all things (2:148).

Selecting a goal is imperative because right and wrong are not equal. Similarly both groups of people – the ones in the right and the ones in the wrong – cannot be equal either. Of `the man who believes’ and `the man who is a transgressor and wicked,’ God is quite categorical in His judgement: Not equal are they (32:18) and ‘Is he who relies on a clear proof from his Lord like those for whom the evil that they do is beautiful while they follow their own lusts?’ (47:14).

The urgency of making the choice is underlined by Allah, the Most Exhalted, Himself when He asks:

Did you then think that We created you only in jest, and that you would not be brought back to us for account? Therefore, exalted be God, the King, the Reality. There is no God but He, the Lord of the Throne of Honour (23:115-116).

Therefore you ought to be engaged in endeavouring to cultivate the eternal qualities which is the purpose of your existence. You need to contemplate this Qur’anic admonition and try to imbibe it, for nothing can interpret the Qur’an better than your heart.

It is vital that you concentrate on the words `In jest!’ `Account!’ and `Exalted be God!’ Try to grasp the significance of these words, reminding yourself that it is God Himself who has spoken them. Then recall the purpose of the creation of man in Allah’s own words:

Indeed We have created the human being from an intermingled drop (of sperm and ovum) so that We might test him and so We have made him hearing, seeing (76:2).

While engaged in the hurly burly of life the importance of this divine utterance may escape you. Therefore pause and reflect at the significance of this utterance `intermingled drop’ created so that God may `test him’ and therefore gifted with `hearing and sight.’ Only then would you realise that God has given you the gifts of hearing and sight as a trust for which you shall have to render an account one day. God says:

Every act of hearing or of seeing or of feeling in the heart will be inquired into on the day of Reckoning (17:36).

This verse of the Qur’an puts, in a nutshell, the sacred duty for which you have been created. In every injunction in the Qur’an and in all Divine Messages since Prophet Adam, upon whom be peace, the heavenly cry – as revealed through the Prophets – has been consistent. Indeed surah al-Dhariyat declares the purpose of God’s creation most succinctly:

I have not created jinns and humankind except that they should worship me. I do not want from them any sustenance and I do not want that they should feed Me. Indeed God – He is the Provider of all sustenance, Possessor of all Power, the Firm (51:56-58).