Greetings of Peace. This blog contains selections from my correspondence and other sources on a variety of subjects related to religion, philosophy, and spirituality. I hope that they may be of benefit to the interested reader. Concerning the title of the blog, read this entry.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Submitting to Allah

"This day have I perfected for you your religion and fulfilled My favour unto you, and it hath been My good pleasure to choose Islam for you as your religion." -The Holy Qur'an, 5:3

Today I went to the Sultana Bookstore in search of prayer instruction. I returned home a Muslim. Having overcome the obstacles to an authentic identification with Islam, I felt no hesitation when the proprietor, an honest and enthusiastic but unimposing man named Shaukat invited me to take the Shahadah (Testimony) with his assitance after about an hour of conversation and a basic discussion of its significance. Through this simple declaration I was formally inducted into the Muslim Community, a process that has remained unchanged since the time of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him). Despite the informality of the situation, this simple ritual bears greater significance for my life than any grandiose clandestine initiatory ceremony that I have hitherto experienced, it's simplicity and dignity yielding a vast depth of profundity fully reflecting the nature of and furthermore embodying within itself the entirety of the religion of Islam. My initiator was not not a grand Hierophant bearing numerous titles and attired in regalia of distinction. Instead he was a fellow Muslim, a man like myself, sincere in his devotion to God and genuinely moved by my testimony. As a gift to his new brother be provided me with an instructional video and small booklet on Salah (prayer), a prayer rug, and a Kufi (skull cap). His sister in turn gave me a small bottle of delightful perfume because as I understand it Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) loved cleanliness and fragrance. Shaukat told me that Islam involved the cultivation of a direct personal relationship with Allah. It does not depend upon the authority or mediation of men or organizations. Instead God had directly revealed his Law to humanity in the Quran and provided the model of living in the person of his Prophet. Shahadah is the foundation of Islam. It involves the reorientation of life, thought, and being itself into a vertical or God-ward direction. From this moment on every sincere effort on my part is a step in his direction and a gradual deepening of my relationship with him. (Written in December 2006)

1 comment:

  1. Masha Allah! Too happy to know this.

    May Allah keep you on the right path and may his peace and blessings be upon you.

    PS: If you had converted, say in Pakistan, or in Istanbul, in a mosque where a gathering is present, every would have said loudly, with joy "Allahu Akbar - Allah is great".