Memories of Ramadhān barely fade before the thoughts of Muslims the world over are filled with the life of Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām, the great Prophet of Allāh who earned the accolade of being Khalīlullāh - the close friend of Allāh ta'ālā. Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām was a prophet who possessed such special qualities that even the Prophet Muhammad sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam was commanded to follow his way in order to attain success both in this world and the hereafter.
...So follow the path of Ibrāhīm, the upright one... (3:95)
What gained Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām such closeness to Allāh ta'ālā? What made him so close that Allāh ta'ālā stated:
And only he turns away from the creed of Ibrahīm who makes a fool of himself. We undoubtedly selected him in this world and he will be amongst the righteous in the hereafter. (2:130)
The answer, through which he secured enduring success, follows in the very next verse.
When his Rabb commanded him, 'Submit,' he replied, 'I submit to the Rabb of the worlds.' (2:131)
His resolution and determination were of such high calibre that when commanded to submit to the will of Allāh ta'ālā he immediately did so, without the slightest reluctance or uncertainty. It was this complete obedience to Allāh ta'ālā that earned him a lasting legacy in the chronicles of Islām.
His submission was not merely through words; at critical stages in his life he proved his submission through his actions. In reality, this is the true meaning of being a complete Muslim, i.e. one who submits unconditionally to the will of Allāh ta'ālā.
His journey of sacrifice and submission began at a tender age. As a child he was faced with a choice between father and Allāh ta'ālā; he sacrificed the security and support of his father and opted for Allāh ta'ālā. When Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām himself reached old age and became needy of the support of his young son, he was again ready to duly obey Allāh ta'ālā and sacrifice his son.
Submission is a recurring theme throughout the life of Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām and throughout the rituals of Hajj. If we consider the many injunctions stipulated by Allāh ta'ālā over the days of Hajj, it is hard to comprehend why Allāh ta'ālā has commanded such actions. Why must one leave the blessed sanctuary of Makkah for the open plains of Minā? Why must one delay the Maghrib Salāh and perform it with the 'Ishā Salāh? Why is one not able to use 'itr, a sunnah of the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam, whilst in ihrām? These and many other questions may come to mind, but nobody questions them or is concerned with what others may say. This same spirit of obedience to Allāh ta'ālā should also apply in every facet of our lives.
The months of Hajj repeatedly remind us of our true purpose in life; they remind us that our beautiful religion expects us to unconditionally submit to the Will of Allāh ta'ālā, and not to pick and choose what to do. No matter what challenges we face, our objective should be to please our Creator, with full confidence that there is only goodness in whatever Allāh ta'ālā has commanded. Such submission and subduing of the desires is an easy and simple method to acquire everlasting success.
Shaykh Sa'dī rahimahullāh, a pious saint, used to say that Paradise is a mere two steps away: with the first, crush your desires and with the second, enter Paradise.
May Allāh ta'ālā enable us all to submit to His wishes as He desires us to. Āmīn
© Riyādul Jannah (2012)