Islam is one of the major world religions, with over 1.9 billion adherents across the globe. The word “Islam” itself comes from the Arabic root “sa-la-ma”, which means peace, purity, submission and obedience. So at its core, Islam is about seeking peace through submission to God.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: A Muslim is someone who has submitted themselves to the will of God, follows His commandments, and has found inner peace and contentment through this devotion and service to the Divine.
In this comprehensive guide, we will examine in detail the Islamic conception of what it means to be a Muslim who has submitted themselves to God’s will and found inner peace.
The Islamic Concept of Submission to God
The Meaning of Islam
Islam is an Arabic word that means “submission” or “surrender” to the will of God. Muslims believe that by submitting to God’s will, one finds peace and purpose in life. The concept of islam represents the central theme in Islam’s teachings – the belief that human beings should surrender to God’s will and guidance.
In Islam, submission to God is not merely a lip service, but rather entails living life according to God’s commands and prohibitions. It requires both internal submission through one’s beliefs, values and intentions, and external submission through one’s speech and actions.
When a person embraces Islam or submits to God’s will, he or she becomes a Muslim.
The Pillars of Faith
There are five core tenets that provide the foundation of a Muslim’s faith in God. These five pillars are:
- Shahada – Declaration of faith in one God (Allah) and acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet.
- Salat – Performing five daily ritual prayers.
- Zakat – Paying annual alms tax to benefit the poor and needy.
- Sawm – Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
- Hajj – Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if physically and financially able.
Through practicing these pillars consistently, Muslims fulfill the requirements of submission and obedience to God. The five pillars provide the framework for living in alignment with God’s will.
Complete Trust and Reliance on God
An essential aspect of being a submittive Muslim is having complete trust in God in every situation. This relies on the understanding that God is the most Wise and the most Merciful. He has perfect knowledge of all things and events occur according to His divine plan.
Muslims are encouraged to face life’s trials and tribulations with patience and resilience, accepting God’s decree. They should respond to difficulties with hope and gratitude, fully putting their trust in God. His mercy encompasses all things and He provides guidance to those who sincerely seek it.
Muslims aim to say “Alhamdulillah” (all praise is for God) in every situation, expressing gratitude and acceptance of God’s will. This complete reliance represents the pinnacle of faith and submission in Islam.
Requirements for Being Considered a True Submission
Declaration of Faith
The first and foremost requirement to be considered a true Muslim is to make the declaration of faith, known as the Shahada. This statement affirms belief in the oneness of God (Allah) and acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet.
To become Muslim, one has to recite and fully embrace the profound meaning behind the words: “There is no deity except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” This short yet weighty testimony marks the beginning of one’s religious life as a practicing Muslim.
Adherence to the Five Pillars
After declaring faith in the Shahada, a Muslim must uphold the Five Pillars that form the framework of Muslim life. These fundamental religious acts provide guidance on fulfilling spiritual duties and are meant to unify followers of Islam. The Five Pillars are:
Adhering to these Five Pillars provides a structure by which Muslims can affirm their beliefs, fulfill religious duties, and make sacrifices that benefit the community.
Living According to Quranic Principles
While following the previous foundational requirements, a faithful Muslim’s worship culminates in striving to live life according to the moral and ethical guidelines outlined in Islam’s sacred scripture, the Quran.
Some examples of key virtues and principles that a Muslim who has truly submitted to God would aim to exemplify include:
|Faithfulness & Trust
|Remaining loyal, sincere and devoted to religious practice and beliefs no matter the situation or hardship faced
|Conducting oneself honestly with justice, compassion and care for others
|Equanimity & Tolerance
|Demonstrating forbearance, level-headedness and treating all people equally
|Service & Generosity
|Being concerned for the welfare and needs of other people through charitable service and sacrifice
The Quran serves as a moral compass to guide all aspects of a faithful Muslim’s life. By putting such virtuous principles into daily practice, a Muslim displays to God (and the world) what it truly means to submit, serve and find peace through devotion to the Divine.
The State of Inner Peace for a Submitting Muslim
Tranquility Through Closeness to God
For Muslims who have submitted to God, inner peace comes from feeling close to the Divine. Through prayer, reading the Quran, and living according to Islamic principles, Muslims aim to strengthen their connection with God. This provides a profound sense of tranquility and contentment.
As the Prophet Muhammad said, “Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” Maintaining awareness of God throughout one’s day helps keep the focus on faith rather than worldly concerns.
Contentment and Tawakkal
Submitting to God’s will allows Muslims to approach life with contentment (rida). Believing that God is in control and has a purpose behind all things makes it easier to accept even difficult situations with patience and trust (tawakkul).
This attitude of gratitude leads to satisfaction and peace of mind. The Quran teaches, “So remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” For Muslims, appreciating God’s blessings cultivates serenity.
Focus on Spiritual Rather than Material
Islam encourages Muslims to focus on spiritual wealth over material wealth. Submitting to God means avoiding excessive attachment to worldly possessions and status. This liberates Muslims from the discontentment that often stems from endless material aspirations.
Simplicity and moderation are preferred over lavishness and extremes. The Prophet Muhammad illustrated this by sleeping on a simple mat even as the leader of Medina. Prioritizing matters of faith and good deeds brings true fulfillment and inner calm.
Peace and Submission in Practice for a Faithful Muslim
Charity and Selfless Service
For a Muslim who has submitted to God, engaging in charity and selfless service is an important way to find inner peace and live out one’s faith. The Quran emphasizes the duty of Muslims to support those in need, stating “And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction” (2:195).
Giving zakat (mandatory charity) and sadaqah (voluntary charity) are pillars of the faith, as they purify one’s wealth and help to alleviate poverty and human suffering. The Prophet Muhammad himself encouraged feeding the hungry, helping the displaced, and uplifting the weak and oppressed in society.
Some specific ways Muslims can engage in charity and service include donating money to nonprofit organizations, volunteering at local food banks or homeless shelters, and getting involved in projects that support refugees and provide disaster relief aid.
For many Muslims, such selfless acts done sincerely for the sake of God provide an immense amount of spiritual satisfaction and help them to stay grounded in the fundamental teachings of their religion.
Promoting Justice and Human Dignity
Promoting justice and upholding human dignity are also central to living a life of Islamic peace and submission. The Quran states “Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct” (16:90). Muslims believe Allah calls them to stand up against oppression, corruption, racism, and other societal ills that degrade human beings who are created with intrinsic worth.
Advocating for the poor, marginalized and disenfranchised allows Muslims to align their lives with God’s will.
Ways Muslims can champion justice and human dignity include getting involved in social activism and human rights campaigns, voting for leaders and policies that protect minorities and the less fortunate, and supporting companies and organizations that engage in ethical business practices.
On an interpersonal level, displaying kindness, respect and honesty in day-to-day interactions also upholds these values. The Prophet Muhammad himself sought to uplift women, orphans, slaves and other vulnerable groups during his time, providing an enduring example for Muslims.
Striving for Moral Excellence
Living an ethical, principled life is essential to being a Muslim who has surrendered to God. The Quran states “Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good” (16:128). Muslims believe Allah calls them to enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil in all aspects of life.
This involves embracing positive character traits, such as honesty, generosity, humility and patience, while avoiding destructive behaviors like lying, cheating and engaging in violence. Implementing Islamic values such as halal (lawful) business practices and honoring contracts also enables moral excellence.
Specific ways Muslims can strive for high morals include reflecting deeply on the self and purifying one’s intentions, surrounding oneself with righteous friends and role models, and continually repenting when moral lapses occur.
Living an upright life provides Muslims with great spiritual fulfillment, helping them become the best versions of themselves while also contributing to a more just society.
Challenges and Misconceptions
False Equivalences with Extremism
Islam is often unfairly associated with extremism and violence by some media outlets and groups. However, the actions of fringe extremist groups do not represent the beliefs of the vast majority of peaceful Muslims. Most Muslims promote values like justice, compassion, and peaceful coexistence.
There are an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, and only a tiny fraction endorses violence in the name of religion.
Many public figures and academics have spoken out against false equivalencies between terrorism and Islam. For example, former US President Barack Obama emphasized that groups like ISIS are not Islamic and do not speak for Muslim people.
He stated, “ISIL speaks for no religion” and should not grant them “religious legitimacy.”
Maintaining Peace Amidst Tribulations
In times when Muslims face discrimination or obstacles in practicing their faith, it can be challenging to maintain inner peace and avoid anger or bitterness. However, the Quran teaches patience and resilience in the face of hardship.
Verses advise to “repel evil with good” (13:22), and to “respond to evil with good, and he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend” (41:34).
Many inspiring individuals embody these teachings in their perseverance against prejudice. For example, after experiencing extensive anti-Muslim harassment, Mohamed Omar, executive director of targeted nonprofit Dar Al-Farooq, led rebuilding efforts saying he refused to have his faith crushed: “They picked the wrong Muslims this time to mess with.
Hijab and Modesty in the Modern World
Many Muslim women choose to wear the hijab headscarf as an expression of modesty, empowerment and spiritual devotion. However, false stereotypes still abound in some societies that wearing hijab is oppressive or incompatible with modern life.
Reality shows hijabis thriving in diverse fields – for instance, prominent hijabi businesswomen, scientists, journalists, athletes and more.
Additionally, major brands like Nike and Mattel are starting to feature hijab-wearing models in advertisements and create inclusive products like Barbie dolls with hijabs, showing the shift towards recognizing this expression of Muslim identity as beautiful and empowering rather than stifling.
In conclusion, we have explored the key aspects of what it means to be a Muslim who has submitted themselves fully to the Divine Will and attained inner peace and contentment.
Islam is founded on the ideals of peace, purity, obedience and devotion. By adhering to the pillars of the faith, striving to live by Quranic principles, and trusting wholly in Allah SWT, a Muslim surrenders themselves to their Creator and finds divine tranquility.
While misconceptions exist, especially relating Islam to extremism, the spiritual state of submission and peace before God has nothing to do with any perverted interpretations. For the God-conscious Muslim, it is solely about worship, service and remembrance of the Divine on Whom they rely.