We often choose to associate ourselves with certain people, banners, clubs, or parties in need to fulfill certain obligations or due to a sense of emptiness we feel deep inside. We tend to get attached to certain things or qualities; "my" home country, "my" race, "my" culture, "my" traditions and upbringing, "my" color, or "my" native language. The urge for "belonging" inside each one of us might grow wild until it becomes an IDOL or turns into a desperate call for fitting in or blending with a group irrespective of the cause.
As Submitters to God alone and students of Quran, we are blessed with the knowledge of one universal code of "belonging" dictated to us by the One Lord of the universe. We are all under one unifying banner, one roof, and one system. We are taking one path and hopefully heading , at different speeds, towards one destiny. We all "belong" to one creed: "Submission." Irrespective of the barriers created by our different native languages, we are all fluent in one common language: the language of "Submission."
Through our study of Quran, we all realize this one fact: there will be a moment that will certainly come to pass for every one of us. A breath will be inhaled and never comes out or a breath will be exhaled and be our last one on earth. This moment might take place in any place at any time. No one knows where or when.
Things We May and May Not Know [31:34] With GOD is the knowledge about the Hour (end of the world).* He is the One who sends down the rain, and He knows the contents of the womb. No soul knows what will happen to it tomorrow, and no one knows in which land he or she will die. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.
At this moment, all that matters is if we have made the decision in our life to "belong" to God or not. We grow old, move from one stage to another, and we change homes and families. We change jobs, countries, and we meet different people, friends and enemies, throughout our lifetimes. We change our companies, our spouses, our languages and even our names. We strive to find our own spot, our own identity. However, with all this changing, traveling, and struggling, our moment of death will catch up with us anytime, anywhere in accordance to God's issued will. At that moment, it is our "belonging" to God and our loyalty to His teachings, commands and systems that will determine our fate. The only valid ID we will hopefully carry during that moment is the one with the seal/stamp of Submission to God alone. This will be the only approved identity.
One God/One Religion
[21:92] Your congregation is but one congregation, and I alone am your Lord; you shall worship Me alone.
[21:93] However, they divided themselves into disputing religions. All of them will come back to us (for judgment).
One God/One Message/One Religion [21:25] We did not send any messenger before you except with the inspiration: "There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone."
Only One Religion
Monotheists vs Idol Worshipers [42:13] He decreed for you the same religion decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you, and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "You shall uphold this one religion, and do not divide it." The idol worshipers will greatly resent what you invite them to do. GOD redeems to Himself whomever He wills; He guides to Himself only those who totally submit.
Only One Religion Approved by God [3:85] Anyone who accepts other than Submission as his religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the losers.
[2:208] O you who believe, you shall embrace total submission; do not follow the steps of Satan, for he is your most ardent enemy.
Submission: The Only Religion [3:19] The only religion approved by GOD is "Submission." Ironically, those who have received the scripture are the ones who dispute this fact, despite the knowledge they have received, due to jealousy. For such rejectors of GOD's revelations, GOD is most strict in reckoning.
In our search for our true and only relevant identity, these reminders are very insightful:
[21:35] Every person will taste death, after, we put you to the test through adversity and prosperity, then to us you ultimately return.
[2:156] When an affliction befalls them, they say, "We belong to GOD, and to Him we are returning."
[2:123] Beware of the day when no soul will help another soul, no ransom will be accepted, no intercession will be useful, and no one will be helped.
[3:30] The day will come when each soul will find all the good works it had done brought forth. As for the evil works, it will wish that they were far, far removed. GOD alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. GOD is Compassionate towards the people.
[59:18] O you who believe, you shall reverence GOD, and let every soul examine what it has sent ahead for tomorrow. You shall reverence GOD; GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
Rearranging Our Priorities [6:32] The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?!
The Only Criterion
For Distinguishing Among The People [49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.
The only criterion that determines who we should unite with and who we should choose as allies is the loyalty to God's words and the reverence of His issued will and systems:
Believers are United [3:103] You shall hold fast to the rope of GOD, all of you, and do not be divided. Recall GOD's blessings upon you - you used to be enemies and He reconciled your hearts. By His grace, you became brethren. You were at the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you therefrom. GOD thus explains His revelations for you, that you may be guided.
[5:55] Your real allies are GOD and His messenger, and the believers who observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they bow down.
[9:71] The believing men and women are allies of one another. They advocate righteousness and forbid evil, they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they obey GOD and His messenger. These will be showered by GOD's mercy. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.
Our land of choice is where we are able to practice our Submission fearlessly with pride and dignity:
[39:10] Say, "O My servants who believed, you shall reverence your Lord." For those who worked righteousness in this world, a good reward. GOD's earth is spacious, and those who steadfastly persevere will receive their recompense generously, without limits.
Apathy Condemned [4:97] Those whose lives are terminated by the angels, while in a state of wronging their souls, the angels will ask them, "What was the matter with you?" They will say, "We were oppressed on earth." They will say, "Was GOD's earth not spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?" For these, the final abode is Hell, and a miserable destiny.
[24:22] Those among you who are blessed with resources and wealth shall be charitable towards their relatives, the poor, and those who have immigrated for the sake of GOD. They shall treat them with kindness and tolerance; do you not love to attain GOD's forgiveness? GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
Once we are able to reach that balance inside us, and we establish our Submission identity on the right basis, as defined by God, we can sever all harmful attachments that tend to blind us, mess up our priorities and pollute our religion. We let go of useless identities, while melting into that divinely approved one. This is when we can appreciate the essence of "belonging" in the following powerful reminders:
[6:161] Say, "My Lord has guided me in a straight path - the perfect religion of Abraham, monotheism. He never was an idol worshiper."
[6:162] Say, "My Contact Prayers (Salat), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to GOD alone, the Lord of the universe.
[6:163] "He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."
[6:164] Say, "Shall I seek other than GOD as a lord, when He is the Lord of all things? No soul benefits except from its own works, and none bears the burden of another. Ultimately, you return to your Lord, then He informs you regarding all your disputes."
[6:165] He is the One who made you inheritors of the earth, and He raised some of you above others in rank, in order to test you in accordance with what He has given you. Surely, your Lord is efficient in enforcing retribution, and He is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.