Believer’s relationship with Allah
[ January 29, 2016 ]
The holy Qur’an deals in many passages with believer’s relationship to Almighty Allah and the concept of life which naturally follows from that relationship. Its message is epitomized in the verse narrated hereunder : Verily Allah hath bought of the believers their lives and their properties for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise: so they fight in the way of Allah and slay and are slain. It (i.e.
the promise of Paradise) is a covenant which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Injil and the Qur’an. And who is more faithful unto his covenant than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph. (al-Tawbah 9: 111) In the above verse the nature of the relationship which comes into existence between a believer and Allah because of the believer (the belief, trust and faith in Allah) is called a ‘bargain’. This means that belief in Allah is not a mere metaphysical concept; it is in the nature of a contract by which man barters believer’s life and muslim’a possessions in exchange for the promise of Paradise in the hereafter. God as it were, purchases a believer’s life and property and promises, in return, the reward of Paradise in the life after death. This concept of a bargain and a covenant has important implications, and needs to be clearly understood. Everything in this world belongs to Almighty Allah. As such, believer’s life and wealth, which are part of this world, also belong to the believer, because the believer has created them and has entrusted them to every human for use.
A person who makes such a bargain is a Mu’min (Believer) and Man (faith) is the Islamic name for this contract; a person who chooses not to enter into this contract, or who, after making such a contract, does not keep to it, is a Kafir. The avoidance or abrogation of the contract is technically known as Kufr.
Looked at from this angle, the question of ‘selling’ or ‘buying’ may not seem to arise at all; Allah does not need to buy what is already his and person cannot sell what is not really his/her. But there is one thing which has been conferred on a believer, and which now belongs fully to the believer, and that is free will which gives the believer freedom to choose between following or not following the path of Almighty Allah. This freedom of will and choice does not automatically make believer the real owner of all the power and resources over which he/she has command, nor does it give him/her the right to use them just as he likes. Yet, because of this free will, he may, if he/she likes, consider himself free of all obligations to the Lord and independent of any higher authority. It is here that the question of bargain arises. This bargain thus does not mean that Allah is purchasing something which belongs to believer. Its real nature is this: all creation belongs to Allah but he bestowed certain things on man to be used by him/her on trust. Allah wants the believer to willingly and voluntarily acknowledge this. A person who voluntarily renounces his/her freedom to reject Allah’s supremacy and instead acknowledges his sovereignty, and, in so doing, ‘sells’ his ‘autonomy’ (which, too, is a gift from Allah) to Allah, will get in return Allah’s promise of eternal bliss in Paradise. A person who makes such a bargain is a Mu’min (Believer) and Man (faith) is the Islamic name for this contract; a person who chooses not to enter into this contract, or who, after making such a contract, does not keep to it, is a Kafir. The avoidance or abrogation of the contract is technically known as Kufr.