By Imam Jamal Rahman
“We have bestowed upon you the source of abundance. So to your Sustainer turn in prayer and sacrifice.” (Qur’an 108:1-2)
“Do not barter away your bond with God for a trifling gain!” (Qur’an 16:95)
The Qur’an tells us that we humans made a sacred covenant with our Creator before descending on earth. We testified that we would worship only God. The holy book further explains that our journey in Islam is about surrendering attachment to the ego that idolizes money, power and status. We need to bring Divinity into the center of our life.
This work of surrender is difficult, even for highly enlightened beings. In the severe patriarchal environment of 7th century Arabia, the Prophet Muhammad was taunted by his enemies for not having any surviving male heir. In the tribal culture, it was a matter of extreme shame and misfortune. Even though the Prophet was a radical champion of women’s rights, the tribal culture impacted him. The Prophet felt diminished and lamented to God that he did not have a male heir. Immediately, the revelation (verse 108) burst forth explaining that abundance comes from God. Plentitude of blessings in life comes not from tribal status or material advantages but by turning in prayers and sacrifices to a higher Source.
If Prophets need reminding, then we ordinary humans need to pay extra special attention to the simple but awesome truth that Divinity is the best of Providers. “That which is from the Presence of God is better than any bargain or passing delight! For God is the best of Providers.” (Qur’an 62:11)