Making God one’s object of worship raises man’s position. On the contrary, regarding something other than God as God amounts to descending from the level of humanity. Submission to God is the only way of life for both man and the universe.
God is indispensable to man. His life is incomplete without God. A philosopher has aptly remarked that had there been no God, we would have had to invent one. Fortunately, God exists in reality. We can believe in God with conviction, not as a supposition, but as a fact. And we can accord Him the place He deserves in our lives.
It is essential that man should have within his reach, a super formula for life’s management. God provides just such a formula—a complete principle for life’s management. Human beings are not like machines, controlled by a mechanical system; nor are they like animals, governed by their instincts. Human beings enjoy freedom. They take decisions about their actions of their own free will. Now the question arises as to how to keep man to the right course, how to make him consistently disciplined in his behaviour. History shows the ineffectiveness of all worldly measures in this connection, whether social pressures, enforcement of the law of the land or the appeals of reformers.
Experience shows that the pressure of society is limited, if not totally ineffective. There are so many loopholes in the law that it is not difficult for wrongdoers to find a way out. The reformers’ bid to reform people is nothing but appeals; and appeals alone cannot bring about a revolution in human life. The truth is that for the attainment of disciplined behaviour, it is essential for one to be convinced of the existence of a Power far Superior to himself, a Being Who is aware of man’s activities at every moment.
There can be only One Being of this nature and that is God. Belief in God functions at two levels at the same time. On the one hand, man finds in God a Guardian Who is aware of all his activities and Who has unlimited power to chastise him. It is not possible for man to escape God’s chastisement. Belief in God compels man to steadfastly adopt a proper attitude in all situations, privately as well as publicly. Only then can he save himself from the wrath of God.
Another point is that belief in God is a storehouse of limitless hope. Man can lead his life in this world with the conviction that if he incurs any loss because of treading the path of truth, or if he suffers from any other adversity, he will be able to endure it. For if he adheres to the path of truth, God will grant him a reward in the form of eternal paradise, and there can be no reward greater than this.
It is not possible for man, on his own, to bind himself to moral values or adhere to justice. This is possible only when he is convinced of the fact that he is under a Super Power—a Super Power Who observes justice to the extent of perfection; for Whom it is fully possible to guide man to the true path and also punish those who deviate from this true path.
This present, limited, world is totally inadequate for punishing a criminal. Similarly, this world is also inadequate for granting great rewards for one’s good deeds. The concept of God tells us that God can create a far better world free from all the limitations of the present world, where reward and punishment both can be satisfactorily awarded.
The concept of a living and powerful God is necessarily accompanied by the concept of accountability. And the concept of accountability guarantees right thinking and right actions on the part of man. It makes man cautious by reminding him of God’s chastisement. Moreover, this gives him the conviction of receiving God’s reward if he adheres to the right path at all costs and in all situations.
The concept of God provides man with an ideology in which loss is turned to gain and in which adversity brings with it good tidings. And it is in submission to God and living a God-oriented life that man finds complete fulfillment and purpose of life.
When he discovers God and worships Him, when he remembers Him, when his mind is turned towards Him with full concentration, when he makes a request or a plea, he establishes a contact with his Maker. In the words of the Hadith, at that particular moment he comes to whisper with his Lord. He has the tangible feeling that he is pouring his heart out to God and that God in turn is answering his call.
When this communion is established between God and man, man can feel himself becoming imbued with a special kind of peace. His eyes are moist with tears. He starts receiving inspiration from God. This is the beginning of living a God-Oriented Life and the development of a positive personality.
It is, therefore, in submission to God that man and the rest of the universe find its purpose. While the rest of the world submits to God compulsively, without having a choice; God desires that man should submit to Him of his own free will, without being compelled to do so. This is the test of man. When man submits to God and starts living a God-oriented or rabbani life based on the principles of life laid down by his Creator, he starts developing his personality on positive lines and becomes a rabbani soul. It is souls such as these, who, in the life Hereafter, will inhabit paradise. Our most compassionate Lord will say:
“Dwell in Paradise; you shall have no fear, nor shall you grieve.” (7:49)