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Servanthood and Submission

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: What is the real meaning of servanthood [ubudiyya] and what is the authentic book I need to read to know more about submission?

Answer: Wa’alaykum Assalam. Thank you for your question.

Submitting to Allah Most High and being pleased with Allah are two necessary sides of faith. One realizes one’s slavehood by realizing one’s absolute neediness of Allah Most High, and recognizing that one’s works, or the acts of others, are only through the Will and Power of Allah.

Islam enters into every aspect of one’s life, inward and outward. One submits to Allah Most High through first following His commands and avoiding His prohibitions, and then increasing and cementing one’s submission through voluntary works and remembering Him at all times. Being grateful in word and deed towards Allah is a sure sign of slavehood. Contemplation on the world around one, including oneself, is part of the process of increasing in faith and knowing one’s Lord.

When the heart and limbs submit in this way, one maintains a balance of hope and fear. One seeks motivation through Him alone, and because such a person experiences love in his heart, he has mercy towards others in creation, following the way of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). In this state being pleased with Allah Most High naturally ensues.

The best book to read to increase one’s slavehood is the Quran, contemplating on its meaning. One should also read the Sirah of the blessed Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). Following this, one may read the works of Imam al Ghazali and Imam al Haddad.

Please also refer to:

Slavehood to Allah and How We Look at Creation and People

Ubudiyya or True Kingship

Lastly, do not have doubts and misgivings about your relationship with Allah Most High. Such doubts are the work of the devil, who wants to severe your relationship with Him by constantly doubting your sincerity and works. Brush these thoughts aside and continue remembering Allah Most high whenever you can and do what you can in His way. We intend and we act and ask Allah to accept it from us, the rest we leave to Allah.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Is Your Neediness About You or About Allah? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives an extraordinary explanation of a line from the famous poem Prayer for the Oppressed (Dua al-Nasiri). The line is an expression of neediness to Allah. Shaykh Faraz explains the reality of people’s absolute neediness to Allah. He also cautions form the subtle inclusion of the self in the expression of neediness, where the self is the central focus instead of Allah being the central and only focus in one’s asking and expression of neediness.

The poem along with a collection of supplications could be found here.

This talk is part of the weekly gathering at SeekersHub Toronto, Circle of Light: A Night of Remembrance, Praise & Inspiration. Join us for free, in-person and online.