WHAT IS SUBMISSION TO GOD (ISLAM)?
The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: “Islam is that you bear witness, testifying that there is no object of worship aside from God, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and you establish the daily prescribed ritual prayers; and you give the alms-tax; and you fast in the month of Ramadan; and you perform the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to find a way to do so.”
It is not to be understood from the above five principles, however, that submission to God consists only of these. These are, rather, the five cardinal principles of our Islam, the fruits and outwards signs of our faith.
Submission to God means that we bear witness, with the full and faithful conviction of the heart, that there is nothing whatsoever worthy of worship except God Most High, and that Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, is His Messenger. This is declared with the tongue in the following words:
La ilaha illa-Llah
Muhammad ar-rasul Allah
In offering this testimony, we establish a bond and a compact between ourselves as servants of the Most High, and God our Lord. And we also declare outwardly what we have embraced inwardly, namely, that we accept whatever has been brought to us from God Most High and taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, i.e. in the action, purpose and meaning of the four principle submission or acts of worship, and their impacts and fruits on our interactions with His other creations in life. Such close relationship between acts of worship (direct relationship with God, Most High) and social interaction (relationship to God’s other creations) can be viewed from the following Quranic verse:
“Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer; for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.” (al-Ankabut 29:45)