How to Put This Hadith into Action?
A Muslim basically “submits to Allah”. What does it mean to submit? All of us testify to the Oneness of Allah but do we actually submit to Him in the true sense? Submission means, submitting with your heart, tongue and limbs to that which Allah has commanded and abstaining from that which He has forbidden.
While we do say, “There is none worthy of worship except Allah”, there are numerous times where we allow our desires and/or worldly bliss and glam to take us away from the remembrance of Allah, so much so that Allah says we have takes our desires as Gods besides Allah!
“Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire…” [Surah Al Jathiyah 45:23]
Ponder Over This:
When was the last time you agreed to take interest based loans even though Allah has declared war against those who indulge in ribaa? When was the last time you missed a prayer because shopping was more important or some sports/TV program/movie was more important, so you thought it was okay to delay or even miss your prayer and make up for it later? Remember the time you indulged in backbiting or slandered your own friend/neighbor/relative even though Allah has forbidden it and classified it as a major sin.
While our hearts testify to “No god worthy of worship apart from Allah”, do our tongues acts in accordance with Allah’s commandments? Do our limbs carry out the instructions which Allah has ordained? Are our hearts, tongues and limbs working in concurrence with the tenets of Islam?
Let’s begin by fixing ourselves by sticking to the major commandments of Islam, and make a conscious effort to follow what Allah has asked us to do, in words, deeds, and actions. Its okay if you’ve faltered all this while, it’s never too late to get back up.
Begin With Isthighfar:
If you are reading this, Allah has still given you time to make amendments in your life and become a better slave to Him, a better follower of Islam than what you were yesterday. So begin with seeking forgiveness *now*, for there is nothing that removes your evil deeds, makes your good deeds heavy and brings Allah’s barakah, rahmah and rizq in your life like a sincere isthighfar. So close your eyes, take a deep breath, repent and give something in charity for charity wipes out sins like water extinguishes fire.
If you haven’t prayed regularly, if you’ve missed prayers repeatedly or if you are still at crossroads of life trying to figure out where you want to go in terms of Islam being a component in your life, its okay, relax and know that Allah doesn’t give up on His slaves. There’s nothing more beloved to Allah than seeing His slaves come closer to Him, turning back to Him, fleeing to Him. Know that the tears and fears that confront your life when trying to follow Allah’s commandments will be acknowledged and you will be rewarded for trying sincerely even if you falter, for Allah says in a hadeeth Qudsi, “As long as they seek My forgiveness, I will continue to forgive them.’” [Recorded in Musnad Ahmed, classified as sahih]
Baby Steps: Submission through Limbs
If you are wondering where to begin, take baby steps. If you are someone who’s missed a lot of prayers or has never prayed, start with fulfilling the fardh salah alone, and then, you can go on to pray the sunnah prayers.
If you are someone who is addicted to music, start each day by reciting at least 3-4 verses of the Quran. You can increase the number of verses you recite after a week/month. If you are addicted to listening to music 24/7, begin by slowly replacing the music CD’s in your house with a reciter/qaari you enjoy listening to. Play it for 10 minutes or maybe a little bit more, and before you even realize, eliminating useless music out of your life will be so much easier than you could have ever imagined. Read a tafseer of the Quran, begin with one page or even half a page to know which surah was revealed where, when and why. Take one step towards Him, and He will come running towards you. 
Company: Submission through Tongue
If you are someone who is surrounded by people who constantly backbite or if you find it hard to stop backbiting, start with consciously asking Allah to remove you from situations that indulges in backbiting, ask Him to stop your tongue from doing that which displeases Him, make lots of isthighfar for having indulged in backbiting and/or spread words of goodness about the person whom you’ve spoken ill about. If you’re still finding it difficult, give lots in charity, increase your dhikr and beg Allah to take you away from that sin and make you stronger because He is the one who gives strength. Always ask yourself, “Are my words going to please Allah?”
Bare Your Heart Out: Submission through Heart
You know those moments where even your closest of friends of family don’t get you; they don’t know what you’re struggling with and why, all they give is some words of comfort and you still feel shallow and empty inside? Do you know that the one who fashioned and created your heart and soul knows *exactly* what you are going through, and He can not only heal you, but will also strengthen you, making you a beautifully strong person inside out?
All you have to do is bare your heart and soul to Him, pray 2 rakats and raise your hands up to the heavens, and tell Him *everything*: Things which trouble you, things you are struggling to stay away from; mumble to Him from the depths of your heart, and know that He listens for He is as-Samee (The All-Hearing).
Tell Him that you are struggling and ask him to give you strength for He is al-Qawiyy (The Mighty, the Strong).
Ask Him to fix your broken heart and soul for he is al-Jabbar (The Mender, The Restorer) the one who can fix anything, and fix your affairs too.
Ask Him to guide you towards what is right and open doors of ease and peace for He is al-Fatah (The Opener).
Fill your heart with His remembrance and your heart will automatically submit to Him. You will find tranquility and peace filling your heart in ways you could not have imagined.
Submitting with your heart, tongues and limbs in order to please Allah will free you from being enslaved to anything else apart from Allah. By doing this, you can achieve complete submission and surrender – helping you follow Islam the way it needs to be followed inshaAllah.
- O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. [Surah Al- Baqarah : 278-279]
- O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful. [Surah al-Hujarat : 49:12]
- And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. [Surah Nuh: 10,11,12]
- Recorded in At-Timridhi