Mehreen Farhan

[Ramzan, 12] Welcome to Day 12 of the Ramzan Writing Series.

Today I want to talk about the word “ibaadat” and how beautifully it is intertwined into the many lessons Surah Fateha teaches us.

Ibaadat means, submission in devotion.

I will repeat: it’s not just submission or praying, it’s submission WITH devotion.

Surah Fateha starts with calling upon Allah as our Rabb and Maalik. Rabb means Master and Maalik means King. It’s only logical to agree that if there is a master then there will be a slave. If there is a King, there is someone to rule upon. We happen to be those slaves and the ones who are ruled.

But is being called a “slave” favorable according to us? Would we like to be called a slave? Consider a slave being several steps lower in class than a home servant you might have. A servant is at your service in the duration of his or her working hours, after which they go home and have a life of their own. Does a slave have that option? No. A slave is yours day and night, having no life of his own. You call night a day and they must follow. They are bound to do as you say. You own them.

Slave in Arabic is called “abd”.
The root of this word is: ع، ب، د

As Surah Fateha progresses, we find that believers say “We submit only to You and we seek help only from You”. The word نَعْبُدُ means “we submit to You”. In Urdu, it will be called “ibaadat”.

Appreciate the fact that abd, ibaadat and نَعْبُدُ have the same root: ع، ب، د

Let’s talk about the real world where no one wants to be a slave. A slave works to keep his master happy but is it necessary that he respects or loves his master too? Not really. A slave will submit to all that his master commands but will not love him for that.

Then what kind of a Rabb and Maalik is Allah that a slave not only submits to Him, but with love and devotion too? How are these two feelings combined in a place where there is a relation of slavery and ownership?

Because, that Rabb is ArRahmaan and Raheem. He is Merciful. His Mercy knows no bound and is for everything and everyone in the universe. He is Hafeez (the Protector), the Wadood (the Loving), the Rafeeq (the Friend). He is Qayyum, the One Who sustains everything.

There is no Master like Him who takes care of every single thing of His slave with extreme mercy and care. When we see Allah in the light of His names and attributes, when we see His hand in giving us the life we have full of blessings and “neamat”, we feel immense love for Him.

And so… we bow down and prostrate, with respect, love, devotion and total submission.

This the your story and mine. That’s the truth of the life we are living.

Sisters, you and I are living the perfect love story since the day we are born till the day we meet Him. Stop looking for love elsewhere if you don’t find it. Be the abd, the slave and bow down in love to Allah. You will taste what perfect love is. In shaa Allah!

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