Living The Quran
From Issue: 981 [Read full issue]
Fold of Peace
Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verses 207-208
"And there is a kind of man who would willingly sell his own self to please God. And God is gentle to His servants. O you who believe! Enter the fold of peace, all of you. Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you a manifest enemy."
Self-surrender is the most basic concept of faith, it is the condition of placing total trust in the certainty of the existence of God and recognising that one is the creation of a Merciful and Compassionate Creator. The consequence of such consciousness is giving one's self over completely to doing what God has commended, trying to live in this world to earn one's place in Paradise in the Hereafter. The 'fold of peace' is then a state of personal certainty and acceptance, a coming to terms with one's true nature. It is also recognition of the real nature and purpose of the world in which we exist. It is the state of being that one should strive to achieve, a state of being in stark contrast to the arrogant, worldly, domineering and destructive populism; dedicated commitment to working peacefully being the best way to make a better world based on justice, equity and dignity for all.
Surrendering oneself to God, entering the fold of peace, is no guarantee. It does not make people perfect. Self-surrender is the starting point, the point from which one sets off in search of the straight path, seeking to make a community of the middle way a reality. However, we can all expect to stumble. We live in a far from perfect world. Following the straight path is an extensive task requiring continual critical self-reflection as well as profound reasoning to understand and wrestle with the injustices and inequities in the world around us. In this endeavour, we can derive support and encouragement from the fact that God knows our intentions. Faith does not make us perfect, but continual striving, despite our failings and what stems from these failings, is not a worthless exercise.
"Reading the Qur'an: The Contemporary Relevance of the Sacred Text of Islam" - Ziauddin Sardar, pp. 153-154