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Chapter 2: Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow): Verses 150–152


Whatever places you come from, turn your face to the Sacred Mosque, and wherever you are, turn your faces toward it. (This will ensure that) people will have no issues with you, except those who are unjust. Therefore, do not fear them, but stand in awe of Me (God) (and follow) so that I may complete My blessings and (help you) follow the right path. As We (God) have sent a messenger from among you (the community in Mecca) who recites to you God’s messages, who purifies your (soul and body), and who teaches you the Book, wisdom, and knowledge which you did not have (before). Therefore, remember God and God will remember you (make you prominent). Give thanks to God and do not deny God (do not be a disbeliever).


In a way, the change of the kiblah finalizes the position of the Muslims as the true followers of Abraham, being of his community. Hence, there could be no more arguments from the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) as to whether or not Muslims truly follow the creed and faith of Abraham. God also reminds us that when we face issues of concern and dispute and listen to arguments from others, we have to keep in mind the guidance of God and our innate God-given sense of right and wrong before we draw our conclusion so that our position reflects God consciousness and our human dignity and not a fear of what other people may say or do.

The last verse on this page in a way says it all: We need to glorify God to demonstrate our thankfulness by acknowledging His greatness, and in return God promises to keep us in His remembrance and increase our positions in this world. And who else is better at making and keeping promises than God? God promised in another part of the Qur’an that if we were to obey Him the way we are supposed to, He would give us an abundance of resources and an ease of life. This is a promise given to anyone who remembers God, and it shows His gratitude by doing good things for others and relates to nations as well as individuals. But our own greed and impatience get in the way of our progress, making it difficult for us to realize God’s promise in this life. This is a collective responsibility, as one or two righteous people will not be able to change an entire society or community. We need to raise the average level of God consciousness and commitment, and any nation or group can do this, irrespective of formal religious affiliations.


In turning to the Ka’bah, no matter where you are or where you are from, it serves as a constant reminder that the purpose and priorities of all Muslims (or for that matter, any person of faith) are and should be the same: to bring our communities and members together and serve for the common good, as this is the true way to serve God.


We need to resolve to do good deeds on a daily basis and have a way to measure it periodically, maybe every quarter or every year. Muslim communities and societies need to go back and reflect on all aspects of the Prophet’s teachings and see if and how we are sustaining the life-giving attributes of the Prophet. Are we, as leaders, scholars, and professionals, providing the guidance, knowledge, wisdom, and education that the Prophet struggled so hard to establish? Any simple self- examination by individuals and communities will show how far we have fallen behind. There is no magic formula for success, but the general formula has always been the same: seek knowledge (freedom from superstitions and false beliefs), establish a just and moral society, support every human being in being able to freely choose his way of life and financial freedom, reward good deeds, discourage all forms of evil in societies, and have a profound respect for human dignity and a true consciousness of God’s presence in our lives

Key Arabic Term:

1. Zikr

**Definition can be found in the Glossary**