Reflection No. 111 on Q 8:24 – The call of Islam
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ
Yaa ayyuhal-ladheena aamanoos-tajeebu lilaahi wa-lirrasooli idhaa da‘aakum limaa yuHyeekum
O you who believe! Answer (the call of) Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life … Suratul Anfaal (No. 8), Aayat 24
To answer the call of Allah and His Prophet (s), and to obey His commands is to gain a hold of real life. Life is not just about, existing physically. Even plants and animals exist and take in nourishment to keep alive. To be a human being is to go beyond that.
According to Tafsir this short sentence tells us in a nutshell what Islam is all about? If someone were to ask what the aim of Islam is, and what it can do for us, the answer is that it gives us life in all aspects of humanity. It grants us a life that is physically meaningful, as well it is spiritual, social, intellectual. A life that is focused, meaningful, motivated, active . . . , really speaking a life that moves well beyond the realms of mere existence. That is the true essence of human life.
Human beings have great potential. To live up to that potential makes life exciting and full of zest. That is what the call of Islam does for the human being. It shows him how to live up to his potential and gain perfection in different aspects of life. This challenging goal, and the struggle to climb the ladder towards perfection, makes each day truly full of life.
Appreciate the call of Islam and allow it to infuse you with life. Only then will your time in this world bring satisfaction to the heart that yearns for deeper realities than the world can offer.
Source: Tafsir Namune, Aytaullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed).