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Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam

This is a discussion on Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam within the Islam in General forums, part of the Main Topics category; Assalamu alaikum everyone! So I've been working and praying on increasing my faith and working towards better understanding everything, and ...

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    Question Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam

    Assalamu alaikum everyone!
    So I've been working and praying on increasing my faith and working towards better understanding everything, and I feel much better, alhamdulillah.
    But, I've been having a hard time understanding this concept of being a "slave" to God. My first reaction is one that seems a little arrogant, and my next is one of just not really understanding what this concept is.
    Also, while some of the sisters have explained to me the idea of obedience to one's husband, this one hits a bigger road block in my heart. Honestly, my belief is that in a marriage both husband and wife are equal, and both of their opinions and concerns should be taken with equal respect. My lack of knowledge makes it seem like it's putting women down, so that's why I'm looking to all of you for clarification.
    Thank you!

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    Default Re: Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam

    Waalaykum salaam warahmatullah wabrakaatuh

    It's a shame no one responded to your question.

    Think about it this way perhaps:

    Every human being is a slave to something in this world. Even if someone does not believe in God, and does not want to be the slave of God, they will automatically become a slave to something else. Most people are slaves to money. Others are slaves to their desires, and they spend their whole lives trying to full all of them and as much as they can. Others are literally slaves to other human beings, like when we see people bowing down to kings, and other tyrants. All of these kinds of slavery I just mentioned are oppressive. Striving and struggling just to make money in this life and then dying is oppressing yourself. Similarly being enslaved to your desires is oppressing yourself as well, as you will most likely harm yourself and others to fulfill them. Being enslaved by a king, or another unjust ruler, is also oppression.

    So, when we say that we are slaves to God, we don't mean the types of slavery just mentioned which are the true forms of slavery. Rather, we believe that slavery to God is actually liberation from these other types of slavery. It is the real freedom. When we are a slave to God, he is not looking to use us for his own benefit like the capitalist system, our ego, and kings and tyrants would use and abuse us in the other types of slavery. God is not in need from us, and he does not want anything from us except to worship him so that he can forgive us and have mercy on us and so that he can reward us with paradise. When you think about it that way, then you realize that slavery to God is liberation and a mercy.
    Last edited by rc51; 14th June 2012 at 06:23 PM.

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    Senior Member Mu'awiya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam

    asalaamu alaykum. Being a 'slave' to God means to do what He says without questioning Him. Yet we know God is Caring for His slaves so whatever He commands us is good for us even if we don't know the wisdom. About the HUSBAND and wife relationship, the male loves *Respect*, so the wife listens to what he says, and a natural result is that he CARES for her and Adores her (which she craves for.) Islam therefore provides the perfect cycle in marriage. (She *Respects* him, and he then feels *Care/Adoration/Love* for her. So he loves her more, and then she Respects him more. This continuously increases love in the marriage.)

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    formerly 'dragon' abul hafsa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Mu'awiya View Post
    asalaamu alaykum. Being a 'slave' to God means to do what He says without questioning Him. Yet we know God is Caring for His slaves so whatever He commands us is good for us even if we don't know the wisdom. About the HUSBAND and wife relationship, the male loves *Respect*, so the wife listens to what he says, and a natural result is that he CARES for her and Adores her (which she craves for.) Islam therefore provides the perfect cycle in marriage. (She *Respects* him, and he then feels *Care/Adoration/Love* for her. So he loves her more, and then she Respects him more. This continuously increases love in the marriage.)
    Jazakallaah khayr brother,

    Just to add to this, Islaam teaches the husband to consult the wife and attaches value to her advice, as we saw in the famous example of the Prophet of Allaah (no less) at Hudaybiyyah.

    As for the overall leadership of the household, this is given to the husband, but with it comes greater responsibility and more questioning by Allaah. And let's face it, the less we are questioned by Allaah, the better!

    From da'wah experience you will often see non-Muslims get hung up on the issue of male leadership of the household, because they only see things in terms of this world. So if someone has apparent advantage in this world, to a non-Muslim this becomes the ultimate success and they assume that there is inequality and discrimination against the one who is apparently less priviliged.
    Last edited by abul hafsa; 14th June 2012 at 08:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam

    Asalaamu Alaikum,

    Being a slave of God is a blessing. Everyone is a slave of something, for example, would you rather be a slave to a society instead? Where you have no choice who your parents are, no choice of your social class, of your environment etc. All which end up shaping you to become what you are to be. People are so concious of how others will judge them that it leads them to ensure that they keep up with the latest looks, fashion, way of life and so on.

    With Islam, it completely free's you from that notion, that nothing can dictate who you are or what you do except for the one who Created you, the one to whom you will one day return to, and Inshallah, be rewarded by. And it is a understanding that whatever the Lord has decreed for you, whatever rules He has placed for you, is always for your own benefit.


    "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way." (The Noble Quran, 2:186)
    Last edited by Perseveranze; 14th June 2012 at 08:25 PM.
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    Scaffolding 'Abd al-Kareem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinog View Post
    Assalamu alaikum everyone!
    So I've been working and praying on increasing my faith and working towards better understanding everything, and I feel much better, alhamdulillah.
    wa 'alaykumassalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    Alhamdulillah, that's good news.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sinog View Post
    But, I've been having a hard time understanding this concept of being a "slave" to God. My first reaction is one that seems a little arrogant, and my next is one of just not really understanding what this concept is.
    As the brothers mentioned, everyone in this life is a slave to something. Over the years I've only become more and more sure of this fact of life. Everyone has something that they will always put before everything else. It's always a priority in his or her life, and it will always be considered when making any decisions.

    The concept of 'worship' in Islam is a very broad one. It doesn't simply mean to bow down to something. Worship is an act of the heart as much as it is an act of the limbs. The more you learn about this beautiful concept, the more you will understand the term 'slave' as it is meant in an Islamic sense. In a simplified way: whatever occupies the highest part and the largest portion of your heart, then it's probably safe to say you're a slave to that thing. Whether it's a concept, a being, an object - whatever.


    Also, when we say that mankind in general are slaves to Allah, we are just stating a fact. Whether or not a person wants to accept it doesn't change it. We've all been created by Allah and we will all be brought to judgement when He wills, whether we like it or not. Then He will put us where He wants to put us - Paradise or Hell. We have no control over any of it except what He has offered us: Do good and I'll give you eternal reward.

    That is slavery. We're all His property and we owe everything to Him, and He controls our fate. It's just a fact.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sinog View Post
    Also, while some of the sisters have explained to me the idea of obedience to one's husband, this one hits a bigger road block in my heart. Honestly, my belief is that in a marriage both husband and wife are equal, and both of their opinions and concerns should be taken with equal respect. My lack of knowledge makes it seem like it's putting women down, so that's why I'm looking to all of you for clarification.
    For any group to run smoothly there must be a leader. Even if the leader only has one degree of authority over the other(s), there still needs to be an appointed person in charge. It's just human nature. If everyone is on the exact same footing, then things are bound to conflict sooner or later.


    Sister, I think if you continue to have patience and learn, these things will be cleared up, in sha Allah. We grew up being fed modern-day bogus concepts of 'equality' and 'freedom' which don't add up to reality nor are they true to their names, anyway. But it takes time to actually realize this... and rest assured most of us went through the same exact thing.


    May Allah grant you the correct guidance.
    Last edited by Abu Hurairah; 15th June 2012 at 01:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Concept of "Slave" and "Obedience" in Islam


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