tierny3
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I'm a Muslim myself (I do believe in God and the prophet muhammad SAW) but what I struggle with is that in its simplest form being a Muslim is about submitting to God. But I don't submit to God because hes my master, I submit to God because I wanna get into Jannah and without that incentive of Jannah, I dont think I'd submit to God, I would have no incentive to.

I guess my question is this a good way to think? I feel my intentions are wrong but I'm not sure how else to think.
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username1339858_
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Doing things with the intention of wanting to go to Jannah or saving yourself from Jahannam is not wrong and is counted as doing it for Allah too, just a lesser level of piety. Highest level of piety is to do things for Allah alone without giving thought of the incentive of Jannah. To attain this highest level we have to start off somewhere.
All three of these intentions are counted as sincere in Islam.
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Zamestaneh
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(Original post by tierny3)
I'm a Muslim myself (I do believe in God and the prophet muhammad SAW) but what I struggle with is that in its simplest form being a Muslim is about submitting to God. But I don't submit to God because hes my master, I submit to God because I wanna get into Jannah and without that incentive of Jannah, I dont think I'd submit to God, I would have no incentive to.

I guess my question is this a good way to think? I feel my intentions are wrong but I'm not sure how else to think.
Belief is or should be a balance of 3 things:
1. Fear of God
2. Wanting God's pleasure
3. Love of God

Love of God is the purest form of belief, wanting God's pleasure is the second and fear of God's punishment alone is the lowest form.

There is nothing wrong wanting the pleasure of God i.e. the reward or going to Jannah, but this may be more reflective of an outlook that you have grown up with or developed over time. You see, growing up many people are sadly taught about Allah in a very transactional way rather than like that of a loving parent (though Allah is above our examples and greater). Some people only obey their parents because they are either one extreme or the other - they are very harsh if they don't do what their parents say, or they dangle something in front of you like "Oh if you do your studies I will let you see your friends". Though all parents do this in some shape or form to incentivise their children, the difference between a transactional relationship and a loving one is that the parents give love and nurture and make you feel happy and at peace, and when you are scared or hurt, they look after you and tell you everything will be okay, or they help you overcome whatever difficulty you are facing. That love is what then in turn inspires selfless loving actions back like making them cups of tea without even asking, hugging them randomly and telling them you love them, or getting them a gift just to say thank you for being so loving, and so on.

Maybe I am wrong, but perhaps you see Allah more in the first way than the second way? From what I have gathered from my born Muslim friends, many were just told about punishment and Jannah, but having an actual loving relationship with Allah seems to have been an abstract concept they did not understand till they were older. Allah SWT is the Loving, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Bestower, and so much more than our Master. If we think of the blessings we are given, we cannot enumerate them, and we cannot even comprehend the harm that has been avoided that we never knew and it is only known to Him. If we reflect on these things more and feel loved rather than just as a slave of God, then we will transform our hearts and our actions into ones of reciprocating that love for the sake of being thankful. If we reflect on this, it is the fundamental message of Islam that is encapsulated by the very first Ayaat:

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of the Compassionate, the Merciful

Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Aalameen
All Hamd* is to the Rabb** of everything

Allah is the Compassionate and Merciful - attributes of love. And if we feel loved what do we do? We express that love back. "Hamd" is not just praising Allah like one praises a King, but rather it expresses complete gratitude and reciprocates that love back. "Rabb" does not just mean Master or Owner, rather it also means Sustainer. If we join this all together, Allah SWT has given us so much love and mercy and blessings, and He looks after our every need - and His love is more than a mother's for her baby - so how can we not express our love back?

Maybe I am rambling too much now but basically if you want to purify your belief, you have to feed your heart with Dhikr (remembrance) and Tadabbur (reflection). Dhikr isn't just saying SubhanAllah 33 times or things like that, rather it is more comprehensive and it means very generally remembering Allah SWT in everything you do. Tadabbur is what the Qur'an came for and what it tells us to do. If you have read it in a language you understand, you will notice it often asks rhetorical questions, or it points to natural phenomina around us or says in various things are signs for a people who reflect/believe/think - if we reflected on the world around us, we would be in such awe and amazement just like if you saw your favourite celebrity or someone whom you believe has an amazing talent - though indeed these people are flawed and imperfect, but Allah SWT is far greater and perfect, so why shouldn't we be more in awe of Him?

All of this will over time make you love Allah more and more and Islam will be seen less of like a formula to get what you want rather than being very relevant to you, your day to day happiness, your soul, your reliance when you are sad, and doing things for His sake purely rather than a direct benefit.

I ramble a lot but I hope this was relevant. May Allah SWT soften our hearts, increase His love for us and increase ours for Him, and forgive us for our imperfections and shortcomings
Last edited by Zamestaneh; 4 months ago
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Neptism
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(Original post by tierny3)
I'm a Muslim myself (I do believe in God and the prophet muhammad SAW) but what I struggle with is that in its simplest form being a Muslim is about submitting to God. But I don't submit to God because hes my master, I submit to God because I wanna get into Jannah and without that incentive of Jannah, I dont think I'd submit to God, I would have no incentive to.

I guess my question is this a good way to think? I feel my intentions are wrong but I'm not sure how else to think.
You should ponder on all the things Allah(SWT) has given you. To all the good news you receive, it's from Allah(SWT).
To all the resources to nourish you, it's from Allah(SWT).
To the roof you have over your head to keep you warm and protect you, it's from Allah(SWT).
To all the thing we don't even think off(heart beat, breathing, seeing etc), it's from Allah(SWT).
Honestly, you cannot thank Allah(SWT) enough, nor praise Him enough to repay Him for all He has done for you.
Think of it like this, and you will want to submit yourself to Allah(SWT) out of love.

I invite you to a Discord Server for Muslims(and non Muslims) for discussion/debates and answering doubts.
Link: https://discord.gg/GxJJ5T2
Last edited by Neptism; 4 months ago
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