For the last four years, millions of people have been in perpetual anguish over President Trump. The situation had gotten so bad that health experts coined the term “Trump Anxiety Disorder” to describe the pain and frustration people have been feeling the last four years of Trump.
I remember in 2016 after Trump won the election going into work and seeing coworkers who looked as though they just came back from a funeral of a loved one. For four years I have seen the friends and family post expletives towards Trump on their social media posts, despite the fac that he will never read these posts.
This came to a near boiling point the other week as we neared the 2020 presidential election. Many businesses and establishments who were concerned of the possible backlash began boarding up their storefronts in anticipation of another possible Trump victory.
Companies, college campuses, and institutions scheduled therapy sessions, decompression rooms, and counseling for individuals if Trump won the election again in 2020. Now that it appears that Biden has won the election, millions of people took to the streets to celebrate with levels of joy you would expect when announcing the birth of one’s baby.
The fact that President Trump is dictating the mental and physical happiness and misery of so many individuals is a sign that these people are setting him up as an idol next to God.
All Power Belongs To God
As submitters we strive to eliminate any forms of idol worship, and to be devoted to God alone. One of the definitions of idol worship is to believe anything other than God can harm or benefit a person. If we think that anything independent of God has power to harm or benefit then this is a form of idol worship.
[5:76] Say, “Would you worship beside GOD powerless idols who can neither harm you, nor benefit you? GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.”
قُلْ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا وَاللَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
[10:106] “You shall not worship beside GOD what possesses no power to benefit you or harm you. If you do, you will be a transgressor.” [10:107] If GOD touches you with a hardship, none can relieve it except He. And when He blesses you, no force can prevent His grace. He bestows it upon whomever He chooses from among His servants. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.
وَلَا تَدْعُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُكَ وَلَا يَضُرُّكَ فَإِنْ فَعَلْتَ فَإِنَّكَ إِذًا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
وَإِنْ يَمْسَسْكَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلَّا هُوَ وَإِنْ يُرِدْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَلَا رَادَّ لِفَضْلِهِ يُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
[15:39] He said, “My Lord, since You have willed that I go astray, I will surely entice them on earth; I will send them all astray. [15:40] “Except those among Your worshipers who are devoted absolutely to You alone.” [15:41] He said, “This is a law that is inviolable. [15:42] “You have no power over My servants. You only have power over the strayers who follow you.
[16:100] His power is limited to those who choose him as their master; those who choose him as their god.
إِنَّمَا سُلْطَانُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوْنَهُ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ بِهِ مُشْرِكُونَ
[39:38] If you ask them, “Who created the heavens and the earth?” they will say, “GOD.” Say, “Why then do you set up idols beside GOD? If GOD willed any adversity for me, can they relieve such an adversity? And if He willed a blessing for me, can they prevent such a blessing?” Say, “GOD is sufficient for me.” In Him the trusters shall trust.
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ قُلْ أَفَرَأَيْتُمْ مَا تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَادَنِيَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ هَلْ هُنَّ كَاشِفَاتُ ضُرِّهِ أَوْ أَرَادَنِي بِرَحْمَةٍ هَلْ هُنَّ مُمْسِكَاتُ رَحْمَتِهِ قُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ يَتَوَكَّلُ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ
Slave To One’s Idols
[10:18] They worship beside GOD idols that possess no power to harm them or benefit them, and they say, “These are our intercessors at GOD!” Say, “Are you informing GOD of something He does not know in the heavens or the earth?” Be He glorified. He is the Most High; far above needing partners.
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنْفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ قُلْ أَتُنَبِّئُونَ اللَّهَ بِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
In Arabic the word for worship (عبد), also implies to be a slave to something. We assume that if someone is worshiping something then they must think that thing is good, but this is not the case. If a person starts believing that their happiness and discontent is determined by an individual then we are imbuing that individual as a god (5:76).
[10:19] The people used to be one congregation, then they disputed. If it were not for a predetermined word from your Lord, they would have been judged immediately regarding their disputes.
وَمَا كَانَ النَّاسُ إِلَّا أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَاخْتَلَفُوا وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِنْ رَبِّكَ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ فِيمَا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ
Submitters Support God, Not People
Believers follow and support God, not people. People are flawed and have biases, but God is perfect and needs no intermediaries between Him and His followers.
[3:52] When Jesus sensed their disbelief, he said, “Who are my supporters towards GOD?” The disciples said, “We are GOD’s supporters; we believe in GOD, and bear witness that we are submitters.
فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنْصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنْصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
[61:14] O you who believe, be GOD’s supporters, like the disciples of Jesus, son of Mary. When he said to them, “Who are my supporters towards GOD,” they said, “We are GOD’s supporters.” Thus, a group from the Children of Israel believed, and another group disbelieved. We helped those who believed against their enemy, until they won.
يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا أَنْصَارَ اللَّهِ كَمَا قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ لِلْحَوَارِيِّينَ مَنْ أَنْصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنْصَارُ اللَّهِ فَآمَنَتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَكَفَرَتْ طَائِفَةٌ فَأَيَّدْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَىٰ عَدُوِّهِمْ فَأَصْبَحُوا ظَاهِرِينَ
While people are flawed, God is not. By supporting God, we support people in the cause of God and not the other way around. When we support God, we support godly principles such as being equitable and just without bias. This way we stand for the truth in the face of anyone irrespective if they are our family, friends, favored politician, or ourselves.
A Test of Ego
A simple test of ego in our decisions is that if the roles were reversed would a person still feel the same about their judgment. This is a basic I cut you choose solution to make sure that both parties act justly.
[5:8] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses. Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people into committing injustice. You shall be absolutely equitable, for it is more righteous. You shall observe GOD. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
[4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ إِنْ يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا وَإِنْ تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
Alternating Victory – A Test
A person may think that if they are righteous according to God’s laws then they should be guaranteed victory on all their endeavors.
[3:139] You shall not waver, nor shall you grieve, for you are the ultimate victors, if you are believers.
وَلَا تَهِنُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنْتُمُ الْأَعْلَوْنَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
But while the righteous are the ultimate victors, this does not mean that they will win every single one of their battles.
[3:140] If you suffer hardship, the enemy also suffers the same hardship. We alternate the days of victory and defeat among the people. GOD thus distinguishes the true believers, and blesses some of you with martyrdom. GOD dislikes injustice.
إِنْ يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِثْلُهُ وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنْكُمْ شُهَدَاءَ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ
[3:141] GOD thus toughens those who believe and humiliates the disbelievers.
وَلِيُمَحِّصَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَيَمْحَقَ الْكَافِرِينَ
[3:142] Do you expect to enter Paradise without GOD distinguishing those among you who strive, and without distinguishing those who are steadfast?
مْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا مِنْكُمْ وَيَعْلَمَ الصَّابِرِينَ
This root maheesa for the world wali-yumahhisa occurs only twice in the Quran
[3:154] After the setback, He sent down upon you peaceful slumber that pacified some of you. Others among you were selfishly concerned about themselves. They harbored thoughts about GOD that were not right— the same thoughts they had harbored during the days of ignorance. Thus, they said, “Is anything up to us?” Say, “Everything is up to GOD.” They concealed inside themselves what they did not reveal to you. They said, “If it was up to us, none of us would have been killed in this battle.” Say, “Had you stayed in your homes, those destined to be killed would have crawled into their death beds.” GOD thus puts you to the test to bring out your true convictions, and to test what is in your hearts. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
ثُمَّ أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ الْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُعَاسًا يَغْشَىٰ طَائِفَةً مِنْكُمْ وَطَائِفَةٌ قَدْ أَهَمَّتْهُمْ أَنْفُسُهُمْ يَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ ظَنَّ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَقُولُونَ هَلْ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّهِ يُخْفُونَ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ مَا لَا يُبْدُونَ لَكَ يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ مَا قُتِلْنَا هَاهُنَا قُلْ لَوْ كُنْتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ وَلِيَبْتَلِيَ اللَّهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
Coronavirus & Death
These kinds of setbacks test the true convictions of a believer to see whether we submit willingly or unwillingly. God informs us in the Quran that He alone controls life and death. That if a person is not meant to die their is nothing that will change that predetermined decree from God. The outcome of how people respond to the loss of loved ones is a test that everyone will have to face. These kind of dramatic events reveal our true convictions if we believe in God or not. If we think we can change the moment of death for a person then it shows that we do not believe in God’s system. What is interesting in regards to a major grievance that people have against Trump was his handling of the Coronavirus and the 220,000 deaths that occurred under his watch. God knows what he will be held responsible for in regards to these lives lost, but while that is his test the test for the people is how do we respond to all this. Do we submit to the will of God and understand that God alone controls life and death? Or do we attribute the power of life and death to Trump as well? In which case we would be setting him up as an idol