OneGod OneWorld OneHumanity, Ash-Shura Verse 13

Few days ago I downloaded an android app I highly recommend to anyone who wishes to read the beautiful South African script followed by English TMQ (translated meaning of the Quran) by Mahmaduke Pickthall, you may download any other translator if you wish. This post today is not about the app though.

On my way to work as I was playing on the android set my eyes fell on surah Ash-Shura. I started to read it. By the time I reached verse 13 I knew I had landed on something higher than the moon. Nobody except for the One who created the entire universe and everything in it could have framed those lines in Ash-Shura verse 13.

This is the verse which if used in a religious sense will be the religion which unites all the religions. If the verse is used in social terms it is the verse which will eradicate racism, discrimination, elitism, inequity and caste system from every society. If the verse is used in the political sense it will usher global peace, security and prosperity.

The Owner of the universe created human beings in the same fashion, i.e. natural human anatomy, and gave them “free will” to choose between right and wrong. Apart from this ability to distinguish between right and wrong all human beings are in the same club of mankind. The criteria to be set for judging between good and evil is not up to the created beings (humans) but up to the Creator who is the only One who can define which is good and which is not and that’s because He is the One who created good and evil in the first place. Humans have the greatest gift of all, they can choose through their exercise of their God given “free will”.

The reason why we see huge differences in wealth, peace and security between different races of mankind is primarily due to their divisions and groupings and sub groupings. Europeans are grouped together for instance but they separate themselves as Germans, French, Italians and others. Within each country there are smaller units based on color, religion, language and ancestral roots. The Holy Book, the Quran, tells us all this is wrong! This is not the path that leads to goodness, and it is certainly not the path of prophets who showed the correct path for humanity.

God, it is He who sent Nuh (as), Ibrahim (as), Musa (as), Isa (as) and Muhammad sallillahu alaihi wa sallam, to “GUIDE” humanity. The guidance that leads to goodness is the religion of God and it has always been like that since the creation of the universe and the human race. All the prophets taught the same lesson for mankind to follow, to obey and to be loyal to the cause of goodness, faith, piety and righteousness. Now we come to the most important concept.

From Nuh (Noah) alaihi wa salam to the last Messenger Nabi Karim sallillahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam all the prophets taught mankind about only One religion of the only One True God to be united as One human race. This is the religion of God given by God in all of God’s books through all of God’s prophets without any difference between them.

Al-Quran, the Word of God, Sura Ash-Shura ayah no 13:

He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]. TMQ 42:13

 

Here is the tafsir of the ayah from Ibn Kathir for more reading:

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الِدِينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً وَالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى أَنْ أَقِيمُواْ الدِّينَ وَلاَ تَتَفَرَّقُواْ فِيهِ

42:13 He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you, and that which We ordained for Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.

كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ

Intolerable for the idolators is that to which you call them.

اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِى إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهْدِى إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ

Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.

وَمَا تَفَرَّقُواْ إِلاَّ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْياً بَيْنَهُمْ

42: 14 And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them, through transgression between themselves.

وَلَوْلاَ كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى لَّقُضِىَ بِيْنَهُمْ

And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term, the matter would have been settled between them.

وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُورِثُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍ 

And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them, are in grave doubt concerning it.

 

Next 15   

 

 The Religion of the Messengers is One

Allah says to this Ummah:

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ …

He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you,

Allah mentions the first Messenger who was sent after Adam, that is, Nuh, peace be upon them, and the last of them is Muhammad.

… وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى …

and that which We ordained for Ibrahim, Musa and Isa,

Then He mentions those who came in between them who were the Messengers of strong will, namely Ibrahim, Musa and Isa bin Maryam. This Ayah mentions all five, just as they are also mentioned in the Ayah in Surah Al-Ahzab, where Allah says:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ

And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you, and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and Isa son of Maryam. (33:7)

The Message which all the Messengers brought was to worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, as Allah says:

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ

And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me. (21:25).

And according to a Hadith (the Prophet said):

نَحْنُ مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ، دِينُنَا وَاحِد

We Prophets are brothers and our religion is one.

In other words, the common bond between them is that Allah Alone is to be worshipped, with no partner or associate, even though their laws and ways may differ, as Allah says.

لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَـجاً

To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. (5:48)

Allah says here:

… أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ …

saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.

meaning, Allah enjoined all the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all) to be as one and He forbade them to differ and be divided.

… كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ …

Intolerable for the idolators is that to which you call them.

means, `it is too much for them to bear, and they hate that to which you call them, O Muhammad, i.e., Tawhid.’

… اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ ﴿١٣﴾

Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.

means, He is the One Who decrees guidance for those who deserve it, and decrees misguidance for those who prefer it to the right path.

Allah says here;

وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوا إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءهُمُ الْعِلْمُ …

And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them,

means, their opposition to the truth arose after it had come to them and proof had been established against them. Nothing made them resist in this manner except their transgression and stubbornness.

… بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى …

And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term,

means, were it not for the fact that Allah had already decreed that He would delay the reckoning of His servants until the Day of Resurrection, the punishment would have been hastened for them in this world.

… لَّقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ …

the matter would have been settled between them.

… وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُورِثُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ …

And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them,

means, the later generation which came after the earlier generation which had rejected the truth.

… لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍ ﴿١٤﴾

are in grave doubt concerning it.

means, they do not have any firm conviction in matters of religion; they merely imitate their forefathers, without any evidence or proof. So they are very confused and doubtful.

 

 

Previous 13-14

فَلِذَلِكَ فَادْعُ وَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَآ أُمِرْتَ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ وَقُلْ

42:15. So unto this then invite (people), and stand firm as you are commanded, and follow not their desires but say:

ءَامَنتُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِن كِتَـبٍ وَأُمِرْتُ لاًّعْدِلَ بَيْنَكُمُ

“I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book and I am commanded to do justice among you.

اللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ

Allah is our Lord and your Lord.

لَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ لاَ حُجَّةَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ

For us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between us and you.

اللَّهُ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ

Allah will assemble us (all), and to Him is the final return.”

 

Next 16-18   

 

 This Ayah includes ten separate and independent ideas, each of which is a ruling on its own.

They (the scholars) said that there is nothing else like it in the Qur’an, apart from Ayat Al-Kursi (2:255), which also includes ten ideas.

فَلِذَلِكَ فَادْعُ …

So unto this then invite (people),

means, `so call people to this which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined upon all the Prophets before you,’ the Prophets of major ways (of Shariah) that were followed, such as the Messengers of strong will, and others.

… وَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ …

and stand firm as you are commanded,

means, `adhere firmly, you and those who follow you, to the worship of Allah as He has commanded you.’

… وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ …

and follow not their desires,

means, the desires of the idolators, in the falsehoods that they have invented and fabricated by worshipping idols.

… وَقُلْ آمَنتُ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِن كِتَابٍ …

but say: “I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book…”

means, `I believe in all the Books that have been revealed from heaven to the Prophets; we do not differentiate between any of them.’

… وَأُمِرْتُ لِأَعْدِلَ بَيْنَكُمُ …

and I am commanded to do justice among you.

means, when judging according to the commands of Allah.

… اللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ …

Allah is our Lord and your Lord.

means, `He is the One Who is to be worshipped, and there is no true God but He. We affirm this willingly, and even though you do not do so willingly, everyone in the universe prostrates to Him obediently and willingly.’

… لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ …

For us our deeds and for you your deeds.

means, `we have nothing to do with you.’

This is like the Ayah:

وَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل لِّى عَمَلِى وَلَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ أَنتُمْ بَرِيئُونَ مِمَّآ أَعْمَلُ وَأَنَاْ بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

And if they demy you, say: “For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds! You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do!” (10:41)

… لَا حُجَّةَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ …

There is no dispute between us and you.

Mujahid said, “This means, no argument.”

As-Suddi said,

“This was before Ayah of the sword was revealed.”

This fits the context, because this Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and Ayah of the sword (22:39-40) was revealed after the Hijrah.

… اللَّهُ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا …

Allah will assemble us (all), (means, on the Day of Resurrection).

This is like the Ayah:

قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ 

Say: “Our Lord will assemble us all together, then He will judge between us with truth. And He is the Just Judge, the All-Knower of the true state of affairs.” (34:26).

… وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿١٥﴾

and to Him is the final return.

means, the final return on the Day of Reckoning.

 

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