Tuesday 18 May 2021

Surely you have nothing to do with those who make divisions in religion and become factions

Nothing changes even time passages. The following 159th verse of Surah 6. Al An'am is one such verse that was true when it was revealed more than 1400 years ago and is so true even today. While it was pointed towards other divine religions, it is more applicable to Islam as many man made divisions are hurting the solidarity and dividing Islam into many factions. The emergence of such factions had been foretold by the Messenger of Allah in his times as has been mentioned towards the end of this post.

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ فَرَّقُوۡا دِيۡنَهُمۡ وَكَانُوۡا شِيَـعًا لَّسۡتَ مِنۡهُمۡ فِىۡ شَىۡءٍ​ ؕ اِنَّمَاۤ اَمۡرُهُمۡ اِلَى اللّٰهِ ثُمَّ يُنَـبِّـئُـهُمۡ بِمَا كَانُوۡا يَفۡعَلُوۡنَ‏ 
(6:159) Surely you have nothing to do with those who have made divisions in their religion and become factions. Their matter is with Allah and He will indeed tell them (in time) what they have been doing.

This is addressed to the Prophet (peace be on him) and through him to all followers of the true faith. The import of this statement is that true faith has always consisted, and still consists, in recognizing the One True God as one's God and Lord; in associating none with God in His divinity - neither in respect of His essence, nor of His attributes, nor of His claims upon His creatures; in believing in the Hereafter and hence considering oneself answerable before God; and in living according to those principles and values which have been communicated by God to mankind through His Prophets and Books. This was the religion entrusted to man at the beginning of human life. The religions which emerged later stemmed from the perverted ingenuity of man, from his baser lusts, and from an exaggerated sense of devotion to venerable personalities. Such factors corrupted the original religion and overlaid it with harmful innovations. Hence, people modified and distorted the original beliefs by mixing them with products of their conjecture and philosophical thinking. More and more innovations were added to the original laws of the true religion. Putting aside the Law of God, men set themselves up as their own law-makers, indulged in hair-splitting elaborations, and exaggerated the importance of disagreements in minor legal problems. They showed excessive veneration for some Prophets of God and some standard-bearers of the true religion, and directed their rancour and hatred against the others. Thus there emerged innumerable religions and sects, the birth of each leading to the fragmentation of humanity into an ever-increasing number of mutually hostile groups. Anyone who decides to follow the true religion must therefore cut himself off from all factions and chart an independent course.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Criticizing Division in the Religion
Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi said that this Ayah was revealed about the Jews and Christians. Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas commented, (Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects...) "Before Muhammad was sent, the Jews and Christians disputed and divided into sects. When Muhammad was sent, Allah revealed to him,

(Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no concern with them in the least.) It is apparent that this Ayah refers to all those who defy the religion of Allah, or revert from it. Allah sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth so that He makes it victorious and dominant above all religions. His Law is one and does not contain any contradiction or incongruity. Therefore, those who dispute in the religion,

(...and break up into sects,) religious sects, just like those who follow the various sects, desires and misguidance - then Allah has purified His Messenger from their ways. 
In a similar Ayah, Allah said, (He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you.)[42:13]
A Hadith reads, (We, the Prophets, are half brothers but have one religion.) This, indeed, is the straight path which the Messengers have brought and which commands worshipping Allah alone without partners and adhering to the Law of the last Messenger whom Allah sent. All other paths are types of misguidance, ignorance, sheer opinion and desires; and as such, the Messengers are free from them. 

Allah said here, (You have no concern with them in the least...) [6:159].

Allah's statement, (Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.) is similar to His statement, 

(Verily, those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Majus, and those who worship others besides Allah; truly, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection.) [22:17] Allah then mentioned His kindness in His decisions and His justice on the Day of Resurrection.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Divide their religion: farraqu " فَرَّقُوۡ ": i.e., (1) make a distinction between one part of it and another, take the part which suits them and reject the rest; or (2) have religion one day of the week and the world the rest of the six days; or (3) keep "religion in its right place," as if it did not claim to govern the whole life; make a sharp distinction between the secular and the religious; or (4) show a sectarian bias, seek differences in views, so as to break up the unity of Islam.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: A reference, primarily, to the Jews and the Christians, who have departed from the fundamental religious principles which they had originally shared in their entirety, and have gone different ways in respect of doctrine and ethics (cf. 3:105 ). Beyond this "primary" reference, however, the above verse connects logically with verse {153} above, "this is the way leading straight unto Me: follow it, then, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate from His way" - and thus relates prophetically to the followers of the Qur'an as well: in other words it expresses a condemnation of all sectarianism arising out of people's intolerant, mutually-exclusive claims to being "the only true exponents" of the Qur'anic teachings. Thus, when asked about the implications of this verse, the Prophet's Companion Abu Hurayrah is reported to have answered "It has been revealed with reference to this [our] community" (Tabari).

Qur'an Wiki: At this point the surah addresses God’s Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), singling him out with his faith, law, way of life and operational mode. His faith is different from all creeds and religions known to mankind, including the erring ways of the Arab idolaters.

This is the parting point between God’s Messenger and his faith on the one hand and all other doctrines and creeds on the other. In the latter group we may include the idolaters who were divided into groups, sects, tribes and clans on the basis of the myths, traditions and disputes of jahiliyyah, the Christians and Jews with their unending disputes and rivalries which break them into quarrelling blocs and states, as well as other creeds, ideologies, theories, and regimes that may surface at any time until the Day of Judgement.

God’s Messenger has nothing to do with any of these. His faith is Islam, his law is God’s book and his way of life is unique and independent. The Islamic faith cannot mix with any sort of belief or ideology; its law and system cannot merge with other systems and theories. No legal system or regime can carry a dual status of being Islamic and something else at the same time. Islam is independent of all creeds and colours; its legal, social, political and economic systems are clearly Islamic and have no other description. The Prophet has nothing to do with any other situation or condition at any time.

When a Muslim is faced with any faith other than Islam, his attitude to it is that of outright rejection. The same applies to any regime or situation where sovereignty is not acknowledged to God alone; or, in other words, where Godhead and Lordship are not recognized as belonging only to God. A Muslim takes a clear stand at the outset, rejecting all these creeds before trying to identify any similarities or conflict between them and Islam. According to God’s standard, true religion is that of self- surrender to Him alone. The Prophet has nothing to do with anything produced by those who differed over their faith and did not establish their attitudes on the principle of self-surrender to God.

As for those who have split into groups over their faith, and about whom God has declared that they will be judged by God, and then they will have to account for all their deeds: “Their case rests with God. In time He will tell them the truth of what they were doing.”

Maarif-ul-Quran [6]: According to Tafsir Mazhari, included here are the peoples of the past communities as well, those who had abandoned their basic religion and had added to it things on their own - and with them, there are the deviators and innovators (the partisans of Bid'ah) of this Ummah too, who keep adding baseless things, on their own, into the Din of Islam. About this, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has said:
` My Ummah will face the same conditions faced by the Bani Isra'il. The kind of evil practices in which they got involved will also affect the people of my Ummah. The Bani Isra'il had split into seventy two sects. My Ummah will break up into seventy three sects - all of them will go to Hell, except one. The Sahabah asked about the group which would be so blessed with salvation. He said: مَا اَنَا عَلَیہِ اَصحَابِی (ma ana 'alaihi wa ashabi : That on which am I and my Companions) ' - that is, the collective body of people which follows my way and the way of my Sababah will be blessed with salvation. (This narration from Sayyidna ibn ` Umar ؓ عنہما has been reported by Tirmidhi and Abu Daud)
Al-Tabarani has reported on sound authority from Sayyidna Faruq al-A'zam ؓ ، that he told Sayyidnah ` A'ishah ؓ that the sects mentioned in this verse are the people of Bid'ah (innovators in established religion) who, following their whims and desires, invent new ways in religion. The same view has been reported from Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ with sound authority. Therefore, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has emphatically prohibited the invention and introduction of new methods in religion on one's own.

Based on a narration from Sayyidna Al-` Irbad ibn Sariyah, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi رحمۃ اللہ علیہم and others have reported that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said:
` Those who live after me will see many differences. Therefore, (I order you that) you should, abiding by my Sunnah (way) and the Sunnah of my rightly-guided successors (Khulafa' ar-Rashidin) strictly, keep doing what you do while adhering to nothing but these, avoid the temptation of falling for new methods because everything introduced anew into the religion is Bid'ah, and every Bid'ah is error and straying.'
In another Hadith, he said: ` One who stood separated from the Jama` ah, even to the measure of a span between the extended thumb and the little finger, he has taken out the band of allegiance to Islam from around his neck. (Abu Dawud and Ahmad)

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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