Sunday 19 June 2022

Behold! the only [true] religion in the sight of God is Islam [man's self-surrender unto Him]

No knowledge comes to man instantly. Students seeking the ultimate knowledge in a particular field have to gradually climb up the ladder, absorbing knowledge from initials to intermediaries and then finally reaching out to the basics of their selected field. Even from then on yet another journey into Indepth knowledge of their selected field sets which may not complete even many years and decades thereafter.

The spread of religions is no different. The onset of Divine Religions that began with Prophet Adam (may peace be upon him) passed hands through many a prophets of Allah, like Nuh (Noah), Ibraheem (Abraham) and his two offspring, Dawood (David), Musa (Moses) and Eesa (Christ). So far the preliminaries were targeted at people of particular areas and communities. When the Divine message had been drilled into hearts and minds of everyone, the final religion "Islam" was revealed to the last of the prophets, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.  Islam thus became the final religion from God to all of the mankind till the world remains before Day of Resurrection. And it is from then on that scholars of advance pursuits are deciphering the many hidden meanings contained therein the Al Qur'an to know more about God, universe and its future. 

However, the followers of previous religions, instead of bowing to the Divine Commandment with regard to the final religion, cling on to the previous religions and continue to find ways and means to shoot down Islam. The following 19th verse of Surah 3. Al-i'Imran (The family of Imran) is about those people who try to differ from the Godly commandments. In fact this verse is a warning to all those who deny the truth of God's message:

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

اِنَّ الدِّیۡنَ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ الۡاِسۡلَامُ ۟ وَ مَا اخۡتَلَفَ الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡکِتٰبَ اِلَّا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَہُمُ الۡعِلۡمُ بَغۡیًۢا بَیۡنَہُمۡ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّکۡفُرۡ بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ سَرِیۡعُ الۡحِسَابِ
Behold, the only [true] religion in the sight of God is Islam [man's self-surrender unto Him]; and those who were vouchsafed revelation aforetime took, out of mutual jealousy, to divergent views [on this point] only after knowledge [thereof] had come unto them. But as for him who denies the truth of God's messages-behold, God is swift in reckoning!
(The true religion with Allah is Islam)  It implies that in the sight of Allah there is only one correct system and one right way of life for man. It is this: 
Man should worship Allah, acknowledge Him as his Master and surrender himself completely to Him in His worship and service. He should not invent his own way of worship but should faithfully follow that Guidance alone which Allah has revealed through His Messengers, without adding anything to or taking away anything from it. 
This way of thinking and behaving is called "Islam." And it is the absolute right of the Creator and the Master of the Universe that He should not accept as lawful from His subjects, His own creation, any way other than Islam. One might ignorantly think it to be one's right to follow any system, atheism, idolatry, etc., but the Ruler of the Universe will regard this behaviour as rebellious.  

(The People of the Book adopted many different ways rather than follow the true way of Islam even after the knowledge of truth had reached them, and this merely to commit excesses against one another) It means that originally Islam and Islam alone was professed and preached by every Messenger who was sent by Allah at any time in any comer of the world. Hence any Scripture sent down to any community in any language taught the same Islam. Afterwards, the people distorted this original religion and added to it something to suit their interests or to gratify their lusts, and omitted those things from it which went against their interests. They invented new religions just because they wanted to transgress the prescribed limits and run after undue privileges and gains and distinctions. Thus they made changes in the beliefs, principles and injunctions of the true Faith to make it subservient to their own desires and lusts.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam.) Allah states that there is no religion accepted with Him from any person, except Islam. Islam includes obeying all of the Messengers until Muhammad who finalized their commission, thus closing all paths to Allah except through Muhammad . Therefore, after Allah sent Muhammad , whoever meets Allah following a path other than Muhammad's, it will not be accepted of him. 
In another Ayah, Allah said: (And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him) [3:85].
In this Ayah Allah said, asserting that the only religion accepted with Him is Islam (Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam.) Allah then states that those who were given the Scripture beforehand divided in the religion after Allah sent the Messengers and revealed the Books to them providing them the necessary proofs to not do so. 

Allah said, (Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except out of rivalry, after knowledge had come to them.) meaning, some of them wronged others. Therefore, they differed over the truth, out of envy, hatred and enmity for each other. This hatred made some of them defy those whom they hated even if they were correct. 

Allah then said, (And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat of Allah) meaning, whoever rejects what Allah sent down in His Book, (then surely, Allah is Swift in reckoning.) Allah will punish him for his rejection, reckon him for his denial, and torment him for defying His Book. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
(Behold, the only [true] religion in the sight of God is [man's] self-surrender unto Him; and those who were vouchsafed revelation aforetime)  Most of the classical commentators are of the opinion that the people referred to are the followers of the Bible, or of parts of it - i.e., the Jews and the Christians. It is, however, highly probable that this passage bears a wider import and relates to all communities which base their views on a revealed scripture, extant in a partially corrupted form, with parts of it entirely lost.

( took, out of mutual jealousy, to divergent views [on this point] only after knowledge [thereof] had come unto them) I.e., all these communities at first subscribed to the doctrine of God's oneness and held that man's self-surrender to Him (Islam in its original connotation) is the essence of all true religion. Their subsequent divergencies were an outcome of sectarian pride and mutual exclusiveness.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
 The implication is that the religion of the Jews and Christians was also Islam. From the very beginning, the Almighty revealed the same religion to His prophets and messengers. He did not reveal any religion other than Islam to them. The religions which today exist in the name of Judaism and Christianity have come into being only after their followers have created dissensions in what Islam originally was.

Explanation Qur'an Wiki:
The sūrah now moves on to establish the logical result that since there is only one God, then all worship must be addressed to that one God: “The only true faith acceptable to God is [man’s] self-surrender to Him.” The oneness of the Divine Being requires that all submission must be to Him. There is nothing in people’s minds or in their lives which is not subject to God’s authority. The oneness of God means that there is only One Being who has the right to set values and standards for people, to require them to submit to Him, obey Him, implement the legislation He has enacted for them in all the affairs of their lives. There is only one faith, namely, pure submission to God alone, which is acceptable to Him.
When we state that the only true faith acceptable to God is self- surrender to Him, we mean true Islam. This is not merely a claim to be stated, a flag to be raised or a detached academic concept to be discussed which does not stir hearts or minds, or even a set of acts of worship such as Prayer, fasting and pilgrimage. This is not the sort of Islam which God describes as the only faith acceptable to Him. True Islam means complete obedience, total submission to God and the implementation of His revelations in human life, as will be stated presently in the same Qur’ānic text.
Their disputes did not arise out of ignorance of the truth. They had been given certain knowledge of God’s oneness and the fact that He is the only Lord in the universe. They were also given the knowledge they needed about human nature and true submission to God. They simply disagreed “through mutual aggression” when they abandoned the course of justice embodied in the faith and the law God revealed to them. A timely and appropriately stern warning is then given: “He who denies God’s revelations will find that God is indeed swift in reckoning.” Disagreement over the truism of the oneness of God is thus considered a denial and rejection of God’s revelations. The rejecters are here threatened with swift reckoning in order that people do not persist with their disbelief, denials and disputes.

And in reply to this verse, Allah ordains Prophet Muhammad to tell those who dispute him in the following verse:
فَاِنۡ حَآجُّوۡكَ فَقُلۡ اَسۡلَمۡتُ وَجۡهِىَ لِلّٰهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ​ؕ وَقُل لِّلَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡكِتٰبَ وَالۡاُمِّيّٖنَ ءَاَسۡلَمۡتُمۡ​ؕ فَاِنۡ اَسۡلَمُوۡا فَقَدِ اهۡتَدَوْا ​ۚ وَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَاِنَّمَا عَلَيۡكَ الۡبَلٰغُ ​ ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بَصِيۡرٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ‏ 
(3:20) And if they remonstrate with you, tell them: 'I have submitted my whole being to Allah, and so have those who follow me.' And ask the People of the Book as well as those who follow no heavenly Scripture: 'Have you also submitted (to Allah)?' If they have submitted to Him, they are indeed on the right way but if they deviate from submitting to Allah, then your duty is merely to deliver the message. Allah observes the affairs of His servants.

Please listen to explanation of the ayats 19-21 by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others life miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
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 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.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • 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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Article narrates the will of Allah ; surrendering before Allah completely is Islam and Allah has choosen Islam for all humanity.
( Anwar Butt )

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