Tuesday 23 August 2022

Believers!! Do not be like those who fell into factions after clear signs had come to them

The Divine Scriptures have been gradually revealed to mankind through selected revered prophets so that man absorbs the Divine Direction and guidance for his own very benefit. But the men  who claim to be the custodians of these scriptures used these Scriptures to their benefit so that their hold on  communities could be maintained and their status remains that of elevated beings. This personal "possession" of Divine Scriptures has thus resulted into extreme polarization in the propagation of the Divine Commandments and guidance and creation of factions within as everyone wanted to interpret the religion according to one's own covert personal knowledge to prevail upon others.

This happened before the advent of Islam and it continued both during life and death of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The false prophets sprang up and different factions start to proliferate the religion of Islam as well. And we are witnessing mushrooming of sects and even divisions therein and each faction calling others non Muslims, for perhaps they may never know who may be the true Muslims.

We share today the 105th verse of Surah 3. Al-i'Imran which was revealed in times of advent of Islam to warn the beleivers no to follow the false traditions that were existant at that time and remain united so that they don't wither away into small factions. Unfortunately the same happened and today we find Islam scattered into factions within two main sects and each trying to label the other on the wrong path. Read the verse below and see how eminent scholars of time have explained it keeping in view the historical perspective:

وَلَا تَكُوۡنُوۡا كَالَّذِيۡنَ تَفَرَّقُوۡا وَاخۡتَلَفُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الۡبَيِّنٰتُ​ؕ وَاُولٰٓـئِكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيۡمٌۙ‏ 
(3:105) Do not be like those who fell into factions and differed among themselves after clear signs had come to them. A mighty chastisement awaits them.
This refers to those communities which received the Guidance and clear teachings from the Messengers of Allah but after some time discarded the basic principles of the Guidance and divided themselves into different sects on the basis of irrelevant and minor side-issues and were involved in useless and meaningless squabbles. They became so engrossed in these things that they totally forgot the mission which Allah had entrusted to them and lost interest even in the basic principles on which, in fact, depends the real success of humanity.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
In this Ayah, Allah forbids this Ummah from imitating the division and discord of the nations that came before them. These nations also abandoned enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil, although they had proof of its necessity.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu `Amir `Abdullah bin Luhay said, "We performed Hajj with Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. When we arrived at Makkah, he stood up after praying Zuhr and said, `The Messenger of Allah said, "(The People of the Two Scriptures divided into seventy-two sects. This Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, all in the Fire except one, that is, the Jama`ah. Some of my Ummah will be guided by desire, like one who is infected by rabies; no vein or joint will be saved from these desires.)"

Mu`awiyah said next: By Allah, O Arabs! If you do not adhere to what came to you from your Prophet then other people are even more prone not to adhere to it. '' Similar was recorded by Abu Dawud from Ahmad bin Hanbal and Muhammad bin Yahya.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
( And be not like those who have drawn apart from one another and have taken to conflicting views after all evidence of the truth has come unto them: ) I.e., like the followers of the Bible, who became "Jews" and "Christians" in spite of the fact that their beliefs have a common source and are based on the same spiritual truths (see also 6:159 and the corresponding note,) as appended below:
(6:159 VERILY, as for those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects - thou hast nothing to do with them): 
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).
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., merely because of arrogance they refused to accept it. Further down, this attitude is called reverting back to disbelief from the state of belief.

If the verses of this paragraph are deliberated upon, the facts which come to light can be stated in the words of Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī thus:
Firstly, after being deprived of holding fast to the rope of God, the People of the Book became divided and disunited and in reality this division and disunity is synonymous to turning back to disbelief after belief.
Secondly, if people who are granted success and authority by the Almighty by being handed over His rope by Him put other yokes around their necks because of their own ill-ways, they will end up in failure on the Day of judgement commensurate with this success. The faces of only those people will shine who grasp this rope in all circumstances. Indeed, these people will be worthy of God’s blessings and mercy.
Thirdly, all these warnings are bound to materialize. People who think that they are mere warnings will only hasten their own doom through their own hands and as such they themselves will be entirely responsible for it. The Almighty has sent a reminder to them in the form of the Qur’ān because He does not want to punish people without communicating the truth to them to such an extent that they have no excuse to deny it.
Fourthly, in the heavens and the earth, all authority rests with the Almighty. All affairs will be presented before Him and only His decision shall be implemented. If a person has pinned his hopes on someone, they will be dashed to the ground and it will be a mere mirage once the reality manifests itself. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 155)
Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
A fresh warning to the Muslim community against falling out with one another is added here. The example of those people of earlier revelations who were entrusted with the implementation of God’s method but who allowed division and conflict to creep into their ranks is given. Therefore, God deprived them of the leadership position and instead assigned that role to the Muslim community, which fosters its bond of brotherhood. Moreover, those who are not true to their task will be sternly punished on the day when faces will either shine or be blackened.

Please listen to explanation of the ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. 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.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so  that they are able to discuss issues with Non Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Photo | Tafsir / Exegesis references: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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