Wednesday 16 November 2022

Divine Command about Universality of Islam

The race to proclaim one's religion as the best has been going on and on since the first Divine Scripture was revealed. And those who are men of wisdom will find that all Divine Scriptures were an improvement over the previous for the Divine Commands were gradually introduced to man and basically hinged on one central theme: Worship of the One True God.

That is there is really only one true Religion, the Message of Allah submission to the Will of Allah: this is called Islam. It was the religion preached by Moses and Jesus; it was the religion of Abraham, Noah, and all the prophets, by whatever name it may be called. If people corrupt that pure light, and call their religions by different names, we must bear with them, and we may allow the names for convenience. But Truth must prevail over all.

Islam, based on Qur'an, the last of the earlier three Divine Scriptures (Psalms, Torah and Bible), is the last of the Divine religions, revealed through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to remain as the beacon light for the entire mankind till the end of this earthly world. And it is for this very reason that more and more non-Muslims are embracing Islam for it answers all queries which cannot be answered by earlier scriptures for Qur'an is the final book encompassing the final commandments of Allah.

The verse selected for this post today is the 28th verse from Surah 48. Al Fath (The Victory) in which Allah has proclaimed that He has sent His Messenger with the true religion which will prevail over every religion:

هُوَ الَّذِىۡۤ اَرۡسَلَ رَسُوۡلَهٗ بِالۡهُدٰى وَدِيۡنِ الۡحَـقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهٗ عَلَى الدِّيۡنِ كُلِّهٖ​ؕ وَكَفٰى بِاللّٰهِ شَهِيۡدًا ؕ‏ 
(48:28) He it is Who sent His Messenger with the True Guidance and the Religion of Truth that He may make it prevail over every religion. Sufficient is Allah as a witness (to this).
The reason why this thing has been mentioned here is that when at Hudaibiyah the peace treaty was going to be written down, the disbelievers had objected to the use of the words Rasul-Allah (Messenger of Allah) with the name of the Holy Prophet, and on their insistence the Holy Prophet himself had wiped off these words from the document. At this Allah says: "Our Messenger's being a Messenger is a reality which remains unaffected whether someone believes in it or not. If some people do not believe in it, they may not, for "Allah is enough for a witness" over it. Their denial will not change the reality, but the Guidance and the true Faith which this Messenger has brought from Us, shall prevail over all religion, no matter how hard the deniers try to obstruct its progress."

"All religion" implies all those ways of life which include the nature of din (religion). We have explained it fully in verse 2 of Surah Az-Zumar, reproduced herein under for easy assimilation:

(Surah 39 Az Zumar verse :2)
اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَيۡكَ الۡكِتٰبَ بِالۡحَقِّ فَاعۡبُدِ اللّٰهَ مُخۡلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّيۡنَ ؕ‏ 
(O Prophet), it is We Who have revealed this Book to you with Truth. So serve only Allah, consecrating your devotion to Him.
This is a very important verse which states the real objective of the message of Islam. Therefore, one should not pass over it superficially, but should try to understand its meaning and intention. It has two basic points: (1) That the demand is to worship Allah. (2) That the demand is of such worship as may be performed by making religion exclusively Allah’s. Ibadat is derived from abd, and this word is used as an antonym of freeman for the slave and bondsman in Arabic. Accordingly, ibadat contains two meanings: (1) Worship and devotion. (2) Humble and willing obedience, as is borne out by the well known and authoritative Arabic Lexicon, Lisan al- Arab. Thus, according to the authentic lexical explanation, the demand is not only of Allah’s worship but also of willing and sincere obedience to His commands and laws.
The Arabic word Deen contains several meanings:
  • (1) Domination and sovereignty, rule and political power and authority to enforce one’s decisions on others.
  • (2) Obedience, compliance with commands and servitude.
  • (3) The practice and the way that a man follows.
In view of these three meanings, Deen in this verse means: The way of life and attitude which a man adopts after acknowledging the supremacy and accepting the obedience of another; and to worship Allah making one’s religion exclusively His. This means that one should refrain from combining another’s worship with the worship of Allah, but should worship Allah alone, should follow His guidance alone, and should comply with His commands and injunctions only. 
In the aforesaid verse from Surah 48. Al Fath, what Allah has stated in clear words is: The purpose of the Holy Prophet's appointment as a Prophet was not merely to preach this Religion but to make it prevail over all others. In other words, he did not bring this Religion so that it might survive in a limited compartment of life which is allowed it by the dominant religion, while the rest of the spheres of life, by and large, should remain under the relentless control of some false religion. But he had brought it so that it should be the dominant Religion of life and any other religion should survive, if at all it survives, only within the limits in which it allows it to survive. (For further explanation, see tafsir of Surah Az-Zumar verse 29: "(39:29) Allah propounds a parable: there is a man whose ownership is shared by several quarrelsome masters, each pulling him to himself; and there is another who is exclusively owned by one man. Can the two be alike? All praise and thanks be to Allah. But most of them are unaware."). 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:  The Good News that Muslims will conquer the Known World, and ultimately the Entire World: Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, while delivering the glad tidings to the believers that the Messenger will triumph over his enemies and the rest of the people of the earth,

(He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ) with beneficial knowledge and righteous good deeds. Indeed, the Islamic Shari`ah has two factors, knowledge and deeds. The true religious knowledge is by definition true, and the accepted Islamic acts are by definition accepted. Therefore, the news and creed that this religion conveys are true and its commandments are just:
(That He may make it superior to all religi- ons.) all the religions of the people of the earth, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, whether having certain ideologies or being atheists or idolators.
(And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness.) that Muhammad is His Messenger and that He will grant him victory. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has the best knowledge.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Sc., "through the revelations which He grants to His prophets". See also 3:19 - "the only [true] religion in the sight of God is [man's] self-surrender unto Him": from which it follows that any religion (in the widest sense of this term) which is not based on the above principle is, eo ipso, false.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
The divine disposition of events in the coming of Islam and its promulgation by the holy Prophet are themselves evidence of the truth of Islam and its all-reaching character; for there is nothing which it has not influenced. See also lxi. 9, n. 5442, reproduced herein under:
(61:9) It is He Who has sent His Apostle with Guidance and the Religion of Truth that he may proclaim it over all religion even though the Pagans may detest (it). 
"Over all religion": in the singular: not over all other religions, in the plural. There is really only one true Religion, the Message of Allah submission to the Will of Allah: this is called Islam. It was the religion preached by Moses and Jesus; it was the religion of Abraham, Noah, and all the prophets, by whatever name it may be called. If people corrupt that pure light, and call their religions by different names, we must bear with them, and we may allow the names for convenience. But Truth must prevail over all.
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
This is a mention of the last victory. The implication is that they should trust the God Who has shown such exploits. He has not sent His messenger to be subdued. Hence, after this near victory they have achieved at Ḥudaybiyah, the conquest of Makkah is not far off. The established practice of God regarding His messengers is that after they conclusively communicate the truth to their addressees, God grants them dominance over those who disbelieve them.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The religion of truth prevailed, and not only in the Arabian Peninsula. Within half a century it prevailed across many of the inhabited parts of the earth. It subdued the entire Persian Empire and took over much of the Byzantine Empire. It marched as far as India and China before moving into Malaysia, southern Asia and Indonesia. In the sixth and seventh centuries, these areas constituted most of the then known world.

This true religion continues to prevail over all religions, even after its political retreat from much of the areas it moved into, particularly in Europe and the major islands in the Mediterranean. It prevails even though the power of its people is very weak compared to the new powers that have recently emerged in the East and the West. Indeed, as a religion, Islam prevails over all else. It carries within itself and in its nature the elements of its strength. It moves forward, supported by neither sword nor gun drawn by its people. Its advance is due only to its inherent harmony with human nature and the natural laws of the universe, and to the fact that it satisfies, with perfect ease, the requirements of mind and soul, progress and civilization, regardless of whether people live in tents or in skyscrapers.

Any religious person who looks objectively at Islam is bound to recognize the soundness and inherent strength of this religion. Nor can they help but recognize its ability to lead humanity with wisdom and to answer its progressive needs in an easy and straightforward way: "Sufficient is God as a witness." (Verse 28)

We see, then, that God's promise was fulfilled in the immediate, political form, before one century had elapsed after the Prophet's mission. God's promise continues to be fulfilled in its substantive form, as Islam prevails over all other religions. in fact, it is the only religion that continues to act and lead in all situations. Perhaps only the Muslims do not understand this truth. Other people know it and take it into account as they draw up their policies and programmes.

Now you may listen to the following short clipped video to explanation of the aforesaid 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' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

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.

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

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole 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.

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 | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |

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 the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, 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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