Saturday 3 December 2022

He it is Who has sent the True Religion to prevail over all religions

Everything that is made is set to function as per the design of manufacture and no machine is ever so perfect that once it is made it will be functional and useful for all times to come. Modifications and design features are updated to make it more efficient and useful. 

Same is true for the Divine religions. The religions have been sent upon different people in different times to provide guidelines to the people to live a life as ordained by our Lord, the Creator of the entire universe. The set of rules which were sent in Psalms were meant for a particular time to condition people to absorb the initial set of directives by the Lord of the worlds. Psalms was followed by Torah and Injeel (The Bible). And then finally Qur'an was sent as the final Book of Guidance to last till the end of this world. 

The people of earlier Books often reject Qur'an for they think that whatever was revealed to them was the final world of God. But they fail to understand that each new scripture was an update of the previous one, making the previous redundant as new set of rules were included in the following scriptures. Likewise, Qur'an being the last of the Divine Scriptures, thus, embodies the final commandments of God to prevail over all previous Books. 

This has been contested since revelation of Qur'an. But now gradually followers of earlier Books have started to realize ethe universality of Qur'an and more and more people today are entering the fold of Islam for they know what is contained therein the Qur'an is a final update and does not leave any space for more modifications. This is the theme on which the 33rd verse of Surah Taubah (The Repentance) is based and is being shared today herein under:

It maybe added that the 33rd verse is in fact an answer to the efforts of others to overshadow the presence of Qur'an as is mentioned in the 32nd verse: 32. "They want to extinguish Allah's Light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the disbelievers hate (it)."

هُوَ الَّذِىۡۤ اَرۡسَلَ رَسُوۡلَهٗ بِالۡهُدٰى وَدِيۡنِ الۡحَـقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهٗ عَلَى الدِّيۡنِ كُلِّهٖۙ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ الۡمُشۡرِكُوۡنَ‏ 
[9:33] He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the True Religion that He may make it prevail over all religions, howsoever those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity might detest it.
The Arabic word ad-din has been translated into 'ways'. For the word din, as has already been explained for 193rd verse of Surah 2. Al-Baqarah (as reproduced below), is used for the 'way of life' or the 'system of life', which is followed in obedience to the supreme authority.
وَقٰتِلُوۡهُمۡ حَتّٰى لَا تَكُوۡنَ فِتۡنَةٌ وَّيَكُوۡنَ الدِّيۡنُ لِلّٰهِ​ؕ فَاِنِ انتَهَوۡا فَلَا عُدۡوَانَ اِلَّا عَلَى الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ‏ 
(2:193) Keep on fighting against them until mischief ends and the way prescribed by Allah prevails. But if they desist, then know that hostility is directed only against the wrong-doers.
An investigation of the usages of the word din (which occurs in this verse) reveals that the core of its meaning is obedience. In its technical usage, the word refers to that system of life which arises as a result of a person recognizing someone as his Lord and Sovereign and committing himself to following his commands and ordinances. This explanation of the word din makes it quite clear that when some human beings establish their godhead and absolute dominance over others, this state of affairs is one of fitnah. Islam seeks to put an end to this and replace it by a state of affairs in which people live in obedience to the laws of God alone.
Now let us try to understand the significance of this verse. The object of the Mission of the Messenger is to make the Guidance and the Right Way he has brought from Allah dominant over all the other ways and systems of life. In other words, the Messenger is not sent to allow Allah's Way to remain subordinate to other ways in order to enjoy concessions from them. He is sent by the Sovereign of the earth and the heavens to make His Way dominant over all other ways. And if a wrong way is at all allowed to remain on the earth, it should be tolerated only under its own protection by the payment of Jizyah under the limits conferred by the Divine System as in the cast of the system of life of the Zimmis who pay Jizyah. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
( هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth.) `Guidance' refers to the true narrations, beneficial faith and true religion that the Messenger came with. `religion of truth' refers to the righteous, legal deeds that bring about benefit in this life and the Hereafter.

(لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ to make it (Islam) superior over all religions) It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah made the eastern and western parts of the earth draw near for me ﴿to see﴾, and the rule of my Ummah will extend as far as I saw.) 
Imam Ahmad recorded from Tamim Ad-Dari that he said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
(This matter (Islam) will keep spreading as far as the night and day reach, until Allah will not leave a house made of mud or hair, but will make this religion enter it, while bringing might to a mighty person (a Muslim) and humiliation to a disgraced person (who rejects Islam). Might with which Allah elevates Islam (and its people) and disgrace with which Allah humiliates disbelief (and its people).) Tamim Ad-Dari ﴿who was a Christian before Islam﴾ used to say, "I have come to know the meaning of this Hadith in my own people. Those who became Muslims among them acquired goodness, honor and might. Disgrace, humiliation and Jizyah befell those who remained disbelievers.'
Yusuf Ali Explanation
Every religion which commends itself widely to human beings and lasts through some space of time has a glimpse of Truth in it. But Islam being the perfect light of Truth is bound to prevail. As the greater Light, through its own strength, outshines all lesser lights, so will Islam outshine all else, in spite of the displeasure of those to whom light is an offence. See also explanation of xlviii. 28, and lxi. 9.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
This dominance was to be achieved through Muhammad (sws) in spite of the desires of the idolaters who were his foremost addressees and which are mentioned by the words وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُوْنَ. Hence it is essential that the word كُل (all) be understood in this background in the specific sense that this writer has stated in the translation. History shows that this prophecy of the Qur’ān was fulfilled word for word and in the very lifetime of the Prophet (sws), the religion of truth prevailed in the whole of the Arabian peninsula. This was a manifestation of an established practice of God that has been mentioned at various instances by the Qur’ān regarding His messengers: after the truth is conclusively communicated by God’s messengers, God grants them dominance and punishes those who disbelieve their respective messenger. The purpose is to validate the concept of reward and punishment in the Hereafter to the same extent as scientific facts are validated through laboratory experiments. It has no relation to any revolutionary struggle, as understood by some thinkers of current times. Here it has been mentioned to inform Muslims that it is a decision of God and the directive of the last onslaught given against the idolaters and the People of the Book was to implement precisely this decision.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The sūrah re-emphasizes the promise and the threat at the same time

It is clear from this statement that the religion of Islam, preached by God’s last Messenger, is the one to which reference is made in the previous Qur’ānic statement: “Fight against those who — despite having been given Scriptures — do not truly believe in God and the Last Day, and do not treat as forbidden that which God and His Messenger have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth, till they [agree to] pay the submission tax with a willing hand, after they have been humbled.” (Verse 29) It is also clear that this order to fight is targeted against those who do not believe in this religion.

This is true however we may interpret this verse. Generally speaking, the religion of truth means submission to God alone as reflected in beliefs, worship rituals and laws. This is the basic foundation of all divine faith which takes its final form in the message of the Prophet Muhammad (peace he upon him). Any individual and any community who do not clearly submit totally to God alone in beliefs, worship and laws may be described as ones who do not believe in the religion of truth. Therefore, they are included among those to whom the verse of fighting applies. However, we have always to consider the nature of the Islamic method of action, and the different stages the message of Islam may go through and the tools and means it may employ.

“It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, so that He may cause it to prevail over all [other] religions, however hateful this may be to the idolaters.” (Verse 33) This statement confirms God’s first promise: “But God will not allow anything but to bring His light to perfection, however hateful this may be to the unbelievers.” (Verse 32) The confirmation, however, takes a much more specific form. The light which God, who is limitless in His glory, has decided to bring to full perfection is the religion of truth with which He has sent His last Messenger so that He may cause it to prevail over all other religions.

As we have already explained, the religion of truth is submission to God in beliefs, worship and laws altogether. It is represented in every divine message given to any former prophet. Needless to say, it does not include any form of the distorted versions that the Jews and Christians of today profess, as these have been adulterated with pagan beliefs. Nor can be included under it any situation that raises the banner of faith while at the same time assigning lordship to beings other than God, and associating partners with God in the form of following laws and legislations enacted by those partners without reference to God’s law.

God, limitless is He in His glory, says that He has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth in order to make it prevail over all other religions. We must take the term ‘religion’ in its broader sense which we have outlined in order to appreciate the scope of God’s promise. Since ‘religion’ means ‘submission’, then it includes every creed and system which requires people to submit to its edicts and follow its rules. God also declares His ruling that the religion of truth will surely prevail over all religion, in this broad sense of the word. This means that all submission will be to God alone, and the final triumph will be for the system which reflects this total submission.

This promise was fulfilled once at the hands of God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and his successors, as well as those who succeeded them, for a very long period of time when the religion of truth was the one which prevailed. All other religions, which were not based on true submission to God alone, stood in awe. Then there followed a time when those who professed to believe in the religion of truth started to abandon it, step by step, due to various factors relevant to the internal structure of Muslim societies on the one hand, and to the long war against this religion by its different enemies. In this war a wide variety of weapons and tactics are employed in order to suppress Islam. But this is not the end of the road. God’s promise will always come true. It will be fulfilled by the Muslim community which will raise the banner of Islam and start its activities at the very beginning where the Prophet himself started when he began his call, preaching the religion of truth and guided by God’s light.

The sūrah takes the final step in this passage, describing how the people of earlier revelations do not treat as forbidden what God and His Messenger have declared forbidden.

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

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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