Monday 2 January 2023

New Year Resolve: Believers!! Do not quarrel among your ranks, lest your unity withers away

New Year each year ushers in new aspirations, raised goal posts and many new resolves. These new resolves stem from personal to companies and even national level. However, lack of unity remains unresolved despite tall claims, especially when it comes to larger communities or groups of communities. 

The Muslim Ummah is one such community which has always lacked unity and many Muslim countries remain at daggers drawn with other Muslim countries due to associations with blocs, alignment on sectarian basis and many other dividing factors. Unfortunately, this is not something new. The disunity has been there even in the early days of Islam and still continues. It is sad to see Muslims fighting each other and the stake holders who do not let unity be forged into Muslim countries, add fuel to fire by creating mistrust. 

We, in our series of posts on Selected verses from Qur'an, share the 46th verse from Surah 8. Al Anfaal, which cautions Muslims not to quarrel among their ranks for it may weaken them and take courage out of them, needed to face the onslaught of their enemies. although, this caution was intended for the believers to stand in Unisom when fighting with their enemies, it still stands true today, as even before battles are fought, new strategies and tactics in the form of fifth generation warfare are let lose to weaken the morale and feed in disarray among the ranks of the believers.

Such verses must continue to be shared or even reshared as many times as possible so as to keep cautioning the believers not to fall into trap of disunity:

وَاَطِيۡعُوا اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوۡا فَتَفۡشَلُوۡا وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيۡحُكُمۡ​ وَاصۡبِرُوۡا​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الصّٰبِرِيۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
(8:46) And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel with one another lest you lose courage and your power depart. Be steadfast, surely Allah is with those who remain steadfast.
As the Arabic word (sabr) which has been translated into fortitude is very comprehensive in meaning, 'practice fortitude' implies: "Keep your feelings and passions under control; avoid rashness, bewilderment, despair, and greediness: keep cool and calm and make considered decisions; remain firm and steadfast in the face of dangers and difficulties; don't take any wrong step even under the greatest provocations; don't lose your senses even when you are attacked by afflictions and are in a sad plight; don't take any hasty action in your impatience to achieve your objective without delay with the help of some seeming effective device and don't be enticed by the temptation of some worldly interest or gain or lust" . Allah helps those who practice fortitude (sabr) in accordance with the above implications.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (The Command for Endurance when the Enemy Engaging)
Allah commands endurance upon meeting the enemy in battle and ordains patience while fighting them. Muslims are not allowed to run or shy away, or show cowardice in battle. They are commanded to remember Allah while in that condition and never neglect His remembrance. They should rather invoke Him for support, trust in Him and seek victory over their enemies from Him. They are required to obey Allah and His Messenger in such circumstances adhering to what He commanded them, and abstaining from what He forbade them. They are required to avoid disputing with each other, for this might lead to their defeat and failure, 

(Lest your strength departs), so that your strength, endurance and courage do not depart from you,

(And be patient. Surely, Allah is with the patients.)

In their courage, and obedience to Allah and His Messenger, the Companions reached a level never seen before by any nation or generation before them, or any nation that will ever come. Through the blessing of the Messenger and their obedience to what he commanded, the Companions were able to open the hearts, as well as, the various eastern and western parts of the world in a rather short time. This occurred even though they were few, compared to the armies of the various nations at that time. For example, the Romans, Persians, Turks, Slavs, Berbers, Ethiopians, Sudanese tribes, the Copts and the rest of the Children of Adam. They defeated all of these nations, until Allah's Word became the highest and His religion became dominant above all religions. The Islamic state spread over the eastern and western parts of the world in less than thirty years. May Allah grant them His pleasure, as well as, be pleased with them all, and may He gather us among them, for He is the Most Generous, and Giving.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
The relevant word is rih, which literally signifies "wind"; it is used metaphorically to denote "spirit" or "moral strength".

Yusuf Ali Explanation
A fine description of the Muslim virtues which make for success and whose loss brings about humiliation and failure. "Power": literally, "wind", -the favourable wind for a sailing ship.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
A special meaning of obeying God and His Messenger is also understood here that while combating the enemy full discipline is shown in following the directives of God and His Messenger. This is because just as lack of God’s remembrance causes disruption in the mind and heart of a person, lack of discipline disturbs the order and system of a group.

(..Remain steadfast because God is with those who are steadfast) This statement was given earlier with relation to individuals. Here it has been given with relation to collectivities. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:
... The implication is that if they want God’s help and close association, they should prove themselves worthy by their collective character. God does not help an ill-disciplined mob. He helps those who fight for His cause in a united and orderly way. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 3, 488)
Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Obedience to God and His Messenger ensures that the believers go into the battle submitting themselves totally to God. There will be no room for any cause of conflict or dispute: “Do not dispute with one another, lest you lose heart and your moral strength.” People fall into dispute when they have different authorities which they look to for leadership and guidance, or when desire is the ultimate factor that shapes people’s views and ideas. When people obey only God and His Messenger, the main cause of dispute between them disappears, no matter how much their views differ over the question under discussion. Having different views is never a cause of dispute and conflict.

What causes conflict is desire, making everyone insist that his view is the one to follow, even when it appears to be wrong. Desire causes ‘self’ to be placed in opposition to ‘right’ and attaching more importance to self in the first place. For this reason, Muslims are given this directive to obey God and His Messenger at the time of battle. It is a question of discipline that is essential in battle. It is an obedience to the High Command which reflects itself in a genuine obedience to the leader in command of the Muslim forces. Steadfastness and patience in adversity are also essential, whether internal within oneself, or on the battlefield: “Be patient, for God is with those who are patient.” Being with God will certainly ensure success and victory for those who are steadfast.

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 |

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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