Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says in Surah Al-Imran (Ayat 102,103)
(Translation and commentry from English translation of Maariful Quran by Mufti Taqi Usmani Sb (Certified by Al Azhar)
“0 those who believe, f e a r Allah, a fear which is His due, and let not yourself die save a s Muslims.”
“And hold on to the cord of Allah, all of you, and be not divided ….”
In the two ayaat appearing here, two important principles have been given which go to make the collective strength of muslim impregnable. These are
The first principle appears in the first of the two ayaat. The second principle follows in the second verse. The first principle stated in the said ayat is that one must ‘fear Allah’, that is, one should organize and manage his life with a full sense of responsibility before Allah, avoiding all that is forbidden or undesirable, doing so in a manner ‘which is His due’.
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF COLLECTIVE MUSLIM STRENGTH:
In Arabic, the word, ‘Taqwa’ is used to denote avoidance and abstinence. It is translated as ‘fear’ in the sense that things one is asked to abstain from are nothing but things that cause fear, or alert one to the danger of Divine retribution.
Taqwa has its own degrees, the lowest is to avoid Kufr and Shirk, that is, disbelieving in Allah and His Message and attributing partners to His Divinity. In this sense, every Muslim can be counted as Muttaqi (one who has the quality of Taqwa), even if he is involved in sins. At several places in the Holy Qur’an, the words, ‘ Muttaqin’ (plural of Muttaqi and ‘Taqwa’ have been used in that sense as well.
What is really desirable falls under the second degree of Taqwa & that is, to avoid that which is disliked by Allah and His Messenger. The merits and blessings of Taqwa enumerated in the Quran and Hadith have been promised on this degree of avoidance and abstinence. As far as the third degree of Taqwa is concerned, this is a high station destined for prophets, their devoted deputies and men of Allah, for it is not within the grasp of everybody. To stand guard over one’s heart against the onslaught of what does not relate to Allah, and to keep it filled with the remembrance of Allah and the desire to seek His pleasure, are great assignments.
May Allah give us Taufeeq and Hidayah.
THE SECOND PRINCIPLE OF COLLECTIVE MUSLIM STRENGTH:
Allah (SWT) said next:
“And hold on to the cord of Allah, all of you, and be not divided.”
The golden principle of unity has been presented with great eloquence and wisdom, for the principle, being the only effective binding factor, has been identified before the command to unite was given, following which, came the prohibition of disunity and chaos.
we can turn to the first and present addressees of the Quran, the Muslims who believe that in the world as we have found it, the Holy Quran is the only way of life revealed by Allah Almighty without any shadow of doubt in it, and since Allah Almighty has Himself taken the responsibility of protecting it, there is just no possibility of interpolation or change in it right through to the Day of Judgement.
Muslims alone who, being believers in the Quran have no ‘other alternative line of action except this. If different parties among Muslims were to unite on th e system of the Holy Qur’an, thousands of their differences based on group, race and country would be resolved instantly, which block the road to human progress. Whatever difference may remain among Muslims, would possibly be in the understanding and the interpretation of t h e Qu r’an. If such difference stays within limits, it is neither blame-worthy nor harmful to collective human living. In fact, the existence of such difference of opinion among the learned is natural. Therefore, exercising restrain and observing limits should not be so difficult to manage. Contrary to this, if our parties, were to go on fighting in complete disregard to the Qur’an then, they would not be left with any possibility of correction.
The Holy Qur’an, in the present ayat, shows us the way as to how we can eliminate this tendency to become divided when it says:
“And hold on to the cord of Allah, all of you.”
Here, the cord of Allah means the Holy Quran. The blessed Companion, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud is the narrator of the hadith in which the Holy Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) has been reported to have said:
“The Book of Allah is the cord of Allah, extended from t h e heavens to the earth.”
In another narration of the hadith by the noble Companion, Zayd ibn Arqam, the words are:
“The cord of Allah is the Qur’an.”
In short, this one statement of the Qur’an is full of wise rules of conduct. To begin with, it can be said that man must firmly act in accordance with the way of life revealed by Allah Almighty, that is, the Holy Qur’an. Then comes the unity of action, that is, all Muslims should join hands to act in accordance with it. The result will be that Muslims will become united anf organized as if they were a group holding on to the same cord firmly, turning the whole group into a powerful single body.
Let us review the two distinct instructions given to Muslims in this ayat, that is, they should first live by the system prescribed for them by Allah Almighty, then, they should hold fast to ‘the cord of Allah’ all together. This is how the Muslim ummah gained ascendance in the past and there is no reason why, it will not rise again.
In Sha Allah!