كِتَابٌ أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلَا يَكُنْ فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِنْهُ لِتُنْذِرَ بِهِ وَذِكْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ (2) اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَThese verses order the Prophet (saw), and his successors after him, to convey the message. He ordered mankind to accept it as a way of life and to reject all others and not to be like previous nations who rejected the message. Imam Qurtubi commented on these verses:
"(This is) a Book revealed to you, (O Muhammad) - so let there not be in your breast distress - that you may warn thereby and be a reminder to the believers.
Follow, (O mankind), what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies. Little do you remember." (V. 2-4)
وَالظَّاهِرُ أَنَّهُ أَمْرٌ لِجَمِيعِ النَّاسِ دُونَهُ. أَيِ اتَّبِعُوا مِلَّةَ الْإِسْلَامِ وَالْقُرْآنَ، وَأَحِلُّوا حَلَالَهُ وَحَرِّمُوا حَرَامَهُ، وَامْتَثِلُوا أَمْرَهُ، وَاجْتَنِبُوا نَهْيَهُThis means to take revelation as the drivers of society's trajectory, as argued by Imams Tabari, ibn Atiyah and others. (Tabari, Vol. 12, p. 298, Ibn Atiyah, Vol. 2, p. 373)
"It is clear it is a command to all people other than him, i.e. to follow Islam and the Qur'an (by) making its halal as halal, its haram as haram, obey its commands and avoid its proscriptions." (Qurtubi, Vol. 7, p. 161)
إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَThe verse begins with the fact that Allah created the heavens, the earth and beyond and therefore He alone is entitled to legislate and command.
"Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne.
He covers the night with the day, (another night) chasing it rapidly; and (He created) the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command.
Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command (al-Amr); blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds." (V. 54)
وَمَنْ زَعْمَ أَنَّ اللهَ جَعَلَ لِلْعِبَادِ مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شيئًا فَقَدْ كَفَّرَ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللهُ عَلَى أنبيائِهِ
"Whoever claims Allah entitled any of His servants (to) legislate (or command), he would be a disbeliever (kafir) of what Allah has revealed to His Prophets." (Tabari, Jami al-Bayan, Vol. 12, p. 484, Ibn Kathir, Tafseer al-Qur'an al-Adheem, Vol. 3, p. 384, Suyuti, al-Dur al-Manthoor, Vol. 3, p. 475, Ibn al-Athir, Asadu-al-Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 247)
وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ بَرَكَاتٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَكِنْ كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ (96) أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتًا وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ (97) أَوَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَOne may object and say the term used here is qura (villages) not mada'in (cities) that don't usually have any control. But the term qura is used in all the verse of the Qur'an to refer to the mada'in as noted by Wahidi and others:
"And if only the people of the cities (townships) had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied (the messengers), so We seized them for what they were earning.
Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep?
Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play?" (V. 96-98)
وَالْقُرَى فِي كِتَابِ اللهِ كُلُّه الْمَدَائِنَ
"the qura in all the Book of Allah (refers to) mada'in." (Wahid, al-Waseet, Vol. 2, p. 398)
المَلأُ: الرُّؤَساءُ… أَشْرافُ القوم ووجُوهُهم ورؤَساؤهم ومُقَدَّمُوهم، الذين يُرْجَع إِلى قولهمThis term mala'a is repeated in this surah several times (V. 65-145) with each story of the previous Prophets with their nations in a way that implies the elites and leaders are one of the main targets to establish the divine trajectory.
"Al-Mala;a are the chiefs … the elites among the people and their notables, leaders and people with precedence (who are consulted) and the credit must go to their decision." (Ibn Mandhur, Lisan al-Arab, root malaa, Muhammad Zaki, Mu'jam Kalimat al-Qur'an, term al-Mala;a)
أَيُشْرِكُونَ مَا لَا يَخْلُقُ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ (191) وَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ لَهُمْ نَصْرًا وَلَا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَنْصُرُونَAllah also condemned taking others as legislators except for the divine Law and gave an example of the non-Meccan people who used to make Tawaf around the Ka'ba naked arguing this is how their forefathers legislated to them by a falsely alleged permission of Allah (V. 28-29). (Tabari, Vol. 12, p. 377, Wahidi, Vol. 2, p. 360, Baghwi, Ma'alim al-
"Do they associate with Him those who create nothing and they are (themselves) created?
And the false deities are unable to (give) them help, nor can they help themselves." (V. 191-192)
قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَقِيمُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ عِنْدَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ ... يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِنْدَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ (31) قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ ... قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَنْ تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَنْ تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَThis is not only exclusive to the issue of tawaf, but it is only one example that legislates a general rule to every related issue the corrupts or legislates the contrary to the divine Law. Ibn Atiyah, along with many other classical scholars, noted:
"Say, (O Muhammad), my Lord has ordered justice and that you maintain yourselves (in the worship of Him) at every place (or time) of prostration, and invoke Him, sincere to Him in religion. Just as He originated you, you will return (to life). …
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Say, who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good (lawful) things of provision. …
Say, my Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and what you say about Allah that which you do not know." (V. 29-33)
هَذِهِ الْمُخَاطَبَةُ لِجَمِيعِ الْعَالَمِ وَالْمَقْصُود بِهَا فِي ذَلِك الْوَقْت مَنْ كَانَ يَطُوفُ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ بِالْبَيْتِ عُرَاةًSimilarly noted by ibn Ashur in al-Tahreer wa al-Tanweer, Vol. 8, p. 82)
"This is an order to all the world, (but) referred at that time to those who make Tawaf naked around the Ka'bah." (Ibn Atiyah, Vol. 2, p. 390)
وَإِذَا لَمْ تَأْتِهِمْ بِآيَةٍ قَالُوا لَوْلَا اجْتَبَيْتَهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ مِنْ رَبِّيIt does not mean that the chosen prophet could be able to do it, but this is to show how it is vigorously condemned to adopt any rule that clearly violates the decisive divine law regardless of the position of the legislator.
"And when you, (O Muhammad), do not bring them a verse (or a sign), they say, why have you not contrived it?"
Say, I only follow what is revealed to me from my Lord." (V. 203)
الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ ... يَأْمُرُهُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَThus, the role of the Prophet and the Messenger in society is to govern it (and all of its aspects) by the Law of Allah and divine principles and be victorious over his enemies.
"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet … who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them.
So they who have believed in him honoured him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be successful." (V. 157)
وَكَتَبْنَا لَهُ فِي الْأَلْوَاحِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَوْعِظَةً وَتَفْصِيلًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُوا بِأَحْسَنِهَاThus, is the time for the detailed rule for everything to be established in society. So, only what Allah has described it to be haram, halal or whatever have to be established. (Baghawi, Vol. 2, p. 233, Matrudi, Ta'weelat Ahl al-Sunnah, Vol. 5, p. 37, Tabari, Vol. 13, pp. 109-110 and others) For a more detailed discussion over Musa's (as) dawa, read this answer.When we say Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the previous Messengers and Prophets (as) sought power and dominance, it does not mean they were greedy for power and controlling, instead seeking to establish security, justice and prosperity in stark contrast to those stubbornly opposing their dawa.
"And We wrote for him on the tablets (something) of all things - instruction and explanation for all things, (saying), "Take them with determination and order your people to take the best of it." (V. 145)
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