Quran Journey Series – Reflections on Quranic Verses: I

Jul 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Quran Journey Series, Religion

QuranJourneyIn the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

“And verily! This your religion (of Islamic Monotheism) is one religion, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me. But they (men) have broken their religion among them into sects, each group rejoicing in its belief. So leave them in their error for a time.”

(Surah Mominoon, verses 52-54)

I was struck by these verses because Allah addresses the believers in a direct, intimate manner: ‘I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me’, reminding us with extraordinary simplicity and stark clarity, of the truth writ large that we must acknowledge. The duty we owe to Him is to hold on to this Truth with steadfastness, and live it out in our lives by submitting ourselves to His will.

The verses present a link between Unity of the Creator which is the essence and pivot of Islam, and the unity of humankind. It presents the universality of the truth embodied in Islam. The vision here is of oneness, singleness, wholeness and harmony: that there is a single truth, not versions of it. The Truth has no plurality. It is universal, unchanging, unvarying, absolute. All else which is not the truth is a deviation, corruption, distortion.

It is this deviation from the truth that splinters us into sects, denominations, cults and groups. This splintering up is a distancing from the truth and an alienation from the source of the truth, i.e Allah. The healing and harmonizing comes from an acknowledgement of and submission to that truth with our hearts and souls. It is reaching this truth that liberates us from misguidance, doubt, falsehood, discord and conflict.
An important insight is that the call of Islam is addressed universally and the truth it presents is forever and for all. The vision of Islam and the ideal it presents is the unity of all mankind through faith.
The fact that there is only a single universal truth (not truths), helps us understand that all faiths carry that same essence and hence share common origins. It is the corruption and distortion over the ages that smothers the truth that lies undiscovered at the heart, and creates difference. It is by reaching for that pristine essence within that we reach Unity, and that is where we come to rest:

“Say O People of the Book! Come to that which is common between us and you: that we worship none but Allah and we associate no partners with Him.” 

Islam preserves in itself the pristine truth. When by honest inquiry and sincere search one removes the theological trappings that gathered over the ages, one is left with the marrow of it, the very heart: the Truth, and nothing but… this is the truth succinctly echoing in ‘La ilaha il Allah’.

To me, these verses are a powerful condemnation of sectarian tendencies that use religious difference to divide and hate. They expose sectarianism as a grotesque travesty, a betrayal and a going astray. Theological and juristic debate which intensifies difference, highlights it and uses it to divide human beings must be rejected as it violates the core message of Islam: the unity of mankind through the Unity of God, to which the heart of man testifies, and which is engraved in the heart of the universe.

It also teaches tolerance and keeps us from judgement of others in matters of faith, as the best judgement lies with Allah. While we acknowledge and proclaim the message of Islam as a universal call, we do not impose or coerce or hurt or unfairly judge in case of denial; against the animosity of those who reject and hate the truth, we take comfort in the fact that all is within the all seeing Eye of Allah, and He is the Best Judge between us.

Maryam Sakeenah

About the author

Maryam Sakeenah teaches Sociology, Literature and Islamic Studies in Lahore, Pakistan. She authored a book documenting Islamic and Oriental responses to the Clash of Civilizations thesis. Maryam is also a social worker running an organization providing free virtual primary education for the poor.

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  1. Without doubt, our history suggests that lack of unity, betrayal and mistrust are the reasons for our decline. Others may conspire against us but they have no power until we become fragile and vulnerable. This article briefly explains the rift amongst Ummah.

  2. Good Superb explination of Oneness of God.As it is described in all scrpitures of Mankind for unity of them.

    Say:”He is Allah,The One and Only”(Al-Quran 112:1)–Islam

    “He is One Only without a second”(chandogya Upanisads 6:2:1)–Hinduism

    “Hear O Isreal,The Lord our God is One Lord”(The Bible,Mark 12:29;Deuteronomy 6:4)–Christianity/Judaism

    “There exists but One God,who is called The True,The Creator”(Sri Guru Granth Sahib,Vol 1, Japuji verse 1)–Sikhism

    If all the mankind implement they will be united if not it impossible to unite

  3. Assalamualaikum, I want to have your permission to use your picture “Journey through the Quran” in building a project community book. on “How to educate youngster to Love Al Quran As Early As Age”.

    I will acknowledge your page in return in our community service book, but it is in Malay Language. Thanks in advance, Jazakallah khayra kathira

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