Posted by: mjaga | March 26, 2011

Allah’s is the Guidance

Qur’aanic Verse 2.120:

2.120

Transliteration:

120. Walan tarda AAanka alyahoodu wala alnnasara hatta tattabiAAa millatahum qul inna huda Allahi huwa alhuda wala-ini ittabaAAta ahwaahum baAAda allathee jaaka mina alAAilmi ma laka mina Allahi min waliyyin wala naseerin

Translation:

120. And the Jews shall not be pleased with you, and nor shall the Christians, till you follow their creed.173 Say, “Allah’s guidance – it is the174 Guidance!”175 And, if you were to follow their desires, after what has come to you of knowledge, shall there be none to patronise you, nor anyone to help you, against Allah.

 

Study Notes:

173. Although the addressee here is the Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him), the divine statement has connotations for all followers of Islam in general. And history is witness to this divine prophecy in general terms. The long-drawn-out Crusades of the middle ages and the recent Arab-Israeli conflicts are evidences enough. 

174. Please take note of the emphasis placed on Guidance by the definite article ‘the’ (al in Arabic). This is divine reiteration of the fact that Allah is the Sole Source of all guidance for mankind. And logically so! HE is, after all, the Sole Creator of everything. And, logically too, it follows that His Book of Guidance, the Qur’aan, epitomises that Sole Source. And the Qur’aan contains the divine confirmation: “… We have neglected nothing in the Book …” [Q: 6.38] The golden rule, therefore, for us to follow in the conduct of our worldly lives is that we should reject anything that is contrary to the Qur’aanic guidance.

175. And in the context in which the Prophet was asked to say this to the Jews and the Christians, those two groups of people were thus plainly told that the Prophet would not be following their guidance. He (the Prophet) would be following the only real guidance – the divine Guidance – that came to him! All other guidance, at variance with the divine Guidance, is misleading because it emanates from personal desires/bias of persons giving that guidance.

==============================

Mohammad Shafi

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Responses

  1. Dear Br Shafi, You wrote:

    “….173. Although the addressee here is the Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him), the divine statement has connotations for all followers of Islam in general. And history is witness to this divine prophecy in general terms. The long-drawn-out Crusades of the middle ages and the recent Arab-Israeli conflicts are evidences enough….”

    The Crusades were not to impose Christianity over the Muslims, neither the Jews want/wanted to impose their religion in Palestine. The Crusaders wanted to occupy their Holy Land and so do the Jews. Therefore, the above verse seems to be related to those in the Messenger’s era.

    In this day and age, however, we cannot deny that Christianity is a religion that seeks converts. Although the Jews don’t seek converts, they would be much happy if we accept their religious points of view rather than the Qur’an.

    Regards

    • In the Messenger’s era too there is no evidence at all to show that the Christians or the Jews wanted to impose their religion on the Prophet or on anybody else. What they wanted then was that the Prophet follow their lifestyle. And their lifestyle was just to live and let live. They were not bothered about what others did in their religious practices so long as others did not bother about what they themselves did. But the Prophet was proactive. He preached to them the basics of Islam which their own religions had advocated, but which they themselves had forgotten or abandoned. They did not want the Prophet to be so proactive. They wanted him do what they themselves did in this regard.

      The Crusades happened because the Christians were jealous of the growing influence of the Muslims in the world. Occupation of their Holy Land was just a ploy to vent their inner jealousy. They did not succeed, but they saw an opportunity in the Jews’ universal desire in ending their centuries-old diaspora. They manoeuvred to unjustly plant an Israeli State in the midst of overwhelmingly Muslim West Asia. And they helped the nascent Jewish State in weakening and occupying the surrounding Muslim territories, and the process is going on. At the root of all these manoeuvres is Islamophobia, and not just a desire for a homeland. Why aren’t the rich American Jews coming to their homeland then? The Christians and the Jews both are afraid of the growing influence of Islam all over the world today despite all impediments placed in its way.

      In the light of this discussion, *millat* in Arabic is better translated as creed rather than religion. I am effecting that change in my translation now.

      Mohammad Shafi

  2. Muhammad Asad For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: “Behold, God’s guidance is the only true guidance.” And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour. &#x21E8

    M. M. Pickthall And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah (Himself) is Guidance. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then wouldst thou have from Allah no protecting guardian nor helper. &#x21E8

    Shakir And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper. &#x21E8

    Yusuf Ali Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: “The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance.” Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah. &#x21E8

    Wahiduddin Khan Neither the Christians nor the Jews will be pleased with you until you follow their ways. Say, ‘God’s guidance is the only true guidance.’ If you followed their desires after the knowledge which has come to you, you would not have any patron or supporter against God. &#x21E8

    [Al-Muntakhab] In fact, neither the Jews nor the Christians shall be pleased with you, O Muhammad until you conform to their system of faith. Say to them: “Indeed it is only the course steered by Allah the one and only way that leads to the path of righteousness with Providence as the guide. And should you be tempted to follow their wishes, given the knowledge imparted to you, then do not expect Allah to maintain you under His tutelage”. &#x21E8

    [Progressive Muslims] Neither the Jews nor the Nazarenes will be pleased with you until you follow their creed. Say: “The guidance is God’s guidance.” And if you follow their wishes after the knowledge that has come to you, then there is none who can help or protect you against God. &#x21E8

    Abdel Haleem The Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you unless you follow their ways. Say, ‘God’s guidance is the only true guidance.’ If you were to follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you would find no one to protect you from God or help you. &#x21E8

    Abdul Majid Daryabadi And the Jews will never be pleased with thee, nor the Nazarenes, except thou follow their faith. Say thou: verily the guidance of Allah, –that is the guidance. And of a surety wert thou to follow their desires after that which hath come unto thee of the knowledge, there will be for thee against Allah neither protector nor helper. &#x21E8

    Ahmed Ali And the Jews and nor the Christians will not/never accept/approve about you until you follow their religion/faith . Say: “That God’s guidance, it is the guidance.” And if (E) you followed their self attractions for desires after what came to you from the knowledge, (there is) none for you from (other than) God from a guardian and nor (a) victorior . &#x21E8

    Aisha Bewley The Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you until you follow their religion. Say, ‘Allah’s guidance is the true guidance.’ If you were to follow their whims and desires, after the knowledge that has come to you, you would find no protector or helper against Allah. &#x21E8

    Ali Ünal Never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor the Christians, unless you follow their way of faith and life. Say (to them, O Messenger): “God’s guidance (represented by the Qur’an) is the true guidance.” If (supposing the impossible) you were to follow their desires and fancies after the knowledge that has come to you, you will have against God neither a guardian (who can protect you from His punishment) nor a helper. &#x21E8

    Ali Quli Qara’i Never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor the Christians, unless you followed their creed. Say, ‘Indeed it is the guidance of Allah which is the [true] guidance.’ And should you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you will not have against Allah any guardian nor any helper. &#x21E8

    Amatul Rahman Omar And the Jews will never be pleased with you nor the Christians unless you follow their creed. Say, `Allah’s guidance is the only perfect and true guidance.’ If you were to follow their low desires after there has come to you this perfect knowledge, you shall have from Allah neither a protecting friend, nor any helper. &#x21E8

    Hamid S. Aziz The Jews will not be satisfied with you, nor yet the Christians, until you follow their creed. Say, “Allah’s guidance is the (sufficient, correct or only) guidance;” and if you were to follow their lusts (desires, prejudices, fantasies, superstitions) after the knowledge that has come to you, you have not then from Allah a patron or a help. &#x21E8

    Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali And the Jews will never be satisfied with you, neither will the Nasara (i.e., the Christians) till you (closely) follow their creed. Say, “Surely the guidance of Allah is the Guidance.” And indeed in case you ever (closely) follow their prejudices, after the (share of) knowledge that has come to you, in no way will you have from Allah either a constant Patron or a ready Vindicator. &#x21E8

    Muhammad Sarwar The Jews and Christians will never be pleased with you unless you follow their faith. (Muhammad) tell them that the guidance of God is the only true guidance. If you follow their wishes after all the knowledge that has come to you, you will no longer have God as your guardian and helper.” &#x21E8

    Muhammad Taqi Usmani The Jews will never be pleased with you, nor will the Christians, unless you follow their faith. Say: .Guidance of Allah is, indeed, the guidance. Were you to follow their desires despite the knowledge that has come to you, there shall be no friend for you against Allah, nor a helper. &#x21E8

    Shabbir Ahmed And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor will the Christians unless you follow their own creeds. Say, “Behold, Allah’s Guidance is the only True Guidance.” (This is the updated, unadulterated Message from the same Creator who revealed the previous Scriptures). And, indeed, if you followed their desires after the Knowledge that has come unto you, then no ally nor helper would you have from Allah. ((7:3), (10:109), (13:37)). &#x21E8

    Syed Vickar Ahamed The Jews or the Christians will never be satisfied with you (O Prophet,) unless you follow their religion. Say: “The Guidance of Allah&mdash That is the (only) Guidance.” And if you to follow their desires after the knowledge that has reached you, then you would find neither protector nor helper against Allah. &#x21E8

    Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper. &#x21E8

    Farook Malik For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: “Behold, God’s guidance is the only true guidance.” And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour. &#x21E8

    Bijan Moeinian Know that the Jews and the Christian will not be satisfied with you unless you accept their system of beliefs. let them know that: “There is only one reliable guidance: the guidance of God.” If you (Mohammad or anybody) follow their way of life (after being exposed to the God pleasing way of life), then you will find no one in the entire universe to protect you from [the punishment of] the Lord. &#x21E8

    Faridul Haque And never will the Jews or the Christians be pleased with you, until you follow their religion; say, “The guidance of Allah only is the (true) guidance”; and were you (the followers of this Prophet) to follow their desires after the knowledge has come to you, you would then not have a protector or aide against Allah. &#x21E8

    Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah You will please neither the Jews nor the Nazarenes unless you follow their creed. Say: ‘The guidance of Allah is the guidance. ‘ And if after all the knowledge you have been given you yield to their desires, you shall not have, other than Allah, either a guide or a helper. &#x21E8

    Maulana Muhammad Ali And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor the Christians, unless thou follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the (perfect) guidance. And if thou follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to thee thou shalt have from Allah no friend, nor helper. &#x21E8
    Muhammad Ahmed – Samira And We have sent you with the truth to give glad tidings and to warn. You will not be questioned about those and who are inmates of Hell. &#x21E8

    Sher Ali And the Jews will never be pleased with thee, nor the Christians, unless thou followest their creed. Say `Surely ALLAH’s guidance alone is the true guidance,’ And if thou follow their evil desires after the knowledge has come to thee, thou shalt have from ALLAH, no friend nor helper. &#x21E8

    Yusuf Ali (org.) Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: “The Guidance of God,-that is the (only) Guidance.” Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, the n wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against God. &#x21E8

    Rashad Khalifa Neither the Jews, nor the Christians, will accept you, unless you follow their religion. Say, “GOD’s guidance is the true guidance.” If you acquiesce to their wishes, despite the knowledge you have received, you will find no ally or supporter to help you against GOD.

  3. The above quotations from majority translators is sufficient proof that when the Messenger was preaching, the Jews and Christians wanted the Muslims to follow their creed/religion (NOT LIFESTYLE). The issue at that time was a Non Israelite Nabi claiming to be from God and the Jews and Christians not receptive to a new dispensation which in many ways clashed with their creed/religion.

    Thaks.

    • The polytheists’ ideology too clashed with the Jews’ & Christians’, but apparently they tolerated one another. Both the sides abided by the policy of ‘live & let live’. They did not bother about what the others did in their religious practices. That was their lifestyle. But the Prophet’s & the believers’ lifestyles in this regard were contrary to theirs’. It was this contrary lifestyle that the Jews & the Christians primarily resented. They did not want the Prophet to preach to them what was right & what was wrong. And Allah prohibited the Prophet against following lifestyle.

      It would therefore be wrong to translate Millat as religion. Religion connotes a divinely approved way of life. After all, the Allah-given way of life was the same – Islam – for all the three: Jews, Christians & Muslims. But the communities deviated to different man-made lifestyles of their own. Construing Millat as lifestyle wouldn’t be wrong.

  4. Dear Brother,

    Millat means a path or a way in Arabic. Millat Ibrahim denotes the ideology of Ibrahim in the Qur’an and how he reached them after his intellectual and spiritual journey. The Qur’an tells about his experiences in the quest for the truth. How he first considered a star, moon and sun as his gods but rejected them as mere creatures and how he finally believed in their Creator (Qur’an 6:76-79).[2]

    Way of life is influenced by one’s beliefs. You may translate Millat as Creed but it’s religious connotations can not be ignored.

    The Qur’an was a direct challenge to the beliefs of Mushrik, Polytheist, Christian and Jewish beliefs which influenced their way of life. The Pagans and Christian/Jews learnt to get alone for generations. It was the “New Prophet” on the scence that the Christian/Jews found disconcerting because it claimed to be a continuation of their beliefs. They examined their beliefs/way of life and were not ready to accept Muslims as co equals. They would rather they follow their creed/ways/beliefs.

    Present day majority Christians and Jews would not care what we believe as long as we leave them alone to their beliefs. Present day conflicts seem more based on economic and political interests rather than a dispute over religion.

    • The Prophet was not permitted to leave the Jews & the Christians alone to their beliefs. He had to tell them what was right & what was wrong. Now that task is given to his Ummah. And the Jews & the Christians continue to be displeased on that account whatever you may say.

  5. If you preach Islam to Jews and Christians, they would rather you convert to their way of belief and action. That is a given just as Muslims would if they were preached to. That, Sir is not the issue.

    The issue was whether the Crusades was launched to convert Muslims. Or whether the Jews went back to Palestine to convert Muslms to their way of life. The answer, Sir is NO!!

    Thanks for your comments anyway!1

    Have a great day!!

    • The purpose of the Crusades was. not to convert Muslims, but to subjugate them. Ditto with what the Jews with the active aid of the Christians did, never mind the injustices involved. The root cause in both the cases was islamophobia.

      Brother! Let’s stop this game of one-upmanship. You are entitled to your views as I am to mine. Let us now wait for Allah to tell us who is right.

  6. Agreed Brother!! It is not a question of one-upmanship. It a question of a proper exposition of Allah’s word and an admission that as humans we can be prone to error of interpretation in which case we should be open to revision of our opinions as we grow in learnings.

    As for subjugation of Muslims, we Muslims did the same (against Allah’s command not to be aggressive and Jihad in self defence only) by invading almost the entire Middle East and India!!

    Have a great day!!


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