In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayah 20
In the previous ayah, we learned that the religion in the Sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Islam. The past nations who were given the Scripture created deviation after receiving the Message and the Messengers. It means that they did not differ among themselves out of ignorance but because of envy, hatred, and enmity for each other. This hatred made some of them defy those whom they hated even if they were correct.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala addresses the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and says that if the people argue with him about Tawheed then he should tell them that he has submitted to Allah in Islam and so have his followers. It means that I have made my worship sincere for Allah Alone without partners, rivals, offspring or companion. And so have those who followed my religion and embraced my creed.
In another ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Say, ‘This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah; and I am not of those who associate others with Him.’” [Yusuf 12: 108]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded His servant and Messenger, Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to call the People of the Two Scriptures and the unlettered Arab pagans to his religion and all that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent him with.
He said, “And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, ‘Have you submitted yourselves?’ And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then upon you is only the [duty of] notification.” It means that if they turn away then their reckoning is with Allah and their return and final destination is to Him. It is He Who guides whom He wills and allows whom He wills to stray. He has the perfect knowledge and wisdom and the unequivocal proof for all of this.
He ends the ayah by saying that He sees His servants. He has the perfect knowledge of who deserves to be guided and who does not deserve to be guided. “He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned,” [Al-Anbiya 21:23]
This and other ayaat in the Qur’an are clear proofs that the Message of Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is universal to all creation, as it is well established in the religion, according to the various texts of the Book and Sunnah.
For example, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Say [O Muhammad], ‘O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all,’” [Al-Araf 7: 158]
In Surah Al-Furqan it appears, “Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner,” (25:1)
The Two Saheehs and other collections of Hadeeth recorded that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent letters to the kings of the earth during his time and to different peoples, Arabs and non-Arabs, People of the Book and the unlettered, as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded him. ‘Abdur Razzaq recorded that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ: يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ، وَمَاتَ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ، إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّار
“By He in Whose Hand is my soul! No member of this Ummah, no Jew or Christian, hears of me but dies without believing in what I was sent with, but will be among the people of the Fire.” Muslim recorded this Hadeeth.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
بُعِثْتُ إِلَى الْأَحْمَرِ وَالْأَسْوَد
“I was sent to the red and black.” And,
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلى قَوْمِهِ خَاصَّةً، وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة
“A prophet used to be sent to his people, but I was sent to all mankind.”
-Don’t argue with the people – if you are on the path of Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam continue doing your work.
-Being the follower of Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam means following him in every step of our life. Whether that’s about eating and drinking with the right hand or conducting our businesses, follow the Sunnah.
-This ayah teaches us how to invite people to Islam. What is Islam? Submission to Islam. Follow the Sunnah of Rasoolullah – invite them with dignity. Do not abuse others or fall into arguments. After you have delivered the message, your duty is done.
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