The Right Direction is henceforth distinct from Error
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verses – 256 & 257 of 286, Section – 34 of 40 (Part - 3)
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
256a. There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error.
256a. Laaa ‘ikraaha fid-Diin. Qatta bayyanar-Rushdu minal-Gayy.
Laaa ‘ikraaha – (there is no compulsion), this word has been derived from karhun. Such deed which is not done by own will, but there is violence and forcibility in it. That is called ‘with repression and coercion’.
‘ad-Diini – (the Religion), this word is used in two meanings:
– Reward and punishment against goodness and badness, that is to say; Retribution.
– Way of life (manners of conception and acts)
Here, the word ‘ad-Diini is used in second meaning.
‘ar-Rushdu – (The right direction, guidance, admonition). Origin of this word is Raashid, which means ‘Guided’. In this verse the meaning of ‘ar-Rushdu may also be taken as Islam itself besides its common meaning as ‘the guidance’.
‘al-Gayy – (error), ‘g-w-y’ is its Substance, ‘agwaa has also been made from it which means ‘to seduce, to entice, to tempt, to mislead’. Here, ‘al-Gayy aims error of infidelity and ascribing plurality to God Almighty.
Religious independence of Islam has been evident from this verse. Islam bestows power of choice regarding religion to every individual. It doesn’t compel anyone to embrace Islam. Islam is the duty of believers to preach, but the fact that it doesn’t allow anybody to force someone into Islam and force to convert to Islam.
Complete history of Islam is witness on this fact that the Muslims never compelled their neighbors as well as subordinate public to embrace Islam. If it would be so, then there would not be the temples and pagodas along with the mosques in sub-continent Indo-Pak. There would not be temples, churches, synagogues and non-Muslims’ places of worships under the shades of imperial forts in the capitals of Muslims’ sovereignty.
It should be noted thoroughly that it doesn’t aim from it that any person is independent after embracing Islam, that he admits/believes in whatever he wishes and doesn’t admit whatever he doesn’t want.
Whereas, once someone has embraced the religion Islam, then, he would have to believe in all its orders and instructions. Now there is no question regarding choice of power or independence. The independence is only in embracing or rejecting the religion Islam, not in deeds. If (God forbid) it becomes so, then any recognized position of the religion will not remain more.
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256b. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. And Allah is Hearer, Knower.
257. Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. And for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities; they bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein for ever.
256b. Famany-yakfur bit-Taaguuti wa yu’-mim-BIllaahi faqadis-tamsaka bil- ‘urwatil-wusqaa, lan-fisaa-ma lahaa. WAllaahu Samii-‘un Aliim.
257. ‘Allaahu Wa-liy- yullaziina ‘aamanuu, yukhrijuhum-minaz-zulumaati ‘ilan-Nuur. Wal-laziina kafaruu ‘aw-liyaaa- ‘u-humut- Taaguutu, yukhrijuuna- hum- minan-Nuuri ‘ilaz-zulumaat. ‘Ulaaa-‘ika ‘As-haabun-Naar. Hum fiihaa khaaliduun.
‘At- Taaguutu – (false deities, misleading, refractory, rebellious). Its substance is tagii. Taa-gii and tug-yaan have also been derived from it. ‘At- Taaguutu means that living being who has discretion, is personally astray too and be the cause to lead other people astray.
Wa-liy- yun – (the Protecting Guardian, friend, supporter). Plural of it is ‘aw-liyaaa’. This word has been used in the meanings of companion, patron, guardian and friend.
‘Az-zulumaati – (the darkness), singular of this word is zul-mat. Light and brightness may be of one kind, but the darkness has many kinds. Here it aims; the darkness of infidelity, ascribing plurality to Allah, faithlessness and going astray.
God Almighty commanded in clear words, “Who will believe, as though; he will reach into the Light. Allah Almighty will be his Protecting Guardian and Supporter. Who will disbelieve and choose the path of refractory people, as if, he were drowned in the darkness. Misled and rebellious persons will be his companions and the Hell will be his abode for ever”.