Saturday, August 7, 2010

Q49:13 - Role of Muslims in a society

What does it take to build orderly societies?
What does it take for you, me and others to feel safe and live in peace?

Individuals and nations cannot have peace exclusively, if others around them are in peace, then your peace is automatic. It is in the interests of individuals and nations to work for mutual peace. You cannot be safe if you threaten others as you live in constant fear of getting run over in your vulnerable moments.

The answer lies in a detailed study of Sura Hujurat in Quraan. It is all about getting to know each other, so we can remove myths and misunderstandings and live in peace. Please remember that Quraan is not for any particular group, it is for the whole humanity.

Indeed, the World Muslim Congress is driven by Sura 49:13 with the mission to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed towards justice and equity to attain peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in commonly held values. We cannot have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace. We believe what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world, and vice versa, to sustain it. Here is our mission:

What do Muslims have to do? We have to learn to be a part of the society we live in, here is an American relevance applicable in every nation.

I believe, when we subscribe to the idea of Islam, that is submission to the will of God, which is to create peace and harmony for humanity, then our role as Muslims is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.

More posting will be added on 49:13 as we move forward.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ (49:13)
Ya ayyuha alnnasu inna khalaqnakum min thakarin waontha wajaAAalnakum shuAAooban waqabaila litaAAarafoo inna akramakum AAinda Allahi atqakum inna Allaha AAaleemun khabeerunSahih International

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

Asad's interpretation:49:13 (Asad) O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, [15] and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. [16] Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.

[15] "We have created every one of you out of a father and a mother" (Zamakhshari , Razi, Baydawi) - implying that this equality of biological origin is reflected in the equality of the human dignity common to all.(Quran Ref: 49:13 )

[16] I.e., know that all belong to one human family, without any inherent superiority of one over another (Zamakhshari ). This connects with the exhortation, in the preceding two verses, to respect and safeguard each other’s dignity. In other words, men’s evolution into "nations and tribes" is meant to foster rather than to diminish their mutual desire to understand and appreciate the essential human oneness underlying their outward differentiations; and, correspondingly, all racial, national or tribal prejudice (asabiyyah) is condemned - implicitly in the Qur’an, and most explicitly by the Prophet (see second half of note 15 on 28:15). In addition, speaking of people’s boasting of their national or tribal past, the Prophet said: "Behold, God has removed from you the arrogance of pagan ignorance (jahiliyyah) with its boast of ancestral glories. Man is but a God-conscious believer or an unfortunate sinner. All people are children of Adam, and Adam was created out of dust." (Fragment of a hadith quoted by Tirmidhi and Abu Da'ud, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah.)(Quran Ref: 49:13 )

Tafsir al-JalalaynO mankind! We have indeed created you from a male and a female, [from] Adam and Eve, and made you nations (shu‘ūb is the plural of sha‘b, which is the broadest category of lineage) and tribes (qabā’il, which are smaller than nations, and are followed by ‘amā’ir, ‘tribal districts’, then butūn, ‘tribal sub-districts’, then afkhādh, ‘sub-tribes’, and finally fasā’il, ‘clans’; for example Khuzayma is the sha‘b, while Kināna is the qabīla, Quraysh is the ‘imāra, Qusayy is the batn, Hāshim is the fakhdh, and ‘Abbās is the fasīla) that you may come to know one another (ta‘ārafū: one of the two tā’ letters [of tata‘ārafū] has been omitted), that you may acquire knowledge of [the customs of] one another and not to boast to one another of [whose is the more] noble lineage, for pride lies only in [the extent to which you have] fear of God. Truly the noblest of you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing among you. Truly God is Knower, of you, Aware, of your inner thoughts.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Islam and Pluralism and offers pluralistic solutions to the issues of the day, a frequent guest at the media. His works is encapsulated in 22 blogs and 3 websites listed at

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