Interpretation of Sura Cow - Verse 213
213. " (All) Mankind was but a single nation, then Allah raised Prophets as bearers of good tidings and warners, and He sent down with them the Book with the Truth that it might judge between people on that wherein they differed. And none were at odds over it, except those very (people) whom it was given unto, after clear arguments had come to them, revolting among themselves. So Allah guided by His Will, those who believed regarding that which people had differed about the truth. And Allah guides whomever He wills to the Straight Path. "
It is understood from this verse that human race had a simple and plain life at the beginning. Then, later, after the increase of population and the appearance of a variety of tastes among them, little by little, diversities and oppositions arose. " (All) Mankind was but a single nation, ... " As some Islamic traditions indicate, this period has been adapted to an Age before the time of Noah (a.s.) when people, with little information, used to live a simple limited life. But, sometime later there appeared some conflicts between individuals when they wanted to gain more and more interests especially by employing others for reaching the foregoing purposes via them. This caused that the classes of people and social levels came into existence. " ... then Allah raised Prophets as bearers of good tidings and warners, ..." The necessity of a social life is the existence of a firm and just law in that society. This law should be able to solve the problems of people. Allah appointed the prophets for solving the problems and removing the opposition created thereby. He (s.w.t.) sent some heavenly Books down to them, but some arrogant groups consciously stood against the invitation of the prophets and produced a new conflict, added to their former ones.
" ... and He sent down with them the Book with the Truth ... " In this way, of course, Allah led some receptive people to His guidance with His grace and favour, and left those who, as a result of envy, jealousy, force, or oppression, resisted against the truth alone to themselves until they recieve their retribution. " ... that it might judge between people on that wherein they differed. ..."
Explanations: 1- The larger the number of contemporary people in one region is, the more variety of demands will arise; and, when the life is simpler and the number of people is smaller, the less the contradictions will be.
2- Wherever there lies a dispute, there needs a judge. Human made laws and civilizations are not able to solve the discords of mankind, because all human groups or individuals usually look for their own personal needs or demands. The solution of the human problems should be made up via the path of Divine prophets and through the revealed laws which are free from any fault and falsification because they are sent down from the side of Allah (s.w.t.) and by an infallible figure, i.e. a godly prophet.
" ... And none were at odds over it, except those very (people) whom it was given unto, ... "
3- The best way of solution to contradictions is Faith in the Resurrection. This doctrine utilizes the subject of glad tidings to prevent the appearance of contradictions, and uses the subject of warning as its remedy.
4- The worst kind of contradiction is the intentional one which comes forth with the aim of jealousy and oppression while there are clear evidences available.
" ... after clear arguments had come to them, revolting among themselves. ..." 5- The path to the solution of contradiction, therefore, is belief in Truth and obeying the law of prophets:
" ... So Allah guided by His Will, those who believed ... " 6- The critical statement of the Qur'an is targeted to that pertinacious contradiction in which a person does not accept the judgement of prophets appointed by Allah based on the Divine Law, else the contradictions and disputes that finally surrender to justice are not objected. This kind of diversity is similar to the two pans or scales of a balance which move up and down until one finally parallels with the other.
" ... regarding that which people had differed about the truth. ..." 7- There sometimes appear disputes between the believers, too, but they will be led under the guardianship of Allah; while disbelievers will be wandering in darkness forever.
" ... And Allah guides whomever He wills to the Straight Path. " 8- Rescue from contradiction is, surely, counted "the Straight Path."
Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Quran - Interpretation of Sura Al-Baqarah (The Cow)" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"
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