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Allah says: “In the beginning mankind followed one single way. (Later on differences arose.) Allah sent Prophets, as heralds of good tidings for the righteous, and as warners against the consequences of evil-doing. He sent down with them the Book, embodying the Truth so that, it might (be used to) judge, among people in their disputes. Those who innovated divergent ways, rather than follow the Truth, were none other than those, who had received the knowledge of the Truth, and clear guidance. They did so to commit excesses against each other. So, Allah directed the believers to the Right Way, in matters on which they disagreed.” (2 Al-Baqarah:213)

 

 

When ignorant people attempt to trace the history of 'religion/God' they tend to the view that man began his life in the darkness of polytheisrn and that in the course of time, corresponding to man's progress, this darkness gradually receded and light increased till man arrived at monotheism.

The Qur'anic version, however, proclaims that man began his life in full light of the Truth. God revealed this Truth to the very first man He created, one to whom He personally conveyed the right way of life for man. Thereafter, the human race remained on the Right Way for some time, and lived as one community. Later, however, people invented deviant ways to live. This did not happen because Truth had not been communicated to them. The cause was rather, that some people wilfully sought to acquire privileges, benefits and advantages beyond their legitimate limits, and thus subjected others to injustices.

 

It was in order to enable people to overcome this corruption that God sent His Prophets. These Prophets were not sent to found separate religions in their own names, and bring new religious communities into existence. Rather, the purpose of the Prophets was to illuminate to the people the Truth, which they had allowed to be lost, and once again make them into one community.

 

Allah says: “Do you suppose that you will enter Paradise untouched by the suffering endured by the people of faith, who passed away before you? They were afflicted by misery and hardship and were so convulsed that the Messenger and the believers with him cried out: “When will Allah’s help arrive?” They were assured: “Behold, Allah’s help is close by.” (2 Al-Baqarah:214)

 

In between this verse and the one above comes a whole story, which has been left untold, a story which is alluded to in the present verse, and which is mentioned in some detail in the Makkan surahs of the Qur'an (these were revealed earlier than the present surah). The point emphasized here is, that whenever the Prophets came into the world they, and their followers, were confronted with severe resistance from those in rebellion against God.

 

At grave risk to themselves they strove to establish the predominant leadership of the true religion over the false ways of life. To follow this way has, therefore, never been easy. It is not merely a matter of declaring one's faith and then sitting back in ease, and comfort. On the contrary, the profession of faith has always demanded that one should strive to establish the religion, which one has adopted as one's way of life, as a living reality and that one should spare no effort in undermining the power of the Devil, who seeks to resist it.

 

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