فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.
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فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفاً فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ - مُنِيبِينَ إِلَيْهِ وَاتَّقُوهُ وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ - مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُواْ دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُواْ شِيَعاً كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ
(30. So, set you your face towards the religion as a Hanif. Allah's Fitrah with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Allah's Khalq, that is the straight religion, but most men know not.)
(31. (And remain always) turning in repentance to Him and have Taqwa of Him; and perform the Salah and be not of idolators.)
(32. Of those who split up their religion, and became sects, each sect rejoicing in that which is with it.)
Allah says: `so set your face and persevere in the religion which Allah has prescribed for you, the worship of Allah Alone, the religion of Ibrahim, to which Allah has guided you and which He has perfected for you with the utmost perfection. In this manner, you will also adhere to the sound Fitrah with which He created His creation.' Allah created His creation to recognize Him and know His Tawhid, and that there is no God except Him, as we have already seen when discussing the Ayah,
وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتَ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُواْ بَلَى
(and made them testify as to themselves (saying): "Am I not your Lord'' They said: "Yes!...'') (7:172). And according to a Hadith, Allah said,
«إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ، فَاجْتَالَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ عَنْ دِينِهِم»
("I created my servants Hunafa (i.e., monotheists), then the Shayatin misled them from their religion.'') We will see in the Hadiths that Allah created His creation with the Fitrah of Islam, then among some of them there emerged corrupt religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.
لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ
(No change let there be in Allah's Khalq,) Some of them said that this means, `do not change the creation of Allah, for if you do, you will divert the people away from the Fitrah with which He created them.' So it is instructive; just as His saying:
وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ ءَامِناً
(And whoever enters it, he is safe) This is a good and correct interpretation. Others said that this means, Allah made all of His creation equal, all of them have the same sound Fitrah and are by nature upright; they are all born with this nature and there is no disparity among people in this regard. Ibn `Abbas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd said that the Ayah:
لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ
(No change let there be in Allah's Khalq) means, the religion of Allah. Al-Bukhari said:
لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ
(No change let there be in Allah's Khalq,) "It means, the religion of Allah, and the religion, and the Fitrah is Islam.'' Then he reported that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
«مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ إِلَّا عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ،كَمَا تُنْتَجُ الْبَهِيمَةُ بَهِيمَةً جَمْعَاءَ، هَلْ تُحِسُّونَ فِيهَا مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ؟»
(No child is born except in a state of Fitrah, then his parents make him a Jew or a Christian or a Zoroastrian, just as each animal produces a perfect animal like itself -- do you see any among them that are born mutilated) then the narrator (Abu Hurayrah) said (recite this Ayah),
فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ
(Allah's Fitrah with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Allah's Khalq, that is the straight religion.)'' This was also recorded by Muslim.
ذلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ
(that is the straight religion,) means, adherence to the Shari`ah and the sound Fitrah is the true, straight religion.
وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
(but most men know not.) means, most people do not know this and they deviate far astray from it, as Allah says:
وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
(And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.) (12:103)
وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ
(And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's path) (6:116).
(turning in repentance to Him) Ibn Zayd and Ibn Jurayj said, "This means, returning to Him.''
(and have Taqwa of Him;) means, fear Him and remember that He is always watching.
(and perform the Salah), which is the greatest act of worship.)
وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
(and be not of the idolators.) Be of those who single out Allah, devoting their worship sincerely for Him alone, not anyone or anything other than Him. Ibn Jarir recorded that Yazid bin Abi Maryam said: "`Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, passed by Mu`adh bin Jabal and asked, `What is the foundation of this Ummah' Mu`adh said, `Three things, and they are the things that will bring salvation: Al-Ikhlas (doing a deed for Allah alone), which is the Fitrah with which Allah created mankind; Salah, which is the thing that tells a believer apart from a disbeliever; and obedience, which is protection.' `Umar said: `You have spoken the truth.
مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُواْ دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُواْ شِيَعاً كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ
(Of those who Farraqu Dinahum (split up their religion), and became sects, each sect rejoicing in that which is with it.) means, do not be of the idolators who split up their religion, i.e., changed it by believing in parts of it and rejecting other parts. Some scholars read this as Faraqu Dinahum, meaning "neglected their religion and left it behind them.'' These are like the Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, idol worshippers and all the followers of false religions, besides the followers of Islam, as Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُواْ دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُواْ شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ إِنَّمَآ أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ
(Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah) (6:159). The followers of the religions before us had differences of opinions and split into false sects, each group claiming to be following the truth. This Ummah too has split into sects, all of which are misguided apart from one, which is Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama`ah, those who adhere to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah and what was followed by the first generations, the Companions, their followers, and the Imams of the Muslims of earlier and later times. In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that the Messenger of Allah was asked which of the sects was the saved sect and he said:
«مَا أَنَا عَلَيْهِ وَأَصْحَابِي»
(What I and my Companions are upon.)