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Sura 5
Aya 48
وَأَنزَلنا إِلَيكَ الكِتابَ بِالحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِما بَينَ يَدَيهِ مِنَ الكِتابِ وَمُهَيمِنًا عَلَيهِ ۖ فَاحكُم بَينَهُم بِما أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَلا تَتَّبِع أَهواءَهُم عَمّا جاءَكَ مِنَ الحَقِّ ۚ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلنا مِنكُم شِرعَةً وَمِنهاجًا ۚ وَلَو شاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُم أُمَّةً واحِدَةً وَلٰكِن لِيَبلُوَكُم في ما آتاكُم ۖ فَاستَبِقُوا الخَيراتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرجِعُكُم جَميعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِما كُنتُم فيهِ تَختَلِفونَ

Yusuf Ali

To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it1 in safety: so judge between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way.2 If God had so willed, He would have made you3 a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God. it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;4
  • After the corruption of the older revelations, the Qur-ān comes with a twofold purpose: (1) to confirm the true and original Message, and (2) to guard it, or act as a check to its interpretation. The Arabic word Mukaymin is very comprehensive in meaning. It means one who safeguards, watches over, stands witness, preserves, and upholds. The Qur-ān safeguards “the Book”, for it has preserved within it the teachings of all the former Books. It watches over these Books in the sense that it will not let their true teachings to be lost. It supports and upholds these Books in the sense that it corroborates the Word of God which has remained intact in them. It stands as a witness because it bears testimony to the Word of God contained in these Books and helps to sort it out from the interpretations and commentaries of the people which were mixed with it; what is confirmed by the Qur-ān is the Word of God and what is against it is that of the people, (Cf. 59:23). (R).
  • Law; shir'ah= rules of practical conduct. Open Way: Minhaj= the finer things which are above the law, but which are yet available to everyone, like a sort of open highway. The light in verses 44 and 46 above, I understand to be something in the still higher regions of the spirit, which is common to mankind, though laws and rules may take different forms among different Peoples.
  • By origin mankind were a single people or nation: 4:1, and 2:213. That being so, God could have kept us all alike, with one language, one kind of disposition, and one set of physical conditions (including climate) to live in. But in His wisdom, He gives us diversity in these things, not only at any given time, but in different periods and ages. This tests our capacity for Unity (Wahdaniyah) still more, and accentuates the need of Unity and Islam.
  • Men are wont to make conflicting claims regarding God, the ultimate destiny of man, and other questions of vital importance. No matter how vehement and eloquent the proponents of false doctrines might be, their efforts will prove fruitless and it will be indisputably clear on the Day of Judgment as to who entertained false notions and who cherished the truth. (Eds.).