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Qur'an 2:208

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Qurʾān 2:208 also known as Al-Silm Verse (Arabic: آیة السلم) emphasizes on entering into Islam or submission to God and His commands. The verse and a few following verses are believed to provide a solution for the protection of religious unity in the human community, by way of introducing the submission to God as what interconnects people's hearts.

The verse was revealed about a group of Jews who converted to Islam and believed in the Prophet Muhammad (s) and yet wished to act upon certain commands of the Torah, such as the shutdown of business on Saturdays and the forbiddance of the camel's meat and milk. The verse commands them to fully comply with and act upon all Islamic laws and doctrines without any exception.

Text and Translation

Introduction and Occasion of Revelation

The Qur'an 2:208 is known as "al-Silm Verse".[1] The verse and its six following verses are characterized as providing a solution for the protection of religious unity in the human community.[2] The verse was revealed about a group of Jews, led by Abd Allah b. Salam, who believed in the Prophet (s), but wished to act upon the rulings and commands of Prophet Moses's (a) sharia. They respected Saturdays, avoided camel's meat and milk, and complied with certain other rulings of the Torah. Their conducts raised complaints and objections among Muslims. The Jews asked the Prophet (s) to permit them to comply with the shutdown of businesses on Saturdays and the forbiddance of the camel's meat. However, the verse was revealed, commanding them to be committed to all Islamic rulings without any exceptions.[3]

Content of the Verse

"Silm" in the verse has been interpreted as Islam, peace, and the submission to God.[4] And "entering into Silm (submission)" is interpreted as entering into Islam or into the submission to God and His commands, asking people to fully comply with Islam and indiscriminately act upon all of its rulings.[5] In Tafsir-i nimuna, "silm" is interpreted as peace, in which case the verse would imply that peace is only possible in light of faith. Thus, mundane laws can never wipe wars and insecurities off the face of the world. Indeed, dependence on such laws is an origin of tensions and fights.[6]

In al-Mizan, "silm" in the verse has been interpreted as surrender to God after believing in Him in such a way that one does not go on a path based on personal opinions and interpretations – a path different from that commanded by God and His Messenger (s), because if people abandon God and follow their personal desires, then they will be destroyed. On this exegesis, "following the footsteps of Satan" is interpreted as following satanic calls disguised as religious, where such calls are heeded by ignorant people. Such calls are satanic because they do not appear in the teachings of God and the Prophet (s).[7]

In some hadiths, entering into the submission to God in the verse has been interpreted as entering into the wilaya of Imam Ali (a) and other Imams (a).[8] In the Quranic exegesis attributed to Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a), the acknowledgment of the wilaya of Imam Ali (a) is tantamount to the acknowledgment of the prophethood of the Prophet (s), and a person who acknowledges the prophethood of the Prophet (s) without acknowledging the wilaya of Ali (a) as his successor is not a Muslim.[9]

Al-Silm Verse implies that Islam has provided people with all rulings and teachings they need for their own good, and they do not need anything beyond such rulings and teachings.[10]

The belief in God and compliance with His commands is the pivot of unity within the human community and the link interconnecting the hearts of peoples and nations.[11]

See Also

Notes

  1. Rāḍī, Sabīl al-nijāt, vol. 1, p. 54.
  2. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 101.
  3. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurʾān, p. 68; Ibn Sulaymān, Tafsīr al-Maqātil, vol. 1, p. 180.
  4. Ṭūsī, al-Tibyān, vol. 2, p. 186.
  5. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 2, p. 536.
  6. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 2, p. 82.
  7. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 101-102.
  8. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 417; Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, p. 299.
  9. Tafsīr-i mansūb bi Imām Ḥasan ʿAsharī, vol. 1, p. 126.
  10. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 101.
  11. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 2, p. 82.

References

  • Tafsīr-i mansūb bi Imām Ḥasan ʿAsharī. Qom: Madrisat al-Imām al-Mahdī, 1409 AH.
  • Ibn Sulaymān. Tafsīr al-Maqātil'’. Edited by Maḥmūd Shaḥāta. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1423 AH.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1407 AH.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1371 Sh.
  • Rāḍī, Ḥusayn al-. Sabīl al-nijāt fī tatimmat al-murājiʿāt. Beirut: [n.p], 1409 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Muḥamamd Ḥusayn. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1390 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān. Tehran: Nāṣir Khusru, 1372 Sh.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Amālī. Qom: Dār al-Thiqāfa, 1414 AH.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Tibyān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Aḥmad Ḥabīb al-ʿĀmilī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, [n.d].
  • Wāḥidī, ʿAlī b. Aḥmad al-. Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurʾān. Edited by Kamāl Bīsyūnī. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1411 AH.