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What the Qur'an teaches: Who judges in disputes?

Published: 04/11/2010 10:31:00 PM GMT
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Published: Nov 4, 2010 21:34 Updated: Nov 4, 2010 21:35

In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Whatever the subject of your disputes, the final word belongs to God. Such is God, my Lord. In Him have I placed my trust, and to Him do I always turn. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. He made mates for you from among yourselves, just as He made mates for animals, so that you will multiply. Nothing bears even the slightest comparability to Him. He alone hears all and sees all. His are the keys of the heavens and the earth. He gives abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure to whomever He wills. He has full knowledge of everything. (Consultation, Al-Shoora: 42: 10-12)



The surah returns to the central issue, identifying the ultimate point of reference in judging any dispute. It is this new revelation from God, containing His judgment. This ensures that changeable personal preferences and fleeting desires cannot influence life under the divine code that admits no prejudice: “Whatever the subject of your disputes, the final word belongs to God. Such is God, my Lord. In Him have I placed my trust, and to Him do I always return.”

This passage expresses a number of facts, but the way these are stated and their sequence and juxtaposition in this short passage is truly remarkable, requiring proper reflection. Upon such reflection, the interlinking between their inner and outer aspects is both subtle and precise. Everything over which dispute arises between people should be judged by God: “Whatever the subject of your disputes, the final word belongs to God.” God has made His judgment clear in this Qur’an, stating His final word concerning this life and the life to come. He also established the code of living which people should follow in their personal and community lives, in their dealings among themselves, their system of government and their moral values and manners. He has made all this abundantly clear, making the Qur’an a comprehensive constitution for human life, with a scope that is broader than their own constitutions. Therefore, should dispute arise between them, the right judgment is ready for them, outlined in His revelation delivered to them by His Messenger.

When this truth has been established, the verse quotes the Prophet’s statement whereby he clearly submits himself and all his affairs to God, turning to Him in all situations: “Such is God, my Lord. In Him have I placed my trust, and to Him do I always turn.” Thus, the Prophet’s statement that he turns to God, places all his trust in Him and relies on Him in all situations, occurs at the most suitable point, serving as it does as a comment on the preceding rule. When God’s Messenger who receives guidance from God declares his attitude in these terms, how can other people refer their disputes to anyone else or place their trust in other beings? Knowing that God is his Lord who provides everything for him and guides him to what is best, the Prophet makes his choice, turning to Him alone. How can others make a different choice?

When this is established in a believer’s heart, he sees his way ahead, clearly defined and well enlightened. He does not look for any other way. He is confident, reassured, knowing where to go. He entertains no doubt because he knows that God takes care of him and protects him. Moreover, he attaches a high value to his system, which he derives from God’s revelations, clear in his mind that no system can be superior to God’s word.

A further comment is then made to consolidate this truth: “He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. He made mates for you from among yourselves, just as He made mates for animals, so that you will multiply. Nothing bears even the slightest comparability to Him. He alone hears all and sees all.” The One who revealed the Qur’an to provide final judgment on all people’s disputes is “the Originator of the heavens and the earth,” who controls them. The law that governs the heavens and the earth is His final judgment on all that concerns them. Human life is only a part of what takes place in the heavens and the earth. Therefore, His judgment on human matters ensures harmony between human life and the life of the great universe.

God, to whose judgment they should refer all their disputes, is the One who created them and molded their souls: “He made mates for you from among yourselves.” Thus He designed your life giving it its very foundation. He knows what is best for you and what suits your life, putting it in harmony with the rest of His creation: “just as He made mates for animals.” This unity in biological form confirms the unity of will and design. Hence, people and animals multiply and procreate in the same natural process. By contrast, He is alone in the way He is, with no comparability to anything or anyone: “Nothing bears even the slightest comparability to Him.” Human nature accepts this without hesitation. The Creator of all cannot be compared to anything He creates. Therefore, His creatures refer to Him when they differ. They cannot refer to anyone else alongside Him because nothing is comparable to Him.

Although God, in His limitless glory, is beyond comparability with anyone or anything, contact between Him and His creation is not severed. On the contrary, “He alone hears all and sees all.” His judgment is that of the One who knows, hears and sees. ¬




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