By Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam
19 Feb 2015
The word Deen has different interpretations and meanings. In the holy Quran the word has been used on many occasions in different contexts. On some occasions, the word has been used to mean unity of the Muslim community. In surah Fatiha, it has been used to denote God’s court of judgment on Qayamat. God has been called Malik-e-Yaumiddin (Master of Day of Deen). In other words, it means the day when Deen will be victorious and falsehood will be humiliated. Satan is the personification of falsehood.
In later ages, different ulema used the word Deen to justify their own religious or political theory or philosophy. For example, Maulana Maududi used the term ‘establishing the Deen’ to mean establishment of a new Islamic government. Similarly, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has been using this word for Islamisation of knowledge through his journal Al Risala. Thus, the ulema of our times have come up with different philosophies regarding the meaning and objective of Deen.
Let’s see in what sense the Quran has used the word Deen. The Quran says, ‘Innad Deena indallahil Islam’. Deen is bowing before God. Islam here means total surrender before God. This meaning has been corroborated by Quran in Surah Kafirun:
Lakum dinakum waleya Deen
(To you your deen, to me mine)
‘Your deen’ here means the deen of kafirs and ‘mine’ means monotheism. The deen of kafirs is bowing before idols and false gods while the Deen of Muslims is total surrender before one God. This is the eternal message of every prophet that was given through revelation in his own language. When the language of the Quran and the prophet is clear, it is not right on the part of ulema to apply the word to their own personal ideology or theory and present their own interpretation.
Maulana Ilyas’s Tablighi movement basically stresses on the observance of namaz and encourages Muslims to bow before God. This is in consonance with the Qur'anic meaning of Deen but some of the policies and approach and some technical aspects of the movement do not fit into the social and national milieu of India. So there is a need for reforms in this movement.
By the time civilization reached the age of Muhammad pbuh, man had become mired in polytheism and idol worship. Centuries before that, Abraham had built the first house of Deen, Kaaba. Even in the age of Abraham, the society had become idol worshipper and the worshipper of kings. During the reign of Nimrud, Abraham’s father made and sold idols but Abraham was chosen by God to be a messenger. He declared to his community that he had surrendered before one God and rid himself of shirk.
Deen is a basic and eternal message which God revealed to all the prophets. The same message of basic Deen was conveyed to the people by the prophets from Adam to Abraham and from Abraham to Muhammad pbuh. But when the gap between two prophets was long, people deviated from Deen and started worshipping idols and false gods, their forefathers and elements of nature. However, when the next prophet came and preached to them true Deen, those with sickness in their heart did not revert to the real Deen and persisted on kufr while those with a pure heart listened to the word of the prophets and reverted to their original Deen. Quran called them the blessed people.
Therefore Deen is an important call that invites people towards God and asks them to surrender before Him, do good deeds and strive to create a just society. That’s why God has clearly said in the Quran:
“Al yauma akmalto lakum deenakum wa atmamto alaikum nemati wa razito lakumul Islamo deena”
“On this day I have competed for you your Deen and completed my blessings on you and chose for you Islam as a religion.”
From the above quoted verse, it becomes clear that Islam is the final and complete form of the Deen which was revealed to all the prophets from Adam to Muhammad pbuh. (Concluded)