With the Name of God, The Beneficent, The Merciful
Hate Hurts. Love Cures. Conjecture Fails. Truth Prevails.
Islam - Bearing witness to the Truth
Seek Understanding from Knowledge/ Information
Home ] Curious Minds ] Explore Islam ] Interfaith Dialogue ] Muslim Community ] Current Issues ] Interesting Reads ] Site Map ] Search Site ]
We have New Domain

What's New?

Curious Minds !

Principles of Islam

Explore Islam

Interfaith Dialogue

Muslim Community

Current Events!

Interesting Reads!

Our Discussion Groups

Muslim World Charities

Site Map

Search Site


Page last edited on 23 April, 2003

Meaning of Ummat-e-wasat from Tafsir Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 143 (Holy Qurán 2:143)

Maulana Maududi
This is taken from Towards Understand the Qurán Vol. 1-3, English Version of Tafhimul Qurán, by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. Translated and Edited by Zafar Ishaque Ansari. Published by Markazi Maktaba Islami Publishers, Delhi.

Translation of the meaning

And it is thus that We appointed you to be the community of the middle way, so that you might be witnesses before all mankind and the Messenger might be witness before you. <...contd...> (Holy Qurán 2:143)

Tafsir (Interpretation & Commentary

This constitutes the proclamation appointing the religious community (ummah) consisting of the followers of Muhammad to religious guidance and leadership of the world.

'And it is thus', which preceeds this proclamation, contains two allusions. It alludes, in the first place, to that Divine Guidance which enabled the followers of Muhammad to know the Straight Way so that they could attain progress to the point of being proclaimed 'the community of the middle way' (or 'the mid-most community' or 'the community justly balanced' - Ed.) In the second place there is an allusion to the change in the direction of Prayer from Jerusalem to the Ka'bah. People of limited intelligence could see no significance in this change of direction although the substitution of Jerusalem by the Ka'bah amounted to the removal of the Children of Israel from their position of world leadership and the replacement of the ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Arabic expression which we have translated as 'the community of the middle way' is too rich in meaning to find an adequate equivalent in any other language. It signifies that distinguished group of people which follows the path of justice and equity, of balance and moderation, a group which occupies a central position among the nations of the world so that its friendship is based on righteousness and justice and none receives its support in wrong and injustice.

The purpose of creating 'the community of the middle way', according to this Quránic verse, is to make it stand as witness 'before all mankind and the Messenger might be a witness before you'. What this means is that when the whole of mankind is called to account, the Prophet, as God's representative will stand witness to the fact that he had communicated to the Muslims and had put into practice the teachings postulating sound beliefs, righteous conduct and a balanced system of life which ha had received from on high. The Muslims, acting on behalf of the Prophet after his return to the mercy of God, will be asked to bear the same witness before the rest of humanity and to say that they had spared no effort in either communicating to mankind what the Prophet had communicated to them, or in exemplifying in their own lives what the Prophet had, by his own conduct, translated into actual practice.

This position of standing witness before all mankind on behalf of God, which has been conferred on this community, amounts to its being invested with the leadership of mankind. This is at once a great honour and a heavy responsibility . For what it actual means is that just as the Prophet served as a living example of godliness and moral rectitude, of equity and fair play before the Muslim community, so is the Muslim community required to stand vis-á-vis the whole world. What is expected of this community is that it should be able to make known, both in word and deed, the meaning of godliness and righteousness, of equity and fair play.

Furthermore, just as the Prophet had been entrusted with the heavy responsibility of conveying to the Muslims the guidance which he had received, in a like manner a heavy responsibility has been laid on the Muslims to communicate this guidance to all mankind. If the Muslims fail to establish before God that they did their duty in conveying to mankind the guidance they had received through the Prophet they will be taken to task seriously and their honourable position as leaders of the whole world, far from being of any help to them, will spell their disaster. They will be held responsible along with the protagonists of evil for all the errors of belief and conduct which have spread during their term of leadership. They will have to face the grim question: What were they doing when the world was convulsed by storms of transgressions, injustice and error?

[Also read the interpretation of the same verse by Muhammad Asad: Tafsir surah 2 (al-baqarah) ayat 143 - Muhammad Asad]


If you find any error/ unauthentic information/ broken links on this site, please mailto saif_waheed@lycos.com

Interact with us NoW !

Last updated on 13 March, 2003

Subscribe to 4islam
Powered by groups.yahoo.com

View Our Guestbook
Sign Our Guestbook

Hate Hurts. Love Cures. Conjecture Fails. Truth Prevails.
Islam - Bearing witness to the Truth
Seek Understanding from Knowledge/ Information
© Copyright Islam-KnowTheTruth 2000