The Quran

Commentaries for 6.159

Al Anam (Cattle) - الأنعام

6.159 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Lo! As for those who sunder their religion) those who have left the religion of their forefathers; it is also said that this means: those turned back on their pledge on the Day of the primordial Covenant; it can also be understood to mean: those who differed in their religion (and become schismatics) they became different groups: Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, (no concern at all hast thou with them) you are not required to fight them. However, he was later commanded to fight them. It is also said that this means: their repentance or punishment are not in your hands. (Their case will go to Allah, who then will tell them what they used to do) of good and evil.
6.159 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Those who have sundered their religion, by being at variance over it, accepting some [aspects] of it and rejecting others, and have become differing parties, sects with regard to such [matters] (a variant reading [for farraqū, ‘they have sundered’] has fāraqū, meaning that they have abandoned the religion to which they were enjoined, and they are the Jews and the Christians), you have no concern with them at all, in other words, do not be concerned with them. Their case will go to God — He will take charge of it — then He will inform them, in the Hereafter, of what they used to do, and requite them for it: this was abrogated by the ‘sword’ verse [Q. 9:5].
6.159 Kashani - Kashani
Those who have divided their religion, that is, who have made their religion a collection of divided caprices, such as those overcome by the attributes of the soul some of which draw them to this, while others draw them to that, such that there issue in them varying caprices and they thus remain bewildered without direction or goal, and have become parties, groups differing depending on which of the caprices has overcome [them], with some overcome by wrath, others by lust. And if they were to have a religion, they make their religion, depending on the caprice that has overcome them, the very substratum of their partisanship and the reinforcement for the sway of that faculty that has overcome the heart. Their acts of worship are but habits and innovations, obeying as they do only caprices and deceptions, each of them worshipping a deity conjured by his illusion and conceived in his imagination and making that [deity] a cause for his arrogance towards, and division from, the other, as we witness in the case the adherents of the exoteric schools; you have no concern with them at all, that is to say, it is not your concern to guide them or to call them to the affirmation of Oneness in any way, since they are the folk of schism and of being veiled by multiplicity, their goal never being one. Their case will go to God, in terms of the recompense for their division, and not to you. Then He will inform them, upon the manifestation on them of the configurations of their differing souls and divided caprices at the separation of bodies, of what they used to do, of evil deeds.
6.159 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Criticizing Division in the Religion
Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi said that this Ayah was revealed about the Jews and Christians. Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas commented,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُواْ دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُواْ شِيَعًا
(Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects...) "Before Muhammad was sent, the Jews and Christians disputed and divided into sects. When Muhammad was sent, Allah revealed to him,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُواْ دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُواْ شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ
(Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no concern with them in the least.) It is apparent that this Ayah refers to all those who defy the religion of Allah, or revert from it. Allah sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth so that He makes it victorious and dominant above all religions. His Law is one and does not contain any contradiction or incongruity. Therefore, those who dispute in the religion,
وَكَانُواْ شِيَعاً
(...and break up into sects,) religious sects, just like those who follow the various sects, desires and misguidance - then Allah has purified His Messenger from their ways. In a similar Ayah, Allah said,
شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الِدِينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً وَالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ
(He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you.)42:13 A Hadith reads,
«نَحْنُ مَعَاشِرُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ دِينُنَا وَاحِد»
(We, the Prophets, are half brothers but have one religion.) This, indeed, is the straight path which the Messengers have brought and which commands worshipping Allah alone without partners and adhering to the Law of the last Messenger whom Allah sent. All other paths are types of misguidance, ignorance, sheer opinion and desires; and as such, the Messengers are free from them. Allah said here,
لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ
(You have no concern with them in the least...) 6:159. Allah's statement,
إِنَّمَآ أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ
(Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.) is similar to His statement,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالصَّـبِئِينَ وَالنَّصَـرَى وَالْمَجُوسَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيـمَةِ
(Verily, those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Majus, and those who worship others besides Allah; truly, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection.) 22:17 eAllah then mentioned His kindness in His decisions and His justice on the Day of Resurrection, when He said,
6.159-160 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Though the address is directed to the Holy Prophet, yet all the followers of the True Religion are, through him, included in it. It means that the righteous people should not follow the ways of those who became sects by causing divisions in the True Religion, which has always been the same and is the same today. Its basic principles are that Allah alone is the Deity and Lord of the whole Universe. that none should be set up as His equal or partner in His attributes, powers or rights, that there shall be the next world, in which all human beings shall have to render the account of what they do in this world, and that they should mold their lives in accordance with those broad fundamental principles that have been taught by Allah through His Messengers and Books. This is the True Religion that had been given to mankind from the very first day of its creation. As regards the different religions and sects that came into existence afterwards, they were the result of the changes that were made in the True Religion by different people at different times. Some of them introduced new things into it, others made changes in it to suit their lusts; still others mixed things in it because of their exaggerated reverence. Then they tampered with its creed by mixing with it their whims, their speculations and their philosophies. They changed it also by adding to its commandments their innovations and their self-made laws and by corrupting its regulations by hair-splitting and exaggerating the differences in its details and by rendering important things unimportant and vice versa. They went to two extremes: they adored some Prophets too much and opposed and rejected others. In this way numerous new religions and sects came into existence and divided humanity into fighting groups. Therefore it is essential for a follower of the True Religion to have nothing to do with any of these sects and to keep his own path clear of them.
6.159 Tustari - Al-Tustari
As for those who have divided their religion and broken up into factions…He [Sahl] said:They are⸣ the people of whims (ahwāʾ) and innovations (bidaʿ) in religion. For them there is no form of repentance. Thus, has it been related from the Prophet that he said, ‘For every sin there is a form of repentance except for that of the people of whims and innovations, for truly I disown them just as they disown me, and God, Mighty and Majestic is He, has excluded them from repentance (tawba).’ That is, He has made the way to repentance difficult for them.His words, Exalted is He: