The history of humankind provides evidence that whenever the conquered forces of nature and the permanent values were kept separated in world affairs, the result has been nothing but loss and destruction, and human misery. Human life is an indivisible whole unit. It cannot be partitioned into different compartments.
This is one aspect of Kitabullah (كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ): to create partition between the Book of Nature and the Book of Revelation (the universal permanent values) – i.e., believing in and acting according to one, and neglecting the other. The second aspect is to believe in and act on one part of the Book of Revelation (the Quran) and neglect some other part of it. The result of this is also nothing but humiliation and ignominy. For example: (2:183) كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ and (2:216) كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ are both equal divine commandments but it is also no secret that the first one is intensely practiced while the second one is absent from Muslim life – although Momineen’s entire life is supposed to be continuous struggle for establishing the Divine Code of universal permanent values as the Prophet (PBUH) showed the world by practically demonstrating it. But we put so much emphasis on fasting and none on the other – this is belief in one part of the book while neglecting the other part.
It is not just that practicing one part of the book and neglecting the other part results in ignominy; but that becoming extreme in practicing one commandment or going to extreme in one attribute of Allah compared to other commandments or other attributes cannot produce good results either.
The Quran says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا لَا يَخْفَوْنَ عَلَيْنَا
(41:40) – Verily, they who distort the meaning of Our messages are not hidden from Us. [Asad].
At another place it says:
وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا ۖ وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ ۚ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
(7:180) – AND GOD'S [alone] are the attributes of perfection; invoke Him, then, by these, and stand aloof from all who distort the meaning of His attributes: they shall be requited for all that they were wont to do! [Asad]
Those who go to extremes in one of Allah’s commandments or one of His attributes while ignoring or neglecting His other commandments or His other attributes, they are not hidden from Allah’s eyes. For example, Judaism went to so extreme in God’s attribute of justice that they closed the door of recompense and atonement for humans – who, by natural design, are weak and prone to making mistakes (17:11). On the other side is Christianity which went too extreme in God’s attribute of mercy that it completely became unconcerned with actions of life and left everything to God’s Grace.
According to the Quran both these extreme practices are wrong. The right practice is to keep balance in life in all of Allah’s commandments and to keep balance among all of His attributes. And we need to imbibe them in our practical life within human limitations; and to always keep in mind that these commandments and attributes provide objective standards just like our body works holistically in an integrated and balanced manner under Allah’s laws of nature.
All the organs operate within the human body under the system of laws of nature in a holistically integrated fashion. When an organ is not able to work properly, the body becomes sick. The sick organ needs to be restored in order to make the body healthy once again. It is this physiological system operating under the control of natural laws that keeps the human body alive and well. In the same way Allah’s commands should flow, without let or hindrance, through all the organs (institutions) of the humanity’s body – be they political, social, economic, cultural, judicial, etc. – holistically integrated into the system of دین (Deen) operating under the universal divine laws of the Quran – in order to keep humanity’s body alive and well balanced. Otherwise, the humanity’s body will get sick and the entire humankind will suffer privation as it is the case today.
This magnificent Quran which guarantees the dignity and grandeur of humankind, testifies – and its superior teachings stand witness to the fact – that those who oppose it do not do so on the basis of knowledge, wisdom or reason; but do so merely because of fake pride, stubbornness, insolence and hostility. If for once they leave these prejudices and obduracies aside, they will know that the Quran’s teachings are based on Absolute Truth.
The Quran says:
وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ
(16:89) – We have bestowed from on high upon thee, step by step, this divine writ, to make everything clear. [Asad]
Regarding the explanation of the Quran, Allah the Almighty who sent His Quran says in it:
ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ
(75:19) – and then, behold, it will be for Us to make its meaning clear. [Asad]
وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآيَاتِ وَلِيَقُولُوا دَرَسْتَ وَلِنُبَيِّنَهُ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
(6:105) – And thus do We give many facets to Our messages. And to the end that they might say, “Thou hast taken [all this] well to heart,” and that We might make it clear unto people of [innate] knowledge. [Asad].
There is no contradiction in the Quran in any matter. The Quran says:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا
(4:82) – Will they not, then, try to understand this Qur’an? Had it issued from any but God, they would surely have found in it many an inner contradiction! [Asad].
The Quran has given some direct commandments and mentioned certain fundamental realities. The Quran has used words for its commandments and orders that have definite and concrete meaning. But the realities, especially the ones dealing with metaphysical realities, have been mentioned in the form of similes and idioms and phrases. This is something that is known to people of knowledge: that abstract realities can only be expressed in similes and signs, symbols and suggestions. These could be understood according to one’s own level of knowledge and understanding; and one can form one’s own concept about them. There could be differences in these concepts. But as far as the Quran’s guidance is concerned there cannot be two different interpretations. These commandments and orders for guidance will be enforced by the Islamic system, therefore, even in the practical details of these commandments there cannot be any differences. This way the Ummah will get united in action, and at the same time there will also exist freedom of thought for understanding Quranic realities as well.
Also, unless one cleanses one’s prior established ideologies, beliefs, and concepts from one’s mind, one cannot understand the Quran:
لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ
(56:79) – which none but the pure [of heart] can touch. [Asad]
However, only people who are endowed with purity of mind can benefit from its real import. Purity of thought and intellect is a prerequisite for drawing benefit from the Quran. If a person studies it with a biased mind, then he will not derive any benefit from it. It is therefore important that before a person undertakes its study, he should cleanse his mind of any preconceived ideas. Allah cannot enter the human heart unless it is cleansed of all the sculpted idols of human thought. As Allama Iqbal says:
It is very easy to understand the idea of oneness of God;
But what to say, if your mind is a storehouse of idol gods?
So: يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ فِى ٱلسِّلْمِ كَآفَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا۟ خُطُوَٰتِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ إِنَّهُۥ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
(2:208) – O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy. [Yusuf Ali]
Therefore, we should adopt Allah’s System in its entirety and also continue our struggle until it is accomplished fully as shown by the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions (R).
When people make it a way of life to follow that part of the Divine Code which they think serves their interest, and forsake the rest, they are bound to suffer failure and disgrace in this world and most grievous suffering will happen in the Hereafter. This is the inevitable result of fragmenting Allah’s Code: it should be accepted in Toto (entirely, wholly). And also we should bear in mind that according to Allah's Law of Requital, no action of ours remains hidden from it.