The Quran about the term “din”
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
The most effective driving force, which lifts the masses of people to some kind of accomplishment, has its source in the ideological component of a man. Absolutely all worldviews of “homo sapiens” are based on belief in a certain system of views, which ultimately lead to something Eternal, Unshakable. The most common kind of structure that unites like-minded people is religion.
Opinions about the origin of the term “religion” diverge. Some believe that this word is derived from the Latin “religio” – conscientiousness, piety, reverence, holiness, worship.
For example, Cicero believes that it is derived from the verb “relegere” – reassemble, discuss again, reflect again, postpone for special use, which in a figurative sense means “reverence” or “treat something with special attention, reverence.”
Lactantius, however, referred the term religion to the verb “religare”, meaning “to connect, to bound”. Therefore, he defined religion as a union of man’s piety with God.
Similarly, Blessed Augustine understood the essence of religion, although he believed that the word “religion” came from the verb “reeligere”, that is, “reunite”, and religion itself means reunification, the renewal of the once-lost union between man and God.
In any case, subjective human semantic content reflects only their opinion of the relationship of man to God.
Turning to the text of the Quran, we find that under the word religion (in translations) contains the Arabic expression “da’ana, diinun,” meaning “borrow, lend, be owed (to someone), be in debt (to someone)“.
In this case there is a complete discrepancy between the traditional meaning of the term and the original. Consider the areas of application of the expression “diin” in the Quran, based on direct translation
First of all, we suggest to consider the passages related to the prophet Muhammad.
Say, “Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path – a persistent duty (diinan) of the community of Ibrahim (Abraham), inclining toward truth. And he was not among those who associated others with God!” (6:161)
Say, “My Lord has ordered balance. That you maintain yourselves at every place for earthly worship and invoke Him, sincere to Him in duty (ddiina).” Just as He originated you, you will return! (7:29)
It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and true duty (diini) to manifest it over all duties (ddiini), although they who associate others with God dislike it. (9:33)
Direct your face toward the duty (liddiini), inclining to truth, and never be of those who associate others with God! (10:105)
Indeed, We have sent down to you the Prescription in truth. So serve God, being sincere to Him in duty (ddiina)! (39:2)
Say, “Indeed, I have been commanded to serve God, being sincere to Him in duty (ddiina)!” (39:11)
Say, “Indeed, I serve God, being sincere to Him in duty (ddiina)!” (39:14)
He directed you straight (shara,a) to your duty what He enjoined upon Nuh (Noah) and that which We have suggested to you and what We enjoined upon Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) – that they would be persistent in duty (ddiini) and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with God is that to which you invite them. God chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever prays for help! (42:13)
It is He who sent His messenger with guidance and duty (diini) of truth to manifest it over all duties (ddiini). And sufficient is God as Witness! (48:28)
It is He who sent His messenger with guidance and the duty (diini) of truth to manifest it over all duties (ddiini), although those who associate others with God dislike it! (61:9)
The meaning of the appearance of messengers among people is the transfer of the message. The transcendental message is comprehensive; it concerns all spheres of human life. The most important thing is to inform the “subject” about the future, the present, the past and their consequences.
Duties before God in people’s lives
And to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth, and to Him is constant duty (ddiinu)! Then is it other than God that you beware? (16:52)
That day, God will take in full their debt (diinahumu), and they will know that it is God who is clear truth! (24:25)
So direct your face toward true duty, inclining to truth, quality with which He has created people. No change should there be in the creation of God! That is the persistent duty (ddiinu), but most of the people do not know! (30:30)
So direct your face toward the persistent duty (liddiiini) before a day comes from God of which there is no repelling. That day, they will be shattered! (30:43)
Call them by their fathers! It is in balance in the sight of God. But if you do not know their fathers – then they are your brothers in duty (ddiini) and your intimates. And there is no offense upon you for that in which you have erred but what your hearts intended. And ever is God Forgiving and Merciful! (33:5)
So invoke God, being sincere to Him in duty (ddiina), although the closed ones dislike it! (40:14)
He is the Ever-Living! There is no deity except Him! So call upon Him, being sincere to Him in duty (ddiina)! Praise is to God, Lord of the worlds! (40:65)
Say, “Would you acquaint God with your debt (biddiinikum) while God knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, and God is Knowing of all things?” (49:16)
Indeed, debt (ddina) before God is a reality! (51:6)
Or do they think you are lying about debt (biddiini)? (95:7)
And they were not commanded except to serve God, being sincere to Him in duty (ddiina), inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give purifying expenditure!
And that is the valuable duty (ddiina)! (98:5)
Have you thought the one who denies the Debt (biddiini)? (107:1)
For you is your duty (ddiinukum), and for me is my duty (diini)!” (109:6)
And you will see the people entering into sincere duty (diini) before God in multitudes! (110:2)
There is no need to prove that the activities of the messengers of the Creator are directed to people around them. As a result of such activities, those who accepted the truth and those who rejected it were identified. Here is what is reported about the category of believers:
Except for those who repent, correct themselves, hold fast to God, and are sincere in their duty (diinahum) for God, for those will be with the believers! And God is going to give the believers a great reward. (4:146)
O you who have believed! Whoever of you should revert from his duty (diinihi) – God will bring forth a people He will love and who will love Him, who are humble toward the believers, powerful against the closed ones; they strive in the way of God and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of God. He bestows it upon whom He wills. And God is all-Encompassing and Knowing! (5:54)
O you who have believed! Take not those who have taken your duty (diinakum) in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Prescription before you nor the closed ones as patrons. Beware of God, if you should be believers! (5:57)
And leave those who take their duty (diinahum) as amusement and diversion and whom the worldly life has deluded! But remind with it, lest a personality be given up to destruction for what it earned; it will have other than God no patron and no guardian! And if it should offer every compensation, it would not be taken from it! Those are the ones who are given to destruction for what they have earned! For them will be a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment because they used to be the closed ones! (6:70)
And strive for God with the striving due to Him!
He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the duty (ddiini) any difficulty as well as in the community of your father, Ibrahim (Abraham). He named you humble… (22:78)
The fornicator woman or fornicator man – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the duty (ddiini) of God, if you should believe God and the last day! And let a group of the believers witness their punishment. (24:2)
A God has promised those who have believed among you and corrected themselves that He will surely grant them succession upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them. He will surely strengthen them in fulfilment of the duty (diinahum), which He has approved for them. He will surely substitute their fear to security, saying:
“They worship Me, not associating any partners with Me.
But those who close themselves after that – are the apostates. (24:55)
After we have determined the addressee and the meaning of the debt to the Lord, we will consider the main essence of the duty before Supreme.
Indeed, the duty (addiina) in the sight of God is humility. And those who were given the Prescription did not differ except after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever is closed from the signs of God, then indeed, God is swift in account! (3:19)
So is it other than the duty (diini) of God they desire, while to Him have humbled those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned? (3:83)
And whoever desires other than humility as duty (diinan) – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the hereafter, will be among the losers. (3:85)
And who is better in duty (diinan) than one who humbles himself to God while being a doer of good and follows the community of Ibrahim (Abraham), inclining toward truth? And God took Ibrahim (Abraham) as an intimate friend! (4:125)
…This day those who closed themselves from your duty (ddiiinikum) have despaired! So fear them not, but fear Me! This day I have perfected for you your duty (ddiiinakum) and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you humility as duty (diinan). But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin – then indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful! (5:3)
The precept to be humble to God is in principle meant for all people, but in this case there is also one condition – voluntariness.
There shall be no compulsion in the duty (ddiina). The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever is closed from transgression and believes God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And God is Hearing and Knowing! (2:256)
There is no doubt in the one source of the Divine “information” intended for all people on earth. Our “excessive diligence” in following the instructions of the Creator led to the fragmentation of a once unified, holistic idea. All this manifested itself in the formation of many kinds of faiths and confessions. The Quran singles out the people of the Prescription from the whole palette of the religions.
The holders of the Prescription
That is because they say, “Never will the fire touch us except for numbered days!” and they were deluded in their duty (diinihim) by what they were inventing. (3:24)
And do not trust except those who follow your duty (diinakm) before God!
“Say, “Indeed, it is the Guidance! The guidance of God, and what is given is one similar to what was given to you!” Or would they argue with you before your Lord?”
Say, “Indeed, preference is in the hand of God – He grants it to whom He wills. And God is all-Encompassing and Wise! (3:73)
Among the Jews are those who distort words from their usages and say, “We hear and disobey” and “Hear but be not heard” and “Save us” twisting their tongues and defaming the duty (ddiini) before God. And if they had said “We hear and obey”, “Hear what is heard!” and “Look after us!” it would have been better for them and more suitable. But God has cursed them for their closed nature, so they believe not, except for a few. (4:46)
O holders of the Prescription! Do not commit excess in your duty (diinikum) or say about God except the truth. Indeed, an anointed Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), was but a messenger of God! From Him is given His word to Maryam (Mary) and His Spirit. So believe God and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; to desist – it is better for you. Indeed, God is but One God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is God as trusted! (4:171)
Say, “O holders of the Prescription! Do not exceed limits in your duty (diinakum) beyond the truth and do not follow the passions of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way!” (5:77)
Analysis of known beliefs shows that initially they all go back to monotheism. And only human intervention, warmed by the disappointed (iblees), led many people to violate the principle of monotheism. The nature of polytheism and division is explained and blamed by the Creator in the Prescription.
The ones, who associate partners to God and etc.
And likewise, to many of the ones who associate partners with God, their partners have made pleasing the killing of their children in order to bring about their destruction and to cover them with confusion in their duty (diinahum). And if God had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them and that which they invent! (6:137)
Indeed, those who have divided their duty (diinahum) and become groupings – you are not with them in anything. Their affair is with God, then He will inform them about what they used to do. (6:159)
Who took their duty (diinahum) as distraction and amusement and whom the worldly life deluded!”
So today We will forget them just as they forgot the meeting of this day of theirs and for having rejected Our signs. (7:51)
Venal ones those in whose hearts was disease said, “Their duty (diinuhum) has deluded those.” But whoever relies upon God – then indeed, God is Exalted in Might and Wise! (8:49)
It is He who enables you to travel on land and sea until, when you are in ships and they sail with them by a good wind and they rejoice therein, there comes a storm wind and the waves come upon them from everywhere and they assume that they are surrounded, supplicating God, sincere to Him in duty (diina), “If You should save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful!” (10:22)
Say, “O mankind! If you are in doubt as to my duty (diinii) – then I do not serve those which you serve besides God, but I serve God, who causes your death. And I have been commanded to be of the believers!” (10:104)
You serve not besides Him except mere names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which God has sent down no authority. Judgement is not but for God! He has commanded that you serve not except Him. That is the correct duty (diinu), but most of the people do not know! (12:40)
And when they board a ship, they supplicate God, sincere to Him in duty (ddiina). But when He delivers them to the land, at once they associate others with Him (29:65)
of those who have divided their duty (diinahum) and become groupings, every faction rejoicing in what it has. (30:32)
And when waves come over them like canopies, they supplicate God, sincere to Him in duty (ddiina). But when He delivers them to the land, there are of them who are moderate from gratefulness. And none rejects Our signs except every closed traitor! (31:32)
Unquestionably, for God is the pure duty (ddiinu)!
And those who take patrons besides Him, say, “We only serve them that they may bring us nearer to God in position.” Indeed, God will judge between them concerning that over which they differ! Indeed, God does not guide he who is a liar and closed himself! (39:3)
Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a duty (ddiini) to which God has not consented? But if not for the decisive Word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the obscurantists will have a painful punishment! (42:21)
The essence of separation in faith goes back to the transformation of the law-making of the Creator into the prerogative of “priests.” They initiated a phenomenon such as the sacralisation of the ruling elite, the consequence of which was the emergence of all sorts of “economic” laws.
Duty before people
So he began with their bags before the bag of his brother; then he extracted it from the bag of his brother. Thus did We plan for Yusuf (Joseph). He could not have taken his brother within the duty (diini) before the king except that God willed. We raise in degrees whom We will, but over every possessor of knowledge is one knowing! (12:76)
And pharaoh said, “Let me kill Moses and let him call upon his Lord! Indeed, I fear that he will change your duty (diinakum) or that he will cause corruption in the land!” (40:26)
As practice shows, any belief is surely opposed by counter-belief. Opposition of the system of views usually leads to confrontation, which often results in armed conflict.
Fight them until there is no temptation to distemper, but there is an obligation (addiinu) before God. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the obscurantists! (2:193)
They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein.
Say, “Fighting therein is great sin, but averting from the way of God and closing yourself from it and forbidden for battles place for earthly worship and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater sin in the sight of God! Distemper is greater than killing!” And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your duty (diinikum) if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his duty and dies – he is the one who closed himself. For those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the hereafter, and those are the companions of the fire, they will abide therein. (2:217)
And fight them until there is no distemper, but the duty (addiinu), all of it, is for God. And if they cease – then indeed, God is Seeing of what they do! (8:39)
Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the way of God and those who gave shelter and aided – they are patrons of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate – for you there is no patronage of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the fulfilment of the duty (diini), then you must help, except against a people with whom you have a covenant. God is Seeing of what you do! (8:72)
But if they repent, establish prayer, and give purifying expenditure, then they are your brothers in duty (ddiini). We detailed for a people who know.
And if they break their oaths after obligation and defame your duty (diinikum), then fight the leaders of the closed nature! Indeed, there are no oaths to them – might be, they will cease! (9:11-12)
Fight those who do not believe God or in the last day and who do not consider unlawful what God and His messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the duty (diina) of truth from those who were given the Scripture – until they give imposed penalty willingly, while they are humbled! (9:29)
Indeed, the number of months with God is twelve months in the prescription of God from the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are forbidden for battles. That is the correct duty (ddiinu), so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the ones who associate others with God collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that God is with the circumspect ones! (9:36)
And it is not for the believers to go forth all at once except every division of them in a group to obtain understanding in the duty (ddiini) and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious! (9:122)
God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of your duty (ddiina) and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting in balance toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act in balance!
God only forbids you from those who fight you because of your duty (ddiina) and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – that you make patrons of you. And whoever makes patrons of them, then it is those who are the obscurantists! (60:8-9)
Whatever happened on the earth, for whatever people were dying, everything, in the end, will be judged by an impartial court on the Day of Debt!
Day of Debt
Owner of the day of Debt (ddiini). (1:4)
And indeed, upon you is the curse until the day of Debt (ddiini).” (15:35)
…And who I aspire that He will forgive me my sin on the day of Debt (ddiini).” (26:82)
They will say, “O woe to us! This is the day of Debt (ddiini).” (37:20)
And indeed, upon you is My curse until the day of Debt (ddiini).” (38:78)
They ask, “When is the day of Debt (ddiini)?” (51:12)
That is the day of Debt (ddiini) sent down to them. (56:56)
And those who believe in the day of Debt (ddiini) (70:26)
And we used to deny the Day of Debt (ddiini) (74:46)
No! But you deny the Debt (ddiini). (82:9)
They will burn therein on the day of Debt (ddiini) (85:15)
And what can make you know what is the day of Debt (ddiini)?
Then, what can make you know what is the day of Debt (ddiini)? (85:17-18)
Who deny the day of Debt (ddiini). (83:11)