The Quran about the term “millyatun”
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
According to their own being, people are inclined to create groups, the root cause of which lies in the instinct of survival. People grouped in a certain territory, developed rules of conduct, based on the “philosophy of being”. The world around him gave birth to a monistic worldview, which was expressed in the form of pantheism and polytheism. To eliminate this error among people, the messengers of the Creator came explaining the error of their opinion about the world around them. Those who believed the information conveyed by the messengers also sought to unite. In the Quran, associations are defined by the term “millyatun“, which is formed from the root of “mallyun,” which means “to sweep, to sew on a live thread.” This meaning of the term can be expressed by the two synonyms – “community” and “society“. Here is how these definitions are interpreted in the dictionary:
1. At the primitive communal system: the form of the organization of society, characterized by collective ownership of the means of production
2. Self-governing organization of residents of some territorial unit
1. The totality of people united by historically conditioned social forms of living together and activity
2. The circle of people united by common position, origin, interests
3. Voluntary, constantly acting association of people for any purpose
The difference between the society of the faithful to God and the society of other people is the unification based on divine revelation. The revelation of the Lord was fundamentally contrary to all accepted by people in society, from ideology to economics. This difference caused confrontation between society and the community of believers. The Quran gives historical examples of such conflicts.
Said the eminent ones who were arrogant among his people, “We will surely evict you, O Shu’ayb, and those who have believed with you from our city, or you must return to our community.”
He said, “Even if we were unwilling? We would have invented against God a lie if we returned to your community after God had saved us from it. And it is not for us to return to it except that God, our Lord, should will! Our Lord has encompassed all things in knowledge! Upon God we have relied! Our Lord, decide between us and our nation in truth, and You are the best of those who give decision!” (7:88-89)
And those who closed themselves said to their messengers, “We will surely drive you out of our land, or you must return to our community!” (14:13)
The aggressive attitude towards believers was a manifestation of the bone consciousness of people, the backbone of which was the tradition adopted among them.
We have not heard of this in the latest community. This is not but a fabrication! (38:7)
Basically, believers were an insignificant part of their nations. Majority pressed on the minority, sometimes forcing them to leave their nation. A vivid example is the reaction of young men who slept for 300 years on a solar calendar in a cave after a dream. They feared the continuation of violence against them by society.
Indeed, if they come to know of you, they will stone you or return you to their community. And never would you succeed, then – ever!” (18:20)
The main reference points for the behavior of believers have always been the messengers of God. Joseph’s statement is significant in this respect.
Yusuf (Joseph) said, “You will not receive food that is provided to you except that I will inform you of its interpretation before it comes to you. That is from what my Lord has taught me. Indeed, I have left the community of a people who do not believe God, and they, from the hereafter, are closed! And I have followed the community of my fathers, Ibrahim (Abraham), Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqub (Jacob). And it was not for us to associate anything with God. That is from the favor of God upon us and upon the people, but most of the people are not grateful! (12:37-38)
It is noteworthy that the messenger shows an example of a community for believers, the first in the list of founders of which is Abraham. Abraham in the Quran is positioned as the main reference point for believers.
And who would be averse to the community of Ibrahim (Abraham) except one who makes a fool of himself. And We had chosen him in this world, and indeed he, in the hereafter, will be among the ones who corrected themselves. (2:130)
And who is better in duty 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)
He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the duty any difficulty as well as in the community of your father, Ibrahim (Abraham). (22:78)
In the matter of spreading the divine revelation, Muhammad emphasized the paramount importance of the example of Abraham for the community of believers.
Say, “God has told the truth. So follow the community of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of the associating others with God!” (3:95)
Say, “Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path – a persistent duty of the community of Ibrahim (Abraham), inclining toward truth. And he was not among those who associated others with God!” (6:161)
Then We suggested to you, “Follow the community of Ibrahim (Abraham), inclining toward truth! And he was not of those who associate with God!” (16:123)
The emphasis on the example of Abraham is put for good reason. After all, a considerable part of the world’s influence on minds was occupied by Judaism and Christianity. They were no exception to the inertia of their consciousness in relation to the revelation of God – the Quran.
And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their community. Say, “Indeed, the guidance of God is the Guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against God no patron or helper. (2:120)
They say, “Be Jews or Christians, and you will be guided.” Say, “Rather, to be the community of Ibrahim (Abraham), inclining toward truth! And he was not of those who associate with God!” (2:135)
These signs are indicative for the fact that the Quran is overconfessional, superficial and acts as a single basis for all passionary humanity.