Friday Focus|Justly Balanced Ummah

The Divine Command would have the Muslim Ummah justly balanced, not indulging in extremes, but maintaining a fine balance in individual, societal and national matters, as enshrined:

‘’Thus We have made of you an Ummah justly balanced, that ye might be witness over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qiblah to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith).  Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by God. And never would God Make your faith of no effect. For God is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.’’ (2:143)

Some commentators have defined ‘justly balanced’ as striking the ‘Golden Mien’ being a witness over the nations—the manner in which the nations shaped their destiny. Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his exposition takes ‘justly balanced’ to mean bringing the light of reason in pruning extravagances, such as the formalism of ‘Mosaic Law’ and ‘other-worldliness’ of Christianity. Islam is supposed to strike the ‘just balance’ between the two extremes. Within Islam, the position of witness to whom contenders could appeal to, for just interpretation of Divine Norms is held by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).  

The change of the Qiblah from Jerusalem based Qiblah-e-Awal (Bait-ul-Muqadas) to ‘House of God (Bait-ul-Lah)’ in Kabbah was indeed a momentous change, as it was a test of faith, wherein Muslims were tested in their resolve to follow a command, however major a departure it might be from past practices. It was test of resolve to note, whether Muslim Ummah has developed the spiritual as well as the material wherewithal to follow the Divine Command. The new Qiblah was in fact, the most ancient in history, as well as modern to symbolize organization as a new nation/Ummah.