03 Nov Sūratu’l-Baqarah [The Cow] : (2:213)
كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللّٰهُ النَّبِيّ۪نَ مُبَشِّر۪ينَ وَمُنْذِر۪ينَ
“Humankind was (in the beginning) one community. (Later on differences arose and) God sent Prophets as bearers of glad tidings and warners.” (Al-Baqarah 2:213)
Some interpreters of the Qur’ān claim that in the beginning all human beings were one community in unbelief, and God sent them first Noah, upon him be peace, and then other Prophets successively.
▪However, this interpretation is never true. Since the time of Prophet Adam, upon him be peace, humankind has never been without the guidance and education of Prophets. But they either realized their worth and benefited from them to varying degrees, or they denied them any worth, did not heed them, and put themselves in danger. Although human beings have also differed concerning the messages of the Prophets, the existence and messages of the Prophets have brought much benefit to humankind.
▪As Bediüzzaman Said Nursi states, if 80 of 100 seeds sown under ground decay and only 20 germinate and grow into trees, we cannot say that the farmer is at a loss.
▪Similarly, it is enough to justify the existence of the Prophets if only 20 of the 100 people believe in the messages of the Prophets and live in accordance with the Divine aim of their creation, for this is enough for the freedom of human existence from pointlessness.
In the beginning, people were a united community under the guidance of the first Prophets and under the influence of their common ancestry.
▪They were not unbelievers, nor were they savages. Later on, they fell into disagreement for incidental reasons, and they destroyed their unity. As time passed, some feelings and tendencies that were ingrained in human nature for good reason and in order to be means of trial for them so that they might develop intellectually and spiritually began showing their influence in a negative sense. Emotions and fancies replaced reason and logic. Following lust and desires took the place of Divine guidance. As a result, unity and agreement were defeated by deviation and disagreement.
▪This was why God sent new Prophets in order to rouse human primordial nature to re-discover its essential quality and remove the obstacles between the human heart and the essential truths. Through Prophets, He also called human beings to self-possession and alertness by encouraging them to good and virtues and by giving them glad tidings as the result of good and also by warning them against the consequences of evil and misguidance. However, there have also been people who cannot rid themselves of the captivity for lusts and fancies and set free within their soul fluxes of arrogance, oppression, and transgression. Thus, they have continued to follow different paths.
The first disagreement and disunity among people was because they gradually became blind to truths and replaced them with falsehood.
▪As for their dispute when or after new Prophets were sent, it was because, out of envious rivalry and insolence among themselves, they misinterpreted and distorted the truths that were conveyed by the Prophets—the truths that illuminated everything—and followed their own fanciful views.
Allāh, great is His Majesty, has always illuminated the path humankind must follow.
He has left no dark point and has closed the doors to arbitrary interpretations. However, He has also left a wide area in which human reason or intelligence can operate but made the operation of human intellect or reason dependent on certain essential truths. Still some who have been defeated by their carnal desires, lusts, and fancies have left guidance and deviated into different paths of falsehood, causing disorder, disunity, and clashes.