There is a direct order from God to believers in the Quran to form specific kind of communities - righteous ones that invite to goodness and forbid evil. The only foundation indicated in the Quran for such righteous communities is the rope of God. According to God, this is the sound bond that should unite believers in a form of a community. It is not hard to understand the wisdom behind this direct command. By gathering in a community that holds fast to God's teachings and ethics, we can constantly reinforce these teachings. This constant united, group effort of a community to promote the word of God is what keeps it from dilution or defeat. This is one way how the divine plan in 21:18 of supporting the truth is carried out and this is how we as individual believers support God (47:7). The only model of the "Best Community" is the one that recognizes God as the ultimate authority and perseveres in His cause. The Quran doesn't mention any other way. There are no other approaches or middle ground compromises which can be successfully used to achieve that model of "the Best Community". The following set of verses spells it all out:
Believers are United
[3:103] You shall hold fast to the rope of GOD, all of you, and do not be divided. Recall GOD's blessings upon you - you used to be enemies and He reconciled your hearts. By His grace, you became brethren. You were at the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you therefrom. GOD thus explains His revelations for you, that you may be guided.
[3:104] Let there be a community of you who invite to what is good, advocate righteousness, and forbid evil. These are the winners.
[3:105] Do not be like those who became divided and disputed, despite the clear proofs that were given to them. For these have incurred a terrible retribution.
[3:110] You are the best community ever raised among the people: you advocate righteousness and forbid evil, and you believe in GOD. If the followers of the scripture believed, it would be better for them. Some of them do believe, but the majority of them are wicked.
[61:4] GOD loves those who fight in His cause united in one column, like the bricks in one wall.
[3:200] O you who believe, you shall be steadfast, you shall persevere, you shall be united, you shall observe GOD, that you may succeed.
The divine consequence of uniting in a Godly community that shines and spreads God's truth would be paving the road to inheriting that truth. In other words, the "Best Community" is the building block for the continued support and inheritance of the truth. There is a divine system explained explicitly in the Quran shedding the light on how His truth is inherited one generation after another by the hands of believers. The mechanism goes on by a community that receives divine guidance, then, the testing follows during a predetermined life span. Those who believe and make the right choice after receiving the guidance are always fully supported by God. Those who transgress and fail the test after receiving the guidance are to be terminated. Truth is inherited by communities through divinely inspired warners and the believers around them. The earth is continuously recycled and the truth is dynamically handed over by righteous generations that unite and form "Best Communities". This pattern is crystal clear in Quran and it will continue until the Final Hour.
[6:42] We have sent (messengers) to communities before you, and we put them to the test through adversity and hardship, that they may implore.
[35:32] We passed the scripture from generation to generation, and we allowed whomever we chose from among our servants to receive it. Subsequently, some of them wronged their souls, others upheld it only part of the time, while others were eager to work righteousness in accordance with GOD's will; this is the greatest triumph.
[10:13] Many a generation we have annihilated before you when they transgressed. Their messengers went to them with clear proofs, but they refused to believe. We thus requite the guilty people.
[10:14] Then we made you inheritors of the earth after them, to see how you will do.
[21:105] We have decreed in the Psalms, as well as in other scriptures, that the earth shall be inherited by My righteous worshipers.
[21:106] This is a proclamation for people who are worshipers.
[7:34] For each community, there is a predetermined life span. Once their interim comes to an end, they cannot delay it by one hour, nor advance it.
All along, it is the "Best Community" that facilitates the process of inheritance. When God says that believers inherit the earth it is because they are His dedicated worshipers who pass on His truth through Godly communities and ultimately inherit Paradise.
[23:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[23:1] Successful indeed are the believers;
[23:2] who are reverent during their Contact Prayers (Salat).
[23:3] And they avoid vain talk.
[23:4] And they give their obligatory charity (Zakat).
[23:5] And they maintain their chastity.
[23:6] Only with their spouses, or those who are rightfully theirs, do they have sexual relations; they are not to be blamed.
[23:7] Those who transgress these limits are the transgressors.
[23:8] When it comes to deposits entrusted to them, as well as any agreements they make, they are trustworthy.
[23:9] And they observe their Contact Prayers (Salat) regularly.
[23:10] Such are the inheritors.
[23:11] They will inherit Paradise, wherein they abide forever.
[39:73] Those who reverenced their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs. When they get to it, and its gates are opened, its guards will say, "Peace be upon you; you have won. Therefore, you abide herein forever."
[39:74] They will say, "Praise be to GOD, who fulfilled His promise to us, and made us inherit the earth, enjoying Paradise as we please." What a beautiful recompense for the workers!
By God's Grace [7:43] We will remove all jealousy from their hearts. Rivers will flow beneath them, and they will say, "GOD be praised for guiding us. We could not possibly be guided, if it were not that GOD has guided us. The messengers of our Lord did bring the truth." They will be called: "This is your Paradise. You have inherited it, in return for your works."
[19:63] Such is Paradise; inherited by those among our servants who are righteous.
[17:58] There is not a community that we will not annihilate before the Day of Resurrection, or inflict severe retribution upon them. This is already written down in the book.
[21:6] We never annihilated a believing community in the past. Are these people believers?
By analyzing all the above verses, we readily understand what would temporarily disrupt or delay such process, then cause God to terminate the efforts of some and choose others to continue hold the torch. What goes wrong that renders the " Best Community" a malfunctioning one and prepares for its conclusion? Nothing would lead to that but the desertion of the word of God. This is when the focus in communities gets shifted away from God. When priorities become all messed up. When believers unite around their personal wishes, and humanly shortsighted standards or visions. When Quran is taken partially, then, ignorance is crowned to dictate and define. When strayers and enemies of God are respected, befriended, and even defended. When logical judgments and commonsense are gone, equity and justice are not served, and Satanic scales are cheating the believers out. When transgression is tolerated, and unrighteousness is validated by silence and compromise. This is when the "Best Community" regresses and collapses. Please analyze, and reflect on the following community malfunctions:
- Deserting the path WITH the messenger means deserting the message, deserting the Quran:
God's Messenger of the Covenant
[25:27] The day will come when the transgressor will bite his hands (in anguish) and say, "Alas, I wish I had followed the path with the messenger.
[25:28] "Alas, woe to me, I wish I did not take that person as a friend.
[25:29] "He has led me away from the message after it came to me. Indeed, the devil lets down his human victims."
[25:30] The messenger* said, "My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran."
- Following man-made, static visions and opinions:
[6:112] We have permitted the enemies of every prophet - human and jinn devils - to inspire in each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.
[6:113] This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such fabrications, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions.
[6:114] Shall I seek other than GOD as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?* Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt.
The above two malfunctions define" Idol Worship" - an unforgiveable sin:
[30:31] You shall submit to Him, reverence Him, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and - whatever you do - do not ever fall into idol worship.
[30:32] (Do not fall in idol worship,) like those who divide their religion into sects; each party rejoicing with what they have.
[6:137] Thus were the idol worshipers duped by their idols, to the extent of killing their own children. In fact, their idols inflict great pain upon them, and confuse their religion for them. Had GOD willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.
- Allying with and defending betrayers who persecute believers, and never hesitate to dispute the truth and proclaim falsehood!!. Those who choose such alliances are no doubt the compromisers:
[60:1] O you who believe, you shall not befriend (ally with in Arabic text) My enemies and your enemies, extending love and friendship to them, even though they have disbelieved in the truth that has come to you. They persecute the messenger, and you, just because you believe in GOD, your Lord. If you mobilize to struggle in My cause, seeking My blessings, how can you secretly love them? I am fully aware of everything you conceal, and everything you declare. Those among you who do this have indeed strayed off the right path.
[60:2] Whenever they encounter you, they treat you as enemies, and hurt you with their hands and tongues. They want you to disbelieve.
Do Not Defend the Transgressors
[4:107] Do not argue on behalf of those who have wronged their own souls; GOD does not love any betrayer, guilty.
[4:108] They hide from the people, and do not care to hide from GOD, though He is with them as they harbor ideas He dislikes. GOD is fully aware of everything they do.
You Do Not Help Them by Being "Nice" [4:109] Here you are arguing on their behalf in this world; who is going to argue with GOD on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection? Who is going to be their advocate?
[68:8] Do not obey the rejectors.
[68:9] They wish that you compromise, so they too can compromise.
[72:14] " `Among us are the submitters, and among us are the compromisers.' " As for those who submitted, they are on the right path.
[72:15] As for the compromisers, they will be fuel for Gehenna.
- Failing to enforce justice according to the laws of Quran in order to establish peace - a famous apathetic practice that spreads animosity, sets the worst example for our youth, and leads to divisions:
[49:9] If two groups of believers fought with each other, you shall reconcile them. If one group aggresses against the other, you shall fight the aggressing group until they submit to GOD's command. Once they submit, you shall reconcile the two groups equitably. You shall maintain justice; GOD loves those who are just.
[49:10] The believers are members of one family; you shall keep the peace within your family and reverence GOD, that you may attain mercy.
- Reaching for preconceived conclusions without looking at the general context of Quran. This attributes man-made contradictions to Quran, fosters doubt, and spreads an epidemic of compromise; i.e., "let's agree to disagree". Those who pursue this course are the condemned dividers:
[15:90] We will deal with the dividers.
[15:91] They accept the Quran only partially.
[15:92] By your Lord, we will question them all,
[15:93] about everything they have done.
[15:94] Therefore, carry out the orders given to you, and disregard the idol worshipers.
- Instead of adopting the identity of "Submission" and all its criteria as offered by God, we turn to traditions, culture, and social functions:
[43:23] Invariably, when we sent a warner to any community, the leaders of that community would say, "We found our parents following certain practices, and we will continue in their footsteps."
[54:3] They disbelieved, followed their opinions, and adhered to their old traditions.
[6:70] You shall disregard those who take their religion in vain, as if it is a social function, and are totally absorbed in this worldly life. Remind with this (Quran), lest a soul may suffer the consequences of its evil earnings. It has none beside GOD as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor. If it could offer any kind of ransom, it would not be accepted. They suffer the consequences of the evil works they earn; they have incurred hellish drinks, and a painful retribution because of their disbelief.
The above distraction is a curse from Satan, when chosen to rule, to scatter the strength of any believing community. A system that is inevitable, and prerecorded by God since He already knows that the majority of those who claim to believe are idol worshipers (12:106).
[8:46] You shall obey GOD and His messenger, and do not dispute among yourselves, lest you fail and scatter your strength. You shall steadfastly persevere. GOD is with those who steadfastly persevere.
[5:49] You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations to you. Do not follow their wishes, and beware lest they divert you from some of GOD's revelations to you. If they turn away, then know that GOD wills to punish them for some of their sins. Indeed, many people are wicked.
[5:50] Is it the law of the days of ignorance that they seek to uphold? Whose law is better than GOD's for those who have attained certainty?
May God open our eyes and ears to His words, and may He soften our hearts to His guidance. May He strengthen our foothold to set the righteous example of the "Best Community".
[26:83] "My Lord, grant me wisdom, and include me with the righteous.
[26:84] "Let the example I set for the future generations be a good one.
[26:85] "Make me one of the inheritors of the blissful Paradise.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.