Entering Islam Perfectly: an Interpretation

Entering Islam Perfectly: an Interpretation

There is a verse that has recently become very popular and is popularized on and on by Muslims.

يا ايها الذين امنوا ادخلوا فى السلم كافة. ولا تتبعوا خطوات الشيطان انه لكم عدو مبين

Many of commentator translate and interpret it as below:

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“O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (QS. Al-Baqarah: 208)

The word “al-Silm” is being interpreted as “Islam”

Ibn Kathir cites Ibn Abbas’ interpretation, Mujahid, Thawus, adh-Dhakhkhak, ‘Ikrimah, Qatadah, al-Sudi, and Ibn Zayd. They suggest that the meaning of “al-Silm” is Islam. Meanwhile, al-Dhakhkhak, Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu’ Aliyah and al-Rabi’ interpret it as obedience (الطاعة).

Fakhruddin al-Razi, a great commentaor, refuses Ibn Kathir’s interpretation because he find it problematic. The problem is because this verse was meaning to those who have believed, which means they had been muslim at the time. Hence, it is imposible that muslim has to become a muslim again. It therefore needs an alternative interpretation. He said: 

في الآية إشكال ، وهو أن كثيرا من المفسرين حملوا السلم على الإسلام ، فيصير تقدير الآية : يا أيها الذين آمنوا ادخلوا في الإسلام ، والإيمان هو الإسلام ، ومعلوم أن ذلك غير جائز ، ولأجل هذا السؤال ذكر المفسرون وجوها في تأويل هذه الآية

Fakhruddin then interprets the word “Silmi” as “al-Sulh” (peace) and “tark al-muharabah” (avoiding or stopping wars).

Hence, the meaning of the verse would be “O you who you have believed. Get completely into the process of peace, and stop absolutetly any of wars”.

Although this interpretation is unfamiliar, I think this is a fascinating interpretation and matches with the vision of Islam as a peaceful religion which always calls for peace.   

المسلم من سلم المسلمون من لسانه ويده

When the prophet Muhammad was asked about who Muslim is, he answered: 

“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe”.

Another Hadith mentions:

“ The believer is the one who makes people around him feel safe”