Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
(6:163) He has no associate. Thus have I been bidden, and I am the foremost of those who submit themselves (to Allah).`
Thankyou for the effort of finding and sharing this.... I hope others may be able to use it as a resource to double check information....(the tafsir is a bit shallow---but better than nothing)

As you may have noticed by reading the previous verses beginning with 6:155--the Quran is explaining the human use of "reason" to find excuses not to do the right thing. A list of excuses is given so that the audience is aware that such excuses will not be accepted. God has provided Guidance as a mercy (Grace) so that people may follow the right path. In fact, I actually had a conversation with a non-Muslim similar to the proposition in 6:158---that if God had wanted humanity to believe---he should have sent a revelation/angel/sign to everyone---not just one person----then there would be no doubt. And this led to a discussion about free-will---for if God had done so, it would have compromised our ability to choose freely---but as a text, (Quran) an individual has the opportunity to use his intellect and reason---to engage critically---then to make a choice. The use of ones intellect and reason to come to the conviction of One God is the story of Prophet Abraham in the Quran---that is why verse 6:161 says it (Guidance) is the religion/way of Abraham. Verse 163 is in the context of the previous verses concluding that when one has arrived at conviction, one must submit willingly to God's will.

In this context of "submission" (Islam) ---as well as Zakat/Sadaqa (Charity) verse 6:165 is relevant.
(6:165) For He it is Who has appointed you vicegerent over the earth, and has exalted some of you over others in rank that He may try you in what He has bestowed is upon you. Indeed your Lord is swift in retribution, and He is certainly All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

The verse points out that God has given some people more and others less---those who have more, have a higher commensurate degree of responsibility as Trustees (Khalifa)---it is a test and they will be judged accordingly.

The reason why submission (to God) is important in this context is because of the juxtaposition between hierarchy and equality. In the Islamic context---God alone is superior---all creation is inferior to God. Thus, all humanity is equally inferior to God, thereby, they are all equal to one another in front of God. (to say that one group of humanity is more inferior---automatically makes another group superior---but, God alone is superior). This means that despite human diversity in form or circumstances---all humanity is equal to one another and our diversity is a test of our compassion and mercy towards each other. Therefore, the relationship between God and man is that of master and servant, or King and subject---superior/inferior---but the relationship between Man and Man (humanity) is that of equals---none is superior/inferior to another. To put it another way---God is the giver, humanity is the receiver--since God has no needs, humanity is incapable of "giving" to God---but between people, the relationship is one of sharing between equals---even in the context of charity.
Thus, the poor, needy, are receiving what is due to them (obligation)---because the right to wealth and happiness is given by God to all humanity and not the entitlement of just a few allocated by some man-made set of "rights" or systems, or laws....

This premise is a different concept of equality than that of the Enlightenment/Modernity in which one group was "more equal" than others being more civilized, or more progressive, or more whatever....and the entitlement of "equality" is built on the condition that the "other" become "like us". (equality = sameness)