Belief in Allaah-SWT is valid only when it is accompanied by a belief in His-SWT Attributes as taught by the Holy Prophet-SW. If someone deviates from this rule and believes in his own way, it will amount to not believing at all. Just as the People of the Book believed in Allaah-SWT and the Akhirah, but attributed progeny to Him. The Jews claimed that Prophet 'Uzair-AS was Allah-SWT's son while the Christians believed the same for Prophet Masih-AS. They made such a preposterous statement without any evidence. May Allaah-SWT destroy them for their insistence upon such blasphemy! Every nation in its own way holds some image of Allah-SWT, which cannot be accepted as a proof of believing in Him-SWT . Therefore, Jihad will be undertaken against such people unless they pay Jizyah, a tax which the Muslim ruler levies at his discretion in return for the non believers' safety in the Islamic State. Since Jizyah replaces the death penalty for disbelief, its payment will absolve the payer from capital punishment. However, Jizyah will not be levied on those whom Islam has prohibited to be put to sword in Jihad, like the children, the elderly, the women, the handicapped and the religious mentors etc.
The People of the Book were also guilty of taking their religious leaders as God, in the sense that they gave greater weightage to their words even if they contradicted the Divine Commandments and practised accordingly, as if they had accepted their leaders as their Rabb. The Christians formally worshipped Prophet Isa-AS, which was a ridiculous thing to do because he himself had taught people to worship Allaah-SWT Alone. The fact is that no one save Allaah-SWT deserves to be worshipped, He being the Most Exalted and the Most Magnificent.
Conformity to A'emah
Some scholars incorrectly suggest that this Ayah prohibits the believers from following A'emah. In fact it only bars the believers from practising anything against the Shariah preached by the professional scholars. It rather validates the fact that the truly knowledgeable scholars did give verdicts in the light of Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Prophet-SW teachings, which were acted upon by the masses. For instance, Prophet Isa-AS had commanded the people to worship only Allaah-SWT . Anyone who passes on this command to others is indeed obeying the Prophet-AS. However, acting contrary to Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Prophet's-AS command, considering it to be meritorious is, of course, disbelief.
These scholars have plunged so deep in disbelief that they wish to conceal the true faith from the people, promoting their concocted versions. It is as if someone tries to blow out a lamp, but they certainly cannot blow out the Light of Allaah-SWT . Such wrongdoers fail to learn Din inspite of reading about it, and only gain the capacity to orate for earning a livelihood.
Knowledge of Din is Gained Through Piety
If a person is pious and obeys Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Prophet-SW the knowledge of Din is embedded in his heart and becomes his second nature. Indeed Allaah-SWT is the Being Who raised the Holy Prophet-SW with guidance and true faith to ensure its sway over all ungodly religions, no matter how bad the polytheists may feel.
Supremacy of Islam
This Ayah serves not only as a harbinger to the dominance of Islam but also claims that Islam has come only to prevail and remain dominant in the world. The reason for this is that the Holy Prophet-SW has presented the best solutions of every problem of human life. He has taught the best possible way of executing its affairs, whether political, fiscal, moral or mutual, in complete harmony with the human temperaments. And all this has been declared as the true Din. It has neither driven humans away from the practical life, nor has taught them to renounce the world. On the contrary, to conduct one's affairs in the light of the truth is Din and this practical aspect of Islam is indeed the reason for its prevalence. The worships enjoy their own status, and are in fact a source of gaining spiritual strength, which makes a person steadfast on Allah-SWT's obedience along the winding path of life. Therefore, every sentient person will accept this true faith and it shall prevail over the other religions of the world. History bears witness to the victory of Islam over the ungodly religions and its complete sway over the globe.
If today the Muslims are in distress globally, they themselves are to be blamed for it. They have divorced their practical life from Islam and confined it to the masaajid. Their life outside the masjid is governed by the infidels' political and economic systems. This has resulted in the downfall and misery of the Muslims. Even today, if we resolve to subordinate our practical lives to Islam, it is Allah-SWT's Promise to bless the Muslims with dominance over the entire world. These 'isms' of various kind, the Western democracy, monarchy, or other forms of Governments based on personal choice are driving the Muslims away from Islam.
A Point to Ponder for Scholars and Saints
The present day Muslims try to adopt the lifestyle and culture of the Jews and Christians, whereas their rabbis and scholars who pretend to be very pious have in fact become totally oblivious of the Akhirah. They are attired in colourful robes only to plunder people and to amass wealth by illegal means. They do not even hesitate to alter the Divine Scripture for money and mislead mankind from His-SWT Path out of sheer greed for wealth. When those engaged in the conduct of religious matters are so corrupt, what will be the state of ordinary' people of these nations, who are totally busy in worldly affairs? Those who follow them can obviously not receive any guidance. So if the Muslim scholars and saints are also going to make Din as the source of collecting donations and tributes from people without ever thinking about their reformation, they too will be entitled to the same admonition. May Allaah-SWT protect us!
Allah-SWT tells the Holy Prophet-SW to forewarn all those, who out of avarice, forget Allaah-SWT and the Akhirah, engage in amassing wealth aid do not spend it according to the injunctions of Allah-SWT, against a painful doom. It must be remembered that Islam does not approve of the concentration of wealth into a few hands, while the majority die of hunger. It imposes Zakat upon the affluent. In matters of spending also Islam lays down clear-cut rules. A person who has to spend according to the Will of Allaah-SWT will certainly not adopt illegal means of attaining wealth, as there will be no need to do so. Thus when the rights of every individual are safeguarded, a peaceful and harmonious society is evolved. But if a person opts for heaping money through illegal means and is constantly in pursuit of more, he must know that one day the amassed treasure will be heated over the blazing fire of Hell and that person will be branded with it on the forehead, the sides and the back and will be told that it is the wealth amassed by usurping the rights of others. It must be remembered that Islam does not prohibit to build a fortune provided it is legally earned. Zakat must be promptly paid on all that is saved over a year. Such a saving does not fall in the kind condemned above as explained by the sayings of the Holy Prophet-SW. Besides, the obligation to pay Zakat itself proves the legality of financial holding. Otherwise how would one pay Zakat? The admonition on amassing wealth is for those who earn money illegally, whether by usurping the rights of others or by selling verdicts over religious issues for money, etc.
Another example of the blatant violations and changes made by the non-believers in the Divine Commandments is their alteration of months in a year. Allaah-SWT has divided the year into 12 months from the very beginning of time. It is also recorded in the Guarded Tablet and all the preceding religions believed so. Of these, four months have been declared as the Sacred Months in which one must dedicate more time for worshipping Him-SWT and it is also more meritorious. Just as a portion of the day and night is allocated for worship and five times Salat has been enjoined to help acquire the capacity to observe the rest of the day in Allah-SWT's obedience, so is the one third of a year. War is prohibited in these four months, and extensive worship is desirable to ensure that the remaining two third of the year is also spent in Allah-SWT's obedience. This is pure and straightforward Din and it so remained in all the Shari'ahs. Of these four Sacred Months, three are consecutive, that is, Shawwal, Zilq'ad and Zilhajj, while Rajab is separate. All the pre-lslamic Shari'ahs had prohibited fighting in these months. Islam allowed the believers to fight but only in self-defence. One must refrain from Allah-SWT's disobedience at all times but special care must be exercised during these months. However, the polytheists must be fought back with vigour if they attack. Yet over-indulgence is not allowed even during war; for Allaah-SWT is with the virtuous and those who safeguard the rights of others.
Now look at the infidels and their religious mentors that they even change the names of the months. It was customary that if their wars extended into a sacred month they would simply continue to fight asserting that not the current but the next one was a sacred month. Or they would declare that particular year to be only of ten months. They would pronounce any month as Ramadhan, Shawwal and Rajab as it suited them. The aim was to nurture their own vested interests while observing the sanctity of the four months at the same time.
Therefore, it was declared that this false pretext only added to their infidelity. It was a fabrication of their disbelief, as the aim was not mere counting, but to observe the prescribed timings in worship.
Importance of Timings in Worship
An act shall earn reward and will be considered obedience only when it is done in the specified month and timings ordained by Allaah-SWT . Similarly, Hajj, Ramadhan or other worships cannot be adjusted by changing the order of the months, for it will defy the Divine Commands and would amount to declaring the forbidden as permissible, which is pure disbelief. The polytheists would prescribe a month as sacred in one year and renounce it in the next. Merely changing the names does not serve the purpose, just as devouring interest under the cover of profit does not render it permissible. Only to keep the count is not the aim. The polytheists deemed this foolish plan as a great masterpiece of their wisdom. This is because indulgence in sin adversely affects the power of discernment and good is taken for bad and vice versa. This is a very grave punishment for sin in this world and Allaah-SWT does not guide such a wicked folk.
Worships Related to Lunar Months
It is also clarified here that the sun and the moon both are a source of calculating time. Though it is permissible to use the solar calendar, yet for worships the lunar calendar will have to be followed. Allaah-SWT has prescribed worships in accordance with the lunar months.