الاسلام والدين البهائي

Islam and the Bahá’í Faith

God's Covenant

The word covenant is used in different accounts in the Holy Qur'an to describe many kinds of relationships and agreements.

In many verses for example, we read about God's ancient covenant with mankind, that in return for God's protection, favors and guidance, we need to abide by His laws, live according to His commandments and accept and obey His Messengers.

God's Covenant with Mankind:

"And when We made a covenant with the children of Israel: You shall not serve any but Allah and (you shall do) good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy, and you shall speak to men good words and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate. Then you turned back except a few of you and (now too) you turn aside." - [Qur'an 2:83]

"It is not piety, that you turn your faces to the East and to the West. True piety is this: to believe in God, and the Last Day ... to give of one's substance ... and to ransom the slave, to perform the prayer, to pay the alms. And they who fulfill their covenant ... and endure with fortitude." - [Qur'an 2:177]

"..., but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path),- Those who break Allah's Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah Has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves." - [Qur'an 2:27]

Part of this covenant is to accept God's Messengers:

"Certainly We made a covenant with the children of Israel and We sent to them apostles; whenever there came to them an apostle with what that their souls did not desire, some (of them) did they call liars and some they slew." - [Qur'an 5:70]

"O children of Adam! When Messengers come to you from among you, who convey my verses, then those who take heed and amend will have neither fear nor regret." - [Qur'an 7:35]

Another translation of this verse (by Yusuf Ali) is:

O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you messengers from amongst you, rehearsing My signs unto you,- those who are righteous and mend (their lives),- on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.

Palmer’s translation:

"O sons of Adam! verily, there will come to you apostles from amongst you, narrating unto you my signs; ..."

And another translation:

"O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you; ..."

All of these translations convey the feeling of inevitability portrayed in the Arabic "imma ya’ti yannakum", a form of the future tense of the verb "to come" used to impart emphasis.

Does this verse include Muslims?

It would seem that the term "children of Adam" should be inclusive of all people.

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This covenant is established through allegiance to the Messenger, and through obedience to the Teachings He brings:

"Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward." - [Qur'an 48:10]

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God has also made a Covenant with His Prophets:

"And call to mind when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from thee (Muhammad), and from Noah and Abraham, and Moses and Jesus, son of Mary, and WE indeed, took from them a solemn covenant;" - [Qur'an 33:8]

This covenant with the prophets is explained in this verse:

"And when Allah made a covenant through the prophets: Certainly what I have given you of Book and wisdom-- then an apostle comes to you verifying that which is with you, you must believe in him, and you must aid him. He said: Do you affirm and accept My compact in this (matter)? They said: We do affirm. He said: Then bear witness, and I (too) am of the bearers of witness with you. Whoever therefore turns back after this, these it is that are the transgressors." - [Qur'an 3:81-82]

“He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body. Haste ye to win your share of God's good grace and mercy in this Day that eclipseth all other created Days. How great the felicity that awaiteth the man that forsaketh all he hath in a desire to obtain the things of God! Such a man, We testify, is among God's blessed ones.”
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