Thus, We appointed you a community of the middle way that you might be witnesses to the people; and that the Messenger might be a witness to you,
The middle way is the best and He appointed this community the best of communities. He appointed this group (ṬāÌifa) the best of this com- munity, for they are the best of the best. Just as this community will be witnesses over the communities at the resurrection, so this group are the [foundational] roots (uṣūl) around which [the community] turns: they are the pole (quṬb) and through them God protects the entire community. Whomever their hearts accept is accepted and whomever their hearts reject is rejected-the judgment (ḥukm) is theirs.Their inward perception (firāsa) is sincere and true, their judgment is sound, and their reflective thought (naẓar) is correct; [they are] a protection for the entire community from agreeing on error. The protection of this group from error comes from [their] consideration and judgment, [their] acceptance and rejection. Moreover, the building of their affair rests upon the way (sunna) of the Messenger ﷺ. Anything which is not an emulation of the Messenger (عليه السلام) is a rejection of him and its follower has nothing.
We did not appoint the direction you were facing, except that We might know who followed the Messenger from him who turned on his heels-though it were a grave thing, save for those whom God has guided; but God would never cause your faith to be wasted; truly, God is Gentle with people, Merciful.
[God] explained that the decree in determining the matter of the qibla up to the time of the change, and then at the time of the substitution, was a test for them from the Real, in order to distinguish the sincere (ṣādiq) from the one who reneges (māriq). To those who viewed the matter with the eye of separation (ʿayn al-tafriqa), the change was intolerable. To those who looked with the eye of reality (ʿayn al-ḥaqīqa), the true sense appeared to their inner sight (baṣīra). Then He said, “but God would never cause your faith to be wasted.” That is, for those who are with God in all [their] states with one heart, the differences in their states are one, whether He causes change or stillness, makes firm or shifts, confirms or changes-they are
through Him for Him in all [their] states. The one who spoke for them said:
However the glass turns we turn.
The ignorant think
we have become crazed.
Whether they face the east or west, whether they turn toward a stone or approach dry earth, the goal of their hearts is one and what belongs to the One, so the decree of everything in it is one.