160. Whoever comes up with a good deed will have ten times its like; and whoever comes up with an evil deed will be repaid only with its equivalent-they will not be wronged.
161. Say, “My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the creed of Abraham the Monotheist, who was not a polytheist.”
162. Say, “My prayer and my worship, and my life and my death, are devoted to God, the Lord of the Worlds.
163. No associate has He. Thus I am commanded, and I am the first of those who submit.
164. Say, “Am I to seek a Lord other than God, when He is the Lord of all things?” No soul gets except what it is due, and no soul bears the burdens of another. Then to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you regarding your disputes.
165. It is He who made you successors on the earth, and raised some of you in ranks over others, in order to test you through what He has given you. Your Lord is Quick in retribution, and He is Forgiving and Merciful.
Each end of surah (chapter) concludes an idea that Gabriel was trying to get across to Muhammad. This surah is about the livestock and other erroneous rituals and religious ideas that mankind has made up after each messenger or prophet has brought the world some wisdom.
Muhammad is told to say to the people a pledge to God to follow the One God, and this easy path laid out in the book without unnecessary and trivial rituals. He is the first to submit in this true religion of his nation of prayer 5 times daily, and devoting life to a service towards goodness for God. There is no soul that can substitute another’s soul and what you reap in this world, you sow here and in the hereafter. And what people argue and fight over will be informed to them in the end.
Some people have been raised to leadership and kingship status in life, but that is only to test them. It is not a divine ruling over people, it is an individual journey a certain soul must go through and God reflects on what you do. If a king says he has divine rule or is a “god”, then treats his people like a tyrant and does not help those who are poor and dying-God sees all of that. Here Muhammad starts to learn the lies of mankind, cause there was and is no such thing as “Divine Right of Kings” appointed by God. This was an idea that was made up by the Christian and Jewish monarchies, that came from God’s appointing of Solomon and King David to rule.
But later, kings started to appoint themselves as divine leaders chosen by God with royal bloodlines, and these lies and fraudulent claims caused much hardship to innocent people ruled by a power hungry person, and eventually brought us into the very dark times known as the Middle Ages.
Today, Islamic countries do have kings, but they are not there because of Divine Right of Rule (although maybe some of them feel it) they are there as a test to their own souls.
A beautiful quote comes to mind about this whole surah:
Whatever a person thinks will please God other than a good, pure, kind life, is a base and dangerous fraud.
An artist’s rendition of King Charlemagne known as the “Mad Monarchist”