Completion of Religion

"This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion."
- Qur'an 5:3

This verse was revealed when the Prophet (PBUH) was on His way back from His last pilgrimage to Mecca (Hujjatu'l Wida'). It is said to be the last verse of the Qur'an to be revealed. It was later included in Suratu'l Ma'ideh (chapter 5) which was originally revealed around the year six or seven AH.

This verse has been referred to as complementary to verse 33:40 which describes Muhammad (PBUH) as being the "Seal of the prophets", in that the two verses support the notion that Islam is the final religion. Verse 33:40 has been addressed in other pages on this site.

As we look at the topic of the completion of religion in the light of the whole Qur'an, we find that religion is described as being completed, in quite a few verses (in addition to verse 5:3).

For instance, we find that God's favor was completed at the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph:

And thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of sayings and make His favor complete to you and to the children of Jacob, as He made it complete before to your fathers, Abraham and Isaac; surely your Lord is knowing, wise.
- Qur'an 12:6

We also find that God completed His favor through Moses:

Moreover, We gave Moses the Book, completing (Our favor) to those who would do right, and explaining all things in detail,- and a guide and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord.
- Qur'an 6:154

According to the Qur'an, the completion of the favor is also conditional upon the individual's success in obeying and fearing God:

And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and wherever you are turn your face towards it, so that people shall have no accusation against you, except such of them as are unjust; so do not fear them, and fear Me, that I may complete My favor on you and that you may walk on the right course.
- Qur'an 2:150

Some argue however, that while "completion" of the favor may not be unique to Muslims, "perfection" of the religion is.

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Islam and the Baha'i Faith