Fatima Zahra’ in the Noble Qur’an

BOOK ID

Author(s): Ayatullah al-`Uzma al-Hajj ash-Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi

Translator(s): Shaykh Saleem Bhimji

Category: Fatima al-Zahra Qur’an Commentaries Miscellaneous information:nbsp;An Excerpt from Tafsir Namuna - originally written in Farsi – on the Exegesis of Suratul Insan, Suratul Qadr and Suratul Kawthar

Compiled by a Group of Muslim Scholars under the guidance of Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi

Translated by Saleem Bhimji

Edited by Arifa Hudda

© Copyright 2012 by Saleem Bhimji

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The Fountain of Paradise: Fatima Zahra in the Noble QuranThis text presents an Excerpt from Tafsir Namuna - originally written in Farsi – on the Exegesis of Suratul Insan, Suratul Qadr and Suratul Kawthar, to highlight the some of the verses of the Holy Quran which were revealed in honor of Seyyida Fatima Al Zahra (AS).

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Featured Category: Introducing the Ahlul Bayt

Person Tags: Fatima Al-Zahra

Dedication

This work is dedicated to the lady who holds the distinction of being the Leader of the Women of all of the Worlds – from the first to the last - Lady Fatima Zahra, peace be upon her.

Fatima Zahra has the honor of

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being the only surviving child of the final Messenger of Allah, and as such her status is even further elevated as it is through her that the lineage of the Prophet continues until the end of time.

May Allah accept this humble effort from all of those involved in this project, and may He make this book the means through which Fatima Zahra, peace be upon her, finds us worthy of her intercession on the Day of Judgment.

Introduction by the Translator

In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful

What follows in this brief booklet is a commentary of three specific chapters from the Noble Qur’an which speak about the spiritual greatness and significance of the only daughter of Prophet Muhammad, Fatima Zahra.

Translated from the original Farsi work which was compiled by a Group of Muslim Scholars under the guidance of Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi and other sources to complete the discussion (in certain areas as have been indicated), this publication adds merely a drop into the endless ocean of the pre-eminence of the Ahlul Bayt in the Noble Qur’an and specifically the direct and indirect mention of the leader of the women of all the Worlds, Fatima Zahra as spoken by Allah the Almighty.

Every year, millions of Muslims cry for Fatima Zahra around the world. There are a multitude of gatherings – both commemorations and mourning ceremonies in her memory.

There are observances of praise, joy, and honor for her in which her noble characteristics are remembered, and Muslims also

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hold rituals of lamentation where they recount - in vivid detail - the painful events of Islamic history which led to her intense grief and eventual martyrdom. The faithful even go to the extent of invoking Almighty Allah to deprive those who hurt her from His Mercy and Blessings!

Despite everything which is recalled on the pulpits throughout the world and the articles and booklets which have been published so far about this great woman, the true history of her short life and the salient features of her personality are still unknown; however with the little that the Muslims know about her, we still accept Fatima Zahra - her lofty spiritual status.

The sphere of influence of Fatima Zahra is extensive and she not only appeals and is a person of reverence for the Muslim community and whom only Muslim authors write about - rather her character, personality and visage actually transcend religion and the Muslim sphere.

In her recent work, Chosen among Women: Mary and Fatima in Medieval Christianity and Shiite Islam, Mary Thurkilll writes the following about the beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad:

According to early medieval Christian and Shiite tradition, God chose Mary and Fatima as vessels for his sublime progeny. Mary, an obedient maiden gave birth to the God-Man Jesus; Fatima, sharing in the divine nur, held the Imamate within her womb.

Theologians clearly relied on Mary and Fatima to articulate and expand their respective orthodoxies and notions of rightness. By defining first their pure and immaculate nature, authors transformed Mary’s

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and Fatima’s bodies into sacred containers . Fatima also served as a sacred vessel, holding the Imam’s nur within her while simultaneously sharing it.

Fatima al-Zahra existed as the only female member of the holy family and, like her father, husband and sons, remained immaculate and infallible. Both Shiite and Christian authors also likened their holy women to an ancient container, Noah’s ark; the women’s wombs carried humanity’s true salvation.

Mary and Fatima served equally important functions in political and sectarian discourse. With such a rhetorical agenda in mind, hagiographers accented Mary’s and Fatima’s maternal roles.

These holy women, as mothers, effectively defined the limits of community and sectarian division. By symbolically adopting believers to their maternal care, Mary and Fatima damned unbelievers to hell. Hagiographers advertised their holy mothers by describing their homey miracles and domestic skill.

Both women experienced superhuman parturitions, multiplied food, and interceded for their spiritual offspring . Fatima, the mystical nexus of the holy family, rewards her adoptive kin who weep for her slain son, Husayn, and escorts women into paradise on judgment day.

Because these women (Mary and Fatima) are both powerful in their own right yet intimately connected to domestic (private) space, they can be employed by authors for a variety of purposes.

Mary and Fatima can signify both female independence and agency and submission and chastity … Whether in the seventh century or the twenty-first, Mary’s and Fatima’s charisma affords scholars and religious alike, an important symbol of community and religiosity that may be

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manipulated in various ways. The holy women’s attendance within the home subtly stresses the male households’ presence and dominance.

In the end, however, Mary and Fatima – chosen by God as holy vessels and chosen by men as didactic models – manage to provide moral exemplars for women, promote standards of sanctity and faith, and chastise religious and political heresy.

Within such legacies the domestic indeed complements public (masculine) authority and gains a place for feminine sanctity not easily ignored.

The Prophet of Islam who speaks nothing but what has been revealed to him or is ordered to say by the Most High, mentioned the following glowing tributes in regards to his beloved daughter, Fatima Zahra:

On the Day of Judgment, a caller will call out, ‘lower your gaze until Fatima has passed.’

I am not pleased unless Fatima is pleased.

The most beloved of my family to me is Fatima.

The head of the women of Paradise is Fatima.(1)

Many men have reached completion, but no women have reached completion except for four: Maryam, Asiyah, Khadijah, and Fatima.(2)

The verse of purification (Qur’an 33:33) was revealed concerning five people: myself, ‘Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and Fatima.(3)

Fatima is part of me. Whatever upsets her upsets me, and whatever harms her harms me.(4)

Fatima is part of me, and whoever pleases her, pleases me.(5)

Oh Fatima, verily God is angry when you are angry.(6)

These and hundreds of other Prophetic statements and numerous verses of the Noble Qur’an give us a glimpse into this great woman and oblige us to study

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1- Kanzul ʿUmmal, v. 13, p. 94; Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Fadhaʾil, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima; al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, v. 2, p. 61
2- Nurul Absar, p. 51
3- Isʿaf al-Raghibin, p. 116; Sahih al-Muslim, Kitab Fadhaʾil al-Sahaba
4- Sahih al-Muslim, v. 5, p. 54; Khasaʾis al-Imam ʿ’Ali of al-Nisaʾi, p. 121-122; Masabih al-Sunnah, v. 4, p. 185; al-Isabah, v. 4, p. 378; Seir ʿAlam Al-Nubala’, v. 2, p. 119; Kanzul ʿUmmal, v. 13, p. 97; similar wording is related in al-Tirmiḍi, v. 3, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima, p. 241; Ḥaliyatul Awliyaʾ, v.2, p. 40; Muntakhab Kanzul ʿUmmal, in the margins of al-Musnad, v. 5, p. 96; Maʿrifat ma yajib li ʿala Al-Bayt al-Nabawi min al-haqq ʿala man aʿdahum, p. 58; Dhakhaʾirul ʿUqba, p. 38; Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p. 279; Yanabiʿ al-Mawadda, v.2, ch. 59, p. 478
5- Al-Sawaʾiq al-Muhariqa, p. 180 132; Mustadrak al-Ḥakim; Maʿrifat ma yajib li ʿala Al Bayt al-Nabawi min al-haqq ʿala man aʿdahum, p. 73; Yanabiʿ al-Mawadda, v. 2, ch. 59, p. 468
6- Al-Sawaiq al-Muhariqa, p. 175; Mustadrak al-Ḥakim, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima; Manaqib al-Imam ʿ’Ali of Ibn al-Maghazali, p. 351

her life and the legacy she has left behind.

It is indeed very difficult to speak about the personality of Fatima Zahra; she is the role model that Islam wants all women to follow. She is a symbol of the various dimensions of womanhood.

She is the perfect model of a daughter when dealing with her father; the perfect model of a wife when dealing with her husband; the perfect model of a mother when raising her children; and the perfect model of a passionate, strong, fighting woman when confronting her time and the oppressions in her society.

Fatima Zahra herself is a guide - an outstanding example of someone to follow, an ideal type of woman - one whose life bore witness for any woman who wishes to ‘become herself’ and to regain her own identity.

Her life was wrought with many difficulties: losing her mother when she was only five years old; being brought up by her father (the Messenger of Allah) who had the added responsibility of being the final Messenger of God; the physical aggression and mental torture which the polytheists wreaked on her family, friends and the believers; and ultimately, having to leave her birth-city of Mecca and migrate to a new home and community hundreds of kilometers to the north in the city of Medina.

Ultimately, she had to witness the death (or according to most reports, the poisoning and murder) of her father and the masses vying for political authority - leaving his lifeless body to

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take part in elections; followed by the rejection of her husband and his Prophetically and Divinely granted authority over the community by the majority of the Muslims; and tragically in the end, the physical attacks against her which resulted in her miscarrying the child in her womb, broken ribs and the untimely murder at the tender age of only eighteen.

Fatima Zahra lived like this and died like this - however even after her death, she began a new life in history.

The memory of Fatima Zahra grows through the love of the men and women who throughout the history of Islam, have fought for freedom and justice. Throughout the centuries, innocent people have been punished under the merciless and bloody lash of various governments.

Their cries and anger grew and overflowed from their wounded hearts and that is why in the history of all spiritually awakened and knowledgeable Islamic communities, Fatima Zahra has been the source of inspiration for those who want to reclaim their rights, for those who seek justice, and for those who resist oppression, cruelty and discrimination.

She was not just a wife to Imam Ali rather Imam Ali looked upon her as a friend - a friend who was familiar with his pains and his aspirations. She was his endless refuge, the one who listened to his secrets and the one who was the only companion in his loneliness.

This is why Imam Ali behaved towards her and her children slightly differently than the other wives that he

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took after his beloved’s death and the other children that he fathered.

After Fatima died, Imam Ali married other women and had children from them; but from the very beginning, he separated the children who were from Fatima, from his other children - the latter were called Banu Ali, (lit. the children of Ali) while the former were referred to as Banu Fatima (lit. the children of Fatima).

In closing, we would first like to thank the Creator, Allah for bestowing upon us the Divine providence (tawfiq) to be able to complete the publication of this work, as without His constant guidance and blessings, we would not be where we are today; and His support would not be there were it not for the intercession of Prophet Muhammad and his noble family members - whom we pray that the Most High continues to bless and raise their ranks in Paradise, and that they accept this noble publication as our humble attempt to keep alive their memory and teachings.

We would also like to acknowledge the support, encouragement and assistance of Sr. Arifa Hudda, specifically her review and careful editing of this entire book.

Last but not least, we would like to appreciate and sincerely thank the donor who generously worked to publish this book.

May Allah bless everyone and accept the intercession of Fatima Zahra for all of us for whatever little services we do in her memory.

Saleem Bhimji

March 21st, 2012

Suratul Insan (al-Dahr), Mankind or The Time

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This chapter was revealed in Medina and contains 31 verses

In

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the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful

Contents of Suratul Insan

Although this chapter is short, its contents are deep, multi-faceted and comprehensive, and can be divided into five sections:

• The creation of the human being and his origin as a drop of sperm (with the egg), followed by the guidance which one has been given and the freedom of choice to do as one pleases.

• The reward given to the righteous doers - the history of revelation of this section is directly related to the Ahlul Bayt - which we will discuss in depth.

• The reasons why these righteous doers (the Ahlul Bayt ) deserve the reward which they were given, which is explained through the use of very short, yet powerful verses.

• The importance of the Qur’an and how to implement its legislations, along with the various difficulties on the path of self-reformation.

• The overall rule of the will of Allah (while at the same time attesting to the freedom of choice that mankind has).

Various names have been mentioned for this chapter, the most famous being: ‘al-Insan’ - ‘Humanity’; ‘ad-Dahr’ - ‘The Time’; and ‘Hal Ata’ - ‘Has there come’ and each of these have been extracted from the words contained in the first few verses of this chapter. However as we will soon see in regards to the merits of recitation of this chapter, in the traditions, it has only been referred to as ‘Hal Ata’.

Was this chapter revealed in Medina?

The place of revelation for this chapter – whether it was in Medina or Mecca

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- is a discussion among the exegetes of the Qur’an.

The consensus of the scholars and exegetes from the Shia tradition is that the entire chapter or at least the beginning section in which the status of these righteous individuals (the Ahlul Bayt) and the actions of these noble personalities has been mentioned was revealed in Medina.

These verses form the basis of a historical event in regards to an oath made by Imam Ali , his wife Fatima Zahra , their children - Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn , and [their house-keeper] Fidhdhah, which we will mention.

In addition, it is well-known among the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah that the revelation of these verses was in Medina, just as al-Qurtubi has mentioned:

وَ قَالَ الْجَمْهُورُ مَدِینَهَ.

The well-known opinion of the scholars (is that it was revealed in) Medina.(1)

The following scholars consider some or even a part of this chapter as being revealed in Medina:

1. Hakim Abul Qasim al-Haskani has narrated from Ibne Abbas in regards to the number of verses which were revealed in Mecca and Medina and has stated that this chapter was revealed in Medina after Suratul Rahman (55) and before Suratul Talaq (65).(2)

The author of al-Aydhhah, Ahmad al-Zahid, also narrates this opinion from Ibne Abbas.(3)

2. In History of the Qur’an, written by Abu Abdillah al-Zanjani, who has taken his information from Nazmul Durr wa Tanasurul Ayat was Suwar, it is mentioned that a group of prominent scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah have narrated that Suratul Insan is among those

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1- Tafsir al-Qurtubi, vol. 10, pg. 6909
2- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 405
3- Ibid.

chapters which were revealed in Medina.(1)

3. In al-Fihrist of Ibne Nadim, it has been narrated from Ibne Abbas that chapter Hal Ata is the eleventh chapter revealed in Medina.(2)

4. In al-Itqan of al-Suyuti, it has been mentioned from al-Bayhaqi as seen in Dalaiilul Nubuwwat from Akramah that the chapter Hal Ata was revealed in Medina.(3)

5. In Durrul Manthur the same tradition (as mentioned above) has been narrated from Ibne Abbas from a different chain of narrators.(4)

6. al-Zamakshari, in his work, Tafsirul Kashshaf, has narrated the well-known historical event for which the initial verses of this chapter were revealed as being in regards to the vow taken by (Imam) Ali , his wife and their children.(5)

7. In addition to the references stated above, many other prominent scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah have also stated that the initial verses of this chapter were revealed in regards to (Imam) Ali , Fatima Zahra , Hasan and Husayn and this proves that this chapter was revealed in Medina, because both Imams Hasan and Husayn were born in Medina.

Other scholars who have stated this belief include: al-Wahidi in his work Asbabul Nuzul; al-Baghwiin Maʿlimul Tanzl; Sibt b. al-Jawzi in his work al-Tadhkirah; Ganji al-Shafi in his work Kifyatul Talib, and others.(6)

This opinion is so well known and acknowledged by the scholars that Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafi, one of the four Imams of the Ahlus Sunnah, composed the following (well-known) poem:

الی م الی م و حتی متی

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1- Tarikhul Qurʼan, pg. 55
2- Ibid.
3- al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qurʼan, vol. 20, pg. 221
4- Ibid.
5- Tafsir al-Kashshaf, vol. 4, pg. 670
6- Ahqaqul Ḥaqq, vol. 3, pg. 157 to 170 (which has narrated the names of the scholars and the works in which they have written this information).

أعاتب فی حب هذا الفتی!

و هل زوجت فاطم غیره ؟ و فی غیره هل اتی هل اتی ؟!

Till when, till when, and until what time?

Shall you rebuke me for loving this chivalrous man?

Did Fatima marry any other than him?

And was Hal Ata revealed for other than him (Ali)?(1)

There are numerous other references in these regards which we will mention under the discussion of the verses in this chapter.

However, with all of these proofs, there are still individuals who insist that this chapter was revealed in Mecca and deny all of the traditions which speak about this chapter being revealed in Medina and that this chapter was sent down in regards to Ali, Fatima and their two children, Hasan and Husayn.

It is astounding to see that anytime a verse and Prophetic tradition ends up proclaiming the virtues of Imam Ali and the Ahlul Bayt, a group of people stand up and raise a clamor and become very sensitive – as if Islam has fallen into danger if they were to accept these traditions.

Seeing as how they claim that Imam Ali is among the ‘Rightly Guided Caliphs’ and is one of the

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1- Ibid., pg. 158

great leaders of Islam and that they have love for the Ahlul Bayt , then in our opinion, the animosity which they have stems from the days of ruler-ship of the Umayyad empire and the negative propaganda of that era which has taken them over.

May Allah protect us all from such errors in our life.

Merits of Recitation of Suratul Insan

It has been narrated from the Noble Prophet that:

مَنْ قَرَأَ سُوْرَهُ  هَلْ أَتَی کَانَ جَزَاؤُهُ عَلی اللهِ جَنَّهً وَ حَرِیراً.

A person who recites chapter “Hal Ata”, his reward with Allah will be paradise and garments of silk.(1)

In a tradition from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir it has been stated that: “One of the rewards which will be granted to a person who recites the chapter ‘Hal Ata’ every Thursday morning is that on the Day of Resurrection, they will be alongside the Noble Prophet.”(2)

Section One: Verses 1 to 4

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In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful

“ هَلْ أَتَی عَلیٰ الإِنْسَانِ حِینٌ مِنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ یَکُنْ شَیْئاً مَذْکُوراً ۞ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الإِنْسَانَ مِنْ نُطْفَهٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَبْتَلِیهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِیعاً بَصِیراً ۞ إِنَّ__ا هَدَیْ_نَاهُ السَّبِیلَ إِمَّا شَاکِراً وَإِمَّا کَفُوراً ۞ إِنَّا أَعْ__تَدْنَا لِلْکَافِرِینَ سَلاَسِلاً وَأَغْلاَلاً وَسَعِی_راً “

“Has there not come over the human being a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning?  Surely We have created the human being from a small life-germ uniting (itself): We mean to try him, so We have made him hearing, seeing. Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful. Surely We have prepared for the unbelievers chains

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1- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 402
2- Ibid.

and shackles and a burning fire.”

We transformed a worthless drop of sperm into a human being and then gave them the tools of guidance.

Although most of the discussions in this chapter of the Qurʾan revolve around the Day of Resurrection and the blessings contained in paradise, the beginning of the chapter focuses on the creation of a human being because if we pay close attention to the creation (of the human being), then we will be able to focus closely on the Resurrection (just as discussed in the exegesis of Suratul Qiyamat).

In the first verse we read:

Has there not come over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning?(1)

The atoms which make up a person’s physical body were spread over various parts of the earth within the drops of water in the rivers and the air that blew over the earth. The primary matters used in the creation (of the first human being) were spread over these vast regions and in reality; mankind was lost among them and was not even worth mentioning.

Is the meaning of ‘human being’ in this verse, a specific person, or is it reference to humanity in general? Is it a specific reference to Adam ? The verse which follows tells us that the ‘human being’ has been created from a drop of sperm and thus this is a clear indication that the correct answer is that the ‘human being’ in this verse refers to humanity in general.

However, some

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1- Is the word ‘هلʼ which has been mentioned in this verse in the meaning of ‘قدʼ or is in it the meaning of a rhetorical question, a negating question? In this regards, there are many different opinions given, however the apparent reading of this verse gives us the understanding that it is indeed a rhetorical question and thus the meaning of this verse would be: أَلَیْسَ قَدْ أَت_ی عَلَ_ی الإِنْسَانِ حِینَ مِنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ یَکُنْ شَیْئاً مَذْکُوراً؟ Has there not come a time upon the human being when he was a thing not worth mentioning!?

scholars believe that the reference to the ‘human being’ in the first verse is that of Adam while in the second verse, it refers to the offspring of Adam , however it is highly improbable for this meaning to exist given that these two verses come one after another.

In regards to the exegesis of the sentence

‘ل_َمْ یَکُنْ شَیْئاً مَذْکُوراً’ –

‘he was not even a thing worth mentioning’, numerous opinions are cited.

One belief states that when a person was just a mere drop of sperm and after that, a fetus, he was a thing not spoken about. However after traversing through various stages in the womb resulting in his physical completion, he then became something which was spoken about and mentioned.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has said: “A person is, in the knowledge of Allah, something aforementioned, however in the world of the creation, he was not spoken about.”(1)

In some commentaries of the Qurʾan it is mentioned that the meaning of the ‘human being’ in this verse is the scholars who, before gaining their knowledge, are not worthy of being mentioned, however after attaining knowledge, they are remembered – either during their lifetime or after their death.

Other scholars have stated that when ʿUmar b. al-Khattab heard this verse being recited by someone, he said: “O’ how I wish Adam had remained aforementioned and had never been brought into creation and his sons would never have been tested.”(2)

It is astonishing to hear such a comment as in reality, such a complaint

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1- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 406
2- Ibid.

is actually an attack on the creation of humanity (and an attack on the Creator).

After the stage of creation of mankind and him becoming something worthy of mentioning, we read:

Surely We have created man from a small life-germ uniting (itself): We mean to try him, so We have made him hearing, seeing.

The word ‘أَمْشَاجٍ’ - ‘small life-germ’ is the plural of ‘مشج’ or it may be the plural of ‘مشیج’ and it means ‘something mixed’.(1)

The creation of the human being is from a mixed sperm (this may refer to the uniting of the man’s sperm with the woman’s egg) - just as has been mentioned in the traditions of the Ahlul Bayt in which this process has been discussed in general terms.

This verse may also refer to the various traits and characteristics which are present in the sperm such as its genetic inheritance from the genes which it carries and other such things. It may also relate to the mixture of various things which makes up the sperm as there are numerous substances in each drop of sperm.

It may also refer to a combination of all of these things - and this last meaning is more comprehensive and appropriate to accept as the interpretation of this word. A final possibility exists which states that the word ‘أمشاج’ refers to the course of movement of the sperm inside of the womb.

The phrase, ‘نَبْتَلِیهِ’ - ‘We wish to test him’ refers to this new creation reaching the stage of

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1- Please note that whereas the word ‘نطفهʼ - ‘spermʼ has been mentioned in the singular, however its characteristic of ‘أمشاجʼ - ‘mixedʼ has been mentioned in the plural and this is due to the fact that the sperm itself is made up of various things and actually falls under the ruling of the plural. Scholars, such as al-Zamkhshari in his work, al-Kashshaf have stated that the word ‘أمشاجʼ is the singular form of the word, even though it is based on the pattern of the plural.

a human being with a responsibility upon himself, many duties to fulfill, and a test to undergo (from Allah ). This is one of the greatest bounties of Allah in that a person has been given this great status and has been found worthy of having a responsibility and duty to perform (towards Him).

Since it is not possible to fulfill a responsibility and be thoroughly tested without having an awareness (about what the test is in regards to), in the last verse of the section under review, some of the ways which can be used to recognize this test, such as the power of sight and hearing which the human being has at his disposal, have been mentioned.

Exegetes of the Qur’an have stated that the meaning of ‘testing’, as seen in this verse, are the changes which a fetus goes through from its beginning as a drop of sperm until it becomes a fully developed human being. However by keeping in mind the use of the phrase ‘نَبْتَلِیهِ’ - ‘We wish to test him’ and also the term ‘إنسان’ - ‘human being’ which has been used, the first exegesis given is the most appropriate one.

Thus, from the wordings of this verse we come to understand that the source of all realizations which a person benefits from are his senses.

In other words, the awareness which comes about through the (five) senses is the root through which everything is understood, and this is the opinion of a majority of the Muslim

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philosophers and also the opinion of the Greek philosophers, one being Aristotle.

Seeing as how the responsibility which a person has on his shoulders and the test which one is put through requires one to possess knowledge and awareness (to be able to take the examination) and that one also requires the tools to develop this knowledge, a person requires two other things – guidance and the freedom of choice. Therefore, in the next verse under review it has been mentioned that:

Surely We have guided him to the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.(1)

The phrase ‘هَدَیْنَاهُ’ or ‘We have guided him’ which is used in this verse has a very broad meaning and includes the ontological guidance, the primordial guidance, and also the legislational guidance, even though in the context of this verse, it may only refer to the legislational form of guidance.

An explanation of this form of guidance (noted above) is: Seeing as how Allah has created mankind to test him and for him to reach perfection, the introductory steps to reach this ultimate goal have also been created within him and the necessary power (to complete this test) have also been granted to him - this is referred to as ontological guidance.

Following this stage, we see that deep within a person’s primordial nature, Allah has placed the love for traversing the path (towards Him) and through the natural inspirations given to him, this path has also been shown.

It is through this primordial guidance given to each

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1- According to a majority of exegetists of the Qurʼan, the words ‘شاکراًʼ - ‘thankful’ and ‘کفوراًʼ - ‘ungrateful’, are expressional words for the objective pronoun contained in ‘هَدَیْنَاهُʼ - ‘We have guided himʼ. Another possibility exists which states that the predicate ‘یَکُونُʼ may be assumed to be contained in the verse, however is not expressly mentioned. This would render the verse to be interpreted as stating: إِمَّا یَکُونُ شَاکِراً وَ إِمَّا یَکُونُ کَفُوراً He is either thankful or he is unthankful.

and every human being that one makes his way to yet another path which is the divinely sent leaders and great prophets – those who have been granted the Divine teachings and clear rules and regulations to show everyone the path towards the legislational guidance. Indeed, these three forms of guidance are universal and are for the benefit of all of humanity.

In summary, this verse points to three very important and determining issues in every person’s life:

• Responsibility;

• Guidance;

• Freedom of choice.

In addition, each of these has a correlative and also complements one another. In addition, the verse which reads:

Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful

invalidates the beliefs of compulsion or coercion in one’s actions.

The use of the words ‘شَاکِراً’ - ‘thankful’ and ‘کَفُوراً’ - ‘unthankful’ are the most appropriate words which can be used in this instance because in the face of the Divine blessing which is guidance (to the path), a person who has been receptive and submissive and has chosen the path of guidance will naturally be thankful for this great blessing. However those who go against guidance are truly unthankful for what they have been granted!

Since not a single person’s hands or tongue can truly thank Allah as He deserves (to be thanked), the thanking (شَاکِراً) Allah has been mentioned as the active participle; whereas for the ungratefulness the word meaning extremely ungrateful (کَافُورً) has been used in the exaggerative form.

This is because those who ignore this great

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bounty of Allah (guidance) have committed the highest degree of ungratefulness since Allah has provided them with all of the various tools of guidance, and thus it would be very ungrateful to ignore the bounty of guidance and take the wrong path (in life).

In addition, it must be noted that ‘کَفُورٌ’ - ‘unthankful’ is a word used both in the meaning of the ‘denial of bounties’, and also in relation to ‘disbelief’ in regards to the theological issues, just as Raghib has mentioned in his work, al-Mufradat.

In the last verse under review in this section, there is a brief, yet meaningful allusion to the eventual outcome of those who choose to take the path of disbelief and ingratitude:

Surely We have prepared for the unbelievers chains and shackles and a burning fire.

The use of the word ‘أَعْتَدْنَا’ - ‘We have prepared’ is yet another emphasis on the fact that the punishment is something which will definitely overcome a specific group of people (the disbelievers and unthankful people).

It is true that one reason a person may prepare something beforehand (which he may not use for some time) is that he fears that later on, he may be faced with a situation of limited ability (to perform that task) and that when he is in need of that thing, he will not be able to do it.

However this definition has no meaning in regards to Allah since whatever He wishes to do, He merely needs to give the order of ‘کُنْ’

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- ‘be’ and it is immediately enacted. At the same time, in order to categorically state that this punishment will engulf the disbelievers, it is stated that the tools needed to punish them are already in existence.

The word ‘سَلاَسِلَ’ - ‘chains’ is the plural of ‘سلسله’, while the word ‘أَغْلاَلٌ’ - ‘shackles’ is the plural of ‘غلّ’ and means a loop or something spiral in shape which is placed around the neck or hands of a person (like handcuffs) and then this thing is tied with chains.(1)

The purpose of mentioning the words ‘shackles’ and ‘chains’ and the burning flames of fire is to explain the great punishment which will be given to these people. This has also been mentioned in other verses of the Qurʾan in which the words ‘عَذَابٌ’ - ‘punishment’ and ‘أسارت’ - ‘captivity’ are mentioned in the plural.

These people’s freedom in regards to their desires of the transient world will lead to their captivity in the next world. It is the fire of this world which they paid no attention to which will manifest itself in the next world and engulf them.

Point: The tumultuous world of the fetus

We know that a human fetus comes into existence by the union of the man’s sperm with the woman’s egg. The creation of the fetus, its composition and then the various stages which the embryo goes through is one of the most amazing realities and wonders of the great world of creation which we are in.

With all of the advancements in the science of embryology,

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1- For a deeper explanation in regards to the meaning of ‘أغلالʼ, please refer to verse 8 of Surat Yasin (vol. 18, pg. 321 of Tafsir Namuna).

many curtains of the mysteries of this world have been lifted, however many mysteries still remain hidden. Some of the amazing facts which we allude to make up only a small part of this entire process of life.

1. The sperm which a man ejaculates is a living, moving, microscopic organism which has a head, neck and moving tail. It is interesting to note that with every ejaculation, anywhere from 200 to 500,000,000 sperms are released – a number which equals the population of many countries combined! However from this uncountable number, only one or a few actually enter the woman and are able to fertilize an egg.

The reason why such a sheer number of sperm come out is due to the fact that as the sperms travel to reach towards the egg and seek to join it, many of them end up dying, and if this large number of sperm did not come out at the time of ejaculation, then it would have been difficult for an egg to ever be fertilized.

2. The womb, before the period of pregnancy, is the size of a walnut, however after the egg is fertilized and the fetus begins to grow, it becomes so large that it ends up taking up a large portion inside of the women. It is amazing to see that the walls of the womb are so flexible that even with such a heavy weight inside of it, it still is able to have such resilience.

3. The blood which

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lines the woman’s womb is not in her blood veins, rather, it is moving in-between the various organs, as if this blood was in the veins, then undoubtedly, with the strong force (of the growing fetus) pushing up against the walls of the women, it could easily break.

4. Some scholars believe that the egg of the woman contains positive electricity while the sperm has negative electricity within it and it is for this reason they are attracted to one another. When the sperm reaches the egg, it releases an electrical charge and thus the countless sperms which are around the one (which entered into the egg) are expelled from that area.

Other scholars have stated that when the sperm enters the egg, a chemical substance is excreted which forces the other sperms to flee.

5. The fetus lies within a large sack submerged in a thick, dark liquid called the amniotic fluid. This sack is insulating the fetus against the rapid movements of the mother or any hits on the abdomen of the mother. Moreover, it keeps the fetus consistently warm such that the change of the outside temperature does not impact the temperature of the fetus.

Most interestingly is that this large sack and the amniotic fluid puts the fetus into a weight-less environment and prevents the different parts of the fetus from exerting pressure on itself which may cause damage to the fetus.

6. The food of the fetus comes from the placenta through the umbilical cord – meaning that the

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blood which flows through the mother contains the food and oxygen (needed by the fetus) and this enters into the placenta and then after going through another purification, enter into the heart of the fetus through the umbilical cord and from there, that which the fetus needs is distributed throughout its entire body.

It is interesting to note that the left and right side of the heart of the fetus are connected to one another since the filtration which is normally carried out by the lungs is not an issue (for the fetus) because the fetus does not breathe. However upon birth, the chest cavity of the child separates and the lungs begin to work and help the child to breathe.(1)

Section Two: Verses 5 to 11

point

“ إِنَّ الأَبْرَارَ یَشْرَبُونَ مِنْ کَأْسٍ کَانَ مِزَاجُهَا کَافُوراً ۞ عَیْناً یَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللهِ یُفَ_جِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِیراً ۞ یُوفُ_ونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَیَخَافُونَ یَوْماً کَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْ_تَطِی_راً ۞ وَیُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلیٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْکِیناً وَیَتِیماً وَأَسِیراً ۞ إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُکُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللهِ لاَ نُرِیدُ مِنْکُمْ جَزَاءً وَلاَ شُکُوراً ۞ إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِنْ رَبِّنَا یَوْماً عَبُوساً قَمْطَرِیراً ۞ فَوَقَاهُمُ اللهُ شَرَّ ذٰلِکَ الْیَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَهً وَسُرُوراً “

“Surely the righteous shall drink from a cup the admixture of which is camphor.  A fountain from which the servants of Allah shall drink; they make it to flow a (goodly) flowing forth.  They fulfill vows and fear a day the evil of which shall be spreading far and wide.  And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the

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1- Information for the data mentioned in this section has been taken from volume 1 of the work, The First University and the Last Prophet, and other books.

captive.  We only feed you for Allah‘s sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.  Surely we fear from our Lord a stern, distressful day.  Therefore Allah will guard them from the evil of that day and cause them to meet with ease and happiness.”

A testament to the status of the Family of the Prophet

Ibne Abbas has narrated:

“Both Hasan and Husayn were sick when the Prophet, along with a group of his companions came to see how they were doing.

The Prophet said to Imam ʿ’Ali: ‘O’ Abul Hasan! It would be good if you took an oath (to Allah) for your children to be cured from their sickness.’

Thus, Imam Ali and Fatima, and their female-servant, Fidhdhah, made an oath to Allah that if the children recovered, then they would fast for three days (according to some traditions, Hasan and Husayn also took part in the oath that they too would fast for three days).

A short time elapsed and both of them were cured from their sickness.

Even though they had very little food in the house, Imam Ali still divided the barely he had at home into three portions and his wife, Fatima took one-third of this and ground it into flour and baked bread with it.

At the time of breaking the fast, a beggar came to the door of their house and said: ‘Peace be upon you, O’ family of Muhammad! I am a poor person from among the poor Muslims. Please give me some food - may Allah bless you with food from paradise!’

All of

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the members of the house placed this poor person’s needs ahead of their own and each of them gave their portion of bread to the poor man and that evening, they all broke their fast with only water.

On the second day, they also kept a fast and at the time of breaking the fast with the food which had been prepared (barley bread), an orphan came to the door and just like the previous day, they gave the orphan whatever they had. Again, they broke their fast with only water and prepared to begin the third day of fasting.

On the third day, a war-captive came to their house at sunset, asking for food and once again, this family gave away all of the food which they had!

When the morning of the fourth day rose, Imam Ali took Hasan and Husayn by the hand and went to see the Prophet. When the Prophet set eyes upon them, he saw them trembling due to their intense hunger! He immediately said to them: ‘It is very troubling for me to see you in such a state!’

The Prophet got up and accompanied them to the house of Fatima and saw her standing in the prayer niche. She too was suffering the pangs of hunger which were evident from her frail body and the heavy inset of her eyes. Witnessing this heart-breaking sight, the Prophet became extremely grieved.

Immediately at this point, the Angel Gabriel came down and said: ‘O Muhammad! Take this chapter (of

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the Qur’an) Allah sends his salutations upon such a family.’

The Prophet then recited the chapter which was revealed to him, “chapter Hal Ata” (according to some scholars the Prophet recited from

“…surely the righteous…” until “…surely your endeavors shall be thanked…”

which makes up eighteen verses which were revealed to him.

The incident narrated above is a summarized version of the tradition as mentioned in al-Ghadir.

This narration is very similar to numerous other traditions found in other books which have been stated in regards to this event. In al-Ghadir, there are traditions from 34 well-known scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah who have narrated this tradition in their books (the author of al-Ghadir has also mentioned the names of these books and the pages on which this information can be found).

Thus, the tradition quoted above is very well known among the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah. Rather, it is a considered as a consecutively narrated tradition (mutawatir).(1)

The Shia scholars are unanimous that these eighteen verses, or rather the entire chapter, was revealed in regards to the noted event and all of them, without exception have stated in the books of exegesis and traditions that the narrations in regards to this event constitute one of the important distinctions and virtues of Imam Ali , Fatima Zahra, and their two sons.

In addition, just as we mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, this event is so well known and acknowledged that even in the poems which have been written (by both the Shia and the

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1- Refer to al-Ghadir, vol. 3, pg. 107 to 111; Ahqaqul Ḥaqq, vol. 3, pg. 157 to 171 in which the above quoted tradition has been narrated from 36 scholars and leaders of the Ahlus Sunnah including their sources of reference.

Ahlus Sunnah), such as the well-known poem of Imam al-Shafi, this event has been mentioned!

At this point, let us review some of the excuses which are brought up every time the merits and greatness of Imam Ali are brought forth by those who show an extreme sense of resentment to him.

Argument 1: They say that this chapter was revealed in Mecca, whereas the particular historical event clearly shows us that this chapter was revealed in regards to something which took place after the birth of Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn which no doubt took place in Medina.

Reply: As we touched on in brief at the beginning of this chapter, we have clear proofs in hand which show that the entire content of chapter Hal Ata or at least the eighteen verses mentioned previously were revealed in Medina.

Argument 2: The wordings of the verses are of a general nature, thus how can we apply them to specific individuals?

Reply: It goes without saying that simply having verses which are of a general nature does not go against the principle that they may be revealed for specific individuals.

There are many verses of the Qur’an which have a very general and comprehensive meaning; however the history of revelation shows us that they have a specific interpretation. It is amazing to see that some people can take a general understanding of a verse to negate the history of revelation of that specific verse!

Argument 3: Some individuals have stated that there are other

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reasons for revelation of this chapter and its verses and these reasons are not in line with what has been stated.

Some of these people include the likes of al-Suyuti in his work, Durr al-Manthur, who has narrated that an African man came to the Prophet and asked him about the glorification and praise of Allah . Umar stood up and told the man: “You have asked the Messenger of Allah enough questions!” To this, the Prophet replied: “Be quiet ʿUmar!” It was at this time that the chapter of Hal Ata was sent down to the Prophet! (1)

In another tradition mentioned in Durr al-Manthur, it has been stated that a man from Ethiopia came to the Messenger of Allah and wanted to ask him a question.

The Prophet told him to go ahead and ask him and to wait for his reply.

The man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! A group of you (Muslims), from the point of view of your skin color, facial characteristics and status, have a greater rank than we do.

If I too bring about true faith in what you all believe and I too act in the same that you act (in regards to my righteous deeds), will I be in paradise with you?” The Prophet replied: “Yes. I swear by that One who holds my life in His hands that the trail of (spiritual) light of the black skinned people will be seen in paradise for the span of 1,000 years.”

At this point, the Prophet went

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1- Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, pg. 297

on to explain the great reward given to a person who says: “There is no entity worthy of worship except for Allah and Glory and Praise be to Allah” and it was at this time that chapter Hal Ata was revealed.(1)

Reply: Keeping in mind that these traditions have close to no relationship to the contents of chapter Hal Ata, in our opinion it seems that such traditions were fabricated by the Umayyad Dynasty or others in order to crush the true history of revelation of this chapter!

Argument 4: Another excuse may be given in regards to the history of revelation of this chapter and one may ask how is it possible for a person to go three days without food and to break his fast with merely a glass of water!?

Reply: This is one of the most ridiculous criticisms that can be brought up in regards to this chapter as we ourselves have seen many people in our lifetime who, in order to be cured of a specific sickness, have been instructed by their doctor to fast for not only three days which is very easy, rather, they have fasted for a period of forty days in which they only drink water and completely abstain from food! It is through such a medically sanctioned program that they have been able to ward off many illnesses!

In addition, a well-known non-Muslim doctor named Alexi Soforin has written a book in regards to the medicinal benefits of such a fast and has even

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1- Ibid.

mentioned a very precise program to follow in this regard.(1)

As a point of interest, some of the scholars who have worked on Tafsir Namuna (the exegesis you are currently reading) have tried this form of fasting and have survived with drinking only water for 22 days straight!

Argument 5: There are others who, in order to pass off the greatness (of the family of the Prophet) that is seen in this chapter, have taken another route and have stated other things such as the following:

One example is what a scholar of the Ahlus Sunnah, al-Alusi, has written: “If we say that this chapter was not revealed in regards to Imam Ali and Fatima, then this does not remove anything from their worth and status since them being referred to as “أبرار” or ‘righteous individuals’ (in other narrations) is well-known to everyone.”

He then goes on to list some of their virtues and states: “What can anyone say in regards to these two individuals except that Imam Ali is the master of all the true believers and the wasi (executor) of the will of the Prophet and Fatima is a part of the body of the Messenger of Allah and is considered as a share-holder of the essence in Muhammadi Hasanayn are the spirit and essence and the leaders of the youths of paradise!?

However what we have just stated does not mean that we renounce others (around the Prophet) rather we state that anyone who does not follow their path is indeed misguided.”(2)

However

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1- Some of the information from this Russian author can be found at: http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/fasting/index.html [9] (Tr.)
2- Ruhul Maani, vol. 29, pg. 158

we state that if such a great worth and honor which is so well-known (throughout the Islamic texts) is neglected and passed over, then slowly other virtues would also meet the same fate and a day will come when some of the main virtues of Imam Ali, the leader of the women of the world - Fatima Zahra, and Hasanayn will also be denied!

It must be noted that in some traditions which have been narrated from Imam Ali himself, he used these verses in various debates with his opponents to show the status of his two sons and himself.(1)

It is important to mention that an ‘أسیر’ or ‘war captive’ was a term normally used in Medina since in Mecca, due to the fact that no Islamically permitted wars had taken place, this term was not used much (if even at all) and this is another proof of this chapter being revealed in Medina.

The final point which we must mention is that according to the opinion of a group of scholars, such as al-Alusi, the well-known commentator of the Ahlus Sunnah, a majority of the pleasures and bounties of paradise have been mentioned in this chapter, with the exception of the Hurul Ayn which in the Noble Qur’an are most often considered as one of the pleasures of paradise.

However in this chapter, there is absolutely no mention of them! It is possible that this may be due to the fact that this chapter was revealed in regards to Fatima

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1- Refer to al-Ihtijaj of al-Tabrisi and al-Khisal of as-Saduq (as has been quoted in al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol. 20, pg. 224)

Zahra, her husband and their two sons and due to the respect being shown to this great lady of Islam, there is no mention about them (meaning the Hurul Ayn)!(1)

Our discussion in regards to the history of revelation of this section was long, however we had no choice but to explain this issue in detail given the unfair accusations which have been leveled in regards to its revelation.

The great reward for the righteous

In the previous verses, after mankind was divided into two categories - ‘the thankful’ - ‘شَکُورٌ’ and ‘the ungrateful’ - ‘کَفُورٌ’; also known as ‘those who express gratitude for what they are given’ and ‘those who are not in the least appreciative of the bounties they have been given’, we were given a short glimpse of the painful punishment which has been prepared for the ungrateful.

However the verses under review also explain the rewards of the thankful and righteous (good doers and spiritually purified) and indeed, some very interesting points are mentioned.

We first read: Surely the righteous shall drink from a cup the admixture of which is camphor.

The word ‘أَبْرَارَ’ - ‘righteous’ is the plural of ‘بَرِّ’ and its original meaning is ‘something very wide,’ and it is for this reason that a wide and open expanse of desert is known as ‘بَر’ (with a ‘fatha’ on the first letter). Due to the fact that a person’s righteous actions have a wide reaching outcome within society, it is for this reason that this word has come to be used for such an

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1- Ruhul Maani, vol. 29, pg. 158

individual.

However the word ‘بِرِّ’ (with a ‘kasrah’ on the first letter) refers to a person who does good. Some scholars have stated that the difference between ‘بر’ - ‘righteous’ and ‘خیر’ - ‘goodness’ is that ‘بر’ refers to an act of goodness which is done with complete understanding, while ‘خیر’ is a general word of any act of goodness (done without any understanding of its merits).

The word ‘کَفُورٌ’ or ‘ungrateful’ has many meanings from the lexical point of view and the most well-known one is a ‘good smelling thing’ such as sweet smelling plants. Another meaning of this word is camphor which has a very strong and powerful smell and is used by medical professionals as a disinfectant.

The above mentioned verse shows us that this pure drink of paradise will be something which has a strong aroma and is not something that only the taste-buds will experience, but even the smell will reach the (smelling) glands!

Some exegetes of the Qur’an have stated that ‘کَفُورٌ’ ‘ or ‘camphor’ in this verse is the name of a spring of paradise, however this interpretation does not fit with the reading of the verse:

…the admixture of which is camphor.

Since the word ‘کَفُورٌ’ ‘ comes from the root ‘کَفَرَ’ which means ‘to cover something’, some scholars of the ʿArabic language, such as al-Raghib in al-Mufradat, believe that this word was chosen for ‘camphor’ because the part of the tree from which this substance is extracted is hidden from one’s sight –under the bark of

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the tree.

Other scholars have stated that the word ‘کَافُورٌ’ or ‘camphor’ refers to an extremely white and cool substance because usually camphor brings coolness to the one who uses it and its extreme whiteness is something which is often times used in similitudes.

Keeping in mind what we have stated, the first exegesis given is the correct one, especially since sometimes in the Islamic texts; the word camphor has been used alongside musk and amber which are some of the best forms of perfume.

The source of this glass of pure drink is then mentioned:

A fountain from which the servants of Allah will drink; they make it to flow a (goodly) flowing forth (from wherever they wish.(1) (2)

Yes indeed, the source of the pure drink which will be placed at the disposal of the righteous individuals and servants of Allah will be done in such a way that wherever they are and (whenever they) wish to drink from it, it will be ready for them! In regards to the starting place and spring of this drink, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has stated:

هِیَ عَیْنٌ فِی دَارِ النَّبِ__یِّ تُفَجِّرُ إِل_ٰی دَوْرِ الأَنْبِیَاءِ وَ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ.

This is a spring which runs from the house of the Prophet and goes through the houses of all of the other prophets and the true believers.(3)

Just like in the life of this world in which the sources of knowledge and mercy flow from the house of the Noble Prophet towards the servants of Allah and the righteous

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1- One may wonder why the word ‘عَیْناًʼ in this verse is the accusative form? There some very strong possibilities mentioned by the scholars. Perhaps the most appropriate of these is to state that the word “عَیْناً” is in a state of being the accusative due to the rule in ʿArabic grammar of removal and it can be presumed that the phrase “مِنْ عَینٍ” is the actual meaning. Some other scholars have stated that the rule of something which stands in the place of something else is at play here, which in this case is the word ‘کاَفُورٌʼ or camphor; or that it is in the accusative state due to it being regarded as a word denoting specification or extending praise. It is also possible that it refers to the passive participle which is not expressly mentioned, however is taken as being understood and thus, can be understood as being ‘یَشْرَبُ_ونُ عَیْناًʼ, however just as we previously stated, the first opinion given is more appropriate.
2- The word ‘یَشْ_رَبُʼ or ‘he will drinkʼ can become transitive through the ‘بَاءʼ or even without it and it is possible that as it has been mentioned in the word (بِ__هَا), it would be in the meaning of ‘مِنْʼ or ‘fromʼ.
3- Nur al-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, pg. 477; Ruhul Maani, vol. 29, pg. 155

doers, in the next life, which will be a greater manifestation of this similitude, the well of this pure drink of the Divine will also flow from the house of revelation, and the streams from this well will flow into the houses of the true believers!

The word ‘یُفَجِرُّونَ’ - ‘flowing forth’ comes from ‘تفجیر’ and the original root letters of this word are ‘فَجَرَ’ which means to ‘split something large whether this be the splitting of the ground or something else. Since the morning light breaks open the curtains of the night, the morning time is referred to as ‘فجر’ ‘fajr’.

In addition, a person who is an open sinner and transgressor is referred to as a ‘فَاجِرٌ’ – ‘fajir’ since he rips open the veils of modesty and spiritual purity and has chosen to leave the path of the truth. However, in the verse under review, the meaning of this word is the ‘splitting of the ground’.

It should be noted that among all of the bounties of paradise which have been mentioned in this chapter, the first one is that of a pure and aromatic drink.

This may be due to the fact that after completing the accounting for one’s deeds on the Plain of Mahshar (the area in which all of humanity will gather for their deeds to be accounted for), the person will step into paradise and drink from this elixir which will remove all grief and sorrow! From here, with a presence that is completely (spiritually) intoxicated

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with the love of Allah , one will then be able to partake in the other Divine gifts that are waiting for one in paradise.

After discussing the actions and characteristics of the righteous people and the servants of Allah , we are then given five reasons why these people deserve all of these incomparable bounties.

We first read: They fulfill the vows and fear a day the evil of which will be spreading far and wide. 

The words, ‘یُوفُونَ’ ‘they fulfill’ and ‘یَخَافُونَ’ ‘they fear’ and all of the sentences which come after this are all in the present/future verbal form tense and this shows that this is a life-time program which is perpetual.

However, like it was stated in the history of revelation of these verses, the true and perfect manifestation of these events is Imam Ali , Fatima Zahra and their two sons, Hasan and Husayn who fulfilled the oath that they had made and fasted for three consecutive days, breaking their fast with a mere glass of water! It was through this act that their hearts more so became filled with the awe of Allah and the anxiety over the Day of Judgment.

The word ‘مُسْتَطِیرَ’ means ‘expansive’ and ‘far-flung’ and points to the various forms of punishment that will take place on that grand day.

When these individuals fulfill the vows which they have made obligatory upon themselves, they have lived up to and given the rights to the obligatory acts of the Divine in the most

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perfect way, as they struggle to ensure the performance of such vows.

The fear of these people for the evil of that great day is a reference to their faith in the Day of Resurrection and their feelings of an intense responsibility which lies on their shoulders in regards to the fulfillment of the commandments of Allah(s)

These individuals have a strong belief in the Resurrection and have complete faith in all forms of punishment for the evil doers and this is reflected in their actions.

At this point, the third righteous deed is mentioned: And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive.

It is not an easy task to feed these sorts of people, rather it takes self-sacrifice to perform this act when one himself is in a state of desperate need. From another point of view, the food is being fed to people of various backgrounds (thus, one needs to be able to tolerate such people) - the poor, an orphan and a war captive. Thus, the mercy which they (the members of the Ahlul Bayt ) have for others is universal and their assistance and support includes everyone.

The pronoun in the phrase ‘عَل_ی حُبِّهِ’ returns back to ‘food’ meaning that even though they had a love and longing for the food (due to their fasting), they still gave it up for the love of Allah .

This is the same thing which can be seen in verse 92 of Chapter

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Ale Imran (3) that states:

لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّی تُنْفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ}

You shall never attain righteousness until you spend out of that which you love.

Other scholars have stated that the pronoun in the phrase ‘عَل_ی حُبِّهِ’ returns back to Allah which was mentioned in the previous verse, and so in this scenario, the verse would mean: “They give their food to the poor, orphan and war captive only for the love and sake of Allah.” However keeping in mind that this comes up in the next verse, the first opinion given is the correct one in our estimation.

The meaning of ‘مِسْکِینَ’ ‘poor person’, ‘یَتِ__یمَ’ ‘orphan’ and ‘أَسِیرَ’ ‘war captive’ are clear terms, however what is the detailed meaning of the term ‘war captive’ who does this allude to and what sort of a war captive was this? This is a point of discussion among the exegetes of the Qur’an.

Many exegetes have stated that the ‘war captive’ could have been from the polytheists or disbelievers who came to seek assistance under the protection of the Islamic government in Medina. Other scholars have stated that the meaning of ‘war captive’ in this verse is a slave who was owned by a person and was in need of help.

Yet other scholars have stated that the meaning of ‘war captive’ was a prisoner. However the first interpretation is the most appropriate and accepted one.

At this point, another question arises: According to the history of revelation of this verse, a war

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captive came to the house of Imam Ali at the time of breaking the fast; but shouldn’t war captives have been held in a prison cell?

The answer to this question will become clear by keeping in mind the following point:

According to the historical narrations, during the time of the Prophet, there were absolutely no prisoners of war. It was the Prophet himself who would distribute the prisoners to other Muslims for them to maintain and look after.

The Prophet told the Muslims that they must watch over these people and treat them with kindness. Sometimes it so happened that the Muslims did not have the ability to feed themselves, let alone their prisoners, and thus they would seek assistance from other Muslims to help feed them.

Often times, these prisoners would go along with the Muslims who were guarding them and at other times, they would be instructed to go out on their own to other Muslims to seek food and assistance. As we know, at that time in history, the Muslims were under numerous pressures and difficulties and thus, food and other necessities were very scarce.

Of course, after some time when the Islamic government spread and established itself, the number of prisoners also increased and the number of criminals was also on the increase throughout the Islamic lands. It was at this time that ‘formal prisons’ took shape and the feeding and taking care of these prisoners was then carried out through the public treasury of the government.(1)

Therefore, from

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1- For a detailed explanation on this issue, please refer to the book, Rulings for Prisons in Islam.

the above mentioned verse we clearly deduce that one of the best actions is to feed the needy and destitute – not only the needy Muslims who are held captive in jails in non-Islamic countries; but in addition, even the non-Muslims fall under this Islamic ruling. We see that feeding one such individual is considered as one of the greatest acts of the righteous individuals!

In a tradition from the Messenger of Allah we read that:

إِسْتَوْصُوا بِالأَسْریٰ خَیْراً وَ کَانَ أَحَدُهُمْ یُؤْثِرُ أَسِیرَهُ بِطَعَامِهِ.

Deal with the prisoners in the best of ways and prefer them (the prisoners) over your own selves by even giving them your food.(1)

The fourth noble action of these righteous individuals was their true sincerity; because they said:

We feed you only for Allah‘s sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.

This program of life is not limited to merely feeding others, rather it is one in which all of the deeds of a person are done with purity of heart and solely for the sake of Allah, in which there is not even the slightest hope of receiving a reward from the people rather, they do not even ask for praise or thanks!

Principally, we see that in Islam, the worth of an act is based on the sincerity of the intention (behind the act), and if any action is performed with an intention of being for other than Allah , whether it is for showing off, for one’s own lower self or ego, for the praise

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1- al-Kamil of Ibne Athir, vol. 2, pg. 131

and thanks from people, or for a material reward (in this life), then such an action will have absolutely no spiritual or Divine reward.

In a famous tradition from the Noble Prophet of Islam we read:

لاَ عَمَلٌ إِلاَّ بِالنِّیَّهِ وَ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّیَّاتِ.

There is no action (accepted) except with an intention (attached to it) and surely all actions are based on their intentions.

The meaning of the phrase ‘وجه الله’ or the ‘face of Allah‘ is the sacred essence of Allah , since Allah does not have a physical face and this has also been emphasized in other verses of the Qur’an, such as Suratul Baqarah (2), verse 272:

وَ مَا تُنْفِقُونَ إِلاَّ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهُ اللهِ

…and you do not spend but to seek Allah‘s pleasure…

In addition, in Suratul Kahf (18), verse 28, when describing the righteous companions of the Prophet we read that:

وَ اصْبِرْ نَفْسَکَ مَعَ الَّذِینَ یَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاهِ وَ الْعَشِیِّ یُرِیدُونَ وَجْهَهُ

And withhold yourself with those who call on their Lord Morning and evening desiring His goodwill…

In the final verse which describes the actions of these righteous individuals we read:

Surely we fear from our Lord a stern, distressful day.

It is possible that these words were not verbally spoken but rather, through their demeanor and actions, were understood, and it is also possible that it may be that these individuals actually verbally uttered such statements.

It should be noted that the word ‘عَبُوسَ’ “stern and distressful” has been used for the Day of Resurrection, however this word is usually used

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only as a characteristic for a human being and refers to a person who is rude and crass.

However in this verse, we see it used for a non-living being and this is because it is an emphasis on the fearful state of that Day. By this we mean that the Day of Resurrection will be so difficult and frightful that not only will mankind be in a state of distress, but rather, even that day itself will be one of distress! Furthermore, it can be stated that the day itself will feel distress, just like a human is scared!

What is the meaning of the word ‘قَمْطَرِیرَ’ and from what root word does this originate? The exegetes of the Qur’an and the scholars of the Arabic language have discussed this issue at length. Some scholar’s state that this word comes from ‘قمطر’, while others have stated that it is derived from ‘قطر’ and the ‘م’ has been added to it. However the most prominent opinion is the first one given, and thus this word mean ‘a great sense of distress and fright’.(1)

At this point, a question may come up that: If the righteous people are working solely for the sake of Allah , then why should they say that they are fearful of the punishment of that Day? Is the motivation of working for Allah conducive to working due to the fear of the punishment of the Resurrection!?

If we keep in mind the following point, then the answer to this

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1- al-Mufradat of al-Raghib; Lisan al-ʿArab; al-Munjid; Tafsir al-Qurtubi and Majmaʽ al-Bayan.

question will become clear to us:

Even though these people are working solely for Allah, but if they fear the punishment of the next life then this is due to the fact that this is a punishment from Allah; if they have an affinity to the pleasures of paradise then they do so because these blessings and pleasures stem from Him as well.

This is the same thing which is mentioned in the books of jurisprudence in the section on intention of the acts of worship where we read: “Having the intention of closeness to Allah in our actions of worship does not go against the motivation of the attraction for the reward, or the fear for the punishment, or even the granting of Divine material gifts while in this transient world from Allah (such as a person performing the special salat for rain salatul istisqa) since all of these things return back to Allah.

In addition, this is something which is referred to as a “motivation for a motivation” even though the highest stage of worship is one in which there is no motivation of an action due to desire for the pleasures of paradise or the fear of the punishment of the hell-fire rather, everything is done under the guise of love of Allah.”

In addition, the phrase: We fear from our Lord a stern, distressful day also alludes to the fact that this fear is also a fear of Allah.

A point which is interesting to note is that the

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second and fifth characteristics are both in regards to fear with the difference that in the first scenario, there is only talk about the fear of the Day of Resurrection, while in the second instance; there is mention about the fear of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.

In one verse, the Day of Resurrection has been presented such that the fear of that day will be widespread, while in another instance (in the fifth characteristic), there is talk about the fright and extreme terror, which in reality, shows the vastness of that day and the vastness of the punishments and fears as well.

In the last verse under review, we reach the general conclusion of the righteous actions and pure intentions which these noble individuals had and are told:

Therefore Allah will guard them from the evil of that day and cause them to meet with ease and happiness.

The word ‘نَظْرَهٌ’ ‘ease’ actually means vivacity, opulence and a particular form of succulence which will come about due to the superabundance of blessings and pleasures given to a person. The look of tranquility and inner peace and happiness on the faces of these individuals will be apparent for everyone to see! Thus, if while in the transient world, these individuals felt a sense of responsibility in regards to that fearful day, then in exchange, Allah will drown them in delight and pleasures on that day.

The use of the word ‘لَقَاهُمْ’ ‘shall cause them to meet’ is one of the most

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interesting terms used which shows that Allah will welcome His guests with a special form of kindness and will drown them in pleasures and happiness in the shadow of His mercy.

Feeding a hungry person is the best deed

Not only in the verses under discussion is the topic of feeding people considered as one of the noble deeds for the righteous and true servants of Allah, rather this has also been emphasized in many other verses of the Qur’an and it shows that Allah has a special affinity with this action.

When we look at the world today and examine the published news reports, we read that every year millions of people die from hunger - whereas in other parts of the world, there is such an excess of food, that they end up throwing away so much that one cannot even begin to calculate how much is wasted! When we weigh the importance of this Islamic commandment and look at the state of the world in which we are living, we see the worth of the noble ethical teachings of Islam.

There is also great emphasis in the Islamic narrations on this act which we can better understand in the light of the following traditions:

1. The Noble Prophet has stated that:

مَنْ أَطْعَمَ ثَلاَثَهَ نَفَرً مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِینَ أَطْعَمَهُ اللهُ مِنْ ثَلاَث ِجَنَانِ فِی مَلَکُوتِ السَّمٰوَاتِ.

A person who feeds three Muslims will be fed by Allah from the food of three gardens of paradise in the celestial heavens.(1)

2. Imam Jaʿfar as-Sadiq has said:

مَنْ أَطْعَمَ مُؤْمِناً حَتَّی یَشْبَعَهُ لَمْ یَدْرِ

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1- al-Kafi,, vol. 2, Section on Feeding a Believer, no. 3

أَحَدٌ مِنْ خَلْقِ اللهِ مَا لَهُ مِنَ الأَجْرِ فِی الآخِرَهِ، لاَ مَلَکٌ مُقَرَّبٌ، وَ لاَ نَبِیٌّ مُرْسَلٌ إِلاَّ اللهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِینَ.

Not a single person from the creations of Allah can comprehend the reward given in the next life to a person who feeds a believer until he is satiated not the close angels to Allah and not even the deputed prophets only Allah, the Lord of the Universe.(1)

3. In another tradition also from Imam Jaʿfar as-Sadiq we read:

لَإِنْ أَطْعَمَ مُؤْمِناً مُحْتَاجاً أَحَبَّ إِلَ_یَّ مِنْ أَنْ أَزُورُهُ، وَ لَإِنْ أَزُورُهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَ_یَّ مِنْ أَنْ أَعْتَقَ عَشْرَ رِقَابٍ.

If I was to feed a needy believer, then this would be more beloved to me than going to visit him (which also has a great reward), and if I was to go and visit him, this is even more loved to me than freeing ten slaves!(2)

Note that in the traditions, we are not only encouraged to feed the poor and hungry, rather, in some narrations, it is clearly stated that feeding the believers, even if they are not needy is equivalent to freeing a slave! This shows us that the act of feeding others is not only in place to alleviate the needs of the people, but it is also there to foster love, unity, friendship and closeness with one another!

The opposite can be seen in the materialistic world of today in which sometimes two close friends or relatives will go to a restaurant and each of them will pay their own portion

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1- Ibid., no. 6
2- Ibid., no. 18

of the bill. It is as if the act of being kind to one another is something strange to them!

In other traditions it has been stated that feeding hungry people in general (even if they are not believers and Muslims) has been considered as one of the best actions, as can be seen in a tradition from the Noble Prophet of Islam :

مِنْ أَفْضَلِ الأَعْمَالِ عِنْدَ اللهِ إِبْرَادُ الْکِبَادِ الْحَارَهٌ وَ إِشْبَاعُ الْکِبَادِ الْجَائِعَهٌ وَ الَّذِی نَفْسِ مُحَمَّدٍ بِیَدِهِ لاَ یُؤْمِنُ بِی عَبْدٌ یُبِیتُ شَبَعَانِ وَ أَخُوهُ - أَوْ قَالَ جَارُهُ - الْمُسْلِمُ جَائِعٌ.

One of the best actions in the sight of Allah is to cool the burning livers [help alleviate a person’s difficulties] and feed the hungry stomachs. I swear by the one who holds the soul of Muhammad in His hand that a servant who goes to sleep while his brother in faith - or his neighbor - goes to bed hungry has not truly believed in me!(1)

Although the above mentioned tradition is in regards to feeding a Muslim, however we see in the beginning that it speaks about feeding any hungry person and thus, it is not improbable to assume that it has a wide interpretation and it may even include the animals and in this regards too, there are numerous traditions.(2)

Section Three: Verses 12 to 22

point

“ وَجَزَاهُمْ بِ_مَا صَبَرُوا جَنَّهً وَحَرِیراً ۞ مُتَّکِئِینَ فِ__یهَا عَلیٰ الأَرَائِکِ لاَ یَرَوْنَ فِیهَا شَمْساً وَلاَ زَمْهَرِیراً ۞ وَدَانِیَهً عَلَیْهِمْ ظِ__لاَلُ_هَا وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَ__ذْلِیلاً ۞ وَیُطَافُ عَلَیْهِمْ بِ_آنِیَهٍ مِنْ فِ_ضَّهٍ وَأَکْ_وَابٍ کَانَتْ قَوَارِیرَ ۞ قَ_وَارِیرَ مِنْ

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1- Biharul Anwar, vol. 74, pg. 369. It is important to note that the late ʿAllamah Majlisi has actually presented an entire section which comprises 113 traditions in regards to feeding and clothing a true believer. In addition, he has compiled traditions which speak about paying another person’s debts and some of the traditions mentioned in the chapter of his magnum opus are very general (not specifically related to feeding or clothing a believer – rather any human being).
2- Ibid.

فِضَّهٍ قَدَّرُوهَا تَقْدِیراً ۞ وَیُسْقَوْنَ فِیهَا کَأْساً کَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنْجَبِیلاً ۞ عَیْناً فِیهَا تُسَمَّی سَلْسَبِیلاً ۞ وَیَطُوفُ عَلَیْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُخَلَّ__دُونَ إِذَا رَأَیْتَهُمْ حَسِبْ_تَهُمْ لُؤْلُؤاً مَ_نْ_ثُوراً ۞ وَإِذَا رَأَیْتَ ثَ__مَّ رَأَیْتَ نَ_عِیماً وَمُ__لْکاً کَبِ_یراً ۞ عَالِیَهُمْ ثِ_یَابُ سُنْدُسٍ خُضْرٌ وَإِسْ_تَبْرَقٌ وَحُلُّوا أَسَاوِرَ مِنْ فِضَّهٍ وَسَقَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ شَرَاباً طَهُوراً ۞ إِنَّ هٰذَا کَانَ لَ_کُمْ جَزَآءً وَکَانَ سَعْ_یُکُمْ مَشْکُوراً “

“And reward them, because they were patient, with garden and silk,  Reclining therein on raised couches, they shall find therein neither (the light of) the sun nor intense cold.  And close down upon them (shall be) its shadows, and its fruits shall be made near (to them), being easy to reach.  And there shall be made to go around them, vessels of silver and goblets which are of glass,  (Transparent as) glass, made of silver; they have measured them according to a measure. 

And they shall be made to drink therein a cup the admixture of which will be ginger,  (Of) a fountain therein which is named Salsabil.  And around them will go youths never altering in age; when you see them you will think them to be scattered pearls.  And when you see them, you will see blessings and a great kingdom.  Upon them will be garments of fine green silk and thick silk interwoven with gold, and they shall be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will make them drink a pure drink.  Surely this is a reward for you,

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and your striving will be recompensed.”

The great rewards of paradise!

After a general overview in the previous verses about the salvation granted to the righteous doers from a painful punishment on the Day of Resurrection, their reaching to the station of meeting their Beloved and being drowned in pleasure and happiness, the verses currently under review offer an exegesis of the blessings of paradise. In these verses, a minimum of fifteen bounties have been mentioned.

The first thing spoken about is a place of residence and clothing for the people of paradise:

And reward them, because they were patient, with garden and silk.

Therefore, in return for the fortitude and self-sacrifice shown in this world, which in one way was displayed by being truthful to their promise made (to Allah ), by keeping their fast and donating their food to the poor, orphan and war captive when the time for breaking the fast came, Allah will grant them a special place in the gardens of paradise and dress them with the best clothing.

It is not only in this verse, but rather other verses of the Qur’an also clearly show this truth that the rewards on the Day of Resurrection will be given to that person who showed patience and fortitude (patience in the way of obedience; refraining from committing sins and forbearance in bearing trials and tribulations). In verse 24 of Suratul Rad (13) we read that the angels will say the following words to the people of paradise:

سَلاَمٌ عَلَیْکُمْ بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ

Peace be upon all of

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you due to the patience which you showed.

In verse 111 of Suratul Muminun (23), it is mentioned that:

إِنِّی جَزَیْ_تُهُمُ الْیَوْمَ بِ_مَا صَبَرُوا أَنَّ_هُمْ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ

Surely I will reward those people on that Day (the Day of Judgment) due to the patience which they had and indeed those people will be the victorious ones.

We then read:

Reclining therein on raised couches, they shall find therein neither (the severe heat of) the sun, nor intense cold.

By mentioning their physical state (of reclining on raised couches), this points to the comfort and ease which they will experience, for this is how people can usually be seen (in this world) when they are relaxing.

This verse also points to the perfect weather conditions in paradise. This verse does not tell us that there will be no sun or moon in paradise, rather, it tells us that if there is a sun, then its rays will not be such so as to trouble people, however at the same time, the trees will still cast a shadow which will be used as a shade!

The word ‘زَمْهَرِیرَ’ comes from the word ‘زمهر’ which means ‘intense heat’, ‘intense anger’ or ‘eyes turning red due to the anger a person is feeling’, however in this verse, the first meaning is the correct one and it is interesting to note that it has been mentioned in the traditions that there is a spot in the hell-fire that is so cold that the body parts will shatter due to it!(1)

The original

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1- Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, pg. 300

meaning of the word ‘أَرَائِکَ’ whose plural is ‘أریکه’ are ‘tables’ or ‘platforms’ which are found in a bridal room and in this verse, its meaning is the beautifully decorated, raised platforms which the inhabitants of paradise will rest upon. The famous commentator of the Ahlus Sunnah, al-Alusi, in his tafsir, Ruhul Maani has narrated a tradition from Ibne Abbas that:

بَیْنَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّهِ فِی الْجَنَّهِ إِذَا رَأَوْا ضَوْءَا کَضَوْءِ الشَّمْسِ، وَ قَدْ أَشْرَقَتِ الْجَنَانُ بِهِ فَیَقُولُ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّهِ یَا رِضْوَانَ مَا هٰذَا؟ وَ قَدْ قَالَ رَبَّنَا لاَ یَرَوْنَ فِیهَا شَمْساً وَ لاَ زَمْهَرِیراً، فَیَقُولُ لَهُمْ رِضْوَانٌ لَیْسَ هٰذَا بِشَمْسٍ، وَ لاَ قَمَرٍ، وَ لٰکِنْ عَلِیٌّ وَ فَاطِمَهَ ضَحِکاً، وَ أَشْرَقَتِ الْجَنَانِ مِنْ نُورِ ثَغرَیهِمَا.

When the people of paradise will be in paradise, suddenly they will see a light which will resemble the light of the sun through which paradise will be illuminated. The people of paradise will say: ‘O’ Ridhwan (the guardian angel of paradise), what is this illumination that we are seeing? Our Lord had clearly stated (in the Qur’an) that:

…they shall find therein neither the light of the sun nor intense cold?”

Ridhwan will reply to them,

“This is not the illumination of the sun nor the moon, rather, it is Ali and Fatima laughing and thus, all of paradise is being illuminated through the light of their teeth!(1)

The next verse continues with the blessings:

And close down upon them (shall be) its shadows and its fruits shall be made near (to them), being easy to reach.(2)

There will

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1- Ruh al-Maani, vol. 29, pg. 159
2- The word ‘قطوفʼ is the plural of ‘قِطفʼ with a ‘fathaʼ on the first letter or a ‘kasrahʼ on the first letter. The meaning of the first form is the actual trait, while the second word has the infinitive meaning of the word – thus either a fruit which has been picked from a tree or to pick a fruit from a tree.

be no difficulties in reaching the food, nor will their hands become dirty; they will not even need to expend any energy or move from their seats to get the fruits that they want!

Once again, it is important that we remind ourselves that the rules which govern human life in this world are drastically different from the next world and that which we read about the bounties of paradise in these and other verses of the Qur’an is only a cursory glance at the expressive bounties which will be present there.

According to some clear traditions which have been mentioned in these regards, there are bounties stored in paradise that not even a single eye has yet seen; not a single ear has heard about; and there are things which no one has ever even thought about!

Ibne Abbas has stated the following in regards to some of the verses of this chapter: “That which Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an in regards to the pleasures of paradise have no comparison or example in this material world.

However Allah has referred to these bounties by using names of things which we know and recognize in this world. For example in regards to the pure drink, he has called it ‘zanjabil’ or a drink of ginger since this is an aromatic substance which the Arabs had a strong affinity towards.”(1)

We are then given a glimpse of how the guests of Allah will be welcomed into paradise, what will be at their disposal

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1- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 411

and who will serve them:

And there shall be made to go around them vessels of silver and goblets which are made of glass.

The chapter continues:

(Transparent as) glass, made of silver; they have measured them according to a measure.

The containers will hold various types of foods of paradise and there will also be a variety of refreshing and revitalizing drinks in the silver goblets. The people will have as much as they want to eat and drink and the servants of paradise will constantly be nearby, ready to serve them.

The word ‘آنِیَهٌ’ whose plural is ‘إناء’ refers to any type of dish [which food is put into], while the word ‘أَکْوَابٌ’, whose plural is ‘کوب’ refers to a glass which does not have a handle - sometimes referred to as a tumbler or goblet.

The word ‘قَوَارِیرَ’ whose plural is ‘قاروره’ refers to a crystalline glass - however the mind-boggling point in this verse is that we are told that the glasses are “crystalline glasses (see-thru) however they are made of “silver”! In the world which we live in, no such tumbler exists, since crystalline glass cups are made from a special substance which is smelted.

However Allah, the One who has created the particles (such as sand and other types of rocks) which can then be transformed into transparent, see-thru glass (by His creations) is definitely able to create see-thru tumblers made of silver!

From these words, we can deduce that the dishes and tumblers of paradise are clear and lucid

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like glass, however they have the brightness, luminance, and beauty of silver and the drinks which will fill these vessels are something completely different than what is present in this world!

In a narration from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq it is mentioned:

یَنْفُذُ الْبَصَرُ فِی فِضَّهِ الْجَنَّهِ کَمَا یَنْفُذُ فِی الْزُجَاجِ.

In paradise, a person’s eyes will penetrate through silver just like a person’s eyes can see through tumblers made of crystal in this transient world.(1)

Also, in our day and age, scientists have been able to discover various types of rays (such as x-rays) which can penetrate through a body and see through it just like a person sees through glass.

Ibne Abbas has stated that: “All of the blessings of paradise have a comparison and similitude in this world except for the see-thru glasses which are made of silver, as there is no comparison to that in this world!”(2)

After this we read: And they will be made to drink therein a cup, the fusion of which will be of ginger.

Many exegetes have stated that the pre-Islamic Arabs had a passion for a specific type of drink made with ginger and it had a very strong taste to it and it is for this reason that such a drink has been mentioned in the Qur’an and will be given to the people of paradise.

However it is clear that the difference between these two drinks (the one in this world and that given to the people in paradise) is as the difference of the earth to

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1- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 410
2- Ruh al-Maani, vol. 29, pg. 159

the sky! rather, we can state that the dissimilarity is like the difference between this world and the next world!

From what we understand of the history, it seems that the Arabs used to enjoy two types of drinks -one brought about joy and happiness, while the other calmed them down and put them into a mellow mood.

The first drink was mixed with ginger, while the second one was mixed with camphor. Seeing as how the realities of the other world cannot be described and contained in the words we use in this world, we have no choice but to present these concepts with a broad description and to state that they are greater than the understanding of that which we have in this world.

Various commentaries have been given in regards to the ginger spoken about in this section; however most of the interpretations of this word revolve around an aromatic item used in food and drink.

We then read: (Of) a fountain therein which is named Salsabil.(1)

Salsabil is the word used for this very tasty drink which is easy to consume and is nourishing. A majority of exegetes of the Qur’an believe that this word comes from the root ‘سلاسه’ which means ‘something that flows’ - just as a person’s smooth and flowing words are referred to as being ‘سلیس’. Other scholars believe that it comes from the root ‘تسلسل’ which means a ‘continuous movement’.

Thus, in this verse, the meaning could be something (like a spring) which is always

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1- In regards to the state of the word ‘عیناًʼ, it follows the same pattern and the same word a few verses previous in which ‘عیناًʼ was also mentioned. It is accepted that it is in the accusative state with a type of removal present.

flowing. Both of the meanings are similar to one another and in both cases, the letter ‘باء’ has been appended to the word.

Other scholars believe that this word has been constructed from two separate words ‘سأل’ and ‘سبیل’; others consider it as coming from the words ‘سال’ and ‘سبیل’. If we accept this first opinion, then the meaning is ‘a path to request something’; while if we take the second opinion, then the meaning is ‘he chose a path’, however the meaning of both of these is again something which is nourishing.

Other scholars have clearly stated that in the Arabic language, the word ‘سَلْسَبِیلٌ’ did not exist and that the first time it was used in Arabic was in the Noble Qur’an.(1) However, the first opinion stated is the most accepted and appropriate understanding.

We are then given a description of those who have been invited to this joyous gathering in the presence of the Merciful in paradise:

And youths, ever altering in age, shall go around them; when you see them you will think them to be scattered pearls.

Not only will the people be in the everlasting paradise, but even their age, beauty and youthful state of enjoyment will also remain with them for eternity! In addition, those who will lead them into paradise will have these same traits, and this can be seen from the words ‘مُخَلَّدُونَ’ or ‘for eternity’, and also the phrase ‘یَطُوفُ عَلَیْ_هِمْ’ or ‘they will encircle them’.

The use of the phrase ‘لُؤْلُؤاً مَنْثُوراً’ or ‘as

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1- Some exegetists of the Qur’an have stated that the word ‘سلسبیلʼ is indeclinable according to the rules of Arabic language since there is both a specific noun and also it is a non-Arabic word and thus, it has taken its own double-diacritics for it to fit in the same pattern as the end of the other verses of this Surah.

scattered pearls’ is a reference to the beauty, clarity, illumination and attraction of these individuals (the servants of those in paradise) and also their broad presence in this divine and spiritual banquet.

Seeing as how the blessings of the next life cannot be described - even by using the most expressive and meaningful words in the English language, in the next verse we read:

And when you see them, you shall see blessings and a great kingdom!(1)

Various commentaries have been offered for the words ‘نَعِیمٌ’ - ‘blessings’ and ‘مُلْکٌ کَبِیرٌ’ - ‘a great kingdom’.

There is a tradition from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq in which he said that the meaning of this verse is the kingdom which will never go away or be destroyed.(2) It may also refer to the blessings of paradise being so numerous that it is not possible to enumerate them.

The phrase ‘a great kingdom’ may refer to the angels who will ask the people of paradise for permission when they want to enter the sacred grounds and upon entering, they will greet them with the words of peace; it may also refer to the belief that the people in paradise will have any wish or desire granted to them; another meaning of this phrase is that the people in the lowest spiritual rank of paradise whose jurisdiction of governance will be equivalent to the time it takes to travel 1,000 years in any direction (in paradise); the final meaning of this phrase is the perpetual and ever-lasting kingdom which

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1- Some exegetes of the Qur’an have clearly stated that the particle ‘ث_مʼ found in this verse is the adverb of the place, while the word ‘رأیتʼ is in the meaning of the intransitive verb and thus the meaning of this verse would be, ‘إذا رمیت ببصرک ث_م رأیت نعیما و ملکاً کبیراًʼ or that ‘When you see with your eyes, you will see the blessings and a great kingdom.ʼ Another possibility has also been mentioned which states that the ‘ث_مʼ in this verse is the demonstrative pronoun for something far away and is the object for the transitive verb ‘رأیتʼ.
2- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 411

contains all of a person’s needs and desires.

According to the books of ʿArabic lexicography, the word ‘نَعِیمٌ’ refers to the ‘countless blessings’ while ‘مُلْکُ کَبِیرٌ’ refers to the ‘greatness and vastness of the gardens in paradise’ and this word covers a broad definition and can include everything mentioned above.

Up to now, some of the blessings of paradise that have been mentioned include: houses; couches; shadow of coolness; fruits; drinks; vessels and groups of servants. At this point, we turn our attention to the objects of beautification which the people of paradise will be granted:

Upon them will be garments of fine green silk and thick silk interwoven with gold...(1)

The meaning of ‘سُنْدُسٌ’ is a ‘very thin silk cloth’ while ‘إِسْتَبْرَقٌ’ refers to a ‘thick silk cloth’. Some scholars have stated that the second word has come from the Farsi word ‘استبر’ or ‘ستبر’, while others state that perhaps it comes from the Arabic word ‘برق’ which means ‘light’ or ‘lightning’.

The verse continues and we read: …and they shall be adorned with bracelets of silver…

These bracelets of silver are transparent – just like glass - however they will be more beautiful than rubies and pearls!

The word ‘أَسَاوِرَ’ whose plural is ‘أسوره’ and can also be ‘سَوَارٌ’ or ‘سِوَارٌ’ was originally a Farsi word ‘دستوار’ and means a bracelet, however when it was imported into the ʿArabic language, its spelling went through a minor change and became ‘سوار’.

The choice of the color green for the clothing of paradise is because

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1- In regards to the grammatical states of the word ‘عَالِیَهُمْʼ, there are two possibilities: the first is that it is the pronoun denoting spatial situations in the meaning of ‘aboveʼ. If we take this meaning then the verse would be understood as saying, ‘فَوْقَهُمْ ثِیَابُ سُنْدُسٍʼ or ‘above them are clothes of silkʼ. The second possibility is that it is the accusative for the pronoun ‘هُمْʼ which came in the previous verse and refers back to ‘أبرارʼ and if we accept this possibility, then the meaning of this verse would be ‘حالکونهم یعلوهم ثیاب سندس خضرʼ.

this color brings delight and pleasure, just like we see the beautiful leaves on trees. Of course green also has various tints and hues to it and each of them carries its own special sophistication.

In some verses of the Qurʼan, such as verse 30 of Suratul Kahf (18), we are told that the people of paradise will be beautified with bracelets of gold:

.یُحَلَّونَ فِیهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ.

…They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold…

However this does not conflict with what has been mentioned in the verse under review since it is possible that sometimes, one will be beautified with bracelets of gold, while at other times another type of bracelet will be worn (as mentioned in the verse under review).

At this point a question may arise: Are gold and silver bracelets not only ornaments of beautification for women alone? How is it possible that the men in paradise will use these forms of adornment?

The answer to this question is clear: In many parts of the world, gold and silver are used as items of beautification for men and women (even though Islam prohibits men from wearing gold). Of course, there is a difference in the style of the bracelets which men and women wear, however from verse 53 of Suratul Zukhruf (43) quoting the words of the Pharaoh:

“ فَلَوْ لاَ أَلْقی عَلَیْهِ أَسْوِرَهٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ “

Why has he (Moses) not been given bracelets of gold?

we see that the wearing of gold bracelets was something that indicated

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a person’s greatness in Egypt at that time. In addition, as we have alluded to many times that when describing the gifts of paradise, the words used in this world are never sufficient;

However there is no other option except to refer to the great pleasures and indescribable blessings of that world with these limited words.

At the end of this verse, in describing the final and most important of blessings in this chain of bounties, we read:

…and their Lord will make them drink a pure drink.

In the beginning of this discussion, there was mention about the refreshing drinks which will flow into the peoples’ cups from the spring of Salsabl that will quench the thirst of the inhabitants of paradise. However there is a vast difference between what was previously mentioned and what is stated in this verse!

From one angle, the ones who will quench the thirst are the ‘وِلْدَانٌ مُخَلَّدُونَ’ the ever-young servants; however in this verse, the one who will quench the thirst of those in paradise is Allah and what amazing wording has been used here.

Keep in mind that the word used in this verse is ‘ربّ’ a word which tells us that He is the same Creator which has continuously nurtured humanity and is our Ruler and Teacher and that He has been with us during our entire course of struggling to reach perfection, when we finally reach the ultimate stage, then we will see His Lordship as it manifests to the highest pinnacles and

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with the hand of His Power, He will satiate the thirst of His righteous and well-acting servants with a pure drink!

In addition, the word ‘طَهُورٌ’ which is used in this verse refers to something which is ‘pure’ and also has the ‘ability to purify’ other things. Therefore, this drink cleans the body and spirit of a person from all forms of filth which may be remaining, and also brings about such a sense of spirituality, light and pleasure with it that it cannot be described with words!

Imam Jafar as-Sadiq has stated:

یُ

طَهِّرُ هُمْ عَنْ کُلِّ شَیْءٍ سِویٰ اللهَ.

(This drink) will purify the heart of a person from everything (within him) except for Allah.(1)

The curtains of negligence will be removed; the spiritual veils will all be shattered and the believer will be made worthy of remaining eternally in the proximity of Allah , an exhilaration which this pure drink gives and which is greater than any other blessing, and loftier than any other possible gift!

The impure, forbidden drinks of this world corrupt the intellect and spiritually distance a person from Allah; however the pure drink which is given by the hand of the Lord (in paradise) will make a person negligent of everything other than Allah, such a person will become drowned in His beauty and majesty!

In summary, the subtle points in this verse and all that which is contained in this blessing is greater than any other gifts!

In a tradition from the Messenger of Allah, We can deduce that

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1- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 411

the source of this pure drink is located in paradise:

فَ_یُ_سْقَونَ مِنْهَا شَرْبَهً فَیُطَهِّرُ اللهُ بِهَا قُلُوبُهُمْ مِنَ الْحَسَدِ!... وَ ذٰلِکَ قَوْلِ اللهِ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ سَقَاهُمْ رَبُهُّمْ شَرَاباً طَهُوراً

So then Allah will give them a drink through which their hearts will be purified from jealousy! … And this is the meaning of the words of Allah, the Noble and Grand,

[And their Lord will give them a pure drink.(1)

It is interesting to note that the word ‘طَهُورٌ’ ‘pure’ has been mentioned in the Noble Qur’an on only two occasions, once in chapter al-Furqan (25), verse 48 in regards to rain which purifies all things and also brings the dead back to life, and then again in this verse referring to the pure drink of paradise which will purify and give a new life!

In the final verse under review in this section, we read:

Surely this is a reward for you, and your striving will be recompensed.

This has been stated in case some people think that these gifts and grand rewards are given for no reason! Rather, these are the rewards for a person’s struggles and (righteous) actions, self-building and keeping away from sins.(2)

The mere act of mentioning (this final statement) brings forth unusual spiritual pleasures and a special sense of beauty to it that Allah the Great, or His angels are speaking directly to the righteous and good doers and are acknowledging and appreciating them by saying that: “Everything which you are being given is due to your actions, and the

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1- Nur al-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, pg. 485, no. 60
2- In reality, there is a sentence which should be taken as being intended but not expressly mentioned which reads, ‘یقال لهمʼ or ‘It was said to themʼ or ‘یقول الله لهمʼ or ‘Allah will say to them.ʼ

struggles which you went through in life are definitely appreciated.”

According to some exegetes of the Qur’an, in regards to all of these blessings and gifts, the greatest one is when Allah thanks a person for his righteous deeds!

The use of the past-tense verb ‘کَانَ’ tells us about an action which occurred in the past, and it is possible that this verb has been used as an allusion to the fact that the blessings (in paradise) are already prepared for the believers (before they arrive there). As an example, when a person wants to invite some important guests to his house, he will make all of the necessary arrangements before they come to his house.

Section Four: Verses 23 to 26

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إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَیْکَ الْقُرْآنَ تَنْ_زِیلاً ۞ فَاصْبِرْ لِحُکْمِ رَبِّکَ وَلاَ تُطِعْ مِنْهُمْ آث_ِماً أَوْ کَ_فُوراً ۞ وَاذْکُ_رِ اسْمَ رَبِّکَ بُکْرَهً وَأَصِیلاً ۞ وَمِنَ اللَّیْلِ فَاسْجُدْ لَهُ وَسَبِّحْهُ لَیْلاً طَوِیلاً

“Surely We ourselves have revealed the Qur’an to you revealing (it) in portions. Therefore wait patiently for the command of your Lord, and obey not from among them a sinner or an ungrateful one. And glorify the name of your Lord in the morning and evening. And during a part of the night prostrate to Him, and give glory to Him (a) long (part of the) night.”

Five points for success in adhering to Allah’s laws

From the beginning of this chapter until this point, the verses focused on the creation of humanity followed by one’s resurrection and then the rising up on the Day of Judgment.

The verses in this section present us with words spoken

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directly to the Prophet and contain definite commandments in regards to the guidance of humanity and the patience and fortitude which they must display while on the path of life. In reality, these verses direct the course which guide us to the astounding bounties and blessings - holding firm to the Qur’an, following the leadership of the Prophet of Islam and taking inspiration from the commandments which he (the Prophet ) has been given.

We first read: Surely We Ourselves have revealed the Qur’an to you revealing (it) in portions.

Some exegetes of the Qur’an have stated that the word ‘تَنْ_زِیلٌ’ – ‘in portions’ used in this verse has been mentioned as an unconditional object and refers to the gradual revelation of the Qurʾan and its effect on the spiritual training of a person.

Others have stated that it refers to the greatness and status of the heavenly Book and highlights the fact that the Qurʾan has been revealed by Allah – keeping in mind that other forms of emphasis also exist in this verse such as ‘إِنَّ’ - ‘surely’; and ‘نحَنُ’ - ‘We’ and the ‘verbal sentence’ which also acts as a form of emphasis.

Indeed, this verse actually provides an answer to those who claimed that the Prophet was a sooth-sayer, magician or was fabricating lies against Allah!

Five important commandments are then given to the Prophet of Islam, the first one being an invitation to patience and fortitude:

Therefore wait patiently for the command of your Lord…

The Prophet (p) is

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commanded to disregard any difficulties, obstacles and the many enemies and opponents on the path (of conveying the faith of Islam) and to continue to press forward just as he did in the past. It is interesting to note that the commandment to have fortitude has been mentioned with a ‘فاء’ which means ‘the result’ as seen in the word ‘فَاصْبِرْ’.

This means that the revelation of the Qur’an is from Allah - and since Allah is the Prophet’s assistant and support, then without doubt he must have fortitude, and the use of the word ‘رَبّ’ or ‘Lord’ is also a subtle allusion to this issue.

The second commandment given to the Prophet is that he must not compromise with the misguided people:

…and obey not from among them a sinner or an ungrateful one.

In reality, this second order actually highlights the first commandment of being patient which was given to the Prophet.

As we know, some of the Prophet’s enemies tried to divert him to the wrong path through the use of various tactics.

It has been mentioned in the narrations that Utbah b. Rabiah and Walid b. Mughayrah asked the Prophet to give up his mission of inviting people (towards Islam) and if he complied, they would give him such a large amount of wealth that he would be taken care of (forever). They also promised him the most beautiful Arab women as his wives and many other material bounties!

In the verse under review, Allah ordered the Prophet, who was

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a great and truthful leader, to exhibit patience in the face of such satanic whisperings from the people, which they will put forth later on and that he must have fortitude in the face of their temptations which would make him a great leader within the society! In summary, he was not to submit to them, and not even pay any attention to their threats!

It is true that the Prophet of Islam never submitted to such demands, however this verse simply emphasizes the importance of this subject and is also an everlasting lesson for all leaders who are treading the path of Allah.

Although some exegetes of the Qur’an have stated that the word ‘آثم’ - ‘sinner’ refers to ʿUtbah b. Rabiah, and that ‘کَفُورٌ’ - ‘ingrate disbeliever’ refers to Walid b. Mughayrah or Abu Jahl – all three were from the polytheistic Arabs, however it is clear that both ‘آثِم’ - ‘sinner’ and ‘کَفُورٌ’ - ‘ungrateful disbeliever’ and ‘one who makes others disbelieve’ are words with broad applications and refer to all sinners and polytheists - even if the three individuals noted were the most obvious examples of these traits.

It should also be noted that the word ‘آثِ_م’ - ‘sinner’ has a general understanding to it which also includes those who are referred to as a ‘کَفُورٌ’ - ‘an ingrate disbeliever’. Therefore, mentioning the word ‘کَفُورٌ’ - ‘ingrate disbeliever’ is referred to (in the ʿArabic language) as ‘mentioning a specific term after a general term’ and is done to accentuate

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the discussion.

However, seeing as how patience and perseverance in the face of the tirade of enormous challenges is not something easy and traversing this path requires two particular abilities, we then read:

And glorify the name of your Lord in the morning and evening.

We are then told:

And during a part of the night, prostrate to Him, and give glory to Him (a) long (part of the) night.

This act of (the night) prayer should be done so that under the shade of the remembrance (dhikr), prostration (sajdah) and glorification (tasbih), the required power and spiritual strength and assistance needed to struggle against the difficulties of this path can be harnessed.

In this verse, the word ‘بُکْرَهٌ’ refers to the beginning of the day, while the word ‘أَصِیلٌ’ refers to the end of the day or the evening time.

Some scholars have stated that the word ‘أَصِیلٌ’ which refers to the end of the day comes from the root word ‘أصل’ and this is because the end of the day makes up the initial or earliest part of the night. From other phrases used, we can deduce that the word ‘أَصِیلٌ’ is sometimes used in reference to the time gap between mid-day and sunset, as can be seen in al-Mufradat of Raghib.

From the opinions of other scholars, we understand that the word ‘أَصِیلٌ’ refers to the beginning of the night and they have explained this word as meaning the same as ‘عش_ی’ because this word refers to the commencement of the night -

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just as the salat of maghrib and ʿisha can be referred to as ishaayn (lit. the two isha’ prayers). In addition, we deduce from the opinion of other scholars that ‘عشی’ includes the time from the decline of the sun at noon until the morning of the next day.

However, keeping in mind that ‘أَصِیلٌ’ which has been mentioned in this verse is the opposite of ‘بُکْرَهٌ’ - ‘morning’, and we then read a discussion in regards to worship in the night, it is clear that the meaning of the word in this verse is the last part of the day just before the night period.

In any case, these two verses illustrate the necessity of paying constant attention to the Pure Essence of Allah both night and day.

Some scholars have stated that this verse is a specific reference to the five daily prayers (salawat), or in relation to salaatul layl, or specifically in regards to the salat of fajr, dhhuhr, asr, maghrib, and isha.

However the apparent reading is that these prayers (salawat) are the clearest proofs of this continuous remembrance of Allah and the glorification and prostration to Him.

The usage of the phrase ‘لَیْلاً طَوِیلاً’ - ‘a long portion of the night’ is in reference to a significant portion of the night which must be kept aside for the glorification of Allah; and when Imam Ali al-Ridha was asked in regards to this verse and what the meaning of the glorification (tasbih) was, he replied: “This refers to salatul layl

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(the night prayer).”(1)

However it is not unlikely to assume that the exegesis he offered is only the clearest understanding of this verse (however there may be other commentaries possible) since salatul layl plays a very important role in strengthening the spirit of true faith, purification of the soul and keeping alive a person’s intention of obeying the commandments of Allah.

At this point, we must take notice that although the commandments given in the above verses made up a part of the regiment of the Prophet of Islam, however in reality, these verses contain lessons for all people who are traversing the path of spiritual and societal leadership and are working for the guidance of humanity.

Therefore, we must know that after gaining complete certainty and perfect faith and receiving the message which one must convey, it is necessary to observe patience and perseverance and not have any fear while facing difficulties on the path, since guiding people – especially when a person is put face to face with those who are unaware of the truth and in which the strong-headed enemies are present - is something which is always fret with great difficulties.

Thus, if a person is not led by patience and fortitude, then no message will ever be triumphant!

At the next stage, a person must struggle and forge ahead with full energy and fortitude in the face of the whisperings of the Satanic forces – the open sinners and disbelievers, and whatever evil plans and plots that they may use

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1- Majmaʽ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 413

to misguide the leaders of the society and try to erase the life-giving message from humanity.

Such leaders must not be fooled by the wicked plans or whisperings, nor can they permit the warnings that such people give to the spiritual leaders to find a way into their psyche.

Thus, in order to achieve spiritual power in all stages, gain a firm determination, acquire deeply rooted resolve and an iron-clad decision making process, a leader must be in the remembrance of Allah at every moment - morning and evening!

He must prostrate and humble himself in His presence – especially in the night prayers and vigils, and through his prayers and supplications, ask Him for help. If this is carried out, then success is guaranteed.

If a person is faced with tribulation or defeat in any of these stages, then through the benefit of the principles mentioned in the verses quoted (and the five acts mentioned), a person will be able to make up his (spiritual) losses. Thus, those who are travelling this path should take the course of spiritual building from the Prophet of Islam, and his invitation and message, and follow these things in one’s own life to attain success!

Section Five: Verses 27 to 31

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“ إِنَّ هٰؤُلاَءِ یُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَهَ وَیَذَرُونَ وَرَآءَهُمْ یَوْماً ثَقِیلاً ۞ نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَاهُمْ وَشَدَدْنَا أَسْرَهُمْ وَإِذَا شِ__ئْنَا بَدَّلْنَا أَمْثَالَهُمْ تَبْدِیلاً ۞ إِنَّ هٰذِهِ تَذْکِرَهٌ فَمَنْ شَآءَ اتَّخَذَ إِل_یٰ رَبِّهِ سَبِیلاً ۞ وَمَا تَشَآءُونَ إِلاَّ أَنْ یَشَآءَ اللهُ إِنَّ اللهَ کَانَ عَ__لِیمًا حَکِیماً ۞ یُدْخِلُ مَنْ یَشَاءُ فِی رَحْمَتِهِ وَالظَّالِمِینَ أَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا

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أَلِیمًا “

“Surely these people love the transitory world and neglect a grievous day before them.  We created them and made firm their make, and when We please, We will bring in their place the likes of them by a change.  Surely this is a reminder, so whoever wishes takes to his Lord a way.  And you do not will except that Allah wills, surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.  He makes whom He pleases to enter into His mercy; and (as for) the unjust, He has prepared for them a painful chastisement.”

This is simply a warning – it is up to you to choose the path!

In the previous verses, the Prophet was warned that he must never fall under the influence of two groups of people - the ‘آث_ْمٌ’ - ‘sinners’ and the ‘کَفُورٌ’ - ‘disbelievers’. According to history, these two designations were manifest by people who thought they could influence the determination and objective of the Prophet and that they could bribe him with wealth, status and beautiful women, and the verses under review offer us a greater description of these people.

We first read: Surely these people love the transitory world and neglect a grievous day which is before them.

The views of such people do not go past spiritual negligence and the fulfillment of the lower desires and their only sphere of reason is in regards to attaining uninhibited, material pleasures. It is astonishing to see that such people wanted the Noble Prophet to be just like they were!

However these naive, spiritually blinded individuals decided to ignore the

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momentous days which await them – tragic days from the point of view of the punishment therein; the accountability for the deeds which they had performed, and because of the length of time these days will last and the disgrace and dishonor that these people will face.

The use of the phrase ‘وَرَائِهِمْ’ - ‘behind them’ should technically speaking, be another word which conveys the meaning of ‘the day which is in front of them (to come)’, however the phrase ‘behind them’ has been used because this is a day which they have entirely forgotten about and it can be said that they threw this day behind their backs! However, according to some exegetes of the Qur’an, the word ‘وراء’ is sometimes used in the meaning of behind and sometimes for something which is in front of a person.(1)

These people are warned that they should not feel proud about their power because this is something which Allah has granted to them, and anytime He wants, He can instantly take these things away from them. In this verse we read:

We created them and made firm their make, and when We please We will bring in their place the likes of them by a change.(2)

The primary meaning of the word ‘أَسَرٌ’ was ‘to tie something up with a chain’ and it is for this reason that captives are referred to as ‘أسیر’ since they were normally tied with chains.

However in this verse, the word ‘أسر’ refers to the strong relationships within a

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1- In the commentary, Ruh al-Bayan, vol. 8, pg. 439, it has been mentioned that if ‘وراءʼ is annexed to a verb then it carries the meaning of ‘behindʼ, however if it is annexed with an object, then it is in the meaning of ‘in frontʼ.
2- This verse has a sentence which must be taken as being intended (by Allah) but not expressly mentioned and can be presumed as being: ‘بَدَّلْنَاهُمْ أَمْثَالَهُمْʼ. It must be noted that the verb ‘to changeʼ (تَبْدِیلٌ) usually takes two objects and thus in this case, the pronoun in ‘هُمْʼ is the first object, while ‘أَمْثَالَهُمْʼ is the second object.

person’s essence (which bind things together within him) which give him the ability to carry out important tasks. In this verse, the Qurʾan has pointed to an extremely focused aspect of the physical life which is the various relationships that exist in the numerous body parts of a human being, such as the nerves of various sizes that connect all of the body parts with one another, just like iron joins various parts of a large machine.

This connection between body parts includes things such as the ligaments and tendons which join with the bones of various sizes and also the flesh of the body. All of this is put together and forms one complete unit which is ready and able to carry out any activity.

This verse also points to the power and strength of a person. In addition to this verse elucidating upon the self-sufficiency and needlessness of anything which are traits of Allah alone, it also refers to the fact that He does not even need the obedience and faith of His creations! Through this verse, people are made aware that if there is even a whisper of true faith within them, then in reality, this is a grace and mercy from their Lord! This can be seen in verse 133 of Suratul Anʿam (6) where we read:

وَ رَبُّکَ الْغَنِیُّ ذُو الْرَحْمَهِ إِنْ یَشَأْ یُذْهِبْکُمْ وَ یَسْتَخْلِفُ مِنْ بَعْدِکُمْ مَا یَشَآءُ

And your Lord is the Self-Sufficient, Possessor of Mercy. If He wishes, He would remove all

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of you and bring others in your place.

The next verse combines all of the discussions which have taken place in this chapter up until this point which make up a complete program for happiness in life:

Surely this is a reminder, so whoever pleases may take a way to his Lord.

This verse tells us that: “It is Allah‘s responsibility to show the true path - however, there is no compulsion to choose this path.

It is us ourselves who, with our intellect and reasoning, must distinguish between truth and falsehood and through our own decision making process, make the choice.” In reality, this point merely emphasizes what was mentioned in the beginning of this chapter in the third verse:

إِنَّا هَدَیْنَاهُ السَّبِیلَ أَمَّا شَاکِراً وَ أَمَّا کَفُوراً

Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.

At this point, it is possible that simple-minded people may take the previous verse as implying that human beings have been given complete free-will (to do as they please), however in the verse which follows, this incorrect notion is rejected:

And you do not will except that Allah wills, surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.(1)

This is definitely the case since: Surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.

In reality, this proves the well-known belief of ‘أَلْأَمْرُ بَیْنَ الأَمْرَینِ’ or ‘a command between the two commands’. From one aspect we are told that: “Now that Allah has shown you the path, the choice is up to you.”

At the same time we are told: “Your choice is

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1- As for what is the inflection of ‘إن یشاء اللهʼ? A group of exegetes of the Qurʼan have stated that it is in a state of the ‘accusative or ‘subjunctive caseʼ due to it being the pronoun denoting time and thus, this phrase would mean, ‘مَا تَشَاوُن َإِلاَّ وَقْتُ مَشِیَّهِ اللِهʼ - ‘You will not desire except when the time comes for when Allah decides’ - however another supposition also exists which states that ‘شیئاʼ is in an elliptical and thus, this phrase would mean, ‘وَ مَا تَشَاؤُنَ إِلاَّ شَیْئاً یَشَآءَ اللهُʼ - ‘You will not desire anything except that Allah (first) decides that thing (before-hand).”

dependent upon the will of Allah.” This means that we do not have complete free-will. Rather, the power, ability and freedom to choose is granted to us through the permission of Allah and anytime He wishes, He can take away our power of free choice! Thus, there is no ‘complete freedom’ nor is there ‘complete compulsion’ – rather there is a fine and subtle truth between these two states.

In other words, there is a form of freedom which is related directly to the will of Allah which can, at any time, be taken away so that the servants can fulfill the responsibility and accountability on their shoulders, and in which lies the secret of how they can reach perfection, and through which they realize that they are not completely needless of Allah .

In brief, this verse shows us that the servants must realize that they are not completely free of need of guidance, help, success and His assistance; while at the same time, when they decide to do something, they submit themselves to Him and work with His assistance.

From this discussion, it is clear that when some exegetes of the Qur’an, such as Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi subscribe to the belief of compulsion in all affairs, they do so by holding onto this verse due to some pre-conceived notions they have in regards to this issue. Actually, he himself (Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi) has been quoted as saying:

وَ اعْلَمْ أَنَّ هٰذِهِ الأَیَهِ مِنْ جُمْلَهِ الأَیَاتِ الَّتِی تَلاَطَمَتْ فِیهَا أَمْوَاجٌ الْجَبْرِ وَ

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الْقَدْرِ.

Know that this verse is one of those verses in which the rough waves of compulsion and predestination ride!(1)

Indeed, if this verse is separated from that which came before it, then this baseless belief could be accepted, however by keeping in mind that there is a discussion of free-will, while in another verse there is a discussion of the will of Allah, thus this issue of ‘ألأمر بین الأمرین’ or – ‘A command between the two affairs’ becomes understandable.

It is remarkable to see the supporters of the belief of free-will also hold on to this verse of the Qurʼan and speak about complete free-will, while those who believe in compulsion in all actions are only able to perceive this belief of theirs - each party wanting to justify their pre-conceived notions and beliefs through the use of these verses!

In reality, we see that the correct understanding of the Word of Allah (and any other speech) always necessitates passing of judgment by looking at whatever is spoken as one unit without any prejudice or pre-judgments.

The end of this verse tells us that: Surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.

This may refer to the same thing stated above because the knowledge and wisdom of Allah demand that the servants freely travel the path towards perfection. If this was not the case, then perfection which comes through compulsion and force is in actuality, not really perfection!

In addition, the knowledge and wisdom of Allah does not permit a person to be forced to do

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1- Tafsir of Fakhr ad-Din Razi, vol. 30, pg. 262

good or bad deeds and then reward the good doers (who were forced to do good deeds) and punish the bad doers (who were forced to perform bad deeds).

Finally, in the last verse of this chapter, we see the outcome of the good and bad doers as has been mentioned in one short, yet meaningful sentence:

He makes whom He pleases to enter into His mercy; and (as for) the unjust, He has prepared for them a painful chastisement.

The beginning of the verse tells us that He makes those He wishes to enter into His mercy, however at the end we read that the punishment will surround the oppressors and this clearly shows us that His prerogative to punish follows mankind’s desire to commit oppression and sins!

By taking the opposite of this analogy, it becomes clear that His intention to shower mercy on humanity follows the intention of humanity to bring about true faith, perform righteous actions and enact justice (in their daily life) – and this cannot be expected from anyone except one who performs his actions with wisdom!

It is interesting to note that even with this clear analogy that has been given, people still exist, such as Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi, who have stated that the beginning of this verse was proof for the existence of compulsion, without realizing that the end of this verse proves the freedom of intention and action of the oppressors!(1)

O’ Allah! Enter us into Your Mercy and distance us from the painful

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1- A detailed discussion on the issue of this verse which deals with the intention can be seen in vol. 19 of Tafsir Namuna, pp. 461-468 (under the commentary of verse 37 of Suratul Zumur) of Tafsir Namuna.

punishment which awaits the oppressors!

O’ Allah! You have shown us the path and we too have made the intention to follow this path, therefore, please help us in this!

O’ Allah! If we are not among the righteous people, then at least we are of among those who love these individuals, thus join us with them in the eventual abode!

…So be it, O Lord of all the Worlds

Suratul Qadr, (The Night of) Ordainment or Power

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This chapter was revealed in Mecca and contains 5 verses

In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful

Contents of Suratul Qadr

As it is understood from the name, this chapter refers to the revelation of the Noble Qur’an on the Night of Ordainment (al-Qadr) and then it describes the importance of the night and the blessings within it.

Was this chapter revealed in Mecca or Medina? Amongst the commentators it is widely known as a Meccan chapter, although some hold that it was revealed in Medina as a narration states that the Noble Prophet  dreamt that the Ummayads were climbing his pulpit (mimbar).

It disturbed the Prophet to have such a dream and thus Suratul Qadr was revealed to comfort him. (Therefore, some believe that the verse: “The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months” refers to the length of time that the Ummayads governed, which was about one thousand months). In addition, we know that the masjid and mimbar (pulpit) were established in Medina and not in Mecca.(1)

However as it has been stated above, the chapter is known as Meccan and the opinion

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1- Ruh al-Maani, vol. 30, p. 188; and Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, p. 391

may be a kind of application and not related directly to the occasion of revelation.

The virtue of studying this chapter

In regards to the virtue of studying this chapter, there is a narration from the Noble Prophet which states:

مَنْ قَرَأَهَا أُعْطِیَ مِنَ الأَجْرِ کَمَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ وَ أَحْیَا لَیْلَهَ الْقَدْرِ

He who recites it (Suratul Qadr) will be rewarded like the one who has fasted the whole month of Ramadhan and has kept vigil the entire night of al-Qadr.(1)

A narration from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir says:

مَنْ قَرَأَ إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ بِجَهْرِ کَانَ کَشَاهِرِ سَیْفِهِ فِی سَبِیلِ اللهِ وَ مَنْ قَرَأَهَا سِرّاً کَانَ کَالْمُتَشَحِّطِ بِدَمِهِ فِی سَبِیلِ اللهِ

He who recites Indeed We have revealed it (Suratul Qadr) in an audible voice is like a person who fights in the way of Allah with his sword drawn, and he who recites it in an audible whisper is like a person who drowns in his own blood for the sake of Allah (due to being killed in the battle field).(2)

It is obvious that these rewards are not for that person who merely recites the chapter and does not comprehend its real meaning; rather, such rewards are reserved for that person who recites this chapter, understands its contents, and then embellishes all of his daily actions with its comprehensive teachings and considers the Qur’an as something important and implements its verses in one’s daily life.

Commentary of the Verses

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In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful

إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِی لَیْلَهِ الْقَدْرِ ۞ وَمَا أَدْرَاکَ مَا لَیْلَهُ الْقَدْرِ ۞ لَیْلَهُ الْقَدْرِ خَیْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

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1- Majmaʿ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 516
2- Majmaʿ al-Bayan, vol. 30, p. 516

۞ تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِکَهُ وَالرُّوحُ فِیهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِّنْ کُلِّ أَمْرٍ ۞ سَلَامٌ هِیَ حَتَّی مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

“Surely, We sent it (the Qur’an) down on the Night of Ordainment  And what will make you know what the Night of Ordainment is?  The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months.  The Angels and the Spirit descend therein by their Lord’s leave for every affair.  Peace! It is until the rising of the dawn.”

Commentary: The night when the Qur’an was revealed

From a review of the verses of the Noble Qur’an, it is clearly evident that this book was revealed in the blessed month of Ramadhan:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِی أُنْزِلَ فِیهِ الْقُرْآنُ...

Ramadhan is the (month) in which the Qur’an was sent down...(1)

From the apparent reading of this verse (just mentioned), the entire Qur’an was revealed in this month and in the first verse of Suratul Qadr we are additionally told:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِی لَیْلَهِ الْقَدْرِ

Surely We sent it (the Qurʾan) down on the Night of al-Qadr.

Even though in the above mentioned verse, the word ‘Qur’an’ is not explicitly mentioned, however it is certain that the objective pronoun existing in the phrase “إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ” refers to the Qur’an and its being mentioned in this format is to show its greatness and importance.

The phrase “إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ” – “Surely We sent it” is another indicator which shows the importance of this great Heavenly-Sent book for which Allah(s) has attributed its descent to Himself – and

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1- Suratul Baqarah (2), verse 185

that too by using the plural pronoun, ‘We’, which further shows the Qur’an’s greatness.

The descent of the Qur’an on the Night of Ordainment, the very night on which the fate of each and every human being is decided, is another reason to show the importance of this Divine Book in its role in forging the destiny of people in this world.

With the combination of the meaning of this verse, as just stated, and the above verse from Suratul Baqarah, we can conclude that the Night of Ordainment is in the month of Ramadhan – however which of the nights is it?

It is not clearly understood from the Qur’an which of the nights of the month of Ramadhan is the Night of Ordainment, and indeed this has been left as a mystery for us, however there are many indicators about it in the narrations which will be dealt with later in the exegesis of this chapter.

Here, a question arises regarding the history and the content of the Noble Qur’an in connection with the events in the life of the Noble Prophet .

Most clearly, this Heavenly Book was gradually revealed over the period of 23 years, so then how does this fit with the above verse which says:

Surely We sent it (the Qur’an) down on the night of al-Qadr during the month of Ramadhan?

The reply to this question, as many scholars have said, is to say that the Qur’an has two kinds of revelation:

The first is the revelation of the

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entire Qur’an at one time, in one night to the blessed heart of the Noble Prophet or to Bayt al-Mamur, or from the Lawh al-Mahfuẓ (the Preserved Tablet) to the lowest sky of this world.

The second kind of revelation is that the Noble Qur’an came down in portions, gradually, during the entire period of the call which lasted 23 years.(1)

Some have also said that the initiation of the revelation of the Qur’an began on the Night of Ordainment and that it was not the entire book which was revealed on this night, however this idea does not fit with the apparent meaning of the verse which says:

Surely We sent it (the Qur’an) down on the Night of Ordainment.

It should be noted that in regards to the descent of the Qur’an, some of the verses have made use of the notion of “إِنْزَالٌ”, while other verses have spoken about “تَنْزِیلٌ” and from a review of some Arabic dictionaries, we understand that the difference between these two Arabic terms is that “إِنْزَالٌ” has a broad meaning, and here it implies ‘bringing down all at once’ while “تَنْزِیلٌ” implies ‘bringing down gradually’.(2)

This difference, which is seen in various verses of the Qur’an, can be taken as an indication to the above mentioned two types of descent.

In the next verses, referring to the greatness of the Night of Ordainment it says:

And what will make you know what the Night of Ordainment is?

Right after this we are told, The Night of Ordainment

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1- A deeper explanation of this division of the method of revelation has been covered under the exegesis of verse 3 of Suratul Dukhan contained in volume 21 of Tafsir Namuna on page 148 and beyond.
2- Al-Mufradat of Raghib, under the letters “نزل”

is better than a thousand months.

This phrase shows that the importance of this night is so great that even the Noble Prophet, with his vast knowledge, did not know the status of this night prior to it being revealed to him!

We know that one thousand months is equal to more than eighty years and truly, what a great night it is whose worth and value is as much as the length of a fairly long blessed life (which a person could have).

It is cited in some commentaries that the Noble Prophet has said: “One of the members of the Children of Israel (the Israelites) had spent one thousand months with his fighting armor on and was always prepared for war in the path of Allah.

The companions of the Prophet  became surprised and wished that there might have been that sort of virtue and honor for them too and it was at this time that the above verse came down and said,

The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months.”(1)

In another tradition, the Noble Prophet has been quoted as speaking about four individuals from amongst the Children of Israel who had worshipped God for a consecutive span of 80 years each, and during this time committed no acts of transgression (against His orders). The companions of the Prophet , upon hearing this all wished that they too could have been so fortunate and it is at this time that the above quoted verse was revealed.’(2)

A question

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1- Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, p. 371
2- Ibid.

comes up that: Is the amount of ‘one thousand’ which is mentioned in this verse in the meaning of the actual number of 1,000 or does it refer to a “multitude”?

Some have said that the figure given of ‘one thousand’ mentioned in this verse is for augmentation denoting that the value of the Night of Ordainment is more than thousands of months, but the above said narrations indicate that the figure is used in order to show the amount, and generally figures are used to show numbers, except for the time when clear evidence for augmentation is available.

Then, describing the Night of Ordainment in greater detail, it says:

The Angels and the Spirit descend therein by their Lord’s leave for every affair.

Regarding the term “تَنَزَّلَ” which is a future tense verb with the sense of continuity and comes from the root “تَتَنَزَّلَ”, this word makes it clear that the Night of Ordainment is not only for the period of the time of the Noble Prophet and the era in which the descent of the Qur’an was taking place, rather, it is a permanent fixture in this religion and it is a night that will repeat every year.

As for the meaning of “أَلرُّوحُ” or “The Spirit” some have said that it refers to Gabriel, the trustworthy, who is also called “رُوحُ الأَمِینُ” – “Ruh al-Amin”. Other scholars have rendered the meaning of “أَلرُّوحُ” to mean “وَحِیٌّ” or ‘Divine revelation’ and have used verse 52 of Suratul Shura to prove this:

“وَکَذٰلِکَ

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أَوْحَیْنَا إِلَیْکَ رُوحًا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا…”

Thus have We revealed to you the spirit of Our dispensation… (1)

Therefore, the meaning of the verse becomes:

“The Angels along with the Divine revelation descend therein for every affair.”

There is also a third commentary which seems the most appropriate of all which states that “أَلرُّوحُ” – ‘The Spirit’ is an important creation (of Allah s) which is greater than the angels; just as it has been mentioned in a tradition from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq in which a person asked him whether ‘al-Ruh’ was the same as (angel) Gabriel and he replied:

جِبْرَائِیلُ مِنَ الْمَلآئِکَهِ وَ الرُّوحُ أَعْظَمُ مِنَ الْمَلآئِکَهِ. أَلَیْسَ أَنَّ اللهَ عَزَّوَجَلَّ یَقُولُ: تَنَزَّلَ الْمَلاَئِکَهُ وَ الرُّوحُ؟

Gabriel is one of the angels and al-Ruh (Spirit) is even greater than the angels. Has Allah, the Exalted, not said:

The Angels and the Spirit descend?(2)

This means that in the sequence of comparison, those two are different entities.

There are also other commentaries cited on the word ‘al-Ruh’, but as they do not have any supporting evidences, we will not mention them here.

The meaning of “مِنْ کُلِّ أَمْرٍ” - ‘for every affair’ is that the angels descend to proportionate and assign the fates and to bring the blessing and goodness on that night and it is the fulfillment of these actions which is the purpose of their descent; in addition, it may be stated that they also bring any good affair and any fate (for humanity).(3) Other scholars have opined that the meaning is that they descend by

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1- Suratul Shura (42), verse 52
2- Tafsir al-Burhan, vol. 4, p. 481
3- According to the first explanation, the meaning of the first “مِنْ” is that conveyed in the particle “لام” and thus, the interpretation of “من کل أمر” is “لأجل کل أمر” – and according to the second explanation, the meaning of the first “مِنْ” is that conveyed in the particle “باء مصاحبه”.

the command of Allah , however the very first meaning is more fitting.

The meaning of “رَبِّهِمْ” or ‘their Lord’ of which the emphasis is on the subject of Lordship and management of the world, has a close relationship with the action of these angels, saying that they descend to proportionate and assign the affairs, and their accomplishment is a part of the Lordship of Allah .

In the last verse of the chapter, it says: Peace! It is, until the rising of the dawn.

It is a night on which both the Qur’an descended, and worship and spiritual vigilance therein is equal to a thousand months; in addition, it is a night in which Divine Blessings come down and one in which His special mercy covers all of the creatures; lastly, it is also a night in which the angels and the Spirit descend.

Thus, it is a night full of peace - from the beginning to the end - in which, according to some narrations, even Satan is fastened in chains, and from this point of view, this night is also a night of (spiritual) security.

Therefore, the use of ‘سَلاَمٌ’ - ‘peace’ which means peace and safety (instead of the word سَالِمٌ – ‘safe’) has been employed, because a kind of emphasis is also contained in this - just as it is sometimes said that, ‘Such and such a person is the epitome of justice.” (Thus, Allah is saying that this night is the complete manifestation of “peace and safety”)

Some have also

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said that using the word ‘سَلاَمٌ’ - ‘peace’ in regards to that night is because on this night, the angels greet one another; or that they greet the believers, or that they are present with the Prophet and his sinless successors and greet them – and to combine these commentaries together is also possible.

In any case, it is a night filled with Divine light, grace, mercy, blessings, goodness, spiritual safety and felicity which is unique in all aspects!

It is cited in a tradition, that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was asked if he knew which night the Night of Ordainment was and he replied:

کَیْفَ لاَ نَعْرِفُ وَ الْمَلآئِکَهُ تَطُوفُ بِنَا فِیهَا

How can we not know it whereas the angels go round us therein?(1)

In the story of (prophet) Abraham we find that a few of the angels of the Divine came to him and greeted him, and gave him the glad tidings of a son:

وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُنَا إِبْرَاهِیمَ بِالْبُشْرَی قَالُوا سَلاَمًا قَالَ سَلاَمٌ فَمَا لَبِثَ أَنْ جَآءَ بِعِجْلٍ حَنِیذٍ ۞ فَلَمَّا رَأَی أَیْدِیَهُمْ لاَ تَصِلُ إِلَیْهِ نَکِرَهُمْ وَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِیفَهً قَالُوا لاَ تَخَفْ إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَی قَوْمِ لُوطٍ ۞ وَامْرَأَتُهُ قَائِمَهٌ فَضَحِکَتْ فَبَشَّرْنَاهَا بِإِسْحَاقَ وَمِنْ وَرَاءِ إِسْحَاقَ یَعْقُوبَ ۞ قَالَتْ یَا وَیْلَتَا أَأَلِدُ وَأَنَا عَجُوزٌ وَهٰذَا بَعْلِی شَیْخًا إِنَّ هٰذَا لَشَیْءٌ عَجِیبٌ ۞ قَالُوا أَتَعْجَبِینَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللهِ رَحْمَهُ اللهِ وَبَرَکَاتُهُ عَلَیْکُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَیْتِ إِنَّهُ حَمِیدٌ مَجِیدٌ

Certainly Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news, and said, ‘Peace!’ ‘Peace!’ He replied. Presently he brought [for them] a roasted calf. But when he

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1- Tafsir al-Burhan, vol. 4, p. 488, tradition 29

saw their hands not reaching for it, he took them amiss and felt a fear of them. They said, ‘Do not be afraid. We have been sent to the people of Lot.’ His wife, standing by, laughed as We gave her the good news of [the birth of] Isaac, and of Jacob, after Isaac. She said, ‘Oh, my! Shall I, an old woman, bear [children], and [while] this husband of mine is an old man?! That is indeed an odd thing!’ They said, ‘Are you amazed at God’s dispensation? [That is] God’s mercy and His blessings upon you, members of the household. Indeed He is All-Laudable, All-Glorious.’(1)

It is said that all that is contained in this world was worthless in comparison with the delight that Abraham took in that greeting (of the angels).

Now if we consider that the Night of Ordainment is one in which angels come to the believers in groups and greet them - how delightful it would be (for the believer)!

When Abraham was thrown into the fire which Nimrod ordered to be fuelled to persecute him, the angels came and greeted him and he remained safe. Can the fire of hell, under the grace of the angel’s greeting to the believers on the Night of Ordainment, not become cool and a means of safety for the believers?

Yes, this is the sign of the greatness of the nation of Prophet Muhammad that in that first example, the angels descended to Prophet Abraham but here, the angels

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1- Suratul Hd (11), verse 69-73

descend upon the believers in Islam!(1)

1. Which affairs are predetermined on the Night of Ordainment?

To answer this question on why this night is called the Night of Ordainment, various opinions have been expressed, including the following:

It is called the Night of Ordainment because all of the affairs and the destinies of humanity for the following year are determined; and the third and fourth verses of Suratul Dukhan (chapter 44) serve as witness to this idea, saying:

“فِیهَا یُفْرَقُ کُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَکِیمٍ. أَمْرًا مِنْ عِنْدِنَا إِنَّا کُنَّا مُرْسِلِینَ”

We sent it down during a night: For We (ever) wish to warn (against evil). On that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom…

This meaning is in harmony with numerous narrations which state: On that night the affairs and destinies of humanity are determined - sustenance, the end of lives, and other affairs are made distinct and clear.

This matter of course does not contradict the free-will which humanity has been given because Divine Wisdom is carried out by the angels based on humanities’ efficiencies and abilities on the level of their faith and virtue and purity of their intentions and actions - meaning that everyone is sustained with what he deserves, or in other words, the path is paved by the person himself; and not only does this belief not contradict his ‘free-will’, but rather it emphasizes it.

Some have also mentioned that the night is called the Night of Ordainment because it is of great importance and honour (beyond comprehension), like the case that is stated in Suratul Hajj (22) verse 74:

“وَمَا قَدَرُوا

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1- Tafsir Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi, vol. 32, p. 36

اللهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ”

They do not regard Allah with the regard that is due to Him.

Some others have said that it is called the Night of Ordainment because the Noble Qur’an, with all its of grandness, descended to the grand Apostle of Allah by the means of His grand angel.

Another meaning is that it is a night in which the descent of the Qur’an was appointed.

Yet another meaning is that the person who keeps vigil on that night obtains a grand rank.

The final meaning is that therein descend so many angels on that night that the expanse of the Earth is restricted and does not have enough room for all of them – as one of the meanings of “التقدیر” is ‘restricting’ – just as we see in Suratul Talaq (65), verse 7:

“...وَمَنْ قُدِرَ عَلَیْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْیُنفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللهُ...”

…and let he whose provision has been tightened spend out of what Allah has given him…

The combination of all of these commentaries on the vast meaning of the Night of Ordainment is quite possible; however the first commentary is the most appropriate and commonly known and accepted one.

2. Which night is the Night of Ordainment?

No doubt the Night of Ordainment is taken to be a night in the month of Ramadhan since the combination of the verses of the Qur’an attests to this very fact. From one angle, we see in Suratul Baqarah (2), verse 185 that it says:

“شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِی أُنزِلَ فِیهِ الْقُرْآنُ...”

Ramadhan is the (month) in which the Qur’an was sent down ...

and in the chapter

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under discussion we read:

“إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِی لَیْلَهِ الْقَدْرِ “

Surely We sent it (the Qur’an) down on the Night of Ordainment.

But which night of the nights of the Month of Ramadhan does this refer to? In this regards, many commentators and opinions have been stated which include the following nights of the Month of Ramadhan: 1st, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 27th, or 29th.

However the most popular in the narrations is that it is in the last ten nights of the month, emphasizing on the 21st or 23rd night, as we read in a narration which says that the Noble Prophet kept vigil and was busy praying all of the nights of the last ten nights of the Month of Ramadhan.

A narration from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq denotes that the Night of Ordainment is the 21st or 23rd night of the Month of Ramadhan, and when a person insisted and asked that if one cannot worship on both of them, then which one should he choose and the Imam replied:

مَا أَیْسَرَ لَیْلَتَینِ فِیمَا تَطْلُبُ

How easy is it (to spend) two nights for what you seek!(1)

However, in numerous narrations from the Ahlul Bayt , the 23rd night is emphasized, while the narrations of Sunni scholars tend toward the 27th night.

Further, a narration from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq also says:

أَلتَّقْدِیرُ فِی لَیْلَهِ الْقَدْرِ تِسْعَهُ عَشْرَ وَ الإِبْرَامُ فِی لَیْلَهِ إِحَدی وَ عِشْرِینَ وَ الْإِمْضَاءُ فِی لَیْلَهِ ثَلاَثُ وَ عِشْرِینَ

Determining the proportions (taqdir) is in the Night of Ordainment - the 19th night;

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1- Tafsir Nur ath-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 625, Tradition 58

its confirmation (ibram) is on the 21st night, and its signing (imdha) is on the 23rd night.(1)

Thus through this tradition we see that all of the explanations have been combined - however, a kind of mystic ambiguity covers the Night of Ordainment and the reason for this will be discussed later.

3. Why is the Night of Ordainment kept hidden from us?

Many commentators believe that the Night of Ordainment, being hidden among the nights of the year or in the nights of the Month of Ramadhan is for the reason that people should consider all of the nights as important, because Allah has:

Hidden His pleasure in various kinds of obedience and worship such that people practice all of them;

Hidden His wrath in sinning in general, so that people avoid all kinds of sin;

Hidden His special friendship among all of humanity so that everyone will be honored;

Concealed the supplication to which He listens (and will directly accept and fulfill), among all supplications, so that one will refer to all of the supplications when they call upon Him;

Hidden the “إسم الأعظم” or His Greatest Name, among His universal names so that people will remember and consider all of the Divine names of the Lord;

Kept hidden the time of death so that mankind will always be prepared.

and indeed this is a fitting philosophy!

4. Was there a Night of Ordainment for former nations?

The verses of this chapter apparently show that the Night of Ordainment was not specifically restricted to the time of the descent of the Qurʾan and the period of the call of the Messenger of Islam , but rather that it

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1- Tafsir Nur ath-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 626, Tradition 62

repeats annually until the end of this world. The application of the verb “تَنَزَّلَ” in the chapter, which is in the future tense and indicates an act of continuity and also by using the phrase:

“سَلاَمٌ هِیَ حَتَّی مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ”

Peace! It is until the rising of the dawn

which is a nounal phrase, shows perpetuity - and both of these conform to this idea.

In addition, there are also many narrations which reach to a level of ‘tawatur’ – a frequency of successive transmission – which also attests to this belief.

Now, a question arises whether the previous communities also had such a night?

Many narrations clearly indicate that this is a Divine blessing endowed only to the Muslims and in a tradition, the Noble Prophet is narrated to have said:

إِنَّ اللهَ وَحَبَ لِأُمَّتِی لَیْلَهَ الْقَدْرِ لَمْ یُعْطِهَا مَنْ کَانَ قَبْلَهُمْ

Surely Allah has bestowed on my community the Night of Ordainment which He did not give to any of those (peoples) who were before them.(1)

In commenting on the above verses there are some other narrations that indicate the same opinion.

5. How is the Night of Ordainment better than a thousand months?

Apparently, this night being better than a thousand months is for the value of worshipping and keeping vigil on that night. The narrations on the virtue of the Night of Ordainment and the virtue of worship in it are abundantly mentioned in the books of both the Shia and Sunni that confirm this meaning.

Furthermore, the descent of the Qur’an on that night and the descent of the Divine blessings and grace in it

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1- Tafsir Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, p. 371

causes the night to be better than a thousand months!

A tradition says that Imam Jafar as-Sadiq told ‘Ali. Abu Hamzah Thumali: “Seek the virtue of the Night of Ordainment on the 21st and 23rd night and say one hundred rakʿat salat on either of them and if you can, do keep vigil on both of the nights until the break of dawn, and perform ritual bathing therein.”

Abu Hamzah says that he asked Imam Jafar as-Sadiq that if he cannot pray that many prayers in the standing position, what should he do and the Imam replied: “Pray in the sitting position.”

Again, he asked that if he cannot do that, then what should he do and the Imam answered: “Pray in bed, and it does not matter if you sleep a little at the beginning of the night and then begin praying, because in the Month of Ramadhan, the gates of Heaven are open, Satans are bound in chains and the deeds of the believers are accepted. What a good month Ramadhan is!”(1)

6. Why was the Qur’an revealed on the Night of Ordainment?

This book was revealed on the Night of Ordainment because the destiny of humanity for the next year is determined based on our worthiness, and thus, we should keep vigil the entire night and repent for our sins, practice self-perfection, and turn to Allah to gain a great share of an even higher amount of worthiness for His mercy.

We need to be aware of the moments that our fate forms and not spend the time in spiritual negligence,

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1- Tafsir Nur ath-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, pg. 625, tradition 58 (summarized).

otherwise our destiny will be nothing but regret.

Since the Qur’an is a book of forging one’s destiny and leads to the path of happiness and guidance for humanity, it should be sent down on the Night of Ordainment - the night of determining the fates of mankind.

What a nice connection there is between the Qur’an and the Night of Ordainment and how meaningful their relationship is to one another!

7. Is the Night of Ordainment the same night in different regions?

We know that the beginning of the lunar month is not the same in all parts of the world; for example, in one region today it may be the first day of a month, but in another region that same day may be the second day of the month.

Therefore, the Night of Ordainment cannot be a definite night in the year for everyone because the 23rd of a month in Mecca may be the 22nd of that month in Iran or Iraq; but each of them must as a rule have a Night of Ordainment for themselves according to the region they live in.

Does this fact fit with the meaning understood from the verses and narrations that state that the Night of Ordainment is a definite night?

The answer to this question will be clear when we consider the following point:

The words ‘rotation’ and ‘revolution’ mean nearly the same thing. But in describing the Earth’s movements, each word is used for a different kind of motion.

Revolution refers to the motion of the Earth in its yearly orbit around the Sun. Rotation refers

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to the spinning around of the Earth on its own axis every 24 hours in relation to the Sun. It is 24 hours from high noon on one day to high noon on the next.

In its permanent rotation on its axis, half of the surface of the Earth is towards the sun, whereupon it is day, and on the opposite part at the same time, it is night.

The night, which is the shade of the Earth, itself turns around in a complete circle for 24 hours all over the Earth. Therefore, the Night of Ordainment may be a night of a complete circle around the Earth; that is during 24 hours, where darkness covers all of the points of the Earth, itself is the Night of Ordainment whose beginning starts from a point and it ends at another one.

Addendum: Fatima Zahra’ is Laylatul Qadr

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Addendum: Fatima Zahra’ is the Night of Ordainment (Laylatul Qadr)(1)

Muhammad b. Qasim said that Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said:

“إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِی لَیْلَهِ الْقَدْرِ أَللَّیْلَهُ فَاطِمَهُ وَ الْقَدْرُ اللهُ. فَمَنْ عَرَفَ فَاطِمَهَ حَقَّ مَعْرِفَتِهَا فَقَدْ أَدْرَکَ لَیْلَهَ الْقَدْرِ. وَ إِنَّمَا سُمِّیَتْ فَاطِمَهَ لِأَنَّ الْخَلْقَ فُطِمُوا عَنْ مَعْرِفَتِهَا.”

Indeed We revealed it (the Qurʾan) on the Night of Ordainment.

‘The in-depth (tawil) interpretation of ‘The Night (al-Layl)’ is Fatima and the in-depth (tawil) interpretation of ‘Ordainment (al-Qadr)’ is Allah. Therefore, a person who has truly grasped a deep understanding of Fatima (and who she is) has actually witnessed and experienced the Night of Ordainment.

Indeed Fatima was called by this name as the creations have

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1- This section is not from Tafsir Namuna; rather, it has been translated from the book, “Manifestation of the Divine Light” written by Shaykh ‘Ali Sa’adat Parvar and translated specifically for this booklet. (Tr.)

been prevented from truly knowing and having a deep understanding of Fatima (we are not able to know her true stature with Allah).(1)

Explanation

If we have accepted the fact that the Noble Qur’an descended onto the (heart of the) Messenger of Allah on the Night of Ordainment (Laylatul Qadr) in one instance and not in portions just as the researchers from amongst the exegetes of the have Noble Qur’an have stated, then the challenges which this tradition and other such traditions pose in regards to the Blessed Night (Laylatul Mubaraka) and the ambiguities on how both of these are related and refer directly about Fatima Zahra’ are resolved:

“إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِی لَیْلَهٍ مُباَرَکَهٍ”

Indeed We have revealed it on the blessed night.(2)

This is the case as the Noble Qur’an which descended upon the heart of the Messenger of Allah is not the written, apparent (physical) Qur’an which we have [today]; rather, it is the reality (haqiqat) of the Qur’an for which the Prophet enjoys the station of Divine Celestial Light (maqam-e-nuraniyat) and Complete Authority (wilyat-e-mutlaqah), and which is a station of absolute authority and is not autonomous with that of the Divine Authority (of Allah ), which he (the Prophet ), in the form of a human being and possessing his humanistic element has been referred to in these verses with the word “لَیْلَهُ” – ‘night’.

Thus, by keeping in mind this point that the Prophet of Islam, with his status of being the station of the Divine Celestial Light and also

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1- Tafsir Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, p. 371
2- Suratul Dukhan (44), verse 3

his possessing the Complete Authority and that he is indeed the manifestation of the reality (haqiqat) of the Qur’an, and in addition keeping in mind that with the blessings of the infallible leaders (of which Fatima Zahra’ is also considered as being a part of) and that they too are all blessed with being the station of the Divine Celestial Light and also possess Complete Authority which is not separate from that of the Messenger of Allah , what problem is there in stating that this meaning can be applied to each and every one of the [fourteen] infallible leaders and that either of these two verses can be interpreted as referring to them!?

Therefore, there is no problem in stating that Fatima Zahra’ is the spiritual interpretation of “لَیْلَهٌ” – ‘the night’ which has been mentioned in both Suratul Qadr and also Suratul Dukhan and that this woman, with her Divine Celestial Light, is the true reality (haqiqat) of the Qur’an as:

• She is one of the [fourteen] infallibles;

• She is at the station of the Divine Celestial Light;(1)

• She is at the same ranking as the Messenger of Allah and the [twelve] Pure Imams ;

• From the point of view of her physical creation she can be referred to as “لَیْلَهٌ” – ‘the night’(2). Thus, it is no problem for us to state that “The spiritual interpretation of ‘لَیْلَهٌ’ – ‘the night’ is Fatima and that the Qur’an was revealed within her (in regards to her Spiritual

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1- The meaning here is that of the Spiritual Divine Celestial Light and not her creation from Divine Light; the explanation between the difference which exists between these two has been mentioned in the first chapter of this book [The Manifestation of the Divine Light]. For a further explanation, please refer to section 2 of the book, ‘The Branches of Martyrdom’.
2- It goes without saying: Why the use of the word “night” and its darkness? The response to this is that attribute of manifestation (of Fatima Zahra’ ) in the face of the Pure Light (of Allah) and Divine Authority (of Allah ) is nothing other than a shadow and obscurity.

Divine Celestial Light).

However as to why the word “أَلْقَدْرُ” has been related to Allah in this tradition, it may be due to the overall universality of this grand woman (Fatima Zahra’ ) being the manifestation of the Divine (His titles, traits and essence). The proof of this point and the previous points are contained in a part of the tradition which reads:

فَمَنْ عَرَفَ فَاطِمَهَ حَقَّ مَعْرِفَتِهَا...

Therefore, a person who has truly grasped the deep understanding of her (Fatima)…

Even though it is possible to state that the augmentation of the word “لَیْلَهُ” to the word “أَلْقَدْرُ” in its apparent reading from the actual words and its reference to Allah in its meaning and interpretation is done in the genitive ceremonial case, for example just as we see in the Qur’an where the word ‘hand’ (یَدٌ) and ‘house’ (بَیْتٌ) are attributed to Allah, and as such we see passages in the Qur’an which speak about “Allah’s hand” (یَدُ اللهِ) or “The House of Allah” (بَیْتُ اللهِ).

Fatima is the very Night of Divine Decrees. Anyone who really knows Fatima as she is has understood the Night of Divine Decrees. Very few people know this great Lady in this way.

Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) once said in a tradition recorded in the commentary of Furat ibn Ibrahim, speaking about the meaning of the Qur’anic verse: “The Night of Divine Decrees (Laylatul Qadr) is Fatima, therefore whoever knows Fatima well has understood the Night of Divine Decrees, and the reason for

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Fatima being named Fatima(1) is that mankind has been ‘prevented from obtaining’ her acquaintance! (or knowing her real status)”(2)

We know that Qur’anic verses have a literal meaning and a figurative meaning, and many interpretations within them.

Without a doubt, the literal interpretation of the chapter of Qadr tells us about the night in which the Holy Qur’an descended upon the pure heart of the Prophet, and in which the Divine Decrees (destinies) of human beings are ascertained for a year, according to Divine Wisdom. As such, what was said in the tradition above is a figurative interpretation of this chapter’s meaning, or the second meaning of Suratul Qadr.

What a close relationship there is between the existence of the Lady of Islam and the Night of Divine Decrees! Some of the points we can derive from this connection are as follows:

The Night of Divine Decrees – the disguised, unknown night of Qadr – is undoubtedly this great Lady, whom the Prophet would refer to as a part of his flesh and reckoned her pleasure to God’s pleasure, and her anger God’s anger. She is also the disguised and unknown meaning of Qadr.

The Night of Qadr is hidden among the nights of the year. The grave of the Lady of Islam is unknown among the graves of the great Personages of Islam.

Those who wish to pay pilgrimage to her and enter Medina, visit the shrines of all of the other great ones, and seek her grave but only to be unable

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1- Fatima is from the root fa-ta-ma, originally meaning “weaning from milk”. Among the reasons that have been mentioned for the appropriate choice of this name for this Lady of Islam, the above meaning has also been included.
2- Bihar al-Anwar

to find it, will well understand the heavy load of this sorrow.

The Night of Qadr is better than 1,000 months of worship –and the virtue of its worship is greater than that of a long life of 80 years. The virtue of this great Lady is also greater than thousands upon thousands of virtuous persons and her rank is more superior than them.

The Night of Qadr was the time in which the Qur’an descended upon the pure heart of the Prophet of Islam, and it was a sudden, all-together revelation even though its gradual descent took over 23 years. The “Night of Qadr” may also therefore be named as the Night of the Descent of Virtue, Perfection, Knowledge and Wisdom.

The being of Fatima is also the source of luminosity of the guardianship and Imamat; divine knowledge and wisdom. The written Qur’an descended on the Night of Qadr, but Fatima is the one from whom 11 speaking Qur’ans (Qur’an-e-Natiq) have descended!

The Night of Qadr is the night in which, by the command of Allah, the Angels ascertain the destinies of all human beings and present them to the Wali al-Amr, the Guardian of His Command. It is a night of peace and good in its entirety:

“Peace! It is until the rising of the dawn.” (97:5).

The brief life of this Lady of Islam was also goodness, soundness and blessed from the beginning to the end, and was given the attention and interest of the Angels.

The close relationship between the

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Night of Qadr and the being of Fatima  deems it necessary for all of us to strive harder to know her and obtain greater benefit from the blessings of her radiance.

O Lord! Bestow on us such a spiritual awakening that we take sufficient benefit from the virtue of the Night of Ordainment.

O Lord! We hope only that our predestined fates are determined based on Your Grace.

O Lord! Do not put us among those who are deprived from this month, because it is the worst deprivation.

…So be it, O Lord of all the Worlds

Suratul Kawthar, Abundant Good

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This chapter was revealed in Mecca and contains 3 verses

Contents of Suratul Kawthar

In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful

It is commonly held that this chapter was revealed in Mecca, however there are some scholars who believe that it may have been revealed in Medina. Another opinion states that this chapter was revealed twice – once in Mecca and once in Medina.

However the narrations cited on the occasion of its revelation attest to the first idea which says that it is a Meccan chapter.

In regards to the occasion of revelation, the following story has been narrated:

As b. Wail, who was one of the chiefs of the pagans, met the Noble Prophet as he was coming out of the Sacred Masjid (Masjid al-Haram). As b. Wail proceeded to speak with the Prophet during that short time, a group of leaders of the Quraysh were sitting in the masjid watching him from a distance.

When As b. Wail

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entered the masjid they asked him: “Who were you speaking to?” He answered: “With the ‘abtar’ one.”

As b. Waill used this (derogatory) word (abtar) for the Noble Prophet to taunt him, because he knew that the Noble Prophet had a son named ʿAbdullah who had died in his infancy, and in the language of the Arabs, a person who had no male offspring was referred to as “abtar” – meaning one who has no posterity to follow after him. Thus, the Quraysh gave the Noble Prophet this nickname after the death of his son.

To condole the Noble Prophet , this chapter was revealed with the glad tidings of the greatest amount of grace (al-Kawthar – an abundance of goodness) from Allah and that the Prophet’s  opponents would be ‘abtar’ or have no posterity.(1)

In summary: The Noble Prophet had two male children from his first wife Khadijah - one named Qasim and the other one named Tahir (who was also known as Abdullah) and both of them passed away in Mecca, and thus the Prophet did not have any son who lived.

This tragic event gave the Quraysh the opportunity to hurl insults at the Prophet and refer to him as ‘abtar’ or one who has no (surviving) male children.(2)

According to their traditional ways, the Arabs gave a great deal of importance to male children and considered the son as being an extension of their father.

Thus, after the death of his two

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1- Majmaʿ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 549
2- The Noble Prophet had other male children as well – namely Ibrahim, from his wife Mariyah al-Qubtiyyah, and who was born in Medina. Coincidentally, he too passed away before reaching the age of two and his death also weighed heavily on the heart of the Prophet.

sons, they thought that with the eventual death of the Noble Prophet , his mission (of spreading Islam) would also cease to exist as he had no male children (to carry on his message) and this greatly pleased the polytheistic Arabs greatly!

The Noble Qur’an was revealed and through a miraculous message in this chapter, replied to these individuals and let them know that: It is the enemies of the Prophet who will actually be ‘abtar’ or cut off in progeny, and that the program of Islam and the Qur’an will never come to a halt!

The revelation of this chapter was in fact, an answer to the enemies of the Apostle of Allah to inform them that Islam and the Qur’an would remain and continue forever. From another point of view, it was also a consolation to the Messenger of Allah that after he had heard this despicable nickname which they gave him, and knew of their plots against him, that his heart was brought to tranquility through this news.

The virtue of studying this chapter

In regards to the virtue of the recitation of this chapter, a tradition from the Noble Prophet says:

مَنْ قَرَأَهَا سَقَاهُ اللهُ مِنْ أَنْهَارِ الْ_جَنَّهِ وَ أَعْطی مِنَ الأَجْرِ بِعَدَدِ کُلِّ قُرْبَانٍ قَرَّبَهُ الْعِبَادِ فِی یَوْمِ عِیدٍ وَ یَقْرَبُونَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْکِتَابِ وَ" الْمُشْرِکِینَ”

One who recites it (Suratul Kawthar), Allah will quench their thirst from the streams of heaven and will recompense them good rewards as many as the number of every sacrifice which the servants of Allah make on the day

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of the Feast of Sacrifice, together with those sacrifices which are of the People of the Book and the pagans.(1)

The name of this chapter, al-Kawthar, is taken from the first verse of the chapter.

Commentary of the Verses

point

In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful

“إِنَّا أَعْطَیْنَاکَ الْکَوْثَرَ ۝ فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّکَ وَانْحَرْ ۝ إِنَّ شَانِئَکَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ”

“Surely We have given you (Muhammad) abundance of good (al-Kawthar).  Therefore turn to your Lord in prayer and sacrifice.  Indeed your enemy is the one who will be without offspring.”

We have given you (Muhammad) much goodness!

In this chapter, similar to what is seen in Suratul Ḍuha and Suratul Inshirah, the Noble Prophet is the focal point of the address, and one of the prime objectives in all three of these chapters is to grant consolation to the Prophet in relation to the continuous painful incidents and numerous taunts of his enemies and their harsh language (towards him).

We first read: Surely We have given you (Muhammad) an abundance of good (al-Kawthar).

The term “أَلْکَوْثَرُ” is the descriptive case derived from the (Arabic word) “کَثْرَتٌ” which means “ample goodness or blessings” and those individuals who are extremely generous are also referred to as “al-Kawthar”.

What is the purpose of using the term “al-Kawthar”?

It is mentioned in the narrations that: When this chapter was revealed, the Noble Prophet ascended the pulpit (mimbar) and recited it. His companions asked him what it was that Allah had given him and he answered: “It is a stream in paradise, whiter than milk, more clear than a goblet (made of crystal), and

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1- Majmaʿ al-Bayan, vol. 10, pg. 548

on either side are domes decorated with pearls and rubies.”(1)

In a tradition from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq he says: “Al-Kawthar is a stream in paradise which Allah has granted to His Prophet in exchange for his infant son (ʿAbdullah) who passed away during the life of the Prophet.”

Some scholars have stated that “al-Kawthar” is a ‘Pool of Abundance’ which belongs to the Prophet from where the believers will quench their thirst when they arrive in paradise.(2)

Other opinions of ‘al-Kawthar’ include the following:

Some have commented on it as being ‘prophecy’;

Others mention that it is the Qur’an;

Another opinion is that it refers to an abundance of companions and followers of the Prophet ;

Yet another interpretation is that it refers to the abundance of descendants all of who will come from his daughter, Fatima Zahra’, and will increase to such an extent that it will be impossible to count them.

They do not only exist today, but in fact will continue to remain until the hereafter as reminders of the Noble Prophet ;

Some have also commented on this term referring to ‘intercession’ and have narrated a tradition from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq in this regards.(3)

Even the Sunni scholar, Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi has narrated fifteen different narrations on the meaning of ‘al-Kawthar’, however most of them are merely statements of the clear examples of this broad concept, because as was mentioned before, ‘al-Kawthar’ means ‘goodness and blessings in abundance’, and we know that Allah the Grand, granted the Noble Prophet so many blessings

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1- Majmaʿ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 549
2- Ibid.
3- Ibid.

such that each of the ones mentioned above is but one clear example of them.

There are many other examples that may be cited as commentaries for the verse; however we will mention them here.

All of the Divine gifts granted to the Noble Prophet in every aspect – such as the victories in his expeditions against his enemies; the scholars of his community who in every era and age, guard the illuminated torch of Islam and the Qur’an and carry it throughout the world - all in all are contained in this ‘abundance of goodness’.

It should not be forgotten that Allah revealed these verses to His Prophet’s blessed heart at a time when the manifestations of this ‘abundance of good’ had not yet appeared.

It was a miraculous piece of news which he was informed about and was to transpire in the near and remote future to confirm the legitimacy of the Noble Prophet .

This great blessing and the ‘abundance of good’ should have a lofty level of thanks (to be given to Allah ), although creatures can never entirely thank the Creator for His blessings because even the ability to be thankful is another blessing from Him which needs thanks. Therefore, Allah

says, Thus, turn towards your Lord in prayer and (offer the) sacrifice.

He is the One who grants these blessings, therefore prayer, worship and sacrifice - which is also a kind of worship in itself - has no meaning unless it is done solely for the sake of

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Allah , particularly in regard to the meaning of the term Lord (رَبِّ) which indicates the constancy of grace and providence.

Briefly it can be stated that: ‘worship’ – whether it be in the form of the salat (prayer) or making a sacrifice of an animal, is only the Lord’s and Benefactor’s privilege, and it is exclusively for the Pure Supreme Being – Allah - to be directed towards.

This portion of the verse refers to the behavior of the pagans who used to prostrate and sacrifice animals to the idols, while they knew their thanks for all of the blessings that they had been given truly belonged only to Allah, and the phrase ‘your Lord’ (لِرِبِّکَ) used in this verse, is a clear evidence for the necessity of pure intentions in all acts of worship.

Many commentators believe that the meaning of salat in this verse is the salat on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Qurban), and making the sacrifice of an animal on that day. However, the meaning of the verse is apparently general in its scope and inclusive of many other types of prayers, even though salat and the sacrifice of the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice are clear examples of this term.

Perhaps the use of the term “وَانْحَرْ” or ‘offer sacrifice’ which comes from the root ‘نَحَرَ’ and is specific to the process of slaughtering a camel has been employed because among all of the animals which can be slaughtered (on the Day of

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the Feast of the Sacrifice and also in general), the camel is the best of them, and among the early community of Muslims, we know that they had a great fondness of slaughtering (and eating) the camel and that slaughtering a camel was not possible without a show of generosity (due to its great worth and value).

Here are two more commentaries which have been offered on the above verse:

1. The implied meaning of the phrase “وَانْحَرْ” is to face the qiblah (the Kaʿbah) when performing the salat. This interpretation is given because the word “نَحَرٌ” originally meant the ‘throat’, and then later on it was used by the Arabs to mean the act of ‘standing in front of anything’.

It is for this reason that the Arabs say, “مَنَازِلُنَا تَتَنَاحَرُ” meaning that “Our stations are opposite of one another.”

2. Another meaning is the raising of the hands up to the face and neck when pronouncing the ‘takbir’ (to begin the salat).

In a tradition we read that when this chapter was revealed, the Noble Prophet asked Gabriel : “What is this “نُحَیرَه” that my Lord has commissioned me to do? Gabriel said: “This is not “نُحَیرَه”; rather Allah has commanded you to raise your hands at the beginning of prayer when you say “أَللهُ أَکْبَرُ” and also every time when you are going to perform the ruku or sajdah and after that (particular act), because our prayer (salat) and that of the angels in the seven heavens is exactly

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like this. Everything has an adornment and the adornment of prayer is raising the hands at the time of saying “أَللهُ أَکْبَرُ”.(1)

In another tradition, this one from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq who on the commentary of this verse, indicated with his hands and said: “The meaning of this verse is that you raise your hands in such a way that your palms face towards the qiblah (the direction of the Kabah).”(2)

However the first commentary given is the most appropriate in regards to what this verse means, since its meaning was to negate the actions of the idolaters who used to perform acts of worship such as the sacrifice of animals for other than Allah .

However with this said, there is also no problem in combining all of these meanings together and in particular, there are many narrations about raising the hands at the time of saying “أَللهُ أَکْبَرُ” and there are traditions in the books of the Shia and the Ahlus Sunnah in this regards, and therefore this verse can have such a vast meaning that it covers all of them.

In the last verse of this short chapter, keeping in mind the taunts made by the chiefs of the pagans towards the Noble Prophet, we read,

Surely your enemy is the one who will be without offspring.

The term “شَانِی” or ‘enemy’ is derived from the word “شَنَئَآنٌ” which means ‘enmity, spitefulness, and bad manners’; thus, the word “شَانِی” is the one who possesses these characteristics.

It is worthy to note that

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1- Majmaʿ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 550
2- Majmaʿ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 548

the word “أَبْتَرُ” originally meant ‘an animal whose tail is cut off’ and the enemies of Islam taunted the Noble Prophet by using this word.

In reality, the usage of the term “شَانِی” clearly shows that in their desire to express their enmity towards the Prophet , these people did not even display the smallest amount of respect or dignity – meaning that their enmity was interwoven with hard-heartedness and the use of shameful words! In reality, the Qurʾan retorted to such individuals and told them, “It is actually you who have this characteristic (of being cut off of your posterity) and not the Noble Prophet!”

In addition, just as has been mentioned in regards to the history of revelation of this chapter, the Quraysh were waiting for the death of the Prophet to transpire as they felt that with his departure from this world and since he had no son to inherit his position, the dissolution of the rule of Islam would happen.

But the Qur’an, consoling the Noble Prophet told him that it is not him who will be without offspring, but surely his enemy is the one who will not continue on!

Points of Interest

1. Lady Fatima and al-Kawthar

It was said earlier that ‘al-Kawthar’ has a vast, inclusive meaning which is ‘goodness in abundance’ and the examples are many.

A large number of scholars of the Shia school believe that one of the most clear examples of this word is the auspicious existence of Fatima Zahra, because the occasion of the revelation of the verse indicates

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that the enemies accused the Noble Prophet of being without offspring to which the

Qur’an replied: Surely (Muhammad) We have given you abundance of good (al-Kawthar).

From this verse we understand that this ‘abundance of good’ is that very Lady Fatima Zahra’.

In addition, not only is it the physical and biological offspring of the Prophet which will increase, rather it is these abundant number of offspring scattered which continue his religion and are responsible for the preservation of all of the values of Islam and continue to convey it to the future generations!

This is not only limited to the infallible Imams of the Ahlul Bayt who have a literal number that we can enumerate (12), rather it is the thousands and thousands of children of Fatima which have spread around the entire world from whom so many great scholars, scientists, writers, exegetists, jurists, narrators of the Prophet’s sayings and leaders have come from – individuals who have left outstanding works and unmatched fame in this world, and have protected Islam with their selfless giving (of themselves and their efforts) and their hard work and devotions.

Here, we encounter a very interesting discussion from Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi who along with other commentators on ‘al-Kawthar’, says:

The third statement of the meaning of this chapter is that it was revealed to reject those who criticized the Noble Prophet for his lack of progeny.

Therefore the meaning of this chapter is that Allah will give him a generation which will remain throughout all of

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the ages.

Considering the fact that how many members of the Ahlul Bayt have been martyred, we still see that the world is replete with them, whereas the Umayyads (who were the enemies of Islam) there remains no mentionable figure in the world.

Then, behold and see how many of the great men of leadership such as al-Baqir, as-Sadiq, al-Ridha, and Nafs al-Zakiyyah (1), etc… are found among them (the household)!”(2)

2. The miracle of this chapter

In reality, this chapter contains three important miraculous predictions:

On one hand, it informs the Prophet of the glad tidings of the ‘abundance of good’, (although the verb “أَعْطَیْنَا” is in the past tense form), it may definitely be considered as meaning the present and future which has been stated in the form of the past tense and this ‘abundance of good’ encompasses all victories and successes that were obtained later by the Noble Prophet however which were not predictable in Mecca at the time of the revelation of this chapter.

On the other hand, the chapter foretells that the Noble Prophet will not be without posterity, and his generations and descendants will exist abundantly all over the world.

The third thing which this chapter foretells is that the enemies of the Prophet will be ‘abtar’ - without posterity. This too actually happened and those enemies were so rooted out that no trace of their generations can be seen today.

We see that today, tribes such as the Umayyads and Abbasids, who opposed the Prophet and his prophecy and who enjoyed such

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1- Nafs al-Zakiyyah is another name for Muhammad b. ʿAbdullah, the grand-son of Imam Ḥasan al-Mujtaba who was martyred by Mansur al-Dawaniqi in 145 ah.
2- Tafsir of Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi, vol. 32, p. 124

a population in the past, today their family and children cannot even be counted and they not even present anywhere!

3. Allah and the plural pronoun

It is noteworthy that here and in many other verses of the Noble Qur’an, Allah introduces Himself by the first person plural pronoun and says:

‘We’ have given you an abundance of good (al-Kawthar).

This wording and others like it are for the expression of Glory and Power, as when the noble talk about themselves, they announce not only themselves, but also their commissionaires, and this refers to their power and nobility, as well as to the presence of those in obedience, along with the commands.

In the verse under discussion the term “إِنَّ” is also another emphasis on this meaning, and the phrase “أَعْطَیْنَاکَ” - ‘We have given you’, rather than “آتَیْنَاکَ” is evidence to the fact that Allah has awarded the Noble Prophet “al-Kawthar” which itself is a great glad tiding to the Prophet in order to keep his heart aloof from annoyance resulting from the nonsensical remarks of the enemies; and consequently, languor does not affect his firm determination, and for him to know that Allah is his support and that He is the source of all welfare and grace in abundance.

O Lord! Do not deprive us from the blessings of that ‘abundance of good’ that You granted to Your Prophet.

O Lord! You know that we truly love Your Prophet and his pure progeny; therefore include us among their ranks.

O Lord! The glory of Your

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Prophet’s essence and the religion which he taught us is much notable; add to this grandeur, majesty and honor.

…So be it, O Lord of all of the Worlds

End of Suratul Kawthar

Ziyarah for the Mistress of the Women of the Worlds, Lady Fatima Zahra’, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon her

point

زِیَارَهٌ سَیِّدَهِ النِّسَآءِ الْعَالَمِینَ فَاطِمَهَ الزَّهْرَآءِ (سَلاَمُ ٱللهِ عَلَیْهَا)

Translated by Badr Shahin

Edited by Arifa Hudda

While standing in the area between the Noble Prophet’s tomb and mimbar (a place described as a Garden of Paradise – al-Rawdah), you may pay your respects to Lady Fatima Zahra’, although there is a disagreement about the place of her tomb.

Some say that she was buried in al-Rawdah; others say that she was buried in her own house; while others say that she was buried in the cemetery known as Jannatul Baqiʿ. However, the majority of our scholars agree that she should be visited within the area of al-Rawdah, although to visit her at all three of these places is more preferable.

When you stand for the ziyarah of Lady Fatima Zahra’, recite the following:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

یَا مُ_مْتَحَنَهُ

O the carefully examined one:

اِمْتَحَنَکِ اللهُ الَّذِی خَلَقَکِ قَبْلَ أَنْ یَ_خْلُقَکِ

Allah had tried you before He created you (for this worldly life),

فَوَجَدَکِ ل_ِمَا امْتَحَنَکِ صَابِرَهً،

And thus He found you successfully enduring in that trial.(1)

وَزَعَمْنَا أَنَّا لَکِ أَوْلِیَآءٌ وَمُصَدِّقُونَ

We declare that we are your followers and believers,

وَصَابِرُونَ لِکُلِّ مَا أَتَانَا بِهِ أَبُوکِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ،

and patient with all that has been conveyed to us by your father - peace of Allah be upon him

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1- For a detailed understanding of this passage of the visitation, please refer to the following booklet: http://al-mubin.org/attachments/558_TheDivineTestofFatimaZahra [10]’.pdf

and his household,

وَأَت_یٰ بِهِ وَصِیَّهُ،

And all that which his successor (Imam ’Ali b. Abi Talib) brought.

فَإِنَّا نَسْأَلُکِ إِنْ کُنَّا صَدَّقْنَاکِ

Thus we ask you that if we have truly believed in you,

إِلاَّ أَلْ_حَقْتِنَا بِتَصْدِیقِنَا لَ_هُمْ

That you may include us with those who believe in them all (all of the Prophet’s successors),

لِنُبَشِّرَ أَنْفُسَنَا بِأَنَّا قَدْ طَهُرْنَا بِوِلاَیَتِکِ.

So that we may grant ourselves the glad tidings that we have been purified on account of our loyalty towards you.

It is recommended to also recite the following:

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ رَسُولِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the Messenger of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ نَبِیِّ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the Prophet of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ حَبِیبِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the most beloved of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ خَلِیلِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the close friend of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ صَفِیِّ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the chosen one of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ أَمِینِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the trustee of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ خَیْرِ خَلْقِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the best of Allah’s creations.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ أَفْضَلِ أَنْبِیَآءِ اللهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَمَلآئِکَتِهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the best amongst Allah’s prophets, messengers and angels.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ خَیْرِ الْبَرِیَّهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the best of created beings.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا سَیِّدَهَ نِسَآءِ الْعَالَ_مِینَ مِنَ الأَوَّلِینَ وَالآخِرِینَ،

Peace be upon you O the Leader of all women of the world,

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from the first to the last generations.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا زَوْجَهَ وَلِ_یِّ اللهِ وَخَیْرِ الْ_خَلْقِ بَعْدَ رَسُولِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O the wife of the guardian of (the message of) Allah and the best of all created beings after the Messenger of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا أُمُّ الْ_حَسَنِ وَالْ_حُسَیْنِ

Peace be upon you O the mother of Hasan and Husayn,

سَیِّدَیْ شَبَابِ أَهْلِ الْ_جَنَّهِ،

the two masters of the youth of paradise.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الصِّدِّیقَهُ الشَّهِیدَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the veracious, the martyred one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الرَّضِیَّهُ الْ_مَرْضِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the content, the pleased one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْفَاضِلَهُ الزَّکِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the virtuous, the pure one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_حَوْرَآءُ الإِنْسِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the paradisiacal human being.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا التَّقِیَّهُ النَّقِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the pious, the immaculate one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_مُحَدَّثَهُ الْعَلِیمَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the one whom the angels spoke to, the knowledgeable one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_مَظْلُومَهُ الْ_مَغْصُوبَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the oppressed lady whose right was usurped.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_مُضْطَهَدَهُ الْ_مَقْهُورَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the persecuted, the maltreated one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا فَاطِمَهُ بِنْتَ رَسُولِ اللهِ

Peace be upon you O Fatima, daughter of the Messenger of Allah.

وَرَحْمَهُ اللهِ وَبَرَکَاتُهُ،

And may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.

صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْکِ

May Allah bless you,

وَعَلیٰ رُوحِکِ وَبَدَنِکِ،

And your soul and your body.

أَشْهَدُ أَنَّکِ مَضَیْتِ عَلیٰ بَیِّنَهٍ مِنْ رَبِّکِ،

I bear witness that you spent your life with full awareness of your duty towards your Lord;

وَأَنَّ مَنْ سَرَّکِ فَقَدْ سَرَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ

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وَآلِهِ،

And (I bear witness) that one who pleases you, has pleased the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him and his Household.

وَمَنْ جَفَاکِ فَقَدْ جَفَا رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ،

And one who has been betrayed you has indeed betrayed the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him and his Household.

وَمَنْ آذَاکِ فَقَدْ آذَی رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ،

And one who hurts you, has hurt the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him and his Household.

وَمَنْ وَصَلَکِ فَقَدْ وَصَلَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ

And one who associates with you, has associated with the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him and his Household.

وَمَنْ قَطَعَکِ فَقَدْ قَطَعَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ

And one who breaks off ties with you, has broken off ties with the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him and his Household.

لِأَنَّکِ بِضْعَهٌ مِنْهُ

This is because you are an inseparable part of him (the Prophet),

وَرُوحُهُ الَّذِی بَیْنَ جَنْبَیْهِ،

and you are his soul with which he lives.

أُشْهِدُ اللهَ وَرُسُلَهُ وَمَلآئِکَتَهُ

I ask Allah, His Messengers, and His angels to be the witnesses,

أَنِّی رَاضٍ عَمَّنْ رَضِیتِ عَنْهُ،

that indeed I am pleased with the one you are pleased with,

سَاخِطٌ عَلیٰ مَنْ سَخِطْتِ عَلَیْهِ،

and I am displeased with the one you are displeased with,

مُتَبَرِّئٌ مِ_مَّنْ تَبَرَّأْتِ مِنْهُ،

and I disavow the one whomsoever you disavow,

مُوَالٍ ل_ِمَنْ وَالَیْتِ،

and I am loyal to the one whom you support,

مُعَادٍ لِ_مَنْ عَادَیْتِ،

and I am an enemy of the one who you betake as an enemy,

مُبْغِضٌ ل_ِمَنْ أَبْغَضْتِ،

and I am hateful

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to the one whom you hate,

مُحِبٌّ ل_ِمَنْ أَحْبَبْتِ،

and I like the one whom you like.

وَکَفیٰ بِاللهِ شَهِیداً وَحَسِیباً

Verily, Allah is Sufficient as a Witness, and a Reckoner,

وَجَازِیاً وَمُثِیباً

and a Punisher, and a Rewarder.

You may then pray to Almighty Allah to send

blessings upon the Noble Prophet and the Imams.

Among the recommended acts on the third of Jumadi al-Akhir (the martyrdom day of Lady Fatima Zahra’), another form of ziyarah for her has also been cited by some scholars whose statements are similar to the statements of the aforementioned ziyarah that was quoted from Shaykh al-Tusi. However, the complete form of this ziyarah is as follows:

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ رَسُولِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the Messenger of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ نَبِیِّ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the Prophet of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ حَبِیبِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the most beloved one of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ خَلِیلِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the close friend of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ صَفِیِّ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the chosen one of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ أَمِینِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the trustee of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ خَیْرِ خَلْقِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the best of Allah’s creations.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ أَفْضَلِ أَنْبِیَآءِ اللهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَمَلآئِکَتِهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the best of Allah’s prophets, messengers and angels.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا بِنْتَ خَیْرِ الْبَرِیَّهِ،

Peace be upon you O daughter of the best

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of created beings.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا سَیِّدَهَ نِسَآءِ الْعَالَ_مِینَ مِنَ الأَوَّلِینَ وَالآخِرِینَ،

Peace be upon you O the Leader of all women of the world, including the past and the future generations.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا زَوْجَهَ وَلِیِّ اللهِ وَخَیْرِ الْ_خَلْقِ بَعْدَ رَسُولِ اللهِ،

Peace be upon you O the lady of the intimate servant of Allah and the best of all created beings after the Messenger of Allah.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا أُمَّ الْ_حَسَنِ وَالْ_حُسَیْنِ

Peace be upon you O the mother of Hasan and Husayn,

سَیِّدَیْ شَبَابِ أَهْلِ الْ_جَنَّهِ،

the two masters of the youth of paradise.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الصِّدِّیقَهُ الشَّهِیدَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the veracious, the martyred one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الرَّضِیَّهُ الْ_مَرْضِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the content, the pleased one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْفَاضِلَهُ الزَّکِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the virtuous, the pure one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_حَوْرَآءُ الإِنْسِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the paradisiacal human being.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا التَّقِیَّهُ النَّقِیَّهُ،

Peace be upon you O the pious, the immaculate one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_مُحَدَّثَهُ الْعَلِیمَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the one whom the angels spoke to, the knowledgeable one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_مَظْلُومَهُ الْ_مَغْصُوبَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the oppressed lady whose right was usurped.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_مُضْطَهَدَهُ الْ_مَقْهُورَهُ،

Peace be upon you O the persecuted, the maltreated one.

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا فَاطِمَهُ بِنْتَ رَسُولِ اللهِ

Peace be upon you O Fatima, daughter of the Messenger of Allah.

وَرَحْمَهُ اللهِ وَبَرَکَاتُهُ،

So upon you be the mercy and blessings of Allah.

صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْکِ

May Allah send His prayers upon you,

وَعَلیٰ رُوحِکِ وَبَدَنِکِ،

And your soul, and your body.

أَشْهَدُ أَنَّکِ مَضَیْتِ عَلیٰ بَیِّنَهٍ مِنْ رَبِّکِ،

I bear witness

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that you have spent your life with full awareness of your duty towards your Lord;

وَأَنَّ مَنْ سَرَّکِ فَقَدْ سَرَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ،

And (I bear witness) that one who pleases you, will have pleased the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household,

وَمَنْ جَفَاکِ فَقَدْ جَفَا رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ،

And the one who displeases you will have displeased the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household.

وَمَنْ آذَاکِ فَقَدْ آذَی رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ،

And the one who harms you will have harmed the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household.

وَمَنْ وَصَلَکِ فَقَدْ وَصَلَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ

And the one who respects you, will have respected the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household.

وَمَنْ قَطَعَکِ فَقَدْ قَطَعَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ

And the one who disrespects you will have disrespected the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household.

لِأَنَّکِ بِضْعَهٌ مِنْهُ

This is because you are an inseparable part of him (the Prophet),

وَرُوحُهُ الَّذِی بَیْنَ جَنْبَیْهِ.

and you are his soul with which he lives.

أُشْهِدُ اللهَ وَمَلآئِکَتَهُ أَنِّی وَل_ِیِّ ل_ِمَنْ وَالاَکِ،

I ask Allah and His angels to be the witnesses that I am the friend of one who adheres to you,

وَعَدُوٌّ ل_ِمَنْ عَادَاکِ،

and I am the enemy to one who is an enemy of you,

وَحَرْبٌ ل_ِمَنْ حَارَبَکِ،

and I am at war against one who wages war against you.

أَنَا یَا مَوْلاَتِی بِکِ وَبِأَبِیکِ وَبَعْلِکِ وَالأَئِمَّهِ مِنْ وُلْدِکِ مُوقِنٌ،

O my master! I have full

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faith in you, your father, your husband, and your sons - the Imams;

وَبِوِلاَیَتِهِمْ مُؤْمِنٌ،

and I believe in their (Divinely commissioned) leadership;

وَلِطَاعَتِهِمْ مُلْتَزِمٌ،

and I commit myself to their obedience.

أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ الدِّینَ دِینُهُمْ،

I bear witness that their religion is the true religion;

وَالْ_حُکْمَ حُکْمُهُمْ،

and their command is the true command;

وَهُمْ قَدْ بَلَّغُوا عَنِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ،

and they have conveyed (the message) on behalf of Almighty Allah (flawlessly);

وَدَعَوْا إِلیٰ سَبِیلِ اللهِ بِالْحِکْمَهِ وَالْ_مَوْعِظَهِ الْ_حَسَنَهِ،

and they have called to the Way of Allah with wisdom and fair exhortation.

لاَ تَأْخُذُهُمْ فِی اللهِ لَوْمَهُ لاَئِمٍ،

They have never feared the blame of anyone concerning carrying out their duty towards Almighty Allah.

وَصَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَیْکِ وَعَلیٰ أَبِیکِ وَبَعْلِکِ

Blessings of Allah be upon you, and upon your father, and your husband,

وَذُرِّیَّتِکِ الأَئِمَّهِ الطَّاهِرِینَ.

And your descendants - the Immaculate Imams.

أَللّٰهُمّ صَلِّ عَلیٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَهْلِ بَیْتِهِ

O Allah send blessings upon Muhammad and his Household,

وَصَلِّ عَلیٰ الْبَتُولِ الطَّاهِرَهِ

And upon the immaculate, the pure lady,

أَلصِّدِّیقَهِ الْ_مَعْصُومَهِ

The veracious, the sinless one,

أَلتَّقِیَّهِ النَّقِیَّهِ

The pious, the immaculate one,

أَلرَّضِیَّهِ الْ_مَرْضِیَّهِ

The content, the well-pleased one,

الزّکِیَّهِ الرَّشِیدَهِ

The chaste, the rightly guided one,

الْ_مَظْلُومَهِ الْ_مَقْهُورَهِ،

The oppressed, the wronged one,

الْ_مَغْصُوبَهِ حَقُّهَا،

The one whose right was usurped,

الْ_مَمْنُوعَهِ إِرْثُهَا،

(The one) whose right of inheritance was violated,

الْ_مَکْسُورَهِ ضِلْعُهَا،

(The one) whose rib was broken,

الْ_مَظْلُومِ بَعْلُهَا،

(The one) whose husband was persecuted,

الْ_مَقْتُولِ وَلَدُهَا،

(The one) whose son was slain;

فَاطِمَهَ بِنْتِ رَسُولِکَ،

(she is) Fatima: the daughter of Your Messenger,

وَبَضْعَهِ لَ_حْمِهِ،

and part of his flesh,

وَصَمِیمِ قَلْبِهِ،

and essence of his heart,

وَفِلْذَهِ کَبِدِهِ،

and piece of his innermost,

وَالنَّخْبَهِ مِنْکَ لَهُ،

and choice of You for him,

وَالتُّحْفَهِ خَصَصْتَ بِهَا وَصِیُّهُ،

and gift that You gave exclusively to his (the

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Prophet’s) successor,

وَحَبِیبَهِ الْ_مُصْطَفیٰ،

and most beloved of the chosen Prophet

وَقَرِینَهِ الْ_مُرْتَضیٰ،

and wife of the pleased successor,

وَسَیِّدَهِ النِّسَآءِ،

and Leader of all women,

وَمُبَشِّرَهِ الأَوْلِیَآءِ،

and conveyor of good tidings to the intimate servants (of Almighty Allah),

حَلِیفَهِ الْوَرَعِ وَالزُّهْدِ،

the inseparable one from piety and asceticism,

وَتُفَّاحَهِ الْفِرْدَوْسِ وَالْ_خُلْدِ

and apple of the heaven and eternity (in paradise);

أَلَّتِی شَرَّفْتَ مَوْلِدَهَا بِنِسَآءِ الْ_جَنَّهِ،

the lady through whose birth You have honoured the women of paradise,

وَسَلَلْتَ مِنْهَا أَنْوَارَ الأَئِمَّهِ،

from whom You pulled the Lights of the Imams,

وَأَرْخَیْتَ دُونَ_هَا حِجَابَ النُّبُوَّهِ.

and fixed the veil of prophethood

أَللّٰهُمّ صَلِّ عَلَیْهَا صَلاَهً تَزِیدُ فِی مَ_حَلِّهَا عِنْدَکَ،

O Allah confer upon her the blessings that raise her standing,

وَشَرَفِهَا لَدَیْکَ،

and her honour with You;

وَمَنْزِلَتِهَا مِنْ رِضَاکَ،

and raise her position in Your Pleasure,

وَبَلِّغْهَا مِنَّا تَ_حِیَّهً وَسَلاَماً،

and convey to her our greetings and salutations;

وَآتِنَا مِنْ لَدُنْکَ فِی حُبِّهَا فَضْلاً وَإِحْسَاناً وَرَحْ_مَهً وَغُفْرَاناً

and grant us favour, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness from You on account of our love for her.

إِنَّکَ ذُو الْعَفْوِ الْکَرِیمِ.

Verily You are the All-Generous Lord of forgiveness.

Ziyarah of Fatima for the third of Jumadi al-Akhir

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا سَیِّدَهَ نِسَآءِ الْعَالَ_مِینَ،

Peace be upon you O the leader of the women of the world!

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا وَالِدَهَ الْ_حُجَجِ عَلیٰ النَّاسِ أَجْ_مَعِینَ،

Peace be upon you O the mother of the proof over all people!

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ أَیَّتُهَا الْ_مَظْلُومَهُ الْ_مَمْنُوعَهُ حَقُّهَا.

Peace be upon you O the wronged one whose right was usurped.

أَللّٰهُمّ صَلِّ عَلیٰ أَمَتِکَ وَابْنَهِ نَبِیِّکَ وَزَوجَهِ وَصِیِّ نَبِیِّکَ

O Allah send blessings upon Your servant, the daughter of Your Prophet, the wife of the Successor of Your Prophet –

صَلاَهً تُزْلِفُهَا فَوْقَ زُلْفیٰ عِبَادِکَ الْ_مُکَرَّمِینَ

Such remarkable blessings that approach her nearer to

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You than the steps (of proximity taken by) Your honoured servants

مِنْ أَهْلِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَأَهْلِ الأَرْضِینَ

From among the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth.

Ziyarah of Fatima Zahra’ on Sunday

أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیْکِ یَا مُ_مْتَحَنَهُ

Peace be on you, O the carefully examined one,

إِمْتَحَنَکِ الَّذِی خَلَقَکِ فَوَجَدَکِ لِ_مَا امْتَحَنَکِ صَابِرَهً

Allah had tried you before He created you (for this worldly life), And thus He found you successfully enduring in that trial.

أَنَا لَکِ مُصَدَّقٌ صَابِرٌ عَلیٰ مَا أَتَی بِهِ أَبُوکِ وَوَصِیِّهُ

I believe in you; and I bear patiently all that which has been conveyed by your father and his successor

صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَیْهِمْ

Blessings of Allah be upon all of them.

وَأَنَا أَسْأَلُکِ إِنْ کُنْتُ صَدَّقْتُکِ إِلاَّ أَلْ_حَقْتِنِی بِتَصْدِیقِی لَ_هُمْ

I beseech you, if I have stated the truth, to bind me together with the testimony, concerning both of them;

لِتُسَرِّ نَفْسِی

In order to give joy and satisfaction to my soul.

فَاشْهَدِی أَنِّی طَاهِرٌ بِوَلاَیَتِکِ وَوِلاَیَهِ آلِ بَیْتِکِ

So bear witness that truly I, by heart, made evident your, and your family’s leadership

صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَیْهِمْ أَجْ_مَعِینَ.

Blessings of Allah be upon them all.

Other translations available from Saleem Bhimji

1. The Light of the Family of the Prophet1

2. Simplified Islamic Laws for Youth and Young Adults according to the edicts of Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Sayyid ‘Ali Husayni Seestani1

3. Simplified Islamic Laws for Youth and Young Adults according to the edicts of Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Lutfullah Safi Gulpaygani5

4. A Biography of the Marjaʿ Taqlid of the Shiʿa World: Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Sayyid ‘Ali Husayni Seestani5

5. Method of Salat by Muhammad Qadhi5

6. A Summary of the Rulings of Salatul Jamaʿat according to the edicts of Ayatullah al-ʿUzma

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Sayyid ‘Ali Husayni Seestani1

7. Rules Relating to the Deceased: Philosophy and Ahkam according to the edicts of Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Sayyid ‘Ali Husayni Seestani1

8. Rules Relating to the Deceased: Condensed Version according to the edicts of Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Sayyid ‘Ali Husayni Seestani1

9. History Behind Masjid Jamkaran along with Selected Supplications to the 12th Imam1

10. A Code of Ethics for Muslim Men and Women by Sayyid Masud Masumi (Co-translated with Arifa Hudda)1

11. Meʿraj: The Night Ascension by Mullah Muhammad Faydh al-Kashani1

12. Istikhara: Seeking the Best from Allah by Muhammad Baqir Hayderi1

13. Introduction to Islam1

14. Secrets of the Hajj by Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Husain Mazaheri2

15. Tafsir of Suratul Jinn by Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi1

16. The Islamic Moral System: A Commentary of Suratul Hujurat by Ayatullah Shaykh Jaʿfar Subhani1

17. Islamic Edicts on Family Planning by the UNFPA with the Ministry of Health of the Islamic Republic of Iran5

18. A Mother’s Prayer written by Saleem Bhimji and Arifa Hudda1

19. 40 Hadith: Qurʾan by Sayyid Majid Adili (Co-translated with Arifa Hudda)3

20. Guiding the Youth of the New Generation by Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari3

21. The Spiritual Journey – Hajj [40 Hadith] by Mahmud Mahdipur3

22. Completion of Islam – Ghadeer [40 Hadith] by Mahmud Sharifi3

23. Introduction to the Science of Tafsir of the Qurʾan by Ayatullah Jaʿfar Subhani3

24. The Tasbih of Fatima Zahra’ by Abbas Azizi (Co-translated with Arifa Hudda)1

25. The Saviour of Humanity – the 12th Imam in the Eyes of the Ahlu’l Bayt [40 Ahadith] by Nasir Karimi3

25. Commentary of the 29th Section of the

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Noble Qur’an* by Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi1

26. Moral Management* by Abbas Rahimi4

27. Khums: The Islamic Tax by Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi1

28. Ethical Discourses – Volume 1 by Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi2

29. Ethical Discourses – Volume 2 by Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi2

30. Weapon of the Believer* by Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi4

31. The Last Luminary and Ways to Delve into the Light* by Sayyid Muhammad Ridha Husayni Mutlaq4

32. Message of the Qurʾan [Payam-e-Qur’an] – Volume 1 – A Thematic Exegesis of the Noble Qurʾan by Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi3

33. The Torch of Perpetual Guidance (Commentary on Ziyarat Ashura) by Abbas Azizi2

34. People of the Frontiers (Commentary on the Supplication for the People of the Frontiers by Imam Zaynul Abideen) by Shaykh Husayn Ansariyan2

35. Salatul Ayat* according to the edicts Ayatullah al-ʿUzma Sayyid ‘Ali Husayni Seestani and other Maraja’ Taqleed1

36. Commentary on Ayatul Kursi by Sayyid Nasrullah Burujerdi2

Notes:

1 = Published by Islamic Humanitarian Service (Canada) – www.al-haqq.com [11]

2 = Published by Al-Fath Al-Mubin Publications (Canada) – www.al-mubin.org [12]

3 = Published by World Federation of KSIMC (UK) – www.world-federation.org [13]

4 = Published by Islamic Publishing House (Canada) – www.al-mubin.org [12]

Books marked with a ‘*’ can be purchased from www.al-mubin.org [12] (print version and PDF).

Most of the above books and hundreds of articles can be read for free at www.al-mubin.org [12] or www.al-islam.org [14]

p: 127

About center

In the name of Allah

هَلْیَسْتَوِیالَّذِینَیَعْلَمُونَوَالَّذِینَلَایَعْلَمُونَ
Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
al-Zumar: 9

Introduction:
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.

Manifesto:
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
Our Goals are:
-propagating the culture and teachings of Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlulbayt p.b.u.t)
-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
-providing services for seminary and university researchers
-spreading culture study in the publich
-paving the way for the publications and authors to digitize their works

Policies:
-acting according to the legal licenses
-relationship with similar centers
-avoiding parallel working
-merely presenting scientific contents
-mentioning the sources
It’s obvious that all the responsibilities are due to the author.

Other activities of the institute:
-Publication of books, booklets and other editions
-Holding book reading competitions
-Producing virtual, three dimensional exhibitions, panoramas of religious and tourism places
-Producing animations, computer games and etc.
-Launching the website with this address: www.ghaemiyeh.com
-Fabricatingdramatic and speech works
-Launching the system of answering religious, ethical and doctrinal questions
-Designing systems of accounting, media and mobile, automatic and handy systems, web kiosks
-Holding virtual educational courses for the public
-Holding virtual teacher-training courses
-Producing thousands of research software in three languages (Persian, Arabic and English) which can be performed in computers, tablets and cellphones and available and downloadable with eight international formats: JAVA, ANDROID, EPUB, CHM, PDF, HTML, CHM, GHB on the website
-Also producing four markets named “Ghaemiyeh Book Market” with Android, IOS, WINDOWS PHONE and WINDOWS editions
Appreciation:
We would appreciate the centers, institutes, publications, authors and all honorable friends who contributed their help and data to us to reach the holy goal we follow.

Address of the central office:
Isfahan, Abdorazaq St, Haj Mohammad JafarAbadei Alley, Shahid Mohammad HasanTavakkoly Alley, Number plate 129, first floor
Website: www.ghbook.ir
Email: Info@ghbook.ir
Central office Tel: 03134490125
Tehran Tel: 88318722 ـ 021
Commerce and sale: 09132000109
Users’ affairs: 09132000109

Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library