Jump to content


Advanced Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Orion

  1. How do you know what it means? It is said that verses in Quran have 70 levels of understanding. We as laymen can reach to a certain level. Those who have higher level of the knowledge and understanding of the Book reach more levels. You should read Tafseer books or sit with learned scholars to see what explanation of verses have the scholars given in light of the hadith of our Holy Imams (as) and other related verses of quran.
  2. ^^ Falsehood. This means you have never read any books written by our scholars. They are filled with ayats and hadith from Masoomeen (as). Thats why I have said many times go to www.al-islam.org and READ. What is stated in the hadith is a Usool (principal) that can be applied on many illegal drugs now and in the future. Thats what our Mujtahids do in Ijtehad. Also by quoting this beautiful hadith you have shot yourself in the foot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why, because it is proof that what Usoolis have been saying is true. Note the words of the hadith "..Allah azwj has not Made wine unlawful because of its name. He azwj has Made it unlawful because of its consequences". These words tell us that Allah does not make things haram or halal for nothing or for the name sake. Their is a reason behind His Commands. alcohol is haram because of its consequences. Now I have a hypothetical question for you: Genetically modified food is becoming a reality. What if tomorrow they they modify Wine (alcohol) to the point that its no more intoxicating. Will that make it halal? Why did Allah make Chess haram? Was it for its name OR was it due to the consequences (betting associated with it)? . Why dont you give us an alternative. What should Shia do in countries where they are in majority? -Abolish the government. Live in a Lawless society, let all criminals go loose, close all courts, send judges home? -Since we cant rule, we should let Sunnis rule over us? -We should import non-Muslims and make them become our rulers? Any other smart ideas? If your country is under attack by the enemy. They enter the city and start plundering your property, looting your wealth, killing your sons and taking away your wifes and daughters. What would you do????? Show your wife a hadith that you cant fight back since you are not allowed to do Jehad?
  3. Our Mujtahids are narrators of traditions. Horse is similar to a donkey. So let us apply rules applicable on horses on donkeys. <----------- this is analogy (Qiyas) Now do you see any logic in the qiyas stated above????? ^^ This is what we call applying principals on specific things. This is what our Mujtahid do in Ijtehad. Even if a Masoom is not present, we still need a government and a ruler. What do you propose in the mean time. Invite Sunnis to rule over Shias or just abolish the government all together and let people kill each other? You totally missed the point. Even if something is presumably against Islam, scholars have to read it in order to refute those who believe in it. If scholars have not learned philosophy, how can they debate with philosophers? Furthermore, we should not forget that there is philosophy of Islam and Islamic laws. Understanding the philosophy behind Islamic commandments and prohibitions should be an integral part of a scholars curriculum.
  4. If aql always includes personal opinion, why would God reward people according to their intelligence (Aql)? Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-Nawfali from al-Sakuni from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following. "The holy Prophet said, "If you would hear good things about a man, you should examine how good his Aql is, because he will be rewarded according to his Aql." (al-Kafi) Now you are being ridiculous. Qiyas and logic are two different subjects. Opium is not mentioned by the Imams. But the principal of intoxicants is found in Quran. So according to you Mujtahids cannot use this principal to give a verdict on opium????????????? So according to you Philosophy is Bidah. What else is bidah teaching science, medicine, economics, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, biology, politics???? :rolleyes: Can scholars touch a book that has Darwin's theory of evolution??? :no:
  5. Yes Islam is based on logic. Not only that but it is also the religion based on Aql (reason) and Fitrat (nature). And Alhamdulillah we are proud of it. If your believe in a religion that is illogical, against reason and against nature shame on you. :no: BTW, the hadith you quoted is against Qiyas (analogy) and not logic. Mujtahids never claim that they know everything. E.g when Sistani is asked about French-cut beard: Question: Some men shave their beard and leave some hair on the chin alone. Is this sufficient according shariah? Answer: French-cut beard is not sufficient as an obligatory precaution. (from www.sistani.com) So Ayatullah Sistani after all his Ijtehad dont have a definitive yes or no answer. So he recommends his followers to act on precaution and not keep such a beard. In such cases his followers could also consult other Mujtahids (next most learned scholar after him). Again hadith are about personal opinions and analogys. The word "logic" is added within brackets in H 33185. I have already given examples of how our Holy Imams (as) taught Principals to their students. See post #236 above. What bogus comments. In Tafseer e Namoona Sunni hadith are quoted for comparison along with Shia hadith. That does not mean the tafseer is based on Sunni hadith. Any reader of Tafseer al-Mizan knows how extensively Allamah Tabatabai has quoted and discussed Shia hadith during his commentary. Actually the hadith above proves what I have been saying all along. Allah did not leave anything behind. His book is complete and our Holy Imams (as) have told us those principals in the Book of Allah. And our scholars (Mujtahis) can use these principals to solve disputes. Hens why we are called Usooli Shia. :) I have already explained that Learning philosophy helps a scholar understand philosophical terms and understand the beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of people of other faiths and societies. When we say Shia Irfan we dont mean Sufism and mysticism. We mean becoming a pious Muslim using methods taught by Ahlul Bait (as). Offering Prayers, reciting supplications, following Taqwa and so on. Imam Ali (as) taught Dua to Kumail which says: يَا غَايَةَ آمَاِل العَارِفِينَ O Goal of the hopes of Your knowers (arefeen) And in Sahifa e Kamila (from Imam Sajjad (as) there is: مناجاة العارفين The Whispered Prayer of the Knowers (Aarefeen) ^^ Thats the kind of Irfan I am talking about.
  6. Mantiq (Logic) is the use and study of valid reasoning. It is the knowledge that protects man from mistakes of thinking. Usool al-fiqh: The Principles of Jurisprudence is, in reality, the "study of the rules to be used in deducing the Islamic laws" and it teaches us the correct and valid way of deducing from the relevant sources in jurisprudence. Falsafa (Philosophy) is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group". Learning philosophy helps a scholar understand philosophical terms and understand the beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of people of other faiths and societies. 'Ilmu 'r-Rijal literally means 'knowledge about men,' it deals with the biography and character of the narrators of hadith. On basis of this knowledge, the 'ulama' classify the narra­tors in different categories; and these categories in turn help in classifying the hadith as authentic or acceptable or weak or fabricated or unreliable, etc Irfan in Shia Islam is the practice of the instructions based on the teachings of Ahlul Bait (as) that helps a man clean his soul and elevate his spiritual status in front of God.
  7. FYI, Risalah 'Amaliyyas are actually Quick reference guides for the masses that are available at a lower price. If scholars start quoting hadith with each fatwa these book will become several volume thick and thus unfordable for common folks. For those interested in more details there are other reference books available. Yes, these are all interesting subjects.
  8. No. Here are some examples of Principals: Allah says: O ye who believe! intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain? (Quran 5:90-91) So we have a principal about intoxicants. A Mujtahid can apply this principal on intoxicants popular in todays society although they are not mentioned in Quran by name. Examples of ahadith were the imams teach their companions principles to act upon when they don't know the real ruling (الحكم الواقعي ) Istishab When imam al Sadiq (as) was asked about some issues regarding wudu' ,he stated doubt never prevails over certainty. This ruling means when you have certainty about something, and then you doubt, your certainty overrides your doubt. Example is when you are on wudu' , and then you doubt , it means you are still on wudu'. Asalat alhill or albara' Imam al Sadiq (as) said "Everything that has halal and haram in it, is halal for you forever till you come to know the haram in it, then you refrain from it" In another Hadith " whatever Allah has concealed from his knowledge to his servants , the duty in that is lifted from them" This principle denotes whenever you do not know whether something halal or haram , it is halal. Assalat alehtiyat Imam al Sadiq (as) stated: he who refrains from uncertainties has secured his religion. In another Hadith Imam Sadiq (as) said the most pious people are those who stop at uncertainties. The principle is the opposite of the previous one, it requires to take caution, and refrain when not certain about the ruling. One might think there is contradiction between the last. To keep it short there is no contradiction, the scholars in their research know how which principle to apply. These three principles were taught by the Imams (AS) to their companions to apply, when faced by scenarios that Hadith have not covered.
  9. The hadith above is valid for our scholars who have submitted to the Progeny pf Muhammad (SAWW). They follow the Sahih hadith from Masoomeen (AS) as it is ( they do not add anything to it nor do they leave anything out of it) and give their verdicts accordingly. We have told you multiple times that in Quran and Hadith some things are written very clearly (by name) and we follow them as it is. But there are Principals also written in Quran and Hadith and our scholars also issue verdicts based on these principals.
  10. Shiachat.com was created in 2002. But even before that a chat forum existed that was run by Br. Ali.
  11. al-islam.org has tens of books on Ijtehad and Taqlid. Have you read all of them?
  12. Let us talk about modern day problems. -Prayers in International Space Station. -Organ transplantation. -Gene cloning. -In vitro fertilization (IVF) What does Shia religion say about them. Are they stated by name in quran or Hadith books? If you say that Quran and Hadith are incomplete than the whle notion that Islam is a divine religion falls apart. But if you believe that Quran and Hadith has a solution to every problem you are left with the only option that Quran and Hadith has anser to every question either written explicitly or in the form of Principals. Its the job of a scholar to use his aql to find those principals and guide us. So instead of answering my questions, this is what :rolleyes: you came up with: Can you debate with a Sunni quoting anti-Sunni site created by Shias????? Or debate with a Christian quoting anti-Christian sites written by Atheists????? If you debate with Hindus quote from hindu sites. Same way when you debate with us quote from our authentic sites like www.al-islam.org
  13. Do you believe that everything is written in Quran and Hadith. Solution to every problem till the day of Judgment? Yes or No? Is it possible that God reveals His last Book but that book is incomplete (maazAllah), has some but not all answers. And after that Imam (AS) comes and guides but goes into occultation without giving answers to all our problems. Is that possible. Is that the religion and Shia madhab you believe in??????
  14. ^^^^ This is exactly your problem. When a scholar uses his Aql to uncover commands of Allah written in Quran and Hadith its not personal opinion any more. If you have a list why were you wasting my time? If Mujtahid will simply give Hadith instead of Fatwa then who is capable enough among common man to check the authenticity of those Ahadith?? Scholars who devoted their lives for checking each link in the chain. Questions they asked about the isnad included: * does the reported tradition agree with the Quran? * is the reported tradition Logically consistent? is it actually Rational? * are these individuals reliable reporters? * could these individuals have met, given where they were in time and space? * is there any record of their meeting or collaborating or having any common interests? * are the individuals of sound morals and not motivated by politics or factional concerns of sects? These scholars categorized literally millions of hadith as authentic, agreeable, weak, narrated by a weak source, missing a transmitter, provably false, etc.. There are six well-known collections of authentic hadiths. Main problem arises at the time of conflict of evidences. Taa'rud (conflict of evidences): Taa'rud means conflict. In Usul al Fiqh, Taarud means that two evidence of Shariah are of equal strength and they require opposite of each other. A conflict is thus not expected to occur if the two evidences are of unequal strength, because the stronger evidence will prevail. For this reason, there will be no conflict between a Qati and Zanni proof. If, however, the opposite is required by 2 Quranic Ayat or by a Quranic Ayat and a Mutawatir Hadith (these two are considered equal in authenticity or by two Ahad Hadith, then, there is a conflict. Conflict can only arise, if the rulings of the two evidences can not be reconciled, that is the subject matter of one can not be distinguished from the other or the time sequence of them can not be distinguished (that is it can not be ascertained which one is the latter). A genuine conflict can hardly arise between Qati proofs. All such conflicts are apparent rather than real. Such apparent conflicts can be resolved by 1. reconciliation, 2. by specification or 3. by giving preference of one over the other. A conflict between Nasus (texts of the Quran and the Sunnah) and Ijma is inconceivable as Ijma can not violate Nass. A Mujtahid must therefore, try to reconcile the apparent conflict in which case both the evidence will be applicable in different sets of circumstances. If this is not possible, he will try to prefer one over the other, thus at least one evidence will be kept. If this is not possible, then, he would see the time sequence and apply the principle of abrogation. In this way the later evidence will be retained and the earlier one in time will stand abrogated (However, such cases are very few). If one evidence is Amm and the other Khass, the solution is Takhsis al Amm (specification of a part of Amm). As regards, cases where both the rulings can not be retained because of apparent conflict, the following rules of preference should be applied: 1.Clear texts will be preferred over unclear texts. 2. Sarih (plain) will be preferred over Kinayah (allusive), Haqiqi (literal) over Majazi (metaphorical) and so on. 3. Ibarah al Nasss will be preferred over Isharah al Nass and so on. 4. Mutawatir Hadith will be preferred over Mashhur and Mashhur will be preferred over Ahad. 5. Hadith transmitted by Faqih or leading companions are preferred over others. 6. Another rule of preference is that affirmative rule takes priority over regative 7. Similarly prohibition takes priority over permissibility. Ijtihad is a hard subject. Not everyone who has different qualities or mind and intellect can walk through this field. It is peculiar to the mujtahids "performers of ijtihad" to bring pearls of truths from the depths of these oceans. The QUALIFICATIONS of a capable person who is checking authenticity of Hadith The learned men of Islam have laid down certain qualifications, in the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, which a person must possess for acting and for being accepted as a Mujtahid. pause for a while momentarily and consider the following, which are the minimum reasonable qualifications, in their Islamic side, which a Mujtahid should possess: (1) He should be an expert in the Arabic language, literature and philology, so that he may be able to decide properly between the different connotations of the same word. (2) He should be a high caliber scholar of the Quran, and his study of it should be so intensive and extensive that whenever he has to consider a given problem, he should be capable of keeping before his mind's eye the whole sweep of Quranic thought and all relevant verses. (3) He should have the Traditions of the Holy Prophet [Hadith] memorized, so that whenever he has to concentrate on any problem, he may have all the connected Traditions, even those indirect ones, before him, clearly and vividly, to guide his thinking both appropriately and comprehensively. (4) Further he should be an expert in both the science of historical criticism (Riwayat) and logical criticism (Dirayat), so that he may be able to view the worth and connotation of various Traditions, under study in their proper perspective. (5) Above all, he should possess piety and a true Islamic character, and his heart should be imbued with what the Quran calls 'fear of God'.
  15. As I said before, our Scholars are experts in multiple fields so that they can understand and handle different people and situations. And btw, there is no subject that is out of the scope of religion. For example if they dont know medicine, how could they understand doctors and solve their problems. If they dont know logic or philosophy, how could they understand logical or philosophical problems and debate with philosophers. If they are unaware of modern economy, how could they guide bankers or financial institutions. The list goes on...... Now (for example) if our scholars are expert in Sunni books, that does not mean they issue fatwas based on Bukhari or Muslim. But robbenmessi1010, Why did you not answer my question: Give me an honest answer. Can you differentiate b/w Sunni ijtihad and Shia Ijtehad? The problem is that your mind is fixated on the false belief that there is no difference and that Shia scholars issue fatwas based on all that was condemned in these hadith. Why don't you just admit this and save us some valuable time.
  16. Give me an honest answer. Can you differentiate b/w Sunni ijtihad and Shia Ijtehad? The problem is that your mind is fixated on the false belief that there is no difference and that Shia scholars issue fatwas based on all that was condemned in these hadith. Why don't you just admit this and save us some valuable time. Following the Sunna of Ahlul Bait (as) our Shia scholars are taught not only religious subjects but also a variety of worldly subjects. Just like our Holy Imams (as) who were masters of all subjects not just religious. Any problem with that?
  17. The wahabis pick ayats about kuffar (non-believers) and try to stick them on believing Muslims. It is very clear that the hadith you have posted is about the type of Ijtehad and Taqlid that we all understand to be void. Why are you posting them here when you are discussing about Shia scholars.
  18. All through this thread you have repeatedly denied the importance and authority of Aql (reasoning, intelligence, brain) in our religion. When I give you proof (post # 207) from Quran on the issue of Aql ............. you are saying my post is "not on topic"??????? You yourself asked me if religious scholars could interpret Quran. You asked for a short answer and I gave you a short answer. But than you said "Bring me evidence" so I posted detailed analysis (post # 206) with ayats and hadith as proof of who can interpret Quran and how.................you are saying my post is "not on topic"??????? So first you ask the questions and when given answer you say that they are off topic!!!!!!! Very strange indeed. You have already been given the answer in this very thread. But let me repeat it again in general terms: -Blind Taqlid (when you follow someone who is without knowledge and proof behind his fatwas) -Taqlid of someone who issues fatwas without having knowledge. -Taqlid of someone who issues fatwas based on his personal opinion (ray). -Taqlid of someone who issues fatwas based on analogy (qiyas). -Taqlid of someone who issues fatwas based on conjecture. -Taqlid of someone who issues fatwas based on guesswork. -An ignorant person following another ignorant person. -An learned (Aalim) following an ignorant person. -An learned (Aalim) following another equally learned person. Naturally all types of Taqlid listed above would be null and void. On the other hand when a layperson (like me) chooses a qualified expert having all qualifications (a pious and most learned Shia Marja) properly who has devoted his life in acquiring knowledge in Islamic sciences from the house of Ahlul Bait (as) and issues a fatwa based on their teachings and after extensive research and after attaining a level of certainty in a particular matter it is Valid. Any confusion left ?
  19. Conception of Reason (Aql) in the Qur'an Heretofore we have discussed briefly the diction of the Qur'an, and said that, for the purpose of communicating its message, the Qur'an makes use of two types of languages, namely, the language of rational argument and the language of feeling. Each of these languages has a specific appeal. The first type addresses and appeals to the intellect or reason, while the second one is meant to appeal to the heart. Now we shall examine the point of view of the Qur'an regarding reason ('aql). It is to be seen whether or not the Qur'an acknowledges the “authority” (hajjah) of reason --as the scholars of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and usul put it. This means whether or not we should respect the judgements of reason and act according to them if they happen to be correct and rightly deduced by it. Moreover, if one acts according to the dictates of reason and occasionally falls into error, will God exonerate him for it, or whether He will punish him on account of that error? And, if one fails to act according to the ruling of reason, does he deserve punishment? Evidence in Favour of the Authority of Reason The issue of the authority of reason in Islam is certain. Since the earliest times until the present, none amongst the Islamic scholars --except for a very small number-- has ever negated the authority of reason; they have counted it as one of the four sources of Islamic fiqh. 1. The Qur'an's Emphasis on Rationalism Since our discussion is about the Qur'an, I think it necessary to produce arguments concerning the authority of reason from the Qur'an itself. The Qur'an, in various ways, confirms the authority of reason. About sixty to seventy verses can be cited --and that, too, for just one of the various ways, as mentioned-- in which the Qur'an indicates that such and such a matter has been mentioned for reason to reflect on. In one instance, the Qur'an refers to this issue in a striking statement: إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ Surely the worst of beasts in God's sight are those that are deaf and dumb and do not reason. (8:22) Of course, it is obvious that the Qur'an does not mean the physically deaf and dumb, but those who do not want to listen to truth, or those who, when they hear, do not wish to admit it with their tongues. In the view of the Qur'an, the ears which are unable to listen to truth and which are only used for listening to absurd and nonsensical things, are deaf. The tongue which is merely used to utter nonsense is dumb. The people, who do not reason, are those who do not make use of their intellect and their faculty of thought. Such are not fit to be called human beings. The Qur'an includes them among the beasts. In another verse, while bringing up a subject related to Divine Unity (al-tawhid), the Qur'an refers to the issue of unity of Divine Acts, and says: وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ It is not for any soul to believe, save by the leave of God... (10:100) After stating this profound issue --a problem which is not easily comprehensible to every human mind-- the Qur'an continues the verse like this: وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ And He lays abomination upon those who do not reason. (10:100) In these two verses, which I quote here for the sake of example, the Qur'an, in the terms of logic, invites us to ratiocination. There are many other verses in the Qur'an which, on the basis of consequential signification, can be said to accept the authority of reason. In other words, the Qur'an makes statements which cannot be accepted without accepting the authority of reason. For instance, an opponent is asked to forward rational argument in favour of his position: قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful. (2:111) This can only be inferred to mean the Qur'an's ratification of the authority of reason. In another place it uses syllogistic argument to prove the existence of the Necessary Being (wajib al-wujud): لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا Were there gods in them [earth and heaven] other than God, they would surely disintegrate ... (21:22) In these verses the Qur'an has framed a conditional proposition, which exempts or excludes the antecedent premise for arriving at a conclusion which is consequent upon it. Thus the Qur'an aims at emphasizing the role of reason and refutes the view of some of the religions that faith is alien to, or, is incompatible with reason, and that to embrace faith one has to suspend his rational faculty and concentrate upon heart alone, so that it may absorb the Divine light and become illuminated by it. This view is totally negated and refuted by the Qur'an. 2. References to the Law of CausalityThe other argument that supports the view that the Qur'an approves of the ultimate authority of reason, is that it defines various problems in terms of cause-and-effect relationship. The cause-and-effect relation-ship, or the law of causation, is the foundation of rational thinking. This law is honoured by the Qur'an and is also employed by it. The Qur'an speaks on behalf of God, the Almighty, the Creator of the system of cause and effect. Despite the fact that His Word transcends the limitations of causality, the Qur'an is not oblivious of pointing out to the system of causality operating in the universe; it views all phenomena and events as being subservient to this system. The following verse supports this view: إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ God changes not what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves ... (13:11) The Qur'an intends to say that, although all destinies depend on the Will of God, He never imposes upon human beings such fate as is outside and alien to their determination, will and action. The destinies of societies also change according to their intrinsic system of functioning. God does not extravagantly alter the destiny of a nation without any specific reason, unless they themselves bring about a major change in their system of social and moral values and their manner of performing their individual duties. The Qur'an urges Muslims to study the conditions and circumstances of societies of the past and to take lesson from their history. It is evident that if the destinies of races and nations were random, or dependent upon accidents, or were prescribed from above, the advice to study and draw a lesson would not have any sense. By laying emphasis on it, the Qur'an intends to remind us that a uniform system of laws governs the destinies of all the nations of the world. It also reminds us that if the conditions of a society in which we live, are similar to the conditions prevalent in a society of the past, the same fate awaits us too. Elsewhere, the Qur'an says: فَكَأَيِّنْ مِنْ قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهَا وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا وَبِئْرٍ مُعَطَّلَةٍ وَقَصْرٍ مَشِيدٍ أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا How many a city We have destroyed in its evildoing, and now it is fallen down upon its turrets. How many a ruined well, a tall palace. What, have they not journeyed in the land so that they have hearts to understand with, or ear to hear with ... ? (22:45-46) From this statement, we can infer that the affirmation of the law of causality and the approval of the cause-and-effect relationship, imply the acceptance of authority of reason. 3. Rational Basis of Divine Commands Another argument which proves that the Qur'an believes in the ultimate authority of reason, is that the Qur'an always explains the rationale behind its commands, laws and precepts. The scholars of usul al-din (the principles of the Faith) maintain that the harms and benefits caused by human deeds are among the reasons behind laws and commands. For example, while at one place the Qur'an ordains the performance of prayers, in another place it explains the philosophy of prayer: إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ Indeed prayer forbids indecency and dishonour ... (29:45) It mentions the spiritual effects of prayer, and states how the prayer can edify man. It explains that it is on account of this exaltation that man can dissociate himself from indecencies. Elsewhere, after laying down rules for observing the fast, the Qur'an explains the rationale for its command: كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ Prescribed for you is the Fast, even as it was prescribed for those that were before you --haply you will be God-fearing. (2:183) Similarly, with respect to other commandments like those regarding zakat (alms) and jihad, the Qur'an clarifies their necessity for individual, as well as for society. In this way, the Qur'an, not withstanding the transcendental nature of Divine commandments, clarifies fully their worldly and terrestrial relevance, and asks men to cogitate upon their rationale until their meaning becomes explicit, so that it may not be imagined that these laws are based on a series of occult notions beyond the power of human comprehension. 4. Combating Deviations of Reason Another evidence in favour of the Qur'an's affirmation of the authority of reason --which is more conclusive than that mentioned above-- is the battle it launched against all those agents which obstruct the proper functioning of reason. For clarification of this point, we are forced to mention certain things in the way of an introduction. The human mind can, in many cases, fall into error. This fact is acknowledged by all of us. However, this danger is not limited to the intellect alone, but can equally befall the senses, and feelings as well. Just for the sense of vision, scores of visual errors and optical illusions have been pointed out. In the case of reason, too, there are times when people frame an argument and rationale and draw an inference on its basis, but later on they realize that the basis of their conclusion was erroneous. Here the question arises, whether the faculty of reason should be suspended on account of its occasional failures, or whether we should employ other means for discovering the errors of the intellect and seek to avoid such errors. In answering this question, the Sophists said that reason should not be relied upon, and that, basically, argumentation and reasoning is an absurd practice. Other philosophers have given a fitting reply to the Sophists, and said that though the senses can also err like reason, but no one has ever recommended their suspension. Since it was not possible to discard reason, the philosophers resolved to find ways of making reason secure from error. During their efforts in this regard, they discovered that all arguments consist of two parts, namely, matter and form. Like a building which has various ingredients in its construction, like, lime, cement, steel, etc. (matter), to acquire a specific structure (form). In order to attain the permanence and perfection of its construction, it is essential to procure proper material as well as to draw a perfect and faultless plan. For the correctness and accuracy of an argument, too, it is essential that its content and form be both free of error and defect. For judging the validity of the form of any argument, the Aristotelian or formal logic came into existence. The function of formal logic is to determine the accuracy or inaccuracy of the form of an argument, and help the mind to avoid errors in the process of reasoning. But the major problem that remains is that solely formal logic is inadequate for this purpose, because it cannot alone guarantee the validity of an argument. It can give assurance about one aspect alone. To obtain the perfection of the material aspect, the use of material logic is also essential, that is, we need certain criteria for controlling the quality of the rational material. Thinkers like Bacon and Descartes strove hard to evolve some kind of material logic similar to the formal logic of Aristotle, which was devised for formal reasoning. They did obtain certain criteria in this regard, though they are not as universal as those of Aristotelian logic, but are, to a limited extent, helpful in preventing the mind from committing errors in reasoning. Some may be surprised to know that the Qur'an has presented such principles for the prevention of any lapses in the process of reasoning, which surpass in merit and precedence the efforts of philosophers like Descartes and others. The Qur'anic Viewpoint Regarding the Sources of Error Among various sources of error mentioned by the Qur'an, one is that of taking conjecture and hypothesis for certainty and conviction. If a person were to adhere to the principle of putting conviction only in certainties and of not confusing between conjectures and certainties, he would not fall into error. The Qur'an lays great emphasis on this problem, and has clearly stated in one place that one of the biggest errors of the human mind is pursuit of conjectures and hypotheses. In another verse, which is addressed to the Prophet (S), the Qur'an says: وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ “If thou obeyest the most part of those on earth, they will lead thee astray from the path of God: they follow only surmise, merely conjecturing. “(6:116) In another verse, the Qur'an says: وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ “And pursue not that thou has no knowledge of ... “(17:36) This is the word of caution to mankind extended by the Qur'an, for the first time in the history of human ideas, warning mankind against this kind of error. The second source of error in the reasoning process, which is particularly relevant in social issues, is imitation. Most people are such that they accept whatever beliefs that are current in their society. They adopt certain beliefs merely for the reason that they were followed by their preceding generation. The Qur'an bids people to carefully scrutinize all ideas and judge them by the criteria of reason --neither to follow blindly the conventional beliefs and traditions of their ancestors, nor to reject them totally without any rational justification. It reminds us that there are many false doctrines that were introduced in the past, but were accepted by the people, and there are also certain truths that were presented in the distant past, but people resisted them on account of their ignorance. In accepting any ideas or principles, men are advised to make use of their intellects and rational faculties, and not to indulge in blind imitation. Very often, the Qur'an puts imitation of ancestors in direct opposition to reason and intellect: وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ “And when it is said to them: 'Follow what God has sent down', they say, 'No; but we will follow such things as we found our fathers doing.' What? Even if their fathers had no understanding of anything, and if they were not guided ?” (2:170) The Qur'an constantly reiterates the view that the idea of antiquity of an idea is neither the evidence of its falsity, nor is it a testimony of its truthfulness. Antiquity affects material objects; but the eternal truths of existence never become old and outmoded. Truths like: إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ “God changes not what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves ...” (13:11) are true for ever and ever. The Qur'an asks us to face issues with the weapon of reason and intellect. One should neither forsake a belief for fear of becoming the target of others' ridicule and banter, nor should he accept a belief just because it is upheld by some important and well- known persons. We should ourselves study and investigate the roots of all matters and draw our own conclusions. A Third effective source of error pointed out by the Qur'an is: Selfish motives tarnish virtue and merit, A cascade of curtains gallops from the heart towards vision. Unless one maintains objectivity and neutrality in every matter, he is unlikely to think correctly. Reason can function properly only in an atmosphere that is free of selfish desires and motives. A well-known anecdote of al-Allamah al-Hilli, can illustrate this point. A problem of fiqh was put before al-Allamah al-Hilli: If an animal falls inside a well, and the carcass cannot be removed; what should be done with the well? Incidentally, during the same days, an animal happened to fall into the well in his own house, and it became inevitable for him to deduce an injunction to solve his own problem, too. There were two possible ways to solve the issue: Firstly, the well should be totally closed, not to be used again; secondly, a fixed quantity of water should be emptied from the well and the rest water of well would be clean and usable. The 'Allamah realized that he could not give a completely impartial verdict about the problem without interference from his own personal interest. Accordingly, he ordered his own well be closed. Then, with an easy mind, free of the pressure of selfish motives. he turned to deducing the details of verdict in the second case. The Qur'an contains a large number of warnings regarding the evil of submission to personal desires. The following is just one instance of it: إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهْوَى الْأَنْفُسُ “They follow nothing except conjecture, and what the self desires ... “(53:23) ( from Understanding the Uniqueness of the Quran by Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari)
  20. Traditions on Interpreting the Qur’an according to one's Opinion He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book, of it there are some verses decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are ambiguous; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity, they follow the part of it which is ambiguous, seeking to mislead, and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation, but none knows its interpretation except Allah; and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: "We believe in it, it is all from our Lord"; and none do mind except those having understanding. (3:7) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Prophet said: "Whoever interprets (i.e. explains) the Qur'an according to his opinion, should settle himself in his seat of Fire." (as-Safi) The author says: This matter has been narrated by both the Sunnis and the Shi'ahs. And there are many other traditions of the same import, narrated from the Prophet and the Imams of Ahlu 'l-bayt (a.s.). It is narrated in Munyatu 'l-murid that the Prophet said: "Whoever spoke about the Qur'an without knowledge, should settle himself in his seat of Fire." The author says: Also, it has been narrated by Abu Dawud in his as-Sunan. The Prophet said: "Whoever speaks about the Qur'an without knowledge, shall coming on the Day of Resurrection reined with a rein of fire." (Munyatu 'l-murid) The same book narrates that the Prophet said: "Whoever spoke about the Qur'an of his own opinion (even if) he was right, he committed wrong." The author says: This tradition has also been narrated by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and an-Nisa'i. The Prophet said: "What I am afraid of, most of all, concerning my ummah after me, is the man who will take the Qur'an putting it in the wrong place (i.e. giving wrong interpretations)." (al-Munyatu 'l-murid) Abu Basir said that Abu 'Abdillah (a.s.) said: "Whoever interprets the Qur'an according to own opinion, if he gets to the right interpretation, he shall not be rewarded; and if he errs then he shall be farther away from the heaven. (at-Tafsir, al-Ayyashi) The same book quotes Ya'qub ibn Yazid who narrated from Yasir that ar-Ridha (a.s.) said: "Opinion in the Book of Allah is infedility." The author says: This theme is found in other traditions written in 'Uyunu 'l-akhbar, al-Khisal and at-Tafsir of al-Ayyashi among other books. The words of the Prophet: "Whoever interprets (i.e. explains) the Qur'an according to his own opinion": ar-Ra'y (= opinion) means the belief reached after diligent research. It is also used for the opinion based on desire and one's own inclination. The Prophet has used the phrase, "his opinion"; it shows that what is condemned is the interpretation of a verse independently without looking at other relevant verses. It does not forbid striving hard and doing one's utmost to understand the meaning of the Qur'an; nor does it say that one should confine himself to waht has been said in the traditions of the Prophet and Ahlu 'l-bayt (a.s.) relating to the exegesis of the verses (as many traditionalists think). Otherwise, it would be diametrically opposed to the many verses which show that the Qur'an is plain Arabic and whhich exhort the people to meditate on it; also it would be against many traditions that tell to turn to the Qur'an and judge the traditions by it. What the words, "according to his opinion", refer to is explaining the Qur'an according to one's personal views by being independent of other Qur'anic declarations. This happens when an exegete depends solely on the instruments of Arabic language and literature, which are used for understanding a human talk. When we hear a speech of a man we at once look towards the rules of the language so that we may understand what the speaker means, and in this way decide its import; we use this method everywhere, even in legal matters like testimony and acknowledgement. We use this method because human speech is based on the rules of language and rhetorics. But the Qur'an's diction is not based on this foundation, as we have explained earlier. The whole Qur'an is a speech whose sentences and verses are all related to one another; at the same time they are separate from each other; one part speaks with, and leads to the others, as 'Ali (a.s.) has said: "Obviously, it is not enough to look at a single verse in the light of the language and literature and decide what it means, unless one meditates on all the relevant verses and strives one's utmost to find out from all of them together what that particular verse means." The verse 4:82 points to this very fact, as we have explained in the topic of brevity: "Do they not then meditate on the Qur'an? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy." Explaining the Qur'an according to one's opinion is, thus, prohibited. And this prohibition is directed to the way of exegesis, and not to the exegesis itself. In other words, the Prophet has forbidden the people to try to understand the Divine words by the same methods which are used to understand a human speech - it is irrelevant whether they succeed in comprehending its true meaning or not. That is why he (s.a.w.a.) has said in another tradition: "Whoever spoke about the Qur'an of his own opinion, (even if) he was right, he committed wrong." This dictum clearly proves that the mistake lies in choosing the way; it does not matter whether that way takes one to the true destination or not. The same is the explanation of the words, narrated in the tradition of al-Ayyashi: "if he gets to the right interpretation, he shall not be rewarded". This view is supported also by the state of affairs in the days of the Prophet. The revelation of the Qur'an was not yet completed; and what was revealed was not yet arranged; not all the Muslims had in their hands all the revealed verses - most of them had only a few chapters and verses with them. Had they been allowed to explain every piece or verse separately, without comparing that piece with other relevant verses, they would almost certainly have fallen into error. It appears from the above discourse that what the exegete has been forbidden is to interpret a verse of the Qur'an independently, relying on his own knowledge and opinion, without reference to another authority. In other words, it is necessary, when one wants to explain a Qur'anic verse, to seek help from others by referring the matter to them. Who is that other authority? It could only be either other Qur'anic verses, or the traditions. The second alternative is out of question because the prophet has ordered the Muslims to refer the traditions to the Qur'an; it cannot be the other way round. The tradition's meanings and even their authenticity is tested by the Qur'an; how can tradition decide the meaning of the Qur'an? Thus, there remains only one valid and approved way of explaining the verses of the Qur'an, and that is with the help of other relevant verses. This much is enough to show the irrelevance of numerous explanations written about the tradition of "interpreting the Qur'an by one's own opinion". The scholars have explained this tradition in not less than ten ways: First: It means interpreting the Qur'an without expertise in those subjects which are essential for knowing its exegesis. And as-Suyuti has said in al-itqan that there are fifteen in all: Language, syntax, conjugation, etymology, styles of literature, rhetoric, elocution, recitation of the Qur'an, roots of religion, fundamentals of jurisprudence, reasons and occasions of revelations (as well as the stories mentioned in the Qur'an), abrogating and abrogated verses, law of the Shari'ah, traditions that explain the general and unspecific verses, and the gifted knowledge. This last phrase refers to a tradition of the Prophet: "Whoever acts upon what he knows, Allah gives him knowledge of what he does not know." Second: It refers to the attempts of finding the interpretations of the ambigious verses, which no one knows except Allah. Third: It is interpretation of the Qur'an to support a wrong belief or action. It happens when an exegete makes his own view or belief the foundation upon which he builds the exegesis of the Qur'an; he fits the verse on his own belief in any possible way - no matter how weak or far-fetched that might be. Fourth: It is declaring, without any proof, that a certain explanation is the meaning really intended by Allah. Fifth: It refers to explaining the Qur'an according to one's inclination and desire. These five explanations of the said tradition have been narrated by Ibnu 'n-Naqib, as as-Suyuti has quoted in al-itqan. There are five other explanations which we enumerate here from other books: Sixth: It is explaining the difficult passages of the Qur'an in a new way which was not narrated from the companions and their disciples - because such an interpretation would make the exegete liable to the displeasure of Allah. Seventh: The tradition is about explaining the Qur'an in a certain way, while the speaker knows that it is not the true explanation. These last two have been mentioned by Ibnu 'l-Anbari. Eighth: The tradition forbids talking about the Qur'an without knowledge and without making sure - it does not matter whether the speaker knows or not that another explanation is true. Ninth: It forbids reliance on the apparent meaning of the Qur'an. It is the explanation of those who think that the apparent meaning of the Qur'an is not a valid authority; to understand a verse, one must look to a clear tradition narrated from a sinless authority (i.e. the Prophet, his daughter and the twelve Imams, peace be on them all). But in fact it shall not be an exegesis of the Qur'an; rather it shall be following the tradition. Anyhow, according to this group, exegesis of the Qur'an depends on the explanation of a sinless authority. Tenth: There were some people who believed that the Qur'an had valid apparent meanings, but said that common people could not understand it. According to this view also relying on the apparent meaning of the Qur'an was forbidden by this tradition. One must look for clear traditions of sinless authorities to interpret the Qur'an. These are ten explanations of the said tradition - although some may in effect be identical to some others. In any case, none of these is supported by any proof. Moreover, some are obviously wrong, or their inaccuracy may be understood from what we have earlier said about this tradition. There is no reason to point it out again. There are many verses that support the traditions mentioned earlier: Do they not meditate on the Qur'an? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy (4:82). Those who made the Qur'an into shreds (15:91). Surely they who distort Our signs are not hidden from Us. What! is he then who is cast into the fire better or he who comes safe on the Day of Resurrection? Do what you like, surely He sees what you do (41:40). .....(there are those who) alter words from their places.....(4:46). And pursue not that of which you have not the knowledge (17:36). Such verses in conjunction with the above mentioned traditions make it clear that the prohibition contained in those traditions is about the method used for the exegesis; they show that when explaining the Divine Speech, one should not adopt the same means that are used for explaining human talks. What is the difference between Divine and human speeches? It is not in the use of the words, the construction of sentences or style of elocution. The Qur'an is in plain Arabic, and all norms of eloquence have been mentioned in it. Allah Himself has said: And We did not send any apostle but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly (14:4); ....and this is clear Arabic language (16:103); Surely We have made it an Arabic Qur'an so that you may understand (43:3). The difference between the two is about the meaning and its application. This statement needs some elaboration: We are at home in this material world, and surrounded with its natural phenomena. As a result, when we hear a word, our mind, first of all, looks at its physical connotation and application. When a fellow human being describes a thing or an affair, we apply his words to what we are accustomed to in this world; because we know that the speaker too is governed by the same forces as we are, and his comprehension and cognition is not different from ours. In this way the application of a word affects its meaning - it may particularize a general meaning or vice versa; the circumstances may manipulate a word's connotation in a lot of ways. It is what we call rational context, in contrast to textual evidence. For example, if we hear a powerful and wealthy man saying, "There is not a thing but with us are the treasures of it", first we shall look at the literal meaning of this sentence, then will come the stage of its application. At this stage, we shall say that he has many strong and well-protected buildings which have got a lot of containers of various types to store his treasures, that consist of a large quantity of gold, silver, currency notes, bonds, jewels, various commodities, ornamental items, arms and ammunition etc. We get this picture in our mind because this is what we call treasure and that is how it is kept safe and secure. But we will never imagine that he has in his treasury, the earth and the heavens, the continents and the oceans, the sun and the moon, the animals and the human beings. These too are "things", but they are not possessed, gathered and put in a treasury. Because of this rational context we do restrict the generality of the word "thing" and apply it to a few selected items only; and in those items too only a small quantity is preserved in strong, impregnable buildings to protect it from theft and other damages. And this knowledge of ours has restricted the general meaning of the words, "thing" and "treasures". But now we hear Allah revealing to His Apostle (s.a.w.a): And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures of it (15:21). If our mind is not developed, and is still on the lowest rung of comprehension, we shall interpret this verse in exactly the same manner. Of course, we shall not have any proof to say that the verse has been used in the same sense; yet we shall rush to that explanation, because our mind is accustomed to it. This is, then, explaining the Qur'an according to our own opinion without knowledge. Now let us say that our understanding is a bit more developed, and we know that Allah does not gather things to put them in a treasury. We think over this verse and read the next sentence: and We do not send it down but in a known measure; and then we compare it with another verse: ......and (in) what Allah sends down sustenance from the cloud, then gives life thereby to the earth after its death.........there are signs for a people who understand (45:5). We shall at once say that the word "thing", in the verse under discussion, refers to the sustenance like bread and water; and that "sending it down", in the next sentence, refers to the coming down of rain. We shall give it this interpretation because we do not know of anything, except the rain, that comes down from the heavens; therefore, we shall say that accumulation of everything near Allah and then it coming down in measured quantity refers to the accumulation of rain and its coming down to the earth to produce food grains. This too shall be interpreting the Qur'an according to one's own opinion "without knowledge". What is our argument? It is that we do not know of anything, except the rain, that descends from the heaven. But "not knowing" that a certain thing exists is quite different from "knowing" that it does not exist. If our knowledge is more advanced and our mind more developed, we shall try not to say anything concerning the Qur'an without knowledge. We shall say that the words of the verse are general; they should not be restricted in any way. "Thing" includes everything, and the word, "treasures", covers every single item of everything. We shall arrive at the conclusion that the sentence describes the affairs of the creation and the creatures. Then will come the puzzling sentence, "and We do not send it down but in a known measure". Doubtlessly, human beings, animals and vegetables do not come down from the heavens; they grow from, and are born on, the earth. Faced with this difficulty, we shall say that the first sentence, "And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures of it", is a metaphorical way of saying that everything in existence is subservient to the will of Allah; that the Divine will is like a treasure that holds every creature, and only as much issues forth from it as is willed by Allah. But this interpretation also, like the previous two, is based on "not knowing". We "do not know" that the things descend (in the meaning known to us) from Allah, and , therefore, we explain away the sentence in an allegorical way. If you look at the Divine names, attributes and actions as described in the Qur'an, or at the Qur'anic declarations about the angels, the Divine Books, the apostles and the Day of Resurrection and its details, or at the laws of the shari'ah and their significance as given in the Qur'an, and then ponder on the way people want to interpret them in the light of rational context, you will see that all such exercises are but interpretations according to one's own liking without knowledge; that they should better be called misinterpretations. We have shown under the fifth heading (why the Book contains the ambiguous verses?) in the discourse of the decisive and ambiguous verses that the Qur'anic expressions vis-a-vis the Divine realities are like a proverb in relation to its significance; and those realities have been explained in various expressions and diverse wordings, so that all taken together may lead the hearers to their real significance. That is why the verses are said to be witnesses of each other; and that is how they explain one another. Otherwise the Divine realities could never be correctly explained; and people would have fallen in the pitfall of interpreting the Qur'an without knowledge. The above discourse shows that interpreting the Qur'an according to one's opinion is always accompanied by speaking about it without knowledge. The tradition of the Prophet points to this fact: "Whoever spoke about the Qur'an without knowledge should settle himself in his seat of Fire." It is such interpretations that make it look as though the verses of the Qur'an were contradictory to one another. Interpreting the verses by one's own opinion, without true knowledge, disturbs the semantic flow of the Qur'an. Thus the verses are misinterpreted, the words shifted from their right places and used in wrong contexts. Then it becomes necessary for these exegetes to explain some or most of the verses in a way that is against their apparent meanings; Divine words and sentences are given such meanings which linguists have never heard of. Thus we find a group explaining away the verses of free will and choice, and their opponents misinterpreting the verses of Divine decree and measure. Most of the Muslim sects are guilty of this type of misinterpretation, especially in those verses whose apparent meanings go against their beliefs. They seek refuge in clothing such verses with meanings of their choice, and their so-called arguments boil down to this sentence: The apparent meaning of this verse is against what has already been established by rational proofs; therefore it must be given a new meaning, against the apparent one. This practice creates confusion; the logical sequence of the verses is disrupted, their semantic flow is disturbed and they seem to contradict each other. Thus both lose their validity. It is known that there is no discrepancy in the Qur'an. If a certain explanation shows that two verses are contradictory to each other, the only defect would be in that explanation. This has been termed, in many traditions, as hitting one part of the Qur'an with the other. See for example the following traditions: It is narrated in al-Kafi and at-Tafsir of al-'Ayyashi from as-Sadiq from his father (peace be on them both) that he said: "A man does not hit a part of the Qur'an with the other (part) but that he becomes an infidel." Ma'ani 'l-akhbar, al-Mahasin (through their chains) and at-Tafsir of al-'Ayyashi: as-Sadiq (a.s.) said: "A man does not hit a part of the Qur'an with the other (part) but that he becomes an infidel." as-Saduq says that he asked Ibnu 'l-Walid what this tradition meant. He replied: "It is replying to a man concerning the exegesis of one verse, with the exegesis of another one." The author says: This reply of Ibnu 'l-Walid is somewhat vague. If by this expression he means the above-mentioned mix-up - as the polemicists argue by offering one verse "against" another, adhering to the one and explaining away the other - then he is correct. But if he wants to disallow explaining one verse with the help of the other and bringing the one as evidence for the other, then it is wrong, as may be seen from the following two traditions too: It is narrated in at-Tafsir of al-Nu'mani, through his chains to Isma'il ibn Jabir that he said: "I heard Abu 'Abdillah Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be on them both) saying: 'Verily, Allah - Benevolent and High is He - sent Muhammad and ended with him (the chain of) the prophets; thus there is no prophet after him; and He sent down to him a Book, and ended with it (the chain of) the Books; thus there is no (Divine) book after it. He allowed in it the lawful (things) and prohibited in it the unlawful; so its lawful is lawful up to the Day of Resurrection, and its unlawful is unlawful up to the Day of Resurrection; there is in it your shari'ah, and the information of the people (who passed away) before you and (who are to come) after you; and the Prophet (may Allah have mercy on him and his progeny!) appointed it as a standard (that will remain) for ever in his successors. But the people left them (those successors) although they were witnesses over the people of all times; and they (i.e. the people) deviated from them, then they killed them, and followed others and gave those others their unalloyed obedience. (This continued) till they extended their enmity to him who showed his love of those invested with authority (from Allah) and who sought their knowledge. Allah has said: .....and (they) have forgotten a part of what they were admonished with, and you will not cease to be informed of deceit from among them (5:14). And it is because they hit a part of the Qur'an with the other; and they argued with the abrogated (verse) thinking that it was the abrogating one, and debated with the help of the ambiguous thinking that it was the decisive; and offered a particularized verse for their argument assuming that it was a general one; and stuck at the beginning of a verse leaving aside the reason of its interpretation; and they did not see what was beginning of the speech and what was its end; and they did not know its arrival or its departure, because they did not take it from its people; thus they went astray and misled others. " 'And know, may Allah have mercy on you! that he who does not distinguish in the Book of Allah the abrogating verse from the abrogated one, and a specific from a general one, and a decisive from an ambiguous; and does not differentiate between permission and an obligation, and does not recognize a verse of Meccan period from a Medinite one, and does not know the reasons of revelation; and does not understand the difficult words of the Qur'an (whether simple or compound); and does not comprehend (what has been hidden in it of) the knowledge of (Divine) decree and measure; and is ignorant of advancing and delaying (in its verses); and does not distinguish the clear from the deep, nor the manifest from the esoteric, nor the beginning from the termination; and is unaware of the question and the answer, the disjoining and the joining, and the exceptions and the all-inclusive, and is ignorant of an adjective of a preceding (noun) that explains, the subsequent one; and is unaware of the emphasized subject and the detailed one, the obligatory laws and the permissions, the places of the duties and rules, and the meaning of the lawful and the unlawful (in which the unbelievers have perished); and does not know the joined words, and the words that are related to those coming before them, or after them - then such a man does not know the Qur'an; nor is he among the people of the Qur'an; And if someone claims knowledge of these variations, without proof, then he is a liar, a doubting (person), and a fabricator of lies against Allah and His Apostle, and his resting place is the hell, and what an evil destination it is!' " It is written in Nahju 'l-balaghah and al-Ihtijaj that 'Ali (a.s.) said in a sermon: "When a legal problem is put before one of them he passes judgment on it according to his opinion. Then exactly the same problem comes before another of them and he gives the opposite verdict. Then these judges bring this matter to their leader who had appointed them and he confirms all their (contradictory) verdicts, although their Allah is one and their Prophet is one and their Book is one. Is it because Allah had ordered them to differ and they obeyed Him? Or He had prohibited them from it but they disobeyed Him? Or is it that Allah had sent an incomplete religion and sought their help to complete it? Or, they are His partners, so that it is their right to say and it is His duty to agree? Or is it that Allah sent a complete religion but the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) fell short of conveying it and handing it over (to the ummah)? And Allah, the Glorified, says: We have not neglected anything in the Book (6:38); and that in it is the clarification of everything; and He has said that one part of the Book confirms the other and that there is no discrepancy in it; And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy (4:82). And verily, the exterior of the Qur'an is elegant and its esoteric (meaning) is deep. Its wonders cannot be enumerated, and its marvels will not cease; and the darkness cannot be removed except by it." The author says: This narration clearly shows that every religious opinion and view must be based on the Qur'an. The sentence, "in it is the clarification of everything", paraphrases a Qur'anic verse, ( . . . and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything [16:89] ). Ibn Sa'd, Ibnu 'd-Durays (in his al-Fada'il) and Ibn Marduwayh have narrated from 'Amr ibn Shu'ayb from his father from his grandfather: "The Apostle of Allah (s.a.w.a.) appeared before a group who were bandying arguments about the Qur'an, and he was very angry and said: 'This is how the nations before you went astray - they disputed with their prophets and hit one part of the book with the other.'Then he said: 'And verily the Qur'an has not been revealed so that its parts would contradict each other; rather, it has been revealed so that its part would confirm each other. Therefore, follow what you know (of it) and believe in what is ambiguous to you (from it)."' (ad-Durru 'l-manthur) Ahmad has narrated in another way from 'Amr ibn Shu'ayb from his father from his grandfather that the Messenger of'All5h (s.a.w.a.) heard some people disputing with one another. So, he said: "That is how those who were before you had perished; they hit one part of the Book of Allah over the other. And the Book of Allah has been revealed (and) its one part confirms the other; therefore, do not (try to) refute its one part with the other part. What you know of it, you should believe in it, and what you do not know of it, you should leave it to him who knows it." (ad-Durru 'I-manthur) The author says: As you see, these traditions count "hitting one part of the Qur'an with the other" as opposite to "confirming some of its parts with the others". In other words, this "hitting" refers to confusing the meanings of the verses, disturbing their aims and objects, mistaking, for example, the decisive verses for the ambiguous ones and vice versa. It means that speaking in the Qur'an according to one's own opinion, and explaining the verses without knowledge (described in earlier quoted traditions) and hitting some parts of the Qur'an with the others (mentioned in the above traditions) refer to one and the same thing, that is, explaining the Qur'an with the help of other than the Qur'an. Question: No doubt, the Qur'an was revealed so, that the people may comprehend and understand it. See, for example, these two verses: - Surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth for the sake of men ... (39:41). This is a clear statement for men (3:138). Also there is no doubt that it was the Prophet who had the authority to explain it. As Allah says: ... and We have revealed to you the Reminder that you may make clear to men what has been revealed to them . . . (16:44). And surely he explained it to his companions, who transmitted it to their disciples. What has come to us from the companions and their disciples is doubtlessly the explanation given by the Prophet, and we cannot disregard it, as the Qur'an tells us to follow what is given to us by the Prophet. As for those explanations which the companions gave us without ascribing them to the Prophet, it is true that they cannot have the same authority as the Prophet's declarations-, yet we feel more at ease with them (instead of looking for them on our own). Why? Because either they had heard it from the Prophet, or they were led to it by their expertise in religion - the expertise they had acquired from the Prophet's instruction and exposition. The same applies to their disciples and the disciples' disciples. Surely the meaning of the Qur'an could not be hidden from them they had deep rooted knowledge of Arabic language; they were keen on learning the Qur'anic interpretation from the Prophet himself; and they strived their utmost to acquire the knowledge of religion. All this may be seen in biographical details of the early scholars of religion. Looking at the above-mentioned details, we come to the conclusion that deviating from their method and tradition, going out of their company or explaining any verse in a way that is not found in their opinions and sayings, is an innovation; and that one must remain silent where they have not given any opinion. What the companions and their direct and indirect disciples have said is enough for the purpose of understanding the Qur'an. There are thousands of traditions on exegesis, and as-Suyuti has counted some seventeen thousand traditions on this subject, narrated from the Prophet and his companions and their disciples. Reply: Its reply may be inferred from what we have written earlier. There are numerous verses which invite the public in general, the believers as well as the unbelievers, those who were present at the time of revelation as well as those who came later or shall come in future, to understand the Qur'an and meditate and ponder on it. For example, see the verse 4: 8 2 which has been quoted repeatedly: Do they not then meditate on the Qur’an? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy. It clearly shows that the Qur'anic knowledge may be acquired through meditation and contemplation; and that by this process the apparent discrepancy between the verses disappears completely. Remember that this verse puts a challenge to unbelievers that they would not find any discrepancy in the Qur'an if they pondered on it. And in this context they could not be advised to go to the companions and their disciples if they wanted to understand its meaning; nay, even the advice to refer to the Prophet would have been irrelevant: If the Prophet's explanation were in conformity with the apparent meaning of the verse, then people would understand that meaning from the verse itself on meditation and contemplation - and there would be no need to refer to the Prophet. And if his explanation were against the apparent meaning of the Qur'an - a meaning that an average man would not understand from the words - then the challenge would be futile and the argument of the verse 4:82 would not stand. Of course, so far as the details of various Qur'anic laws are -concerned, they cannot be known without the Prophet's explanation, as the Qur'an itself says: . . . and whatever the Apostle gives you, take it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back . . . (59:7). Also, the details of the Qur'anic stories and of the Day of Judgment depend on his exposition. It shows that the Prophet's responsibility, in this respect, was of teaching only. A teacher guides and helps his student in understanding what would be difficult to comprehend without his help. The teaching brings the meaning nearer to the mind; it does not create a meaning. The teacher arranges the subject matter to make it easier to comprehend, so that the student is not obliged to waste his time and energy in self- education - a proposition that carries with it a risk of wrong deductions. This aspect of the Prophet's responsibilities is mentioned in many verses. For example, . . . and We have revealed to you the Reminder that you may make clear to men what has been revealed to them, and that haply they may reflect (16:44). . . . And teaches them the Book and the Wisdom . . . (62:2). The Prophet, therefore, teaches the people what the Qur’an itself says and the Divine Speech itself shows, and which the people themselves may understand even if it requires some meditation. It is not the Prophet's function to bestow on the verses such meanings as cannot be normally understood from those words. Such an explanation would not conform with the following Qur’anic declarations:- A Book of which the verses are made plain, an Arabic Qur’an for a people who know (41:3). . . . and this is clear Arabic language ( 16:103). Then there are the traditions of the Prophet exhorting the Muslims to hold fast to the Qur'an and to verify with its help the traditions attributed to him. It necessarily follows that all what the Prophet has said may be known from the Qur'an. Otherwise, he could not tell us to check with it all the sayings attributed to him. Now, if we say that understanding of the Qur’an depends on the Prophet's explanation, it would be a vicious circle. The Qur’an would be understood only if explained by the traditions, but the authenticity of the tradition could be established only if one understands the Qur’an. Now we come to the traditions narrated from the companions. First, we are faced with the problems concerning the chains of the narrators, because not all of them are free from one or the other defect. Second, the companions have differed a great deal with one another in their expositions of the Qur'an. Third, in many cases, divergent views have been ascribed to a single companion, as anyone may find out by looking in the books of traditions and exegesis. What is one supposed to do when faced with such discrepancies? We are told by these people that we should choose one of those diverse opinions and stick to it; that we should not destroy the "composite unanimity" of the companions, nor should we go outside their circle. But the trouble is that the companions themselves were not averse to differ from each other; then why should we not differ from them? They themselves never claimed that their opinions were vested with an authority which others were duty bound to accept; nor did they ever say that, although they differed from one another, others should not differ from them. If we were stuck up with the Qur'anic exegesis narrated from the companions and their disciples, the forward march of knowledge would be arrested and academic research negated. Look at the explanations transmitted to us from the early scholars, and study the books of exegesis written in early centuries. You will find that they contain only simple word meanings, and are devoid of deep thoughts and fine ideas. If we stop at those explanations, where we can find the vast and deep knowledge mentioned in the verse: . . . and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything. . . ( 16:89). Then it is said that it is unthinkable that the companions did not know the meaning of the Qur'an, in spite of their keen interest in religious knowledge and their understanding and serious efforts in this way. But the very discrepancy in their various explanations belies this argument. Discrepancy and difference could not occur unless the truth was hidden from their eyes, and unless they were confused. The truth is that the highway to the understanding of the Qur'an is wide open; and the Divine Speech itself leads one to its own understanding; it does not depend, for this purpose, on any other guide. It is a Book introduced by Allah as the guidance, the light and the clear explanation of everything. It cannot be said to need another guide, to seek illumination from another light or to depend on an outside factor for its own explanation. Question: The correct traditions say that the Prophet said in his last sermon: "Certainly I am leaving among you two weighty things: The bigger one and the smaller one. As for the bigger one, it is the Book of Allah; and as for the smaller one, it is my progeny, the people of my house. Therefore, keep me in mind about these two things; because you shall never go astray so long as you hold fast to them." This tradition has been narrated by both sects from a great many companions of the Apostle of Allah (s. a. w. a.); it has come to us through so many chains that one can entertain no doubt about its authenticity. The traditionalists have counted that it has been narrated by thirty-five companions. Some narrations contain the sentence: "They shall not separate from one another till they come to me on the reservoir (i.e., Kawthar)." This tradition proves that the words of Ahlu 'l-bayt (a.s.) on the Qur'an are a binding authority and that one must adhere to what has come down to us from them concerning the exegesis. Otherwise, one would be guilty of separating the Qur'an from the Ahlu 'l-bayt (a.s.). Reply: What was said earlier regarding the explanation of the Prophet applies here too. The tradition quoted in the question is not intended to negate the authority of the apparent meaning of the Qur'an, nor does it say that the exegesis given by the Ahlu 'I-bayt (a.s.) is the only authoritative explanation. The Prophet has used the words, "they shall not separate from one another". It means that authority belongs to the Qur'5n and the Ahlu 'l-bayt (a.s.) together; the Qur'an explains its meaning and makes manifest the Divine realities, and the Ahlu 'l-bayt (a.s.) guide to the true path and direct the people to the Qur'5nic aims and goals. Moreover, like the Prophet, the Ahlu 'I-bayt (a.s.) too have directed the Muslims to hold fast to the Qur'an, to meditate on it and to verify from it the traditions attributed to them. Furthermore, a considerable number of the exegetical traditions of the Ahlu 'l-bayt (a.s.) themselves have used the method of explaining a verse with the help of the other. This method can be meaningful only if the Qur'anic verses may be understandable to an average man - provided the correct direction is followed. Apart from these rational arguments, some traditions of the Ahlu 'I-bayt (a.s.) explicitly mention this fact. al-Barqi has narrated through his chains from Abu Labid that Abu Ja'far (a.s.) said in a tradition: "Whoever thought that the Book of Allah was vague, fell in perdition and destroyed others." Another tradition has been narrated in the same book as well as in al-Ihtijaj that Abu Ja'far (a.s.) said: "When I narrate to you anything, you should ask me where it was in the Book of Allah . . . " The above discourse makes it clear that there is no conflict between those traditions which say that the Qur'anic knowledge is not unintelligible and that it may be understood with the help of the Qur'anic verses themselves, and those which are apparently against it. For example, it is narrated in at-Tafsir of al-'Ayyashi from Jabir that he said: "Abu 'Abdillah (a.s.) said: 'Verily, the Qur'an has an interior, and for its interior there is an exterior.' Then he said: 'O Jabir! and there is nothing farther from the understanding of the men than it (i.e., the Qur'an). Verily, a verse, its first (part) is revealed about one subject and its middle (part) about another thing, and its end about something else; and yet it is a well-connected speech, (that) revolves in various ways.' " This theme has been given in various other traditions. In some of them, the sentence, "and there is nothing farther from the understanding of the men . . . ", has been ascribed to the Prophet. Also, 'Ali (a.s.) is reported as saying: "Verily, the Qur'an may be explained in many ways; it has many faces. It is clear that what has been allowed, nay, encouraged, is explaining it through its own path, and what has been forbidden is explaining it through another path. The prescribed way is exegesis of the Qur'an with the help of the Qur'an itself, explaining a verse with another verse. A man can do so only when he is well versed in the traditions of the Prophet and his Ahlu 'I-bayt (a. s.); it gives him correct perspective and creates in him a discriminating taste. It is after acquiring this taste that one may explain the Qur'an with confidence. And Allah is the best Guide. (Allamah Tabatabai (AR) in Al-Mizan - Volume 5)
  21. cant say about the miscarriage, but the attack and threats of burning Hazrat Fatima's (SA) house is well documented. For example, Allamah Tabari writes: 'Umar b. al-Khattab came to the house of Ali. Talhah, al-Zubayr, and some of the Muhajirun were also in the house with 'Ali. Umar cried out, “By God, either you come out to render the oath of allegiance [to Abu Bakr], or I will set the house on fire." Al-Zubayr came out with his sword drawn. As he stumbled (upon somethingl, the sword fell from his hand, so they jumped over him and seized him.' (Reference: History of al-Tabari, Volume IX, pages 186-187, English translation-SUNY press).
  22. The prescribed way is exegesis (tafseer) of the Quran with the help of the Quran itself, explaining a verse with another verse. A man can do so only when he is well versed in the traditions (hadith) of the Prophet and his AhluI Bayt (as). it gives him correct perspective and creates in him a discriminating taste. It is after acquiring this taste that one may explain the Qur'an with confidence. And Allah is the best Guide.
  23. Aql (reasoning) is a valid source of verdicts. Personal opinion (ray), analogy (qiyas) and guesswork is not reasoning. If a qualified expert uses aql to study the commandments of God, determines the GOOD (that needs to be promoted or protected) and the EVIL that needs to be shunned. Or determines the necessary REQUIREMENTS for something made halal or haram by Allah, Draws principals written in quran and hadith and applies all this knowledge to the present or changing circumstances and issues a verdict it is valid. Our whole system of religion is based on Aql (reasoning). This is the basic difference b/w Shia and other Muslim and non-Muslim faiths. We cant say that God is one because so and so told us, that He is one and not two or ten. We prove that God can only be one based on reasoning (aql). Quran is a complete book of guidance. It has all the guidance about everything man has to face till the day of judgement. How is it possible that Allah sends His last Prophet, His last book, declares that religion is now complete and after all this astaghfarAllah forget to guide us about problems we are facing today. Some things are written in Quran explicitly by name. While others are written in the form of principals. An qualified scholar uses his aql to uncover these principals and solve our problems. This is what we call Ijtehad.
  24. I cant interpret your dream. But I suggest you go to the Imambargah. Find the Zuljana horse and see if he is getting proper food and care. Provide whatever help you can. WS Allah does not create anything pointless. The Zuljana horse reminds us of the tragedy of Karbala in a visual form. The children learn from Zuljanah how horses used in war were decorated. How they received arrow injuries, etc.
  25. Ok, that is good progress. Remember guidance comes from Allah. InshaAllah all issues will be cleared up. In that case you will also have to find the explanations Marjas have given regarding these fatwas during dars al-kharij. It would be unfair to post the fatwas and your understanding of them being wrong without posting the detailed background given by the respective Marja. To be fair, you will have to read thru Dars e Kharij books of each respective marja and post his explanation too. And I suggest you do it one fatwa at a time. The format should be: -Fatwa. -Name of Marja. -Explanation given by that Marja (Reference to dars al-kharij book or lecture). -Why you think Marja is wrong in his fatwa. We may have to contact the concerned Marja. So please pick a living Marja.
  • Create New...