بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
مَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَي
إِلاَّ تَذْكِرَةً لِمَن يَخْشَي
تَنزِيلاً مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ الاَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَي
1. “Ta Ha”
2. “We did not send down the Qur’an to you that you distress yourself.”
3. “But only as an admonition to him who fears (Allah).”
4. “It has been sent down from Him Who created the earth and the high heavens.”
At the beginning of this Surah, again we are confronted the abbreviated letters of the Qur’an, which excite the reader’s sense of curiosity.
A tradition narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) indicates that ‘Ta Ha’ is one of the names of holy Prophet (S), and it means: ‘O seeker of the truth and the leader unto it’.
‘Ta Ha’ consists of two mystic letters, so that ‘Ta’ refers to the sense of ‘seeker of Truth’ and ‘Ha’ indicates the meaning of ‘the leader unto it’. It is well known that the usage of mystic letters, and abbreviations has been very common since the old times, and they are abundantly used nowadays in particular.
The term “Ta Ha”, similar to ‘Yasin’, in the course of time, has gradually been applied as a proper name for the Prophet of Islam (S), so far that the family of the Prophet (S) is called ‘’Al-i-Ta-Ha’ (the family of Ta Ha). Also, in ‘Supplication of Nudbah’, Hadrat Mahdi (May Allah hasten his glad advent) has been rendered into ‘Yabna-Ta-Ha’.
From the time of the descent of the Qur’an and its Divine revelation on, the Prophet (S) used to worship very much. He specially accomplished his worshipping in a ‘standing state’. He stood so much so that his feet often were inflated. Then the verse was revealed, telling the Prophet (S) that he should not impose upon himself so much trouble.
The verse says:
It is true that worship is the best actions, but every thing must have a limit. The Prophet (S) must not bear the task so much that his feet inflate, and his power decreases too much for preaching and Holy Struggle.
In the next verse, the goal of the descent of the Qur’an is explained, as follows:
The expression /man yaxša/ (to him who fears Allah), denotes that a person does not accept the facts unless there is a kind of feeling of responsibility in him (that he fears).
Then the verse pays to introduce the Lord, the One Who has sent down the Qur’an, so that, by means of knowing Him, the greatness of the Qur’an would be made manifest more.
Concerning the Qur’an, it says:
In fact, this explanation is an indication to both the beginning and the end of the descent of the Qur’an, whose end is the earth and its beginning is heavens.
However, the Arabic word /tanzil/ means ‘a gradual descent’. That is, the Qur’an was revealed during 23 years, in different occasions and for various incidents. This meaning does not contrast to the revelation of the Qur’an upon the holy heart of the Prophet (S) at once on the Night of Qadr.
الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَي الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَي
لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الاَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَرَي
وإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السّـِرَّ وَأَخْفَي
5. “The Beneficent (Allah Who) dominates on the ‘Arsh (the Throne of existence).”
6. “To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and whatever is between them, and whatever is beneath the ground.”
7. “And if you utter aloud (or whisper, it is no matter): for verily He knows the secret (of yours) and (that which is yet) more hidden.”
In these few verses, four main attributes of Allah are referred to. They are as follows:
1. His Creative Power (Divinity), where it says:
2. His Sovereignty, where it says:
3. His Ownership, where it says:
4. His Omniscience, where it says:
The Sovereignty of Allah over ‘Arsh, which has been mentioned in some other occurrences of the Qur’an with the phrase recited:
denotes to Allah’s authority over the world of existence. As an instance, when it is said that so and so set on the throne, or so and so was taken down from the throne, it means that he gained an authority, or his authority was taken from him.
The Qur’anic phrase:
and the like of it, is usually followed with sentence which interprets it. For example, in Surah’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 54, it says:
Or like Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 3 which says:
Or like Surah Al-Hadid, No. 57, verse 4, which says:
And like Surah As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 4, where it says:
And in the verse under discussion, the Qur’an implies: the same Beneficent Who dominates on the ‘Arsh (the Throne of existence).
The verse says:
The Arabic term /ara/ originally means ‘wet soil’, and since the low level of the ground is often wet in Arabic it is called /ara/. Thus the meaning of the phrase: /matahtaara/ (whatever is beneath the ground) envelops all dead bodies, treasures, and whatever thing is hidden in the depth of the ground.
Then, next to the Sovereignty of Allah over the world of existence, the Qur’an refers to His Ownership.
Up to here, three main attributes of Allah have been explained: the first epithet is His Creative Power, the second epithet, is His Sovereignty, and the third epithet is His Ownership.
In the next verse, the fourth epithet, His Omniscience, has been pointed out. It implies that His knowledge is so vast that it encompasses every thing you say manifestly or whatever you keep hidden, and He also knows even the more secret than the secret.
The verse says:
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“The secret (thing) is what you hide in your heart, and more secret than that is that which has passed from your mouth but you have forgotten it. That is, not only it is hidden for others but you yourself have neglected it.”
Allah knows everything:
He knows the things which are not seen in the heavens and in the earth:
He knows what is in the womb of every female:
He knows the aim and meaning of glances:
He knows what passes in the hearts:
And there falls no leaf of a tree but He knows it:
However, the domination of Allah over the world of existence is accomplished mercifully, not mightily. And the revelation of the Qur’an has been a sign of His Beneficence and His Authority upon the existence.
So, His Sovereignty over the whole existence is alike. He is both the Creator of the world of existence and the Protector and Ruler of it. He has also knowledge about whatever is visible and invisible and has absolute ownership over all things.
اللَّهُ لآ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ لَهُ الاَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَي
8. “Allah, there is no god but He. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.”
Through the contents of the abovementioned verses an epitome of knowledge about the Sender of the Qur’an was delivered by referring to Allah’s four attributes. They are: His Creative Power, His Sovereignty, His Ownership, and His Omniscience.
And, perhaps, it is for the same reason that the Qur’an in this holy verse says:
The objective meaning of ‘the Most beautiful Names’ is the different attributes of Allah (s.w.t.) all of which are good and are beautiful.
We know that Allah is: The Knower, The Powerful, The Sustainer, The Just, The Benevolent, The Generous, and The Merciful. Besides them, He has also many more good epithets similar to them.
The purpose of calling Allah by these Names is not only that we utter them simply by the tongue, and we say, for example, O The knower, O The Powerful, O The Most Merciful of all merciful, but, in fact, we must settle these epithets in our selves as much as we can.
We must try to obtain a ray from His Knowledge, a reflection from His Power, and a piece of His All-Embracing Mercy and practice them in ourselves and our society.
In other words, we ought to be endowed with His Attributes and be characterized by His character, so that, under the light of this knowledge and power, and this justice and mercy, we can drive out ourselves and the society wherein we live from the row of infernal people.
However, there are some details about ‘the Most Beautiful Names’ recorded in the books of tradition and commentary, compiled by both Sunnites and Shi‘ites, a substance of which will be offered here, as follows:
No doubt the phrase ‘the Most Beautiful Names’ means ‘good names’, and we know that all the names of Allah contain some good meanings, therefore all His Names are the Most Beautiful Names.
They are irrespective of those which are the affirmed qualities of His Pure Essence, like: The Knower, The Powerful; or those which are negative qualities of His Holy Essence, like: The Most Holy; and those which are the attributes of acts each of which denotes to one of His acts, like: The Creator, The All-Forgiving, The Beneficent, and The Merciful.
On the other hand, no doubt the attributes of Allah are not countable, because His accomplishments are infinite. For each of His accomplishments a Name and an Attribute can be chosen.
But, as it is understood from Some Islamic traditions, some of His attributes are more significant than the others, and, perhaps, the phrase ‘the Most Beautiful Names’ is an indication to this particular group.
Among the traditions we have received from the Prophet (S) and the Immaculate Imams (Ahlul-Bayt) (as) this meaning has repeatedly been said that there are 99 Names for Allah and whoever calls Him by these Names his prayer will be answered, and whoever counts them will enter Paradise.
An example of the abovementioned traditions is the one that Sadugh has narrated in his book, entitled Tauhid, from Imam Sadiq (as) from Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) from the Prophet (S) who said:
“Verily there are ninety nine Names for Allah, the Blessed and Exalted. He who counts them will enter Paradise”.7
Again, in the book of Tauhid, it is narrated from Imam Ali-ibn-Musa-r-Rida (as), from his fathers, from Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) who said:
“Verily there are ninety nine Names for Allah, Almighty and Glorious. He who invocates by them it will be answered from him, and he who counts them will enter Paradise”.8
In the books of Bukhari, Muslim, Tarmathi, and some other sources of traditions compiled by the Sunnite scholars, this very meaning has also been cited about the Names of Allah, saying that whoever calls Allah by these ninety-nine Names his prayer will be answered, and whoever counts them will enter Paradise.9
Some Islamic traditions denote that these ninety-nine Names are found in the Qur’an. For example, a tradition narrated by Ibn-Abbas indicates that the Prophet (S) said:
“There are ninety nine Names for Allah. Whoever counts them will enter Paradise, and they are in the Qur’an.”10
Therefore, some of the Islamic scholars have tried to extract these Names and Attributes from the Qur’an, but the Names of Allah mentioned in the Qur’an are more than ninety nine Names. So, the Most Beautiful Names may be among them, and thus, there are more than ninety nine Names in the Qur’an concerning Allah.
Whatever is more important here, and we must be specially careful of it, is that the purpose of calling Allah by these Names, or counting the most Beautiful Names of Allah, is not that whoever utters these Names by the tongue, and with no attention to their contents and concepts, he merely pronounces them will be successful and prosperous, or his invocation will be answered.
But the aim is that the person believes in these Names and Attributes, and then he tries to reflect a ray of their meanings in his self; i.e., he should settle in himself some parts of the concepts of the Attributes: The Knower, the Powerful, the Beneficent, the Merciful, the Clement, All-Forgiving, the Strong, the Everlasting, the Self-Sufficient, The Sustainer, and the like of them.
It is sure that such a person both will enter Paradise and his invocation will be answered and will gain any goodness.
However, whatever was said makes it manifest that if, besides these Names, some more Names are mentioned for Allah in some traditions or in supplications, and even in some supplications11 the number of His Names has reached to one thousand, it does not contrast to what was explained in the above, because the Names of Allah are infinite and, like the unending accomplishments of His Essence, they are unlimited, although a number of these Names and Attributes have a kind of preference.
And, also, when we recite in some traditions, like the one recorded in Usul-i-Kafi, Imam Sadiq (as), commenting on the verse under discussion, has said:
“By Allah, we are the Most Beautiful Names (of Allah)”,12
it shows that a strong ray of these divine epithets has reflected in their selves, and their knowledge helps them to the knowing of His Pure Essence.
Also, some Islamic literatures indicate that all the Most Beautiful Names are summarized in ‘pure monotheism’. This is because all His attributes return to His Pure Essence, The One.
Fakhr-i-Razi, in his commentary book, points to a matter which, in one respect, is important. He says that all the Attributes of Allah return to two facts: either to His Omniscience, or the need of others to His Pure Essence.
وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَي
إِذْ رَأَي نَاراً فَقَالَ لاَِهْلِهِ امْكُثُوْا إِنّـِي ءَانَسْتُ نَاراً لَّعَلّـِي ءَاتِيكُم مّـِنْهَا بِقَبَسٍ أَوْ أَجِدُ عَلَي النَّارِ هُدًي
فَلَمَّآ أَتَاهَا نُودِيَ يَامُوسَي
إِنّـِي أَنَاْ رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًي
9. “And has the story of Moses reached you?”
10. “When he saw a fire, then he said to his family: ‘Wait (a little)! Verily I perceive a fire; perhaps I can bring you a brand from it, or may find some guidance at the fire’.”
11. “Then when he came to the fire, he was called: ‘O Moses!”
12. “Verily I am your Lord! Therefore take off your shoes! Verily you are in the holy valley of Tuwa’.”
The Arabic term /qabas/ means: a piece of fire apart from another.
Somewhere in the current Surah, a few points of the story of Moses (as) have been stated in details. Among them are the followings:
1. The choice of Moses (as) for Messengership.
2. The invitation of Moses (as) from Pharaoh to accepting the Truth.
3. Moses’ coming out from Egypt and Pharaoh’s being drowned.
4. Calf worshipping of the Children of Israel.
Moses (as), accompanied with his pregnant wife, went on a trip, and they lost their way in the desert. In the rainy, dark and cold desert, they needed a fire for both its heat and light to find the way.
Then suddenly a fire was seen from the distance. In order to get the fire to comfort his family, Moses (as) went toward the fire, where there came a voice by which Allah elected Moses (as) as an apostle.13
Yes, in order to save himself and his family, Moses (as) went toward the fire, but Allah opened the path of saving others to him. Moses was seeking for the road on the ground, while Allah showed him the spiritual way and the path of happiness. He was looking for his personal way, where Allah endowed him the way of guidance of the community.
In relation to this matter, the Qur’an, addressing the holy Prophet (S), says:
By hearing that enlivening sound, addressing him:
Moses (as) got very excited and an indescribable pleaure encompassed him thoroughly.
He was commissioned to take off his shoes, because he had entered into a holy land: a land wherein the light of Allah was seen, the Message of Allah was heard, and he was to accept the responsibility of Apostleship. He ought to step on this land with utmost humility and modesty. That was why he should take off his shoes.
1. The appellation of Moses has been mentioned in 20 suras of the Qur’an for 136 times. The story of Moses is the longest stories of the Qur’an, because around nine hundred verses of the Qur’an concern to it.
2. The term /rabb/ (the Lord), which is one of ‘the Most Beautiful Names’ of Allah, has occurred more than 970 times in the Qur’an, and in His first manifestation to Moses (as), Allah introduced Himself by this Name, saying:
And, since Moses’ prophethood began with the word of Allah,14 he was entitled /kalimullah/ (the Interlocutor of Allah).
3. The phrase /wad-il-muqaddas/ (the holy valley) is used fore a place far from defect and vice; and the word /tuwa/ means something or somewhere which is blessed.
4. An Islamic tradition denotes that the purpose of ‘taking the shoes’ is detaching the heart from two anxieties: one of his anxieties was about the situation of his wife in that cold desert; and his second anxiety was about the evil of Pharaoh.15
Some commentators also believe that this holy Qur’anic phrase points to the wife and child, or to the love of the world and Hereafter.
The phrase under discussion has also occurred in the present Turah with the same form of meaning.
وَأَنَا اخْتَرْتُكَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحَي
إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لآ إِلَهَ إِلآَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ لِذِكْرِي
13. “And I myself have chosen you; therefore hearken unto what is revealed.”
14. “Verily I, I(alone), am Allah. There is no god save Me. So worship (only) Me, and establish prayer for My remembrance.”
Divine prophets have been appointed to prophethood by Allah, not by people. Therefore, the words of revelation, sent to them, should be heard and followed with whole the entity and heartily.
In this holy verse, Allah says that He Himself has chosen him to Messengership, then he should hear His word and be steadfast on it. This is the Divine revelation that he was commanded to hear.
The verse says:
Regarding Unity and sincere religion, Allah commanded him in this verse as follows:
In this verse Allah enjoins him to worship Him and to associate none in worshipping unto Him and to establish prayer in order that in His remembrance he glorifies and praises Him since prayer exists not save for the remembrance of Allah.
Or the purpose of the content meaning in this holy verse is that he should establish prayer so that He (s.w.t.) also remembers him in praising.
In other words, in this holy verse, next to the statement of the most importart principle of the prophets’ invitation, which is Unity, the subject of worshipping the One God, as a fruit for the tree of Faith and Unity, has been referred to.
And, immediately after it, He has enjoined prayer; i.e., the greatest worship and the most important link between the servants and the Creator, as well as the most effective means for that His Pure Essence might not be forgotten.
إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ ءَاتِيَةٌ أَكَادُ اُخْفِيهَا لِتُجْزَي كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعَي
فَلاَ يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنْهَا مَن لاَّ يُؤْمِنُ بِهَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ فَتَرْدَي
15. “Verily the Hour (of Doom) is coming, (but) I will to keep it hidden so that every soul may be rewarded for its endeavour.”
16. “Therefore let him who believes not in it and follows his own vain desires turn you away from it, lest you perish.”
Monotheism and Resurrection are at the top of Allah’s Messages for humankind. None is aware of the time of the event of Hereafter, save Allah.
The occurrence of Resurrection is certain, but its time is hidden. In Hereafter, the execution of Divine Law, and the accomplishment of rewards and retributions, is the same for all.
After mentioning Unity and its explanation in the previous verse, here, in this verse, the second basic principle, which is resurrection, is referred to.
According to this verse, the reason of keeping the exact time of Resurrection hidden is cited that Allah wishes ‘to reward every person for his effort and endeavour’, so that a freedom of action comes into being for all human beings.
The next verse has pointed to a fundamental principle, which is a surety of execution of all religious and training programs, where it says:
The prophet must stand firm before the faithless people and their evil temptations. He must afraid neither of the large number of the opponents nor be worried of their plots, nor be doubtful about the rightfulness of his invitation and mobility of this Divine school.
وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يَامُوسَي
قَالَ هِيَ عَصَايَ أَتَوَكَّؤُا عَلَيْهَا وَأَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلَي غَنَمِي وَلِيَ فِيهَا مَاَرِبُ اُخْرَي
17. “And (Allah said) what is that in your right hand O Moses?”
18. “He (Moses)said: ‘It is my rod: I lean on it, and I beat down leaves with it for my sheep, and there are (also) other uses therein for me’.”
To show His power, Allah makes use of even the nearest and simplest means of ordinary life.
No doubt the divine prophets need miracles to prove their communication with Allah (s.w.t.), else everybody may claim prophethood.
Moses (as), after getting the command of prophethood, should receive its divine proof, too. Therefore, in the same adventurous night, he received two great miracles from the side of Allah (s.w.t.).
The Qur’an explains this event as follows:
In answer to this question, Moses (as) said:
And, since Moses wished to continue his speech with his beloved Lord, Who for the first time had opened that door to him, and also since maybe he thought saying merely ‘It is my rod’ was not enough and the purpose was to explain its usage, he added:
Moses (as) had gone in a deep astonishment that what a question it was and what sort of reply he was answering!
قَالَ أَلْقِهَا يَا مُوسَي
فَأَلْقَاهَا فَإِذَا هِيَ حَيَّةٌ تَسْعَي
قَالَ خُذْهَا وَلاَ تَخَفْ سَنُعِيدُهَا سِيرَتَهَا الاُولَي
19. “Said He: ‘Cast it down O Moses!”
20. “Then he cast it down, and lo! it was a serpent gliding.”
21. “Said He: ‘Take it, and fear not, We will restore it to its first state’.”
In the first couple of holy verses, mentioned in the above, Moses is commanded to throw down his rod and he immediately, and without wasting any moment, threw his rod down, when suddenly it became a great snake and began moving.
Here are the verses:
The Arabic term /tas‘a/ is derived from /sa‘y/ in the sense of ‘to walk swiftly’, so that it does not reach to the state of running.
In the next holy verse, He told Moses to take the rod.
Here is the verse:
Then, as soon as Allah, the Glorified, told him to take it and fear not, his fear went away so that Moses (as) put his hand into the mouth of the serpent and seized its neck; so the serpent changed into its first state, i.e., a rod.16
It is cited in Majma‘-ul-Bayan that this rod was made of a heavenly piece of wood which the former prophets had inherited from Adam, and Shu‘ayb (Jethro) had given it to Moses (as).
1. Human beings naturally are afraid of dangers and the causes of vice and harm, and they avoid them. It is evident that Moses (as), who is a man, also fears. What is criticized, and even disgraceful, here, is heartily fear and anxiety from other than Allah, which is against bravery and it is one of the evil qualities for the true believers, and Moses (as), of course, had been far from it.
2. The fear of Moses (as), perhaps, was for the reason that he had considered the command of ‘cast it down’, respectful, like the command of ‘take off your shoes’, but when it changed into a serpent, he surprised.
Intrinsically, this very fear is itself an evidence that that happening was a miracle, otherwise, a sorcerer who himself knows that his sorcery is not a fact, naturally is not afraid of his own magic.
3. In any moment, Allah gives life to millions of lifeless things, or He takes the life of millions of living creatures. Here, He also gave life to the lifeless rod and then He took it back from it when it became a rod again. Keeping this event in mind, the question is: can He not cause a living person to die, and then He restores him to his first state?17
Verily, when Allah’s view changes a rod into a serpent, then what happens if He puts a graceful view upon us? And, when the favoured thing of Allah can swallow all the magic of the sorcerers, will His favour toward our hearts not swallow all the evil temptations?
4. At the first onset of the adventure of Moses, there happened two miracles for him. The first was that his rod turned to be a serpent; and the second was that the serpent was restored to its first state.
وَاضْمُمْ يَدَكَ إِلَي جَنَاحِكَ تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَآءَ مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ ءَايَةً اُخْرَي
لِنُرِيَكَ مِنْ ءَايَاتِنَا الْكُبْري
22. “And place your hand under your armpit, it will come forth white (shining) without harm, (and this also is) another sign (miracle),”
23. “That We may show you of Our greater signs.”
Another miracle of Moses (as) was the ‘White Hand’, which has been mentioned in three occurrences of the Qur’an.
One of them is where it says:
Another one is the verse which says:
And the third one is the abovementioned verse which says:
The meaning of these three verses can be gathered in a statement, saying: ‘Enter your hand into the opening of your bosom as far as under your armpit’, so that it comes out white and in perfect condition. This is another Sign of Allah.
The verse continues saying:
However, Allah is All-Mighty and whenever and by any means that He intends He can manifest His Power. The miracles of the prophets can also be counted as a part of His Signs and His Power.
Therefore, in the next verse, as a conclusion of the contents of the previous verses, it implies that Allah gave these things to Moses in order to show him His great signs.
In this regard, the verse says:
The objective meaning of the phrase: ‘greater signs, is those very important miracles which were mentioned in the above.
1. In order to improve a society, the sources and the origins of sedition and mischief should be rooted out.
2. The first struggle of prophets is standing against the illegitimate rulers of their time.
3. Religion is not separate from policy. Moses (as) started improving the government.
4. Struggling against the illegitimate rulers is a Divine duty, not a demonstration.
“…and Allah spoke directly unto Moses a (peculiar) speech”.