وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مُوسَي إِنَّهُ كَانَ مُخْلَصاً وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً
51. “And mention Moses in the Book; for verily he was one purified, and he was an apostle, a prophet.”
This verse and the next couple of verses have a short explanation about Moses (as), a progeny from the descent of Abraham.
At first, the Qur’an addresses the Prophet of Islam (S) and says:
Then the Qur’an continues numerating five Divine merits given to this great prophet, Moses, in these holy verses.
The abovementioned verse says:
The Arabic term /muxlis/ is applied for the person who works sincerely for Allah only, but it is possible that Satan influences in him and drags him toward polytheism. There are many persons who are sincere at the time of agony, but after relief they tend to infidelity.
But the Qur’anic word /muxlas/ refers to those chosen persons in whom Satan cannot penetrate:
As Kashshaf cites, /muxlis/ is a person who works for Allah, and /muxlas/ is a person whom Allah has made sincere and has chosen him for Himself, and nothing may affect him but Allah.
Moses being chosen is recited in some other verses of the Qur’an.
For example, Allah (s.w.t.) says:
and somewhere else He says:
Moses (as) was both a Messenger and a prophet:
A prophet hears the sound of the angel but he does not see the angel, while a Messenger, besides hearing the sound of the angel, sees him.4
وَنَادَيْنَاهُ مِن جَانِبِ الطُّورِ الاَيْمَنِ وَقَرَّبْنَاهُ نَجِيّاً
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَارُونَ نَبِيّاً
52. “And We called him from the right side of (the Mount) Sinai and made him draw nigh (unto Us) for a converse in secret.”
53. “And We granted unto him, out of Our Mercy, his brother Aaron a prophet.”
There is a mountain by the name of ‘Tur’ in Syria. Some ones have said it is located between Egypt and Madyan.5 Allah called Moses from the right side of the mountain.
That is, when he was coming from Madyan and saw a fire in the tree, Allah called him and said:
Then Allah made him nigh to Himself and spoke with him.
“Allah made him a near-stationed one and spoke with him.”
The purpose of this ‘nearness’ is that He caused His word to reach him. In other words, Allah promoted his rank and gave him glory. It is like a servant who approaches his master and sits with him.
Thus, the objective meaning of nearness, here, is respect and glorification, not in the sense that he has become nigh to Allah from the point of distance and place, because Allah has no place so that a person approaches that place or gets distance from it, or another person becomes nearer to that place.
The verse says:
However, Moses (as) prayed to Allah, saying:
Then Allah accepted his prayer and bestowed on him gracefully his brother Aaron and gave him the rank of prophethood to be an aid for his brother.
The verse says:
1. The debate and communication of Moses with Allah has been referred to in the Qur’an both by the sense of ‘speaking’, where it says:
and by the sense of ‘calling’, used in the abovementioned verse:
and by the sense of
2. Step by step, Allah makes prophets nigh to Himself by His Grace and affection.
3. Allah has whispered some matters secretly with the prophets. Therefore, the rank of nearness of ‘a secret converse’ is the highest rank.
That is why Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:
“When the people of Heaven are enjoying the (bounties of) the Heaven, the people of Allah are busy with Allah (and are prattling to Him).”9
4. The Arabic word /najiyy/ is used in the sense of its subjective case which means ‘the person who whispers secretly with another one’. Here, at first Allah called Moses from a long distance, and when he came near, He began whispering with him.
(It is evident that Allah has neither, tongue nor a place, but He creates waves in the atmosphere and speaks with a mortal such as Moses). However, the call of Allah was an endowment unto Moses (as), and His speaking with him was another bounty, which was counted the greatest honour for Moses and the sweetest moment in his life.
5. The Difference between a Messenger and a Prophet:
A ‘Messenger’ originally means a person on whom has been given a mission and a message to convey; while a ‘prophet’ is a person who is aware of Divine revelation and informs of it.
But, in view of the Qur’anic meanings, and according to what the Islamic traditions indicate, some commentators believe that ‘a Messenger’ is the person who has been given a religion and is commissioned to convey it; i.e., he receives the revelation of Allah and conveys it to people; while a prophet receives the divine revelation but his duty is not to convey it.
That revelation is only for performing his own duty, or if he is asked of it, he answers it.
In other words a prophet is like a skilful physician who is waiting in his office for the patients to receive them. He does not go after the patients, but if a patient refers to him, he does treat him.
But, a Messenger is like an itinerant physician who travels here and there. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said about the Prophet of Islam (S) that he was a roaming physician10
That is, he used to go to every place (to cities, villages, mountains, plains, and deserts) in order to find the sick and treat them. The Prophet (S) was as a spring who sought for the thirsty ones.
At the end, for more research, please refer to Usul-i-Kafi, by the Late Kulayni.11
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْماعِيلَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً
وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلاَةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبّـِهِ مَرْضِيّاً
54. “And mention’Isma‘il in the Book, verily he was (ever) true to (his) promise, and he was an apostle, a prophet.”
55. “And he used to enjoin on his family prayer and almsgiving, and he was well pleased in the sight of his Lord.”
The appellation Ism’il, mentioned in this holy verse, refers either to Abraham’s son, or another prophet from the prophets of the Children of Israel, by the name of Isma’il-ibn-Hizqil (Ishmael the son of Ezekiel).
The verse says:
It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who says:
“He (Isma’il) used to invite people to Monotheism. His people stood against him so hard that they scalped him out of his head and face. Allah made him optional for their punishment or forgiveness. Isma’il also left their affair to Allah whether He would punish them or forgive them.12
All prophets were loyal in promise, but the appearance of this quality had been more manifest in Isma’il. Being true to promise is a Divine attribute.
The Qur’an says:
because breach of promise is a sign of hypocrisy.
Some Islamic traditions indicate that there are three signs for hypocrite: abuse of confidence, falsehood in speech, and breach in promise.14
The second verse implies that, at last, Ismail enjoined his family, or his people, to perform prayer, almsgiving, night prayer, charity and fast, so that Allah was well pleased of his manner, because he did nothing but obeying Allah and never committed any vice.
The verse says:
Some commentators have said that the term /mardiyy/, used in this verse, means: ‘righteous, pious, and worthy’. It was for the sake of these very qualities that he gained a great honour with Allah, since the rank of Divine pleasure had been the greatest desire and goal of the prophets.
Some Islamic traditions denote that when the people of Paradise settle in Paradise, there comes a call saying:
“Do you want anything else?”
They will say:
“Our Lord, we wish Your pleasure!’15
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِدْرِيسَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقاً نَّبِيّاً
وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَاناً عَلِيّاً
56. “And mention Idris in the Book; verily he was a truthful one, a prophet.”
57. “And We raised him to a lofty station.”
In the first holy verse of the abovementioned couple of verses, the holy Prophet (S) is addressed, saying:
The Qur’anic term /siddiq/ is used in the sense of ‘a very truthful person who verifies the revelations of Allah and who is submitted to the truth’.
Then, in the second verse, Allah, referring to Idris’ high rank, says:
The purpose of the Qur’anic phrase: ‘a lofty station’ is either a high spiritual rank, or the process of ascent to the heavens, because Allah took four prophets to the heavens: Idris, Jesus, Khidr, and Elias (Elija).16
However, the Qur’anic arrangement of the words ‘a truthful one, a prophet’ in the verse, where the term ‘a truthful one’ has been preceeded to ‘a prophet’, denotes that ‘truthfulness’ is a sign of ‘prophethood’.
Hadrat Idris (as) is one of the ancestors of Hadrat Noah (as). He was named Idris, in Arabic, for the reason that he had been very busy with study17, or for the sake that he had been the first person who wrote with pen.18
His holy appellation, Idris, has been mentioned in the Qur’an twice, and he has been glorified by the qualities of: /siddiq/ (truthful), /sabir/ (patient), and /nabiyy/ (prophet).
An Islamic tradition indicates that the house of’Idris was in Sahlah Mosque, around Najaf in Iraq.19
Idris lived for 365 years, and then he was taken to heavens. He is alive now, and will appear at the time of the reappearance of Hadrat Mahdi (as).22
By the way, upon the descent of Jesus (as) to the earth at the time of the reappearance of Hadrat Mahdi (as) and Messiah’s keeping up prayer behind Hadrat Mahdi, there are recorded many traditions in the books of traditions by written the Sunnite and the Shi‘ite, including: Yanabi‘-ul-Mawaddah, p. 422, Tathkirat-ul-Khawas, p.377, Sahib-i-Muslim, vol. 1, p. 63, published in Egypt, 1348Ah, the book: Miftah-i-Kunuz-us-Sunnah, by Bukhari, Muslim; Nisa’i; Ahmad; Ibn-i-Majeh; Abi-Dawood; Altiyalisi; and the book: Al-Mahdi ‘Inda-Ahlis-Sunnah; and Mutakhab-ul-Athar Fi-Imam-uth-Thani-‘Ashar.
اُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِنَ النَّبِيّـِينَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ ءَادَمَ وَمِمَّنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وإِِسْرَآئِيلَ وَمِمَّنْ هَدَيْنَا وَاجْتَبَيْنَا إِذَا تُتْلَي عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَاتُ الرَّحْمَنِ خَرُّوا سُجَّداً وَبُكِيّاً
58. “Those were some of the prophets on whom Allah showed favour of the seed of Adam, and of those We carried (in the Ark) with Noah, and of the seed of Abraham and Israel, and of those We guided and chose. When the revelations of the Beneficent (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrating and weeping.”
Through the previous verse, the names of ten prophets were pointed out: Zakariyya (Zachariah), Yahya (John); ‘Isa (Jesus);’Ibrahim (Abraham); Ishaq (Isaac); Jacob; Moses; Aaron; Ishmael;’Idris (Enoch).
Now, in this holy verse, the Qur’an, referring to them, says:
This group of prophets are the same ones whose way we ask in our prayers ten times everyday from Allah to pave, not the way of those inflicted with the wrath of Allah and astray, when we say:
The purpose of the phrase ‘the seed of Adam’ is Idris (Enoch); and the purpose of the phrase: ‘of those We carried (in the Ark) with Noah’ is Hadrat’Ibrahim (Abraham) (as) who is Noah’s grandson, and the purpose of the phrase ‘of the seed of Abraham’ is Isaac, Ishmael and Jacob; and the purpose of the progeny of ‘Israel’ is Moses, Aaron, Zachariah, John, and Jesus (as).23
The verse continues saying:
Some Islamic traditions indicate that, at the time of the recitation of the Qur’an, believers ought to be in the state of grief and cry, or treat as if they are crying.24
The holy verse continues saying:
This part of the verse means that from among those Allah guided and chose, there are some ones that when they hear the recitation of the revelations of Allah they fell down prostrating and weeping.
Of course, the best referent of a concept of the divine chosen ones, who had long prostrations accompanied with tears, were the Prophet of Islam (S) and his Immaculate Ahl-ul-Bayt (as). There are some evidences for their abundant weeping in prostrations at the time of supplications in the month of Ramadan and in ‘Arafah.
It has been narrated from Hadrat Ali-ibn-il-Hussayn who said:
“We are the objective-meaning of this verse.”25
Yes, with all greatness and glory they had, they used to prostrate and weep for the remembrance of Allah, but the negligent and haughty people, with all pollutions they have, refrain from weeping.
فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيّاً
إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ وءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَاُوْلَئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ شَيْئاً
59. “Then there succeeded them a later generation who ruined prayers and followed lusts. Soon, then, they shall meet perdition.”
60. “Except him who repents, and believes, and does a righteous deed, then these shall enter Paradise, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly in any way.”
It sometimes happens that the offsprings and descendants of a person waste the efforts and endeavours of their ancestors and, thus, there may appear a wicked generation from some people who themselves had been good doers.
The Arabic term /xalaf/ is used for a righteous child, while the term /xalf/ is applied for an impious child.
The Qur’anic word /qayy/, used at the end of the first abovementioned verse, means ‘destruction, perdition and error’ and it is an antonym to the Arabic word /rušd/ which means: ‘rectitude, growth, and development’.
The verse says:
This sentence, in this holy verse, may refer to a group of the Children of Israel who paved the path of aberration. They forsook the Lord, preferred lusts to the remembrance of God and prayer, made mischief in the world, and, finally, they faced the fruit of their evil deeds in this life and they will be punished in the coming world, too.
However, wasting prayer is different from not establishing it or forsaking it. He who keeps up prayer, but without observing its conditions, or with delay, has wasted the prayer and has belittled it.26
Why the Qur’an, among all Divine services, emphasizes on prayer here? Its reason may be the fact that prayer is a barrier between man and sins. When this barrier is removed, it certainly results to man’s being drowned in the lusts.
In other words, as the divine prophets began their ranks to be promoted by the remembrance of Allah, and when the Divine revelations were recited to them they fell down prostrating and weeping, the aberration of these impious people began by forsaking the remembrance of Allah.
By the way, there is a tradition also recorded in many books of the scholars of the Sunnite which denotes: when the Prophet (S) recited the first verse of the abovementioned couple of verses, he said:
“After sixty years, there will come on the scene some people who recite the Qur’an pompously but it (their recitation) will not ascend higher than their shoulders.”
(Since it is done neither sincerely nor for contemplation and reflection in action, but it is done hypocritically and affectedly, or there are satisfied with its mere verbal utterances and, therefore, their deeds do not ascend to the rank of proximity of Allah.)27
It is worthy of attention that if we count sixty years from the migration of the Prophet (S), it will exactly adapt to the time when Yazid took the rein of government and Imam Hussayn (as) and his companions drank the drink of martyrdom.
After that, the rest of the course of Ummayyads and the course of Abbasides came forth who had been contented with Islam by a bare name and with the Qur’an by a mere verbal utterance.
We refuge to Allah (s.w.t.) that we may be among such an impious group.
However, since the manner of the Qur’an, everywhere is that it let the path of return to Faith and the truth be open, here, too, after the statement of the fate of the impious generations, through verse 60, it says:
Thus, it is not such that if a person goes astray in the lusts for a day, he must be disappointed forever from the mercy of Allah, but, until the last moments of the life in this world, he may return and repent.
Next to the verses of punishment the Qur’an often mentions the phrase:
or the phrase:
in order to say that the gate of penitence and reform is not closed to any one.
1. Repentance is a necessary duty, because it is a divine commandment.
Surah At-Tahrim, No. 66, verse 8 says:
2. The acceptance of repentance is really certain, because it cannot be believed that we repent by His commandment, but He does not accept it.
Surah Ash-Shura, No. 42, verse 25 says:
3. Allah (s.w.t.) not only accepts repentance but also likes those who repent very much.
The Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 222 says:
4. Repentance should be followed with good actions and amends of sins.
Surah Al-Furqan, No. 25, verse 71 says:
5. Repentance is the secret of felicity.
Surah An-Nur, No. 24, verse 31 says:
6. Repentance causes the rain to fall.
Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 52 says:
7. Repentance causes a good sustenance.
Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 3 says:
8. Delaying repentance until seeing the signs of death, is not accepted. Besides accepting repentance, Allah has also a special grace. In these verses, close to the subject of repentance, the Qur’an has referred to the grace, mercy and love of Allah, too.
Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 90 says:
9. The Qur’an has counted the absence of repentance an injustice.
Surah Al-Hujurat, No. 49, verse 11 says:
10. However, the condition of felicity, and entering into heaven, is repentance, Faith, and righteous deeds.
The abovementioned verse says:
جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِي وَعَدَ الرَّحْمنُ عِبَادَهُ بِالْغَيْبِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَأْتِيّاً
لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْواً إِلاَّ سَلاَماً وَلَهُمْ رِزْقُهُمْ فِيهَا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيّاً
تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي نُورِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيّاً
61. “Gardens of Eternity that the Beneficent (Allah) has promised to His servants in the Unseen; verily His promise shall come to pass.”
62. “There they shall hear no idle talk, but only ‘Peace’. Therein they shall have their sustenance (every) morning and evening.”
63. “This is the Garden (Paradise) which We shall cause those of Our servants to inherit who are pious.”
Through the preceding verse the word /jannat/ (garden, Paradise) was used in its singular form:
while in this verse the plural form of the term, /jannat/, is used:
This shows that the garden of the people of Heaven is a collection of numerous gardens. This sense may be for the sake that every one of the people of Heaven has four gardens.
This matter has been pointed out in Surah Ar-Rahman, No. 55, verses 46 and 62, where the Qur’an says:
These gardens, with together, are four gardens, the latter couple of which are either nearer, or have a lower level than the former couple; or because of the different ranks of the people of Heaven the kind of gardens are different.28
The Qur’an has repeatedly referred to the fulfillment of Allah’s promise, and among them, it has said:
The phrase upon Paradise, saying that there is no idle talk therein, refers both to our life today that we should avoid idle talks, and to the fact that there will be therein nothing of the idle talks of disbelievers and the vain speech by which they used to hurt the believers in the world.
In the Qur’anic phrase which says:
the Qur’an points to both piety, which is the key of Paradise, and contains the sense of ‘inheritance’ which hints to a wealth and bounty gained with no pain and trouble. It is true that piety is the key of Paradise, but those plenty of rewards are the inheritance of Allah unto us for our deeds. In fact, our rewards are some heritage which we gain from the side of Allah without any pain.
There is an Islamic tradition which says: every person has a proper place both in Paradise and Hell. If the person enters Paradise, his place in Hell will be inherited by same Hellish people. And if he enters Hell, his place in Paradise will be inherited by the people of Paradise.30
In this holy verse, the Qur’an describes Heaven and its bounties. At first, it qualifies the promised Paradise where there are some eternal gardens which Allah has promised to His servants. They have not seen them, but they believe in them. In other words, the purpose of ‘in the Unseen’ is that neither any eyes have seen that Paradise nor any ears have heard of its description.
The verse says:
After that, the Qur’an has pointed to one of the greatest bounties in Heaven.
In Heaven, they hear neither any falsehood, nor any abuse, slander, sarcasm, and any ridicule, nor even a vain word; and there is no statement there, but “peace”, a greeting which is the sign of a secure place. It is a gathering place full of sincerity, purity, piety, peace and calmness.
The holy verse continues saying:
And, next to mentioning this bounty, the Qur’an points to another bounty, when it says:
An Islamic tradition indicates that a person went to Imam Sadiq (as) and complained of his stomachache. The Imam (as) advised him to eat food two times a day: morning and evening, and to avoid eating food between them, which might cause the body to become rotten.
Then he (as) recited this verse:
After a description about Paradise and its material and spiritual bounties, the Qur’an, in a short sentence, introduce the people of Paradise.
Thus, the key of the door of Paradise, with all those bounties, is nothing but ‘piety’.
وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلاَّ بِاَمْرِ رَبّـِكَ لَهُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِينَا وَمَا خَلْفَنَا وَمَا بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيّاً
64. “And we (angels) do not descend but by the command of your Lord; to Him belongs whatever is before us and whatever is behind us and whatever is between these (two)! And your Lord is not forgetful.”
Upon the preceding verse, a group of commentators have said that the descent of the revelations of Allah was discontinued for a few days, Gabriel, the harbinger of divine revelation, did not come to the Prophet (S). After this period, when Gabriel came to the Prophet (S) he asked him why he delayed and he (the Prophet) was anxious to see him.
“I am more anxious (to see you), but I am a commissioned servant. When I am commanded to come, I come; and when I am not commanded, I restrain (to come).”32
For these verses, of course, there is a particular occasion of revelation, which was referred to in the above, but this matter does not hinder that there be a logical connection and relation between them and the former verses. This is an emphasis on the fact that whatever verses Gabriel has brought are utterly from the side of Allah and nothing is said from himself.
The first verse, from the tongue of the harbinger of revelation, says:
Every thing belongs to Him and we (angels) are some servants all submitted, because:
In short, the future and the past and present, here and there and everywhere, this world and Hereafter and the intermediate world all belong to the Pure Essence of Allah.
And, you should also do know that your Lord has not been, and is not, forgetful.
The verse says:
رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِهِ هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيّاً
65. “The Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them; so worship Him (alone), and be steadfast in His worship! Do you know any one equal to Him?”
This Qur’anic phrase which says whether you know any one equal to Him, means whether you know any god, except Allah, who can be the Lord, the creator, the sustainer, the life giver, the one who causes to die, and is able to give retribution and reward, so that you worship him. If you do not know any one except Him, then worship Him, and do not abandon His adoration.
This interrogation is in the sense of negation, i.e., you do not know any one who can be called Allah.
The verse says:
Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as), in a tradition Upon the meaning of this phrase, said:
“None has been named by the appellation of Allah”. 33
However, there have been recorded several meanings for the Arabic term /samiyy/, including: ‘partner’, ‘similar’, ‘namesake’, and ‘offspring’.
The existence of the term /rabbika/ (your Lord) in the previous verse, and the term /rabb-us-samawat-i-wal-’ard/ (the Lord of the heavens and the earth) in this verse is an indication to the Unity of administrationship in running the life of man with the whole universal being.