Section 1: Qur’an, the Book Manifest

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 1-3

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful


تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ

لَعَلَّكَ بَاخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ أَلاَ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ

1. “Ta. Sin. Mim.”
2. “These are verses of the Book (that makes the truth) clear.”
3. “Perhaps you will kill yourself with grief, for that they do not become Believers.”

Many words have been cited about abbreviated letters and maybe the best one is that Allah brings up these letters in the beginning of some Suras (29 cases) of the Holy Qur’an for stating this matter that the holy Qur’an is His perpetual miracle which is generated from these very letters and if anyone can write a similar book by these Arabic letters, he may bring it forth.

The verse says:

“Ta. Sin. Mim.”

A comprehensive religious school must have a strong, written, systematic, and decisive logic so that everyone can easily reach it.

The holy Qur’an has got a very high rank and whenever there is a deadlock and stop for you, the Qur’an functions as a guide.

This noble verse states the magnificence of the Holy Qur’an in this way:

“These are verses of the Book (that makes the truth) clear.”

Of course, the Arabic word /tilka/ refers to something far away and its meaning is ‘that’ or ‘those’. As we said before, in the Arabic and Persian languages sometimes it happens that we use demonstrative pronouns of fat distance to state the magnificence of something, that is, that subject is so important and crucial that it seems to be out of our reach and in the heavens.

It is worth paying attention that this holy verse is exactly mentioned in Suras Yusuf and Al-Qasas, too, and in all cases it has come after abbreviated letters. These occurrences show that these letters have a kind of direct relationship with the magnificence of the holy Qur’an.

Using the Arabic adjective /mubin/, which is in fact derived form the word /bayan/, for the Qur’an , refers to the obviousness of its magnificence and being a miracle that if the more attention man pays to its content, the more he will get familiar with its being a miracle.

Moreover, the holy Qur’an distinguishes the truth from the falsehood and it clarifies the way of happiness, victory and salvation from misleading.

Then, in the next noble verse, the Prophet (S) is sympathized with when it says:

“Perhaps you will kill yourself with grief, for that they do not become Believers.”

The Arabic word /baxi‘/ is derived from the word /bax‘/ that means: ‘kill oneself by sorrow and sadness’. This meaning shows how much the holy Prophet (S) of Islam was compassionate towards people and persevered in doing his mission.

He was worried and upset that some thirsting people were sitting beside the spring of the Qur’an and Islam and yet cried because of thirstiness.

He was saddened why the sane man goes in an astray path and falls in a pitfall while there are so many lamps and lights.

Yes, all divine prophets, especially the Prophet of Islam (S), were in the same way compassionate, and this sentence has been repeated about him (S) many times.

Some commentators say that the cause of the revelation of this verse was that: the Prophet (S) frequently called the people of Mecca to monotheism, but they did not achieve faith in Allah. The Prophet (S) became so worried that his face showed signs of his sadness and then the above verse wassent down to sympathize with him.1

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 4-6

إِن نَّشَأْ نُنَزِّلْ عَلَيْهِم مِّن السَّمَاء آيَةً فَظَلَّتْ أَعْنَاقُهُمْ لَهَا خَاضِعِينَ

وَمَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن ذِكْرٍ مِّنَ الرَّحْمَنِ مُحْدَثٍ إِلاَّ كَانُوا عَنْهُ مُعْرِضِينَ

فَقَدْ كَذَّبُوا فَسَيَأْتِيهِمْ أَنبَاء مَا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُون

4. “If We please, We should send down upon them a sign from the heaven to which they would bend their necks in humility.”
5. “And never comes there to them a new reminder from the Beneficent (Allah), but they turn away from it.”
6. “So they have indeed rejected (it), therefore the news of that which they used to mock shall soon come to them.”

Allah’s way of treatment and law is to provide people choice, options and opportunities of respite. Faith must be voluntary and optional not compulsory.

In these verses three attributes of pagans are mentioned: aversion, denial, and derision. Yes, man gradually and step by step falls in pitfall; first he ignores and dislikes the Truth, then he denies it, and finally he scoffs at it. The worst attribute and mood of man is to ridicule the truth.

Therefore, this verse says:

“...the news of that which they used to mock shall soon come to them.”

And it does not say that they will be punished because of their denial and aversion.

Anyway, in order to prove that Allah is omnipotent, and even He can forces all people to believe in Him, through the first verse He says:

“If We please, We should send down upon them a sign from the heaven to which they would bend their necks in humility.”

The verse refers to this matter that Allah can present them a surprising miracle or impose a severe punishment on them so that they involuntarily bow down before Him and yield it, but this compulsory faith is worthless. What is important is that they yield to the Truth willingly, thoughtfully, intentionally and consciously.

It is clear that the purpose of ‘they would bend their necks in humility’ is that the owner of necks would bow down before it. But because the neck, which is /raqabah/ and /‘unuq/ in Arabic, is the most important limb of man's body is mentioned ironically as man himself.

Then, in the next holy verse the position of pagans and polytheists against the holy Qur’an is mentioned, where it says:

“And never comes there to them a new reminder from the Beneficent (Allah), but they turn away from it.”

Using the Qur’anic word /ǒikr/ (reminder) refers to the fact that all verses and Suras of the holy Qur’an are striking man’s conscience and give him awareness, but this group turns away from vigilance and awareness.2

Using the Qur’anic word ‘Ar-Rahman’ (the Beneficent) refers to the matter that the verses are sent down out of His general mercy and He calls all people, without exception, to happiness and perfection.

It is also likely that it is for motivating people to thank

Allah, for these words are said by Allah Whose blessings embrace people. How they turn away from Him, their Benefactor, and if He does not hurry to punish them, it is because of His mercy, too.

The Arabic word ‘Muhaddith’ (new and fresh) is used to refer to the matter that the verses of the holy Qur’an are sent down one after the other one and each of them has a new concept.

However, what benefit it has that they are against these fresh truths, as if they have had perpetual relationship with those superstitions of the ancestors and they do not want to say farewell to ignorance superstitions, and misleading at any price.

Essentially bias, stubborn, unwise persons are always against any new thing, though it may guide, inform, and save them.

In verse 68 of Surah Al-Muminun we read:

“Have they not pondered the statement (of the Qur’an), or has anything come to them that did not came to their fathers of old?”

(They struggle with it for it is new!)

Then in the next verse it adds implying that they do not get satisfied with aversion, and they begin to deny and then they start to do something worse than that which is scoffing at the revelations. It says:

“So they have indeed rejected (it), therefore the news of that which they used to mock shall soon come to them.”

The Qur’anic word /’anba’/ is the plural form of the word /naba’/ that means ‘important news’. Its purpose here is those severe punishments which will be imposed on them both in this world and the other world.

Although some commentators, such as Shaykh Tusi in the book Tibyan, believe that these punishments are limited to those in the Hereafter, and most of commentators believe that the concept of the verse is general and in fact this is true, for the verse is absolute and, moreover, paganism and denial of the truth has got an extensive terrible effect on the entire life of man. How can it be ignored?

Studying this verse and the former verse shows that when man is on deviated paths, he gets increasingly far away from the Truth. First it is the phase of aversion and turning away from the Truth and being heedless to it.

Then gradually man begins to deny and reject it and even he gets further than this stage and he starts to mock the Truth. Then divine punishment will come.3

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 7-9

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الأَرْضِ كَمْ أَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ

إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لاَيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ

7. “Do they not look at the earth - how many of every noble kind We have caused to grow in it?”
8. “Verily in that there is a sign, but most of them do not believe.”
9. “And verily, your Lord certainly is He the Mighty, the Merciful.”

Studying the creatures of the universe and its beauties is the best way of theology and knowing Allah. Consequently, the holy Qur’an reprimands those who do not closely look at the universe.

Thus, the previous holy verses talked about the pagans’ aversion to divine religious verses, that is fhe Qur’an, and the concerned verses talk about their aversion to genetic verses and Allah’s portents in the universe. Not only did they pay no attention to the words of the Prophet (S), but also they deprived themselves of watching signs of the Truth around them.

It first says:

“Do they not look at the earth - how many of every noble kind We have caused to grow in it?”

Here, it is worthy to pay attention to the Arabic word /zauj/ concerning to the plants, though most of commentators say that this word means ‘kind’ and ‘type’ and the word /’azwaj/ means ‘types’ and ‘kinds’, it is no matter that we consider here the famous meaning of the word /zauj/, which comes to mind before any other meanings, and that is mate. So it may refer to the conjugality of plants!

In the ancient times men had somehow found out that some plants have female and male kinds, and pollination has been used to fecundate plants.

This matter about palm tree was perfectly known to man. For the first time Karl Linne (1707-1778), the Swedish botanist, could discover that the issue of sex in the world of plants is rather a general rule and plants are fertilized like most animals, that is by joining male semen with female seed and then they produce fruit.

However, many centuries before these scientists the holy Qur’an has frequently mentioned the subject of conjugality in plants.4 And this is one of the scientific miracles of the holy Qur’an.

The Arabic word /karim/ (noble) means every thing that is valuable. It is sometimes applied to man, sometimes to plants, and sometimes it is used even to qualify a letter, such as the words of the Queen of Sheba concerning the letter of Solomon she said:

“...there has been thrown unto me a noble letter.”5

The purpose of a plant that is ‘Karim’ is the plants which are beneficial and good and, of course, each plant has got some benefits and by the development of science this fact gets more and more clear.

The second verse of the above verses, in order to specify and emphasize more, the Qur’an says:

“Verily in that there is a sign, but most of them do not believe.”

Yes, paying attention to this fact that this apparently worthless soil, which has a certain and given structure, is the source of generation of various beautiful flowers, fruitful plants, colorful fruits with totally different properties, states the ultimate power of Allah, but these blind-hearted persons are so neglectful and unaware that they do not see the divine signs and are still uninformed, for paganism and stubbornness have penetrated into their hearts. Thus, in the end of the verse, it is said:

“...but most of them do not believe.”

This faithlessness has become such as a perpetual attribute of theirs, and it is not surprising that they do not achieve anything from the divine verses, for receptivity of person is of the main conditions of the effect, as we read about the holy Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 2:

“...a guidance to the pious ones.”

In the last verse of the verses under discussion, through a phrase which is the sign of both threat and encouragement, and it is a dread and a hope both, it says:

“And verily, your Lord certainly is He the Mighty, the Merciful.”

The Qur’anic word /‘aziz/, means a powerful person who is not defeated. He has power both to present great verses and to beat those who deny verses, nevertheless, He is merciful and His encompassing mercy includes every creature and, a serious return to Him in a short moment is enough that He directs all His grace toward man and to forgive all his past sins.

It is likely that the attribute /’aziz/ which has preceded the attribute /rahim/ is for this matter that if the word ‘Rahim’ came before the word “Aziz’, it would create a feeling that He is weak, but the word “Aziz’ has come first to show that, in spite of being powerful, He is very merciful.

  • 1. Abul Futuh-i-Razi, Vol. 8, the explanation of the verse
  • 2. In some famous books, such as Irshad Mufid, Rauzah Kafi, Kamal Al-Din Saduq, and
    tafsir-i-Qummi, we read that Imam Sadiq (as) said about the commentary of verse 4:

    “The purpose is the rebels of Umayyads who would yield when they see heavenly signs
    at the time of the rising of Imam Mahdi (as).”

    (Al-Mizan and Nur uth-Thaqalayn)

    It is clear that the purpose of these narrations is to state an extension of the extensive: concept of the verse, that finally when Imam Mahdi (as), the leader of universal government, comes, all tyrannical regimes which follow the approach of Umayyads, surrender and bow down before the power of Imam Mahdi (as) and his divine support.

  • 3. The same matter is also mentioned in verses 4 and 5 of Surah Al-’An‘am
  • 4. in current verses, and also in Surah Ar-Ra‘d, verse 4, Surah Luqman, verse 10, Surah Qaf, verse 7
  • 5. Surah An-Naml, No. 27, verse 29