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Martyrdom Of Imam ‘Ali´

A group of the Khawarij went to Makkah to perform the ritual Hajj pilgrimage. Upon the accomplishment of the rites, they held a conference in which they discussed the current affairs of the Muslim community and the gross events that led to shedding the blood of many Muslims.

They ascribed these events to three persons; Imam Ali (‘a), Mu’awiyah, and ‘Amr ibn Al-’As. They thus concluded that these three persons should be assassinated. Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim took upon himself the task of assassinating Imam Ali (‘a). The conferees then specified a certain time to accomplish their missions, which was the night of the eighteenth of Ramadan at the very hour of the Dawn Prayer.

The Umayyads And The Assassination Of Imam Ali

Although historicists ascribe the assassination of Imam Ali (‘a) to the Khawarij alone, a thorough reflection on the issue proves that the Umayyads had a role in the process. The following points may support this idea:

1) Abu’l-Aswad Al-Du'ali, one of the elite disciples of Imam Ali (‘a), held the Umayyads responsible for assassinating the Imam (‘a). He composed some poetic verses in which he accused Mu’awiyah of making Muslims suffer the loss of Imam Ali (‘a). 1 However, it may be argued that Abu’l-Aswad ascribed this murder to Mu’awiyah because he was the reason behind the advent and mutiny of the Khawarij against the Imam’s government.

Therefore, all the sins and crimes that the Khawarij committed are basically attributed to Mu’awiyah.

2) Nu’man Al-Misri, a famous historicist, states, ‘Mu’awiyah is said to have bought off Ibn Muljim and bribed him to kill the Imam (‘a).’ 2

3) Historicists confirm that Al-Ash’ath ibn Qays, who used to spy on Imam Ali (‘a) for the Umayyads, contributed greatly to the process of assassinating the Imam (‘a). He accompanied and encouraged Ibn Muljim to commit his crime. A few moments before murdering the Imam (‘a), Al-Ash’ath shouted at Ibn Muljim, ‘Hurry up! The light of morning will soon disclose you!’

It is known that the planning for assassinating the Imam (‘a) was kept so secret that none except a few people knew about it. Now, we wonder how Al-Ash’ath knew about it! To answer, Al-Ash’ath must have been informed by the Umayyads about the details of the process.

4) The conference of the Khawarij was held in Makkah, the center of the Umayyads. During that season of the Hajj pilgrimage, they spread rumors against the Imam (‘a); therefore, the Umayyads must have met with the Khawarij and incited them to assassinate him.

Besides, Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim, along with other persons from the Khawarij, resided in Makkah for several months after that, which means that he must have met the Umayyads.

5) Ibn Muljim was a teacher of the Quran and he used to receive an ordinary allowance from the public treasury, 3 which means that he was not wealthy enough to buy a sword with one thousand golden coins and poison with another one thousand golden coins as well as a slave and a songstress. We thus wonder how he could collect three thousand golden coins and paid them as dowry to Qatam. This proves that he received these funds from the Umayyads as a wage for assassinating the Imam (‘a).

6) Ibn Muljim had good relationship with ‘Amr ibn Al-’As. He participated with ‘Amr in the conquest of Egypt and the latter ordered him to reside next to him. 4 In conclusion, Ibn Muljim must have told ‘Amr about the plan of the Khawarij; therefore, ‘Amr did not leave his house at the night of the assassination.

Imam Ali And Ibn Muljim

Imam Ali (‘a) was undoubtedly sure that Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim would assassinate him. Historicists says that Ibn Muljim came to the Imam (‘a) and pledged allegiance to him with the others who pledged their allegiance, and withdrew from him. Then, the Imam (‘a) called him back and advised him to be trustworthy and to be sure that he was not treacherous and did not break his oath.

He did that (promised to keep his word), then he withdrew. A second time, the Imam (‘a) called him back and asked him to be trustworthy and to be sure that he was not treacherous and did not break his oath. Ibn Muljim said, ‘By God, O Amir Al-Mu'minin, I have not seen you do this with anyone else except me.’ However, the Imam (‘a) refrained from answering him.

Then, the Imam (‘a) cited this poetic verse:

I want his friendship and he wants my death.

The one who makes excuses to you is one of your bosom friends from (the tribe of) Murad.

Then, the Imam (‘a) continued,

Go, Ibn Muljim! I do not think that you will keep your word.

According to another narration, it is related from Ja’far ibn Sulayman Al-Åab’I on the authority of Al-Mu’alla ibn Ziyad who said:

Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim came to Imam Ali (‘a) to ask to be provided with a horse. The Imam (‘a) turned toward him and said, ‘You are Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim Al-Muradi. Are you not?’

‘Yes, I am,’ he replied.

The Imam then said to Ghazwan, ‘Provide him with the roan.’

That man came with a roan horse and Ibn Muljim mounted it and took its reins. After he had gone away, the Imam (‘a) said, ‘I want his friendship’ etc’ 5

One day, Imam Ali (‘a) was delivering a speech from the minbar when Ibn Muljim, threatening the Imam (‘a), said in a low voice, ‘By Allah, I will give these people rest from you!’ One of the attendants could hear him and arrest him. When he was brought before the Imam (‘a), he ordered them to release him, saying,

He has not yet killed me!

Before that, when Ibn Muljim came to Al-Kufah, he met one of his acquaintances who had in his house a good-looking harlot named Qatam whose brother and father were killed by Imam Ali (‘a) in the Battle of Al- Nahrawan. Upon seeing her, Ibn Muljim was charmed by her. He betrothed her and she agreed on condition that her dowry would be three thousand silver coins, a page, a domestic servant, and the killing of Imam Ali (‘a).

The filthy Ibn Muljim accepted and told her that he was in Al-Kufah for no reason other than killing the Imam (‘a). She thus helped him do this mission.

Qatam then offered to find people who would help Ibn Muljim execute his plan and assassinate the Imam (‘a). She therefore sent for Wirdan ibn Khalid, a man from the tribe of Taym Al-Rabab, and informed him about her determination to assassinate the Imam (‘a). She also asked him to help Ibn Muljim do this mission. Wirdan immediately agreed.

Ibn Muljim then visited a man for the tribe of Ashja’, who was one of the Khawarij, named Shabib ibn Bahirah and asked, ‘I offer to you the honor of this world and the other world!’ The man asked, ‘What is that exactly?’ Ibn Muljim answered, ‘It is that you should help me kill Ali.’ The man responded and they both went to Qatam and told her that they had agreed to assassinate the Imam (‘a). She thanked and encouraged them to go on. 6

The Assassination

The new moon of the holy month of Ramadan, in which Almighty Allah revealed the Holy Quran as mercy and guidance for all people, came into view and Imam Ali (‘a) was in no doubt that he would depart from this world and join the Sacred Yard during this month. He thus worked harder and broke his fast with three bites of a single loaf of barley bread and crushed salt.

He spent the entire night with acts of worship and prayers. He besought Almighty Allah earnestly to save him from the community that had denied his true standing and treated with contempt his values and principles. What increased the Imam’s yearning for meeting Almighty Allah was the mutiny and rebellion of his army after they had been split apart by the personal whims and decayed by the spiteful rumors.

Reporters state that at the nineteenth night of Ramadan, Imam Ali (‘a) felt the affliction of the calamity. He was overwhelmed by grief and sorrow while he was repeating these words:

By Allah, I have not lied nor have I been lied to. It is the night, which I was promised. 7

At that night, he recollected the moments of his struggle in the presence of the Holy Prophet (S) and the other moments of his sufferings at the hands of the polytheist people of Quraysh.

Let us now read the whole story as reported by the Imam’s daughter, Lady Ummu-Kulthum. She is reported to have said,

At the nineteenth night of Ramadan, I served my father with a plate that contained two loaves of barley bread, a bowl of milk, and a quantity of crushed salt. When he accomplished his prayer, he sat down to break his fast. When he saw what I had served him, he nodded his head, wept, and said to me,

I never thought that I would see any daughter treating her father as improperly as you have just done!

I (Ummu-Kulthum) asked, ‘How is that, father?’

He said,

How come do you serve me with two colors of food in one meal? Do you want me to stop before Almighty Allah on the Resurrection Day (for interrogation) for a longer time? I only want to pattern after the example of my brother and cousin, the Messenger of Allah (S). He had never been served with two kinds of food in one meal until his soul was grasped by Almighty Allah. O daughter, whoever has pleasant food, drink, and clothing will stand for a long time before Allah the Almighty and All-majestic on the Resurrection Day.

O daughter, the legal stuff of this world brings about settlement to account while the illegal stuff brings about punishment. My dear brother, the Messenger of Allah (S), has told me that Archangel Gabriel once descended to him carrying the keys to the treasures of the earth and said,

‘O Muhammad, Allah, the source of peace, sends greetings to you and says that if you wish, He will change the mountains of Tihamah into gold and silver for you. You may now take these keys of the treasures of the earth and this will not decrease what is hoarded for you on the Resurrection Day.’

However, the Holy Prophet (S) said, ‘O Gabriel, what will be next? The archangel answered, ‘Death will be next.’ The Holy Prophet (S) said, ‘I have no need for this world. Let me feel hungry a day and satiate myself another day. On the day when I feel hungry, I will beseech my Lord earnestly. On the day when I am sated, I thank and praise my Lord.’

Gabriel said, ‘O Muhammad, May you be led to every prosperity!’

My father (‘a) then added,

O daughter, this is the abode of seduction and humility. Whoever does any act will eventually face its consequence.

O daughter, I will not eat anything before you remove one of the two foods.

When I did, my father ate one loaf of barley bread with some salt. He then praised and thanked Almighty Allah. Thereafter, he engaged himself in prayer once again. He kept on offering prayers and beseeching Allah the All- glorified incessantly. He came out and in the house repeatedly while he was looking at the sky worriedly.

He then recited the entire Surah Yasin (No. 36). He then slept for a few moments and woke up panic-stricken. He wiped his face with his dress, stood up on his feet, and prayed to Almighty Allah, saying,

O Allah, please bless us in the affair of meeting You.

He also repeated frequently the statement of

la hawla wala quwwata illa billahi Al-’aliyyi Al-’asim (There is neither might nor power except with Allah the All-high and All-great).

He then returned to offering prayers for a few hours and then to say the post- prayer litanies and doxologies. He then slept for a few moments and woke up panic-stricken.

He then ordered his sons and daughters to gather around him, and said to them,

In this month, you will lose me. I have just seen a dream that horrified me.

I asked, ‘What have you seen?’

He (‘a) answered,

In my sleep, I have seen the Messenger of Allah (S) saying to me, ‘O Abu’l-Hasan, you will very soon come to us. The most wretched of all people will come to you to dye your gray-haired beard with the blood of your head. I am truly eager to see you. On the last ten days of Ramadan, you will be with us.’

These words made us all weep heavily. However, my father ordered us to abide by patience and obedience to Almighty Allah.

At that night, he kept on offering prayers and he frequently went out of the house to look deeply to the sky and the stars, saying,

By Allah, I have not lied nor have I been lied to. It is the night, which I was promised.

He would then return to his prayer-place, repeating these words:

O Allah, please grant me blessings in death.

He again repeated very often the statement of

la hawla wala quwwata illa billahi Al-’aliyyi Al-’asim (There is neither mighty nor power except with Allah the All-high and All-great)

and the statement of invoking Allah’s blessings upon the Holy Prophet (i.e. allahumma salli ‘Ala muhammadin wa-ali muhammad).

I thus said to him, ‘O father, why am I noticing that you cannot have a sleep at this night?’

He (‘a) answered,

O daughter, your father has killed heroes and engaged in horrific situations without letting any spark of fear enter his heart. However, at this night, I feel such strange fear that I have never experienced before.

He then said,

We are Allah’s and to Him shall we be returned.

These words (which are said at misfortunes) panicked me very much that I, weeping, asked him, ‘What for have you been declaring your death since the beginning of this night?’

My father answered,

O daughter, the termination of my lifetime seems to have come near and any hope in surviving has been lost.

When I was terribly stricken by these words that I could not stop weeping, my father, trying to calm me down, said,

O daughter, I have not said these words of my own desire; rather, the Prophet (S) predicted that I would face my end under such circumstances. 8

In the darkest hours of that night, the Imam (‘a) did not stop praying to Almighty Allah. He then performed the ritual ablution as perfectly as possible and readied himself for leaving the house for performing the ritual Dawn Prayer.

When he (‘a) came to the courtyard of the house, the domesticated geese, which had been gifted to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), started shouting and swaying their wings. The Imam (‘a) thus predicted the infliction of the catastrophic misfortune; he therefore went on repeating the statement of la hawla wala quwwata illa billahi Al-’aliyyi Al-’asim. He added, ‘These shouts will very soon be followed by lamentations. 9

Lady Ummu-Kulthum hurried to detain the geese, but the Imam (‘a) said to her,

O daughter, I adjure you by your duty towards me to release these birds, because you have detained creatures that have no tongue and have no ability to express themselves when they feel hungry or thirsty. Take care of feeding them! If you cannot do that, then you must free them so that they find their food from the grass of the earth.

When the Imam (‘a) reached near the door, he could not open it easily, because it was made of trunks of date-palm trees. When he could finally open it, his shawl was untied; he therefore tied it around his girdle while repeating these poetic verses:

Fasten you girdle for death, because death is coming before you. When death comes, do not show unease!

Just as time has made you laugh, so will it make you weep!

Upon the strange state of his father, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) panicked extremely and hurried towards him to ask, ‘O father, what has made you leave the house at such an hour?’

Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

I have seen a horrible dream.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) said, ‘May your dream be a source and an indication of prosperity! May you please tell me what you have seen?’

The Imam (‘a) thus related,

In my dream, I saw that Gabriel descended from the heavens on Mount Abu-Qubays, picked up two rocks from there, brought them to the Holy Ka’bah, struck them with each other, and they became ashes, which entered each and every house in Makkah and Al-Madinah.

Panicked by this dream, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) asked, ‘What is the interpretation of this dream?’

The Imam (‘a) said,

If it is true dream, its interpretation will then be that your father will be soon killed, and grief for my death will enter each and every house in Makkah and Al-Madinah.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) asked, ‘When will that take place?’

Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

Allah the All-exalted says, ‘No one knows what he shall earn on the morrow and no one knows in what land he shall die.’ However, my dear one, the Messenger of Allah (‘a), foretold me that this would take place at one of the last nights of Ramadan. I will be assassinated by Abd Al- Rahman ibn Muljim.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) said, ‘As long as you have such information, then you must kill Ibn Muljim.’

Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

It is illegal to reTalibate before the falling of the crime. Hence, the man has not yet committed his crime.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) then insisted on accompanying his father to the mosque, but the father (‘a) ordered him to return to his bed.

Imam Ali (‘a) headed for the mosque and, as usual, started rousing from sleep the people who slept there. When he passed by some people, the Imam (‘a) put his hand on his beard and said,

I believe that one of you is the most wretched person who will dye the hair of my beard with the blood of my head. 10

The Imam (‘a) then started offering the prayer. While he was in the prostration posture, Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim, accompanied by Shabib ibn Bahirah Al- Ashja’i, 11 struck the Imam (‘a) with his poisoned sword while repeating the slogan of the Khawarij, ‘There is no verdict but Allah’s.’

Ibn Muljim hit the Imam (‘a) on the head so fiercely that the strike reached the Imam’s brain. Immediately, the Imam (‘a) shouted, I have won. I swear it by the Lord of the Ka’bah.

When the news was spread, people hurried to the mosque and found the Imam (‘a) thrown and bleeding in his niche. He was carried to his house and escorted with wails and lamentations.

The family members of the Imam (‘a) received him with cries and screams, but he ordered them to be patient and satisfied with the act of Almighty Allah. When he noticed the agonies of Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), he said to him,

O son, do not cry. You will be poisoned to death and your brother will be killed by swords.

The assassinator was arrested. Tied up and bare-headed, he was brought before Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) who said to him, ‘O accursed! You have killed the Leader of the Believers. Did he deserve such recompense from you after he had given you a place to live in and drawn you near him?’

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) then turned his face to his father and said, ‘O father, this is the enemy of Allah and of you. This is the son of Muljim. Allah has made us arrest him.’

Imam Ali (‘a) opened his eyes and said to he assassinator with a faint voice,

You have committed a disastrous thing and a great crime. Have I not been kind to you? Have I not preceded you to others in the allowances? Why have you then recompensed me in such a way?

Imam Ali (‘a) then turned his face toward his sons and instructed them to treat the criminal kindly. He said,

Give him food and drink. If I survive this, I am then the patron of reTalibation; I may kill him if I wish, and I may pardon if I wish. If I die, then you may reTalibate and kill him. Do not transgress, because Allah does not like the transgressors. 12

Astounded by this instruction, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) said,

O father, this accursed person has killed you, causing us calamity. Now, you order us to be lenient to him!

Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

O son, we are the household of mercy and forgiveness. Serve him with the same food you eat and give him the same drink you drink. If I die, you may then reTalibate and kill him. Do not trample his body, for I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘Do not trample any body, even though it may be a rabid mad dog.’ If I survive his strike, I will know best what to do with him. We-the Ahl Al-Bayt-increase nothing but pardon and generosity against those who commit sins against us.

Imam Ali’s Last Wills

When physicians decided that the Imam (‘a) would not survive the strike of Ibn Muljim, the Imam (‘a) started to say his last wills to his sons. Bedridden, Imam Ali (‘a) said to Imam Al-Hasan and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a),

I advise you both to fear Allah and that you should not hanker after the pleasures of this world even though it may run after you. Do not be sorry for anything of this world that you have been denied. Speak the truth and act in expectation for reward. Be an enemy of the oppressor and helper of the oppressed.

I advise you both and all my children and members of my family and everyone whom my writing reaches to fear Allah, to keep your affairs in order, and to maintain good relations among yourselves, for I have heard your grandfather the Holy Prophet (S) saying, ‘Improvement of mutual differences is better than general prayers and fasting.’

Fear Allah and keep Allah in view in the matter of orphans. So, do not allow them to starve, and they should not be ruined in your presence.

Fear Allah and keep Allah in view in the matter of your neighbors, because they were the subject of the Prophet’s advice. He went on advising in their favor until we thought that he would allow them a share in inheritance.

Fear Allah and keep Allah in view in the matter of the Quran. No one should excel you in acting upon it.

Fear Allah and keep Allah in view in the matter of prayer, because it is the pillar of your religion.

Fear Allah and keep Allah in view in the matter of your Lord’s House (i.e. the Holy Ka’bah). Do not forsake it so long as you live, because if it is abandoned you will not be spared.

Fear Allah and keep Allah in view in the matter of jihad with the help of your property, lives, and tongues in the way of Allah.

You should keep to a respect for kinship and spending for others. Avoid turning away from one another and severing mutual relations. Do not give up bidding for good and forbidding from evil lest the mischievous gain positions over you, and then if you will pray, the prayers will not be granted.

O sons of Abd Al-Muttalib, certainly I do not wish to see you plunging harshly into the blood of Muslims shouting that the Leader of the Believers has been killed. Beware! Do not kill on account of me except my killer.

Wait until I die by his (i.e. Ibn Muljim) existing stroke. Then, strike him one stroke for his stroke and do not dismember the limbs of the man, for I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘Avoid cutting limbs even though it may be a rabid dog.’13

On another occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) expressed another will that was addressed to all people generally. In this will, he said,

O people, every one has to meet what he wishes to avoid by running away. Death is the place to which life is driving. To run away from it means to catch it. Too many are the days on which I spent in searching for the secret of this matter, but Allah did not allow save its concealment.

Alas! It is a treasured knowledge. As for my last will, it is that, concerning Allah, do not believe in a partner for Him, and, concerning Muhammad (S), do not disregard his traditions. Keep these two pillars and burn these two lamps. Until you are not divided, no evil will come to you.

Every one of you has to bear his own burden. It has been kept light for the ignorant. Allah is Merciful. Faith is straight. The leader (i.e. the Holy Prophet) is the holder of knowledge. Yesterday, I was with you; today, I have become the object of a lesson for you, and tomorrow, I shall leave you. Allah may forgive you and me!

If the foot remains firm in this slippery place, it is then well and good. But if the foot slips, this is because we are under the shade of branches, the passing of the winds, and the canopy of the clouds whose layers are dispersed in the sky, and whose traces disappeared in the earth. I was your neighbor.

My body kept you company for some days and shortly you will find just an empty body of mine which would be stationary after all its movements and silent after speech so that my calmness, the closing of my eyes, and the stillness of my limbs may provide you counsel, because it is more of a counsel for those who take a lesson from it than eloquent speech and a ready word.

I am departing from you like one who is eager to meet someone. Tomorrow, you will look at my days, then my inner side will be disclosed to you and you will understand me after the vacation of my place and its occupation by someone else. 14

Instructing his elder son Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), Imam Ali (‘a) said these words at the last hours of his lifetime:

To begin with, I bear witness that there is no god save Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger and the choicest of His servants. He has selected him on the strength of His knowledge and accepted him on the strength of His choice. I also bear witness that Allah shall resurrect those who are in graves to interrogate them about their deeds, since He knows what is hidden in the hearts.

Now, O Hasan, I instruct you-and you are sufficiently the best one to observe my wills-the same instructions that the Messenger of Allah (S) had given to me. Do not consider the world to be your greatest concern.

O son, I instruct you to perform the prayers at their times, to defray the zakat (tax) to their beneficiaries and at their proper times, to keep silent at situations of suspicion, to be moderate and fair in situations of satisfaction and rage, to act kindly to the neighbors, to honor your guests, to show mercy to the aggrieved and misfortunate people, to regard good relations with your relatives, to love the poor people and to love sitting with them, to stick to modesty for it is the best of all devotional acts, to disregard expectations, to recollect death frequently, and to refrain from the worldly pleasures, because you are eventually subjected to death, exposed to misfortunes, and ridden be ailments.

I instruct you to fear Allah in your secret and open affairs. I warn you against rush in words and deeds. Whenever a matter related to the other world is presented before you, you must start with it; and whenever a matter related to this world is presented before you, you must slow down until you make sure that you will do it properly. Beware of situations of accusation and suspicious sessions, because the evil acquaintance always seduces the one who associates with him.

O son, always work for Almighty Allah, deter from indecencies, enjoin the right, forbid the wrong, choose your friends according to the orders of Allah, bear love for the righteous people on account of their righteousness, hide your faith from the sinful ones, incur the animosity of these sinful ones in your heart, and contradict their acts, lest you will be like them. Beware of sitting in the public ways, and leave dispute and heated discussions with those who lack reason and knowledge.

O son, be moderate in your paces and pursue the reasonable course in your devotional acts by sticking yourself to the devotional act that you can always do. Keep on silence and you will be safe. Think deliberately before you proceed on any act so that you will win its achievement. Learn the good matters so that you will be knowledgeable. Be in a continuous state of remembering Allah under all circumstances.

Have mercy on the little ones of your family members and show respect to the old among them. Do not eat any food before you give part of it as alms. Persevere in fasting, for it is the alms of the body and the protective shield for those who observe it. Struggle against your self, watch out the one who sits with you, avoid your enemy, attend frequently the sessions of mentioning Almighty Allah, and pray Him as repeatedly as possible. Now, O my son, I have not failed to give you advice. This is the parting between you and me.

I also instruct you to treat your brother and the son of your father, Muhammad, kindly, because you know how much I love him. As for your (full) brother Al-Husayn, he is your mother’s son and you do not need to hear my instructions concerning your brother Al-Husayn (because you are already aware of them).

May Allah be your guardian after me! I beseech Him to set aright all of your affairs and to save you from the tyrants and the transgressors. Abide by patience until Allah decides the matter. There is no power save with Allah the All-high and All-great.15

Visitors Of The Imam

A group of the Imam’s companions came to visit him at the final hours of his lifetime. Habib ibn ‘Amr had the honor to see the Imam (‘a). He gently said in his presence, ‘Your wound is not deadly. You will recover health.’

The Imam (‘a) however answered,

O Habib, I will very soon depart from you.

These words astounded Habib who could not stop weeping.

Upon hearing these words from her father, Lady Ummu-Kulthum wept heavily. The Imam (‘a), addressing her, asked,

What for are you weeping?

She answered, ‘How cannot I weep while I have heard you saying that you would very soon leave us?’

The Imam (‘a) said,

O daughter, do not weep. By Allah, if you can only see what your father can see right now’

‘O Leader of the Believers, what can you see now?’ asked Habib. The Imam (‘a) answered,

O Habib, I can see the angels of the heavens and the prophets standing on their feet one after another to receive me. I can also see my dear brother Muhammad (S) sitting near me and saying, ‘Come to us, because what you will experience is better than what you are now in.’ 16

Astounded by the news of the Imam’s injury, Al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah, along with a group of the Imam’s devoted companions, hurried to his house and sat behind the door. As they heard wails and weeping voices, they also wept heavily. Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) came out and conveyed to them Imam Ali’s order to go back home.

They all left except Al-Asbagh who kept sitting behind the door of the Imam’s house. Upon hearing the Imam’s family members weeping, Al-Asbagh wept so loudly that they could hear him. Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) came out of the house and said to Al-Asbagh, ‘I have told you to leave. Have I not?’

Shedding heavy tears, Al-Asbagh said to the Imam, ‘O son of Allah’s Messenger, I cannot leave nor can my feet carry me away before I see the Leader of the Believers.’

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) went in and told his father about Al-Asbagh. So, Imam Ali (‘a) permitted Al-Asbagh to visit him. Describing the Imam’s state, Al-Asbagh said, ‘Imam Ali’s bleeding head was wrapped with a yellow turban while his face was pale. I did not distinguish the color of the Imam’s face from the color of his turban. I thus threw myself on his body, kissed him frequently, and wept.’

The Imam (‘a), trying to calm down Al-Asbagh, said to him,

Do not weep. By Allah, it is Paradise.

Al-Asbagh answered with teary eyes and sad tone, ‘By Allah, I am sure that your destination will be to Paradise, but I weep for departing you.’17

‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq Al-Khuza’i, one of the most sincere and loyal men of Imam Ali (‘a), visited him and said, ‘O Leader of the Believers, you will recover your health. It is only a scratch.’

Despaired of life, Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

I will very soon depart you.

The Imam (‘a) then fainted and Lady Ummu-Kulthum wept so loudly that the Imam (‘a) regained consciousness. He said to her,

O Ummu-Kulthum, do not hurt me. If only you can see what I can see! The angels of the seven skies, following each other, and the prophets are saying to me, ‘Come on! What you will see is better than what you are experiencing.’ 18

Sa’sa’ah ibn Sawhan also visited Imam Ali (‘a) and found him in the last sparks of his life-a view that astounded him and made him hope to die before the Imam (‘a) would die.

Hujr ibn ‘Adi also presented himself before Imam Ali (‘a) who said to him,

O Hujr, how will you behave and what will you say when you will be asked to repudiate me?

Hujr answered, ‘By Allah, if I will be cut into pieces by swords and thrown in blazing fire, I will prefer that to repudiating you.’

Thanking him for this loyalty, the Imam (‘a) said, O Hujr, may Allah grant you success in all of your affairs! May Allah reward you abundantly on behalf of the Household of your Prophet!19

Imam Ali (‘a) then permitted all people to visit him. Thus, the masses crowded on the door of the Imam’s house shedding tears and expressing grief. Although he was suffering harsh pains, the Imam (‘a) said to them, Ask me before you lose me! However, you may ask as easily as possible because your leader is suffering.20

The Imam (‘a) then asked for a drink of milk, because milk can resist the effects of poison that entered his body from the sword of Ibn Muljim. When the Imam (‘a) drank the milk to the last drop of it, he remembered that the prisoner Ibn Muljim had not drunk milk. Therefore, the Imam (‘a) said,

The command of Allah is a decree that is made absolute. Be it known to you that I have drunk the entire milk and have not kept anything to your prisoner. Verily, this is the last sustenance of me in this worldly life. I now adjure you by Allah to serve your prisoner with the same quantity of milk that I have just drunk.21

When he was sure that he would soon depart from this world, Imam Ali (‘a) appointed Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) as the next Imam and asked Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), Muhammad, his other sons, the prominent personalities of his devotees, and his family members to witness to this appointing. Imam Ali (‘a) then handed the books and the weapon to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and said to him,

O son, the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered me to appoint you as my successor and to hand over my books and my weapon to you just as the Messenger of Allah (S) had appointed me as his successor and handed over his books and weapon to me. He also instructed me to order you that, when death comes upon you, you should hand over these things to your brother Al-Husayn.22

At the twenty-first night of Ramadan, which is said to be the Grand (Qadr) Night, Imam Ali’s agonies intensified, since poison spread in his entire body. Describing the Imam’s state, his son Muhammad says, ‘We noticed that his two feet became red; therefore, we felt great sorry and despaired of his survival. Then, we offered to provide him some food or drink, but he refused. His two lips did not stop moving with words of remembering Almighty Allah. His forehead started sweating. I thus asked him, ‘O father, why is your forehead sweating?’

He (‘a) answered,

O son, I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘When death comes upon a faithful believer, his forehead sweats and his moans calm down.’’

When the Imam (‘a) realized that he would very soon departed from this world, he gathered all of his sons and daughters to bid the last farewell to them. When they all presented themselves before him, he said to them with a low voice,

I beseech Allah to be my representative among you. I entrust you with Allah.

They all started weeping heavily and loudly. The Imam (‘a) then turned his face toward his son Al-Hasan, who had asked why he had said these words, and said to him,

O son, I have seen in dream your grandfather the Messenger of Allah (S) one night before this calamity, and I complained to him about the humiliation and harm I was receiving from this nation. He therefore said to me, ‘You may invoke Allah’s curse on them.’ I thus said, ‘O Allah, please make them face one more evil than I am and make me face people better than they are.’

The Messenger of Allah (S) said to me, ‘Your prayer has been granted. After three nights, Allah will bring you to us.’ Tonight, the three nights terminate. O Abu-Muhammad (Al-Hasan), I want you to take good care of Abu-’Abdullah (Al-Husayn), for you both are part of me and I am part of you.

Imam Ali (‘a) then turned his face towards his other sons, ordered them not to violate the instructions of Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, and said to them,

May Allah console you excellently! This night, I will depart from you and catch my dear brother Muhammad (S) as he promised me.

He then fainted for a while. When he regained consciousness, he said to his sons,

I have just seen the Messenger of Allah (S), my uncle Hamzah, my brother Ja’far, and the companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) and all of them say to me, ‘Hurry up! Come to us! We are surely eager to meet you.’

Leniently, Imam Ali (‘a) then said,

I entrust you all with Allah. My representative among you is Allah, and He is the best of all representatives.

The Imam (‘a) then greeted the angels that had surrounded him to transmit his holy soul to the Highest Paradise. He then went on reciting verses of the Holy Quran. The last two holy Quranic verses he (‘a) recited were the following:

For the like of this, then let the workers work. (37:61)

Lo! Allah is with those who keep their duty unto Him and those who are doers of good. (16:128) 23

The Imam’s soul then left his body towards the Paradisiacal Abode surrounded by the angels, the prophets, and the prophets’ successors.

Imam Al-Hasan and his brothers performed the ritual bathing of the body of their father. At the last hours of night, they, accompanied by a group of the most virtuous believers, carried the body and buried it where the grave is now there. Thus, the burial place of Imam Ali (‘a) changed into the most handsome religious seminary in Islam.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and his brothers then returned home, sinking in sorrow and grief.

Retaliation

The next morning, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) ordered Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim to be summoned. When he was brought before the Imam (‘a), Ibn Muljim asked, ‘What did your father order you to do?’ The Imam (‘a) answered, ‘He ordered me to kill none but his killer, to satisfy your stomach, and to lodge you in a good place. If he would survive, he would reTalibate upon you or pardon you, but if he would die, I would make you follow him.’

Amazed by these words, Ibn Muljim the accursed said, ‘Verily, your father always said the truth and always judged fairly whether he was pleased or angered.’

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) then struck Ibn Muljim with his sword but he received the sword with his hand that was consequently severed. The Imam (‘a) then finished his off with another strike.24

Eulogy Of Imam Ali

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) came to Al-Kufah Mosque, ascended the minbar, and said,

At this night, the soul of a man has been grasped. None of the past people could ever match him in one of his deeds and none of the coming generations will do the like of his acts. When he struggled under the commandership of the Messenger of Allah (S), he used to protect the Messenger of Allah (S) with himself.

When the Messenger of Allah (S) sent him as the bearer of his standard, Archangel Gabriel and Archangel Michael would surround him from the right and left sides. He would not return before Almighty Allah would grant Muslims victory at his hands.

He passed away at the same night at which Jesus the son of Mary was risen to the heavens and the same night at which the soul of Joshua the son of Nun, the successor of Prophet Moses, was grasped. He has not left behind him any golden or silver coin except seven hundred silver coins that remained from his salary by which he had the intention to purchase a servant for his wife. He then ordered me to take these coins back to the public treasury.25

Sa’sa’ah ibn Sawhan stopped at the edge of Imam Ali’s grave and said these words:

‘May Allah accept my father and mother as ransoms for you, O Leader of the Believers! Congratulations, Abu’l-Hasan! Your birth was uniquely excellent, your steadfastness typically firm, your striving outstandingly great, and your opinion always the triumphant. So, your commerce has prospered.

When you came to your Lord, you were surrounded by His angels and you resided next to the Divinely Chosen Prophet. Allah has conferred upon you the honor of being the neighbor of Him, you have caught the rank of your brother the Chosen Prophet, and you have drunk from his fullest cup. I thus beseech Allah to grant us the favor of patterning after you, acting upon your conducts, befriending your devotees, and antagonizing your enemies; and I beseech Him to include us with the group of your disciples.

You have won what nobody else has ever won, you have been able to do what nobody else has ever been able to do, you have strived for the sake of your Lord in the presence of your brother the Chosen Prophet as exactly as strife should be, and you have assumed the religion of Allah as it should be so much so that you put into effect all the Prophetic practices, eradicated all spurious arguments, caused Islam to stand up erectly, and caused true faith to be well-organized. May Allah’s best benedictions and peace be upon you on behalf of me! Through you only, Muslims found strength, the signs of the true path became clear, and the Prophetic practices were put into practice. None other than you has ever had all of your virtues and peculiarities gathered to him. You preceded all others to responding to the Prophet, giving him preference and priority to yourself.

You thus hurried to support him, defended him with your life, and threw your sword Dhu’l-Faqar in all situations of fear and terror. Through you, Allah annihilated all stubborn potentates, humiliated all those of invulnerable power, demolished all the fortresses of polytheism, atheism, aggression, and faTalibty, and killed the hostile people of deviation.

Congratulations for you! You were the closest to the Messenger of Allah (S), the first to declare Islam, the most knowledgeable, and the most learnt. Congratulations for you, O Abu’l-Hasan! Allah has indeed honored your standing. You were the closest to the Messenger of Allah (S) in family relationship, the first to embrace Islam, the fullest of certitude, the most brave-hearted, the readiest to sacrifice your life in jihad, and the most rewardable for your acts of goodness.

May Allah never deprive us of rewards for following you and may He never show us humility after your departure! By Allah, your entire lifetime was the key to every item of decency and the lock of every act of wickedness. Nevertheless, the day of your passing away is the key to every act of wickedness and the lock of every item of decency. If people had only accepted from you, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath them. Unfortunately, they, instead, preferred this world to the other world.’26

As for Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, he, weak and feeble, stopped at the burial place of Imam Ali (‘a) and said, ‘Alas for you, O Abu’l-Hasan! When he (i.e. Imam Ali) ruled, he neither changed, nor deformed, nor showed any shortcoming, nor collected for himself (worldly gains), nor deprived (others of their dues), nor preferred some people to others.

In his sight, the worldly pleasures were cheaper than the strip of his shoes. In battlefields, he fought like a lion. In debates of knowledge, he was as profound as oceans. He was the wisest of all wise men. Far it be! He has left forever towards the highest ranks.’27

A man from the Banu-Tamim tribe stopped at the burial place of Imam Ali (‘a) and delivered the following speech:

‘May Allah have mercy upon you, O Leader of the Believers! Just as your lifetime was the key to every item of decency, the lock of every item of wickedness, and just as you were luminous signpost through which true guidance was distinguished from deviation and good was distinguished from evil, so also is your passing away the key to every item of wickedness and the lock of every item of decency.

Verily, losing you is regret and remorse. If people had only accepted from you, they would have been nourished from above them and from beneath them. However, they preferred this world to the other world, causing themselves to be too perplexed to find the true path. Thus, wretchedness overcame them and incurable maladies overwhelmed them.
They are in increasing looseness just like a rope that is about to be unknotted. Extremely miserable is their future since they have preferred foolishness to sagacity and sold the very much with the very little. May Allah honor your abode and double up your rewards! Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.’28

Al-Qa’qa’ ibn Ma’bad ibn Zurarah Al-Tamimi also stopped at the edge of Imam Ali’s grave and said with grief and sorrow, ‘May Allah’s pleasure be with you, O Leader of the Believers! By Allah, your lifetime was the key to every item of prosperity and the lock of every item of wickedness. If people had only accepted from you, they would have been nourished from above them and from beneath them. However, they have despised the grace and preferred this world to the other world.’29

When Abu’l-Aswad Al-Du'ali was informed about the martyrdom of Imam Ali (‘a) and the Imamate of Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), he delivered an eloquent speech in which he elegized Imam Ali (‘a) and praised Imam Al-Hasan (‘a).

Many elegiac verses was composed in praise of Imam Ali (‘a) by such personalities like Abu’l-Aswad Al-Du'ali, Ummu’l-’Uryan, Abu-Bakr ibn Hammad, Ummu’l-Haytham, Bakr ibn Hassan, and many others.30

Section 2: Tradition of Imam ‘Ali

Imam ‘Ali´ in the Holy Qur'an

In many verses, the Holy Quran praised Imam Ali (‘a) for his extraordinary situations and demonstrated him as the most eminent personality after the Holy Prophet. Many sources of Quranic exegesis (Tafsir) have counted three hundred Quranic verses to have been revealed in praise of Imam Ali (‘a) for his faith and virtue.31

In fact, this number has never been mentioned for any of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) and the personalities of Islam. Let us now refer to some verses that have been revealed to show Imam Ali’s preference, great standing, and eminent personality:

1. The Holy Quran says,

You are only a warner and there is a guide for every people. (13:7)

Al-Tabari reports Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas to have said,

When this holy verse was revealed, the Holy Prophet (S) put his hand on Ali’s chest and said, ‘I am the warner and Ali is the guide.’ Pointing to Ali’s shoulder, the Holy Prophet (S) further said, ‘You are the true guide. Through you only will those who are guided to the right path be led to it.’ 32

2. The Holy Quran says,

‘And that the retaining ear might retain it. (69:12)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The Messenger of Allah (S) said to me, ‘I have asked my Lord to make this ear to be yours, Ali.’ Since that day, I have never forgotten anything I heard from the Messenger of Allah. 33

3. The Holy Quran says,

As for those who spend their property by night and by day, secretly and openly, they shall have their reward from their Lord and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve. (2:274)

It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a) had four dirhams. He spent one dirham at night, another on day, a third secretly, and the fourth openly. When the Holy Prophet (S) asked him for a reason, Imam Ali (‘a) answered, ‘I want to actualize my Lord’s promise to me.’ This holy verse was revealed about this situation.34

4. The Holy Quran says,

As for those who believe and do good, surely they are the best of men. (98:7)

Ibn ‘Asakir reports Jabir ibn Abdullah to have said: We were sitting with the Holy Prophet (S) when Ali came. Upon seeing him, the Holy Prophet (S) said, I swear by Him Who grasps my soul, this one and his partisans (Shi’ah) shall be the winners on the Resurrection Day.

The holy verse was then revealed for this cause. Hence, whenever Ali would come, the Holy Prophet’s companions would say, ‘There comes the best of men.’ 35

5. The Holy Quran says,

Ask the followers of the Reminder if you do not know. (16:43)

Through his chain of authority, Al-Tabari has reported Jabir Al-Ju’fi as saying that when this holy verse was revealed, (Imam) Ali said:

We are the followers of the Reminder.36

6. The Holy Quran says,

O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah and be with the true ones. (9:119)

Al-Suyuti says that Ibn Mardawayh has reported Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas as saying that the ‘true ones’ intended in this holy verse stands for Ali ibn Abi- Talib.

A similar narration is reported from Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (‘a). 37

7. The Holy Quran says,

And he who brings the truth and he who accepts it as the truth-- these are the true pious. (39:33)

Ibn Mardawayh has reported Abu-Hurayrah as saying that the one who brings the truth is the Holy Prophet (S) and the one who accepts it as true is Ali ibn Abi Talib. 38

8. The Holy Quran says,

O Messenger, deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord. And if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Surely, Allah will not guide the unbelieving people. (5:67)

This holy verse was revealed to the Holy Prophet (S) at Khumm Spring (known as ghadir khumm) during his journey back from his last ritual pilgrimage to Makkah (known as the Farewell Pilgrimage). This holy verse carries a divine command of appointing Imam Ali (‘a) as the next leader of the Muslim nation. Carrying out this command, the Holy Prophet (S) announced Imam Ali as his vicegerent and the next leader of the nation. This prophetic divinely ordained appointment came in the following form:

Behold! As for any one who has regarded me as his master, Ali is now his master. O Allah, (please) accede to whomever accedes to Ali, be the enemy of whomever incurs the animosity of Ali, give victory to whomever supports Ali, and disappoint whomever disappoints Ali.

Immediately after this prophetic statement, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab congratulated Imam Ali (‘a) for this position, saying, ‘Congratulations, O son of Abu Talib! You are now the master of me as well as every believing man and woman.’39

9. The Holy Quran says,

This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion. (5:3)

This holy verse was revealed on the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah immediately after the Holy Prophet (S) had declared publicly Imam Ali (‘a) as the next leader.40

After the revelation of this verse, the Holy Prophet (S) said,

Majestic be the Lord for the perfection of the religion, the completion of the favor, the satisfaction of Him with my conveyance of the Mission, and for the (divinely commissioned) leadership of Ali ibn Abi Talib.41

10. The Holy Quran says,

Only Allah is your Guardian and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and give alms while they bow. (5:55)

Abu-Dharr, the prominent companion of the Holy Prophet (S), has reported the following:

One day, I followed the Messenger of Allah (S) in a congregational Midday Prayer. When we finished, a beggar asked for something, but nobody gave him anything. He therefore raised his hands toward the sky and said, ‘O Allah, bear witness to me that I have begged in the mosque of the Messenger, but nobody gave me anything.’

Meanwhile, Ali, who was in a state of genuflection in a prayer, pointed to a ring he was wearing in the little finger of his right hand. The beggar advanced toward Ali and took the ring while the Holy Prophet (S) was watching the scene. Upon this situation, the Holy Prophet (S) supplicated the Lord, saying,

O Allah, my brother (Prophet) Moses asked you, saying, ‘O my Lord! Expand my breast for me, make my affair easy to me, loose the knot from my tongue that they may understand my word, and give to me an aide from my family: Aaron, my brother. Strengthen my back by him and associate him (with me) in my affair.’ So, You responded to him, saying in a clear-cut verse of the Quran:

‘We will strengthen your arm with your brother and We will give you both an authority.’ O Allah, as for me, Muhammad, Your prophet and the choicest one, I beseech You to expand my breast for me, make my affair easy to me, and give me an aide from my family: Ali. Strengthen my back by him.

As soon as the Holy Prophet (S) finished his prayer, Archangel Gabriel descended to him and said, ‘O Muhammad, read this:

Only Allah is your Guardian’ etc. 42

11. The Holy Quran says,

And the foremost are the foremost. These are they who are drawn nigh (to Allah). (56:10-11)

The majority of scholars have reported Ibn ‘Abbas as saying that the foremost of this nation is Ali ibn Abi Talib.43

12. The Holy Quran says,

Among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants. (2:207)

This holy Quranic verse was revealed to express the event of Imam Ali’s replacing the Holy Prophet (S) in his bed so as to give him (S) the opportunity to flee to Yathrib (Al-Madinah) after the polytheists of Makkah had plotted to assassinate him when he would be sleeping in his bed. Hence, the Holy Prophet (S) left the city and Imam Ali (‘a) accepted to spend that night in the Prophet’s bed so that the assassinators would believe that the Holy Prophet (S) was still there.44

13. The Holy Quran says,

He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with the believers. (8:62)

This holy verse was revealed to express one of Imam Ali’s manners and to name him as ‘the believers.’ Al-Suyuti has reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Asakir that Abu-Hurayrah said, ‘On the Divine Throne, the following words are inscribed: ‘There is no god but Me, One and Only, without having any partner with Me. Muhammad is My servant and Messenger. I aid him with Ali.’’

14. The Holy Quran says,

Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. And whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein. Surely, Allah is Forgiving, Grateful. (42:23)

The majority of exegetes of the Holy Quran and narrators of the Prophetic traditions have decided that the ‘near relatives’ the love for whom has been decided by Almighty Allah as duty that is obligatory upon His servants are namely Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah , Imam Al-Hasan, and Imam Al-Husayn, peace be upon them all. Likewise, they have decided that earning good, which is mentioned in this holy verse, stands for love for and loyalty to them.

In this respect, Ibn ‘Abbas has reported that when the holy verse involved was revealed, the Holy Prophet (S) was asked, ‘Who are your near relatives the love for whom has been made obligatory upon us?’ The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

They are Ali, Fatimah , and their two sons.45

Advancing an argument against his rivals, Imam Ali (‘a), one an occasion, has said,

In Surah Ha-Mim, there is a verse that was revealed to express our manner. This verse reads:

Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. And whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein. Surely, Allah is Forgiving, Grateful. (42:23)’

15. The Holy Quran says,

But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.(3:61)

Unanimously, exegetes of the Holy Quran and narrators of the Prophetic traditions have decided that this holy verse was revealed concerning the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a). The ‘sons’ mentioned in the verse expresses Imam Al-Hasan and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), the ‘women’ stands for Lady Fatimah (‘a), and ‘ourselves’ expresses Imam Ali (‘a).46

Let us now quote the incident from Al-Muwaffaq Al-Khawrizmi’s famous book entitled Al-Manaqib, page 159:

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, Al-Hasan, Al-Shi’bi, and Al-Siddi-all have reported this event, which is known as Mubahalah, as follows:

As the delegation of the Christians of Najran attended before the Holy Prophet (S), the archbishop who was leading them advanced and asked, ‘O Abu’l-Qasim (the Prophet’s nickname), who was the father of (Prophet) Moses?’

‘It was ‘Imran,’ answered the Prophet (S).

The archbishop then asked, ‘Who was the father of (Prophet) Joseph?’

The Prophet (S) answered, ‘It was (Prophet) Jacob?’

The archbishop then asked, ‘Who was your father?’

The Prophet (S) answered, ‘I am the son of Abdullah ibn Abd-Al-Muttalib.’

The archbishop then asked, ‘What about (Prophet) Jesus? Who was his father?’

The Prophet (S) kept silent, waiting for the Divine Revelation. Immediately, Archangel Gabriel descended with God’s saying:

Surely, the likeness of Jesus is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of the disputers.(3:59-60)

The archbishop commented, ‘What was revealed to us does not involve such information.’

Hence, Archangel Gabriel revealed to the Prophet (S) God’s saying:

If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after full knowledge has come to you, say: "Come! Let us gather together our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves. Then, let us earnestly pray and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!"(3.61)

The archbishop commented, ‘This is truly fair. When shall we meet to invoke God’s curse on the lying party?’

The Prophet (S) answered, ‘Let it be tomorrow, God willing.’

The Christian delegation then left. They advised each other, ‘If he will accompany some of his companions for the meeting tomorrow, then you shall compete with him, for, in such case, his claim is false. But if he will accompany some members of his family, then do not compete with him, for, in such case, he is truly a prophet, and if he will invoke God’s curse upon us, we will certainly be perishing.’

Some of them however declared, ‘We do know that he is the very prophet we are expecting, and if he invokes God’s curse on us, we will surely be perishing and will never go back to our families or fortunes.’

The other Jews and Christians asked, ‘What should we do, then?’

Abu’l-Harth, the bishop, suggested, ‘Since he is a generous man, we may visit him and ask him to accept our withdrawal from this competition of invocating God’s curse on the lying party.’

The next morning, the Prophet (S) invited all the people of Al-Madinah and the neighboring villages to attend that meeting, and everybody responded.

The Prophet (S) went out, Ali was behind him, Al-Hasan to his right (and he was catching his arm), Al-Husayn to his left, and Fatimah behind them. He then said,

‘Let us begin. These (Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn) are our sons, Ali and I ourselves, and this (Fatimah ) our women.’

As they saw this situation, the other party attempted to hide themselves behind any column they could find or behind each other, because they anticipated that the Prophet (S) would start invoking God’s curse on them.

They therefore moved toward him, knelt down before him, and besought, ‘Please, accept our withdrawal from this matter.’

The Prophet (S) accepted their withdrawal after they had had to pay him one thousand garments as recompense.47

16. The Holy Quran says,

There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning’ (1:76).

All exegetes of the Holy Quran and narrators of the Prophetic traditions have unanimously declared that this holy Quranic chapter (Surah) was revealed to express one of the manners of the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a). The following is an account of the event concerning which the holy Quranic chapter was revealed:

The Holy Prophet (S), with some of his companions, visited Al-Hasan and Al- Husayn who were sick. They suggested that Imam Ali (‘a) should vow a three-day fasting if they would recover their health. The Imam (‘a), as well as their mother Lady Fatimah (‘a) and Fissah, their bondwoman, participated in that vow. When Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn (‘a) were healed, the group fasted.

The Imam (‘a) had no food at that time; therefore, he had to borrow three measures of barley from Shimon, a Jew grocer. On the first day, Lady Fatimah (‘a) milled and baked one of these measures. At the very time of breaking the fast, a poor man knocked their door and said, ‘Peace be upon you, O family of Muhammad! I am a poor Muslim. Serve me with food and God may serve you from the food of Paradise.’

The Imam (‘a) gave him his share. The others did the same thing and they all passed that night without eating anything. On the second day of their fasting, an orphan complaining hunger knocked their door in the time of breaking the fast. They offered their shares and passed the second night without having anything except water. On the third day and at the very time of breaking the fast, a prisoner complaining hunger knocked their door asking for some food. They all offered him their shares before having had anything of it.

On the fourth day, Imam Ali (‘a) took Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn (‘a) to the Holy Prophet (S) while they were trembling because of hunger. ‘I am very touched for what I see,’ said the Holy Prophet (S), who walked with them to their house. There, he saw Lady Fatimah (‘a) standing in her prayer-place while her belly was stuck to her back and her eyes were deep-set. He was affected by this scene. In the meantime, Archangel Gabriel descended and said, ‘O Muhammad, enjoy it. Allah may please you with regard to your household!’

He then revealed to him Surah Al-Insan.48

17. The Holy Quran says,

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)

Exegetes of the Holy Quran and narrators of the Prophetic traditions have unanimously stated that this holy verse was revealed concerning the five individuals of the cloak; namely, the Holy Prophet, Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah , Imam Al-Hasan, and Imam Al-Husayn, peace be upon them all.

It is authentically reported that Ummu-Salamah, the veracious wife of the Holy Prophet, stated that this holy verse was revealed at her house where there were Lady Fatimah , Imam Al-Hasan, Imam Al-Husayn, and Imam Ali in addition to the Holy Prophet (S) who covered them all under his cloak and said,

‘O Allah, these are my household. So, please remove uncleanness from them and purify them with thorough purification.’

Ummu-Salamah, who tried to be with them under that cloak, asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, can I be with you?’ The Holy Prophet (S) pulled the cloak and said, ‘You are on the right.’49

18. The Holy Quran says,

On the most elevated places, there shall be men who know all by their marks. (7:46)

Ibn ‘Abbas has reported that on these most elevated places (i.e. a’raf), Al- ‘Abbas, Hamzah, Ali ibn Abi Talib, and Ja’far the two-winged are standing. They will recognize their devotees by the whiteness of their faces and their enemies by the blackness of their faces.50

19. The Holy Quran says,

Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant, which they made with Allah; so, of them is he who accomplished his vow, of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the leas. (33:23)

When he was asked about the explanation of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

O Allah, please forgive me. This verse was revealed concerning my uncle Hamzah, my cousin ‘Ubaydah ibn Al-Harith, and me. As for ‘Ubaydah, he was martyred in the Battle of Badr. As for Hamzah, he was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. As for me, I am waiting for the most wretched of all people to dye my beard with the blood of my head.51

20. The Holy Quran says,

What! Do you make one who undertakes the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the guarding of the Sacred Mosque like him who believes in Allah and the latter day and strives hard in Allah's way? They are not equal with Allah. And Allah does not guide the unjust people. (9:19)

Taking pride in his deed, Talhah ibn Shaybah said, ‘I am the custodian of the Sacred House. I have it keys in my hand and I am in charge of its curtains.’ Al-’Abbas said, ‘I am in charge of serving the pilgrims with water.’ As for Imam Ali (‘a), he said, ‘I do not understand what you are saying. I have performed prayers directing my face toward this House six months before everyone else did. I am the fighter for the sake of this religion.’

So, this holy verse was revealed to prefer Imam Ali (‘a) to the others.52

21. The Holy Quran says,

Is he then who is a believer like him who is a transgressor? They are not equal. (32:18)

One day, Al-Walid ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Abi-Ma’it boasted over Imam Ali, saying, ‘I am more eloquent than you are, my sword is sharper than yours, and I am firmer in fighting than you are.’

Answering him, Imam Ali (‘a) said, ‘Shut up! You are no more than a transgressor.’

Hence, this holy verse was revealed to compare between the two.53

22. The Holy Quran says,

What! Is he whose heart Allah has opened for Islam so that he is in a light from his Lord like the hard-hearted? Nay, woe to those whose hearts are hard against the remembrance of Allah. Those are in clear error. (39:22)

This holy verse was revealed to compare between Imam Ali and Hamzah on one side and Abu-Lahab and his sons on the other. Imam Ali and Hamzah are those whose hearts God has opened for Islam by true faith and piety, while Abu-Lahab and his sons are the hardhearted ones who are in clear error.54

23. The Holy Quran says,

Nay! Do those who have wrought evil deeds think that We will make them like those who believe and do good-- that their life and their death shall be equal? Evil it is that they judge. (45:21)

This holy verse was revealed about Imam Ali, kamzah, and ‘Ubaydah on one side and three polytheists on the other; namely, ‘Utbah, Shaybah, and Al- Walid ibn ‘Utbah who said to the believers, ‘You are following nothing! If what you are claiming is true, then our end result in the Hereafter will be better than yours, since we live better lives than yours in this world.’

Denying this false claim, the Almighty Allah demonstrates that a faithful believer who obeys Allah and His Messenger can by no means be like the unbeliever who disobeys Him.55

24. The Holy Quran says,

Surely, they who are guilty used to laugh at those who believe. (83:29)

Once, Imam Ali (‘a) and a group of Muslim individuals passed by a group of hypocrites who laughed at them and winked at each other as a sign of mockery and sarcasm. When they returned to their likes, they said, ‘Today, we saw the bald (i.e. Imam Ali) and we laughed at him.’

This holy verse was immediately revealed to the Holy Prophet (S) before Imam. Ali (‘a) was in his presence.56

25. The Holy Quran says,

O you who believe, whoever from among you turns back from his religion, then Allah will bring a people; He shall love them and they shall love Him, (they are) lowly before the believers, mighty against the unbelievers, they shall strive hard in Allah's way and shall not fear the censure of any censurer. This is Allah's Favor; He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing. (5:54)

This holy Quranic verse was revealed to express the manners of Imam Ali (‘a) and his companions who fought against the breakers of their pledge of allegiance (in the Battle of the Camel), the wrongdoers (in the Battle of Siffin), and the apostates (in the Battle of Al-Nahrawan).57

26. The Holy Quran says,

And those who disbelieve say, ‘You are not a messenger.’ Say, ‘Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and also he who has knowledge of the Book.’ (13:43)

Abu-Sa’id Al-Khidri is reported to have asked the Holy Prophet (S) about the one ‘who has knowledge of the Book’ mentioned in this holy verse.

The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

He is my brother Ali ibn Abi Talib.58

27. The Holy Quran says,

Lo! Those who believe and do good works, the Beneficent Lord will appoint for them love. (19:96)

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas is reported to have explained the word wudd (love) into love for Imam Ali (‘a) that can be felt in the hearts of the true faithful believers.59

Al-Bara' ibn ‘Azib reported that the Holy Prophet (S) said to Imam Ali (‘a), You may say this supplicatory prayer: O Allah, please make for me a covenant with You, make for me love with You, and create affection for me in the hearts of the believers.

As a consequence, Almighty Allah revealed this verse (i.e. the one involved) to express the love for Imam Ali (‘a) in the hearts of the believers.60

28. The Holy Quran says,

And He it is Who has created man from the water, then He has made for him blood relationship and marriage relationship, and your Lord is powerful. (25:54)

Ibn Sirin, a master scholar, says, ‘This holy verse was revealed about the Holy Prophet (S) and Ali ibn Abi Talibthe husband of Fatimah , because Ali was the Prophet’s cousin (blood relation) and son-in-law (marriage relation).’61

29. The Holy Quran says,

O you who believe, when you hold conference with the messenger, offer an alms before your conference. That is better and purer for you. But if you cannot find (the wherewithal), then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (58:12)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

There is a verse in the Book of Allah that no one had acted upon before me and no one will act upon after me. It is the verse of Al-najwa (holding conference). I had one dinar and I sold it for ten dirhams. Whenever I held conference with the Holy Prophet (S), I offered one dirham before my consultation. Then, this verse was repealed by this one: ‘Do you fear that you will not be able to give in charity before your consultation? So, when you do not do it and Allah has turned to you mercifully, then keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey Allah and His Messenger; and Allah is Aware of what you do.’62

30. The Holy Quran says,

Whereof do they question one another? It is of the great news. (78:1-2)

According to some traditions, the ‘great news’ mentioned in this holy verse is Imam Ali (‘a).63

Imam ‘ Ali´ explains Qur'anic verses

The Holy Quran is the most abundant treasure gifted by Almighty Allah to humanity and the most precious hoard of Islam. Almighty Allah has sent it down to His servant and Messenger to act as an endless and indeformable miracle that proves his Prophethood and demonstrates the authenticity of his mission, to amend all crookedness, to improve the deviations in this worldly life, to light up the path, to clarify the course, and to lead humanity to security and safety.

The Holy Quran is the eternal message of Almighty Allah and the shielding armor against deviation and against His chastisement. He revealed it to the best of all of His creatures, the most perfect in thought, the most sincere in faith, the most merciful, and the one whom Almighty Allah has described as follows:

Certainly, a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful. (9:128)

Declaring the Book of Almighty Allah, the Holy Messenger (S) proclaimed its verses, announced its statements, and read out its laws on people despite their various nationalities, languages, and regions.

Owing to its great scientific and notional faculties, the Holy Quran created a huge revolution in the society that was sinking in the life offenses; it has thus devastated all of the nasty traditions and customs, crafted a perfect course to run all their social, political, and economic fields of life, and founded the features of social justice that eradicated all forms of wrongdoing, transgression, and violation of the human inviolabilities.

The teachings, laws, and instructions of the Holy Quran have come to uplift all human beings, raise their entities, and make them the representatives of Almighty Allah on this globe. How abundant benefits the Holy Quran has brought to humanity, and how rich and profuse its graces and favors to people are!

It is replete with decisive and allegorical, general and particular, open and restricted verses; therefore, to interpret these verses and to acquaint oneself with the exact meaning that was revealed from the Lord of the Worlds cannot be attained except by special people whom the Holy Quran has described as the firmly rooted in knowledge.

These people are namely the members of the Holy Prophet’s Household who are the lanterns of Islam, the guides of humanity, and the occupiers of the highest ranks in the religion. They lived with the Holy Quran and familiarized themselves with its precise points, secrets, principles, and teachings. It is therefore unavoidable to refer to their explanatory words about the Holy Quran. This is the very truth that must never be suspected or disbelieved.

Needless to say, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib(‘a), the chief of the Holy Prophet’s Household, was the first to recognize the Holy Quran and apprehend its contents. The most brilliant exegete of the Holy Quran; namely, Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, was only a student of Imam Ali (‘a); so, the knowledge and sciences of Abdullah are in reality a small part of Imam Ali’s knowledge and sciences.

Imam Ali (‘a) derived his knowledge with the Holy Quran from his brother and cousin; namely, the Holy Prophet (S), who conveyed the exegesis of each single holy Quranic verse to him infact that was declared by Imam Ali (‘a) himself when he said,

I have collected every single verse of the Quran that Allah has revealed to His Prophet, who has not left a single verse of it but that he read it before me and informed me about its interpretation.64

On another occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) has said,

No a single verse of the Quran that was revealed but that I know where, about what, and for which issue it has been revealed. I also know whether it was revealed in a plain or on a mountain.65

Thus, Imam Ali (‘a) was the first to comprehend the knowledge with the Holy Quran and to be acquainted with its contents and purports.

During the reigns of the three caliphs, Imam Ali (‘a) devoted himself to explaining the Holy Quran and demonstrating the meanings of its words. He thus hit upon the affairs of the universe, the faith of monotheism, and the wonders of the creatures as well as every matter that has been mentioned in the Holy Quran.

The Holy Imams (‘a) used to refer to and take pride in the explanations of Imam Ali (‘a) so gloriously that some anti-Shi’ah people claimed that these Imams (‘a) had in their hands a copy of the Quran different from the familiar one, making this false impression a means to criticize the Shi’ah and their divinely ordained leaders.

Of course, this false claim stems from the weak pondering of these persons, because the Shi’ah believe indisputably that there is no other Quran than the one they are reciting and following and that this Quran is the very one that was revealed from the Lord of the Worlds to the Seal of the Prophets (S).

The copy that was with Imam Ali (‘a) contained nothing more than exegeses and explanations of the Holy Quran.

Most certainly, if Imam Ali (‘a) had been allowed to hold the position of leadership after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S), the life of Muslims would have developed and the genuine principles and high moral standards would have been the prevalent. This is so because Imam Ali (‘a) possessed such exceptional faculties and knowledge that none else could have their likes, because he was the door to the city of the Holy Prophet’s knowledge and sciences that are neither limited nor exhaustible.

Declaring this fact, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

Behold! By Allah, if the pillow (i.e. seat of power) had been folded for me, I would have judged between the people of the Torah according to their book until the Torah would speak out to declare, ‘’Ali is totally truthful. He has not told any lie. He has judged between you according to what Allah revealed in me.’ I would have also judged between the people of the Gospel according to their book, until the Gospel would speak out to declare, ‘’Ali is totally truthful. He has not told any lie. He has judged between you according to what Allah revealed in me.

’ I would have also judged between the people of the Quran according to their book, until the Quran would speak out to declare, ‘’Ali is totally truthful. He has not told any lie. He has judged between you according to what Allah revealed in me.’ You are reciting the Quran day and night; is there any one amongst you who knows what is exactly revealed in it? Had it not been for a single verse in the Book of Allah, I would have informed you about what had already taken place and about what will take place up to the Resurrection Day. The verse involved is this:

‘Allah effaces what He will and establishes (what He will), and with Him is the source of ordinance. (13:39)’66

It is unfortunate that the Muslim community could not benefit from the scientific faculties and knowledge of this man; therefore, they were deprived of the amazing secrets of the Holy Quran.

Once again, it is unfortunate that we could not find any book that comprised the exegeses of Imam Ali (‘a) of the entire Holy Quran; rather, some exegetes have only referred to some snapshots appertained to the Imam’s explanatory words of some Quranic verses.

In the coming lines, I will bring up these explanatory words to demonstrate the profundity of Imam Ali’s knowledge with the Holy Quran. Before that, I will state some points that reveal Imam Ali’s view about the Holy Quran.

Describing the Holy Book of Almighty Allah, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Certainly, the outside of the Quran is wonderful and its inside is deep in meaning. Its wonders will never disappear, its amazements will never pass away, and its intricacies cannot be cleared except through itself.67

The Quran Is Illumination

Talking about the Divine grace of revealing the Holy Quran, Imam Ali says,

Then, Allah sent to him (i.e. the Holy Prophet) the Book as a light whose flames cannot be extinguished, a lamp whose gleam does not die, a sea whose depth cannot be sounded, a way whose direction does not mislead, a ray whose light does not darken, a separator (of good from evil) whose arguments do not weaken, a clarifier whose foundations cannot be dismantled, a cure which leaves no apprehension for disease, an honor whose supporters are not defeated, and a truth whose helpers are not abandoned.

Therefore, it is the mine of belief and its centre, the source of knowledge and its oceans, the plantation of justice and its pools, the foundation-stone of Islam and its construction, the valleys of truth and its plains, an ocean which those who draw water cannot empty, springs which those who draw water cannot dry up, a watering place which those who come to take water cannot exhaust, a staging place in moving towards which travelers do not get lost, signs which no treader fails to see and a highland which those who approach it cannot surpass it.

Allah has made it a quencher of the thirst of the learned, a bloom for the hearts of religious jurists, a highway for the ways of the righteous, a cure after which there is no ailment, an effulgence with which there is no darkness, a rope whose grip is strong, a stronghold whose top is invulnerable, an honor for him who loves it, a peace for him who enters it, a guidance for him who follows it, an excuse for him who adopts it, an argument for him who argues with it, a witness for him who quarrels with it, a success for him who argues with it, a carrier of burden for him who seeks the way, a shield for him who arms himself (against misguidance), a knowledge for him who listens carefully, worthy story for him who relates
it and a final verdict of him who passes judgments.68

The Quran Speaks

In one of his brilliant descriptions of the Holy Quran, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The Book of Allah is among you. It speaks and its tongue does not falter. It is a house whose pillars do not fall down and a power whose supporters are never routed.69

The Holy Quran Tells About The Past And Predicts The Future

About the discourses of the Holy Quran, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The Quran contains news about the past, predictions about the future, and commandments for the present.70

The Holy Quran; The Rope Of Allah

Instructing his companions to abide by the Holy Quran, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

You should adhere to the Book of Allah, because it is the strong rope, a clear light, a benefiting cure, a quenching for thirst, protection for the adherent, and deliverance for the attached. It does not curve so as to need straightening and does not deflect so as to be corrected. Frequency of its repetition and its falling on ears does not make it old. Whoever speaks according to it, speaks truth and whoever acts by it is forward in action.71

The Holy Quran; An Adviser

About the virtue and importance of the Holy Quran, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Know that this Quran is an adviser who never deceives, a leader who never misleads, and a narrator who never speaks a lie. No one will sit beside this Quran but that when he rises he will achieve one addition or one diminution or addition in his guidance or elimination in his spiritual blindness.

You must also know that no one will need anything after guidance from the Quran and no one will be free from want before guidance from the Quran. Therefore, seek cure from it for your ailments and seek its assistance in your distresses. It contains a cure for the biggest diseases; namely, unbelief, hypocrisy, revolt and misguidance. Pray to Allah through it and turn to Allah with its love. Do not ask the people through it. There is nothing like it through which the people should turn to Allah, the Sublime.

Know that it is an interceder and its intercession will be accepted. It is a speaker who is testified. For whoever the Quran intercedes on the Judgment Day, its intercession for him will be accepted. He about whom the Quran speaks ill on the Judgment Day shall testify to it.

On the Judgment Day, an announcer will announce ‘Beware! Every sower of a crop is in distress except the sowers of the Quran.’ Therefore, you should be among the sowers of the Quran and its followers. Make it your guide towards Allah. Seek its advice for yourselves, do not trust your views against it, and regard your desires in the matter of the Quran as deceitful.72

The Holy Quran; The True Guidance

Imam Ali (‘a) says about the true guidance of the Holy Quran,

Be it known to you that the Quran is the true guidance in daylight and the light in the murky night although it requires much effort and it may lead to indigence.73

Imam Ali Encourages Learning The Holy Quran

Encouraging his followers to learn the Holy Quran, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Learn the Quran, for it is the fairest of discourses; and understand it thoroughly, for it is the best blossoming of hearts. Seek cure with its light, for it is the cure for hearts. Recite it beautifully, for it is the most beautiful narration. Certainly, a scholar who acts not according to his knowledge is like the off-headed ignorant who does not find relief from his ignorance, but on the learned the plea of Allah is greater and grief more incumbent, and he is more blameworthy before Allah.74

One day, Imam Ali (‘a) advised Ghalib ibn Sa’•a’ah Al-Mujashi'i to encourage his son, Al-Farazdaq, to learn the Holy Quran rather than poetry. He thus said to him,

Make him learn the Quran, for it is better for him than learning poetry.75

Supplicatory Prayer At Completing Reciting The Holy Quran

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said this supplicatory prayer whenever he completed reciting the Holy Quran entirely:

O Allah, I beseech You for the humbleness of those who humble themselves before You, for the sincerity of those possessing certainty, for the companionship of the pious ones, for the worthiness of the truths of faith, for gaining a share of all pious deeds, for safety from all sins, for the merit of Your mercy, for the qualifications of winning Your forgiveness, for winning Paradise, and for salvation from Hellfire.76

The Imam (‘a) is also reported to have said this supplicatory prayer at the accomplishment of reciting the Holy Quran entirely:

O Allah, please expand my breast with the Quran, actuate my body with the Quran, enlighten my sight with the Quran, liberate my tongue by the Quran, and help me to mould my life according to the Quran so long as you make me live, for verily there is neither power nor might save with You.77

The Holy Quran; The Springtime Of Hearts

Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have described the Holy Quran as follows:

Allah the Glorified has not counseled anyone on the lines of this Quran, for it is the strong rope of Allah and His trustworthy means. It contains the blossoming of the heart and springs of knowledge. For the heart, there is no other gloss than the Quran.78

Imam Ali’s Exegeses Of Quranic Verses

It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a) once said in the presence of a group of people,

Ask me whatever you want to know about the Book of Allah. By Allah, no verse of the Book of Allah that was revealed at night, in daylight, during a journey, or in a residence place but that Allah’s Messenger recited it before me and taught me its interpretation.

One of the filthy persons of that community said to the Imam (‘a) sarcastically,

‘What about the verses that were revealed to him while you were absent?’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

The Messenger of Allah used to retain for me whatever Quranic verses that would be revealed to him while I was absent. Then, when I came to him, he would recite these verses before me. He would then say to me, ‘O Ali, in your absence, Allah has revealed to me such-and-such, and its interpretation is such-and-such.’ So, he would convey to me the revelations and the interpretations.79

Surah Al-Fatihah

About the first verse in Surah Al-Fatihah (No. 1); i.e. bismi (a)llahi Al- rahmani Al-rahim (basmalah), Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The basmalah in the beginning of each Surah is part of it. The end of each Surah was recognized when the basmalah was revealed to declare the beginning of a new Surah. The basmalah was the exordium of whatever Book Almighty Allah has revealed from the heavens.

Confirming the basmalah to be part of Surah Al-Fatihah, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The basmalah is part of Surah Al-Fatihah. The Messenger of Allah (S) used to recite and regard it as a verse of Surah Al-Fatihah. He would say, ‘Surah Al-Fatihah (i.e. the exordium of the Quran) is the seven oft-repeated verses (i.e. Al-sab ‘ Al-mathani ).80

Explaining the word Al-Rahman, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Al-Rahman (the All-beneficent) means the compassionate to His creatures through His conferrals with sustenance. He never stops sending them the material of His sustenance even if they stop worshipping Him.81

About the significance of Surah Al-Fatihah, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

I heard Allah’s Messenger quoting Almighty Allah as saying: I have divided the Exordium of the Book (Surah Al-Fatihah) between Me and My servant. Half of it is Mine and the other half belongs to My servant. My servant can get whatever he asks for. When the servant says, ‘bismiallahi alrahmani alrahimi (In the Name of Allah the All-beneficent, the All- merciful)’ Allah the Exalted and Magnificent will say, ‘My servant started with My Name. It is now incumbent upon Me to perfect his affair and bless his conditions.’

When he says, ‘Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi Al- ‘alamina (Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds)’ Allah the Exalted and Magnificent says, ‘My servant expressed praise to Me and recognized that the blessings that he possesses are from Me and that the calamities which are fended off from him have been fended off by My power. I take you (O angels) as witnesses that I will add the blessings of the Hereafter to his worldly blessings and will fend off the calamities of the Hereafter from him just as I fended off the worldly calamities from him.’

When he says, ‘alrahmani alrahimi (the All-beneficent, the All-merciful)’ Allah the Exalted and Magnificent will say, ‘My servant testified that I am All-beneficent and All-merciful. I take you to witness that I will increase his share of My mercy and expand his share of My beneficence.’

When he says, ‘Maliki yawmi aldini (Master of the Judgment Day),’ Allah the Exalted and Magnificent will say, ‘I take you as witness and I bear witness that as he (i.e. the servant) has testified that I am the Master of the Judgment Day, I will make his reckoning easy on the Reckoning Day, I will admit his good deeds, and I will forgive his bad deeds.’

When he says, ‘iyyaka na ‘budu (You alone do we worship),’ Allah the Honorable and Exalted will say, ‘My servant is right. He only worships Me. Bear witness that I will grant him such a reward for this worshipping that whoever opposes him in this worship will envy him.’

When he says, ‘waiyyakanasta ‘inu (and Your aid alone do we seek),’ Allah the Honorable and Exalted will say, ‘My servant is seeking My help and is taking refuge in Me. I take you to witness that I will assist him in his affairs and will support him in times of difficulty, and rescue him on days of hardship.’

When he says, ‘ihdina Alsirata almustaqima sirata alladhina an ‘amta ‘alayhimghayrialmaghsubi ‘alayhimwalaalsallina (Show us the straight way: the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray),’ Allah the Honorable and Exalted will say, ‘This is My servant. Whatever My servant wants is considered fulfilled and whatever he wills will be done. I will protect him against what he fears.’82

Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said that Surah Al-Fatihah was revealed in the holy city of Makkah.

About the meaning of Alhamd (praise), Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Allah has made His servants recognize some of His blessings on the whole, since they cannot recognize all of His blessings in detail, because these blessings are too much to be enumerated or recognized. Thus, He teaches them to say: Praise be to Allah for the blessings, which the Lord of the Worlds has bestowed upon us.

All things, including the animate and inanimate, are the creations of Almighty Allah. He manages the animate things with His power, feeds them their sustenance, protects them behind His shield, and plans all of their affairs according to His plans. He maintains the inanimate things with His might. He keeps what is held together from tearing apart and keeps what is in separate parts from collapsing into one. He keeps the sky from falling do wn except with His permission, and prevents the earth from sinking in except with His permission, since He is Kind and Merciful to His servants.83

Explaining the phrase rabbi Al’alamin (the Cherisher of the Worlds), Imam Ali (‘a) continues to say,

Allah is the owner of the groups, their Creator, and the Provider of their daily bread through ways that they know and ways that they do not know. The daily sustenance is divided up. It will reach the children of Adam (i.e. human beings) no matter which way they go in this world. One’s piety will not cause an increase in it nor will a wicked person’s corruption cause a decrease in his share of the daily bread. There is a veil in between one and his share of the daily bread, and he is running after his daily bread. If one tries to escape from his share of the daily bread, it will follow him just as death does.84

About the exegesis of ihdina Al•irata almustaqima (Show us the straight way), Imam Ali (‘a) says,

It means: Maintain for us success that is granted by You through which we obeyed You in our past days, so that we will keep on obeying You in the coming days of our lifetimes.85

According to another report, Imam Ali (‘a) explained the straight way to be the Book of Almighty Allah.86

About the exegesis of sirata alladhina an’amta ‘alayhim ghayri almaghsubi ‘alayhim wa la alzallin (The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray), Imam Ali (‘a) says,

It means: Lead us to the way of those whom You have endued with the grace of granting them success to follow Your religion and obedience to You, not by means of wealth and health; otherwise, they may become atheists or sinful. About those people, Allah has said,

‘Whoso obeys Allah and the Messenger, they are with those to whom Allah has shown favor; of the prophets, the saints, the martyrs, and the righteous. The best of company are they. (4:69).87

Surah Al-Baqarah
Exegesis of Verse No. 7

This holy Quranic verse reads,

Allah has sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. (2:7)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

According to His infinite knowledge, Almighty Allah has known that these people will not believe; He therefore set a seal upon their hearts and hearings so that His determination about them will be compatible to His infinite knowledge with them. Listen to this saying of Him, the All- exalted:

Had Allah known of any good in them, He would have made them hear. (8:23)’88

Exegesis of Verse No. 29

This holy Quranic verse reads,

He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things. (2:29)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Allah is the One Who has created for you whatever is in and on the earth so that you will learn lessons from these, attain to His pleasure, and safeguard yourselves from the chastisement of His fires. He then directed Himself to the heavens; i.e. His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments. He has full knowledge with everything; knowledge with what benefits you. He therefore created whatever is in the earth for the benefit of you the children of Adam (i.e. human beings).89

Exegesis of Verse No. 34

This holy Quranic verse reads,

And when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam.’ They fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (2:34)

Asking Imam Ali (‘a) bout the miracles of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) in comparison with the miracles of the previous prophets, a Jew said, ‘As for Adam, Allah made His angels prostrate themselves before him. Did he do such a thing with Muhammad?’

Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

It is true that Allah ordered His angels to prostrate themselves before Adam, but their prostration was not obedience to Adam, which may falsely indicate that they worshipped Adam other than Allah the Almighty and All-exalted; rather, they only prostrated themselves to express the virtue of Adam and the mercy of Allah to him.

As for Muhammad (S), he was granted more virtuous thing than this was. Allah the All-majestic and All- high, in His grandeur, sent blessings upon Muhammad and ordered all the angels to pray His blessings for him. The believers worship Almighty Allah through invoking His blessings upon Muhammad. This was an additional favor to him.90

Exegesis of Verse No. 45

This holy Quranic verse reads,

Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble- minded. (2:45)

Whenever a terrifying matter troubled Imam Ali (‘a), he would hurry to offer a prayer and repeat the holy verse involved.91

He (‘a) is also reported to have said,

Whenever an unbearable misfortune afflicts one of you, one must observe fasting, because Allah the All-exalted says, ‘Seek help in patience and prayer.’ ‘Patience’ in this verse stands for fasting.92

Exegesis of Verse No. 46

This holy Quranic verse reads,

(They are those) Who know that they will have to meet their Lord, and that to Him they are returning. (2:46)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

It means that these people are certain that they will be resurrected, raised from the dead, interrogated for their deeds, and then either rewarded for their good deeds or punished for their evildoings. In this verse, the word ‘yasunnuna ‘ means that they are sure.93

Exegesis of Verse No. 48

This holy Quranic verse reads,

And guard yourselves against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped. (2:48)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

Whoever does not believe in the existence of my (Divine) pond, may Allah never make him approach my pond! Whoever does not believe in my (right of) intercession, may Allah never grant him my intercession! My intercession will be for the people of my community who had committed grand sins. As for the good-doers, they are not answerable.94

Exegesis of Verse No. 59

This holy Quranic verse reads,

And when Moses said to his people, ‘O my people! You have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship); so, turn in penitence to your Creator and kill yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful. (2:54)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

These people said to Moses, ‘What form must our repentance take?’ He answered, ‘You must kill each other.’ So, they took blades and each one of them started killing his brother, father, and son. They did not care whom they would kill. When seventy thousand persons were killed, Allah the All- exalted revealed to Moses, saying, ‘Order them to stop killing. The killed ones have been forgiven and the survivors’ repentance has been admitted.’95

Exegesis of Verse No. 114

This holy Quranic verse reads;

And who does greater wrong than he who forbids the approach to the sanctuaries of Allah lest His name should be mentioned therein, and strives for their ruin? As for such, it was never meant that they should enter them except in fear. Theirs in the world is ignominy and theirs in the Hereafter is an awful doom. (2:114)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Sanctuaries of Allah include the entire earth, because the Holy Prophet (S) has said, ‘The entire earth has been made a place of prostration for me, and its dust has been made pure.’96

Exegesis of Verse No. 159

This holy Quranic verse reads,

Lo! Those who hide the proofs and the guidance, which We revealed after We had made it clear to mankind in the Scripture, such are accursed of Allah and accursed of those who have the power to curse. (2:159)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have explained this verse to mean the scholars when they turn to corruption.97

Exegesis of Verse No. 186

This holy Quranic verse reads,

And when My servants question you concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he cries to Me. So, let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. (2:186)

In his instructive will to his son Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Then He (i.e. Almighty Allah) has placed the keys to His treasuries in your hands in the sense that He has shown you the way to ask Him. Therefore, wherever you wish, open the doors of His favor with prayer and let the abundant rains of His mercy fall on you. Delay in acceptance of the prayer should not disappoint you, because the grant of prayer is according to the measure of your intention.

Sometimes, acceptance of prayer is delayed with a view to its being a source of greater reward to the asker and of better gifts to the expectant. Sometimes, you ask for a thing but it is not given to you, and a better thing is given to you later or a thing is taken away from you for some greater good of yours, because sometimes you ask for a thing, which contains ruin for your religion if it is given to you.

Therefore, your request should be for things whose beauty should be lasting and whose burden should remain away from you. As for wealth, it will not last for you nor will you live for it.

Exegesis of Verse No. 189

The Holy Quran reads,

They ask you concerning the new moon. Say, ‘They are times appointed for the benefit of men, and for the pilgrimage. And it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs, but righteousness is this that one should guard against evil and go into the houses by their doors and be careful of your duty to Allah, that you may be successful. (2:189)

Al-A•bagh ibn Nubatah reports that he was sitting in the presence of Imam Ali (‘a) when Ibn Al-Kawwa' came and asked, ‘What are the houses about which Allah has said, ‘It is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs’ etc?’’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

We are the houses that Allah has ordered to be come from their gates. We are the door to Allah and the houses of Him from which He must be come. So, whoever follows us and professes the divinely ordained loyalty to us, has in fact come to the houses from their gates; but whoever disagrees with us and prefers others to us, has in fact come to the houses from their backs.98

Exegesis of Verse No. 253

The Holy Quran reads,

Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some to whom Allah spoke, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty) and We supported him with the holy Spirit. And if Allah had so willed it, those who followed after them would not have fought one with another after the clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed, some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another; but Allah does what He wills. (2:253)

On one occasion, a man asked Imam Ali (‘a), ‘O Amir Al-Mu'minin, these people professed the greatness of Allah as same as we did, professed His being the one and only God as same as we did, and performed the prayers as same as we did. Now, on which basis will we fight against them?’

Imam Ali (‘a) said,

We will fight against them on the basis of this holy Quranic verse’

He then read the holy verse involved, and commented, “We are the party that believed, and they are the party that disbelieved.99

Exegesis of Verse No. 267

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad (with intent) to spend thereof (in charity) when you would not take it for yourselves save with disdain; and know that Allah is Absolute, Owner of Praise. (2:267)

Explaining the phrase tayyibati ma kasabtum (the good things which you have earned), Imam Ali (‘a) states that these good things stand for gold and silver. About wa-mimma akhrajna lakum min Al-arsI (and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you), Imam Ali (‘a) states that these things include all seeds, fruits, and whatever is subjected to the religious zakat tax.100

Surah Al-’Imran
Exegesis of Verse No.7

The Holy Quran reads,

He it is Who has revealed unto you (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations. They are the substance of the Book and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knows its explanation save Allah and those who are of sound instruction; they say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. (3:7)

About the clear and the allegorical revelations, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Each and every verse in the Holy Quran has four meanings; apparent, inward, provision, and clear. The apparent meaning stands for the meaning understood from reciting the verse, which is, in other words, the purport and the apparent meaning of the word. The inward meaning is what is actually meant by the verse. The provision stands for the laws that reveal what is legal and what is illegal to do. The clear meaning stands for what Almighty Allah wants His servant to understand from the verse.101

The holy Quranic verse involved condemns those who follow the allegorical revelations and cite them as evidence on their false beliefs, intending for nothing but sedition and corruption. Imam Ali (‘a) has also condemned these people, saying,

When a problem is put before anyone of them, he passes judgment on it from his imagination. When exactly the same problem is placed before another of them, he passes an opposite verdict. Then, these judges go to the chief (i.e. a deviate ruler) who had appointed them and he confirms all the verdicts, although their God (i.e. Almighty Allah) is One (and the same), their Prophet is one (and the same), and their Book (i.e. the Quran) is one (and the same).

Is it that Allah ordered them to differ and they obeyed Him? Or He prohibited them from it but they disobeyed Him? Or (is it that) Allah sent an incomplete faith and sought their help to complete it? Or they are His partners in the affairs, so that it is their share of duty to pronounce and He has to agree? Or is it that Allah the Glorified sent a perfect faith but the Prophet fell short of conveying it and handing it over (to the people)? The fact is that Allah the Glorified says,

‘We have not neglected anything in the Book (i.e. the Holy Quran). (6:38)’

And He says that one part of the Quran verifies another part and that there is no divergence in it as He says,

‘And if it had been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much discrepancy. (4:82)’

Certainly, the outside of the Quran is wonderful and its inside is deep (in meaning). Its wonders will never disappear, its amazements will never pass away, and its intricacies cannot be cleared except through itself.102

The holy Quranic verse involved also demonstrates that none can recognize the actual interpretation of the revelations except Almighty Allah and those who are firm in knowledge and sound in instruction; namely, the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a). Referring to this fact, Imam Ali (‘a), in one of his discourses with Mu’awiyah, says,

O Mu’awiyah, the Quran is verily true, illumination, true guidance, mercy, and remedy for the faithful believers. However, for those who do not believe, there is deafness in their ears and the Quran is blindness for them.

O Mu’awiyah, Allah the Almighty and All-majestic has not left any category of devious people as well as those who invite others to Hellfire without being refuted and put under an argument from the Quran. He has then warned against following them, revealing in this respect clear-cut Quranic texts that some people understood while others could not. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying,

‘Each and every verse in the Quran has inward and outward meanings and each and every letter in the Quran has an interpretation.’ Yet, ‘None knows its explanation save Allah and those who are firm in knowledge.’ Those who are firm in knowledge are namely we (i.e. the Holy Prophet’s Household). Then, Allah ordered the community to say,

‘We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed.’ He has also ordered them to submit to us. In this respect, Allah says, ‘If they had referred it to the messenger and to such of them as are in authority, those among them who are able to think out the matter would have known it.( 4:83)’

The Ahl Al- Bayt (‘a) are those who must be questioned about the Holy Quran, since they alone can answer.103

Exegesis of Verse No. 19

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Religion with Allah is Islam (i.e. surrender to the will and guidance of Allah). Those who formerly received the Scripture differed only after knowledge came unto them, through transgression among themselves. Whoever disbelieves the revelations of Allah, then Allah is swift at reckoning. (3:19)

About the religion of Islam, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

I will define Islam in such a way that no one else has defined before me and no one will be able to do after me. Islam is submission, submission is conviction, conviction is affirmation, affirmation is acknowledgement, acknowledgement is discharge of obligations, and discharge of obligations is action.

Verily, a true believer receives his beliefs from his Lord and never receives it from his personal opinion.

O people, abide by your religion! Abide by your religion and hold fast to it. Do not let anyone pull you off, because a sin while following this religion is better than a good deed while following another religion, since to commit a sin in this religion may be forgiven, but to do a good deed outside it, will not be accepted.104

Exegesis of Verse No. 27

The Holy Quran reads,

You cause the night to pass into the day, You cause the day to pass into the night, You bring forth the living from the dead, You bring forth the dead from the living, and You give sustenance to whom You choose without stint. (3:27)

About Almighty Allah’s sustenance, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Sustenance is of two kinds: a sustenance that you seek and a sustenance that seeks you, which is such that if you do not reach it, it will come to you. Do not make yourself worry about your present day, because the sustenance of each day of your lifetime will suffice you from being concerned about it. If the new day has been already determined to be within the days of your lifetime, then Allah the All-exalted will bring to you what He has decided for you in the new day, but if the new day has not been decided to be within the days of your lifetime, then it is improper that you care for what is not yours.

No seeker of sustenance will be able to precede you to your predetermined sustenance and no one, no matter how strong he is, will be able to overcome you with regard to the sustenance that has been decided for you earlier. What has been decided for you will not fail to reach you.105

Exegesis of Verse No. 28

The Holy Quran reads,

Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso does that has no connection with Allah unless it be that you guard yourselves against them, taking as it were security. Allah bids you beware only of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying. (3:28)

Although this holy Quranic verse has forbidden any connection between the believers and the unbelievers, it has made some exceptions in such states like self-protection (taqiyyah).

About the legality of taqiyyah, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Almighty Allah has ordered you to practice taqiyyah (i.e. self-protection) in the affairs of your religion, for He says, ‘Beware lest you expose yourself to destruction and lest you abandon practicing self-protection, which I have ordered you to practice.

If you do it not, you will expose the blood of your brethren-in-faith and you to shedding, you will cause their and your blessings to be faded away, and you will cause them and yourself to humiliation at the hands of the enemies.’ Verily, Allah the All-exalted has ordered you to maintain dignity of your brethren-in-faith.106

Exegesis of Verse No. 68

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Those of humankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who believe with him; and Allah is the Protecting Guardian of the believers. (3:68)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Those of humankind who have the best claim of the prophets are those who are the most acquainted with what these prophets came with.

The Imam (‘a) then cited the holy verse involved as evidence. He then continued to say,

Verily, the patron of Muhammad is only one who obeys Allah even if he has no family relationship with the Prophet. Similarly, the true enemy of Muhammad is only one who disobeys Allah, even if he has a close family relationship with the Prophet.107

Exegesis of Verse No. 81

The Holy Quran reads,

And when Allah made a covenant through the prophets: Certainly, what I have given you of Book and wisdom-- then a messenger comes to you verifying that which is with you, you must believe in him, and you must aid him. He said: Do you affirm and accept My compact in this (matter)? They said: We do affirm. He said: Then bear witness, and I (too) am of the bearers of witness with you. (3:81)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Since Adam and on, Almighty Allah made covenants with all of the prophets that they should believe in and support Muhammad (S) if he would be sent in their lifetimes. He also ordered them all to make the same covenant with their communities.

Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said about this holy Quranic verse,

Almighty Allah had made covenant with the prophets who came before our Prophet that they should inform their communities about his advent, describe him for them, give them the good tidings of his advent, and order them to give credence to him.108

Exegesis of Verse No. 96

The Holy Quran reads,

Most surely, the first house appointed for men is the one at Bakkah, blessed and guidance for the nations. (3:96)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have been asked whether the Sacred House was the first house on earth. He (‘a) answered,

No, it was not. There were other houses before this House. Rather, it was the first blessed house appointed for people, since it holds true guidance, mercy, and blessings. It was the first house built by (Prophet) Abraham.

The House was then reconstructed by some Arab people from the Yemenite tribe of Jurhum. The House was then demolished, but the Giants (i.e. ‘amaliqah) rebuilt it. It was once again demolished, but the people of the tribe of Quraysh rebuilt it.109

Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said,

Houses were built before the construction of the Sacred House (i.e. the Ka’bah); rather, it was the first house to be dedicated to worshipping Almighty Allah.110

Exegesis of Verse No. 102

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, be careful of your duty to Allah with the care, which is due to Him; and do not die unless you are Muslims. (3:102)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

By Allah, none carried out this verse except the members of the Holy Prophet’s Household. We mention Almighty Allah in such a way that we never forget Him. We thanked Him in such as way that we never show ingratitude to Him. We obeyed Him in such a way that we never go against Him.111

Exegesis of Verse No. 133

The Holy Quran reads,

And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden the extensiveness of which is as the heavens and the earth; it is prepared for those who are righteous. (3:133)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Verily, you shall never win Paradise except by means of piety and righteousness.112

Exegesis of Verse No. 149

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, if you obey those who disbelieve, they will turn you back upon your heels, so you will turn back losers. (3:149)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said that this holy verse was revealed about the situation of Abdullah ibn Ubayy who was with the Holy Prophet (S) in the Battle of Uhud when other Muslims absconded. He thus went on shouting at the Muslims,

‘Go back to your brethren-in-faith! Go back to your religion!’113

Exegesis of Verse No. 200

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that you may prosper. (3:200)

Imam Ali (‘a) explains ‘perseverance’ to mean waiting for the times of prayers so as to perform them in their best times.114

Surah Al-Nisa'
Exegesis of Verse No. 1

The Holy Quran reads,

O mankind, be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain has spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah has been a watcher over you. (4:1)

About this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Build good relationships with your relatives at least by means of exchanging greetings with them, for Allah the All-exalted says, ‘Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim your rights of one another, and toward the wombs that bare you.’115

Al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah is reported to have heard Imam Ali (‘a) saying,

One of you may be angered so violently that he will never become satisfied until he enters Hellfire because of that anger. Therefore, whoever of you becomes angry with a family member, should reach out and touch him, because when kinship is touched, it calms down. Kinship is hanged to the Divine Throne wherefrom it calls out, ‘O Allah, please build good relationship with whoever regards me, and rupture Your relationship with whoever ruptures me.’116

Exegesis of Verse No. 23

The Holy Quran reads,

Forbidden unto you are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your foster-mothers, your foster-sisters, your mothers- in-law, and your step-daughters who are under your protection (born) of your women unto whom you have gone in - but if you have not gone in unto them, then it is no sin for you (to marry their daughters) - and the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins. And (it is forbidden unto you) that you should have two sisters together, except what has already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. (4:23)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

You are forbidden to marry your stepdaughters along with their mothers that you have gone in unto them, even if they were in your labs before or after you have gone in unto their mothers.117

Exegesis of Verse No. 29

The Holy Quran reads,

And kill not yourselves. Lo! Allah is ever Merciful unto you. (4:29)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have asked the Holy Prophet (S) as to how those who have splints (i.e. a strip of rigid material used to support and immobilize a broken limb when set) fixed on their broken organs can perform the ritual ablution (i.e. wusu') and can perform the ritual bathing when they are ceremonially impure.

The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

‘For such people, it is acceptably sufficient to rub water over the splints.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

‘In case that one anticipates malady if one pours water on one’s body in order to perform the ritual ablutions and bathing, then what can such a person do?’

The Holy Prophet (S), answering this question, read the holy Quranic verse involved.118

Exegesis of Verse No. 58

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Allah commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and, if you judge between humankind, that you judge justly. Lo! Comely is this, which Allah admonishes you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer. (4:58)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

It is obligatory upon a leader to judge according to what Allah has revealed and to restore the deposits. If he does so, then it is obligatory upon people to listen to and obey him and to respond when they are called.119

Exegesis of Verse No. 59

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority. And if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if you are in truth believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end. (4:59)

Jabir ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari has reported that when this holy Quranic verse was revealed, he said to the Holy Prophet (S), ‘O Allah’s Messenger, we know Allah and His Messenger, but who are those in authority the obedience to whom has been matched by Allah to the obedience to you?’

The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

O Jabir, these are my vicegerents. The first of them is Ali ibn Abi Talib. Then comes Al-Hasan. Then comes Al-Husayn. Then comes Ali the son of Al-Husayn. Then comes Muhammad the son of Ali whom is named in the Torah Al-Baqir (i.e. the splitter of knowledge). You, Jabir, will catch him. When you meet him, send my greetings to him. Then comes Al-Sadiq (i.e. the most veracious) Ja’far the son of Muhammad. Then comes Musa the son of Ja’far. Then comes Ali the son of Musa.

Then comes Muhammad the son of Ali. Then comes Muhammad the son of Ali. Then comes Al- Hasan the son of Ali. Then comes my namesake Muhammad who holds the same kunyah (i.e. epithet) of me. He is the Argument-person of Allah on His lands and the one who represents Allah’s vestige amongst His servants.

He is the son of Al-Hasan the son of Ali. At his hands, Allah exalted be His mention shall conquer the east and the west of the globe. He shall be occulted from his partisans and devotees so long that none will be steadfast in accepting his Imamate (i.e. divinely-ordained leadership) except those whom Allah has tried their hearts in true faith.

Jabir asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, will his partisans be benefited from him during his occultation?’

The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

Yes, they will. I swear this by the One Who has sent me as prophet; they will derive from his illumination and benefit from their loyalty to him despite his occultation as same as other people benefit from the sun when it is overcast by clouds. O Jabir, this is one of the hoarded secrets of Allah and the stored knowledge of Him. So, try to keep it concealed except from those who are worthy enough to receive it.120

Abu-Basir has reported that Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (‘a) said,

This holy verse (i.e. the one involved) was revealed to express the Divinely ordained loyalty to Ali ibn Abi Talib(‘a).

Abu-Basir asked, ‘People say: If it is so, then what has prevented the Quran from mentioning the name of Ali and the Ahl Al-Bayt openly?’

Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (‘a), instructing his disciple, said, you may answer them as follows:

When Almighty Allah ordered of performing the prayers through His revelations, He did not specify whether the units of these prayers should be three or four; rather, it was the Messenger of Allah (S) who explained these details to them. Likewise, Almighty Allah ordered of going on the Hajj pilgrimage through His revelations, but He did not order them to circumambulate the Holy Ka’bah seven times; rather, it was the Messenger of Allah (S) who explained these details. Almighty Allah also revealed this holy verse:

‘O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority,’ to express the obligatory loyalty to Ali, Al-Hasan, and Husayn (in their capacity as the next leaders of the community). The Messenger of Allah (S) hence said, ‘As for whoever has taken my as his master, Ali is now his master.’

He (S) also said, ‘I order you all to adhere to the Book of Allah and to my Household. I have besought Allah not to separate the two from one another until they join me on the Divine Pond, and He responded to my prayer.’

He (S) also said, ‘Do not try to guide them (i.e. the members of the Prophet’s Household) what to do, because they are always more knowledgeable than you are. They shall never lead you out of any door of true guidance and they shall never take you into any door of misguidance.’ If the Messenger of Allah (S) had kept silent and had not referred to the very people intended in that holy verse, such people like the families of Al- ‘Abbas, ‘Aqil, and other persons would have claimed being part of the Ahl Al-Bayt.

Therefore, Almighty Allah has revealed in His Book saying, ‘Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying.’ So, it was incumbent to interpret this holy verse by stating that it included Ali, Al-Hasan, Al- Husayn, and Fatimah exclusively.

Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (S) took the hands of Ali, Fatimah, Al-Hasan, and Al-Husayn, placed them under the cloak at the chamber of Ummu-Salamah, and said, ‘O Allah, every prophet has precious folks and family members. These are my precious folks and family members.’ Ummu-Salamah asked, ‘Am I not one of your family members?’ The Messenger of Allah (S) answered, ‘You are heading towards a good result, but these ones are my precious folks and family members.’121

Sulaym ibn Qays has reported that Imam Ali (‘a), once, said to him,

Verily, the least of that with which a servant (of Allah) is considered straying off is when he does not know the Authority of Allah the Most Blessed and Most High and does not know His witness over His servants. The Authority about whom Allah the Most Majestic and Most Holy has commanded His servants to obey and has made it obligatory upon them to show love and affection are the ones divinely appointed as guardians of the community.

Sulaym asked, ‘O Amir Al-Mu’minin, describe them (the people who possess Divine Authority) for me.’

The Imam (‘a) said,

They are those whom Allah the Most Majestic and Most Holy has mentioned along with His Own Self and His Holy Prophet saying, ‘O you who believe, obey Allah, His Messenger, and your leaders (people who possess Divine Authority)...’

Sulaym asked, ‘O Amir Al-Mu’minin, may Allah keep my soul in service for your cause! Explain it to me.’

The Imam (‘a) said,

They (people who possess Divine Authority) are those about whom the Messenger of Allah in his last sermon on the day that Allah the Most Majestic and Most Holy took him (from this world) said, ‘I leave among you behind me two matters. If you hold firmly to these two, you will never stray off: the book of Allah and my descendants, my family.

The Most Subtle and Most Expert Allah has informed me that these two will never separate from each other until they will arrive before me at the pond in Paradise like this he joined his index finger and thumb not like this he joined his middle finger and thumb so that one may proceed before the other. If you hold firmly to these two, you will not slip or stray off; and if you precede others to them, you will certainly stray off.’122

Exegesis of Verse No. 69

The Holy Quran reads,

Whoso obeys Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favor, of the prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they. (4:69)

Imam Ali (‘a) reported that a man from the Ansar came to the Holy Prophet (S) and asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, I cannot stand being away from you. It frequently happened that as soon as I entered my house, you came to my mind; therefore, I leave my place and come to see you on account of my fondness of you. You have mentioned that, on the Resurrection Day, you will be allowed to enter Paradise and raised to the highest top of it. Then, how will I be able to see you?’

Immediately, Almighty Allah revealed the verse involved. So, the Holy Prophet (S) called that man and recited the verse before him, giving him the good tidings that whoever obeys Almighty Allah and His Messenger will be accompanied with him and granted the blessing of coming with the prophets, the veracious people, the martyrs, and the righteous ones.123

Exegesis of Verse No. 86

The Holy Quran reads,

When you are greeted with a greeting, greet you with a better than it or return it. Lo! Allah takes count of all things. (4:86)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have passed by a group of people and greeted them with the greeting of Islam: Peace be upon you. They answered back, ‘Peace, Allah’s mercy, blessings, forgiveness, and pleasure be with you.’

The Imam (‘a), disagreeing with such surplus answer, said to them,

Do not exceed the limits; rather, you should imitate the angels who said to our father Abraham, ‘Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you, O people of the House.’ One of the other forms of greeting in Islam is that when someone sneezes, it is required to say to him, ‘May Allah show mercy to you.’ He then must answer back, ‘May Allah forgive and have mercy on you.’ This is so because Allah the All-exalted says, ‘When you are greeted with a greeting, greet you with a better than it.’124

Exegesis of Verse No. 97

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask, ‘In what were you engaged?’ They will say, ‘We were deemed weak in the land.’ (4:97)

About defining those who are deemed weak (mustas’afun), Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The attribute of being deemed weak is not applicable to those to whom the argument of Allah has been conveyed in such a manner that their ears heard it and their hearts (i.e. minds) understood it.125

Exegesis of Verse No. 101

The Holy Quran reads,

And when you go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if you fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth, the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. (4:101)

Imam Ali (‘a) reported that a group of merchants, once, asked the Holy Prophet (S) how should they perform prayers when they are on journeys. As a result, the holy verse involved was revealed to show that they should perform the prayers in the shortened form when they are on journeys.

A year after that, the Holy Prophet (S) was on a military expedition when he stood up to perform the Midday Prayer. At that moment, the enemies decided to attack him, but some of them suggested that they would postpone the attack, because the Prophet (S) would perform another similar prayer. In the time between the two prayers, Almighty Allah revealed the other section of the holy verse that reads,

If you fear lest those who disbelieve may attack you’ In truth, the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. And when you (O Muhammad) are among them and lead them in the prayer, let only a party of them stand with you to perform the prayer. (4:101-2)

Thus, the ritual Alarm Prayer (salat Al-khawf) was decided.126

Exegesis of Verse No. 128

The Holy Quran reads,

If a woman fears ill treatment from her husband or desertion, it is no sin for them twain if they make terms of peace between themselves. Peace is better. (4:128)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

If one of the two wives of a husband becomes unable (to satisfy him sexually) or is ugly, and the husband intends to separate from her, she can agree with him that he may sleep with her a single night and sleep with the other wife (0r wives) several nights so that he will not separate from her for good. There is no objection to this act if she is satisfied with it. However, if she retreats from her agreement, the husband is then required to treat her as same as he treats the other wife.127

Exegesis of Verse No. 164

The Holy Quran reads,

And messengers We have mentioned unto you before and messengers We have not mentioned unto you; and Allah spoke directly unto Moses. (4:164)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The direct speaking of Almighty Allah to (Prophet) Moses is that the speaking did not need for organs, tools of speaking, lips, or uvula. Allah is too Glorified and Exalted to be described as having such material things.128

Surah Al-Ma'idah
Exegesis of Verse No. 1

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, fulfill your indentures. The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced unto you (herein), game being unlawful when you are on the pilgrimage. Lo! Allah ordains that which pleases Him. (5:1)

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas is reported to have said, ‘Whenever the phrase, ‘O you who believe’ is revealed, Ali was always the head and principal of it.129

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Wherever the phrase ‘O you who believe ‘ exists in the Quran, the phrase ‘O you who are poor ‘ existed opposite to it in the Torah.130

Exegesis of Verse No. 6

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles. (5:6)

The apparent meaning of this holy verse entails that, to perform the ritual ablution, the faces and hands must be washed and the heads and feet must be rubbed.

Imam Ali (‘a) adopted this apparent meaning; he therefore decided the illegality of rubbing the sandals instead of the feet. It is reported that he (‘a), once, passed by a man who was performing the ritual ablution. The man rubbed his sandals instead of feet and went to the mosque to perform a prayer. The Imam (‘a) grasped him and said,

‘How is it legal for you to perform a prayer before performing the ritual ablution?’

The man answered, ‘’Umar ibn Al-Khattab ordered me to do so?’ The Imam (‘a) took the man before ‘Umar and said to him,

‘Listen to what this man is reporting from you.’

‘Umar said, ‘This is true. I have ordered him to do so, because Allah’s Messenger rubbed the sandals.’ The Imam (‘a) asked,

‘Did Allah’s Messenger do so before or after the revelation of Surah Al-Ma'idah?’

‘Umar answered, ‘I do not know.’ The Imam (‘a) reproachfully said to ‘Umar,

‘When you do not know, why have you then issued a verdict in this respect? The Book of Allah has repealed the rubbing of the sandals.’131

Exegesis of Verse No. 42

The Holy Quran reads,

(They are) listeners of a lie, devourers of the illicit gain; therefore, if they come to you, judge between them or turn aside from them. And if you turn aside from them, they shall not harm you in any way. And if you judge, judge between them with equity. Surely, Allah loves those who judge equitably. (5:42)

When he was asked for an explanation of the illicit gain, Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

The illicit gain is the bribe.

When he was asked about the ruling appertained to those who gain illicit things, the Imam (‘a) answered,

It is decided as atheism.132

Exegesis of Verse No. 66

The Holy Quran reads,

And if they had kept up the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed to them from their Lord, they would certainly have eaten from above them and from beneath their feet. There is a party of them keeping to the moderate course, and (as for) most of them, evil is that which they do. (5:66)

It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a) once called the chief of the Catholic and the bishop and said to them,

I will ask you both about a matter; so, do not conceal the true answer, because I know it better than you two do.

The Imam (‘a) then asked the bishop,

I adjure you by Allah Who has revealed the Gospel to Jesus and made blessings flow on his foot; therefore, Jesus could heal the blind and the leprous, remove the eye aches, restore the dead to life, make for you birds from mud, and inform you about what you eat and what you store.

The bishop said, ‘I will be true with you even if you have not put me under this oath.’

The Imam (‘a) thus asked,

To how many parties did the children of Israel separate after Jesus?

The bishop said, ‘No, by Allah! They did not separate even to one party.’

The Imam (‘a) replied,

You have told an untruth! By Allah save Whom there is no other god (I swear), they separated into seventy-two parties all of whom will deserve Hellfire except one party. Allah says, ‘There is a party of them keeping to the moderate course, and (as for) most of them, evil is that which they do.’133

Exegesis of Verse No. 95

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, do not kill game while you are on pilgrimage. And whoever among you shall kill it intentionally, the compensation of it is the like of what he killed, from the cattle, as two just persons among you shall judge, as an offering to be brought to the Ka’bah, or the expiation of it is the feeding of the poor or the equivalent of it in fasting, that he may taste the unwholesome result of his deed. Allah has pardoned what is gone by. And whoever returns to it, Allah will inflict retribution on him. And Allah is Mighty, Lord of Retribution. (5:95)

Answering a man who had asked him about the offering that should be brought to the Holy Ka’bah, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

The offering must be one of the eight in pairs (i.e. sheep, goats, camels, and cows).

As if this answer did not convince the asker, the Imam (‘a) asked him,

Do you read the Quran?

The man answered in the affirmative, and the Imam (‘a) further asked,

Have you heard Almighty Allah saying (in the Holy Quran): ‘O you who believe, fulfill the obligations. The cattle quadrupeds are allowed to you’’?

The man answered with yes, and the Imam (‘a) further asked,

Have you heard Almighty Allah saying (in the Holy Quran): ‘(And to every nation We appointed acts of devotion) that they may mention the name of Allah on what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds’’?

The man said yes, and the Imam (‘a) further asked,

Have you heard Almighty Allah saying (in the Holy Quran): ‘Eight in pairs-- two of sheep and two of goats’ and two of camels and two of cows’’?

The man answered affirmatively, and the Imam (‘a) further asked,

Have you heard Almighty Allah saying (in the Holy Quran): ‘O you who believe, do not kill game while you are on pilgrimage. And whoever among you shall kill it intentionally, the compensation of it is the like of what he killed, from the cattle, as two just persons among you shall judge, as an offering to be brought to the Ka’bah’’?

The man answered with assent, and the Imam (‘a) further asked,

If I kill an antelope, what expiation will I have to undergo?

The man replied, ‘You must undergo a sheep (to be slaughtered in expiation).’

The Imam (‘a) added,

It must be intended as offering brought to the Holy Ka’bah, must it not?

The man answered, ‘Yes, it must be.’

The Imam (‘a) thus concluded,

Then, Almighty Allah has described it as ‘offering brought to the Ka’bah’ as you can see in the Quran.134

Exegesis of Verse No. 101

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, do not put questions about things which, if declared to you, may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Quran is being revealed, they shall be declared to you. Allah pardons this; and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing. (5:101)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Verily, Allah has put you under certain duties; therefore, do not violate them. He has also defined for you certain limits; so, do not exceed them. He has warned you against doing certain things; so, do not defy them. Likewise, He has kept silent towards certain things, which He has not left them on account of forgetting; therefore, do not overburden yourselves with these things.135

Exegesis of Verse No. 105

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way. To Allah is your return of all (of you); so, He will inform you of what you did. (5:105)

About self-discipline, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said many words some of which will be cited hereinafter:

i. The gravest ignorance is self-ignorance.

ii. The most wonderful sagacity is self-recognition.

iii. The most self-recognizing ones are the most fearful of their Lord.

iv. It is very strange for one who has lost his own self to look for a lost thing of him instead of looking for his own self.

v. One who has ignored his self, how can he recognize his Lord?

vi. The utmost of knowledge is self-recognition.

vii. To recognize oneself is sufficient knowledge and to ignore oneself is sufficient ignorance.

viii. Whoever recognizes himself truly will deprive himself of the worldly pleasures.

ix. Whoever recognizes himself will struggle against it, and whoever ignores himself will neglect it.

x. Whoever recognizes himself will deem great all his affairs.

xi. Whoever recognizes himself well will have attained the top of all knowledge and erudition.

xii. Whoever fails to recognize himself will be aloof from the path of salvation and will flounder in deviation and ignorance.

xiii. Self-recognition is the most beneficial of all recognitions.

xiv. Do not ignore yourself, because one who ignores oneself is actually ignorant about all things.136

Surah Al-An’am
Exegesis of Verse No. 110

The Holy Quran reads,

And We turn their hearts and their sights, even as they did not believe in it the first time, and We will leave them in their inordinacy, blindly wandering on. (6:110)

Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Verily, jihad (struggle) that you are going to practice is practical, which must be followed by jihad in the hearts. Hence, whoever does not in his inner self regards the good as good and deems the evil as evil will have his heart turned upside down and then no good deed of him will be ever accepted (since he himself does not see with his heart the good as good).137

Surah Al-A’raf
Exegesis of Verses No. 8 & 9

The Holy Quran reads,

And the measuring out on that day will be just. Then, as for him whose measure is heavy, those are they who shall be successful; and as for him whose measure is light, those are they who have made their souls suffer loss because they disbelieved in Our communications. (7:8-9)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

He whose outward form is weightier than his inward form, his scale will be weightless on the Resurrection Day, and he whose inward form is weightier than his outward form, his scale will be heavy on the Resurrection Day.138

Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said in this connection,

To have heavy measures and to have light measures stand for the weighing up of the good deeds. These good deeds make one’s scale heavy while the evil deeds make one’s scale light.139

Exegesis of Verse No. 46

The Holy Quran reads,

And between the two there shall be a veil, and on the most elevated places there shall be men who know all by their marks, and they shall call out to the dwellers of the garden: Peace be on you; they shall not have yet entered it, though they hope. (7:46)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

We are on the most elevated places. We recognize our supporters by their marks. We are the most elevated places that no one can recognize Allah except by means of recognizing us. We are the most elevated places; on the Resurrection day, we shall stand in a place between Paradise and Hellfire. So, none will be allowed Paradise except those whom we have recognized and who have recognized us. None will be sent to Hellfire except those whom we have denied and who have denied us. This is the meaning of Almighty Allah’s saying’

The Imam (‘a) then recited the holy verse involved.140

On another occasion when he was asked about the exegesis of the holy verse involved, Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

On the Resurrection Day, we will stand in a place between Paradise and Hellfire. As for those who have supported us, we will recognize them by their marks and allow them to Paradise, and as for those who have hated us, we will also recognize them by their marks and send them to Hellfire.141

Exegesis of Verse No. 54

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then mounted He the Throne. He covers the night with the day, which is in haste to follow it, and has made the sun, the moon, and the stars subservient by His command. His verily is all creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah the Lord of the Worlds. (7:54)

When he was asked about the Divine Throne, Imam Ali (‘a) answered as follows:

The angels bear the Throne, which is not something like a chair as some people think; rather, it is something that is limited, created, and fashioned nicely. Your Lord the Almighty and All-majestic is the owner of the Throne, but this does not imply that He may sit on it like things that sit on other things.142

The head of the catholic once asked Imam Ali (‘a), ‘Is it Allah Who carries the Throne or is it the Throne that carries Allah?’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

Allah the Almighty and All-majestic carries the Thrones, the heavens, the earth, all things that are in these two, and all things that lie between them. This is the meaning of His saying,

‘Lo! Allah grasps the heavens and the earth that they deviate not, and if they are to deviate, there is not one that can grasp them after Him. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving. (35:41)’

The head of the catholic then asked, ‘Tell me about His words,

‘The angels will be around the heavens and on that day eight of them will carry the Throne of your Lord above all the creatures. (69:17)’

How has He said it? You have just said that He carries the heavens, the earth, and all that is between them.’

Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

Allah the Most High created the Throne from four lights: from a red light wherefrom the redness became red, a green light from which the greenness became green, and yellow light whereby the yellowness became yellow. He created it from a white light wherefrom it is white and it is the knowledge which Allah has made the carriers to carry and that is the light of His greatness.

With His greatness and His light, He has given sight to the hearts of believers. Because of His greatness and light, the ignorant ones have become His enemies. Through His greatness and light, all that which is in the heavens and in the earth, as well as all of His creatures, seek to reach Allah the Most Holy and Most High by means of their various deeds and mixed religions. All that is carried; Allah carries them with the light of His greatness and power.

They are not able to do any benefit or harm, death or life, or resurrection. All things are carried. Allah the Most Holy and Most High preserves them from banishment and He has control over both of them (i.e. the heavens and the earth). He is the life of all things and the light of all things. Glorious is He, the Most High, and He is far above what they say about Him. He is very High above them with Greatness.

The man then said, ‘Tell me about Allah; where is He?’

Imam Ali (‘a) said,

He is here. He is there, above, below, encompassing us, and with us as He has said,

‘There is not a single place wherein any secret counsel can take place among any three people without Allah being the fourth, nor five people without His being the sixth nor any gathering of more or fewer people, wherever it may be, without His being with them’ (58:7)’

Al-Kursi (the Divine Chair) contains the heavens and the earth and all that is between them and below the soil. If you say anything aloud, He knows the secrets and the hidden as mentioned in His words:

‘The heavens and the earth are under His dominion (contained in His Al-Kursi ). He does not experience fatigue in preserving them both. He is the High and the Greatest. (2:255)’

Thus, those who carry the Throne are the scholars whom Allah has made to bear His knowledge. Nothing of what Allah has created in the heavens and in the earth can be out of these four that He has shown to those whom he has chosen. He showed them to His friend Abraham, saying,

‘Also, We showed Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth to strengthen his faith. (6:75)’

How can the carriers of the Throne carry Allah when with life from Him their hearts receive life and with His light they find guidance to know Him?143

Exegesis of Verse No. 138

The Holy Quran reads,

And We brought the Children of Israel across the sea, and they came unto a people who were given up to idols, which they had. They said, ‘O Moses! Make for us a god even as they have gods.’ He said, ‘Lo! You are a folk who know not.’ (7:138)

A bishop once said to Imam Ali (‘a), ‘You could not stay after your Prophet more than thirty years until you used swords to strike each other.’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

As for you, your feet were not dried up from the water of the sea until you said to your Prophet, ‘Make for us a god even as they have gods!’144

Exegesis of Verse No. 143

The Holy Quran reads,

And when Moses came to Our appointed tryst and his Lord had spoken unto him, he said, ‘My Lord! Show me (Your Self) that I may gaze upon You.’ He said, ‘You will not see Me, but gaze upon the mountain! If it stands still in its place, then you will see Me.’ And when his Lord revealed (His) glory to the mountain, He sent it crashing down. And Moses fell
down senseless. And when he woke, he said, ‘Glory unto You! I turn unto You repentant and I am the first of (true) believers.’ (7:143)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Having uttered whatever words of praise of Almighty Allah he could say, Prophet Moses asked his Lord a calamitous question: ‘My Lord! Show me Yourself so that I may look upon You.’

Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted answered, ‘You cannot bear to see me, but look at the mountain, if it remains firm in its place, then will you see me.’ Hence, our Lord made some of His signs and manifested His glory to the mountain that was immediately broken up and 0crumbled. Moses fell down in a swoon. Then, Allah enlivened and pardoned him. Moses expressed, ‘Glory be to You. I turned to You, and I am the first of the believers.’ This means that he believed, before others, that it is impossible to see Allah.145

Once, Imam Ali (‘a) addressed the people in the Mosque of Al-Kufah from the pulpit and a man called Dhi’lib, a very good orator and brave in heart asked, ‘O Amir Al-Mu'minin, have you seen your Lord?’

The Imam (‘a) replied,

O Dhi’lib, how I worship a lord whom I do not see?

The man said, ‘O Amir Al-Mu’minin, how have you seen Him?’

The Imam (‘a) said,

O Dhi’lib, the eyes are not able to see Him physically but it is the hearts that see Him through the reality of belief. O Dhi’lib, my Lord is Subtle in subtleties but cannot be described by means of subtle matters. My Lord is Great but cannot be described by means of greatness. His greatness surpasses all greatness but he cannot be described by means of any such greatness. He is Glorious in His Glory but He cannot be described in terms of intensity. He is before everything and it cannot be said that something was before Him.

He will be after all things but it cannot be said that there will be something after Him. He willed the existence of things but not by means of first thinking about it. He comprehends things but not with a great deal of effort. He is in all things but is not mixed with them, nor is He separate from them. He is clearly manifest but not with contacts and changes. He shines but not in the form of being found out with eyesight.

He is far but not in the form of distance. He is near but not in the form of nearness. He is very fine but not in the form of physical fineness. He exists but not after nothingness. He acts but not because of being forced. He measures things but not by means of movement. He wills but not by means of thinking. He hears but not with tools. He sees but not with instruments. He is not contained in place and held up in times.

Attributes do not limit Him and slumber does not seize Him. His Being was before the time and His Existence was before nothingness. He was before eternity. His giving the sense of awareness proves that He does not need tools of sensing. His giving substance to the substances is proof that His Self is not a substance. The existence of a contrary to everything is proof that there is nothing contrary to Him. His giving comparability to things is proof that there is nothing similar to Him.

He has made the light contrary to the darkness, the wetness to the dryness, the harshness to the softness and the coldness to heat. He combines the separating ones and separates their closeness. The separation among things is evidence of the existence of the One who causes separation in them and their combination is evidence of the existence of the One who combines them. It is just as Allah has said,

‘We have created everything in pairs so that perhaps you may take heed. (51:49)’

He has made a distinction between the before and the after in order to show that there is neither before nor after for Him. The instincts show that the One Who created the instincts Himself has no instinct. The time is evidence that there is no timing for the One Who made the time. His hiding things from each other stands as evidence that nothing hides them from their Creator. He was the Lord when there was nothing to enjoy His Lordship. He was to be worshipped when there was no worshipper. He had the knowledge when there was nothing to know. He was hearing when there was nothing to hear.146

Demonstrating his unmatched faith, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say,

I have not seen anything but that I could see Allah before it.147

On many occasions, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say,

I would never worship a god that I could not see.148

Exegesis of Verse No. 159

The Holy Quran reads,

And of Moses' folk, there is a community who lead with truth and establish justice therewith. (7:159)

Within his discourse with the head of the catholic and the bishop, Imam Ali(‘a) is reported to have said to them,

I will ask you about a matter; therefore, do not conceal the true answer, because I know it better than you both do. O head of the catholic, I adjure you by the One Who has revealed the Torah to Moses, fed his people the manna and the quails, struck for them a dry path in the sea, and exploded for them twelve springs from the rocks of the mount; each spring for each clan of the children of Israel I adjure you by Him to answer me as to how many parties the children of Israel separated after the departure of Moses.

The head of the catholic answered, ‘They were always one party only.’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

You have told an untruth! I swear this by the One save Whom there is no god. They separated into seventy-one parties all of whom will be in Hellfire except one. Allah says, ‘And of Moses’ folk, there is a community who lead with truth and establish justice therewith.’ This is the only party that will receive redemption.149

Exegesis of Verses 163-166

The Holy Quran reads,

Ask them (O Muhammad) of the township that was by the sea, how they did break the Sabbath, how their big fish came unto them visibly upon their Sabbath day and on a day when they did not keep Sabbath came, they not unto them. Thus did We try them for that they were evil-livers. And when a community among them said, ‘Why preach you to a folk whom Allah is about to destroy or punish with an awful doom?’ They said, ‘In order to be free from guilt before your Lord and that haply they may ward off (evil).’ And when they forgot that whereof they had been reminded, We rescued those who forbade wrong, and visited those who did wrong with dreadful punishment because they were evil-livers. So, when they took pride in that which they had been forbidden, We said unto them, ‘Be you apes despised and loathed.’ (7:163-6)

About the explanation of these holy verses, Imam Al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said,

In the Book of Ali (‘a), I have read the following:

Almighty Allah decided to put to test a people from ´lah from Thamud; therefore, big fishes were driven near them on Saturdays. The fishes appeared near their quarters and houses in the rivers and streams on the days of the Sabbath. They ran to catch and eat them. They kept on this act for a long time, but the rabbis did not warn them against violating the Sabbath and the scholars did not prevent them from catching these fishes. Satan also inspired to some of them that they had been forbidden to eat fishes on Saturdays but they had not been forbidden to catch them on such days.

Therefore, they used to catch fishes on Saturdays and eat them on the other days. A party of them declared, ‘We will catch these fishes at this time.’ Another group took the right side and said, ‘We warn you against violating Allah’s order lest you will expose yourselves to His punishment.’ A third party withdrew to the left side, kept silent, and did not give any advice. They thus said to the party that warned them, ‘Why do you preach a folk whom Allah is about to destroy or punish with an awful doom?’ The preaching party said, ‘We do so in order to be free from guilt before your Lord and that haply they may ward off evil.’ Almighty Allah then says, ‘When they forgot that whereof’’

This means that when they neglected the preachment that was given to them, they went on committing the sin. So, the party that had preached them said, ‘By Allah, we will never join you and we will never spend a single night in your city where you have disobeyed Allah, because we fear lest the misfortune that will afflict you will also include us.’

They therefore left that city for fear of the misfortune that would afflict these sinners. They resided at a place near the city and spent that night outdoors. The next morning, the saints of Allah who had obeyed the order of Him went to the city to see what had happened to the disobedient people. When they stopped at the gate of the city, they found it closed. They knocked at the gate but received no answer.

They then brought a ladder and climbed the wall of the city. They ordered one of them to overlook the city and he saw that all the people therein were transmuted into apes with tails. Hence, they broke the gate and the apes could recognize their relatives among the human beings but the human beings could not recognize their relatives among those whom were metamorphosed into apes. Hence, the obedient people said to them, ‘Have we not warned you?’

Imam Ali (‘a) added,

I swear by Him Who split the grain and created the souls, I do know the likes of these apes among the individuals of this community; they neither deny nor try to change any evil matter; rather, they deserted what they had been ordered to do and separated from the truth. Hence, Allah says, ‘Away with the unjust people!’ He also says, ‘So, when they neglected what they had been reminded of, We delivered those who forbade evil and We overtook those who were unjust with an evil chastisement because they transgressed.’

Exegesis of Verse No. 172

The Holy Quran reads,

And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants, and made them bear witness against their own souls: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yes! We bear witness.’ Lest you should say on the day of resurrection, ‘Surely, we were heedless of this. (7:172)

It is reported that Ibn Al-Kawwa', once, asked Imam Ali (‘a), ‘Had Allah spoken to any of the children of Adam before he spoke to Moses?’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

Yes, He had. He spoke to all of His creatures, both the righteous and the sinful, and they all answered Him back.

Ibn Al-Kawwa' asked, ‘How is that?’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

Do you not read the Book of Allah Who says to His Prophet, ‘And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants, and made them bear witness against their own souls: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yes!’’? Allah did make them hear His words and they did answer Him as you, O Ibn Al-Kawwa', can hear Allah’s saying, ‘They said, ‘Yes!’’ So, Almighty Allah said to them, ‘I am Allah; there is no god save Me. I am the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.’

They all submitted to Him, confirming that they should obey Him, and professed that He was their Lord. Almighty Allah then distinguished the messengers, the prophets, and the prophets’ successors and ordered the creatures to obey them. They professed to this in the Eternal Covenant. When they did, the angels said, ‘O children of Adam, now we bear witness against you so that on the Resurrection Day, you will not be able to say that you were heedless of this.’150

Surah Al-Anfal
Exegesis of Verse No. 15

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, when you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, then turn not your backs to them. (8:15)

Condemning those who flew the battlefield, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

Verily, planting terror and fear in the hearts of the enemies is part of struggling against those against whom jihad is deservingly necessary, since they support each other on deviation from the religion. They also deserve to be deprived of this world and to be exposed to humiliation and ignominy. It also makes those who flee the battlefields deserve Hellfire. Allah the Almighty and All-majestic says, ‘O you who believe, when you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, then turn not your backs to them.’151

Surah Al-Tawbah
Exegesis of Verse No. 12

The Holy Quran reads,

And if they break their oaths after their agreement and openly revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief surely, their oaths are nothing so that they may desist. (9:12)

Applying the meaning of this holy verse to the party of ‘A'ishah during the Battle of the Camel, Imam Ali (‘a) said to his companions,

Do not hasten towards fighting these people sooner than that I may release myself from any responsibility before Almighty Allah and before them.

The Imam (‘a) then delivered a speech, saying,

O people of Al-Basrah, do you find me unjust in any judgment that I have made?

They answered with a no. The Imam (‘a) said,

Have you ever found me unfair in any distribution amongst you?

They answered in the negative. The Imam (‘a) said,

Have you stood against me and breached your allegiance to me because I seized a worldly affair for my family members and myself exclusively?

They answered with a denial. The Imam (‘a) then said,

Have I, while applying the religious penal laws on you, exempted other people from them?

They answered with no. The Imam (‘a) then asked,

Now, what for is your pledge of allegiance to me being broken while your pledges of allegiance to others are kept effective? When I pondered over the matter thoroughly, I could not find any reason except one of two: either disbelief or strikes of swords.

The Imam (‘a) then turned to his companions and said to them,

Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted says in His Book, ‘And if they break their oaths after their agreement and openly revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief surely, their oaths are nothing so that they may desist.’ I swear by Him Who split the grain, created the souls, and chose Muhammad exclusively for Prophethood; these people are the very ones intended in this holy verse.152

The Imam (‘a) also cited this holy Quranic verse as proof on his reaction to the cheatings of Talhah and Al-Zubayr and to their breaching of allegiance to him. He (S) thus said,

My excuse for fighting against Talhah and Al-Zubayr is that after they had pledged allegiance to me voluntarily without any coercion, they breached their allegiance for no reason and for no innovative action that might took place.

The Imam (‘a) then recited the holy verse involved.153

Exegesis of Verse No. 36

The Holy Quran reads,

Surely, the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah's ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these four being sacred. That is the right reckoning. Therefore, be not unjust to yourselves regarding them and fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together. And know that Allah is with those who guard against evil. (9:36)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

When the final ailment of the Messenger of Allah (S) intensified, he said, ‘O people, a year consists of twelve months four of which are sacred.’ Counting with his fingers, the Messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘Rajab is separate; Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah, and Muharram are three successive (sacred) months.’154

Exegesis of Verse No. 67

The Holy Quran reads,

The hypocritical men and the hypocritical women are all alike; they enjoin evil and forbid good and withhold their hands. They have forsaken Allah; so, He has forsaken them. Surely, the hypocrites are the transgressors. (9:67)

Explaining a phrase in this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

As the hypocrites forsook Almighty Allah in this world and refrained from acting upon obedience to Him, he will forsake them in the other world by giving them no reward at all. Thus, they will become forsaken from any prosperity.155

Surah Yunus
Exegesis of Verse No. 2

The Holy Quran reads,

Is it a wonder to the people that We revealed to a man from among themselves, saying, ‘Warn the people and give good news to those who believe that theirs is a footing of firmness with their Lord.’ The unbelievers say, ‘This is most surely a manifest enchanter.’ (10:2)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The good news to the believers will be the intercession of the Holy Prophet for them on the Resurrection Day.156

Exegesis of Verse No. 26

The Holy Quran reads,

For those who do good is good reward and more than this; and blackness or ignominy shall not cover their faces. These are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide forever. (10:26)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have sent a letter to Muhammad ibn Abi-Bakr, instructing him to explain the word ‘good reward’ as Paradise and the word ‘more than this’ as this world.157

Exegesis of Verse No. 62

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Verily, the friends of Allah are those on whom fear comes not, nor do they grieve. (10:62)

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas reported that Imam Ali (‘a), when was asked about the implication of this holy verse, said,

The friends of Allah (mentioned in this holy verse) are people who served Him, the All-exalted, sincerely. They looked in the interior of this world when the other people saw it from its exterior appearance. They thus recognized that it would eventually come to an end while the other people were seduced by its current pleasures.

They therefore deserted the aspects of it that would forsake them and deadened the aspects of it that would kill them. O he who indulges in this world, runs after its traps, and works hard towards constructing what will eventually ruin!

Have you not considered the passing away of your ancestors before you and the abodes of your descendants under rocks and dust? How many of them have you nursed with your own hands and nurtured with your own palms when you brought them physicians and asked the dear ones to visit them? However, your care for them did not benefit them and your medicines did not cure them.158

Surah Hud
Exegesis of Verse No. 6

The Holy Quran reads,

And there is not a beast in the earth but the sustenance thereof depends on Allah. He knows its habitation and its repository. All is in a clear Record. (11:6)

Imam Ali (‘a) used to say,

You, O people, must know certainly that Allah will not permit a servant (of Him) to do more than what has been counted to him in the Wise Reminder, even if he exerts excessive efforts, finds more ways, and practices exaggerative endeavors. Likewise, Allah will never preclude what has been counted in the Wise Reminder from a servant despite his weakness and lack of practice.

O people, neither cleverness nor will idiocy add or reduce a single atom of one’s previously decided lot. He who realizes this fact and acts upon it will surely be the calmest in profits, while he who disregards this fact will be the weariest in loss. It often happens that he whom is bestowed with graces is waylaid through that bestowment, while he whom people see as unlucky is in fact fortunate.

Sober up, O listener, from your inebriety, wake up from your inadvertence, slow down your haste, and ponder over Allah’s words that are not reneged and that are inescapable and unavoidable. Then, forsake your pride, leave your arrogance, take heed, and remember your grave and abode, because it will be your passage and destiny. You will be treated as exactly as you treated and you will harvest only what you sowed, and whatever you did will be done to you.

Tomorrow, you will indisputably find only the results of what you did. Benefit by considering the admonition that has been provided to you. Understand what you have listened to and what you have been promised, because, through this, you will be undoubtedly engaged in one of two matters: either to obey Allah and follow what you have heard, or to have Allah’s claim instituted against you and you should then submit to it according to your knowledge.

Beware, and keep up seriousness. No one can tell you the truth in the way that an expert reporter can do. One of the firm decisions of Allah in the Wise Reminder upon which He bestows reward or gives punishment, and through which He likes or dislikes, is that it will not benefit a man, even though he exerts himself and acts sincerely if he leaves this world to meet Allah with one of these acts without repenting, namely that he believed in a partner with Allah during his obligatory worship, or appeased his own anger by killing an individual, or declared an act but he opted for another, or sought fulfillment of his needs from people by introducing an innovation in his religion, or met people with a double face, or moved among them with a double tongue, using arrogance, or pride.

Understand this, because an illustration is a guide for its like. Beasts are concerned with their stomachs. Carnivores are concerned with assaulting others. Women are concerned with the adornments of this ignoble life and the creation of mischief herein. On the other hand, the true believers are humble, admonishers, and afraid of Allah.159

Exegesis of Verse No. 17

The Holy Quran reads,

Is he (to be counted equal with them) who relies on a clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it, and before it was the Book of Moses, an example and a mercy? Such believe therein, and whoso disbelieves therein of the clans, the Fire is his appointed place. So, be not you in doubt concerning it. Lo! It is the truth from your Lord; but most of mankind believe not. (11:17)

Exegetes of the Holy Quran confirm that the one ‘who relies on a clear proof from his Lord’ is the Holy Prophet (S) and the one who is ‘a witness for him’ is Imam Ali (‘a). Referring to this fact, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

If the pillow (i.e. seat of power) had been folded for me, I would have judged between the people of the Torah according to their book, between the people of the Gospel according to their book, and between the people of the Quran according to their book with such judgment that flourishes while it ascends to Allah.

By Allah, no single verse in the Book of Allah that was revealed at night or on day but that I know the reason for its revelation. No one who has attained maturity but that a verse from the Book of Allah was revealed about him to drive him to Paradise or to Hellfire.

One of the audience stood up and asked, ‘O Leader of the Believers, what is the verse that was revealed about you?’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

You should have heard Allah saying, ‘Is he (to be counted equal with them) who relies on a clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from him recites it’’ The Messenger of Allah (S) is the one ‘who relies on a clear proof from his Lord,’ and I am the witness for and from him.160

Exegesis of Verse No. 40

The Holy Quran reads,

(Thus it was) until, when Our commandment came to pass and the oven gushed forth water, We said, ‘Load therein two of every kind, a pair (the male and female), and your household, save him against whom the word has gone forth already, and those who believe. And but a few were they who believed with him. (11:40)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

When (Prophet) Noah accomplished building the ark, the appointment between his Lord and him with regard to destroying his people was the gushing forth of an oven. When the oven gushed forth at the house of a woman, she declared, ‘The over has gushed forth.’ He therefore hurried to seal the oven.

Water gushed forth and Noah allowed whomever he wished to embark on the ark and prevented others whom he wished not to embark on it from being there. He then came to the sealing of the oven and removed it. Allah the Almighty and All-majestic thus says,

‘Then opened We the gates of heaven with pouring water and caused the earth to gush forth springs, so that the waters met for a predestined purpose. And We carried him upon a thing of planks and nails. (54:11-13)161

Exegesis of Verse No. 56

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! I have put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Not an animal but He does grasp it by the forelock. Lo! My Lord is on a straight path. (11:56)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

This means that Allah the All-exalted is always right; He awards good for good deeds and punishes the evil with evil. He also pardons whomever He wishes and forgives. All glory and all exaltation be to Him.162

Exegesis of Verse No. 105

The Holy Quran reads,

On the day when it comes, no soul will speak except by His permission; some among them will be wretched, others glad. (11:105)

This holy verse indicates that human beings are of two categories; either wretched or glad. The wretched will be led to Hellfire while the glad to Paradise. It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a) was attending a funeral procession when he picked up a rod, hit the ground with it, and said,

Every one of you has had his final place recorded for him; either in Paradise or in Hellfire.

Some of the attendants asked, ‘Shall we not work and depend upon our deeds (to win Paradise and to avoid Hellfire)?’

The Imam (‘a) said,

You must work, because each one of you will be granted easiness to attain what he has been created for.

‘As for him who gives and is dutiful (toward Allah and believes in goodness, surely, We will ease his way unto the state of ease. (92:5-7)’

However, this saying of Imam Ali (‘a) requires clarification. Those who asked the Imam (‘a) had the wrong idea that each person had been already decided to be in Paradise or in Hellfire; therefore, there is no need to do acts that are said to make one win Paradise or to refrain from doing the acts that are said to lead to Hellfire. They also had the wrong idea that Paradise and Hellfire had been already predetermined and none had the choice in this matter.

However, these wrong ideas have been refuted by Imam Ali (‘a) who confirmed that Almighty Allah had made accessible to win Paradise, since He had not forced any person to do what he does. In other words, the path that takes to Paradise requires us to have faith in Almighty Allah, to fear Him, and to do nice actions.

Therefore, if one adopts these things, one will surely win Paradise, since it is optional to act upon these deeds or to refrain from doing them. In brief, Paradise is obtained and Hellfire is decided according to the beliefs and deeds of every person who is not, yet, coerced to do this deed or to violate this prohibition.

Exegesis of Verse No. 114

The Holy Quran reads,

Establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night. Those things that are good remove those that are evil. Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember their Lord. (11:114)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have come to the people and asked,

In your view, what is the most hopeful verse of the Holy Quran?

Answering him, some of them cited this holy Quranic verse:

Surely, Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases. And whoever associates anything with Allah, devises indeed a great sin. (4:48)

The Imam (‘a) answered,

This verse is good, but it is not the one intended.

Others cited the following holy verse as the most hopeful:

Say: O my servants who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Surely, Allah forgives the faults altogether. Surely, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (39:53)

However, the Imam (‘a) answered,

This verse is good, but it is still not the one intended.

Some others cited the following holy verse:

And those who, when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults and who forgives the faults but Allah? and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done. (3:135)

Yet, the Imam (‘a) said,

This verse is good, but it is yet not the one intended.

People then kept silent. After a pause, they said, ‘By Allah, we have nothing more to add.’

The Imam (‘a) thus said,

I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘The most hopeful verse in the Book of Allah is this one:

‘Establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night. Those things that are good remove those that are evil. Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember their Lord. (11:114)’

He then said to me, ‘O Ali, I swear by Him Who has sent me with the truth as conveyor of good tidings and as a warner; when one of you sets out to perform the ritual ablution, his sins fall down from his organs. When he starts his prayer with pure face and heart, he will not accomplish the prayer before all of his sins are erased and he thus returns as sinless as the day on which his mother gave birth to him. If he commits something between two prayers, the same thing will be granted to him, and the same thing is repeated for the five prayers.

O Ali, the similitude of the five prayers for my community is exactly like a flowing river at the door of your houses. What do you think to occur to the dirt that is stuck to your body when you wash yourselves in that river five times a day? Will any part of that dirt remain? Similarly, the five prayers do the same thing to my community.’163

Surah Al-Ra’d
Exegesis of Verse No. 4

The Holy Quran reads,

And in the earth there are tracts side by side and gardens of grapes and corn and palm trees having one root, and (others) having distinct roots; they are watered with one water, and We make some of them excel others in fruit. Most surely, there are signs in this for a people who understand. (13:4)

Jabir ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari is reported to have heard the Holy Prophet (S) saying to Imam Ali (‘a),

O Ali, all people are from various trees, but you and I are from the same tree.

The Holy Prophet (S) then recited the holy verse involved.164

Exegesis of Verse No. 17

The Holy Quran reads,

He (i.e. Allah) sends down water from the cloud, then watercourses flow with water according to their measure, and the torrent bears along the swelling foam, and from what they melt in the fire for the sake of making ornaments or apparatus arises a scum like it; thus does Allah compare truth and falsehood; then as for the scum, it passes away as a worthless thing; and as for that which profits the people, it tarries in the earth; thus does Allah set forth parables. (13:17)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The ‘scum’ mentioned in this verse stands for the baseless exegesis of the Holy Quran that is claimed by the atheists. This exegesis vanishes, proves to be vain, and declines when the true explanation is obtained. ‘That which benefits people’ stands for the revelation that falsehood cannot approach neither from the front nor from the back. Hearts thus accept this revelation. The ‘earth’ in this verse stands for the place and source of knowledge.165

Exegesis of Verse No. 24

The Holy Quran reads,

Peace be on you because you were constant. How excellent then the issue of the abode is. (13:24)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

Patience is of three kinds: Patience at the time of suffering hardship, patience in performing acts of obedience (worship), and patience to stop one from committing what Allah has prohibited. For one who exercises patience at the time of suffering hardship until one passes it by with grace and goodness, Allah writes down three hundred degrees. Each is distant from the other as the sky is distant from the earth.

Whoever exercises patience in performing the acts of obeying (worshipping), Allah writes for him six hundred degrees. Each is apart from the other as the core of the earth is distant from the Divine Throne. Whoever exercises such patience that stops one from committing what Allah has prohibited, Allah writes for him nine hundred degrees. Each is apart from the other as is the core of the earth is distant from the upper end of the Divine Throne.166

Exegesis of Verse No. 28

The Holy Quran reads,

Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah. Now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest. (13:28)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

When this holy verse was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘This verse indicates those who love Allah and His Messenger, who love the members of my Household honestly but not falsely, and who love the faithful believers in their presence and when they are absent. Verily, by Allah’s remembrance they love each other.’167

Surah Ibrahim
Exegesis of Verse No. 9

The Holy Quran reads,

Has not the account reached you of those before you, of the people of Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, and those after them? None knows them but Allah. Their messengers come to them with clear arguments, but they thrust their hands into their mouths and said, ‘Surely, we deny that with which you are sent, and most surely we are in serious doubt as to that to which you invite us.’ (14:9)

It is reported that a genealogist met Imam Ali (‘a) and expressed that he was the most experienced in this field because he knew the descents and lineages of all people. The Imam (‘a) said,

You cannot have knowledge with all peoples.

However, the man insisted on his view. The Imam (‘a) thus asked him, Have you noticed the saying of Allah the All-exalted,

‘And the tribes of ‘Ad, Thamud, and the dwellers in Al-Rass, and many generations in between. (25:38)’?

The man said, ‘Yet, I know the majority of these peoples.’

The Imam (‘a) said,

Have you noticed the saying of Allah the All-exalted,

‘Has not the account reached you of those before you, of the people of Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, and those after them? None knows them but Allah.’?(14:9)

The man then kept silent and could not find any answer.168

Exegesis of Verse No. 24

The Holy Quran reads,

Have you not considered how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word being like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven? (14:24)

Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said,

The tree (mentioned in the holy verse) is the Messenger of Allah, its branch is Ali, the essence of the tree is Fatimah , the fruit of the tree is the descendants of Fatimah , the leaves and twigs of the tree are the devotees (i.e. Shi’ah) of Fatimah . When a man from our devotees dies, a leaf of the tree falls to the ground. When one of our devotees is born, a leaf grows up in the place of the falling one.169

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas reported that Archangel Gabriel said to the Holy Prophet (S),

You are the tree, Ali its twig, Fatimah its leaves, and Al-Hasan and Al- Husayn its fruits.170

Exegesis of Verse No. 28

The Holy Quran reads,

Have you not seen those who have changed Allah’s favor for ungratefulness and made their people to alight into the abode of perdition? (14:28)

About this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Those who have changed Allah’s favors for ungratefulness are the two most licentious clans of Quraysh; namely, the Banu-Umayyah and the Banu’l-Mughirah. As for the Banu’l-Mughirah, Almighty Allah cut off their roots on the day of the Battle of Badr. As for the Banu-Umayyah, Allah gave them respite to some time.171

Surah Al-Hijr
Exegesis of Verse No. 2

The Holy Quran reads,

Often will those who disbelieve wish that they had been Muslims. (15:2)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

As for the monotheist committers of grand sins from all the nations, when they die neither regretting their grand sins nor repenting from them, their eyes, in Hellfire, will not turn blue, their faces will not be blackened, they will not be attached with the devils, chains will not be put on their necks, they will not be made to swallow the boiling drink, and they will not be made to put on shirts made of liquid pitch.

Allah will save their bodies from being abided everlastingly in Hellfire because of their belief in the Unity of Allah and will save their faces from being burnt in the Fire because of their prostration before Him. Some of them will be set to fire up to their heels, others will be set to fire up to their necks according to each one’s sins and acts of disobedience.

Some of them will abide in Hellfire for one month only and they will be then allowed to leave it. The longest period of abiding in Hellfire will be the duration of this world since its creation and up to its termination.

The Jews, Christians, and followers of other religions and faiths who are abided in Hellfire will then say to the believers in the Unity of Allah who are abided therein, ‘You have believed in Allah, His Books, and His messengers. Nevertheless, we and you are now in Hellfire equally!’

These words will enrage Almighty Allah in such an unprecedented way; He will therefore allow the monotheist inhabitants of Hellfire to leave it toward a spring found between Paradise and the Discriminating Bridge where they will be implanted like ruffles on scum. They will be then allowed to Paradise while their foreheads carry this inscription: ‘These are the people of Hellfire whom the All-beneficent Lord has released therefrom.’ They will then abide in Paradise as long as Allah wishes for them to abide. Thereafter, they will ask Almighty Allah to erase that mark from their foreheads, and Almighty Allah will send angels to erase these inscriptions.

Then, Almighty Allah will send other angels with nails made of fire to fix the inhabitants of Hellfire with them. Thus, the inhabitants of Paradise will be distracted by the blessings and pleasures they will find therein. This is the meaning of Allah’s saying, ‘Often will those who disbelieve wish that they had been Muslims.’172

Exegesis of Verse No. 44

The Holy Quran reads,

It (Hellfire) has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them. (15:44)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Hellfire has seven storeys one above the other. Allah the All-exalted has put Paradise widthways and put the fires vertically one above the other. Hence, the lowest storey is Jahannam . Lasa comes next. Al-autamah comes next. Saqar comes next. Al-Jahim comes next. Al-Sa ‘ir comes next. Al-Hawiyahcomes next.173

Exegesis of Verse No. 85

The Holy Quran reads,

And We did not create the heavens and the earth and what is between them two but in truth; and the hour is most surely coming; so, turn away with kindly forgiveness. (15:85)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The kindly forgiveness is to pardon without blame.174

According to another narration, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

The kindly forgiveness is to be pleased without blame.175

Surah Al-Nahl

Exegesis Of Verse No. 2

The Holy Quran reads,

He sends down the angels with the Spirit of His command unto whom He wills of His bondmen, (saying): Warn mankind that there is no god save Me; so, keep your duty unto Me. (16:2)

It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a) was once asked whether the Spirit was or was not the same as Archangel Gabriel.

The Imam (‘a) answered,

Gabriel is one of the angels while the Spirit is not Gabriel.

This answer did not convince the asker who accused the Imam (‘a) of saying an unacceptable thing. However, the Imam (‘a), providing evidence, said,

You are devious and you are depending upon the words of the devious people. Allah says to His Prophet, ‘The commandment of Allah will come to pass; so, seek not you to hasten it. Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him. He sends down the angels with the Spirit’’

The Spirit is thus different from the angels.176

Exegesis Of Verse No. 16

The Holy Quran reads,

And landmarks (too), and by the star they find a way.(16:16)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

The star by which they find a way is the Capricorn, because it does not revolve. The building of the Ka’bah was founded on the direction of this star. Through this star too, the travelers by lands and by sea find their ways.177

Exegesis Of Verse No. 30

The Holy Quran reads,

And it is said unto those who ward off evil, ‘What has your Lord revealed?’ They say, ‘Good.’ For those who do good in this world there is a good reward and the home of the Hereafter will be better. Pleasant indeed will be the home of those who ward off evil. (16:30)

In his epistle to the people of Egypt, Imam Ali (‘a) wrote down the following statements:

O servants of Allah, when a servant engages himself with acts of obedience to Almighty Allah and works sincerely toward repentance from sins, he becomes the closest to His forgiveness and mercy. So, adhere to fear of Allah, because it gathers for you all items of prosperity, which cannot be found in any other way. Through fear of Allah too, the welfare of this world and the welfare of the other world are attained together. Allah the Almighty and All-majestic says,

‘And it is said unto those who ward off evil, ‘What has your Lord revealed?’ They say, ‘Good.’ For those who do good in this world there is a good reward and the home of the Hereafter will be better. Pleasant indeed will be the home of those who ward off evil.’178

Exegesis Of Verse No. 70

The Holy Quran reads,

And Allah creates you, then causes you to die, and among you is he who is brought back to the most abject stage of life, so that he knows nothing after (having had) knowledge. Lo! Allah is Knower, Powerful. (16:70)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The most abject stage of life is the age of seventy-five.179

Exegesis Of Verse No. 90

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed. (16:90)

Imam Ali (‘a), once, passed by a group of people who were discussing a matter. He asked them as to what the matter they were discussing, and they answered that their topic was the manners that grant good personality. The Imam (‘a) thus said to them,

Is it not sufficient for you to infer these manners from the Book of Allah that reads, ‘Lo! Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed.’ Justice stands for fairness, and kindness stands for doing favors.180

Surah Al-Isra'

Exegesis Of Verse No. 102

The Holy Quran reads,

He (Moses) said, ‘In truth, you know that none sent down these (portents) save the Lord of the heavens and the earth as proofs, and lo! (for my part) I deem you lost, O Pharaoh!’ (17:102)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

By Allah, the enemy of Allah (i.e. Pharaoh) did not know; rather, the one who knew was Moses.181

Surah Al-Kahf

Exegesis Of Verse No. 83

The Holy Quran reads,

They will ask you of Dhu'l-Qarnayn. Say, ‘I shall recite unto you a remembrance of him.’ (18:83)

When he was asked about Dhu’l-Qarnayn, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (the two-horned) was neither a prophet nor a king, and his two horns were made of neither gold nor silver. Rather, he was one of the servants of Allah. As he loved Allah, Allah in turn loved him, and as he worked sincerely for Allah, Allah in turn guided him to the truth.

He was given the name of Dhu’l-Qarnayn because he invited his people to serving Allah the Almighty and All-majestic, but they hit him on his head. He then left them for a while and returned to them. They once again hit him on the head. Among you is one who is like Dhu’l-Qarnayn!182

Imam Ali (‘a), by saying, ‘Among you is one who is like Dhu’l-Qarnayn,’ referred to himself, because his head would also be hit by sword for the second time after it had been hit by sword during his duel with ‘Amr ibn Abd-Wudd.

Exegesis Of Verse No. 103

The Holy Quran reads,

Say, ‘Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works?’ (18:103)

When he was asked about the greatest losers mentioned in this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

They are the licentious people of Quraysh.183

Surah Maryam

Exegesis Of Verse No. 11

The Holy Quran says,

Then, he came forth unto his people from the sanctuary, and signified to them, ‘Glorify your Lord at break of day and fall of night.’ (19:11)

When Imam Ali (‘a) was asked about the significance of the word wahy (inspiration, revelation’ etc), he said,

The word wahy can be classified into many categories: the wahy of Prophethood, the wahy of inspiration, the wahy of signification, the wahy of command, the false wahy, the wahy of estimation, the wahy of information, and the wahy of message. An example of the wahy of Prophethood is this saying of Almighty Allah:

‘Lo! We have revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him, as We revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and as We imparted unto David the Psalms. (4:163)’

An example of the wahy of inspiration is this saying of Almighty Allah:

‘And your Lord taught the bees to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men's) habitations. (16:68)’

An example of the wahy of signification is this saying of Almighty Allah:

‘Then, he came forth unto his people from the sanctuary, and signified to them, ‘Glorify your Lord at break of day and fall of night.’’ This means that he signified to them that they should glorify the Lord’ etc.(19:11)

An example of the wahy of command is this saying of Almighty Allah:

‘And when I inspired the disciples, saying, ‘Believe in Me and in My messenger.’ (5:111)’

An example of the false wahy is this saying of Almighty Allah:

‘Thus have We appointed unto every prophet an adversary: devils of humankind and jinn who inspire in one another plausible discourse through guile. (6:112)’

An example of the wahy of estimation is this saying of Almighty Allah:

‘Then He ordained them seven heavens in two days and inspired in each heaven its mandate. (41:12)’

An example of the wahy of information is this saying of Almighty Allah:

‘And We made them chiefs who guide by Our command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds and the right establishment of worship and the giving of alms, and they were worshippers of Us. (21:73)’184

Exegesis Of Verse No. 25

The Holy Quran reads,

And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward you, you will cause ripe dates to fall upon you. (19:25)

Imam Ali (‘a), in his discourse about the advantages of ripe dates, cited this holy verse as evidence, saying,

A pregnant will not eat anything and will not use anything as medicine better than ripe dates. Allah the All-exalted says, ‘And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward you, you will cause ripe dates to fall upon you. So, eat and drink and be consoled.’185

Exegesis Of Verse No. 85

The Holy Quran reads,

On the day when We shall gather the righteous unto the Beneficent as a band. (19:85)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have asked the Holy Prophet (S) about the exegesis of this holy verse; so, the Holy Prophet (S) answered,

O Ali, a band (wifd ) cannot be a true band unless its people are on horseback. These people feared Allah the Almighty and All-majestic; He therefore loved them, endued them with special favors, admitted their deeds, and gave them the name of muttaqin(i.e. pious).186

Imam Ali (‘a) also reported the Holy Prophet (S) to have explained this holy verse by saying,

By Allah, these people will not be resurrected on their feet and will not be driven a violent driving; rather, they will be brought she-camels from Paradise the like of which has never been seen by any creature. The luggage of these she-camels will be made of gold and their bridles made of aquamarine. They will ride these camels until they knock at the gate of Paradise.187

Surah Taha

Exegesis Of Verse No. 5

The Holy Quran reads,

The Beneficent Lord, Who is established on the Throne. (20:5)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

This means that the management of Almighty Allah is unchangeably established and His ordain is always elevated.188

Exegesis Of Verse No. 67

The Holy Quran reads,

And Moses conceived a fear in his mind. (20:67)

Imam Ali (‘a), explaining this holy verse, says,

Moses did not fear for himself; rather, he feared lest the ignorant ones would be triumph and the misleading ruling authorities would be the prevalent.189

Exegesis Of Verse No. 88

The Holy Quran reads,

Then, he (Al-Samiri) produced for them a calf, of saffron hue, which gave forth a lowing sound. And they cried, ‘This is your god and the god of Moses, but he has forgotten.’ (20:88)

Imam Ali (‘a) says,

When Moses rushed to meet his Lord, Al-Samiri collected jewelry of the children of Israel as much as he could, made of it a calf, and cast the handful (from the footstep of the messenger) into the interior of that statue, causing it to be an image of a calf that had a mooing sound. Al- Samiri then said to them, ‘This calf is the god of Moses and the god of you all!’ However, Aaron said to them, ‘‘Has not your Lord promised you a fair promise?’190

Surah Al-Anbiya'

Exegesis Of Verse No. 35

The Holy Quran reads,

Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us you will be returned. (21:35)

One day, Imam Ali (‘a) was sick when some of his friends visited him and asked about his current state. He (‘a) answered,

I am in evil!

Astonished by this answer, they said,

‘You have never said such a word and you are not expected to use such expressions.’

The Imam (‘a) explained,

Allah the All-exalted says, ‘We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal.’ Good stands for health and richness, while evil stands for sickness and poverty.191

Exegesis Of Verse No. 47

The Holy Quran reads,

And We set a just balance for the Day of Resurrection so that no soul is wronged in aught. Though it be of the weight of a grain of mustard seed, We bring it. And We suffice for reckoners. (21:47)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The just balance is the scales of justice. On the Resurrection Day, people will be weighed up on the scales of justice. Likewise, Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted will judge between the people according to the balance of justice.192

Exegesis Of Verse No. 101

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Those unto whom kindness has gone forth before from Us, they will be far removed from thence. (21:101)

In his discourse with Imam Ali (‘a), the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said,

O Ali, your devotees (Shi’ah) and you shall be on the Divine Pond to serve whomever you like from its water and to prevent whomever you hate from approaching it. On the day of the Supreme Horror, you will be the secured ones. About you, this verse was revealed: ‘Lo! Those unto whom kindness has gone forth before from Us, they will be far removed from thence.’ About you too, this verse was revealed:

‘The Supreme Horror will not grieve them, and the angels will welcome them, (saying): This is your Day which you were promised. (21:103)’

Exegesis Of Verse No. 104

The Holy Quran reads,

The Day when We shall roll up the heavens as a recorder rolls up a written scroll. As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise (binding) upon Us. Lo! We are to perform it. (21:104)

In his speech about the dead, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

So now, certainly I frighten you from this world for it is sweet and green, surrounded by lusts, and liked for its immediate enjoyments. It excites wonder with small things, is ornamented with false hopes, and decorated with deception. Its rejoicing does not last and its afflictions cannot be avoided.

It is deceitful, harmful, changing, perishable, exhaustible, liable to destruction, eating away, and destructive. When it reaches the extremity of desires of those who incline towards it and feel happy with it, the position is just what Allah the Glorified says in the Quran:

‘‘Like the water which We send down from heaven, and the herbage of the earth mingles with it, then it becomes dry stubble which the winds scatter; for Allah over all things hath power. (18:45)’

No person wins rejoicing from this world but tears come to him after it, and no one has its comforts in the front but he has to face hardships in the rear. No one receives the light rain of ease in it but the heavy rain of distress pours upon him. It is just worthy of this world that in the morning, it supports a man, but in the evening, it does not recognize him. If one side of it is sweet and pleasant, the other side is bitter and distressing.

No one secures enjoyment from its freshness but he has to face hardship from its calamities. No one would pass the evening under the wing of safety but that his morning would be under the feathers of the wing-tip of fear. It is deceitful, and all that is there in it is deception. It is perishable and all that is on it is to perish.

There is no good in its provisions except in piety. Whoever takes little from it, collects much of what would give him safety, while one who takes much from it takes much of what would ruin him. He would shortly depart from his collection. How many people relied on it but it distressed them; (how many) felt peaceful with it but it tumbled them down; how many were prestigious but it made them low, and how many were proud but it made them disgraceful.

Its authority is changing. Its life is dirty. Its sweet water is bitter. Its sweetness is like myrrh. Its foods are poisons. Its means are weak. The living in it is exposed to death; the healthy in it is exposed to disease. Its realm is liable to be snatched away. The strong in it is liable to be defeated, and the rich is liable to be afflicted with misfortune. The neighbor in it is liable to be plundered.

Are you not residing in the houses of those before you, who were of longer ages, better traces, had bigger desires, more in numbers, and who had greater armies? How they devoted themselves to the world and how they showed preference to it! Then they left it without any provision that could convey them through, or the back of a beast for riding to carry them.

Did you hear the news that the world was ever generous enough to present ransom for them, or gave them any support or afforded them good company? It rather inflicted them with troubles, made them languid with calamities, molested them with catastrophes, threw them down on their noses, trampled them under hoofs, and helped the vicissitudes of time against them. You have observed its strangeness towards those who went near it, acquired it, and appropriated it, until they depart from it for good.

Did it give them any provision other than starvation or make them stay in other than narrow places, or give them light other than gloom, or give them in the end anything other than repentance? Is this what you much ask for or remain satisfied with, or towards which you feel greedy? How bad this abode is for him who did not suspect it to be so and did not entertain fear from it!

You should know, as you do know, that you have to leave it and depart from it. While in it, take lesson from those ‘who proclaimed: who is more powerful than we are? (41:15),’ but they were carried to their graves, though not as riders. They were then made to stay in the graves, but not as guests. Graves were made for them from the surface of the ground. Their shrouds were made from earth. Old bones were made their neighbor. They are neighbors who do not answer a caller nor ward off trouble, nor pay heed to a mourner.

If they are rained, they do not feel happy, and if they face famine, they do not feel disappointed. They are together but each one apart. They are close together but they do not see each other. They are near but they do not meet. They are enduring and they have no hatred. They are ignorant and their malice has died away. There is no fear of trouble from them and no hope of their warding off troubles.

They have exchanged the back surface of the earth with its stomach (interior), vastness with narrowness, family with loneliness, and light with darkness. They have come to it (i.e. this world) as they had left it with bare feet and naked bodies. They departed from it with their acts towards the continuing life and everlasting house, as Allah has said,

‘As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise (binding) upon Us. Lo! We are to perform it. (21:104)

Surah Al-Hajj

Exegesis Of Verse No. 17

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Those who believe (this revelation), and those who are Jews, and the Sabaeans, and the Christians, and the Magians, and the idolaters - Lo! Allah will decide between them on the Day of Resurrection. Lo! Allah is Witness over all things. (22:17)

It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a), from the minbar, once said to the attendants, Ask me before you lose me.

Al-Ash’ath ibn Qays thus asked, ‘Why are the Magians subjected to the jizyah tax when no book from the heavens was revealed to them and no prophet was sent to them?’

Answering him, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

Yes, it is, O Ash’ath. Allah revealed to them a book and sent to them a prophet. One night, their king was drunk when he summoned his daughter and committed incest with her. The next morning when they heard about this incident, the people gathered at the door of the king’s palace and said, ‘O king, you have profaned our religion, causing it extermination. So, come out so that we will purify you and subject you to punishment.’

However, the king answered, ‘Come you all before me and listen to my justification. If it gives me a way out from what I have perpetrated, then accept it; otherwise, you may do to me whatever you want.’ When they all came together, the king asked, ‘Do you know that Allah has not created any being more honorable than our father Adam and our mother Eve?’ They all said, ‘This is true, O king.’ The king added, ‘Is it not true that Adam gave his daughters in marriage to his sons?’

They all said, ‘You are true. This is the true religion!’ Thus, they all agreed to follow this act as part of the religion. Once they did so, Almighty Allah erased knowledge from their minds and took off the book from them. They are thus disbelievers and they will go straightly to Hellfire without being interrogated for their deeds. However, the hypocrites are worse than they are.’193

Surah Al-Mu'minun

Exegesis Of Verse No. 2

The Holy Quran reads,

(It is they) Who are humble in their prayers. (23:2)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have explained humbleness in prayers that a performer of a prayer should not turn his face to other sides.194

Exegesis Of Verse No. 3

The Holy Quran reads,

And who shun vain conversation. (23:3)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Any speech that does not include a word of remembering Almighty Allah is considered vain conversation.195

Exegesis Of Verse No. 14

The Holy Quran reads,

Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So, blessed be Allah the Best of creators. (23:14)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

When the drop is four months old, Almighty Allah sends to it an angel to blow the soul in it in the threefold gloom. This is the meaning of His saying, ‘Then We produced it as another creation,’ which means the blowing of soul in it.196

Exegesis Of Verse No. 30

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Herein verily are portents, for lo! We are ever putting (mankind) to the test. (23:30)

In one of his sermons, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

O people, look at the world like those who abstain from it, and turn away from it. By Allah, it would shortly turn out its inhabitants and cause grief to the happy and the safe. That which turns and goes away from it never returns and that which is likely to come about is not known or anticipated. Its joy is mingled with grief. Herein men’s firmness inclines towards weakness and languidness. The majority of what pleases you here should not mislead you, because that which would help you would be little.

Allah may shower His mercy on him who ponders and takes lesson thereby, and when he takes lesson, he achieves enlightenment. Whatever is present in this world would shortly not exist, while whatever is to exist in the next world is already in existence. Every countable thing would pass away. Every anticipation should be taken to be coming up, and everything that is to come up should be taken as just near.

A true learned person is he who knows his worth. It is enough for a man to remain ignorant if he knows not his worth. Certainly, the most hated man with Allah is he whom Allah has left for his own self. He goes astray from the right path and moves without a guide. If he is called to the plantation of this world, he is active; but if he is called to the plantation of the next world, he is slow as though what he is active for is obligatory upon him whereas in whatever he is slow was not required of him.

There will be a time wherein only a sleeping (i.e. inactive) believer will be safe (such that) if he is present, he is not recognized, but if he is absent, he is not sought after. These are the lamps of guidance and banners of night journeys. They do not spread calumnies nor divulge secrets, nor slander. They are those for whom Allah will open the doors of His mercy and keep off from them the hardships of His chastisement.

O people, a time will come to you when Islam will be capsized as a pot is capsized with all its contents. O people, Allah has protected you from that which might be hard on you but He has not spared you from being put on trial. Allah the Most Sublime of all speakers has said,

‘Lo! Herein verily are portents, for lo! We are ever putting (mankind) to the test. (23:30)’197

Exegesis Of Verse No. 76

The Holy Quran reads,

Already have We grasped them with punishment, but they humble not themselves unto their Lord, nor do they pray. (23:76)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

These people did not behave modestly when they prayed Almighty Allah and did not submit themselves to Him. Had they submitted to Allah, He would have responded to their prayers.198

Al-A•bagh ibn Nubatah reported Imam Ali (‘a) as saying,

The Messenger of Allah (S) said,

‘To raise the hands in prayers is sort of istikanah (humbleness).’

When I asked him about the meaning of istikanah , the Messenger of Allah (S) referred me to this holy verse:

‘‘but they humble not themselves unto their Lord, nor do they pray. (23:76)”199

Surah Al-Nur

Exegesis Of Verse No. 30

The Holy Quran reads,

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what they do. (24:30)

Reporting the reason for the revelation of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

A young man from the Ansar saw a woman in Al-Madinah and kept gazing at her, because women at that time used to put their veil behind their ears. When she passed by him, he kept looking at her until he entered an alley and had to hit against a wall in which there was a piece of bone (or a piece of glass) that tore his face. When the woman went away, he noticed that blood was flowing on his dress and chest. He then came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and told him of the event. Hence, Archangel Gabriel descended to the Messenger of Allah (S) carrying the holy verse (involved).200

Exegesis Of Verse No. 37

The Holy Quran reads,

Men whom neither merchandise nor sale beguiles from remembrance of Allah and constancy in prayer and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned. (24:37)

Whenever he recited this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) used to say afterwards,

Certainly, Allah the Glorified and Sublime has made His remembrance the light for hearts, which hear with its help despite deafness, see with its help despite blindness, and become submissive with its help despite unruliness.

In all the periods and times, when there were no prophets, there have been persons with whom Allah precious are His bounties whispered through their wits and spoke through their minds. With the help of the bright awakening of their ears, eyes, and hearts, they keep reminding others of the remembrance of the days of Allah and making others feel fear for Him like guide-points in wildernesses.

Whoever adopts the middle way, they praise his ways and give him the tidings of deliverance, but whoever goes right and left, they vilify his ways and frighten him with ruin. In this way, they served as lamps in these darkness and guides through these doubts.

There are some people devoted to the remembrance of Allah who have adopted it in place of worldly matters so that commerce or trade does not turn them away from it. They pass their life in it. They speak into the ears of neglectful persons warning against matters held unlawful by Allah, they order them to practice justice and themselves keep practicing it, and they refrain them from the unlawful and themselves refrain from it. It is as though they have finished the journey of this world towards the next world and have beheld what lies beyond it.

Consequently, they have become acquainted with all that befell them in the interstice during their long stay therein, and the Day of Judgment fulfils its promises for them. Therefore, they removed the curtain from these things for the people of the world, until it was as though they were seeing what people did not see and were hearing what people did not hear.

If you picture them in your mind in their admirable positions and well- known sittings, when they have opened the records of their actions and are prepared to render an account of themselves in respect of the small as well as the big things they were ordered to do but they failed to do, or were ordered to refrain from but they indulged therein, and they realized the weight of their burden of bad acts on their backs, and they felt too weak to bear them, then they wept bitterly and spoke to each other while still crying and bewailing to Allah in repentance and acknowledgement of their shortcomings, you would find them to be emblems of guidance and lamps in darkness, angels would be surrounding them, peace would be descending upon them, the doors of the sky would be opened for them, and positions of honor would be assigned to them in the place of which Allah had informed them.

Therefore, He has appreciated their actions and praised their position. They call Him and breathe in the air of forgiveness, they are ever needy of His bounty and they remain humble before His greatness, the length of their grief has pained their hearts, and the length of weeping their eves. They knock at every door of inclination towards Allah. They ask Him Whose generosity does not make destitute and from Whom those who approach Him do not get disappointed.

Therefore, take account of yourself for your own sake because the account of others will be taken by one other than you.201

Exegesis Of Verse No. 39

The Holy Quran reads,

As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are as a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one supposes it to be water until he comes unto it and finds it naught, and finds, in the place thereof, Allah Who pays him his due; and Allah is swift at reckoning. (24:39)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have been asked as to how Almighty Allah reckons all people at the same time. He (‘a) answered,

He does so as same as he provides them all with sustenance at the same time.202

Exegesis Of Verse No. 43

The Holy Quran says,

Have you not seen how Allah wafts the clouds, then gathers them, then makes them layers, and you see the rain come forth from between them; He sends down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail, and smites there with whom He wills, and averts it from whom He wills. The flashing of His lightning all but snatches away the sight. (24:43)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) quotes the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

Allah the Almighty and All-majestic has made clouds to act as sieve for the rain. Clouds melt snow to change it into water so that it will not harm those on which (or whom) it comes down. However, the injuries caused by snow and thunderbolts are the chastisement of Allah the Almighty and All- majestic that He smites with whom He wills from among His servants.203

Surah Al-Furqan

Exegesis Of Verse No. 24

The Holy Quran reads,

Those who have earned Paradise on that day will be better in their home and happier in their place of resting. (25:24)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

On the last day of a son of Adam’s (i.e. human being) life in this world and his first day in the other world, his wealth, sons, and deed are put before his eyes in a human form. He will then turn his face toward his wealth and says, ‘By Allah, I have been extremely caring for you and I have been too stingy to spend you. What will you, on this day, give me in return?’ The wealth will say, ‘You may take your shroud from me!’

He then turns his face toward his sons and says, ‘By Allah, I have loved you very much and I have protected you as much as I could. What do you have with you for me on this day?’ They will answer, ‘We will escort you to your hole where we will bury you.’ He then turns his face toward his deed and says, ‘By Allah, I have neglected you and you have been very burdensome to me to do. Now, what do you have for me?’ His deed will answer, ‘I will be your comrade in your grave and during your resurrection until you and I will be stopped before your Lord.’

If that person is a friend of Allah, he will be received by one whose scent is the most pleasant, whose looking is the most handsome, and whose dress is the most beautiful. He will say to him, ‘Have these good tidings! You will enjoy rest, bounty, and a garden of bliss. Your coming is the best.’ The person will ask, ‘Who are you?’ He will be answered, ‘I am your righteous deed. Move from this world to Paradise.’ In fact, the righteous deed knows the person who performs the ritual bathing for the dead body and knows those who carry him to his grave. He thus encourages them to hurry up.

In the grave, the two interrogating angels of the grave, with such long hair that they pull after them and such heavy paces that shake the ground under their feet, will appear before him. With voices that are as earsplitting as thunder and with eyes that are as glowing as lightning, they will ask, ‘Who is your lord? What is your religion? Who is your prophet?’ The person will answer, ‘My lord is Allah, my religion is Islam, and my prophet is Muhammad (S).’ They will then say to him, ‘May Allah confirm you with what pleases and satisfies you!’ This is the meaning of Almighty Allah’s saying:

‘Allah confirms those who believe by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter. (14:27)’

The two angels will then open in his grave a place that is as spacious as his sight can take, and open before him a door that leads to Paradise. They will then say to him, ‘Sleep with tranquility and peace just like the sleeping of a fortunate young man, for Allah the Almighty and All-majestic says,

‘Those who have earned Paradise on that day will be better in their home and happier in their place of resting. (25:24)’204

Exegesis Of Verse No. 38

The Holy Quran reads,

And (the tribes of) ‘Ad and Thamud, and the dwellers in Al-Rass, and many generations in between. (25:38)

The following narration about the story of the dwellers of Al-Rass is quoted from Shaykh Al-Saduq’s ‘Uyun Akhbar Al-Ridha:

A noble man from the tribe of Tamim, named ‘Amr, went to see Imam Ali (‘a) three days before he was martyred. In the presence of the Imam (‘a), he asked, ‘O Leader of the Believers, please inform me about the People of the Ditch; at what time they lived, where their houses were, who their king was, whether Almighty Allah sent a prophet to them or not, and how they were destroyed, because they are mentioned in the Quran without any details.’

Imam Ali (‘a) said,

You have asked me about an issue that no one else had asked me about before. No one will be able to tell you anything about it after me unless he will quote me. There are no verses in the Book of Almighty Allah that I do not know. I also know the interpretation of all these verses. I know where they have been revealed on a mountain or in a valley. I know at what time they have been revealed: at night or in daytime.

At this point, Imam Ali (‘a) pointed at his chest and said,

Here is a lot of knowledge. However, very few are those who seek it. Soon will they be sorry when they lose me.

The Imam (‘a) continued,

O brother from the Tamim tribe, this is their account: They were a tribe that worshipped a pine tree, which they called Shah Derakht. Japheth the son of Prophet Noah had planted it beside a spring called Dushab. This spring had gushed out for Prophet Noah after the Flood. These people were called the People of the Ditch (Al-Rass) because they dug their homes out of the ground.

They lived in the era that followed the passing away of Prophet Solomon the son of Prophet David. They had twelve towns next to a river from the eastern lands called Rass. The river was afterwards known as Al-Rass. At that time, there were no other rivers on the earth so overflowing with such delicious water. There were also no towns more urbanized than they were. The twelve towns were called Aban, Adhar , Day , Bahman , Isfandar , Farwardin , Urdibehesht , Khurdad , Murdad , Tir , Mehr , and Shahriwar.

The largest of the towns was Isfandar in which their king lived. His name was Tarkudh the son of Ghabur the son of Yarish the son of Sazan the son of Nimrod205 who was the archenemy of Prophet Abraham. The spring and the pine tree were located in this town. They had planted one of the seeds of that pine tree in each town. The seeds grew into large trees. They had made it forbidden to use the water from the spring and the rivers. Neither the animals nor the people were allowed to drink from that water. They would kill anyone who violated this order. They said, ‘This water is the source of life of our gods. It is not allowable for anyone to reduce their lifespan.’

They themselves and their animals used to drink from River Al-Rass along which the towns were built. They had set up celebrations in each town every month of the year. The people of the town would gather around the large pine tree in their own and set up a large silk tent that was full of colorful designs around the pine tree. Then, they would bring sheep and cows and offer them for sacrifice to that tree.

Then, they would pile up wood on the animals that they had slaughtered and set them on fire. Once the smoke from the fire filled up the air and blocked off the sky from their view, they would then fall in prostration before the tree. They would cry to please the tree. Satan would also come and shake the tree and yell from the trunk of the tree like a child, saying, ‘O my servants! I am pleased with you. Be happy and blessed.’ Then, they would raise their heads from prostration. They drank wine and played music with cymbals. They would spend the whole day and night this way and then leave.

The Persians adopted the names of those towns for their months, since the people of those towns used to say that this was the day of celebration for that month. On the day of celebration, all people in the largest village, both young and old, gathered together in the town and set up a silver tent full of colorful designs near the spring and the pine tree. The tent had twelve entrances; each entrance was assigned to the people of one of the towns.

They would make prostrations to the pine tree in front of the tent and sacrifice many more animals than they did for the pine tree in the smaller villages. Satan would come to that tree and shake the pine very hard. He would talk loudly from within the tree and promise them a lot of fake promises much more than all the other devils did. The people would raise their heads from prostration and pass out due to extreme happiness and pleasure. They could not talk since they drank too much and listened to too much music. They would spend twelve days and nights as many days as they had celebrations during the year celebrating that way. Then, they would leave.

When disbelief in Almighty Allah and worship of false deities spread amongst them, Almighty Allah sent them a prophet from the children of Israel one of the sons of Judah the son of Jacob (i.e. Israel). He lived among them for a very long time and invited them to recognize the Almighty Allah and to worship Him as the one and only god. However, they did not obey him.

When he realized that they were at a great loss and they rejected his invitation to development and progress, he attended the celebrations held in the biggest town and said, ‘O God, these servants of You do nothing but denying me and rejecting You. They worship a tree that neither harms them nor has any benefits. Please, dry up all the trees and show them Your power and grandeur.’ The next morning, all the trees withered. People were scared at this and they felt hopeless and powerless. They then divided into two groups.

One group said, ‘This man who claims to be the messenger of the Lord of the heavens and the earth has bewitched your gods in order to redirect your attention from our gods to his God.’ The other group said, ‘No! Your gods have seen this man find faults with them and say irrelevant things about them. They have become angry since he invites you to his God. Thus, the gods have covered up the beauty of the trees from you so that you would be angry and take their revenge against this man.’

Therefore, they all decided to kill him. They brought long, big, lead pipes and mounted them one on top of another from the depth of the spring up to the surface of water. Then, they emptied the water in them and dug a deep well in the bottom of the pipes with a narrow opening on top. They threw their prophet in the well, put a big rock on top of the well, and removed the pipes. They said, ‘Now, our gods saw that we killed the person who talked ill about them and prevented us from worshipping them.

They saw that we buried him under the greatest god so that the greatest god would be pleased. We hope that our gods have become happy with us now, and the blossoms and the freshness return to us like before.’ The people could hear their prophet moaning the whole day and saying, ‘O God, You see the tightness of this place and the extent of my discomfort. Have mercy on my weakness and my losing any way out. Please, rush to take my life. Do not delay Your response to my prayer.’

The prophet finally died. Almighty Allah asked Gabriel, ‘Can these servants who have been fooled by My tolerance imagine that they are secure from My wrath having killed My prophet and worshipped gods other than Me? How can they imagine that they can withstand My wrath and depart from the domain of My reign? I take revenge against whoever disobeys Me and does not fear My chastisement. I have sworn by My majesty and honor that I will establish them as lessons for the people of the world to take heed of.’

Almighty Allah first scared them with red winds and they were wandering about the storm. As they were scared, they sought refuge in each other. However, the ground turned into blazing sulfur under their feet and a black cloud overshadowed them and dropped a molten dome like fire over them. Their bodies melted in fire like lead.

We take refuge in Almighty Allah from His wrath and chastisement. There is neither might nor power except with Allah the All-high and All-great.206

Surah Al-Qasas

Exegesis Of Verse No. 5

The Holy Quran reads,

And We desired to show favor unto those who were oppressed in the earth and to make them examples and to make them the inheritors. (28:5)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The world shall bend towards us after having been refractory as the biting she-camel bends towards its young.

The Imam (‘a) then recited the holy verse involved.207

Exegesis Of Verse No. 77

The Holy Quran reads,

Seek the abode of the Hereafter in that which Allah has given you and neglect not your portion of the world, and be you kind even as Allah has been kind to you, and seek not corruption in the earth; lo! Allah loves not corrupters. (28:77)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have explained this holy verse as follows:

It means: Do not neglect making use of your health, strength, spare time, youth, and activity in seeking for the Hereafter.208

Exegesis Of Verse No. 83

The Holy Quran reads,

As for that Abode of the Hereafter, We assign it unto those who seek not oppression in the earth, nor yet corruption. The sequel is for those who ward off evil. (28:83)

It is reported that Imam Ali (‘a), during the days of his caliphate, used to walk in marketplaces to guide the lost, help the weak, and recite the holy verse involved before the sellers and grocers. He would say after that,

This holy verse was revealed to express the manners of the just and modest rulers and the powerful people.209

Exegesis Of Verse No. 88

The Holy Quran reads,

And call not with Allah any other god. There is no god but He. Everything is perishable but His Face. His is the judgment and to Him you shall be brought back. (28:88)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The meaning is that everything will perish except the religion of Allah, because it is impossible that all parts of Him should be perishable except for the face. Almighty Allah is too majestic and too great to be so. What perishes is what is not part of Him. Consider His saying,

‘Everyone on it must pass away and there will endure forever the Face of your Lord; the Lord of glory and honor. (55:26-7)’210

Surah Al-’Ankabut

Exegesis Of Verse No. 2

The Holy Quran reads,

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We believe,’ and not be tried? (29:2)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

When Allah the Glorified sent down this verse: Alif lam mim. Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We believe,’ and not be tried?’ I came to know that the disturbance would not befall us so long as the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his progeny) is among us. So, I said, ‘O Prophet of Allah, what is this disturbance of which Allah the Sublime has informed you?’ He replied, ‘O Ali, my people will be tried after me.’211

Exegesis Of Verse No. 5

The Holy Quran reads,

Whoever hopes to meet Allah, the term appointed by Allah will then most surely come; and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (29:5)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said, He who believes that he will be resurrected, then the promise of Allah to award some people and punish others will certainly come. Hence, ‘meeting Allah’ mentioned in this verse stands for the resurrection, but not for seeing Him.212

Surah Al-Rum

Exegesis Of Verse No. 39

The Holy Quran reads,

And whatever you lay out as usury so that it may increase in the property of men, it shall not increase with Allah; and whatever you give in charity, desiring Allah's pleasure, it is these (persons) that shall get manifold. (30:39)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Allah has laid down faith for purification from polytheism, prayer for purification from vanity; levy (zakat ) as a means of livelihood, fasting as a trial of the people, ritual pilgrimage (aajj ) as a support for religion, jihad (fighting in the way of Allah) for the honor of Islam, enjoining the right (Al-amr bi’l-ma ‘ruf ) for the good of the common people, forbidding from the wrong (Al-nahy ‘an Al-munkar ) for the control of the mischievous, regard for kinship for increase of number, revenge for stoppage of bloodshed, the award of penalties for the realization of the importance of the prohibitions, the abstinence from drinking wine for protection of the wit, avoidance of theft for inculcating chastity, abstinence from adultery for safeguarding descent, abstinence from sodomy for increase of progeny, tendering evidence for furnishing proof against contentions, abstinence from telling lies for increasing esteem for truth, maintenance of peace for protection from danger, the Divinely ordained leadership (Imamate) for the orderliness of the community, and obedience to the Imams as a mark of respect to Imamate.213

Surah Luqman

Exegesis Of Verse No. 34

The Holy Quran reads,

Surely, Allah is He with Whom is the knowledge of the hour (of Resurrection), and He sends down the rain, and He knows what is in the wombs, and no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow, and no one knows in what land he shall die. Surely, Allah is Knowing, Aware. (31:34)

Imam Ali (‘a) has specified the knowledge of the unseen (‘ilm Al-ghayb) with these five matters. Hence, none can have knowledge of any of these matters except Almighty Allah Who alone knows the unseen.

Surah Al-Ahzab

Exegesis Of Verse No. 41

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance. (33:41)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

He who remembers Allah in secret has in fact remembered Him much remembrance. The hypocrites remember Allah in the public but they never remember him in secret. Therefore, Allah the Almighty and All-majestic describes them as: ‘Lo! The hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is He Who beguiles them. When they stand up to worship, they perform it languidly and to be seen of men. They do not remember Allah little. (4:142)214

Exegesis Of Verse No. 56

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe, ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. (33:56)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Always invoke Allah’s blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad and his Household, because Allah the All-exalted will then admit your prayers when you mention him, invoke Allah’s blessings on him, and persevere in remembering him. Whenever you recite this verse:

‘Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet,’

you may invoke Allah’s blessings upon the Prophet whether you were engaged in a ritual prayer or in any other action.215

Exegesis Of Verse No. 72

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man assumed it. Lo! He has proved a tyrant and a fool. (33:72)

About the significance of the trust, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Then, as regards fulfillment of trust, whoever does not pay attention to it will be disappointed. It was placed before the strong skies, vast layers of the earth, and high mountains, but none of them was found to be stronger, vaster, or higher than it. If anything could be unapproachable because of height, vastness, power, or strength, they would have been unapproachable, but they felt afraid of the evil consequences (of failure in fulfilling a trust) and noticed what a weaker being did not realize it, and this was man: ‘Lo! He has proved a tyrant and a fool.’216

Surah Saba'

Exegesis Of Verse No. 37

The Holy Quran reads,

And it is not your wealth nor your children that will bring you near unto Us, but he who believes and does good deeds, (he draws near). As for such, theirs will be having twofold reward for what they did and they will dwell secure in lofty halls. (34:37)

Explaining the twofold reward, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

On the Resurrection Day, Almighty Allah will count their rewardable deeds and will give them ten to seven hundred folds for each single rewardable act. Allah the Almighty and All-majestic says, ‘A reward from your Lord, a gift according to a reckoning. (78/36)’ He also says, ‘As for such, theirs will be having twofold reward for what they did and they will dwell secure in lofty halls.’217

Exegesis Of Verse No. 39

The Holy Quran reads,

Say: Surely, my Lord amplifies the means of subsistence for whom He pleases of His servants and straitens them for whom He pleases, and whatever thing you spend, He replaces it, and He is the best of sustainers. (34:39)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying,

Every day has ill omen; so, ward off the ill omen of that day with alms that you give.

Imam Ali (‘a) then said,

Recite the pieces in which the replacement of spending is mentioned, for I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘’Whatever thing you spend, He replaces it.’ If you do not spend, how will He replace it?’218

Surah Fatir

Exegesis Of Verse No. 1

The Holy Quran reads,

All praise is due to Allah the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Maker of the angels messengers flying on wings; two, three, and four. He increases in creation what He pleases. Surely, Allah has power over all things. (35:1)

Describing the creation of the angels, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

(O Allah,) You have created angels and lodged them Your heavens. They are never lazy, nor inadvertent, nor disobedient to You. They are the most knowledgeable of all of Your creatures with You, the most fearful of all of Your creatures from You, the closest of all of Your creatures to You, and the most versed in obedience to You. They are overcome by neither sleep of eyes, nor inattentiveness of intellects, nor fatigue of bodies.

They did not reside in the backbones of men and they were not included in the wombs of women and You did not create them from despised fluid. You fashioned them in such fashioning that befits them to inhabit Your skies, conferred upon them the honor of being in Your vicinity, entrusted them with Your revelations, guarded them against maladies, protected them against ordeals, and purified them from sinning. Were it not for Your power, they would not be powerful. Were it not for Your fixing, they would not be fixed. Were it not for Your mercy, they would not obey You. Were it not for You, they would not exist. Behold!

Despite their high position in Your sight, their obedience to You, standing with You, and lack of inadvertence of Your orders, if they could realize Your affairs that are hidden from them, they would despise all their deeds towards You, they would disparage themselves, and they would discover for sure that they had never served You as You should be served. Glory be to You; You are the Creator and the Worshipped. How excellent Your deeds to Your creatures are!219

Surah Yasin

Exegesis Of Verse No. 12

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! We it is Who bring the dead to life. We record that which they send before them, and their footprints. And all things We have kept in a clear Register. (36:12)

Praising Imam Ali (‘a), the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said,

Ali is verily the Clear Register (i.e. Imam) in whom Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted has kept the knowledge of all things.220

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

By Allah, I am the Clear Imam; I clarify the truth against the falsehood. I have inherited this capability from the Messenger of Allah (S).221

Exegesis Of Verse No. 65

The Holy Quran reads,

This day, We seal up their mouths, and their hands speak out to Us, and their feet bear witness as to what they used to earn. (36:65)

Describing the horror of the Resurrection Day, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted will then seal up their months and make the hands, legs, and skins speak up. So, they will testify to each and every act of disobedience they have committed. Then, Allah will remove the sealing from their mouths, and they will ask their skins, ‘Why have you testified against us?’222

Exegesis Of Verse No. 70

The Holy Quran reads,

(so as) to warn whosoever lives, and that the word may be fulfilled against the disbelievers. (36:70)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

By ‘whosoever lives,’ it is meant the people of reason.223

Exegesis Of Verse No. 82

The Holy Quran reads,

His command, when He intends anything, is only to say to it, ‘Be!’ So, it comes to be . (36:82)

Imam Ali (‘a), in one of his most brilliant sermons, says,

He who assigns to Him (i.e. Almighty Allah) different conditions does not believe in His oneness, nor does he who likens Him grasp His reality. He who illustrates Him does not signify Him. He who points at Him and imagines Him does not mean Him.

Everything that is known through itself has been created, and everything that exists by virtue of other things is the effect of a cause. He works but not with the help of instruments. He fixes measures but not with the activity of thinking. He is rich but not by acquisition.

Times do not keep company with Him, and implements do not help Him. His Being precedes times. His Existence precedes nonexistence, and His eternity precedes beginning. By His creating the senses, it is known that He has no senses. By the contraries in various matters, it is known that He has no contrary.

By the similarity between things, it is known that there is nothing similar to Him. He has made light the contrary of darkness, brightness the contrary of gloom, dryness the contrary of moisture, and heat the contrary of cold. He produces affection among inimical things.

He fuses together diverse things, brings near remote things, and separates things, which are joined together. He is not confined by limits nor counted by numbers. Material parts can surround things of their own kind, and organs can point out things similar to themselves. The word ‘mudhu (since)’ disproves their eternity, the word ‘qad (that denotes nearness of time of occurrence)’ disproves their being from ever, and the word ‘lawla (if it were not)’ keeps them remote from perfection.

Through them, the Creator manifests Himself to the intelligence, and through them, He is guarded from the sight of the eyes.

Stillness and motion do not occur in Him, and how can that thing occur in Him, which He has Himself made to occur? And how can a thing revert to Him, which He first created? And how can a thing appear in Him, which He first brought to appearance? If it had not been so, His Self would have become subject to diversity, His Being would have become divisible into parts, and His reality would have been prevented from being deemed eternal.

If there had been a front to Him, there would have been a rear also for Him. He would need completing only if shortage befell Him. In that case, signs of the created would appear in Him, and He would become a sign leading to other objects instead of signs leading to Him. Through the might of His abstention from affectedness, He is far above being affected by things, which affect others.

He is that which does not change or vanish. The process of setting does not behove Him. He has not begotten any one lest He be regarded as having been born. He has not been begotten otherwise He would be contained within limits. He is too High to have sons. He is too purified to contact women. Imagination cannot reach Him so as to assign Him quantity.

Understanding cannot think of Him so as to give him shape. Senses do not perceive Him so as to feel Him. Hands cannot touch Him so as to rub against Him. He does not change into any condition. He does not pass from one state to another. Nights and days do not turn Him old. Light and darkness do not alter Him.

It cannot be said that He has a limit or extremity, or end or termination; nor do things control Him so as to raise Him or lower Him, nor does anything carry Him so as to bend Him or keep Him erect. He is not inside things nor outside them. He conveys news, but not with the tongue or voice. He listens, but not with the holes of the ears or the organs of hearing.

He says, but does not utter words. He remembers, but does not memorize. He determines, but not by exercising His mind. He loves and approves without any sentimentality of heart. He hates and feels angry without any painstaking. When He intends to create someone, He says, ‘Be!’ and there he is, but not through a voice that strikes the ears. His speech is an act of His creation. His like never existed before this. If there had been eternity to precede His existence, it would have been the second god.

It cannot be said that He came into being after He had not been in existence, because in that case, the attributes of the created things would be assigned to Him and there would remain no difference between them and Him, and He would have no distinction over them.

Thus, the Creator and the created would become equal and the initiator and the initiated would be on the same level. He created the whole of creation without any example made by someone else, and He did not secure the assistance of any one out of His creation for creating it.

He created the earth and suspended it without being busy, retained it without support, made it stand without legs, raised it without pillars, protected it against bendings and curvings, and defended it against crumbling and splitting into parts. He fixed mountains on it like stumps, solidified its rocks, caused its streams to flow, and opened wide its valleys. Whatever He made did not suffer from any flaw, and whatever He strengthened did not show any weakness.

He manifests Himself over the earth with His authority and greatness. He is aware of its inside through His knowledge and understanding. He has power over every thing in the earth by virtue of His sublimity and almightiness. Nothing from the earth, which He may ask for, defies Him, nor does it oppose Him so as to overpower Him.

No swift-footed creature can run away from Him so as to surpass Him. He is not needy towards any possessing person so that he should feed Him. All things bow to Him and all things are humble before His greatness. They cannot flee away from His authority to someone else in order to escape His benefit or His harm. There is no parallel for Him who may match Him and no one like Him so as to equal Him.

He will destroy the earth after its existence until all that which exists on it will become nonexistent. But the extinction of the world after its creation is not stranger than its first formation and invention. How could it be? Even if all the animals of the earth, whether birds or beasts, stabled cattle or pasturing ones, of different origins and species, dull people and sagacious men if all these jointly try to create even a mosquito, they are not able to bring it into being and they do not understand what the way to its creation is.

Their wits are bewildered and wandering. Their powers fall short and fail, and return disappointed and tired, knowing that they are defeated and admitting their inability to produce it, also realizing that they are too weak even to destroy it.224

Surah Al-Saffat

Exegesis of Verse No. 6

The Holy Quran reads,

Surely, We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment; the stars. (37:6)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Verily, these stars that are in the sky are cities just like the cities that are on the earth.225

Exegesis of Verse No. 24

The Holy Quran reads,

And stop them, for they shall be questioned. (37:24)

Explaining this holy verse, Abu-Sa’id Al-Khidri is reported to have said that the servants of Allah should be questioned about the divinely ordained loyalty to Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib a.s.226

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

The two feet of any servant (of Allah) shall not be allowed to make any move before the servant will be questioned about four matters; how he spent his lifetime, what he used his youth for, how he earned his income and how he spent it, and how he loved us the Ahl Al-Bayt.227

Exegesis of Verse No. 99

The Holy Quran reads,

And he (Abraham) said, ‘Surely, I fly to my lord. He will guide me.’ (37:99)

Imam Ali (‘a), answering a man who asked him about some allegorical Quranic verses, said,

I have already informed you that the interpretation of some pieces of the Book of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic can be different from their revelation, which is different from the speech of human beings. I will now cite some examples for you so that you will be sufficiently convinced, if Allah wills.

One example is the saying of Abraham, ‘Surely, I fly to my lord. He will guide me.’ Abraham’s flight to his Lord stands for his turning to Him in devotional acts, his painstaking efforts that are purposed purely for the Lord’s sake, and his seeking nearness to Him. As you see, the interpretation of this verse is different from its revelation (i.e. the external meaning).228

Exegesis of Verse No. 130

The Holy Quran reads,

Peace be unto Il-Yasin. (37:130)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Yasin in Muhammad (S); and we are the family of Yasin.229

Surah Sad

Exegesis of Verse No. 16

The Holy Quran reads,

They say, ‘Our Lord! Hasten on for us our fate before the Day of Reckoning.’ (38:16)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The word ‘qitt (fate)’ means the share of chastisement.230

Exegesis of Verse No. 32

The Holy Quran reads,

And he said, ‘Lo! I have preferred the good things to the remembrance of my Lord until they were taken out of sight behind the curtain. (38:32)

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas is reported to have asked Imam Ali (‘a) about the meaning of this holy verse, and the Imam (‘a) first asked him,

What is the explanation of this verse that you have received?

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘I heard Ka’b saying: Prophet Solomon was engaged in the horses that were shown before him until he missed performing the prayer. He thus said, ‘Bring them (i.e. the horses) back to me.’ He thus ordered these horses, which were fourteen, to be beheaded by sword. He therefore killed them all. As a punishment, Allah divested him of his kingdom for fourteen days because he had wronged these horses when he killed them.’

Imam Ali (‘a) said,

Liar is Ka’b! The truth is that Prophet Solomon, one day, engaged himself in checking the horses which he had intended to use in fighting against the enemy until the sun took out of sight behind the horizon. When he took notice of so, he said on account of the command of Allah the All-exalted to the angels who are entrusted with the sun, ‘Bring the sun back to me.’ So, the sun was brought back to him and he could perform the Afternoon Prayer. Indeed, the prophets of Allah never commit any wrongdoing and never order of any wrongdoing, because they are safeguarded and purified against wrongdoing.231

Exegesis of Verses No. 71 and 72

The Holy Quran reads,

When your Lord said unto the angels, ‘Lo! I am about to create a mortal out of mire. And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then fall down before him prostrate. (38:71-2)

About the disdain or refusal of Satan to prostrate himself before Adam on the command of Almighty Allah, Imam Ali (‘a) says in one of his speeches,

Praise be to Allah Who wears the apparel of honor and dignity and has chosen them for Himself instead of for His creation. He has made them inaccessible and unlawful for others. He has selected them for His own great Self, and has hurled a curse on him who contests with Him concerning them.

Then, He put His angels on trial concerning these attributes in order to distinguish those who are modest from those who are vain. Therefore, Allah, Who is aware of whatever is hidden in the hearts and whatever lies behind the unseen said, ‘’Verily, I am about to create man from clay. And when I have completed and have breathed into him of My spirit, then fall you prostrating in obeisance unto him.’ And did fall prostrating in obeisance the angels all together save Iblis.’

His vanity stood in his way. Consequently, he felt proud over Adam by virtue of his creation and boasted over him on account of his origin. Thus, this enemy of Allah is the leader of those who boast, and the forerunner of the vain. It is he who laid the foundation of factionalism, quarreled with Allah about the robe of greatness, put on the dress of haughtiness, and took off the covering of humility.

Do you not see how Allah made him low on account of his vanity and humiliated him for his feigning to be high? He discarded him in this world and provided for him burning fire in the next world.

If Allah had wanted to create Adam from a light whose glare would have dazzled the eyes, whose handsomeness would have amazed the wits, and whose smell would have caught the breath, He could have done so; and if He had done so, people would have bowed to him in humility and the trial of the angels through him would have become easier.

But Allah the Glorified tries His creatures by means of those things whose real nature they do not know in order to distinguish good and bad for them through the trial, to remove vanity from them, and to keep them aloof from pride and self-admiration.

You should take a lesson from what Allah did with Satan; namely, He nullified his great acts and extensive efforts on account of the vanity of one moment, although Satan had worshipped Allah for six thousand years whether by the reckoning of this world or of the next world is not known.

Who now can remain safe from Allah after Satan by committing a similar disobedience? None at all. Allah the Glorified cannot let a human being enter Paradise if he does the same thing for which Allah turned out from it an angel. His command for the inhabitants in the sky and of the earth is the same. There is no friendship between Allah and any individual out of His creation so as to give him license for an undesirable thing, which He has held unlawful for all the worlds.

Therefore, you should fear lest Satan infects you with his disease, leads you astray through his call, or marches on you with his horsemen and footmen, because, by my life, he has put the arrow in the bow for you, has stretched the bow strongly, and has aimed at you from a nearby position, and: ‘He (Satan) said, ‘My Lord! Because You have left me to stray, certainly will I adorn unto them the path of error, and certainly will I cause them all to go astray.’’

Although he (Satan) had said so only by guessing about the unknown future and by wrong conjecturing, the sons of vanity, the brothers of haughtiness, and the horsemen of pride and intolerance proved him to be true, so much so that when disobedient persons from among you bowed before him, and his greed about you gained strength; and what was a hidden secret turned into a clear fact, he spread his full control over you and marched with his forces towards you.

Then, they (Satan and his party) pushed you into the hollows of disgrace, threw you into the whirlpools of slaughter, and trampled you, wounding you by striking your eyes with spears, cutting your throats, tearing your nostrils, breaking your limbs, and taking you in ropes of control towards the fire already prepared. In this way, he became more harmful to your religion and a greater kindler of flames of mischief about your worldly matters than the enemies against whom you showed open opposition and against whom you marched your forces.

You should therefore spend all your force against him and all your efforts against him, because, by Allah, he boasted over your origin, questioned your position, and spoke lightly of your lineage. He advanced on you with his army and brought his footmen towards your path. They are chasing you from every place and they are hitting you at every finger joint. You are not able to defend by any means, nor can you repulse them by any determination. You are in the thick of disgrace, the ring of straitness, the field of death, and the way of distress.

You should therefore put out the fires of haughtiness and the flames of intolerance that are hidden in your hearts. This vanity can exist in a Muslim only by the machinations of Satan, his haughtiness, mischief, and whisperings. Make up your mind to have humility over your heads, to trample self-pride under your feet, and to cast off vanity from your necks. Adopt humility as the weapon between you and your enemy: Satan and his forces.

He certainly has, from every people, fighters, helpers, footmen, and horsemen. Do not be like him who feigned superiority over the son of his own mother without any distinction given to him by Allah except the feeling of envy, which his feeling of greatness created in him and the fire of anger that vanity kindled in his heart. Satan blew into his nose his own vanity, after which Allah gave him remorse and made him responsible for the sins of all killers up to the Day of Judgment.

Beware! You strove hard in revolting and created mischief on the earth in open opposition to Allah and in challenging the believers over fighting. You should fear Allah in feeling proud of your vanity and boasting over ignorance, because this is the root of enmity and the design of Satan wherewith he has been deceiving past people and bygone ages, with the result that they fell into the gloom of his ignorance and the hollows of his misguidance, submitting to his driving and accepting his leadership. In this matter, the hearts of all the people were similar, and centuries passed by, one after the other, in just the same way, and there was vanity with which chests were tightened.232

Surah Al-Zumar

Exegesis of Verse No. 42

The Holy Quran reads,

Allah receives the souls at the time of their death, and that soul which dies not yet, (He receives it) in its sleep. He keeps that soul for which He has ordained death and dismisses the rest until an appointed term. Lo! Herein verily are portents for people who take thought. (39:42)

Imam Ali (‘a), answering a man who asked him about some allegorical Quranic verses, said, Allah the Almighty says,

‘Say, ‘The angel of death, who has charge concerning you, will receive you.’ (32:11)’

He also says,

‘Allah receives the souls at the time of their death. (39:42)’

He also says,

‘When death comes unto one of you, Our messengers receive him. (6:61)’

He also says,

‘Whom the angels receive while they are wronging themselves’ (16:28)

He also says,

‘Those whom the angels receive when they are good’ (16:32)’

Be it known to you that Allah the All-blessed and All-exalted manages the matter the way He wills and entrusts whomever of His creatures He wills with whatever matter He wills. As for the Angel of Death, Allah entrusts him with the elite creatures of Him as He wills. As for the messenger- angels, Allah entrust them with the elite creatures of Him as He wills.

A knowledgeable man cannot explain the entire knowledge of him, because there are among people those who are strong-minded and those who are feeble-minded. Besides, some aspects of knowledge can be bearably understood while other aspects cannot be understood unless Allah helps some people to understand them. He thus assists some of His elite creatures to bear these aspects of knowledge.

However, you are not required to know more than that Allah gives life and causes death and that He receives the souls at the hands of some of His creatures as He wills, be they angels or other categories of creatures.233

Exegesis of Verse No. 53

The Holy Quran reads,

Say, ‘O My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt, despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgives all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ (39:53)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

There is no verse in the Holy Quran more inclusive than this verse (i.e. the one involved).234

Exegesis of Verse No. 73

The Holy Quran reads,

And those who keep their duty to their Lord are driven unto the Garden in troops; until when they reach it and the gates thereof are opened and the warders thereof say unto them, ‘Peace be unto you! You are good; so, enter you (the Garden of delight) to dwell therein.’ (39:73)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

There are eight gates of Paradise; from one gate will the prophets and the veracious servants enter therein, from another gate will the martyrs and the righteous enter therein, and from the other five gates will our devotees and our lovers enter therein.235

Surah Ghafir

Exegesis of Verse No. 16

The Holy Quran reads,

The day when they come forth, nothing of them being hidden from Allah. ‘Whose is the Sovereignty this day?’ ‘It is Allah's the One the Almighty.’ (40:16)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Allah the Almighty and All-majestic will ask, ‘Whose is the sovereignty this day?’ He then makes the souls of the prophets, messengers, and argument-persons of Him to say, ‘It is Allah’s the One and Almighty.’ Allah majestic be His majesty will then say, ‘This day is each soul requited that which it has earned.’236

In his discourse about the termination of this world, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Surely, after the extinction of the world, Allah the Glorified will remain alone with nothing else beside Him. He will be, after its extinction, as He was before its production: without time or place or moment or period. At this moment, period and time will not exist, and years and hours will disappear. There will be nothing except Allah the One and the All- powerful.

To Him is the return of all matters. Its initial creation was not in its power; and the prevention of its extinction was not in its power either. If it had had the power to prevent it, it would have existed forever. When He made anything of the world, the making of it did not cause Him any difficulty, and the creation of anything, which He created and formed, did not fatigue Him.

He did not create it to heighten His authority nor for fear of loss or harm, nor to seek its help against an overwhelming foe, nor to guard against any avenging opponent with its help, nor for the extension of His domain by its help, nor for boasting over largeness of His possession against a partner, nor because He felt lonely and desired to seek its company.

Then, after its creation, He will destroy it, but not because any worry has overcome Him neither in its upkeep and administration, nor for any pleasure that will accrue to Him, nor for the cumbrousness of anything over Him. The length of its life does not weary Him so as to induce Him to its quick destruction. But Allah the Glorified has maintained it with His kindness, kept it intact with His command, and perfected it with His power.

Then, after its destruction, He will resuscitate it, but not for any need of His Own towards it, nor to seek the assistance of any of its things against it, nor to change over from the condition of loneliness to that of company, nor from the condition of ignorance and blindness to that of knowledge and search, nor from paucity and need towards needlessness and plenty, nor from disgrace and lowliness towards honor and prestige.237

Surah Fussilat

Exegesis of Verse No. 11

The Holy Quran reads,

Then turned He to the heaven when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth, ‘Come both of you willingly or loath.’ They said, ‘We come obedient.’ (41:11)

About the creation of the heavens, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Among the proofs of His creation is the creation of the skies, which are fastened without pillars and stand without support. He called them and they responded obediently and humbly without being lazy or loathsome. If they had not acknowledged His Godhead and obeyed Him, He would not have made them the place for His throne, the abode of His angels, and the destination for the rising up of the pure utterances and the righteous deeds of the creatures.238

Exegesis of Verse No. 22

The Holy Quran reads,

You did not hide yourselves lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you, but you deemed that Allah knew not much of what you did. (41:22)

In his famous instructive will to his son Muhammad, Imam Ali (‘a) interpreted the ‘skins’ into ‘private parts.’239

Exegesis of Verse No. 29

The Holy Quran reads,

And those who disbelieve will say, ‘Our Lord! Show us those two who beguiled us of the jinn and humankind. We will place them underneath our feet that they may be among the nethermost.’ (41:29)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have interpreted ‘those two who beguiled us’ into Iblis (Satan) and Cain the son of Adam, because Cain was the first human being to commit an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah on the earth.240

Surah Al-Shura

Exegesis of Verse No. 27

The Holy Quran reads,

And if Allah were to enlarge the provision for His slaves, they would surely rebel in the earth; but He sends down by measure as He wills. Lo! He is Informed, a Seer of His bondmen. (42:27)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said that this holy verse was revealed to express the manners of the Ahl Al-Suffah (i.e. the homeless Muslims who used to sit against the wall of the Prophet’s Mosque begging and receiving the alms of the wealthy Muslims) when they wished had they been granted worldly pleasures.241

Exegesis of Verse No. 30

The Holy Quran reads,

Whatever of misfortune strikes you, it is what your hands have earned. And He forgives much. (42:30)

Al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah reported Imam Ali (‘a) to have said,

I am going to deliver a discourse that each Muslim individual is required to understand. Allah is too generous and glorious to punish anew His believing servant that He has punished in this world. Likewise, He is too generous and glorious to cancel the forgiveness that He provides for a believer in this world when He covers up his defect. Allah may strike a misfortune in the body, wealth, or family member. ‘Whatever of misfortune strikes you, it is what your hands have earned. And He forgives much.’242

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

The best verse in the Book of Allah is this one (i.e. the one involved). O Ali, any exposition to even a scratch of a piece of wood or a slip of a foot must have been because of a previously committed sin. Allah is too generous to cancel His pardon that He has given in this world. Likewise, Allah is too fair to punish again a servant of Him whom He has punished in this world.243

Surah Al-Zukhruf

Exegesis of Verse No. 45

The Holy Quran reads,

And ask those of Our messengers whom We sent before you: Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped beside the Beneficent? (43:45)

Imam Ali (‘a) says,

This saying of Allah the All-exalted is one of the open proofs that Allah has granted to our Prophet (S) one of the arguments that He has incumbently imposed on all of His creations. When Allah sealed the prophets with Prophet Muhammad (S) and chose him as His messenger to all nations and communities, He conferred upon him exclusively the honor of ascending to the heavens at that night of ascension.

On that occasion, Almighty Allah gathered all the prophets before him and he (i.e. Prophet Muhammad) learnt from them all that with which they were sent as well as all the determinations, signs, and demonstrations that Allah ordered them to carry.244

Surah Al-Dukhan

Exegesis of Verse No. 29

The Holy Quran reads,

And the heaven and the earth wept not for them, nor were they reprieved. (44:29)

When he was asked whether the heavens and the earth weep for anybody, Imam Ali (‘a) answered,

Each and every servant (of Allah) has a prayer-place on the earth and a deed-elevator in the heavens. However, the family of Pharaoh did not have any righteous deed on the earth and any deed-elevator in the heavens.245

Surah Al-Jathiyah

Exegesis of Verse No. 29

The Holy Quran reads,

This is Our Book; it pronounces against you with truth. Lo! We have caused all that you did to be recorded. (45:29)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

There are certain angels of Almighty Allah who, every day, descend carrying something in which they record the deeds of the children of Adam.246

Surah Muhammad

Exegesis of Verse No. 16

The Holy Quran reads,

Among them are some who give ear unto you (Muhammad) until, when they go forth from your presence, they say unto those who have been given knowledge, ‘What was that he said just now?’ Those are they whose heart Allah has sealed, and they follow their own lusts. (47:16)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported as saying,

We were in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (S) when he would inform us about the latest revelations. I, as well as others who are heedful, would understand the revelations, but when we leave the Messenger of Allah (S), some others would ask, ‘What was that he said just now?’247

Surah Al-Fath

Exegesis of Verse No. 26

The Holy Quran reads,

When those who disbelieve has set up in their hearts zealotry the zealotry of the Age of Ignorance, then Allah sent down His peace of reassurance upon His messenger and upon the believers and imposed on them the word of piety, for they were worthy of it and meet for it. And Allah is Aware of all things. (48:26)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The ‘word of piety’ is to say: ‘la ilaha illa’llahu wallahu akbaru (There is no god but Allah, and Allah is the Most Great).’248

Surah Al-Hujurat

Exegesis of Verse No. 12

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, shun much suspicion; for some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor that (so abhor the other)! And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful. (49:12)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Give the best probability to the deed of your brother-in-faith until you receive from him something that tears down your good probability. Never deem evil any word that has been said by your brother-in-faith as long as you can find an acceptable excuse for it.249

Surah Qaf

Exegesis of Verse No. 21

The Holy Quran reads,

And every soul comes, along with it a driver and a witness. (50:21)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The driver will drive the soul to the place of resurrection, and the witness will testify to or against the deeds.250

Surah Al-Dhariyat

Exegesis of Verses 1-4

The Holy Quran reads,

By those that winnow with a winnowing, and those that bear the burden, and those that glide with ease, and those who distribute by command. (51:1-4)

Explaining these holy verses, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The winnowing that winnows is the wind. Those that bear the burden are the clouds. Those that glide with ease are the ships. Those who distribute by command are the angels.251

Exegesis of Verse No. 7

The Holy Quran reads,

By the heaven full of paths. (51:7)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The paths are beauty and ornaments of the sky.252

Exegesis of Verse No. 54

The Holy Quran reads,

So, withdraw from them (O Muhammad), for you are in no wise blameworthy. (51:54)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

When the holy verse (involved) was revealed, we all became certain that everybody would be imminently exposed to perdition, because Allah said to His Prophet,

‘Withdraw from them!’

However, when the next verse was revealed; i.e.

‘And warn, for warning profits believers (51:55),’

we were relaxed, since this verse means: Exhort by means of the Quran those who believed in you from among your people, because exhortation would benefit them.253

Surah Al-Tur

Exegesis of Verse No. 5

The Holy Quran reads,

And (by) the roof exalted. (52:5)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have interpreted the roof exalted into the sky.254

Exegesis of Verse No. 21

The Holy Quran reads

And they who believe and whose descendants follow them in faith, We cause their descendants to join them there, and We deprive them of naught of their life's work. Every man is a pledge for that which he has earned. (52:21)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

Indeed, the believers will be in Paradise along with their offspring.255

Surah Al-Qamar

Exegesis of Verse No. 1

The Holy Quran reads,

The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain. (54:1)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have related the following incident:

In Makkah, the moon was once rent into two pieces. Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (S) said to us, ‘Bear witness!’256

Exegesis of Verse No. 49

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! We have created everything by measure. (54:49)

Imam Ali (‘a), condemning those who deny the predetermined measure of Almighty Allah, says,

Every nation has among its individuals the likes of the Magians. As for this nation, the likes of the Magians are those who say, ‘There is no measure (matters pre-decided by Allah).’257

Surah Al-Rahman

Exegesis of Verse No. 17

The Holy Quran reads,

Lord of the two Easts, and Lord of the two Wests. (55:17)

When he was asked about the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

The rising of the sun in winter is separately different from its rising in summer. This can be easily recognized from the nearness and remoteness of the sun.258

Exegesis of Verse No. 29

The Holy Quran reads,

All that are in the heavens and the earth entreat Him. Every day He exercises (universal) power. (55:29)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said in one of his speeches,

All praise is due to Allah Who does not die and Whose wonders do not end. It is because every day He has a task in the form of the invention of something that did not exist. It is He Who has no children so that He would share others in majesty and He is not the child of others so that He would be inherited and Himself vanish. Imagination cannot comprehend Him to figure Him out in a certain form of similitude.

The eyes have not perceived Him so that, after changing position, He would also change. It is He for Whose beginning there is no end, nor will there be any final destination for His being the last. It is He before Whom there is no time, and is not preceded by any previous era. He does not fall subject to defects of reduction or addition.

Attributes for direction, place, and instruments do not apply to Him. It is He Who knows all the hidden matters and has surpassed all intelligence by what is evident in His creatures of plans and maintenance. It is He about Whom the prophets were asked and they did not speak of Him in terms of limits and parts. They spoke of His acts and showed people His signs.

The intelligence of thinkers cannot deny Him; the One Who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them and between them is the Creator and no one is able to stand up to His power. It is He Who is different from the creatures and there is nothing similar to Him. It is He Who has created the creatures for His worship and has given them the ability to obey Him.

He has removed all their excuses by means of the capabilities that He has placed in them and by sending His authority in the prophets and the Imams among people, so that, after knowing the authority, whoever perishes will perish, or will gain salvation whoever likes to gain salvation. Benevolent is Allah to begin and to repeat.

Then, Allah to Whom all praise is due introduced praise for His Own Self. He ended the affairs of the world and the coming of the next life with praise for His Own Self saying, ‘He has judged among them with the truth and it is said, ‘All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.’’

All praise is due to Allah Who has dressed up with greatness but without a body, Who has the gown of majesty and glory, which has no similarity. It is He Who has control over the Throne without losing such authority. He is exalted above the creatures but without being far from them or being in touch with them (physically).

He has no limit to reach nor there is anything similar to Him to help know Him better. All things are humble before His power and might. All things, although great, are small before Him. All things respect His greatness. They obey His authority and majesty. Glimpses of eyes are weak and exhausted in trying to comprehend Him. The imaginations of the creatures fall far short of describing Him.

He is the first before all things and there was no one before Him. He is the last after all things and there is no ‘After’ for Him. He has control over all things with might. He observes all places without moving thereto. No touching touches Him and no sense senses Him. He is the Lord in the heavens and the Lord on earth. He is All-wise and All- knowing.

He has given firm shape and form to His creatures the way He willed but not with following previous examples or experiencing any fatigue in the creation of the things that He has created. In the cases of the two great and heavy creatures, mankind and jinn, He began what He wanted to begin and invented what He wanted to invent, and the way He willed. He did what He did so that they would know through such evidence His Lordship. He made it possible for them to obey Him.

We thank Him with all of His praise for all of His bounties. We ask Him for His guidance to give us wisdom in our affairs. We seek refuge with Him from the evil of our sinful deeds and ask Him to forgive our sins that we may have committed before. We testify that no one deserves to be obeyed and worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad, peace be upon him and his Household, is His servant and messenger.

He sent him with truth as a prophet, as a sign of His existence, and a guide to Him. We found guidance through him from straying and we are saved through him from ignorance. Whoever obeys Allah and His messenger has indeed gained a great success and has earned a great reward. Whoever disobeys Allah and His messenger has indeed suffered a clear loss and is subject to a painful punishment.

Do your best to succeed in obedience, listening, sincerity, good advice, and proper support. Be helpful to yourselves to keep on the straight path and shun the detested matters. Deal among yourselves with truth and cooperate thereby with me. Hold back the unjust and feebleminded hands. Make others do good deeds and prevent them from committing unlawful deeds. Appreciate excellence of the excelling people. May Allah protect you and us through guidance and make you and us steadfast in piety. I ask Allah for forgiveness for myself and for you.259

Exegesis of Verse No. 60

The Holy Quran reads,

Is the reward of goodness aught save goodness. (55:60)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

Allah the Almighty and All-majestic says: The reward of those whom I have blessed with professing that I am the One and Only God will be no less than Paradise.260

Surah Al-Hadid

Exegesis of Verse No. 3

The Holy Quran reads,

He is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward; and He is Knower of all things. (57:3)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

All praise be to Allah Who is such First that nothing is before Him and such Last that there is nothing after Him. He is such Manifest that there is nothing above Him and such Hidden that there is nothing nearer than He.261

Imam Ali (‘a) was once asked, ‘Where was our Lord before He created the heavens and the earth?’ He (‘a) answered,

To ask ‘where’ is to ask about a place. Allah existed where there was no place.262

Surah Al-Saff

Exegesis of Verse No. 14

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, be Allah's helpers, even as Jesus son of Mary said unto the disciples, ‘Who are my helpers for Allah?’ They said, ‘We are Allah's helpers.’ And a party of the Children of Israel believed, while a party disbelieved. Then, We strengthened those who believed against their foe, and they became the uppermost. (61:14)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Allah has never evacuated the earth from a knowledgeable person for whom the creatures are in need and from a learnt person for sake of attaining redemption. However, these are the least in number. Allah has demonstrated that through examples from the nations of the bygone prophets to make them lessons for the coming generations. An example of this is His saying about the disciples of Jesus.

Thus, Allah says, ‘O you who believe, be Allah's helpers, even as Jesus son of Mary said unto the disciples, ‘Who are my helpers for Allah?’ They said, ‘We are Allah's helpers.’’ This means that they submitted to the preference of the people who were worthy of being preceded to others and they (the disciples) would never disdain carrying out the orders of their Lord. However, none responded to Jesus except these disciples.263

Surah Al-Tahrim

Exegesis of Verse No. 6

The Holy Quran reads,

O you who believe, ward off from yourselves and your families a fire whereof the fuel is men and stones, over which are set angels strong, severe, who resist not Allah in that which He commands them, but do that which they are commanded. (66:6)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

This holy verse means that you should instruct yourselves and your families all items of decency and you should educate them.264

Surah Al-Qalam

Al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah reported Imam Ali (‘a) as saying,

The Pen is a pen created of light and a book created of light in a preserved tablet that is witnessed by those drawn near to Almighty Allah.265

Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi reported on the authority of Al-Dhahhak that when the people of Quraysh learnt about the Holy Prophet’s preferring and respecting Ali ibn Abi Talib, they reviled at Ali and said, ‘Muhammad is charmed by Ali.’

As a result, Allah the All-exalted revealed Surah Al-Qalam. He swears by the Pen and whatever is written with pen that Muhammad is not mad, because of the favor of Allah granted to him’ etc. As for His saying,

‘Surely, your Lord best knows him who errs from His way, and He best knows the followers of the right course, (68:7)’

the one intended by the followers of the right course is Ali ibn Abi Talib.266

Surah Al-Ma’arij

Exegesis of Verse No. 40

The Holy Quran says,

But nay! I swear by the Lord of the rising-places and the setting-places of the planets that We verily are Able. (70:40)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The sun has three hundred and sixty rising-places and three hundred and sixty setting-places. It does not return to the same place from which it rises up to the next year.267

Surah Nuh

Exegesis of Verse No. 10

The Holy Quran reads,

And I have said, ‘Implore your Lord for forgiveness. Lo! He was ever forgiving.’ (71:10)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Very much imploration for Allah’s forgiveness brings about abundant sustenance.268

In one of his sermons, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Allah the Glorified has made the seeking of His forgiveness a means for the pouring down of livelihood and mercy on the people as Allah has said, ‘Implore your Lord for forgiveness. Lo! He was ever Forgiving. He will send down upon you the cloud raining in torrents and help you with wealth and sons.’ May Allah have mercy upon one who repents to Him and releases himself from his sins!269

Surah Al-Jinn

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The Holy Prophet (S) was in the middle of a date-palm ranch when the Jinn met him to apologize that they had believed that Allah would not send any further messenger. They were seventy thousand when they pledged to him that they would observe fasting, perform the prayers, defray the zakat levies, go on the ritual Hajj pilgrimage, and participate in jihad.270

Surah Al-Muzzammil

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said that the Holy Prophet (S), when was asked about the exegesis of the verse:

‘And chant the Quran in measure, (73:4)’

Said, The holy verse means that you should make it as clear as possible, you should not disperse it like the dispersal of the rotten dates, and you should not recite it rapidly like the reciting of poetry (without making distinction between its words). Rather, when you recite the Quran, you should pause at its miraculous sentences, you should make it touch your hearts, and you should not care when to reach the end of the Surah.271

Surah Al-Muddaththir

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

To tuck up your garment is sort of purifying it. (Almighty Allah says:)

‘And your garments do purify . (74:4)’272

Surah Al-Qiyamah

Exegesis of Verse No. 22

The Holy Quran reads,

Some faces on that day shall be bright. (75:22)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

On the Resurrection Day, some faces will be dazzling, waiting for the reward of their Lord.273

Surah Al-Mursalat

Exegesis of Verses 25 and 26

The Holy Quran reads,

Have We not made the earth a receptacle for both the living and the dead? (77:26)

On his journey back from the Battle of Siffin, Imam Ali (‘a) passed by the graveyard and said,

This is the receptacle of the dead.

He then looked at the houses of Al-Kufah and said,

These are the receptacles of the living.

He then recited the holy verse involved.274

Surah Al-Nazi’at

Exegesis of Verse No. 5

The Holy Quran reads,

And those who govern the event. (79:5)

Imam Ali (‘a), when was asked about the meaning of this holy verse, said,

Those who govern the event are the angels. They govern the remembrance of the All-beneficent Lord as well as His commands.275

Surah Al-Takwir

Exegesis of Verse No. 15

The Holy Quran reads,

So, verily, I call to witness the planets that recede. (81:15)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

These are the planets that can be seen at night, but they depart from sights in daylight.276

The Holy Quran reads,

And (I also swear by) the night as it dissipates. (81:17)

Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The dissipation of night is the departure of its darkness.277

Surah Al-Infitar

Exegesis of Verse No. 6

The Holy Quran reads,

O man! What has seduced you from your Lord the Most Beneficent? (82:6)

Upon reciting this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

The addressee in this verse is devoid of argument and his excuse is most deceptive. He is detaining himself in ignorance. O man, what has emboldened you to commit sins? What has deceived you about your Lord? What has made you satisfied with the destruction of yourself? Is there no cure for your ailment or no awakening from your sleep? Do you not have pity on yourself as you have on others? Generally, when you see any one exposed to the heat of the sun, you cover him with shade, or if you see any one afflicted with grief that pains his body, you weep out of pity for him.

What has then made you patient over your own disease? What has made you firm in your own afflictions? What has consoled you from weeping over yourself although your life is the most precious of all lives to you? Why does not the fear of an ailment that may befall you in the night keep you wakeful, although you lie on the way to Allah’s wrath due to your sins?

You should cure the disease of languor in your heart by determination and cure the sleep of neglectfulness in your eyes by wakefulness. Be obedient to Allah, love remembrance of Him, and picture to yourself that you are running away while He is approaching you. He is calling you to His forgiveness and concealing your faults with His kindness, while you are fleeing away from Him towards others.

Certainly, Great is Allah the powerful, Who is so generous, and how humble and weak you are and still you are so bold to commit His disobedience although you live under His protection and undergo changes of life in the expanse of His kindness.

He does not refuse you His kindness and does not remove His protection from you. In fact, you have not been without His kindness even for a moment, whether it be a favor that He conferred upon you, a sin of yours that He has concealed, or a calamity that He has warded off from you.

What is your idea about Him if you had obeyed Him? By Allah, if this had been the case with two persons equal in power and matching in might (one being inattentive and the other showering favors upon you), then you would have been the first to adjudge yourself to be of bad behavior and evil deeds.

I truthfully say that the world has not deceived you, but you have had yourself deceived by it. The world had opened to you the curtains and divulged to you (everything) equally. And in all that, it foretold you about the troubles befalling your bodies and the decay in your power, it has been too true and faithful in promise, and it did not speak a lie to you or deceive you. There are many who advise you about it, but they are blamed, and they speak the truth about it, but they are opposed.

If you understand the world by means of dilapidated houses and forlorn abodes, then with your good understanding and far-reaching power of drawing lessons, you will find it like one who is kind over you and cautious about you. It is good abode for him who does not like it as an abode, and a good place of stay for him who does not regard it a permanent home for stay.

Only those who run away from this world today will be regarded virtuous tomorrow. When the earthquake occurs, the Day of Resurrection approaches with all of its severities, the people of every worshipping place cling to it, all the devotees cling to the object of their devotion and all the followers cling to their leader. Then on that day even the opening of an eye in the air and the sound of a footstep on the ground will be assigned its due through His justice and His equity. On that day, many an argument will prove void and a contention for excuses will stand rejected.

Therefore, you should now adopt for yourself the course with which your excuse may hold good and your plea may be proved. Take from the transient things of this world what will stay for you in the next world, provide for your journey, keep your gaze on the brightness of deliverance, and keep ready the saddles for setting off.278

Surah Al-Inshiqaq

Exegesis of Verse No. 1

The Holy Quran reads,

When the sky is rent asunder. (84:1)

About the exegesis of this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The sky will be split from the galaxy.279

Exegesis of Verses 7-12

The Holy Quran reads,

Then, whoso is given his account in his right hand, will truly receive an easy reckoning, and will return unto his folk in joy. But whoso is given his account behind his back, will surely invoke destruction and be thrown to scorching fire. (84:7-12)

About the people of happiness and the people of wretchedness on the

Resurrection Day, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

On the Resurrection Day, people will be of various characters and ranks. Some of them will receive an easy reckoning and will return to their folks in joy. Some others will be allowed Paradise without reckoning, because they have not engaged themselves in any of the affairs of the worldly life. Thus, reckoning will be set to those who engaged themselves in the affairs of this worldly life. Others will be interrogated for all of their deeds, even if they are as trivial as the speck or the white spot on a date-stone. They will eventually be led to the chastisement of the blazing fire.280

Surah Al-Buruj

Exegesis of Verses 2 and 3

The Holy Quran reads,

And by the promised day, and by the witness, and by the witnessed. (85:2-3)

Explaining this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

The promised day is the Resurrection Day. The witness is Friday. The witnessed is the Immolation Day.281

Exegesis of Verse No. 4

The Holy Quran reads,

Cursed be the makers of the pit. (85:4)

Relating the story of the makers of the pit, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Almighty Allah sent a man from Abyssinia as prophet to his people who gave the lie to him. He therefore fought against them, but they could kill his followers and capture him along with some of his other fellows. They then dug a pit and filled it up with fire. They then declared, ‘Those who follow our religion and our faith must withdraw, but those who follow the religion of these people must throw themselves in fire.’

Thus, the followers of the prophet started throwing themselves in the fire. A woman with her one-month-old baby came and tried to throw herself in the fire, but she feared for her baby out of mercy and compassion. However, the baby spoke up and said, ‘Do not fear! Through me and yourself in fire, because this deed is still trivial if compared to the acts that we should do for the sake of Allah.’ So, she threw herself in the fire. Her baby was one of those who spoke while they were still in the cradle.282

Surah Al-tariq

Exegesis of Verses 13 and 14

The Holy Quran reads,

Most surely, it is a decisive word and it is no joke. (86:13-4)

Al-karith Al-A’war reported that he once entered the mosque and found people engaged in heated disputes about the affairs of the religion. He thus hurried to Imam Ali (‘a) and informed him about the matter. Condemning so, Imam Ali (‘a) said in amazement,

Did they really do it? I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘After my passing away, there shall arise a turmoil.’ I asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, what will be the way out of it?’ He said, ‘The way out will be the Book of Allah.

It contains the news of those who lived before you, the foretelling of those who will live after you, and the judgment between you. It is the decisive word that is never joke. Any tyrannical person that forsakes the Book of Allah will be eradicated by Him. Whoever seeks true guidance in any place elsewhere will be misled by Allah. It is the strong rope of Allah, the wise reminder, and the straight path.

Whims will never be led astray if they follow it. Scholars will never have their sufficiency from it. Tongues will never be bored with it. It has answers to all questions. Its wonders never expire.’283

Surah Al-Fajr

Exegesis of Verse No. 14

The Holy Quran reads,

Lo! Your Lord is ever watchful. (89:14)

Explicating this holy verse, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

Your Lord is ever capable of punishing the committers of acts of disobedience to Him as they deserve.284

Surah Al-Balad

Exegesis of Verse No. 10

The Holy Quran reads,

And (We) pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways. (90:10)

Imam Ali (‘a), explaining this holy verse, is reported to have said,

The two ways are good and evil.285

Surah Al-Shams

Exegesis of Verse No. 12

The Holy Quran reads,

When the most wretched of them broke forth with. (91:12)

Imam Ali (‘a) reported that the Holy Prophet (S) said to him,

Do you know who the most wretched of the past nations was?’ He was the one who slaughtered the she-camel of Prophet Salih. Do you know who the most wretched of the last nations is? He is the one who will kill you.286

Surah Al-Zuha

Exegesis of Verse No. 5

The Holy Quran reads,

And verily your Lord will give unto you so that you will be content. (93:5)

Imam Ali (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying,

On the Resurrection Day, I will intercede for my community until my Lord will call out to me, ‘O Muhammad, are you content?’ I will answer, ‘Yes, O Lord. I am content.’287

Surah Al-’Alaq

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said that prostration is obligatory upon reading the four verses of prostration in Surah Al-Sajdah, Surah Fussilat, Surah Al-Najm, and Surah Al-’Alaq.288

Surah Al-Takathur

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Surah Al-Takathur was revealed to express the chastisement in the graves.289

Exegesis of Verses 3 and 4

The Holy Quran reads,

Nay, but you will come to know. Then nay, but you will come to know. (102:3-4)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

The first (verse) is about the chastisement in the grave, and the second (verse) about the chastisement at the resurrection.290

Surah Al-Ma’un

Exegesis of Verses 4 and 5

The Holy Quran reads,

So, woe to the praying ones who are unmindful of their prayers. (107:4-5)

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

Nothing is dearer to Allah the Honorable and Exalted than prayer. Worldly affairs should not prevent you from performing your prayers at their (specific) times, because Allah the Honorable and Exalted has censured such people and said, ‘‘who are unmindful of their prayers.’ This means that they are neglectful and they do not pay enough attention to the prayer times.291

Exegesis of Verse No. 7

The Holy Quran reads,

And they withhold the vessel. (107:7)

Imam Ali (‘a), explaining the word ma’un (vessel), says,

The ma ‘un in this verse stands for the obligatory levy (i.e. zakat). These people thus refrain from defraying it. I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘Muslims are brothers of each other. When they meet each other, one of them must greet the other with salaam and the other must respond with even nicer words. They never refrain from the maun.’ When I asked about the ma‘un, the Messenger of Allah (S) answered, ‘It is rock, iron, water, and the like things.292

Surah Al-Kawthar

Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

When Surah Al-Kawthar was revealed to the Holy Prophet (S), he asked Archangel Gabriel, ‘What is the immolation that my Lord the Almighty and All-majestic has ordered me to offer?’ The archangel answered, ‘The matter has nothing to do with immolation. However, He orders you to raise your hands whenever you utter the statement of takbir (i.e. Allahu-akbar) at the beginning of your prayers, at the genuflections, and after you raise your head from the genuflection.

Thus do we do and thus do the angels of the seven heavens do when they perform prayers. Everything has its ornament, and the ornament of prayer is to raise the hands at the utterance of every statement of takbir.293

Surah Al-Tawhid (Al-Ikhlas)

In one of his sermons, Imam Ali (‘a) says,

All praise be to Allah Who is proof of His existence through His creation, of His being external through the newness of His creation, and through their mutual similarities of the fact that nothing is similar to Him. Senses cannot touch Him and curtains cannot veil Him, because of the difference between the Maker and the made, the Limiter and the limited, and the Sustainer and the sustained.

He is One but not by the first in counting, is Creator but not through activity or labor, is Hearer but not by means of any physical organ, is Looker but not by a stretching of eyelids, is Witness but not by nearness, is Distinct but not by measurement of distance, is Manifest but not by seeing, and is Hidden but not by subtlety of body. He is distinct from things, because He overpowers them, and he exercises might over them, while things are distinct from Him, because of their subjugation to Him and their turning towards Him.

He who describes Him limits Him. He who limits Him numbers Him. He who numbers Him rejects His eternity. He who asks, ‘how?’ seeks a description for Him. He who asks, ‘where?’ bounds him. He is the Knower even though there be nothing to be known. He is the Sustainer even though there be nothing to be sustained. He is the Powerful even though there be nothing to be overpowered.294

  • 1. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 3:198.
  • 2. Nu’man Al-Misri, Al-Manaqib wa’l-Mathalib, pp. 98.
  • 3. Ibn Kathir, Lisan Al-Mizan 3:440.
  • 4. Ibn Kathir, Lisan Al-Mizan 3:440.
  • 5. Shaykh Al-Mufid, Kitab Al-Irshad, pp. 10.
  • 6. Al-Tabrisi, I’lam Al-Wara bi-A’lam Al-Huda, pp. 200.
  • 7. Shaykh Al-Mufid, Kitab Al-Irshad, pp. 13.
  • 8. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 42:279-80.
  • 9. Al-Mas’udi, Muruj Al-Dhahab 2:291.
  • 10. Al-Mubarrad, Al-Kamil 3:142.
  • 11. After awaking people, Imam Ali (‘a) stood in the arch for the prayer. When he raised his head from the first prostration of the supererogatory Dawn Prayer, Shabib ibn Bahirah attacked him with his sword, but the sword hit the pillar of the mosque and the attack went in vain. He then ran away to his house. One of his cousins, who was devotee of Imam Ali (‘a), suspected that his cousin had attacked the Imam (‘a); he thus struck him with the sword to death. (Al-Tabrisi, I’lam Al-Wara bi-A’lam Al-Huda, pp. 200)
  • 12. Ibn Taghri, Al-Nujum Al-Zahirah 1:119.
  • 13. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Precept No. 47.
  • 14. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Precept No. 149.
  • 15. Muhsin Al-Amin Al-’Amili, Al-Majalis Al-Saniyyah 2:235-6; Al-Mahmudi, Nahj Al- Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah 8:137-43.
  • 16. Muhsin Al-Amin Al-’Amili, Al-Majalis Al-Saniyyah 2:241.
  • 17. Shaykh Al-tusi, Al-Amali, pp. 123.
  • 18. Shaykh Al-tusi, Al-Amali, pp. 123.
  • 19. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 42:290.
  • 20. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 42:290.
  • 21. ’Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 42:290.
  • 22. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 1:297-8.
    However, some writers, one of whom is Taha Husayn, argue that Imam Ali (‘a) did not appoint his son Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) as the next caliph and did not nominate him as the next leader. This argument is aroused from a narration that was reported by Shu’ayb ibn Maymun Al-Wasiti. This fabricated narration reads as follows:

    Some people said to (Imam) Ali, ‘Will you not decide on the next caliph?’ He answered, ‘If Allah intends prosperity for this community, He will make them all agree unanimously on a certain person who will then be the best of them all.’

    Recording the biography of Shu’ayb the narrator of this false report, Abu-Hatam (an experienced biographer) says, ‘He is anonymous in the field of reporting.’ Al-’Ajali also states that Shu’ayb is unknown (therefore, his reports cannot be trusted). Al-Bukhari also describes Shu’ayb as: ‘His reports must be investigated.’ As to Ibn Habban, he says, ‘Shu’ayb, although his reports are proportionally few, reports unacceptable narrations from the famous personalities. When he is the only reporter of a narration, his narration cannot stand as sufficient proof. One of his reports that is decided as unacceptable is his report from Husayn ibn Al-Shi’bi on the authority of Abu-Wa'il that Ali was asked to appoint a next caliph’ etc. (See: Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib 4:357)

  • 23. Asma' bint ‘Umays is reported to have said that Imam Ali (‘a), in his final spark of life, breathed in and fainted. When he recovered consciousness, he said, ‘Welcome! Welcome! All praise be to Allah Who has fulfilled His promise to us and made us inherit Paradise.’ When he was asked what he had seen, he (‘a) answered, ‘I can see the Messenger of Allah, my brother Ja’far, and my uncle Hamzah. I can see the doors to the heavens opened before me and the angles are descending to greet me and convey to me good tidings. I also can see Fatimah surrounded by her maidens and I can see my places in Paradise. ‘For the like of this, let the workers work.’’ (See: Al-Zamakhshari, Rabi’ Al-Abrar 4:208.)
  • 24. Tarikh Al-Ya’qubi 2:91; Tarikh Al-Tabari 6:86; Tarikh Ibn Al-Athir 3:170; Abu’l-Faraj Al- Isfahani, Maqatil Al-Talibiyyin, pp. 16.
    However, some other historicists have claimed that the heirs of Imam Ali (‘a) trampled the dead body of Abd Al-Rahman ibn Muljim, mentioning the names of Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), Muhammad ibn Al-Hanafiyyah, Abdullah ibn Ja’far, and Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) to have done so. Moreover, Taha Husayn confirms that the heirs of Imam Ali (‘a) set the body of Ibn Muljim on fire!
    Firstly, these historicists have not agreed upon the person whom they claimed to have trampled the dead body of Ibn Muljim-a point that proves the falsity of their claim. Secondly, the heirs of Imam Ali (‘a) were too pious and obedient to their father to violate his instructions and they were too dutiful to violate the laws of Islam. This fact can be obviously seen from their life accounts and manners.
  • 25. Al-Buladhari, Ansab Al-Ashraf 2:499.
  • 26. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 42:295-6.
  • 27. Ibn Abi’l-Dunya, Maqtal Al-Imam Amir Al-Mu'minin Ali ibn Abi Talib, pp. 109.
  • 28. Ibn Abi’l-Dunya, Maqtal Al-Imam Amir Al-Mu'minin Ali ibn Abi Talib, pp. 109.
  • 29. Tarikh Al-Ya’qubi 2:203.
  • 30. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, in Al-Kafi 1:454, has reported that on the day of Imam Ali’s martyrdom, the place shook due to the heavy weeping of people who were as astounded as they were on the day of the Holy Prophet’s passing away. A man who was weeping hurried to the place and said, ‘We are Allah’s and to Him shall we be returned. Today, the succession to Prophethood has stopped.’ When he stopped at the door of Imam Ali’s house, he said the following laudatory words:

    May Allah have mercy upon you, O Abu’l-Hasan! You were the first of all in accepting Islam, the most sincere of all in faith, the firmest in conviction, the most pious, the most steadfast (against ordeals for the sake of Islam), the most watchful for Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him and his Household), the most careful for his companions, the most endowed with the most favorable merits, the foremost of everyone in everything, the owner of the most elevated rank, the closest of all of them to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him and his Household), the most similar to him in true guidance, morals, manners, and deeds, the owner of the most honorable position, and the most respected (by Almighty Allah and His Messenger). May Allah reward you on behalf of Islam, His Messenger, and the Muslims with the best rewarding!

    You became stronger when his companions became weak, you advanced when they surrendered, you stood up (to face difficulties) when they showed weak- heartedness, you abode by the course of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him and his Household) as they were his companions, and you were truly his vicegerent. No one could ever compete with you or vie with you in this position in spite of the existence of hypocrites, despise of the unbelievers, malice of the enviers, and disgrace of the wicked ones. You thus managed the matters when they failed to do so, spoke (the truth) when they stammered, and carried on with the light of Allah when they stopped. As they followed you, they were guided (to the true path), your voice was the lowest (out of politeness) and was the highest in supplication, you were the least in speaking and the most eloquent of them, you were the most apposite in opinions and the most courageous, and you were the firmest in conviction, the best of them in deeds, and the most learned in questions.

    By Allah I swear, you were the true leader of the religion first and last: you were thus the first (of the enduring ones) when the other people departed, and you were the last (in steadfastness) when they failed. For the believers, you were merciful father as they were your dependants; so, you carried the burdens that they were too weak to carry, you preserved that which they forfeited, you retained that which they neglected, you prepared yourself for facing those who had allied each other (against Islam), you advanced when they were dismayed, you resisted when they hurried (in absconding), you achieved the goals for which they fought, and they faced at your hands what they had not expected. You were thus incessant and relentless torment on the unbelievers and you were support and shelter for the believers.

    Thus, I swear by Allah that you won its (i.e. this worldly life) bliss and gained its reward and you attained its merits and prevailed on its worth. Your argument was never weak, your heart never deviated, your sagacity was never feeble, your determination never cowered, and you never betrayed. You were as firm as mountain, as storms could never displace you and you were as exactly as what was said about you: ‘People felt secured under your government and in what was entrusted with you.’ You were also as exactly as what was said about you: ‘Modest in your body, strong in carrying out the orders of Allah, humble in yourself, enjoying a great standing with Allah, great in the earth, and elevated in the view of the believers.’ No one could ever find fault with you or speak evil of you.

    You never desired for any one save Allah and you were never lenient (unfairly) to any one. The weak, humble one was strong and mighty in your view until you give him back his due; and the strong, mighty one was weak in your view until you take the others’ dues from him. The near and the remote were equal in your view. Your habit was to be uright, honest, and kind; your words were ruling and determination; your custom was forbearance and fortitude; and your view was knowledge and firmness in whatever you did. Through you, the right path was taken and the difficult was made easy. Fires were also extinguished by you and the religion became even at your hands; and Islam and the believers became mighty because of you.

    You thus advanced in great strides and stopped and curbed the wrongdoings of those who came after you. You are thus too elevated to be mourned and the calamity of losing you was so astounding for the inhabitants of the heavens as it undermined all people. Surely, we are Allah’s, and to Him we shall surely return. We surrender to Allah’s acts and submit ourselves to His determinations. By Allah I swear, the calamity of losing you is the ever most catastrophic for Muslims. You were haven, shelter, and unshakable fortress of the believers and, at the same time, you were rude and furious on the unbelievers. May Allah join you to His Prophet and may He never deprive us of the reward of our grief for you, and may He never cause us to stray off after you!

    However, the two persons who received the news of Imam Ali’s martyrdom with great pleasure and contentment were Mu’awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan and ‘A'ishah.

  • 31. Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad 6:221; Ibn kajar, Al-Sawa’iq Al-Muhriqah, pp.
    76; Al-Shabalnaji, Nur Al-Absar, pp. 76.
  • 32. Tafsir Al-Tabari 13:72; Tafsir Al-Razi (with little difference); Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-’Ummal 6:157; Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala Al-Sahihayn 3:129.
  • 33. Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-’Ummal 6:108; Al-Wahidi, Asbab Al-Nuzul, pp. 329; Tafsir Al-Tabari 29:35; Al-Zamakhshari, Tafsir Al-Kashshaf 4:600; Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 8:267.
  • 34. Ibn Al-Athir, Usd Al-Ghabah fi Ma’rifat Al-Sahabah 4:25; Ibn kajar, Al-Sawa’iq Al- Muhriqah, pp. 78; Al-Wahidi, Asbab Al-Nuzul, pp. 64.
  • 35. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 8:589; Tafsir Al-Tabari 30: 17; Ibn Hajar, Al-Sawa’iq Al- Muhriqah, pp. 96.
  • 36. Tafsir Al-Tabari 8:145.
  • 37. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:316.
  • 38. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 7:228.
  • 39. Al-Wahidi, Asbab Al-Nuzul, pp. 150; Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad 8:290;
    Tafsir Al-Razi 4:401; Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 6:117.
  • 40. Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad 8:19; Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 6:19.
  • 41. Muhammad Hasan Al-Musaffar, Dala'il Al-Sidq 2:152.
  • 42. Tafsir Al-Razi 12:26; Al-Shabalnaji, Nur Al-Absar, pp. 170; Tafsir Al-Tabari 6:186.
  • 43. Muhammad Hasan Al-Musaffar, Dala'il Al-Sidq 2:102.
  • 44. Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al-Sahihayn 3:4.
  • 45. Nur Al-Din Al-Haythami, Majma’ Al-Zawa'id wa Manba’ Al-Fawa'id 7:103; Ahmad ibn Abdullah Al-Tabari, Dhakha’ir Al-’Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba, pp. 25; Al-Shabalnaji, Nur Al-Absar, pp. 101; Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 7:348.
  • 46. Tafsir Al-Razi 2:699; Tafsir Al-Baysawi, pp. 76; Al-Zamakhshari, Tafsir Al-Kashshaf 1:49; Isma’il Al-Barwasi, Tafsir Ruh Al-Bayan 1:457; Tafsir Al-Jalalayn 1:35; Sahih Muslim 2:47; Sahih Al-Tirmidhi, 2:166; Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Sunan 7:63; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Musnad 1:185; Al-Baghawi, Masabih Al-Sunnah 2:201; Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam Al-Nubala' 3:193.
  • 47. See also: Jalal-Al-Din Al-Suyuti: Al-Durr Al-Manthur; Ibn Al-Maghazili: Al-Manaqib; Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Tabari: Bisharat Al-Mustafa; Ibn Kathir: Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, Al-Ya’qubi: Al-Tarikh; Ibn Shabbah Al-Numayri: Tarikh Al-Madinah.
  • 48. Quoted from Sayyid Mahdi Al-Sadr, The Ahl Al-Bayt; Ethical Role-Models; translated into English by: Badr Shahin; published by Ansariyan Publications.
  • 49. Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al-Sahihayn 2:416; Ibn Al-Athir, Usd Al- Ghabah fi Ma’rifat Al-Sahabah 5:521.
  • 50. Ibn Hajar, Al-Sawa’iq Al-Muhriqah, pp. 101.
  • 51. Ibn Hajar, Al-Sawa’iq Al-Muhriqah, pp. 80; Al-Shabalnaji, Nur Al-Absar, pp. 80.
  • 52. Tafsir Al-Tabari 10:68; Tafsir Al-Razi 16:11; Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:146; Al-
    Wahidi, Asbab Al-Nuzul, pp. 182.
  • 53. Tafsir Al-Tabari 21:68; Al-Wahidi, Asbab Al-Nuzul, pp. 263; Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad 13:321; Muhibb Al-Din Al-Tabari, Al-Riyad Al-Nasirah fi Fada’il Al- ‘Asharah 2:206.
  • 54. Muhibb Al-Din Al-Tabari, Al-Riyad Al-Nasirah fi Fada’il Al-’Asharah 2:307.
  • 55. Tafsir Al-Razi 9:676.
  • 56. Al-Zamakhshari, Tafsir Al-Kashshaf 4:724.
  • 57. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 2:279.
  • 58. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, pp. 659.
  • 59. Muhammad Husayn Al-tabataba'i, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir Al-Quran 14:115.
  • 60. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:287.
  • 61. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Banay 7:273.
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  • 64. Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 92:40.
  • 65. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, pp. 166.
  • 66. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 92:78.
  • 67. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 18.
  • 68. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 198.
  • 69. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 132.
  • 70. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Aphorism No. 323
  • 71. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 156.
  • 72. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 176.
  • 73. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:600.
  • 74. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 110.
  • 75. Al-Marzubani, Nur Al-Qabas Al-Mukhta•ar min Al-Muqtabas, pp. 268.
  • 76. Shaykh ‘Abbas Al-Qummi, Mafatih Al-Jinan 1:875.
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  • 78. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 175.
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  • 80. (Sayyid Abd Al-A’la Al-Sabzawari, Mawahib Al-Rahman fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:20.
  • 81. Sayyid Abd Al-A’la Al-Sabzawari, Mawahib Al-Rahman fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:23.
  • 82. Muhammad Husayn Al-tabataba'i, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:39.
  • 83. Shaykh Al-Saduq, ‘Uyun Akhbar Al-Risa (the English version), pp. 530.
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  • 86. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:28. According to Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi, the Straight Way is Imam Ali (‘a).
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  • 88. Sayyid Abd Al-A’la Al-Sabzawari, Mawahib Al-Rahman fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:85.
  • 89. Sayyid Abd Al-A’la Al-Sabzawari, Mawahib Al-Rahman fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:147.
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  • 91. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 3:480.
  • 92. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Man-La-Yahsuruhu’l-Faqih 2:47.
  • 93. Sayyid Abd Al-A’la Al-Sabzawari, Mawahib Al-Rahman fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:214.
  • 94. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, pp. 16.
  • 95. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 1:69.
  • 96. Muhammad Husayn Al-tabataba'i, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:19.
  • 97. Muhammad Husayn Al-tabataba'i, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir Al-Quran 1:392.
  • 98. Al-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:337.
  • 99. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 1:138.
  • 100. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 1:341.
  • 101. Al-Fays Al-Kashani, Tafsir Al-Safi 1:296.
  • 102. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 18.
  • 103. Sayyid Abd Al-A’la Al-Sabzawari, Mawahib Al-Rahman fi Tafsir Al-Quran 5:56.
  • 104. Ali ibn Ibrahim Al-Qummi, Tafsir Al-Qummi 1:10.
  • 105. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Aphorism No. 379.
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  • 107. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 2:770.
  • 108. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 2:785-6.
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  • 113. Tafsir Al-Qummi 1:121.
  • 114. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 2:918.
  • 115. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:155.
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  • 117. Shaykh Al-Tusi, Al-Istib•ar 3:156.
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  • 119. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 2:175.
  • 120. Tafsir Al-Burhan 5:381; Tafsir Al-Mizan 5:408-9.
  • 121. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 1:250.
  • 122. Tafsir Al-Mizan 5:412.
  • 123. Tafsir Mawahib Al-Rahman 9:16.
  • 124. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khisal 2:633
  • 125. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 6:68.
  • 126. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 2:209.
  • 127. Tafsir Mawahib Al-Rahman 9:408 as quoted from Sunan Al-Bayhaqi.
  • 128. Tafsir Mawahib Al-Rahman 9:211.
  • 129. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 1:289.
  • 130. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 1:289.
  • 131. Tafsir Al-Burhan 6:452.
  • 132. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 2:279.
  • 133. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 1:331.
  • 134. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 3:193.
  • 135. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 3:287.
  • 136. Al-Amudi, Al-Ghurar wa’l-Durar.
  • 137. Tafsir Al-Qummi 1:213.
  • 138. Tafsir Al-Mizan 8:15.
  • 139. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pp. 268.
  • 140. Tafsir Al-Mizan 8:145.
  • 141. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 4:653.
  • 142. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pp. 319.
  • 143. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 1:314.
  • 144. Ibn Shahr'ashub, Al-Manaqib 1:324.
  • 145. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pp. 263.
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  • 147. Tafsir Al-Mizan 8:255.
  • 148. Tafsir Al-Mizan 8:255.
  • 149. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 2:32.
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  • 152. Al-kimyari, Qurb Al-Isnad, pp. 96.
  • 153. Shaykh Al-Mufid, Al-Amali, pp. 73.
  • 154. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 2:88.
  • 155. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 1:144.
  • 156. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 3:200.
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  • 159. Ibn Shu’bah Al-karrani, Tuhaf Al-’Uqul, pp. 156.
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  • 162. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 2:151.
  • 163. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 2:161-2.
  • 164. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:44.
  • 165. Tafsir Al-Mizan 11:348 as quoted from Al-Tabrisi’s Al-Ihtijaj.
  • 166. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2:91.
  • 167. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:58.
  • 168. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:72.
  • 169. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 5:314.
  • 170. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 5:314.
  • 171. Sahih Al-Bukhari 4:84.
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  • 173. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 5:338.
  • 174. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 6:519
  • 175. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:104.
  • 176. Tafsir Al-Mizan 14:224.
  • 177. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 2:256.
  • 178. Shaykh Al-Tusi, Al-Amali, pp. 25.
  • 179. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 6:373.
  • 180. Tafsir Al-’Ayyashi 2:267.
  • 181. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 6:685.
  • 182. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Kamal Al-Din, pp. 393-4.
  • 183. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:253.
  • 184. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 90:17.
  • 185. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khi•al 2:637.
  • 186. Tafsir Al-Qummi 2:53.
  • 187. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 4:285.
  • 188. Al-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, pp. 250.
  • 189. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 4.
  • 190. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 5:305.
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  • 192. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pp. 268.
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  • 195. Shaykh Al-Mufid, Kitab Al-Irshad, pp. 157.
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  • 203. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 8:240.
  • 204. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 3:232.
  • 205. The great-grandson of Prophet Noah, Nimrod is the traditional founder of the Babylonian dynasty and noted as a mighty hunter and an tyrannical ruler who decided to throw Prophet Abraham in fire.
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  • 207. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Aphorism No. 209.
  • 208. Tafsir Al-Mizan 16:85.
  • 209. Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-’Ummal 13:180, H. 36538.
  • 210. Tafsir Al-Mizan 16:95.
  • 211. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 156.
  • 212. Tafsir Al-Mizan 16:120.
  • 213. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Aphorism No. 252.
  • 214. Tafsir Al-Mizan 6:331.
  • 215. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khi•al 2:613.
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  • 221. Tasir Al-Qummi 2:212.
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  • 224. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 186.
  • 225. Tafsir Al-Qummi 2:218.
  • 226. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 8:689.
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  • 228. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pp. 266.
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  • 230. Tafsir Al-Mizan 17:187.
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  • 232. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 192.
  • 233. Tafsir Al-Mizan 17:276.
  • 234. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 8:785.
  • 235. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khi•al 2:408.
  • 236. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pp. 234.
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  • 242. Ibn Shu’bah Al-karrani, Tuhaf Al-’Uqul, pp. 213.
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  • 245. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 6:31.
  • 246. Al-Shawkani, Fath Al-Qadir 5:16.
  • 247. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 9:154.
  • 248. Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari, Jami’ Al-Bayan 26:135.
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  • 254. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 9:247.
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  • 258. Tafsir Al-Mizan 19:103.
  • 259. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 1:141.
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  • 261. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 95.
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  • 276. Tafsir Al-Fakhr Al-Razi 12:48.
  • 277. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 10:677.
  • 278. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 221.
  • 279. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 6:329.
  • 280. Tafsir Al-Mizan 20:247.
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  • 284. Al-Tabrisi, Majma’ Al-Bayan 10:739.
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  • 286. Tafsir Al-Qurtubi 20:78.
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  • 289. Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari, Jami’ Al-Bayan 30:363.
  • 290. Al-Alusi, Tafsir Ruh Al-Ma’ani 3:215.
  • 291. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khi•al 2:621.
  • 292. Al-Suyuti, Al-Durr Al-Manthur 6:400.
  • 293. Tafsir Al-Mizan 20:371.
  • 294. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 152.