This year, during the Holy month of Ramadan, the topic of our discussion is a Surah of the Holy Quran. It encompasses attachment to Quran, recitation of Quran and both the introduction to Quran as well as truths from Quran.
Surah Yasin is the heart of the Holy Quran. As mentioned in narrations, everything has a heart and the heart of Quran is Surah Yasin. Various aspects of monotheism (Tawheed) are explained in this Surah, likewise there are topics related to the Hereafter and logical proofs for the same.
There is also mention of Prophethood, messengership, the right path and righteousness. Pray that the Almighty God grant us a light (noor), which we may take with us to our graves.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Ya Seen. (36:1)
‘Ya-sin’ is among the cryptic letters (Horoof-e-Muqatta-aat) at the beginning of some chapters of Quran, which total to fourteen. They are Alif laam meem, Ha meem, alif laam meem raa, Taa haa, Haa meem a’in seen qaaf, Yaa seen, Kaaf he ye a’in saad, Qaaf and Noon. They occur together in a sentence the meaning of which is described in various narrations.
The best among them is that these letters are a secret matter between God and His Beloved (the Holy Prophet). This is a reserved matter between the speaker and the hearer, that is, between God and Muhammad (‘s). All other Quranic words and letters are for the understanding of others (humans and jinns).
Some other reasons are also mentioned. Especially in connection with ‘Yasin’, Ibne Abbas is reported to have said that, as per lexicon, it means either man or the perfect man (Muhammad). Another explanation is that ‘Yaa’ is an addressing word (O!); ‘Seen’ is the first letter of the name Syedul Mursaleen (Chief of Messengers) or Syedul Bashar (Chief of Humans). So Yasin means “O Muhammad (‘s).”
Thereafter it says, “Verily, you are among those who are sent (as messengers).”
On the basis of this, about that which pertains to us, we begin our discussion. Otherwise Yasin is among the ‘Cryptic Letters’ and the opening words of some Quranic chapters the real meaning of which is with the God Almighty.
(I swear) by the Quran full of wisdom... (36:2)
The Arabic letter ‘Waw’, translated as ‘by’ is for oath. Quran is also the collection of a total of 114 Surahs from Surah Fatiha to Surah Naas.
Al-Hakim—The Holy Quran is often mentioned by a number of titles. Among them is ‘Al-Hakim’. It means either the Hâkim (Ruler) or the one who issues commands discriminating between truth and falsehood about everything. If you want to ascertain whether a belief or a meaning is right or not, refer it to Quran and it would become clear.
Or it could be Al-Hakim—Meaning: Unwavering, straightforward and unchanging. Even the slightest falsehood cannot enter it.
Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it... (41:42)
It is a strong impenetrable fort and God Himself is the protector of Quran.
Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian. (15:9)
Whenever someone intends to interfere with it, death overtakes his heart.
Then We would certainly have cut off his aorta. (69:46)
So, although fourteen centuries have passed, this Quran is the same Quran, which existed fourteen centuries ago. There has been no change in it during this span of time. Among the earliest copies of Quran is one transcribed by Ali (‘a), one in the handwriting of Ibne Masood from the first century and thereafter a copy in the handwriting of Imam Sajjad (‘a) and so on…
In this same Jame Masjid, a copy was found from its interior pillars and was given to us, which is still there. Its three lines are compound and one golden. It is dated 800 Hijri. Over seven hundred years have passed but if you compare it with copies printed recently, you will find that it is exactly the same.
This Quran is different from Old and New Testaments. The Jews and the Christians cannot claim that books in their hands are exactly those, which were revealed by Almighty God. After a hundred or a hundred and fifty years after Isa (‘a), they collected the memorized material, sermons, letters and speeches and named the collection ‘The Bible’. This collection is written by someone who was born more than a century after Isa (‘a).
The third meaning is Hakim, the possessor of Wisdom (Hikmat). Read any part of the Holy Quran and you will find knowledge and truth along with warnings and matters in accordance with nature and means of guidance. Reading it cures ignorance. Quran is the fountainhead of wisdom and it makes its reader wise and intelligent. Whoever understands the meaning of Quran becomes wise and intelligent.
Here the Arabic ‘waw’ (Meaning, ‘By’) is for oath taking. “By the wise Quran”. The first question that arises is why should one swear by the Quran? And, secondly, why before the polytheists who had no faith in Quran at all?
The reply is that it is customary for the speaker to put forth proof of what he wants to say. If it is not accepted and it is required to be further emphasized, the speaker swears or vows. Here the speaker is Most Merciful Lord. So He swears for emphasizing His statement.
The Lord of the Universe has, for the guidance of this man, provided several evidences of Tawheed (Oneness of God), Resurrection and the Right Path and for Prophethood of the Messenger. Now He vows by the truthfulness of this Quran and avers that Muhammad is the messenger; that he does not speak anything of his own wish; that Resurrection is a fact.
He swears and says all this on oath so that the hearer may not leave the company of Muhammad; and the hearts, which are stubborn, might melt at this.
Secondly the oath is resorted to so that the hearer may realize and understand the greatness of the thing by which He has sworn. The Quran is so great that God vows by it.
As for the question that what is the benefit of swearing by Quran for polytheists? In reply we ask, “Should the sanctities of the polytheists be sworn by?” For example, to swear by the idol!? In such a case they would themselves know that it is a mockery. Idols do not possess any dignity by which one may swear, whereas the swearing is for emphasis.
If one who has not faith in the idol swears by it before an idolater, the idolater would not only not pay any attention; rather he will take it as a mockery or derision. So how can the sanctities of idol worshippers be sworn by? It would not serve any purpose.
Since the Quran, the Word of God, is the greatest, He swears by it.
Therefore, the believers must respect Quran more than anything else. They should not talk when the Holy Quran is being recited:
And when the Quran is recited, then listen to it and remain silent, that mercy may be shown to you. (7:204)
When you recite the Quran, be respectful to it. Do not extend your legs towards or in front of it. Do not put anything on top of the Holy Book. Every kind of respect is essential for the Holy Quran as it is the Word of the Lord of the worlds.
There also is equality or equilibrium. The Progeny of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (‘s) has equal importance. Ali (‘a) and his eleven descendants according to the tradition of Two Weighty things (Hadith Thaqalain) as well as on the basis of the tradition of “Two fingers joined together” are as respectable as the Quran.
Joining his forefinger and middle finger, the Holy Prophet (‘s) is reported to have said, “For the Muslims after me, I have my vicegerents. They are two great things.” He said that both are important in their respective places; that one does not have superiority over the other.1
- 1. Safinatul Bihar, vol.1, p.132