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Reading through The Glorious Qur`an Noor al-Qur'an (PART: I)

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Sura Al-Fatihah:
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful Contents of the Sura The Holy phrase`In The Name of Allah,The Beneficent,The Merciful' / bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim / is, in fact, mentioned both at the onset of the Qur'an and at the beginning of every Sura, except Sura 9, (Sura Taubah - Repentance). And, since the purpose of Allah's Word, i.e. the whole Qur'an, is to guide people; as Sura Al-Ma'idah, No. 5, verses 15-16 say: "...Indeed, there has come to you a light and a clear Book from Allah ", " With it Allah guideth him who follows His pleasure to the ways of peace and safety ..."; therefore, this guidance, being a grant and a fundamental principle, begins with Allah's Holy Name. This Sura, among all Suras of the Qur'an, has an extraordinary radiance which originates from the following merits: 1. The Tone of the Sura:
This Sura, The Opening, in comparison with other Suras of the Qur'an regarding its tone and melody, has a particular style which is clearly different and extraordinary. The other Suras contain instructions from Allah, Who gives commands and admonishments to His servants, but, in this Sura, His words are uttered on behalf of the servants. In other words, in this Sura, Allah has taught His servants how to supplicate and speak to Him, simply and without a mediator. 2. Al-Fatihah, the Basis of the Qur'an : It is narrated that the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) has said : " By the One, in Whose hand is my soul, Allah has not sent down a similar Sura to this Sura (Al-Fatihah), neither in the Turah, nor in the Gospel, nor in the Psalms, nor even in the Qur'an, and it is Umm-ul-Kitab "; (1) which means that it is the basis and origin of all excellence. In fact, besides referring to the Resurrection, this Sura presents facts concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence, Unity of Attributes, Unity of Divine Acts, and Unity of Worship. It is the essence of the whole meaning of the Qur'an. It is narrated from Hadrat Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) that: " All secrets of Allah are in Divine Books; and the contents of all those Divine Books are comprised in the Qur'an; and what is found in the Qur'an is condensed in Sura Al-Fatihah, and what is in Al-Fatihah is gathered in /bismillah /, and what is in / bismillah / is concentrated in /b/, (the first letter of ` Bism-il-lah ‘)..." (2) Based on the entirety of great commentators' statements, it is understood that this tradition indicates clearly the importance of both the Holy Qur'an and /bismillah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/ in which science and knowledge, from the beginning to the end, is comprised. The interpreter and elucidator of these sciences is the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), and after him there are his true vicegerents including Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.). (3) 3. Al-Fatihah, Magnificent Honour of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.): Sura Al-Fatihah, more so than the other Suras in the Holy Qur'an, was revealed to the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) as a great bounty. It stands on a par with the whole Qur'an. The seven verses in the Sura sum up the whole Qur’an: “And We have bestowed upon thee the Seven Oft-repeated (verses) and the Grand Qur'an ", ( Sura Al-Hijr, No. 15, verse 87 ). This meaning is also referred to in a narration from Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) quoting the Prophet's (p.b.u.h.) tradition who said :" Verily, Allah, the Exalted, has bestowed (His) favours on me particularly for ` The Opening ' (Al-Fatihah) and has positioned it on a par with the whole Grand Qur'an, and surely Fatihat-ul-Kitab (the Opening of the Qur'an) is the dearest (item) in the treasures of the `Arsh, (Throne of Heaven) ". (4) 4. The Importance of its Recitation:
The recitation of this Sura, because of its extreme importance, is frequently emphasized in Islamic traditions and narrations. As for its virtue, it is narrated from the holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.) that: " The reward of any Muslim who recites the Sura ` Opening ', is like that of a person who has recited two thirds of the Qur'an, and so much reward would he receive as if he has given every believing Muslim, man or woman, a free will offering ". (5) 5. The Titles of the Sura: There are ten titles given to this Sura, as taken from Islamic narrations and commentary books, thus: Fatihat-ul-Kitab, Umm-ul-Kitab, Umm-ul-Qur'an, Sab`-ul-Mathani, Al-Wafiyah, Al-Kafiyah, Ash-Shafiyah, Al-Asas, As-Salat, and Al-Hamd. (6) --------------- pg 36 --------------- Sura Al-Fatihah (The Opening) No. 1 (7 Verses) --------------- pg 36 --------------- Sura Al-Fatihah (The Opening) No. 1 (Verses 1-7) 1. “In The Name of Allah, the Beneficent, The Merciful." 2. " (All) praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds." 3. " The Beneficent, The Merciful." 4. " Master of the Day of Judgement." 5. " Thee (alone) do we worship and of Thee (only) do we seek help." 6. " Guide us (O' Lord) on the Straight Path." 7. " The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy bounties, not (the path) of those inflicted neither with Thy wrath, nor (of those) gone astray." --------------- pg 37 --------------- 1. " In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful." Commentary: It is a custom among most people of the world to recite the name of one of their great and very beloved personalities that the worthiness of their work might be elevated. That is, they relate that work to that personality from the very beginning of their endeavour. Among all beings, the One Who is eternal is only Allah, and, therefore, everything and every activity should begin with His Holy Name. It should be enveloped in His Light, and help should be always asked only from Him. So, in the first verse of the Qur'an, we recite `Bism-illah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim', (In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful). This action should not be done only with the tongue, but it should be done truly and meaningfully, because this kind of connection with Him sets work in the right direction and keeps it far from any deviation. For this very reason, such a work will certainly be successful and blessed. The holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), in a tradition, has said: “Any important work that begins without mentioning / bismillah /, will remain invalid.” (7) After narrating this tradition, Hadrat Aeir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) added: " For every action that a person wants to do, he/she should recite / bismillah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim /, which means that he/she begins the action with the Name of Allah, and every action that begins with the Name of Allah is blessed. " (8) On the excellence and importance of / bism-il-lah /, it is narrated from Ali-ibn-Musa-r-Rida (a.s.), who has said thus: “(The holy phrase) `Bism-il-lah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim' is closer to `the Exalted Name of Allah' than the pupil is to the white of the eye ". (9) Again, Ibn-Abbas narrates from the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) thus: "As soon as a teacher tells a child to say `Bism-il-lah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim' and the child says it, Allah records immunity (from fire) for the child, his or her parents and the teacher". (10) Imam Sadiq (A.S.) has said: “No Holy Book ever came down from heaven but that it began with `Bism-il-lah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim' ". (11) In `Khisal' by Shaykh Saduq it is cited that Imam Baqir (A.S.) has said: "... When we begin an action, great or small, it is appropriate to recite /bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/ and that action may be blessed ". (12) In short, the stability and permanence of an action is due to this very relation to Allah. The phrase / bism-il-lah / at the start of the Sura, teaches us to seek the help of Allah from His pure perfect Essence when we begin any action. That is why Allah, the Exalted, in the first verses revealed to the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) instructed him to initiating the proclamation of Islam perform this great task with the Name of Allah: " Proclaim in the Name of your Lord...",( Sura Al-`Alaq, No.96, verse 1 ); and the words of Noah (a.s.) to his followers, at the time of the Flood are: " So he said: `Embark ye on the Ark, in the Name of Allah, whether it moves or be at rest! ... “(Sura Hud, No. 11, verse 41). Again, Soloman's letter to the Queen of Sheba begins, thus: " It is from Soloman, and is (as follows):`In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful' ", (Sura An-Naml, No. 27, verse 30). Based on the same principle, all of the Suras of the Holy Qur'an, (except Sura At-Taubah, No. 9) begin with /bism-il-lah/ (13)in order to pursue the essential aim of guiding man and leading him to prosperity with success, far from getting a taste of defeat. In any event, when we begin our work with reliance upon the Supreme Power of Allah, Whose Power is above all power, we feel, psychologically speaking, far more powerful; therefore, we may be more confident. We may try more, be more persevering, and more courageous in challenging with difficulties, more hopeful, and, similarly, our intentions and the essence of our actions may be more purified. At the time of beginning any affair, reciting the Name of Allah is the secret to its success. To whatever extent we further explain this verse, it will still be seen insufficient, because, according to a narration, Hadrat Ali (a.s.), regarding the commentary of the verse, talked to Ibn-Abbas from the beginning of a night until the next morning, but it was only for the commentary of /b/, the first letter of /bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/. (14) Explanation: Is the Phrase `Bism-il-lah' a Part of Each Sura? Almost all Islamic scholars unanimously hold the opinion that / bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/ is, as was stated before, a part of Sura Al-Fatihah and, also, of the other Suras of the Qur'an (except Sura At-Taubah, No. 9). In essence, the inclusion of /bism-il-lah/ at the beginning of all Suras of the Holy Qur'an, except the above mentioned one, is a vital piece of evidence bearing witness to this very fact, and the belief is so firm that no change has been made in the Qur'an and nothing has been added to it since it was revealed to the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.). Mu`awiyat-ibn-`Ammar, one of the companions of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), said that he had asked the Imam whether he should say /bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim / at the beginning of Sura Al-Fatihah when he stood for prayer, and he (a.s.) replied: " Yes ". He had questioned him (a.s.), again, as to if he should recite /bism-il-lah/ when Sura Al-Fatihah ended and before reciting the next Sura. Then, Imam Sadiq (a.s.), again, answered: “Yes ". (15) Dar Qutni, a Muslim learned researcher, according to a sound document, narrates from Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) that someone asked him (a.s.):" What is As-Sab`-al-Mathani (Seven Verses)?" “It is Sura Al-Hamd ", he (a.s.) answered. The man said: “Sura Al-Hamd consists of six verses ". He (a.s.) replied: " ` Bism-illah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim ' is also one verse.” (16) Moreover, Muslims have always preserved the practice of reciting / bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim / at the beginning of every Sura (except Sura 9) when reciting the Holy Qur'an, and it has been proven, on numerous accounts, that the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) used to recite it, too. It has been said that Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) was asked to say whether / bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim / was a part of Sura Al-Fatihah. He (a.s.) answered: " Yes, the Messenger of Allah used to recite it and considered it one verse (of the verses) of the Sura, and he said that ` Fatihat-ul-Kitab (The Opening) is the same as ` Sab`-al-Mathani ' (seven verses) " (17) Allah, the Most Inclusive Name of God The term / ism / in the phrase / bism-il-lah /, as men of letters in Arabic literature say, is originally derived from / sumuww / with the meaning of `height, elevation'. The reason why any `noun' is called by an ` appellation ' is that after choosing to call a `noun' by the particular given `name' (ism), the hidden meaning of the expression appears, and the sense of the `name' is elevated, therefore forsaking meaninglessness. In the phrase / bism-il-lah /, the word Allah is the most complete and comprehensive name among the Lord's many names. This is because each of Allah's names, which are found in the Holy Qur'an, as well as in other Islamic sources, truly reflects one particular aspect of Allah's Attributes. In other words, the only name that refers to all of His Attributes of Glory and Beauty is Allah. That is why other names are often used as modifiers for the word `Allah'. For example, " Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful",(Sura Al-Baqarah, No. 2,verse 226), refers to Allah's forgiveness; " ...Allah heareth and knoweth all things ", (No. 2, verse 227) shows His being well-acquainted with what is audible and what comes to pass, respectively; " And Allah sees well all that you do", (Sura Al-Hujurat, No. 49, verse 18) states that He has information on every thing that is done by anyone; " Surely Allah is He Who gives (all) sustenance, the Lord of Power, steadfast (for ever) ", (Sura Ath-Thariyat, No. 51, verse 58) points to His giving sustenance to all creatures and, at the same time, discloses that He is powerful and firm in His actions. And, finally, Sura Al-Hashr, No. 59, verses 23, 24 reveals some other Attributes of Allah. The terms ` Creator ' and ` Evolver ' are suggestive of His creativeness and inventiveness, and ` Bestower of Forms ' indicates His giving shapes: " Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god; the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme (in creating all creatures)...." “He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms; to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names...." Another piece of evidence which is a clear indication that this Name, Allah, is all-inclusive is that the acceptance of Faith, in Islam, is possible only by reciting the sentence: / la ilaha illalah / " There is no god, but Allah "; and each of the other phrases such as: ` All-Knowing ' or `Creator ', or ` Bestower of Sustenance ', and the like, alone, is not sufficient enough to proclaim as evidence of Monotheism in Islam. And, that is why in religions other than Islam, the God of Muslims is referred to as ` Allah ', because it is only Muslims who use ` Allah ' to refer to what they do worship. Allah's General and Specific Mercy: The words `ar-Rahman' (The Beneficent) and `ar-Rahim' (The Merciful) are adjectives, both derived from `ar-Rahmah' (Mercy). The former word, the Beneficent, as it is popularly recognized among some commentators, refers to the General Mercy of Allah which is bestowed upon all creatures; among them are the believers and the disbelievers, good-doers and evildoers. And, as we can see, the Divine bounties of life are distributed everywhere and all human beings enjoy the endless merits therein. This is their sustenance. They draw it out of the abundant blessings encompassing the whole world of existence. The word `ar-Rahim' (The Merciful) refers to that Specific Mercy that is endowed upon the believing, obedient servants alone. The believers, because of their true belief, good actions, and faithful active obedience, deserve this special, exclusive mercy, of which the disbelievers are deprived. The particular fact ratifying this topic is that the word Rahman is always used in the Qur'an with the meaning of an infinite form of mercy, which is a sign of its generality, while the word Rahim is sometimes used with the meaning of a finite form, which is a sign of its specificity such as: "... And He is full of Mercy to the Believers ", (Sura Al-Ahzab, No. 33, verse 43). And it is sometimes used in an infinite form such as in Sura Al-Fatihah. A narration from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: “Allah is the God of all things and is Beneficent to all His creatures, and He is Merciful, especially to the believers." (18) Therefore, at the moment that we initiate any action, when we begin with the Name of Allah, we must seek His Mercy, General and Specific Mercy, both. It is interesting to note that this power, which has a broad concept, much the same as gravitational pull, and has the ability to draw hearts closer together, is the very Attribute of Mercy. This Attribute of Mercy is the very means by which men can attain a close relationship with the Creator, also. That is why true believers, when reciting the holy verse /bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/, at the beginning of their affairs, detach their hearts from everything else and rely only upon Allah, and seek help only from Him, because He is the only One Whose Mercy is `All-Encompassing' and no creature is deprived of it. Another fact that can also be understood from / bism-il-lah / is that Allah's acts are based on Mercy and, punishment has an exceptional aspect which will not be fulfilled unless there are some exact, clear reasons for it. When we recite the supplication entitled, ` Jaushan Kabir ', Section 20 thus: “O’Lord, Whose Mercy surpasses His Wrath... “The above point becomes clear. Human beings should attach importance to mercy and affection and behave accordingly in their daily lives and use violence and harshness only for those times when it is clearly warranted. We conclude this discussion with a tradition, rich in meaning, from the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), who, when commenting on the many different kinds of His All-Encompassing Mercy, said : " Verily, there are one hundred mercies belonging to Allah, from which, He has sent down to the Earth only one and distributed that one among His creatures. All the mercy and affection they have, issue from it. He, the Merciful, withheld the other 99 for Himself to show mercy upon His servants on the Day of Resurrection ". (19) --------------- pg 44 --------------- " (All) praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds " Commentary : The World is Full of His Mercy After reciting the phrase / bism-il-lah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim /, to begin the Sura, our first duty is to bring to mind the Great Creator and Cherisher of the world of being, and His endless bounties which have surrounded us thoroughly. In doing so, it is both ` a guide ' for us to observe the existence of Providence and ` a motive ' for showing our servitude and worship to Him. It is `a motive' because any man, after receiving a gift, wishes to know its giver at once, in order to show his gratitude and thankfulness to him. This quality is in man's innate disposition prompting him to manifest his acknowledgment of Him. This same quality in man, in discussing the theological motives of ` the necessity of expressing thankfulness to the Bestower ', according to what man's nature and rationale leads him to, is considered one of those motives. And it is `a guide' to knowing the Lord and His bounties, because the best and the most direct way towards the acknowledgment of the Origin is the study of the secrets of creation, especially, the existence of the bounties of life as related to human beings. Therefore, perhaps, it is for these two reasons that Sura Al-Fatihah, alongside /bism-il-lah/, begins thus: " (All) praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds ". Or, in other words, the verse " (All) praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds " points to both the Unity of Divine Essence, and the Unity of Divine Attributes and Acts. Originally, qualifying Allah (s.w.t.), here, with the phrase /rabb-il-`alamin/ (the Lord of the Worlds) is, in fact, mentioning the reason after stating the claim. It seems that someone has asked why all praise is (only) Allah's, and the response is that it is for the reason that He is ` the Lord of the Worlds'. This is one of the characteristics of Allah. In another occurrence, the Holy Qur'an says: “He Who has made every thing which He has created most good ...," (Sura As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 7). And again, in Sura Hud, No. 11, verse 6, it says: “There is no moving creature on the earth but its sustenance depends on Allah... ". It is, also, clearly understood from the word /al-hamd/, ` praise ', used in this verse, that Allah has created all these bounties and benefits, basically, by His Choice and His Will. It is interesting to note that by stating the phrase, ` (All) praise is (only) Allah's ', it is not only helpful to use it for the commencement of affairs, but, as the Qur'an teaches us, it is also used as a conclusion, like in Sura Yunus, No. 10, verse 10, about the good-doers in Heaven, it says: "(This will be) their cry therein: ` Glory to Thee, O God!’ And `peace' will be their greeting therein! And the close of their cry will be: `Surely, the Praise is Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds! ' ". Virtue of the Verse Concerning the virtue of this Holy verse, there is a narration from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) which says that in a tradition from the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), he has said: " When a believing servant says ` The Praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds ', such a praise that befits Him and His Rank, the angels are unable to record it. They will be asked by Allah why they did not record the reward of the phrase which the believing servant stated. Then, in response to their not recording the reward, they will ask how it is that they could even understand and estimate the high standard of saying such a phrase which contains the praise befitting and deserving only to Him. Allah, the Exalted, will tell them that they should record the phrase and it would be for Him to endow the servant with the reward of the praise as befitting Him ". (20) The word /rabb/ originally means ` the owner of something who proceeds to train and improve it '. This word is absolutely applied to Allah, alone, and if it is applied, in Arabic, for other than Him, it is certainly used in a possessive form, as / rabb-ud-dar / ` the owner of the house ', or / rabb-us-safinah / `the owner of the ship '. In any case, the word, itself, conveys the meaning of ` training '. There is another idea mentioned in Majma`-ul-Bayan that says: " /rabb/ means: ` an important person whose orders are obeyed '." However, it is probable that both meanings refer to the same origin. The term /`alamin/ is the plural form of /`alam/ `the world' and we cite it, here, with the meaning of `a collection of different creatures with common characteristics or a common time and place'.For example, we say: the world of Man, the world of animals, and the world of plants, or,we say:the world of the East and the world of the West, or: the world of today and the world of yesterday. Therefore, when /`alam/, which has a plural sense by itself, is used in a plural form, it refers to the `universe'. The writer of the Al-Manar Commentary says that it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that he has said /`alamin/ means `peoples', only. Then, the writer adds that the term is used in the Qur'an with the same meaning; for example: "...That it may be an admonition to all peoples ", (Sura Al-Furqan, No. 25, verse 1). (21) It is true that the term /`alamin/ in many occurrences, in the Qur'an, is used with the meaning of `peoples', but, sometimes, it is also used with a broader scope of meaning which envelops other creatures; for instance:" Then Praise be to Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth, Lord and Cherisher of all the worlds! ", (Sura Al-Jathiyah, No. 45, verse 36). And, also, like: " Pharaoh said: ` and what is the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds?’ (Moses) said: ` The Lord and Cherisher of the heavens and the earth, and all between them ...” (Sura Ash-Shu`Ara, No. 26, verses 23, 24). It is interesting that in a narration from Hadrat Ali (a.s.), Saduq has cited in the book ` `Uyun-ul-Akhbar', that he (a.s.), commenting on the verse, has said: " (The phrase) /rabb-il-`alamin/ refers to all creatures whether they are inanimate or living ". (22) There is, of course, no contradiction between these traditions, because, although the meaning of the term /`alamin/ is very vast, Man is the most significant being among all creatures of the world, so, he is sometimes especially considered the central point of them, and other creatures are dependent upon him and in his shadow. Therefore, when, in the tradition of the Imam (a.s.), the term is rendered into ` peoples ', the reason is that the main purpose of creation, in this great gathering of beings, is Man. This point is, also, interesting that some have introduced two forms of /`alam/ `the world': `the great world' (macrocosm) and `the lesser world' (microcosm) by which they refer to Man as `the lesser world', because the entity of a person alone, is a collection of different powers which govern `the great world'. In fact, `man' is a sample of the whole world. So Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) in one of his poems, addressing Man, says: " You think that you are a small body, while (you should know that) you contain `the great world' (macrocosm) inside you."(23) One of the factors that causes us to emphasize the vast meaning of / `alam / `the world', is that the term has occurred after the phrase /al-hamd-u-lil-lah/, in which we devote all the praise to Allah, only, and, then, we reason our statement with /rabb-il-`alamin/ ` The Lord of the Worlds '. We say the praise is only Allah's, because all perfections, all bounties and all blessings, in this world, belong to Him, the Lord, the Cherisher. --------------- pg 47 --------------- " The Beneficent, The Merciful " Commentary : The meaning of /ar-rahman/ ` the Beneficent ' and /ar-rahim/ ` the Merciful ', together with their broad sense of meaning and the difference between them, was explained at length while commenting on /bism-il-lah/, the repetition of which is not required. A point that should be added to the commentary, here, regarding `ar-Rahman' and `ar-Rahim', is that these two attributes, which are the most significant attributes of Allah, are repeated at least 30 times, every day, in our (5) daily prayers; (twice in Sura Al-Fatihah, and once in the Sura we recite after it). In this way, we praise Allah sixty times as being ` Mereiful ' each day. This, indeed, is a lesson taught to all human beings more than anything else that they should try to acquire this attribute, and practice it in their daily lives and activities. Moreover, it points to the fact that if we count ourselves among the true, obedient servants of Allah, we should not follow or imitate the manner in which tyrant slave owners use against their servants when dealing with our servants. The history of slavery indicates that the tyrant owners used to treat their slaves in horrifyingly cruel ways. For example, if a slave moved a little slow in performing services, he would receive harsh punishments: i.e. be whipped, put in chains or fetters, fastened to a mill-stone and forced to turn it, instructed to work in mines, imprisoned in deep, dark, wet holes and, if his faults were greater, he would be hanged. Another reference in the history of slavery also shows that condemned slaves were put in wild animal cages. If the slave succeeded in staying alive, another animal would be let in on him. These are some examples of the conduct of some owners with their slaves. But, Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, has mentioned repeatedly, in the Holy Qur'an, that Allah is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful to the servants who are repentant of their disobedience to Him. For example: Sura Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 53 says: " Say: ` O' My servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful' ". Therefore, the terms `ar-Rahman' (the Beneficent) and `ar-Rahim' (the Merciful) used after the phrase /rabb-il-`alamin/ `the Lord of the Worlds' refer to the idea that, He, with the absolute Power He has, is yet Merciful to all His creatures. This quality, which Allah possesses, attracts His servants to Him and they eagerly say: `ar-Rahman-ir-Rahim', (the Beneficent, the Merciful). It is here that one's attention is drawn to the fact that the behaviour of Allah, the Exalted, toward His creatures is, by far, different from that of masters toward their servants, in particular, during the horrible period of slavery. Therefore, ` belief in Allah ' is the first of the five principles of Islam. --------------- pg 49 --------------- " Master of the Day of Judgement." Commentary: ` Faith in the Resurrection ', the Second Principle In this verse, attention is paid to the second important principle in Islam, i.e. Resurrection and the Hereafter when it says: “Master of the Day of Judgement ". Thus, the focus of the idea of the Origin and End, which is the main foundation of all ethical and social improvements in Man, reaches the peak of perfection. It is noteworthy, here, that the mastership of Allah, or His Ownership, is pointed out, which illustrates His Sovereignty and Domination over everything and everyone on that Day, when all human beings will attend that Great Court for reckoning, before their real and genuine Master. They will see all their deeds and even their thoughts present without there being aught less than the original or anything forgotten. They will even have to accept their share of responsibility for any customs for which they have merely been the founders of, not necessarily the doers of them. Allah's Ownership, on that Day, is not similar to our imaginary ownership of that which belongs to us from the things of this world. His Ownership, regarding the world of existence, is the real ownership. It is the special dependence of creatures on the Lord and their being in need of Him. If the flow of His blessings ceased even for a single moment, it would cause them to perish altogether. In other words, this ownership is the consequence of His Creatorship and Divinity. He, Who creates beings, gives them life every moment and cherishes them, protects them and guides them, is the real master of all creatures. As a matter of fact, He is the only Ruler of all powers in the world of existence. There is no doubt that Allah is ` The Lord of the Worlds '. The question to be raised here is this: ` Is not Allah the Absolute Owner of this world? ‘versus our statement to this effect that ` He is the Master of the Day of Judgement '. The answer to this question lies in the fact that the ` Ownership of Allah ', though it comprises both worlds, enjoys further manifestation in the Hereafter. This is because all material ties and imaginary ownerships are cut off (in the Hereafter), and no one has anything of his or her own on That Day. Even intercession, if ever achieved, is by Allah's command, as the Qur'an says about the Reckoning Day: " The Day on which no soul shall have aught for (another) soul, and the command That Day shall be (wholly) Allah's ", (Sura Al-Infitar, No. 82, verse 19). In other words, occasions arise, in this world, when one helps another through his or her speech, money, power, advocates, plans, designs, and so on. On That Day (the Hereafter), however, certainly not a single trace of such affairs will exist. Therefore, when people are asked: " Whose will be the Domination This Day?...", they answer: "... that of Allah, the One, the Almighty! ", (Sura Al-Mu'min, No. 40, verse 16). This is also an answer to those who reject the idea that when Allah is the Owner of everything why, then, He is called the ` Master of the Day of Judgement '. Man, with no belief in the Hereafter and the Day of Reckoning, would have the potential to be the most immoral of beings, the biggest tyrant committing the worst and the most hideous crimes, for, in his view, there is not any one to question or punish him if he is clever enough not to get caught and, with such characteristics, sometimes, it would be so terrible or impossible for other fellow-creatures to continue their lives in this world. Therefore, faith in life after death and the Day of Judgement, which is an essential part of Islam, like prayer, is very helpful in controlling men against committing sins. Emphasizing the Ownership of Allah on the Day of Judgement has this effect, too, that it stands against the disbelief of disbelievers in the Hereafter. It is understood from the verses of the Holy Qur'an that Faith in Allah has been a common belief even among disbelievers in the Age of Ignorance. Sura Luqman, No. 31, verse 25 says about them: " If thou ask them, who it is that created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say: ` Allah '...", while they did not accept the speech of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) about the Resurrection: " The Unbelievers say (in ridicule): `Shall we point to you a man that will tell you, when ye are all scattered to pieces in disintegration, that ye shall (then be raised) in a New creation ? " “Has he invented a falsehood against Allah, or has a spirit (seized) him?...", (Sura Saba, No. 34, verses 7,8). A tradition about Imam Sajjad (a.s.) says: “When Ali-ibn-il-Husayn (a.s.) began reciting `Master of the Day of Judgement', he repeated it so many times that he was at the point of losing his life ". (24) The phrase / yaum-id-din /, is repeated more than ten times in the Qur'an, exclusively with the meaning of `the Hereafter': “And what makes you know what the Day of Reckoning is?” “Again, what makes you know what the Day of Reckoning is?” “The Day on which no soul shall have aught for (another) soul, and the command that Day shall be (wholly) Allah's ", (Sura Al-Infitar, No. 82, verses 17-19). The phrase /yaum-id-din/ is used in the sense of ` the Day of Judgement ', for ` That Day ' is the day of rewards; and /din/ in Arabic philology means: `reward, recompense'. The most evident procedure fulfilled in the Hereafter is the procedure of paying rewards or inflicting punishments. On That Day, the curtains will be removed and the deeds of all will be reckoned, precisely, and everyone shall reap the fruit of his own actions, be they good or evil. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said in a tradition that the Day of Judgement is ` The Reckoning Day '. (25) It is also noteworthy to mention that some commentators believe that `Resurrection' is called /yaum-ud-din/ because on That Day, everyone is recompensed for his own religion, if he has followed it accordingly. --------------- pg 52 --------------- “Thee (alone) do we worship and of Thee (only) do we seek help." Commentary: Man in the Presence of Allah Here, this verse is a start for a servant to plea and ask his needs from Allah. In fact, from here on, the tone of the statements changes. The former verses were the praise and attributes of Allah, and the statement of Faith in His Pure Unity, consisting of a confession to the belief in the Day of Resurrection. But, from this verse on, it seems that the servant, with that firm foundation of Belief in the knowledge of Allah, sees himself in front of Him, the Pure Essence. He addresses Him and speaks, firstly, about his own worship for Him and, then, about His help which he seeks from Him. Thus he says: “Thee (alone) do we worship and of Thee (only) do we seek help." In other words, when the concepts of the former verses settle in one's soul, and his entire entity is enlightened with the Light of Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds, and when he recognizes His ` General Mercy ' and ` Specific Mercy ', the individual transforms into a complete person from the point of ` belief ' and ` Faith '. The prime fruit of this deep belief in monotheism, for a person, in one respect, is to be a pure true servant of Allah, free from any idol and idolatry, far from tyrants and lusts; and, on the other hand, to seek help only from His Pure Essence. In fact, the former verses state the Unity of Essence and Attributes, while, here, the statement is regarding the Unity of Worship and Unity of Acts. ` Unity of Worship ' means that we acknowledge no person or thing worthy of worship other than Allah, Whose commands alone do we obey and Whose laws only do we follow, avoiding any kind of servitude and submission to other than Him, the Pure Essence. ` Unity of Acts ' means that we clearly recognize Him as the only real ` Author of Causes ' in the world. It does not mean that we would refuse the world of ` cause ' and be neglectful of searching for the causes of things, but it means that we would believe that any effect from any cause is under His command. It is He Who has given heat to fire, light to the sun, and vivacity to water. The outcome of this belief is that one relies on Allah alone, and knows that all authority and power are His only. In his view, other than Him is powerless, mortal and perishable. Allah is the only Essence to be relied on and worshipped. It is only He Who is deserving of man's reliance for everything. This kind of thought and belief sets man apart from any one or any thing else and joins him only to Allah. He obeys Allah even when he pursues after ` the world of ways and means ', i.e. he sees the Power of Allah, the Cause of causes, in control of the means. This belief elevates the soul of man so high and the scope of his thought so broad that it reaches eternity and becomes free from any limited circumstances, in so far as, Hadrat Amir-ul-Mu'mineen, the Master of the Virtuous, Ali (a.s.), regarding Allah, says: " I worship you neither for the fear of the Fire (of Your Hell) nor for the desire of Your Paradise, but I found You fit for worshipping and I worshipped You." (26)

Resorce and refrence

1. Majm`-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 17
2. Makhzan-ul-`Irfan, Commentary, vol. 1, p. 28 & Masabih-ul-Anwar vol. 1, p. 435
3. Manhajus-Sadiqin, vol. 1, p. 90
4. Al-Burhan Fi Tafsir-il-Qur'an, vol. one, p. 21; Atyab-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 83
5. Majma`-ul-Bayan, vol. one, p. 17 .
6. Rauh-ul-Janan, Abul-Futuh Razi, Commentary, vol. one, p. 16
7. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 76, chapter 58, p. 305 (according to ` Tafsir Al-Bayan ', vol. one, p. 461)
8. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 76, chapter 58
9. Majma`-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 18
10. Ibid
11. Al-Mahasin by Barghi p. 40 Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 92, p. 234
12. Tafsir-us-Safi, vol. 1, p. 70 Al-Mizan, vol. 1, p. 26 (Persian version)
13. The phrase /bism-il-lah/ is used as a contraction of /bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/.
14. Makhzan-ul-`Irfan, vol. 1, p. 28
15. Al-Kafi, vol. 3, p. 312
16. Al-Itqan, vol. 1, p. 136
17. Atyab-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 92
18. Kafi, Tauhid by Saduq, and Ma`ani-yul-Akhbar, (according to Almizan Commentary).
19. Majma'-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 21
20. Ma`ani-ul-Akhbar, p. 32, tradition 8; and, Tafsir Furat-ul-Kufi, vol. 1, p. 52
21. Al-Manar Commentary, vol. 1, p. 51
22. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn Commentary, vol. 1, p. 17
23. From the collection of Poems of Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali-ibn Abitalib (a.s.), p. 175
24. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Commentary, vol. 1, p. 19
25. Majma`-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 24 ; Manhaj-us-Sadiqin, vol. 1, p. 24
26. Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 72, p. 186

The views reflected in the articles are not necessarily those of Ahlulbayt Worl Assembly



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