All praise is for Allah, Who created man in the best form and guided him to the upright religion and the clear path. Thereafter, He endowed him with intellect as an innate proof that guides towards its Creator. He raised the Prophets (a.s.) and appointed the successors (a.s.) as the apparent proofs, assisting them as guides towards His commands and prohibitions. He distinguished them with explicit miracles and bright signs to complete His arguments and perfect His bounties.
Blessings and salutations be upon the most perfect of the proofs, the best of the Messengers, Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahle Bait (a.s.), the guides towards the best of paths.
Now, the humble and needy slave of Allah, the Needless, âAli Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali al-Musawi al-Bahbahaaniâ (may Allah, the High, raise them all along with their infallible ancestors (a.s.)), says,
It is narrated from our master, Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.) who narrates on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), âWhoever from my nation memorizes forty traditions that are essential (for his religious affairs), Allah will raise him on the Day of Judgment as a learned scholar.â
Since the books of traditions and their explanations have made it easy for the readers to become deeply learned, and the abundance of these works amongst the people have become inexcusable reasons for memorization of these traditions, I desired to collect forty traditions as explanations for forty verses of the Holy Quran vis-Ã -vis the mastership of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny (peace be upon them all). I have explained them according to what Allah, the High, has gifted to me of their understanding and granted me their knowledge.
Then, I say:
The commentary of the word of Allah, the High:
ÙÙÙÙ’ ÙÙÙÙ Ø¨Ø§ÙÙÙ Ø´ÙÙÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙØ§ Ø¨ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙÙ’ ÙÙ Ø¨ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙÙÙ…Ù’ ÙÙ Ù…ÙÙÙ’ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ù…Ù Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØªÙØ§Ø¨Ù.
ââ¦Say: Allah is sufficient as a Witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.â
Imam Baqer (a.s.) informs, â(This verse) implies us and Ali (a.s.) is the first of us, the most superior of us and the best of us after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).â
A similar tradition is narrated from our master, Imam Sadeq (a.s.).
When a person asked Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) about his most excellent virtue, he (a.s.) recited the aforementioned verse and said, âThe phrase âwhoever has knowledge of the Bookâ refers to us.â
When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was asked about this verse, he (s.a.w.a.) replied, âIt refers to my brother Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.).â
In another tradition, from our companions, it has been narrated: I was with Imam Abu Jaâfar (a.s.) in the mosque conversing when someone from the progeny of Abdullah Ibn Salaam passed. I said, âMay I be held your ransom! He is the son of whom the people say that âwhoever has knowledge of the Bookâ refers to him!â Imam (a.s.) retorted, âNo. This verse refers to Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). Five verses were revealed concerning him (a.s.), one of which was ââ¦Say: Allah is sufficient as a Witnessâ¦â.â
Imam Sadeq (a.s.) says, âHe is Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).â
Imam Sadeq (a.s.) was asked as to who is more learned, the one who has knowledge from the Book or the one who has knowledge of the Book? He (a.s.) replied, âThe knowledge of the one who has knowledge from the Book when compared to the one who has knowledge of the Book is to the extent of what a fly takes with its wing from the water of the ocean.â
Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) says, âKnow that the knowledge with which Adam (a.s.) descended from the sky to the earth and all that was conferred on the Prophets (a.s.) till the Seal of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.) is available in the progeny of the Seal of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.).â
The renowned Sunni jurist, Ibn al-Maghaazeli al-Shaafei narrates from one chain while Saâlabi narrates from two chains that this verse refers to Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.).
It is appropriate to discuss (the aforementioned verse) in three levels:
(A)Â Â The qualification of our master, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and his pure progeny (a.s.) for the phrase âwhoever has knowledge of the Bookâ and its non-applicability for other than them (a.s.), as the precedence of the object over the verb in the noble tradition proves. Also, the revelation of the verse in favour of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) does not in any way contradict its general application for the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny.
(B)Â Â The enumeration of the verse as a virtue of superiority.
(C)Â Â It is the most superior virtue of our master, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), as the tradition of al-Ehtejaaj suggests.
Before commencing the discussion, it is necessary to relate a preface comprising of six issues by which the above three levels will be clearly explained:
(I)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Is the joining of the testimony of the one who has knowledge of the Book with the testimony of Allah from the kind of the combination of one just personâs witness with another just person, or is it from the category of combining one evidence with another evidence?
(II)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The implication of the word, âthe Bookâ.
(III)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Is the mode of testimony of Allah and that of âthe one who has knowledge of the Bookâ oral or practical?
(IV)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Explanation of the cause of attaining knowledge and certainty from the testimony of âthe one who has knowledge of the Bookâ in a way that it be considered as an independent proof. Moreover, it deserves to be regarded as equal to the testimony of Allah, the High, and independent in establishing the Messengership of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).
(V)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Does the addition of the word âknowledgeâ to âthe Bookâ imply generality or not?
(VI)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Whether Surah Raâd, which contains the verse, was revealed in Makkah or Madinah?
- As for the first issue, it is clear that the unison of one independent evidence and proof with another evidence necessitates the non-admissibility of short-coming and incompleteness in the testimony of Allah, the High, for it to be completed with another testimony and evidence. Perhaps, the precedence of the phrase âa Witness between me and youâ by Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, over the conjunct noun (âthe one who has knowledge of the Bookâ) testifies to this meaning just as the usage of the scale of ÙØ¹ÙÙ (Ø´ÙÙØ¯Ø§) instead of the simple nominal noun ÙØ§Ø¹Ù notifies that the attribute of testimony is to establish evidence and not merely an occurrence. Each of the two testimonies is in itself a complete proof and a definite argument for the Prophethood and Messengership of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). There is no scope to argue that the joining of the testimony of âthe one who has the knowledge of the Bookâ with that of Allah is from the kind of bringing together hypothetical evidence with certain evidence. For, it is not wise and advisable to fasten to a hypothesis at this level and to regard it as an evidence to achieve the aim for three reasons:
- Validity of a hypothesis at this level is unimaginable because validity is either essential like in a scientific argument or it is imposed subjugation like a document, paths and legal authorities and jurisdictions. While, both of these types of validity are contradictory at this level. As for the first type, it is clear due to the essential invalidity of a hypothesis. The second type is non-applicable as subjugation and devotion at this level is unimaginable because it is an offshoot of the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood. Hence, it is unreasonable to regard it as circumstantial evidence for his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood.
- Subjugation to hypothesis is admissible only in instances of ignorance of reality and lack of knowledge in support of it (reality) or against it. Hence, it is incorrect to regard hypothesis as a proof for his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood despite the presence of certain knowledge, which is the testimony of Allah, the High. Specially, when He has placed His evidence a priori in the Holy Quran.
- The principles of religion, due to their significance, are not to be proved except through certain knowledge. Hypothesis or hypothetical arguments can be considered only in the branches of religion, not in the principles. Indeed, Allah, the High, has condemned the nation that inclined towards hypothesis and conjecture in the principles of their beliefs. He says,
Ø§ÙÙÙ’ ÙÙØªÙ’ÙØ¨ÙØ¹ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ Ø§ÙÙØ§Ù’Ù Ø§ÙØ¸Ù’ÙÙÙ’Ù ÙÙ Ø§ÙÙÙ’Ù Ø§ÙØ¸Ù’ÙÙÙÙ’Ù ÙØ§Ù ÙÙØºÙ’ÙÙÙÙ’ Ù…ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’ØÙÙÙÙ’ Ø´ÙÙÙ’Ø¦ÙØ§.
âThey do not follow but conjecture and conjecture cannot provide them anything from the truth.â
Then how can He use (hypothesis) as an argument to establish the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) which He Himself has prohibited from following or even inclination towards it?
Objection: It is possible to say that the mention of âthe one who has knowledge of the Bookâ is used only for confirmation and must not be considered independently and hence, his testimony being hypothetical and unreliable will not be contradictory.
Answer: His conjunction with the name of Allah necessitates his partnership in the matter i.e. his testimony being sufficient to prove the Prophethood and establishment of argument upon the denying unbelievers for his (s.a.w.a.) messengership. Therefore, your objection is ruled out.
Objection: Allah, the High, has argued in the Holy Quran in numerous instances without certain knowledge. For example,
ÙÙ Ù…ÙØ§ Ø§ÙØ±Ù’Ø³ÙÙÙ’ÙÙØ§ Ù…ÙÙÙ’ ÙÙØ¨Ù’ÙÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙØ§Ù’Ù Ø±ÙØ¬ÙØ§ÙØ§Ù ÙÙÙÙ’ØÙÙÙ’ Ø§ÙÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙ…Ù’ ÙÙØ§Ø³Ù’Ø§ÙÙÙÙÙ’Ø§ Ø§ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ Ø§ÙØ°ÙÙ’ÙÙ’Ø±Ù Ø§ÙÙÙ’ ÙÙÙÙ’ØªÙÙ…Ù’ ÙØ§Ù ØªÙØ¹Ù’ÙÙÙ…ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ Ø¨ÙØ§ÙÙ’Ø¨ÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙØ§ØªÙ ÙÙ Ø§ÙØ²Ù’ÙØ¨ÙØ±Ù.
âAnd We have not sent before you except men to whom We have revealed unto them. Then ask the people of remembrance if you know not about the proofs and books.â
According to some commentators, the people of remembrance, who are supposed to be asked, are the people of the Book from the Jews and the Christians. Their testimony was not the cause of knowledge of the witnessed one for the questioners, since they were the worshippers of idols, who were the deniers of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and considered it as improbable that Allah would send a human as a Messenger. Similarly, they (idol-worshippers) also denied the Jews and the Christians and hence their testimony would not be beneficial because Allah, the High, did indeed raise a Messenger as a human despite what they testified to the deniers.
Ø§ÙÙÙ ÙÙÙ…Ù’ ÙÙÙÙÙÙ’ ÙÙÙÙÙ…Ù’ Ø¢ÙÙÙØ©Ù Ø§ÙÙÙ’ ÙÙØ¹Ù’ÙÙÙ…ÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙÙ…ÙØ¢Ø¡Ù Ø¨ÙÙÙÙÙ’ Ø§ÙØ³Ù’Ø±Ø¢Ø¦ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ
âWas there not a sign with them which the learned from the children of Israel knew?â
The testimony of the scholars of the children of Israel was not fruitful to establish the truthfulness of the Messengership and to gain certain knowledge about it as these scholars were not infallible. Hence, their witness was merely a conjecture.
ÙÙÙÙ’ Ø§ÙØ±ÙØ£ÙÙÙ’ØªÙÙ…Ù’ Ø§ÙÙÙ’ ÙÙØ§ÙÙ Ù…ÙÙÙ’ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ø¯Ù Ø§ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙÙÙÙÙØ±Ù’ØªÙÙ…Ù’ Ø¨ÙÙÙ ÙÙ Ø´ÙÙÙØ¯Ù Ø´ÙØ§ÙÙØ¯Ù Ù…ÙÙÙ’ Ø¨ÙÙÙÙÙ’ Ø§ÙØ³Ù’Ø±ÙØ¢Ø¦ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ Ù…ÙØ«Ù’ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙØ¢Ù…ÙÙÙ ÙÙ Ø§Ø³Ù’ØªÙÙÙ’Ø¨ÙØ±Ù’ØªÙÙ…Ù’.
âSay: Did you see if it was from Allah and you disbelieved in it while a witness from the Bani Israel testified upon the like of it, then he believed but you were arrogant.â
So, the testimony of the witness from the children of Israel was not the cause of certain knowledge of the witnessed one.
Answer: The phrase âthe people of remembranceâ refers to the infallible and pure Ahle Bait (a.s.) as the traditions of both the sects have proved. This does not contradict the fact that those who were ordered to ask were the disbelievers, who denied the Ahle Bait (a.s.) as well as the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). For, the purpose of questioning is to search the questioned one for the establishment of proof and evidence, a cause for action, as has been proved by the phrase âabout the proofs and booksâ. The relation of the order to question due to their ignorance necessitates that the order to question is connected to the ignorance of the ordered one, who has been sent to acquire certainty and not merely to question even if it does not lead to knowledge.
Even if we consider that the people of remembrance implies the people of the Book from the Jews and the Christians, the purpose of questioning them too is to seek proof and evidence from them and not merely to consider their statement as a verification without any proof and evidence. In any case, there is no order in the above verse to follow a hypothesis or conjecture or to be inclined towards it, as has been imagined.
As for the scholars of Bani Israel, which the verse deems as a sufficient sign and an apparent proof:
If, knowledge and certainty in the above instance implies that of the correctness of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood and the truthfulness of his (s.a.w.a.) Messengership, then the âlearned scholarsâ in this instance are those who migrated from their native places before his (s.a.w.a.) proclamation to the place of his (s.a.w.a.) migration, that is, the mountain of Ohod that they may find him (s.a.w.a.), believe in him (s.a.w.a.), help him (s.a.w.a.) and were expecting victory over the Arabs through him (s.a.w.a.). So much so that the Arabs complain about them to the Tubbaâ, who confined them. After he (Tubbaâ) came to know that their purpose was to find the Quraishi Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), he believed in him (s.a.w.a.) and made the tribes of Aws and Khazraj to stay with them to guard them (the Jews) and as helpers for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when he (s.a.w.a.) reappears.
It is known that their knowledge and certainty about the arrival of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his (s.a.w.a.) migration to this place â” which was the cause of their migration from their familiar and comfortable native places to this place â” before his (s.a.w.a.) actual advent, their bearing intense difficulties from the Arabs and their seeking victory over the Arabs through him (s.a.w.a.) were not except because of the news of their Prophets (a.s.) and the presence of his (s.a.w.a.) report in their Books. For, there was no way during those times to gain knowledge and certainty about him (s.a.w.a.) except through the news of the Prophets (a.s.) and their Books.
It is also known that this knowledge became the cause of their certainty about the correctness of the Prophethood of our Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The proof of this â” that the word âscholarsâ implies the scholars before the proclamation â” lies in the fact that the âChapter of Shoaraaâ was entirely revealed in Makkah except from the verse: ÙÙØ§ÙØ´Ù’ÙØ¹ÙØ±ÙØ§Ø¡Ù ÙÙØªÙ’ÙØ¨ÙØ¹ÙÙÙÙ…Ù Ø§ÙÙ’ØºÙØ§ÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙ âAnd as to the poets, those who go astray follow themâ till the end of the chapter. As, these excepted verses were revealed in Madinah, as has been mentioned by Shaikh Tabarsi (r.a.) in his exegesis âMajmaâ al-Bayaanâ.
None of the scholars of Bani Israel had accepted Islam in Makkah and whoever believed amongst them did so after the migration of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Hence, prior to migration, there was nobody amongst them who testified to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that Allah, Mighty and Glorified be He, would seek His own testimony and that of the People of the Book against the disbelievers from the polytheists. This view is supported by the fact that He has deemed their knowledge as a sign for them and not their testimony because at that time (in Makkah) they were not present at all to testify.
If it implies the knowledge and certainty about the correctness of the mastership of our master, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and his presence in the ancient scriptures, then this would be in concordance with the interpretation of the preceding verse, which is,
ÙÙØ¥ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙ ÙÙØªÙÙØ²ÙÙÙÙ Ø±ÙØ¨ÙÙ’ Ø§ÙÙ’Ø¹ÙØ§ÙÙÙ…ÙÙÙÙ. ÙÙØ²ÙÙÙ Ø¨ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙØ±Ù’ÙÙØÙ Ø§ÙØ£ÙÙ…ÙÙÙÙ. Ø¹ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙÙÙ’Ø¨ÙÙÙ ÙÙØªÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ù…ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’Ù…ÙÙØ°ÙØ±ÙÙÙÙ.
âAnd most surely this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The Faithful Spirit has descended with it, Upon your heart that you may be of the warnersâ
about the mastership of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) as has come in Al-Kaafi and Basaaer al-Darajaat from our master, Imam Muhammad al-Baqer (a.s.) who said: âSurely it is the mastership of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).â And in Tafseer al-Qummi, from our master Imam Sadeq (a.s.) who said: âIt is the mastership which descended for Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) on the Day of Ghadeer.â
It implies the believers after proclamation or before it, those who were informed that the mastership of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is transcribed in the ancient scriptures. Thus, their testimony would be beneficial for their certainty as it compounds two conditions, which are: the reliability of the testimony and the witnessed being evident, not merely theoretical.
As for the witness from the children of Israel, it implies either Prophet Moosa (a.s.) as has been explained by some of the commentators or another Prophet or any of their successors. By no means does it imply anyone who has testified from the Jews after the proclamation of our Prophetâs (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood due to his not being an infallible. For, the entire chapter of Ahqaaf was revealed in Makkah while none of them (i.e. the Jews and Christians) had accepted Islam in Makkah, leave alone providing testimony for his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood and Messengership.
The author of Majmaâ al-Bayaan, under the verse âwhile a witness from the Bani Israel testifiedâ writes, âIt refers to Abdullah Ibn Salaam; âupon the like of itâ means âfor it i.e. he witnesses that it is from Allah. It is also said âupon the like of itâ implies âupon the Old Testamentâ as has been narrated from Masrooq. It is also said, âThe witness is Moosa who testified upon the Old Testament just as the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) testified for the Quran because the chapter was revealed in Makkah while Ibn Salaam accepted Islam in Madinah.
I say: There is no proof for his interpretation of the verse in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam. On the contrary, its contra-evidence is present i.e. the descent of the entire chapter in Makkah. The assumption that the entire chapter was revealed in Makkah except this verse because of it being in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam is naught but a baseless surmise of the interpreter, lacking support from any tradition or document. His reference to Ibn Abbas in Majmaâ al-Bayaan like his interpretation of âwith whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ as Abdullah Ibn Salaam is also an error. For, soon it will follow that Ibn Abbas was the one who insisted vehemently that this verse was revealed concerning our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and does not befit anyone except him (a.s.).
Briefly, human wisdom independently judges the falsity of an argument without evidence. Then how can Allah â” Pure is His State â” argue in His Majestic Book without any evidence and even proceeds to declare such an argument as a sufficient and certain proof for disputation?
II. Apparently, the definite article âØ§Ùâ in the word âØ§ÙÙØªØ§Ø¨â (the Book) is ÙØ§Ù… ÙÙØ¹ÙØ¯ i.e. the noun (in this case âthe Bookâ) is known both to the speaker as well as to the addressee. Thus, it is dedicated either to the Holy Quran, in which is the explanation of all things or to the Preserved Tablet (Ø§ÙÙÙØ Ø§ÙÙ…ØÙÙØ¸) in which everything is written; other than all the revealed Books like the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms, etc. If the definite article âØ§Ùâ is âØ§ÙÙØ§Ù… ÙÙØ¬ÙØ³â i.e. which includes the genus of the mentioned noun, then it would include all the heavenly scriptures, since there is no scope to intend any single book from it at this level. Thus, in implication, both interpretations will be regarded as one.
III. As for the method of testimony, then these are various.
As for the testimony of Allah, it is practical because it is clear that Allah, the High, did not converse with the people by initiating a voice from the tree or its like as He did with His Spoken One, Prophet Moosa (a.s.), due to the incompetence of the people to attain this great position. So, Allahâs testimony for the Messengership of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) implies the manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands to verify his (s.a.w.a.) claims. From amongst these miracles, rather the greatest of these, is the revelation of the Holy Quran upon him (s.a.w.a.), which was the ultimate in eloquence and expression. To the extent that He challenged the Arabs with it. The most eloquent and articulate speakers and litterateurs of the time were helpless in bringing a chapter like it, notwithstanding the fact during the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), eloquence and literature was widespread and the Arabs were known to possess exceptional skills in both of them. It is obvious that to manifest miracles and extraordinary feats at the hands of a liar is evil and uncalled for. Allah is High and Pure than to perform such an act.
As for the testimony of âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ, it is both oral as well as practical. Oral testimony is verbal acknowledgement while practical testimony implies his (a.s.) following the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), obeying his (s.a.w.a.) commands and refraining from his (s.a.w.a.) prohibitions.
Objection: It cannot be said that the term âØ´ÙÙØ¯â (witness) is from âØ´ÙÙØ¯â which means presence physically or from the aspect of knowledge and information and the scale of âÙØ§Ø¹Ùâ or âÙØ¹ÙÙâ is used for concealment or ambiguity. It is realized only for the person who bears the characteristic of Prophethood. As for the expression of witness compatible to the performance of the testimony, then he only comes after prior information is given about him. Like you say, âI bear witness for such and such thingâ or âI am witness for it.â In such an instance, firstly, there is no clear information about the testimony of Allah, the High, and secondly, the prior information about Allahâs testimony concerning his (s.a.w.a.) messengership is not the cause of manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands.
Answer: Allahâs â” High be His Glory â” command to argue against the deniers of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership by sufficing with His testimony and that of âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ is essentially a prophecy about it. Had Allah not accompanied His prophecy with His testimony about his (s.a.w.a.) messengership through the manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands, it would not have been an evidence for the deniers of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership nor would have been the argument complete upon them. Essentially, merely the claim of the plaintiff that âAllah, the High, knows and testifies for the truth of my plaintâ without displaying any proof of His verification externally, will not be an evidence against the denier. Then how Allah â” High be His Glory â” suffices merely by informing about his (s.a.w.a.) messengership as a proof against the denier of Prophethood, while He â” Mighty and Glorified be He â” clearly states
ÙÙÙÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’ÙØ°ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙÙÙØ±ÙÙØ§Ù’ ÙÙØ³Ù’ØªÙ Ù…ÙØ±Ù’Ø³ÙÙØ§Ù ÙÙÙÙ’ ÙÙÙÙÙ Ø¨ÙØ§ÙÙÙÙ Ø´ÙÙÙÙØ¯ÙØ§ Ø¨ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙ ÙÙØ¨ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙÙÙ…Ù’ ÙÙÙ…ÙÙÙ’ Ø¹ÙÙØ¯ÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ù…Ù Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØªÙØ§Ø¨Ù
And those who disbelieve say: You are not a messenger. Say: Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.
Objection: It can be argued that the said verse was revealed to console His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that Allah, the High, knows âyou are His messenger; thus, the refutation of the disbelievers will not harm youâ. The verse is not used as an argument against them that the testimony of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership would necessitate the manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands.
Answer: Had the verse been âAllah is sufficient as a witness and whoever has knowledge of the Bookâ without mentioning the command âSayâ in its beginning and embracing the phrase âbetween me and youâ, such a probability would perhaps been acceptable. But the very mention of the command âSayâ in its beginning and the presence of the phrase âbetween me and youâ makes it very explicit that it has been used as an argument and a refutation against the unbelievers and deniers of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership.
IV. The removal of the veil depends on the explanation of the meaning of âknowledge of the Bookâ
The term âknowledge of the Bookâ does not imply only its apparent form because knowledge of this variety can occur without infallibility and following of carnal desires, as is clear. And whoever is fallible and follows his lust and desires, his testimony will neither lead to knowledge and certainty nor will it be acceptable to the intellect. Then how is it worthy to make the testimony of such a person equal to the testimony of Allah and an independent argument to establish the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)?!!
Thus, the phrase âknowledge of the Bookâ implies the knowledge of the apparent of the Book as well as its concealed, its interpretation and its descent, its hidden meanings and the secrets buried in it; a knowledge that is divinely gifted, not acquired. Such knowledge does not befit except the one who is infallible and pure from mistakes and errors, committed deliberately or out of forgetfulness. Only then will his testimony lead to knowledge and certainty, acceptable to wisdom and worthy of being equated with the testimony of Allah, the High.
Verily, the method of extolling the knowledge of the unseen is not confined in the declaration of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that he is aware of the same. Otherwise, it would necessitate that his (s.a.w.a.) testimony does not establish his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood. As the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) knowledge of the unseen and his (s.a.w.a.) infallibility is an offshoot of the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood, how can his (s.a.w.a.) testimony be a proof for that which is an offshoot of the validity of his (s.a.w.a.) testimony? Therefore, the knowledge of the unseen just as it uncovers beforehand the declaration of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) after the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood, similarly it reveals in advance the manifestation of his (s.a.w.a.) signs from the miracles and the extraordinary feats at his (s.a.w.a.) hands as and when required to establish his (s.a.w.a.) argument. Like, it was manifested from âthe one who had the knowledge from the Bookâ; he was Asif Ibn Barkhiyyah, the successor of Prophet Sulaiman Ibn Dawood (a.s.) when he brought the throne of Queen Bilqees before the batting of the eyelid.
V. It is clear that the addition (Ø§ÙØ§Ø¶Ø§ÙÙ) in similar instances leads to generalization. Then, when it is said, âZaid has the knowledge of jurisprudence or grammarâ, it does not mean that he only knows a few of its contents. I certainly do not imply that the addition of the infinitive to its subject (ÙØ§Ø¹Ù) or its object (Ù…ÙØ¹ÙÙ) leads to generalization in its entirety or absoluteness. Like the beating of Zaid or seeing of Amr, etc. does not mean generalization in essence.
Verily, the addition of the infinitive as a word or a meaning to the correctness of every part of it is that it should be related to it apparently in encompassment or generalization except when the encompassment or generalization is extraordinary. Therefore, the ownership of the slave, his liberty, his freedom, purchasing of the house and selling it, etc. return to generalization, apparent in it, except the like of beating of Zaid and seeing of Amr for the non-ordinariness with relation to beating and seeing of each of their parts.
VI. The chapter under consideration was revealed in Makkah as has been narrated by al-Neshaapouri from Saeed Ibn Jubair and similarly, al-Baghwi has narrated in Maâalem al-Tanzeel.
When these prefaces (the aforementioned six prefaces) have become clear for you, it must have become extremely comprehensible and unambiguous to interpret the term âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk due to the following reasons:
(a) The adequacy of the testimony of âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ in proving Prophethood which is a principle of religion. He has made it in the presentation of His testimony dependent on its resulting in knowledge and certainty, while this testimony is dependent on the establishment of his infallibility and purity, which again is dependant on the intention of knowledge with the apparent of the Book and its concealed, even if some of it necessitates purity and infallibility.
It is known that Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk from the scholars of the Jews did not reach the status of infallibility; otherwise they would not have stayed on the religion of Prophet Moosa (a.s.) which was abrogated by the religion of Prophet Isa (a.s.). For surely, their remaining on the religion of Prophet Moosa (a.s.) was either due to their stubbornness against the truth or due to their ignorance. Both these instances are contrary to the level of infallibility. When it is proved that he is not infallible, then his acceptance of Islam is not bound by the truth, since in all probability, just as the cause in his acceptance of Islam could be his knowledge about the Prophethood of our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) from the Old Testament â” as is apparent â” it is also likely that fear and greed could be the factors for his Islam. Therefore, his acceptance of Islam and his testimony for the truthfulness of our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is unacceptable as an argument.
(b) The addition of âknowledgeâ to the noun âBookâ (Ø¹ÙÙ… Ø§ÙÙØªØ§Ø¨) implies generalization and encompassment, as you already know. Thus, the phrase âknowledge of the Bookâ would factually mean the entire Book in which nothing is left. There is neither a wet thing nor a dry thing but that it is found in it. Had it implied a part of its knowledge, then Allah, Mighty and Glorified be He, would have used the word âfromâ (Ù…Ù), which is used to denote part of the whole in such an instance. Just as it has come in the story of Asif Ibn Barkhiyyah when Allah says, âÙÙ ÙÙØ§ÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’ÙØ°ÙÙÙ’ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ù…Ù Ù…ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØªÙØ§Ø¨Ùâ âAnd the one who had knowledge from the Book.â The knowledge of the Book in its entirety was not possessed by all the Prophets (a.s.) as is apparent from the verses of the Holy Quran and the traditions. Then surely, their knowledge was confined and limited. This distinction was reserved only for our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his pure and infallible successors (a.s.). Then how can one interpret this verse with all its glory for the scholars of the People of the Book from the Jews and the Christians?!!
(c) The entire chapter of Raâd was revealed in Makkah while Abdullah Ibn Salaam and all the scholars of the People of the Book accepted Islam in Madinah after migration. Hence, Saeed Ibn Jubair questions, âHow can this verse descend in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam while the whole chapter was revealed before migration?â
Answer: Their view in considering the last verse as an exception from the chapter, which was revealed in Makkah, and being in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam â” as is apparent from their statement â” is not because they have come across a tradition to support their idea. Certainly, their opinion that it has descended in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam is erroneous and it has become clear for you that such a perception is warped and dishonest. The reason for this view is the lack of deliberation on the facets of the verse. Had they truly deliberated and pondered over it, it would have become more than clear for them.
It is certainly clearer than sunlight during the day that âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ is not applicable for the one who has accepted Islam from the scholars of people of the Book. Thus, nothing remains except the traditions that have come down from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his pure progeny (a.s.) stating that this verse have been revealed in favour of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and continues to apply on the Imams (a.s.) from amongst his descendants. For surely, they are infallible, pure and possessing the knowledge of the Book in its entirety, its apparent as well as its concealed, its interpretation and its descend, its clear as well as ambiguous verses, its abrogating and abrogated verses.
As for the view that the phrase refers to Allah, the High, and the conjunction is merely explanatory â” as has been attributed to some – is extremely stupid and inane. For, (in Arabic grammar) a conjunction cannot be used for elaboration when there is a separator between the two conjunct nouns, as is in this case. Had it been so, it would be necessary to place the phrase âa witness between me and youâ (which is the separator) after the two conjunct nouns.
Whatever has been said by al-Zajjaaj that the phrase under consideration should be read as âÙ…ÙÙÙ’ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ù…Ù Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØªÙØ§Ø¨Ùâ that is, both the alphabets âÙ…â and âØ¯â are having âÙØ³Ø±Ùâ and which is translated as âfrom Him is the knowledge of the Bookâ is wrong. Anyway, even if the verse is recited in this manner and we assume it to be right, it would only mean that the knowledge of the Book is gifted from the side of Allah to whosoever He gifts. Then, it would not contradict the interpretation of the traditions that the persons who are gifted this knowledge are our masters Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny. Thus, even such a recitation would be concurring and compatible with our view.
Yes, if he read âÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ù…Ù Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØªÙØ§Ø¨Ùâ that is, the word âÙ…Ùâ is dropped from the beginning of the phrase, it would be what he has mentioned as a reason in the sentence.
Objection: The one who denies the root, that is, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is bound to deny the branch, that is, the successor (a.s.). Hence, the latterâs (a.s.) testimony will not hold water with regards to the truthfulness of the former (s.a.w.a.) and for the denier, such a testimony has no value. Then how, Allah â” Mighty and Glorified be He â” seeks his testimony for proving Prophethood and uses it as an argument against the deniers of Prophethood and Messengership and also deems it to be sufficient?
Answer: The testimony of the branch will not suffice only when the acceptance is dependant merely on acknowledgement and confession, notwithstanding the manifestation of his level and his position i.e. he (a.s.) being the knower of the Book, informed about everything, possessing the power to perform miracles and extraordinary feats and finally, on the basis of intellect, adorned with the attributes of infallibility and truth.
But since the testimony is provided considering such a level and position, so much so that the witness is not mentioned with his name, but by his attribute in order to draw the attention of the denier about his (the witnessâ) state and that he may refer to him. So, when the witness manifests before the denier the evidence of his effects, the attribute of the witness and the truthfulness of the witnessed one is unveiled for the denier. Thus, such a testimony is decisive in dispute and essentially, establishes the claim, even though the denier may not acknowledge due to obstinacy.
When it is clear for you from what we have explained that the phrase âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ in the holy verse is not applicable for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk, the inevitable conclusion is that whoever has interpreted it for Ibn Salaam or others like those who have accepted Islam from the scholars of the people of the Book, has indulged in whimsical interpretation, due to negligence about the special characteristics included in the noble verse.
As for the traditions originating from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or the Ahle Bait (a.s.) vis-Ã -vis its interpretation, both Shia and Sunni chains are unanimous that this verse has been revealed in the glory of our master Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). Not a single quote originating from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) or the Ahle Bait (a.s.) has interpreted it for Abdullah Ibn Salaam.
Thereafter, its revelation in the glory of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is not contradictory to its application in its general meaning for the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny, because the revelation in his (a.s.) glory is from the aspect of his being the first, the most superior and the most perfect of its applications, and not because it is confined only and only to him (a.s.).
If at all the limitation has to be applied, it is for keeping away the like of Abdullah Ibn Salaam and others from being the applications of this verse. Thus, we conclude the discussion of the first level.
From what we have explained, the state of the second level, in fact even the third, also becomes clear, a reality that will not be hidden from the one who has inhaled the fragrance of the knowledge of the Book, with the Grace of Allah â” the High â” and His Guidance.
For surely, all the virtuous excellences either emanate from this magnificent virtue or is bound by it. From it is infallibility and purity as explained by the Verse of Purification (Ø¢ÙØª Ø§ÙØªØ·ÙÙØ±), proved by the saying of Allah â” the Mighty:
ÙÙØ§ Ø§ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙØ§ Ø§ÙÙ’ÙØ°ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ Ø¢Ù…ÙÙÙÙÙ’Ø§ Ø§ÙØªÙ’ÙÙÙÙÙ’Ø§ Ø§ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙÙ’Ø§ Ù…ÙØ¹Ù Ø§ÙØµÙ’ÙØ§Ø¯ÙÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙ
O you who believe! Fear Allah and be from the truthful ones.
The phrase âtruthful onesâ refers to him (a.s.) and his infallible descendants (a.s.). The noble verse under discussion essentially proves their infallibility for two reasons:
a) Since Allah â” Mighty and Glorified be He â” has deemed his (a.s.) testimony to be sufficient in proving the Prophethood and Messengership of the chief of the Prophets (a.s.), hence it pre-necessitates infallibility, purity and non-attribution of any mistake or error to his holy being (a.s.). Otherwise, his (a.s.) testimony would not have sufficed. Nay, He has regarded his (a.s.) testimony equal to His own, which establishes the ultimate level of his (a.s.) infallibility and purity because like justice, infallibility has various levels.
Therefore, although the leaving of the preferable acts (ØªØ±Ù Ø§ÙØ£ÙÙÙ) is not permissible for the great Prophets (a.s.) (Ø§ÙÙÙØ§ Ø§ÙØ¹Ø²Ù…), the same is permissible for the other Prophets (a.s.) and Messengers (a.s.), while, the fact remains that all the Prophets (a.s.) and Messengers (a.s.) were infallible.
b) The knowledge of the Book in its entirety, its apparent as well as its concealed and its descent as well as its interpretation, as you know from the usage of the addition denoting its encompassment, obviously pre-necessitates the perfection of infallibility, the ultimate purity of the self and the totality of holiness.
Explanation: Surely the knowledge of the apparent of the Book as well as its concealed, even if it is a part of it, cannot be acquired. It is a divine endowment. None is worthy of it except the one in whom gather all the praiseworthy attributes and noble virtues, from which are infallibility and purity. Allah â” the High â” grants this virtue to whosoever He pleases as per the level of his capacity. Therefore, the levels of the Prophets (a.s.) vary; from them is the one who has been given one alphabet, somebody has been given two alphabets or three alphabets or more. None from the Prophets (a.s.) and the successors (a.s.) has been given all the alphabets except our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his successors (a.s.). The withholding of this grant is certainly not on account of niggardliness from the side of Allah â” the Endower. Transcendent is Allah from such an accusation, a great transcendence. His non-endowment of all the alphabets is because of their lack of capacity for the same. For, His granting all the alphabets to our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his infallible successors (a.s.) proves their being on the highest plain of perfection, its ultimate and complete level, beyond which no stage or level can be imagined. Obviously, from these perfections are infallibility and purity.
From his (a.s.) virtues is that he (a.s.) is the brother of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in this world as well as the hereafter, as also the self of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as declared by the Verse of Malediction (Ø¢ÙØ© Ø§ÙÙ…Ø¨Ø§ÙÙØ©).
From his (a.s.) virtues is his (a.s.) being the guide while the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is the warner.
From his (a.s.) virtues is mastership and leadership and that he (a.s.) is having more authority upon the believers than they themselves just as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had more authority on the believers than they themselves.
Then surely, all of these great positions emanate from what has been included in the verse under discussion.
As for being the brother of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and his (s.a.w.a.) self, it can only be worthy for the one who is at his (s.a.w.a.) level of knowledge, infallibility and all other attributes of perfection. Indeed, from whatever we have explained, it has become manifest that the term âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ proves the collection of all these attributes in him (a.s.), from the aspect of documents as well as intellect.
As for guidance, then it depends on two criteria: knowledge and infallibility. For, violation of guidance is committed either due to ignorance or opposition, deliberately or out of forgetfulness. With knowledge and infallibility, guidance can never be violated or transgressed. Inevitably, the person having these two attributes has to be a guide. Thus, the conclusion of the contents of the verse in this regard is most clear and most apparent.
The same applies for mastership and leadership.
Further Elaboration: Verily, the eligibility of a person for being referred to in religious or worldly affairs depends on his knowledge, insight and trustworthiness in his field. For, without knowledge and insight, he cannot perform his tasks just as without trustworthiness, there is no guarantee of him misusing his knowledge. Thus, the eligibility for reference depends on the level of insight and trustworthiness. As a result, it is not permissible for the one whose insight is deficient and his trustworthiness weak to rule and dominate the one who is superior to him in insight and trustworthiness.
So, the qualification and suitability for the absolute mastership, the great leadership and general chieftainship in religious as well as worldly affairs is dependant on the knowledge of all the divine laws and infallibility that protects from forgetfulness, mistake and deliberate perpetration.
For what we have elucidated, it must have become amply clear for you that these two qualities of the highest degree are found in âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ. Then, turning away from him (a.s.) and referring to the one who does not possess these qualities is against divine nature and the evident principle of intellect. Allah â” Mighty and Glorified be He â” questions:
Ø£ÙÙÙÙ…ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙÙ Ø¥ÙÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’ØÙÙÙÙ’ Ø£ÙØÙÙÙ’Ù Ø£ÙÙ ÙÙØªÙ’ÙØ¨ÙØ¹Ù Ø£ÙÙ…Ù’ÙÙ ÙØ§Ù’Ù ÙÙÙÙØ¯ÙÙ’ÙÙ Ø¥ÙÙØ§Ù’Ù Ø£ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙÙ ÙÙÙ…ÙØ§ ÙÙÙÙÙ…Ù’ ÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙ ØªÙØÙ’ÙÙÙ…ÙÙÙÙ.
âIs He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?â
From what we have explained, it is manifest that the word âwhomâ in the phrase âwith whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ establishes the leadership of the one who qualifies for this attribute and his appointment as caliph from the side of Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) along with his complete mastership. Nay, it also proves that this leadership is confined to him (a.s.). Moreover, this distinction is proved through âØ¯ÙÙÙ ÙÙÙ…Ù’â â” the philosophical argument in which the effect is proved through its cause â” just as it proves his (a.s.) infallibility and purity through âØ¯ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙÙ’â â” an argument in which the cause is proved through its effect.
Objection: Its evidence for the eligibility and suitability of the one who possesses these qualifications for imamate is acceptable but not the confinement of leadership to him (a.s.) because of the permissibility of establishing other causes in its place.
Answer: The authority of reference (Ø§ÙÙ…Ø±Ø¬Ø¹ÙÙ’Ø©) follows knowledge and trustworthiness. Non-admissibility of other attributes instead of these two in the eligibility of the authority of reference is from the evident principles (of intellect).
Objection: Yes, reference of authority follows knowledge and trustworthiness and hence, the leadership of the one who is totally devoid of knowledge in religion and trustworthiness is unwise. But, to say that this reference of authority should be vested only with the one who has the knowledge of the Book in its entirety coupled with infallibility that protects from deliberate as well as unintentional sins and errors is not correct. Nay! It is even permissible for the one who has some religious knowledge and a little trustworthiness to lead the one who is infallible and having the entire knowledge of the Book for some exigency or general welfare. Therefore, those who were a little trustworthy and had some knowledge in religion, were given precedence in Imamate and leadership over Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) by the Ahl-e-Hall-o-Aqd (the Council of the Elite) taking into consideration some exigency or public welfare that they foresaw.
Answer: (A) Verily, you have known the eligibility and suitability of a person for being reference of authority in a matter according to his insight and trustworthiness in it. It is not permissible to appoint for a post someone who is not trustworthy in some of its aspects or does not have total insight in it. Appointment of the one who is defective in his insight or lacks trustworthiness is like the appointment of the one who is sometimes untrustworthy and ignorant. Thus, it is evident that the one who lacks (these two qualities) â” when compared to the one who exceeds him in both of them â” is ignorant and untrustworthy.
Leadership implies Caliphate of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in religious as well as worldly affairs and the compulsion of his obedience on the nation in whatever he orders or prohibits. It (Caliphate) is a majestic affair, being an offshoot of his recognition of the divine laws and his trustworthiness in it. Those who had assumed this position (of Caliphate) before Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), definitely did not possess complete knowledge of the divine laws, as they referred to our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in most of the problems which they could not solve; a fact documented in the books of both the sects (Shias as well as Sunnis). The second caliph had declared on innumerable occasions, âÙÙÙÙ’ÙØ§Ù Ø¹ÙÙÙÙÙ’Ù ÙÙÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙ…ÙØ±Ùâ âBut for Ali, Umar would have been destroyedâ. It is famous that he had uttered these words on seventy occasions. Briefly, the lack of their knowledge vis-Ã -vis the authority they had assumed is evident and irrefutable.
(B) Most certainly, Imamate is the Caliphate of Allah â” the High â” and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and not a representation of the people and hence, they do not have any choice in delegating it to whomsoever they please. Thus, the authority in its appointment is only Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.). The Ummah does not enjoy any right in the appointment of the Imam or employing the exigency of their view concerning it.
(C) Surely, in every era, not more than one person can be the Imam of the people, as acknowledged by the second caliph who said,
âÙØ§Ù ÙÙØ¬Ù’ØªÙÙ…ÙØ¹Ù Ø³ÙÙÙ’ÙÙØ§ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙ’ ØºÙÙ…ÙØ¯Ù ÙÙØ§ØÙØ¯Ùâ âTwo swords cannot be accommodated in one sheath.â All other people of the Ummah have to be under his obedience and allegiance. Therefore, a person has to be either an Imam or a follower. Now, if the one who has the knowledge of the Book and is infallible from mistakes is subjected to the obedience of a person who is not infallible and a sinner, can there be anything more evil near the intellect than this? No, never.
Objection: From what you have explained, it is proved that the phrase âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ is not applicable for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk. But, the descent of the verse in favour of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is not established with a decisive argument because the traditions that have come down in this regard are from one source (Ø§Ø®Ø¨Ø§Ø± Ø¢ØØ§Ø¯), which do not lead to certainty.Â Then how can they suffice in proving Imamate, a principle of religion, for which nothing short of certainty would suffice?
Answer: On the basis of whatever we have explained through decisive arguments, just as this verse is not applicable for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk, it has also been proved that it is distinctly related to our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny.
Explanation: The noble verse provides for a decisive proof that amongst the witnessing believers on his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood and Messengership, there is somebody who possesses the mentioned quality. Had this not been the case, Allah would not have ordered His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to argue about his (a.s.) testimony against the one who denies his (s.a.w.a.) Messengership from the unbelievers. Moreover, it is essential that this witness should be well-known or introduced with the introduction of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). Had anybody else other than him (a.s.) been introduced, a tradition would have come about him. But, the non-availability of any tradition for anybody else other than him (a.s.) in this incident is a decisive argument for its non-application for others.
It is clear for you that to interpret the verse for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk from the scholars of the people of the Book who accepted Islam is nothing but whimsical interpretation and shows ignorance about the particularities of the verse. For, the distinction of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) with this great endowment manifests, as per the consensus of the Muslims, that he (a.s.) is the most knowledgeable of his nation, after it has been proved by the above verse that some of the witnessing believers for the Messengership of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) possess this characteristic. So, if we state that this verse is in favour of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), the purpose is achieved. But, if someone argues that it is for somebody else, then it would give rise to two possibilities: Either he (a.s.) was not the most learned of his nation or this other person has the knowledge of beyond the knowledge of the Book since he is more knowledgeable than the knower of the Book! Obviously, both these possibilities are false and incorrect. As for the first one, it is evident. As for the second, that too is wrong because the Book is all comprehensive. There is no other knowledge beyond it, lest Allah â” the High â” would have distinguished Himself with it.
As per our explanation, it can be seen what has been narrated from Ibn Abbas when he said, âBy Allah! It is none other than Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). Indeed, he (a.s.) is the knower of the explanation as well as the interpretation, the abrogating as well as the abrogated, the permissible as well as the prohibited.â That is, there was none in the nation who was informed about all these aspects except Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and hence, it is improbable that it was revealed in the glory of anybody else but him (a.s.).
Also, it is clear from the traditions that only those who do not follow the Ahle Bait (a.s.) think that the phrase âthe one with whom is the knowledge of the Bookâ is for Abdullah Ibn Salaam. While, the infallible Imams (a.s.) and their followers like Ibn Hanafiyyah, Ibn Abbas, Zaid Ibn Ali, Saeed Ibn Jubair, etc. have cautioned us that this verse is not applicable on Abdullah Ibn Salaam. It is only for our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and there is none amongst them who has claimed it for a third person. When a decisive argument has proved the falsity of its application for Abdullah Ibn Salaam, it is determined that it is our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and there is no scope for a third probability.
Note: After the noble verse has proved that the entire âknowledge of the Bookâ is with our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his (a.s.) progeny, it would have become clear for you that they (a.s.) are more knowledgeable and more superior than the (four) great Prophets (a.s.) because the knowledge of the latter was limited and they did not have the entire âknowledge of the Bookâ.
It has been narrated from Muhammad Ibn Abi Umair from Abdullah Ibn al-Waleed al-Sammaan, who says, Imam Sadeq (a.s.) asked him, âWhat do the people say about the great Prophets (a.s.) with regards to your master viz. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)?â He says, âI said, âThey do not give anyone precedence over the great Prophets (a.s.).ââ He (a.s.) retorted, âAllah â” Blessed and High be He â” says about Moosa (a.s.)
ÙÙ ÙÙØªÙØ¨Ù’ÙÙØ§ ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙÙÙ’ Ø§ÙØ§ÙÙÙ’ÙÙØ§ØÙ Ù…ÙÙÙ’ ÙÙÙÙÙ’ Ø´ÙÙÙ’Ø¡Ù Ù…ÙÙÙ’Ø¹ÙØ¸ÙØ©Ù.
âAnd We ordained for him in the tablets admonition of every thingâ¦â
But He did not say âevery thingâ (i.e. He said âof every thingâ). About Eesaa (a.s.) He says:
ÙÙ ÙÙØ§ÙØ¨ÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙÙ…Ù’ Ø¨ÙØ¹Ù’Ø¶Ù Ø§ÙÙ’ÙØ°ÙÙÙ’ ØªÙØ®Ù’ØªÙÙÙÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙ.
ââ¦and that I may make clear to you part of what you differ in;â¦â
But for your master viz. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) He says,
ÙÙÙÙ’ ÙÙÙÙ°Ù Ø¨ÙØ§ÙÙÙÙ Ø´ÙÙÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙØ§ Ø¨ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙÙ’ ÙÙ Ø¨ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙÙÙ…Ù’ ÙÙ Ù…ÙÙÙ’ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ø¯ÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙ’Ù…Ù Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØªÙØ§Ø¨Ù.
ââ¦Say: Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.â
And He â” Mighty and Majestic be He â” says,
ÙÙ ÙØ§Ù Ø±ÙØ·Ù’Ø¨Ù ÙÙ ÙØ§Ù ÙÙØ§Ù’Ø¨ÙØ³Ù Ø§ÙÙØ§Ù’Ù ÙÙÙÙ’ ÙÙØªÙØ§Ø¨Ù Ù…ÙØ¨ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ.
ââ¦nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.â
And the knowledge of this Book is with him (a.s.).â
Then indeed, our master Imam al-Sadeq (a.s.) taught the narrator the method of derivation of what he (a.s.) has explained from the Majestic Quran. It is clear from this that the knowledge of each of the great Prophets (a.s.) is according to what his (a.s.) Book contained and that the Majestic Quran contains everything; it is the chief of the Heavenly Books just as our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) is the chief of the Prophets (a.s.).
 Al-Khesaal, p. 541, The Chapter of Forty; Sawaab al-Aâmaal, Tr. No. 300; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 2, p. 153, Chapter âOne who memorizes forty traditions.â
 Surah Raâd (13): Verse 43.
 Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 299; Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 214 and 216.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 301.
 al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 1, p. 232.
 Al-Saafi, vol. 3, p. 77 narrating from al-Majaalis.
 Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 214; Al-Saafi, vol. 3, p. 77 with a little variation.
 Tafseer al-Qummi, vol.1, p. 367
 Referring to the verse of Surah Naml (27) where Asif Ibn Barkhiya is referred to as the one who has the knowledge from the Book â” Translator.
 Tafseer al-Qummi, vol.1, p. 367.
 Tafseer al-Qummi, vol.1, p. 367.
 Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 304 narrating from Ibn Maghaazeli, p. 314.
 Surah Najm (63): Verse 28.
 Surah Nahl (16): Verses 43-44.
 Surah Shuaâra (26): Verse 197.
 Surah Ahqaaf (46): Verse 10.
 Refer Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 240-242; Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 210-212; Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 38-43; al-Saafi, vol. 2, p. 137.
 It was revealed pre-migration â” Translator.
 Surah Shoaraa (26): Verse 224.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 182.
 Surah Shoaraa (26): Verses 192-194.
 Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 412; Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 73; Tafseer al-Qummi, p. 474.
 Refer Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 9, p. 81.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 9, p. 81.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 9, p. 84.
 It should be borne in mind that the Holy Quran is not a miracle only from the aspect of eloquence and literature and is not confined only to the Arabs. Rather, it is a miracle with regards to its concepts and teachings which will remain unparalleled and unmatched for the whole mankind till the Day of Judgment. â” Translator.
 Surah Raâd (13): Verse 43.
 Objection: The addition has come in the meaning of âfromâ (Ù…Ù) just as it comes in the meaning of âforâ (Ø§ÙÙØ§Ù…) and âinâ (ÙÙ). Probably, the addition is in the meaning of âfromâ (Ù…Ù) and its usage in this instance is not but in the meaning of denoting a part of the whole (ØªØ¨Ø¹ÙØ¶).
(1)Â Â The addition comes in the meaning of âfromâ only when it is from the genus of the added one (Ù…Ø¶Ø§Ù) like âthe ring of silverâ and âthe cloth of cottonâ. While, in this case, âthe Bookâ is not from the genus of âknowledgeâ as is apparent.
(2)Â Â Whatever has come in the meaning of âfromâ has come only for explanation and not to denote a part of the whole.
(3)Â Â The research â” as we have explained the discussion in its place â” that the addition only implies specification, it is always in the meaning of âforâ (Ø§ÙÙØ§Ù…) only. It is correct to use âfromâ for explanation in place of both âfromâ and âforâ in some instances; not that the addition comes in its meaning.
(4)Â Â The appearance of the addition in generalization in such an instance is clear and mere probability of its opposite is irreproachable. So, it is apparent that the usage of denoting part of the whole is not due to imposition, as is imagined. It is only signifies the particularization of the instance.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 273.
 Refer to Qaamoos under the root of ÙØªÙ. He was Muqaatel Ibn Sulaimaan, who is regarded as an unreliable interpreter.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 273.
 Ibn Abbas narrates, âI heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) say, âI, Ali, Hasan, Husain and nine of Husainâs descendants are pure and infallible.ââ â” Yanaabee al-Mawaddah, p. 425, published at Istanbul.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 301.
 Majmaâ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 301.
 That is, the second and the third levels, from the three levels that we have mentioned in the beginning of the discussion and which is necessary to talk about it.
 Surah Taubah (9): Verse 119.
 Surah Yunus (10): Verse 35.
 Al-Ghadeer, vol. 6, p. 327; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah of Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, vol. 12, p. 205.
 Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 357; the phrase âthe permissible as well as the prohibitedâ is not found in it.
 Refer Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 357-358; Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 303.
 Surah Aâraaf (7): Verse 145.
 Surah Zukhruf (43): Verse 63.
 Surah Raâd (13): Verse 43.
 Surah Anâaam (6): Verse 59.
 al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 2, p. 140.