The commentary of the word of Allah, the High:

أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَى بَيِْنَةٍ مِْن رَْبِْهِ وَ يَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِْنْهُ وَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسٰى إَمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً

Is he then who has with him a clear proof from his Lord and a witness from Him recites it and before it (is) the Book of Moosa, a guide and a mercy?[1]

Imam Baqer (a.s.) says, “‘…who has with him a clear proof from his Lord…’ implies the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and the one who follows him ‘a witness from Him’ is Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), then his  successors (a.s.), one after another.”[2]

Our masters, Imam Baqer (a.s.) and Imam Sadeq (a.s.) inform, “The verse was revealed as, ‘Is he then who has with him a clear proof from his Lord and a witness from Him, a guide and a mercy…’ then, they have advanced and postponed in compilation (of the verse).”[3]

Traditions from the Ahle Bait (a.s.) through our channels abound that the term ‘a witness from Him’ refers to our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). Nay, these traditions are almost consecutive.[4]

When Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) was asked about his most superior excellence and virtue, he (a.s.) recited this verse and said, ‘I am the witness from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).’[5]

Traditions from the sources of the Ahle Sunnah are also numerous quoting the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), Imam Baqer (a.s.) and Ibn Abbas that the object of this verse is Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).[6]

Yet, commentators and interpreters have differed about the meanings of the relative pronoun (اسم موصول) i.e. ‘who’ and ‘a witness from Him.’

In Majma’ al-Bayaan, after mentioning that the relative pronoun ‘who’ implies the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and ‘a clear proof’ refers to the Holy Quran, he writes,

‘It is said that it (i.e. the relative pronoun) means every rightful person who believes through an argument and a proof because the relative pronoun ‘مَنْ’ is indicative of those who possess wisdom.’

‘It is also said that it refers to the believers from the companions of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), according to al-Jubaaee.’

Proceeding with the interpretation of the phrase ‘and a witness from Him recites it’ he says, ‘It has different interpretations.’

‘It is said that ‘a witness’ is Jibraeel reciting the Quran for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) from the side of Allah — the High, as per the opinions of Ibn Abbas, Mujaahid and Zajjaaj.’

‘It is also said that ‘a witness’ from Allah — the High — is Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). This has been narrated from al-Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.), Ibn Zaid and this is the belief of al-Jubaaee.’

‘It is also said that ‘a witness from Him’ is his (s.a.w.a.) tongue i.e. he (s.a.w.a.) recites the Quran with his (s.a.w.a.) tongue.’ This is the view of Muhammad Ibn Ali (I mean Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah), al-Hasan (a.s.) and Qataadah.

‘It is also said that ‘a witness from Him’ implies Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), he (a.s.) bears witness for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) who is from him.’ This has been narrated from Abu Ja’far (a.s.) and Ali Ibn Moosa al-Reza (a.s.). Tabari has narrated this through his chain of narrators from Jaabir Ibn Abdullah from Ali (a.s.).

‘It is also said that ‘a witness’ is an angel whom Allah protects and keeps him on the right path,’ according to Mujaahid.

‘It is also said that ‘a proof from his Lord’ is an argument from his intellect. The ‘proof’ is attributed to Allah — the High — because it shows intellectual as well as legal arguments which a witness from Him recites, testifying to his (s.a.w.a.) correctness and it is the Quran, according to Abu Muslim. The discussion ends here.[7]

It is proper to discuss (this verse) at three levels:

(A) Non-applicability of the relative pronoun (مَنْ) except for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

(B) Non-applicability of the phrase ‘a witness from Him’ except for our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny one after the other, and the falsity and nullity of all the differing interpretations opposed to the abundant traditions from both the sects.

(C) Its inclusion of a virtue and excellence for our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and his (a.s.) pure successors. Nay, it is his (a.s.) most superior virtue as has been indicated in the tradition of al-Ehtejaaj.

Now, let’s discuss the above levels in detail.

(A) The applicability of the relative pronoun for other than the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) depends on the collection of three relative clauses (صِلاَتْ).[8]

It is evident that every rightful person who believes with an argument and a proof, the third relative clause will not be achieved in him since it is not necessary that the saying of Allah — the High: ‘and before it (is) the Book of Moosa’ is applicable with regards to the preceding Prophets (a.s.) and their nations. The same applies for the second relative clause, as will be clear for you, if Allah — the High — wills. Then, merely the communication of ‘who’ (مَنْ) for the possessors of intellect is not the cause for the general application of the verse with the absence of the relative clauses in them.

As for the interpretation that it applies for the believers from the companions of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), then the second relative clause is not compatible to such an interpretation because ‘a witness from Him’ refers either to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or to the Holy Quran. There is no scope for the probability of all the reasons for it being applicable for Jibraeel (a.s.) or a protecting angel for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The verb (يَتْلُوْ) is derived either from تِلاوَتْ which means ‘recitation’ or from تَلْوَ which implies ‘to follow.’ Here, four aspects are achieved and all of them are invalid for the following reasons:

(a)        As for the first aspect, it implies the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) being a reciter for the proof viz. the Quran upon them. This is null and void from the aspects of meaning and word.

As for the aspect of meaning, then the one who is with a proof from his Lord, viz. the revealed Quran from Allah — the High — is the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and not the believers from his (s.a.w.a.) companions. For, the Quran was revealed only on the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and was a proof for his Prophethood. Then how can it be said that the believers are upon this proof while the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has recited this verse for them. Otherwise, it would imply that the believers are the original recipients of this proof while the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is the secondary beneficiary, which is apparently improper and incorrect.

As for the aspect of word, the conjunctive statement of the relative clause necessitates that it should include the pronoun indicative of the relative pronoun except when the alphabet of conjunction is ‘ف’ and the sentence is devoid of any referring noun. Since, the accusative pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَنْصُوْب) refers to a proof while the genitive pronoun (مَجْرُوْر) refers to the Lord.

(b)        As for the second aspect, it refers to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) being a follower, which is even more inappropriate and invalid. For, if it is said that the accusative pronoun refers to the relative pronoun, its nullity is apparent, as the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is not the follower of the believers from his (s.a.w.a.) companions. If it is argued that it refers to a proof, then — in addition to what was discussed in the first aspect regarding its nullity from both the facets, word as well as meaning — it means that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is not a follower of the proof viz. the Quran vis-à-vis the believers. It is the Quran that follows the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) with regards to them because he (s.a.w.a.) has left it behind him along with his (s.a.w.a.) pure Ahle Bait (a.s.) till they meet him (s.a.w.a.) at the pond of Kausar.[9]

(c)        It refers to the Quran as a reciter. Again, there is no scope for such an argument, because in this meaning it will refer to him (s.a.w.a.) as the recited one and not the reciter.

(d)       It refers to the Quran as a follower. By referring the acquisitive pronoun to the relative pronoun would be incorrect as is apparent and if it refers to ‘a proof’ then again it would be null and void from the facets of meaning and word.

Thus, its nullity from the aspect of word is clear.

As for the aspect of meaning, ‘a proof’ implies intellectual insight and not Quran. Otherwise, the unity of the reciter, the witness and the witnessed one would become essential. Intellectual insight was not preceded by ‘The Book of Moosa (a.s.)’ and precedence is established only with relation to the self of the believers and not their insight. Had the preceding pronoun referred to the relative pronoun (مَوْصُوْل), separation between the two pronouns would have become necessary. Consequently, the succeeding statement (تَالِى) would be related to one thing and the antecedent (مقدْم) to another, which obviously is a feeble and poor literal aberration that does not befit the speech of the eloquent. Nay, it does not suit the one who is at the minimum level of fluency and articulation, leave alone the divine speech.

Then, referring the masculine pronoun to ‘a proof’ in most of the abovementioned forms is contrary to the apparent; it cannot be carried through except with evidence established in its favor.

From what we have explained, it has become clear that just as the second relative clause (صِلة) is not applicable for the believers amongst the companions, similarly it does not hold true for every truthful person who believes with an argument and a proof. For, the term ‘witness’ implies either ‘a Book’ or ‘the Prophet’. In any case, whatever we have brought forth applies for the second interpretation. Thus, it has become absolutely clear for you that the relative clause does not mean anybody except our Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

(B) The term ‘a witness from Him’ is specific and distinct for our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny. The explanation of the discussion in this regard requires the nullification and refutation of all whimsical interpretations. Thus, I say that:

  • Its interpretation for the archangel Jibraeel (a.s.) or for an angel deployed to protect the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is null and void from the following aspects:

(a)  Surely, Allah — Blessed and High be He — at the level of proving the Prophethood of His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and arguing against the deniers in a way that it is not appropriate for an understanding and wise person to hesitate about it, specially since it includes the three arguments, each of which is a definite proof and an independent argument for establishing his claim.

It is known that a proof has to necessarily be apparent and unveiling to the extent that the claimant unveils and establishes what was hitherto unknown. The testimony of the trustworthy angel Jibraeel (a.s.) or the guarding angel are unknown matters that have to be proved through evidences. Then how can you make it as a just argument for ‘a proof from his Lord’ and apparently, his evidence of the news of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is improper for it being as a proof of his Prophethood just as its evidence from the Quran is incorrect to regard it as an independent evidence vis-à-vis ‘a proof from his Lord’.

(b) From the discussion it is apparent that the accusative pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَنْصُوْب) and the genitive pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَجْرُوْر) refer to the relative pronoun (مَوْصُوْل) viz. the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Moreover, it does not hold true for an angel being ‘a proof from his Lord’ due to his not being from the humans.

(c)  If the verb is derived from the root of ‘recitation’ (تِلاَوَت) and the accusative pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَنْصُوْب) refers to ‘a proof’ while the genitive pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَجْرُوْر) to ‘the Lord’, it would become necessary to make the pronoun referred to by the relative clause devoid of the conjunction. The view that the genitive pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَجْرُوْر) refers to the relative pronoun will not hold true from the aspect of the non-applicability of ‘a witness from Him’ for the angel.

If the verb is derived from the root of ‘to follow’ (تَلَوَ), it is null and false from two aspects:

(i)   Neither of these was after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.); rather, they were with him (s.a.w.a.) to prevent the termination of revelation and to protect him (s.a.w.a.) from death.

(ii)  The non-applicability of ‘a witness from Him’ for either of the two on the basis of what you know.

Referring the genitive pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَجْرُوْر) to the Lord — the High — is contrary to the apparent, essentially because it is apparent from the talk that the reference of the second pronoun to that of the first is compatible with it.

  • As for its interpretation for the Holy Quran, then along with the interpretation of the relative pronoun (موصول) as the believers from the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), its incorrectness and nullity is apparent for you.
  • And with the interpretation of the relative pronoun as the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the above is even more incorrect.

Since, the most manifest, the most perfect and the most complete proof from his Lord is the Holy Quran, which Allah — the High — has made as a miracle and a proof for his (s.a.w.a.) truthfulness and challenged the eloquent and articulate Arabs.

‘A proof from his Lord’ can either be specific as some commentators have thought or it can be general for the miracles. Then it is not possible — and this only is the fact — to intend the Quran as a witness, especially as it does not hold true for the Quran that it is a witness from Him. Since, the usage of the term ‘from’ would be either with the consideration that it is one from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or with the perception of realization of relation and proximity. The falsity of both these affairs is extremely clear.

  • As for the interpretation that it is his (s.a.w.a.) holy tongue then again it is false and incorrect due to a number of reasons:

(i)      Apparently, the term ‘he recites it’ when read in the context along with the phrase ‘and before him is the Book of Moosa’ implies ‘to follow’ and not ‘recitation’.

(ii)     The reciter is the self of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) because the tongue is the instrument of recitation. Then the correct expression should have been ‘Is he then who has with him a clear proof from his Lord and recites it’ without mentioning ‘a witness from Him’.

(iii)    The term ‘witness’ does not hold true for the tongue.

(iv)    It is not another proof and an argument by itself as it is absolutely clear that Allah — Mighty and Glorified be He — is bringing another proof and attributing it to Muhammad Ibn Ali i.e. Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah is wrong. For, he (Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah) is a far greater person than to utter such a statement. In all likelihood, by the term ‘tongue of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)’ he implied our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) as has been narrated in the tradition of Hammaad Ibn Salamah from Thaabit Ibn Anas that ‘Is he then who has with him a clear proof from his Lord …’ refers to Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and ‘…and a witness from Him recites it…’ is Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). By Allah! He (a.s.) was the tongue of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).[10] Thus, the narrator has not understood his (Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah) aim and purpose.

  • As for interpreting it as the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), then along with the interpretation of the relative pronoun (موصول) as the believers from his companions, the nullity and falsity is obvious.

And to say that it implies the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is even more absurd since it is not true for a person that he is a witness with relation to himself nor a witness from him nor can he recite in his favor or against him. Thus to attribute such an interpretation to our master Imam Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.) is baseless and absolutely false.

  • Again, to interpret the term ‘a witness from Him’ as Jibraeel (a.s.) and to attribute it to Ibn Abbas is also wrong.

For, it has been mentioned in Tafseer al-Burhaan from al-Haafiz Abu Noaim from three chains of narrators terminating at Ibn Abbas who said, ‘It refers to Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.).’[11] He said that al-Khateeb al-Khaarazmi has mentioned likewise.[12] He has also narrated from Tha’labi in his exegesis from Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad from Ibn Abbas that it is Ali (a.s.) in particular who witnesses for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and he (a.s.) is from him (s.a.w.a.).[13]

Then, nothing has remained for explanation except that traditions abound from both Shias and Sunnis that it refers to our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.); nay, traditions from the Ahle Bait (a.s.) in this regard are consecutive (تواتر).[14]

For the verse being revealed in favour of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) does not in any way contradict its application for the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny as discussed earlier.[15] Nor is the usage of the singular term in conflict with its (plural) application (i.e. for the infallible Imams (a.s.)) because each one of them is a witness from Him in his era as has been indicated by our master Imam al-Baaqer (a.s.) when he (a.s.) said, ‘Then his successors, one after the other.’[16] Perhaps, due to their being many in number and their establishing the testimony in each era individually, Allah — Mighty and Glorified be He — has used the singular and indefinite tense.

As for bringing the term ‘proof’ in an indefinite tense (نَكِرَه), perhaps it is to notify that the essence of the proof from the side of the Lord is sufficient to establish his (s.a.w.a.) claim without difference in its application. Or, for its general application for the Holy Quran and other miracles and extraordinary feats. Or, for reverence and respect because the indefinite tense is also used for respect.

(C) The third level consists of his (a.s.) virtuous excellence. Then it becomes apparent from its instances:

a.      His (a.s.) being a witness for the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).

b.      He (a.s.) is from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).

c.      He (a.s.) recites for him (s.a.w.a.).

d.      He (a.s.) is an Imam.

e.      He (a.s.) is a mercy.

Explanation: From the consequential effects of the testimony for his (s.a.w.a.) messengership is the Islam of the witness (i.e. the witness has to be a Muslim). This is an inevitable consequence in all its instances regardless of the witness being infallible or otherwise.

Moreover, proving the messengership through this testimony can only occur if the witness is knowledgeable (of the unseen) and infallible from mistakes and errors, intentionally or out of forgetfulness or due to ignorance.

The purpose at this level is related to the second level, not to the first; necessarily because He — Mighty and Glorified be He — is proving the messengership of His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) through definite arguments in which there remains no doubt for the one who is wise. If this witness, mentioned by Allah — the High — had not been infallible from ignorance and mistakes, intentional or out of forgetfulness, there would have been no scope for his mention at this level and to regard his testimony along with the proof of the Lord, preceding the testimony of the Book of Moosa (a.s.).

Briefly, whatever we have mentioned is absolutely clear and apparent. Therefore, the interpreters in their exegesis have not gone beyond the infallible, the disorderliness of their statements and their numerous differences notwithstanding, as you have seen.

From what we have explained, it has become clear that his (a.s.) being a witness for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is from his (a.s.) noble titles which proves his (a.s.) infallibility and purity. Nay, the precedence of his (a.s.) testimony to that of the Book of Moosa (a.s.) in the verse proves its priority, which in turn necessarily shows his (a.s.) superiority to Prophet Moosa (a.s.) in status. For, you know that the knowledge of every Prophet (a.s.) is according to level of contents of his Book and his own level is also according to the level of his Book. As a result, one whose Book is higher in level than that of another, essentially the one who has the knowledge of the Book has to be superior to his counterpart.

All this was with relation to his (a.s.) being a witness for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) to his messengership.

As for his (a.s.) being from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), then it is another virtue unveiled by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), as narrated by both the sects that he (s.a.w.a.) declared,

اَنَا وَ عَلِيٌْ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَ النَْاسُ مِنْ اَشْجَارٍ شَتَْى.

“I and Ali are from one tree while the people are from numerous trees.”[17]

عَلِيٌْ مِنِْىْ وَ اَنَا مِنْهُ.

“Ali is from me and I am from him.”[18]

This is a great virtue proving their unity and equality in all perfections and the inability of anyone from the creatures to reach to his (a.s.) status and level.

As for his (a.s.) being a follower of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), if the word ‘يَتْلُوْهُ’ is taken in the meaning of ‘to follow’ (تَلَوَ) and that the accusative pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَنْصُوْب) refers to the relative pronoun (مَوْصُوْل) as is apparent in the context along with the phrase ‘and before him is the Book of Moosa’. The pronoun being masculine apparently shows that it refers to the relative pronoun and not to a proof, which is feminine.[19] Thus it proves that he (a.s.) is the best of the people and the most superior of them after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his (s.a.w.a.) immediate successor. For, had somebody else followed the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) other than Ali (a.s.), he would have been more eligible for mention. Nay, there is no scope for mentioning the one who is lower in level and to forsake the higher one.

Objection: To follow only implies being behind somebody and to trail him; by no means does it signify the succession of the followed one, leave alone being a proof for it.

Answer: Mere following and being behind does not suffice in the application of succession in all instances. It can be applied only in those instances where the follower is regarded as the successor of the followed one. Don’t you see that none from the subjects or followers of a learned scholar or the destitute are considered as successors of the king or the learned scholar or the trader respectively? Only the crown prince is deemed as a successor to the king in his kingdom and authority. Similarly, only that scholar who is eligible to succeed the followed scholar in emulation and reference of authority can be called as a successor. Likewise, a trader can be succeeded by another trader like him.

It is possible to say that this is valid in the application of succession in all instances but ultimately the conditions and characteristics vary with the change in instances.

This was with regards to the verb being derived from the meaning of ‘to follow’. And if it is derived from ‘recitation’ by referring the accusative pronoun (ضَمِيْرِ مَنْصُوْب) to ‘a proof’ for interpreting it as the Holy Quran, then this too is a poof of the caliphate of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). For, the purpose of the recitation of the Holy Quran is not merely its recitation, otherwise to mention it for proving the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) would be out of place. So, the purpose of its recitation for the people is for their guidance to the true religion just as the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) guided them to it.

It is apparent that this is the state of his (s.a.w.a.) caliph, successor and heir-apparent. From it is known that he (a.s.) is the knower of the Book, its apparent as well as its concealed, its descent as well as its interpretation. Otherwise, there would be no reason for any distinction in his (a.s.) recitation and complete guidance would not have been possible, as denoted by the verse. For, had he (a.s.) been imperfect and incomplete in guidance, Allah — Mighty and Glorified be He — would not have used him (a.s.) to prove the Messengership of His Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

As for the fourth and fifth virtues (that he (a.s.) is an Imam and a mercy), then their being proofs on his (a.s.) virtuous excellences and Imamate is clear and needless of any explanation.  Moreover, it seems that they have placed these two qualities (Imamate and mercy) after the Book of Moosa in the arrangement of the verse to remove it as a proof of the Imamate of our master Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). They did not know that Allah — the High — has revealed the Holy Quran with a reason in a way that the proof of the purpose survives for the scholars despite the change in its arrangement. This is one of the facets of the Holy Quran’s miracle.

From what has been explained, it is clear that the saying of Allah, ‘Imam and mercy’ denotes the condition of the witness from Him and not the Book of Moosa, as endorsed by Tafseer al-Burhaan narrating through Sunni chain of narrators.

Abu Bakr Ibn Murduwayh informed us from Abu Bakr Ibn Ahmad al-Saree Ibn Yahya al-Tameemi from his father from his uncle al-Husain Ibn Saeed Ibn Abi al-Jahm from his father from Abaan Ibn Taghleb from Muslim who said: “I heard Abuzar, Miqdaad and Salmaan al-Faarsi say, ‘We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and there was none except the three of us when three people from the emigrants, those who had fought in the battle of Badr, entered. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) prophesied, ‘After me, there will be three groups: The first group will be that of the people of truth, who will remain untouched with falsehood. Their likeness is that of gold, the more you burn it in the fire, the greater is its purity and excellence. He is their Imam (pointing out to) one of the three (emigrants) and he is the one Allah has ordered in His Book as ‘Imam and mercy’; the second group is of the people of falsehood who will remain untouched with truth. They are similar to the refuse of iron, the more it is tested with fire, greater is its waste. He is their Imam (pointing out to) the second of the three (emigrants). The third group is that of the people of deviation wavering between the two sides (belonging) neither to these nor to those; he is their Imam (pointing out to) the third of the three (emigrants).’

The narrator says, ‘I asked them (i.e. Salmaan, Miqdaad and Abuzar) about the people of the truth and their Imam. They replied, ‘He is Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), the leader of the pious. But they refrained from naming the other two. I tried a lot that he should name the two for me but he did not.’[20]

The most eloquent of the speakers of Khaarazm, Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad has narrated this tradition. Even Abu al-Faraj al-Muaafi, who is the teacher of Saheeh al-Bukhaari, has narrated it.[21]

All praise is for Allah — the High — for it has become clear from what we have explained that this noble verse is the sister of the first verse since it includes great virtues and noble excellences of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny, proving the Messengership of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) through his (a.s.) testimony, which necessitates infallibility and purity. It also establishes that he (a.s.) is the self of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), his (s.a.w.a.) successor and his (a.s.) being his (s.a.w.a.) follower in all perfections. By proving these noble virtues, it has become eligible to be the most superior virtue.

Note: The noble verse proves the confinement of the one who follows the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) only to ‘a witness from Him’. For, had anybody else other than the described person followed the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), certainly Allah would have made a mention of it. Logically, it is not right not to mention him if he is at the same level as that of the witness. Thus, it proves the confinement of caliphate and Imamate to the one who is from the Messenger (s.a.w.a.), along with him being a witness for his (s.a.w.a.) Messengership. Therefore, Imamate and caliphate is confined only to our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and his (a.s.) infallible and pure descendants (a.s.).

Moreover, the non-relatives of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) are automatically excluded through the term ‘from him’ while his fallible relatives are disqualified through the adjective ‘a witness’, as it is clear for you that the aim of this testimony is to prove Messengership, which requires the infallibility and purity of the witness. None from the progeny of Ali (a.s.) or other than them claimed infallibility except our pure Imams (a.s.) from his (a.s.) descendants (peace be upon him and them all).


[1] Surah Hud (11): Verse 17.

[2] Tafseer al-Ayyaashi, vol. 1, p. 142.

[3] Tafseer al-Qummi, vol. 1, p. 321.

[4] Refer Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 361; Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 212.

[5] al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 1, p. 131 and 232.

[6] Refer Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 359; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 35, p. 386.

[7] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 5, p. 150.

[8] That is, ‘…who has with him a clear proof from his Lord – and a witness from Him recites it – and before it (is) the Book of Moosa…’

[9] As has been stated in the tradition of Saqalain (two weighty things).

[10] Tafseer Al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 214; Manaaqeb Ibn Shahr Aashob, vol. 3, p. 85.

[11] Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 214; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 360.

[12] Manaaqeb al-Khaarazmi, p. 278 new edition; Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 214; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 359.

[13] Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 214; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 360; Manaaqeb al-Khaarazmi, p. 278 new edition.

[14] Refer Tafseer al-Burhaan and Ghaayah al-Maraam.

[15] In the explanation of the first tradition when he said: Then its descent in the glory of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) does not contradict…

[16] Tafseer al-Ayyaashi, vol. 2, p. 142; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 362.

[17] Manaaqeb of Ibn Maghaazeli, p. 400.

[18] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 456.

[19] As per Arabic Grammar — Translator.

[20] Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 214.

[21] Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 214.