The commentary of the word of Allah, the High:
Ù…Ù’ÙØ§ Ø£ÙÙÙØ§Ø¡ Ø§ÙÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙÙÙ Ø±ÙØ³ÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ù…ÙÙÙ’ Ø£ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØ±ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙ ÙÙÙÙÙØ±Ù’ÙØ³ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙÙÙØ°ÙÙ Ø§ÙÙ’ÙÙØ±Ù’Ø¨ÙÙ ÙÙØ§ÙÙ’ÙÙØªÙØ§Ù…ÙÙ ÙÙØ§ÙÙ’Ù…ÙØ³ÙØ§ÙÙÙÙÙ ÙÙØ§Ø¨Ù’ÙÙ Ø§ÙØ³Ù’ÙØ¨ÙÙÙÙ
âWhatever Allah has restored to His Apostle from the people of the towns, it is for Allah and for the Apostle, and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â
In Al-Kaafi, it is narrated from our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), âBy Allah! We are those whom Allah has implied by (the phrase) âthe near of kinâ, those whom Allah has associated with Himself and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.). So, the verse âWhatever Allah has restored to His Apostle from the people of the towns, it is for Allah and for the Apostle, and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â is for us in particular and He has not provided for us any share in charity. Allah has honoured His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and honoured us by prohibiting for us the eating of the dirt (leftovers) of the hands of the people.â
Know that the noble verse proves the confinement of caliphate and Imamate in the Ahle Bait (a.s.) of Prophethood and Messengership. The details of this discussion are dependent on the explanations of the following lines of reasoning:
A)Â Â Â The meaning of ârestorationâ and its implication over here;
B)Â Â Â The meaning of ânear of kinâ its implication in the verse; and
C)Â Â Â Explanation of the mode of distinguishing him with restoration; i.e. is it from the aspect of expenditure and usage or by ownership or some other facet that is more complete than these two.
Now, let us elaborate.
A)Â Â Â In Misbaah al-Muneer, it is said: âÙØ§Ø¡ Ø§ÙØ±Ø¬Ùâ which means âthe man returnedâ. In the Holy Quran, it has come ØÙØªÙ’ÙÙ ØªÙÙÙÙØ¡Ù Ø¥ÙÙÙÙ Ø£ÙÙ…Ù’Ø±Ù Ø§ÙÙÙÙ ââ¦until it returns to Allahâs commandâ¦â that is, until it returns to the truth. And ÙØ§Ø¡ Ø§ÙÙ…ÙÙÙ ÙØ¦Ù means he returned from his promise to his wife. 
I say: The word âØ§ÙÙØ¦Ùâ implies a group or a congregation, due to the reference of some to others. The word Ø§ÙÙÙØ¡ also means removal and spoils of war that are specific to Allah â” High is His Glory â” due to their returning to their original position, after it was in the hands of the unbelievers. This was its literal concept.
As for its meaning over here in the context of His saying, âfrom the people of the townsâ whatever is taken from the battlefield without fighting and every land whose people have been evacuated or have fled without fighting or for the people with whom a truce has been made and they give these with their hands.
B)Â Â Â The word Ø°Ù means owner or possessor; and ÙØ±Ø¨Ù is the infinitive of nearness (ÙØ±Ø¨) as opposed to distance (Ø¨Ø¹Ø¯). Nearness has five infinitives in Arabic: ÙØ±Ø¨ Ù ÙØ±Ø¨Ù Ù ÙØ±Ø¨Ø§Ù Ù ÙØ±Ø§Ø¨Ù Ù ÙØ±Ø¨Ù . In Misbaah al-Muneer, he writes, ÙØ±Ø¨ is used for place, ÙØ±Ø¨Ù Ù ÙØ±Ø¨Ø§Ù is for position, ÙØ±Ø¨Ù Ù ÙØ±Ø§Ø¨Ù is for relatives. The article ÙØ§Ù… is for denoting definiteness and is an indication towards the noun, implying close relatives of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), excluding all other probabilities
C)Â Â Â It is the mode of distinguishing him with restoration. Its information is necessary for the explanation of its distinction whose conjunction it is.
I say with the help of Allah â” the High â” and His Will: Surely the genitive clause ÙØ§Ù… denotes a special function in all instances. Its aspects and functions vary with the variation of the functions of the instances.
- In some cases, it is used for showing cause like âØ¶Ø±Ø¨Øª ÙÙØªØ§Ø¯ÙØ¨â which means âI beat him to train himâ or ÙØ¹Ø¯Øª ÙÙØ¬Ø¨Ù âI sat down due to cowardiceâ. Undoubtedly, the function beating for training cannot be implied for anything except denoting the cause and similarly, the task of sitting due to cowardice does not denote anything but cause.
- In some other cases, it (the genitive clause ÙØ§Ù…) is used to denote time like the saying of Allah â” the High â” Ø£ÙÙÙÙ…Ù
Ø§ÙØµÙ’ÙÙØ§ÙØ©Ù ÙÙØ¯ÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ø§ÙØ´Ù’ÙÙ…Ù’Ø³Ù Ø¥ÙÙÙÙ ØºÙØ³ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ
âKeep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the Â Â Â Â Â Â nightâ¦â
Here, the task of keeping up prayer from the declining of the sun is notÂ Â Â appropriate except for showing the time of the prayer.
- Yet, on some other occasions, it (the genitive clause ÙØ§Ù…) shows ownership or possession like your saying, Ø§ÙÙ…Ø§Ù ÙØ²ÙØ¯ âthe wealth is of Zaidâ.
- It (the genitive clause ÙØ§Ù…) also denotes eligibility or qualification like your saying, Ø§ÙØÙ…Ø¯ ÙÙÙ âAll praise is for Allah aloneâ.
- It (the genitive clause ÙØ§Ù…) also indicates the function of expenditure like the saying of Allah â” the High â”Â ÙÙÙÙ’ÙÙÙÙØ±ÙØ§Ø¡ Ø¥ÙÙÙ’ÙÙ…ÙØ§ Ø§ÙØµÙ’ÙØ¯ÙÙÙØ§ØªÙ âAlms are only for the poorâ¦â
- It (the genitive clause ÙØ§Ù…) also relates to a situation like you say, âThis word is for this meaningâ and also denotes clothing or wrapping like âØ§ÙØ¬Ù ÙÙÙØ±Ø³â âThe clothing is for the horseâ.
So, these were the various functions that changed according to the context in which the genitive clause ÙØ§Ù… was used.
The most appropriate function in the instance (of the verse under discussion) is the connotation of right of rule, mastership and chieftainship. For, the appropriate functions over here are four at the first glance: Expenditure, ownership (in the meaning of newness or recentness), ownership (in the meaning of creation) and the right to rule. Obviously, in this particular context, the first three are rejected for the following reasons:
1)Â Â Â Â Â The first one (i.e. expenditure) is discarded because of the non-permissibility of need in the case of Allah â” the High â” forget about Him being needy for the expenditure of wealth.
2)Â Â Â Â Â Again, newness of a thing is impossible vis-Ã -vis Allah as He is Transcendent from being a place of new occurrences.
3)Â Â Â Â Â Ownership (in the meaning of creation) is also wrong because of its non-application in the meaning of restoration because for Allah â” the High â” is the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth.
Thus, the fourth meaning i.e. the right to rule is true and applicable.
Objection: What is the meaning of the restoration to Allah â” the High â” with regards to the right to rule and mastership when His mastership is established over everything?
Answer: The right of mastership is of two kinds: Creative (ØªÙÙÙÙÙ) and Legislative (ØªØ´Ø±ÙØ¹Ù). The first one (ØªÙÙÙÙÙ) can gather together with freedom, enslavement, ownership or lack of it and no limit or determination can be imagined for it.
But the second one (ØªØ´Ø±ÙØ¹Ù) is limited as per the definitions of the Legislator and ownership for another cannot be gathered with it.
The task of restoration to Allah â” the High â” can be interpreted only in the second meaning. That is, it is detached from the relation of the ownership of the creatures and is particular only to Allah â”the High â” and no Muslim has no right of usage over it whatsoever.
When it is clear for you that the restoration to Allah â” the High â” is not possible except through the right of chieftainship and kingship, it will be manifest for you that this right of restoration belongs only to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and the âthe near of kinâ through this very channel. For, the use of conjunction requires equal participation of both the preceding and proceeding nouns of the conjunction. It emphasizes this meaning and explains it that He â” the High â” has brought the Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and âthe near of kinâ as a conjunction for Himself. Moreover, He has repeated the genitive clause ÙÙØ§Ù… for both of them, although it was not necessary to do so in the conjunction, apparently. Moreover, the dropping of this genitive clause in the other conjunctions ââ¦and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â explicates that the reference of the restoration to the Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and the ânearest of kinâ is in accordance with the reference to Himself, without variation in the mode of reference. The variation in the mode and method is only for the conjunctions that follow later viz. â…and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â For, had the reference of restoration to the ânearest of kinâ been like the reference of the nouns that followed it and unlike the preceding nouns, it would be necessary to make it like its following nouns and not like its preceding nouns. But the presence of the genitive clause makes it clear that it is like its preceding nouns and this is the meaning of the saying of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) [may our souls and the souls of the worlds be sacrificed for him (a.s.)], âBy Allah! We are those whom Allah has implied by the ânearest of kinâ those whom Allah has associated with Himself and His Prophet (s.a.).â
This meaning is further endorsed by the usage of the phrase ânearest of kinâ as a singular, proving that ânearest of kinâ who should be referred to for restoration in every era is only one person because chieftainship and Imamate in every era is not established but through a single individual.
Objection: Had the reference of restoration to the proceeding conjunction been on account of the right to rule and chieftainship â” as you have claimed â” it would be incorrect to make ââ¦and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â its conjunctions for its non-reference to them on the same grounds (of rule and chieftainship). Otherwise, it would be necessary that these (ââ¦and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â) be the rulers and chiefs over the people.
Answer: Reference of restoration to them from the aspect of holding a position is not contrary to their not having authority over the people because reference of the right of rule and authority for a person is from two facets: Firstly, if he is a ruler or a chief like a Messenger and the near of kin, since He has associated them with Himself; and secondly, for him being from the followers of the chief like his family and close relatives.
So, ââ¦and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â are from the followers and Allah â” the High â” has used the change of context and the dropping of the genitive clause to denote that they are from the followers of the nearest of the kin. Thus, they are like nearest of the kin vis-Ã -vis receiving the restoration but not like them in chieftainship and independence. Hence, it is proved that ââ¦and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â in the noble verse are not absolute and it implies only for those who are the followers the ânearest of the kinâ. And this is the meaning of his (a.s.) [may my soul be sacrificed for him (a.s.)] saying, âââ¦and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarerâ¦â are from us in particular.ââ
Now, since it has become clear for you that the reference of restoration to the ânearest of the kinâ is on account of the right to rule and chieftainship, it will become manifest for you that he (a.s.) is Allahâs caliph and the Imam, the successor of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) after him (s.a.w.a.). Otherwise, He would not have associated him (a.s.) with Himself and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in the reference of the restoration, which is from the conditions of sovereignty and chieftainship.
Just as it has become clear for you that the caliphate and Imamate is confined to them only, otherwise He would not have stopped at ânearest of the kinâ, although it suffices for us in belief that they are distinguished with caliphate, with the proof of their caliphate in the noble verse. For, the caliphate of the first caliph was due to allegiance, the caliphate of the second was through appointment by the first and the thirdâs through the consultative council formed by the second caliph. Obviously, there was no scope of any of the three in the presence of the divine texts.
All Praise is for Allah Who explained the truth for the one who has a heart or he gives an ear and he is a witness.
 Surah Hashr (59): Verse 7
 Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 539
 Surah Hujuraat (49): Verse 9
 Al-Misbaah al-Muneer, p. 585
 Surah Bani Israel (17): Verse 78
 Surah Taubah (9): Verse 60