The Author's Preface
 




THE EXAMPLE COMMENTARY IN BRIEF

The greatest capital that we Muslims have, is the GLORIOUS QURA"N. Our gnosis and knowledge, the commandments, living programmes, Islamic politics, and the way of approach to God, and all and all; we find them in this Great Divine Book.

Therefore it is incumbent upon all the Muslims, to get better acquainted with this great religious book they have.

On the other hand; the fame of Islam has widely spread all over the GLOBE, partly due to the Muslims late vigilance and wakefulness, and partly due to the Islamic Revolution of Iran. This widely echoed name, has aroused the sense of investigation and research, in the non - Muslims who now like to know more and more about Islam. Therefore, at present, there is a great demand for the translations and the commentaries of the Holy QURA"N, throughout the world. Unfortunately such a wide demand has not been satisfied yet.

Fortunately the presence of the HOLY QURA"N, all over in the Muslim societies, throughout the world and especially in our own country (Iran), daily increases. Expert reciters of the Book; those who keep it in their memory, and the well versed commentators are not few or rare. The commentary of QURA"N is now turned to an important classic field of learning in the THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS of QOM, and for this purpose the EXAMPLE COMMENTARY was prepared, which is expressive, simple to understand, deep in meanings and meanwhile it is a work, up to date. This was aimed to answer the problems of the day and to satisfy the necessities of our time. Perhaps this is why the book has been received by the people of various kinds, with ardent interest and hot enthusiasm.

A big group of scholars, and learned commentators, well versed in QURA"N, who are mostly Theological School Teachers of Qom; such as the masters and professors:

MOHAMMAD REZA A"SHTIANI - MOHAMMAD JAAFAR EMA"MI - DAWOOD ELHA"MI - ASADULLAH IMANI - ABD. ALRASUL HASANI - SAYYED HASAN SHOJAEE - SAID NUROLLAH TABA" TABA"EE - MAHMUD ABDULLAHI - MOHSEN GHERA"ATI and MOHAMMAD MOHAMMADI (ESHTEHARDI), worked hard for a period of fifteen years full time, to create this important and voluminous work.

Of course their weariness was entirely removed by the interest and warm attention that people paid to their work. And now this hope is induced in them that if God Speeds, it might be a work accepted in the presence of Allah.

The FARSI VERSION of the BOOK has repeatedly gone under print. (more than ten times so far)
The ORDU TRANSLATION too, in twenty seven volumes, has had several prints.
The Arabic Version also, which is named ALAMSAL, has recently been published in BEIRUT, and else where is the Islamic countries.
Translation of the Book to English language is presently at hand, and we hope that it shall very soon appear among the press.

When the complete work was published in 27 volumes, a group of people demanded to have a concise of it, in order to get access to the meanings; quicker, and by a less price, and else, in some teaching classes to have a brief of the whole lot, for teaching and discussion. It made us to consider the request, and intend to summarise the 27 volumes, reducing them to only five - a work that was not so easy to do.

Then it happened that professor AHMAD ALI BA"BA"EE accepted the responsibility of this hard and laborious job.

His ability and skill had already been proved to me for arranging the Example Commentary in sequence of different subjects in a couple of years.

I too, very often looked the work over and controlled it and gave advices as far as I could, and many thanks to our Merciful Lord for the fruitful results that has been obtained in the form of an expressive translation of the text, and commentary in brief, for those who want to use it as a reference. I have named it:

THE EXAMPLE COMMENTARY IN BRIEF

I thank Mr. BA"BA"EE too, for the excellent and useful work that he has fulfilled, and hope it to be accepted by the learned and those who have great interest in the HOLY QURA"N; and may it be a reservation for all of us in the Dooms Day.


THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL OF QOM
NA"SER MAKA"REM SHIRAZI
THE TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE


AS FOR THE TEXT

The Glorious Qura"n is the Word of God. I am of opinion that no mortal translator like me, can convey the whole and exact meaning of the verses with so many dimensions that they have, into another language. The best solution to this problem is to read and comprehend the Book in its Arabic version. This is why I have inscribed the Arabic text as the topic of my work.

RUMI says:-

If we cannot draw the whole lot of the sea water,

We may drive enough to satisfy our thirst. In translating the Arabic Text, for every verse and even for every phrase, I have referred to all the existing important English Translations such as that of Sale'sArthur J.ArberyN.J. DawoodAbdullah Yusef Ali and Dr M.H. Shakir. I have collated and made a careful comparison of their translation and the original Arabic text to the meaning of which I am not much unaware. In this comparison my scale and criterion has been the Farsi translation of His Holiness Ayatollah AL-OZMA MAKAREM SHIRAZI. Besides; I have added the especial views of his Holiness in between parenthesis as he himself has done in his Persian version.

In this respect I have done my best, and only for the sake of God, and nothing else; so as to produce a clean, correct, and expressive translation of the Holy Book that has been my favourite throughout my life.

I have avoided entirely the customary Archaic language, and have made my translation in the simplest form, and the most correct meaning as I could, so that the common people speaking English and even the laymen might read and understand the intention of their Lord God. But how far have I succeeded to approach my goal? This is a matter to be judged by the dear and learned reader.

AS FOR THE COMMENTARY

The Example Commentary of His holiness is a great voluminous collective work done by 15 scholars and learned commentators, all well versed in Qura"n who worked hard for some 10 years under the direct control and direction of Ayatollah Al-Ozma-Makarem.

Therefore the life of an individual like me will not suffice to perform even half of the translation. On the other hand his holiness has written this great book for the Persians who are almost all Shiites, and also they believe in the matter. But I am translating it for the English speaking world who are almost all Christians, and among them we may find many people who hate Islam, and don't believe most of the matters.

To this effect my translation is focused on a certain quotations from the whole work, that may illustrate what is the truth about Islam; who is the God that we Muslims worship, and what about Resurrection Day. And matters that are common to all in Islam. And these quotations I have translated and written in my own special literature and simple language for common people. As a matter of fact the soul and spirit of the translation belongs to his Holiness Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi; and its body has been shaped and formed by me.

Therefore, when comparing the translation with the original work, in the first glance both may look different; while a deeper look will prove, that I have taken the meanings from his holiness and illustrated it with my pen and handi work in order to show in brief; what Islam and Qura"n is. However I hope this abridgment may show the grandeur of the whole work of 27 volumes. Mansoor Aminy-Baghbadorani

(( 60 ))

60- AND WHEN MOSES SAID TO HIS GENTLE YOUTH; I WILL NOT GIVE UP UNTIL I REACH THE JUNCTION OF THE TWO SEAS, EVEN IF I AM TO CONTINUE GOING ON AND ON.

(( 61 ))

61- THEN WHEN THEY REACHED THE JUNCTION, FORGOT THEIR FISH THERE, AND IT TOOK ITS WAY INTO SEA CRAWLING.

(( 62 ))

62- WHEN THEY PASSED OVER (THE JUNCTION OF THE TWO SEAS), HE SAID TO HIS GENTLE YOUNG; BRING US OUR FOOD THAT WE HAVE BEEN TIRED OF THIS OUR JOURNEY.

(( 63 ))

63- HE SAID; DID YOU SEE (WHAT HAPPENED)!? WHEN WE REPOSED ON THE ROCK, THERE, I FORGOT THE FISH. AND NOTHING MADE ME TO FORGET IT EXCEPT SATAN (LEST I SHOULD) MENTION IT (TO YOU), WHEN IT TOOK ITS WAY INTO THE SEA WONDERFULLY.

(( 64 ))

64- HE SAID; THAT WAS WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR. THEN THEY TURNED BACK ON THEIR TRACES IN SEARCH (AGAIN).

THE COMMENTARY
THE WONDERFUL STORY OF MOSES AND KHEZR
VERSE NO.6064


In this chapter eighteen of Qura"n, there are three amazing narratives which take us out of our present natural state of life, showing that, neither the world is limited to that which we see, nor the real nature of some incidents are exactly what we apprehend. These narratives are: 1That of the companions of the cave which proves the relativity of time.

2The meeting of Moses an Arch prophet with an apostle on special duty, which proves that some of our apparent losses are real gains! 3And the journeys of Zulgharnine which we shall study a little later.

In the present narration we see that even Moses who was an Arch-Prophet, and with the highest knowledge of his time and space, has thought that his knowledge was not perfect, and desired to know more, and explore more information about the mysteries of life. He goes in search of a divine teacher, who shows him three paradoxes in which apparent losses are real gains, and cruelty is true Mercy!:

``And remember when Moses said to his gentle youth; I will not give up going on until I reach the junction of the two seas....'' In this narration the fellow-traveller of Moses in his journey is not named in the Qura"n, but according to some Islamic traditions he must have been JOSHUA, the brave, faithful and virtuous successor of Moses. As for the junction of the two seas, or the geographical location of the meeting, it could have been the point in Sinai Peninsula, where the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez join together. Some other commentators, believe it to have been where the Indian Ocean, and Red Sea, come together.

In a figurative language, the two seas might be the two main fields of apparent and unapparent knowledge, the symbols of which in this narration are Moses and Khezr.

When Moses and his youth came at the junction of the two seas they reposed on a rock leaving their food which was a dried fish, besides them. Then the attendant of Moses saw that the dead fish took its way and creeped down to the sea wonderfully! And more strange than that, Joshua forgot to tell Moses the wonderful movement of the fish.

They moved on their way on, and in another place, when tired of travelling on foot, they felt to need some refreshment. So Moses said to his attendant: ``Bring us our food, that, we have been tired of this our journey.'' There was when Jashua, remembered how strangely the fish had crawled down the rock, and swam into the sea! So he informed Moses of that saying:

``Did you see what happened when we reposed on the rock? I forgot the fish. And it was Satan who caused me to forget, to mention it to you, when it took its way into the sea.''

(( 65 ))

65- THEN THEY FOUND ONE OF OUR SERVANTS TO WHOM WE BESTOWED OUR MERCY, AND TAUGHT HIM A KNOWLEDGE FROM OUR OWN (PRESENCE)

(( 66 ))

66- MOSES SAID TO HIM: ``MAY I FOLLOW YOU SO AS TO TEACH ME SOME OF WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT FOR DEVELOPMENT?'' [ 20 ]

(( 67 ))
67- HE SAID: ``YOU CAN NEVER STAY PATIENT WITH ME.''
(( 68 ))
68- AND HOW CAN YOU KEEP PATIENT ON WHAT YOU HAVE NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION ABOUT IT?''
(( 69 ))
69- HE (MOSES) SAID: ``SOON SHALL YOU FIND ME PATIENT IF GOD SPEEDS, AND I WILL NOT DISOBEY YOU ANY ORDER.''
(( 70 ))
70- HE SAID: ``THEN IF YOU FOLLOWED ME; DO NOT ASK ME OF ANYTHING, UNTIL I MYSELF MAKE A MENTION OF IT TO YOU.''

THE COMMENTARY
MEETING WITH A GREAT TEACHER


VERSE NO.6570

When Moses and his attendant returned searching again:

``They found one of our servants to whom We bestowed our Mercy, and taught him a knowledge from our own presence.''

The verse (NO.65) implies that being the servant of God, is the greatest of honours, and being taught by God Himself, means having a kind of knowledge that no one else has it except God. But who was that servant of God Whom Moses was looking for? Qura"n does not name the Man; but in Islamic traditions he is named, ``KHEZR'' which literally means green. He is a prophet on special [ 21 ]

duties, who takes his knowledge and information directly from God. He knows the secrets of events, and of the paradoxes of life, which the ordinary prophets know it not. He is a mysterious being whose parents, if any, no one knows, and his life is everlasting. He is bestowed with two gifts from God; that of a Mercy and also a certain kind of knowledge by which he is able to interpret the mysteries of events.

When Moses saw the Divine Teacher, he said to him: ``May I follow you to teach me some of what you have been taught for development?'' The Man of God did not agree with the request of Moses at first and said:

``You can never stay patient with me, because you have not enough information about what I am doing.'' But Moses promised the teacher to keep quiet, and obey him in all that he would order; with the help of God of course. Thus Moses closed the doors of objections and excuses, on the side of his party; so that he was admitted to the curious class of mysterious knowledge! (( 71 ))

71- SO THEY BOTH SET OUT UNTIL THEY EMBARKED IN A BOAT (AND HE) SCUTTLED IT! (MADE A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOAT) MOSES SAID: ``DID YOU SCUTTLE IT, TO DROWN ITS CREW? VERILY YOU DID SOMETHING OFFENSIVE.''

(( 72 ))

72- HE SAID: ``DID I NOT SAY THAT YOU CAN NEVER STAY PATIENT WITH ME?''

[ 22 ]

(( 73 ))

73- HE SAID: ``TAKE ME NOT TO TASK FOR WHAT I FORGOT, AND TAKE IT NOT HARD FOR ME. (IN THIS CASE OF MINE)

(( 74 ))

74- (ONCE AGAIN) THEY SET OUT UNTIL THEY MET WITH A BOY, AND HE SLEW HIM!

HE (MOSES) SAID; DID YOU KILL AN INNOCENT PERSON WHO HAS KILLED NO ONE!? VERILY YOU DID SOMETHING TOO BAD.

THE BEGINNING OF PART16

(( 75 ))

75- HE SAID; DID I NOT TELL YOU THAT, YOU WILL NEVER STAY PATIENT WITH ME?

(( 76 ))

76- HE SAID; ``IF EVER I QUESTIONED YOU AGAIN, DO NOT ACCOMPANY ME; FOR YOU THEN WILL HAVE ENOUGH EXCUSE ON MY SIDE.'' [ 23 ]

(( 77 ))

77- THEN THEY SET OUT (AGAIN) UNTIL THEY CAME TO A TOWNS FOLK. THEY ASKED THE PEOPLE TO GIVE THEM SOME FOOD, BUT THEY REFUSED TO ENTERTAIN THEM. THERE, THEY FOUND A WALL ON THE POINT OF FALLING DOWN. HE SET IT UP. (REPAIRED THE WALL)

MOSES SAID; ``IF YOU WANTED, YOU COULD HAVE TAKEN A WAGE FOR THAT.''

(( 78 )) 78- HE SAID: ``NOW IS THE TIME OF SEPARATION BETWEEN ME AND YOU. SOON SHALL I INFORM YOU OF THE INTERPRETATION OF WHAT YOU COULD NOT BEAR IT PATIENTLY.''


THE COMMENTARY
A DIVINE TEACHER, AND SO MANY WRONGS!?


VERSE NO.7178 From now on, we see that all the pronouns in the following incidents of KHEZR and MOSES are in dual form; which implies that JOSHUA did not accompany Khezr and Moses.

They both went on, until they reached a ship which Khezr scuttled it. The ARABIC, ``KHARAGHA HA"'' literally denotes that he tore it; but in [ 24 ]

connotations, it means that, Khezr must have dug a hole at the bottom of the ship in order to sink it down! Moses was a prophet of God; how could he keep calm and quiet, when he saw something wrong happened, without objecting and forbidding it? He therefore kept not indifferent when something extraordinary was going on, that could not be interpreted with his prophetic principles, and in terms of his experiences.

Some of the great expounders of Qura"n like, TABARSI, have understood the said town to have been NAZARETH at the North of Palestine which is the place in which Jesus Christ was born.

(( 79 ))

79- AS FOR THE BOAT, IT BELONGED TO SOME POOR PEOPLE WORKING ON THE SEA. I INTENDED TO PUT A FAULT IN IT, WHILE THERE WAS A KING AFTER THEM, TAKING ALL BOATS BY FORCE.

(( 80 ))

80- AS FOR THE BOY, HIS PARENTS WERE BELIEVERS. THEN WE FEARED THAT, HE SHOULD IMPOSE ON THEM REBELLION AND BLASPHEMY.

(( 81 ))

81- SO WE WISHED THAT THEIR LORD WOULD GIVE THEM IN EXCHANGE, A BETTER THAN HIM IN PURITY, AND CLOSER IN AFFECTION.

[ 25 ] (( 82 ))

82- AND AS FOR THE WALL; IT BELONGED TO TWO ORPHAN BOYS IN THE CITY, AND THERE WAS A TREASURE BENEATH IT FOR THEM; AND THEIR FATHER WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN, SO YOUR LORD INTENDED THAT THEY SHOULD REACH THEIR MATURITY, AND TAKE OUT THEIR TREASURE AS A MERCY FROM YOUR LORD; AND I DID NOT DO IT BY MY OWN WILL. THAT IS THE INTERPRETATION OF WHAT YOU COULD NOT BEAR IT PATIENTLY.


THE COMMENTARY
THE INNER SECRETS OF THE THREE INCIDENTS


VERSE NO.7982

When the separation of the two fellow-travellers became inevitable the Divine Teacher decided to reveal the secrets of the three incidents, to Moses so as to show him that there was public and private interests in all the three events; and that, it could be a key to open many secrets and locks of knowledge for Moses and for all. He therefore began with revealing the mystery of the ship which he scuttled, saying:

``As for the boat, it belonged to some poor people working on the sea. I intended to put a fault in it while there was a king after them taking all boats by force.'' [ 26 ]

Khezr, by the Divine knowledge that he was given, knew well that the ship which worked for the benefit of a group of poor and weak people on the sea, was going to be seized by a cruel and unjust king, very soon, for some military purposes. If the king could have commandeered the boat, no resource would be left for the owners of the ship, to provide them with their means of sustenance and support of life. Therefore, by a simple act of piercing a hole at the bottom of the boat, he rendered it unserviceable, and saved it from the confiscation.

But Moses from the nature of his duty as a prophet, objected to what Khezr did, and said to him:

``Did you scuttle the ship to drown its crew? Verily you did something wrong and very offensive!''
The man of God with a fair self-possession said to Moses:
``Did I not say that you can never stay patient with me?''
Moses felt sorry for being hasty and forgetting his promise, and begged his pardon, saying:
``Please take me not to task for my forgetfulness, and take things a little easy for me.''
Thus the man of God pardoned him, and they continued with their journey.
In their way on, they met with a boy, and Khezr slew him, without seeing any fault!
Again seeing a murder for nothing, excited Moses and he raised his voice to object:
``What! Did you kill an innocent person who has killed no one!? You have done a very bad thing indeed!''
Again with coolness, and in a reproaching way said the mysterious prophet of God:
``Moses! Did I not tell you that you will never stay patient with me?''
The second act of Khezr seemed more cruel to Moses, when he saw him to kill a boy who had not any evident guilt. Khezr had a [ 27 ] special eye or knowledge, by which he could see the danger of blasphemy and rebellion in that boy which could result in killing his parents who were a virtuous couple who had brought the boy up with care and love.

Any how; again Moses asked his companion to excuse him for the last time:

``If ever I questioned you again, you may not accompany me, for having enough excuse against me.'' Then they set out until they reached a towns folk. There, they had already spent all their provisions for their journey, and were very tired too. So they expected the towns folk's hospitality, but they proved to be utterly parsimonious a people, and even refused to give them some food! Inspite of that, they found a wall in the town, which was broken and on the point of falling down; and Khezr repaired the wall, and set it up. Loving and respecting guests is an Eastern custom; and therefore, Moses expected the towns folk to offer entertainment of themselves, and unasked. But in spite of their stinginess, Khezr rebuilt for them their falling wall, and asked them not any wages! Here was when Moses made his third mistake, and said to Khezr:

``Now that they refused to give us some food, you had better taken a wage or reward for your maintenance of the wall.'' When so, Khezr said to Moses:

``Now is the time of separation between me and you; but I will inform you of the interpretation of what you could not bear it patiently.'' Khezr also knew that if the wall had fallen the treasure which was buried beneath it would have been discovered by the greedy people of the town, who were eagerly desirous for wealth. But God's intention was to hand the treasure over to its real owners who were the two orphans and who would eventually become as righteous as their father.

And thus Khezr proved to Moses that there was public and private benefits involved in all the three acts he did. [ 28 ]

WHAT WERE THE BASIS OF THE THREE ACTS

Islamic scholars and inquirers have put forward the argument that on what basis did Khezr performed his three actions? Was it according to the religious Law, or the universal Law of creation? Are we really permitted to put a fault in something that belongs to some one else, just to prevent some one else to seize it? Or is it lawful to slay a boy who might commit a crime in future? Or is it necessary for us to toil and work free of any charge, to protect other people's wealth and treasure?

The jurisprudents, and those who are well versed in the religious Law, say that; when Khezr scuttled the ship, he did something less important to save something which was very important.... much more than the charge; and this sort of actions are lawful and praiseworthy in the sight and doctrine of God's religion. On the other hand; the consent and pleasure of the poor owners of the ship could have been foreseen. Therefore what Khezr did with the ship, was not wrong.

As for the boy; the expounders of Qura"n believe that he had already reached a stage of guilt and evil, so as to have been condemned to death. In other word he had been apostate, and mischief maker; so much so, that his present could be an illustration of his future.

And as for the repair of the wall; it should not bring forward any argument, because sacrifices for the good of other people in need; is a praiseworthy act by all the religions and creeds.

On the other hand, Allah has created the universe according to His General Plan, which is based upon certain rules and laws. Violating these laws and regulations, must have, and it really has, its own due reaction; depending on how far someone has gone astray, and howmuch has he violated the rules of creation. Therefore, the world is controlled under the dominion, and supreme authority of two orders; universal or religious. Allah may make use of both kinds of regulations, to control the events that may happen in the creation and throughout the universe.

[ 29 ]

LESSONS OF THIS NARRATION

There are many useful lessons that the incidents of Moses and Khezr may teach us, some of which are as follows: .Divine Knowledge has its main source in the service and worship of God. Here in these verses, Allah Has called Khezr, ``ONE OF HIS SERVANTS'' to whom He has bestowed, ``A KNOWLEDGE'' from His own presence.

.Knowledge should accompany action, and we should not love knowledge only for knowledge.
.Man should not be hasty, because almost all the affairs need time, leisure, and opportunity, in order to mature.
There is the English proverb that: ``All things come to him who will but wait''
And there is the Persian proverb that: ``Patience is bitter but bears sweet fruit.''
.We should not judge our affairs with their appearances only. Sometime apparent losses can be real gains:

``....And it may be that you dislike a thing and it is good for you; and it may be that you love a thing which is bad for you. And Allah knows and you do not know.'' S 2:212
.Some children who are offensive to their parents may be condemned to have a short life for their offense.
.Both, the teacher and student, must behave politely to one another, in word as well as in deeds. [ 30 ]

(( 83 ))

83- AND THEY ASK YOU ABOUT ZELGHARNINE; SAY: ``SOON SHALL I RECITE TO YOU A MENTION OF HIM.

(( 84 ))

84- WE ESTABLISHED FOR HIM (POWER AND GOVERNORSHIP) IN THE EARTH, AND GAVE HIM A WAY (OF ACCESS) TO EVERYTHING.

(( 85 ))

85- SO HE FOLLOWED A WAY:

(( 86 ))

86- UNTIL HE REACHED (WHERE IT SEEMED TO HIM TO BE) THE SETTING POINT OF THE SUN. HE FOUND IT SETTING IN A MUDDY DARK SPRING. HE FOUND A PEOPLE BESIDE IT. WE SAID: ``O, ZELGHARNINE! YOU MAY EITHER PUNISH THEM OR TREAT THEM KINDLY.''

(( 87 ))

87- HE SAID: ``AS FOR HE WHO HAS OPPRESSED; I SHALL SOON PUNISH HIM. THEN HE WILL BE PASSED OVER TO HIS LORD, WHO WILL PUNISH HIM A SEVERE PUNISHMENT.''

(( 88 ))

[ 31 ]

88- BUT AS FOR HE WHO BELIEVED AND DID RIGHTEOUS DEEDS, FOR HIM SHALL BE GOOD REWARD; AND SOON WE SHALL SAY FOR HIM OF OUR EASY ORDERS.

(( 89 ))

89- THEN HE FOLLOWED ANOTHER WAY.

(( 90 ))

90- UNTIL HE REACHED (WHERE IT SEEMED TO HIM TO BE) THE RISING POINT OF THE SUN.

HE FOUND IT RISING UPON A PEOPLE FOR WHOM WE PROVIDED NO COVERING AGAINST IT. (THEY WERE NUDE AND EXPOSED TO SUN RAYS)

(( 91 ))

91- SO WAS IT; AND WE ENCOMPASSED BY KNOWLEDGE WHAT WAS (GOING ON) WITH HIM.