Occasion Of The Revelation
 

VERSE NO.109110

When the verse (S 17:84) revealed saying: ``You have not been given of knowledge but a little.'' A group of the Jews objected saying; ``How can our knowledge be a little, when we do have the Scriptures!?'' The above verse (NO.109) was sent down to answer that:

Say: ``If the sea was all ink for writing the words of God; the sea would be consumed before the words of my Lord could be finished, even if We add other seas for that purpose!'' In other word, this is to say; the story of the Seven Sleepers, that of Moses and Khezr, and of Zelgharnine, which We related to you in this chapter of the Cave; are all of no importance compared with the knowledge and power of God.

The Arabic, ``KALAMA"T'' which is translated to, ``WORDS'' can also imply any creature or anything that may exist. In Qura"n's literature, even Jesus Christ has been called the, ``Word of Allah''.

The verse implies that, the existence is not limited to what we see or feel. The creation, and God's power and knowledge has no limit, and God's knowledge and power is not something other than His creation. Therefore if we make all the trees that ever existed, into pens, and turn all the supplies of water into ink, to write the words of God; the seas and trees would be consumed before the words of God could be finished. We may also add here that each tree itself, and each drop of water is also a word of God, by which we intend to write other existing words. This means that God lives in the realm of infinity in infinite aspects. What do we know, and what can we know, of such infinite power!?

Once again the next verse (NO.110) applies to Monotheism, and mentions the Oneness of God. This is because, monotheism is the most [ 46 ] important tenet on which God's worship is to be based. If we compare the religion with a ROSARY; all the principles, and commandments, and ways of prayers, are comparable to the beads of the rosary, and Monotheism is the string which binds and holds them together. Another example can be that, the rules and regulations of religion are like the limbs, parts, and organs, of human body; and the Oneness of God is the soul of the body.

The word of purity or Monotheism which is; ``LA"-ELA"HA-ELLA-LA"H'' is known to be the firm fence of Allah, and who enters the fence, can live safe and secure. Therefore, if any one is willing to meet Allah spiritually, he should do good deeds, and associate no one in the worship of his Lord. The true worship of God should exclude the worship of anything or anybody else, be they idols, deified men, or powers of nature.


THE END OF SUREH CAVE (18)

MARY


IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE

(( 1 ))

1- K-H-Y-A-S (KA"FHA"YA"AINSA"D)

(( 2 ))

2- (HERE COMES) THE MENTION OF YOUR LORD'S MERCY TO HIS SERVANT, ZACHARIAS.

(( 3 ))

3- WHEN HE CALLED UPON HIS LORD IN A LOW VOICE:

(( 4 ))

4- HE SAID: ``MY LORD! MY BONES ARE WEAKENED, AND MY HEAD IS INFLAMED WITH OLD AGE, AND I WAS NOT LEFT UNANSWERED WHEN CALLING YOU.''

(( 5 ))

5- AND I AM AFRAID OF MY KINSFOLK AFTER I AM GONE, AND MY WIFE IS BARREN. SO GRANT A SUCCESSOR OF YOURSELF.

[ 48 ]

(( 6 )) 6- SO AS TO INHERIT ME, AND INHERIT THE POSTERITY OF JACOB, AND MAKE HIM MY LORD (A SERVANT) WHO PLEASES YOU.


THE COMMENTARY
THE ANSWERED PRAYER OF ZACHARIAS


VERSE NO.16

For the abbreviated letters, please see volume one, page 30 of this book. The chapter of Mary begins with the story of Zacharias who, when incited and aroused to pray to God by Mary the Virgin, his prayer was answered.

Zacharias was very sad for having no child; and one day in his sanctum in the Temple, he privately prayed to God saying: ``My Lord! My bones have been weakened, and my head is inflamed with old age, and I have not been unanswered in my prayers to you so far. I am anxious about my kinsfolk after me, and my wife is old and barren. So have Your Mercy on me and grant me a successor to inherit me and to inherit the posterity of Jacob.''

WHAT WAS HIS HERITAGE?

Zacharias prayed for a successor to inherit him, but it is doubtful whether he had any wealth or worldly property, so as to be anxious that who would inherit him. He held a sacred religious mission as a high priest, and wanted his holy mission to be continued after him by a successor, and that was the object of his prayer. [ 49 ]

(( 7 ))

7- O, ZACHARIAS! WE GIVE YOU THE GOOD NEWS OF HAVING A SON. HIS NAME IS YAHYA". (JOHN) WE HAVE NOT NAMED HIM SUCH A NAMESAKE IN BEFORE.

(( 8 ))

8- HE SAID: ``MY LORD! HOW CAN THERE BE A SON FOR ME, WHEN MY WIFE IS BARREN, AND I AM FALLEN OF OLD AGE!?

(( 9 ))

9- HE (THE ANGEL) SAID: ``SO SHALL IT BE. YOUR LORD SAID; THAT IS EASY FOR ME. AND VERILY I CREATED YOU BEFORE AND YOU WERE NOT A THING!''

(( 10 ))

10- HE SAID: ``MY LORD! MAKE A SIGN (OF THAT) FOR ME.'' HE SAID: ``YOUR SIGN IS THAT, YOU CANNOT SPEAK TO PEOPLE FOR THREE NIGHTS (AND THREE DAYS) BEING ALL RIGHT!''

(( 11 ))

11- THEN HE WENT OUT OF THE SANCTUM TO HIS PEOPLE, (AND BY HINTS) INSPIRED TO THEM THAT, THEY SHOULD GLORIFY (THEIR LORD) IN THE MORNING AND IN THE NIGHT. [ 50 ]

THE COMMENTARY
ZACHARIAS GOT HIS EXPRESSED WISH


VERSE NO.711 Allah answered the prayer of His servant Zacharias, and in spite of his old age and barren wife, gave him a prophet son; and named him ``YAHYA"'', (JOHN) who had not a namesake before. Of course, it was not a name given for the first time. Perhaps it was the first among the posterity of Jacob, or among the relative of Zacharias. Evidently it was the first time that God had named one of His elects, ``YAHYA"''.

The Arabic, ``YAHYA"'' for the English version, ``JOHN'' suggest the meaning of giving new life, or to revive and return something to life again, and it was really so in the case of ``JOHN THE BAPTIST''. He was the forerunner of Jesus who paved the way for him, and with the help of his father renewed the Message of God which had been perverted and corrupted by the Israelites.

When Zacharias heard the angelic good news of having such a wonderful son, he could not see the necessary natural means and preparation for that curious birth; and therefore asked the angel for a sign from his Lord, so that he could assure his heart by that: ``Everything is possible for God,'' was the answer, and that, everything was nothing before its creation by God, and your sign is that you cannot speak to people for three days, and three night, although you will be sound and safe, and all right.''

After receiving the glad-tidings, Zacharias went out of his sanctum of prayer to his people, but he could not speak! So, by hints, and points, and expressions of head and hands, he inspired to them that, they should glorify their Lord in the morning and in the night. [ 51 ]

YAHYA", THE FREE OF ALL SORTS OF VAIN DESIRE

The name of YAHYA" is found in five points in the Holy Qura"n. He was one of the Messengers of God, who became a prophet when he was only a child, having all the necessary wisdom and merits for that attainment. Like Jesus Christ, he too, did not marry, and suppressed his carnal desires. JOHN and JESUS were cousins, and it was John who baptized Jesus. Islamic traditions imply that HAZRAT IMAM HUSSAIN (AS), had some similarities with John. When he set out from Medina to KARBLA", in places he repeated saying:

``How worthless is this world in the sight of God, that the head of YAHYA" was put in a tray, and offered as a present to an unchaste king!'' And we know that the same thing was done with the sacred head of, HAZRAT IMAM HUSSAIN (AS).

John's martyrdom was as wonderful as his birth: The whore-monger king of Palestine (HEROD) fell in love with the daughter of his brother, and decided to marry her, which was something awful and unlawful in the Mosaic Law. John, the prophet of God was informed of that; and declared the marriage to be unlawful and a heinous sin. When the girl heard that, and knew John to be the main impediment to her marriage with her uncle, she was filled with anger and hatred, and decided to take vengeance from John the Baptist.

Using the influence of her love affair, she seduced her uncle to slay John and to offer his head to her as the best of the king's present! Herod, who was in a mad love with the daughter of his brother agreed with her request, and the prophet was beheaded by his order! And the sacred head of John, was put in a golden tray and offered to the harlot! ***** [ 52 ]

ZACHARIAS IN THE BIBLE

The story of ZACHARIAS has been cited in the GOSPEL, in the book of LUKE, chapter one, a quotation of which is as follows: Saint Zacharias, a high priest in the Temple, was the father of JOHN THE BAPTIST. His wife ELIZABETH was barren, and he had become an aged priest fulfilling his duties in the Temple. He belonged to the priestly order of ABITAH. His wife also was belonged to a priestly family. They both lived a good life in God's sight, and obeyed fully all the Lord's law and commands. Both of the couple had reached old age, and had no children. After a fervent prayer to God, Zacharias received an angelic message, that; Elizabeth would bear a son (LUKE 1:525).

An angel of the Lord appeared to him, and he was alarmed and felt afraid: ``Don't be afraid,'' said the angel. ``God has heard your prayer, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son! You are to name him John. How glad and happy you will be, and how happy many others will be when he is born. He will be a great man in Lord's sight.''

Zacharias said to the angel: ``How shall I know if this is so? I am an old man and my wife is also old.'' ``I am GABRIEL'', the angel answered, ``Because you have not believed my message, you will be unable to speak. You will remain silent until the day my promise to you comes true.'' 22When he came out, he could not speak to people, and so they knew that he had seen a vision in the Temple. Unable to say a word, he made signs to them with his hands. 24Sometimes later his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and did not leave the house for five months. ``Now at last the Lord Has helped me,'' she said. ``He has taken away my public disgrace.''

57Then the time came and Elizabeth gave birth to a child. Her neighbours and relatives heard how wonderfully good the Lord had been to her, and they all rejoiced. [ 53 ]

59When the baby was a week old they came to circumcise him, and they were going to name him Zacharias after his father, but his mother said: ``No! His name is to be John.'' They said: ``But you have no relative with that name....'' 63Zacharias then asked for a writing tablet and wrote:

``HIS NAME IS JOHN''

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

(( 12 ))

12- O, YAHYA"! SEIZE THE BOOK FIRMLY. AND WE GAVE HIM JURISDICTION WHEN HE WAS A CHILD.

(( 13 ))

13- AND TENDERNESS FROM US, AND PURITY, AND HE WAS PIOUS.

(( 14 ))

14- AND (BEING) GOOD TO HIS PARENT, AND HE WAS NOT TYRANT, REBELLIOUS.

(( 15 ))

15- PEACE BE UPON HIM, THE DAY HE WAS BORN, AND THE DAY HE DIES, AND THE DAY HE WILL BE RAISED TO LIFE. [ 54 ]

THE COMMENTARY
YAHYA"'S DISTINCT QUALIFICATIONS


VERSE NO.1215

YAHYA" was born and grown, and Divine Instructions came to him. He was not given a certain Book or new Law, but he was instructed by his Lord to grasp the existing scriptures firmly: ``O, YAHYA"! Seize the Book firmly.''

Here in this verse, ``The Book'' is said to have been Towra"t. John did not live long, and was beheaded by the order of Herod, a Roman Petty king, who was seduced by a girl he loved. In his short life JOHN THE BAPTIST did a lot of good and sacred works. He very boldly denounced sin. He was kind and gentle to all the creatures for the sake of God. He left the world and passions in behind and lived a simple, pure and chaste life. As a result of such piety, God's peace and blessings were always on him:

``Peace be upon him, the day he was born, and the day he was to die, and the day he will be raised again.'' In the life to come, he is also among the righteous friends of God.

(( 16 ))

16- AND MAKE MENTION IN THE BOOK OF MARY. WHEN SHE LEFT HER FAMILY AND WENT TO A PLACE IN THE EAST.

(( 17 ))

17- THEN SHE TOOK A VEIL (TO SCREEN HERSELF) FROM THEM. THEN WE SENT OUR SPIRIT TO HER, AND APPEARED TO HER AS A PERFECT HUMAN! [ 55 ]

(( 18 ))

18- SHE SAID: ``I SEEK REFUGE TO THE MERCIFUL FROM YOU, IF YOU ARE PIOUS.''

(( 19 ))

19- HE SAID: ``I AM THE MESSENGER OF YOUR LORD (AND HAVE COME) TO GRANT YOU A CLEAN SON.''

(( 20 ))

20- SHE SAID: ``HOW CAN THERE BE A SON FOR ME, AND NO MAN TOUCHES ME, AND I WILL NOT BE UNCHASTE?''

(( 21 )) 21- HE SAID:``SO SHALL IT BE. YOUR LORD SAID THAT, IT IS EASY FOR ME; AND THAT, WE MAY MAKE HIM A SIGN FOR PEOPLE, AND A MERCY FROM US; AND IT WAS AN ORDER DECREED.


THE COMMENTARY
THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST


VERSE NO.1621 Following the story of John the BAPTIST; here comes the story of Jesus Christ, and his mother, who gave birth to him as a virgin and without a husband! For that, her family abused her, and knew her [ 56 ]

baby as a disgrace to her lineage. But her son in the cradle defended his mother, and claimed to be a prophet of God; with wisdom, authority, and Book! John was born of an old father and a barren mother, and stranger than that; Jesus was born of a virgin mother, and had no father at all! Both of them later proved to be the signs of God, and also a Mercy from Him to His servants.

It happened so that Mary left the Temple, and found a privacy in the east of the town for prayer and devotion. She then fixed a veil or partition, to make an enclosure, so as to be safe from eyes and their unlawful looks. But Lo! The angel of God personified, and appeared to her in the form of a perfect and handsome young man, entering her privacy without leave or welcome!

The chaste, pious, and God fearing, virgin trembled with fear, seeing the young man intruded her seclusion!? So she at once shouted on him saying:

``I seek refuge to the Merciful God from you, if you are a pious man.''

Saying so, Mary waited for the young man to show his reaction. It was no late, when the man said to her don't worry:

``I am a Messenger from your Lord, and have come to grant you a clean pious son!''

Hearing that, Mary once again trembled with anxiety. She thought of the natural way and means of being pregnant and having a child. Then she took her decision, and frankly and firmly, relying on her piety, said to the young man:

``How can it be possible when no man even touches me, and I will never become unchaste and infidel?'' The young man who claimed to be an angel indifferently said: ``So shall it be, as I have already told you. Nothing is ever impossible with your Lord. He wants to make your son a sign, and a Mercy from Him to people. You will be pregnant untouched by any man; and you will give birth to a son as our Lord will, and this is an order decreed by God!'' [ 57 ]

(( 22 ))

22- THEN SHE CONCEIVED HIM, AND WENT WITH HIM TO A DISTANT PLACE.

(( 23 ))

23- AND THE PANGS OF CHILD-BIRTH DREW HER TO THE TRUNK OF A PALM-TREE. SHE SAID (IN ANGUISH): ``WOULD THAT I HAD DIED BEFORE THIS, AND HAD BEEN UTTERLY FORGOTTEN.''

(( 24 ))

24- THEN (A VOICE) CALLED FROM BENEATH HER THAT: ``GRIEVE NOT, FOR YOUR LORD HAS MADE A FLOWING SPRING BENEATH YOU.''

(( 25 ))

25- AND SHAKE TOWARDS YOURSELF THE TRUNK OF THE PALM-TREE, FRESH RIPE DATE WILL FALL ON YOU.

(( 26 ))

26- SO EAT (OF THE FRESH DATE) AND DRINK (OF THE WHOLE SOME WATER) AND ENLIGHTEN YOUR EYES (WITH YOUR BABY). AND WHEN YOU SEE ANY ONE OF THE MANKIND, SAY (BY HINTS TO THEM): ``I HAVE VOWED A FAST TO THE MERCIFUL GOD, SO TO-DAY I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO ANY HUMAN BEING. [ 58 ]

THE COMMENTARY
MARY IN HER HARDEST STORM OF LIFE


VERSE NO.2226

After her meeting with the angel of God, Mary became pregnant with Jesus; but Qura"n does not mention how was it, and how did she conceive. She lived for sometimes in a state of hope and fear, happiness and anxiety. She considered how could people believe her that she was still chaste and a virgin, with the baby in her bosom; and wondered how could she suffer the blames and reproaches of her family. She thought that as a virgin, she was a symbol of piety, virtue, and Godliness, throughout her life; but now they would consider her as a weak point, and disgrace to her lineage!

Anyhow the time, whatever of length, came when she had to give birth to the extraordinary baby who was in her womb. She too was a human being, and had to suffer the pangs and the pressures of a pregnant mother; with no one to attend her, and her child being of a special case, she now had gone to a far away distance and place from her own people. So, a great anguish and anxiety seized her and made her to shed bitter tears, saying: ``O, would that I had died before this event, and had been utterly forgotten.''

But this hard spiritual condition of her vanished soon, for, a voice from beneath she heard, giving glad-tidings of many kinds! The mysterious hands of God did not let her to suffer from hunger or thirst, and dates for food, and water for ablutions and drink was provided for her:

``Grieve not, for your Lord has made a flowing spring of water beneath you! Also shake towards yourself the trunk of the palm-tree, fresh ripe dates will fall on you to eat.'' She was also taught by the Divine Voice how to encounter with people in her present situation: [ 59 ] ``And when you see any one of the mankind, say by hints to them: I have vowed a fast to the Merciful God, and to-day I will never speak to any human being.''

She was ordered to stop any kind of conversation with people on the plea of a vow to her Lord. Her fast was that of abstinence from communications with people, and this sort of fasting was something customary among them.

(( 27 ))

27- THEN SHE CAME WITH HIM TO HER FAMILY, CARRYING HIM (IN HER BOSOM). THEY SAID: ``O, MARY! YOU HAVE INDEED DONE A WONDERFULLY BAD THING!''

(( 28 ))

28- O, SISTER OF AARON! YOUR FATHER WAS NOT A BAD MAN NOR WAS YOUR MOTHER A WOMAN UNCHASTE.

(( 29 ))

29- THEN SHE POINTED TO HIM (SAYING; ASK THE BABY). THEY SAID: ``HOW CAN WE SPEAK TO HIM WHO IS A CHILD IN THE CRADLE?''

(( 30 ))

30- (JESUS IN THE CRADLE BEGAN TO SPEAK AND) SAID: ``I AM THE SERVANT OF ALLAH. HE HAS GIVEN ME BOOK, AND HAS MADE ME A PROPHET.'' [ 60 ]

(( 31 ))

31- AND HE HAS MADE ME A BLESSING, WHEREVER I BE; AND ENJOINED ME TO PRAY, AND TO (GIVE THE) ALMS, AS LONG AS I LIVE.

(( 32 ))

32- AND DOING GOOD TO MY MOTHER, AND WILL NOT LET ME BECOME A VICIOUS TYRANT.

(( 33 ))

33- AND PEACE IS ON ME, THE DAY I WAS BORN, AND THE DAY I DIE, AND THE DAY I AM RAISED TO LIFE.

THE COMMENTARY
JESUS PREACHES IN THE CRADLE!


VERSE NO.2733

At last Mary went back to her family with the baby in her arm! When her family saw that; they were all struck with astonishment! They trembled to see the baby in her arm, and thought the worst of her. They whispered to one another; how shamelessly had she disgraced her lineage!? Some near relatives reproached her saying:

``O, Mary! What a wonderfully bad thing have you done!?'' Another with an ironical utterance said to her: ``O, SISTER OF AARON! Your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother a woman unchaste.'' That, they called her the ``SISTER OF AARON'', various explanations have been given. Some commentators think that, AARON here is an example, and the symbol, of a virtuous man; and when someone was to be admired for virtue and piety, the Israelites would call him or her, the brother or the sister of AARON.

[ 61 ] Some expounders of Qura"n think that, the title of AARON'S SISTER, given to Mary by her relatives is a heavy irony! Aaron was the head of the lineage of the Israelites priesthood. Mary too was of a priestly family, and the Jewish priests were supposed to be the brothers and sisters of priests. So in a taunting language she is called, ``O, PRIESTESS! or O, SISTER OF AARON.

But how could Mary answer the reproaches, and explain to them the event as it had really happened? And how could her relatives accept her curious explanation? She was seen to them very helpless, but, sure enough she pointed to her child to mean, ask my baby any question you have!

They said: ``How do you want us to speak to a baby who is slept in his cradle?'' And a miracle revealed, and her baby in the cradle began to preach: ``Leave her alone and don't blame my innocent mother! I am the servant of Allah, and my Lord has given me Book, and has made me a prophet! He has made me a blessing and useful wherever I be, and has ordered me to perform prayer, and to pay alms, so long as I am alive; and to honour my mother and do good to her.''

Jesus, defending his mother, strangely preached his audience with calling himself the servant of God, in order to reject the later false notions that he was God or the son of God.

Here we may comprehend the miraculous eloquence of Qura"n that, in a few short sentences, illustrates the important story of Jesus Christ, which is contaminated with all sorts of polytheism, and mingled with superstitions, giving a clear cut truth of what the incident really was. [ 62 ]

(( 34 ))

34- SUCH WAS JESUS THE SON OF MARY; (IN THE) WORD OF TRUTH, IN WHICH THEY DOUBT.

(( 35 ))

35- IT IS NOT BECOMING FOR ALLAH TO TAKE A CHILD. GLORY BE TO HIM. WHEN HE DECREES (TO CREATE A THING) HE ONLY SAYS TO IT, ``BE'' AND IT WILL BE.