|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 politices, 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 SHTIANIA" - MOHAMMAD JAAFAR EMA"MI - DAWOOD ELHA"MI - ASADULLAH IMANI - ABD. ALRASUL HASANI - SAID HASAN SHOJAEE - SAID NUROLLAH TABA" TABA"EE - MAHMUD ABDULLAHI - MOHSEN GHERA"ATI and MOHAMMAD MOHAMMADI (ESHTEHARDI),worked hard for a periode of fifteen years full time, to create this important and voluminous work.
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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
21 - 3 - 1999 = 1 - 1- 1373
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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.
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'söArthur J.ArberyöN.J. DawoodöAbdullah 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.
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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 Moslems 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.
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FA"TIHA = THE OPENING
ÈöÓúãö Çááøåö ÇáÑøóÍúãÜäö ÇáÑøóÍöíãö IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MERCIFUL, THE COMPASSIONATE
ÇáúÍóãúÏõ öááåö ÑóÈøö ÇáúÚóÜáóãöíäó(( 1 )) 1- PRAISE BELONGS TO ALLAH, LORD OF ALL THE WORLDS
ÇáÑøóÍúãÜäö ÇáÑøóÍöíãö(( 2 )) 2- THE MERCIFUL, THE COMPASSIONATE
ãóÜÇáößö íóæúãö ÇáÏöøíäö (( 3 )) 3- THE OWNER OF THE DAY OF DOOM
ÅöíøÜÇßó äóÚúÈõÏõ æóÅöíøóÇßó äóÓúÊóÚöíäõ(( 4 )) 4- YOU ALONE WE WORSHIP, AND YOU ALONE WE PRAY FOR HELP
ÇåúÏöäóÇ ÇáÕøöÑó Øó ÇáúãõÓÊóÞöíãó(( 5 )) 5- GUIDE US IN THE STRAIGHT PATH
ÕöÑó Øó ÇáøóÐöíäó ÃóäúÚóãúÊó Úóáóíúåöãú ÛóíúÑö ÇáúãóÛúÖõæÈö Úóáóíúåöãú æóáÇóÇáÖøóÂáøöíäó(( 6 )) 6- THE PATH OF THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE FAVOURED.
NOT OF THOSE WHO HAVE INCURRED YOUR WRATH.
NOR OF THOSE WHO ARE ASTRAY.
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SPECIALTIES OF THE OPENING CHAPTER
1- It consists of seven verses, and it was revealed in Mecca. This chapter differs with the other chapters, in melody, tone, and harmonics, and through it, God has taught His servants the method of supplication and prayer. It begins with the praise of Allah, continues with the belief in the resurrection, and ends with the demands and requests of the servant.
2- The opening chapter is said to be the basis of the Holy Qura"n. The prophet called it: - "MOTHER OF THE BOOK" and his Holiness said to JABIR- IBN- ABDULLAH ANSARI: ``Do you want me to teach you the best of the SURAS, (CHAPTERS) that God has revealed in His Book?''
"Yes" ``he said, May me and my parents be thy ransom.'' The prophet then taught him the OPENING CHAPTER OF QURA"N; and added that, the chapter may cure every disease other than death. Perhaps this is why, IBN-ABBAS, the famous commentator has said: ``everything has a foundation, and the OPENING CHAPTER, is the foundation of the HOLY QURA"N.''
3- The OPENING CHAPTER has been bestowed upon the prophet as a great gift, and it is compared with the whole BOOK, where Allah says: - ``We have bestowed upon you the seven often repeated verses, as well as the Great QURA"N.'' QURA"N - S 15:87
The contents of the OPENING CHAPTER may be divided in two parts: - A part consisting of the praise of God, and the other states the necessities and needs of His servants. It is narrated from the prophet that God says: - ``I have divided the opening chapter between Me and My servant, who has the right of asking me for his wishes.''
It is also narrated that the prophet said: ``Rehearsing of the OPENING CHAPTER, equals the rehearsal of two third of the whole Book.'' In this relation Imam Sadiq (AS) too, has said: ``SATAN moaned painfully in four occasions: [ 19 ]
A) When he was banished from the presence of God.
B) When he was driven out of the GARDEN OF BLISS. (PARADISE)
C) When Mohammad was assigned for his prophetic mission.
D) And when the OPENING CHAPTER OF QURA"N revealed.''
WHY SO NAMED?
`FATIHA' means beginning, starting, or opening. any thing, and here it refers to the Book - the Holy QURA"N'S opening chapter. We have enough evidences that the chapter was so called by the prophet himself; and opens a window towards an important Islamic problem - that which some people may think that QURA"N has been compiled and collected after the prophet, and in the life time of either ABUBKR, OMAR, or OTHMA"N. But the name FATIHA that has been the same in prophet's lifetime and even since then, is a proof of the prophet's care and watchful attention on the Holy Book. We have clear cut documents, and proofs that the collected work which we have it now in our hands, was compiled as it is, and arranged in this sequence by the order of the prophet himself.
ALI- IBN- IBRAHIM the great commentator of QURA"N who lived in the third century A.H. has narrated from Imam Sa"diq (AS) that the prophet ordered his cousin, son-in-low, and vicegerent, HAZRAT ALI (AS) to collect and compile the different parts of QURA"N, which were then written upon pieces of silk, paper, skins of animals, and etc.
The narrator adds that ``HAZRAT ALI (AS) fulfilled the commandment, sincerely collecting the scattered pieces and parts. He then wrapped all the parts in a yellow cloth and took them for compilation.''
Besides that; the famous tradition of the prophet, which is related by many, and through successive witnesses; saying: ``I shall go and leave among you two heavy things: the BOOK OF ALLAH, and my kins.'' Is an enough proof that QURA"N had already been compiled in prophet's time.
As for the view that some say: ``HAZRAT ALI (AS) compiled the Book, after the prophet'' It Should be known that, what was collected by HAZRAT ALI (AS), after the prophet, was not merely the text of QURA"N: It rather was a collection consisting of the text with various comments of the prophet about different verses, and the historical evidences, and some details and reasons for the revelations, and etc.
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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE
It is customary and established by common usage, to start any important and valuable work in the name of some man of dignity in order to connect the work to him, and commend it to his care and support.
If so, is it not much better to start everything in the name of HIM who dies not, and is everlasting in life, power, and might - an everlasting substance and unchanging essence, whom mortality can never touch!?
Such an eternal being is none, other than ALLAH, the Only one God. Therefore everything and every work should begin in HIS sacred name, and His help be prayed for. This is why the HOLY QURA"N too, commences with the verse:
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE.
The prophet has said: ``Any important work that begins not with the name of God, may not have a good end.'' Imam Ba"gher (AS) too, said: It is becoming to start every work - big or small - in the name of Allah, so as to be blessed. To make it short; continuation of a deed depends upon its relation and connection to God. To this effect, Allah orders His apostle to start his teachings and preachings in the name of Allah through the following revelations:
``Proclaim! (READ) in the name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who created - created man out of a clot of congealed blood.'' QURA"N - S 96:1-2
And according to the following verse; NOAH said to his followers:
``Embark you on the ARK, in the name of Allah, be it sailing or at rest, for my Lord is Oft: Forgiving, Merciful.'' QURA"N - S 11:41 And SOLOMON too, began his letter written to the QUEEN- OF- SHEBA in the name of Allah:
``SHE (The QUEEN OF SHEBA) said: ``You chiefs! Here is delivered to me a
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letter worthy of respect. It is from SOLOMON, and is in the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.'' QURA"N - S 97:30 On such a basis all chapters of the HOLY QURA"N begin with the said verse: (IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE) There is no doubt that the verse is one of those of the OPENING CHAPTER, and all the other chapters, (EXCEPT THE ONE NAMED REPENTANCE - SURA - 9). This has been so arranged by the prophet, and has always been such, and a habitual usage of Muslims when reciting QURA"N, to commence with the verse which they call it BESMELEH = IN THE NAME OF ALLAH. This matter is so clear that once MOA"VIYEH did not recite it in his prayer! Then some of the Helpers and Emigrants, who were present there, objected and ironically said to the Khalif: You stole it or forget it!?
Allah is the most comprehensive and collective among the names of God, pointing at substance rather than the attributes. The different names of God that are mentioned in the HOLY QURA"N, each of them denotes a part of the attributes of God. The only name that refers to His Essence as well as His attributes, is Allah. Other names of God are often used as adjectives to qualify Allah; such as the Merciful Allah, the Forgiving Allah, the Almighty Allah, and etc.
Through the following verse of QURA"N, many such qualifications are attributed to Allah: ``He, is Allah besides whom there is no God. The Sovereign, the Holy, the Peaceable, the Secure, the Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah, above the partners that they attribute to HIM.'' QURA"N - S 59:23
A reason for comprehensiveness of Allah is that only through the phrase (LA" ELAH ELL ALLAH = NO ALLAH BUT ALLAH) one can convert and become a Muslim.
GOD'S MERCY - COMMON AND SPECIAL
A group of commentators understand RAHMA"N, (TRANSLATED MERCIFUL) to mean and denote Allah's common Mercy, that covers all
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His creatures, whether a friend or enemy; a faithful, or a heathen - all and all. As for the other derivative name RAHIM, (TRANSLATED COMPASSIONATE) reveals Allah's SPECIAL MERCY and favour, which is dedicated to His obedient and faithful servants.
Here, a point worthy of note is that: Throughout the HOLY QURA"N, the word RAHMA"N is used in ABSOLUTE MODE to mean unlimited and unrestricted, thus showing the commonness of the word; but RAHIM is used especifically which denotes being bound to its peculiarity.
WHY HIS MERCY, AND NOT OTHER ATTRIBUTES?
True that God has infinite attributes that most of them could be used at the beginnings, for a blessing, but MERCIFUL is used and emphasized here for its universal effect and light, that covers all creatures and creations, which may save those entangled in difficulties. Let us hear this from God Himself in HIS HOLY BOOK: ``He (i.e. GOD) said: ``I will afflict with my punishment whom I will. But My MERCY extends to everything. Soon I will ordain that MERCY for those who avoid evil deeds, and pay their due alms-tax, and those who believe in our signs.''
QURA"N - S 7:156
We even see the prophets, such as HUD, grasping to the Mercy of God, when they are in trouble and hardship, in order to be rescued: ``We saved HIM, (HUD) and those who adhered to him by OUR MERCY, and we cut off the roots of those who rejected our signs, and were not believers.'' QURA"N - S 7:72
1- PRAISE BELONGS TO ALLAH, LORD OF ALL THE WORLDS After the commencement in the name of Allah the Merciful, one has to remind of the great ORIGINATOR of the universe and His infinite and immeasurable bounties and favours, through which he may know HIM better, and worship HIM more sincerely, under the stimulus of praise and gratitude. When I say the STIMULUS, its because when man gets a gift or a favour, soon he wants to know WHO the giver is?! and by instinct, he feels a natural tendency to be grateful and to give his thanks to the giver. This is why ideologists say that thanks giving to the donor is
[ 23 ] incumbent by the acceptor through the natural command of instinct.
That we say: Our guide in the theistical knowledge is HIS BOUNTIES, is because the best way to know the origin and originator, is to study and ponder upon the rules and the secrets of the creation, specially upon those things connected with man's life. Such are the reasons that the OPENING CHAPTER is then commenced with the PRAISE that belongs only to God.
A- Every man who is a source of goodness and blessings or any prophet and Divine Leader who lightens and brightens the hearts with religious guidance - Any Gracious who grants and bestows graces - Any physician who dresses a wound, or cures a painful disease - all of them have their power and ability from the All-Mighty, and therefore, when they are praised for what they do, they owe their praises to their Lord and Cherisher. So is the sun, if it shines, and is praised for radiating light - or the clouds, if they rain down, and are praised - and the earth if it is extolled for giving us so many provisions and products - all such praises and glorifications, belong to Allah the cherisher of them all.
B- A remarkable point is, that the praise is not only at the beginning and commencement of affairs and works, or whatever, but it should also be ended with the praise of God, as we are instructed by the HOLY QURA"N:
``(THERE IN THE PARADISE), Their prayer will be; GLORY TO YOU LORD! And their greetings is, `PEACE!' and they end their prayers in; (PRAISE BELONGS TO ALLAH, LORD OF ALL THE WORLDS).''
QURA"N - S 10:10
C- As for the ARABIC word RAB, (TRANSLATED TO LORD & CHERISHER) Principally it means the owner of something who cherishes and nurtures it, with care and affection. D- As for the ARABIC word LAMINEA", (TRANSLATED TO WORLDS) It is the plural of LAMA", (WORLD) and denotes the whole UNIVERSE.
2- THE MERCIFUL, THE COMPASSIONATE
The meaning of the word was given in a previous paragraph. What is to be added here is that: these two attributes of Allah are
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repeated at least for 30 times in our daily prayers. This is to say that; we praise Allah for HIS MERCY, at least 60 times a day. and we should therefore take a lesson in order to be kind and merciful in our morals and ethicals, as our Lord behaves so with all His creatures. Another point worthy of note is that: When we say we are the Servants of Allah, we should not bring into mind and connote, the ancient slaves and their cruel masters and merciless slave - holders. It rather denotes that in spite of power and authority we should be kind, merciful, and compassionate to all the creatures, as our Lord is so with us all.
3- THE OWNER OF THE DAY OF DOOM
The second important tenet of Islam is belief in the resurrection day, and that Allah holds for HIMSELF the ownership of that DAY exclusively. Here by GOD'S OWNERSHIP is meant, His influence, predominance, and ascendancy over everything in that Day of judgement and justice - the day in which man stands in the presence of his real OWNER, and real Lord, Who can see and feel all that he has done, or said, even his thoughts! Man shall come to know that nothing is lost or forgotten, though it be as small as the head point of needle! Then it is he who has to answer for his responsibilities and deeds.
Without doubt, the ownership of God in all the existing worlds, is a real and absolute ownership, and not something relative or for the time being.
One may ask: ``Why should we call HIM the owner of the DAY OF DOOM, while He is the absolute, owner of all things?'' The answer is: Though Allah is the owner of both this world, and Hereafter, but in the hereafter, His ownership is more open and obvious to the sense and sight. There; all the material relations and connections are cut out, and the temporary and relative ownerships are abolished, and everything is openly in the hands of God. No one is seen to have anything of his own. (except his good or bad deeds)
HIS BELIEF IN RESURRECTION, prevents man from going astray, and doing evil, and so is the effect of the daily PRAYERS. It is narrated that Imam Sajjad (AS) was repeating the verse (OWNER OF THE DAY OF DOOM)
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so much; and so that it seemed his soul would fain have gone out of his body! As for the compound word YOMODDIN (DAY OF DOOM), it has always the meaning of RESURRECTION DAY, throughout the HOLY QURA"N. In the other phases the ARABIC word `DIN' may mean `RELIGION' OR `REWARD', and this is why sometimes the DAY OF DOOM is interpreted as the `DAY OF REWARD'.
4- YOU ALONE WE WORSHIP, AND YOU ALONE WE PRAY FOR HELP MAN IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
Through the fifth verse of the OPENING CHAPTER, it seems as if man addresses his Merciful and Compassionate Lord, confessing his submission, and his being a mere and sincere servant, and meanwhile he prays for God's help by saying:
``YOU ALONE WE WORSHIP, AND YOU ALONE WE PRAY FOR HELP'' The preceding verses aimed at the monotheism and oneness of God's substance and attributes, and this one drives at the oneness of His worship and acts. By oneness of worship, we mean, no one ever deserves to be worshipped except God, and our real submission and obedience should be His. BY ONENESS OF ACTS, we understand that our Lord, Allah, is the only real effective and effectual BEING. Of course it is not so that we should ignore the natural causes and means - we ought to know that any effective cause or means has its effectiveness by the WILL, and by the DECREE of God.
5- GUIDE US IN THE STRAIGHT PATH
After submission to the will and wish of God; the servant's first request is to be guided to the straight path, which is the road to piety, purity, good deeds and justice. A question arises here, that, ``Why should we always ask our Lord, in our daily prayers to, GUIDE US IN THE STRAIGHT PATH? Does it not mean that we are always astray and misled?''
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Our answer to the question is:
Man, even in the straight path of guidance, is always exposed to erring and slip - every now and then, he may be seduced by devils, and lose his balance and fall down! He therefore has to commend himself to the care of God, and pray for truth and evolution. As a matter of fact, guidance means to lead the man in the path of EVOLUTION, and gradual perfection, leaving in behind of him, all deficiencies and weak points. Absolute and ideal perfection, only belongs to God, and it seems not so strange even when we see the prophets and the saints too, pray for GOD'S GUIDANCE! Imam Sadiq (AS) has understood the above VERSE to mean: ``Guide us to a path that leads us to Your LOVE and PARADISE, and protect us from our caprices and freaks.''
WHAT IS THE STRAIGHT PATH?
The straight path is the true religion of God, and obeying God's commandments, as it is found in the HOLY QURA"N through the following verse: ``Say my Lord has guided me to the STRAIGHT PATH which is a right religion - the path trod by ABRAHAM, a man of pure faith, who was not of the polytheists.'' QURA"N - S 6:161
6- THE PATH OF THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE FAVOURED. NOT OF THOSE WHO HAVE INCURRED YOUR WRATH. NOR OF THOSE WHO ARE ASTRAY.
THE TWO DEVIATED LINES:
Guide us in the path of those whom you have favoured. (BY THY GUIDANCE - THY GRACE - THY APOSTLES - BY KNOWLEDGE AND ACTS - BY STRIVE AND MARTYRDOM and etc.) Not the path of those who have incurred your wrath. Nor of those who left the path of truth and went astray.
In fact, God commands us by that verse to seek, and pray for the path trodden by the apostles and men of piety and good deeds, and, HE [ 27 ]
strictly warns us that there are always two divided lines at the sides of the STRAIGHT PATH - the line of those who have incurred God's wrath; and the line of those who have gone astray.
WHO ARE THE FAVOURED ONES?
The favoured servants of God are introduced through the following verses of QURA"N: ``And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, they are with those whom God HAS favoured, such as the PROPHETS, THE TRUTHFULS, THE ,MARTYRS, THE RIGHTEOUS, and what a good friends are they.'' QURA"N - S 4:69