Supplement 2

From the discussions, written according to the above- mentioned method, the following subjects have become crystal-clear:

  1. The matters concerning the names of Allah, and His attributes, like His Life, Knowledge, Power, Hearing, Sight and Oneness etc. As for the Person of Allah, you will find that the Qur'an believes that He needs no description.

  2. The matters concerning the divine actions, like creation, order, will, wish, guidance, leading astray, decree, measure, compulsion, delegation (of Power), pleasure, displeasure and other similar actions.

  3. The matters concerned with the intermediary links between Allah and man, like the Curtain, the Tablet, the Pen, the Throne, the Chair, the Inhabited House, the Heavens, the Earth, the Angels, the Satans, and the Jinns etc.

  4. The details about man before he came to this world.

  5. The matters related to man in this life, like the history of mankind, knowledge of his self, the foundation of society, the prophethood and the apostleship, the revelation, the inspiration, the book and the religion and law. The high status of the prophets, shining through their stories, come under this heading .

  6. The knowledge about man after he departs from this world, that is, al-Barzakh.

  7. The matters about human character. Under this heading come the various stages through which the friends of Allah pass in their spiritual journey, like submission, faith, benevolence, humility, purity of intention and other virtues. (We have not gone into details of the verses of the law, as more appropriately it is a subject for the books of jurisprudence.) As a direct result of this method, we have never felt any need to interpret a verse against its apparent meaning. As we have said earlier, this type of interpretation is in fact misinterpretation.

As for that "interpretation" which the Qur'an has mentioned in various verses, it is not a type of "meaning"; it is something else. At the end of the commentaries, we have written some traditions of the Prophet and the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt ( a.s.), narrated by the Sunni and Shiah narrators. But we have not included the opinions of the companions and their disciples, because, first, there is too much confusion and contradiction in them; and second, they are not vested with any authority in Islam.

On going through those traditions of the Prophet and the Imams (peace be on them all!), you will notice that this "new" method of exegesis (adopted in this book) is in reality the oldest and the original method which was used by the Teachers of the Qur'an (peace of Allah be on them all!).

Also, we have written separately various topics - philosophical, academic, historical, social and ethical- when there was a need for it. In all such discussions, we have confined our talk to the basic premises, without going in too much detail. We pray to Allah, High is He, to guide us and keep our talk to the point; He is the Best Helper and the Best Guide.

(Allamah Tabataba'i, Al-Mizan, p. 3-16).