Part Two : the Qur'an in the Traditions

Learning the Qur'an

The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

'There are three groups of people who will not be concerned with the reckoning (on the day of judgement), nor will they fear the shriek (on that day) nor the great consternation: firstly, one who learns the Qur'an and knows it off by heart and acts according to its (teachings) for he will come to Allah as an honoured nobleman, secondly the muethin (he who calls the faithful to prayer) who has practised for seven years and never sought any payment for it, and thirdly the servant who has obeyed Allah and obeyed his master.' 49

The Messenger of Allah (S) also said:

'Allah rewards the man who kisses his son kindly with a blessing, and he who makes his son happy, Allah makes him happy on the day of resurrection, and he who teaches his son the Qur'an, the parents will be summoned on the day of resurrection and will be clothed in garments whose light illuminates the people of Paradise.' 50

48 The traditions on the learning and recitation of the Qur'an is a further evidence that the Holy Qur'an was compiled, and therefore referred to by the Muslims during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

49 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.21. 50 Seas of Lights: vol.7, p.304; Al-Kafi: vol.6, p.49.

The Messenger of Allah (S) also said:

'This Qur'an is the etiquette of Allah so learn his etiquette as much as you can.' 51

He (S) also said:

'There is not a single believer, man or woman, freeman or bondman who is exempt from the right that Allah has over him to learn the Qur'an and to study its meanings. Then he read the following verse: {Be ye worshippers for you have taught the book . . . }52 53

He (S) also said:

'The best of you is he who learns the Qur'an and teaches it.' 54

He (S) also said:

'Everything will seek forgiveness for the teacher and the learner of the Qur'an, even the fish in the sea.' 55

He (S) also said:

'Learn ye the Qur'an, for the similitude of one who carries the Qur'an (in his heart) is he who carries a bag full of musk which when he opens it fills the air with the sent, and if keeps it shut, it keeps the scent of the musk.56

The Messenger of Allah (S) also said:

'One who teaches his child the Qur'an is like one who has made ten thousand Hajj pilgrimages, and ten thousand 'Umrah pilgrimages, and has freed ten thousand slaves of the sons of Ishmael, and fed and clothed ten thousand poor, hungry and unclothed Muslims. For every letter he will

51 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.232. 52 The Qur'an: The Clan of 'Imran (3): 79. 53 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.232. 54 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.232; Also The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.825. 55 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.235. 56 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.246.

receive ten blessings and ten evil deeds of his will be wiped out, and the Qur'an will be with him in his grave until the day he is resurrected. His balance scales will tip in his favour and he will be taken across the Sirat as quick as lightning and the Qur'an will not leave him until he has reached a station the loftiness of which is more than can be imagined.57

He (S) said also:

'Allah will crown the parents of the one who teaches his child the Qur'an with a kingly crown and clothe them in robes the like of which has never been seen before.'58

Related from Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali Ibn Abu Talib (a) that the Prophet (S) said:

'The best of you is the one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it .' 59

In one of his speeches contained in the book Nahj al-Balagha, Imam 'Ali (a) says:

'Learn Ye the Qur'an for it is the best of speech and study it for it is the springtime of the heart. Seek cure by its light for it heals the breast, and make your reading of it beautiful for it is the most beneficial of narratives. The learned man who acts without using his knowledge is as the ignorant, confused man who will never awake from his ignorance, in fact the case against him is greater and loss is more incumbent upon him, and in the sight of Allah he is the most blameworthy. 60

Also related from Imam 'Ali (a) is that he said:

'If the teacher says to his pupil: Say: 'In the Name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful.' And the pupil says: 'In The Name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful.' Then Allah

57 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.247. 58 The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.825. 59 Ghawali al-Layali: vol.1, p.99; Also Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.235. 60 Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon no.110, paragraph 6; see also Seas of Lights: vol.2, p.36.

will give absolution to them both and to the pupil's parents.' 61 Related from Imam Ja'far al-Saadiq (a) is that he said:

'The believer should not die before learning the Qur'an or be in the process of learning it.' 62

The Magnificence of the Qur'an

The Emissary of Allah (S) said:

'The Qur'an is a guidance from error, an elucidation from blindness, a release from stumbling, a light in the darkness, an illumination from events, a protection from destruction, a guidance against temptations, clarity from trials, and a conveyor from this world unto the next. In it is your complete religion, no-one strays from the Qur'an but into the fire.' 63

And he (S) said:

'Whoever is given the Qur'an by Allah and thinks that any man has been given anything better than he has been given, then he has diminished a great thing and aggrandised a minor thing.' 64

And he (S) said:

'The virtue of the Qur'an over the rest of speech is as the virtue of Allah over His creation.' 65

And he (S) said:

'Allah does not punish the heart which is a vessel for the Qur'an.' 66

61 Jami'a al-Akhbar: p.42, section 22; and see Appendix to the Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.387. 62 'Iddat al-Da'i: p.287, chapter 6 on the recital of the Qur'an; see also Usul al-Kafi:

vol.2, p.607. 63 Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.600. 64 Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.605; The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.3, p.582. 65 Seas of Lights: vol.89,p.19.

And he (S) said:

'Whoever makes his speech the Qur'an, and the mosque his house, Allah builds for him a house in paradise.' 67

It is related that Abu Dharr came to the Prophet (S) and said:

'O Messenger of Allah, I fear lest I should learn the Qur'an and not act according to it. ' So the Messenger of Allah (S) said: 'Allah will not punish the heart in which He has made the Qur'an dwell.' 68

The Messenger of Allah (S) mentioned commotion one day, so we said: O Messenger of Allah how do we save ourselves from it? He (S) said:

'By the book of Allah. In it is news of those who came before you, and news of those to come after you, and a way to judge between yourselves. It is the criterion and it is not in jest. No tyrant will neglect it but his back will be broken by Allah. He who seeks guidance in other than the Qur'an will fall into error. It is the sturdy rope and the wise reminder and the straight path. Tongues cannot obscure it, it does not pall despite much reading, nor do scholars ever tire of it. Its wonders never cease . . .' 69

And he (S) said:

'The Angel Gabriel descended upon me and said: 'O Muhammad, everything has a master . . ., the master of speech is the Arabic language, and the master of the Arabic language is the Qur'an.' 70

Related from Mu'adh b. Jabal who said:

'We were travelling with the Messenger of Allah (S) and I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, tell us about what it is that will benefit us.' He (S) said: 'If you desire the life of the

66 The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.825. 67 Al-Tahdhib: vol.3, p.255. 68 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.255. 69 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.239. 70 Seas of Lights: vol.61, p.30.

felicitous, and the death of the martyrs, and deliverance on the day of the gathering, and the shade on the day of heat, and guidance on the day of error, then study the Qur'an for it is the speech of the Most Merciful, and a refuge from Satan, and tips the balance scales in your favour.' 71

And he (S) also said:

'The Qur'an is better than anything else other than Allah. He who reveres the Qur'an has revered Allah and he who does not revere the Qur'an has made light of the sanctity of Allah. The sanctity of the Qur'an to Allah is as the sanctity of the father to his son.' 72

And he (S) said:

'It is not proper for one who carries the Qur'an to think that anyone has been given something better than he has been given, for even if he owned the entire world, the Qur'an would be better than what he owned.' 73

And he (S) said during the days of his passing from this world, among that which he advised his companions:

'The book of Allah and the people of my household. The book of Allah is the Qur'an. In it is the proof, the light and the evidence. It is the speech of Allah, it is live and always valid, and applicable to current issues. Whenever it is read thoughtfully it is always fresh, and it is the witness (upon those concerned). It is just judge, and it is a reference which can always be referred to. . . . Tomorrow (on the day of judgement) it will confute against groups of people, and their feet would slip off the Sirat (the straight path) 74.

In a hadith from Abu Dharr who said:

'I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying: 'Looking upon 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) is an act of worship, as is looking upon one's parents with kindness and mercy. Looking upon a

71 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.232. 72 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.236. 73 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.237. 74 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.237.

page from the Qur'an is an act of worship, and looking upon the Ka'bah is an act of worship.' 75

Commander of the Faithful, Imam 'Ali (a) says in description of the Qur'an:

'. . . Then, Allah sent to him the Book as a light whose flames cannot be extinguished, a lamp whose gleam does not die, a sea whose depth cannot be sounded, a way whose direction does not mislead, a ray whose light does not darken, a separator (of good from evil) whose arguments do not weaken, a clarifier whose foundations cannot be dismantled, a cure which leaves no apprehension for disease, an honour whose supporters are not defeated, and a truth whose helpers are not abandoned. Therefore, it is the mine of belief and its centre, the source of knowledge and its oceans, the plantation of justice and its pools, the foundation stone of Islam and its construction, the valleys of truth and its plains. An ocean which those who draw water cannot empty, springs which those who draw water cannot dry up, a watering place which those who come to take water cannot exhaust, a staging place in moving towards which travellers do not get lost, signs which no wayfarer fails to see and a highland which those who approach it cannot surpass it.

Allah has made it a quencher of the thirst of the learned, a bloom for the hearts of religious jurists, a highway for the ways of the righteous, a cure after which there is no ailment, an effulgence with which there is no darkness, a rope whose grip is strong, a stronghold whose top is invulnerable, an honour for him who loves it, a peace for him who enters it, a guidance for him who follows it, an excuse for him who adopts it, an argument for him who argues with it, a witness for him who quarrels with it, a success for him who argues with it, a carrier of burden for him who seeks the way, a shield for him who arms himself (against misguidance), a knowledge for him who listens

75 Al-Manaqib: vol.3, p.202; The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.854.

carefully, a worthy story for him who relates it and a final verdict for him who passes judgements.' 76

He (a) also said:

'The outer manifestation of the Qur'an is elegant, and the inner meanings of it are deep, its marvels never cease nor do its wonders come to an end, darkness cannot be dispelled except by it.' 77

He (a) also said:

'Allah has not admonished anyone before with the like of the Qur'an. It is Allah's sturdy rope, and His trustworthy means, in it is the springtime of the hearts, and the founts of knowledge, hearts do not have illumination without it.' 78

And he (a) said:

'This Qur'an is the counsellor that does not give false counsel, the guide that does not lead astray, and the speaker that does not lie. No-one will sit with this Qur'an but that he stand up from it with an increase and a decrease; an increase in guidance, and a decrease in blindness. Know ye that after knowing the Qur'an, no-one can again experience poverty, neither can anyone before knowing the Qur'an experience riches. Seek ye in it the cure to your ailments, and succour in your hardships. In it is the cure from the greatest of ills, which are unbelief, hypocrisy, blindness, and errancy. Beseech Allah through it, and seek a direction to Him through the love of it, and do not ask of his creation through it. (There is) nothing like it that leads the people to monotheism. Know ye that it is an intercessor whose intercession is accepted, and a speaker which confirms the truth, and that whoever the Qur'an asks intercession for on the day of resurrection will be granted such, and whoever the Qur'an speaks against on the day of resurrection it will speak the truth against him. On the day of resurrection a herald will proclaim: Verily

76 Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon no. 198. 77 Seas of Lights: vol.2, p. 284. 78 Seas of Lights: vol.2, p. 312.

every ploughman is afflicted in what he sows and the outcome of his works except in the tilth of the Qur'an. So be of its tilth and its followers and seek evidence in it about your Lord, and counsel about yourselves, and question with it your opinions, and seek to expose with it your vain desires.' 79

From Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (a):

'The verses of the Qur'an are treasure houses. Therefore every time you open a treasure house you must look to see what is in it.' 80

And he (a) said:

'If all the peoples of the east and the west were to die, I would not feel alone as long as the Qur'an was with me.' 81

From Imam al-Baaqir (a) who said:

'The Commander of the Faithful (a) said: 'Shall I inform you about the true religious scholar? He is one who does not invoke in the people a despair of the mercy of Allah, nor does he invoke in them a sense of security from the punishment of Allah. He does not give licence to disobeying Allah and does not neglect the Qur'an seeking other than it. Indeed there is no good in a knowledge in which there is not a deep understanding, nor is there any good in a recital of the Qur'an in which there is no pondering, nor is there any good in an act of worship in which there is no heartfelt comprehension.' 82

And he (a) said:

'The Qur'an will arrive on the day of resurrection in the most beautiful aspect and form. It will pass by the Muslims and they will say: this man is one of us. Then it will pass beyond them to the prophets and they will say: he is one of us. It will then pass beyond them to the Archangels and

79 Appendix to The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.239. 80 The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.849; Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.609. 81 Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.602. 82 The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.829; Seas of Lights: vol.2, p.48.

they will say: he is one of us. Until it ends up before The Lord of Power, Almighty and Exalted is He, and it will say: Lord, I made such and such a person thirsty during his middays, and kept him awake during his nights on Earth. But I did not make such and such a person thirsty during his mid-days, and did not keep him awake during his nights. So Allah Almighty will say: Let them enter the garden according to their stations. So (the Qur'an) will arise and they will follow it and it will say to each believer: Recite and advance. So they recite and advance until each person has reached his allotted station and has settled therein.' 83

Also from Imam al-Baaqir (a) that he said:

'Learn the Qur'an, for it will come on the day of resurrection in the most beautiful of forms ever seen by Allah's creation. There the people will be arrayed in one- hundred and twenty thousand rows; eighty thousand rows are the nation of Muhammad (S), and forty thousand rows for the remainder of the nations. The Qur'an will come to the ranks of the Muslims in the form of a man. He will greet them and they will look towards him and say: There is no god but Allah the Patient the Generous. This man is one of the Muslims we recognise him by his aspect and character except that he was of a greater understanding than us in the Qur'an. Hence he has been given of magnificence, beauty and light that which we have not been given. Then he passes on until he comes upon the ranks of the martyrs who say: There is no god but Allah the Most Merciful Lord. This man is one of the martyrs, we recognise him by his features and character except that he is one of the martyrs of the sea, for it is from there that he has been given of beauty and virtue that which we have not been given. Then he passes on until he comes upon the ranks of the martyrs of the sea in the form of a martyr. The martyrs of the sea look upon him and their wonderment is great and they say: This man is of the martyrs of the sea, we recognise him by his features and character except that the island in which

83 Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.601; The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.824.

he met his end was more fearful than the island in which we met our ends. Hence he has been given of magnificence, beauty and light that which we have not been given. Then he passes on until he comes upon the ranks of the prophets and messengers in the form of a prophet and messenger. The prophets and messengers look upon him and great is their wonderment of him and they say: There is no god but Allah the Magnificent the Esteemed. This is a prophet and messenger, we recognise him by his character and features except that he has been given a great bounty. They then gather together and approach the Messenger of Allah (S) and ask him: O Muhammad! Who is this man? He says: Do you not recognise him? They say: We do not recognise him, he is one that has not the wrath of Allah upon him. The Messenger of Allah (S) says: This is the proof of Allah upon his creation. So he gives a greeting of peace, and passes on until he reaches the ranks of the Angels in the form of an Archangel. The Angels look upon him and great becomes their wonderment until it becomes too much for them for what they see of his virtue. They say: Exalted is our Lord and Most Holy, this servant is one of the Angels, we recognise him by his features and character except that he is the most near of the Angels in station to Allah The Most Powerful and Majestic. Hence he has been attired in light and beauty.' 84

Imam al-Saadiq (a) said:

'Among that which the Commander of the Faithful (a) enjoined upon his companions was that he said: 'Know Ye that the Qur'an is the guidance during the night and the day, and the light during the dark night over exertion and poverty.' 85

And he (a) said:

'In this Qur'an there is the beacon of guidance and the lanterns of darkness . . . Therefore he who wants to polish

84 Seas of Lights: vol.7, p.319; Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.596. 85 Seas of Lights: vol.65, p.212; Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.216.

his eyes (to see the truth) he should open his sight to the light (of the Qur'an) . . . since reflecting and thinking is the life of the heart of the wise, just as the one with torch of light walks in darkness.86

A man questioned Imam al-Saadiq (a) and said:

'What is it with the Qur'an that despite the propagation and studying of it, it only increases in freshness? So he said (a): 'It is that Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, has not made the Qur'an for one specific era rather than another, or for one group of people rather than another. Therefore, in every time it is new and amongst every people is fresh until the day of resurrection.' 87

He (a) also said:

'That Allah Blessed and Exalted is He, revealed in the Qur'an an exposition of every thing, so that He has not neglected anything needed by his servants, and so that no servant is able to say: if only such and such a subject was in the Qur'an, but that Allah has sent down revelation about that subject in it. 88

And he (a) said:

'Then the Qur'an ends up standing to the right of the throne and The Omnipotent will say: By My Greatness and My Majesty, and the Exaltedness of My Station, I will indeed honour today those who have honoured you and I will humiliate those who have belittled you.' 89

And he (a) said:

'The Qur'an is a prohibitor and an orderer; it orders to paradise and prohibits from the fire.' 90

He (a) said:

86 Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.200; The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.828. 87 Seas of Lights: vol.2, p.280. 88 Usul al-Kafi: vol.1, p.59. 89 Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.602; The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.827. 90 Usul al-Kafi: vol.2, p.601.

'The Qur'an is riches, there are no riches without knowledge of it and no poverty after knowledge of it.' 91

From Imam al-Saadiq (a) from his forefathers (a):

'The Messenger of Allah (S) said: 'When trials and temptations descend upon you like the darkness of the night, then look to the Qur'an for it is an intercessor whose intercession will be accepted, and a schemer who confirms the truth. He who keeps it in front of him will be lead by it into paradise, he who puts it behind him will be driven into the fire. It is the guide to the best path, and a book in which is explanation, exposition, and learning. It is decisive and not in jest. It has an outside and an inside, its exterior is judgement, and its interior is knowledge, its outer manifestation is elegant and its inner meanings are deep. (when it is studied) Truth and wisdom stems from it. And every truth leads to even more wisdom. Its marvels are without number, and its wonders never cease. The lanterns of guidance, and the lighthouse of wisdom, and the guide to knowledge. Therefore he who wants to polish his eyes (to see the truth), and attain serenity in his vision, and he who wants to release himself from impaired vision and entanglement of the mind, let him use the Qur'an. For thought and reflection gives life to the heart of the wise, just as the one who walks in darkness with a torch. Therefore it is upon you make sure to rescue yourselves in the best possible way and in the shortest possible time. 92

And from Imam al-Saadiq (a) from his father who said:

'Indeed it is a source of wonderment to me that there is in a house a copy of the Qur'an with which Allah Almighty is He expels the Satans.' 93

From Imam al-Ridha (a) that he mentioned the Qur'an and said:

'It is the sturdy rope of Allah and His firm grip, and His perfect road that leads to paradise, and delivers from the

91 Jami' al-Akhbar: p.40; Tafsir Majma' al-Bayan: vol.1, p.15. 92 The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.828. 93 Thawab al-A'mal: p.103; The Shi'a Guide to the Shari'a: vol.4, p.855.

fire. It does not pall despite the passing of aeons, and does not dissipate despite being oft repeated, because it was not created for one time rather than another but as the argument and proof for all humanity. Falsehood does not approach it from before it or behind it, a revelation from The All Wise, The All Praised.' 94