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Quranic Sciences

An Exegesis Phenomenon Regarding Ahl al-Bayt

One who studies tafsir according to the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) will clearly notice the phenomenon that they may interpret some verses on their own, while others may be a reference to obeying and loving them. Some people try to use this phenomenon to make notorious remarks, to deliberately distort, and openly condemn the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.), trying to attribute to them their attempt to make the Holy Qur'an a book regarding their own sect and nobody else's. There is nothing further from the truth. The interpretation provided by the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) of certain verses to be a direct or indirect reference to them is due to one's perfect practical implementation of tafsir, and the fact that they themselves are living witnesses to the truth in such verses, or that should such verses make a reference to them, they are all proofs of the truth contained in the Holy Qur'an and it does not take the verse out of its intended general meaning.

For example, when Imam al-Sadiq (A.S.) interprets the ummah (nation) in the text of the Holy Qur'an to mean the a'immah (Imams), he gives it the meaning that they are the most distinguished practical manifestation of its Qur'anic meaning. To use the word "interpretation" in such context may imply a metaphoric meaning of the word, for what is intended by it is to provide the best possible practical meaning which agrees with the spirit of the text, which is something neither reason nor citation object to it.

Adapted from: "Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), A Historical and Biographical Research" by: "Muhammad Jawad Fadlallah"