Interpretation of Sura al-Fatir - Verse 32
32.“Then We gave the Book (Qur’a-n) as inheritance unto those whom We elected of Our servants. But of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow the middle course, and of them are some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by Allah’s leave. That is the great (Divine) favour!”
To inherit from the Holy Qur’a-n is a great favour of Allah. The election of Allah is wisely. Those are the inheritors of the science of the Qur’a-n who are foremost in good works.
In this holy verse the Qur’a-n has referred to an important subject, viz., the bearers of this great heavenly Book, the same ones who, after the revelation of the Qur’a-n upon the pure heart of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), protected and preserved this luminous torch at that time and during later centuries. It says:
“Then We gave the Book (Qur’a-n) as inheritance unto those whom We elected of Our servants. …”
It is clear that the objective meaning of ‘The Book’ here is the same thing that has been mentioned in the previous verses, (the Holy Qur’a-n), and the Arabic signs ‘’Alif’ and ‘La-m’ are, so to speak, of the kind of ‘Ahd.
The application of ‘inheritance’ here, and in some other instances similar to it in the Qur’a-n, is for the reason that this word is used for something which is gained without bargain and labour or trouble, and Allah gave this very great Book to Muslims in such a way.
There is a great deal of traditions narrated from Ahl-ul-Bayt (a.s.) in all of which the Qur’a-nic phrase: ‘the elected servants of Allah’ has been rendered into the immaculate Imams. 43
As we have repeatedly said, these narrations are the statement of the clear and first grade expansions of the case and they do not hinder that the scholars, and learned ones of the Ummat, and those martyrs and righteous ones who tried hard in the way of protecting this heavenly Book and continuation of the performance of its instructions, are counted under the title of “those whom We elected of Our servants”.
Then the Qur’a-n divides them into an important division in this regard. It says:
“… But of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow the middle course, and of them are some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by Allah’s leave. That is the great (Divine) favour!”
The apparent of the verse indicates that these three groups among ‘the elected ones of Allah’ are the inheritors and bearers of the Book of Allah. In a more clear meaning, Allah has given the protection of this heavenly Book, after His Messenger, upon this Ummah, the ones who are elected by Allah, but there are different groups among them. Some of them fail to fulfil their great duty in protecting this Book and performing its ordinances and, in fact, they did injustice to themselves. These are the extension of “Some who wrong themselves”.
Another group did a considerable amount of this duty concerning the act of protection and practicing on this Book, although they had some faults and shortcomings in their deeds, too. These are the extension of “Some who follow the middle course”.
And, finally, there are some distinguished persons who fulfil their heavy duties very well and, in this race-field they outstrip others. This group, who are foremost in good deeds, are the same ones whom in the above mentioned verse have been rendered into: “Some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by the leave of Allah.”
The Qur’a-nic phrase: /sa-biqun bil xayra-t/ (outstrip through good deeds), in many traditions narrated from Ahl-ul-Bayt (a.s.) has been interpreted into Imam and the Immaculate ones; and the phrase: /za-lim-un-linafsihi-/ has been rendered into the ones who have not knowledge unto Imam (a.s.); while the term /muqtas?id/ is used for those who know Imam (a.s.) and follow him. 44
These interpretations are clear verifications upon what was said in the commentary of the whole verse, and it does not matter that these three groups can exist among the inheritors of the book of Allah.
Perhaps it is not necessary to mention that the interpretations in the above mentioned traditions are from the kind of the statement of clear extensions; that is the immaculate Imam is in the first row of “Some who outstrip (others) through good deeds”, and scholars, learned men, and protectors of the divine religion are in other rows.
The commentary which has been mentioned about /za-lim/ and /muqtas?id/ in the traditions are also from the kind of the statement of extension; and if we see that in some narrations the existence of scholars in the concept of the verse has totally been negated, in fact, is for attracting attentions to the existence of Immaculate Imam in front of these rows.
It is noteworthy that in commenting these three groups some of the former commentators and the modern commentators have delivered many other probabilities that, in deed, all of them are from the kind of the statement of extension.
Concerning the Qur’a-nic sentence which says: “That is the great (Divine) favour”, some commentators have said that it is that very inheritance, the Book of Allah.
Some other commentators believe that it is a hint to the success which is given to those who outstrip (others) through good deeds and pave this way by the leave of Allah. That is, they outstrip all nations in doing good deeds: they outstrip in learning knowledge; in piety and morality; in worshipping and serving the servants; in effort and endeavour; in order and reckoning; in donation and self-sacrifice, and they are usually the foremost in all these affairs.
Yes, the bearer of that heritage can be only such persons.
43. Nu-r-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 361 on
44. Nu-r-uth-Thaqalayn, the Commentary, Vol. 4, P. 461
Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah al-Fatir" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"
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