Interpretation of Sura an-Nur - Verse 56
Adopted from the book: "The Light of the Holy Qur'an - Interpretation of Sura an-Nur" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani & a Group of Muslim Scholars"
56. "And establish prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey the Messenger, so that mercy may be shown to you."
Ritual prayer, alms-tax, and obeying divine leader is an obvious example of faith and righteous deed of the believers to whom sovereignty of the earth was promised in the former verse: ("Allah hath promised those of you who believe and do righteous deeds ...")
In Islam worshipping issues (ritual prayer), financial issues (alms-tax), and political and governmental issues (obeying Allah's prophet) are not separated from each other. So, in this verse, people are mobilized for preparing the ground for such a government. At first, it says:
"And establish prayer..."
The same ritual prayer that is the key of relation between the Creator and creatures, and it guarantees their continuous connection with Allah, and it is an obstacle between them and corruption and wrong action. Then, after that, the verse continues saying:
"... and pay the poor-rate ..."
It is the same alms-rate that is the sign of relationship with Allah's creatures and it is an effective means for decreasing the distance between them and causes their affectionate relations to be strengthened. So, the verse continues:
"...and obey the Messenger,..."
This obedience, which is general and indicates that we should be obedient unto the Messenger of Allah in all things, causes us to be among the righteous believers who deserve to have the authority of the earth. It is in this case and under the shade of fulfilling these commandments that haply we may find mercy, and be among those righteous believers who are worthy of leading the government of justice. The verse concludes:
"... so that mercy may be shown to you."
Some traditions on ritual prayer and alms-tax
1. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "The first thing that Allah obligated upon my people to do was the five ritual prayers and the first deed of them that will ascend is the five ritual prayers, and the first thing that will be asked about is the very ritual prayers." 105
2. Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: "Islam is founded on five things: ritual prayer, amls-tax, ritual pilgrimage, fasting, and the guardianship (of Ahl-ul-Bayt)" 106
3. Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "The first thing that a servant will be reckoned of is ritual prayer, so if ritual prayer is accepted, other deeds will be accepted. If his ritual prayer is not accepted, the rest of his deeds will be rejected, too."
4. Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: "When our offspring become five years old, we enjoin them to perform ritual prayer, so when your issues get seven years old, tell them to keep up prayer." 107
5. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "Never the time of ritual prayer comes unless an angle cries: O' people stand up and put off the fires that you have kindled." 108
6. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: "When a person stands up to perform ritual prayer, Satan looks at him jealously, for he sees that Allah's mercy has covered him." 109
7. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "The five ritual prayers are like a pleasant stream that is before the door of your house. If someone washes oneself in it five times a day, no dirt will remain." (A person who performs five ritual prayers per day will be cleaned from any spiritual deviations.) 110
8. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "Allah said: '(Oh Prophet!) I enjoined your people five ritual prayers and I promised with Me to send to Paradise everyone who protects them in their proper times, and there will not be promised with Me for the one who does not protect (perform) them'." 111
9. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: "I advise you to pay alms-tax. I heard the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) saying: "Alms-tax is the bridge of Islam. So whoever pays it will cross the bridge and whoever does not pay it will fall down of it, and (payment of) alms-tax soothes Allah's wrath." 112
10. The narrator of the tradition says that he heard Imam Ali (a.s.) saying: "The pillars of Islam are three, and none of them is useful without the other ones: ritual prayer, alms-tax and guardianship." 113
11. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "Heal your patients with charity, and save (and insure) your property with alms-tax." 114
12. Imam Musa-Ibn-Ja'far (a.s.) said: "Verily Alms-tax is set for being the food of the poor, and for increasing their wealth." 115
13. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "When alms-tax is not paid the earth holds back its (favours and) blessings." 116
14. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: "The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) has set alms-tax for 9 things, (which are) wheat, barley, date, raisin, gold, silver, camel, cow, and sheep, and let off other ones." 117
15. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: "Every Muslim is enjoined to pay alms (given on the festival of the end of Ramadan). One who does not pay it may expire." Then Imam was asked: "What does expire mean?" He said: "Death" 118
105. Kanz-ul-'Ummal, Vol, 7, Tradition No. 18859
106. Bihar, Vol. 82, p. 234
107. Wasa'il-ush-Shi'ah, Vol. 3, p. 12
108. Bihar, Vol. 82, p. 209
109. Bihar, Vol. 82, p. 207
110. Kanz-ul-'Ummal, Vol, 7, Tradition No. 18931
111. Kanz-ul-'Ummal, Vol, 7, Tradition No. 18872
112. Bihar-ul-'Anwar, Vol. 77, p. 407
113. Bihar-ul-'Anwar, Vol. 68, p. 386
114. Wasa'il-ush-Shi'ah, p. 66
115. Ibid, p. 46
116. Wasa'il-ush-Shi'ah, 146
117. Ibid, 34
118. Bihar-ul-'Anwar, Vol. 96, p. 109
Share this article