Knowledge and Practice: the Origin of the Growing Understanding of the Quran

Ayatullah MuhammadTaqi Mesbah Prepared by: Qulam Ali Azizi-kia

As regards the duties of Quran scholars, two important things must be noted: the first is the necessity of identifying and utilizing the works written by earlier scholars who have presented jewels of the ocean of the Quranic knowledge as far as they could. The second is an attempt to extract the unknown and hidden jewels of the Quran which have not been available so far. This extraction has some prerequisites among which- apart from scientific capacities and paying attention to works of earlier scholars - applying and utilizing Quranic teachings are the most important ones. Some Quranic verses and traditions illustrate the relationship between knowledge and practice. In this article, the effect of applying Quranic teachings on a deep understanding of it has been objectively exemplified.

KEYWORDS: Commentary, Quran's exoteric meaning, Quran's esoteric meaning, the relationship between knowledge and practice, the way to deep understanding of the Quran.

Perspicacious Verses (Muhkamat); Their Significance and Scope

Muhammad As¨adi

The discussion in this article is centred on the perspicacious verses (Muhkamat) in the Qur¨an and the theoretical studies made in this concern. The author seeks to define the criteria of perspicacious verses focusing on such measures like text measures, subject-matter measures and intellectual and epistomological measures.

The article also seeks to show the significance of perspicacious verses and their status among the verses which are known as Umm al Kitab, (the essence of the Book) examine the conception and requirements of "Umm al-Kitab", and finally define the scope of perspicacious verses.

The present research points out to the significance of perspicacious verses in interpreting the Qur¨an and to the fact that they can contribute to bringing Muslim sects closer and closer.

KEYWORDS: perspicacious (Muhkam), ambiguous (Mutashabih), the criteria of perspicacious verses, the scope of perspicacious verses.

Non-Cognitive Obstacles and Impairments of the Quran Commentary

Mustafa Karimi

Identifying the obstacles and impairments of the Quran commentary and avoiding them is a necessity for achieving a proper understanding of the Quran and enjoying its guidance. Here we have attempted to identify and introduce the non-cognitive obstacles and impairments, i.e. the doctrinal, attitudinal and moral impairments, so that we achieve a proper understanding of the Quran. We have also tried to mention some examples out of existing commentaries to

supplement the theoretical discussion.

These obstacles and impairments are as follows: disbelief in the authority of exoteric meaning of the Quran, a belief in Quran's self-sufficiency, disbelief in or negligence of the extraterrestrial features of the Quran, not believing in Quran's impunity against distortions, negligence of different types of verses, arbitrariness, prejudgments as well as individual or group interests and biases, improper sanctification of all commentary traditions, and improper imitation of ideas of earlier scholars as well as impiety; these impairments prevents the commentator from achieving the proper and deep understanding of the Quranic verses and finding out what God really meant by them.

KEYWORDS: the impairment of the Quran commentary, disbelief in authority of exoteric meanings of the Quran, sufficiency of the Quran in commentary, Quran's divine nature, Quran's impunity against distortion, arbitrariness, prejudgment, imitation, impiety.

A Brief Look at Some Allusive Passages in the Quran

SeyyidMuhammad Tayyib Husseini

No doubt, the Quran is not only a Scripture seeking to direct human beings to the right path and a higher way of life, but also a literary masterpiece utilizing the most eloquent style of its time and at the same time exalting that style to a more perfect and higher level. Evidently, a proper understanding of the holy Quran is dependent on a more and better familiarity with the predominant literary styles of that time. It should be stressed, however, that it is up to the author of any literary text - God here - to develop and make innovations in application of the related literary forms while preserving language structures and patterns. One of the literary styles used copiously in the holy Quran is the "allusion". The present article has investigated some of the allusive passages in the Quran.

KEYWORDS: allusion, literary style, non-literary commentary.

.The Foreign Relations of the Islamic State from the Quranic Viewpoint: War or Peace?

Isma'il Soltani

Since Muslims' life has been and is still connected to the life of other groups and followers of other religions, one of the subjects deserving investigation is the Quran's viewpoint on the foreign relations of the Islamic State. The present article, relying on the Quranic knowledge, states the primary principle in the foreign relations of the Islamic State. The scholars have put forwarded four theories: "war", "peace", "proselytizing", and "eliminating the pagans' authority". From the Quranic viewpoint, the primary principle in the interaction of the Islamic State with non-Muslim states and groups, after they have been proselytized and rejected converting to Islam, is an honorable peace. From the Quranic viewpoint, war is an exception and contrary to the [primary] principle, and as long as war is not a necessity, peaceful coexistence must be established.

KEYWORDS: the Quran, Islamic State, war, peace, coexistence, proselytizing, belligerent, covenanter, non-Muslim tributary, protection.

The Divine Law of Trial in the Universe from the Quranic Viewpoint

Javad Suleymani

Each of the divine laws governing the history has been set according to a special reason, having a prudent relationship with other divine laws governing the history; a research on these laws deepens the human's insight on evolutions of society and history. The present article uses a theoretical approach and documentary method of research, aiming at an investigation of the philosophy of establishment, the process of evolution and the relations between the divine law of trial- one of the divine laws governing the history- and other laws governing the society and history from the Quranic viewpoint. Studying the type of relations between this divine law and other divine laws such as alternating powers, embellishment of the worldly blessings, the prophets' mission, contention, existing differences, responsibility, setting extended deadlines (imhal), [divine] scheme (makr), divine gradual deception (istidraj), and setting human's sustenance are among the new points discussed in the present article. Scrutiny of Quranic verses and the views of the Quran's commentators is our main device in this article.

KEYWORDS: the Quran, divine laws, trial, the relations among divine laws        

A Comparative Study a bout "Mawaddha" and "Tatheer" Verses in the Shi¨i and Sunni Sources

Suhrab Morowati - Abdul Jabbar Zargosh Nasab

The Prophet¨s decision of linking the Qur¨an with his Household was very important for preserving the eminent status of the holy Qur¨an. If this decision of the Prophet had not been disregarded in the early days of the advent of Islam, we would have witnessed no diversity of thought, sectarian discrimination, ideological disputes or slack interpretation of Islamic sciences. Regretfully, we have to admit that the Muslim nation has not followed the way to the pure spring because of chaotic state of transmitting prophetic traditions during the early centuries of Islamic history and because of the hardships encountered by the members of the Household of the Prophet. The Household of the Prophet are genuine interpreters and defenders of the Qur¨an, and the Qur¨an has stressed their lofty station and made it incumbent on people to love them.

The "Mawaddah" and "Tatheer" verses are clear examples of this fact, as is confirmed by Shi¨i interpreters as well as by a number of Sunni interpreters. Some, who, either out of ill intention or due to religious fanaticism, interpret the mentioned verses in a suspicious way, citing some narrations to support their claim. The present article attempts to prove that all the allegations of such interpreters are baseless explaining that the meaning of the mentioned verses is very clear.

KEYWORDS: the Qur¨an, the Sunnis, the Shi¨ah, the Household of the Prophet, affection, purification.

Studying the Meaning of the Term Istikbar in the Holy Quran

(Based on Izutsu's Theory)

Sayyid Mahdi Shahidi

The term istikbar (arrogance) is one of the most important focal terms in the Quran, playing a prominent role in the moral system of the Quran, with a negative connotation used to show one of the clear features of pagans.

In the Quran's language, other key words such as baghy, batr, 'utuww, istighna', and tughyan are used in discussions pertaining to the word istikbar. The present article aims at explaining the meaning of the word istikbar semantically and presenting a pattern in which the meanings of the key notions of moral statements would be more clearly stated.

The present study uses a semantic approach to explain the moral-religious discussions in the sphere of the term istikbar. This method has some certain achievements. It is the very method called "interpreting the Quran through the Quran", the only difference being that it uses the theory of semantics- a branch of linguistics.

KEYWORDS: semantics, istikbar (arrogance), baghy (mutiny), batr (insurgence), tughyan (rebellion), istighna' (independence).

Alteration of the Torah and the Bible in the View of the Qur¨an

Muhammad Husayn Faryab

Alteration means change. According to many Shi¨i and Sunni scholars, the Torah and the Bible or perhaps one of them has been changed. These scholars base their belief on the holy Qur¨an. Though is it not a sensible thing to alter the Torah or the Bibles, it is understood from the apparent meaning of some Qur¨anic verses that the original versions of these Books have been changed.

The present article seeks to examine a number of  the verses to which Shi¨i and Sunni interpreters refer to prove that the two mentioned Books have been changed.

The author, having reviewed all the Qur¨anic verses on which Shi¨i and Sunni interpreters base their ideas, concludes that the verses used by these interpreters cannot be taken as a solid proof, and that there is only one Qur¨anic verse which, together with the narrations about the occasion of its revelation can be relied upon to prove that there has been such alteration.

KEYWORDS: lexical alteration, intellectual alt.