Knowledge Transformed Village into a City

Surah Ya Sin reveals a strange point,

“And set out to them an example of the people of the town, when the messengers came to it” (Ya Sin: 13).

          Here God has given the example of a village.  The Qur’an called this place a village; however, when the possessors of knowledge entered that village, then God did not refer to it as a village. 

“And from the remote part of the city there came a man running” (Ya Seen: 20).

          Hence, in the view of God, the greatness of a place is not linked to its buildings, but rather with those possessors (owner) of knowledge who live there.  If the people of knowledge, or just one superior scholar, live in a small village, then that village in the view of the Qur’an is a city.  On the contrary, if in some big city there is not a single scholar, then that city is equal to a village in the view of the Qur’an. 

          Great Scholar  Imam Ali (as) says that this ignorant man passes his time in two extremes, one he may do too much and the other is that he may do too little.  In order to become perfect, he will have to eliminate both extremes,   in both extreme cases, he involves himself or others in hardship.  If man does not follow a scholar, he commits oppression or he passes life under the effects of oppression.  An ignorant man acts in order to achieve reward, but ends up committing sin.  For example, an ignorant person saw a mosquito sitting on his friend’s face, sucking blood.  In order to remove it, he threw a stone at it.  Instead of doing a good deed, he performed a bad action.  This is the example of an ignorant person.

          Sheikh Sadooq narrates that it was asked in an assembly of jurisprudents (mujtahidin) what is the best act in the Night of Great Blessing (Lailatul Qadr), in the latter part of the night?  Everyone replied acquiring knowledge (ta’lim).  Knowledge is a good way to control the self.  If the likeness of a flood is created in the evil self (Nafs-e-Ammara), then even a learned man takes on the likeness of an ass, i.e. knowledge becomes only a weight for him, as stated in the Qur’an,

“The likeness of those who were charged with the Taurat, then they did not observe it, is as the likeness of the ass bearing books” (Al-Jummah: 5).

Imam ‘Ali (A) said:

 “Trusting the self provides the most dependable opportunities for devil’s entrance”          -Gharar al-Hukm, 


2 thoughts on “Knowledge Transformed Village into a City”

  1. Sura yasin has been a subject of intense enquiry by me as well. There is a view that the incident relates to Habib the Carpenter. and it happened in a place called Antioch.(Al-Baizawi). In fact I am told Habib’s Tomb is still in Antioch.
    i am told the incident which preceded the Habib’s incident relates to John & Jude (Yahya & Yunas) who were sent to the City by Jesus to preach and were strengthened by a “third”, who was Simon Peter(Peter the Apostle).
    Anticoh, in Paul’s time was the third city of the Roman Empire in Paul’s time and had 200,000 inhabitants.
    Going by the significance of Peter the Apostle and the special role of Antioch, I feel mention in the Sura Yasin may have some significance.
    Can Mr Mohammed Masoom or some body else throw more light on this please.
    My e-mail is
    Mohammed Ali Rizvi


  2. More on Sura Yasin:(Ayats 38,39&40)
    38. And the Sun runneth on unto a resting place for it. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise.

    (The Sun’s Orbit: Earth has a speed of 30 km/second in space. As you read this page, the Earth has travelled 30 kms, now 60 kms, now 90 kms! Earth has this speed because it revolves around the sun-but that is not all! There is another important issue which affects the Earth’s speed: The Sun has a way to the Lyra Constellation, to the Vega Star! )

    39. And for the Moon, We have appointed mansions till it returns like an old shrivelled Palm-Leaf.

    (The Moon has an orbit. But its orbit is like a spiral because of its revolving around the Earth. And the Earth is going in its orbit. When we draw the Moon’s orbit, we see that it is like a Date Palm’s Branch. The question is how could it be written in a Book 14 Centuries ago?)

    40. It is not for the Sun to overtake the Moon, nor doth the Night outstrip the Day. They float each in an orbit.

    (The Quran says that Morning always comes before the Night. The Quran conveys that the Earth turns from East to West. The Quran also says “The Sun & Moon go in different orbits”.)
    My e-mail is
    Mohammed Ali Rizvi


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