What Is The Purpose Of Creating The Heavens And The Earth In Six Days?

Question: The Almighty Allah says in Qur’an:

He is your Lord, who created the heavens and the earth in six days.1

Here what is meant by six days, when at that time day and night did not exist? And besides why Allah did not create them in one stroke?

Answer: This question is based on two parts. First that, what is meant by six days, whereas in the earlier age there were no day and night.

The reply is this that basically the word ‘Yawma’, synonymous in English to ‘a day’, which is having special meaning according to the place and situation at different times. Generally this word is used in the sense as a day, which is a proof of night. And in the Holy Qur’an also mostly it is used in the same meaning, but sometimes it comes in the meaning of a period, then on every period the word ‘Yawma’ is applied. For example, an aged person says:

One day I was a child – one day I was a young man also – but for today I have become old. Although these three periods are connected (linked) with each other like the links of a chain that is why he interprets those three different periods of his life with the word ‘day’.

Imam Ali (a.s.) says,
Age is not more than two days. One day it gives you benefit and the next day it is piercing loss on you.

It means that there are two periods in the life of man. One day he is on the highest point of his luck and the next day he is trapped in troubles and problems.

As per the statement of Bahadur Shah Zafar: “We brought four days, by asking increase in life. Two were spent in desires, two went in expectations.”

Continue reading What Is The Purpose Of Creating The Heavens And The Earth In Six Days?

What Is Meant By ‘Seven Heavens’?

Question: What is the purpose of the Qur’an in pointing towards ‘seven heavens’?

Answer: Islamic scholars and commentators have narrated some clarifications regarding ‘seven heavens’ (towards which indication are made in the Holy Qur’an also).

1. Here by seven is meant to be multiplication (to be more). It means that He has created many heavens, i.e. He has created a number of times. And mostly it so happens that, in Arabic, Persian, Urdu or other languages, the mention of numbers is done in the sense of plenty. It means that a number is mentioned but no definite quantity is meant. The purpose of saying is to convey plenty.

For example, generally we say in Urdu that, I said this to you fifty times, or I have demanded from him ten times. However, it is not necessary that, the act should have been done for exactly fifty or ten times. But it is meant that I have said this many times or I have demanded that thing a number of times. The Holy Qur’an says about the word of Allah and the things known to Allah in this way:

And were every tree that is in the earth (made into) pens and the sea (to supply it with ink), with seven more seas to increase it, the words of Allah would not come to an end…1

It is obvious, here seven indicates excess, otherwise as we know, if there is an addition of ten or hundred oceans also, then too the unfathomed knowledge of Allah cannot be written, because Allah is by all means beyond words.

In the same way many other numbers ‘sabeen’ ‘seventy’, etc. also, are used in the sense of excess in the Holy Qur’an or other words (either in speech or writing) in Arabic and other languages. And the meaning of those numbers is not some definite number, but it is intended to point towards the excess of something.

2. By seven heavens it was meant to be those planets, which were known to the people of that period or they are those planets, which the general public of the present age can see with naked eyes.

3. By seven heavens are meant the multiple layers of different airs and gases that encircle the earth.

4. Still, according to the views of some great intellectuals, those small stars, galaxies and Milky Way, which are seen, all are part of the first heaven and beyond that six still bigger worlds are there. And by seven heavens the Holy Qur’an means all those seven worlds, which exist in the Universe.

May be man’s present age of scientific knowledge and wisdom has raised the curtain from only one of it, still it is quite possible that in future, as a result of gaining more knowledge, on the back of present perceptible world six great worlds are discovered. Favoring this view we present the following verse as proof.

We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment, the stars,2

With this verse it is known that, all the stars are in the first heaven. (It should be remembered that in Arabic the word ‘Duniya’ means ‘lower’ and near.)

However, it seems necessary to mention that verses and traditions in which the number of heavens are said to be seven are not a corroboration of the theory of Ptolemaic astronomy in which he has presented the heavens as the layers of peels of onion like shape of heavenly spheres. (Because according to Ptolemaic theory the number of heavenly spheres and heavens are nine).

As long as seven earths are concerned (the mention of which is there in the Holy Qur’an is an indication and in some traditions, is given with specific mention). About them thoughts similar to the aforesaid are expressed.

For example, that the number seven is in the sense of many or that by seven earths it is meant seven planets. (Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and moon). That is the same number in solar system, which we can see (no doubt, in solar system, there are other bodies and moon is also there but they cannot be seen with our naked eyes). And based on this explanation, by seven heavens is meant to be the same atmosphere, which exists on each of those seven heavenly bodies.

In other words, these seven bodies are counted as earth; the atmosphere surrounding them is their heaven. It should be remembered that in Arabic dictionary ‘Samaa’ is means all such things, which are placed towards the upper portion.

This was the summary of those different interpretations, which our scholars and writers of exegeses have presented about seven heavens and earths. Especially the last Tafseer, which seems to be more acceptable compared to all others and the narrations of those exegeses is in need of further explanation.

  • 1.Surah Luqman 31:27
  • 2.Surah Saffaat 37:6

Our Mujtahid’s on shia sunni unity issue

Ayatullah SeestaniThe Statement of Ayatullah al-Udhma Sistani(HA) on the Subject of Islamic Unity and Against Sectarian Strife

In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; ”
(Quran, Surah Aal-i-Imraan (#3), Verse 103)

 

Iraq’s top Shia cleric has renewed his call for an end to sectarian violence in the country and for Sunni and Shia Muslims to unite. Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the highest Shia authority in Iraq, called on Shia Muslims to defend the political and social rights of the Sunnis before defending their own rights. Sayyed Sistani’s calls for unity came as a delegation consisting of prominent Sunni scholars and leaders from across Iraq arrived at his office in the southern Iraqi city of Al-Najaf to further the cause of unity and promote collective efforts to defuse sectarian tension within Iraq. Under the title of “the first national conference of Shias and Sunnis” the event kicked off Tuesday with several leading Shia leaders such as; Ayatollah Mohammad Saeed Al-Hakim, Ayatollah Ishaq Al-Fayyadh and Ayatollah Bashir Al-Najafi, in attendance. Sayyed Sistani also warned against the plans of the enemies who wish to plant seeds of discord among Iraqis.
Iraq’s top Shia cleric has renewed his call for an end to sectarian violence
in the country and for Sunni and Shia Muslims to unite.

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s calls for unity came as a group of Sunni
and Shia clerics met in the holy city of Najaf in a bid to stem violence in the
war-torn country. A delegation consisting of leading figures from the Sunni
Association of Muslim Scholars as well as prominent Sunni scholars and leaders
from across Iraq arrived at the office of Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani in the southern
Iraqi city of Al-Najaf to further the cause of unity and promote collective
efforts to defuse sectarian tension within Iraq.

Under the title of “the first national conference of Shias and Sunnis” the event
kicked off Tuesday with several prominent Shia leaders including; Ayatollah Mohammad
Saeed Al-Hakim, Ayatollah Ishaq Al-Fayyadh and Ayatollah Bashir Al-Najafi, in
attendance.

Ayatollah Al-Sistani, the highest Shia authority in Iraq, called on Shia Muslims
to defend the political and social rights of the Sunnis before defending their
own rights.

“I am a servant of all Iraqis … I love everyone as religion is love … I
wonder how enemies could split between Islamic sects”, the statement said
quoting al-Sistani.

“These meetings between the Shia and Sunni scholars are important and useful as
there are no real differences between Shias and Sunnis, yet there are
philological differences that exist even inside the same sect.

“We are united under one Kaaba, prayers and fasting.

“I am with all Iraqis when demanding their rights and will not prefer one to
another as Shias and Sunnis are equal.”

Meanwhile, chief of the southern Iraq branch of the Baghdad-based Association of
Muslim Scholars Khalid Al-Mulla hailed the conference as “a new opportunity for
exchanging views and unifying the ranks of Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites.” “We
believe that some major powers targeted the Iraqi national unity and used armed
groups such as Al-Qaeda, to perpetrate violent attacks against Samarra, Karbala,
Talafar and elsewhere,” he added.

Sayyed Sistani also warned those in attendance to guard against the plans of the
enemies who wish to plant seeds of discord among Iraqis.

The visiting delegation voiced their full support of Sayyed Sistani’s stance and announced the importance of the conference.

Source

The Grand Ayatollah, Ali al-Sistani, during a meeting with a delegation of Sunni clerics from the southern governorates and the Kurdistan region and a representative of the Sunni Endowment, on the sidelines of the first national conference of religious scholars Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq to be held in the city of Najaf, issued Fatwa in sanctity of Iraqi blood in general and Sunni in particular, emphasized spilling the blood of Iraqis in general, and Sunnis in particular, is forbidden.

Source

Ayatullah khomaaini on shia sunni unity

Ayatullah Khamenei on Shia suni Unity

Ayatullah seestani on shia sunni unity

The Politics of Using the Quran

imamaliIt is now some thirteen centuries that the politics of “holding the Qur’an upon a spear” has been more or less prevalent among the Muslims. It becomes especially rife among those who wish to profit from it whenever sanctimoniousness and exotericism increases and it becomes fashionable to display one’s piety and asceticism. There are two lessons to be learnt from this.

Firstly, whenever the ignorant, the unknowing and the uninformed put on a show of sanctity and piety, and people take them to be the symbol of the practicing Muslim, an excellent tool is available for unscrupulous schemers. Such schemers always turn these people into an instrument for their own ends, and make their presence a strong hindrance to the ideas of real reformers. It is quite common to see anti-Islamic elements making quite open use of this means, that is to say, setting the power of Islam itself to work against Islam. Western colonialism has had much experience in the use of this means, and has in its turn profited from deceitful arousal of the sentiments of the Muslims, especially in the field of the creation of schisms between them. What a disgrace it is when, for example, afflicted Muslims plan to drive out foreign influence, and then see the very people they wanted to save turn into a barrier in their path in the name, and under the banner, of religion. Indeed, if the masses of the people are ignorant and uninformed, hypocrites will use the fortress of Islam itself. In Iran, where the people have the honour to love and follow the Household of the Prophet (Ahlu’l-bayt), hypocrites are creating a fortress against the Qur’an, Islam and the Household of the Prophet to help the usurping Jews, out of the holy fortress of love of the House- hold of the Prophet, and in their sacred name, and this is the most abominable part of the injustice against Islam, the Qur’an, the Prophet and his Household. The Prophet said:

I am not anxious about the incursion of poverty among my community; that about which I am afraid for them is crooked thinking. That which poverty of thought will bring my community is much worse than that which economic poverty will bring them.

Secondly, we must try to make our methodology of derivation from the Qur’an a true one. The Qur’an is a leader and a guide when it is subjected to true reflection, when it is interpreted wisely, when guidance is taken from the people who really know the Qur’an, who are firmly rooted in the sciences of the Qur’an. As long as our methodology is wrong, and as long as we do not learn how to benefit from the Qur’an, we shall not drive any profit from it. Profiteers or ignorant people sometimes read the Qur’an, and then follow up an incorrect possibility. Just as you have probably heard in the words of Nahjul Balaghah ” they say the word “truth”, and then set their minds of falsehood ! ” This is not practicing the Qur’an or bringing it to life, this is putting it to death. The Qur’an is put into practice when it is understood with a true understanding.

The Qur’an always presents its project in a general and fundamental form, but the deduction and harmonization of the particular to the universal depends on our correct understanding and conceptualization. For example, we do not find written in the Qur’an that in a war that took place on a certain day between ‘Ali and Mu’awiyah, ‘Ali was in the right; all we find in the Qur’an is that;

If two parties of believers fight, put things right between them; then, if one of them is insolent against the other, fight the insolent one till it reverts to Allah’s commandment. (al-Hujarat, 49 – 9)

This is the Qur’an and its way of explanation; but it does not say in such-and-such a war so-and-so was in the right and the other was in the wrong.

The Qur’an does not spell out names; it does not say: after forty years, more or less, a man called Mu’awiyah will appear who will fight with ‘Ali, and you should fight in that war for ‘Ali. And neither should it enter into particulars. The Qur’an’s task is not to make a list of subjects and point out which is right and which is wrong; such a thing would be impossible. The Qur’an came to stay for ever, so it has to make fundamental and universal things clear, so that falsehood can take its place face to face with truth in every age and people can act according to the criterion of these universalities. It is therefore a duty for people to open their eyes to the basic advice: “of two parties of believers fight. . .”, and distinguish between the party doing the terrorizing and the one that is being terrorized; and to accept if the unruly party ceases to be unruly. But if they stop, and try to be cunning so as to save themselves from defeat, and prepare themselves for a new attack, and become unruly again, and, in the words of the Qur’an, “if one of them is insolent against the other”, be firm, and do not give way to their cunning.

It is up to the people themselves to discriminate in all these matters. The Qur’an seeks that the Muslims should be intellectually and socially mature, and a necessary consequence of such intellectual maturity is the ability to differentiate between the just man and the unjust man. The Qur’an did not come to be always for people like a guardian over a juvenile, to carry out the particular details of their lives like a personal protector, and to specify each special case by a material sign and indicator.

Actually, knowing people, the degree of their competence, the limits to their fitness for, and relationship to, Islam and Islamic realities is itself a duty, and frequently we neglect this duty.

‘Ali, may peace be upon him, said:

You will never know truth and follow the right way unless you know the person who has abandoned it.

Knowing the principles and the generalities is alone not enough unless their correspondence and reference to particulars has been found, for it is possible that, through an error of judgement concerning persons and individuals or through ignorance of the situation, one will act in the name of truth and Islam and under the banner of Islam against Islam and truth and for falsehood.

Injustice and the unjust, justice and the just are mentioned in the Qur’an, but their applications must be sought out. We must not mistake injustice and justice for injustice, and then cut off the head of justice and truth in the name of what we imagine to be a universal principle and the judgement of the Qur’an.

 

Refreence: Polarization around the Character of Ali ibn Abi Talib, by Murtaza Mutahhari. W.O.F.I.S World Organization For Islamic Services, Tehran – Iran.

 

 

Which animals and insects have been named in the Quran?

Approximately 35 animals have been named in the Quran; the birds and insects of which are:

Salwa (سلوی)=The quail (Baqarah:57), Ba’uth (بعوض)=Mosquito (Baqarah:26), Dhubab (ذباب)=Fly (Hajj:73), Nahl (نحل)=Honeybee (Nahl:68), Ankabut (عنکبوت)=Spider (Ankabut:41), Jarad (جراد)=Grasshopper (A’raf:133), HudHud (هدهد)=Hoopoe (Naml:20), Ghurab (غراب)=Crow (Ma’idah:31), Ababil (ابابیل)= probably ‘Swallow’ (Fil:3), Naml (نمل)=Ant (Naml:18), Farash (فراش)=Butterfly (Al-Qari’ah), Qummal (قمّل)=Flea (A’raf:133).

 

Also, other animals have been mentioned in the Quran which are as follows:

 

Qirdah (قرده)=Monkey (Baqarah:65), Bighal (بغال)=Mule (Nahl:16), Ghanam/Na’jah/Dha’n/Ma’z (غنم/نعجه/ضأن/معز)=Sheep (An’am:143-146 and Sad:23-24), Dhi’b (ذئب)=Wolf (Yusuf:15), Ba’ir (بعیر) and Jamal (جمل)=Camel (Yusuf:65; A’raf:40…), Qaswarah (قسورة)=Lion (Muddathir:51), Kheyl (خیل)/Jiyad (جیاد)(plural of جواد)/Safinat (صافنات)(plural of صافنة)=Horse (Nahl:8; Sad:51), Baqar (بقر)=Cow (Baqarah:70), Ijl (عجل)=Calf (Hud:69), Hayyah (حیة)=Snake (Taha:20), Thu’ban (ثعبان)=Python (A’raf:107), Himar/Hamir (حمار/حمیر)=Donkey (Nahl:8; Baqarah:259), Khinzir (خنزیر)=Pig (Baqarah:173), Kalb (کلب)=Dog (A’raf:176), Nun/Hut (نون/حوت)=Fish (Anbiya:87; Kahf:63), Dhafadi’ sin. Dhifda’ (ضفادع)=Frog (A’raf:133), Fil (فیل)=Elephant (Fil:1). The Quran has also mentioned the names of different types of camels such as: بحیره/سائب/حام/وصیله (Ma’idah:103).