Examples of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.)’s Exegesis

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Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, wrote a book on the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an. Mohammed Ibn Ishaq al-Nadeem mentioned the book in his book al-Fehrist when he mentioned the books written on the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an. He said: “Abu al-Jarood Zyad Ibn al-Munzir, the head of the Jaroodiya, reported the book of al-Baqir Mohammed Ibn Ali Ibn al-Husayn. “Sayyd Hasan al- Sadr said: “A group of the reliable Shi’ites reported the book from him from the days of his righteousness. Among them was Abu Basir Yahya Ibn al-Qasim al- Asadi. Ali Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Hashim al-Qummi mentioned it in his book al-Tafsir on the authority of Abu Basir. (Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Fehrist, p. 98) The narrators said: “Jair Ibn Yazid al-Ju’fi wrote a book on the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an. He learnt the exegesis from the Imam. Examples of Imam al-Baqir’s Exegesis The explainers reported many verses of the Holy Qur’an interpreted by the Imam. The following are some of them:

  1. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “These shall be rewarded with the ghurfa (house) because they were patient.” Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “The ghurfa (house) is the garden. It is a reward for them ,for they were patient towards poverty in the world.”

(al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 9, p. 301)

2. The Words of Allah, the Most High: And to whomsoever My wrath is due he shall perish indeed.” Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, was asked about the wrath of Allah. So, he peace be on him, replied: “His dismissal and His punishment.”

(al-Fusul al-Muhimma, p. 227)

3. The Words of Allah, the Exalted, “And most surely I am most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does goods, then continues to follow the right direction.”

(Surah Taha, Verse 83)

The Imam, peace be on him, interpreted “following the right direction” as following the Imams of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt). Then he said: “By Allah, if a person worships Allah throughout his life between the corner (of the Kaaba) and the standing place (of Abraham) and does not follow us, Allah will throw him down on his face into the fire.”

(Majma’ al-Bayan (Berirut), vol. 7, p. 23)

4. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “O Apostle, deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” He, peace be on him, said: “By that Allah meant what He revealed to the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the outstanding merits of Imam Ali.”

(Khasa’es al-Wahi al-Mubin, p. 30)

He, peace be on him, reported that Allah revealed to His Apostle to appoint Ali successor. However, he was afraid that that would be difficult for a group of his Companions. So, Allah, the Most High, revealed this verse to encourage him to carry out His order.

5. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Leave Me and him whom I created alone.” This verse was revealed concerning al-Walid Ibn al-Mughira al-Makhzumi, who accused the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, of magic. The people called al-Walid the alone. Thus, the verse was revealed to threaten him. Mohammed Ibn Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), who said: “The alone is the illegitimate child.” Zarara said: “Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) was told that one of the Hashimites said in his oration: “I am the son of the alone.” So, the Imam said: “Woe unto him! If he knew who the alone was, he would not boast of him.” Thus, we said to him: “Who is he?” He said: “The unfathered child.”

6. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “The angels and Gabriel descend in it by the permission of their Lord.”

(Surah al-Qadr, Verse 4)

He, peace be on him, said: “The angels and the recorders descend to the lower world. They record the affairs that hit people within a year. That is up to Allah’s will.”Allah makes to pass away and establishes  what He pleases, and with Him is the mother of the Book.

(Da’aem al-Islam, vol. 1, p. 334)

7. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “So, they shall be thrown down into it, they and they erring ones.

(Surah Sho’ara, Verse 94)

The meaning of the verse is that the erring ones and the atheist powers will be thrown all together into the fire. Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “The verse was revealed concerning the people who described just things with their tongues, and then they did other than them.

”(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 47)

8. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “And they did not do Us any harm, but they made their own souls suffer loss.”(The Holy Qur’an, al-Baqara, 57) Interpreting this verse, the Imam, peace be on him, said:  “Allah is not oppressed, for He is Great and Powerful. However, He mixed us with Himself. So, He regarded the oppression against us as oppression against Him and our authority as His authority. So, He said: ‘Only Allah is your authority and His apostle and those who believe.’ “He meant the Imams from us.”

In another place He said: “And they did not do Us any harm, but they made their own souls suffer loss.”

(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 146)

9. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “So, ask the people of the reminder if you do not know.”

(Surah Anbiya, Verse 7)

Mohammed Ibn Muslim said: I said to Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir): “Some of us claim that this verse concerns the Jews and the Christians.” He said: “Therefore they summon you to their religion.” Then he, peace be on him, pointed to his chest and said: “We are the people of the reminder and we are the people who are questioned.”

(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 211)

10.

The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.” He, peace be on him, said: “It is we who know and our enemy is he who does not know. Our followers are the men of understanding.”

(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 212)

11.The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “Nay! These are clear communications in the breasts of those who are granted knowledge.”

(Surah Ankabut, Verse 49)

Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) said that “those who are granted knowledge” concerns the Imams of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

(Majma’a al-Bayan, vol. 7, p. 288)

Abu Basir reported that Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) recited this verse and pointed with his hand to his chest.

12. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “(Remember) the day when We will call every people with their Imam.”

(Surah Isra, Verse 17)

Jabir Ibn Yazid al-Jo’fi reported on the authority of Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, who said: When this verse was revealed, the Muslims said:
“O Allah’s Apostle, are you not the Imam of all people?”He, may Allah bless him and his family, said “I am the Apostle of Allah for all people. However, there will be Imams over the people. They will be from my Household. They will assume the Imam over the people. However, the people will accuse them of lying. The Imams of unbelief and misguidance and their followers will oppress them. So, whoever supports, follows, and believes them will belong to me, be with me, and meet me. Whoever oppresses them, accuses them of lying will not belong to me nor will he be with me. Moreover, I will disown myself of him.”

13. The Words of Allah, the Exalted:

“Then We gave the Book for an inheritance to those whom We chose from among Our servants, but of them is he who makes his soul suffer a loss, and of them is he who takes a middle course, and of them is he who is foremost in deeds of goodness by Allah’s permission.”

(Surah Fatir, Verse 32)

Salim asked Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) about this verse. So, he, peace be on him,

said: “He who is foremost in deeds of goodness is the Imam. He who takes a middle course is he who knows the Imam. He who makes his soul suffer a loss is he who does not know the Imam.”

(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 214)

Zyad Ibn al-Munzir reported on the authority of the Imam, peace be on him, who

said: “As for him who makes his soul suffer a loss is he who does a good deed and another bad one. As for him who takes a middle course is he who worships (Allah) very much. As for those who are foremost in deeds of goodness are Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and those who died martyrs from the family of Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family.

(Majma’ al-Bayan, vol. 7, p. 409)

14. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “Surely in this are signs for those who examine.”

(Surah Hijr, Verse 75)

He, peace be on him, said: The Commander of the Faithful said: “Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, was the one who examined. I, after him, and the Imams from my progeny are the ones who examine.”

(Usul al-Kafi, vol.1, p. 219)

15. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “And that if they should keep to the (right) way, We would certainly give them to drink of abundant water.”

(Surah Jinn, Verse 16)

He (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “By that Allah meant that if they should keep to the authority of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him, and the testamentary trustees of authority from his sons, and obey their orders and prohibitions, He would certainly give them to drink of cabundant water, namely He would fill their hearts with belief. The (right) way is the belief in the authority of Ali and the testamentary trustees.

(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 220)

16. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “Say: Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book. Barid Ibn Muawiya asked Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about those whom the Words of Allah the Exalted: “And whoever has knowledge of the Book” concern. So, he, peace be on him, said: “He meant us. Ali was the first of us, the most meritorious of us, and the best of us after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

17. The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “But indeed We have given to Abraham’s children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom.”

(Surah Nisa, verse 54)

Buraid al-Ijee asked Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, about this verse. So, he, peace be on him said: “He made Abraham’s children Apostles, Prophets, and Imams. Why do they accept that in the family of Abraham and refuse to accept it in the family of Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family?” Buraid said: “What is the meaning of And We have given them a grand kingdom?’” The Imam replied: “Allah made them Imams. Whoever obeys them obeys Allah. Whoever disobeys them disobeys Allah. That is the grand kingdom.”

(Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 206)

18.The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “And I breathed into him of My spirit. (Surah Hijr, Verse 29) The Imam, peace be on him, was asked about the spirit. So, he said: “It is the power.”

(Tafsir al-Burhan, p. 55)

19. (Tafsir al-Burhan, p. 55) The Words of Allah, the Exalted: “Were it not for that he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord.”

(Surah Yusuf, Verse 24)

The Imam, peace be on him, said to Jabir al-Ju’fi: “What do the Iraqi jurists say concerning this verse?” Jabir replied: “He (Joseph) saw Jacob biting his

thumb.” Thus, the Imam, peace be on him, said:

[My father related to me on the authority of my grandfather, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who said:] “As for the manifest evidence which Joseph saw when she made for him and he made for her was that she went to an idol crowned with pearls and corundum in the house to cover it with a white garment so that it would not see her or she felt shame of it.” So, Joseph asked her: “What is this?” She replied: “It is my lord. I feel shame of it when it see in this manner.” So, Joseph said: “Do you feel shame of an idol that does not avail nor does it harm nor does it see? Then why do I not feel shame of my Lord Who has the power over every soul? By Allah, you will never obtain that from me.” That is the manifest evidence.(al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, vol. 9, p. 310) These are some of the verses which Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, interpreted. With this we end our talk about his exegesis of the Holy Qur’an.

 

 

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