Duty of The Messenger in Terms of Making Clear

The word “rasul = رسول”, frequently mentioned in the Qur’an, means both “information that is sent” and “the messenger who delivers the sent information” [0]. The information is of higher worth than the messenger, and therefore the Almighty God has decreed: “Muhammad is only a messenger. Messengers have passed on before him. If he dies or gets killed, will you turn about on your heels?” (Al-e Imran 3:144). The information that the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) brought is gathered in the Quran, and the “rasul” is the Quran Itself, becoming so after his death. Therefore, depending on the context, the word “rasul” is assigned the meaning “the Book of God” within this work, as well as “the Messenger of God”.

The Messenger Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) was sent to ‘tabyin’ the Qur’an. Tabyin means, ‘making clear’. [1]:

أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“We revealed to you the message (the Quran), SO that you MAKE CLEAR to the humankind; what was sent down to them.” (an-Nahl 16:44)

In many verses it is stated that the Book is clear. [2] One verse is:

الۤرٰ تِلْكَ اٰيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُب۪ينِ

“Alif, Lam, Ra. These are the verses of the clear Book.” (Joseph 12:1)

Allah the Almighty takes on the responsibility of making the verses clear. [3] That means He makes the explanations. Below is a verse:

لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِه۪ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِه۪  اِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْاٰنَهُ  فَاِذَا قَرَاْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْاٰنَهُ  ثُمَّ اِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ

“Move not your tongue to haste in judging with therein. Surely upon Us is its collection and making qur’ans (subsets)[3*]  out of it. So when We collect it, then follow its qur’an (semantic subset). Indeed upon Us is making it clear. ” (Al-Qiyamah/The Rising 75:16-19)

Allah the Almighty decrees in detail why He undertakes the task of explanation:

الَر كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ آيَاتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ مِن لَّدُنْ حَكِيمٍ خَبِيرٍ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ اللّهَ إِنَّنِي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ

“Alif, Lam, Ra. This is a book, verses of which are made decisive, then explained in detail by the One who judges rightly and is All-Aware; so that, you shall not serve any other than Allah. Indeed, I am the one who warns you with that Book and gives glad tidings to you from it.” (Hud 11:1-2)

Since verses of the Book are made decisive and then explained in detail by Allah to avoid us from serving any other than Allah, then the Book needs no elaboration by humankind. What we must do is spending effort on finding out the explanations made by Allah, in a systematic way. We shall be questioned about the message of Allah, not messages of others. Allah the Almighty decrees:

الۤمۤصۤ  كِتَابٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلاَ يَكُن فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِّنْهُ لِتُنذِرَ بِهِ وَذِكْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ  اِتَّبِعُوا مَاۤ اُنْزِلَ اِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِنْ دُونِه۪ۤ اَوْلِيَاۤءَ قَل۪يلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

“Alif, Lam, Meem, Saad. [This is] a Book revealed to you, [O Muhammad] – so let there not be in your breast distress therefrom – that you may warn thereby and that the believers make use of their knowledge.  Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow any other masters than Him. How little you make use of this knowledge!” (Al-A’raf/The Elevated Place7:1-3)

That means, the role of prophets and messengers while performing “tabyin: to make clear/to explain” is to announce what is in the Book. Allah the Almighty decrees:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“We did not send before you except men whom We revealed. So ask experts of the Message (dhikr), if you do not know.  We sent them (those messengers) with clear evidences and books.  And We revealed to you this Qur’an (dhikr) that you clarify to the people what was sent down to them, and that they give thought to it.” (An-Nahl/ The Bee 16:43-44)

Both sentences in the verse contain the word ‘dhikr’. Dhikr means “correct information”, and the word adh-dhikr mentioned in verses  in its definitive form refers to “the Message of God”. It is translated as “the Message” here. The “Message” that was sent down to Messenger Muhammad (pbuh), which is the Qur’an, confirms the previous books. [4] This is emphasized in the two verses above. Thus, when Experts of the Book compare the Book in their hand to the Qur’an, they will surely understand that the Qur’an is the Book of God. Indeed, there had been those who admitted it and done what is necessary, as well as those who ignored it. [5] In the verse above, the expression “you (the messenger) clarify to the people what was sent down to them” means that the Qur’an lays bare what was in the previous books. It is already stated that clarification (tabyin) of Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) would be through the Qur’an. The following verses shed light on this issue:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُون  وَمَا جَعَلْنَاهُمْ جَسَدًا لَّا يَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَمَا كَانُوا خَالِدِينَ  ثُمَّ صَدَقْنَاهُمُ الْوَعْدَ فَأَنجَيْنَاهُمْ وَمَن نَّشَاء وَأَهْلَكْنَا الْمُسْرِفِينَ لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَابًا فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

“We did not send before you except men, whom We revealed. Ask the experts of the Message if you do not know. We did not make them (those messengers) bodies that ate no food, nor were they immortal. Then We fulfilled for them the promise; and We saved them and whom We chose to save, and destroyed those exceeding the bounds.  We have sent down to you a Book in which there is the Message (dhikr) you need. Will you not use your reason?” (Al-Anbiya/The Prophets 21:7-10)

In the following verses of the chapter, People of the Book are asked to check their Book against the Qur’an, and for further:

أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ هَذَا ذِكْرُ مَن مَّعِيَ وَذِكْرُ مَن قَبْلِي بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْحَقَّ فَهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ  وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ

“Or have they taken, besides Him, other gods? Say, “Bring forth your proof. This is the Message (dhikr) of those with me, and this is the Message (dhikr) of those before me.” But most of them do not know the Truth, so they turn away. We did not send a messenger before you without revealing him that: “There is no god but I, so worship Me.”” (Al-Anbiya/The Prophets 21:24-25)

This cross-check is suggested to Messenger Muhammad (pbuh), too:

فَاِنْ كُنْتَ ف۪ي شَكٍّ مِمَّاۤ اَنْزَلْنَاۤ اِلَيْكَ فَسْـَٔلِ الَّذ۪ينَ يَقْرَؤُۧنَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ لَقَدْ جَاۤءَكَ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَر۪ينَ

“If you are in doubt about what We revealed to you, ask to those who read the Book before you. Indeed that (the same) truth has come to you from your Master, so do not be of those who doubt.” (Jonah 10:94)

Qur’an is the Arabic form of previous Books. In a verse it is decreed:

وَمِنْ قَبْلِه۪ كِتَابُ مُوسٰىۤ اِمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً وَهٰذَا كِتَابٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِسَانًا عَرَبِيًّا لِيُنْذِرَ الَّذ۪ينَ ظَلَمُوا وَبُشْرٰى لِلْمُحْسِن۪ينَ

“And before it was the Book of Moses, a model and beneficence. And this is a confirming Book, in the Arabic language, to warn those who do wrong—and as glad tidings for those who do beauties.” (Al-Ahqaf/ The Curved Dunes 46:12)

What is in the Arabic Qur’an also existed in the previous Books. Those who had the Book knew it. Related verses are:

وَلَقَدْ وَصَّلْنَا لَهُمُ الْقَوْلَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ  اَلَّذ۪ينَ اٰتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِه۪ هُمْ بِه۪ يُؤْمِنُونَ  وَاِذَا يُتْلٰى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوۤا اٰمَنَّا بِه۪ۤ اِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّنَاۤ اِنَّا كُنَّا مِنْ قَبْلِه۪ مُسْلِم۪ينَ

“We have conveyed Our Word to them consecutively, so that they may come to their senses. Those to whom We granted the Book before this believe also in It [the Quran]; and, when it is recited to them, they say, “We believe in It. Indeed it is the truth from our Master. Even before it came, we had submitted ourselves to God (we were Muslims).” (Al-Qasas/The Stories 28:51-53)

وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ  نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ  عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ  بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ  وَإِنَّهُ لَفِي زُبُرِ الْأَوَّلِينَ  أَوَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُمْ آيَةً أَن يَعْلَمَهُ عُلَمَاء بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ  وَلَوْ نَزَّلْنَاهُ عَلَى بَعْضِ الْأَعْجَمِينَ  فَقَرَأَهُ عَلَيْهِم مَّا كَانُوا بِهِ مُؤْمِنِينَ

“Indeed it is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. The trustworthy Spirit has brought it down to your heart in a clear Arabic language, so that you may be of those who warn. And indeed, this (that the Qur’an would be sent down) is in the scriptures of former people. And has it not been a sign to them that it is recognized by the scholars of the Children of Israel? And even if We had revealed it to one among the foreigners and he had recited it to them, they would [still] not have been believers in it.” (Ash-Shuara’/The Poets 26:192-199)

وَيَقُولُ الَّذ۪ينَ كَفَرُوا لَسْتَ مُرْسَلًا قُلْ كَفٰى بِاللّٰهِ شَه۪يدًا بَيْن۪ي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ

“Those who ignore to see Allah say, “You are not a messenger.” Say, “Allah and those who have knowledge of the Book suffice as witnesses between me and you.”” (Ar-Ra’ad/ The Thunder 13:43)

The Messenger of Allah discloses by means of the Qur’an what the Experts of the Book used to conceal from and used to dispute over the Book. This applies to other prophets too. [6] Related verses are:

يَاۤ اَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاۤءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَث۪يرًا مِمَّا كُنْتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُوا عَنْ كَث۪يرٍ قَدْ جَاۤءَكُمْ مِنَ اللّٰهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُب۪ينٌ

“Oh, People of the Book, there has come to you Our Messenger (Book) manifesting to you much of what you were concealing of the Book, while disregarding much of it. Now has come to you light from God, as a clear Book.” (Al-Ma’ida/The Feast 5:15)

تَاللّهِ لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ  وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلاَّ لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

“By Allah, We sent messengers to communities before you, but Devil made their deeds appear adorned to them. He is their master today too, and for them is a painful chastisement. And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them what they disputed over and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe.” (An-Nahl/The Bee 16:63-64)

In fact, it is obvious in the verse by whom the disputed thing is made clear. It is stated that the Messenger of Allah is given the Book to make clear to the people what they disputed over. So, the Messenger is going to make the clarification by means of the Book he is given. That means, this clarification, tabyin, is stating something as is, or disclosing it.

The following verses are significant from the point of view that the clarification of the disputes is by means of the Book:

 

إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَقُصُّ عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَكْثَرَ الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

“Indeed, this Qur’an relates to the Children of Israel most of that over which they disagreed.” (An-Naml/The Ant 27:76)

Since the Qur’an mentions most of the things that the Children of Israel disagreed over, Messenger Muhammad has clarified them by means of this Book:

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ فَهَدَى اللّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لِمَا اخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ وَاللّهُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

“In the beginning, all people were a single community. Then God sent the prophets to bring glad tidings and warnings to them. And He sent down with them the Book based on the Truth so that it should judge between the people concerning in which they differ. Those who differed over it were those very people who had been granted the Book. It happened – after those clear proofs came to them- because they coveted the rights of one another. Then, God, by His leave, guided those who believed the Truth about which they had differed; God admits into His guidance those who prefer the guidance.” (Al-Baqarah/The Cow 2:213)

According to the verse, Allah has sent books to let prophets judge with them on the subjects that people disagree. Then, clarifying the subjects is achieved by means of the books. Indeed, from the last part of the verse we conclude that it is Allah Who guides those who believe in the truth after the disagreement. This is also by means of the Book. Same issue is emphasized in the following verse:

وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبِّي عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ

“And anything over which you disagree – is judged by Allah. [Say], “That is Allah, my Master; upon Him I have relied, and to Him I penitently turn.” (Ash-Shura/The Consultation 42:10)

In fact, what they disagreed over are also the things in the Book:

ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِي الْكِتَابِ لَفِي شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ

“That is so; because Allah has sent down the Book in Truth. And indeed, those who disagreed over the Book are in extreme dissension.” (Al-Baqarah/The Cow 2:176)

وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَاخْتَلَفُواْ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

“And do not be like those who separated and disputed after the solid evidences came to them; for them is a great chastisement.” (Al-e-Imran/Family of Imran 3:105)

People must have been clearly informed in the worldly life about the matters they disputed or disagreed so that they can be held responsible and reckoned for this in the hereafter. This information is given in the Book. Denying or being in doubt about resurrection is an instance of those matters. Although this truth is ascertained in the Book, some people will deny this and understand the truth in the hereafter. Allah the Almighty decrees:

وَأَقْسَمُواْ بِاللّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لاَ يَبْعَثُ اللّهُ مَن يَمُوتُ بَلَى وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا وَلـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي يَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَاذِبِينَ

“And they swear by Allah with their most solemn oaths, “Allah will not resurrect anyone who dies.” Yes indeed, it is a promise binding on Him, but most people do not know.
(He will resurrect you so that) He may make clear to them the reality regarding the matters on which they differ and that the unbelievers may realize that they were liars.”
(An-Nahl/The Bee 16:38-39)

The words “tabyin” mentioned in the following verses mean “to disclose what was hidden”:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ أُولَـئِكَ يَلعَنُهُمُ اللّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ  إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَبَيَّنُواْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ  إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُولَئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةُ اللّهِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ  خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا لاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ  وَإِلَـهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ لاَّ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of explanatory evidences and guidance after We made it clear for the people in this Book- those will be cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse…
Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make clear [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am The Accepter of Repentance, the Merciful.
Indeed, those who ignore our evidences and die while they ignore – upon them will be the curse of Allah and of the angels and of all the people. They remain eternally under that curse.
The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will it be reprieved.
Your God is one God. There is no god but He, the Endlessly Beneficent, the Merciful.”
(Al-Baqarah/The Cow 2:159-163)

 

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ

“Oh People of the Book, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Book, and forgiving much. Now has come unto you light from Allah and a plain Book.” (Al-Ma’ida/The Feast 5:15)

As seen in the verses tabyin, which is announcing what is in the Book as is, is a duty for everyone. This is stated in the following verse clearly:

وَإِذَ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلاَ تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاء ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً فَبِئْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُونَ

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when Allah took an oath from those who were given the Book, [saying], “You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it. But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a trivial price. What a miserable exchange they made!” (The Family of Imran 3:187)

If the content of the Book is not announced as it is, which also means that it is concealed, anyone responsible will be subject to curse of Allah.[12] Concealment must be construed as ‘distorting the books by disconnecting the relations among verses’; not as ‘removing some of the verses from books’.[13]

To be able to clarify everything with the book of Allah, messengers must be delivering the message in the language of that community. Related verse is:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ فَيُضِلُّ اللّهُ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

“We have not sent any messenger except in the language of his people to make things clear for them, and henceforth Allah leads astray who goes for it, and guides who goes for it. He is The Strong, and He judges rightly.” (Abraham 14:4)

And it is natural that the messengers were sent in the language of their own society. Related verses are:

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ الْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنذِرَ بِهِ قَوْمًا لُّدًّا

“Indeed, We made it easy in your language, in order to deliver glad tidings to those protecting themselves, and to warn with it a hostile people.” (Mary 19:97)e

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ

“Indeed, We made it easy in your language, so that they may come to their senses.” (Dukhan 44:58)

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ عَلَى فَتْرَةٍ مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا جَاءنَا مِن بَشِيرٍ وَلاَ نَذِيرٍ فَقَدْ جَاءكُم بَشِيرٌ وَنَذِيرٌ وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“Oh People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger making (things) clear o you, after a break in Messengers, lest you say: “There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings or bringer of warnings.” But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and warnings. And Allah sets measures for all things.” (Al-Ma’ida/The Feast 5:19)

The verse informs that a messenger making things clear to them, and bringing glad tidings and warnings, has come to the people in order to prevent them from saying “nobody has come to us to bring glad tidings or warnings”. Since the Messenger of God brings the glad tidings and the warnings that are in the Book, the clarifications mentioned in the verse cannot be anything, but announcement of the revelation. When we consider and relate also the following verse to the others, we will understand what the Messenger of God brought and clarified:

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ

“Oh People of the Book, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Book, and forgiving much. Now has come unto you light from Allah and a plain Book.” (Al-Ma’ida/The Feast 5:15)

In Qur’an, the word ‘tafseel’ – to elaborate – is used to state that Allah is the One Who elaborated Qur’an, thus it is a book, whose every detail is given by Allah.[14]

If many verses inform that this is a book elaborated by Allah, then nobody else holds the duty or authorization to explain it. Our duty is trying to determine the elaborations made by Allah, which may only be possible by following the method introduced by Him.

T/N: See: Method to Understand Qur’an: http://www.islamandquran.org/?p=1145

[0] Raghib al-Isfahani, Mufradat al-Fazl al-Qur’an, art. رسل.

[1] “B-y-n = بين”, means ‘to be clear’, and ‘to make clear’. Its verbal noun is “bayan” and “tibyan”. Its transitive verbal noun, which means ‘to make clear’, is “tabyin” and “tibyan”.  al-Mu’jam al-‘Arabi al-Asasi, The Commission, Art. b-y-n.

[2] The Stones 15:1;  The Poets 26:2;  The Stories 28:2; Ya-Sin 36:69; The Gold Adornments 43:2; Dukhan 44:2.

[3] The Cow 2:118; Family of Imran 3:118; The Iron 57:17.

[3*] http://www.islamandquran.org/fatwas/what-does-quran-mean.html

[4] The Cow 2:41, 89, 91, 97, 101; Family of Imran 3:3, 81; The Cattle 6:92; Jonah 10:37; Joseph 12/111; The Curved Dunes 46:12.

[5] The Cow 2:89; The Feast 5:82, … .; The Stories 28:51, …

[6] The Gold Adornments 43:63.

[7] The Bee 16:92.

[8] Family of Imran 3:55; The Pilgrimage 22:69; The Cow 2:113; The Bee 16:124; The Companies 39:46.

[9] The Feast 5:48; The Cattle 6:164.

[10] Jonah 10:93; The Kneeling 45:17.

[11] The Prostration 32:25.

[12] Family of Imran 3:187.

[13] The Cow 2:75; Family of Imran 3:7; The Women 4:46; The Feast 5:13, 41.

[14] The Cattle 6:55, 97, 98, 114, 126; The Elevated Place 7:32, 52, 174; Repentance 9:11; Jonah 10:5, 24, 37; Hud 11:1; Joseph 12:111; The Thunder 13:2; The Romans 30:28; Elaborated 41:3.

 

Dr. Fatih ORUM

 

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Date: Nov 8, 2015