This is a translated article, original source: Shaykh Muhammad Abbas Dohaini


Scholars have differed about whether Quranic context constitute evidence. Some scholars do not consider it as hujjah (proof), while others see Quranic context as hujjah to determine the meaning of the verse.

Apart from the details of these differences, its ramifications and causes – which includes a belief that the arrangement of verses of Quran was done by honorable companions after the demise of Prophet (saw) – there should be no doubt with regards to constituting evidence from the context of connected verses that are impossible to have revealed on separate occasions and were revealed as single passage of connected parts (verses), and there is certainty that they were not revealed in advance or delay or in relation to other text. The close connection between these verses is divine revelation and therefore this close connection (i.e. context of the verses) must be used to determine the meaning intended from the text of Quran.

The above can be derived from many places in the noble Quran, however, we have mentioned only three which are as follows:

1. Verse of Al-Najwa

The verse of Quran for which there is a consensus that it is from nasikh (the abrogating) and mansukh (the abrogated) is:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَاجَيْتُمْ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ نَجْوَاكُمْ صَدَقَةً ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا فَإِنَّ اللهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

“O you who have believed, when you [wish to] privately consult the Messenger, present before your consultation a charity. That is better for you and purer. But if you find not [the means] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Surah Al-Mujaadila – Verse 12

The verse apparently means that giving sadaqa (charity) is obligatory before speaking with Prophet(saw). So, is it really obligatory on those who address Prophet (saw) today, even in his Holy Shrine?

No. What is mentioned about obligation of saqada in this verse is abrogated by the next ayah which nullifies this ruling, which is:

أَأَشْفَقْتُمْ أَنْ تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ نَجْوَاكُمْ صَدَقَاتٍ فَإِذْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا وَتَابَ اللهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَاللهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

“Have you feared to present before your consultation charities? Then when you do not and Allah has forgiven you, then [at least] establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.”

Surah Al-Mujaadila – Verse 13

The above example shows the importance of Quranic context. The two verses are consecutive and if we recite them together we would know that the first ruling is abrogated and nullified.

2. “سلامٌ على إلياسين” (“Peace upon il yasin”)

Is it referring to Prophet Ilyas or Family of Prophet Muhammad (saw)?

In this regard, we refer to a common mistake among believers regarding the verse 130 of Surah As-Saffat recited in this form:

سلامٌ على آل ياسين

Peace upon family of Yasin

It is believed that the verse is referring to Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Muhammad (saw), based on “Yasin” being one of the names of Prophet Muhammad(saw).

The correct form of the verse is:

سَلاَمٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ

Peace upon il yasin

and the verse is related to Prophet Ilyas, as “ilyas” is written as “ilyasin” in another dialect, like سينا وسينين i.e. sina is written as sineen.

It is mentioned in the Qur’an:

وَشَجَرَةً تَخْرُجُ مِنْ طُورِ سَيْنَاءَ تَنْبُتُ بِالدُّهْنِ وَصِبْغٍ لِلآكِلِينَ

And [We brought forth] a tree issuing from Mount Sina which produces oil and food for those who eat.

Surah al-Mu’minoon – Verse 20

The tree here means olive tree. And in another verse:

وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ * وَطُورِ سِينِينَ

I swear by the fig and the olive,

And the Mount Sineen

Surah at-Tin – Verses 1-2

The context of the verse (سَلاَمٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ) (Peace upon il yasin) is about Prophets and their efforts.

وَلَقَدْ نَادَانَا نُوحٌ فَلَنِعْمَ المُجِيبُونَ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَى نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ

وَإِنَّ مِنْ شِيعَتِهِ لإِبْرَاهِيمَ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ

وَإِنَّ إِلْيَاسَ لَمِنْ المُرْسَلِينَ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ

إِنَّ لُوطاً لَمِنْ المُرْسَلِينَ

وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنْ المُرْسَلِينَ

{And Noah had certainly called Us, and [We are] the best of responders.

Peace upon Noah among the worlds.

And indeed, among his kind was Abraham,

Peace upon Abraham.

And We did certainly confer favor upon Moses and Aaron.

Peace upon Moses and Aaron.

And indeed, Elias was from among the messengers,

Peace upon Elias.

And indeed, Lot was among the messengers.

And indeed, Jonah was among the messengers.}

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 75-148

The verse is not related to Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as) directly or indirectly, even if there are narrations stressing that the verse is related to them (Imams). These narrations are daeef (weak) and opposes Quran and they are contradicting to what is understood from the context of the verse.

3. Were all the ancestors of Prophet (saw) believers (monotheists)?

From the tafsir (interpretation) which contradicts Quranic context, and we respond to that – according to Shaykh al-Mufid

“the Imamiyyah agreed that all male ancestors of Prophet (saw) from Adam to Abdullah b. Abdul Mutallib were believers in Allah (swt). They (Imamiyyah) based this from Quran and narrations. Allah (swt) said:

الَّذِي يَرَاكَ حِينَ تَقُومُ * وَتَقَلُّبَكَ فِي السَّاجِدِينَ

Who sees you when you arise. And your movement among those who prostrate. (Surah Ash-Shu’ara: 218-219)

Awail al-Maqalat – pg. 45

And Shaykh al-Mufid said

Allah (swt) said:

الَّذِي يَرَاكَ حِينَ تَقُومُ * وَتَقَلُّبَكَ فِي السَّاجِدِينَ

Who sees you when you arise. And your movement among those who prostrate.(Ash-Shu’ara:218-219)

Which means Prophet’s movement in loins of the believers.

Tashih al-Itiqadat al-Imamiyah – pg. 139

The above tafsir is based on some narrations which mentions Prophet Muhammad’s transfer from the loin of one Prophet to the loin of another Prophet and they were all believers (monotheists).

However, there are other narration which implies that Prophet’s fathers and mothers were pure and free from adultery and fornication (but not necessarily monotheists).

The correct interpretation of the verse {Who sees you when you arise (Ash-Shu’ara:218)} inaccordance with the Quranic context is that the verse is referring to Salah (prayers). Al-Mazandarani mentioned in Sharh Usul al-Kafi that the verse {And your movement among those who prostrate (Ash-Shu’ara:218-219)} is referring to your movement among those who perform prayers, that is standing, sitting, bowing and prostrating.

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