Glimpses of Al-Mizan

The Parable of the "Spider"

In Chapter 29 of the Qur'an, named as "The Spider", God invokes the stories of seven prior prophets and their nations to illustrate that testing people and subjecting them to trials is a divine custom which also applied to these nations. God tried and tested them; some were saved and others perished because they had taken up guardians beside God.

Who Frowned at the Blind Man?

Traditions from Sunni sources state that the opening verses of Chapter 80 ("He Frowned") were revealed about a blind man called Ibn Umm Maktum who came in the presence of the Prophet while he was having a private discussion about Islam with some Quraysh leaders...

The Qur'anic Story of al-Khidr and Moses

The Qur’anic story of al-Khidr and Moses is one of the stories which is very difficult to comprehend as it seems against rational and moral principles... It is important to realize the nature of this story so that we can adjust our expectations and try not to come up with contrived explanations that are based on everyday situations and experiences.

Verses 48:1-2 and the Victory of Hudaybiya

One of the clearest victories that God granted to His Prophet is the signing of the treaty of Hudaybiya. It is also considered as one of the causes for the conquest of Mecca in the eighth year of the Hijra, for a large number of idolaters had come to believe in Islam during the two years between the treaty and the conquest of Mecca.

The Criteria for a True Religion

There are five qualities mentioned in verse 7:15 that form the criteria for a true religion. God says: Those who follow the Messenger, the unschooled prophet, whose mention they find written with them in the Torah and the Gospel...

Faith and its Enhancement

...that faith has different degrees and levels is a necessary truth which is beyond doubt. This is the consensus opinion of most scholars and supported by God’s words, that they might enhance their faith and other verses of the Qur’an.

Who are the Ulu'l-Amr? (Verse 4:59)

...the ulu’l‐amr cannot be ordinary believers but a special group of believers whose decision and opinion would always conform with that of the Messenger. The fact that the verse commands the unconditional obedience of the Messenger and those vested with authority is enough proof to show that their opinion have to be free from mistakes and errors and therefore they have to be sinless just like the Messenger.

The Reality of the Human Being

Is the human being a single reality or a dichotomous reality made of the spirit and body? Certain Qur'anic verses, at first glance, would suggest the latter but the real and actual Qur'anic view is the former - a single reality which is immaterial in essence.

Accountability of Actions

God is the absolute owner of all creation whether it is in the heavens or the earth including our actions, hidden or manifest and what our souls have earned. The Qur’an says that God will call us to account for all our actions including what is hidden...

The Qur'anic Parable of Truth & Falsehood

...there is no difference between God's actions and His speech because they are both meant for truth. However, both His actions and speech may be accompanied by some unintended elements or things. The unintended things temporarily cover and hide the intended truth. This is evident from the clause, and the torrent bears along the swelling foam (13:17).

The Scale of Deeds

...the standard for measuring deeds on the Day of Judgment will be "the truth." Good deeds will be heavy on the scale because they include the truth while evil deeds will have no weight because they have falsehood and vanity. We can also say that in the case of prayers, the standard unit would be "perfect prayer." The same can be said about other obligatory acts. Likewise, the unit for weighing speech would be "truthfulness" in the speech.

Philosophical Discourses in al-Mizan

‘Allamah Tabataba’i, regarded by many as a discerning philosopher, has made valuable contribution to the science of exegesis by elaborating the Qur’anic metaphysics thus giving us important information about the realities of life. One of such discourses is on the immateriality of the soul.