How does the Qur'an address each level of mankind in every age?
The wise Qur�an addresses each level of mankind in every age. It is
essential for the Qur�an�which calls all mankind of varying intellectual and
spiritual capacities to faith, and instructs them in faith, the highest and
most subtle science, and in knowledge of God, the broadest and most
enlightening branch of learning, and which calls them to the laws of Islam,
the most important and elaborate of sciences�it is essential that the Qur�an
should teach every group and level appropriately. Whereas mankind are many
and diverse, the Qur�an is one and teaches the same teaching. Therefore,
there must be different levels within the same instruction, in which each
person will be able to find his share. You may refer to the examples given
earlier. However, in order to point out the share of understanding of a few
classes, I will point out a few minor points briefly.
He begets not, nor was begotten. And there is none
comparable to Him. (112:3-4)
� The share of understanding of the common people, who form the majority
of mankind, in these verses, is this: �Almighty God is absolutely free from
having a father, children, wives and equals.� Those of relatively higher
(more informed) levels of understanding will infer that the verses
categorically reject the Divine sonship and divinity of Jesus and the
divinity of angels and all other beings who beget and are begotten. Now,
since the rejection of a negation or of an impossibility is evidently
useless, the science of eloquence demands the existence of a conclusion from
the words which is useful. It is unquestionable that God does not beget nor
was begotten, therefore there must be another purpose in rejecting the
attribution of sonship and fatherhood to God, which is this: Whoever has a
father, children and equals cannot be God and does not deserve worship. It
is for this reason (among many others) that sura al-Ikhlas, from which the
verses above are quoted, is of such great use for all persons at all times.
� Another group of a higher degree of understanding derive this meaning:
Almighty God is absolutely free of all relationships with the creation which
will suggest begetting and being begotten, and exempt from having partners,
helpers and fellow-deities. His relationship with the creation is that He is
the Creator and everything and everyone in existence is the created. God
creates with the command �Be! and it is� and through His eternal Will; He is
absolutely free of every quality which, suggesting compulsion, obligation
and unwilled, unintended action, is therefore contrary to His absolute
� Still another group of considerably higher levels of understanding
infer the meaning that Almighty God is eternal, with no beginning and end,
and He is the First and the Last. Neither in His Being, nor Attributes, nor
acts, has He in any way equals, peers, likes, or anything similar or
analogous to Him. However, in order to make His acts understandable, the
Qur�an (which also says, God�s is the highest comparison) allows us to have
recourse to proper comparisons.
You may compare to these the share of understanding of the verses quoted
of those who have perfect knowledge and love of God, and most truthful,
Muhammad is not the father of anyone from among your men.
� The share of the first group in this verse is this: Zayd, the servant
of God�s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, whom he called �son�,
divorced his wife Zaynab, because he found her superior to him in virtues,
and by God�s command, God�s Messenger married her. Therefore the verse
explains: If the Prophet calls you �son�, this is because of his mission as
the Messenger of God. Biologically, he is not the father of any man among
you so that he may not marry a widow of one among you.�
� A second group derives this meaning: A superior treats his subjects
with fatherly care and compassion. If that superior is both a worldly ruler
and spiritual guide, then his compassion will be a hundred times greater
than a father�s. The subjects of that superior consider him as if a real
father. Since this may cause people to have difficulty in seeing the
Prophet, whom they consider more fatherly than a father, as the husband of
their womenfolk, the Qur�an corrects the public view, meaning: �The Prophet,
upon him be peace and blessings, considers you with the view of Divine
compassion and treats you as if a father. You are like his children from the
viewpoint of his mission. However, biologically, he is not your father so
that it would be improper for him to marry a woman from among you.�
� A third group understands from the verse that because of their
connection with the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, and reliance
on his perfections and his fatherly compassion for them, the believers can
not think that they will be saved even if they commit sins and errors.
(There are many people like certain of the Alawis, for example, who do not
perform the prescribed prayers and say �Our prayers have already been
performed�, and Christians who delude themselves with the false belief that
Jesus sacrificed himself for their salvation, who rely on the perfections of
their leader or guide and show laziness in performing the religious
� A fourth group deduces a prediction from the verse, which is this: The
Prophet will not, for some reason, have a son through whom his line will be
continued. His male children will die at an early age, and as expressed by
the word �men�, he will be the father of female, not male, children, and
therefore his line will continue through his daughter.
All praise be to God, the blessed children of the Prophet�s daughter
Fatima, his two grandsons Hasan and Husayn, the �light-giving moons� of the
two illustrious lines, continue the line of the Sun of Prophethood both
biologically and spiritually. O God, bestow blessings on him and his family.
In the whole of the Qur�an there is a perfect fluency, a superb clarity
and soundness, a firm coherence, and a well-established harmony and
proportion and a strong, mutual support and interrelation amongst its
sentences and their parts, and an elevated correspondence amongst its verses
and their purposes.
Although this is a fact testified to by the leading figures in Arabic
philology, literature and semantics, like Zamakhshari, Sakkaki, and �Abd al-Qahir
al-Jurjani�and, though there are seven or eight factors to counter fluency,
soundness, coherence, harmony, proportion, inter-relation and
correspondence, these factors rather enrich the Qur�an�s fluency, soundness
and coherence. Like branches and twigs stemming from the trunk of a tree for
the production of fruit, which will complete the beauty and growth of the
tree, these factors sometimes show themselves not to cause discords in the
fluent harmony of the Qur�an�s composition but to express new, richer and
� Although the Qur�an was revealed in parts over twenty years for
different needs and purposes, it has such a perfect harmony that it is as if
it were revealed all at once.
� Although the Qur�an was revealed over twenty years on different
occasions, its parts are so mutually supportive that it is as if it were
revealed only on one particular occasion.
� Although the Qur�an came in answer to different, repeated questions,
its parts are so united and harmonious with each other that it is as if it
were the answer to a single question.
� Although the Qur�an came to judge of various, diverse cases and events,
it displays such a perfect order that it is as if it were the judgment
delivered on a single case or event.
� Although the Qur�an was revealed by Divine courtesy in styles varied to
suit innumerable people of different levels of understanding and of
different moods and temperament, its parts exhibit so beautiful a
similarity, correspondence, and fluency that it is as if it were addressing
a single degree of understanding and a single temperament.
� Although the Qur�an speaks to innumerable varieties of people, remote
from one another in time, space, and character, it has such an easy way of
explanation, such a purity of style, and such a clear way of description
that it is as if it were addressing only a single homogenous group, and each
different group thinks that it is being addressed uniquely and specifically.
Although the Qur�an was revealed for the gradual guidance of different
peoples in various purpose, it has such a perfect straightforwardness,
sensitive balance, and beautiful order, that it is as if it were pursuing a
single purpose only. Despite being the reasons of confusion, all these
factors add to the miraculousness of the Qur�an�s explanations, and to its
fluency of style and harmony.
Anyone with an unbiased heart, a sound conscience, and a good taste, sees
in the explanations of the Qur�an a graceful fluency, an exquisite
proportion, a pleasant harmony, and a matchless eloquence. Also, anyone with
a sound power of seeing and insight sees that the Qur�an has an eye with
which to see the whole of the universe with all its inner and outer
dimensions like a single page and read all the meanings contained in it.
Since it would cover volumes to explain this truth with examples, I will,
referring the reader to Signs of (the Qur�an�s) Miraculousness and the Words
written so far, not go further here.