In the Name of Allah the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Imamology, Lessons 94-97: Discussion on the text of the Propaganda Verse

Collected Works of The Muslim Shiite Scholar and Thinker: Allāma Hājj Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husaynī Tihrānī


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Discussion on the text of the Propaganda Verse

However, our discussion in the point of view of the relation between this verse of the announcement and the Guardianship is what we are going to discuss about. In this verse there are some literary points that separate it from the other verses.

The first one is that it is addressed to the Messenger of Allah by stating: يَا أيُّهَا الرَّسُول ‘O Messenger;’ as it is seen, the Holiness is addressed with the attribution of “message bearer”. In the Holy Qur’an, nowhere the Holiness is addressed with this attribution; there is another occasion, which is still in this verse, (The Heavenly Food / 41), that is:

   يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لَا يَحْزُنْكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِى الْكُفْرِ مِنْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَ لَمْ تُؤْمِنْ قُلُوبُهُم.‏

‘…O Messenger, let not those who haste in disbelief worry you, such as those who say with their mouth, ‘We believe’ while their hearts do not believe, (Qur’an: 5/41).’

However, in this verse, the Holiness has been addressed as:   يا ايها النبى ‘O you who have been informed, and are aware of the unseen and unveiled. The Holiness is addressed with the attribution of نبأ و انباء which refers to his awareness of the ‘Unseen World and the revelations to him by the Gabriel’ – it has been mentioned thirteen times in the different parts of the Holy Qur’an. 

And as the command to propagate, in the verse of ‘Announcement’ is revealed by Allah to say that the affair of announcement is indispensable, thus the Messenger has been addressed ‘The Message Bearer’ – it represent his attribution and that his duty is to propagate according to his position has been given.

The second word is بَلِّغ which is the imperative case of تبليغ propagation that means: conveying a message from the source to the public. It is quite different from the words of:   قُلْ و اقْرَءْ و اتْلُ و اذْكُرْ و ذَكِّر ‘say, read or recite, relate, mention and so on,’ which all represent ‘saying, mentioning and pointing at’. As it is stated in the chapter of ‘the Coalition / chapter 33, verses: 38-39:

 مَا كَانَ عَلَى النَّبِىِّ مِنْ حَرَجٍ فِيمَا فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَهُ سُنَّة اللَّهِ فِى الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَ كَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَقْدُورًا ﴿38 الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالَاتِ اللَّهِ وَ يَخْشَوْنَهُ وَلَا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَ كَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيبًا ﴿39

‘…there is no blame on Messenger in what Allah has ordained for him [to do]. That is the tradition of Allah which had also been with those who had passed away already – and the commandment of Allah is a pre-ordained matter; [messengers are] those who deliver messages of Allah, and fear Him. They fear none but Allah, and Allah is enough as good account, (Qur’an: 33/38-39).’

Based on this verse, in the Holy Qur’an, the position of messenger-ship is stated as ‘communication’; as it is stated in chapter 5, the Heavenly Food:

 مَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إلا الْبَلَاغ

‘…for the Messenger is not but to deliver messages, (Qur’an: 5/99).’

The third one is the phrase مَا انزِلَ إلَيْك‏ that is: ‘Announce whatever is revealed to you.’ Here, the name of the subject has not been mentioned, but the pronoun مَا انزِلَ has taken its place so that to represent its importance; as it is the message from Allah, the Messenger has no right to delay in conveying it to the public.

The fourth is the term مِنْ رَبكfrom you Lord’, meaning: ‘It is sent to you by the Merciful, Generous, Creator, Efficient and the Director of yours Who dominates everything of yours under His control! Therefore, there is no delaying or hesitation in publicizing it.

The fifth is the sentence: وَ إنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَه ‘…and if you do not do so, you have not conveyed His message.’ And in some of the recitations, it has been mentioned: فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَه ‘you have not conveyed His message!’ This sentence is in emphasis mood and it emphasizes on the importance of subject. It shows that the affair is so important that if he does not fulfill it, as if he has not done any of his duties!

And this sentence is threatening; it wants to make it clear that the importance of the command is so high that if he delays in publicizing it, it has not been considered to be worthy. It means that none of Allah’s commands has been propagated by the Messenger, and not any parts of the religion taken to action – nothing is in its proper place.

It must be known that this sentence is in a conditional term, its importance is so high that if it is not announce to the people in its due time, it means the right of subject has not been fulfilled at all – if there is some delay in conveying it, Allah’s command has not been carried out! It is not like the other ordinary conditional sentences, because when they are used, one does not sense any compulsion in them; the conditional part needs another part to make sense. Therefore, in this sentence, the status and position of the Messenger is above that to receive none decisive commands; because Allah, the Honorable and Exalted, states: 

اللَهُ أعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَه [94]

‘…Allah knows as to where He should place His message, (Qur’an: 6/124).’

Anyhow, this sentence is conditional and it means threatening to all other than the Messenger of Allah; but it expresses its importance which the Messenger of Allah has excuses in publicizing it.

The six includes a compound sentence:

 وَ اللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنْ النَّاسِ إنَّ اللَهَ لَا يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرين‏

‘Allah protects you from people: surely Allah does not guide the disbelieving people, (Qur’an: 5/67).’

The first part of the sentence expresses that in the beginning, the Generous Messenger, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, was worried about the people to publicize it, and the second part explains the cause. Because Allah subjugates all opponent groups and parties, and He does not let them to discuss with the Messenger upon this so that to damage the religion – He destroys their means of corrupt. In short, they cannot succeed to discuss with the Messenger over this matter.

Here, first of all we see that He has not stated the certain chastity of the people that from which of the prejudices of the people Allah protects His Messenger, is it annoying him, killing or poisoning him, or is a sudden attack and murdering, disgracing him or abusing him in the public; and or deceiving him with their different tricks? He has kept it hidden. Thus, it refers to any kind of evil acts against him, and Allah is going to protect him of any of them. That which the verse prompts us is that any evil acts against the affair of the messenger-hood. That means to obstruct the Messenger in doing his best to hoist the banner of Islam and invite people to the Holiness Right. 

Apart from all these, if there is something to be frightened, it is by their common; for it is said:

 إنَّ اللَهَ لَا يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرين

And this refers to that point.

And thirdly, the meaning of الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرين is not only for the disbelievers, Jews or the Christians; this word, ‘the disbelievers’ is used in its general meaning as ‘distorting and covering the right’; as it is stated in chapter 3 Aal Imran , verse 97:

 وَ مَنْ كَفَرَ فَإنَّ اللَهَ غَنِىُّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِين‏

‘and whoever disbelieves, [let him disbelieve, for] Allah is the richest of all beings.’ That is, one who disbelieves Allah’s command even on the Hajj pilgrimage; instead of turning to Allah, he turns toward evil! In that case, Allah is free from need. As we will explain it in detail in the future, the meaning of disbelief is not only disbelieving the main religion, which is by not mentioning one’s witnesses; that kind of disbelief has nothing to do with the verse, unless we say the purpose of the verse ما انزل اليك من ربك is the commands and rules of the religion. So we will understand that it is not right.

And the fourth point is that Allah’s not guiding them is through their not believing and deceit! It is by their tendency to this passing world that they cannot get their aims; they involve with their passions and invented evil and corrupt. As it is stated in the verse 6 of chapter 63 ‘the Hypocrites:

  إنَّ اللَهَ لَا يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقين‏

Surely Allah does not guide the ungodly.’

But the meaning of ‘not being guided’ is not that they are lacking of the belief; it is contrary to the Messenger’s inviting them to accept the religion. Because it is opposite of the statement of Allah as He states: “O Our Messenger! Do invite the disbelievers to Islam and the commands of Allah; and of course, I will not guide them, and I will not let them sense the belief unless through the ultimatum.”

Apart from this, we clearly see that Allah constantly guides the disbelievers, and embrace Islam in numerous groups. Allah has promised them they will be guided; He has stated:   

  وَ اللَهُ يَهْدِى مَنْ يَشَآءُ إلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقيم.‏

‘…and Allah guides whomsoever He will to the straight path, (Qur’an:2/213).’

And by what we have explained so far, it becomes clear that the lack of the disbelievers’ belief and guidance is that Allah does not leave them on their own to carry out their intentions; and He does allow them to distinguish His light by their own ill desires and worldly means. It is because the disbelievers, the corrupt and the aggressors always try to distort the religion and wipe out the Fact and Right! In that case, Allah blocks their ways to achieve their goals. Their approaching the means to corrupt is in the hand of Allah; and Allah will never be defeated by the means He Himself has created!

These kinds of people may apparently succeed in their efforts, and for a short time they may enjoy it; they may become ambitious, extravagant and aggressors for a while, but soon their haughtiness will fall flat and perish them. As it is stated:

وَلَا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إلَّا بِأهله.‏

‘…and the plotting evil engulfs the people who practise it, (Qur’an:35/43).’

And it is stated:

كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْحَقَّ وَ الْبَاطِلَ فَأَمَّا الزَّبَدُ فَيَذْهَبُ جُفَاءً وَ أَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِى الْأَرْضِ كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَال.‏

‘…thus, Allah knocks Truth and falsehood together.  As for the foam, the scum will go away; while whatever benefits men, lingers on in the earth. Thus Allah compares things with one another, (Qur’an:13/17).’

The summary of what we have mentioned so far is that this sentence: إنَّ اللَهَ لَا يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرين ‘indeed Allah does not guide the disbelievers’ is as a comment for the sentence وَ إنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ; ‘and if you do not do it, then you have not propagate your mission.’ And the purpose of the ‘chastity’ is the security of Holiness Messenger against the misfortunes falling upon him before his achieving his goal, which is propagating Islam, and raise the banner of Islam in the world. Or the disbelievers to condemn him for his disbelief and the worldliness or to kill him before getting any result from his propagation and messenger-hood.

However, if we translate the verse as it comes to sight, and say: ‘Allah protects His Messenger against any harm,’ then it differs from the other verses of the Qur’an, traditions and the history. The Holiness Messenger had so much suffered and faced hardship by the disbelievers, hypocrites, and even the believers among his nation that no one but only he, the greatest, could tolerate it! As it is related in a famous narrative: ما اوذى نبى مثل ما اوذيت قط the Messenger said: ‘never has a messenger been hurt so much as I have been hurt!’ 

Whatever we have explained up till now shows that this verse is very important; perhaps it is more important than all the verses of the Holy Qur’an. This verse is the verse 67 from the chapter of ‘The Heavenly Food’; and this is last chapter revealing to the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, in Medina. All the chapter, or the most  part of it was revealed on the Farewell Pilgrimage,[95] and all the commentators believe that it is of the chapters revealed in Medina; because the Medinian chapters are those that revealed after the immigration of the Messenger of Allah – though the Holiness was on a journey.

However, both before and after, this verse the remaining verse are about the Household; this verse is in between. Before this verse He states:

وَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُوا التَّوْرَاة وَ الْإِنجِيلَ وَ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَأَكَلُوا مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَ مِنْ تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِمْ مِنْهُمْ أُمَّة مُقْتَصِدَة وَ كَثِيرٌ مِنْهُمْ سَاءَ مَا يَعْمَلُون.‏

‘…and had they acted upon the [commands of the] Torah and Gospel, and what was revealed to them by their [Creator and Nurturer] Lord, they would have been nourished from above, as well from beneath their feet; there are some among them who are from a moderate community, while many of them commit evil deeds, (Qur’an:5/66).’

And in this verse says:

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَسْتُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ حَتَّى تُقِيمُوا التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا فَلَا تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ.

‘…say, ‘O people of the Book, you do not stand upon any [right] thing until you practice the Torah and the Gospel, and whatever has been revealed to you by your [Creator and Nurturer] Lord.’ And surely what has been revealed to you by your [Creator and Nurturer] Lord will increase insolence and disbelief in many of them, so do not grieve for the disbelieving lot, (Qur’an:5/68).’


The verse we are discussing on (the propagation) is between these two verses. It is very surprising that there is no connection between this verse and both the preceding and following verses – even with these two verses: 5/66, 5/68). Truly it cannot be said that the propagation verse here is about the people of the Book and just for this purpose it has been appeared among irrelevant verses!

First of all, there is not more than a simple common order and invitation for the people of the Book in these verses so that the verse “5, 67” to be taken so seriously!

And secondly, the chapter of the “Heavenly Food” was revealed at the end of the Messenger’s life in Medina, and at that time, the foundation of Islam was quite strong, and all the opponents: the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christian were afflicted. They had no power and needn’t any propagation and the Messenger of Allah was not afraid of them and he was already protected.

In the period of the immigration of the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, to Medina, the people of the Book and on top the Jews proved their enmity and became quarrelsome against him, in the mean time, helped the Quraish in the battles. They established their own parties which led to the event of Bani Ghoraiza, Bani an-Nazir, Bani Ghainogha and finally to Khaibar and Fadak – anyhow they all were afflicted. Apart from this, the verse does not include harsh command against the Jews, the Holy Qur’an expresses severer commands than this for them. Nevertheless, the method of addressing to the Messenger was not alike the propagation verse, on the other hand, the Messenger had also other the strictest missions: like the propagation of the Monotheism, and taking away the idol-worshipping from among the Arab pagans and the Quraish. They were even more stubborn than the tribe of the Jews. However, Allah has not threatened His Messenger in propagating them by the other verses than like this one, and He has not guaranteed him. The interfering verses against the people of the Book in this chapter establish this chapter, so the propagation verse has also been revealed in this chapter. When, according to this verse:

 كُلَّما أَوْقَدُوا ناراً لِلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللَّهُ

‘…every time they kindled a fire for war, Allah put it out, (Qur’an:5/64).’ the violence of the Jews was fades away and Allah’s wrath captured them, then there is no need for the revelation of the propagation verse to reveal for the Jews and the Christians! At that time, almost all of them had embraced Islam, and Najran’s Jews and Christians who were the harshest opponents had accepted to pay the pool-tax – then, what does Allah’s threatening mean?!

Nonetheless, that which Fakhr Razi, and following him the other Sunnite commentators, for example Muhammad Abduh has written in "Al-Minar",[96] that this verse due to its style resembling the other verses, is about the people of the Book is void and need to be discussed about. Because, apart from that which has been mentioned, a verse with such style, placing it within the other verses is not what their scholars have commented on and quoted it by the greatest companions. How can one by simply seeing the style of a verse, to give up his logic and accept it! The mode of a verse or sentence is only its perceptible state.

It is why most of the opponent to the Guardianship among the Sunnite when facing this have said: The Announcement verse has been revealed in the beginning of the messenger-hood of the Messenger in Mecca, and it about the disbelievers among the Quraish; it means: [O Messenger] do not stop propagation! And be not negligent in expressing the verse to the disbelievers among the Quraish; or else, you have not fulfilled your duty! And Allah will protect you from the sedition of the disbelievers. Thus, this MECCAN VERSE is placed within the “Heavenly Food”, Medinan chapter.

This statement needs not to be investigated because the early verses are free from threatening and harshness, that is, they are in soft statements, like: ... اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

 ‘…read in the name of your Lord Who created … up to the end of chapter 96. And also:  

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّر،ُ قُمْ فَأَنْذِر، وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ...

‘…O you wrapped up in mantle, arise and warn! Celebrate your [Creator and Nurturer] Lord, (Qur’an:73/1, 2, 3).’; it goes up to the end of the chapter. And like:

فَاسْتَقِيمُوا إِلَيْهِ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ وَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ [97]

‘…so go straight to Him and seek His forgiveness – and woe to the idolaters, (Qur’an:41/6).’

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The anxiety of the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, was not for his own safety

And apart from that, the Messenger of Allah is not worried while obeying Allah and propagating His Commands. The status and position of the Messenger is so high not to sacrifice his soul for propagating Allah’s Command! He is there to sacrifice himself for Allah. Their statement of them rejects the noble Messenger’s struggles and activities through his life.

Above all, whatever Allah has stated about the situations of all the messengers is against that they are frightened. As He states:

مَا كَانَ عَلَى النَّبِىِّ مِنْ حَرَجٍ فِيمَا فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَهُ سُنَّة اللَّهِ فِى الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَ كَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَقْدُورًا- الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالَاتِ اللَّهِ وَ يَخْشَوْنَهُ وَلَا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَ كَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيبًا [98]

‘…there is no blame on Messenger in what Allah has ordained for him [to do]. That is the tradition of Allah which had also been with those who had passed away already – and the commandment of Allah is a pre-ordained matter; [messengers are] those who deliver messages of Allah, and fear Him. They fear none but Allah, and Allah is enough as good account, (Qur’an:33/38-39).’

Due to the clearness of these two verses, it must be known that neither the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, nor any other messengers would panic in fulfilling their missions and propagating the Commands of Allah – they were afraid only from Allah. That lofty position of them, connecting to the Unseen World, and having direct contact with the Abstract Beings, and the Nearest Angels, and the Essence and Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, would not let them to consider the material bodies or beings!

This verse clearly explains that the Messenger of Allah had no panic to worry about; and Allah’s will was the same concerning the predecessor messengers that not to be afraid of anything. The nature of the messenger-hood is based upon a kind of courage and bravery, that is, the affection and attraction of the Holiness Divine attracts them in such a way that they only observe Him. They see nothing, apart from Him, to be afraid of; in such state, they do not care of their souls or being murdered. The only thing in their minds is Allah: وَ يَخْشَوْنَهُ وَ لا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَداً إِلاَّ اللَّهَ and they fear Him only; they fear no one but only Allah!

Allah forbids the believers to make friends with the devil; He states:

إِنَّمَا ذَلِكُمْ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَ خَافُونِى إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِين [99]

‘…surely it is Satan who frightens his followers, so if you are the true believers, do not fear them, but fear Me, (Qur’an:3/175).’

And Allah approved and praised a believing people whom some malevolent people threatened to kill but they did not fear. And Allah ahs stated:

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمْ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَ قَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَ نِعْمَ الْوَكِيل [100]

‘…those, to whom [some] men said, ‘Your enemies have gathered to oppose you, so have fear of them;’ yet [instead of fearing] they grew stronger in their faith and replied, ‘Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the most excellent Protector, (Qur’an:3/173).’

Nor is it right to say that: the Messenger was frightened to be killed and the affect of his invitation to Allah would fade away, the result of messenger-hood to be left abortive. Thus, it would cause the act of ما انزلthat which has revealed’ to be postponed; it was why Allah, the Exalted, addressed him:

 لَيْسَ لَكَ مِنَ الأمرِ شَى‏ء [101]

‘…nothing of this matter is of your concern, (Qur’an:3/128).’

It was because Allah, the Exalted, is not incapable, He is ever-Dominant upon the entire being to govern after the demise of the Messenger, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, and keep Islam alive.

However, the only meaning that can be drawn from the term of the Messenger’s fright in: وَ اللَهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسand Allah will protect you from the [ill-wishing] people’ is that, the Messenger was frightened in his missionary he would be accused by the opponent and the whole propagation would delay and cast into oblivion; and then, without his presence, it would become beyond repair. For example, thy might say: This is not the prophet-hood; the worldly government, the material directorship and commanding the people blindly under the shadow of prophet-hood. It is worthless and a void affair that now he is passing away, like the material Sultans, he is going to transfer the authority to his follower as the heritage! And as he has not a son, he is going to trust the government to his son-in-law who is the master his daughter!

If this kind of accusation worked, the affect of the Messenger’s invitation would entirely be lost and forgotten.

Yes, this much of striving hard and trial upon the Messenger of Allah was necessary; and the Holiness had accepted it without being afraid of any evil to happen to him.

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The descending of the Propaganda Verse was not in the beginning of the mission

Here, as some of the commentators have pointed at: ‘It is clear that that Propagation Verse has been revealed in the beginning of the Mission,’ is not right. Because the revelation in the beginning of the Mission could be right if the meaning of: وَ اللَهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاس was that the Messenger was afraid that people would kill him, and he failed propagating and inviting people to Islam – because if he did it, they would kill him and the case of the invitation would entirely stopped! This kind of probability is not right about the Messenger, therefore, the verse cannot be revealed in the beginning of the Mission.

And what's more, if the verse had been revealed in the beginning of the Mission, then the meaning of:  مَا انْزِلَ إلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبّك had to be the basic religion or at least the collection of the laws and commands of the religion. In that case, there would remain not any important problem, by not fulfilling it, to damage the religion. Based on this assumption, the meaning of: وَ إنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَه would refer to this that: O Messenger! Propagate the religion, if you not to propagate the religion, then you have not propagated the religion! So this sentence is quite wrong!

To remove this problem, Fakhr Razi has said: in this case, the verse is like the poems of Abu-an-Najm who says:

أنَا أبُو النَّجم وَ شِعْرى شِعْرِى ‘I am Abu-an-Najm, and my poem is my poem!’

That is, if you not to propagate the messenger-hood which is by Allah, then your delaying in propagation and shortcoming in fulfilling the Command of Allah that has been sent to you, will engulf you; similar to the poem of Abu-an-Najm saying: I am Abu-an-Najm, and my poem which I am composing it now is the very famous poem that was fluent![102]

This statement of Imam Razi is not correct; because this kind of composing a poem in the state of predicative can be correct when there are verities between the particles as: the difference between subjects of all classes, or the absolute and bound. Thus, the meaning of the poem of Abu-an-Najm is this: ‘My poem is the very poem of mine. That is, let no one assumes that my poetic talent is damaged, has been failed and become dull! Or the events have made me tired and paralleled me composing as I did before; my present poems are similar to the poems I would compose in the past.’ 

But about the Propagation Verse, this kind of explanation is not right; because supposing that the verse was revealed in the beginning of the Mission, the messenger-hood of the Messenger of Allah was the main and the whole part of the religion, it was a single and unique affair that would never change; so that to be said: If you do not propagate that Mission, or not to propagate the main Mission; because it is assumed that the Mission of the Messenger of Allah is the very basic and collection of the religious public instructions.

Therefore, through this statement, it is benefitted that this verse is in no competence to be revealed in the beginning of the Mission; and then the meaning of مَا انْزِلَ إلَيْكَ to be the main religion or the complete laws and commands of the religion. And only for this reason, this verse cannot be reveled in any other occasions through the life of the Messenger of Allah – if the meaning of مَا انْزِلَ إلَيْكَ is taken as the main religion or the collection of laws and commands about the religion. Because in either way the problem is the same and it by the statement of Allah that makes alteration in the meaning as: If you do not propagate on the basis of the religion or not propagate its collection, then you have not propagated the basis or the collection of it! And apart from that, the fear of the Messenger about being killed is still there; though the verse has not been revealed in the beginning of the Mission.

And by that which we have explained it becomes clear that, in this verse, the necessity of the propagation of the Messenger of Allah cannot be the basic religion or the complete laws and commands, thus, it must be considered some of the religion. In this way too if the meaning of the sentence فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَه is a part of the religion, again we face the same problem. So it cannot be helped unless we take the term Mission as the whole or the basis of the religion; and then it means as:

If you do not propagate this specific command that has been revealed to you, then you have not propagated the basic part of the religion or its laws and commands! And this is correct and acceptable, and it is like Abu-an-Najm’s poem, the poem that was discussed in the same way.

Some people have said: the laws and commands of the religion are related to each other, and when there occurs a disorder in one of them all of them are also disordered. And this is because of the layout of the messenger-hood, the perfection relationship in it, and especially in propagating it; it is because of this it is stated: If you not to propagate this command, then you have not propagated the messenger-hood! [103]

This subject is correct but it has no relation with the verse following it. Because these two sentences:

وَ اللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنْ النَّاسِ - إنَّ اللَهَ لَا يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرين.‏ 

express that: a certain group of the disbelievers had decided to oppose the revealed command, or they seemed to show their opposition with this revelation. And then, by any means possible they would try to stop it being circulated. Right then, Allah promises to guard His Messenger against the ill-intention of them, to wipe out their trick and annihilate their plans.

And the substances under this verse have nothing to do with any command is in the verse. Although the laws and commands of Islam are not all at the same level, they have natural and spiritual connection which joins them together and consequently some of them are as a single unite like the prayers and supplications. And some of them are like reciting a certain supplication when the moon is observed in the beginning of a lunar month, some are severe as the act of adultery, and some of them are not so strict as looking not intimate women on the faces. Spoiling any of them means spoiling the main religion; however, the fear of the Messenger of Allah and the Divine chastity promise about his propagating are something different from these commands.

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The Command on the propaganda must be very important

Therefore, it must be taken into consideration that there is a difference between the lack of not propagating a certain command which has been revealed, and the main part of the religion; if the latter is neglected it means the whole religion has been neglected. As if this command is as the soul in the body and causes it to move, and keeps it alive, giving it sense and motion. It can be benefitted from this verse that Allah has trusted a command to the Messenger that is as the soul to revive the religion and lift it to the completion; to lead the religion to its uppermost degree, to place the salvation ark in its position. In such situation, it was expected that some people might oppose it and rebel against the messenger-hood and the propagation of the Messenger; by doing so, to detract the Islam and to destroy the pillars of Islam which the Messenger of Allah had built them with his hands. The Messenger knew this well, and he was aware of the evil intention of his nation, so he was afraid that they would cause a problem. It was why he postponed propagating the command which was the spirit of the religion. Time and again he delayed announcing it so that to find a right situation and convey the command of Allah – he had in mind while announcing the command to save Islam.

Here, Allah bids the Command to be announced at once; and He states the Messenger the importance of the Command. He encourages the Messenger and promises to protect him against the deceits of the enemies. He stated that He would not let them to carry on their ill intention, and would not let them to damage his activity.

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 The propaganda verse ought to be after the circulation of Islam

And the Messenger’s fear that the disbelievers might oppose his propagation and ruin the fundament of Islam was at the final part of his mission, and it was years after his migration and naturally it was in Medina; because his fright from the disbelievers was not before his immigration.

The Holy Qur’an has expressed the disbelievers’ expressions and the quality of their objections, like:

مُعَلَّمٌ مَجْنُون‏ [104]

‘…A possessed-tutored man, (Qur’an: 44/14),’

Muhammad is a mad man and some people have taught him to recite the Qur’an!’ And also:

 إنْ تَتَّبِعُونَ إلا رَجُلًا مَسْحُورا [105]

‘…You are following none but a bewitched man, (Qur’an: 17/47),’

And this one:

أسَاطِيرُ الأوَّلينَ اكْتَتَبَها فَهِىَ تُمْلَى عَلَيْهِ بُكْرَةً و أصِيلا [106]

 This is but the legend of the past that he has it written a copy for himself – they are recited to him in the morning and evening [to memorize them], (Qur’an: 25/5).’

And same as:

أنِ امْشُوا وَ اصْبِرُوا عَلَى آلِهَتِكُمْ إنَّ هَذَا لَشَىْ‏ءٌ يُرَاد [107]

‘… [People said to one another]: ‘Walk around and be steadfast about your gods, this is but a thing of our intention], (Qur’an: 38/6).’

And these kinds of expressions are too unimportant to damage the basis of the religion; it just represents that how the tribes of the Messenger of Allah (the Quraish) were despair and were in the flimsy state!

Apart from all these, this kind of accusation is not only against the Messenger so that to be despair and afraid of the consequence of it. The other messengers were also similar to our Messenger in their responsibility of propagating their religions; their nations too made problems and cause difficulties in their missions. As we see how the Holy Qur’an states the problems of the Holiness Noah and the other messengers coming after him.

However, after the immigration and the stability of Islam, this kind of trouble making is natural; because at that very especial time, there were found different people with numerous ideas and opinions among the Muslims: there were the believers, hypocrites, those who were spying for the disbelievers and those who had ill intentions against the Messenger and Islam. Although all of them had believed in the Generous Messenger, they treated the Messenger in such a way that they were dealing with the kings! They turned to the Holiness as he was the chief running the government; and they dealt with the Book of Allah which is the Divine Revelation, as it was a worldly manual book of directory.

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The fright of the Messenger of Allah was that personal accusation

So, this education and thoughts of the people needed a command to be brought by the Messenger to be useful for their daily life but not the Qur’an, thus, they would say: This is the very tyrannical government of the kings which is turned up, as it is, in the form of messenger-hood!

If their doubts circulated and the opponent could prove their claim, and succeeded in what they were after, there would befall such an irreparable damage upon the region that it would ruin the newly funded religion forever. Then, nothing could improve it. 

Of course, there had been for the Messenger some special occasions when there would be some imaginary or unique benefit, but they were not in such away that to be taken into consideration; in other word, to raise a tumult! Similar to the case of Zeid bin Haritha, and the divorce of cousin of the Messenger and his marrying her – who was the wife of his adopted son. And similar to that he specified the booties for a certain one, and his having numerous wives, and so on.

For the reason that the permission of marrying with the widow of his adopted son was not specified for the Messenger of Allah. And for the first time, the Holiness fulfilled this command for himself so that to be put in practice by all the Muslims.

And if the marriage permission, for the Holiness, marrying more than four wives was not through passions and without the permission of Allah, he would not stop the Muslims practicing it. Because the nature of the Holiness in giving priority to the Muslims and tolerating his deficits shows that his act was only by the command of Allah, but not for his personal benefit.

Here, it becomes clear that the Propagation Verse denoting the revealed command is such a command that there is no benefit for the Holiness in it, its benefit is for the public and it is specified for their life. And such a thing has nothing to do with the Holiness; and its propagation would despair the other people. So, the Messenger of Allah was afraid to announce such command that Allah was encouraging him to do it, and expressing His support and caring for the Messenger.

And all these subjects that we have fully explained so far are the clear proofs that both the Shiite and the Sunnite have related them and know that the Announcement Verse has been revealed concerning Ali bin Abī Tālib, Upon Him be Peace. And Allah commanded the Messenger to publicize it but he was afraid that they would condemn him for supporting his cousin. He always postponed it expecting for a good occasion, and the right time. It was until he announced it in Ghadir-e-Khum; he held Ali on his hand and under the shade of Samorat trees, the Messenger climbed on the pile of pack-saddles, while facing the huge crowd of the pilgrims travelling with the Holiness, he announced it through his lengthy sermon by saying:

مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ فَعَلِىٌّ مَوْلَاهُ

Whomsoever I am Master, so is Ali his Master!’ The question is that, the affair of the Guardianship of the people is so important that it cannot be kept secret; and, above all, no one should have the tiniest doubt about it.

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The commandment on the Guardianship is due to the laws of nature and intellect

We naturally and logically see that if any responsible person wants to leave his occupation, he does not do it carelessly; he finds a right and competent person and transfers the whole affair to him. Before a scholar dies, he trusts his students to a knowledgeable teacher. So is a doctor, before he dies, he chooses one to run his clinic. It is the same with the other occupations: If a merchant, a businessman, a farmer and even a bath-keeper dies or is away from his job for a while, he certainly finds someone to look after his business until he returns. Even if a beetroot seller wants to leave his beetroot pot for a short time to go to pray, he asks the nearby shop-keeper to look after his pot and scale until he returns. If they neglect doing so and a disaster befalls them, the people around will blame them saying: ‘It is ridiculous, has he gone mad! Why did that bath-keeper acted in such silly way? While leaving the door of the bath-room open, he has been away without asking someone to look after his bath! It is very strange, has that merchant lost his sense!’ Why has he not asked someone to after his commercial firm before going on a journey?’

This is so clear that according to the people of wisdom: ‘It is a clear as crystal and it needs no proof!’ In these kinds of things, precaution is indispensable.

Therefore, how can one dare to assume and imagine that a religion like Islam, which its dilatation remains for the entire world until the Day of Resurrection, and it includes all the human necessity within – from the slightest one which purification up to the more complex of Islamic Divine subjects; and that which includes the main moral and the jurisprudent commands for the individual and common to be left on its own without having a guardian to look after it! And such a wise Messenger to pass away but not to trust the religion to someone competent! To leave the nation like astray sheep on their own to be prey for the hungry wolves without having an Imam and Guardian to protect them!

Is the religion of Islam different from the other laws and rules that not having a protector or guardian? Are the people of Islam and the religious congregations different from the non-Islamic congregations? Do they not need a director and super-wiser to have control over them and put their affairs in order? Are they not in the need of someone to help them to run the wheel of their lives? And that scholar who studies in the nature and manner of the most Generous Messenger and sees that when he goes to the battle, he assigns someone to stay in his place to look after the government’s affairs in his absence so that nothing undesirable may happen, then, how can one blame him that he has not assigned one to protect the Islam after his demise!  

When the Messenger of Allah was going to the “Tabouk Battle”, he appointed Ali bin Abī Tālib as the Caliph in his place, then, Ali, Upon Him be Peace, told the Messenger of Allah:      

يَا رَسُولَ اللَهِ! أ تُخَلِّفُنِى عَلَى النَّسآءِ وَ الصِّبْيَان؟!‏

‘Did you appoint me as the Supervisor and Guardian upon the women and the children?’

To his question, the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, responded:

‏ أمَا تَرْضَى أنْ تَكُونَ مِنِّى بِمَنْزِلَهِ هَارُونَ مِنْ مُوسَى إلَّا أنَّهُ لَا نَبِىَّ بَعْدِى ؟ [108]

 ‘Are you not pleased that your relation to me be as the relation of Aaron to Moses; except that there is no messenger after me?’

The Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, used to assign governors to the towns that were in the hands of the Muslims, like Mecca, Taief and Yemen; and he appointed chiefs to control the armies when sent them to the battles. So, what is the difference between his life and death! Do the people not more in the need of a guardian when he has passed away? 

Yes, they are more in deed, and because of this the Messenger of Allah assigned a Guardian, and left the affairs of the nation in his hand; and in that barren land, under the shade of five trees he announced to all people in the world: ‘Ali is my Successor, he is a Guardian upon every man and woman; his Guardianship is as my Guardianship.’

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The false statements of the Sunnite on the occasions of revelation of the Propaganda Verse

It was a discussion about the position of the Propaganda Verse that we had enough discussion on it, and we learned that the great scholars of the Sunnite: like Tabari, ibn Abi Hatam, Natanzi, Rasati, ibn Mardowia, ibn Asakar and Haskani and some others have recorded it by the means of authentic documents in their commentary books. The documents are from. The great companions such as: Bara‘ bin Aazib, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Am‘mar bin Yasir, Abuza Ghef‘fari, Salman Farsi, Hozaifa Yemeni, ibn Abbas, Abu Saeed Khodri, Zaid bin Argham, Abu Horaira, ibn Mas‘oud, Amer ibn Leila bin Zamrat and the Holiness Imam Bāqir Muhammad bin Ali, Upon Him be Peace. All of them have related it; and among the Imams of the Sunnite: Yermizi, Nasaee, ibn Maje and Ahmad bin Hanbal have recorded the position of the revelation of the verse of the Guardianship in their books. 

However, whatever they have written about the position of the revelation of the verse of the Guardianship is that they have tried to detract the verse of the Guardianship from its natural way; their explanations are too weak. Their narratives are unreliable; as the Late Al‘lāma Amini has stated: either their comments are self imagination, or they are rootless and without any reliable proofs, or excessive explanations concerning the narrative of the Guardianship so that to minimize the validity of the verse, to make unimportant[109] يأبى الله الا ان يتم نوره

Fakhr Razi, whose expression is full of fanaticisms, has related ten items concerning the positions of the revelation of the verse:

1- This verse has been sent down concerning the case of stoning [the criminals] and retaliation: versus the religion of the Jews.

2- It is about the Jews finding faults and mocking Islam as the religion of Allah.

3- When the verse of “granting the position” was revealed:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ إِنْ كُنْتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ الْحَيَاة الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَ أُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا- وَ إِنْ كُنْتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ اللَّهَ وَ رَسُولَهُ وَ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَة فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْمُحْسِنَاتِ مِنْكُنَّ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا [110]

O Prophet, tell your wives: ‘If you prefer the life of this world, and its attraction, then come on, I will let you enjoy them and release you in a graceful manner. However, if you desire Allah and His Messenger, as well as having an Abide in the Hereafter; well, Allah has prepared splendid reward for the kindly women among you, (Qur’an: 33/28-29).’

The Messenger did not mention it to his wives just because he was worried that they might prefer the life of this world and he had no choice but to leaving them.

4- It has been related about the story of Zeid bin Haritha and his wife Zeinab, the cousin of the Messenger of Allah.

5- It has been revealed about the Jihad, because sometimes, the Messenger of delayed sending the hypocrites to fight.

6- This verse was revealed for the Holiness Messenger’s delay in finding faults of the idolaters worshipping idols.

7- It has been revealed on the Farewell Pilgrimage soon after explaining the rites and the religious laws of the Hajj, and then asking: هل بلغت ‘Did I circulate it?’ And they answered: ‘Yes.’ Then, the Messenger said: اللّهم اشهد ‘O Allah, bear witness.’

8- When an Arab had in mind to murder him and he was sleeping under the shade of a tree, this verse was revealed.

9- As he was afraid of the Jews and the Quraish, by means of this verse, Allah removed his fright.

10- About the event of Ghadir-e-Khum it has been revealed. [111]

Fakhr Razi, has mentioned these items, though he has placed the event of Ghadir the last one, the tenth, not even discussing about it but had ended his explanation on the ninth. While he is of the famous scholars and is quite acquaintance with the qualities of the narratives, has placed the event of Ghadir in the final place. However, Nizam ad-Din Nishabori, who is also of the scholars of the Sunnite, has taken the event of Ghadir as to be the first; and he has referred to ibn Abbas, Bera’ bin Aazib, Abu Saeed Khodri and the Holiness Imam Sādiq, Upon Him be Peace, quotations. He has related the others to be weak in their relating the event. [112]

And Tabari, who has privilege upon them, has not mentioned it in his history book or the commentary; however, he has written a separate book about the Guardianship, and has explained the event of Ghadir (من كنت مولاه فعلّي مولاه) in seventy different ways in it.  And in that book, by means of his documents from Zeid bin Argham, he has discussed about the revelation of verse and its relation with Ali bin Abī Tālib.

Nonetheless, the chief bond of Fakhr Razi and his followers is that the Propagation Verse, which is in the Chapter of ‘Heavenly Food’, is among the verses concerning the people of the Book; so it is right to say that the command of the revelation is about the people of the Book.

Even if one who just has a brief knowledge of the Book knows that the order of the revelation is something other than its recitation. And the original revealed chapters are different from the order of the chapters seen in the Qur’an. The first chapters like: علق و مدّثر و مزّمّل و نون و القلم and the other short chapters are all revealed in Mecca; and so are the last chapters of ‘The Heavenly Food and the Victory:’ إِذا جاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَ الْفَتْحُ and most of the chapters are revealed in Mecca but they have been placed among the verses revealed in Media, and vise versa.

Seyu:ti, in the book of ‘Etghan’ says: the consensus and text denote that the order of the verses are just sequestration, and we must recited the Qur’an in the same way it has been arranged. There is no hesitation in this! However, the greatest scholars such as: Zar Kashi in his book of “Borhan”, and Abu Ja‘far bin Zubair in the book of “Monasebat” that the order of the chapters in the Qur’an has been set by the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, himself. That is, it has been done by the agreement of that Holiness; so, the Muslims have no differences on this subject. And then concerning the text he has mentioned that: the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, used to suggest his companions to set the chapters of the Qur’an in the same way that Gabriel had directed him to do – in the same way that it is now with us. And when every single verse revealed, he directed his companions to be put after the previous one in its related chapter.[113]

And we explained it that the fright of the Messenger of Allah from the Jews and the Christians might be either in the beginning of his mission, or a little while after his immigration – but not too late after the immigration when the Jews and the Christians had been defeated; at the time that almost all the world was frightened from the power of Islam. When the Messenger of Allah was writing letters to the governors and the kings of the countries and inviting them to Islam.

Therefore, it does not sense that the revelation of the chapter “Heavenly Food” (which is the last chapter revealing to the Messenger) to be about the Jews and the Christians. In his commentary book, Ghortobi says: the stable harmony of the chapters is that the chapter of “The Heavenly Food” is Medinan; and he relates it from ibn Nagh’ghash that it has been revealed in the year 6th, (Hodaibeiah).[114] And soon after this, he quotes it from ibn Arabi saying that: ‘This statement is invented, the Muslims are not permitted to read and believe it.[115] Therefore, the sole appearance of the Propaganda Verse in the middle of the other verses has no effect on them and there no any proof or scientific reason to take hold of it.

And also by what we have explained so far, it becomes clear that Ghortobi’s claim is baseless. He says: It has been related by ibn Abbas that: every day, Abī Tālib sent some men of Bani Hashim to protect the Messenger of Allah, until this verse was revealed: وَ اللَهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاس ‘And Allah protect you against the people’, and whenever he wanted to send some people with the Messenger of Allah, the Messenger said: يَا عَمَّاهْ انَّ اللَهَ عَصَمَنِى مِنَ الْجِنَّ وَ الانْس ‘O dear Uncle! Allah has saved me from men and the jinn.’ Ghortobi says: the rightness of this verse is based on the verse to be of Meccan; however, this verse is Medinan.[116]

And this narrative is too weak to challenge with the previous narratives of consensus and the texts of the commentators; therefore, we clearly see how difficulties the Messenger of Allah has faced in his life time by some ignorant people!

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[94] Surah 6, "انعام", Verse 124.

[95] "اتقان", the first printing, volume 1, page 23, from Muhammad bin Ka'b related by Abi Abid that: 'The chapter of "مائده" is sent down at the Farewell Pilgrimage between Mecca and Medina.

[96] The commentary of "مفاتيح الغيب‏", volume 3, page 636, and the commentary of al-Minar "تفسير المنار", volume 6, page 467.

[97] Surah 41, "فصّلت", Verse 6.

[98] Surah 33, "احزاب", Verses 38 & 39.

[99] Surah 3, "آل عمران", Verse 175.

[100] Surah 3, "آل عمران", Verse 173.

[101] Surah 3, "آل عمران", Verse 128.

[102] "تفسیر مفاتیح الغیب", volume 3, page 635.

[103] "تفسیر جواهر", (The Commentary of Tantawi), volume 3, page 201.

[104] Surah 44, "دخان", Verse 14.

[105] Surah 17, "اسراء", Verse 47.

[106] Surah 25, "فرقان", Verse 5.

[107] Surah 38, "ص", Verse 6.

[108] This narrative is known as one of those widely transmitted narrative of the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, and apart from the Shiite it has numerously  been related in the Sunnite's famous books. Even Shah Wali-ul-lah Dehlavi has mentioned it in the book " ازله الخفاء عن خلافه الخلفاء", page 260 and 261, of volume 2, it is in the section where the translation of the position of the Commander of the believers, upon him be peace, is mentioned; this translation is worthy to read attentively. Besides, he has brought the event of Ghadir-e-Khum in volume 2, page 259 of the book; and on page 261 he has explained while confessing the event of the Guardianship as: " من كنت مولاه فان مولاه على‏"; and he has brough the story of Ghadir as: 'When they returned from the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Messenger preached a sermon at Ghadir-e-Khum which was to fortify the virtues of the Holiness Ali al-Mortaza, May Allah be pleased with. Al-Hakim, abu Omar and the others went to and this is the utterance Al-Hakim by Zeid bin Arqam:

" لما رجع رسول الله (ص) من حجه الواع و نزل غدير خم امر بدوحات فقممن؛ قال: كأنى قد دعيت فاجبت. انى قد تركت فيكم الثقلين: احدهما اكبر من الاخر كتاب الله تعالى و عترتى، فانظروا كيف تخلفونى فيها فانهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا على الحوض. ثم قال: ان الله عز و جل مولاى و انا ولى كل مؤمن. ثم اخذ بيد على رضى الله عنه- فقال: من كنت وليه فهذا وليه؛ اللهم وال من والاه، و عاد من عاداه‏".

[109] "الغدیر", volume 1, page 226.

[110] Surah 33, "احزاب", Verse 28.

[111] "تفسیر مفاتیح الغیب", volume 37, pages 635 & 636.

[112] "تفسیر غرائب القرآن", volume 6, pages 129 & 130.

[113] "اتقان", first printing in Egypt, in 1278, volume 1, page 75.

[114] The year sixth Hijri was called Hodaibei'iah because the event of Hodaibei'iah had happened in that year.

[115] "تفسیر قرطبی", volume 6, page 30.

[116] "تفسیر قرطبی", volume 6, page 244.

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