|Polytheists' requests form Prophet (s) for miracles|
|About||Prophet (s) is a guide and warner|
|Others||Earth can never remain without a ‘hujja’|
Al-Hadi Verse, or the Verse of Guide, is the verse seven of Qur'an 13, which refers to objections raised by polytheists to prophethood, and in response to requests for miracles made by polytheists, it suggests that the Prophet (s) is only a warner. Some Shiite exegetes of the Qur'an cite hadiths to show that the phrase, "and for every people is a guide," refers to Infallible Imams of the Shia. According to 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi, the verse implies that the Earth can never remain without a ‘hujja’ (or an Imam or guide).
Text and Translation
﴾وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ ۗ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُنذِرٌ ۖ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ ﴿٧
The faithless say, ‘Why has not some sign been sent down to him from his Lord?’ You are only a warner, and there is a guide for every people.
|— Qur'an 13:7|
Polytheists Seeking Excuses
Exegetes take miracles to be evidence for the rightfulness of prophets in their claims of connections with divine revelations. Thus, people who seek the truth have the right to ask prophets for miracles. In Tafsir-i nimuna, people who ask the Prophet (s) for a miracle in this verse are characterized as not seriously seeking the truth. Instead, they make such a request to seek excuses and obstinately oppose the Prophet (s).
"Iqtirahi" or requested miracles are the ones prophets were asked by others to bring about. 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar al-Baydawi (6/12 century) maintains that polytheists asked the Prophet (s) to bring about miracles like those of Moses (s) and Jesus (s). According to Makarim Shirazi, polytheists thought that the Prophet (s) was able to do any extraordinary action as requested, whereas miracles were only to show the truthfulness of prophets. Prophets never did requested miracles.
In response to polytheists' requests, the verse says, "You [the Prophet] are only a warner, and for every people is a guide." In fact, the Qur'an says that those disbelievers overlooked the main mission of the Prophet (s) which is to warn people and call them to God, and thought that his main mission was to bring about miracles. The author of Anwar al-tanzil believes that the Prophet's miracle was sufficient to prove his prophethood; hence, the verse does not oblige the Prophet (s) to bring about requested miracles. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi believes that the verse rejects that the Prophet (s) is the ultimate agent of miracles. In fact, miracles are done by God where it is in the interest of people.
Meaning of Warner and Guide
According to exegetes, "mundhir" (warner) in this verse means a person who warns about sins and their consequences. And "hadi" (guide) means a person who guides to the truth. The difference between "mundhir" and "hadi" is elaborated by saying that the former guides the misguided to the right path, whereas the latter leads those who are already on the right path, trying to prevent them from deviation. According to Tafsir-i nimuna, the difference between warning and guiding is analogous to that between a prophet and an Imam. The prophet establishes a shari'a, whereas the Imam protects it from deviations.
There is a disagreement over who is referred to by "guide." Al-Shaykh al-Tusi (d. 460/1067) points out five accounts of the referent of "guide":
- (1) Whoever guides people to the truth,
- (2) The prophet of every people,
- (3) God,
- (4) The Prophet Muhammad (s),
- (5) And the Imam of every period of time, who is infallible and immune from any errors or intentional wrongdoings. The last view is quoted from Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a).
The Imams being Guides
Shiite exegetes believe that "guide" in this verse refers to Imams of the Shia. The account has been supported by a number of hadiths. According to a hadith from Imam al-Baqir (a), he told Burayd al-'Ijli that the "warner" is the Prophet (s), and in each period of time, one of us [i.e. Imams] guides people to what the Prophet (s) has brought with him. He then said, "I swear to God that this position will always be with us until the day of resurrection."
The Need to a Guide in All Periods of Times
According to Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi, a Shiite exegete in the third century, the verse implies that the Earth can never be without an Imam (or hujja), rejecting the opposite view. Al-Fayd al-Kashani (d. 1091/1680-1681) espouses the same view in his al-Asfa fi tafsir al-Qur'an. This is also supported by a number of hadiths according to which the Earth will never be without a hujja, where the Earth can only be reformed by such a hujja.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from آیه هادی in Farsi WikiShia.